A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance’ tag

Show Some Home Team Love

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Not only does the Brady Center have to pay Lucky Gunner’s legal fees but Lucky Gunner is going to donate that money to gun rights groups:

The Brady Center predictably appealed the judge’s ruling and we are prepared to continue defending your rights and ours. While it is not yet clear when the $111,971.10 fee reimbursement will be paid, we are going to donate 100% of what is recovered to groups that support and defend the 2nd Amendment. We will fight to recover these funds from the Brady Center and to hold the Brady Center responsible for yet another frivolous lawsuit.

Please tell us where you want the recovered fees to go by voting in the form below. A number of organizations were added per shooter requests on June 23. We will end the voting on August 1, 2015. Once we have recovered the fees, we’ll cut checks to each organization receiving votes on a percentage basis. In other words, if “Organization A” gets 5% of the vote, it will receive 5% of whatever is recovered.

The Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance (GOCRA) is one of the organizations on the ballot. I’m sure our home team guys would appreciate you casting a vote for them. It would be nice to know that the Brady Center helped contribute something to whatever gun rights battle appears in this state’s future.

Contacting Lucky Gunner and expressing thanks for doing this probably wouldn’t hurt either.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 30th, 2015 at 10:30 am

Minnesota Gun Rights Continues to Look Like a Scam

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Minnesota Gun Rights (MGR) is a local affiliate organization of the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR). If you’re never heard of NAGR, and I wouldn’t blame you if you haven’t, it’s an organization that labels itself as a “no compromise” gun rights advocacy group. In reality it is an organization that appears to exist solely to separate gullible gun owners from their money. Likewise, I wouldn’t blame you if you’ve never heard of MGR. It’s a fairly new organization in Minnesota that mirrors its national affiliate organization in providing gun owners no tangible benefit whatsoever but constantly begging them for money.

One may wonder how I came to my conclusion regarding MGR. It’s simple really, I hang out with a lot of the people it targets. By calling itself a “no compromise” gun rights organization it targets people who believe the Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance (GOCRA) has compromised too often in the battle for gun rights. Many of these people are members of the local liberty-lite (my name for people who call themselves liberty advocates but continue believing that there should be a government) and liberty (anarchists) movements. Whenever one of these people posts about their dissatisfaction with GOCRA somebody jumps in to promote MGR. On July 4th one of my friends posted about his dissatisfaction with GOCRA. Within hours a person who I know to be one of the kingpins in MGR swooped in (please note that I have anonymized all comments except my own because it may be possible to determine the identity of my friend by using me and the commenters as connections):

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This is always the tag line they use. If I didn’t know otherwise I would believe this commenter to be an automated bot written by some stooge at MGR. Either way I don’t take scammers targeting my friends lightly so I decided to jump into the fray:

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My attempt at both trolling MGR and preventing a friend from giving money to a, as far as I know, scam organization elicited a response from a second MGR shill:

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In all honesty this is the most information I’ve ever gotten out of an MGR shill. Apparently the only way you can find out what the organization does is by attending its super secret (since they’re not posted anywhere on MGR’s website) weekend classes (which MGR probably charges for). The last time I heard about an organization that required people to attend super secret meetings just to find out what it does there were tests for thetan levels involved.

Since antagonization seemed to be working (at least better than any other tactic I’ve used to get information out of MGR shills) I decided to try some more:

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I guess he must have been in contact with the mothership because after divulging information about MGR’s super secret weekend meetings (which, I’m now convinced, may actually involve thetan level testing) he resorted to the usual MGR shill tactic when pressed for information: deflection:

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And this, ladies and gentlemen, is where I decided to go for the jugular. Now that I know MGR hosts biannual super secret weekend meetings that supposedly explain what the organization does I decided to ask why that information wasn’t posted on its website. After all, you would think any organization that held regular events would have a schedule posted on its website letting people know when and where they are:

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I even performed a courtesy check of MGR’s website just in case some evidence of its super secret weekend meetings was posted since the start of the conversation (after all, it’s possible that nobody from MGR had thought to post information about its meetings to its website). Nothing was. Instead the shill simply said he would keep me in mind the next time one of these super secret weekend meetings occurred:

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How he planned to inform me of the next meeting when he doesn’t know me and we’re not friends on Facebook is beyond me. He didn’t send a friend request or anything. But I digress. If MGR has actually held any of these super secret weekend meetings in the past I would think some information about them would have been posted on its website (you know, so its shills could point to said information when somebody like me accuses it of not doing anything):

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What followed was a misunderstanding on my behalf:

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I believe my misunderstanding was honest. After all, if somebody said evidence that your organization has done something is entirely absent from your website and you said “Actually there is.” you should assume that that person will assume that you are referring to evidence existing on your website. But that wasn’t the case here:

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MGR must have been founded by the most operator of operators that has ever operated in areas of operations because it practices some extraordinary operational security. Its super secret weekend classes are, in fact, super secret. If you want to learn what the organization does you will have to wait for it to contact you, probably through a ninja courier, so you can get a personal invitation with the time and location of the next meeting. And you will probably have to memorize the information on your invitation because it will almost certain self-destruct five seconds after you receive it.

This, above everything else I have learned about the organization, reinforces my belief that the organization is a scam. It will gladly swoop in on vulnerable gun owners and ask them to give it money by whispering “no compromise” into their ears. But if its targets actually want to know what the organization does before giving it money that’s just tough shit. And, yes, I did let the shill know this:

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It was obvious that I wasn’t going to get further information out of him so I gave up. However I do want to take a moment to point something out here. Political and business tactics are often kept secret. But if I want to know what a politician is claiming to fight for or what a business is selling I need only ask. Both are more than happy to provide me with such information. Likewise if I want to know what a politician or business has done I need only ask. Again both are more than happy to provide me with such information. They both know that you need to entice people. If you’re a politician you get people’s attention by telling them what you’re fighting for. If you’re a business you get people’s attention by telling them what you’re selling. Providing a track record of past successes helps assure people that you’re not just trying to scam them.

No politician or business, upon being asked what it has done, is going to tell you to attend a super secret weekend meeting at an undisclosed location and time.

My recommendation is to avoid MGR. I can’t find any evidence that indicates it is anything other than a sad attempt to separate Minnesota gun owners from their money. Red flags should go up when nobody involved with an organization is willing to tell you what, exactly, the organization has done. Even if you have misgivings about GOCRA its members are more than happy to provide you with a list of things it has done, and proof that verifies that list, so you can make an informed decision. MGR’s members are unwilling to even do that.

Wonderful Drama in the Gun Rights World

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If there’s one thing I love it’s Internet drama. And boy do I have a heap of it for you guys. Dudley Brown, the main guy behind the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR) rustled Alan Gottlieb, the founder of the Second Amendment Foundation’s (SAF), jimmies:

Dudley Brown and his “National Association for Gun Rights” (NAGR) have built a reputation by attacking every other major gun rights organization and even pro-gun politicians, to the detriment of the gun rights movement. His rhetoric has done more to marginalize Second Amendment activism than all of the slanders from gun prohibition lobbying groups combined.Now Dudley has spewed his venom toward Alan Gottlieb, a true champion of Second Amendment advocacy with a proven track record of accomplishment. Gottlieb is founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), and chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA).

In his latest effort to raise money for his own self-aggrandizement, Dudley Brown has launched a vicious canard against Alan Gottlieb, accusing the veteran gun rights advocate of “Leading the fight for national gun registration.”

Alan Gottlieb has never advocated for gun registration in his life. His legislative efforts have been to prevent that, and Dudley knows it.

Burn! Of course the SAF delivers an onslaught of just retribution:

The Second Amendment Foundation has championed gun rights legal actions and won in federal courts and the U.S. Supreme Court. Remember, it was SAF that took McDonald v. City of Chicago [PDF] to the Supreme Court and won. Where was Dudley?

SAF and CCRKBA have conducted the annual Gun Rights Policy Conference for more than 25 years, bringing together major gun rights leaders with grassroots activists to unify and expand the gun rights movement. Where was Dudley?

When SAF and the National Rifle Association joined forces to stop the unconstitutional gun grab in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, where was Dudley?

When SAF and NRA joined forces to defeat the San Francisco gun ban, where was Dudley?

When SAF, NRA and CCRKBA joined forces to defeat the City of Seattle’s parks gun ban – thus strengthening state preemption in Washington state and providing a lesson for anyone who might challenge other states’ preemption laws, where was Dudley?

When the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR) was created, Alan Gottlieb was there to help bring together an organization that now has member groups from every continent and several nations. Where was Dudley?

When multi-national gun rights organizations gather in Europe to resist global gun control efforts, Alan Gottlieb is there, but where is Dudley?

I have been very critical of Mr. Gottlieb’s recent advocacy of universal background checks but there is one major difference between him and Mr. Brown. Mr. Gottlieb and the SAF actually gets shit down.

The NAGR is only well known for two things: whining about everybody else and taking people’s money. Scratch that, there’s a third thing they’re well known for: leaking the personal information of its members to random people. But as far as victories in the fight for gun rights? The NAGR has done all of jack shit. Sure they’ve cultivated some extremely zealous supporters, a couple of whom are friends of mine (more on that in a bit), but they can’t actually point to any of their victories.

What’s really annoying is that us Minnesotans have to deal with one of the NAGR’s dumb ass affiliate groups called Minnesota Gun Rights (MGR). MGR mimics the NAGR very well. It invests a lot of time bitching about the Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance (GOCRA) and asking for money from people but it hasn’t actually done a damn thing as far as fighting for gun rights in Minnesota is concerned.

Now back to what I said about the NAGR having a track record of cultivating some very zealous supporters. As I mentioned a couple of these zealous supporters are my friends. One actually went so far as to block me on Facebook when he was praising MGR and I asked for a track record of what the organization has accomplished (by the way being blocked was my only answer). This rabid devotion from people who are generally cynical and skeptical of any political organization leads me to believe, although I have no proof, that they’re getting some money from either the NAGR or MGR. Either way they tout both organizations as the greatest thing since sliced bread (and denouncing every other gun rights organization as quislings) but cannot produce any information demonstrating either organization’s effectiveness. When your most devout supporters can’t provide any proof that you’ve actually done something then you’ve almost certainly done nothing.

It amuses me to no end that the individual who runs the NAGR, and presumably its affiliate organizations, is criticizing organizations like the SAF while his organization has absolutely nothing to show for itself. That would be like me criticizing Ludwig von Mises for failing to advance the cause of liberty while being unable to provide any evidence that I have advanced the cause of liberty (the only difference is that I’m pretty certain I have done more to advance gun rights and liberty than the NAGR has, and all I’ve done is help introduce people to the shooting sports and write this blog). As the saying goes, people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

I really hope this drama spreads (as you can see here I’m doing my part to fan the flames). Watching the NAGR shoot its mouth off is just fucking hilarious and I love watching it made a fool of in public.

A Gun Rights Story of Intrigue, Deception, and Corruption

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As a radical my interest in politics is probably far lower than most people involved in the gun rights community. But I’m a sucker for stories of political corruption. Like a fine mystery novel, stories of political corruption can keep me turning pages into the wee hours of the night. Although I’m not as integrated in the local gun rights movement as others I still keep my ear to the ground and have friends who are. That’s why I was surprised that I hadn’t heard about a new gun rights organization here in Minnesota calling itself Minnesota Gun Rights (MGR).

The organization came to my attention only recently. A few people, after expressing displeasure with the Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance (GOCRA), have been pointed towards MGR. MGR describes itself as a no compromise gun rights organization. While I have had my disagreements with the tactics of GOCRA in the past, the organization has a long track record of getting things done in regards to gun rights and consists of some damned good people. Unlike GOCRA, MGR has no track record to speak of but their site is pretty boastful (without providing specifics).

Thankfully we have the Internet so it’s easier than ever to research a new organization. My search for information on MGR lead me to a series of posts on Shot in the Dark, a website operated by local gun rights activist Mitch Berg. The series starts with this post, which covers the organization know as Iowa Gun Owners (IGO). Post two is where the story became interesting. It seems that IGO was responsible for sinking an Iowa billion that would have allowed veterans who suffered post-traumatic stress syndrome (a medical condition that can prohibit you from legally owning a firearm) to get their gun rights restored. In its zeal IGO reintroduced some additional pro-gun legislation as an amendment to the above mentioned bill. This additional legislation effectively killed the bill. It also appears that the people in charge of IGO are also in charge of MGR, which is important to note because the third post indicates one of them was involved in some political shenanigans of a corrupt nature. The series is a great read if you’re into political corruption or curious about MGR.

This brings me to a subtopic I wish to discuss: being unwilling to compromise. As my long-time readers know, I have a no-compromise position on many issues. For example, I want to eliminate the state in its entirety. When it comes to masters I have a zero tolerance policy. So I have respect for individuals and organizations that are unwilling to compromise on issues (even when I disagree with those issues). With that said, I must also point out that not compromising requires a different set of tactics. I learned some time ago that politics is not the realm for radicals. Radicals, by definition, wants something radically different. For example, I find the very concept that people with guns taking guns from nonviolent people will somehow reduce gun violence. Because of this I oppose gun control. Instead I focus on the reduction of violence in society as a whole. Even though I acknowledge that completely eliminating violence from a society is impossible I believe there are methods that can greatly reduce the amount of violence present in a society. But these methods are not achievable politically because they rely on the destruction of the state, which politics cannot do.

My point is this: if you’re not willing to compromise then you are a radical and you need to seek nonpolitical strategies. Any organization that labels itself as a no compromise group and a political group should be treated with a great deal of caution. In my experience such groups are perfectly aware of the incompatibility of their position and methodology. They don’t care because their actual goal is different from their stated goal. These organizations tend to exploit groups of political activists in order to extract cash from them. Gun rights activists are a great target for such a strategy because they’re passionate and willing to give their time and money in the pursuit of winning their fight. Proof of this fact can be found by looking at the number of members the National Rifle Association (NRA) has. If an organization is able to position itself as fighter for gun rights it stands to make a good amount of money.

Based on what I’ve found it seems MGR is an organization created to extract money from gun rights activists without sincerely investing itself in the fight for gun rights. Any new political organization should be taken with a grain of salt until it demonstrates its trustworthiness. Even though I have disagreements with the NRA, Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), and GOCRA they have demonstrated trustworthiness. If you’re going to support gun rights organizations those are good candidates. MGR has, so far, failed to demonstrated trustworthiness in my opinion and their list of accomplishments is nonexistent.

I won’t tell you to support or not support MGR. You’re all adults (I think) and can make your own decisions. But I urge you to research the organization, and all other political organizations, to determine whether or not you want to support it. What I can tell you is that MGR’s stated position and methodology are incompatible, which raises red flags for me. Finally I will close by offering to hear counterarguments to the claims made on Mitch Berg’s blog. Any members or supporters of MGR may post whatever counterarguments they wish in the comments section. Due to spambots I must manually approve all posts by first time posters, so if your comment doesn’t appear immediately please know that I will get around to approving it. You can also feel free to e-mail me at blog[at]christopherburg[dot]com.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 8th, 2013 at 11:30 am

Don’t Fall for the False Dichotomy

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It’s inevitable that a person involved in the political realm will eventually be forced to make a decision between standing up for their principles or maintaining their political alliances. Gun owners who also oppose furthering the police state now have to make that decision. Between the two primary factions two options have emerged: HF237, which attempts to prohibit private sales, or HF1323, which will advance the police state.

Both sides in this debate have adopted an “us” versus “them” methodology. In face the Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance (GOCRA) has the following to say:

Some anti-gun activists have been working to create a split among gun owners, hoping to weaken our position by making us fight among ourselves. They are trying to portray the Criminal Control bill, HF1325, as a gun control bill.

As I mentioned in my coverage of HF1323 (HF1325 is a clone of HF1323 for those who are curious) the bill contains several points that I would qualify as gun control, specifically Section 12, which would make it a felony to falsely report your firearms as lost or stolen. I consider that section a method of gun control because in the event of an “assault weapon” ban it would prohibit you from reporting your “assault weapons” as lost. With the passage of HF1323 the police would have reason to kidnap you if you reported your firearms as lost during an attempted confiscation. This, in addition with the mess of data that the bill would mandate to be entered into state or federally managed databases, makes for a frightening proposition. Things get a bit more ridiculous when the GOCRA page presents only two two options:

Don’t let the gun grabbers divide and conquer us. Call and email your Minnesota senator and representative today:

  • Ask them to support Rep. Hilstrom and Sen. Ortman’s criminal control bill.
  • Ask them to oppose Rep. Paymar’ss [sic] bill.

That’s a false dichotomy because there is a third option, oppose both bills. There is no need to pass more legislation. What’s broken in regards to gun control isn’t the absence of restrictions, it’s the number of restrictions. Gun-free zones have greatly reduced the cost of performing violence. No amount of background checks, data in police databases, or new laws will correct that problem.

What surprises me isn’t GOCRA’s advocacy of HF1323, it’s their tenacity in supporting it. I haven’t seen any suggestion that people oppose both bills. In fact, based on what I’ve seen written on their website, they seem to imply that you’re either with gun owners by supporting HF1323 or you’re against them by opposing it. It’s a ridiculous attitude to hold and it saddens me to see it posted on their website.

As I said at the beginning of this post, eventually politics will lead you to make a decision between your principles or your political alliances. My principles won’t allow me to support any legislation that creates new gun control measures or grants more power to the police state. Fortunately I’ve escaped the political realm and am now working on solutions outside of the state’s ability to control. My solution relies on mutual cooperation instead of “us” versus “them” strategies. It’s also something different, which is desperately needed since the political means has lead to a continuous erosion of gun rights. I urge everybody to oppose both bills being presented and find alternative means of advancing gun rights. The time of passively begging politicians to give us a few scraps from the table is over. We don’t need their blessing, permission, or acknowledgement and it’s time we started realizing that.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 13th, 2013 at 11:30 am

Enhancing the Police State in the Name of Defending Gun Rights

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The Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance (GOCRA) has been making noise about a piece of legislation that they are selling as an alternative to the bills being offered by gun control advocates. I voiced my concern based on what was said about the bill in the news. The bill, H1323, was officially unveiled yesterday and I can say it’s not the common sense legislation that was being promised, although it didn’t end up throwing the mentally ill under a bus as I feared. The legislation itself isn’t as bad as what is being pushed by the gun control advocates but it does reek of a desperate ploy to offer the gun control advocates a piece of meat in the hopes that they will relent and an attempt to appear, what Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned referred to as, tough on crime.

Most of the bill consists of amendments to currently existing statutes. The amendments, in general, either requires data be electronically entered into a searchable database, creates mandatory minimum sentences or flat out creates new crimes. From the viewpoint of being touch on crime the bill is effective. Being tough on crime, at least politically, necessarily means granting the state more power, which is never good for the general populace. Because of that fact I find the legislation, overall, troubling. Consider section one of the legislation:

Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 241.301, is amended to read:
241.301 FINGERPRINTS OF INMATES, PAROLEES, AND PROBATIONERS FROM OTHER STATES.
The commissioner of corrections shall establish procedures so that whenever this state receives an inmate, parolee, or probationer from another state under sections 241.28 to 241.30 or 243.1605, fingerprints and thumbprints of the inmate, parolee, or probationer are obtained and forwarded to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. by electronic entry into a Bureau of Criminal Apprehension-managed or federal searchable database within 24 hours of receipt. The bureau shall convert the fingerprints and thumbprints into an electronic format for entry into the appropriate searchable database within 72 hours of receipt if the data is not entered by the commissioner.

Currently Statute 2012, section 241.301 reads:

241.301 FINGERPRINTS OF INMATES, PAROLEES, AND PROBATIONERS FROM OTHER STATES.
The commissioner of corrections shall establish procedures so that whenever this state receives an inmate, parolee, or probationer from another state under sections 241.28 to 241.30 or 243.1605, fingerprints and thumbprints of the inmate, parolee, or probationer are obtained and forwarded to the bureau of criminal apprehension.

The statute, as it currently stands, has no mention of a database whereas the statute, under H1323, would mandate the taken fingerprints be converted into an electronic format and entered into a database either managed by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehensions or a federal agency. Databases of people in the hands of the state are never good. I won’t post every instance in the bill where information is mandated to be added to a database, I’ll leave that up to you, but much of the bill deals with exactly that and it makes for some rather Orwellian reading.

Second 11 is also worrisome as it creates new minimum sentences:

Sec. 11. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 609.165, subdivision 1b, is amended to read:
Subd. 1b. Violent felons in possession; violation and penalty; mandatory sentences. (a) Any person who has been convicted of a crime of violence, as defined in section 624.712, subdivision 5, and who ships, transports, possesses, or receives a firearm, commits a felony and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 15 years or to payment of a fine of not more than $30,000, or both.
(b) A conviction and sentencing under this section shall be construed to bar a conviction and sentencing for a violation of section 624.713, subdivision 2.
(c) The criminal penalty in paragraph (a) does not apply to any person who has received a relief of disability under United States Code, title 18, section 925, or whose ability to possess firearms has been restored under subdivision 1d.
(d) Unless a longer mandatory minimum sentence is otherwise required by law or the sentencing guidelines provide for a longer presumptive executed sentence, a person convicted of violating paragraph (a) shall be committed to the commissioner of corrections for:
(1) 60 months;
(2) 120 months if the person has a prior conviction under this section, section 624.713, subdivision 2, paragraph (b), or a comparable law of another state or the United States; or
(3) 180 months if the person has a combination of two or more prior convictions under this section, section 624.713, subdivision 2, paragraph (b), or a comparable law of another state or the United States. Sentencing a person in a manner other than that described in this paragraph is a departure from the sentencing guidelines.
EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective August 1, 2013, and applies to crimes committed on or after that date.

I don’t like prisons, they’re a form of collective punishment as the taxed are forced to pay for the food, water, clothing, housing, and guarding of those convicted of crimes. Minimum sentences are nothing more than a forced duration of how long the taxed are forced to pay for a convicted man’s incarceration. On top of being a form of collective punishment prisons, especially as they exist in the United States, are ineffective. Norwegian’s Bastoy prison island, a novel facility that actually treats prisoners like human beings while requiring them to provide heavily for their own needs, has a recidivism rate of 16% compared to the United States rate of 67.5%. We should be focusing on alternatives to the United States prison industrial complex instead of putting more people in those ineffective cages for longer periods of time. I don’t see the justice in punishing the taxed and putting people in cages, which is why I find this section particularly offensive.

Section 12 specifically makes it illegal to falsely report lost or stolen firearms:

Sec. 12. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 609.505, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:
Subd. 3. Lost or stolen firearms; false reporting. (a) Whoever informs a law enforcement officer that a firearm has been lost or stolen, knowing that the report is false, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
(b) A person is guilty of a felony and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than five years, or to payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both, if the person:
(1) is convicted a second or subsequent time of violating this subdivision; or
(2) violates paragraph (a) while knowing that the firearm has been transferred to someone who intends to use it in furtherance of a felony crime of violence, as defined in section 624.712, subdivision 5.
EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective August 1, 2013, and applies to crimes committed on or after that date.

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. Under the proposed “assault weapon” ban many people discussed how they would simply report their “assault weapons” as lost. Reporting firearms as lost is one possible way to avoid a gun grab. If H1323 passes, and an “assault weapon” ban later passes, the police will have grounds to kidnap and charge you with a gross misdemeanor if you claim you lost your “assault weapons.” Personally I would prefer it if the police didn’t have grounds for kidnapping me if I reported my arms as lost.

Section 15 is interesting as it would prevent a prohibited person from legally possessing ammunition as well as firearms. I’m not sure why this was added but it’s entirely unnecessary and bordering ridiculous. If a person can’t legally possess a firearm then possessing ammunition is irrelevant since ammunition is meaningless without a firearm and somebody willing to violate a prohibition against possessing a firearm is almost certainly willing to violate a prohibition against possessing ammunition. This section also includes a minor change of language that I’m baffled by:

(3) a person who is or has ever been ordered committed in Minnesota or elsewhere by a judicial determination that the person is mentally ill, developmentally disabled, or mentally ill and dangerous to the public, as defined in section 253B.02, to a treatment facility, whether or not the order was stayed, or who has ever been found incompetent to stand trial or not guilty by reason of mental illness, unless the person’s ability to possess a firearm has been restored under subdivision 4 6;

Perhaps I’m wrong about this but if a person has been ordered committed and they refuse to go aren’t they violating a court order and therefore committing a crime? Aren’t redundancy like that what gun rights advocates continuously criticize when new laws are added to the books? Is there some point to adding this language other than to appear touch on crime?

Section 16 creates more minimum sentences, this time for prohibited persons in possession of firearms or ammunition. What I stated about Section 11 is true here, minimum sentences are not going to fix anything as the entire concept of incarceration, at least as it exists in the United States, needs to be addressed. More specifically when it comes to punishing prohibited persons it’s important to point out that many prohibited persons have no violent history, they were merely charged with a nonviolent felony. While there is some ground on which to argue for a person with a violent history being prohibited from owning arms there is absolutely no ground on which to argue for a person with no violent history being prohibited from owning arms. A catchall minimum sentence will adversely effect both violent and nonviolent individuals who violate a prohibition against owning arms.

There is some good news in the bill as Section 19 does establish some mechanism for those prohibited from owning a firearm due to a mental illness to restore their ability to legally possess a firearm:

Sec. 19. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 624.713, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:
Subd. 6. Restoration of firearms eligibility to civilly committed person; petition authorized. (a) A person who is subject to the disabilities in section 624.713, subdivision, clauses (3) and (5), or United States Code, title 18, section 922(d)(4) or 922(g)(4), because of an adjudication or commitment that occurred under the laws of this state may petition the court in which the adjudication or commitment proceedings occurred or a district court of competent jurisdiction to remove all the disabilities. A copy of the petition for relief shall be served upon the county attorney’s office of the jurisdiction in which the petition is filed. The department or office may, as it deems appropriate, represent the interests of the state in the restoration proceedings.
(b) The court shall receive and consider evidence in a closed proceeding, including evidence offered by the petitioner, concerning:
(1) the circumstances regarding the firearm disabilities from which relief is sought;
(2) the petitioner’s mental health and criminal history records, if any;
(3) the petitioner’s reputation, developed at a minimum through character witness statements, testimony, or other character evidence; and
(4) changes in the petitioner’s condition or circumstances since the original adjudication or commitment relevant to the relief sought. The court shall grant the petition for relief if it finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the petitioner will not be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety and that the granting of the relief would not be contrary to the public interest. A record shall be kept of the proceedings, but it shall remain confidential and be disclosed only to a court in the event of an appeal. The petitioner may appeal a denial of the requested relief, and review on appeal shall be de novo.
(c) The court administrator shall promptly electronically transmit information of the order granting relief to the person under this section to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System or to any official issuing a permit under section 624.7131, 624.7132, or 624.714 and notify the United States Attorney General that the basis for the person’s record of firearm disabilities being made available no longer applies.
EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective August 1, 2013, and applies to crimes committed on or after that date.

Honestly this is all the bill should have been, a mechanism for those who have had their legal ability to possess a firearm because of a mental illness to seek redress. While that one nugget of good is nice to see, Section 20 continues the bad by creating a felony for being unable to read minds:

Sec. 20. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 624.7141, subdivision 2, is amended to read:
Subd. 2. Felony. A violation of this section is a felony:
(1) if the transferee possesses or uses the weapon within one year after the transfer in furtherance of a felony crime of violence; or
(2) if the transferor knows the transferee intends to use the weapon in the furtherance of a felony crime of violence.
EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective August 1, 2013, and applies to crimes committed on or after that date.

How is somebody supposed to know if the person buying their firearm intends to use it to commit a felony? Section 22 effectively makes straw purchases more illegal, unless you’re a law enforcement officer (how else are they going to buy firearms to smuggle to Mexican drug cartels), and the remainder of the bill just demands more data be entered into government managed databases.

My only real question is this: why was a bill introduced at all? Do gun rights activists really believe that gun control advocates will back off if we offer them a sufficient compromise? Gun owners have compromised with gun control advocates numerous times and they have always come back for more. This bill implements nothing that would have prevented the Connecticut shooting, which is what sparked this insanity. The Connecticut shooter murdered his mother and stole her firearms. No amount of data in government managed databases, background checks, or mental health evaluations would have prevented that. There is nothing in this bill would have prevented that. Reading through this legislation, with the exception of Section 19, reeks of a foolhardy attempt to appear tough on crime in the hopes of satisfying statists. No bill, need to get tougher on crime, or data in government managed databases is necessary. In fact we have too many laws on the books as it is.

I leave you to make your own decision regarding this bill. As an anarchist I’m not going to meddle in the affairs of the state or spend my time begging politicians to support or reject legislation. What I will say is that this legislation isn’t good and I wouldn’t write letters or make phone calls to politicians urging them to support it. If you’re going to meddle in the state’s affairs then encourage the politicians to take no action, they’ve done enough damage already.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 7th, 2013 at 11:30 am

Current Gun Control Bills Being Proposed in Minnesota

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Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance (MNGOCRA) has put together a list of gun control bills currently being proposed at the State Capitol along with MNGOCRA’s rating for how bad the bills are for gun owners. As it currently stands the “assault weapon” and standard capacity magazine bans are tabled but prohibiting private sales will be rigorously pursed:

The Minnesota Senate will not act to ban assault weapons or high-capacity ammunition clips this year, a DFL leader said Monday.

Sen. Ron Latz, DFL-St. Louis Park, who is chairing the Senate’s gun hearings this week, said he will focus on closing the loopholes in background checks and leave the issue of banning weapons or ammunition to Congress.

“The assault weapons ban and high-capacity magazine ban proposals are highly divisive,” said Latz, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Legions of concerned gun owners turned out for three days of hearings on gun issues last week, and Latz said such bans also do not have strong support from law enforcement.

On the other hand, he said, the idea of filling loopholes in background checks has strong public and police support, and he believes it can pass this year.

“Law enforcement does have broad consensus in favor of universal background checks, closing loopholes in existing statutes,” he said. “I want to focus on what has broad public support.”

In all likelihood the politicians weren’t intending to pursuer the “assault weapon” and standard capacity magazine bans in a serious manner. Those bills were probably the bait whereas the prohibition against private sales is the switch. The state has a history of presenting very bad legislation, getting the serfs to beg them for leniency, and then presenting legislation that appears to be less egregious. It’s an effective strategy because it allows the state to grab more power will making the serfs breathe a sigh of relief because things didn’t turn out as bad as they could have.

With that said, the “assault weapon” and standard capacity magazine bans may be pursued during a lame duck session or as an amendment to a “must pass” bill at a later date. One thing is certain, the state isn’t going to allow the serfs to remain armed permanently. Armed serfs are harder to expropriate from and the state exists to expropriate.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 20th, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Gun Control Hearings at the Minnesota State Capitol

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Just a heads up, according to the Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance (MNGOCRA) Facebook page there will be hearings on gun control happening at the Capitol in St. Paul on February 5th, 6th, and 7th. If you’re interested in sitting in on those hearing you should clear your schedule for those days.

Written by Christopher Burg

January 31st, 2013 at 11:00 am

Gun Across America in St. Paul

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As I mentioned last week there was a gun rights rally planned for Saturday at the Capitol in St. Paul. I attended, although I arrived approximately 15 minutes later, and there was a good turnout, especially when you consider it was 34 degrees (Fahrenheit) and the wind was really blowing. The Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance Facebook page has some photographs of the event. I didn’t see any gun control advocates protesting the event, which was unfortunate because it would have been great to see all four of them standing there being entirely ignored.

Overall it was a typical political rally. Speeches were given, signs were held, flags were waved, and everybody returned home when the festivities concluded.

Written by Christopher Burg

January 21st, 2013 at 10:30 am

Calling for Unrelated Gun Control Schemes

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While gun control advocates confuse me in general this story has given me a major headache:

The ease of stockpiling ammunition once again became apparent after police discovered that the perpetrator of one of the deadliest mass shootings in Minnesota history had packaging for 10,000 rounds of ammunition in his south Minneapolis home.

Last Thursday, Andrew J. Engeldinger had a Glock 9-millimeter handgun, two 15-round magazines and several loose rounds when he killed four co-workers, a UPS man and himself after being fired from Accent Signage Systems. In addition to the ammunition shipping boxes, police found a second Glock 9mm handgun in his house.

Let me get this straight, Engeldinger had no more than 30-some rounds of ammunition when he shot up Accent Signage so gun control advocates are now calling to control large lots of ammunition purchases? The man had less than a box of 9mm ammunition on his person. Whatever stockpile he had at home is entirely irrelevant because he didn’t use it in commission of his crime. To use the often-beloved car analogy this would be like demanding stricter controls on the number of automobiles an individual can purchase after a getaway driver for a bank robbery was found to own 12 vehicles.

I’m glad we have people like Andrew Rothman in this state raising these exact questions:

Andrew Rothman, vice president of the Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, said it’s not uncommon for people to make bulk purchases to guard against changes in gun laws and increases in ammunition prices in recent years.

“The shooter probably used 10 or 20 rounds of ammunition [in the attack] — is it really relevant how many rounds he had at home?” Rothman said.

Notice the stark difference between gun rights advocates and gun control advocates in this story? Gun control advocates are striving to find something to further restrict while gun rights advocates are asking what relevance the amount of ammunition owned by the shooter had to do with the shooting. I think this is why our society has slowly turned away from supporting stricter gun control, the people advocating such things fail to make logical arguments.

Those calling for ammunition controls have also failed to explain what good such controls would do. A person is limited in the amount of ammunition they can use in a crime. First of all ammunition isn’t weightless so the amount of can carry on their person is limited to the physical strength of the individual in question. Second of all a person can only operate a fixed number of firearms at the same time (two, if they’re operating a handgun in each hand) so the amount they can fire is limited by human anatomy. The story mentioned that controlling ammunition could give police an indicator that an individual is planning to do something wrong but they would be forced to interview every competitive shooter in the state (we go through a lot of ammunition). They would also be forced to interview ever person purchasing for a group buy or simply stockpiling ammunition because they found a really good sale. In other words the police would be forced to sink their time into countless wasted interviews. It would accomplish nothing besides wasting everybody’s time.

We should also consider the absurdity of controlling ammunition. Ammunition isn’t complicated to make, in fact there are reloading presses that allow you to make great quantities of ammunition quickly. If somebody is unable to purchase 10,000 rounds of ammunition they will simply make it or buy it from somebody who does make it (what a great agorist opportunity).

There is no logic in gun control and even less in ammunition control.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 4th, 2012 at 11:30 am