president trump tweets gun control baltimore sharpton
President Donald Trump (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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This is TTAG’s weekly roundup of legal and legislative news affecting guns, the gun business and gun owners’ rights. 

Trump’s Surprise Gun Legislation and Background Check Apps

I’ve always been a big fan of surprises. As a kid I’d cover my ears whenever my mom tried to give me “hints” as to Christmas presents. That’s why I’m super excited for the gun control package President Trump is “expected” to announce in the coming week. It’s gonna be a big surprise!

Kidding aside, the administration has given us little reason for optimism. It seems the majority of the buzz that’s emanated from the White House over the previous weeks has centered around domestic surveillance in one form or another. From his fascination with home assistants, to recent rumblings around a mobile background check app, the only tendency we can observe right now is towards moving government even closer to your life.

Another fascinating thing here is the fact that the legislature is, by all accounts, waiting for the president to hand down a lawmaking proposal. I’m not sure if you attended seventh grade civics, but that’s not how this is supposed to go.

That's not how any of this works

The phone app is a fascinating suggestion. There have been discussions about using blockchain technology to implement such a thing. This could be interesting, but it raises an issue: this appears to be about private transactions, which right now can only occur intrastate. This isn’t because of a gift from the federal government, but rather by constitutional design.

To grossly oversimplify a very live and perpetually litigated issue, the federal government lacks the power to touch purely intrastate transactions. So, at least according to my reading of the law, there is no present, constitutional way for a federal law to require the use of a background check app just for intrastate private sales.

If you’re smelling what I’m stepping in, you know where I’m going with this. There’s a flip side.

If the feds do implement this background check app system as a substitute for transfers via an FFL, it could open the door to interstate private transactions. That would be pretty neat, if you ask me. That said, I’m not sure carrying around a federally-created app on my phone is something I’d be willing to do to get that.

Gun Control is Popular, It’s in the Polls!

A host of polls have come out in the last week suggesting that the majority of Americans want “some form” of stricter gun control. That said, let’s not forget that polls are hot garbage laden with selection bias. FPC discussed the phenomenon where polls indicate a support for gun control, and then elections turn out the opposite way in a recent white paper on background check legislation.

Luckily, anti-gun fetishism wasn’t the only thing circulating in the press. As the call for stricter gun laws devolves into an omnipresent drone, it appears more are speaking out about the fundamentally stunted logic at the base of these calls. Will this show up in the polls? Who knows. Depends who paid the pollster.

145 ceos for gun control

A Bunch of Rich, Predominantly White A**holes Publish Convenient List of Companies to Boycott

A total of 145 CEOs have issued a letter to the Senate voicing their opinion on gun control, because nepotism apparently manufactures experts in public policy.

Acting in their capacity as a paternalistic check on US politics, the CEOs chide the Senate’s refusal to restrict the rights of all Americans in response to the demands of a handful of terrorists as “unacceptable.” The CEOs, who definitely have experience with the realities of life for the majority of the country — especially those of modest means — cannot grasp why some people would disagree with them.

They demand universal background checks and red flag laws, certainly because the CEOs have principled reasons to support such and not because those are the two proposals they heard about most recently on MSNBC.

Ted Cruz
Ted Cruz, R-Texas (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Daring to speak out of turn, Senator Ted Cruz posited that “This is about social signaling at the country club…I promise you the people signing this letter don’t know any of the details of background checks or red flags either.”

Cruz also pointed out interesting concerns about the whole reason CEOs exist…to serve the interest of their shareholders. “I don’t think it’s a positive thing to see big corporations shifting their focus from their customers and actually doing what they were created to do into trying to become political players on divisive social issues,” Cruz said.

Amazing. To suggest that these people actually do their job and not needlessly embroil their companies in divisive political issues.

Naturally the CEOs are beyond reproach, as clearly alienating more than half the country is a great way to protect the bottom line for your shareholders. You know. The literal one and only thing you’re supposed to do.

guns in safe
Dan Z for TTAG

San Diego Doesn’t Quite Understand What Guns are For

San Diego’s “safe storage” law just went into effect. Unlike most of these provisions, though, it covers absolutely everyone. Any gun that is “not in use” must be locked away. Which, if you think of a gun as a defensive tool (you know, the thing that it actually is), doesn’t make much sense.

A gun is useful the moment it becomes needed. Not the moment you’ve assembled it from three safety deposit boxes.

The San Diego law now puts itself squarely in contention with the Court’s core holding in Heller. Here’s hoping this dumb law gets struck down before it destroys too many lives. A concern that can’t be understated, given the fact that the City Attorney who proposed the law envisions it being enforced “by finding improperly stored guns in a home during a visit for another reason such as a domestic disturbance.” Because actually caring for the safety of those who call them clearly needed to be shifted down the priority list for investigating officers.

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  1. “…the federal government lacks the power to touch purely intrastate transactions.”

    The ATF also lacks the power to redefine machine guns to include bumpstocks and look where that got us.

    • Look up some of the weird decisions under the commerce clause at times. The original 1930’s decision was that the defendant couldn’t move crops around on his farm. Numerous decisions since then claiming they can stop movement of items inside a state.

      Governments will always claim to have power unless they want to hang someone out to dry.

      • Sate laws that said that the FFL laws do not apply to firearms produced in state and sold in state have been struck down as well under the commerce clause. So I wouldn’t put too much stake in the opinion stated in the article. That said, I would n’t sell a gun in interstate commerce without involving an FFL, if for no other reason than that the applicable federal law dictates that the transaction be processed according to the law of the buyer’s state of residence. I assume an in-state FFL would be far more likely to know that state’s laws than an out of state seller’s, and personally, I’d rather not mess with the fed, much less sell any gun in a noncash transaction to someone I KNOW is about to leave the state.

        • Why not? Have you foolishly allowed your firearms to be registered to you? No one can legally have a clue what firearms I own, nor when and how and to whom I might have sold or given them. Thus, any UBC would be completely unenforceable on me, since an unreported transaction would also be unsuspected. The converse is *precisely* the sort of incrementalism which Fauxcahontas spoke of recently, taking away our rights one tiny bite at a time.

  2. Well, I guess we’ll soon find out whether Trump wants to lose or win in 2020.

    My vote doesn’t matter anyway, given the state I live in, but to the extent that it matters to me, if Trump goes for more gun control, he’s dead to me. I’m sure I’m far from the only one.

    It could be a brilliant idea that actually helps preserve our Constitutional rights, but I don’t have high hopes. Finding the worst of both worlds (“fixing” a problem by making it much worse) is simply what our government does these days.

    • Every once in a while, Trump does something that makes me consider filling in that bubble. Something like put Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court. Then he goes and bans bump stocks or goes around talking about “take the guns first, then due process,” and it’s a blank spot at the top of the ticket again.


        • You might get kicked in the teeth by Trump.

          You *will* get kicked in the teeth and the balls by any Democrat candidate.

          I’ll take maybe over you bet your sweet ass any day…

        • True.

          For me in 2016 both candidates were equally awfully, full on disaster, so disgusting and vile I couldn’t hold my revulsion voting for either. Many year’s ago I lived outside NYC and was very much aware of the sort of person a young Trump was. The idea that so slimely stealing low down thieving piece of shit self inflated egotistical scumbag could hold the highest office of the land was a horror to me. Can’t say he’s improved any either.

          I’ll not bore anyone with my thoughts of Shrillery Clinton. Just, well, it ain’t a pretty picture, her in the White House.

          So I went with a Republican write-in. Why not? State polls were clear on it, all electoral votes would go to Trump, it was in the bag for a bad outcome no matter how I looked at it.

    • Well maybe he will do it after he wins. Thats kind of my problem with term limits. It disincentivises politicians even worse.

    • I still have lots of hopes. All his talk of background checks could end up with a demand that the ability to initiate a check be free for anyone, not requiring an FFL, paid for from welfare funds, and see the Dems pee themselves trying to figure why not. And I have LONG been in favor of prosecuting every NICS refusal, although Dems don’t want people to find out how few are justified, so will fight that to the death. I’ll see what he comes up with before I judge. I am pretty sure the bump stock ban is unconstitutional on several grounds, we’ll see if it is still alive come election day 2020, prior to me going all crazy on principle (since I would not own one).

      • “All his talk of background checks could end up with a demand that the ability to initiate a check be free for anyone, not requiring an FFL, paid for from welfare funds, and see the Dems pee themselves trying to figure why not.”

        I really hope that happens. It would be awesome. Not going to expect anything but the worst, though (being a pessimist means I’m rarely disappointed by anything the government does).

  3. That AH Commie President doesn’t know what the hell he wants. Griiiiiiiiiiipes.
    It’s always “somebody, everybody, anybody, they. He never knows who or what the hell he’s talking about. Says one thing today, backs off the next day. Who, what where, huh???? I never said that. What, where, who, huh????? That’s Trump.

    • And yet he’s still head and shoulders above the rest. bernie, we all learned not to get berned when we were toddlers. creepy old joe sniffing around the kameltoe.

      The dems are going to have to burn their party down and start from scratch after 2020.

    • He’s not a Commie. He’s the worst ever and first Extreme Narcissist President. Everything on or off the planet, every event, every news story, every utterance of every person that makes the news cycle is somehow about him personally. Every opportunity to speak is an opportunity to remark upon his own greatness no how much the moment is about someone else or some important event or memorial. He is no friend to anyone, holds no attachment to any cause or issue or moral code other than his own sense of heroic, infallible self image.

      Greedy, amoral, woman-hating, double-dirty dealing on contracts, using his office to his own profit, incompetent in all questions of domestic or foreign policy, living off his father’s fortune and lying about it for years, lost a billion dollars of other people’s money, the list goes on and on.

      Oh, and he’s not a gun guy or a champion of the Second Amendment. He’s a con man that duped the NRA into tens of millions of dollars in campaign support.

      The man will burn his supporters the instant he thinks he will personally do better by doing so. Remember, he was a Democrat for years, including supporting the Clintons.

      Some of us were saying all this back before he became the Republican nominee.

      • You all still don’t get it.. #fatdonnie is the greatest Democrat of all time! The judges really don’t matter, the next Democrat president will even it out again.
        The orange orangutan has succeeded in destroying the Republican party for years to come, all in three years! He has fallen on his little gold plated letter opener to lead the all the closet fascists in government out into the open, where the stench of his excrement on their noses will envelope them forever.

        • What next democrat president? The dems have driven themselves to destruction by allowing the looney left circus to take over their train.

          If the ‘squad’ and bernie are the future of the dems then they have no future.

    • Oh, yes, and now Dem congressional leaders say it has to be their bill, exactly, or they won’t allow any bill. That’s their definition of “bipartisan compromise”. That should take care of that, find another reason to bitch at Orange Superhero.

  4. Technically a gun is in use if you have it ready , holstered and within reach. Not if it’s in a closet at home while you are at work.

    Safe storage laws are kind of dumb. But they can’t, under heller , keep you from having a gun ready to deploy defensively at home.

    • True, there are so many pistol lock box options out there with different ways to fast access, I.e. biometric, buttons (digital code or simplex), key. For example the Sentry quick access biometric safe also has keypad and key bypass.

      • See how good you can work any lock system when someone kicks your door in. I’ve seen trained people forget how to hold a weapon correctly under duress.

      • I feel most comfortable with the “mantle”. It’s a special version of safe storage which supports my loaded and locked 1911 and a spare mag, at a lovely height and presentation for quick access. And none of your business.

    • The author “egregiously” errs in suggesting that San Diego’s (stupid) safe storage law contravenes Heller. The Ninth Circuit, in a case involving San Francisco’s safe storage law, concluded otherwise. SCOTUS declined review, even though the law went as close to the Heller prohibition as it could get–a direct “poke in the eye” to the Court. Since then, a few burbs and LA have enacted similar laws.

      The odds of the Ninth upholding this new law is essentially 100% probable. The one thing these laws do is that they allow you to be armed when you are in the home, and they serve a subsidiary purpose of keeping guns away from youngsters who shouldn’t be playing with them. Of course, there are plenty of single people or childless couples for whom the latter is of no relevance what so ever. California was trying to pass a state-wide bill to the same effect, but I don’t know right off its status. I suppose I should since I have guns just laying around acting bored.

    • hell I would sleep with the thing on me to keep it in use can,t be no worse than sleeping with a sleep apnea mask on all night

  5. How convenient, to find Nextdoor is one of the antigun groups. Our neighborhood association is having a meeting right now and since it was just before the meeting I browsed TTAG.
    And a little while ago shut down the person who came to our meeting to talk about how Nextdoor enables neighborhoods to connect and keep current and on and on.
    So I ask ones I know are gun friendly did they really want to support a group that is antigun. And was showing the folks around me the fact that Sarah Friar, CEO, Nextdoor wants to take their guns. And is yet another group who wants to give you free stuff in exchange for all the information they can scrape off of you.

    To which the lady says do not believe everything on the internet. So I ask do you believe articles on Forbes website? When she said yes I asked if she would like to read the article that was posted on Forbes titled “145 Business Leaders Urge Congress To Enact Gun Control Legislation In Joint Letter”

    We are in the cookies and coffee part of the meeting to I’ll finish this post…

    What fun I will be having telling Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd to cram it, we are going to have our family get together on another cruise line. And I wonder why Project Appleseed uses Eventbrite when it is working against them. After I get home I’ll have lots of fun figuring out who and what I will not do business with anymore.

    And will write Project Appleseed asking them why they would want to use Eventbrite

    • When it comes to the anti-2a companies, it has been pick-and-choose. I don’t buy at Dicks, but I use AmazonSmiles to donate do my Gun Rights Org of my choice, and they still sell gun acessories. Nextdoor works for my neighborhood, which I learned has a lot of verbal 2A folks constantly shutting down the Antis trying to share their feelings.

    • Thanks for the info on Nextdoor. I got a letter last week from some neighbor, pushing the positives of joining Nextdoor. Saying it’s “a friendly neighborhood on-line exchange of info group”. No thanks. I know my (close by) neighbors and we exchange info face to face the old fashioned way.

      • got the nexdo email invite from some neighbor i’d never heard of. attempted to sign up with phony everything but it kicked back. screw it, i’m not giving them my shtuff.
        a few weeks later i got my first mailing to the old screwball email, using the silly name i had created.
        it appears quite useless. i won’t be surprised if it’s pernicious as well. eh, la.

      • Haven’t yet seen Trump come out for it, but Schumer and Pelosi have demanded UBC, which requires a registry to be at all meaningful. Think, if there is no record of who owns what gun, how do you determine whether a background check was done to transfer it, or even *know* if it was transferred? Another point, UBC will make no discernible difference, just as the original background checks did not, the entire reason for the left screeching about UBC for 10-15 years now is that it will finally give them a national registry. Which, just BTW, will ALSO accomplish absolutely nothing, except to make the left think it is finally possible to begin door-to-door confiscation. *Incrementalism!* They’ve been working this game since at least 1986, folks! And a registry has been the goal since day one, the ONLY goal.

        • A couple of points:

          The precipitous drop in violent crime coincides very closely with the Clinton-era crime bill and the implementation of NICS background checks. Correlation is not causation, and I still personally hate them, but what if BG checks really do help?

          UBCs could easily be implemented in a way that doesn’t track guns.

          As in, you could do it digitally and get a receipt that says you and person X verified to each other that you’re not criminals on Date Y. Even if you have to check the “firearm transfer” box, nobody knows what was actually transferred (or even *if* anything was transferred). Keep the receipt, and you’re covered.

          For sales & trades outside gun shows and dealers, it would have to rely on people’s willingness to follow the law — on the honor system, more or less — but it would be a hell of a lot better than now, where honest citizens have absolutely NO way to legally verify that they’re not unwittingly transacting with a criminal.

          The longer the gun control charade goes without anyone turning this into a serious proposal, the more I’m convinced that this is a problem *neither* side wants to fix.

        • Also, the wave of relative peace that began in the mid-90s coincides quite neatly with the Boomers hitting middle age and Gen-Xers (hey, that’s me!) hitting the job market and starting families.

          Draw your own conclusions.

  6. The gun I carry for my personal protection is in active use while simultaneously being safe;y stored in my holster. So that meets both tests

    The guns I conceal near at hand in my home for home protection are in use and protected from abuse by me, actively.

    The guns I do not carry for my personal protection are safely stored in locked gun cabinets in a locked closet.

    All far, far, far away from San Diego.

  7. Am I the only person who has never heard of like 96% of those companies? It looks like half of them are just two words smashed together. Seriously Hipdot, neighborland, Nowthis, Offerup, Metaprop, etc. Are they just making this stuff up? Well i can do the same thing. The Founder and CEO IN Dave of F@$koff says “who cares what those a$$clowns think”

    • Most are “under 500” enterprises. Leftist prog orgs. The prog news release tries to play that all are huge “corporations:/

  8. “This is about social signaling at the country club…I promise you the people signing this letter don’t know any of the details of background checks or red flags either.”

    Judging by the list of names the Synagogue is as likely as the country club.

    • Ah yes, it must be the Jews. Glad that our resident anti-semite decided to offer some wisdom today. Go away please.

  9. “A Bunch of Rich, Predominantly White A**holes Publish Convenient List of Companies to Boycott”

    For that I thank them as I’ll go out of my way not to do business with Anti Constitutional companies,Eff them and their products.

    “Trump’s Surprise Gun Legislation and Background Check Apps”

    No and No Effin way !

  10. It’s a shame people who work for those companies to put food on their table are seen as being in agreement with the CEO no matter what.
    Wht happens if management finds out you disagree with The Big Boss on gun confiscation?
    My first reaction was to add these to my own red flag ban list of firms I don’t shop but maybe that’s an overreaction. Or maybe not.
    I didn t realize starting some internet company made a rich guy’s opinion on guns so important in the first place.

    Prick’s is still on the personal ban list, I like cabelas a lot.

  11. Thank you for your note on the background checks on private sales. Unfortunately, the reality is much worse on the legal side. Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.
    Under the interstate commerce clause, Congress can regulate “chattels” or things that move in interstate commerce. This is how guns are regulated now, and how certain individuals-such as convicted felons-are prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition under 18 USC 922(g). The statue requires the Government to prove that the firearm travelled in interstate commerce. This is called the “interstate nexus.” Typically the interstate nexus is established with an ATF trace. For example, a firearm that was manufactured in Connecticut and recovered in Florida would have moved in interstate commerce. Any legislation requiring background checks for private transfers would be drafted in a similar way. The statute would apply to any firearm that had ever moved in interstate commerce. The only firearms that the statute would not apply to would be firearms that never left the state of their manufacture at any time. A relatively small number of firearms. The takeaway point is that Congress can pass a law requiring the vast majority of private firearm transfers to be subject to a background check.

    • Unfortunately, they won’t have any idea that I completely ignored their orders. There is no possible mechanism whereby they could know that I accepted the cash and handed over the gun. Therefore, I will not comply. BTW, “I will not comply” is the strongest statement any man can make.

      • Have fun in prison. And the cops will look forward to auctioning off your car and other assets as well. And forget ever getting another decent job once you become a “gun felon”

        Internet rectum gas is easy from a keyboard, but in real life it soon evaporates due to a subject known as “self-preservation”. In other words obey the law “or else” and everyone knows what “or else means”. Remember the poor man who tried selling a pack of cigarettes on the street that was executed by cop for doing so and he was unarmed. Think of what they would do to you. Instant execution for attempting to or succeeding in selling a gun without going through a background check. No cop is ever convicted of blowing away a firearms felon. Yes its criminal people like you that guarantee everyone else will lose all their gun rights when guns end up in the hands of crooks and lunatics.

        • Two things, Vladdie.

          One: You’re forgetting about the part where I have a gun and I’m willing to use it. I have no illusions about fighting the gov’t and winning…but I’ll vote with a bullet if I have to. And if you motivate a sufficient number of people like me’n Larry, then all bets are off.

          Two: You’re also forgetting about the part where BOTH sides of this conflict despise you. What makes you think the enlightened socialists whose farts you’re sniffing will only take my guns and leave yours alone? They’ll use you until they no longer need a Quisling, and then they’ll point their government’s guns at you and dump you in a ditch.

  12. I’ll never understand the mindset of people who apologize for Republicans; those who argue the Democrats are positively worse for constitutional rights.
    If you hire someone to perform a task and they underperform, then you reprimand them. Sending a clear message to Republicans that no concession is appropriate is the only real fix. If Trump flips on guns, away he goes.

    • Trouble is, it’s a binary choice. If you reprimand the underperforming employee — which in this case means kicking them out of the office — there *will* be a replacement. And that replacement will be even worse.

      It’s like trading an unproductive slacker for a real go-getter who actually hates the entire industry you’re in and is willing to destroy your business just to make a point. Lose-lose.

  13. “Another fascinating thing here is the fact that the legislature is, by all accounts, waiting for the president to hand down a lawmaking proposal. I’m not sure if you attended seventh grade civics, but that’s not how this is supposed to go.”

    A quick read of the Constitution doesn’t say the President can’t send a proposal to the House and Senate.

  14. Never Trust: Government, Banks, Corporations, “Religions”, CEOs, Inherited Wealth Rich People, “Leaders”, Hollywood, LGBTQFUKU, Activists, Community Organizers, Antifa, BLM, LaRaza, Jihadis, Leftists, RINOs, Liberals, Progressives, Commies, Socialists or anything that you know Instinctively to be Immoral, Wrong or Evil – put another way ALL of those listed are Satanic Demons. Read the Bible & Trust GOD. Pray for Peace & Prepare for WAR to KILL DEMONS. Peace

    • I know I shouldn’t. But sometimes you just have to.

      You say never trust religion and then finish your rant telling us to read our bibles.

  15. Quote—————-San Diego’s “safe storage” law just went into effect. Unlike most of these provisions, though, it covers absolutely everyone. Any gun that is “not in use” must be locked away. Which, if you think of a gun as a defensive tool (you know, the thing that it actually is), doesn’t make much sense.—————-quote

    Pure horseshit. The law makes perfect sense. If you need a gun then carry it on your person and when you are through carrying it lock the goddamn thing up before some innocent child or adult who knows nothing about guns picks it up and accidentally kills themselves or someone else. And its also pure bullshit that if you lock it up you will not be able to get it quickly if you need it. Many push button small desk safes or full size safes let you open the door in less than 1 second. And if your safe only has a key then wear the fking key on your person. Again it does not take a genius to figure out how to do this. I did this for over 20 years when I had kids so do not give me any of your horseshit that it cannot be done. I know I did it.

    As far as universal background checks, its long, long over due as study after study shows that second hand guns find there way into criminal and lunatic hands making a complete mockery of all State Gun laws as States with lax laws funnel guns into States and Cities with tough laws. Its not rocket science.

    No other civilized country in the world allows a person to walk into a bar or a gun show and say, “I need a gun with no paperwork, what is for sale today”.

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