Saturday, September 30, 2023

TN: Gunfight Store Owner Wounds Robbery Suspect

Police were told that four men went to the store with guns and tried to rob the store and take merchandise. During the robbery, the store owner and the suspects fired shots at each other.

A 16-year-old boy arrived at the hospital at a later time with gunshot wounds. Officers arrived and then airlifted the 16-year-old to Regional One in critical condition.

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FL: Domestic Defense, Bother Fires Warning Shots to Stop Assault by Brother

Officers say Howard threatened to kill his mother and drove to her home. He then began kicking the front door and threw a rock through the window.

Inside the home, Howard’s mother and his brother thought he had fired a gun breaking the window. The brother fired shots into the air to scare Howard off.

He was then arrested by responding officers. No one was hurt during the incident.

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Friday, September 29, 2023

Earliest European Cannon Found off Coast of Sweden

The earliest known example of a European cannon was found off the coast of Sweden, near Marstrand, in 2001. The discovery and the age of the artifact have been recently revealed. Handheld guns, known as hand cannon, have been discovered from about the same era.

Gunpowder started being mentioned in European documents about 1300. The Chinese had been experimenting with precursors of gunpowder, and had some primitive firearms a bit before 1300, as documented in the book "Gunpowder" by Jack Kelly. Military technology has high incentives and travels fast. While mentions of European uses of gunpowder and guns have been found in documents from the early 1300s, remains of actual cannon have been missing. The fourteenth century extends from 1300 to 1399. From

There are a number of fourteenth-century references that record the use of cannon on ships but they rarely, if ever, provide any concrete details.Footnote32 One particular reference illustrates well the difficulties in interpreting these early guns Work carried out between 1337 and 1338 on an English vessel, the All Hallow’s Cog, included ‘a certain iron instrument for firing quarrels [. . .] and lead pellets, with powder, for the defence of the ship’.Footnote33 We know nothing about the form or size of this ‘instrument’ except that it was made of iron and fired quarrels, that is, large arrows. That early artillery pieces fired arrows is well attested by both documentary evidence and illustrations, such as the cannon depicted in the manuscript De Nobilitatibus, Sapientiis, et Prudentiis RegumFootnote34 and the associated volume Pseudo-Aristotle, Secretum SecretorumFootnote35 of around 1326-27, commonly referred to as the Milemete manuscripts.

Metal was expensive in medieval Europe. Guns which became obsolete or broken were recycled quickly into other usable tools. It was common for broken guns to be remelted and recast into newer guns.

In the summer of 2001, a local diver, using scuba equipment, found a small copper alloy cannon off the coast of Marstrand, on the west coast of Sweden. When he realized the historic nature of the artifact, he contacted the authorities. The authorities promptly confiscated the cannon, as authorized by Swedish law. The United States has a similar, but even more restrictive statute. In England, they are more reasonable. If someone finds historic treasure, they ordinarily can pocket 50% of the value.

When the Swedish authorities examined the cannon, they found it contained what was left of a charge of gunpowder, in a cloth bag, ready to fire. The cloth allowed the charge and the cannon to be dated with carbon dating. Within a 94.5% confidence level, the charge was dated between 1285 and 1399, which makes the cannon the earliest european cannon yet discovered. From

This bit of cloth made it possible to radiocarbon date the gun, a rare opportunity with early artillery that is sparsely documented and cannot be accurately dated by type. With calibrated results in the range of 1285-1399, it is one of the oldest pieces of European artillery ever to be absolutely dated. Cannons of the Marstrand type were previously thought to date the 15th-16th centuries, as were powder cartouches. This one discovery has redefined the timeline for European ship artillery.

The cannon is relatively small, but too large to be used by a single person. It measures 47.5 centimeters long, or 18.7 inches. At the cannon's widest point, it is about 7.3 inches in diameter. The powder chamber is much smaller. The cannon is shaped somewhat like a narrow funnel. The walls of the cannon are relatively thin, compared to latter designs. The walls of the cannon are about .4 to .6 inches thick at the muzzle and about 1 inch thick at the mouth of the powder chamber. The powder chamber is about 10.6 inches long, the barrel is about 8.1 inches long.  A rough estimate of the weight of the heavily corroded cannon, based on the measurements given, is about 60 lbs.

The cannon would have been mounted on a wooden platform of some type, probably lashed into place. The touch hole of this cannon was measured at about .6 inches! It may have been enlarged by corrosion. You would not want any part of your body close to the touch hole when the cannon was fired!

The copper alloy used, with little tin and about 14%  lead, has a tendency to crack over time.  As noted in the analysis of the cannon, it is likely the cannon would have failed under intense use.

Bronze made with about 14% tin instead of lead can be a very strong alloy. Bronze made with sufficient tin can approach the strength of mild, low carbon steel. Later cannon makers used much superior bronze than the copper alloy used with this early cannon.

Today, the effectiveness of the cannon could be duplicated using common mild steel pipe. Muzzle loading cannon are generally not considered legal firearms. However, at least one person has been prosecuted as possessing a "destructive device" for making a muzzle loading cannon out of modern materials.


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

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FL: Domestic Defense, Man Shoots, Kills Relative

On September 25th, OCSO deputies responded to a residence located on Red Barrow Road in Baker reference a shooting. When deputies arrived they discovered a 53-year old male located in the residence deceased. During the investigation, investigators determined the 53-year old male was shot by a 28-year old male relative in self-defense following a disturbance in which the 53-year old male threatened the 28-year old male with a firearm. At this time, no charges will be filed by the OCSO but the case remains active. The case will be forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office for further review.

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SC: Domestic Defense, Son Shoots Father

A fight on Monday between a man and his teenage son turned deadly, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department said. The 17-year-old fatally shot his 40-year-old father, the sheriff’s department said Tuesday in a news release. It was Monday afternoon when deputies responded to a call about a shooting at a home in the 1100 block of Peachwood Drive, according to the release. That’s in Columbia, near the intersection with Blue Ridge Terrace and about 3 miles from Exit 68 on Interstate 20, which is the junction with Monticello Road.

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Thursday, September 28, 2023

MT: Another Birdshot Effective Against Big Bear Defense Event

 Image of grizzly bear  by Troy Nemitz, used with permission.

On the morning of September 12, 2023, a bird hunter was after upland game in a shelter belt in North Central Montana, about 15 miles south of Choteau. Suddenly, a large grizzly bear burst out of the brush and weeds, charging directly at the hunter full tilt. 

Bird hunters tend to be on full alert when expecting to jump shoot birds out of cover. Your senses and reflexes are on a razors edge. You have an appendage (finger or thumb) on the safety.  You are keyed to any movement or noise as a possible predictor of a bird rocketing out. The shotgun has a round chambered and ready to go. You expect to acquire the target, mount the gun and make last near instantaneous corrections before you slap the trigger, all in a fraction of a second. Most bird hunters have practiced enough and/or hunted enough that second and third followup shots are available before a full second is reached. A Grizzly bear moves slower than most birds, but is coming directly at you, and is a much larger target. From Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks:

GREAT FALLS – A hunter shot and wounded a grizzly bear on Tuesday near Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area near Fairfield.  

The surprise encounter happened on the morning of Sept. 12. The hunter was walking along a shelter belt hunting for upland birds on private land when he was charged by the bear, which based on evidence of the animal found at the scene is believed to be an adult male. The hunter fired twice with his shotgun at less than 15 feet, hitting the bear at least once and causing it to run off. The hunter was not injured in the encounter, which is still under investigation.

People who have not had the opportunity to mess around with shotgun loads may think birdshot would not be effective on grizzly bears. At close range, under six yards, birdshot can be very effective.  It creates massive wounds, but does not penetrate more than a few inches.  Larger sized shot penetrates a bit further.  At close range, birdshot acts more like a pre-fragmented slug than as individual shot pellets. There are so many pellets, so close together, they follow in the tracks of the pellet ahead, penetrate further, and do massive damage. 

The image shows full choke 12 gauge patterns at 5 ft, 10 ft, and 15 ft from the muzzle, 1 1/8 ounces of #8 shot. Shots are from the muzzle, so they are another three feet from the hunter's head and torso.

The recent incident in Montana is the latest of seven this correspondent is aware of. Three were obtained in a Freedom of Information Act request. One was related by Francis E. Caldwell in his autobiographical "Salmon on my Mind". One was found in ordinary news coverage in 2017.  The 2017 incident was about 20 miles north of Choteau, Montana.  There have been several bear attacks and defenses along the highway 89 corridor from Dupuyer to Fairfield, about an 80 mile stretch. Most of the bears appear to be coming from Glacier National Park and the Flathead National Forest, as the expanding bear population encroaches on human ranches, farms, and homes. 

An unusual, successful defense was videoed in Canada, as the defender shot the bear at distance with bird shot, in the front legs, causing the bear to stumble. This gave the defender time to reach the sanctuary of his house. This technique is not recommended if you do not have a bear-resistant shelter nearby.

The key to using bird shot for an effective defense is to shoot within five yards of the muzzle. Keep shooting as long as the bear is coming at you. Reload quickly, in case the bear recovers or comes back. 

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

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AZ: Homeowner Shoots Home Invaders

Investigators said patrol officers were in the area of Central and Southern avenues and heard gunshots. They spotted a driver speeding off. They tried to pull over the driver, but he kept going. Eventually, he stopped near Second Avenue and Broadway Road. The driver, identified as 23-year-old Omar Rivas, ran from the car but was detained. Officers found 19-year-old Mia Padilla and an unidentified man shot inside the car. Both were taken to the hospital, where Padilla died. The man is expected to survive.

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CO: Woman Kills Man in Colorado Springs

(COLORADO SPRINGS) — The Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) is investigating an early-morning shooting on the northeast side of the city in which one person was found dead.

According to CSPD, a shooting was reported just after 1:15 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 25. The caller reported that she was about to be attacked by a man she had just met so she shot him before leaving the scene.

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Last Second Warrant Against Gabe Metcalf in Federal Lockup!

A surprise development has come to light in the Gun Free School Zone Case involving Gabriel Metcalf in Billings, Montana. As Gabriel was processing to be released from jail on his personal recognizance under the Federal charges, he was informed he could not leave.  His attorney Russell Hart, is reported as saying no, we have an order from the judge for him to be released. Hart was then told the charges are not federal on this warrant; they are local charges.

The warrant had not been served, but the jail would not release Gabriel because of the existence of the warrant. No one could say exactly what the warrant alleged, because no one in the jail system or Gabriel or his Federal defender had seen the warrant as of early Thursday evening.

This morning, Friday, 22 September, the Yellowstone Detention Facility inmate search engine showed Gabriel as still in custody. Instead of the single federal charge, with 0.00 bond, it now showed two charges, the federal charge and a local Misdemeanor Assault charge with a $2,500.00 bond. It is peculiar the Billings Police could find this warrant just as Gabriel was about to be released. Before Gabriel was arrested on the single federal charge of possessing a firearm in a federally defined Gun Free School Zone, Billings police were on record, more than once, claiming Gabriel had not broken any laws so they could not arrest him. A Billings Police Lt. is on record as saying they could look to the federal government as possibly finding a way to arrest Gabriel. From the Billings Gazette, as of August 22, 2023 :

 “We have made contact with him on multiple occasions, and currently he is refusing to stop displaying his firearms while on his property,” said police Lt. Matt Lennick. “At this time, he has not done anything illegal and we do not have the authority to arrest him, take his firearms, or force him to stop coming out into his yard.”

There is no state statute that restricts guns within a school zone, especially on private property adjacent to a school, the lieutenant said.

“We have reached out to the FBI and ATF to see if there is federal statutes they can assist with,” he said.

More information will, undoubtedly surface over time. Speculation is not productive until more is known.  Gabriel has been blessed with a very competent federal public defender in Russell Hart. It is not clear what sort of representation he might obtain in the Montana system. Two years ago, a Yellowstone County judge held the director of Montana's Office of the Public Defender in contempt of court. From apnews, September 14, 2021:

District Court Judge Donald Harris issued an order in August for OPD Director Rhonda Lindquist to appear before him after he learned 663 cases in Yellowstone County District Court had not been signed to a public defender as of July 31.

“This problem, in this particular district, has persisted for months,” Harris said during Monday’s hearing, “and it appears to the court that the problem is only getting worse.”

Gabriel's mother, Vivian, has to work Friday, this weekend, and Monday, so this issue is unlikely to be resolved before Tuesday. Russell Hart is prevented from working on the local issue because he is a Federal Defender. It appears Gabriel will spend at least another four days in jail, after being told he was to be released on Thursday.

Gabriel and his mother are poor as church mice. Vivian has to work to keep the utilities on in their home. She is 71 years old and has a day job and an alterations business in Billings.

Gabriel’s mother has set up a GiveSendGo site to help defend their home, the Second Amendment, and work to free Gabriel from this unjust detention.


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

Gun Watch

MT Gun Free School Zone Case: Gabriel Metcalf out of Jail, GPS Monitor $9.50 per Day

 Vivian and Gabriel's modest home in Billings, Montana


Gabriel Metcalf is out of jail, but with a GPS ankle monitor, for which he must pay $9.50 a day, or nearly $300 a month.

In the Gun Free School Zone case in Billings, Montana, Gabriel Metcalf had pre-trial detention without bail changed to release on his own recognizance, due to the facts and the excellent work done by his Federal Defender, Russell Hart. Judge Cavan realized Gabriel was not a threat, and released him with some restrictions.

As Gabriel was about to be released, the Yellowstone Detention Facility administration told him he could not leave.  Someone had discovered a warrant for his arrest. Russell Hart said something to the effect of: we have an order from the judge for his release.

The response was, you are a federal attorney. This is a local matter. You have no say in local matters. The warrant was said to exist, but it was not served until Saturday, in court. At some point on Saturday, Gabriel was brought before a local judge, who approved of bail with restrictions. Gabriel was not supplied with a public defender at this point. This correspondent has been informed, if the defendant pleads "not guilty" it is not required for an attorney to be present at the initial appearance. Law enforcement sources have told this correspondent this is considered a valid tactical timing decision.

It appears Gabriel plead not guilty. One of the restrictions is for Gabriel to wear a GPS monitor, for which he is required to pay $9.50 per day. This correspondent is not aware of other restrictions placed on Gabriel, but they may exist.

The primary concern at the moment is for Gabriel to obtain adequate council for the local charge. It is a misdemeanor nearly three years old which appears to be a "he said - she said" incident.  With proper representation, many reasonable outcomes are possible.

The record keeping and communications systems in Billings seems to have significant weaknesses. The Billings Police Management publicly claim they could do nothing for weeks, because Gabriel was breaking no local laws. Apparently, all during this period, this old arrest warrant was available.  During Gabriel's month in pre-trial detention under the federal Gun Free School Zone Act, no one seemed to find this old warrant. Somehow, it was found just in time to prevent Gabriel from leaving the jail just as he was being released on his own recognizance for the federal charge.

David Carpenter, with a felony trial coming up, was not required to wear a GPS ankle monitor after only few months without a reported problem. David had five misdemeanor convictions and is the person who Gabriel and Vivian have the order of protection against.

Three hundred dollars a month is a considerable amount when you are on the edge of paying your bills. Gabriel and his mother went into debt to survive, keep their home, and keep the utilities on when Vivian was ill with covid and pnemonia for two months, just before Gabriel's arrest on the Gun Free School Zone charge. Gabriel had to care for her while she could not work.

Vivian, Gabriel’s mother, has set up a GiveSendGo site to help defend their home, the Second Amendment, and work to free Gabriel from this peculiar lack of a public defender and three year old charges.

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

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WA: Man Shoots, Kills Man Attempting to steal Car

According to Public Information Officer Courtney O'Keefe, the incident started as a road rage confrontation between a 23-year-old man and a woman in separate cars. They were driving eastbound on 84th Street NE. At one point, the man got out of his car to confront the woman. 

During the confrontation, the female driver informed the male driver someone was attempting to steal his car while he left it unattended.

When the man went back to the car, there was a physical altercation between the male driver and the 41-year-old man. The 23-year-old male driver then shot and killed the man attempting to steal his car, according to police.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Gun Free School Zone Case: Gabriel out of Jail?

Gabriel Metcalf home at in Billings Montana.

On September 21, 2023, a detention hearing for Gabriel Metcalf was re-opened, with a motion granted to the defense by Judge Cavan. The prosecutor, Thomas K. Godfrey, had opposed the hearing, claiming there was no significant change of information from the initial detention hearing held on August 24, 2023. At the end of the hearing, Judge Cavan released Gabriel on his own recognizance, with restrictions, to his mother's home at 430 Broadwater Avenue in Billings, Montana, where he has lived for the past decade and more.

Vivian, Gabriel's mother, and a neighbor who was the owner of a gunshop next to Vivian's alterations shop, were in attendance to lend moral support. Russell Hart, the Federal Defender who is Gabriel's counsel in this case, was the star of the hearing, with Gabriel putting in a strong, supporting performance.

The information in this article comes from Gabriel's mother, Vivian. It will be hours or days before the court documents are published.

The hearing started at 0900 at the federal courthouse with Judge Cavan presiding. Having Judge Cavan agree to hold the hearing was a significant victory. The brief by Russell Clark was brilliant. Without accusing anyone of directly lying, he showed how the initial decision of pre-trial detention was obtained with partial and misleading information, implying Gabriel was mentally incompetent.

A sealed report of psychological investigation was presented by the defense. It showed Gabriel was not inchoherent or psychotic. In fact, he was coherent and rational. His fear for his safety was found to be sincere and reasoned. Hart presented documents to show the evidence and testimony at the initial detention hearing was misleading. Gabriel's fears had a real basis with a name and documentation showing a real threat.

Thomas K. Godfrey represented the prosecution. He attempted to make the case Gabriel was a danger to society and should remain detained until trial. He called a witness who was a Billings Policeman. The witness related information he had received from a neighbor of Gabriel Metcalf, that Gabriel walked on the sidewalk with a gun over his shoulder, and walked onto a walkway leading to the neighbor's house.  The neighbor retreated into the house and stayed away from the windows.

Vivian said there is more than one residence at the house. The house had been recently broken into, which made Gabriel suspicious of strange cars in the driveway. Vivian indicated Gabriel and the other resident were acquainted and got along well.  This information was not part of testimony in court.

Gabriel is to be released on his own recognizance with conditions. He may not have contact with firearms. He may not use alcohol or drugs. He is to report all contact with police officers. The exact conditions will be revealed as the paperwork becomes available. No bail or bond is required.

Gabriel's mother, Vivian Young, has set up a GiveSendGo campaign, YoungMetcalfHomeDefenseFund, in order to aid in his defense and to help provide needed security for their home. With Gabriel home, but without firearms, improved security systems are in order.  There are many questions which require answers. What information does the Billings Police have which can be obtained through Montana public records requests, for example.

Opinion: Judges have to rely on the reports of others. Judges do not like to be manipulated or deceived. The information revealed by Federal Defender Russell Hart was in opposition to the carefully crafted narrative put forward in the first detention hearing and in the affidavit of Criminal Complaint.  Gabriel Metcalf is not mental or a drug or alcohol abuser.  Hearsay from a neighbor who is terrified of firearms is not strong evidence of another persons mental state. This leaves a clean case before the court. There is little dispute about the facts. The question is whether the Gun Free School Zone law violates the limits placed on the government by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Cases such as this, which are facially disputed, can take years to resolve. The defense, with Gabriel out of jail, becomes much simpler. The defense does not have to be concerned about plea agreements whose major attraction is to get the defendant out of jail.

AmmoLand will keep readers posted of developments in this case.

Update: as of 5:46 a.m. MDT on September 22, 2023, Gabriel is still listed as an inmate at the Yellowstone Detention Facility in Billings, Montana.

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

Gun Watch


PA: Armed Victim Stops Armed Robbery

Just after 8pm last night, a man armed with a gun approached a victim in the area of 15th and Page and tried to rob him of his scooter. 

The victim then pulled his own gun and a struggle for the weapon ensued. Police say the victim fired one shot during the robbery. The offender then fled the area, running north towards Susquehanna Ave. No injuries have been reported.

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Monday, September 25, 2023

Mt: Gun Free School Zone Case: Detention Hearing Thursday Morning

Modest home in Billings, Montana, where Gabriel (Gabe) Metcalf lives with his mother.

The controversial Gun Free School Zone case where Gabriel Metcalf has been in pre-trial detention for a month has a detention hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday morning, September 21, 2022.

Russel Hart, the federal public defender for Gabriel Metcalf, asked for the hearing citing new evidence which was not available at the first detention hearing. The hearing was held shortly after Gabriel's arrest by what appears to have been an ATF/Billings Police Task Force. The prosecuting attorney Assistant United States Attorney Thomas K. Godfrey had opposed the re-opening of the detention hearing, indicating Judge Cavan had sufficient information; that no significant new information was offered.

It is likely the hearing will have been held by the time this writing is published on AmmoLand. It takes a some time before results are officially posted. The results should be available by Friday evening.

The maximum penalty for possessing a firearm in federal Gun Free School Zone is five years in prison. The statute says there can be a fine up to $5,000. The initial press release by the United States Attorney's office states the fine could be up to $100,000. Criminal penalties are complex, with many enhancements possible. It appears Gabriel Metcalf's case is a simple, single count of possession of a firearm in a federal Gun Free School Zone outside of private property.

Much about the Gun Free School Zone law is unusual, peculiar. One of the paragraphs states the Gun Free School Zone offense will be treated as a Misdemeanor, except for the potential five year sentence. From 18 U.S.C. §924. Penalties for 922(q):

(4) Whoever violates section 922(q) shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the term of imprisonment imposed under this paragraph shall not run concurrently with any other term of imprisonment imposed under any other provision of law. Except for the authorization of a term of imprisonment of not more than 5 years made in this paragraph, for the purpose of any other law a violation of section 922(q) shall be deemed to be a misdemeanor.

Misdemeanors are generally treated with considerable more lenity than felonies. Russell Hart, makes the case that Gabriel Metcalf has been treated considerably more severely than he deserves, because incorrect information was given to the Court.

From the brief by Metcalf's attorney, Russell Hart:

The Court now has the benefit of Doc. 15 and confirmation that Mr. Metcalf did not merely imagine the threat facing him as was stated in earlier proceeding in support of detention. He has no criminal history at 49 years of age and stands accused of a Misdemeanor offense for the first time in his adult life: the Court cannot presume Mr. Metcalf would violate any condition of release, especially one that would constitute a felony offense under 18 USC § 922(d)(1).

It will be of interest to see what the prosecution argues to keep Gabriel Metcalf imprisoned before trial.

Russell Hart does not forget the importance of the Second Amendment in this case. Hart reminds the Court the Bruen decision presumptively protects the conduct of Gabriel Metcalf, as bearing arms outside of his home.  This correspondent believes this preserves a Second Amendment challenge to the Gun Free School Zones Act.

The Gun Free School Zone Act was already found to be unconstitutional, in 1994. Eight circuit courts have ruled on the constitutionality of the act since a change in the wording in 1996. Five have ruled the 11 word change cured the constitutional defect, three have held the act remains unconstitutional.

There are several possibilities for Judge Cavan in the Metcalf case. He can keep Gabriel Metcalf in pre-trial detention. He can release Gabriel Metcalf under the conditions outlined by Russell Hart, probably on his own recognizance. He can impose some form of bail or bond, as a condition of release.

Gabriel and his mother are poor as church mice. Two recent months of covid and pneumonia illness kept Vivian from working, and Gabriel busy taking care of her. They have no funds required for a defense. Vivian has set up a GiveSendGo account to aid in Gabriel’s defense and to keep the utilities on in her modest home. At 71, Vivian continues to work part-time and to take in alterations at her small alterations shop. Her home and pets remain at risk.

We will keep AmmoLand readers informed as this situation develops.

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

Gun Watch



NV: Las Vegas, Two men Attempt to Break into a Home - 1 Killed, 1 Wounded

Officers say they received a 911 call reporting a break-in involving two men wearing masks and dark clothing.

They say the son of the caller got a gun and fired on the suspects. One was hit and killed. The second suspect jumped a wall and took off in a gray sedan, according to the residents and officers.

A short time later, police got word of a reckless driver in a car matching the suspect vehicle near Tropicana Avenue and Jones Boulevard. That same car was involved in a crash with two other vehicles near Tropicana and Decatur Boulevard.

Officers say the driver of that car had a gunshot wound to his leg connecting him to the alleged break-in.



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CA: Customer Shoots, Wounds 1 of 2 Armed Robbers

The customer opened fire after two men broke in and tried to rob the establishment, police said. Authorities initially identified the shooter as an employee.

The two robbers, at least one of whom was armed and dropped his gun, fled the scene. The suspect who was hurt ended up in the parking lot of a nearby Northgate Market, where he was taken into custody by police officers and transported to a hospital. The other suspect managed to get away.


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NICS Numbers and Gun Sales for August 2023, Fifth Highest August on Record

The numbers of National Instant Background Checks (NICS) done by the FBI for August of 2023, and the estimated gun sales derived from those checks, are the fifth highest on record for August, since records started being kept.

The number of checks done by the FBI were about 2.14 million in August of 2023; the number of gun sales was estimated at 1.06 million, just .27% higher than the estimate for 2019. The gun sales in 2016 were higher, about 1.17 million. 

We are seeing a leveling off of gun sales at the new, higher base level of over a million a month, with about  14 million gun sales per year, on average, for the last five years.  Because a significant number of gun sales are of some of the nearly 500 million guns in circulation, the number of firearms added to the private stock in the United States is about 12 million a year, or about 60 million from 2018 through 2022. This year should add close to another 12 million, with the stock well over 500 million by the end of the year. 

The number of gun sales increased significantly during and since 2008. Two significant events occurred in 2008, both of which have contributed to incentives to purchase and increased firearms sales. 

In 2008, Senator Barack Obama, the most successful gun salesman in history, was elected President of the United States. His ability to foster racial division, turmoil, and a profound distrust of American government and institutions has been unparalleled since the War Between the States or Civil War. 

In 2008, the United States Supreme Court started the long process of restoring the Second Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms, which was eviscerated in the South for freed slaves by 1876, and in the Northern states for immigrants in New York and California.  This occurred in 1911 with the Sullivan law in New York, and in 1921 with the concealed permit law in California, both aimed at disfavored minorities. 

At the end of 2007, the estimate of the number of guns in private hands in the United States was 301 million. At the end of 2023, 16 years later, the estimated number will be over 501 million.  200 Million firearms have been added to the privates stock since Barrack Obama started his run for the presidency.  40% of the private stock in the United States will be less than 17 years old. 

Gun owners are estimated to make up between 30 and 60 percent of the adult population. Many of those gun owners are new gun owners. Once a person owns a gun, they often find they need more than one gun. Once a gun owner has broken through the hype, fear, and social stigma which has dominated the media propaganda for the last 60 years, they no longer fear owning another gun. They often find guns are not only useful, they are fun.

This dynamic has dominated gun sales for 16 years.We are at the point where, when a politically correct Leftist governor of New Mexico attempts to violate the state constitution and the Second Amendment, mass protests arise, police refuse to arrest, her own party's Attorney General refuses to prosecute. It is a budding totalitarian's worse nightmare.

The Second Amendment has more respect now than it has had in the past 60 years.


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

Gun Watch

SC: Man Holds Couple at Gunpoint for Police, Michell Pruit and Amy Marie Smith Arrested

Once on scene, the deputy saw the man pointing a shotgun at the suspect, later identified as Mitchell Lee Pruitt, 51, and asked him to lower his weapon.

Once his weapon was lowered, the deputy handcuffed the woman, later identified as Amy Marie Smith, 45, sitting on the other couch facing Pruitt.

Once Mitchell was in the police car, he told deputies that he had come with Smith to give her an estimate on property cleanup. 

 Deputies then talked to Smith, who said that Pruitt came to the address and got her gas. She also said she went to the house to get her SC tag, which had been stolen and was supposed to be in the bushes.


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AZ: Home Invasion ends with two of four Invaders Shot

Tuesday night, Evens, Bartlett and two women wore masks and entered an apartment on Billings Street near Sossaman Road and Main Street, police said. Once inside, court documents say the four attacked two people who were sleeping. The suspects reportedly pepper-sprayed both victims, then began punching, kicking and hitting them with other objects. The suspects then duct-taped their wrists, ankles, mouths and eyes, and then moved them into a bathtub. There, one of the crooks hit one of the victims, a woman, several more times and cut off her hair.

Documents say the two victims then sat in the tub for about an hour as the four ransacked the apartment, stealing marijuana and clothes. During the robbery, a man returned to the apartment and was also attacked by the suspects. He was armed and fired a shot, hitting the two women. All four thieves then fled the apartment.

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Saturday, September 23, 2023

FL: Gunfight, three men arrested, two wounded.

Christopher Green and Kelvin Henry Jackson were seen on security footage firing shots from an SUV towards a group of people standing outside Tuesday afternoon, according to their arrest reports. Each of the 36-year-old men, both wounded in the shooting and arrested later that day, face charges of attempted murder in the first degree, firearm possession by a convicted felon and using a firearm while committing a felony.

Delonyte Sinyon Gause, 30, who was also injured in the shooting and later confessed to firing shots towards the SUV in retaliation, was charged with firearm possession by a convicted felon and use of a weapon while committing a felony, among other gun charges, his arrest report says.

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Friday, September 22, 2023

Ninth Circuit Three Judge Panel Reinforces Free Speech, Finds for Preliminary Injunction



On September 13, 2023, a three judge panel of Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held California AB2571, which broadly limits the commercial speech of people promoting the sale of firearms or firearms products or events where firearms products are used or sold, was probably unconstitutional.  For example, this would include virtually all gun shows.  The three judge panel stopped enforcement of the bill. The California Goverment had passed the bill into law a bit more than a year earlier.

On June 30, 2022, the California Governor signed AB 2571 into law a sweeping new restriction on the commercial speech of firearms industry members. The bill sought to prevent advertising of any firearm-related product which "reasonably appears to be attractive to minors". Firearms-related product was broadly defined, as was "firearms industry member". In effect, the legislation would shut down most advertising for firearms or related products such as accessories, ammunition, reloading components, or, likely, shooting sports, hunting, or self defense. The Bruen decision restoring the right to carry arms in public places had been published on June 22, only eight days before the bill passed.

A lawsuit had quickly been filed against the enforcement of the bill. The District court ruled in favor of the government. An appeal was filed to the Ninth Circuit on Novmeber 22, 2023.

The three judge panel found against the California government. Here is their unanimous judgement. From

The panel reversed the district court’s denial of plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction seeking to enjoin, pursuant to the First and Fourteenth Amendments, a California law that prohibits the advertising of any “firearm-related product in a manner that is designed, intended, or reasonably appears to be attractive to minors.” California Business and Professions Code §22949.80.

The panel assumed that California’s law regulates only commercial speech and that intermediate scrutiny applies.

Applying intermediate scrutiny, the panel first concluded that because California permits minors under supervision to possess and use firearms for hunting and other lawful activities, Section 22949.80 facially regulates speech that concerns lawful activity and is not misleading. Next, the panel held that section 22949.80 does not directly and materially advance California’s substantial interests in reducing gun violence and the unlawful use of firearms by minors. There was no evidence in the record that a minor in California has ever unlawfully bought a gun, let alone because of an ad. Finally, the panel held that section 22949.80 was more extensive than necessary because it swept in truthful ads about lawful use of firearms for adults and minors alike. Because plaintiffs had shown a likelihood of success on the merits and the remaining preliminary injunction factors weighed in plaintiffs’ favor, the panel reversed the district court’s denial of the preliminary injunction and remanded for further proceedings.

A separate concurrence was written by Judge VanDyke. Judge VanDyke agreed with the ruling, but wished to state the ruling should have been made under strict scrutiny. The law sought to use the power of the state to eliminate a viewpoint the government disagreed with. This is not allowed by the First Amendment. From the concurrence:

California has thus singled out a particular message it does not like and prohibited its proliferation. Its intent to stamp out this speech is evident from the record. And it crafted a targeted legislative scheme to get the job done. This kind of effort to stamp out disliked viewpoints deserves the strictest of scrutiny. “A legislature cannot privilege one set of speakers as the good guys, while restraining another set of speakers as the baddies.” Ass’n of Nat. Advertisers, Inc. v. Lungren, 44 F.3d 726, 739 (9th Cir. 1994) (Noonan, J., dissenting).

This sort of attack on freedom of speech is spreading and being promoted all over the United States. The left does not believe in freedom of speech. They believe in stamping out dissent and any viewpoint they disagree with. The First and Second Amendments reinforce and support each other.

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

Gun Watch

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Book Review: In the Land of White Death


In the Land of White Death, by Valerian Albanov, English translation published in 2000 by Random House, 205 pages.  Original published in Russian in 1917. 

This is the story of an ill-fated ship, as written by one of only two survivors, the officer who was the navigator of the Santa Clara. The ship went to sea ill prepared, without key provisions and trained personnel. Trapped in Arctic ice for two years, the navigator lead a group attempting to reach land over the pack ice. This is his story, a direct, first person account of survival against daunting obstacles.

The dismal fate of the Santa Clara occurred at the end of the great arctic expansion of whaling, sealing, and bear hunting by wind and man power, during the transition to steam power and diesel engines.  The Santa Clara had both sails and a steam engine which primarily ran on coal. Kerosene lamps provided light and cooking fuel.

Abanov and a party of fourteen men left the doomed Santa Clara on April 13, 1914, hauling sledges and kayaks they had build with supplies from the Santa Clara.  Four decided to go back to the ship, with one man replacing the first man to go back, and three men going back on the eleventh day. This left a party of ten men and Abanov. Near the end April, they encountered open water and were able to shoot several seals, which greatly increased their supply of food and fuel. On May 4th, one man got lost and disappeared along the way.

The party shot their first polar bear on 25 May. They ate the liver.  Two days later, they were severely ill. Polar bear liver contains toxic amounts of vitamin A. Polar bears carry trichinosis parasites which cause similar symptoms. It may be the expedition members suffered from trichinosis. Seals generally do not carry trichinosis.

 The polar bear hide, valued at 200 Rubles, had to be burned as fuel. The Russian Ruble was worth .5145 dollars in 1914, so 200 Rubles would be about $100 or about five ounces of gold. A few days later, on May 31, they shot another large polar bear. The bear was very cautious. It almost escaped from the two men armed with rifles. On June 4th, the party played hide and seek with another polar bear, but the bear ran away. 

The Russians were able to live by hunting for much of their caloric requirements. In addition to the two polar bears, they shot and ate numerous seals. They finally spotted land on June 9th. They had not been certain of their location, or of the location of land, for months. Heroic feats of celestial navigation, combined with a map and coordinates copied from a book of an arctic explorer, brought them to land.  There instruments gradually broke under the extreme difficulty of their travel.

The Russians' most valuable possessions were their guns and ammunition.  Two men deserted with two guns, most of the ammunition, and other extremely  valuable possessions on June 17. On June 25, the main party of eight survivors reached land. Between June 17 and June 28, the two deserters killed a polar bear which awakened them at night. They shot the bear in the head at very close range, killing it on the spot. When the deserters were discovered on June 28, they had the polar bear head with them.

Albanov had been ready to shoot the deserters on sight. Their extreme repentance and the fact the main party had made landfall, barely escaping death, lead him to pardon them. Thus 10 of the original party of 11, made landfall. On the first island they had abundant food in the form of geese, goose eggs and other birds.

Illness started to take an enormous toll.  One of the party died, leaving nine survivors. They split into two groups of four and five, five going overland, four in the two remaining kayaks. Supplies were running out. The group going overland failed to rendezvous with the kayaks.  By July 8, one of the four men in the kayaks was so ill as to be unable to function. The kayak group was attempting to reach a camp established a decade ago, which was supposed to have been left with supplies. They believed it to be on a nearby island.

A 10 mile gap of water separated them from their goal. When they attempted the crossing, the weather was fair. They could easily see Cape Flora.  Half way across, a fierce storm came up unexpectedly. The kayaks were separated. The one with two relatively healthy men managed to make it to an iceberg, and barely survive through the night. They were out of food. After getting completely soaked in sea water, almost drowning, they took to the ocean again. Six hours of furious paddling managed to take them back to the island they had left in the morning, nearly frozen and exhausted. They were the lone survivors of all the Santa Clara crew. 

They were able to shoot a few ducks as provisions, and attempted to make the crossing again the next morning. This time they succeeded in reaching Cape Flora. They found the remnants of a camp, with an enormous amount of tinned supplies. They stayed at the camp until July 20, recuperating and recovering strength. On July 20, 1914, another ship, the Saint Foka. appeared.  The Saint Folka had also been in the Arctic for two years. The Saint Foka was equipped with sails and a steam engine, and was desperate for fuel. The Saint Foka had problems of her own, but had plenty of food, and could sail.  The crew of the Saint Foka hoped to dismantle the Cape Flora camp and use the wood for fuel. 

The Saint Folka, with the two men from the Santa Clara, arrived at the fishing village of Rynda in Russia, on August 10, 1914, only to learn Russia was at war, allied with France in what became the First World War. 

There are many more adventures and hardships included in this first hand account, this true tale of survival.


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

Gun Watch

FL: Homeowner Fires on Multiple Invaders, 1 Killed, 2 Wounded

The latest incident unfolded after several people, possibly armed with at least one firearm, forcefully broke into an apartment, police said. The homeowner, who had a gun of unknown caliber, fired on the group, striking at least three of those carrying out the home invasion, police reported. Police arrived minutes later along with paramedics.

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MI: Gunfight at Home, No One Injured, Two Arrested

The NPD said responding officers discovered that Joshua attempted to break into the home through a window and was discovered by the homeowner, a 60-year-old woman.

According to police, Joshua then shot once at the homeowner, who shot once back at him. No one was injured. The homeowner then locked herself in the bedroom and called 911. When officers arrived, they located Joshua in the basement of the house and arrested him.


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Wednesday, September 20, 2023

22% of Americans Believe 1st Amendment Protects the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. They are Correct

In a recent survey by the Annenberg Constitution Day Civics Survey, Americans were asked to name the rights the First Amendment protected. The Annenberg Foundation has drifted reliably left since its creation.  From the abajournal:

The 2023 Annenberg Constitution Day Civics Survey asked Americans to name the specific rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. The results:

  • 77% said freedom of speech
  • 40% said freedom of religion
  • 33% said the right to assembly
  • 28% said freedom of the press
  • 9% said the right to petition government

Twenty-two percent named the right to bear arms, which is actually protected by the Second Amendment.

It is true the First Amendment does not specifically mention the right to keep and bear arms. It is also true the First Amendment is key in protecting the right to keep and bear arms. Without the First Amendment, Americans would not be able to publish books extolling the virtues and necessity of protecting the Second Amendment. Americans would not be able to hold assemblies for the purpose of exchanging information, strategies, contacts and legislative news about how to effectively restore Second Amendment rights, as in the upcoming Gun Rights Policy Conference to be held in Phoenix, Arizona. Without the First Amendment, Americans would not have the right to argue with those who wish to have them disarmed. Without the First Amendment, advertising for firearms and ammunition could be banned.

California recently passed a law directly limiting free speech with regards to fireams, AB 2571. From

This bill would prohibit a firearm industry member, as defined, from advertising or marketing any firearm-related product, as defined, in a manner that is designed, intended, or reasonably appears to be attractive to minors.

The purpose appears to be to prevent children from learning about firearms. The reason is the typical emotional response: guns are bad. 

Illinois has passed a statute to outlaw advertising of firearms designated a safety threat or which appeal to children.  The definition seems a little vague. Simply showing the firearms are tough enough for the military, or are suitable for children seem to be what the lawmakers had in mind. From

“Some of the ads I’ve seen are just stomach-turning,” Don Harmon, of Oak Park, who sponsored the legislation.

The ad for the JR-15, a smaller, lighter .22-caliber rifle, was among them. An emailed statement from the manufacturer, Wee 1 Tactical, said the gun has safety features found on no other gun.

“The JR-15 .22 youth training rifle is for adults who wish to supervise the safe introduction of hunting and shooting sports to the next generation of responsible gun owners,” the statement said. “Parents and guardians wanting to pass on this American tradition have been purchasing small caliber, lighter youth training rifles for decades.”

Mark Oliva of the NSSF  characterized the law with these words: 

Illinois’ Firearm Industry Responsibility Act criminalizes First Amendment-protected commercial free speech by banning advertising with vague definitions of “intent to appeal to minors.” Gun control politicians in Illinois are attempting to restrict law-abiding citizens from passing on safe firearm handling and shooting skills to the next generation by squelching ability to depict it in advertising. Only adults over the age of 18 can legally purchase a long gun and only adults over 21 can legally purchase a handgun.

The logic of these sort of laws is simple. Assume guns are bad. Therefore, restrict guns. When you start with false premises, you get bad results. Fortunately, there are a couple of amendments in the Bill of Rights which reinforce one another. The First Amendment aids in protecting the right to keep and bear arms from politicians. The Second Amendment, aids in protecting the First Amendment from politicians and non-government actors. Armed people are not as easily intimidated by mobs, convention, or government actors.

In countries such as New Zealand, Australia, England, and Canada, the right to keep and bear arms came under attack first. Free speech is currently under attack in all four countries of those countries and in the United States as well.

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

Gun Watch




KY: Resident Shoots Man Attempting to Break in

The preliminary investigation revealed that Jason E. Smith, age 44 of Manchester, KY was trying to break into a residence in Clay County off U.S. Hwy 421 when a male subject residing at the residence confronted him at the front door after which a physical altercation occurred that led to, the male suspect attempting to break into the home (Jason Smith) being shot by the subject residing there.

Mr. Smith was transported to AdventHealth ER in Manchester by Clay County EMS where he was later flown by Air Evac to the University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital in Lexington, KY, where he succumbed to his injuries.

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TX: 19-Year-Old Wounded in Fight with Man who Banged on Door

He said a man banged on the door and was yelling. 

The 19-year-old said the man then tried to force his way into the apartment and began yelling at him, which escalated into a physical fight.

The teenager told officers he was not trying to shoot the man and was trying to keep him away from the residence.

The gun discharged while the pair wrestled over it, at which point the 19-year-old felt the bullet hit his pinky finger. He told police he didn't know where the other bullets ended up.

The other man told police he had never met the 19-year-old man in his life and didn't know who he was.


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Tuesday, September 19, 2023

GA: Atlanta Homeowner Shoots, Kills Intruder

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Two men are dead and several more are injured after a violent night in Atlanta, according to police.

Near 8:30 p.m. Friday night, police responded to an apartment complex at 2929 Panthersville Road, where they found a man in his 40s shot and killed. Police believe the man broke into an apartment and the homeowner shot him, they said.

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AR: Woman Shoots Man at Pine Bluff Gas Station

PINE BLUFF, Ark. – A shooting at a gas station Thursday may result in no arrests according to Pine Bluff Police. They say around noon a woman shot a man authorities describe as a regular “beggar”.

The shooting happened outside the Southern Edge Convenience Store on South Olive Street. The woman who pulled the trigger was taken to Pine Bluff Police Department and interviewed by detectives.

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Monday, September 18, 2023

MT: Gabriel Metcalf Gun Free School Zone case has a First Amendment Component

 Sign displayed in Gabriel's front yard during his protest. Image by Vivian two weeks after Gabriel's arrest.

On 22 August, 2023, Gabriel Metcalf was arrested for possessing a firearm in a federal gun free zone in Billings, Montana. Gabriel and his mother live across the street from the Broadwater Elementary School. Billings Police officers had previously told Gabriel and his mother, Vivian, Gabriel was not breaking any laws. Some people had complained when they saw Gabriel outside his home with a single shot 20 gauge shotgun. Gabriel had armed himself because of a two year campaign of terror conducted by a former neighbor, David Carpenter, and associates. Over the course of two years, Carpenter was the subject of an restraining order/order of protection, was convicted of five different misdemeanors (including assault against Gabriel, and two involving terroristic threats against another person).  According to Vivian, Carpenter was arrested again, on an outstanding warrant, on July 31, 2023, and almost immediately released on bond, without an ankle GPS monitor. The experience of Gabriel and Vivian has been, when Carpenter faces official sanctions, retaliation against Gabriel, Vivian, their home, plants and pets is imminent.

According to Vivian, the Billings Police were only marginally helpful during this ordeal. Both Gabriel and Vivian had lost faith in the Billings Police to act professionally and to deliver basic service, such as accepting reports of serious threats. Other victims of harassment and assault by people under a court order of protection have had similar complaints.

It is undisputed Billings Police attempted to pressure Gabriel into disarming when he was outside his home. The police reported, in the local media, Gabriel was not breaking any laws. As a protest against police hostility, Gabriel conducted a silent display on his front lawn, kneeling, his shotgun in a scabbard on his reel type lawn mower, and a sign saying: OUR RIGHTS MATTER.  During the protest, Gabriel wore a mask to signify he was being silenced.

Image from a still photograph used in a video report. The image was contributed from a viewer. The image was taken on August 16-18, before school opened on August 22, 2023, according to Vivian. Gabriel was protesting police harassment. The black rectangle in shadow between Gabe and the door appears to be the protest sign. It is about the right size, and is not present in other photographs of the house. Gabriel was never outside his home with the shotgun on the first day of school or afterward,

Neighbors interviewed for KTVQ  said they had sometimes seen Gabriel Metcalf walking in the alley behind his home with the shotgun, "but they never really felt they were in any danger".

This image of Gabriel protesting has accompanied many reports on his arrest. The photograph was taken days before his arrest.

 Image contributed to media by a member of the public, taken several days before school opened.  Gabriel appears to be waving to a person on the sidewalk. It is difficult to see how this protest could be construed as threatening. A woman interviewed about Gabriel's arrest on MTN stated Gabriel had waved to her, indicating to her he was not a threat.

Link to Youtube of MTN video

The sling across Gabriel's shoulder is not attached to the Rossi single-shot shotgun whose stock is visible behind the cup holder. The shotgun is in a homemade scabbard attached to the reel lawn mower Gabriel uses to mow the lawn at his home. The mask is in protest of the police, to symbolically say "the police are silencing me", according to Gabriel's mother.  The image was often posted on media along with the story of Gabriel's arrest.  Gabriel was arrested, unarmed,  in a parking lot dozens of feet from his home, while accompanying his mother. The agents apparently announced themselves as ATF. Gabriel was arrested for possessing a gun in a federally defined gun free school zone. Billings police are on record as saying they turned to federal officers because Gabriel was not violating any local or Montana law.  Gabriel has stated he believed the Gun Free School Zone Act was unconstitutional.

According to Gabriel's mother, school officials never contacted them before putting out an alert on August 21. The alert, asking parents to "be vigilant"  was put out the night of August 21, just before school opened on August 22, according to the leftwing Billings Gazzette.  The alert references "suspicious activity" on the 17th and 18th of August. It is unclear if the school official was referring to Gabriel's protest. Vivian says she left a voice message with school officials, who had never contacted her or Gabriel previous to August 22. On August 22, a school official left a voice message saying he would call back. Gabriel was arrested a few hours later. Vivian never received the promised call back.

Symbolic political speech has long been recognized by the Supreme Court as protected by the First Amendment. Gabriel's protest and carry of his single shot shotgun outside the home is strong, symbolic, protected political speech.   Only unpopular speech requires protection. The Gun Free School Zone Act is a form of prior restraint, forbidden under the First Amendment. The FIrst and Second Amendments are intertwined and protect each other.

Gabriel has been in federal lockup since August 22. His mother, Vivian has to work to pay the mortgage and utilities. Two years of defending against the ongoing threats and attacks, with a recent two months of being ill with covid and pneumonia while Gabriel took care of Vivian, have left them without funds to fight the Gun Free School Zone Act charge.

Gabriel’s mother has set up a GiveSendGo site to help defend their home, the Second Amendment, and work to free Gabriel from this unjust pre-trial detention.


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

Gun Watch

GA: Homeowner Shoots, Wounds Murder Suspect

Deputies say the homeowner warned the intruder before shooting him. Investigators say the homeowner then left the basement and took up a position to protect his family on the second floor at the staircase.

"There, he took his stand as the subject made his way up to the second floor. [He] made the comment, something to the effect of, ‘You’re going to have to kill me.’ When the resident fired a second shot. That was about the time the deputies got there. From we can tell, he was coming down the stairway with a second gunshot wound," said Fayette County Sheriff Barry Babb. "At that point, they actually still struggled with him [as they] took him into custody."

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IL: Armed Samaritan Shoots Kills man on Violent Rampage

Another tenant warned Joseph that he was armed and told him to stop hitting people. The police report said Joseph "turned and charged" at the tenant, who opened fire, hitting him several times.

Joseph, 32, was shot in the chest, abdomen, flank, an armpit and a ring finger, according to the report. He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 8:11 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. An autopsy Friday determined he died of multiple gunshot wounds and his death was ruled a homicide, the office said.

The tenant who fired the shots called 911 and waited for police to arrive, according to the report. That man, who has a concealed-carry license, was placed into police custody and subsequently released, officials said.

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Sunday, September 17, 2023

MT: AUSA Godfrey Opposes Detention Hearing in Gun Free School Zone Case

In the ongoing Gun Free School Zone case against Gabriel Metcalf in Billings Montana, Gabriel's  federal public defender, Russel Hart, has filed a motion requesting a detention hearing. The Assistant United States Attorney, (AUSA) Thomas K. Godfrey has indicated he opposes re-opening a detention hearing. This means Godfrey wants to keep Gabriel Metcalf in federal lockup in the Yellowstone County Detention Facility until trial. A trial could be years away. This case could go all the way to the Supreme Court.

The magistrate judge, Timothy J. Cavan has ordered the representative of the United States in this matter, AUSA Godfrey, to file its opposition to the motion for a detention hearing by September 15, 2023. This is due process. It is easy to see how the process can be abused. Once the brief opposing the detention hearing is filed, the judge will have to read it, digest it, make a decision, and inform the parties of the decision. The brief is due on September 15, which is Friday. I do not expect Judge Cavan to issue a decision until Monday, at the earliest. If Judge Cavan agrees with the defendant, and schedules a detention hearing, it will be days later, to allow for both parties to prepare. It is likely Gabriel Metcalf will have been locked up in jail for a month by the time the detention hearing is re-opened.

If Judge Cavan does not agree to re-open the detention hearing, then the defendant can appeal the decision to the District Judge.  That could take weeks longer.

In a conversation with Gabriel's mother, Vivian, Gabriel was at a low point on the morning of September 12. He had been locked up for three weeks. He posed the obvious question: What am I doing here? Why am I locked up? I did not do anything wrong. This is one of the purposes of pre-trial detention. If the prosecution can keep a defendant locked up long enough, they will often submit to a plea bargain to get them out of the limbo of pre-trial detention. There is no limit to the amount of time a person can be held awaiting trial. Some people have been held for years. There is no compensation for the months or years held in detention, if the person is found to be not guilty. Conditions in pre-trial detention are often worse than in prison.

About 90% of people charged in federal courts plead guilty with a plea agreement.

The Gun Free School Zone Act is blatantly unconstitutional. It is difficult to challenge in court, because federal prosecutors have been reluctant to bring standalone cases against people with no criminal record. Gabrial Metcalf's case is unusual, because he has no criminal history and no history of violence.

Gabriel, by merely being honest, protects everyone's rights along with his own. Gabriel has a chance of bringing down this unconstitutional law. It was already found to be unconstitutional in 1994. A constitutional challenge is unlikely if Gabriel accepts a plea deal.

Gabriel and his mother are poor as church mice.  Two years of dealing with threats and attacks on them, their home, their pets and their plants, combined with two months of being unable to work because of covid and pnemonia have left them without funds.


Vivian has set up a GiveSendGo account to aid in Gabriel’s defense and to keep the utilities on in her modest home. At 71, Vivian continues to work part-time and to take in alterations at her small alterations shop. Her home and pets remain at risk.

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

AL: Homeowner Shoots Career Criminal

Sheriff’s officials said the husband discovered Vaughn had made entry into his personal vehicle.

He then confronted Vaughn, not knowing what was transpiring and that his wife had called 911 about the attempted burglary.

When Vaughn turned to confront the homeowner, Vaughn brandished a firearm, authorities said.

The homeowner then pulled out his own firearm and shot Vaughn one time.

Just as the homeowner fired a deputy pulled into the driveway.

Deputies immediately began lifesaving measures on Vaughn until medics arrived and secured the scene. Vaughn was airlifted to UAB Hospital where he died at 9:42 p.m. Thursday.

Authorities said they don’t expect any charges to be filed in connection to Vaughn’s death.

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GA: Son Fires Back at Couple who Shot at them with Automatic Weapon

Dequan Smith, 21, and his mother Connie Smith, 44, say they were sitting on the porch when the car came up and shot at them 14 to 15 times, they told officers. As the shots rang out, they say Dequan fired back at the shooters.

After the shooting, the Smiths were taken to the to Fairview Park Hospital by ambulance. 

Officers said Dequan was shot in the back and right hand, and his mother, Connie, was shot in the left calf.

One man, Quinterious Ross, and a woman, Morgan McWilliams, were arrested and charged on Thursday for their alleged involvement in the shooting.

Ross is charged with four counts of aggravated assault, possession of a machine gun, escape, reckless conduct, discharging a firearm in the city and obstruction of an officer. 


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Saturday, September 16, 2023

MT Gun Free School Zone Case: Freeing Gabriel from Jail


Gabriel Metcalf was arrested in Billings Montana, for violation of the Gun Free School Zone Act, on August 22, 2023. The Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Thomas K. Godfrey, asked for pre-trial detention at the preliminary hearing on August 25, 2023. The reason for pre-trial detention is listed in the image. The Magistrate Judge, Timothy J. Cavan, granted the Order of Detention for Gabriel Metcalf.  The reasons checked on the order of detention pending trial form are:  A claim the judge believed the Government had proven, by clear and convincing evidence, that no condition or combination of conditions of release will reasonably assure the safety of any other person and community. A second claim is Gabriel Metcalf has a  "History of Violence or Use of Weapons".  

Both claims rest on extremely shaky and dubious foundations. From the order of detention, Judge Cavan expounds on his reasoning: 

Defendant lives on a busy street in Billings, Montana, across the street from an elementary school. He has been charged with possession of a firearm within a school zone. According to testimony at the detention hearing, Defendant believes possession of the firearm and patrolling the area around his property within the school zone is necessary to protect he and his mother from a perceived threat posed by a former neighbor. Testimony established that he has possessed the firearm on public property within the school zone, and has chased automobiles he believes may be associated with his former neighbor. He has previously been advised that he is prohibited from possessing a firearm within the school zone, but he has stated his belief that the law is unconstitutional and has asserted his right to do so. Given the Defendant's belief that he has a right to possess a firearm within a school zone, and his belief that possession of a gun is necessary for his protection and safety, the Court finds it is unlikely that he would abide by any condition prohibiting him from possessing a firearm while on pretrial release. Therefore, there are no conditions or combinations of conditions which can be imposed to reasonable assure the safety of any other person or the community if released.

The "reasoning" is full of false assumptions and non-sequitur arguments. There is an unstated undercurrent: Metcalf is delusional and threat to others because he does not have a good grasp of reality. This undercurrent was actively promoted in the affidavit in support of criminal complaint, where a couple of Billings Police officers offered their opinions that Gabriel Metcalf was "mental" because he refused to bow down and do what they told him. Gabriel Metcalf insisted on exercising his rights. 

Gabriel Metcalf has no criminal history. Gabriel Metcalf has no history of violence.

Metcalf has been in federal lockup at the Yellowstone County Detention Facility in Billings, Montana for 19 days as of this writing (September 9). His court appointed federal defense attorney, Russel Hart, has filed a motion for a Detention Hearing, which would bring new evidence before Judge Cavan. The motion lists new material as "Professional Observations" of Gabriel Metcalf which are under seal.  It is likely these are a personality evaluation. It is almost certain those observations show Gabriel Metcalf to have an excellent grasp on reality, and his actions were reasonable given verified facts.

This is no surprise to those who have been following the case on AmmoLand.  Believing the possession of a firearm is necessary to the protection of himself and his mother is supported by the police record of complaints against David Lee Carpenter and associates, and the criminal convictions of David Lee Carpenter. Carpenter is still under an active order of protection, and is currently out on bond, facing another trial some time in the future. 

"Chasing automobiles" to obtain evidence of violations of the order of protection, when told by police the only way they could enforce the order of protection was with evidence, is eminently reasonable.

Montana law and case law surrounding the Gun Free School Zone Act (GFSZA) supports a reasonable belief the GFSZA is unconstitutional, and that Gabriel meets the requirement for an exception in the law.

According to the Motion for Detention Hearing, the AUSA objects to setting a detention hearing. 

Steps forward are these, based on procedures  found at

Obtain the detention hearing from Magistrate Judge Cavan. If Judge Cavan refuses,

File a motion for repeal of the order of detention to the District Court.  If the District Court rules against you, 

File a motion for repeal of the order of detention to the Circuit Court of Appeals, (Ninth Circuit).

Freeing Gabriel from the federal lockup is the first step toward an effective defense. Keeping a person in detention is a prosecution tactic. It is harder to mount a legal defense while locked up. It is why the Eighth Amendment bans excessive bail.

Prisoners are more likely to accept a plea bargain if they are locked up. They see they could as easily be serving a prison term, and be released quicker; they know time in jail is harder time than time in federal prison. Pre-trial detention or the inability to make bond is one of the reasons 90% of federal defendants plead guilty. 

Gabriel and his mother, Vivian are poor as church mice, but they value their constitutional rights.

Gabriel’s mother has set up a GiveSendGo site to help defend their home, the Second Amendment, and work to free Gabriel from this unjust pre-trial detention.

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

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FL: Armed Samaritan Stops Crime and Holds Armed Robber for Police

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Friday, September 15, 2023

NE: Gilbert Grooms Case: Jury Trial, not Guilty 2 1/2 hours

Gilbert Grooms, Rancher  

In June of 2022, Gilbert Grooms was confronted and threatened at his job in the presence of his wife and children. He refused to fight hand to hand with a younger, brutal and violent man. When the man continued to confront him and come at him, he used a shotgun to stop the assault. He was charged with six felonies. He chose a jury trial. He was found not guilty of all charges. From

A South Dakota man facing six felonies in connection with a June 2022 shooting at the Sheridan County Livestock Sale Barn in Rushville has been acquitted.

After a four day trial, a Sheridan County District Court jury on Thursday found 45-year-old Gilbert Grooms not guilty of Attempted Murder, First Degree Assault, Terroristic Threats, plus three Felony Firearms charges that had been filed in the case.

Almost all information to be found about the case on the Internet was from the prosecution. I wondered what had persuaded a jury to acquit Gilbert Grooms of all charges, in only two and a half hours, which included lunch.  It must have been a powerful defense. I contacted the attorney for the defense in the case, Tim Rench. He explained what the jury had heard.

Gilbert Grooms is a rancher with two children and a loving wife. He is 46 years old. He has had numerous injuries and surgery from working with horses, which have left him with metal screws in his shoulder, and a broken vertebrae. These injuries limit his balance and ability to act quickly.  He lives on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation near the southern border of South Dakota.

About two years before the assault, Gilbert was repeatedly threatened by a friend of his deceased brother.

The adversary is a 35-year-old professional rodeo performer/competitor, who also lives on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. He is a known violent and brutal man who is very strong and tough, and has beat up numerous people in uninhibited fighting. The toughest man Gilbert Grooms knew had been knocked out by the person who threatened Gilbert. Gilbert wanted nothing to do this adversary, and avoided him.

Gilbert's reputation is different. Gilbert is a church attending family man. His neighbors and associates have nothing but praise for him. He is known for his honesty. Besides his ranch, he has been employed at the Sheridan County Livestock Sale Barn, about 30 miles south, across the border in Nebraska, for 27 years.  He runs the horse auction at the Sale Barn every month, which involves considerable preparation and expertise.  Here is a video of Gilbert in a testimonial for special wheels and tires designed for ranchers, in 2016.


Video of Gilbert Grooms in 2016

On the day of the assault, Gilbert was running the horse auction, a busy day. His wife and teenage daughters (13 and 16) had driven down in a separate vehicle. His daughters sometimes helped him with the auction. At the end of the auction, Gilbert offered to take them out to pizza. His family was waiting in the parking lot of the auction.  As part of his job, Gilbert had to take a loadout sheet to a customer across the parking lot.

As Gilbert crossed the parking lot, he noticed his antagonist in a truck, with a trailer, not too far from where his wife and children are waiting.  The antagonist had been sitting in the truck for hours, with his brother in law, drinking beer. The brother in law had gone into the auction to take possession of a check for the sale of a bull.  Gilbert avoids his antagonist, delivered the loadout sheet, and made some small talk hoping the pair would drive away. They did not drive away.

Gilbert walks back, avoiding the pair and the truck, but the two men call him over. As customers of the auction, and in the interest of being polite, Gilbert approaches the truck and asks if they need anything. His antagonist sticks out his hand for a handshake. Gilbert, hoping he can put the two years of apprehension behind him, takes his hand. His adversary grabs him and partly pulls him into the truck. Gilbert is able to break free.

The adversary challenges Gilbert to fight. Gilbert says he doesn't want any trouble. Gilbert says he is willing to put everything aside if the adversary is willing to.  The adversary jumps out of the pickup truck driver's seat, and says he is going to "f*ckin" kick Gilbert's head in in front of Gilbert's children.  Gilbert repeats that he does not want any trouble. Gilbert avoids the adversary and goes to Gilbert's truck, which is about 30 yards away from his adversary and away from where his wife and children are parked. The adversary's vehicle is parked between the Gilberts' vehicles.  If there is to be a violent confrontation, Gilbert doesn't want his children involved. He has a bad feeling about what is happening.

At his truck, Gilbert quickly loads his shotgun with seven rounds of 00 buckshot. As he is doing this, the adversary gets back in his truck and spins through the large parking lot, with lots of people in it, throwing gravel about.  It is a dangerous move.  As the truck takes off, Gilbert lays the shotgun on the fender of Gilbert's horse trailer. He hopes his opponent is leaving. The adversary doesn't leave. He comes around and slams on the brakes to come to a halt in front of Gilbert's truck. The adversary jumps out of the truck and tells Gilbert, as he approaches, "I am going to kill you and your whole family. " Gilbert raises his shotgun. The adversary keeps coming at Gilbert. Gilbert fires in the dirt in front of him. The adversary runs back toward his truck.

Gilbert, knowing his opponent has a reputation for having guns and other weapons, shoots through the opponent's truck windshield, to keep him from accessing the inside of the truck. Then Gilbert puts a round through the truck radiator, to keep his opponent from using the truck as a weapon against Gilbert, his children, or others. The adversary moves toward the back of his horse trailer, then doubles back toward Gilbert. As Gilbert raises the shotgun, the man starts to turn, to dive between the truck and trailer. Gilbert's shot takes him in the left buttock area as he turns.  There is some back and forth around the truck and trailer. Then the adversary charges Gilbert and Gilbert shoots him in the groin area.  This slows down the adversary, and the adversary goes to the back of his horse trailer and sits down. Gilbert tells him to stay put, until the authorities arrive. The adversary tells Gilbert, again, he will kill Gilbert and his whole family. Gilbert tells the adverasary, if he tries this again, or harms his family, Gilbert will do the same thing he just did.

At this point, law officers arrive. Gilbert hands the shotgun over to them, willingly.  The street fighter says: "I just wanted to fight! I just wanted to fight!". Gilbert repeats his promise: if you harm my family, I will do this again. At the end of the video, the adversary says: "Hey Gilbert, maybe next time, you won't be so lucky."

Gilbert was charged with attempted murder, first degree assault, three weapons charges in commission of a felony and terroristic threats.

When the police showed up, The adversary's brother-in-law left the area. He avoided being questioned or searched at the scene. Later, the defense team found a .45 caliber cartridge inside the cab of the adversary's truck.

The defense position was: Gilbert's actions reasonable and they were necessary.  The party who is attacking you does not need to have a weapon to be a deadly threat. The adversary could and had done great damage to others with his hands and feet. He testified he would do anything to win a fight. His truck was a potential weapon. Because the adversary's brother in law fled the scene, it is impossible to know if there was a firearm in the adversary's truck. Gilbert was reasonably afraid of death or paralysis by the man who made himself Gilbert's enemy, and the potential death of his children.  Gilbert feared if the adversary was pounding him on the ground, his 13 and 16 year old daughters would have tried to come to his rescue, and could have been killed or severely injured by the adversary.

I asked Tim Rench how the adversary was not killed, after being hit with two rounds of 00 buckshot. The man was not killed, because Gilbert spared his life.  Gilbert shot to disable, instead of to kill. Gilbert took the stand in his own defense.

The jury was convinced. They took two and a half hours, including lunch, and acquitted Gilbert of all charges.

Why was Gilbert prosecuted? Tim Rench indicated the prosecution took the peculiar position a person could not legitimately use a firearm to defend against someone who did not show a weapon in their possession.  This goes against precedent and the clear reading of the law. It is the same argument used by the prosecution when Kyle Rittenhouse was prosecuted for self defense in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The prosecutor, Thomas Binger, claimed a person armed with a firearm could not legally defend themselves against a person who was not armed with a visible weapon.  The claim is false. The critical point is whether a person reasonably believes their life or bodily integrity is in danger, not what weapons the attacker may or may not possess.


The Gilbert Grooms case is a classic example of the doctrine of disparity of force. You have a known skilled, strong and tough street fighter against a man with serious skeletal and neurological weakness, who is more than a decade older. The defender knows he is unlikely to withstand a severe beating without being injured or killed. His use of a firearm to defend his life, bodily integrity  and children is reasonable. The jury agreed.

The lack of news coverage brings up the question: how many similar cases happen, which are overlooked outside of brief local stories? This case came to light because the prosecutor decided to charge Gilbert, Gilbert choose to take it to a jury trial, and the jury did their job. This article was possible because a defense attorney was willing to talk on the record. It may never have made news if the prosecutor chose not to file charges, if Gilbert had taken a plea deal, or if the jury would have found Gilbert guilty.  Gilbert's defense would never have been known if this correspondent had not found Tim Rench, and Tim Rench had agreed to an interview.


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

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