AR Sales Skyrocket Ahead of New Washington State Gun Control – TTAG Weekly Gun Law Roundup

Washington Post AR-15 assault rifle machine gun

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AR Sales Skyrocket in Washington Ahead of New

We’ve talked about Washington’s Initiative 1639 before. It puts a host of new restrictions on gun owners, including requiring a permanent waiver of their HIPAA rights before buying a handgun or semi-automatic rifle.

Ahead of this, Washingtonians are buying up everything they can get their hands on. It will be interesting to watch Washington going forward, as this is in many ways an unprecedented restriction. A number of lawsuits are already winding their way through the courts. This will be worth watching.

Courtesy Silencer Shop

Supreme Court Silent on Suppressors

You’ve probably heard about Kettler v. USA and Cox v. USA, but not likely by name. Those are the NFA challenge cases that came up after Jeremy Kettler bought made-in-Kansas suppressor from Shane Cox, and posted it on Facebook page. The ATF came after both the purchaser and the seller, who thought they were protected by the Kansas Second Amendment Protection Act.

The case has been heavily misreported in media, from articles claiming the Supreme Court “would hear” the case before they were even petitioned, to claims now that the Court “upheld” the convictions. What did happen this week, was the Court refused to hear the case. This isn’t an adjudication on the merits, it just means not enough justices wanted to hear the case.

The unfortunate result, though, is that it means the convictions stay in place.

This is an incredibly complicated component of Constitutional law. There are two different authorities under which the government claims to be able regulate suppressors, SBRs and machine guns; the taxing power, and the commerce power.

Since the suppressors in question were made in and never left Kansas, they are (or at least should be) beyond the scope of the commerce power. This is what the Second Amendment Protection Act enshrines.

What this doesn’t get around, though, is the government’s assertion of its taxing power. The law here isn’t really developed yet as to what extent the government can impose a taxing power to assert what is ostensibly a prohibition, especially with respect to the rights of Americans.

Regrettably, the lower court asserted (and the Trump administration agreed) that the Second Amendment does not protect firearm “accessories.” That’s dumb. For a lot of reasons.

There are more cases coming which more directly suss out the taxing power question, so there is still reason for optimism. Unfortunately, though, the lives of two Americans who harmed no one and believed they were following the law have been ruined. Whether you love suppressors or hate them, everyone should recognize what happened to Kettler and Cox as a horrible injustice.

ammunition business down volume buyer behavior

Dan Z for TTAG

Ammo Sales Surge in California Ahead of New Law

California’s Proposition 63, which puts restrictions on the purchase of ammunition, including requiring a background check, and for it to be purchased in person, goes into effect July 1. This week saw ammunition sellers in California reporting runs on ammo. People are stocking up ahead of the new law.

I’ve long been a proponent of reloading, and as these California residents are learning, it’s not just because I like shooting exotic cartridges. Adding rigmarole to the purchase of ammunition is going to drive up prices for Californians. That’s not fair to lower income people who want to practice and be able to provide a competent self-defense. But, as always, gun controllers leave those people out of their calculations.

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Still More Attempts to Sue American Gunmakers

If there’s one thing lawmakers are good at, it’s naming their proposals. A wise man once said that when you read the title of any act of Congress, you can be pretty sure it will operate to do the opposite. Enter the “Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act,” announced this week. It aims to manufacture civil liability for the manufacturers of firearms when a crime is committed with their products.

This is so far beyond the scope of established products liability law it’s insane. Manufacturers are held liable for defective products, not products used with criminal intent. The attempt to characterize this as anything but an attempt to strangle the American firearms industry is dishonest at best.

Northam klan black face blackface

Courtesy AP

Governor Northam Takes Gun Control on Tour

We talked about Virginia Governor Northam’s special session last week. This week he sent two members of his administration on tour to host a series of events to drum up support for new restrictions on gun ownership in the Old Dominion.

Interestingly, but not surprisingly, the events are centered heavily in Northern Virginia (which could more accurately be called West D.C.) where people will be more receptive. It’s pretty clear looking at the schedule that Northam isn’t too concerned about the opinion of inland Virginia. I wonder why that is.

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Taking Aim at the Gun Free School Zone Act

Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie this week introduced the “Safe Students Act,” in the US House which would repeal the “Gun Free School Zones Act” (a law that actually caused some really fascinating developments in Constitutional law in United Stated v. Lopez). Massie has consistently made efforts to try to get the law repealed, but with the new support for “arming teachers” and the like, perhaps he’ll gain ground. Perhaps.

Lawmakers make finger-gun hand gestures as Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro signs a second decree that eases gun restrictions, at Planalto presidential palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Tuesday, May 7, 2019. The decree opens Brazil’s market to guns and ammunition made outside of Brazil according to a summary of the decree. Gun owners can now buy between 1,000 -5,000 rounds of ammunition per year depending on their license, up from 50 rounds. Lower-ranking military members can now carry guns after 10 years of service. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

Brazilian Senate Balks at Gun Liberalization

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has made it a key point of his campaign to loosen Brazil’s gun laws. Brazil suffers from extremely high murder rates, many involving makeshift firearms.

Bolsonaro sees this problem in a way many Americans would be sensitive to: when people are at risk, they ought to have a mechanism to defend themselves. So he issued a decree to loosen the laws. But this week, a Senate committee rejected it. It’s heading for a full Senate vote, and a vote in the lower house. If either upholds the decree, it will stand.

Nevada governor steve sisolak gun control

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (AP Photo/Ryan Tarinelli)

Nevada Gun Omnibus At the Governor’s Desk

Nevada Assembly Bill 291, which bans bump stock at the state level, regulates the blood alcohol content of concealed carriers, and more, is at the desk of Governor Steve Sisolak. It was not signed yet at the time of this writing, but sources expect the Governor to sign it, despite attempts to encourage a veto.

 

comments

  1. avatar Geoff “Guns. Lots of guns.” PR says:

    “…including requiring a permanent waiver of their HIPAA rights before buying a handgun or semi-automatic rifle.”

    Is this ripe for attack on constitutional grounds?

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      I don’t know but I find it interesting that the same folks who argue that you cannot sign away your right to sue with a liability waiver now demand basically the same thing for another right and demand that you sign away those rights in perpetuity for your conditional ability to exercise another right, the latter actually being written into the Constitution in plain English.

      1. avatar Geoff “Guns. Lots of guns.” PR says:

        The difference is, they don’t consider the 2A to be a legitimate right, as we do. That’s why it’s not hypocrisy, as far as they are concerned…

    2. avatar Victoria Illinois says:

      The HIPPA law never meant anything anyway. Your doctor’s office can’t give out your personal medical information BUT you sign a “release of information” on your insurance form. What does that mean? Everyone else will share your info: ins co, drug companies, prosthetic companies, labs, any employee who works at the ins co.

    3. avatar Jeremy says:

      What is on the new state transfer form is word for word what has been on the WA state pistol application form for years. Just now are people reading what they are signing.

  2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

    HA! As I opened this article, I was actually preparing to head over to the ATM to get some cash and swing by Walmart again for some more ammo. I have tons already that will last me years, but with July 1 approaching, we Californians only have a couple of weeks left before we’ll need to ask Poppa Newsom for permission.

    Pretty please? You trust me, right? Oh, and you want to get my driver license # and fingerprints, too, for the pleasure of granting me permission to buy bang-bang rounds for my gun?

    Oh hell, no. I will never bend the knee to Sacramento for a natural right.

  3. avatar Barn Animal says:

    And why weren’t y’all buying these a year ago? Two years ago?

    For the rest of America, now is the time to stock up. Don’t wait for the panic. Buy them now before 2021 comes along.

  4. avatar billrla says:

    A waiver of HIPPA rights? It’s the legislators who are crazy, and no one needs access to their medical records to know that.

  5. Authoritarianism Yo! Are We the People heading for a the slow boiled frog experiment. Before we realize our US Constitutional -Bill of Rights…Our very liberties and freedoms are in jeopardy because of the closet authoritarians and Tyrant fiends be elected to office! We should obviously realize none of this has anything to do with public safety!

  6. Why DON’T the people of Washington state force their legislators and Goverment representatives to surrender THEIR HIPPA rights why in office under public service! Thoese folks first, posted in every town square for ALL to see!

  7. avatar former water walker says:

    What mishmash of BS…unmentioned is a WIN in ILLinois. Told my son’s to only give me a Cabela’s gift card Father’s Day(more ammo!) No crappy lunch😏

    1. avatar B.D. says:

      Cabelas? Isn’t it like $20 per round in that store? Everything overpriced.

      1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

        It’s fun to hate on the overpriced stores, but I have come across deals on 300 Blackout and have found hard to find stuff there more often than my local stores.

  8. avatar Mark N. says:

    The GFSZA will be around for a while, I think. Yes, its major weakness is the 1000′ rule, because, as in the Illinois case, the law basically bans open carry in pretty much any urban area. But the fact is that a number of states have adopted the law (or a modified version of it) as state law, so it takes two cases to win one battle. Then of course there is California, where the hatred for all guns is so vehement that even the courts approve every law that is brought before them, and the Legislature pumps out numerous new ones ever year. In 2013 they banned open carry, a double whammy in terms of the GFSZA, since only licensed concealed carriers are exempt. It will take three battles to win one right. (In California, CCW is not a right, but a privilege, under a “may issue” regime, according to the Ninth Circuit. With the open carry ban, there is no “right” to carry a firearm off your own property in urban areas, and under a rather poorly reasoned opinion, no right to carry on any unfenced portion of your own property, typically front yards and driveways. Cases challenging portions of these laws are stayed pending the NYRPA carry case now pending in the the Supreme Court.)

  9. avatar Mark says:

    As a WA resident since 2002 things were pretty good here until Bob Ferguson was elected AG. Then in 2017 he unleashed his so called assault weapons ban. I saw the writing on the wall and started the task of buying a lifetime supply of AR15s, AR10s, AKs, pistols, etc. I knew it was a matter of time before things would get bad and here we are today. I have no desire to be on a rifle registry and thanks to my good sense to plan ahead, I don’t have to. I’ll never buy another pistol or rifle in WA again. I’m done. If the law gets repealed then I’ll buy again, but the risks are too high now. Being on a registry means they will come after you first and WA just gets more blue/Communist every year.

    1. avatar TOM COVILLE says:

      Your pistol purchases in WA have been registered for years, longer than you have lived here. When you bought a pistol or applied for a CPL you waived your HIPPA privacy. I1639 just added semi-auto rifles to that.

      1. avatar Mark says:

        Yes I know that. However, by not making anymore purchases after July 1st I will not be subject to the annual background checks going forward. Also, they are going to come after long guns before pistols because you know “Those evil black rifles.” I’ll be long gone by then. Also, there are far more pistol owners than AR15 owners so the former are currently more “socially acceptable.”

    2. avatar CRAIG A OSBORNE says:

      Yeah, Ferguson is a real piece of SH&*. So in love with himself …

  10. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    Build,build and build AR’s,heck with some of the fathers day sales going on at various suppliers, one can pick up Mil Spec AR lowers for 29.99 to 59.99 each.

    Purchase a six pack and when the urge or need arises for a AR be it pistol,hunting rifle,PDW,plinker,what have you,Build it to your liking,even if one doesn’t reside in Washington state.

  11. avatar conrad says:

    The happiness begins the 1st Of July this year. Get out there and empty the shelves. I did, and I enjoyed walking out with my purchases. I’ll not be waiting 14 days for anything, because now I don’t need anything.
    Snap up those old Smith revolvers, the semi auto pistols, the handgun ammo carbines, the AK’s, Saiga 12 shotguns, and every other auto shotgun you can afford.
    Spend all the dough you can, then some; it kinda makes a man feel a little more free.

    Restore William R. King County.
    Remove the Sexoholics, Pedophiles, and Communists.

    1. avatar Mark says:

      Revolvers and shotguns of any kind are not subject to I-1639 so you just wasted money on those when you could have been buying more semi auto pistols and rifles. Duh. It pays to know the laws. Smart people were buying up semi auto rifles/pistols. Dumb people were buying up revolvers and shotguns. Just sayin.

      1. avatar conrad says:

        A gun buying frenzy here would be a good thing Mark. Selling off some nice old stuff helps pay for the new stuff. You haven’t read of PT Barnum’s tactics?

  12. avatar No One Special says:

    Regrettably, the lower court asserted (and the Trump administration agreed) that the Second Amendment does not protect firearm “accessories.” That’s dumb. For a lot of reasons.

    This is a full blown crock of shit since by the governments very own design suppressors are serialized, treated, and sold just like any firearm but with a $200 extra tax and more government red tape. Clearly we elect idiots that don’t realize they can’t have it both ways. If suppressors are accessories than why aren’t they readily available like scopes or bipod? I should be able to go to any sporting goods store and pick one off the shelf, pay and walk out with it.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      blame hollywood…not the europeans…..perception is the reality…..

    2. avatar barnbwt says:

      It’s all part of the plan; Trump banned bump stocks so SCOTUS would rule to protect gun accessories, you know…oh, wait.

      1. avatar No One Special says:

        To expound on the assertion that this is dumb for a lot reasons. Are sights not an accessory? They are not needed for a firearm to go bang, they just make a firearm more usable. How about scopes and mounting options, are those not accessories as well? Granted they make a rifle with no sights a lot more useful but are not needed for it to go bang. This literally sounds as stupid as full semiautomatic with a 30 round clip-a-zine that can fire 100 rounds in 2 seconds, or whatever that idiot from California said. JEEZLUS! The really sad thing is all the idiots that are against guns don’t know a damn thing about them. The next thing they will say is the 2A only protects the serialized part only and everything else is government discretion.

  13. avatar Kyle says:

    The more the left squeezes gun owners, the more gun owners see the state for what it is becoming.

  14. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    Aren’t HIPAA federal? I didn’t know a state could override that by requiring they be renounced. Don’t any of the jackass politicians in this country understand a dictionary? Shal, not, and infringe have actual meanings. I guess to anybody but a legal positivistic Democrat. If they make up laws that actually violate morality they can make up their own definitions for words. Check the definition of the term “legal positivism”.

  15. avatar Darkman says:

    Sorta gettin the impression that the time for buying while always important. May need to be replaced with the time for using. Keep wondering how much farther the people in these states will allow themselves to be frog marched into Tyranny. Keep Your Powder Dry.

    1. avatar No One Special says:

      Frog in a cold pot syndrome.

      1. avatar Darkman says:

        Wrong syndrome…These frogs know exactly what is happening to them. They’ve become fat and lazy and forgot how to hop. Comfortably waiting for someone else to save them. Except even these frogs know it won’t happen. Comfort and Complacency are the number 1 killers of Freedom. Keep Your Powder Dry.

  16. avatar Kroglikepie says:

    Sisolak does not have to sign AB291 for it to become law. Today is the last day to veto it or it becomes law automatically. He will likely do nothing so he can claim he didn’t sign it, but that fat bastard still let it happen. The next step is to the courts🤷‍♂️

  17. avatar Ops says:

    theres no hipaa waiver, what a load of bullshit you been sucking.

  18. avatar Ing says:

    Fuck Washington state. Fuck California dry. And when is Possum going to finish that neutron bomb so we can drop it on all the snakes and spiders in Washington DC?

    1. avatar Geoff “Guns. Lots of guns.” PR says:

      Well, Possum? 😉

  19. avatar Chier says:

    Re: Nevada blood alcohol limits for CC. Why not alcohol/drug tests on every state representative at the end of every work day. Those that fail have their votes cancelled for that day.

  20. avatar Anymouse says:

    Kansas legalization is like the legalization of marijuana. State and lower entities won’t do anything about it, but there are still federal laws that will be enforced if you encounter federal agents. Get Wickard overturned so that only items that actually cross state lines are regulated as interstate commerce, and freedom in states will blossom.

    1. avatar User1 says:

      The interstate commerce clause isn’t about government controlling products, property and services. It’s about making sure governments can’t control those things. For example, it’s supposed to stop NY state from boycotting a red state into passing gun control. It makes sure states can’t fight amongst each other economically, as that would be counter to the concept of a group of states united as one country.

      The whole point of the United States is to make one large country where you don’t need a passport to travel, permissions slips to exercise your human rights, economic agreements to do business with different states, etc.

  21. avatar User1 says:

    The NRA is upset that the anti 2nd Amendment Nevada government signed gun confiscation powers and a bump fire stock ban into law. They are the ones that called for these infringements before they pretended to fight them and be upset that it passed.

    So with the help of Trump and the NRA red states pass more control… Now there’s about 17 states that have gun confiscation without due process of law. Under Trump’s leadership there are a bunch of states moving towards banning semi auto firearms because their rate of fire is to dangerous for civilians (that don’t work for the government) to own. Maybe silencer/suppressors will be next on their agenda seeing that the supreme court doesn’t want to hear cases regarding them.

    All your red state fantasies seem to be crashing down one by one. The State keeps marching on [taking your rights] and assuming more power. The good ol’ socialist police state won’t stop, can’t stop.

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