About those sanctions


If you haven’t heard, the Treasury Department has released the latest round of sanctions against Russia for its activities in Ukraine, and some Second Amendment advocates are suspicious, to say the least.

Earlier today, the Department of Commerce announced new sanctions against Russian products and companies operating in the United States. Previous sanctions only tangentially impacted the import of cheap and reliable firearms from Russia into the United States, but now the Obama administration is specifically targeting the makers of Saiga rifles and shotguns, as well as other companies. 

There’s going to be a lot of information out there in the next few days, so let’s get a few facts out of the way.

This is not in any way, shape or form an assault on your Second Amendment rights. The sanctions impact companies, banks and entities that have been supporting Ukrainian separatists and destabilizing the region.

The U.S. moves to impose restrictions on the Russian state-controlled oil giant OAO Rosneft and other top firms are aimed at squeezing Russia’s already struggling economy and financial system. They followed weeks of U.S. threats that Russia would face repercussions unless it helped defuse the crisis in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russia separatists have been fighting the Ukrainian government for months.

The sanctions stop well short of crimping international business ties or blocking deals with entire sectors of the Russian economy.

The U.S. and Europe say separatists in Ukraine are getting significant support from Russia, an accusation Moscow has denied. 

And yes, the U.S. government has plenty of information confirming Russian involvement, funding and support of Ukrainian separatists. These entities include the Russian firearms company Kalashnikov, as well as Almaz-Antey, Uralvagonzavod, Novatek and several banks.

Is this an attempt to limit imports of firearms in the United States? Absolutely not.

This is an attempt to cut off companies and entities that are involved in destabilizing Ukraine off from the U.S. financial system and punish them for their actions.

This means that U.S. companies and individuals can do no further business with the sanctioned entities. No. Further. Business.

That means the AKs that you love so much that are already here in the stores are perfectly legal to buy and sell – UNLESS the store still owes money to Kalashnikov for an order. You can still buy, sell, trade, whatever your AK or your Izmash-produced firearms. What you are NOT  allowed to do is start new business with these companies.

Given the number of other companies that produce inexpensive AK-like and other firearms, this really shouldn’t affect your everyday right to keep and bear arms.

Is this an indefinite ban on imports of AKs and other inexpensive firearms? The sanctions will stay in place until the illegal activities cease. Some Second Amendment advocates claim once the government implements these sanctions, they will continue, because BAN! That’s not true. OFAC has de-listed a myriad of different companies and entities once they’re deemed to no longer be involved in illegal activities, or with a successful appeal.

This is all about Russia’s activities in Eastern Europe, and it has nothing to do with our right to keep and bear arms.

A list of frequently asked questions is here.

374. If I own a Kalashnikov product, is that product blocked by sanctions?  Am I able to resell a Kalashnikov product at a gun show or other secondary market? 

If a U.S. person is in possession of a Kalashnikov Concern product that was bought and fully paid for prior to the date of designation (i.e., no payment remains due to Kalashnikov Concern), then that product is not blocked and OFAC sanctions would not prohibit the U.S. person from keeping or selling the product in the secondary market, so long as Kalashnikov Concern has no interest in the transaction.  New transactions by U.S. persons with Kalashnikov Concern are prohibited, however, and any property in which Kalashnikov Concern has an interest is blocked pursuant to OFAC’s designation of Kalashnikov Concern on July 16, 2014.  If a U.S. person has an inventory of Kalashnikov Concern products in which Kalashnikov Concern has an interest (for example, the products are not fully paid for or are being sold on consignment), we advise that U.S. person to contact OFAC for further guidance on handling of the inventory. [7-16-2014]

There are other answers that may be of concern to gun owners as well. Please go read the release closely and understand it. Misinformation helps no one.

Respect for Life


My latest for JPFO.

via Respect for Life.

Because the right to life necessarily carries with it the right to protect that life, and the right to protect your life necessitates the use of the most effective tool you can find today. That tool is a firearm.

If you have to beg permission from bureaucrats and politicians, who more often than not hire armed security, or have connections that make it easy to secure authorization to exercise their rights, even as they work to relieve you of yours, to protect your life with the most effective tool available, you can consider that right effectively destroyed.

The fact that you have to justify defending your life at all, reveals volumes about their lack of respect for your life and exposes their twisted endgame – not to protect life, but to rule over a powerless populace, dependent on them for their very existence.

Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership

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For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been doing some writing for Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO). I’ve also decided to help out the organization in other ways, including setting up its social media.

For those of you who haven’t heard of JPFO, let me educate you.

This is JPFO.

Founded by Jews in 1989, JPFO initially aimed at educating the Jewish community about the historical evils that Jews have suffered when they have been disarmed. JPFO has always welcomed people of all religious beliefs who share a common goal of opposing and reversing victim-disarmament policies while advancing liberty for all. It was the brainchild of Aaron Zelman (1946 – 2010), a leading national civil-rights activist.

No, I’m not Jewish. I’m culturally Jewish. I was brought up in a Jewish household, but I’m really agnostic/atheist.

But my faith, or lack thereof, does not matter. What matters is that JPFO strives to educate potential allies on the dangers of gun control. What matters is that JPFO works to support our fundamental rights. And what matters is that JPFO, its founder the late, great Aaron Zelman and its current dedicated, talented, passionate staff of Second Amendment supporters love freedom.

So I would encourage you to visit JPFO and explore its library of great Second Amendment resources.

Join JPFO. You don’t have to be Jewish. You just have to love freedom. Go here and become a member or donate to this great organization.

Follow JPFO on Twitter, if you have a Twitter account and spread the word to your followers and encourage them to join JPFO.  I hope to have a Facebook page and a Google+ page up at some point too.

I’m excited to be a part of the revival of JPFO! I think there’s a perception out there that Jews are generally liberal and anti-gun, and I would like to change that perception and that reality.

Education, excitement about fundamental civil rights and a reminder that a disarmed populace is vulnerable not just to violent predators, but also to tyrannical government. That’s what JPFO can offer.

Please join us. Do it today!

Open Carry Civility, Part 2


This is something I’ve been harping on for several years. It seems for some, it’s not enough to carry openly in peace. After all, part of normalizing open carry in society is acting…

…you know…


And not like a puerile jackass.

The Panty Shitting Mommies Demanding Action are already pointing to the douche in the story as an example of why we need more gun control.

Thanks a pantsload, asshole!

“See my gun? Look, I got a gun and there’s nothing you can do about it,” crowed a man at a Forsyth County, Georgia kids’ baseball game a few days ago, as he stalked the parking lot while open carrying his pistol in a holster.

via Open Carry Civility, Part 2.

On Winning: What Will it Take?


The media has quietly begun to publicize dubious insinuations that America’s views on gun control are evolving, with new gun control groups popping up — well funded, loud, and determined. “Gun-control Democrats in Virginia running for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general all won despite poor reviews from the National Rifle Association,” claims CNN in a recent piece on the renewed battle over guns. What CNN won’t tell you is that Terry McAuliffe’s victory in Virginia had nothing to do with guns and everything to do with the dishonest, morally corrupt campaign he ran, in which he and his operatives successfully made the election about the so-called “war on women,” compelling thousands of Virginians to run out and vote with their plumbing, rather than with their brains.

While gun grabbers crow about the Democratic sweep in Virginia as a possible turning of the tide, their efforts to create new mega-gun grabber organizations to rival groups such as NRA, JPFO, Second Amendment Foundation and Gun Owners of America are laughable and pathetic. Michael Bloomberg’s new group is supposed to serve as an umbrella organization for his other groups: Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and it plans to borrow from the NRA playbook by building strong grassroots support and lobbying effectively.

via On Winning: What Will it Take?.

My latest for JPFO

So Long and Thanks for All the Fish


It’s about time Piers Morgan took a hike.

Arrogant Euro-snob Piers Morgan bade a farewell to his American CNN audiences Friday after tanking his show’s ratings for several years with preachy rhetoric, boring harangue and abuse of guests with whom he disagreed.

via So Long and Thanks for All the Fish.

Second Amendment win!


The great Dave Kopel reports that just minutes ago California’s Ninth Circuit Court has affirmed the right of law-abiding citizens to carry handguns for lawful protection in public.

The Court decided, according to Kopel, that the requirement to show the authorities “good cause” in order to carry one’s tool of self defense in public was in violation of the Second Amendment. Prior to this decision, San Diego County interpreted this phrase to mean that anyone who wishes to exercise their Second Amendment rights in public must face current specific threats and claimed that “one’s personal safety alone is not considered ‘good cause’.”

The Court ruled that a government may specify what mode of carrying to allow (open or concealed), but a government may not make it impossible for the vast majority of Californians to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms.

The opinion is here.

The Court specifically says that the Second Amendment secures the right not only to “keep” arm  but also to “bear” them – a verb the meaning of which, according to the 2008 Heller decision means “to carry.” It meant “to carry” at the time of the creation of the Constitution, and it means the same thing now. And no, it doesn’t mean just “to transport,” but to “wear, bear or carry upon the person for the purpose of being armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in case of a conflict with another person. The Court also points out that anyone with half a brain and knowledge of the English language understands that carrying or “bearing” is not limited to the home, and it cites several cases, including Heller, to point out that it’s quite obvious that the Second Amendment protects the right of the people to carry their arms outside the home.

The Court made it clear that they’re not saying Heller requires every state to permit concealed carry, but rather it requires that states permit “some form” of carry for self defense outside the home.

Score for the Second Amendment!

“…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” and San Diego County’s insistence that anyone wishing to carry outside the home show that they’re somehow in immediate danger and present proof that their life is threatened was quite obviously an infringement.

To be sure, my own opinion is that “shall not be infringed” means just that, and while background checks and training requirements are all well and good, they’re certainly not going to stop gang bangers and other thuglets from carrying wherever and whenever they want – without a license or a permit. Meanwhile, those Californians who abide by the law, will be waiting around for their permits to arrive and for the county to perform their background check, making them vulnerable prey for predators wanting to victimize them.

So, do I think the decision in Peruta v. San Diego is optimal?


Do I think the battle is over?

Far from it.

Do I think this is a step in the right direction?

You bet!

Let’s keep fighting!

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