[UPDATED 2] SCOTUS Tosses Bump Stock Ban

See updates below.


Big news this morning.

Supreme Court Strikes Down Bump Stock Ban
In a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court held that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) exceeded its authority when it issued a rule classifying firearms equipped with bump stocks as machine guns. The case, Garland v. Cargill, challenged the ban enacted following the 2017 Las Vegas concert mass shooting, which it implemented by interpreting a federal law restricting the transfer or possession of machine guns to include bump stocks.

It looks like Clarence Thomas wrote the majority decision, so I’ve got some reading to do. I always enjoy Thomas’ decisions.

It looks like this is primarily based on violation of the Administrative Procedures Act. I tried to tell the ATF just that in my NPRM comments.

I expect I’ll have more on this after I finish reading the decision.

UPDATE: Yes, the ATF violated the APA by exceeding its authority.

Held: ATF exceeded its statutory authority by issuing a Rule that classifies a bump stock as a “machinegun” under §5845(b).

But, Thomas didn’t stop there.

A semiautomatic rifle equipped with a bump stock does not fire more than one shot “by a single function of the trigger.” The phrase “function of the trigger” refers to the mode of action by which the trigger activates the firing mechanism.

A clear, unequivocal, specific ruling that, not only did they exceed their authority, but that bump stocks do not turn firearms into machineguns. As I told them.

In fact, one might almost suspect that Justice Thomas read my NPRM comments. Or maybe my blog.

ATF argues that a shooter using a bump stock must pull the trigger only one time to initiate a bump-firing sequence of multiple shots. This initial trigger pull sets off a sequence—fire, recoil, bump, fire—that allows the weapon to continue firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter. This argument rests on the mistaken premise that there is a difference between the shooter flexing his finger to pull the trigger and pushing the firearm forward to bump the trigger against his stationary trigger.

The law address function of the trigger, not function of the finger. And the off-arm movement needed to make the finger re-engage the trigger is volitional, not an “automatic” function of the firearm.

Thomas included picture for idiots. But apparently he should have drawn them in crayon for the real morons on the bench.

The dimwitted dissenting Justices — Kagan, Sotomayer, Jackson; go figure — were reduced to this: The ATF says they’re machineguns, therefore…

When I see a bird that walks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck. A bump-stock-equipped semiautomatic rifle fires “automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.

Those are the words of overly-emotive panty-pissers incapable of logic.

Added: This decision doesn’t specifically mention “Cheveron deference” (the idea that courts should defer to a federal agency’s interpretation of a law over that of the challenger), but they certainly did not give the ATF deference here. So that’s a good precedent for gun owners challenging other ATF abuses.

Hunter Biden: Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.

I’m seeing multiple reports that the jury reached a verdict in Hunter’s firearm trial. Guilty on all three counts.

Frankly, given that the crackhead self-incriminated in his memoir (and in text messages, photos and video on his laptop…) and even his “friendly” witnesses incriminated him, the verdict seemed a given.

His legal team’s choice of defenses seemed odd, too. He didn’t think he was addicted while he made the purchase. And He wasn’t under the influence while he purchased it.

It was pretty clear that he’d done what he was accused of, and that under the Gun Control Act of 1968 those were felonies. What his attorneys should have pushing was that those were not crimes until 1969, and that consistent with the BRUEN decision those laws are unconstitutional because there was no general historical legal tradition from the 18th and early 19th century of making drug users prohibited persons.

Heck, there was no such general, historical legal tradition until well after I was born in the latter half of the <20th century.

Will they appeal on those grounds? We’ll see.

Kangaroo Court

So Trump has been convicted on 34 “felony” charges. Which I expected from the git-go.

Let’s review.

The charges — which began as misdemeanors — are based on payments to his then-lawyer in 2017.

But they were somehow “election interference” in the 2016 election. Time travel?

By the time Bragg go around to charging Trump, the statute of limitations on all alleged crimes had expired.

Judge Merchan helpfully extended the statute of limitations to allow the charges to go forward. How’s that work?

Misdemeanors not being enough, Bragg turned them into felonies by claiming they were in support of another crime.

He never actually said what the crime was. Trump certainly was never charged with such a predicate crime.

Now let’s start jury selection. In New York City.

Merchan allowed jurors who stated they hated Trump. He seated at least one with a social media track record of attacking Trump. That one got removed eventually.

Merchan himself donated to Trump’s opponent. Which allow happens to violate NY judicial rules.

Merchan’s wife was vocally anti-Trump on social media.

Merchan’s daughter is a fundraiser for Dems, and was specifically using the Trump trial to raise money.

Ah, witnesses…

Convicted perjurer Michael Cohen, who got caught lying on the stand in this trial, too.

An ex-porn actress who was allowed to testify to matters unrelated to the charges, including pornograpically graphic descriptions of alleged sex acts.

One defense witness… might as well have not been called once Merchan pre-ruled that he couldn’t give exonerating testimony.

Testimony — from prosecution witnesses — included the fact that Trump didn’t even know about the alleged hush money payment — made by Cohen, not Trump — until well after they happened.

Jury deliberations…

Holy shit.

Merchan gave the jury 55 pages of instructions.

Oh, wait. He read the jury 55 pages on instructions, but would not let them have the written instructions.

Included in the instructions was… how to put this… The jurors could decide on their own what mystery predicative crime — which was never specified or charged — Trump committed, that the book-keeping entries supported. Federal campaign donation violation? State-level election fraud? Something else? Pick one.

But… All the jurors didn’t have to unanimously agree on what the supposed crime was. Just so long as all of them figured Trump had done something. I saw this referred to as “pick your adventure” jury instructions.

But wait There’s more!

The jury didn’t — couldn’t — deliberate these mystery crimes together. Merchan specifically separated the jurors into three groups to separately consider different predicative crimes.

So, as expected, the jury convicted.

Those really following the case should realize that I left a whole lot out; like the gag orders. I just hit some on the highlights. In Georgia, Merchan would have been removed from this case, and suspended from the bench for his bias and unethical actions. And proceedings would have begun to remove him from the bench altogether.

I hope it occurs to those jurors just what an interesting precedent they’ve set… should they ever go to a New York court as defendants themselves.

After the NY civil “loan fraud” case, I advised New Yorkers to get out. After this one, I insist they stay right where they are and take their lumps. The sane part of what’s still left of this country doesn’t want you and your vindictive insanity.

[UPDATE] Banning .50 Caliber Firearms

I almost missed this, S.2926 – Stop Arming Cartels Act of 2023, a ban on .50 caliber rifles. Apparently everyone is selling their personal guns to Mexican cartels, or something. They can’t possibly be getting weapons from the Mexican army or the international arms markets.

I hear the Taliban has been selling some of the $86 billion in arms and equipment that senile Gropin’ Joe left behind in Afghanistan.

Except as provided in paragraph (2), it shall be unlawful for any person to import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, a rifle capable of firing .50 caliber ammunition.

The exceptions are the usual “government use,” and grandfathered currently possessed .50s.

The kicker is that you have to register your rifle as an NFA item. Within one year of the bill’s enactment. That might be a problem, since the current registration wait tine is running at 276 days. Now.

Imagine the backlog and increased wait time when millions of people supposedly try to register their Barretts, Serbus, and muzzleloaders.

.50 cal muzzleloaders? Yep: “capable of firing .50 caliber ammunition.” The bill doesn’t distinguish between rifles firing cartridges and loose/pellet powder and separate bullets. And checking the federal definition definition of “ammunition”…

(17)(A) The term “ammunition” means ammunition or cartridge cases, primers, bullets, or propellent powder designed for use in any firearm.

Note that “or” in the list.

The good news is that this bill was introduced last year, September 23, 2023, and hasn’t moved since.

UPDATE: Oh ho. Now I see why this just showed up in my feeds. Durbin’s Stop Arming Cartels Act of 2023 is stalled, so another group of Dim idiots have filed Stop Arming Cartels Act of 2024 in the House. The language is identical, so it’s essentially a companion bill to S.2926. Apparently the intent is to force movement in the House since it’s going nowhere in the Senate.

Staged

I’m seeing multiple reports this morning of a painting contractor covering up graffiti in Ohio, and painting right over the pro-Ham-ass protestors standing in front of it. They claim they were “assaulted.”I’m not buying it.

Pro-Palestinian Protesters Attempt to Block Painter from Covering Up Their Graffiti – Then Find Out What Happens – MUST SEE VIDEO
Pro-Palestinian protesters were spray-painted by a contractor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio early Tuesday morning as they stood in front of a campus Spirit Wall that had been hijacked by Hamas supporters who had painted it over with anti-Israel messages. The protesters, who wore clear plastic face shields, stood directly in front of the wall in an effort to prevent the contractors from doing their job. A pro-Hamas encampment at CWRU is now in its second week.

Am I the only person wondering why that supposedly professional working a painter sprayer isn’t wear old, painted-splattered clothing, eye-pro, or a mask or respirator? There’s always some over-spray, and folks doing this day after day dress accordingly.

The Ham-ass supporters — who just happened to have full-face shields — are better protected than the “pro.”

[UPDATE]Cell Phone Help: Suggestions Wanted

Anyone have a recommendation for a reasonably priced pre-paid phone company that isn’t Tracfone or Straight Talk (owned by Tracfone)?

I’m having problems again with Tracfone. And once again, it started with them screwing up transferring an old phone number to a new phone. This time they managed to brick the new phone.

UPDATE: Last time I had Tracfone trouble, after a month and a half them screwing me around, Tracfone suddenly was able to quickly fix their problem once I filed Public Service Commission and Federal Trade Commission complaints. I’m not waiting that long this time.

I just filed PSC, FTC, and Georgia Attorney General complaints, and gave Tracfone the report numbers.

TZP Column: New ATF FFL Rule Drops


Engaged In The Business: The Shoe Drops
The ATF’s rule redefining “engaged in the business,” and who must have a Federal Firearms License, has been released, but not yet formally published in the Federal Register. The Zelman Partisans has been warning you about this since 2022.

The rule document is 466 pages. Most of that is hundreds of pages of “responses” to public comment that amount to “We disagree,” and “tough shit.” The part where they claim that requiring everyone to have an FFL is BRUEN-compliant, because the feds briefly banned the export of cannons and gunpowder in 1794 is a classic.
[Read more]


TZP Column: Gun-Free Home Schools


Gun-Free Missouri Home Schools?
I received an alert sent out by Missouri First, regarding Missouri Senate Bill 727.

I’ll grant that 571.030(10) does state:

(10) Carries a firearm, whether loaded or unloaded, or any other weapon readily capable of lethal use into any school…

But is that definitive? Does “any school” really mean home schools?

571.030(1) is both a little more general and specific.
[Read more]


You Never Know…

Time was, I’d look at a report like this, and the 4/1 date, and merely assume it’s another April Fools Day attempt.

Rachel Levine Declares For WNBA Draft

But the world has gotten so nuts — “the first shemale admiral in government” part at least is accurate — that it’s getting tough to tell for sure.

But I’ll go with satire, because that guy doesn’t look athletic enough to play a single quarter without dropping dead from a heart attack.