Tuesday, February 28, 2023

North Dakota Bill to Alleviate "Punishment by Process" for Self Defense Passes House


A bill which would help alleviate the punishment by process in self defense cases in North Dakota, has passed the North Dakota House by 50 to 40 on January 20, 2023. The bill, HB 1213, would allow a judge to provide reinbursement of costs to people who are prosecuted by the State for self defense, and are then found not guilty. From minotdailynews.com:

A rally of opposition by North Dakota’s state’s attorneys came too late for a House bill that would provide financial reimbursement to assault or murder defendants who are acquitted on self defense.

Ward County State’s Attorney Roza Larson, president of the North Dakota State’s Attorney’s Association, said the association will be working in the North Dakota Senate to defeat the bill, which passed the House 50-40 on Jan. 20.

The relevant text of the bill HB 1213, from ndlegis.gov:

SECTION 1. A new section to chapter 12.1-05 of the North Dakota Century Code is created and enacted as follows:

Crime of violence - Self-defense - Reimbursement.

1.As used in this section, "crime of violence" means a violation of state law in which an individual causes death or physical bodily injury to another individual. The term includes assault and murder.

2.If an individual charged with a crime of violence is found not guilty due to the justification of self-defense, the court may order the state to reimburse the defendant for all reasonable costs incurred in defense, including loss of wages and time, attorney's fees, and other expenses involved in the defense. The reimbursement is not an independent cause of action.

 A similar bill was passed by the Washington State legislature in 1977, 45 years ago. The law was modified to add particulars in 1989, and a bit more in 1995, but the main substance remains the same.  From leg.wa.gov

(2) When a person charged with a crime listed in subsection (1) of this section is found not guilty by reason of self-defense, the state of Washington shall reimburse the defendant for all reasonable costs, including loss of time, legal fees incurred, and other expenses involved in his or her defense. This reimbursement is not an independent cause of action. To award these reasonable costs the trier of fact must find that the defendant's claim of self-defense was sustained by a preponderance of the evidence. If the trier of fact makes a determination of self-defense, the judge shall determine the amount of the award.

 The proposed North Dakota bill is weaker than the Washington State law. The Washington State law says the State of Washington "shall reimburse" the person who was found to be justified. The proposed North Dakota law only says the "court may order the state to reimburse" which leaves the reimbursement up to the discussion of the judge. 

In our modern society, the process has become a significant punishment in itself. The law in Washington State, and the proposed bill HB 1213 in North Dakota, presents a partial cure for punishment by process.


©2023 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch



CA: Gunfight at Residence, Victim and one Suspect Wounded

Police said the investigation found that the man arrived home and saw an unknown vehicle parked in his driveway and several unknown men running out from his home towards the parked vehicle.

One of the men had a gun and began firing at the victim while he was inside his car, according to police.

The victim, a licensed concealed carry permit holder possessing a gun, returned fire.

Police said during the exchange of gunfire, the victim sustained a non-life-threatening injury.

More Here

Monday, February 27, 2023

WA Gunfight: Father Shot Three Times Protecting Family, while reloading

"We pulled into our parking spot and just about to take the girls out of the car and that's when they approached us from behind, and they already had their guns drawn and pointed at us and demanded our belonging," Saechao said. 

Chanthakhoun didn't think twice. He said he pulled out his own gun to protect himself and his family. 

"When I saw that, I had to immediately take out mine," Chanthakhoun said. "I tried to reload the gun and by this time they were shooting at me. They were shooting at me."

A nearby auto body shop caught the exchange of gunfire on a surveillance camera. 

More Here

Sunday, February 26, 2023

IL: Male Resident Shoots man who attacked Woman with a Truck

ISP reports as the female resident and her juvenile daughter attempted to leave the residence Lindsey rammed the driver's side door of her vehicle with the commercial work truck, pushing it through the driveway. The male resident discharged his firearm subsequently striking and killing Lindsey inside the work truck.

More Here

Saturday, February 25, 2023

IL: 73-Year-Old Shoots a Crew of Theives who Threatened him

Chicago — A Lincoln Park man fired shots at a catalytic converter theft crew that pointed a gun at him overnight, according to a Chicago police report. No injuries were reported.

The 73-year-old man saw two thieves trying to steal his catalytic converter in the 2000 block of North Larrabee around 3:40 a.m. He confronted the thieves, and one of them brandished a firearm, prompting the victim to open fire, a police spokesperson said.


More Here

Friday, February 24, 2023

Third Circuit Court of Appeals to hear Non-Violent Felon Second Amendment Case En Banc


In 1994, Bryan David Range made a serious error. He co-signed on a form requesting food stamps. The form claimed that he and his wife of the time were not making quite as much as he was from his job mowing lawns. On August 8, 1995, he acknowledged the mistake as his responsibility, plead guilty in a plea deal to a misdemeanor, and paid a fine of $100, $288.29 in costs, and paid back $2,458 in restitution to the state. From the appeal:

Range’s then-wife prepared an application for public assistance,which she and Range both signed.The application did not fully report Range’s income. Range does not recall reviewing the application, but he accepted responsibility for signing it and acknowledged that it was wrong for him to receive additional food stamps without having fully disclosed his income.

Three years later, Range attempted to purchase a firearm. He was denied, but could not determine why he was denied. He talked to the person in the gun store. The clerk said it must be a mistake in the system.  Later, his wife purchased a rifle for him to go deer hunting.  Eventually Range learned he was a prohibited possessor because of the misdemeanor conviction form 1995.  In 2020, he filed a lawsuit, presumably  with the help of the Second Amendment Foundation, challenging the constitutionality of the ban on his ability to exercise his Second Amendment rights. Alan Gura and Michael P. Gottlieb are representing Bryan David Range.  The case was filed as Range v Barr on July 15,  2020.

Summary judgement for the federal government was granted by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania  on August 30, 2021. The court used a balancing test to find for the government.  On September 30, 2021, Range appealed to the Third Circuit court of Appeals. The Third Circuit covers Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey and the District of the Virgin Islands.

The case name changed from Range v Barr to Range v Lombardo and is commonly referred to  Range v  Attorney General.

On June 22, 2022, the Supreme Court issued the opinion in Bruen, clarifying the Heller decision, and setting forth explicit guidelines for lower courts to decide Second Amendment cases. The decision made clear that no "balancing tests" were to be used in Second Amendment cases, just as with other amendments protecting fundamental rights.

The three judge panel of Shwartz, Krause and Roth from the Third Circuit heard the appeal. On November 16, 2022, the panel found for the government. From the decision:

Applying Bruen’s historical focus, we conclude § 922(g)(1) comports with legislatures’ longstanding authority and discretion to disarm citizens unwilling to obey the government and its laws, whether or not they had demonstrated a propensity for violence. We proceed in two parts. We begin by explaining how the Supreme Court replaced our two-step framework with a distinct test focused on the text and history of the Second Amendment. Next, we examine disarmament laws from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries to determine whether Range’s disarmament fits within the nation’s history and tradition of the right to keep and bear arms.

The judges concluded "The people" in the Second Amendment only applies to "law abiding people". Therefore the legislature can take away anyone's rights protected by the Second Amendment by defining them as non-law abiding.  The three judge panel was unanimous.

On November 16, 2022, at the Third Circuit, 14 judges voted on whether to hear the case en banc.  A majority voted to vacate the opinion and judgement of November 16, 2022. The case will be heard en banc, with oral arguments presented on February 15, 2023. From the case:

A majority of the active judges having voted for rehearing en banc in the above captioned case, it is ordered that the petition for rehearing is GRANTED. The case will be argued before the en banc court on Wednesday, February 15, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. The opinion and judgment entered November 16, 2022 are hereby vacated.

The oral arguments were heard on February 15, 2023. The oral arguments may be heard at the link.

There are two theories put forward in the case. The government's theory is the Second Amendment only applies to "law abiding citizens", and that anyone who "disrespects the law" is not law abiding. The government can therefore take away the rights protected by the Second Amendment. Call it the "disrespect theory".

The theory put forward in support of Bryan David Range is the Second Amendment protects fundamental rights belonging to all the people. It may only be abrogated for people who are shown to be dangerous and capable of violent acts, in a court of law.  Bryan David Range should have the ban against him removed, because he has never demonstrated he is a dangerous, violent person. Call it the "dangerous person" theory.

Federal public defenders in the Third Circuit filed an amicus brief defending the "dangerous person" theory.

The panel opinion analogized the challenged firearm regulation to purported historical practices that it describes at extremely high levels of generality—e.g., historical measures disarming people who evinced a “disrespect for the rule of law.” The Court should take heed of Bruen’s emphatic rejection of such broad analogizing—which amounts to interest-balancing under the guise of historical comparison—and insist that the government demonstrate that challenged regulations are consistent with a narrow, well-defined historical tradition.

The decision by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals bodes well for vindication of the "dangerous person" theory. A court will seldom agree to hear a case en banc if a majority agree with the three judge panel decision.  While the three judges on the panel agreed with the "disrespect " theory, at least two other judges on the Third Circuit have openly agreed with the "dangerous person" theory.


©2023 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

IL: Suspect in Home Invasion Shot by Resident

CHANA, Ill. (WTVO) — A suspect in a home invasion was shot by a resident in Chana early Sunday morning, according to police.

The Ogle County Sheriff’s Office said deputies were called to a home in the 9000 block of E. Fowler Road around 1:11 a.m.

When police arrived, they found the offender had been shot in the lower abdomen by someone living at the residence, authorities said.


More Here

Federal Judge Renée Marie Bumb Rules Against NJ, Upholds 2A, Bruen, Cases Consolidated

In response to the Bruen decision, a few states have decided to defy the Supreme Court. The first was New York, which took the extraordinary step to declare an emergency, call the legislature into an emergency session, and pass a complicated, extensive statute which criminalized the carry of firearms in such a manner as to render carry outside the home impractical. In spite of several lawsuits contesting the New York law, other states have followed New York's example. One of those states is New Jersey. Bill A4769 AcaAcaAcaAca (ACS) was passed into law on December 22, 2022.

The lawsuit, KOONS v. REYNOLDS, was filed on December 22, 2022. The judge in the case is .

Another lawsuit, Siegel v. Platkin, was also filed on December 22, 2022 a few hours earlier. The issues in Siegel v. Platkin are very similar to Koons v. Reynolds, but cover more issues and sensitive places.  The defendants (essentially, the State of New Jersey) filed a motion to consolidate the cases, on December 23, 2022.

On January 9, 2023, Judge Bumb granted a motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO), to prevent enforcement of the most egregious five sections of the New Jersey law. From the decision:


Plaintiffs have demonstrated a probability of success on the merits of their Second Amendment challenge to the relevant provisions of Chapter 131 Section 7(a), which criminalizes carrying handguns in certain “sensitive places,” subparts 12 (public libraries or museums), 15 (bars, restaurants, and where alcohol is served), 17 (entertainment facilities), and 24 (private property), as well as section 7(b)’s ban on functional firearms in vehicles. The State may regulate conduct squarely protected by the Second Amendment only if supported by a historical tradition of firearm regulation. Here, Plaintiffs have shown that Defendants will not be able to demonstrate a history of firearm regulation to support any of the challenged provisions. The deprivation of Plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights, as the holders of valid permits from the State to conceal carry handguns, constitutes irreparable injury, and neither the State nor the public has an interest in enforcing unconstitutional laws. Accordingly, good cause exists,and the Court will grant the motion for temporary restraints. An accompanying order of today’s date shall issue.

The lawyer for the Siegel lawsuit, Daniel L. Schmutter, argued the Siegel case should be consolidated with the Koons case, because considerable work and research had  already done in Koons. There was no need to duplicate it. The State of New Jersey wanted the Koons case to be consolidated with the Siegel case, under Judge From the January 13 decision to consolidate cases:

For all of these reasons, the defendants' motion to consolidate is granted in part and denied in part. The Court will consolidate the Siegel matter into the Koons matter, but the Siegel matter will consolidate -- I am sorry. I think I repeated that. The Court will consolidate the Siegel and Koons matter but -- so this is the denied part -- the Siegel matter will be consolidated into the Koons matter. To the extent claims are still outstanding with respect to the temporary restraints, those are hereby reserved for further proceedings following the reassignment of this matter to Judge Bumb.

Another hearing on January 26, 2023 is scheduled before Judge Renee Marie Bumb.

New Jersey is in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. New York is in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  The Second Circuit has reversed lower courts decision to grant a temporary restraining order against enforcement of the New York law.  As of January 24, there has not been an appeal to repeal the temporary restraining order in the Koons matter to the Third Circuit.


These cases are moving through the court system relatively quickly. This correspondent believes the reason is the clear guidance given by Justice Clarence Thomas in his decision in Bruen, on how the lower courts are to treat the Second Amendment.  The New York and New Jersey lawsuits are far from the only cases where the Bruen decision is being cited as decisive. Cases all over the country are seeing clear guidance in Bruen, as opposed to the muddy obfuscation of a "two step" "interest balancing" process erected in the appeals courts in response to Heller, McDonald, and Caetano.


©2023 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Thursday, February 23, 2023

The "Collective Rights" Myth: Born November 11, 1905. Killed June 26, 2008

Dean Weingarten in front of Supreme Court

The myth of the Second Amendment as a "collective right" and not an individual right, was born in an obscure Kansas Supreme Court case. It was in 1905, as progressive ideology was becoming ascendant in the United States.

Dave Hardy notes, the myth of the Second Amendment as a "collective right" was born with the case of City of Salina v. Blaksley, on November 11, 1905.

What happened there was that the court held that the Kansas guarantee of a right to arms did not cover his actions, because it related only to bearing arms in a militia-type function. This 1905 case was the entire starting point of "collective rights" theory.

The "collective rights" theory did not gain traction for decades. In 1931, the Michigan Supreme Court rejected it in People v Brown:

 When the bulwark of state defense was the militia, privately armed, there may have been good reason for the historical and military test of the right to bear arms. But in this state the militia, although legally existent and composed of all able-bodied male citizens...is practically extinct and has been superseded by the National Guard and reserve organizations... The historical test would render the constitutional provision lifeless.

The protection of the Constitution is not limited to militiamen nor military purposes, in terms, but extends to "every person" to bear arms for the "defense of himself" as well as of the state.

Then in 1939 the Miller case was set up by  Heartsill Ragon. Ragon was a an anti-Second Amendment ideologue and a President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) ally, appointed from Congress to the federal judgeship. The case went to the Supreme Court without opposing counsel or briefs. The Supreme Court refused to rule on whether a sawed off shotgun (having not been presented with any evidence to the contrary) was an arm protected by the Second Amendment.  The Supreme Court decision stated all men capable of carrying arms were protected by the Second Amendment. No opposing views were presented to the court. From Miller:

 The signification attributed to the term Militia appears from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States, and the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense.

The Miller decision was muddy, but the context was clear. Individuals were protected by the Second Amendment. Progressive judges started to ignore and misrepresent the Miller decision as showing the Second Amendment only applied to state militias. In 1942, during the height of World War II, two circuit court decisions added to the flimsy foundation of the "collective right" myth.

In United States v Tot, the Third Circuit held the Second Amendment did not apply to criminals, a finding which can be consistent with an individual rights interpretation. The judge, in a one paragraph dicta, pushed the myth the Second Amendment was a "collective right", incorrectly citing Miller, and a short historical discussion of the English revolution from 1688-1689, found in Aymette (an anomalous Tennessee case from 1840), and a collection of modern writers. The historical analysis was very weak.

In the First Circuit, in Cases v United States, the three progressive judges went so far as to claim Miller did not apply to military weapons, because it was what they wanted to find. From Cases:

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.

In 1965, Progressive AG, Nicholas Katzenbach, in the Progressive Johnson administration, claimed the "collective right" myth was correct, without evidence. In 1968, President Johnson pushed through the infamous Gun Control Act of the same year.  After 1968, a flurry of circuit court decisions adopted the "collective right" myth, citing Tot, or Cases, or a cursory reference to Miller. The "collective right" myth was now fully formed.

The full fledged "collective right" myth was fully formed in the courts after 1968.

It was not adopted at the Supreme Court, but was pushed hard in the Media.

In the 1970's the "collective right" myth started being exposed by academics. The myth was so thoroughly debunked in the literature, the fact the Second Amendment protected individual rights was referred to as the Standard Model.

In 2004, the Department of justice rejected the "collective rights" myth and confirmed the Second Amendment protected individuals rights.

In the Heller decision published on June 26, 2008, the Supreme Court clearly and precisely points out the "collective rights" myth is false, and shows the reality. The Progressive judges on the Supreme Court generally admitted the rights protected were individual rights, but argued they should be limited by the prefactory clause. From billofrights.com:

Finally, the Court reasoned that the right to own weapons for self-defense was an “inherent” (in-born) right of all people. “It has always been widely understood that the Second Amendment, like the First and Fourth Amendments, codified a pre-existing right. The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it ‘shall not be infringed.’”

Four of the nine Supreme Court Justices dissented. (They disagreed with the Court’s ruling.) Some of the dissenters agreed that the Second Amendment protected an individual right. However, they argued that the scope of that individual right was limited by the amendment’s prefatory clause. One dissenter agreed that the Second Amendment protected an individual right, but argued that the District law was a reasonable restriction.

This was the death of the myth of the "collective right". It never was reasonable to believe a pre-existing  "right of the people" would refer only to a right of the states to form militias.

The Heller decision killed any logical claim about the "collective rights" myth. It had been created out of very thin, stone soup.

But liberal fascists, also known as Progressives, have always hated limitations on government power, especially the Second Amendment.  They have always depended on lies and their ability to control information flow. They continue to promote two false myths about the Second Amendment. The leftist myths are illustrated by this article in the Huffington Post, in 2013. Here is the first:

Following the Sandy Hook massacre, gun rights, gun laws and the Second Amendment have been the subject of a national dialogue. Any discussion of these topics is severely tainted by calculated messaging by the NRA to deceive and mislead our citizens to believe that the Second Amendment grants far reaching gun rights which have not and do not exist.

Note the false assumption in the above paragraph. The Second Amendment does not grant any rights. It protects existing rights to keep and bear arms. The text of the Second Amendment verifies that fact. The false assumption is repeated in the next paragraph, now compounded by the myth that the Second Amendment does not protect individuals rights.

The Second Amendment became part of our constitution in 1791. For well over two centuries the Supreme Court never decided that the Amendment granted a constitutional right to individuals to bear arms. The widely held notion that such a right existed was a myth fabricated by the NRA for its own self interest and for the corporate profits of gun manufacturers.

The author goes on to cite a number of prominent progressive judges and lawyers who all spout the "collective right" mythology. All cite the same talking points, based on the same false narratives.

The myth the Second Amendment does not protect individual rights, only "collective rights", was first created in Kansas in a muddy decision in 1905. It was built on by dubious wording in a couple of circuit court cases, then elevated to legendary status by the courts after 1968, by judges using Progressive ideology.


The "collective right" myth was killed in 2008. It was never really alive. Like a zombie in the movies, it keeps rearing its ugly head in ill-informed arguments about the Second Amendment.


©2023 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch




KY: 19-Year-Old Shot, Killed as Home Invader

Police say they responded to a call for a reported burglary at 1:10 a.m. Monday when they found an adult male suffering from gunshot wounds.

Officials confirmed this was a home invasion and the homeowner shot and killed Wilds.

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WA: Armed Robber Killed by Store Owner

Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz said a 29-year-old man attempted to rob the business at gunpoint and shot an employee. The 38-year-old employee returned fire, fatally striking the 29-year-old. The suspect was found dead outside the business.

"We saw this individual turn the corner, and as he turned the corner, he fell to the ground," one eyewitness who didn't want to give his name said, "He fell face down and the gun in his left hand fell to the pavement. I turned the corner and called 911 right away."

More Here

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Mystery Alaskan State Parks Grizzly Bear Target

A few years ago, a well done target featuring an attacking grizzly bear came on the market. It appeared to be an official target of the Alaskan State Parks. 

I liked the look of the target as an image to use with bear attack stories where original images of the scene was unavailable. Many bear targets show cartoonish bears, bears which are not approaching the shooter, bears which are not focused on the people being trained to shoot at them.  This target showed the right mix of realism, focus and artistic depiction. The image was clearly created by an artist, so it would not confuse readers about whether it was an actual image from the scene of an attack.

I contacted the Alaskan State Parks, and was directed to a very helpful Development Specialist at the State of Alaska, Wendy Sailors. Wendy was a delight to work with. However we were unable to find the source of the target. 

Two years ago, Wendy said I could use the target, as the government of Alaska did not seem to have any information on it. Use of a more realistic target when training to stop bear attacks is useful. Notice the eyes of the bear are focused on the defender.  It helps break down the inhibition against shooting a bear. Such an inhibition has been inculcated into millions of people via the constant portrayal of bears as friendly, fuzzy, furry forest creatures, in hundreds of TV shows and movies.

In reality, bears are large, strong, unpredictable wild animals which are very dangerous to naive humans.  When people practice shooting realistic targets, it helps them overcome the inhibitions inculcated by television shows and movies.

 The image shows the natural weapons of a bear very well. The aiming point is reasonably well placed. I might have placed it an inch higher. The look of the bear's face is focused on the bear's target, while the person being trained should be focused on the bear target.

Recently, another source popped up, showing the target was used in 2010. The people using the target thought someone, perhaps a State of Alaska employee, might have been the person who produced the target. Currently, the target does not appear to be commercially available. 

This correspondent initiated another exchange with the ever patient and responsible Wendy Sailors.

Wendy worked to find references to the new lead.  She wrote again  to state that I could use the target if I desired to do so, because the state of Alaska did not appear to have any records of it. 

It is likely taxpayers paid the salary of the person who created the image.  It is almost certainly in the public domain. It is an image which deserves promotion and use. It is an excellent target to use when training people how to use firearms in defense against a bear attack.

The artist who produced the image clearly has talent. Perhaps it was done for the Alaskan State Parks department at some time. The image bears the identifier: ASP-BB.  If any readers have more information about the target, please contact AmmoLand.


©2022 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch


NC: Domestic Defense? Man Accused of Assaulting Three Women was Wounded

A 24-year-old man has been released from the hospital and arrested accused of assaulting three women on Feb. 9 on Bethabara Pointe Circle.

One of the women managed to shoot Johordon Davis in the neck, police said. No charges will be filed against the Greensboro woman. 


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GA: Dekalb County Homeowner Shoots, Kills Intruder who Broke into Home

Police said a homeowner shot a man to death after he broke into his DeKalb County residence Thursday afternoon.

Officers were called to the home in the 3400 block of Valley Chase Court at about 4:30 p.m. At the scene, police said they found a man’s bo ...

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Tuesday, February 21, 2023

KY Federal Court strikes down Ban on Second Amendment Rights based on Restraining Order.

A federal district Court in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky, Central Division,  (at Lexington) has held a ban on the exercise of Second Amendment rights for a mere domestic restraining order  18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8 is unconstitutional.

On June 15, 2022, A Harrison County Family Court in Kentucky issued a Domestic Violence Order ( a restraining order) against Sherman Kelvin Combs. In Kentucky the DVO procedures do nor require council (an attorney) be appointed for  respondents or that a jury resolve factual issues.

A few days later, it is alleged Combs purchased a .357 revolver from a federally licensed dealer. Combs indicate, on the form 4473, that he was not subject to a DVO (domestic violence restraining order). 

Combs was charged, in federal court, with two counts. First, that he possessed a firearm in violation of  18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8). Second, that he lied on the Form 4473.  The maximum penalty for each count is up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The actual wording of 18 U.S.C. §922(g)(8) is this:

(g) It shall be unlawful for any person-

(8) who is subject to a court order that-

(A) was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice, and at which such person had an opportunity to participate; 

(B) restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and 

(C)(i) includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or (ii) by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury;

The second count is 922(a)(6),

(6) for any person in connection with the acquisition or attempted acquisition of any firearm or ammunition from a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector, knowingly to make any false or fictitious oral or written statement or to furnish or exhibit any false, fictitious, or misrepresented identification, intended or likely to deceive such importer, manufacturer, dealer, or collector with respect to any fact material to the lawfulness of the sale or other disposition of such firearm or ammunition under the provisions of this chapter;

Combs and his lawyers argue that count 1  ( a ban on receiving a firearm while under a restraining order) is unconstitutional, and therefore, count 2, lying on the form, is immaterial. 

The federal magistrate, Matthew A. Stinnett, who first heard the case, held the restraining order provision was close enough to the early surety statutes to be constitutional, and count 2 was unaffected. 

The federal  judge for the United States District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky, Central Division,  (at Lexington), held count 1 is unconstitutional, but count 2 is still material, in part because the dealer could not make an informed decision because the dealer was lied to; and the dealer could decide whether to sell Combs a firearm or not, even if Combs was not prohibited from purchasing  and possessing firearms by federal law.

The case will probably be appealed. Both sides have reason to appeal. There is reason to believe law that stems from an unconstitutional law is void, which would work in Combs favor for count 2. It is difficult to believe the Biden Administration will allow a ruling that count 1 is unconstitutional without an appeal.

This is at least the third case where a court has held the ban on the exercise of Second Amendment right for a mere domestic restraining order is unconstitutional. A Texas District court has also held the restraining order ban is unconstitutional, and a three judge panel in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has also held the ban to be unconstitutional. 

©2023 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch



WA: Gunfight in Seattle, Armed Victim Wounded

The victim, who had already put a tourniquet on one of his legs, was helped by officers until medics from the Seattle Fire Department arrived and took him to Harborview Medical Center.

The man told officers that he had just gotten home with his wife and two children. When he got out of the car to start getting his children out of the back seat, two armed suspects approached the couple and demanded they hand over their belongings.

At that point, the victim pulled out a handgun and exchanged gunfire with the two suspects.

The man told police that as he was shooting, he moved away from his family to try to distance them from the gunfire. His wife and children were not hurt.

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TX: Armed Samaritan Shoots El Paso Mall Killer

The argument between the groups escalated into a physical fight during which the 16-year-old suspect pulled out a gun and fatally shot Zaragoza and seriously wounded the 17-year-old boy who was with Zaragoza, officials said.

The 20-year-old man, who was with the alleged shooter, also was shot.

After the shooting, the suspect ran away while pointing his gun toward the direction of bystanders, including a 32-year-old man, police said.

The bystander pulled out his gun as the suspect ran towards him and other bystanders and shot the suspect, police said. Police identified the bystander as being licensed to carry a firearm.

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FL: 67-Year-Old Woman Shoots, Kills 64-Year-Old Intruder

Deputies said they found 64-year-old Reginald Best suffering from a single gunshot wound at a home in Interlachen. He was taken to a hospital where he died.

The homeowner, a 67-year-old woman, told deputies that she heard the front door handle shaking around 3 a.m. and went to investigate. She told deputies she thought it might be her husband returning from work so she opened the door. That’s when she said Best forced his way into the home.

The woman, who was armed with a gun, said she told Best to leave her home multiple times. She told deputies Best raised up both arms and she saw he had a gun in his hand.

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Gunfight near Memphis: Suspect Abandoned by Accomplices

On February 9, 2023, in the Websters Grove subdivision near Memphis Tennessee, a homeowner received a call from a neighbor. The neighbor alerted him there were several people suspiciously near his vehicles. The homeowner armed himself and went out to investigate. There were two men in his driveway. They ran, but one fired at the homeowner, striking him in the ankle. From foxnews.com:

The unidentified homeowner living in the Websters Grove subdivision in Shelby County said he received a call from a neighbor on Thursday evening that there were several people standing outside his residence, Shelby County deputies told CBS Memphis affiliate WREG. 

The homeowner told authorities that when he went outside, he saw two men in his driveway and another two men sitting in a white car on the street. The two in the driveway made a run for it when they spotted the homeowner, with one suspect firing a gun at the homeowner. 

The homeowner was struck in the ankle but managed to return fire on the suspects, WREG reported.

Shelby County is an urban county with a rich history. The land Shelby County is on was purchased by the federal government in 1818, as part of the Treaty of Tecumseh. The purchase price was 300 thousand dollars, which was worth fifteen thousand ounces of gold, at the time. Memphis became the County seat.

Websters Grove is a recent suburban development just north of East Holmes road on the southeast edge of Memphis in Shelby County. 

There was a third suspect waiting in a white car on the street. One of the suspects from the driveway made it to the car. They drove off leaving one suspect running around the neighborhood, pleading for them to come back. From foxnews.com:

One suspect managed to get away, while another one, identified as 18-year-old Marreo Mays, was arrested

Deputies with the sheriff’s office said Mays went around the neighborhood knocking on doors asking for help and was heard on his cellphone yelling, "Y’all left me. Come pick me up."

Mays was charged with two counts of burglary of a vehicle and vandalism.

The homeowner went to the hospital and had surgery done on his wound. He is reported back home and recovering. 

©2023 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch



Monday, February 20, 2023

SC: Fatal Shooting at Kershaw was Self Defense

KERSHAW — Investigators suspect a fatal shooting on Valentine’s Day at a home in Kershaw County’s Ridgeway area was done in self-defense.

Darius Israel Chester, 27, of Elgin, told deputies was sitting in his car outside his girlfriend’s house on Shivers Green Road when he was approached by her ex-boyfriend carrying what appeared to be a 2-foot-long “black piece of metal resembling a baton with a red handle,” according to the incident report.

The ex-boyfriend, 22-year-old Alexander Chivers Johnson, of Elgin, had been sending threats to the woman, the report said. As he approached Chester, he spit and kicked the car, Chester told deputies, according to the report. Chester then shot Johnson, the report said.


More Here

Friday, February 17, 2023

Montana Tells AG Garland: We Will not Aid ATF in Enforcing Pistol Brace Rule

The Governor of the State of Montana has penned a letter to the Attorney General Merrick Garland, explaining the State of Montana and its political subdivisions cannot "enforce, or assist the ATF enforcement" of the rule criminalizing the possession of pistol braces as short barreled rifles under the National Firearms Act. 

Governor Greg Gianforte refers to House Bill 258, which was passed and signed into law in 2021. From HB 258, now MCA 45-8-368:

Prohibition Of Enforcement

45-8-368. Prohibition of enforcement. (1) A peace officer, state employee, or employee of a political subdivision is prohibited from enforcing, assisting in the enforcement of, or otherwise cooperating in the enforcement of a federal ban on firearms, magazines, or ammunition and is also prohibited from participating in any federal enforcement action implementing a federal ban on firearms, magazines, or ammunition.

(2) An employee of the state or a political subdivision may not expend public funds or allocate public resources for the enforcement of a federal ban on firearms, magazines, or ammunition.

(3) Nothing in this section may be construed to prohibit or otherwise limit a peace officer, state employee, or employee of a political subdivision from cooperating, communicating, or collaborating with a federal agency if the primary purpose is not:

(a) law enforcement activity related to a federal ban; or

(b) the investigation of a violation of a federal ban.

 Governor Gianforte informs Attorney General Merrick Garland of the definition of a ban under the law:


45-8-367. Definitions. As used in 45-8-365 through 45-8-368, the following definitions apply:

(1) "Federal ban" means a federal law, executive order, rule, regulation that is enacted, adopted, or becomes effective on or after January 1, 2021, or a new and more restrictive interpretation of a law that existed on January 1, 2021, that infringes upon, calls in question, or prohibits, restricts, or requires individual licensure for or registration of the purchase, ownership, possession, transfer, or use of any firearm, any magazine or other ammunition feeding device, or other firearm accessory.

(2) "Firearm" means any self-loading rifle, pistol, revolver, or shotgun or any manually loaded rifle, pistol, revolver, or shotgun.

(3) "Peace officer" has the meaning provided in 45-2-101, except that 45-8-365 through 45-8-368 do not apply to federal employees.

(4) "Political subdivision" means a city, town, county, consolidated government, or other political subdivision of the state.

Governor Gianforte then tells AG Garland the State of Montana will not assist the federal government in enforcing the new rule ,which essentially changes pistols equiped with pistol braces into short barreled rifles, requiring a special tax stamp from the ATF.

The power of state governments to refuse to cooperate with federal agencies is a long established principle of the Constitution known as the anti-commandeering doctrine. The federal government may not require the states to enforce federal laws. From the tenthamendmentcenter.com

 State and local governments can refuse to enforce federal laws or implement federal programs for any reason they chose. They can prohibit or limit cooperation with the feds because they think the feds are acting outside of their constitutional limits, or simply because it’s Tuesday and there is snow on the ground.

No state has to use its resources to enforce federal laws. It does not matter if the federal law is constitutional, or not. All that matters is the state has the power to direct the uses of its resources as it sees fit.

Montana has chosen not to enforce new federal gun laws as described in Statute 45-8-368. 


©2023 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch




NY: Goodman Found not Guilty of Murder of Shaun T. Koonce

A 49-year-old man charged in the deadly shooting last year of Shaun T. Koonce in Watervliet was acquitted of second-degree murder after arguing he shot the victim in self-defense.

An Albany County jury cleared Reginald P. Goodman of murdering Koonce, 41, after deliberating for about two  hours on Feb. 9, according to Assistant Alternate Public Defender Timothy Berry, who represented Goodman. Jurors convicted Goodman of second-degree weapon possession.

More Here

Thursday, February 16, 2023

NICS for January, 2023 Gun Sales and Background Checks track with 2022

Lines are numbers for 2022, bars are for 2023


The National Instant background Check System (NICS) gun sales and background checks are slightly higher for January of 2023 than they were for January of 2022. Gun sales are six percent higher and back ground checks are three percent higher than in January of 2022. Background checks continue to outnumber gun sales by over 2-1, as many background checks are done for purposes other than a gun sale.

With about 1.22 million guns sold in the NICS system in January, the United States is on track to equal the number of guns sold in 2022, about 17 million. If the trend continues, as seems likely, the estimated number of privately owned firearms in the United States will reach the half billion mark, over 500 million, in September of 2023.

Corrected for constant dollars, firearms prices are at historically low levels. Prices of quality firearms were only lower when there were millions of military surplus firearms on the market. Two examples are given below.

In 1963, M1 carbines were sold off at $17.50, with $2.50 shipping.  $20 in todays dollars would be $194.  A good SKS could be had for $100 in 1994, and ammunition was absurdly cheap. $100 in 1994 dollars would be $200 in today's dollars. Those examples are extremes. The rifles were military surplus, sold well below the market costs of production of a similar firearm.

Today, a person can purchase a new variant of the AR15 for as little as $300, if one is willing to buy a complete lower receiver and a complete upper receiver separately, and take the one minute required to connect the two.  The act of connecting the two assemblies probably removes manufacturers liabilities, as they only sold part of a firearm. A reduction in liabilities reduces the cost.

To place the $300 figure in perspective, the AR15 sold to ordinary citizens in 1965 at $189.50, or $1,785 in today's dollars. It was a Colt, name branded product, but the service life is likely the same as a current generic AR15 style rifle.

Today's firearms are approaching the relative price asked for bargain basement military surplus firearms brought when they were placed in the US market. If an adult wants a firearm and ammunition today, they are easily available for less than a week's work at minimum wage (at least $290 before taxes). Many jobs are going begging, driving up wages. As a practical matter, anyone who wants to work can find a job.

A perfectly serviceable .22 rifle can be purchased for about a $100, if you shop a bit. A serviceable .22 semi-automatic handgun can be had for $200.  Serviceable 9mm handguns can be had for $250.

Modern materials and manufacturing techniques have made practical, reliable, firearms affordable for more and more people.

Even if a person opts to purchase a fully assembled AR15, the cost has been as low as $500.  For a person on a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, the cost is 70 hours of labor. In 1965, the minimum wage was $1.25 per hour. A Colt AR15 would have cost 151 hours of minimum wage labor.

Gun sales appear to have arrived at a new normal of about 1.5 million sales a month, or 18 million a year. Some of the new level is the normalization of domestic and international uncertainty. Some of it is the reduction of firearm costs compared to wages.


©2023 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

OH: Police Investigate Potential Self Defense Shooting of Nathaniel Spears

Police are investigating whether the fatal shooting of a man on the Far East Side early Sunday was an act of self-defense.

Nathaniel Spears died just before 6:30 a.m. at a local hospital after officers found him lying in a grassy area in front of an apartment building in the 5000 block of Red Bird Court, Sgt. David Shimberg of the Columbus police Homicide Unit said.


More Here


Wednesday, February 15, 2023

May 29, 2020, Alaska. Mike Becwar uses Knife to Fight Bear to Standstill

 cinnamon black bear which attacked Mike Becwar, 210 lbs, thin in spring.

In 2020, Mike Becwar was, without provocation, attacked by a cinnamon black bear in Alaska. He fought back with a folding knife, and survived. This is his story.

On May 29, 2020, Mike was going stir crazy. This was during the COVID restrictions. He had been pushed to extend two weeks  longer than the usual period in the remote camp at Pump Station Number 5.

He had to get out of the camp to relieve stress. He chose to take a run along the road to the camp airport, around the runway, and back into camp, about a 3 1/2 mile run. Going to the airport and back was a fairly common activity for camp workers in the remote location. He expected to be gone no more than 40 minutes.  He told camp security staff where he was going and how long he expected to be gone. Mike was 53 years old.

At the end of May, that far north, there are more than 20 hours of daylight. It is always at least twilight, because the sun does not dip far below the horizon. There are no climbable trees in the area. The temperature was 58 degrees.

Mike has been in Alaska for 28 years. He is an experienced and capable outdoorsman and hunter. He has hunted and dealt with many bears over the decades. Mike has a policy of never going outdoors in Alaska without the means to start a fire, a knife, and a firearm.  It became an impossible policy at the camp. The company authorities forbade the possession of firearms by individuals. 

Mike was carrying an SOG Trident Elite, a locking folding knife with a 3.7 inch blade. 


 Mike's knife still has his and the bear's blood on it.

Mike was dressed for running, in T-shirt, running shoes, running pants, and hat. When he first saw the bear, it had crossed the runway behind him, placing the bear between him and camp. The bear was about 300 yards away, near the junction of the airfield and the road back to camp. Mike yelled to let the bear know he was there, and human. He continued on his run around the runway. Mike considered going cross country to avoid the bear. It was spring in Alaska, and there was melt-water standing everywhere.  Mike had been near many black bears, much closer than this bear was. The lesser risk appeared to be to continue back to camp, carefully keeping track of the bear.

The airfield did not yield any expedient weapons. The gravel for the runway had been carefully prepared. The biggest rock was the size of a nickle. 

As Mike came back, he watched the bear. The bear ambled over near the tower, where there were fuel tanks and a parked car. Mike hung back, keeping his distance, allowing the bear to move away. The bear started down the road toward camp, then turned down a side road which led to a sort of junk yard. In his experience in Alaska, Mike had often been around black bears. He had passed them much closer than this bear was. As the bear moved away, Mike moved past the intersection. The bear was about 70 yards down the side road. Mike continued to make noise, to let the bear know he was there.

Everything changed in an instant. The bear looked at Mike, and started running toward him, moving onto the road to camp behind him. Mike was not passive. He yelled at the bear. He waved his arms and tried to look big. He kicked gravel at the bear and threw his hat at it. He had the knife out, open, and locked.

The bear charged to within 10 yards, stopped; closed to five yards, stopped; closed to arms length and paused. It happened much faster than can be told. Mike said the look on the bear's face made it clear the bear was in predatory mode. This was the bear's lucky day, and Mike was lunch!

Mike slashed the bear's snout as the bear raked his face with its claws, and hooked Mike's knee from behind to pull him down. As Mike went down, he stabbed the bear in the chest. Mike said, at that point, the bear's attitude seemed to change. Mike had hurt the bear. Mike was now not just prey, but an opponent. The bear was working hard at controlling Mike, and keeping Mike's face away from him. (When bears fight, their primary weapons are their teeth). Mike squirmed and twisted, trying to find openings to use his knife. As the bear bit his shoulders and arms, Mike managed to drive the little blade to the hilt in the bear's rib cage, three times. 

The bear broke both of Mike's shoulders, and tore up Mike's arms and face. The knife blade was not long enough to reach the bear's vitals. At one point, the bear was straddling Mike, with paws on both sides of him. Mike had lost much strength in his arms, but was able to position the knife so that he could use his leg to help drive the blade home. This was when he inflicted the six inch long gash on the bear's chest. The gash can be seen in the picture. At this point, the lock on the blade failed. Mike recovered control before his fingers were cut. The blade was very sharp.  

The bear kept tearing at him for a couple of minutes. Then it started to drag him off of the road. Mike realized the bear was taking him somewhere to eat him. Without strength in his arms, he started vigorously kicking the bear. The bear responded by fracturing his left leg and biting through his left calf. The bear went for his head. At this point, Mike remembers the bear's teeth grating on his skull. Eventually, the bear dropped Mike, came around, and stared into Mikes face from about a foot away. Mike had managed to get on his side. Mike stared back. Both of them were covered in blood. How much was from which was impossible to know. The bear turned and walked away. 

Mike gathered what energy he had, and struggled to his feet. He looked back. The road showed two areas, about six feet in diameter, covered with blood. Blood drizzled from Mike's body onto the ground. Mike had lost a shoe in the fight. He picked it up and tried to put it back on. His hands were too mangled, and his strength too spent, to accomplish the task. He told himself: just walk back to camp. He made about 10 steps before he started to pass out. His strength was spent. He had started the fight after a 3 1/2 mile run, far from fresh. He thought: just rest for a bit. He lay down on the road, his head on his shoe. He found after numerous attempts, he no longer had the ability to get up, no matter how hard he tried.

The bear had walked off at 7:13 p.m. Mike had fought the bear for 15 minutes. He knew the time because he kept track of his time while running. 

Camp security had a routine of checking the airfield at 9 p.m. Mike had told them he would be back no later than 7:15. Mike hoped they would realize he was overdue and come to see what happened to him. They found him at 8:40. Security applied first aid. They medevaced him by plane to Fairbanks, two hundred and fifty miles away. Mike was down two units of blood, a quart low.  He was in bad shape. One shoulder was fractured into several pieces.

Mike has a lot of experience with bears in Alaska. He has dealt with numerous bears, and hunted many. He told camp security the bear would be back between five and nine p.m. the next day. Camp security showed up at the airfield at five p.m. The bear showed up at 5:05. Security shot at the bear with an AR15 rifle in .223. The bear ran off, and they could not locate it. 

Personnel searched for the bear the next morning. The bear was spotted from the air. The bear charged the security team personnel.  They shot the bear  with a 12 gauge shotgun, loaded with 2.75 inch Federal low recoil slugs. The bear was killed.

Mike has recovered much in two and a half years. The damage was extensive. He has lost considerable capability. 

The necropsy on the bear showed it was a fully adult boar, with a 12 inch long skull, 8 inches wide. In Alaska it would be a six foot bear, by the way hides are measured. The bear had a problem with its stomach. It could not ingest very much food at one time. It was probably always hungry. It was considered in "poor shape" but not emaciated. It was spring, and bears tend to be thin after winter hibernation.

Mike's policy is to carry a handgun with him everywhere, especially outdoors in Alaska. His policy was thwarted by the company banning privately owned guns in camp.  Mike says if he had a handgun, he could have solved the problem. 

"If I would have had a handgun, I could of killed him a dozen times. I would have a cool story instead of a really bad time."

As with many survivors, Mike finds himself often thinking about and re-living the life changing attack.  In Mike's words:

"What could I, what should I, have done to make this better?"

"He visits me every day, mostly at night, and we fight again".

Mike says he knew the risks, and went ahead anyway. Many others took the same risks and were not attacked. Mike thinks black bears in the area are more aggressive, because there are no trees to climb. It is mostly grizzly country. The theory is they need to hold their own against grizzly bears to survive. Cinnamon bears in the area seem to have been involved in more human conflicts in recent years. 

Mike and I considered the fact that bears which are not hunted are not afraid of humans. There is a corridor, five miles on each side, along the Alyeska pipeline, where hunting with firearms is not allowed. Mike said bears in the camps are often pampered, given names, and tolerated. 

Mike does not believe bear spray would have solved the problem. He pointed out examples where people sprayed bears and were attacked. Some were killed. Researchers have noted predatory black bears appear to be resistant to bear spray.



Mike and this correspondent agree. If a bear shows no fear of humans, and approaches to less than 10 yards, it should be met with gunfire. There are plenty of black bears in Alaska. Removing the bears which are not afraid of humans will not have a measurable effect on the bear population, except to remove potentially dangerous bears. 

Bears are powerful predators. They are unpredictable, and can inflict enormous damage very quickly.

Banning Alaskan workers from having firearms appears to be a relatively recent policy in historical terms. From this correspondent's reading, attitudes toward firearms changed in the middle 60's.  

Workers should be allowed the option of having a firearm for defense when they leave the camp perimeter. Many do so for exercise, to fish, to pick berries, to relieve the stress and boredom which comes with camp life.

Camps could provide a range to help workers sharpen their skills. Most people in Alaska know how to shoot. There is plenty of space for small ranges in Alaska. It would be another way to recreate. 


 ©2023 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

TX: Houston Hotel Clerk Turns Tables on Armed Robber

A man in Houston attempted to rob a hotel while carrying a rifle, but appeared to be shocked when the hotel clerk pulled out a handgun of her own. (Credit: Houston Crime Stoppers)

A man in Houston attempted to rob a hotel while carrying a rifle, but appeared to be shocked when the hotel clerk pulled out a handgun of her own.

The incident happened on Jan. 16 when a man entered the hotel lobby.

Houston police say that the suspect went to the counter with a rifle and demanded that a hotel clerk give him money from a cash drawer.

As the hotel clerk was being held at gunpoint with the rifle, police say that she pulled out a handgun of her own and pointed it at the suspect, who then fled the scene.


More Here

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

GA: Three Armed Customers Stop Armed Robbery at Ellijay Ideal Mart

Gilmer County Courthouse in Elijay, Georgia, public domain


According to Ellijay Police, on January 9, 2023, at about 6:30 p.m., Shawn Sutton, 39 years old, and a convicted felon, posed as a customer ready to purchase an energy drink at the Ideal Mart on at 31 Old Northcutt Road in Ellijay Georgia.

Ellijay is the county seat of Gilmer County, Georgia, about 60 miles north of Atlanta. Gilmer County was founded in 1832, on the junction of the Coosawattee River and the Etoway River. It is a thriving rural county with 31,000 residents.

There were two real customers and a store clerk inside the Ideal Mart with Sutton. Outside, there was one customer at the gas pumps. Melody Sutton, Shawn's wife, was in a parked car outside the store.

The suspect, Shawn Sutton, obtained the energy drink, then pulled a pair of women's panties from around his neck to cover his face. Sutton went behind the counter and pointed a .45 caliber handgun at the head of the clerk. Sutton demanded all the money.

One of the customers produced his concealed firearm and intervened. The other customer went outside to retrieve his pistol from his vehicle, and returned to help subdue Sutton. The third armed customer, at the gas pumps, came inside to assist, as Sutton was attempting to leave. The first armed customer told the other two armed customers not to shoot Sutton, as Sutton had been disarmed.

At this point in time, law enforcement officers arrived at the scene.  It was 6:36 p.m. Sutton was still attempting to leave. One officer ordered the suspect to get down. Sutton did not comply. The officer used a Taser to engage the suspect, who was then taken into custody. As other officers arrived on the scene, one of them discovered Melody Sutton in the parked car. She was taken into custody without incident. The couple were from Blue Ridge, Georgia. Blue Ridge is 18 miles northeast of Ellijay on the Zell Miller Mountain Parkway.

Officers from three departments, Ellijay, East Ellijay, and the Gilmer County Sheriff's office, all responded to the 911 call, arrived at the scene, and assisted in taking the suspects into custody.

Shawn Sutton is charged with one count of Armed Robbery, one count of Aggravated Assault, and one count of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Shawn and Melody Sutton are being held without bond.

Georgia became a member of the Constitutional (permitless) Carry club on April 12, 2022. Georgia became the 25th state where  no permit is necessary for a law abiding person to carry a loaded firearm, openly or concealed. No permit was required in 1791, when the Second Amendment was ratified.


Armed robbery is a dangerous occupation in the middle of an armed population. The armed customers demonstrated good situational awareness, discipline, cooperation, and restraint. The police and armed citizens worked together to resolve a dangerous situation and take a felon into custody. When the population and police trust each other and work together, low crime rates are the result.


©2023 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

AZ: Man Shoots up Phoenix Restaurant, is Shot, Killed

Detectives who took over the investigation reported that the man who was killed had entered the restaurant with a gun and fired a number of rounds inside the building.  

"The man detained and questioned by police was inside the restaurant during this incident and had shot the individual ending this confrontation," Bower said.

The detained man declared it was self-defense and many witnesses supported his statement, police said.

More Here

Monday, February 13, 2023

Velocities of Subsonic and Suppressor ready .22 Cartridges fired in Pistols

Published velocities for .22 Long Rifle cartridges are generally available for rifle length barrels. Finding the velocities for pistol length barrels is more difficult.  Searches on the Internet did not yield results for several of the subsonic .22 Long Rifle cartridges. This article shows velocities measured from three pistols for five different cartridges.

Velocities in a particular barrel length can vary with individual barrels. Some barrels are smoother than others. Even the temperature of the cartridge, when the round is fired, can make a measurable difference. To see the differences for pistol length barrels, three handguns were used, because they were handy and were threaded for suppressors.  The use of a suppressor can affect velocity, but the amount is usually small, and can be in either direction. Different lots of the same ammunition may have differences in velocity, usually small.

The three pistols used were a Kel-Tec CP33 with a 5.5 inch barrel, a Taurus TX22 with a 4.1 inch barrel, and a Kel-Tec P17 with a 3.93 inch barrel.

The cartridges tested were, in order of published velocities:

  • CCI 45 grain Quiet .22 Semi-Auto  835 fps
  • Aguila 60 grain SniperSubSonic 950 fps
  • Federal American Eagle 45 grain suppressor 970 fps
  • Winchester 45 grain Super Suppressed 1060 fps
  • CCI Standard Velocity 1070 fps

Velocities shown in the chart are the average for five shots. The temperature varied form 56 to 76 degrees Fahrenheit.  Velocities were measured 10 feet from the muzzle, with a Caldwell Chronograph G2. Five shots should be sufficient to give a good idea of pistol velocities from 4 and 5.5 inch barrels. Differences between the 4.1 inch and 3.93 inch barrels were expected to be small.



As can be seen from the chart, all of the rounds tested were reliably subsonic from the pistols tested. While the speed of sound varies with temperature, even at 40 degrees below zero, the speed of sound is above 1000 fps. As the temperature rises, so does the speed of sound. At freezing, it is 1087 fps. At 70 degrees Fahrenheit, it is 1128 fps. At 100 degrees F, it is 1159 fps.  Atmospheric pressure has little effect on the speed of sound. As relative humidity increases, there is a slight increase in the speed of sound, just a few fps. It is expected few shots will be fired from a suppressed .22 pistol at temperatures lower than 40 below zero.

As a purely subjective measurement, the quietest ammunition, from a suppressor, was the CCI Quiet .22 Semi-Auto. The next quietest was the Federal suppressor American Eagle 45 grain load. The CCI Standard Velocity seemed a little louder.  The Winchester 45 grain was a bit louder yet. The Aguila 60 grain SniperSubSonic seemed to be the loudest. It appeared to contribute considerable noise from the chamber area, perhaps because of the short case.  With a suppressor, it was much quieter than fired without a suppressor. Subjectively, it seemed to be the noisiest. This writer suspects it would do best out of manually operated rifles. 

The average difference in velocity between the 5.5" barrel and the 3.93" barrel, looking at all five cartridges, was only 25 fps. The 4.1 inch barrel was in between.

The 60 grain bullets of the Aguila need a faster twist than 1 in 16 inches to stabilize properly. The Kel-Tec CP33 and P17 both have 1 in 14 twists, which seem to stabilize the long bullet a little better. The new Taurus Compact TX22 has a 1 in 10 twist, which should stabilize the 60 grain Aguila load. It has a 3.6 inch barrel, so velocities of about 750 to 760 fps would be expected out of the shorter barrel, with the 60 grain bullet.


©2023 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

IL: Armed Chicago Homeowner Holds Burglary Suspect for Police

A Chicago man is facing burglary charges after a concealed carry holder caught him red-handed and held him at gunpoint until cops arrived, prosecutors said.

Tyler Hamlin, 31, already had two active felony warrants, and now he’s charged with burglary.

The concealed carry holder received a security alert showing someone was on his porch with a flashlight in the 3500 block of North Fremont in Wrigleyville around 8:30 p.m. Monday.


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CO: Gunfight at Stolen Auto, 12-Year-Old Suspect Killed

In a press release, Denver Police say they received a report of an auto theft Sunday while the vehicle's owner, an adult male, was tracking the stolen vehicle using an app on his phone.

"When the vehicle’s owner approached the car, he was involved in an exchange of gunfire with occupant(s) in the stolen vehicle," the press release said.

Police say a juvenile male then drove the stolen car a few blocks, roughly 0.2 miles, where he was found by officers who discovered he had a gunshot wound.


More Here

Sunday, February 12, 2023

TN Followup: Richard Woodson found Not Guilty in Home Invasion Death of Deontrea Milligan in Complicated Case

The lone suspect who didn’t take a plea in a 2021 home invasion slaying has been found not guilty by a Montgomery County jury.

A jury found Richard “Kenny” Woodson not guilty of first-degree murder and especially aggravated burglary charges at the end of the trial on Jan. 30.

The home invasion occurred Nov. 15, 2021, around 11:45 p.m. Three men entered a Dandelion Drive residence through an unlocked door, according to police. There were multiple adults and two children inside. At some point, shots were fired, resulting in the death of one of the intruders Nicoli Jefferies, 37, and Deontrea Milligan, 33, a resident of Dandelion Drive. They were both pronounced dead at the scene.


More Here

Saturday, February 11, 2023

TX: Homeowner Shoots Man who acted Violently, Irrationally, Threatened Fiancé

Houston, Texas, public domain.

On February 4th, 2023, a man entered a home at 15731 Treasure Cove in Tyler, Texas. The homeowner informed deputies the man insisted the homeowner's truck belonged to him. This initiated a sequence of event which ended in the man's death by gunfire, as the police were on their way.  Sgt Christian gave information to kltv.com

The homeowner reportedly forcefully removed the intruder from his residence and was able to lock the door.

Before deputies arrived, the homeowner, armed with a shotgun, went outside to check on his truck; the suspect then returned to the property and the homeowner informed him that police were on the way and instructed him to sit down, the release said. The homeowner reported that he believed the suspect was having a mental episode, as he was shouting an unknown female’s name. During this time, the homeowner’s fiancé came outside, and her presence seemed to agitate the suspect, who came toward them aggressively, according to Christian. The homeowner reportedly warned the suspect several times to stop walking toward them or he would shoot, but the suspect allegedly refused and made death threats toward them; as the suspect charged toward the homeowner and his fiancé, the homeowner shot the suspect once in the chest, Christian said.

In spite of police efforts to apply CPR on the suspect, he was pronounced dead at the scene. Police investigated and are reported to have identified the dead man as Mark Anthony Correro, 50 years old. Correro was a prominent criminal and civil attorney with law offices in Houston. Tyler is about 180 miles north of Houston.  Mark Correro was a very successful attorney, who wrote law articles in a variety of scholarly publications. From justia.com:

Mark Correro is one of the founding members of Correro & Leisure, P.C handling civil litigation cases. He is also a partner at the Houston criminal defense firm Stornello & Correro Law Firm, PLLC. He earned his law degree from South Texas College of Law. During this time, he served as assistant articles editor for the South Texas Law Review and editor for the Texas State Bar’s Construction Law Journal. He has published fourteen scholarly articles in a variety of prestigious publications. In 2013 and 2015, he was selected for inclusion in the list of Texas Super Lawyers®, an honor that less than 5% of attorneys receive. Mark is also a member and Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation.

There is certain to be an investigation about what happened to Mark Correro during the last few days. Prominent attorneys are seldom killed in such bizzare circumstances.


Upon reading the facts reported about this incident, this correspondent immediately suspected the influence of drugs. Even prominent attorneys can be affected. Similar incidents have occurred when people have been under the influence of meth. There are other plausible possibilities, such as mental problems associated with various physical maladies.  The homeowner reported he thought Mark Correro was "having a mental episode". 

©2023 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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NC: Gunfight in Rocky Mount Motel, Attacker Killed, Defender Wounded

Rocky Mount police said no charges will be filed in a deadly shootout Sunday at a Rocky Mount motel.

Police said Damien Williams was killed when he and two other men forced their way into a room at the Executive Inn on North Wesleyan Boulevard to rob the two men inside.

Officers say there was an exchange of gunfire and Williams and Johnny Lyons were shot. Lyons received non-life-threatening injuries and was one of the men inside the room before the robbery went down.

More Here

NC: Homeowner Shoots Armed Intruder as Intruder breaks through Front Door

Mt. Airy police said a man armed with a gun broke through the front door of a home before he was shot in the neck by the homeowner as soon as he stepped inside.

More Here

Friday, February 10, 2023

Fifth Circuit: Domestic Accusation not sufficient to Ban Rights Protected by Second Amendment


 A three judge panel on the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has ruled a mere restraining order is insufficient to ban rights protected by the Second Amendment.  The decision follows the long judicial practice in the United States. Fundamental constitutionally protected rights may not be removed without a criminal conviction in a court of law. 

Restraining orders have the merest hint of due process. They are often granted without any representation on the part of the individual accused.  The utility of restraining orders and the removal of rights because of them have long been in doubt. Intimate partner homicides decreased sharply in the decades previous to 1996, when the federal law banning possession of firearms from those who were subject to a restraining order went into effect. Then, they leveled off. 

The United States Supreme Court, in the Heller decision of 2008, affirmed the longstanding view of the Second Amendment as protecting an individual right, a view which had been ignored by Progressive judges in the appelate courts since 1941, where they either misinterpreted the Miller decision of 1939, or deliberately refused to follow it, as in the Cases decision in 1942. 

The Supreme Court refused most Second Amendment cases from 2010 to 2022, allowing some of the appellate courts to concoct a convoluted scheme to render the Second Amendment irrelevant. In the Bruen decision of 2022, the Supreme Court reasserted its findings in Heller (2008), McDonald (2010), and Caetano (2016). The rights protected by the Second Amendment must be protected at the same level as the First Amendment. The rights protected by the Second Amendment rights are not a second class set of rights. 

Bruen gave explicit instructions to the lower courts. Rights protected by the Second Amendment may only be infringed if those infringements were understood as acceptable when the Second Amendment was ratified or, to a lesser extent, when the Fourteenth Amendment guaranteed those rights protection against infringment by the States.  

It was never acceptable to ban the exercise of rights protected by the Second Amendment without criminal conviction under due process of law.

Mere restraining orders are not a criminal conviction under due process of law. From the Fifth Circuit decision (bold added):

The question presented in this case is not whether prohibiting the possession of firearms by someone subject to a domestic violence restraining order is a laudable policy goal. The question is whether 18 U.S.C. §922(g)(8), a specific statute that does so, is constitutional under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. In the light of N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n, Inc. v. Bruen, 142 S. Ct. 2111 (2022), it is not.

Separately, a District judge in the Fifth circuit also found the restraining order law unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. The two cases are not related, but the recent decision by the Fifth Circuit is likely to apply to the Perez-Gallan case heard by Judge Counts.  The two cases may be combined in the future. 

It is unknown if a request to hear the current case, United States v. Rahimi, en banc (by the whole Fifth Circuit), will be made.  

One of the judges in the three judge panel, Judge Ho, wrote a separate opinion, concurring with the decision, but elaborating on it. Judge Ho wrote:

So when the government detains—and thereby disarms—a member of our community, it must do so consistent with the fundamental protections that our Constitution affords to those accused of a crime. For example, the government may detain dangerous criminals, not just after conviction, but also before trial. Pre-trial detention is expressly contemplated by the Excessive Bail Clause and the Speedy Trial Clause. And it no doubt plays a significant role in protecting innocent citizens against violence. See, e.g., United States v. Salerno, 481 U.S. 739, 755 (1987) (permitting“the detention prior to trial of arrestees charged with serious felonies who . . . pose a threat to the safety of individuals or to the community”).

Our laws also contemplate the incarceration of those who criminally threaten, but have not (yet) committed,violence. After all, to the victim, such actions are not only life-threatening—they’re life-altering. See, e.g., United States v. Ackell, 907 F.3d 67 (1st Cir. 2018)(upholding criminal stalking law); United States v. Gonzalez, 905 F.3d 165 (3rd Cir. 2018)(same); United States v. Osinger, 753 F.3d 939 (9th Cir. 2014)(same); United States v. Petrovic, 701 F.3d 849 (8th Cir. 2012)(same); see also People v. Counterman, 497 P.3d 1039 (Colo. Ct. App. 2021) (same), cert. granted, _ U.S. _ (2023).

In sum, our Founders envisioned a nation in which both citizen and sovereign alike play important roles in protecting the innocent against violent criminals. Our decision today is consistent with that vision. I concur.

Mere restraining orders have little due process. Fundamental constitutional  rights may not be taken from individuals on mere accusations.

A Zacky Rahimi is currently in custody awaiting trial on  several felony charges, including three Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, in Tarrant County, Texas.  Tarrant County has a hold to notify the U.S. Marshals Service before he is released. As a prisoner, he does not have legal access to weapons. He is likely to be convicted of at least one of he felony counts.  He is likely the same Zachey Rahimi in the Federal Fifth Circuit case.


©2023 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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