Are Obama’s New Actions on Gun Sales ‘Legally Meaningless’?

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Many Midsouth Shooter Supply customers have asked us what the likely effects of President Obama’s recently announced executive actions will be, and because we’re not lawyers, we’ve been reluctant to forecast the outcomes of the president’s initiatives and tearful press conference. However, one lawyer, Case Western University School of Law Professor Jonathan H. Adler, wrote on the Washington Post’s The Volokh Conspiracy Opinion blog Jan. 5 that President Obama’s recently announced executive actions will likely have no effect on gun laws.

In Adler’s post, “New ATF guidance on gun sales is legally meaningless (or else it would be unlawful),” the professor lays out the legal reasoning why gun owners needn’t get too exercised about Obama’s “series of executive branch actions (not executive orders) that are supposed to reduce the threat of gun violence.”

Adler writes, “Taken at face value, the new ATF guidance [contained in the White House’s action list] is thus nothing more than a restatement of existing legal requirements. Put another way, it merely identifies those who are already subject to the relevant federal requirements and does not in any way expand the universe of those gun sellers who are required to obtain a license and perform background checks. In other words, it is — as the document says — a guidance, and not a substantive rule. It has no legal effect.”

The BATFE publishes a booklet to help you understand when a Federal Firearms License is required under federal law.
The BATFE publishes a booklet to help you understand when a Federal Firearms License is required under federal law.

Adler asks rhetorically, “If the ATF guidelines are nothing more than a guidance — an indication of the sorts of things that might trigger a federal investigation or prosecution, but not a tightening of the relevant legal standard — why would the administration do this?” He posits four potential reasons:

1: “… guidance documents are often useful insofar as they explicate relevant legal standards and (as the name implies) provide guidance to the regulated community. Such documents can help people know when they are subject to specific legal requirements.”

2: “… the administration hopes to “chill” marginal gun sales.”

3: “… to respond to the political demand for action.”

4: “… issuing a guidance is relatively quick and easy.”

In the event ATF gets challenged in court about any actions it might take as a result of the administration’s executive actions, Adler writes, “The first question a court will consider is whether the ATF document is, in fact, a guidance. The administration will argue that it is, as this is the best way to make a legal challenge go away. But in arguing that the ‘guidance’ is a guidance, the administration will also be conceding that the document has no legal effect and that it does not require anything that is not already required under federal law.”

Click here to see BATFE’s existing brochure, “Do I need a license to buy and sell firearms?”, available as a downloadable PDF.

What concerns you about the proposed Obama gun actions?  That you’ll be declared to be “in the business” because you sell a gun to a friend?  Tell us your worries in the comments section below.

Reaction to President Obama’s Executive Actions on Guns

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On January 5, 2016, President Obama spoke from the White House on the additional steps he’s taking to make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to buy and sell firearms. Video from the press conference is below. The president begins speaking about 4 minutes 30 seconds into the video. Reactions to his proposals from gunowner’s rights supporters follow below the video. Want to join in? Leave your insights in the comments section below:

President Obama is obsessed with undermining the 2nd Amendment.

— Marco Rubio(@marcorubio) January 5, 2016

President Obama’s executive orders will do nothing to improve public safety. #2A #fact

— NRA (@NRA) January 5, 2016

Obama just gave communist china as an example of good gun control He wonders why Americans think he doesn’t believe in the second amendment

— Grover Norquist (@GroverNorquist) January 5, 2016

Obama’s Executive Actions on Guns Will Help . . . Obama

What kind of well-thought-out criteria will the government use to determine that somebody is a firearms dealer under federal law?

“That’s it, really?” the NRA’s Jennifer Baker told The New York Times on Monday night. “They’re not really doing anything.”

Obama has openly supported Australian-style gun confiscation so his insistence that he doesn’t want to take people’s guns is quite odd

— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) January 5, 2016

I do admire the pure cynicism of Obama here. He knows this is a completely empty gesture and yet he produced real tears. A+ work.

— Conn Carroll (@conncarroll) January 5, 2016

Fight back against @BarackObama‘s unconstitutional #2A executive actions! #ComeAndTakeIt https://t.co/I8x387Rvii pic.twitter.com/w0HfFtScnD

— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 5, 2016

Obama lists Fort Hood and San Bernardino terror attacks as examples of gun violence. Disgusting #StopGunViolence

— Joel Pollak (@joelpollak) January 5, 2016

Obama says we shouldn’t impugn each other’s motives, then continues to imply you want dead children if you oppose his gun control agenda

— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) January 5, 2016

Proposed Executive Actions on Gun Control

Once again, President Obama has chosen to engage in political rhetoric, instead of offering meaningful solutions to our nation’s pressing problems.  Today’s event also represents an ongoing attempt to distract attention away from his lack of a coherent strategy to keep the American people safe from terrorist attack. — Executive Director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, Chris W. Cox, regarding President Barack Obama’s Executive Gun Control Order.

Gee, how did this issue gets so partisan, asks the guy who says gun owners are awful people who want to see more crime.

— Cam Edwards (@CamEdwards) January 5, 2016

Obama’s Gun Speech Sprinkled With Inaccuracies, Distortions

Unfortunately, the president left out most hard details on what he actually plans to have his officials do.

Eroding civil liberties, especially in America, takes time, President Obama warns.

— Tim Carney (@TPCarney) January 5, 2016

“Every single year, more than 30,000 Americans have their lives cut short by guns.” —@POTUS #StopGunViolence pic.twitter.com/TY1rxMObms

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 5, 2016

Two-thirds of those were suicides. Quite odd to bemoan method of suicide rather than suicide itself. https://t.co/OPyC5DrGDk

— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) January 5, 2016

The CRYING GAME: Obama Lies, Cries His Way Through Anti-Gun Speech

We’ve seen some truly horrific acts of dishonesty over the years from President Barack Obama, and his overly-emotional, theatrics filled speech promoting his Administration’s anti-gun executive orders (dissected earlier) was perhaps his deplorable performance yet.

“Fort Hood Binghamton Aurora Oak Creek Newtown The Navy Yard Santa Barbara Charleston San Bernardino Too many.” —@POTUS #StopGunViolence

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 5, 2016

So, once again, the president is selling his policies by pointing to incidents and people that don’t even intersect with them. Bizarre.

— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) January 5, 2016

When Obama says “mass violence” he’s being extremely disingenuous. Homicides down more than 50% since 1992

— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) January 5, 2016

Executive Actions on Guns Will Have No Effect on Crime – They Serve Only to Intimidate Law-Abiding Gun Owners

After years of unsuccessful attempts to pass gun control laws, President Obama has chosen to do an end run around Congress with executive actions.

“This is not that complicated. The reason Congress blocks laws is they want to win elections” @POTUS says on gun rights fight

— Juliet Eilperin (@eilperin) January 5, 2016

This is as close to an admission of the widespread unpopularity of gun control as Obama will ever get. https://t.co/xUWTc8YXCk

— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) January 5, 2016

Obama’s Gun-Control Plan Includes Gun-Ban For Some Social Security Beneficiaries

One aspect of the new controls is the inclusion of “information from the Social Security Administration in the background check system about beneficiaries who are prohibited from possessing a firearm.”

SIG Sauer Introduces Elite Revolver Loads in 38 Special, 44 S&W Special and 45 Colt

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SIG Sauer Elite Performance Ammunition 125-grain 38 Special
SIG Sauer Elite Performance Ammunition 125-grain 38 Special

 

SIG Sauer Elite Performance Ammunition 230-grain 45 Colt
SIG Sauer Elite Performance Ammunition 230-grain 45 Colt

SIG Sauer Ammunition has introduced its first personal defense revolver cartridges, with loads in 38 Special, 44 S&W Special, and 45 Colt.

“With the recent proliferation of small-frame revolvers for personal defense, the demand for ammunition in these calibers is growing significantly,” said Dan Powers, president of the SIG Sauer Ammunition Division.  “SIG Sauer continues to expand caliber offerings for handgun shooters, which now includes the revolver market, and there will be introductions of additional revolver calibers in the coming weeks.”

All three cartridges are available in the SIG V-Crown jacketed hollow point (JHP) round of Elite Performance Ammunition in the following bullet weights:

— 125-grain 38 Special with a muzzle of velocity of 900 fps;

— 240-grain 44 S&W Special with a muzzle velocity of 800 fps; and

— 230-grain 45 Colt with a muzzle velocity of 950 fps.

Bullets are SIG Sauer’s proprietary V-Crown stacked hollow point. Ducta–Bright 7A coated brass cases provide enhanced lubricity and corrosion resistance.

The 38 Special is also available in SIG FMJ full-metal-jacket loads. Designed specifically for practice and competition shooting, these premium target rounds feature solid brass cases and copper-jacketed bullets that remain intact on impact. Clean-burning powders are used to reduce barrel fouling.

Click here to see ballistics for the SIG Sauer Ammunition line.

Click here to see our selection of SIG V-Crown bullets.

Why Are Existing Federal Gun Laws Not Enforced?

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NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre says in the video below, “President Obama has all the laws he needs to stop the bloodshed now.” Then LaPierre goes on to recount how federal law enforcement of existing gun laws is practically nonexistent, and if the Department of Justice won’t prosecute gun illegalities as it is, why does Obama ask for more restrictions on gun sales? What’s your opinion?

2015 Breaks All-Time NICS Gun-Background-Check Record

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Midsouth Shooters Supply has previously reported that Black Friday 2015 broke gun-sales records, and now totals for the year are in, and based on FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System background-check volume, moreTop Five NICS Firearm Background Checks Years guns were sold in 2015 than in any previous year in American history. More than 23 million checks were processed through NICS in 2015 — that’s 2 million more than the previous record of 21 million NICS checks in 2013.

The FBI NICS total for 2015 was 23,141,970. In December 2015 alone, the FBI conducted 3,314,594 checks, an increase of more than half a million over the previous single-month record set in December 2012.

Also, the months of May, June, July, August, September, October, November, and December in 2015 each set monthly sales records.

It should be noted that these statistics represent the number of firearm background checks initiated through the NICS. They do not represent the number of firearms sold or sales dollars. Based on varying state laws, local market conditions and purchase scenarios, a one-to-one correlation cannot be made between a firearm background check and a firearm sale.

Commenters on our blog have said that threats to gun rights by politicians and the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California drove gun and ammunition sales.

“A day has not gone by without a major media assault on gun rights or an Obama administration call for new additional restrictions on gun ownership,” said Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation to the Washington Free Beacon website. “Americans have voted with their dollars and bought record levels of guns and ammunition.”

Despite the record NICS numbers, 2015 may be only the second-best gun-sales year ever. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) publishes its own interpretation of raw NICS numbers. NSSF is the actual trade association for the firearms industry in this country, representation many people wrongly attribute to the NRA.

NSSF generates its own adjusted NICS data, which are derived by subtracting out NICS purpose-code permit checks used by several states such as Connecticut, Illinois, and Utah for CCW permit application checks as well as checks on active CCW permit databases.

Using NSSF’s adjustments, 2012 is still the all-time sales-record year, with 14.8 million checks, followed by 2015’s 14.2 million total.

On a monthly basis, the December 2015 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 2,235,560 is an increase of 37.6 percent compared to the December 2014 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,624,524.

For comparison, the unadjusted December 2015 FBI NICS figure of 3,308,199 reflects a 43.7 percent increase from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,301,386 in December 2014.

If you helped set the record, will you tell us why? Great deals? Somebody had just what you were looking for? Might be your last chance to buy a gun in your state?

Hickok45’s YouTube Account Terminated by Google

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We all know that the devil is in the details on terms and conditions for any website, but Google’s termination of Hickok45’s YouTube account is an overreach at best.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the YouTube star, Hickok45, you’re missing out on some of the best shooting demos on the internet. He has a personality that’s matched only by the explosions he shows on his channel, but the fun is tempered with a true understanding of shooting, and of the firearms he demonstrates. He’s been on YouTube since 2007, offering hundreds of videos on everything from older guns of the 1800″s, to modern weapons of the 21st century.

Hickok45 YouTube internet star
Hickok45 YouTube internet star

hickok45_video

The latest update from the YouTube stars Facebook account reads:

“Apparently, Google + is more sensitive about firearms related postings and such. I never use Google+ and did not even realize the videos were being posted over there, I guess. I will keep you posted via Facebook here and the Hickok45andson channel. I have communicated with YouTube via email this morning, and hopefully, we’ll be able to get the channel back up soon. I had just posted a new video.”

Google Terminates YouTube Channel of Hickock45
Google Terminates YouTube Channel of Hickock45

We here at Midsouth post demo videos, as well as sales and giveaway videos. There doesn’t seem to be a way to disconnect your YouTube post from the Google+ platform, when you have a Google Account. Also, why suspend his YouTube account if he’s in violation of the Google+ policies, and not the YouTube Policy. There looks to be a direct correlation between uploads onto YouTube, and the Google+ and Email accounts connected when they force you to create your Google Accounts.

From the Google+ Terms and Conditions:

“If your content promotes regulated goods and services, including alcohol, gambling, pharmaceuticals and unapproved supplements, tobacco, fireworks, weapons, or health/medical devices, you are responsible for applying the appropriate age and geographical restrictions for that content, If we receive a complaint that such content is targeting audiences in violation of applicable laws and regulations, we may remove or restrict the offending content or account.”

As gun control takes center stage for 2016, we have to ask the question: “Are providers, like Google, going to inset themselves further into the political mix when it comes to gun control?”

It’s no secret that when it comes to items within our industry, be it posts about new products, political woes, or demo videos, that these posts will be throttled on venues like Google+ and Facebook. Just showing a “weapon” will keep one from being able to advertise on certain web search sites, much like Google.

Hickok45, we appreciate what you do for our shooting community, and we hope the issue is resolved quickly. We will post updates as they come in.

UPDATE: From Hickok45 Facebook Post 1/6/16

“ALSO: please stay tuned here and at the Hickok45andson channel on YouTube for any information. I cannot answer all the questions, of course, that are flowing in. I’ll just have to keep you updated here as we know anything. Appreciate all the expressions of support. Thanks.”

UPDATE: From Hickok45 Youtube

Looks like his channel is back up, or has been reinstated as of 12:14 PM CDT on 1/6/16. Check it out right here!

UPDATE: Quote from Hickok45

“We’re BACK! It was a long scary morning. I really don’t know what I’d do if I were not able to inflict lame humor upon millions of shooting enthusiasts every week! Life is fragile, especially “virtual” life. smile

New Executive Actions to Reduce ‘Gun Violence’

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Midsouth Shooters Supply wants to provide our customers access to the full and complete release of the Obama Administration’s “FACT SHEET: New Executive Actions to Reduce Gun Violence and Make Our Communities Safer,” published Jan. 4, 2016. We think it’s important for gun owners to have unfiltered access to all the government’s initiatives that can restrict your 2nd Amendment civil rights.

Click here to see the administration’s release.

obama-capture-wh-gov

Reloaders Corner: Pressure Curves and Port Pressure – Part 2

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The following is a specially-adapted excerpt from the forthcoming book,” Top-Grade Ammo,” by author Glen Zediker, owner of Zediker Publishing. Click here to order.

Last time I gave a caution about respecting one of the differences between semi-auto and bolt-action rifles, and that was with respect to propellant burn rates. The summary reason for that is that different rate propellants will “peak” at different areas as the expanding gases and the bullet travel through the bore. Slower-burning propellants peak farther, and that means more pressure is available at the gas port location in an AR-15, for instance, as the bullet passes it. If the system is oversupplied, then the system is overworked.

Compared to ideal function when gas supply is delivered as engineered, mistimed peak pressures can result in the bolt unlocking too quickly and excessive bolt carrier velocity rearward. The system just gets hit too hard. The extractor tries to yank the case out of the chamber too soon, before the case is released from its grip on the chamber walls (from being expanded through firing). Spent-case condition shows a measurably more abused hull. Probably the worst popular example of these effects is the M1A. I’m doing an entire column or two on reloading for this beast. Essentially, a spent case from an M1A will show dimensions that don’t seem possible. These come from the bolt unlocking too quickly. AR-15s actually handle excessive pressure better than some other designs.

Always keep in mind that this is all happening in about 2 milliseconds. Average time a bullet spends in the barrel, for most modern centerfire rounds, is 0.002 seconds. Timing is everything.

Keeping in mind the behavior of a pressure curve, which is like a wave cresting, factors that influence the amount of gas-port pressure, using the same load, include barrel length, gas-port size, and gas-port location. When the bullet is sealing the bore, the longer the barrel, the more pressure is contained for a longer time. The smaller or larger the gas port size, the slower or faster the gas enters the system. The farther back or forward the port is located, the sooner or later. Bullet weight is a factor also: heavier bullets accelerate more slowly (and also the reason heavy bullets erode the chamber throat more than lighter bullets).

And, the amount of volume inside the bore has a huge influence on all this. That matters when we’re using another caliber than .224 in an AR-15 or .308 in a big-chassis AR (like an SR-25). For instance, in that rifle chambered for .243 Win., but retaining the gas system specifications (gas port size and location) of the .308 Win.–chambered rifle, there’s way more pressure only because there’s less space, less volume, in the bore. The opposite is usually true when we’re running an AR-15 with a larger caliber bullet.

Selecting a propellant with a suitable burning rate, which, again, is something in the vicinity of H4895, is really the only thing we can do on the loading bench to ensure that we’re not contributing to these symptoms. Beyond that, dealing with excessive pressure gets technical.

All my NRA Match Rifles, which usually have 26-inch barrels, get their gas ports moved forward one to two inches. These, of course, are custom-barreled. I also usually install an adjustable gas manifold.

Moving the port forward effectively delays the wave of gas moving through the bore, kind of repositioning its peak with respect to its outlet; there is more space available for expanding gases. It also allows a little slower-burning propellant, which can take more advantage of the longer barrel. It’s common in a similarly constructed AR-10 to get a port moved as much as 5 inches forward to accommodate a .243 Win. or .260 Rem. chambering.

The adjustable manifold allows some tuning. There are essentially two forms these take. One way is to restrict or limit the through-flow; the other just bleeds it off. I like the first kind the best.

Also, I have searched far and wide for a consensus on gas-port sizes, and came up empty.

All this changes with different chamberings and rifle configurations. Carbine-length barrels are particularly sensitive to port pressure because the port is located farther back.

There are a few surefire things that will alert you when your rifle is exhibiting “over-function” symptoms, such as spent-case condition showing excessively blown (extended) case shoulders, extractor marks on the case rim, and a generally explosive sensation in functioning.

In a more extreme circumstance, an over-accelerated carrier can “bounce” back from its rearmost travel so quickly that a round can’t present itself in time to be picked up by the bolt, or the bolt stop can’t engage quickly enough to hold the bolt carrier.

Sometimes what appears to be a “light” load is actually not. I’ve seen excess pressure leave a spent case in the chamber because the extractor lost its grip, and I’ve seen chunks pulled right off case rims. That’s severe. That’s also another cause for the “short-stroke” appearance of over-function: the extractor issue has slowed the carrier.

If you’re having any problems with “over-function,” solutions include retrofitting an adjustable manifold, increasing carrier mass, installing a stouter buffer spring. I do all those things on my rifles. Keep in mind that I am primarily a Service Rifle shooter, and I am trying to push an 80-grain bullet as fast as reasonably possible from a 20-inch barrel that can’t get the modifications mentioned. I know a thing or three about delaying bolt unlocking — I’ll cover more on this topic if you all want to know.

 

Sources:

Sun Devil Manufacturing

663 West 2nd Ave., Suite 16

Mesa, AZ 85210

(480) 833-9876

 

Medesha Firearms Ltd.

10326 E. Adobe Rd.

Mesa, AZ 85207

(480) 986-5876