Saturday, July 31, 2021

How a Texas Challenge to the National Firearms Act might Succeed with HB957


HB 957, the new silencer/gun muffler/suppressor law, will become effective in Texas on 1 September, 2021. On that date, the Attorney General,  Ken Paxton, will be able to accept written notification by a United States citizen who intends to make a firearms suppressor as per Section 2.052 of the new law. The Attorney General shall then seek a declaratory judgement from a federal district court. 

There is strong Supreme Court precedent that the federal government may not command a state to enforce federal law, known as the anti-commandeering doctrine.

HB 957 goes far beyond anti-commandeering. It sets up a test case to undermine the pernicious doctrine which has crept into the federal judiciary over the last 80 years. The doctrine is:  all commerce is essentially, interstate commerce, and may be regulated by the federal government.  From HB957 (now law):

Sec. 2.052. NOT SUBJECT TO FEDERAL REGULATION. (a)  A firearm suppressor that is manufactured in this state and remains in this state is not subject to federal law or federal regulation,including registration, under the authority of the United States Congress to regulate interstate commerce. 

(b) A basic material from which a firearm suppressor is manufactured in this state, including unmachined steel, is not a firearm suppressor and is not subject to federal regulation under the authority of the United States Congress to regulate interstate commerce as if it actually were a firearm suppressor. 

Sec. 2.053.  MARKETING OF FIREARM SUPPRESSOR. A firearm suppressor manufactured and sold in this state must have the words "Made in Texas" clearly stamped on it.

Sec. 2.054. ATTORNEY GENERAL. On written notification to the attorney general by a United States citizen who resides in this state of the citizen's intent to manufacture a firearm suppressor to which Section 2.052 applies, the attorney general shall seek a declaratory judgment from a federal district court in this state that Section 2.052 is consistent with the United States Constitution.

The United States Courts have created the precedent, since 1942 in Wickard v. Filburn, that all commerce may be regulated by the federal government, because all commerce affects interstate commerce. The precedent was established by courts overwhelmed with justices who were ideological Progressives. 

Several cases, starting in 1995, with U.S. v. Lopez(1995), then  U.S. v. Morrison(2000), and even "Obamacare" NFIB v. Sebelieus (2012) establish a different precedent, that the power of the United States government to regulate commerce has some limit. 

The most problematic of theses sort of cases is Gonzalez v. Raich (2005). In Raich, the Supreme Court held that people growing Marijuana in their own home for their own use affected interstate commerce and was subject to regulation by the federal government.

Justice Thomas wrote a famous dissent in Raich, which was decided 6-3. Justice Thomas is the only member of the court which created the Raich decision who is still on the court. 

The National Firearms Act (NFA), which is the base federal law used to regulate silencers/gun mufflers/suppressors, is a good test case to work to advance the precedent to limit the federal power to regulate all commerce. 

The historical record is clear. The taxing power was used, in the case of the NFA, to avoid the limitations on the federal government placed by the Second Amendment, the Tenth Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the commerce clause. The legislative intent is well documented.

There are numerous precedents that using government power to restrict fundamental rights protected by the Constitution, is invalid.  For example, newspapers may not be taxed more than other, similar establishments. 

In other cases, the federal courts are reluctant to restrict taxing powers. 

The logical problem is, if you allow taxation of the exercise of Constitutional rights, you grant the government the power to violate those rights.

Silencers are the weakest part of the NFA. There was virtually no legislative history to give intent for the extreme tax on silencers. The tax is not popular; it taxes a safety device, there are numerous examples and statistics to show the tax does not reduce crime.

Silencers are increasing in popularity, while their use in crime is negligible.  There are over 400,000 legal silencers in Texas.

Federal courts, and especially the Supreme Court, have been reluctant to restore constitutional checks and balances, and, especially, limits on federal power, after 80 years of Progressive infringements. The best approach is to offer the court small, incremental steps restoring rights, rather than "all or nothing" efforts which require the courts to invalidate vast expanses of law all at once.

This correspondent believes the way to expand the doctrine of limiting federal power over the commerce clause, and to invalidate the NFA, is to argue that a person making a silencer for their own use, in their own state, is not "commerce" as defined in the commerce clause of the Constitution.

If everything is commerce, the commerce clause allows the federal government to invalidate the concept of federalism, by invalidating state power to regulate its internal affairs; and to invalidate the Second Amendment by allowing the federal government to selectively apply excessive taxation to a disfavored, fundamental right.

Arguing an individual, making a safety device, for their own use, which has virtually no effect on interstate commerce, is beyond a reasonable interpretation of the original meaning of the commerce clause, has a chance of being accepted by the federal courts.

Arguing a business, selling a commercial product inside a state, is beyond the federal power, is much harder. It has a much lower chance of succeeding.

Limits on federal power, which have been stripped away by Progressive courts over the last 80 years, are unlikely to be restored all at once. They can be restored,  incrementally, over time.

This correspondent recommends the examples used by AG Paxton be selected with care. Sympathetic examples are best; perhaps poor, minority, single mothers can be found.  Selecting sympathetic clients has become a major part of jurisprudence in the federal courts. 

If you believe you could be helpful to AG Paxton, you may want to contact him.

The law is set up so the AG can challenge the federal law before any items are made in Texas, under the new law.

This correspondent suspects such efforts are already underway. It is likely the briefs to be filed in federal court are already sketched out. 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is not a fool. 

It would be poor judgement to set up a shop and start to manufacture and advertise "MADE IN TEXAS" silencers/gun mufflers/suppressors before the Texas AG legal challenge is completed.

Privately made and discreetly held gun mufflers, on the other hand, will be much harder for federal or local authorities to find and/prosecute under the new law, because state and local authorities will be risking their budget to do so. Federal authorities mostly depend on local authorities to find cases.

©2021 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch 

TN: Homeowner Shoots, Kills Intoxicated Intruder who Attacked Him

Officials said the incident turned into a fight between the homeowner and the intoxicated intruder. An incident report stated the altercation led to shots being fired before officers arrived.

When officers arrived on the scene they made contact with Thaddeus Wallace, 53, who identified himself as the homeowner.

Police said they discovered 44-year-old Brian Stone unresponsive and suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. A 9mm Kel-Tec P-11 pistol was recovered from the scene, according to reports.

More Here

Cow Call Grizzly Attack in 2005, Crossbow and .44 Magnum

 File Image of grizzly bear  by Troy Nemitz, permission to use granted; scaled and cropped by Dean Weingarten

On the evening of 22 September, 2005, a hunting guide and his hunter, who was from Ohio, were attacked without provocation, by a grizzly bear in the Shoshone National Forest in the northwest corner of Wyoming. The details of the attack were found in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) response to AmmoLand. This correspondent has not found any other published account of this attack.

The hunter had been drawn for an archery tag for elk, with his friends. The hunter had been assigned a guide by the licensed outfitter. On the morning of 22 September, the guide had decided to take the hunter to the Elizabeth Creek area to pursue elk. They took two pack mules and their riding horses, and left a little later than normal, because the guide thought they might encounter elk along the way.

They saw elk, but noticed horses from another party were tied in the area. They kept traveling rather then interfere with the other hunters.

When they arrived at Elizabeth Creek, they heard a bull elk bugling below them. They started to hunt the bull, waiting in expectation the bull would bed down, hoping they would be able to spot him. If they were unable to spot the bull, they expected to leave the area about 6-6:30 p.m. 

 Location of Cattle Call Crossbow Bear Attack, from the FOIA response

At about 15 or 20 minutes before six, the guide saw a sow grizzly bear with a cub. He told the hunter they needed leave the area. When they had traveled about 200 yards, the guide remembered he had left his cow call. He told the hunter to wait while he retrieved the call. 

As the guide was returning to the hunter, he noticed the hunter was watching something. The guide thought it was probably elk. When the guide was about 50 yards from the hunter, the hunter yelled "Look out!" The guide looked and saw movement through the trees. He suspected it was the bull. A different sow grizzly with two large cubs burst into the clearing. The guide attempted to warn the bear off by making himself large, yelling, "Hey Bear, get out of here!" and waving his arms. The bear charged straight at the guide, roaring. 

The guide attempted to draw his .44 magnum revolver, but the pistol hung up on the trigger guard. The bear was very close, so the guide dodged behind an eight inch birch tree, to avoid the bear. The guide estimated he spent 40 seconds dodging the bear around the tree, until the bear grabbed him by the right side, and threw him to the ground. 

It is common for time to appear to stretch out when in a life and death situation. 

With the guide on the ground, the bear worried him for a short period, then left him and ran at the hunter, who was armed with a crossbow. At ten yards, the hunter shot the bear in the chest with his bow.  At the impact of the bolt, the bear stood up, and started back toward the guide, then lay down. 

The hunter shouted to the guide,  "She's dead, I'm all right!" The guide got up and asked where the bear went. The hunter said "She is right next to you, about 6-8 feet away." The guide determined the bear was still breathing, so he shot her in the back of he head with the .44 magnum. Then he looked around to see what was happening with the two large cubs. (estimated two years old) The cubs were not seen.

After a few seconds, the guide and hunter left the area.

On 23 September, 2005, a Warden interviewed the guide and contacted the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Special Agent.  The Warden confirmed the Guide had several puncture wounds to his right side and the right front of his stomach.  

On 6 October, 2005, the Special Agent and the Warden took a helicopter flight to the area, in an attempt to find the dead grizzly. The search was severely hampered by 12-14 inches of new snow. 

Given the circumstances, the Assistant United States Attorney declined criminal prosecution on 28 July, 2006. The Office of the Solicitor for the Department of the Interior for the Rocky Mountain Region declined to pursue a civil penalty on 6 November, 2006.

©2021 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch


Friday, July 30, 2021

TX: Gunfight during Home Invasion, 17-Year-Old Invader Shot, in Hospital

The incident happened around 11 p.m. Wednesday at a home on N. San Ignacio Avenue near W. Commerce Street.

Police said a 17-year-old boy broke into the home armed with a rifle and a handgun. The home had four people inside. At some point, one of the people inside the home opened fire on the suspect who was trying to rob the house.

More Here

TX: More on Saginaw Domestic Defense Gunfight

Police responded around 2:40 a.m. to the incident on the 300 block of Worthy Street. When they arrived, family members told police that the man, Terry McKenzie, had assaulted members of the family before he pulled out a gun and shot at them multiple times, according to officials.

Another family member then returned fire, hitting McKenzie once. He went inside to a home where a 1-year-old baby and 6-year-old child were asleep, and did not come back out. Officials say they tried to contact him, but were unable to get him to respond, leading them to believe he had barricaded himself inside the home. 

The police department then asked for help from Fort Worth's tactical team to deal with the situation, officials said. They eventually entered the home after trying to get into contact with him, but found he had died. 

More Here

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Czech Republic Passes Constitutional Amendment to Preserve Right to Self Defense with Arms

Author shows CZ pistol with arm brace for the American market at Shot Show in 2015

In 2015, after the series of Paris Jihadi Terrorist attacks, the bureaucrats in the European Union found an opportunity to further restrict the ownership of firearms in European countries. They created extremely restrictive new protocols which further restricted the ownership of common arms. 

The Czech Republic had some of the least restrictive firearm laws in the European Union. To the Czech people, the ability to own firearms, and use them for protection, was a significant measure of freedom, which they did not have when they were part of the Soviet Empire. 

The move for the amendment started in 2015, after the terrorist attacks in Paris.  By the middle of 2016, Czech President, Miloš Zeman was suggesting citizens should be armed "over the long term" and carry pistols in public, to defend against terrorist attacks.

The move to amend the Constitution, and add a protection for the right to defense of self and others, with arms, has continued, with some variation. From

The complementation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms arises from a petition signed by 102,000, including many senior politicians.

The final version appears to be relatively short. From

The amendment states that “the right to defend one’s life or the life of others, even with the use of weapons, is guaranteed.”

The lower house of the Czech Parliament passed the amendment on 28 June with a 139 to 9 majority.

On 21 July, 2021, the Senate passed the amendment, with 54 of 74 senators voting for it. 

 “The proposal is not only symbolic in nature but can also serve as insurance for the future,” said Senator Martin Červíček on behalf of the submitters.

Červíček pointed to the tendency of some EU countries to ban carrying any objects that could be used as a weapon. According to Červíček, the disarmament of the population will not bring greater security, as criminals will obtain weapons illegally.

 The amendment will take effect some time from 1 August to 1 September, 2021.


Czech lawmakers approved an amendment that will enshrine the right to use a weapon in self-defense in the Czech constitution – a new right that will be included in the country’s Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms.
Many people have suggested the amendment does not have any teeth, because the European Union rules override it. At a Youtube site, a Czech citizen explains how they expect the strategy to be expanded. From a comment by František Krbec at  Happy gun news: 

Maybe you ask why this additional constitution law helps us to secure our civil gun ownership against EU restrictions, because EU restrictions are more powerful than basic laws of EU countries - this constitutional right is just first step. The second step, which will follow and already is in our parliament and senate for discussion is, that the our government - especially our Ministry of Interior affairs in, collaboration with Ministry of Defense, make a project which is called "defined state backups" and that means that all gun owners can sign to a special training with guns covered by state armed forces. This course should deepen the civil gun owners skills to defend lives before special police forces arrives. It is our reaction on terrorism and the cases with active shooter in schools, public areas, etc. We know that the police cannot be everywhere. That means that all the gun owners which undertake this training and make a promise, will become let's say part of interior security. The interior security is one of a fields where EU has no rights and then we can say - OK, you cannot tell us which kind of guns or size of magazines we can have, because this is strictly in our competition for our internal safety.

This shows a sophisticated way to maintain a right to arms and self-defense for the people of the Czech Republic. When you provide a means for all citizens who are willing, to become part of the state defense agencies, which includes the right to arms, you have short circuited many of the state sponsored restrictions.

This correspondent has often considered a similar provision could be used in the United States, to push back against federal power. 

State legislatures could define any person with a carry permit to be a member of the state militia, on duty; they could make it an option available with a few hours training; they could proclaim that federal NFA laws do not apply to state militia members on duty. It is a powerful tool the states have not yet used.

In Western Civilization, it was considered an obvious, natural part of existence, that people had a right to defend themselves. Part of that natural right was the right to weapons to defend themselves with. 

The right to self defense with weapons was significantly eroded, starting with England in 1920. The new gun laws did not allow self defense as a legitimate reason for owning arms. Much of Europe followed. In Canada and Australia, and now, New Zealand, when a person applies to obtain a permit to own firearms, self defense is not allowed as a legitimate reason.

The Czech republic has recaptured the essence of that right with this amendment. While not as strong as the American Second Amendment, it is the strongest protection in the European Union. 

©2021 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch 



MS: Son-In-Law Shoots Naked man Attempting Break-in to Mother-In-Law's House

SCSO was called to the scene on Dan George Road around 9 p.m. Monday where a caller says a naked man was attempting to break into her mother’s home next door.

The caller’s husband went next door and confronted the man.

After a fight, the naked man was shot in the torso and arm.

More Here

OH: Domestic Defense? Woman Shoots Man She had Child and Protective Order Against

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Police are investigating after a man was shot to death by a woman who says the victim was assaulting her.

The 33-year-old woman tells police the victim, identified by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office as Andre Bello, 41, of Cleveland, was the father of her child and that she had a protection order against him.

More Here

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

NY: Gillibrand Believes the Impossible; Making Gun Sales more Illegal will work


Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Campaigning against the Confirmation of Justice Amy Barrett in 2020 Wikimedia commons CC 2.0

Those who wish to disarm other people have a disconnect with reality. They refuse to believe some things are not possible. This creates problems.

One of the reasons people push to disarm others is they refuse to arm themselves. Having made that decision, or, having had that decision made for them; they personally see no cost to their disarming of others. 

Disarm that guy over there. He is not me. It doesn't hurt me.

This is how  ideologues who refuse to accept reality get elected again and again. Consider Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Senator from New York.  From the

A measure to create a federal gun trafficking crime failed to make it through the Senate in 2013, on the heels of the devastating shooting that killed 20 schoolchildren in Newtown, Conn. Still, Gillibrand said she was “very hopeful” the legislation will pass this time around.

“Guns travel up the iron pipeline along I-95 from states like Florida or Georgia or Pennsylvania where gun laws are far less strict,” Gillibrand said in the news conference. “The percentage of illegally trafficked guns in New York State has continued to grow in recent years, but I refuse to believe that we can’t stop these illegal guns from coming into our state.”

She plans to reintroduce the legislation this week, according to her office. Adams praised Gillibrand for her dogged decade-long effort on the bill.

It is already illegal to buy a gun outside of New York, bring it to New York, and sell it in New York, without going through a federally licensed dealer. It is a felony in both federal law and New York State law. Gillibrand seems to think making those actions somehow more illegal, with more law, will work where the current laws do not. 

Consider her self-admitted mindset:

I refuse to believe that we can’t stop these illegal guns from coming into our state.

The laws have been in place for more than 50 years. It is part of the framework of the 1968 Gun Control Act. Homicide skyrocketed after the 1968 GCA was passed. The legal restrictions have not worked the whole time.  In New York, in 1967, the murder rate was 6.5 per 100k. It was rising rapidly. It reached a peak of 14.5 in 1990. Then it started falling. the current rate, 2.9 is the lowest since 1965.  Gun laws in the rest of the nation became less and less restrictive since 1987.

You cannot have a free republic, with the limits and checks on government which we have, and do what Gillibrand wants done. Nor is there any evidence what she wants done would have any effect on the number of people murdered. 

The latest numbers, from 2019, show 7,363 guns were traced in New York State in 2019. The largest category were taken simply for illegal possession (3,395), some may have been from gun "buybacks" (Orwellian speak for gun turn-in events). Of the guns whose state of origin could be determined, New York was the largest number, 1,048 of 4,974, or 21%.  At most, 6315 guns of all types came from outside of New York.

That is an average of about 17.3 guns a day from outside of New York. It is a tiny amount of guns. Only 18 guns would be required to be smuggled per day into New York, in the millions of vehicles which enter New York every day, to keep up this number.  The time from when the guns were purchased, until they were traced in New York averaged 11.25 years.

Consider the guns traced from Mexico. In 2019, there were 13,387 guns from the United States traced from Mexico. The border with Mexico is much more tightly controlled than the border with New York. There are many more people in Mexico than New York. Gun control in Mexico is much more intense than it is in New York. The homicide rate in Mexico is much higher in Mexico than in New York. In 2019 it was Mexico 29 per 100K  population. In  NY it was 2.9, only 10% of that in Mexico.

There is plenty of evidence the number of legal guns in a population does not affect the murder rate.

Brazil, India, and China all have roughly the same number of illegally owned firearms per 100 people.  The homicide rates vary from six times the rate of the U.S. (Brazil) to 2/3 the rate of the U.S. (India) to one eighth the rate of the U.S. (China).

These numbers verify the research of John Lott, which shows there is no correlation between homicide numbers and the number of guns owned per 100 people. Lott’s study compares all the countries in the world he could obtain data from. (from 2014)

There is plenty of evidence the number of guns does not affect the overall suicide rate.

They may have some small effect on the number of murders with guns, or the number of suicides with guns, but they do not change the overall numbers.

Why push the obviously flawed concept of controlling the gun flow, in order to reduce violent crime and homicides, when it demonstrably does not work?

For Gillibrand, this is a brand. It is what won her the Senate seat, and placed her in a position of power and authority, one of most influential and powerful people in the world. That is plenty of reason enough.

It costs her nothing. It is important to understand, the people who want others disarmed, assume such policies cost them nothing. They may be wrong in the long term analysis. They may also be dead long before any adverse effects would impact them. 

The adverse effects may take generations. Then again, the adverse effects of generations of undermining the rule of law and ignoring the Constitution of the United States appear to be having significant adverse effect right now, in 2021.

©2021 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch 


TX: Domestic Defense, Family Member Returns Fire, Wounds Man

Police responded around 2:40 a.m. to the incident on the 300 block of Worthy Street. When they arrived, family members told police that the man, Terry McKenzie, had assaulted members of the family before he pulled out a gun and shot at them multiple times, according to officials.

Another family member then returned fire, hitting McKenzie once. He went inside to a home where a 1-year-old baby and 6-year-old child were asleep, and did not come back out. Officials say they tried to contact him, but were unable to get him to respond, leading them to believe he had barricaded himself inside the home.

More Here

IN: Homeowner and Intruder exchange gunfire, Intruder Wounded

EVANSVILLE — One person is in the hospital after reportedly entering a residence and exchanging gunfire with the homeowner Saturday afternoon, police say.

Evansville police spokeswoman Sgt. Anna Gray said an armed man went into a home near the 1800 block of McConnell Avenue. The homeowner and the man reportedly fired their guns at each other, and the man who entered the house was shot.

More Here

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

IN: State Police Overwhelmed by Response to Free Lifetime Carry Permits

Indiana Capitol

As a compromise in the debate over Constitutional Carry, the Indiana legislature passed a firearms reform bill which eliminated the fee for an Indiana lifetime carry permit. The fee for the 5 year permit was eliminated in 2019. That law went into effect on 1 July, 2020. From the Crime Prevention Research Center, Indiana had 967,061 permits as of July 1, 2020. At that time, 18.73% of the adult population had an Indiana carry permit.

 On 1 July of 2020, when the five year permit fee was eliminated, about 8,000 applications for permits were received. From

State Police received 2,259 handgun permit applications from July 1-7 last year compared to 20,647 in 2020.

On July 1 alone, the day the fees were eliminated, Galaviz said the state received about 8,000 gun permit applications.

The data includes all handgun permit applications, which include lifetime permits that still have fees. About two-thirds of last week's applications were for the no-fee five-year permits, Galaviz said.

As of 1 July, 2021, the number of total active licenses had increased to 1,120,144. Those numbers translate into 21.69% of the adult population, a nearly 16% rise in permits, equal to 3% of the adult population. 69.9% of those with permits are males, 31% are females. 

The elimination of the lifetime permit fee went into effect on 1 July, 2021. The number of applications for permits showed an increase similar to the increase a year ago, on 1 July, 2020.  From

GREENWOOD, Ind. — There is no longer a fee to obtain a lifetime permit to carry a gun in the state of Indiana. The response from Hoosiers has been so overwhelming that it’s bogging down Indiana State Police’s firearms licensing website.

“As expected, we’ve had an influx of applications on our website. We’re asking folks that want to apply for that to be patient,” said ISP public information officer, Sgt. John Perrine.

Perrine confirmed that ISP received 7,136 applications through the site in the first 24 hours after the permits became fee exempt.

If the same pattern happens as last year, the total number of active permits will rise to 24% of the adult population in Indiana. Nearly all those permits are Indiana residents. Only a few people qualify for a non-resident permit. From

If I do not live in Indiana, can I still have an Indiana firearm license? 
If you are a resident of another state and have a regular place of business or employment in Indiana, you qualify for a 5 year personal protection firearm license. Your local agency will be the sheriff of the county in which you have a regular place of business or employment. You will be asked to upload the following documents on your application: 1. Print, complete, sign and notarize the Out-of-State Affidavit form stating you meet out-of-state residence requirements. 2. Provide a proof of employment on company letterhead.

Constitutional Carry came very close to passing in the Indiana legislature in 2020. If nearly a quarter of the population of voters in Indiana have carry permits, it seems very likely Constitutional Carry will pass in the next Legislative session.

©2021 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch 


Fl: Man Fires into Crowd, Armed Defender Fires Back, no one hit

Witnesses say Williams had “an object” in his jacket pocket that he began banging on a bench – which turned out to be a gun. They say he did it multiple times before pulling it out and firing toward a crowd of people.

One of the men in the crowd pulled out his own gun and returned fire in the direction of Williams.

The report states Williams then threw his gun in a parking lot.

More Here

IL: After Midnight, Chicago Permit Holder Shoots Armed 16-Year-Old who Approached Him on Street

Just after midnight, a 41-year-old man was standing near his vehicle in the 2900 block of South State Street when he was approached by a teenage boy with a handgun, Chicago police said.

The man, who had a concealed carry license, shot the 16-year-old in the arm, police said.

More Here

Monday, July 26, 2021

Larry Kelly Bear Attack and the Mythology: Combination Defense Against Grizzly Bear

 Cold Bay Alaska Google Maps

While searching for events where pistols were fired to defend against bears, I came across several references to an event which happened to Larry Kelly of Magnaport fame, in Alaska. The event was described by him in full, first person detail. 

There were several variations online. Some claimed the event showed how ineffective pistols were for defense against bears. Several claimed the ammunition was at fault. Here is an example from

Several years ago I read a story about Larry Kelly, owner of Magna-Port and hundgun hunter Hall of Famer, has told a story about having to share a hunting cabin with his guide and temporarily with a not overly-large grizzly near an Alaskan river. The bear apparently decided to get out of the rain and like the hunters choose to use the 10' by 12' cabin. When it entered, Kelly shot it 6 times with a .44 Mag loaded with Remington's 240 SJHP's as he back pedalled onto the stove. All six shots flattened out on the breast-bone, since the bear was on its hind legs at the time. Not one of his shots made it into the body cavity much less damaged the vital organs. While Kelly was doing this his guide was busy with his .375 H&H mag. The guide short stroked his rifle and it jammed. I always thought that scene was from a nightmare. A big brownie stuck in the doorway, men hollering, a .44 Mag going off six times in the dark with no ear protection, muzzle flash, the bear popping his teeth and growling. Well in the long run the bear decided he did not want to come inside and lumbered off before they got the rifle un-jammed. Later one the guides killed the bear nearby as he attempted yet another break in.

Kelly reported that it taught him the value of penetration and that HP's are way over touted for hunting heavy game. I might add that Larry has since killed coastal brown bears with the same revolver using hard cast solids over 300 grains.

Human memory is fallible. The author of the above account relied on memory. The story was published 20 years before the writer wrote the above account. The story involved the use of a handgun to defend against bears. One of the policies of our project to accurately describe how effective handguns are to defend against bears  is to include all of the events we can document.  It was necessary to investigate the Larry Kelly event and include it in the database. The writer at thefiringline was not involved personally. He worked from his memory of a story he read several years previously. 

This correspondent located the original article. It is a first person account by Larry Kelly, as part of Chapter 14 "Big Bores for Big Game", in the book "Hunting for Handgunners", published in 1990, by DBI books. The hunt happened in late October of 1981, from the dates and days accounted for in Chapter 14. 

The book is out of print. This researcher was able to obtain a used copy.

To put the account in context, at the time of the attack, the hunters had been holed up in "visqueen and driftwood shack" on the beach of the ocean near Cold Bay, on the Alaska Peninsula, because strong winds prevented their pickup by bush plane.

Larry had already killed a trophy bear with one shot from a .44 magnum Ruger revolver. He had filled his tag, and was not legally able to kill another bear, except in defense of self or others. The hunters had been in the camp for four days.

Larry stepped out of the shack for a bathroom break. He sees the bear coming down a nearby creek toward the beach. The guide, Bob Gerlack, gets a camera, puts a telephoto lens on it, and starts taking pictures. A 40 mph wind is blowing from the bear toward Larry and Bob. 

When the bear reaches the beach, it turns toward the shack and starts running at them.  The shack is on an embankment above the beach. Larry is armed with a holstered Smith & Wesson .44 magnum. Bob has a .375 H&H rifle. As the bear gets closer, it starts running up the embankment, directly at the shack. Larry draws his pistol. Bob fires two warning shots from the .375 H&H rifle. 

Here is the original, first person account in the words of Larry Kelly, from Hunting for Handgunners by Larry Kelly and J.D. Jones, p. 225, 1990. 

At the shot, the brown bear then came full-bore right at us. Bob fired a second shot in the sand in front of him as we backed into the shack. He kept telling me not to shoot.

We backed into the shack and when the bear was in the doorway, head and shoulders inside the shack, I shot. 

Bob was having trouble with his gun and had backed up into the table, knocking everything over. I had backed into the stove, knocking that over. I pointed the .44 at the bear's chest from three feet away and fired. I expected the mighty .44 to blow the bear right out of the doorway, or at least to do a little more than get his attention. He only turned his head and looked directly at me as if the muzzle blast had bothered him. 

Bob fired, then I fired again. The bear turned and I fired two more shots in his shoulder.  Bob fired at his shoulder again. I put my last two in his rear as he turned around and started running. Bob stepped out of the door and fired as the bear went bellowing down the beach. 

My Model 29 was empty and so was Bob's .375 H&H. I ran to my cot and quickly grabbed my T/C .375 JDJ and fired my last shot into the bear. He went down.

The original differs from what has become the myth in several important ways.

The bear never fully entered the shack, but was stopped in the doorway by gunfire.  The gunfire was obviously effective. There is no information indicating the bullets did not penetrate or have deadly effect. 

What happened is what often happens when bears or other big game are shot in the chest cavity. It takes many seconds to minutes for the mortal wounds to kill the animal. This is a common occurrence for everything from deer sized animals on up. Caliber does not seem to make much difference, especially if the animal has been running or has other reason to have high adrenaline and oxygenation levels in its bloodstream.

Both Larry Kelly and the guide, Bob Gerlack, appeared to be in the "Trophy Hunter" mindset. Even though the bear is extremely close at "three feet", Larry Kelly does not go for the obvious instant kill shot to the bear's brain.

The kill shot should be an easy shot at a stopped, pint sized object, from three feet away.  Instead, Larry fires at the bear's chest. Bob Gerlack, the guide, makes the same choice. From just a few feet away, with a rifle, he shoots at the shoulder. He has likely programed himself to do so. To shoot the brain of a bear with a high powered rifle is to destroy the trophy.

After being shot, the bear quickly turns and retreats. More shots are fired at the retreating bear. At the last shot, the bear goes down and expires. Very likely, from the first shot when the bear's head and shoulders intruded into the shack, until it went down for the last time, was less than 30 seconds. 30 seconds is reasonably quick for chest shots to take effect on a large animal. Perhaps the last shot broke the spine or other bone. It is not mentioned in the account. In the account, six .44 magnum shots were fired at the bear, three .375 H&H shots, and one .375 JDJ (pistol) shot. The brass picked up afterwards does not match that number; so it is possible there were more shots fired than were counted in the write-up.

This is a combined rifle and pistol stop of a bear attack.  When shot, the bear left and then died. Neither hunter was injured by the bear. 

©2021 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch 








AK: Man uses .44 Magnum to Protect Son from Charging Grizzly near Fairbanks

On July 19, 2021, at approximately 11:12 hours the Alaska State Troopers in Fairbanks were notified that an adult male shot a bear in defense of his life. A preliminary investigation revealed that the adult male and his son were walking in a remote area near Smallwood Trail off Chena Hot Springs Road when they encountered a sow grizzly bear with a cub. The bear charged the man who shot it with his .44 magnum revolver. The bear was injured but not killed and fled from the area. 

More Here

FL: Granddaughter Charged in Home Invasion where Grandfather shot Suspect

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) – An 18-year-old woman who’s accused of planning a home invasion at her grandparents’ home is charged in another home invasion that happened an hour earlier.

Cynthia Register was booked Wednesday into the Santa Rosa County Jail. She’s being held on a $250,000 bond.

WKRG News 5 interviewed Keith Fendley in March just hours after the home invasion on West Jackson Street. Deputies say his granddaughter, Register, and five others were trying to get bail money for a friend. Register stayed outside but two others broke into the house, according to Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons. Fendley fired his gun and shot one of them.

More Here

Sunday, July 25, 2021

VA: Woman Shoots Armed, Masked Man who Approached her Door

Prince William County police said the incident unfolded at 12:25 a.m. Thursday in the 4100 block of Hoffman Drive just off the Prince William Parkway. The homeowner, a 44-year-old woman, said she was leaving her home when she saw a stranger, who was wearing a mask and armed with a handgun, coming toward her from the side of her house.

The woman, who police said was also armed with a gun, shot the man as he came toward the front door. When officers arrived, they found the man had a loaded handgun. He was taken to a hospital where he later died, police said. The woman was not hurt.

More Here

IL: Intruder, Described as Homeless, Shot, Killed

The LaSalle County Coroner's Office identified a man who was shot and killed Wednesday night in the 800 block of Tomahawk Drive in Ottawa as 33-year-old Mathew E. Cavanaugh, who is described as homeless.

Ottawa police say they were called to Tomahawk Drive for a report of a person intruding into a home in which gunshots were fired. When police arrived, they found Cavanaugh dead. Police say he was identified as the intruder.

More Here

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Black Rifle Coffee Co. Shown as "moderate" by NYT Magazine? Was BRCC smeared?


Image of Kyle RIttenhouse said to have been placed on Twitter by Elijah Schaffer of Blaze TV, and deleted by him. Numerous sources.

The  Black Rifle Coffee Company(BLCC) has been a rising star in the conservative constellation. It has been becoming a center for conservative networking and interaction.  There appears to be an effort to stop the rise, at least at the New York Times. A recent New York Times (NYT) Magazine article (14 July) has painted the BRCC executives as, at minimum, moderates who despise their base, but see them as sheep to be fleeced. 

Anything from the NYT is viewed with extreme suspicion by conservatives. There have been too many times where the NYT has lied, been slow or unwilling to retract obvious errors, and unwilling to tolerate the slightest dissent from far left orthodoxy within their writing staff. 

It is a mistake for anyone who considers themselves conservative to give access to the NYT.  Their words will be twisted and taken out of context. The NYT is not a news organ. They are part of the propaganda machine of and for the far left/deep state/Democrat party. 

The writer from the NYT Magazine,  Jason Zengerle, takes care to set the stage by repeating the narrative the rowdy protest at the Capitol on 6 January was an "insurrection" and there was no "sweeping" fraud in the 2020 election. He claims Evan Hafer suspected fraud at first, but was convinced there wasn't any by the statement of the U.S. Attorney General, Bill Barr. 

There is information from a former US attorney claiming Bill Barr told him not to look for evidence of fraud.

Zengerly then focuses in on two incidents where he tries to show the BLCC as being tied to people the Left disapproves of.  Those people were wearing clothes with BLCC insignia on them. These include Kyle Rittenhouse and Eric Munchel, described as the "zip-tie guy" in the Capitol by Mat Best, the BRCC executive VP.

Zengerly goes out of his way to identify Hafer as Jewish.

Zengerly writes this paragraph, which seems misleading at best: 

“I would never want my brand to be represented in that way, shape or form,” Hafer said, “because that’s not me.” And yet Black Rifle has made conspicuously little public effort to separate itself from Munchel. This is a sharp departure from its handling of the Rittenhouse incident: Following pressure from the company, Schaffer deleted his tweets, and Hafer released a video statement in which he clarified that while Black Rifle believed “in the Constitution, the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms,” and “that a person is innocent until proven guilty,” the company didn’t sponsor Rittenhouse; “we’re not in the business of profiting from tragedy.”

Munchel was never connected with an ad campaign and a product code, as was Rittenhouse by Blaze TV. It is hard to see how BRCC stating they had not sponsored Rittenhouse, and did not want to "profit from tragedy" in the Rittenhouse incident, can in anyway be similar to a protestor wearing some BRCC promotional gear, who has not been tried yet.

Here is a link to the video where Hafer is talking about the Rittenhouse incident.

At the end of the article, Zengerly cements his case for Best and Hafer as detesting their customers. 

It is cleverly done. Here are two paragraphs from the NYT Magazine article:

“You can’t let sections of your customers hijack your brand and say, ‘This is who you are,’” Best told me. “It’s like, no, no, we define that.” The Rittenhouse episode may have cost the company thousands of customers, but, Hafer believed, it also allowed Black Rifle to draw a line in the sand. “It’s such a repugnant group of people,” Hafer said. “It’s like the worst of American society, and I got to flush the toilet of some of those people that kind of hijacked portions of the brand.” Then again, what Hafer insisted was a “superclear delineation” was not too clear to everyone, as Munchel’s choice of headgear vividly demonstrated.

“The racism [expletive] really pisses me off,” Hafer said. “I hate racist, Proud Boy-ish people. Like, I’ll pay them to leave my customer base. I would gladly chop all of those people out of my [expletive] customer database and pay them to get the [expletive] out.” If that was the case, I asked, had Black Rifle — which sells a Thin Blue Line coffee — considered changing the name of its Beyond Black coffee, a dark roast it has sold for years, to Beyond Black Lives Matter? Surely that would alienate the racists polluting its customer base.

Notice that Zengerly interweaves quotes from Best and Hafer, and implies they are talking about Rittenhouse supporters. The two quotes are separated by the sentence:

 The Rittenhouse episode may have cost the company thousands of customers, but, Hafer believed, it also allowed Black Rifle to draw a line in the sand.

Zengerly does not give a transcript, so we cannot know what might have been said in between, or exactly what the context was. We know the NYT has a reputation for taking quotes out of context and weaponizing them.

Hafer, in a responding video, says he was exclusively referring to racists and anti-Semites, the comments were not directed at anyone else. 

Link to the BLCC responding video. Here is a partial transcript from BRCC Evan Hafer:

There is a significant amount of misinformation being put out about Black Rifle and about statements that I have made.  And I think it is really important to get this directly from me. 

Number one: the first and probably most important inaccuracy in any story published, is that I somehow made derogatory statements toward my customers, or conservatives. I will give you the context about this.

The actual conversation was taking place around anti-semitism and racism in America. And then, our attack, because we were attacked last year by a group of very organized anti-semites that we did not know and they were targeting me because of my last name and because of my heritage. 

We were purely discussing that. I said anti-semites and racists do not have a place in my company, and I would gladly tell them to leave; and pay them. So, that is what I was referencing, the context of the conversation was only about that. And I was never referencing conservatives or putting those groups together with conservatives, which I think is very important.

It is highly likely the writers at the NYT Magazine consider any Trump supporters, or customers of BRCC as racists, by definition.

This shows the futility of attempting to beat the NYT at its propaganda game, writen by its own writers, published in its organs. 

Prudent people would at least make sure they have a recording of everything which was said during interviews. It appears the BRCC did not do that. It may have been a series of conversations lasting at least hours, if not days.

Later, in the response video,  Hafer says 

"We're not conforming to either side. We are conforming to Black Rifle." 


"We celebrate this country. We celebrate the people who have served and sacrificed for this country." 

This shows a dangerous naivite. The very name of "Black Rifle Coffee Company" is a gauntlet slapped across the face of the "woke". The management of the New York Times appear offended by anyone who supports and defends traditional American values. Hafer and Black Rifle Coffee Company picked a side by their existence. They need to realize it and accept it. They need to celebrate it and embrace it. They have done so in the past. 

It isn't about "conforming", at least not to conservatives. It is about not surrendering to the Left, and protecting conservative values.

Trying to play the middle will not work. Not when you are directly appealing to conservatives.

I suspect Hafer is very smart. He was a Green Beret, and a CIA contractor. He may expect to be the smartest person in the room. He might have thought he could play footsie with the New York Times and come out on top. Now he knows better. 

At minimum, he needs to be more careful of where he is getting his information flow. Accepting AG Barr's word there was no significant voting fraud (if that is what happened) was a mistake.

This correspondent left a message with BRCC, asking to hear their side. There has not been a response in three days. No doubt, BRCC and exec Hafer are very busy.

©2021 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch 


VA: Homeowner who Shot Intruder found to be Justified

Police say a Dale City homeowner who shot a would-be intruder earlier this month did so in self defense and no charges will be filed.

More Here

CA: Homeowner Confronts Burglars as the Break-in, One Killed, One Wounded

An attempted burglary in California turned sour for a pair of intruders when the homeowner shot them, killing one and injuring the other. 

The homeowner fought back when two people broke into his home in Guinda shortly after 9 p.m., killing a male suspect while a female suspect survived. The surviving suspect was taken to a local hospital with a serious injury.

More Here

LA: Shootout in Girl's Bedroom, Father Killed, Boy Wounded

A Louisiana father is dead after a teenager he’d ordered to stay away from his 14-year-old daughter allegedly snuck into her bedroom window with a ladder and shot him during a confrontation, according to local police.

The Zachary Police Department said Nicholas Mcquirter, 17, allegedly shot Dezmon Hamilton, 34, multiple times. Authorities said the two exchanged gunfire and the suspect was also wounded. 

Mcquirter was hospitalized in critical condition and is being charged with second-degree murder, illegal use of a weapon and possession of a stolen firearm. A booking photo was not immediately available. Police said they expected to formally arrest him once he is released from the hospital. He was not yet listed on the parish jail roster Wednesday evening.

More Here

Friday, July 23, 2021

Appeals Court Holds 18- to 20-year-olds Have Second Amendment Rights


On 13 July, 2021, in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, a three judge panel issued an opinion which held 18-20-Year-Old people have Second Amendment rights. To people who have studied the Second Amendment and the supporting documents at the Founding, this is an unsurprising conclusion. 

From the decision, p. 24:

As with any matter of constitutional interpretation, “our inquiry begins with the text of the Constitution.” Altman v. City of High Point,330 F.3d 194, 200 (4th Cir. 2003). Both the text and structure of the Second Amendment, along with its place within the Constitution as a whole, reveal that it protects 18- to 20-year-olds. First, nothing in the text of the Second Amendment limits its application by age. Second, the most analogous rights to the Second Amendment, those in the First and Fourth Amendments, similarly contain no age limits. Third, most other constitutional rights are not age limited. And fourth, the few rights that may not apply to those under 18 or that change by age are not analogous to the Second Amendment, and most of those rights become applicable at age 18, not 21.

On page 29: 

There are many things that minors and even those under 21 cannot do. See Ent. Merchs. Ass’n, 564 U.S. at 836–37 (Thomas, J., dissenting) (explaining that minors cannot drive for hire or drive a school bus, buy tobacco, play bingo for money, or execute a will). But none of those restrictions implicate constitutional rights, so states have great leeway to regulate those activities under their general police powers. And while the Court has “recognized that the State has somewhat broader authority to regulate the activities of children than of adults,” that does not mean that children necessarily have different rights than adults. Danforth, 428 U.S. at 74. Often they have the same rights as adults, but the states’ interests are stronger with regard to minors so restrictions may more easily pass constitutional scrutiny. Ent. Merchs. Ass’n, 564 U.S. at 794–95. So it is hard to conclude that 18- to 20-year-olds have no Second Amendment rights when almost every other constitutional right affords them protection. This conclusion becomes inescapable when we consider the history.

The opinion makes clear members of the militia included 18-Year-Old people on up, and often, 16-Year-Old on up, but particularly 18 and up from 1791 and later.

There was considerable evidence 18-Year-Olds were expected to bring their own arms. One of the reasons given that children had to have their own arms, was fear the federal government would take issued arms away in a crises. From the decision:

Generally firearms were owned privately and kept by the members of the militia in their homes as the government did not provide or keep the guns unless the citizen was too poor to afford one.29 That 18-year-olds had to be part of the militia and bring their own arms establishes that 18-year-olds were included among “the people” who enjoyed the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. See Heller, 554 U.S. at 580.

No regulations at Founding restricting minor's ability to posses or purchase weapons until two states adopted such laws in 1856.

The historical record cited in the opinion shows gradual infingements of the right being applied to those under age 21 as time went on.  The age is not consistent, with the laws varying from 12 to 21. Laws after the Civil war especially suspect: 

It would also be strange to rely on two southern laws restricting gun rights that were enacted before the Civil War given Congress’s grave concerns about southern states disarming freed Blacks during this period. Amar, supra,at 176; McDonald, 561 U.S. at 770–78. State laws passed decades after the ratification restricting gun ownership—at a time when state laws were used to disarm disfavored groups—is weak evidence of the original scope of the Second Amendment.

This reporter disagrees with the opinion at the following wording. To use the Orwellian term "gun violence" is to assume violence with guns is especially evil, more evil than the same violence without guns, perhaps with other weapons. This is irrational.

To begin, the government’s interests in preventing crime, enhancing public safety, and reducing gun violence are “not only substantial, but compelling.”

The opinion states age is a poor proxy to use as a measure of risk, because very few of any age group commit violent crimes.

Disproportionate rates cannot justify vastly over-inclusive group restrictions
The opinion rejects laws based on group characteristics as unconstitutional:
For reducing gun violence and crime, restricting a whole group that is almost entirely law-abiding is the definition of an unduly tenuous fit.
The opinion eviscerates the heart of the gun control argument:

It is not enough to target guns generally and argue that less access to guns means less crime, as this would justify almost any restriction and eviscerate the Second Amendment. 

The opinion categorically destroys IRS Commissioner Cohen's expertise when giving testimony to Congress on the subject in 1965. It is a beautiful thing.

To begin, while the IRS regulated licensed dealers, this information seems beyond Commissioner Cohen’s experience. He was not in law enforcement, did not know from experience where guns used in crimes come from, and presented no studies or expertise from law enforcement to support his contention. 

 The conclusion of the opinion sums up the arguments exceedingly well:

But while Congress—or judges—may have struck a different balance long after ratification, that role is foreclosed to us by the balance that the Founders chose. We cannot now second-guess or undermine their choice. History makes clear that 18- to 20-year-olds were understood to fall under the Second Amendment’s protections. Those over 18 were universally required to be part of the militia near the ratification, proving that they were considered part of “the people” who enjoyed Second Amendment rights, and most other constitutional rights apply to this age group. And Congress may not restrict the rights of an entire group of law-abiding adults because a minuscule portion of that group commits a disproportionate amount of gun violence. Congress’s failure to connect handgun purchases from licensed dealers to youth gun violence only serves to highlight the law’s “unduly tenuous ‘fit’” with the government’s substantial interests. Craig, 429 U.S. at 202.

Eighteen- to twenty-year-olds have Second Amendment rights, and the challenged laws impermissibly burden those rights. As a result, we vacate the district court’s grant of the motion to dismiss, reverse the denial of summary judgment, and remand for further proceedings.

The dissent is long, and well argued. It does not talk much about rights. It talks about how Congress has the power to regulate (infringe on) the Second Amendment. 

Essentially the argument in the dissent is: guns are bad. Therefore, the more we can restrict Second Amendment rights, the better. It is the typical Progressive argument the Constitution must be ignored in order to allow the government to regulate.  It relies on numerous arguments from the circuits which have been undermining and dismissing Second Amendment rights as second class rights since the Heller decision.

Here is an example of the reasoning in the dissent, on page 140:

Fourth, courts should be especially hesitant to hold gun control measures unconstitutional due to their perceived infectiveness, because doing so will place the nation and its lawmakers in a formidable catch-22: pass too onerous a regulation and see it struck down for violating the Second Amendment; pass too permissive a measure and suffer the same result. This heads-I-win, tails-you-lose approach is a recipe for national inaction on gun violence. While the people are free to choose that course, it ought not be imposed from on high by us.3

In other words, courts should not uphold Second Amendment rights, because it would prevent the legislature from violating Second Amendment rights.

The argument includes a rare typo. "Infectiveness" is almost certainly meant to be "ineffectiveness". It is extremely rare to catch a typo in a federal court opinion!

Given the makeup of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, this correspondent expects this opinion to be appealed the the Court enbanc. The enbanc Court will reverse the decision; it will then be appealed to the Supreme Court which may or may not decide to hear it. 

There is a somewhat similar case in the Eleventh Circuit in Florida, concerning long guns, and another in the Ninth Circuit addressing all firearms. 

The arguments are similar. Essentially they are: is the fundamental, Constitutional right protected by the Second Amendment to be respected, or is it to be eviscerated by the Courts as it has been by several legislatures? 

The Federal Courts have been dominated by Progressive ideology at least since 1937. A classic example of Progressive "reasoning" on the Second Amendment comes from  Cases v United States, in 1942 as detailed in an AmmoLand article:

Another objection to the rule of the Miller case as a full and general statement is that according to it Congress would be prevented by the Second Amendment from regulating the possession or use by private persons not present or prospective members of any military unit, of distinctly military arms, such as machine guns, trench mortars, anti-tank or anti-aircraft guns, even though under the circumstances surrounding such possession or use it would be inconceivable that a private person could have any legitimate reason for having such a weapon. It seems to us unlikely that the framers of the Amendment intended any such result.

The Progressive judges in Cases v United States, all appointed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, dismiss the right to military arms, not by analysis of the Constitution, but because they wish to do so.

To Progressive ideologists, the Constitution has always been an obstacle to work around, rather than a founding document to respect and maintain.

©2021 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch 





CA: Robbery Attempt captured on video. Man stops it with gunfire.

Link to video

Thursday, July 22, 2021

NICS Data: Gun Sales Drop Significantly in June of 2021

The National Instant background Check System (NICS) numbers are in for June of 2021. There has been a significant drop from the numbers for June of 2020, a year ago. Total background checks have declined 29%, and total gun sales have declined 47% from last year. June of 2020 was a record setting month.

If we look back to June of 2019, the 2021 numbers are 40% higher for gun sales this June, than in June of 2019.

Looking to 2016, the previous record year before 2020, gun sales in June of 2021 exceeds those in June of 2016 by 12%. 

Even though June gun sales in 2021 are only 53% of the firearm sales of June of 2020, they are still the second highest number of June gun sales since NICS started keeping records in 1998. 

Historically, June gun sales are one of the three lowest months in the year for gun sales. May, June, and July are the "Summer Doldrums" for gun sales, with June and July tending to be a little lower than May.

The total NICS checks are becoming less and less representative of the total number of firearm sales.

There always was a disconnect, because there can be multiple gun sales on one NICS check. There are 20 million or more people with carry permits. There were 19.48 million carry permits over a year ago.

In 25 states, the carry permit is used as a NICS check for gun sales.  Those sales are not recorded in NICS.

With the enormous numbers of people with carry permits, some states are doing monthly or even daily NICS checks on people with permits. The federal government does not charge the states for  NICS checks.

Illinois permit rechecks accounted for over 715 thousand NICS rechecks in June of 2021; Kentucky over 301 thousand NICS rechecks; Utah had over 72 thousand. Total permit and permit rechecks for the nation were over 1.79 million of the total 3.05 million, or about 59% of the total checks.

Most of the NICS checks are no longer involved in gun sales. There are more carry permits, more carry permit rechecks and more gun sales not tracked by NICS, because they are done using the carry permit instead of another NICS check.

Gun production appears to be meeting demand. More guns are becoming available and prices are dropping.  The supply of ammunition seems to be meeting demand as well. Prices are dropping and more ammunition is being seen in stores. 

The nation is coming out of the COVID crises, and the Biden regime is meeting resistance to its extreme anti-Second Amendment policies. Both circumstances may contribute to a lower demand for guns and ammo. 

The large number of new gun owners and the large number of people with carry permits appear to be having a political effect. Contrary to the claim by those who want a disarmed population, the number of gun owners seems to be growing. The number of people of carrying guns has been growing spectacularly. Yet, the number of people who are using guns to illegally commit violence against other people does not track with the increase in gun ownership or with the increase in the number of people legally carrying guns.

The primary premise of the push for more restrictions on gun ownership and gun carry is "more guns, more crime".  As that premise is proving false, the backup premise is "more guns more suicide". That premise is also proving false.

More guns do not create more violent crimes or more suicides. If they do, the numbers are too small to measure.

The fact of record gun sales, record numbers of new gun owners, and millions of carry permits tells us very large numbers of Americans believe the utility of guns outweigh the risks, especially in uncertain times.

©2021 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch 

MO: Armed Robber Shot, Killed in Downtown St. Louis

ST. LOUIS ( – A man was shot and killed while attempting to rob a person in downtown St. Louis late Sunday night, St. Louis police said. 

The shooting took place in the 500 block of N. 14th Street, about a block south of Washington Avenue, around 11:40 p.m. Officers said the preliminary investigation suggests the man was trying to rob a victim at the location when he was shot. The deceased was later identified as Kenneth Roundtree, 37.

More Here

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Mexican Bandits Steal 7 Million Rounds of Ammunition

On 10 June, 2021, it was reported that 7,114,500 rounds of sporting ammunition was stolen in the state of Guanajuato. The value of the ammunition was reported to be over 2.7 million dollars.  This correspondent checked the reported value with market conditions in the United States. The value falls within retail prices during the current ammunition bubble.

The ammunition was manufactured by industry giant Aguila, in its main plant about 90 miles south of Mexico City. The ammunition was in two tractor trailers en route for export to the United States.

The ammunition was being transported inside two semi-trailers, as partial loads in each vehicle. The weight of the ammunition was about four or five tons. A semi-trailer can easily carry 10 tons. 

A Mexican source, reported the following quantities of Ammunition were stolen:

  • 4,872,000 rounds of high velocity Long Rifle cartridges, solid point
  • 1,230,000 rounds of high velocity Long Rifle hollow point cartridges
  •  295,000 rounds of .40 S&W pistol cartridges
  • 215,000 rounds of .22 caliber L.R. Super Colibri garden loads
  • 117,000 rounds of .45 auto cartridges
  • 100,000 rounds of .38 special revolver cartridges
  • 99,000 .410 7.5 shot cartridges
  • 87 thousand 7.62x51 NATO fmj cartridges f
  • 71,500  12 gauge mini-shells
  • 25,000 .38 super +p handgun cartridges
  • 3,000 12 gauge mini-shell slug loads

All of the cartridges listed are in high demand on the black market in Mexico, and in the legal market in the United States. With the ammunition bubble ongoing in the United States, is is not clear if the ammunition will be smuggled north of the border or sold on the black market inside of Mexico. As in the United States, the .22 rimfire cartridges are the most common, as they are the least expensive for target shooting, small game hunting, and pest control.

They are powerful enough to be used for defensive purposes, but are not the primary choice for self defense.

Both .22 rimfire and 12 gauge shotguns are commonly used by the spontaneous militias which have been formed in some Mexican states to battle with forces of the various drug cartels.

The theft of the ammunition may have been based on inside information. The thieves seem to have known what they wanted and where it was located. No shotswere fired during the encounter, and no one was killed.

Aguila has become a major player in the global market. During the .22 ammunition bubble from 2012 to 2016, Aguila doubled its production to take a greater share of the market, especially in the United States.

Industry insiders have told me the regulatory environment inside the United States was a major obstacle which prevented expansion of American production of rimfire ammunition.

©2021 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch  




NE: Drunk Man Crashes into Mail boxes, Yard, Attempts to Break-in, is Shot

A man who had just crashed into several mailboxes was shot early Sunday as he attempted to break into a home according to Omaha Police.

Benjamin Novak, 36, faces numerous charges including 4th-offense DUI and reckless driving.

More Here

IN: Woman Shoots, Kills Dog who Attacked her and other Woman

She shot the dog after being bitten and attacked just before 10 a.m.

Officers with EPD were first called to the scene after reports of the woman being bitten by a dog.

Upon arrival, the black and white pit-bull was dead. It also had attacked another woman who was at the scene.

More Here

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

TX: Houston Gunfight, Resident Returns Gunfire of Car Burglars

The trio had broken into a car in the neighborhood when the resident said he got into his truck and confronted them.

"I start honking to tell him I know they're breaking into that car," the resident, who did not want to be identified, told ABC13. "At that point, they turn back and I did the same thing to light up the street. About half-way down the street, they pull out guns and start shooting."

Another resident in the area also saw what was happening and had called police before the gunfire started, the resident said.

The resident said he pulled out his own gun and started shooting back.

More Here

OH: Self Defense Claimed in Parking Lot Shooting in Richmond Heights

A man, 27, was shot in the chest while in the parking lot of the 444 Park apartments around 1 a.m. July 11. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The person reporting the shooting was found to be the shooter. The man, 21, did not have a CCW permit and was charged with improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle. He claimed he shot the man in self-defense. The incident is under investigation.

More Here

Monday, July 19, 2021

TX: Houston Father holds Intruder at gunpoint for 47 Minutes Before Police Arrive

"I said, 'Hey, who are you? What are you doing?' That's when I did my gun thing, like I loaded my gun. He heard that and just went up ... his hands."

Umar said the man didn't have a weapon and told him he was trying to find a place to hide from gang members who wanted to hurt him.

"When he said gang, six men and guns, I'm not thinking about my protection. I'm like, how can I keep these guys away long enough from my house so my daughter and my wife don't get hurt?" said Umar.

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WA: No Charges in Death of Intruder who may have Underestimated a .22

When the child told her mother she gathered all of the children into a room and called 911, meanwhile police say Saltos retrieved a handgun and entered the room, ordering the man, Jose Mendoza-Martinez, not to move.

Police say Mendoza-Martinez began saying strange things to Saltos such as, "In with Villalobos" and "you're a marked man". Then saying "do you have a .22?" and "when I jump you for that gun, you're not going to like it."

Investigators say Mendoza-Martinez attempted to get up from the bed and Gali Saltos tried to push him back down.

At that point, the investigation found that Mendoza-Martinez lunged at Saltos and that Saltos fired his pistol, hitting Mendoza-Martinez five times.

Mendoza-Martinez died at the scene.

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Sunday, July 18, 2021

CA: Homeowner Shoots Intruder Attempting to Break in

According to the investigation, the people inside the home were awoken by the suspect pounding and kicking on doors and windows.

The suspect then broke a window at the front of the home, police said. When the suspect kicked open a rear door, the homeowner fired multiple shots at the suspect, immobilizing him.

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TX: Robstown Homeowner Shoots Intruder in Butt

ROBSTOWN, Texas — On Thursday morning, a Robstown man woke up to a man breaking into his home and looking to rob it. The incident happened in the 600 block of Avenue C. 

The burglar, a 30-year-old man, got into the home through a back door. The homeowner shot the man one time and hit him on the butt. 

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Saturday, July 17, 2021

GA: Gunfight, Lil Durk and Girlfriend India Cox Exchange Fire with Home invaders

Lil Durk and his girlfriend India Cox were recently victims of an attempted home invasion, during which the couple exchanged gunfire with the intruders, according to police. On Sunday (July 11), several unidentified individuals entered Durk’s property, which is located in the 2300 block of Northern Oak Drive, around 5 a.m., according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. After being alerted of the intruders, Durk and Cox both discharged weapons, however, neither the couple nor any of the intruders were injured during the shootout.

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FL: Escambia, Teen not Charged in Shooting of 60-Year-Old

A neighbor says she saw it all unfold in the driveway of a home.

The woman -- who didn't want to share her name or show her face -- said the man pulled up to the home, blocking the driveway.

She says he then went up to a car with young men in it and started arguing with them. She couldn't hear exactly what they were saying.

The woman says he then pulled out into the street -- only to run back to the car, screaming at them.

"I was looking to see if he had something in his hands, you know, for a weapon," the woman said. "And he didn't have anything in his hands. And they put the window down in the car, and he had his arm in the car -- and then I heard [two] shots."

The woman says the man fell down to the ground and her first thought was to go help him. But she knew it was too late.

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OK: Man shoots two Pit Bulls who Chased Woman into Her House

About a mile away from their home, the couple said a woman admitted she called animal control twice.

"The reason she made the second call is they chased her inside," said McDonald.

McDonald said she does not believe the dogs were charging out of aggression, but instead they just wanted help. 

The woman told the dogs' owners that she contacted her neighbors when no one could respond until the next morning. Apparently, that's when one neighbor came out and shot the dogs.

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Friday, July 16, 2021

.22 Ammunition Spotted at Yuma WalMart 9 July, 2021


This correspondent was in a WalMart in Yuma, Arizona on 9 July, 2021. Visits to WalMart have been regular, but sparse, about one every two to three weeks.

When in WalMart, a quick look at the ammunition display is taken to see if there are any significant changes.  There has been very little ammunition displayed for over a year. Common calibers have been in short supply, especially .22 rimfire.

It was with considerable surprise these four boxes of .22 ammunition, 2 - 325 round boxes of Federal and 2- 333 round boxes of Winchester Long Rifle bulk packs, were available. 

There was a larger amount of 12 gauge shot gun ammunition on the the shelf than seen in months; there was a smattering of centerfire rifle cartridges, in 20 round boxes. There were 4 boxes of .270 Winchester cartridges, 4 boxes of 243 Winchester cartridges, 2 boxes of .30-30 cartridges, and 6 boxes of .350 Legend cartridges.

On line, it appears ammunition prices have been dropping a bit from the highs experienced over the last year.

The Federal . 22 LR cartridges are the 40 gr Automatic, at $18.73 for 325 rounds, or 5.76 cents per round. The Winchester bulk pack is the 36 grain hollow point, at 18.88 for 333 cartridges, or 5.67 cents per round. 

This is a significant price drop from Internet prices which were often seen at 25 cents per cartridge, or more.

The cartridges had been there for at least a few hours. The lady behind the counter said it was the most ammunition she had seen displayed for months.

It is too early to be sure if this is the start of a return to "normal" pricing, or if it is a fluke of the delivery system and local variation in the supply chain. It may be an early indicator that supply is starting to meet the demand. .22 cartridges from all over the planet have been coming to the United States to meet the exceptionally high demand.

A "bubble" in cartridge prices can easily happen if demand suddenly exceeds the supply. Commodities which have expensive capital requirements to produce are especially vulnerable, as seen recently with toilet paper and ammunition.

The largest producer of .22 rimfire ammunition in the United States (and the world) is Vista Outdoors, with its Federal and CCI brands. Stock in Vista Outdoors plunged during the Trump administration, as the .22 ammunition bubble from the Obama years finally collapsed. In 2018, .22 rimfire ammunition was selling for as low as 2.5 cents per round.  

A new bubble inflated in 2020, with the uncertainty of the Presidential election, COVID-19, and BLM and Antifa riots in the cities. 

With its expansion of production capacity validated, Vista Outdoors is producing and selling all the ammunition it is capable of. 

The total .22 rimfire ammunition for the United States Market has been in the neighborhood of 5 billion rounds per year, increased from a base of about 4 billion rounds per year in 2012. 

Total ammunition for the United States Market has been estimated at 9 billion rounds per year in 2020, including all centerfire and rimfire rounds for the non-military market.

That bubble may be leaking. Unrest in the United States and uncertainty in future stability around the world may re-inflate the ammunition bubble at any time.

Readers are invited to comment on ammunition availability in their local area. The availability of .22 ammunition has been shown to be highly variable by geographical location in the last .22 ammunition bubble.


©2021 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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