NRA-ILA: The New York Times Throws ATF Pity Party

H/T AmmoLand.

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U.S.A. -( It’s time once again for that lamest of all biennial traditions –  the publication of a lengthy New York Times or Washington Post opinion piece disguised as news that commiserates about the purportedly beleaguered state of the ever-so valiant Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). As if taking direction directly from the Democratic National Committee, the institutional gun control organizations, or the Biden administration, this year’s version was timed to coincide with the release of Joe Biden’s administrative gun controls and his nomination of Bloomberg-backed gun control lobbyist David Chipman to lead ATF.

Titled “How the A.T.F., Key to Biden’s Gun Plan, Became an N.R.A. ‘Whipping Boy’,” the May 2 screed rehashes a laundry list of ATF complaints. According to the New York Times, ATF lacks leadership, is plagued by internal squabbles, and isn’t afforded enough power to sufficiently harass Federal Firearms Licensees (gun dealers).

However, the paper’s chief complaint is that dastardly pro-gun forces are inhibiting ATF from creating a quasi-gun registry from out-of-business dealer records.

Federal law requires those who purchase a firearm at a gun dealer to fill out form 4473. This record of the firearm transfer is then stored by the dealer on their premises. This creates a system whereby if a gun is found at a crime scene ATF can trace the firearm to the last retail purchase. However, since the records are stored with each FFL, the system is decentralized in a manner that protects against government abuse of gun owner data.

Gun dealers are required to maintain 4473s for 20 years. When a dealer goes out of business they must send their last 20 years of records to ATF’s National Tracing Center to facilitate firearm traces.

The New York Times whined,

The gun lobby, led by the National Rifle Association, has for years systematically blocked plans to modernize the agency’s paper-based weapons-tracing system with a searchable database. As a result, records of gun sales going back decades are stored in boxes stacked seven high, waiting to be processed, against every wall.

The paper records, which must be fed by hand into scanning machines to be stored as visual images, represent three distinct layers of dysfunction: the lack of a modern online filing portal, the prohibition against allowing records to be input as searchable data — so they would not have to be scanned like old family photos — and the failure of Congress to fund enough people to process the information as quickly as it comes in.

What the New York Times leaves out is that NRA and the gun owners it represents have every reason to oppose the creation of a searchable database that would contain a significant portion of the data on firearms and firearms owners throughout the country. Such a system would amount to a partial firearm registry. And as all gun rights supporters and gun control advocates know, firearm registries facilitate firearms confiscation.

This understanding was at the heart of the debate over the Gun Control Act of 1968. In 1985, Sen. James McClure (R-Idaho) explained,

“The central compromise of the Gun Control Act of 1968—the sine qua non for the entry of the Federal Government into any form of firearms regulation was this: Records concerning gun ownership would be maintained by dealers, not by the Federal Government and not by State and local governments.

The concern over government abuse of gun ownership data is well-founded, as firearm registration has already been used to confiscate the firearms of law-abiding Americans.

In 1967, New York City enacted a law requiring the registration of rifles and shotguns. In 1991 the city banned many semi-automatic firearms. As New York City already possessed a registry of firearms and their owners, the city notified the owners that their newly illegal firearms must be removed from the five boroughs (not a realistic option for many people of lesser means), permanently disabled, or relinquished to the authorities. This scenario played out again in 2013, when the NYPD sent out another round of letters to New York City gun owners, once again demanding the removal, destruction, or surrender of legally registered firearms made illegal by a subsequent law.

Moreover, there is no need to speculate about how ATF’s tracing bureaucracy could be martialed against gun owners – it already has been.

The National Firearms Act (26 USC § 5845(f)) defines “destructive device” in part as,

any type of weapon by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, the barrel or barrels of which have a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter, except a shotgun or shotgun shell which the Secretary finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes

Such items are subject to an onerous taxation and registration regime. It should be noted that the validity of federal law’s so-called “sporting purposes tests” is in doubt following the U.S. Supreme Court’s recognition of the individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense in District of Columbia v. Heller.

In February 1994, Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen (ATF was then under the Department of the Treasury) announced the reclassification of three models of shotgun as destructive devices. Under Bentsen’s view, the Striker 12/Streetsweeper and USAS-12 shotguns were not “generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes” and thus met the definition of “destructive devises.” Up until this point, these shotguns had been sold in the same manner as any non-NFA firearm.

In a press release announcing the reclassification, ATF explained how they intended to enforce the new ruling,

ATF will be working with the manufacturers and federally licensed firearms dealers to determine who owns these weapons. All owners will be receiving a notice from ATF with instructions on registering the weapons. Owners will be given 30 days from the time the receive ATF’s notice to register the weapons without payment of the transfer tax. Any weapons not registered within that time will be subject to seizure and forfeiture, and the owner could be subject to a criminal fine of up to $250,000, or up to 10 years in jail, or both.

This is sometimes referred to as a forward trace. Rather than working from a gun found at a crime scene, ATF went to the manufacturers of the newly-restricted firearms and then followed the paper trail forward to the 4473 of the lawful purchasers.

In this instance, gun owners who had complied with the law when purchasing their shotgun were forced to register themselves with the government or forfeit their firearm. It is easy to see how a digitized searchable firearm tracing database/registry would help to facilitate the further harassment of law-abiding gun owners or even gun confiscation.

The concern over wide-scale firearm confiscation cannot be overstated. In 2015, the New York Times used a front-page editorial to call for the confiscation of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms. Much of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary field called for the confiscation of lawfully possessed firearms, including President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

During an August 5, 2019, CNN interview, Biden had the following exchange with host Anderson Cooper when asked about firearm confiscation:

Cooper: So, to gun owners out there who say well a Biden administration means they are going to come for my guns.

Biden: Bingo! You’re right if you have an assault weapon.

At a campaign event in Londonderry, N.H. in September 2019, then-presidential candidate Harris told reporters that confiscation of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms was “a good idea.” Elaborating on her support for a compulsory “buyback” program, the senator added, “We have to work out the details — there are a lot of details — but I do…We have to take those guns off the streets.”

Biden’s anti-gun pick to lead the ATF has advocated for treating owners of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms like the AR-15 in the same manner that ATF treated the owners of the Striker 12 and USAS-12 shotguns. In a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” post, Chipman remarked “I believe we should ban the future production and sale to civilians and afford current owners of these firearms the ability to license these particular guns with ATF under the National Firearms Act.”

It is difficult to take the New York Times’s and ATF’s lamentations over the tracing center at face value considering there was nary a peep from either concerning allegations of a recent high-profile attempt to undermine the agency’s tracing regime.

According to a report from Politico, on October 12, 2018, President Biden’s son Hunter Biden was involved in a bizarre incident involving a .38-caliber revolver. The article stated that Hunter’s then-girlfriend took the renowned drug addict’s .38-caliber revolver out of his truck and disposed of it in a trash receptacle outside a grocery store in Delaware. When Hunter later tasked his girlfriend to retrieve the gun, it was nowhere to be found.

Politico noted that in the ensuing chaos regarding the missing revolver,

Secret Service agents approached the owner of the store where Hunter bought the gun and asked to take the paperwork involving the sale, according to two people, one of whom has firsthand knowledge of the episode and the other was briefed by a Secret Service agent after the fact.

The gun store owner refused to supply the paperwork, suspecting that the Secret Service officers wanted to hide Hunter’s ownership of the missing gun in case it were to be involved in a crime, the two people said. The owner, Ron Palmieri, later turned over the papers to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, which oversees federal gun laws.

Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) have written a letter to the U.S. Secret Service demanding details surrounding the October 2018 incident.

Surely anyone with an actual concern about the integrity of the records that comprise ATF’s tracing regime would be interested with whether wayward federal law enforcement agents were roaming the countryside altering firearm transaction records on behalf of the politically connected. New York Times readers should expect to see the 2023 edition of the paper’s ATF sob story before any in-depth coverage of this inconvenient news item.

NRA-ILA: South Carolina Open Carry Bill In Legislature

H/T AmmoLand.

Here in Indiana open and concealed carry is legal as the law says you need a license to carry a handgun.


U.S.A. -( For the 2021 legislative session, Representative Bobby Cox (R-19) introduced House Bill 3094 to allow citizens who hold a concealed weapons permit to carry a handgun in the manner they choose. Currently, South Carolina is one of just five states that do not explicitly allow open carry, among them Illinois, New York, and California. Self-defense situations are difficult to predict and everyone has different circumstances. It is unreasonable for the law to impose a one-size-fits-all method of carrying a handgun for self-defense.

Back in 2016, Texas legalized open carry of handguns by carry permit holders. Despite the usual objections to open carry and prediction of lawlessness by those who oppose self-defense and the right-to-carry in any form, the implementation was uneventful, and law-abiding citizens continued to behave as law-abiding citizens.


While H. 3094 has not yet been scheduled for a committee hearing, we are told there will be one coming up soon. Please stay tuned to and your email inbox for further updates.

NRA-ILA: California AG Seeks Further Review of Ruling in Magazine Case

H/T AmmoLand.

Commiefornia will fight long and hard to keep their magazine ban in place.

U.S.A. -( Friday, the California Attorney General’s office filed a petition for an en banc hearing in Duncan v. Becerra—the NRA funded case challenging California’s ban on the possession of magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. The petition was expected after the 9th Circuit court of appeals affirmed that the ban violated the Second Amendment on August 14, 2020.  With this move, Attorney General Xavier Becerra is doing the bidding of the anti-gun lobby, who earlier this week demanded that California continue to defend the unconstitutional magazine prohibition.

“Predictably, California’s Attorney General wants to override our recent victory in the 9th Circuit, where the arbitrary ban against standard-capacity magazines was correctly declared unconstitutional. Notice the hypocrisy: Like ammunition for self-defense, AG Becerra wants as many judges as possible when it serves himself. The NRA will continue to defend law-abiding Californians and the 9th Circuit’s ruling in favor of your Second Amendment rights.” – Jason Ouimet, NRA-ILA Executive Director

The case centers on California Penal Code §32310, which prior to 2016, imposed restrictions on the manufacture, importation, sale, transfer, and receipt of magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds. In 2016, the law was amended to add an outright ban, prohibiting nearly everyone in the state from possessing such magazines. California residents who owned LCMs were given the option of removing the magazine from the state, selling it to a firearms dealer, permanently modifying the magazine so that it was incapable of holding over ten rounds or surrendering it to law enforcement for destruction. Failure to do so could result in imprisonment for up to a year.


Your NRA will continue to keep you updated as this case progresses. ​​

NRA-ILA: The Third Time Isn’t Always a Charm

H/T  AmmoLand.

For Joe Pee Pads Biden the third time will not be charmed.

U.S.A. -( The Democratic National Convention (DNC) took place this week, and, as expected, the nomination of former vice president Joe Biden (D) as the party’s nominee to challenge President Donald Trump (R) became official. After nearly half-a-century in the federal government, and more than three decades since he first campaigned to be president, his third run to be the Democrat candidate for president finally paid off. In 1988, during his first run, he would have been one of the youngest Democrat candidates to have sought the office. Now, in 2020, he is the oldest, from either major party, to be the nominee.

Persistence often does pay off.


The convention, which spanned four nights, was held virtually, as will be the Republican National Convention (RNC) this week. And while there were a number of subjects discussed, the main message seemed to be less praise of Biden, and more condemnation of President Trump.

Two subjects seemed to get little, if any, attention, especially from Joe Biden, his running mate, Kamala Harris (D), and most of the key speakers.

First, it seemed odd that, with the turmoil taking place in so many of our nation’s major cities, there wasn’t any condemnation of the widespread lawlessness and violence taking place, nor mention of a plan to quell it. Of course, the concern over violence in our country has driven the recent surge in the purchase of firearms for personal protection. Which brings us to the other topic barely mentioned.


Harris, during her acceptance speech for nomination as vice presidential candidate, made a brief reference to Biden’s work on the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. In his coordinated remarks, Biden made an equally brief reference. But other than that, there really wasn’t much talk about guns.

Even billionaire Michael Bloomberg (D/R/I/?), whose short run for nomination cost him an estimated $1 billion, didn’t bring up guns during the small amount of time he was on the stage Thursday night. Considering he is personally bankrolling America’s largest anti-gun organization and has made eviscerating the Second Amendment one of his primary goals for decades, one can only presume he was told to not bring up the subject.

Perhaps the Democrats have determined they already have the anti-gun vote locked up, which is likely. Every one of the more than two-dozen candidates who, at one time during the campaign for 2020 sought to be where Biden is today, tried to prove they would do more to target America’s law-abiding gun owners. And while the Biden-Harris ticket didn’t speak about their goals to eliminate the Second Amendment, there is ample evidence to show what they intend.

The national Democratic Party platform spells out its opposition to the right to keep and bear arms.

Kamala Harris, before she gave up on her bid to be president this time around, tried to make sure people understood how anti-gun she is.

And Biden has included his roadmap to diminishing the rights of gun owners on his campaign website.

Biden wants to ban and confiscate popular semi-automatic firearms, like the AR-15, as well as standard capacity magazines. He wants to destroy the American firearms industry with frivolous lawsuits brought by anti-gun organizations. He wants to impose arbitrary limitations on your rights protected under the Second Amendment, allowing you to buy only one firearm a month. He wants to criminalize the private transfer of firearms. He wants the federal government to promote firearms licensing schemes at the state level. He wants to impose one-size-fits-all mandatory storage laws and promote fictional firearms he has convinced himself exist outside of Hollywood.

And that’s just some of what he wants to push. His screed against guns is nearly 3,500 words long. No wonder he didn’t delve into the subject during his acceptance speech; he would have been talking until midnight!

So, while the talk of guns was light during the DNC, we already know the threats we all face should the Biden-Harris ticket prevail.

This week the RNC has their turn. While the DNC tried to hide its disdain for the Second Amendment during the actual convention, we anticipate the RNC will present a stark contrast, as many speakers will likely be proud to proclaim their support. Because never has the contrast been starker for gun owners in a race for the American presidency. President Trump is an unabashed supporter of the right to keep and arms, and Biden wants to destroy the Second Amendment.