Saturday, February 27, 2016

Siena Community Association and Home Safety

Last week, Nevada Carry had the pleasure of speaking with the residents of the Siena Community Association in the southwest of the Las Vegas Valley. Instructor Mac McAllister of Blue and Gold Firearms Training and I went on a little bit about gun rights and self-defense in and outside the home. Well, Mac went on for a little bit. Me on the other hand…I went on a lot. Let’s just say there is a reason I prefer to write. Anyhow, the crowd was very polite and receptive. Plus the lovely Activities Manager, Chelsee, didn’t cut off my microphone.

Siena residents have been concerned lately with a spike in burglaries and home invasions in the areas. Prefacing our discussion of firearms, Officer Bella Scholes of the LVMPD discussed some very important tips to keep intruders out to begin with. Sadly, I felt a palpable sensation of fear from the crowd. Some residents quite frankly seemed terrified at the prospects of crime. What I tried to relate was that while wariness is appropriate, fear is not. I reminded everyone that for the most part, life in an upper middle class neighborhood is pretty safe. Officer Scholes pointed out that the vast majority of violent home invasions are targeted to homes known to have large amounts of cash or drugs. Gang violence, not a direct threat to most citizens, is also another driver of crime.

Too often, we fear the unknown. Most of us like predictable outcomes. Uncertainty bothers us. The thought of an empty house being cased by burglars is unsettling, when in reality, no one is watching, not even your neighbors staring absent-mindedly out the window. Stories in newspapers and especially on TV (the latter often being sensationalized) paint an inaccurate picture. The same goes for pins on a crime map. What house was targeted? Why?

Most of us have had pretty sedate lives. In my private life, the only time I’ve been a victim of a violent crime was when I was robbed at gun point when the fast food joint I worked at in high school was held up. For most Americans, violence is an exception, not the norm. That isn’t always the same in rural or impoverished communities. Elderly folks tend to be weaker, due to age, and viewed as ‘easy prey’ by criminals. That’s why a firearm in the hands of a trained and confident senior citizen is an equalizing force. While a young man such as myself could take a beating, I know my grandmother could not survive what would likely be a non-fatal battery to me.

Buying guns and taking physical security measures aren’t acts of desperation or a harbinger of a future needs for those things. Having a gun the home won’t cause a burglary any more than owning a fire extinguisher and smoke alarms will cause your house to burst into flames. Guns are for the worst-case scenario; it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. Along with that is confidence. A gun in your closet doesn’t magically keep burglars away. A good example is sticking a fake security camera or an alarm system sign in your front yard; let’s hope no one calls your bluff.

Physical security measures do work. Lighting your perimeter denies criminals a place to hide and allows for easier identification. Security cameras can alert you or document evidence for the police. Planting cactus and other painful plants keep people from coming over the wall or at least making them regret they jumped. A hard-target home isn’t going to necessarily make you invincible. The same goes for open carry; “I’m not an easy target. Go elsewhere.” It sounds cruel, as I told one woman, but you really do want them to go to the neighbor’s house.

Despite all these measures, someone can still get in, if they are determined or stupid enough. At that point, all you can do is fight back. We discussed running into another room, shouting “I have a gun,” and firing warning shots. Nevada has no duty to retreat or to give a warning before using deadly force. If someone is breaking into your house for the purpose of offering you or your loved ones physical violence, you can legally shoot them. Read the actual laws on the Self-Defense page and talk to an instructor for more details.

Of course, the whole idea is to avoid the encounter in the first place. Call 911 at the first sign of trouble. Keep your doors or cars locked. Generally, it’s preferable to get your family to a locked room and arm yourself. Let the police clear the house, but you have the right to do it yourself and the right to shoot instead of run away. What do to in a given set of circumstances is impossible to predict beforehand, but if you can reasonably mitigate the outcome away from a shooting, try it, but not at the risk of your life. While civil immunity exists for true self-defense shootings, if you made a mistake, the legal process is a nightmare. Plus, good people tend to feel guilty for taking a life, even when justified.

Las Vegas Metro PD has community policing units that will perform home security evaluations as do most large law enforcement agencies. Even the smaller departments will likely have an officer or a deputy who is happy to talk to you about what you can improve and what is going on in your community. Take advantage of police outreach programs and citizen academies. It’s a wonderful chance to see through the eyes of a cop and really see what goes on in your neighborhood that you don’t see.

To Nevadans and the residents of Siena, don’t be afraid. Be smart, be watchful, and be confident because you took the steps to harden your home and defend yourself. Make it easier on the police by helping them before and after the fact. If they don’t have to show up at all, ever, that’s great!


Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Inside Story of the PUC's Solar Protest Open Carry Ban


The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUC) recently illegally interfered with the open carry of firearms at contentious hearings regarding the recent solar rate changes. General Counsel Lina Tanner called the exercise of Second Amendment rights “irresponsible behavior” despite no violent or overtly threatening acts. “Things were getting really tense on the ground,” she told the LVRJ about the Feb. 8 incident. Nevada Carry submitted a public records request for emails related to the threats and open carry issue.

.PDF file of the public records is available here.

The actual denial of entry on Feb. 8 was to two individuals openly carrying firearms trying to deliver a wheelbarrow full of public comment cards to the hearing room. Delivering the cards was deemed to be disruptive. An email sent ‘live’, details that one of the security guards also told the armed citizens that they could not enter with their guns. One of the armed citizens said they’d be back again, fully armed, and with 1000 people (presumably protestors). The Feb. 12 denial of entry was based on an openly carried firearm.

4th from left appears to have a concealed firearm. Source: Twitter, Bring Back Solar
Threats and Outrage

An email (edges cutoff) was included that contained considerable amounts of vulgar invective in a rambling tirade. The insinuations made by the party or parties responsible were quite immature and probably did nothing to help anyone’s case. There were no actionable, criminal threats made in the email, but the publishing of various PUC commissioners’ addresses and statements about a commissioner’s daughter could be reasonably interpreted as an attempt at intimidation. Most of us, at least those of us in the gun-rights community, believe that personal lives should remain separate from a person’s professional life and that ad hominem attacks are unjustified.

The email in question and the solar rate outrage does show that the PUC has tapped into more than just citizens irked over their solar rates. In the last few years, Americans have shown increased anger at local, state, and federal agencies that seem to have overstepped their bounds and trodden upon the citizen in favor of special interests. It seems that the PUC has gone against the wishes of the public in favor of NV Energy, which breeds this level of distrust and criticism.

The monopoly that power companies have doesn’t help either. In this issue, as well as with gun rights issues, the public feels that their representative democracy has been usurped by public interests. We saw this same railroading of public opinion when gun bills came up for vote in 2015’s legislature. In Nevada, bureaucrats and elected officials often go too far in protecting private industry or their own governmental fiefdom, forgetting that the people too have a say.

Based on the information available, the open carriers alarmed the PUC because of their presence in a large crowd protesting a heated issue. Coupled with the personal attacks against the commissioners, the PUC got scared and had a knee-jerk reaction. We have no information at this time that the citizens openly carrying firearms were responsible for any threats or other illegal acts.

Nevada Carry would like law enforcement, who we know read this blog, to provide us with any information about actual threats. We don’t approve of that kind of thing and would like to help expose anyone who behaves criminally.

Alternatives

The PUC incorrectly focused on firearms as the problem when the problem was actually boorish behavior. An over-stated threat centralized on guns because of their stigmatized nature. The one substantive action the PUC could take was banning firearms to increase the level of psychological safety. It was all an illegal exercise of security theater.

On Monday and Friday, had someone armed with a weapon made a threat, acted in a suspicious or threatening manner, or otherwise created a disturbance, they could have been arrested for those violations. Illegally keeping out open carriers was not the solution here. Keeping someone out because one doesn’t like the fact that they are legally armed is government intimidation, illegal, and unconstitutional. A perceived threat does not constitute and actual threat.

The Second Amendment is as important as the First and deserves the same respect. The PUC would (probably) never attempt to exclude anyone because any legal speech that the PUC happened to disagree with. In fact, keeping out anyone with a Bring Back Solar shirt would be unconscionable and never brought up for debate. Why is it supposedly okay to infringe upon the right to bear arms, especially in the absence of probable cause that a legally carried weapon will be used in a crime? The state and federal constitution apply in their entirety inside public buildings, not just outside.

Arresting someone for lawful open carry (or other charges in lieu of gun charges), simply because it is done at a heated protest at or near government offices has chilling effect upon the other Second Amendment rights. We have seen elsewhere open carriers arrested for “obstructing an officer” or trespass. 
“‘When law enforcement can decide willy-nilly that they don't like what you're doing and tell you to leave, because you have a right to be on public property, we have a problem with this state,’ [CJ] Grisham said [of Texas Open Carry].” 
The PUC has now improperly banned openly carried firearms in their offices; who is to say it stops with them and not another state agency? Or perhaps the government and public become conditioned to infringements and slowly, their right to bear arms slips away, soon to be followed in the grave by other rights. Exercising a right that public officials disagree with is not “inappropriate behavior.” Imagine if state agencies set the precedence that they can decide what laws apply to them and what rights they will honor?

Open Carry and Public Buildings

In 1995, NRS 202.3673 was enacted, prohibiting firearms in virtually any public building. This was the same year and part of the same bill (SB 299) that made Nevada into a ‘shall issue’ state for concealed firearm permits. Prior to 1995, Nevada had no law prohibiting firearms in public buildings (apart from schools), concealed or otherwise. Additionally, Nevada has never had a law regarding openly carried firearms in any fashion.

NRS 202.3673 specifically prohibits only concealed firearms and not openly carried firearms. Additionally, signs or metal detectors must be present at each public entrance.

It was then liberalized in 1999; that with very few exceptions, anyone with a concealed firearm permit could carry a concealed firearm in a government building. A state legislator in hearings correctly pointed out that signs disarm the law abiding, do little to deter criminals, and that all but a fraction of mass shootings in the US since 1950 occurred in ‘gun-free’ zones. Out of concern for citizens who were disarmed by this law, the restriction was changed to allow firearms in most public buildings.

In 2007, the current law was passed which makes the prohibition applicable to concealed firearms in any building that has signs or metal detectors at each public entrance (which the PUC did do on Friday, Feb. 12, for the solar rate hearing).

Openly carried firearms (generally in belt holsters) are not prohibited by law in public buildings. State law (NRS 202.3673) specifically prohibits only concealed firearms in public buildings. An opinion from the Legislative Counsel Bureau in this year’s legislative session confirmed this fact. Legislators took no action to ban openly carried firearms in public buildings.

Other State Facilities

The PUC should have reached out to other state agencies to see what their policies are. The DMV, for example, acknowledges legality of openly carried firearms and does not interfere with armed citizens going about their business. Several memos and emails are available to this effect have been issued. After a few encounters with security, open carriers contacted the administrators, who then made the staff aware of open carry’s legality and changed the signs statewide. The NRS 407.0475 and the Admin Code prohibits the state park system from restricting the right to bear arms.

The materials included in the public records request pertain only to the legislature itself and the Supreme Court, which may or may not have legal authority to issue a court order for its facilities.

PUC’s Illegal Gun Ban



The PUC's policy to prohibit “all firearms or dangerous weapons, of any type, concealed or unconcealed” “regardless of whether the person is licensed to carry the weapon or not” is illegal on its face. Sorry, a plain reading of the statue indicates that they just can’t do this. This is another case of government (the state itself, this time) betting on the fact that no one will try to test them and/or file a lawsuit in challenge.

The ‘or else’ segment states that the criminal act is trespassing. Here, they are tacitly admitting that they cannot actually ban openly carried firearms per NRS 202.3673, but nonetheless doing it anyway. Unless one is causing some sort of disturbance or committing another crime while openly carrying a firearm (the gun itself is not a disturbance), being removed from the premises would be illegal.

Furthermore, the state preemption statutes, while aimed primarily at municipalities, do contain the unambiguous clause: 
“The regulation of the [...] possession, carrying [...] firearms [...] in this State and the ability to define such terms is within the exclusive domain of the Legislature, and any other law, regulation, rule or ordinance to the contrary is null and void.” (taken from NRS 244.3641.b, emphasis added) 
The PUC does not have any legal grounds for making such a policy, given the explicitness of the legislature’s intent, and any legal advice to the contrary would be bad advice. I’m sure the attorney general told them as much, which is why their policy only refers to trespassing as a punishment, and not arrest under NRS 202.3673. This policy was quite likely intended to provide cover for the exigent crisis so, as the emails state, security could have a policy to refer to when it turned people away. Even so, such a policy should never have been made as no legal authority for it exists.

Suggestion for the PUC: amend your policy by leaving out openly carried firearms and state that anyone causing a disturbance, etc., in a public building will be subject to removal or arrest for the appropriate violation. That way, you’re legal, you don’t get sued for violating the right to keep and bear arms, and get “the open carry people” to go away.

Lastly, why is the PUC afraid of guns they can see? Had there been no openly carried firearms, in theory, one could have carried a concealed firearm into the meeting (editor is unaware if the facility in question was posted prior to the week of Feb 8). It’s the guy who hides the gun and unexpectedly attacks that’s the problem. It’s the person who doesn’t care for laws, metal detectors, or security that won’t be stopped by a policy. Policies banning guns only serve to disenfranchise the law-abiding citizens and further alienate a distrustful and suspicious citizenry.   

Editor’s note: I feel compelled to remind the PUC, law enforcement, and anyone unfamiliar with our work that we proudly support law enforcement yet we encourage government accountability, loves our constitutional rights, and we are fiercely patriotic. We strongly disapprove of any "sovereign citizen" movement which advocates violence against police, a non-democratic overthrow of the government, or any other assorted tin-foil hat paranoia. While we support the right to open carry peacefully, even in a protest, we do not approve of violence, threatening invective, or using the Second Amendment right to intimidate. It takes citizens and their government officials, all respecting each other as an individual, the constitutions, and the law to make our country and state work. Citizens carriers, particularly open carriers, must be good ambassadors for an armed citizenry and show that nothing bad happens when normal people can enjoy their right to keep and bear arms.

I would like to thank Ms. Williamson and the PUC for being so responsive and thorough in their response to my public records request. Such prompt action promotes trust in, and transparency of, government.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Rant: Westside Armory, Open Carry, and Thank-Yous

Normally, I’m not one for rants on this blog, but several things have stuck in my craw lately so I have to get them off my chest.

Westside Armory hosted a reporter from Bloomberg Business for three days. Bloomberg Business is former New York mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s legitimate reporting arm. Bloomberg is a leading financial news business, but Bloomberg’s affiliated The Trace is an anti-gun rag which is used to spread agitprop under the guise of being objective. In all fairness, the article is un-sensational and rather even handed, yet it clearly tows the company line of gun control and pro-universal background checks. Why did they pick a gun shop in Nevada? Oh, that’s right, the anti-gun groups Bloomberg is funding are pushing the UBC initiative here.

Westside Armory’s owner Cameron Hopkins, told Bloomberg he had no objection to universal background checks, which would ban private gun sales by requiring owners to obtain a background check with licensed dealers like Hopkins. If the initiative passes, that means that dealers like Hopkins gets to charge people for the privilege of selling their guns. Dealers will make money if the initiative passes. Numerous other statements in the article imply that Hopkins is okay with compromising when it comes to the Second Amendment. I’ll let you judge his words on your own, but I’m not okay with that.

To be fair, dealers do have to make judgment calls on their customers the same way a liquor store or bar should be denying liquor to people who are already obviously well-beyond drunk. It’s called self-policing and part of responsible citizenship. Self-policing of an industry is a lot more preferable to government regulations, which most gun dealers and Californians will tell you has become excessive. Facebook took away a huge option to self-police when it came to private gun sales and indeed made private gun sales less safe.

Gun owners did some stupid things, like the guy who gave his full name and where he works, while admitting that he intends to carry a concealed firearm at work. We can only hope that if his boss sees the article, that the distributor he works for supports its employees’ right to self-defense.

Several people have asked me about giving Hopkins a chance to clarify his statement, since the Bloomberg article didn’t give exact, detailed quotations in context. We’ve seen this before with local TV news channels. However, Bloomberg’s reporter spent three days in the store. Three days is long enough to gather and reflect the true opinion of the business owner. Three days is long enough to clarify:

“Well actually, only about 15% of guns bought privately would require a background check under the wording of the initiative. The 40% you quoted was a myth that included family transfers that wouldn’t regulated. Plus, the majority of illegal gun transactions come from corrupt dealers, street dealers who sell guns like drugs, straw purchases, and theft.”

But Hopkins didn’t do that, apparently. It appears that he jumped at the chance to get publicity for his business, either unaware or not caring that Bloomberg Business has an agenda to help destroy gun ownership. Not cool. This is the same business that continued to hold guns for 72 hours even after SB 175/240 did away with the local laws requiring the same. It was only after Metro PD sent a letter out a few days later confirming that they were no longer enforcing this did Westside drop their pointless waiting period.

New Frontier Armory, in North Las Vegas, is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment and private gun sales. They held the blue card burning party back in July to celebrate state preemption. Their employees know better than to end up in a compromising position with the media and their owner is a pretty cool stand-up dude. They aren’t wanting for business, either.

Now, Hopkins can certainly contact us to clarify his stance and will happily retract our statements, but only subject to our new policy below. We have seen too many businesses whose employees or owners make statements that are either outright support for banning private gun sales, or have been open enough to be taken out of context by biased news media (disclaimer, I admit my bias). Local gun owners need to either say ‘no’ to interviews or make darn sure their words are

New policy: Because it's all too easy for businesses to make damning statements and later retract them, under the claim that they were misquoted or taken out of context, Nevada Carry will assume business meant what they told journalists. Ex post facto apologies must be confirmed by prior proof that the business does not support background checks on private gun sales or the other gun control issue du jour. To businesses, if you put yourself in a position to be misquoted or misconstrued, be very careful what you say. The onus is on you to prove that those were not your words.

Open Carry

You want to open carry? Fine. I don’t care how you dress or if your holster cost $9.99. Just make sure it’s a retention holster and you carry smart. I don’t want any gun snatchings in Nevada (which are exceedingly rare period, so STFU) and I will make it a point to humiliate you if it does happen to you here.

USE A RETENTION HOLSTER, CARRY LOADED, AND PRACTICE SITUATIONAL AWARENESS AT ALL TIMES  OR DON’T CARRY OPENLY

Open carry isn’t about looking cool. It’s not something you do to make you look more intimidating to bad guys or someone who might disrespect you. It’s not about getting attention. The people who carry openly for those reasons make the rest of us look bad and endanger our rights.

Also, you want to open carry and make a point, such as when it comes to government buildings? Fine, but do it right. Have the courage to go in. Be knowledgeable about the laws and how to talk to the staff. Record or video your interaction and get the names of everyone you talk to. If the police do something bad, like take your gun or tell you lies about the law, file a complaint so that they can be corrected. Don’t just whine online, leave out details, and expect us to jump up to defend you.

Also, tell people about this website. Spread the word because, and this just isn’t my opinion, it’s a really good central resource for Nevada gun and self-defense laws. We’ve literally be educating and changing thousands of minds here, but we can’t reach those outside the mainstream gun community without word of mouth. One guy, me, pays for this and I can’t afford the advertising and time chasing stories around like the biased and disinterested Review-Journal reporters.

Thank You

I would like to thank my contributors and proofreaders for your help. My friends here at Nevada Carry keep me going when I have to do the heavy lifting and your work to make us a stronger information and news outlet is appreciated.


I want to thank everybody on here who does something for the Second Amendment fight. We all know the core individuals who give them time to volunteer, speak out at public meetings, march, run the FB pages (espcially the mods/admins), websites, etc. It's a very small group, but I'd like to think that our small corps are the vanguard of the Nevada defenders of the 2nd Amendment. With all the gun stores and ranges, it's our daily efforts that are making the biggest impact in keeping the fight going.

-GC


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Happy Birthday! Nevada Carry is 2 Years Old

It's Nevada Carry's second birthday! Way back in 2014, while waiting for my concealed firearm permit to arrive (took 119 days because LVMPD is incompetent or deliberately slow) I decided to begin carrying openly. I was a little nervous and worried about being accosted by Moms Who Demand Action or police. I also wanted to share the gospel of open carry, so I made a little website to go along with business cards I made. What began as a simple webpage grew into what it is now.

Nevada Carry is quickly turning into a hub of information on Nevada carry laws, self-defense laws, and general gun and gun-rights information. Our blog is set to break 150,000 page views sometime this month. We broke the news about state preemption doing away with blue cards, we investigated the LVCC Library District's illegal ban of open carry, and continue to post factual, researched information for public edification.

Very few people here in Nevada stick up for the Second Amendment as much as we do here, so I want to thank those of you in the various forums and especially the Facebook mods and admins who work so hard. You know who you are! This is what grassroots effort looks like and if we keep it up, we can continue the freedom victory streak. Now get out and vote!

Please send friends here in lieu of gifts.

-GC

Check out the old site on Archive.org's Way Back Machine.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

PUC Doubles Down on Illegal Open Carry Ban

The Nevada Public Utilities Commission once again illegally prevented the entry of a citizen openly carrying a handgun into the solar rate hearing on Friday, Feb. 12. This happened at the PUC’s facility at 9075 W. Diablo Dr., Las Vegas.

Last Monday, exactly three armed protesters at the Bring Back Solar rally frightened the PUC commissioners. General Counsel Lina Tanner called the exercise of Second Amendment rights “irresponsible behavior” despite no violent or overtly threatening acts.

On Friday, Metro police were present, as well as metal detection devices. NRS 202.3673 prohibits carrying a concealed firearm into a government building (or office) with signs or metal detectors at each entrance, but an openly carried firearm is not illegal.

The citizen reports that he was told by a private security guard that he could not enter because he was wearing a gun. He was directed to “go outside and read the sign on the door,” (pictured) and given the option to put his gun in his car and re-enter, but no guns would be allowed. The citizen did not want to push the issue and left. Unlike the government, most private citizens don’t have a team of well-funded lawyers to fight their battles.

While the citizen would have been legally in the right to continue through and attend the meeting anyway, it is foreseeable that he would have been arrested on a trumped-up charge. The PUC had a woman cited for trespassing simply because she wanted to film a past meeting. The PUC called it a disruption, which Assemblywoman Shelton disagreed with, and laughably twisted the law to say they were allowed to prohibit filming, as the meeting was not subject to the open meeting law.

A question exists whether or not a part of a private building, used for public purposes, can prohibit firearms. The PUC leases space in the privately owned building, owned by Tierra Partners III LLC, out of Yuma, AZ.

NRS 202.3673 defines a “public building” to include the PUC’s facility inside the private building. 
6. (b) “Public building” means any building or office space occupied by:
            (2) The Federal Government, the State of Nevada or any county, city, school district or other political subdivision of the State of Nevada and used for any public purpose.
            If only part of the building is occupied by an entity described in this subsection, the term means only that portion of the building which is so occupied. 
Per NRS 202.3673, openly carried firearms cannot be prohibited from the PUC’s facility within the private building. The issue gets a bit more gray when one asks if the owner of the private building can exclude certain persons (in this case open carriers) from his building.

A common-sense interpretation of the trespass law (NRS 207.200) indicates yes, an owner of private property can keep whoever they want off of their property for whatever reason. Complicating the factor is that the building is held open to the public for public (government) purposes. So the question should really be, can a private property owner deny entry to the public who are entering the private property for access to a public building?

Again, the law is murky, but apply common sense, the answer would be no. On the surface, using a trespassing law to keep citizens from attending a public meeting, held on private property, would be a violation of the First Amendment's right to peaceably assemble, especially if done at the behest of a public agency.

The open carrier in question was not entering “with intent to vex or annoy the owner or occupant thereof, or to commit any unlawful act,” but to participate in a public body’s hearing. Nor was there any intent to commit "any nuisance", "[interfere] with or [disturb] those peaceably assembled within the building," (NRS 206.140) or “willfully disturb” the hearing (NRS 203.090).

On the other hand, I’d argue that the PUC committed conspiracy to prevent someone entering a public meeting. NRS 241.020 requires “all meetings of public bodies must be open and public, and all persons must be permitted to attend any meeting of these public bodies.” That doesn’t say that someone legally carrying firearm can be prohibited from entering the meeting. Now, had the citizen tried to enter anyway and was arrested or physically prevented, he’d probably have a case to charge the offenders with the above.

No direct or indirect threat was ever made (unless the PUC is not disclosing something) against any public officials, at least from those legally openly carrying firearms. Chandler Sherman (solar protestor), told the LVRJ: "We have zero tolerance for unlawful conduct, and we have not observed or heard about any unlawful conduct inside or outside of the proceedings.” From statements to the press, the PUC officials are bothered by the public opposition to their actions and furthermore don’t like citizens who are legally armed. Oddly enough, at least one of the open carriers does so on a regular basis and the hearing/protest was not a special occasion he ‘tooled up’ for. This is a case of public officials, upset with public outcry, who are afraid of guns, throwing their weight around.

As I’m fond of saying, “Forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown.” But no, not anymore. Nevadans are standing up to the corruption and abuse of our Second Amendment rights. No, we’re not fighting this battle with our guns, but our phones, pens, keyboards, and the occasional hand-made sign.

Comments from LVMPD, the PUC, as well as a Nevada Open Records Act pertaining to this matter are pending.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Nevada Public Utility Commission Illegally Interferes with Open Carriers

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that the Nevada Public Utilities Commission is frightened by citizens exercising their right to openly carry a firearm at solar rate protest. They were frightened of exactly three protesters. The armed citizens were illegally prevented from entering the meeting, presumably for being armed.

NRS 202.3673 only prohibits concealed weapons in public buildings, something the DMV and libraries in Clark County had to find out the hard way. It is specifically legal to openly carry a firearm in public buildings and the PUC meeting. Any public official who participated in the illegal act violated the citizens’ civil rights, absent any information that the citizens were engaged in any other crime.

General Counsel Lina Tanner called the exercise of Second Amendment rights “irresponsible behavior” despite no violent or overtly threatening acts. “Things were getting really tense on the ground,” she told the LVRJ. Uh, how? They were yelling at you because you did something that upset the public? Darn those citizens exercising their First and Second Amendment rights! Darn the Constitution! Public employee’s feelings were hurt! Panties were twisted.

The individuals, would be returning to Friday’s meeting armed again, which is their right. Tanner accused the citizen carriers of attempting to threaten or intimidate the commission. This is the same commission that had a citizen arrested for videotaping their proceedings.

PUC staff is considering metal detectors, which would only be intended to catch someone stupid enough to illegally carry a concealed weapon in a public building or, what it’s really intended for, to intimidate legally armed open carriers. Of course, the PUC can’t keep out open carriers.

If a crime was committed, such as brandishing or making threats, police would have intervened. Obviously none of that happened. Chandler Sherman, told the LVRJ: "We have zero tolerance for unlawful conduct, and we have not observed or heard about any unlawful conduct inside or outside of the proceedings.” The PUC apparently does not like the fact that the public is upset, expressing themselves, and exercising their rights, which includes remaining openly armed in public buildings. Peaceable assembly can include self-defense weapons.

The PUC and Nevada government entities need to realize that Nevadans will not tolerate infringement upon the Second Amendment or our right to protect ourselves. Nevada Carry urges any legally armed citizens affected by illegal actions to disarm or intimidate them to contact us.


Comment from the PUC is pending. 


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Open Carry is Not Suicidal: Incidents Examined, Rumors and Myths Debunked

All citizen carriers have their own favorite method of carry. Each reason is personal and unique to the individual. Problems arise when one person insists only one method of carry is correct and denies any argument to the contrary. Open carry unfortunately suffers undeserved vilification, which is often supported with rumor and unproven assertions. At worst, someone may be deterred from the only method of defensive carry they have available. It's not okay to scare someone out of self-defense. 

What is a concealed carry supremacist?

A concealed carry supremacist is not someone who believes concealed carry is what works best for them.

A concealed carry supremacist is someone who denigrates open carry and those who choose to practice it, without fully understanding open carry or ever having practiced it. They believe that their chosen method of carry, concealed carry, is the only way to carry and anyone who carries openly is foolish, ignorant, or eager for attention. A concealed carry supremacist’s opinion goes way beyond personal preference. Their opinion is rooted in ego and a lack of education and experience. Immaturely, they dismiss open carry because it does not fit their preconceived notions about self-defense and an armed citizenry.

Some feel that a concealed firearm permit makes them superior to others because it requires training and a background check. It is a privilege that has to be earned, rather than a right exercised. Anyone who can legally own a gun can carry openly (in Nevada). A supremacist feels diminished that someone can carry without all the extras the supremacist took the time to obtain. In the supremacist’s mind, open carriers are ill-trained sheep wandering around without a shepherd.

Arguments Concealed Carry Supremacists Make

“They’re gonna steal your gun.”

The major reservation that many have with open carry is that the gun could be snatched. While this unfortunately happens all too often to law enforcement officers, citizens don’t face the same type of encounters with criminals. Most of these types of gun snatchings are either an attempt at suicide by cop or a desperate way to escape from the officer during a struggle. Gun snatchings from open carriers are extraordinarily rare events and concealed carriers face the same, if not greater, chances of being disarmed.

From the handful of documented times an armed citizen was targeted, each incident has many nuances that negate the simplicity of the supremacists’ arguments. Furthermore, it will take an epidemic, rather than a few isolated stories, usually tied to someone unprepared to use their weapon, before totally discounting open carry’s validity. Concealed carriers are also subject to the same threats. Let’s take a look at some incidents:*

June 2010, Milwaukee, WI (confirmed open carry)
An open carrier was robbed at gun point for his gun. Details are sparse, but the citizen was locally known as “the guy with the gun.” Though it could simply be prejudice, a neighbor (who also admitted to be scared by seeing the openly carried pistol) felt that the man carried out of bravado. "I think he was trying to scare people off like, 'Yeah, don't mess with me,' kind of attitude, but it didn't work." Open carry isn’t about projecting a tough attitude or a substitute for being tough or street-smart.

Nik Clark, of Wisconsin Open Carry, summed up the situation perfectly. "By and large it is a significant deterrent…but I think it really does make the point that Wisconsin should have concealed carry along with open carry so that people who live in a very high crime neighborhood where criminals aren't deterred by firearms would have the ability to conceal carry to protect themselves.” In some places and situations, concealed carry is the better option, which is why both methods allow for flexibility.

Nov. 2011, Richmond, VA (confirmed open carry)
A sixteen year old thug and an accomplice followed the open carrier into a BP gas station. At some point, a struggle occurred. "The suspects walk in and one immediately reached for [the victim's] gun." The victim was unable to draw his firearm in response. Now disarmed, the victim began to chase the now-armed suspect, who was shot in the chest and killed. The suspect later murdered another man with the stolen gun. The suspect was apprehended and received a sentence of 40 years in prison.

It’s unknown if the victim was using a retention holster or not but appears that the victim was taken by surprise. What probably got him killed was chasing the suspect into the store. Chasing a bad guy with a gun when you don’t have a gun is a bad idea.

The 21 year old had purchased a gun earlier in the day. At 2AM he was on a street corner with his cousin when he was approached by another male who, after asking for a cigarette (a common ruse to get close to someone), brandished his own gun and robbed the young man of his new pistol.

There is enough information in the article to lead one to believe this was not an incident of a person open carrying a loaded firearm for self-defense. Anecdotal evidence around the internet says this isn't exactly a great area of town. Also, nothing good happens after midnight, or so the saying goes.

Rather this reads as a young man, unprepared to use the gun he was carrying, inexperienced with guns, showing it off to his cousin. No mention was made if the weapon was loaded or even holstered.

Dec. 2014, New Orleans, LA (concealed carry)
The victim was approached by multiple males, pistol whipped, and forced to the ground. He was then frisked and relieved of his concealed weapon. The suspects fled. It is unknown if the victim had a concealed weapon permit.

Jan. 2015, Brandon, FL (concealed carry)
A Florida man was arrested and also placed on a mental health hold after he attacked a man legally carrying a concealed weapon (not open carry). Michael Foster, 43, saw that 62-year old Clarence Daniels, shopping for coffee creamer, was carrying a concealed handgun. Foster apparently saw Daniels take his weapon from his vehicle and holster it under his clothing before entering the store.

Security camera footage shows Foster approach Daniels from behind, grab Daniels’ head, and knock Daniels to the ground. After a brief struggle, Foster subdues Daniels. Passersby assisted in restraining and disarming Daniels. During the struggles, Foster was yelling “He has a gun!” Daniels replied “I have a permit! [to carry the weapon].

Shannon Watts, of one of hydra-headed Bloomberg supported groups, posted on Twitter apparently supporting the attack. Such anti-gun groups, through their supporters, are known for advocating such attacks or false reporting to police, known as ‘SWATing’, to harass law abiding guns owners.

April 2015, Yakima, WA (confirmed open carry)
A man was shopping with his children, purchasing a new batting helmet for his son, when he encountered a disheveled man, Trevor Zumwalt. Zumwalt made eye contact with the citizen carrier several times. Zumwalt then drew a baseball bat from the rack and raised it to a swinging position. The citizen turned to take the blow on his arm, drew his pistol, chambered a round, and held Zumwalt at gunpoint until police arrived. The citizen said that he will choose to carry concealed in the future.

The citizen carrier, Brandon Walker, didn’t do anything wrong. It’s unknown what exactly Zumwalt was doing or what his intention was when he attacked; there was no admission or information that Zumwalt was trying to kill because of his pistol or disarm Walker. One thing is certain and that is Walker should have been carrying with a round chambered in his Sig Sauer pistol.

July 2015, New York, NY (concealed carry)
An off-duty NYPD officer was assaulted in a parking garage. A suspect was seen in security video hiding and lying in wait. The suspect ripped a necklace off of the female officer and the two began to struggle over her purse, which contained her pistol. When she attempted to retrieve her firearm, the suspect punched her several times in the face. Once the officer lost control of the purse and the gun, the suspect fled, now armed with the officer’s weapon. He was later arrested. NYPD officials were looking into disciplining the officer for violating department protocols by failing to keep the weapon holstered on her body.

Aug. 2015, Philadelphia, PA (concealed carry)
A robber approached an armed citizen from behind and grabbed the citizen. The men began struggling, and at some point, the citizen's gun fell out of its holster. The men began fighting over the pistol. A shot was fired inadvertently, narrowly missing the (dis)armed citizen. The citizen regained control of the situation and chased the robber out of the store.

The citizen was apparently not using a retention holster, which could have kept his gun from being snatched. In the video, you can clearly see the robber get way too close to the citizen, who is totally unaware that someone is standing so close to him. Such an egregious violation of personal space should have been a huge red flag. This was a failure of situational awareness.

Sept. 2015, Medford, OR (concealed carry)
The victim was carrying his pistol in a holster in the back of his waistband (small of the back), partially concealed by his shirt. He was followed into the restroom by the suspect, who then tried to grab gun. When he was not able to, the suspect punched the victim, who fell to the ground. The victim was disarmed and the suspect forced the victim to run away at gun point. The suspect was later arrested and found to be a felon under the influence of drugs and on parole.

A concealed firearm needs to be properly concealed or entirely out in the open. A poorly concealed firearm lends the impression that one is untrained and unprepared to use it. Furthermore, small of the back carry provides the least amount of control over a firearm of all positions. Yet again, this is a case of concealed carrier being attacked. It’s important to note the presence of a firearm does not magically keep bad things from happening. Sometimes you will be victimized regardless of your precautions simply because tweaking felons don’t make smart choices. All one can do is prepare the best they can for adverse circumstances.

Jan. 2016, Madison, WI (concealed carry)
A Madison man was robbed of cash and his concealed handgun while he was trying to buy marijuana. The drug buyer—an unlawful user of a controlled substance and thus prohibited from possessing a firearm—also had a concealed carry permit. The victim was not injured.

An open carrier was robbed of his firearm. He was approached by two men who demanded his firearm, disarmed him, and knocked him to the ground. Nuances: he’s at a motel that has had several past prostitution and drug busts. Sure, police say he had his gun in a holster, but something sounds odd about this. Could he have been carrying concealed illegally and told police it was open carry to avoid a charge, but still being able to report the robbery and loss of his gun?

Similar incidents across the country have generated more media interest than a single article, with scant details, repeated only in national online publications that appeal to armed citizens and conservatives. At face value, this may be the only actual example of a true open carry example ever, but something is off about this whole incident. Ultimately, this ‘open carrier’ did not have situational awareness and was a coward for not defending himself while armed.

Analysis

Three incidents confirmed incidents of open carriers robbed or attacked, only one fatality, and one thwarted attack. One of those victims was killed when he chased the now-armed robber down. Two of the open carry incidents can only be dubiously considered to be true cases of open carry. Six of the incidents, the majority, were confirmed to be concealed carry.

What did these events have in common? Most of these events took place during the hours of darkness. What appears to be common thread with those who were disarmed is carelessness, including:

  • Repeated failures of situational awareness by letting the bad guys get too close.
  • Failure to use a retention holster (including off-body carry).
  • No will to fight back.
  • No skills at retaining control of the weapon.
  • Using the gun as a talisman rather than a serious tool.        
The majority of these incidents show, or at least hint at, major failures in judgment and basic self-defense techniques. Human failure, not systemic failure. Three equivocal documented events in recent news don’t amount to a denunciation of open carry as dangerous. It’s like saying concealed carry, with its higher rate of incidents, should be discounted as well.

The assumption that an openly carried weapon constitutes an invitation for victimization is false in light of the isolated incidents. A few events do not constitute an abundance of evidence. Rather, abundant evidence is available that open carry is indeed a deterrent to crime while concealed carry lacks that deterrent factor.

While cops are the most likely to lecture someone about the 'dangers' of open carry, they put on their uniform and practice open carry all day. Why? Deterrence. For the most part, it works, despite the occasional incident where some desperate criminal decides to attack anyway. There is no guarantee that any method of carry is going to insulate someone from attack or save their life should one happen, regardless of experience, equipment, or precautions taken.

“Open carriers are gonna be the first to be shot.”

Concealed carry supremacists like to think that a bad guy will assume them to be unarmed and either ignore them totally or pay little attention to them. As the criminal is too busy robbing or etc., the concealed carrier will then draw his weapon and fire. Of course, the supremacists imagine those who were openly carrying are now lying dead on the floor. In another scenario, the concealed carrier, though surprised by an incompetent foe waiving his gun around, draw quickly from under their concealment garment and shoot the bad guy. Suddenly, they’ll go from ‘gray man’ to the last thing the bad guy ever sees. All right, in theory.

Criminals aren’t likely to target open carriers to remove any resistance to their crime based on the simple fact that most criminals don’t want any trouble, just a quick and easy score. Shooting someone massively complicates things for him. Executing an open carrier is far more risky than simply going elsewhere or waiting until the armed citizen leaves.

A criminal who starts shooting is at a huge disadvantage compared to an armed citizen. The armed citizen isn’t going to get in trouble for a righteous self-defense shooting. It’s the criminal who fires his gun that has to worry about running from the police and evading homicide detectives. Criminals generally seek easy targets. They are after money, not starting a gun fight. Guns are primarily used as an intimidation tool or as a last resort.. Going after someone who they know is armed introduces an element of risk that they could otherwise avoid.

In fact, there have been a few document cases where robbers have been in a business, but decided to leave and come back at a later time, because of the presence of an armed customer. Here's just one example. More of these examples exist than open carriers being disarmed. With concealed carry, one loses the deterrent effect of a visible handgun.

One argument a concealed carry supremacists made was that concealed carry "gives him control [of the situation]". The example was where he is ordered to the ground by a robber. Then, while the robber is momentarily distracted, he will draw his firearm and shoot the robber. First, the supremacist already lost control by not noticing the robber first and then by putting himself in a vulnerable position.

The supremacist’s anti-open carry example was that three bank robbers walk in, see the open carrier, and blast him. In theory, the concealed carrier could appear ‘harmless’ until the opportune time to counter-attack. In the sense of a stealthy bad guy sizing up his target before springing the attack, this theory does make sense, but it is the only time it does. Now what if the bad guys just start randomly shooting people? In most of the mass shootings and terrorist attacks I’m aware of, that’s what happened.

A concealed carrier is just as likely to be a target as anyone else who is unarmed. Blending in with the sheep only has advantages for those who know they are going to be targeted anyway. A wolf will still attack another wolf in sheep’s clothing, but that same wolf isn’t going to go after another wolf that looks just as fierce as him.

The Robber
Robbers have either extensively planned out their crime or have at least cased the location. They wait until there are no cops around and pick the best times for their crime. They want as little resistance as possible as their goal is to score, not kill people. That makes it harder for them to make their score and successfully get away. It is more advantageous for them to pay attention, size up the situation, and wait until any potential threat leaves, rather than execute an armed citizen and instantly complicate their plot at its inception.

Most robbers or terrorists who are likely to preemptively ambush an open carrier have the tenacity to succeed at their diabolical goal, concealed carry hero in the crowd or not. Those not specifically looking for a fight will wait or walk away if they see an open carrier.

The Addict
Those who would kill an armed citizen on sight are probably going to be the ones doped up or otherwise too nervous to notice someone who is nonchalantly carrying a holstered pistol. A magical discovery of the open carrier would have to come into play and intertwine with said open carrier’s total lack of situational awareness.

Most criminals who kill do so on impulse. They are the ones who are desperate and/or high, rushing into a liquor store for a quick score. These are the ones who shoot at compliant, unresisting clerks—the ones startled by a frightened customer, who they quickly ventilate in a panic. Those are the wild cards that only a fast draw from behind cover and an accurate shot can deal with. Even so, these people are so emotionally and psychologically all over the map they are just as likely to violently evacuate their bowels at the sight of a gun.

The Terrorist
Terrorists are another story. They are the ones most likely to target open carriers. However, one would hope that the average citizen carrier has the presence of mind to notice the Middle Eastern dude or white kid with the crazed look in his eye whipping an AK-47 out of a duffle bag. For the terrorist scenario to be plausible, the terrorist would have to blend in until it was time to ‘go loud’, surveilled the area, ID the open carrier, and hopefully draw and fire without the open carrier noticing.

“I want to blend in so I can surprise an attacker.”

Open carry’s main advantage is deterrence. Some concealed carry advocates prefer to blend in with unarmed citizens and rely on surprise in the event of an attack, feeling that open carry may make them a primary target for a criminal or terrorist. There is no evidence to suggest that open carriers have been prioritized in crimes over other parties because of their openly carried gun. Deterrence is a better option than surprise.

Far too many concealed carry supremacists don’t practice what they preach, specifically, the ‘gray man’ doctrine. That is, to dress and act in a non-descript way that draws no extra attention to oneself. Police officers are rather fond of this and for good reason. For the rest of us, it’s not so important in most of daily life. Hypocrisy arises when a supremacists says “I don’t want to draw attention to myself” and yet does so anyway. 

A lot of the guys that say this wear ‘Molon Labe’, Gadsden flag, or obviously pro-Second Amendment shirts. To an observant individual, it’s the equivalent of loudly announcing you have a gun. A less obvious extension of this is ‘tactical’ clothing like BDUs or 5.11 cargo pants, known affectionately as “kill me first pants”. Tactical flashlights and other gadgets clipped to the belt are a dead give-away there’s probably a pistol lurking under that waist band.  A smart criminal or terrorist, intent on killing, will lie in wait and execute the supremacist when their back is turned.

The 'gray man' element, appearing unremarkable and blending in with the crowd, only has application when one may be specifically sought out; such as in the case of a police officer. Cops have a vested interest remaining inconspicuous off-duty. The last thing they want is to be recognized by a bad guy, let alone identified as a cop when out with their families. Remaining inconspicuous is an important consideration, but it’s far from the only factor that one should use when choosing a method of carry.

Most of the objections to open carry are rooted in police officers’ opinions. Cops are a huge element in the concealed carry culture and moonlighting or retired cops often work as concealed carry instructors, passing along their opinions and biases to their students, most of whom are just average Joes. Cops have a vested interest in not being identified off-duty and their concerns don’t directly translate to the public.

“Open carriers do it to get attention.”

Concealed carry supremacists argue that all open carriers are doing it just to draw attention to themselves; that it's somehow an ego boost. This statement comes from someone who probably hasn’t carried openly before or much at all. They imagine that all open carriers are like the Chipotle Ninjas who carried their AR-15s, legally, into a restaurant to make a point that it was absurd for Texas to ban the open carry of handguns (prior to this year). Yes, sometimes people do use open carry to make a point, but the vast majority of open carriers aren't doing it out of vanity.

Many are worried about hearing criticism. Others feel that open carry frightens some and could sway an otherwise moderate person to the gun control side. This was a major argument in Texas during their struggle for open carry. "Out of sight, out of mind" will not change opinions. In fact, seeing normal people harmlessly going about their daily lives with an exposed pistol on their hip reinforces Second Amendment rights, just as the gun in the hands of a gangster has the opposite effect.

The interesting thing about concealed carry supremacists is that they seem to be obsessed with how others perceive them. Worrying about what others think is really self-absorbed. Only in a social environment where opinions do matter (such a family, church, work) should others’ opinions on method of carry be given consideration. Depending on the occasion and audience, one method or the other may project the desired appearance that the armed citizen desires, such as concealed carry at a dressy dinner, but open carry during a tax appointment.

The debate over 'attention' is largely a matter of taste and environment. A citizen carrier with anti-gun customers or friends may want to protect themselves without alienating others. Some people may feel uncomfortable carrying openly. Whatever the choice, it is a personal one and not to be judged or criticized.

The advantage of concealed carry lies in the fact that it may be possible to carry in places where open carriers would be shunned or asked to leave, such as casinos. Legally speaking, (in Nevada) the advantage is with open carry, yet due to modern sensitivities, the discreet option of undetected concealed carry would prevent any debates with anti-gunners or objections to having the weapon on private property where the owner/management might prohibit it. Also, given one’s choice of dress or activities, concealed carry may be more appropriate.

I’m a concealed carry instructor, get a CCW (and pay me to take my course)!

A pervasive and persistent problem is that concealed carry instructors denigrate, misrepresent, and outright lie about open carry. Why? Because open carry is free in Nevada and many other states. These dishonest instructors are engaging in a misguided attempt to earn additional business at the expense of their students. For an instructor, who is supposed to be an expert on their subject matter, it is immoral to offer training which is contrary to reality.

Students are subjected to bombastic rants about all the rumors debunked in this article, leaving them with the false impression that open carry is dangerous. Bad advice has seriously affected the firearms community in Clark County because of instructors who are more interested in promoting their own selfish agendas than provide accurate training. Ego gets in the way and they use their position and influence to impose their opinions on others. When challenged for spreading disinformation, far too many instructors double down on their stance, denying evidence when confronted and dismissing logical arguments.

Are you a concealed carry instructor who demonizes open carry? Your dishonesty is a disgrace to the Second Amendment and self-defense community. A good instructor knows that open carry allows flexibility for self-defense. A good instructor explains the benefits of being able to conceal in places and situations where open carry is undesirable. A good instructor tells their students about the background check discount a permit can get them and the other states that recognize Nevada’s permit. A good instructor tells the truth, lets students decide their own opinions, and doesn’t win business through deceit.

Open Carry Safety Tips

The consistent theme in the few and far between open carry incidents boil down to a lack of situational awareness, lack of a retention holster, no will to fight, and no weapon retention techniques. One who carries a gun must do so using the proper equipment and in a manner ready to use it.

1. Use a retention holster, preferably a positive locking one, but even a tightly fitted friction retention holster is better than a loose, low quality one. Keep your firearm at a strong point on your body where you can observe it with your peripheral vision, generally no further back on your body than the 4 o’clock position.

2. Situational awareness is paramount. Never be too distracted, too buried in the newspaper, or too into your phone to notice who is around you. Pay particular attention to people behind you and don't let anyone get too close. If you are going to be distracted, for eating or drinking, sit with your back or gun side to the wall or other solid obstacle to shield your weapon.

3. Keep your gun hand free and preferably use your arm to shield your weapon in crowded or questionable situations. Anyone grabbing your gun will have to brush your arm fist. Maintaining positive control of your handgun before a snatch occurs is the best way to retain your gun.

4. Don't give up your gun! If you are imminently about to be attacked or your gun snatched, create distance between you and your opponent, draw your weapon, and fire if the threat continues or is likely to. Lethal force to overcome a violent felony is usually justified and victims of gun snatchings (often police officers) are killed with their own weapons. Don’t be the chump who gives up his gun out of fear.

5. If your gun is grabbed, use your gun hand to prevent the attacker from pulling the weapon out of the holster. Use your free hand to push, pull, hit, or engage a secondary weapon. Move away from the attacker if possible. They will expect you to stand and fight, not run away. At this point, do anything possible to kill or disable the attacker before he can kill you. Train hard to keep your weapon. Your life depends on it. 

Conclusion

Point is, if you think open carry is “stupid”, “bad”, “reckless”, or that all open carriers do it for attention, it scares people who might otherwise be moderate on guns, or could make you a target for robber or assault: you’re an uninformed idiot who needs to shut up.

Statistically speaking, the prevalence of concealed carriers vs. open carriers could count for the higher rate incidents with permittees. Yet based on the facts, open carriers and concealed carriers alike are victimized because of poor self-defense practices.

At the heart of the argument, some just don’t feel comfortable having an exposed handgun. Their reasons are various and frankly, the only one that has real merit across the board is personal comfort. If you don’t feel comfortable with open carry, then don’t, but don't sell you choice with bad logic and your mistruths. Open and concealed carry each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Neither is inherently superior. Both methods complement each other and allow for flexible self-defense. And sometimes, despite every precaution being taken, bad things will happen. End of story.

*The incidents studied were from recently reported news articles, gathered via Google search. The list is not intended to be comprehensive, but I did attempt to locate as many reports as possible of open and concealed carriers who were disarmed or targeted.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Fake 'Study' by Everytown on Online Gun Ads

Everytown for Gun Safety, a former New York City mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg sponsored gun control group, issued a 'study' trying to smear Nevada’s online gun sale advertisements as a funnel for arms to criminals. Since they are heavily invested in the universal background check initiative to ban private gun sales, this kind of hyperbolic, weasel-worded, and tortured statistics ‘study’ is what we can expect of them. In fact, a similar study in Vermont, aimed at the same ends as in Nevada, was also discredited.

Nevada’s report is riddled with problems that would give a statistics professor’s red pen a field day.

Starting with dealer sales, over two years (2012-2014), there were 5,000 blocked gun sales, out of 400,000 background checks run by dealers. First, that means that 395,000 gun sales were approved. That’s a denial rate of 1.3%. Second, they used three years’ data to conflate the problem, meaning that, on average, 1,666 gun sales were denied per year out of 133,333 total sales per year. Did you also know that the largest category of denial reasons, fugitive from justice, can include those with simple traffic or bench warrants they may be unaware of?

The report then jumped into the false premise that “you can buy a gun online.” Incorrect. One can only advertise a gun for sale and arrange a face-to-face meeting or have the gun shipped to a dealer. There is no Amazon.com for guns. Everytown even admits that most sellers are ones
“who only offer guns occasionally or from their personal collections.” Sorta like people selling cars online, which also get sold to people who shouldn’t be driving and have or will kill people with cars.

They conveniently left out the fact that most guns tied to a prohibited person or a crime come from corrupt dealers or through straw purchases, not online advertisements.

Now here’s where we get into the really bad exaggerations. Of course, this doesn’t matter to Everytown. They are aiming at the low-information voters who won’t think about what they’ve read and their avid statist Kool-Aid drinking crowd.

Everytown found 1 in 11, 8.7%  shopping—not buying— were prohibited persons. Again, shoppers, not actual buyers. 8.7% of the people Everytown investigated did not actually buy firearms. Everytown supposes a rate of guns being supplied to prohibited persons—not guns that actually do wind up in the wrong hands, but supposedly could. So there goes that statistic out the window on to the pile of BS.

Look at how they then get confused about what they just said: 
“The share of prohibited online gun buyers [Didn’t they just say shoppers?]  is almost seven times higher than the share of Nevadans who try to buy guns at licensed dealers and fail background checks…” 
Criminals will get guns regardless of universal background checks or not. Everytown even admitted as much. “people who shot and killed law enforcement officers in Nevada between January 1980 and October 2015 showed that more than half were likely [emphasis added] prohibited from possessing guns. ” They couldn’t even get that right bit right. Notice how they qualify that the cop killers were only likely, no actually, prohibited persons?

Next, their sample size is laughably small. 
“Of the identified individuals seeking guns in unlicensed online sales in Nevada, 8.7 percent (20 of 229) [emphasis added] had been convicted of crimes that prohibited them from possessing firearms.” 
How can you gather any meaningful data from 229 people? That’s .00078% of Nevada’s population. And they admit these were only the people they could get (we're assuming) complete Facebook profiles on. On a side note, Facebook's new policy would have made this study impossible for Everytown. 

The ‘report’ goes on to list the most sensational stories about the prohibited persons they found, which serious statistical research does not do. This is agit-prop for the ill-informed and the choir members who want preached to. Did Everytown’s investigators report their findings about these criminals and what they were doing to law enforcement? Probably not.

Next, they bring up Colorado, which banned private gun sales just like the initiative in Nevada is proposing to do. In 30 months, 700 out of 40,000 private sales were denied in Colorado, giving a percentage of 1.75%, which is slightly more  than Nevada’s dealer sale background check denials. So tell me again, how would this law deter criminals from trying to buy guns if they’re dumb enough to go in for a background check anyhow?

Facebook may have caved in to pressure from the Bloomberg groups and the White House, but private gun sale advertisements will flourish elsewhere, where they are welcome. In fact, Facebook probably made it a lot more difficult for average citizens to do their homework on to whom they might be selling a gun too. But it’s not about safety or rights, it’s entirely about gun control.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Open Carrier Robbed of Pistol in VA?


So what might be the first pure disarmament robbery of an open carrier ever happened recently in Newport News, Virginia. The Daily Press reports that the victim was robbed, after dark, by two men who demanded his gun, disarmed him, and knocked him to the ground. Something about this story just doesn’t make sense to me.

Let’s take the story on its face first. One, use a retention holster so your weapon can’t be easily grabbed or fall out during a struggle. Two, maintain situational awareness and avoid strange people who might try to rob you. Three, if someone demands your gun, it’s time to create distance, draw it, and possibly fire, and not surrender it without a fight. Do all of these things and open carry isn’t an issue.

Details are lacking, because why should a news reporter push for details? Such as, why was the victim visiting a friend at a motel that, according to Google, has been a hotspot for prostitution arrests. In my experience, drugs and prostitution go together and tend to happen in high crime areas. I’m going to speculate, rightly or wrongly, that the victim was not an upstanding citizen visiting a friend at a discount motel. My ex-law enforcement instincts are telling me that this is a case where there is more than meets the eye.

My supposition: The victim went to the motel to do something illegal, or maybe not. He was carrying a handgun concealed. At some point, for some reason, he got robbed (or rolled), and the gun was taken. When he reported it to police, he said it was openly carried. Why? Because open carry without a permit is legal in Virginia, but concealed carry requires a permit. Easy enough to explain with no witness and criminals who won’t tell the story differently.

Now if additional facts come up, I’ll be the first to admit I was wrong, but this thing stinks to high heaven. Like the case in Oregon a while back, this looks like a person making bad choices in a bad neighborhood. I can’t be entirely sure, so I will happily retract these statements if additional evidence comes to light. Still, I’m not buying this one nor should it be used as a reason against open carry.

What we have here is a plausible open carry robbery, not a confirmed one. Taken on face value, yes, there aren’t any extenuating circumstances and all my counterpoints are inferred, but with today’s lack of quality reporting, we’re not surprised there aren’t more details. Now if my hypothesis is correct, it would follow that the police, nor the reporter, would be interested in following up. Just move on and let the victim pretend this was something it wasn’t.

The real problem with these stories are that concealed carry supremacists—usually someone making a buck teaching a class or selling a book—use this kind of stuff to lend credence to their fallacious argument on why open carry is suicidal. Forget the fact that a lot of these guys are easy to pick out in a crowd with their loud pro-guns t-shirts, tactical cargo pants, tactical phone case, flashlights and knives clipped to their belts. Hypocrisy at its finest.

To date, I am unaware of any civilian who has been truly disarmed, killed, or injured because they were legitimately openly carrying without a reasonable doubt as to the facts of the incident. A bare handful of stories, all with qualifiers, are used to discourage open carry. I don’t mean to sound like I’m trying to be a blind apologist, but the outliers don’t prove concealed carry is better. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages and neither is inherently superior.

The sad fact is, concealed carry supremacists have little to no experience practicing open carry in an urban area. Bob Owen over at Bearing Arms will have you think that if you so much as look out the front door with a pistol on your hip, ISIS terrorists will take you out right away. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but if open carry was so dangerous, why don’t we have more of these stories? Using a 210 word story as evidence to totally discount open carry is just plain stupid and proves how incredibly close-minded the concealed carry only community really is.

If this was really an issue, why aren’t we seeing stories like this every day? Such as: Open carry mom robber of pink pistol at Target or College freshman beaten up, tuition and open carry pistol taken? Scant evidence, usually always qualified by circumstances into something less than open carry making someone into a target, is conflated into a systemic condemnation. Concealed carriers have been attacked because of their pistols too, once in Florida, and another man who was pistol whipped and robbed of his gun in Ohio.

Frankly, those who have no practical experience with urban open carry have no business diminishing its practice or otherwise criticizing it. Legitimate criticism should center on a lack of a retention holster, training, and deficient situational awareness. Attacking someone over a method of carry shows a lack of respect for those committed to exercising their Second Amendment rights. You might prefer the Panthers to the Broncos, but hey, they’re both going to the Super Bowl, so they can’t be all bad, right? So don’t worry about open carry, and if you don’t have any experience with it, don’t knock it.

-G. C.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Legal Analysis of Anti-Gun Comedian's Straw Purchase Video

This post comes from one of our readers, I AM NOT YOUR ATTORNEY, and is a follow-up to our article “Anti-Gun Comedian Makes Straw Purchase” by comedian Steve Hofstetter.

Dear Reader, please forgive the legal speak—I wanted to be exact. Please forgive the length- I wanted to be thorough. Please forgive the excess detail—I wanted to show the ugly truth that has been perpetrated under the mask of comedy.

Hofstetter clearly states in his video at around 0:31 that he gave Mukai, a Nevada resident, the money to buy the gun for him. In his remarks on the YouTube video page, he states that Mukai did purchase the weapon and presently possesses it. They further show that a background check on Mukai was performed. This is done subsequent to the completion of Form 4473.

As the United States Supreme Court has recently upheld in Abramski v. United States, 134 S. Ct. 2259 (2014), falsely checking “Yes,” to the question 11.a “Are you the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm(s) listed on this form?” constitutes a breach of 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(b). Abramski, Mukai, and anyone else who knowingly makes a false statement to, intentionally deceives, and lies about a material fact to a firearms dealer is guilty. Mr. Abramski is presently enjoying five years of probation after paying a $200 fine for checking “Yes,” to that question.

There are two ways to address this issue, and only two, per 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(b) and its resultant Form 4473. Either Hofstetter has given the firearm as a gift to Mukai, or Mukai has performed a straw purchase for Hofstetter. The facts, in conjunction with the instructions for Question 11.a included on the form, shall disclose the truth.

Hofstetter leaves no doubt as to who is paying for the firearm, he acknowledges that it is his money and Mukai is his proxy. If he had wished to give the firearm as a gift to Mukai, the instructions for the form state, “However, if Mr. Brown [Hofstetter] goes to buy a firearm with his own money to give to Mr. Black [Mukai] as a present, Mr. Brown [Hofstetter] is the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm and should answer “YES” to question 11.a.” In other words, Hofstetter had to fill out the form and then legally transfer the weapon to Mukai. As Hofstetter did not complete the form, but suborned Mukai to purchase a weapon using Hofstetter’s money, perhaps enlightenment may be had by the other portion of the instructions for Question 11.

“Mr. Smith [Hofstetter] asks Mr. Jones [Mukai] to purchase a firearm for Mr. Smith [Hofstetter]. Mr. Smith [Hofstetter] gives Mr. Jones [Mukai] the money for the firearm. If Mr. Jones [Mukai] fills out Form 4473, he violates the law by falsely stating that he is the actual buyer of the firearm. Mr. Smith also violates the law because he has unlawfully aided and abetted or caused the making of false statements on the form.” Put differently, when Hofstetter gives money for the purchase of a firearm to Mukai, he provides him with the financial consideration necessary to constitute a contract for the purchase of the weapon. At no time does he have to specifically state what he wants, his actions create the understanding that was explicitly stated at the beginning of the video. Mukai then criminally makes a false statement as in Abramski, above, and Hofstetter has played a criminal role in the deception regarding a material fact. 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(b) and Form 4473 leave no other interpretations.

As a hypothetical, Hofstetter might say, “I never received the weapon, I have publicly stated it is with Mukai.” To finalize the conclusion of a straw purchase, note well that Question 11.a reads “You are not the actual buyer if you are acquiring the firearm(s) on behalf of another person.” As Hofstetter has directly stated, he provided the money for the purchase of the weapon and Mukai purchased it on his behalf. At no point on the form or in law does failure to complete the terms of an illegal contract to purchase a lethal weapon protect either party from conviction. It was either a gift, or a straw purchase- there is no gray area with dangerous and deadly weapons.

The right to freedom of expression is not a sufficient affirmative defense to a criminal act. Hofstetter and Mukai have falsely provided the impression that one may simply drive across the border from California into Nevada and purchase guns. The rest of their comedy video shows the difficulties they encounter when attempting to legally acquire other commodities, and how much faster one can get things by breaking the law.

Hofstetter’s comedy contains many insults. First, it insults Nevada “so that people [from California] can't just drive a few hours to get around the [California] law.” It is an insult to law abiding gun owners everywhere who do not engage in straw purchases and other criminal conduct. But, most importantly, by constantly cracking jokes and engaging in distracting behavior, Hofstetter and Mukai have made it appear that Paul Cesiro, owner of Paul’s Gun Room, was aware of and tolerated their straw purchase.

The good folks of Paul’s Gun Room who steadfastly refused Hofstetter a Form 4473 and the sale of a gun have been made to appear criminally complicit in Hofstetter and Mukai’s illegal acts. They’re a small business working hard to obey the law, and they and every other Nevadan has been slapped in the face by these comedians. If you have the opportunity to patronize Mr. Cesiro’s business, which the video shows performed its due diligence, please give them a call at (702) 454-6437 and help support them while they have to produce Mukai’s Form 4473 and possibly retain defense counsel. As Hofstetter’s YouTube post protesting his innocence attests, it was their goal to make Paul’s Gun Room look like they supported a straw purchase.

Hofstetter’s point was not lost. He believes that prior restraint of a constitutionally protected right should be the standard. That’s a fine perspective to take, and it was protected speech up until it involved deceiving a government agency—which prefers post hoc punishments of offenders. While Hofstetter protests much that his critics are neither lawyers nor wrong, his own defense counsel is silent on the matter. Where is the well crafted legalese citing code, statute, and prior judicial decision bearing the name of any attorney? Surely these two didn’t simply decide to violate federal law and become a test-case without first retaining counsel. Hofstetter and Mukai have performed their acts and shown Californians how they can just drive a few hours and illegally acquire deadly weapons by performing a straw man purchase.

Since their video “How Easy is it to Buy a Gun? (Hidden Camera)” has gone viral, it’s been reported on by local newspapers, the Huffington Post, Inside Edition, etc. Thankfully, there is a means by which we can stem the tides of those poor misled potential federal criminals. Some of whom might be successful using Hofstetter and Mukai’s methods. Those means are simple and direct: aggressive and vigorous enforcement of local, state, and federal laws following the Abramski ruling. In the same way they have casually violated the gun laws and encouraged criminal conduct, let them become a shining example of how we deal with those who engage in such mischief. Let the word go out far and wide that this conduct will not be tolerated, and make such a thorough example of these comedians that the joke is on them.

Sources have informed Nevada Carry that the ATF may be investigating the incident.