This Week in Gun Rights is TTAG’s weekly roundup of legal, legislative and other news affecting guns, the gun business and gun owners’ rights.
The Chipman Hearings
ATF director nominee David Chipman’s hearings kicked off last week, and it was… well, an unmitigated disaster.
From stating outright that he thought ARs ought be included under National Firearms Act regulation, to being called out for his myriad insulting remarks against American gun owners, to his weird Dr. Pepper moment, to stating that the only people who’d benefit from unrestricted suppressors would be criminals, the hearings can’t be said to have gone well for old Chippy.
Remember, appointments like this wind up requiring only a simple majority on the Senate floor, where two Republicans and two Democrats say they are yet unsure as to their position on Chipman’s nomination. The Senate is split more or less down the middle, so Manchin’s vote here is likely to make or break the situation. Chipman’s performance was so poor, though, that his confirmation doesn’t seem incredibly likely, at least not to this observer.
I agree with Cam Edwards, who posited that, “this should be a moment of bipartisan agreement,” where people on both sides of the mainstream have reason to oppose Chipman’s nomination.
Chipman has an extremist, totalitarian view of law enforcement and a naked contempt for American gun owners and their Second Amendment rights. Executive agencies are supposed to be tasked with dutifully enforcing the law, not with militant expansionism and an over-active imagination with respect to new and interesting ways to lock Americans in cages.
It’s Nerf or Nothin’
A gentleman on twitter by the name of 00Meat posed a question: “I want a list of the consequences if every nerf gun would become an 80% receiver.” Then came the CAD.
In mere hours, the absolute madlad had designed a kind of bolt and barrel to be affixed to common Nerf toy guns. Why do such a thing? Well, to point out how absolutely clownshoes ATF’s new “Frame or Receiver” definition is.
With 00Meat’s design, should ATF’s new definition go through (which attempts to treat unfinished receivers the same as firearms), there’s a compelling case to be made that every Nerf gun in the country will then be an “unfinished receiver.” The design is evolving, and a group of eager individuals is standing behind 00Meat to help test and hash out the design.
Texas’s Suppressor Haven
The Texas Senate has passed HB957, and it’s headed to Governor Gregg Abbott for his signature. Many have likened this to Kansas’ ill-fated attempt to give the people of their state relief from the NFA’s aggressive overreach, but it’s a bit more nuanced.
Texas’ law doesn’t go so far into the supremacy problem, it merely recites a basic principle of the law surrounding the Constitution’s Commerce Clause: that the feds are without commerce jurisdiction over items without interstate character.
It’s really already the state of the law, but Texas’ HB957 incorporates some sanctuary logic as well, prohibiting state and local law enforcement from giving effect to suppressor prohibitions.
Now, it’s important to note that the law does nothing to protect residents from federal attempts to give force to suppressor restrictions. It couldn’t do that without posing supremacy issues.
It’s also important to remember that the Supreme Court has really screwed the proverbial pooch with respect to the Commerce Clause in a number of cases. Some newer members of the Court have expressed concerns with these prior decisions, but it remains to be seen whether, and on what side, the Supreme Court would weigh in on a case such as this.
Washington: No 2A When there’s 1A Afoot
Washington governor Inslee has signed SB5038, which prohibits the open carry of a firearm within 250 feet of a “permitted demonstration” in a public place. The law is pretty toothless, it seems, as it requires first that the individual be notified and asked to leave before criminal consequences attach. This may be designed to complicate legal challenges against the new bill, as factual situations involving enforcement would necessarily sound in trespass, leaving prosecutors an “easy out” to avoid the bill’s difficulties.
Mississippi Sheriff Providing Training to Elderly
In Claiborne County, gun safety and training classes are being offered to ensure the vulnerable can be armed and ready if needed. “I’m hanging [my target] on my back door so my children will know that I am very capable of popping a cap,” added a retired school administrator who took the class.
Man Shot Hours After Police Took his Gun
In Inkster, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, a man’s girlfriend was shot. When police came to investigate her death, they seized the firearm of her boyfriend to ensure it wasn’t the one used in the shooting. Hours later, the men who killed his girlfriend returned and shot him in the head.
White House Press Secretary: The US Has a Guns Problem, not a Crime Problem
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked whether we have a “crime problem,” given the blip in violent crime. She replied with “Well, I would say certainly there’s a guns problem,” before pivoting to bloviating about promises for gun control.
Reno May Demonetized
A great person and good channel seeking to help others navigate the contours of staying on the right side of the law in California was demonetized this week. YouTube is known for demonetizing channels heavy on firearms content, but Reno’s channel featured very little use of firearms. Most of his content centering around California compliance. That was apparently too much for YouTube’s censors to endure.