Hunters Across America Will Be Furious With Dick’s After New Report Reveals What They’re Testing

H/T Flag And Cross.

Dick’s is heading full speed to the trash heap of history.

I say good riddance.

These people never learn. Go woke, go broke.

Dick’s Sporting Goods has been in the news a lot over the last couple of years as they have decided to give a left-wing response in the wake of mass shootings that have taken place in our great country.

The outdoors retailer is now mulling over whether or not it should get out of the gun business altogether, a move that will no doubt cost the company a whole lot of money.

Here’s TheBlaze with more details:

The outlet reported that the sporting goods retailer — which stopped selling “assault-style” rifles in the wake of the 2018 mass killing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida — may stop selling guns altogether.

The retailer then ceased gun sales in more than 125 stores in March, a year following the deadly massacre, which took the lives of 17 people, and injured many more, and raised the age for firearm sales from 18 to 21.

CNN reported that Dick’s is “quietly testing the water on whether to pull out entirely from what it calls the ‘hunt’ business, including firearms.” Results of the “testing” is reportedly forthcoming on Thursday, upon which time the company is expected to report quarterly earnings results.

Back in 2018 after the Parkland shooting, Dick’s CEO Edward Stack spoke with CNN where he stated that immediately following the tragedy, they considered stopping all gun sales in the early part of the year.

“We did have a conversation about [stopping all gun sales]. At the time, we felt it was a part of our DNA and we should stay in it. So many people in the country are law-abiding citizens who use firearms to hunt, to use from a recreation standpoint. We didn’t think it was right to exit the business completely,” Stack said.

According to CNN, the company declined to provide any comments on the testing or the results it had ahead of the earnings announcement scheduled for Thursday.

This is a really bad move on their part. It’s another example of “go woke, go broke,” which the left just doesn’t seem to grasp. They continue to push their agenda, even at the cost of great retailers, using them as puppets to help infringe on the Second Amendment rights of American citizens across the country.

Our right to bear arms is a critical freedom that must be fought for. Without the Second Amendment, we can’t defend our other God-given liberties from those who would use the government to usurp authority for themselves.

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CNN Poll:Kamala Harris Drops 12 Percent After Second Debates

H/T Breitbart.

Will Kamala Harris next one to bail out of the 2020 DemocRat Car?

CNN released a poll on Tuesday that shows support for Democrat presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) has dropped 12 points. In June Harris had 17 percent support but the poll reveals a steep decline among supporters after the second debate to just 5 percent.

“That’s similar to the level of support she had in the spring before a surge following her initial debate performance,” CNN reported on its poll. “The June CNN poll was conducted in the days immediately following the first round of Democratic National Committee-sanctioned debates among the presidential candidates.”

A graph included in the CNN report on its poll, conducted August 15 through 18 among a “random national sample” of 1,001 adults by phone, shows most leading candidates maintaining or increasing support but Harris’ support in falling dramatically.

Surrogates for Joe Biden Spin After Tough Debate

Sens. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), for example, had 15 percent and 14 percent, respectively, in June and came in at the same percentage of support in this poll.

The poll also shows South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg with the largest single-digit percentage at 5 percent — up for 4 percent in June.

Despite ongoing gaffes and revelations about his health, former vice president Joe Biden regained a large lead in the CNN poll coming in at 29 percent support, almost double that of second-place Sanders at 15 percent.

Biden had 22 percent support in CNN’s June poll.

But Biden’s support isn’t across the board, according to CNN:

Biden’s advantage in the poll is boosted by stronger support from self-identified Democrats (31%) than from independents (23%), older voters (34% among those age 45 and older) than younger ones (23% among those under age 45) and from moderate and conservative voters (34%) than liberals (22%).

Among liberals, in fact, the race is a near three-way tie: 23% choose Warren and 22% each back Biden and Sanders. No other candidate even hits 5% among this group.

The poll, which is one that the DNC deemed qualifying for its rule of 2 percent poll support in four polls, also puts Julian Castro on the third debate stage in Houston in September. 

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), who took on Harris in the second debates, now has two qualifying polls including the CNN poll but she needs two more to make it to the debate stage.

The full sample poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points and the subsample of 402 Democrats and Democrat-leaning, registered Independents is plus or minus 6.1 percentage points.

Senator Mitt Romney Goes Rogue on ‘Climate Change’?

H/T Godfather Politics.

If Mittens Romney(RINO-UT)had gone after Bathhouse Barry Obama in 2012 half as hard as he is going after President Trump he would have won.

Just when you thought fake Republican Senator Mitt Romney couldn’t get worse, he has now announced that he believes in the fairy tale of “climate change” and that man has caused it.

Romney, who has fashioned himself the Senate’s chief anti-Trumper, made an appearance at a Utah group called the Sutherland Institute in Salt Lake City on Monday where he made the head-slapping announcement.

Even worse, he said that he wants to speak to young Republicans about global warming to get his propaganda instilled in them because older conservatives are resistant to his globaloney message.

“In some respects, (by speaking with newer conservatives), I’ll be able to make inroads with some of the young people coming along,” Romney said according to the Associated Press

Romney called the left’s Green New Deal “silly,” not because it is an idiotic, socialist plan that will utterly destroy the economy, but only because developing nations are exempt from its economy-crushing strictures. Apparently, Romney doesn’t mind the communist Green New Deal if the whole world is oppressed by it at the same time.

Then this traitor went off on the wondrousness of a carbon tax and said how great it would be.

Romney discussed the benefits of a carbon tax, a fee based on each ton of carbon dioxide emissions produced by fossil fuels that some major oil companies have adopted. He suggested a portion of the tax revenue could go to coal workers in rural communities that would suffer financially from the move to cleaner power alternatives.

After that, the left-wing Romney who parades as a Republican, attacked Donald Trump for “family separations” at the U.S. border with Mexico.

Romney has never been a conservative, and for the most part he’s never even been a good Republican.

During his own runs for office he was for abortion before he was against it, for high taxes before he was against them, and against the Second Amendment before he was for it. He took every side of every position depending on who he was talking to and what he was running for whether it was Mass. Senate, the Bay State’s governorship, or, later, president.

Mitt Romney was never to be believed. He is no conservative. Never was. Heck, HE is the guy that created Obamacare, for Pete’s sakes.

Then, during the recent presidential campaign Romney calculated that Trump had no chance to win the White House so he jumped feet first (or mouth first) into the establishment Republican #NeverTrump idiot camp because he thought that was the winning side. He spent months trying to destroy Trump’s candidacy and got absolutely nothing with his extreme efforts except accolades from those on both left and right who were working to get Hilary Clinton elected.

The enforcement problems with gun-grabbing ‘red flag’ laws are even worse than you think

H/T The Washington Examiner.

Everyone is debating “red flag” laws like they’re some new thing, but California has had variations of them for decades. We call them domestic violence restraining orders, civil harassment restraining orders, workplace restraining orders, elder abuse restraining orders, mental health seizures and prohibition orders, and, more recently, gun violence restraining orders.

They’re all meant to disarm dangerous people — but they’re all fundamentally flawed.

None of these red flag laws would have prevented recent mass shootings. And in my 23 years practicing law in the heart of Silicon Valley, I have litigated dozens of these cases. I’ve seen firsthand the practical enforcement problems that emerge in real-life cases.

These kinds of court orders are usually obtained from a judge ex parte. That’s fancy Latin for: The judge only hears one side of the story, it is not your side, and you may not even know about it until after the fact. Then they immediately strip you of fundamental constitutional rights for the duration of the orders. You’ll get your “full due process” hearing, but not until later.

And any violation of these orders is separately punishable as a crime. So even if you are innocent of the underlying conduct that inspired the “red flag” order, if you violate the order pending your hearing, you can still face criminal charges.

The initial temporary orders are usually “self-executing.” That means you might get served with a court order that tells you to take your guns and surrender them to the police or a local dealer within the next 24 to 48 hours.

You are, of course, expected to comply. But since you cannot legally possess guns upon being served with the order, how are you supposed to transport your guns to surrender them? Perhaps you could just call the police and tell them you were served with a “red flag” order – marking you a “dangerous and volatile” person (even if you’re not) – and ask them to come pick up your guns.

That kind of situation is ripe for danger. In one situation in Baltimore, police ended up shooting a man when they came to collect his guns under a “red flag” law.

Or perhaps you could take your guns to a local gun dealer and ask them to store them for you – that is, if you can find one that’s willing. In my experience, storage will cost you about $200 per month for a couple of guns. And that might be the best deal you can get. Local governments are now charging people thousands of dollars to store guns that are confiscated, and they tack on a charge for inventory and processing fees.

In one case in Southern California, a client had to pay a $1,000 ransom, that was reduced from an initial “offer” of $4,000, to get his 50-gun collection back.

Experienced counsel to defend you in a “due process” hearing will run about $15,000 in fees. If you lose and want to appeal, expect to spend another $25,000 to $100,000 in fees and costs. And even with all of that, you might still lose.

To win these hearings, you have to refute an allegation that you pose a danger to yourself or others where a judge already issued a temporary ex parte order that concluded you were already a danger. Many judges will likely err on the side of caution, and against your rights.

As a practical matter, if the government’s interest is in separating a potentially-dangerous person from guns, it makes no sense to leave other guns that belong to family members in the home. So, if you live with someone that gets a red flag order issued against them, then you and others living in the same home risk losing your guns, too.

Think that’s a fantasy?

Ask Lori Rodriguez, a plaintiff in a case that has been kicking around the California and federal courts for six years. The Ninth Circuit Court recently invented a new exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement. The court approved the police seizing Rodriguez’s firearm which was owned, registered, and locked in a gun safe , from her, while the police were at the home seizing firearms from a different family member.

Even if you win, the judge isn’t going to just hand your guns back to you at the end of the hearing. It’s probably a good idea to “lawyer up” just to go through the process of recovering your guns, so you don’t go to jail or prison for accidentally breaking an obscure firearm law or regulation. You wouldn’t want to set off a red flag.

Donald Kilmer is a law professor and practicing attorney who has litigated dozens of restraining order matters, defended against state and federal gun charges, and prosecuted several Second Amendment public interest cases.

Stunt of the Day: Beto Visits Gun Show Right After Calling for Gun Confiscation

H/T Western Journal.

Robert Francis O’Rourke is a desperate man he wants to appear pro-gun when in reality he is anti-gun.

I’ll give it to Robert “Beto” O’Rourke: When it comes to getting attention for no good reason, he’s actually pretty darn good at it.

Beto supposedly “restarted” his campaign on Thursday. It would be a bit more accurate to say that after spending a solid part of the month feigning fulmination in his home town of El Paso, Texas — using the tragic events that happened there as a springboard to get some attention and brand the president, members of his party and pretty much anyone who votes for them as racists, all in the most disgusting way — he started campaigning outside of said town.

Thusly, he returned to the trail, having rebooted his campaign in a similarly loathsome way.

No longer was he the “unity” candidate, a bland liberal you could project your Kennedy-esque aspirations upon. Now he was Very, Very Angry.

Specifically, he was he was angry about guns. He was angry about Donald Trump. He was angry about “white nationalism,” whatever that means nowadays.

(Last I checked, Merriam-Webster defined it as “a group of militant whites who espouse white supremacy and advocate enforced racial segregation.” In 2019, I believe it just means “person who votes Republican.”)

And he was angriest about the synergy of this triumvirate of very evil things. That’s why he rebooted his campaign by proposing a ban on so-called “assault weapons,” a forced buyback for them, a voluntary buyback program for handguns, restrictions that would raise the age to buy most firearms to 21 and an amorphous proposal that would institute some sort of national gun safety training for owning a firearm.

All of this was announced in earnest on Friday. On Saturday, needing to keep that media momentum up, Beto attended a gun show.

The Hill reported Saturday that the former congressman attended the show in Arkansas “to talk with firearm owners and vendors about solutions to tackle gun violence.” Presumably with lots and lots of cameras present.

“At the show, Beto listened to voters — including many Republicans who voted for Trump in 2016 — about their thoughts on gun safety,” O’Rourke’s campaign said in a statement, according to The Hill.

“In order to make progress, Beto believes we have to meet people where they are, and not be afraid to have hard conversations with people who may not always agree.”

This is a guy who, last Sunday, said “I think it’s really hard” to see someone who decides to vote for Trump without being a racist. How hard was he listening to these Republicans? (Oh, and let’s not kid ourselves: The demographic of a gun show in Arkansas doesn’t just include “many Republicans.” It includes Republicans. Period.)

How hard was he listening to these gun owners? This is what he had to say on Friday, via a statement: “The terrorist attack on El Paso, fueled by the racist rhetoric of Donald Trump, was not only an attack on America, but an attack on the aspirational ideals of this nation

“Congress’ failure to act has resulted in a democracy that is unwilling to confront an epidemic of gun violence. It’s time for those in positions of public trust to stand up, tell the truth and offer bold solutions without fear of political ramifications so we can finally start making progress and saving lives.”

How hard are you listening to Americans who believe in and may want to exercise their Second Amendment rights when you say things like that?

But, wouldn’t you know it, they found exactly what they were looking for. Chris Evans, Beto’s communications director, tweeted this out:

Chris Evans@ChrisEvans_TX

A Trump voter and Republican is, “ok with a mandatory assault weapons buy back” https://twitter.com/JeffreyCook/status/1162783607670398980 

Jeffrey Cook

@JeffreyCook

Replying to @JeffreyCook

Larry Beaver, unpictured, a Trump voter and Republican who owns handguns and assault weapons, said it was “crazy” that @BetoORourke came to the gun show in Conway.

He’s ok with a mandatory assault weapons buy back, but doesn’t think it will solve the gun violence issue.

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And, as ABC News’ Jeffrey Cook noted, the guy also said he didn’t think it would solve the gun violence problem — he’d be right, mind you — but shh. They found one guy who’s OK with a mandatory gun buyback! Spread the word, everybody.

 

They also found a gun dealer who supported universal background checks, so that got tweeted out, too:

Chris Evans@ChrisEvans_TX

“he thinks his sales at the gun show should be subject to a background, which they are not here.” https://twitter.com/JeffreyCook/status/1162782016368271361 

Jeffrey Cook

@JeffreyCook

Replying to @JeffreyCook

Preston Linck, who is selling rifles and pistols at the gun show, told @ABCPolitics he’s doubtful @BetoORourke’s mandatory assault weapons buy back could work.

But he thinks his sales at the gun show should be subject to a background, which they are not here.

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Fifty bucks says Beto is at a gun range sometime this week, “listening to gun owners — many of whom are Republicans who voted for Trump 2016 — about their thoughts regarding gun safety.”

If you think I sound flippant about this, consider the flippancy with which O’Rourke has treated a national tragedy in the place of his birth.

No sooner had the shooting happened than Beto rushed to El Paso, not to help his community heal, but so he could do as many remote interviews from the location as possible and refashion his failing campaign as a holy jihad against “white nationalism” and gun rights.

Beto O’Rourke is essentially Sen. Chalmers from “Bullitt” with a skateboard and a closet full of blue button-down shirts. He’s a fundamentally unserious preener who’s managed to package himself as a man of depth and morals. Somehow, he’s managed to convince the media of this charade, too.

O’Rourke spent 30 minutes at a gun show the day after he told Americans he was going to take away their guns and said it showed he could “have hard conversations with people who may not always agree.” But when his campaign found two people who sorta agreed with him, up on Twitter they went.

Beto’s campaign has been resuscitated on an altar of human sorrow. America needs to be reminded of that every time he pulls a ghastly photo op like this. This is what opportunism looks like.

One of Canada’s ‘Black Devil’ Commandos, Dies at 97

H/T War History OnLine.

R.I.P. Ralph Mayville August 21,1921-August 9,2019.

One of Canada’s 1st commandos in WW2
One of Canada’s 1st commandos in WW2

On August 9th of 2019, Canadian World War II veteran Ralph Mayville passed away at the age of ninety three.  His short obituary in the Windsor Star of Windsor, Ontario in Canada doesn’t mention all of the heroic actions he performed while fighting with the Essex Scottish Regiment and the Royal Canadian Regiment in the European Theater during the war.

Mayville joined the Essex Scottish Regiment in 1940, one year after Britain and its territories declared war on Germany due to Hitler’s invasion of Poland.  He had tried to enlist earlier but was turned away because he was only seventeen.

soldiers
“Devil’s Brigade” Anzio beachhead

As the sole breadwinner for his mother and three sisters he needed to earn money and the best way he saw to do so was by joining the military.

Canada

At the age of eighteen he joined the Essex Scottish Regiment but because of the need for troop replenishment he transferred to Royal Canadian Forces who were preparing to go to Italy.

Upon reaching Europe he was recruited by the First Special Service Force, a joint effort of Canadian and United States soldiers who were some of the toughest, most skilful and daring commandos of the war.  According the Windsor Star, “Schwarzer Teufel” or “Black Devils”, as they were called by the Germans, employed ninja-like tactics dressing in black, painting their weapons and faces black and furtively slipping into German camps at night.

Richard Fromm@richardfromm

Rest In Peace, Sir. https://windsorstar.com/news/local-news/windsors-ralph-mayville-one-of-canadas-black-devil-commandos-dies-at-97?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook#Echobox=1565402749 

Windsor’s Ralph Mayville, one of Canada’s ‘Black Devil’ commandos, dies at 97

Decades after WW2, Windsor’s Ralph Mayville, an ex-Black Devil, remained tough as nails, including taking a 14,000-ft. parachute jump at 92.

windsorstar.com

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They cut throats and placed calling cards with the unit’s insignia of a red arrowhead on the German soldiers’ bodies as a warning of what was to come-seriously undermining German morale. They adopted the name of the “Devil’s Brigade” and operated between the years of 1942 through 1944 with usually about one thousand eight hundred men.

According to firstspecialserviceforce.net, the Brigade arrived in Casablanca in French Algeria and moved quickly to the front in Naples, Italy with the U.S. 36th Infantry Division.

It took only three days for the soldiers to occupy Monte la Difensa, considered impenetrable due to its location of standing atop a high mountain with sheer rock cliffs.  The Brigade continued on their mountain campaign capturing Monte Sambúcaro and Monte Vischiataro.

They were sent to Anzio, Italy to participate in Operation Shingle by holding the right flank of the beachhead marked by the Mussolini Canal and Pontine Marshes.  The Germans retreated at least a half mile upon leaning the Black Devils were approaching but the fierce fighting lasted ninety nine days with no break.

Mayville’s unit was one of the first to enter the city of Rome in 1944, securing bridges and chasing the Germans northward to southern France.  They took part in Operation Dragoon and joined together with the 1st Airborne Task Force at the border of France and Italy.

The Windsor Star

@TheWindsorStar

Tears come easily to Ralph Mayville these days, nearly 75 years after he went into combat in Italy at the Anzio beach head alongside his fellow Devil’s Brigade soldiers.“I don’t w… https://windsorstar.com/news/local-news/devils-brigade-veterans-honoured-as-war-museum-unveils-congressional-gold-medal?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1542927444 

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The Devil’s Brigade was decommissioned in France in December of 1944.  For the remainder of the war many of the  soldiers from Canada were disbursed to different Canadian units while the Americans were mostly sent to Airborne Divisions or joined up with the 474th Infantry Regiment serving in Allied occupied Norway.

Windsorstar.com tells us the Devils were responsible for about 12,000 German casualties, captured around 7,000 prisoners and kept an attrition rate of over 600%.

Although he had joined as a paratrooper, Mayville’s quick removal to Italy detained his jump training and he never jumped out of an airplane during the war.

In 2014, at the age of eighty eight, he tandem jumped with a member of Skydive Burnaby near Niagara Falls receiving his paratrooper wings to go along with the other medals of the highly decorated veteran.

In 2015 Mayville and his military brothers from the Devil’s Brigade were presented with the United States Congressional Gold Medal presented by Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens and the French National Order of the Legion of Honor in 2016.

According to cbc.ca, Mayville’s care giver, Cathy Moczko, remarked he was “stubborn and straight to the point.  He will tell you what he wants to tell you… Ralph will be remembered and should not be forgotten,” she said. “He is a soldier, straight to the point and a very brave man.”

Democrats’ Gun-Policy Plans, Explained

H/T The Washington Free Beacon.

I could explain the DemocRat gun-policies ina few words “No Way In Hell!”

An analysis of the most popular gun-control proposals embraced by Democratic primary candidates.

Jockeying for attention in a packed primary, Democrats running for their party’s 2020 nomination have rolled out expansive gun-control proposals. The Washington Free Beacon tallied which candidates support which plans and examined the evidence for and against the measures supported by the most candidates.

Gun control has been a major feature of the 2020 primary discussion. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D., Calif.) ran his failed campaign on his proposal to ban and confiscate certain guns. Other contenders, like Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.), released comprehensive proposals months ago. The conversation has only gotten more heated since the mass shootings in El Paso, Tex., and Dayton, Ohio, with major candidates like senators Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) and Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) dropping new proposals.

To get a handle on just what Democrats want to do, the Free Beacon identified gun-control proposals from all 24 candidates currently running. (Find a full list here.) We found that some candidates had ideas unique to them, while other proposals, like an “assault weapons” ban, were popular across the board. In total, the Free Beacon identified 18 gun-control policies that commanded support from at least two candidates.

Many Democratic candidates appear to be taking an “everything but the kitchen sink” approach to gun policy. Proposals like the aforementioned “assault weapons” ban, universal background checks, and federal funding of gun violence research are all popular. Less popular, but still commanding attention, are ideas like making gun manufacturers liable for criminal acts committed by third parties, or instituting a national “waiting period” for gun purchases.

The Free Beacon looked at the research surrounding the eight ideas with the most support among Democratic candidates—the “assault weapons” ban, universal background checks, red flag laws, “high-capacity” mag bans, federal funding for gun research, federal firearm licensing, the “Charleston loophole,” the “boyfriend loophole,” and gun buybacks—to see what researchers have said about the proposals

“Assault Weapons” Ban

So-called assault weapons have been a frequent target of gun-control activists over the past 25 years. The definition of assault weapon, however, varies across the states which have implemented a ban on them. In states like California, the definition has continually expanded to include more firearms over the past decade.

Generally, the term is used to describe semiautomatic firearms—especially rifles—that are capable of accepting detachable magazines and have some combination of cosmetic features like a telescoping stock, flash suppressor, or pistol grip. They also generally feature bans on specifically named rifles like the AR-15—the most popular rifle in the United States. The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry’s trade group, estimates there are more than 16 million AR-15s and similar rifles already legally owned in the United States, and many of the proposed bans supported by the Democratic candidates would reach beyond those firearms.

Every single Democratic candidate currently running in the presidential primary supports some form of an “assault weapons” ban. The argument generally presented is “assault weapons” are too dangerous for Americans to own and banning them would reduce both general gun crime and mass shootings. Statistics from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, however, show such a ban, which would primarily affect a subset of rifles, has a low ceiling when it comes to its potential effect on murder in the United States. In the latest report, rifles were used in 403 of the 15,129 murders—about 2 percent.

The Rand Corporation, a nonpartisan think tank, conducted a major review of all of the literature on the effects of various gun policies in 2018. They looked at the available studies for 13 state or federal policy proposals and assessed the evidence on how they effected eight outcomes. In its overview of the effects of “assault weapons” bans, Rand found conflicting answers from studies purporting to answer whether “assault weapons” bans have any effect on violent crime.

“We identified two qualifying studies that estimated the effects of assault weapon bans on different violent crime outcomes,” the review said. “One found uncertain effects of such bans on total homicide rates (Lott, 2010); the other found a suggestive effect consistent with assault weapon bans decreasing firearm homicides (Gius, 2014). Considering the relative strengths of these studies, available evidence is inconclusive for the effect of assault weapon bans on total homicides and firearm homicides.

Similarly, the review found two conflicting studies on the effects of such bans on mass shootings. “Gius (2015c) found that these bans significantly reduce mass shooting deaths but have uncertain effects on injuries resulting from mass shootings,” the review said. “Using a similar data set, Luca, Deepak, and Poliquin (2016) found uncertain effects of state assault weapon bans on the annual incidence of mass shootings. Based on an assessment of these findings and the relative strengths of these studies, we find inconclusive evidence for the effect of assault weapon bans on mass shootings.”

The review did find limited support for the idea that an “assault weapons” ban leads “to short-term price increases and had mixed effects on the production of different classes of banned weapons.”

study authorized by the Department of Justice after the federal “assault weapons” ban expired in 2004 found there was a decrease in crimes committed with guns affected by the ban. However, it attributed that decrease to pistols affected by the ban and found “no discernible reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence.” The study further stated if the ban was reinstituted, its “impact on gun violence is likely to be small at best, and perhaps too small for reliable measurement.”

 

Universal Background Checks and the “Gun Show Loophole”

Since 1993, federally licensed firearms dealers (FFLs) have been required to run a criminal background check on a would-be gun purchaser before completing the sale. Checks are processed through NICS, a federal database of individuals ineligible to purchase a gun by dint of criminal offense, and usually returned within minutes. Since its inception in 1998, NICS has been used more than 230 million times and led to some 1.3 million denials—though prosecutions of those who fail background checks are rare.

Under current federal law, those who are “in the business” of selling firearms—like those who operate gun stores or sell guns for a living—must obtain a Federal Firearms License. Those who are licensed must perform background checks on their customers regardless of the location a sale takes place—whether it’s at a gun store, online, or at a gun show. Additionally, only licensed individuals are able to sell new firearms and transfer guns purchased outside of the state they’re located in. Sales on the used market between two unlicensed individuals who live in the same state are not regulated under federal law and the seller is therefore not required to obtain a background check on the buyer—though it remains illegal to for them to sell a gun to someone they believe is a prohibited person.

Currently, 14 states extend background check requirements to private sales of firearms as well.

Research indicates that background checks on net have a small but significant effect on gun crime. In its comprehensive review of the literature, the Rand Corporation found small but statistically significant effects on firearm suicide, although some share of the impact may be muted by an increase in other kinds of suicide. Rand also found that dealer background checks likely reduce firearm homicide, but no evidence that private-seller background checks have any effect.

There is similarly little evidence on how background checks affect mass shootings. Anecdotally, some number of mass shooters—like those at Sutherland Springs, Charleston, and Virginia Tech—acquired their guns after a background check, in spite of disqualifying conditions, an indication that the quality of a universal system is only as good as its underlying records.

The small effect size may in part be because most guns are not purchased from private dealers. A Harvard/Northeastern University survey found that 13 percent of gun owners who had purchased a firearm in the past two years had not needed a background check. Gun-crime offenders are especially unlikely to purchase their guns from either an FFL or private seller: Just 18 percent purchased their gun at all, with just 10.5 percent obtaining the gun from a pawn shop, flea market, gun show, or family/friend.

A lack of compliance also plays a role. Private, small sales are less likely to attract attention from regulators, meaning that the laws may not actually be observed. One study found that 25 percent of individuals who purchased firearms in California, a universal background check state, did not actually undergo a background check. Another study found that in the wake of their own universal laws, neither Colorado nor Washington state actually saw an increase in the number of background checks. A previous Free Beacon review of Colorado recordsfound the number of background checks actually decreased—and at a faster rate than the national average—after the state’s universal background check bill went into effect

Red Flag Laws

In the wake of the El Paso and Dayton shootings, most gun-control proposals have remained legislative nonstarters. But one appears to be garnering the approval of not only Democrats, but also conservative commentators, President Donald Trump, and Senate Republicans: “extreme risk protection orders,” a.k.a. “red flag” laws. These laws allow family members, household members, or law enforcement officials, to ask a court to suspend an individual’s right to own a gun because they have credible evidence that he poses a threat to himself or others.

The argument for red flag laws is simple. Most gun-control measures target gun users even if they are law-abiding; they therefore impinge upon the rights of the majority of blameless gun owners while failing to do much to target the small subset who actually commit crimes. Proponents argue red flag laws take advantage of the fact that many shooters display warning signs before they harm themselves or others while affording some measure of due process before they are deprived of their rights.

Seventeen states have implemented red flag laws, most in the years since the Parkland high school shooting. Because of its recentness, there is not a huge amount of evidence regarding the effectiveness of red flag laws. Research on the laws in Connecticut and Indiana indicate that they likely prevent some suicides in both jurisdictions.

The experience of just two states, however, may not generalize. A research review from the Rockefeller Institute of Government found there were “not enough [red flag] laws and not enough changes over time to generate stable effect estimates.” Another review, published by John Lott and Carlisle E. Moody in the Social Science Research Network, found that red flag laws have “no significant effect on murder, suicide, the number of people killed in mass public shootings, robbery, aggravated assault, or burglary.”

Additionally, critics of the laws have expressed concerns that the evidentiary standard used for red flag laws may be too low. Initial confiscation requires only “reasonable suspicion.” Lott has claimed “when hearings occur weeks or a month later, about a third of these initial orders are overturned, but the actual error rate is undoubtedly much higher. These laws make no provisions to cover legal costs, and many people facing these charges do not retain counsel.” In other words, at least some individuals are being wrongfully deprived of their constitutional rights and face a steep path to redress.

“Boyfriend Loophole”

A majority of the candidates also want to extend the definition of domestic violence to capture situations not currently covered under federal law—something they refer to as the “boyfriend loophole.”

In 1994 Congress made it illegal for somebody subject to a restraining order by an intimate partner or the child of an intimate partner to possess a gun. In 1996 it made anyone who has been convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” a prohibited person. The prohibition applies to any misdemeanor that “has, as an element, the use or attempted use of physical force, or the threatened use of a deadly weapon, committed by a current or former spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse, parent, or guardian, or by a person similarly situated to a spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim.”

Critics believe that definition should be expanded to include someone who commits an act of violence against an intimate partner they don’t live with or have children with.

The Free Beacon was unable to locate any studies that specifically look at how such an expansion of the federal definition of domestic violence would affect crime rates. A Rand review of studies on the effects of domestic-violence-related prohibitions did find evidence those policies reduce murder rates.

“Policies that make it illegal for particular groups of people to purchase or possess guns are one form of a broad class of policy levers that attempt to reduce the incidence of criminal gun violence,” the review said. “Recent research evidence suggests that such laws targeting domestic violence offenders may reduce homicide rates.”

Federal Funding for Gun Research

Most Democratic candidates say they will lift the Dickey Amendment and provide more federal funding for gun violence research. The amendment, passed in 1996, prevents the Centers for Disease Control from using federal dollars specifically to “advocate or promote gun control.” It was paired with a cut to CDC funding that matched the amount spent on gun studies the previous year.

The amendment was passed after some CDC officials had publicly stated their desire to use research in order to stigmatize gun ownership.

“We need to revolutionize the way we look at guns, like what we did with cigarettes,” Dr. Mark Rosenberg, then-director of the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, told the New York Times. “It used to be that smoking was a glamour symbol, cool, sexy, macho. Now it is dirty, deadly and banned.”

2017 research letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found the CDC’s spending on firearm injury research fell dramatically after the ban. However, it also found the number of gun-related articles published in scientific journals peaked in the years after the ban and remained near that level, though the topic has fallen when viewed as a percentage of overall scientific literature.

“High Capacity” Magazine Ban

Most of the candidates who support an “assault weapons” ban also support a ban on so-called high capacity ammunition magazines. However, the handful of states with magazine bans cap the number of rounds in a magazine between 10 and 15 rounds, which affect the majority of semiautomatic handguns and rifles currently available for sale in the United States. The National Shooting Sports Foundation estimatesthere are more than 130 million detachable magazines in the United States with more than 30 million capable of holding more than 30 rounds of ammunition.

Given the popularity of combining “assault weapons” bans with bans on “high capacity” magazines, Rand combined the two policies in their review. It similarly found evidence for how a ban on the devices would affect mass shootings or violent crime generally was inconclusive, but there was limited evidence to support the idea a ban increases prices for the devices and affects their production.

The DOJ study of the federal magazine ban (implementing a 10-round limit) that existed simultaneously with the federal “assault weapons” ban could not determine if the ban had any effect on crime.

“Guns with [magazines holding more than 10 rounds] are used in up to a quarter of gun crimes, but it is not clear how often the outcomes of gun attacks depend on the ability to fire more than 10 shots (the current limit on magazine capacity) without reloading,” the study said.

It also noted there were some studies with limited scopes that suggested a small percentage of shootings studied involved more than 10 rounds fired. But it concluded there was not enough evidence to make significant estimates on what the impact of reauthorizing the federal ban would be.

“The evidence on these matters is too limited (both in volume and quality) to make firm projections of the ban’s impact, should it be reauthorized,” the study concluded.

Firearm Licensing

Fifteen states and the District of Columbia implement some kind of license or certification requirement to either purchase or own a firearm. Proponents of a nationwide licensing requirement, like Cory Booker, argue that it is no different from requiring a license to operate a car—an analogy opponents say does not quite hold, because purchasing a car does not require a permit and driving a car is not a constitutionally protected right.

There is at least some state-level evidence that gun licensing works, possibly by reducing the total number of guns actually purchased. Criminologist Gary Kleck, generally a skeptic of gun control, found that licensing was one of “a few noteworthy exceptions.” One widely cited study found that Connecticut’s permitting regime reduced gun homicide by 40 percent; another found that when Missouri repealed its own regime, firearm homicide rose by 23 percent. The Missouri effect, comparing gun to non-gun homicides, seems large. The Connecticut study, for its part, is stymied by a suspect methodology.

Still, research on the effect of licensing is far from conclusive. Rand concluded that licenses have an “uncertain” effect on mass shootingshomicide, and suicide. Its review notes that both the Connecticut and Missouri studies “examined only a single state’s experience with either adoption or repeal of the law” and so offer “limited evidence that noted differences are due to the change in the law rather than to other contemporaneous influences over each state’s suicide rate around the time the law was changed.”

Licensing schemes also raise civil liberty and corruption concerns. Massachusetts’s gun-permitting regime, one of the most aggressive in the nation, grants police officers discretionto deny a permit—and therefore exercise of a constitutional right—on the basis of ill-specified “credible evidence” that an individual might pose a threat to public safety. New York City has a similarly strict licensing system for handguns that gives broad discretion to police on who is able to obtain one.

“They might as well have a had a hotline: 1-800-GIFTS4GUNS,” the New York Post reported last year. “A former city cop spilled his guts Tuesday, telling Manhattan jurors about years worth of bribes he and his fellow officers received for doling out gun permits—everything from cash, prostitutes and expensive watches to baseball memorabilia and exotic vacations.”

A federal system would grant similar unilateral discretion to federal law enforcement.

“Charleston Loophole”

Julian Castro, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, and Jay Inslee voiced support for changing default proceeds, which they’ve labeled the “Charleston loophole,” in campaign statements reviewed by the Free Beacon. While the vast majority of federal background checks take a few minutes to return either a proceed or deny determination, a default proceed occurs when the FBI finds an indication the buyer could be a prohibited person but does not immediately find disqualifying records and asks to delay a gun purchase to further investigate. After three days, if no prohibitive records are found, the sale is allowed to proceed by law.

The man who attacked a church in Charleston, South Carolina, murdering nine people in 2015, obtained his firearm through a default proceed. Democrats and gun-control advocates want to extend the determination period from 3 days to 10 days.

The Free Beacon was unable to locate any research on the potential effects of this specific proposal.

However, an extension of the determination period for default proceeds would not have prevented the Charleston shooter from obtaining his gun: The FBI’s failure to locate his disqualifying court record was due to a mistake on the examiner’s part, not lack of time to examine his record. Former FBI director James Comey announced in the aftermath of the shooting that the FBI examiner had mistakenly requested records from the wrong jurisdiction.

Additionally, the FBI does not end its background check if it hasn’t reached a determination after three days. Instead, it continues until it is able to make a determination on whether the purchaser was prohibited from owning guns. If it finds they were and the transaction went through, the FBI will refer the case to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, who will then retrieve the firearm from the prohibited person—there were 3,960 such retrievals in 2018, according to an FBI report.

The Charleston shooter purchased his firearm two months before his attack. Had the FBI realized its mistake in that time period, it would have sent the ATF to retrieve his firearm

Gun Buybacks

Gun buybacks—compensating gun owners for turning their firearms over to the government—have garnered notable support among Democrats looking to show that they are tough on guns. These buybacks can either be mandatory, with owners at least partially compensated for their confiscated firearms, or voluntary, with owners giving up their guns for a cash payment. Which form candidates support varies: O’Rourke and Harris want a mandatory program, Andrew Yang and Joe Biden want a voluntary one, and Castro has not said which he backs.

In theory, reducing the stock of guns should make it harder for individuals to obtain them, thus reducing gun crime. The problem is, the overwhelming evidence indicates that gun buybacks do not work.

2008 review found that “no empirical research to date has shown significant changes in gun-related crimes due to these programs.” Research on buybacks in MilwaukeeSeattleSacramentoBuffalo, and other cities find that the programs had little or no effect on gun offenses. In fact, one 2001 analysisargued that gun buybacks might actually increase the number of guns in circulation.

Proponents often point to mandatory gun buyback programs implemented in other countries, like Australia and New Zealand, but these are not instructive experiences. The number of mass shootings in Australia was already very lowbefore the nation implemented a mandatory buyback in the late ’90s. Reported effects on homicide and suicide were likely due to a more general violence decline—with the United States also experiencing a similar decline over the same period. New Zealand’s program, implemented earlier this year following the Christchurch shooting, has collected about 10,000 of the country’s estimated 1.5 million firearms.

There are a huge number of guns in America—the Small Arms Survey estimates nearly 400 million firearms in civilian hands—and buying them back is likely prohibitively expensive. Giving owners just $50 per gun, for example, would cost $200 million to reduce the number of guns in circulation by just 1 percent.

What is more, studies repeatedly indicate that the types of guns buybacks collect, and the owners they collect from, are a totally different population from the guns and owners regularly involved in crimes. In other words, buybacks likely do not target the people most likely to misuse their firearms. This problem persists even with mandatory buybacks, as people who already own a gun for illegal purposes are unlikely to voluntarily hand it over.