Growling Grizzly Bear
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This is TTAG’s weekly roundup of legal and legislative news affecting guns, the gun business and gun owners’ rights. For a deeper dive into the topics discussed here, check out this week in gun rights at FPC

Growling Grizzly Bear

Don’t Poke the Bear. Or Shoot it With a Paintball Gun. Really.

Despite being from a place called Rifle, Colorado; the U.S. Secretary of the Interior has advised America’s outdoorsmen to use non-lethal, nuisance-based tools to shoo off pesky grizzly bears.

I’m not joking. Secretary David Bernhardt confirmed the new U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service guidance which recommends using “paintballs, noise-making projectiles, and visual deterrents” against bears. The Service also suggests using stones or marbles by way of a slingshot, as though it were a big furry Goliath.

I’m no wildlife expert, but let’s consider the ballistics here. At about 300 feet per second (the usual maximum FPS for a paintball marker), a paintball’s impact energy is about 12.5 Joules. Compare that to your typical 10 millimeter round, which would hit our furry friend with 960 Joules’ worth of energy. The problem is that if you poke the bear and don’t spook it, all you’ve got left is a very pissed off bear.

SWAT team truck armored vehicle

21-Year-Old Killed, Girlfriend Wounded During Gun Confiscation Raid

At about 4:00 AM on Thursday morning, Montgomery County police were serving a “high risk” search warrant on Duncan Lemp, a 21-year-old Potomac, Maryland man, that ended in the police shooting and killing him.

That’s about all that’s clear right now, as the police said in a statement that Lemp “confronted” officers before being shot, while the Lemp family lawyer and eyewitnesses give a slightly different story, saying Lemp was asleep in bed with his girlfriend when police fired into his room, killing him and injuring his girlfriend.

We are working diligently to get more information on this matter. The situation is still developing, but it seems clear that weapons possession was at the heart of the matter. The police were responding to a “complaint from the public that Lemp, though prohibited, was in possession of firearms.”

There is, as of the time of this writing, no indication of any danger that was posed to officers. The simple possession of firearms was enough for these policemen to cut short a young life. And for what? To post pictures of his seized Tavor on their website?

Hornady Critical Duty Roosevelt Twyne
Courtesy Hornady

Charges Dropped Against NJ Brinks Security Guard

Last week we talked about the armed security guard in New Jersey who was wrongfully arrested for having “hollow nose” ammunition in his carry gun. I’m happy to report that this week, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office dismissed the charges against him.

Still, that does little to resolve the fact he was suspended from his job ever since the charge. While I’m happy to see the charges dropped, I hope this serves as a wake-up call that arbitrary and irrational laws will be enforced against ordinary people.

Joe Biden Gun Pose
(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Dude, Where’s My AR-14? And Other Malarkey From Creepy Uncle Joe

Picture this: a heated exchange happens on the factory floor after a worker starts asking questions about his rights. No, it wasn’t the prelude to a union strike – it was a working-class guy asking presidential candidate Joe Biden why he doesn’t respect his right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Biden, being a man of undeniable class, responded by telling him that he was “full of shit” and saying that he didn’t see why anybody needs an “AR-14” or “100 clip round magazine” (or something). Not only did he insult the man, but Biden also appeared to challenge the man to a fight. All of this because the man asked a question about his civil rights.

Joe has always been kind of trash when it comes to the Second Amendment, and he’s definitely not much of a criminal defense attorney. In 2013 he advised his wife Jill not to buy an AR-15 but to buy a shotgun instead, and if there was trouble, walk out onto the balcony and start shooting. Joe also implied that it was legally permissible to shoot someone through a closed front door. For the record, in Delaware and basically all 49 other states that would be, to put it plainly, illegal as hell.

During the exchange, Biden claimed NOT to be against the Second Amendment, but that arms such as the venerable AR-14, and machineguns, were illegal. Because clearly, if you imagine a law, the text of the Constitution is irrelevant. The fact is, of course, neither ARs nor machineguns are illegal. The whole concept is as fanciful as the AR-14 itself. Well, at least it was fanciful before this week. Now it’s a thing, and the worker himself was awarded one.

Some might think Joe is simply a moonbat disguised as a moderate. Or maybe he’s just lost a few marbles over the years (presumably shooting them at grizzly bears, or something).

Andrew Cuomo
(AP Photo/Mike Groll)

NFL Player’s Unreasonable Arrest Draws Attention to Insane New York Gun Laws

Remember when we told you about travelers being arrested at airports for transporting their firearms? It’s happened again, but this time to New York Jets defensive end Quinnen Williams. When Williams arrived at La Guardia Airport last Thursday, he was arrested for possessing an “unlicensed handgun” in a checked bag at the Delta Airlines counter.

Although the gun was lawfully owned in his origin state (Alabama), Williams didn’t have a license to possess it in New York. Is this law ridiculous? Absolutely. It’s basically impossible for most people to lawfully have a firearm in New York City, despite it being difficulty or impossible to avoid visiting New York while traveling in the eastern part of the country.

Fortunately for Williams, the firearm wasn’t loaded because in New York, possession of an unlicensed, loaded firearm carries a three and a half year minimum sentence. Hopefully something good can come of this unnecessary arrest…public awareness of how New York and several other states infringe on the ability of private individuals to freely travel while bearing arms.


Matthew Larosiere is the Director of Legal Policy at the Firearms Policy Coalition.

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  1. A mine I worked at in coastal Alaska has done that since the mid 80s and has never had to kill a bear. Hazing them and keeping them from food rewards works.

    • Piss poor example.
      This is a bear coming into YOUR area.
      Most bear encounters that result in attacks are when the human goes into the BEARS area.
      If the bear is a female with cubs, in THEIR area, shooting paintballs would have the same effect as slathering yourself with beef gravy.

      • I had a close encounter with a black bear (one of many). This time I had a 12 ga. shotgun with a round of rubber buckshot (for crowd control) in the chamber. I shot the bear in the side from about 20 feet away expecting it would run off, but the bear just stood there staring at me. Fortunately for me, after a tense standoff the bear calmly wandered away. Lesson learned, pissing off a big carnivore is no way to win a fight.

        • A strongly worded letter is also effective if you read it to the bear in a commanding voice. If that doesn’t work, crumple it up and throw it at the bear. Should be every bit as effective as a paint ball.

        • Forget the paintball, that would require me to carry 2 guns. My plan (if I ever live in such an area) would be to talk sternly and loudly to the Grizzly, including in the conversation the specific characteristics of the .375 H&H Magnum I had pointed at it, to include muzzle velocity and lbs/ft of energy. That way, I feel all my bases would be covered.

        • This is my fear. About two years ago, I was hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains with my 75+ year old father, near Hump Back Rock. A group of agitated hikers came down the trail warning that they had encountered a large black bear. Perhaps the thin air played a role in my perception, but I thought them silly for their reaction and kept ascending. Soon, I would be standing within spitting distance of said large black bear. He wandered off and I continued up the mountain, somewhat humbled.

          A few days later a story emerged about a black bear chasing down and killing a dog or two. Other details trickled out, like that the park rangers were shooting the black bears with rubber bullets when they were found near dumpsters. Black bears have the best PR agents in the business. If you’ve ever seen one run, you realize that they are as capable of ruining your day as any grizzly. If you’ve ever seen one climb a tree, you are probably holding a .50 cal as you sleep.

    • Yeah, sure.

      Have you ever actually SEEN a hungry, angry Grizzly or other large predator in the Wilde?

      I agree that avoiding or frightening the Bear is a good first effort, but even 20 feet away a predator the size of an Alaskan Grizzly can close distance mighty fast.

      A shotgun with Buckshot or Sabots, or Buckshot and Sabots alternating are the best medicine. Here a ‘camp’ shotgun like the Tac-14 or Tac-13 can be VERY comforting.

    • I recall a wildlife show MANY years ago that had some then-famous TV star that I do not recall on a bear hunt in Alaska. With a bow and arrow.

      They found a bear near a river (surprise) and he stalked to within range , then stood, aimed and let loose that arrow.

      The cameraman pulled back on the shot and there was the star’s guide, about 10 feet behind him and off to the right a bit, big bolt action rifle to his shoulder and aimed at the bear.

      Shooting from inside a sturdy shelter or as in the hunt noted above is the ONLY way I would provoke a Grizz with a paintball gun.

  2. bear walks into bar.
    barkeep, “what can i get you?”
    bear, “i need some water and would like a pint of beer. also, (looks around slowly)… a shot of whiskey.”
    barkeep, “no problem. but what’s with the big pause?”
    bear, looking down, “that’s just the way i am.”

  3. Don”t be foolish know what the laws are in each state you visit , travel through , when concealed carry of a fire arm , includes knifes , brass knuckles , try in follow the laws , all best one can do .

    • Good advice. And while I have very little sympathy for someone who doesn’t follow it (especially NFL players), this bit from the linked article really opened my eyes as to how fucked up New York gun laws really are:

      “Though Williams’ Glock 19 pistol was not loaded, he had ammunition on him, according to a Port Authority Police spokesperson. So under New York state law, Williams could be charged with carrying a loaded handgun, even though it wasn’t technically loaded.

      And here’s why that matters: Possession of a loaded handgun in New York carries a minimum sentence of 3.5 years in state prison.”

    • Also this: “According to New York state law, possessing a non-permitted, loaded handgun — even with no ammo inside the gun — could be considered second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. It’s a Class C felony.”

      Uhhhh, whut? If there’s no ammo inside the gun, then what kind of moron can possibly say that it’s LOADED???

  4. BTW, paintball guns actually do make for good shootin’ against coyotes and raccoons in suburban neighborhoods. No risk to the shooter of being hassled by the po-po, the critters are scared enough to send them away (hopefully permanently), and the bright orange paint on their fur makes them visible as being “marked”.

  5. Regarding the guy shot in his house, when do we find out who swatted him? I wonder if that person is pleased with the result.

  6. The bear story is total B S, it might work on occasion, but don’t bet your life on it. I know for a fact about grizzlies in the boonies, my place in the foothills of the Rockies just below Canada is crawling with every big game animal in the U S, be very afraid of the griz, I will Amit that there is one animal that will attack anything at anytime, worse than the griz & that is the Moose, no joke…

    • Mooses are not to be trifled with. Grizzlies look scary, but bears are usually pretty chill. Moose are grumpy mf’ers, and they’re bigger than everybody else, and they know it.

      Also, Red Flag laws claim another victim. But never mind who gets killed or how many, because if it only saves one life…

      • Moose bites can be nasty, as Monty Python and the Holy Grail noted:

        “Wi not trei a holiday in Sweeden this yer ?
        See the loveli lakes
        The wonderful telephone system
        And mani interesting furry animals
        Including the majestic moose

        A moose once bit my sister…

        No realli! She was Karving her initials on the moose with the sharpened end
        of an interspace toothbrush given her by Svenge – her brother-in-law – an
        dentist and star of many Norwegian movies: “The Hot Hands of an Oslo
        “Fillings of Passion”, “The Huge Molars of Horst Nordfink”…

        Mynd you, moose bites Kan be pretti nasti…”

        -Monty Python and the Holy Grail

  7. This idiot needs to take a tip from his title, “U.S. Secretary of the INTERIOR”.
    STAY INSIDE if this is how you plan on handling a bear attack moron!

  8. The bear thing…yeah, I’m not willing to bet my life on that working, plus having done a bit of paintballing in the past, a decent marker is rather bulky, not something you want to tote with you on a hike or whatnot.
    I’m all for not directly going for the kill shot (yell and shoot the ground first or something) but I need the option if it doesn’t get the message. And quickly.

    And as for Duncan Lemp, what a bullshit situation. “Prohibited person?” Every other report is that he and his entire family had ZERO criminal history. And they’re still just going with the “high-risk search warrant related to firearms offenses.” What offences? Just having them? With zero criminal history? A red flag/ERPO warrant? What the actual fuck? If he was in the wrong, why aren’t they telling us how? What warranted the warrant? What action did he take that caused him and his girlfriend to get shot from OUTSIDE?

    This thing reeks worse than a bait bucket left in the July sun for a week.

    • Why the 4am “raid” to enforce a judges order?
      If this citizen was not a known gang banger of drug cartel member, it should have been handled with a knock on the door, explanation and service of the order, removal of firearms by LEOs. All done at a time where homeowner are EXPECTED to be awake.

        • I forgot about that.
          During the Obama admin, all municipalities that received free military hardware HAD to use it at least one time within 12 month of receiving the gear, or return it to the Fed Gubment.
          Thanks Obama.

    • As far As a bear deterrent, I’d yell first then try one of those 12 gauge Dragon’s Breath rounds, immediately clambering a 3inch magnum slug if the bear is not impressed… Of course sneaking away is the best option if you have it….

  9. Creepy Joe B will eventually threaten to beat up the wrong citizen, get grabbed by the back of his collar, dragged outside, and receive the LONG overdue thumping he truly deserves.
    Oh, that right, the 24/7 security team keeps him taking smack with NO chance of getting change made of his 2 bit ass.
    Your tax dollars at work, keeping a loudmouth bully safe.
    Joe wanting to take your guns should stop the funding of his security detail with taxpayer dollars. Tax funds should NOT go toward advancing violations of the Constitution/BOR.

    • I think his complimentary security squad is from the Secret Service. It would also be my guess that he didn’t propose giving anyone a damn good thrashing before he had his Secret Service squad.

  10. Regarding bears, experienced hikers and hunters may ignore this advice. They should wear little bells so they don’t startle them into charging and carry pepper spray just in case. They also should be alert for bear scat and be able to recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly scat. Black bear droppings are smaller and often contain berries, leaves, and bits of fur. Grizzly bear droppings contain small bells and smell like pepper.

    • Hahahaha. It also contains buttons, zippers, backpack straps, and chunks of hiking shoe soles too.
      That CS bear spray usually just makes the human taste spicy.

  11. So called experts on bear behavior telling you to use a paintball gun. Really? In southeast Alaska where I spent 16 years, I had many bear encounters, black bear, brown bears. A paint ball gun is really bad advice from the so called experts. I always carried a large caliber revolver and most bears I met on trails actually ran away. The others that stood their ground, well I he slowly backed away.. Never had to shoot one in self defense, but why not be ready. What always amazed me is how quiet a large bear can move through the forest.

    • An Army buddy from the Anchorage area once told me how they dealt with bear or moose ranging through their family golf course while playing through. The solution wasn’t provoking the bear or surprising it.
      If you weren’t armed with anything less than .44Mag, a high-powered rifle or slug gun, it was live and let live.
      The better part of common sense is discretion when dealing with animals bigger than a golf cart.
      Sounds like the DC bureau-Rat never learned that lesson. A lot of people have skewed perceptions regarding wild carnivores because they watch Disney movies pushing cute anthropomorphism.

  12. Last summer the rangers were chasing brown bears in Yosemite Valley with pepper balls.
    But I do keep a .50 handgun in my trailer because if something comes in Im protecting my family, no questions asked.

  13. In 1983 the USFS published research on how best to protect yourself if you were confronted by a bear in Alaska. The report can still be accessed online here: Their simple conclusion was that a 375 H&H class rifle was the best bet if you had to fight your way out. It is almost certain that the new recommendations for using bear spray, paintball toys etc are the work of soyboys and girls, greenies to whom a firearm even in the defense of human life is anathema. These would be the kind of idiots who led a candle light march for a mountain lion that killed a little boy in California, but wouldn’t turn up for the child’s memorial service.


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