National Gun News & Other Stuff
Rep. Gaetz: Second Amendment not negotiable
Liberal activist John Cork asks in a recent column, “Who is Matt Gaetz Protecting?” The answer: Gun owners and our Constitution. Some on the left believe the Second Amendment is negotiable, flexible – even forgettable. I don’t – and Andy Marlette’s cartoons provide the evidence.
Our founders understood that America’s strength comes from empowering citizens, not government. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man" (quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria).
Jefferson’s words ring true today – especially given increasing violence in society. When Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Michael Bloomberg called for a repeal of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, I proudly stood up to them. We didn’t weaken Stand Your Ground, we made it even stronger to protect those under attack.
As a state legislator, I championed open gun carry in Florida. Forty-Five states allow open carry in some form. States that allow open carry have 23% less violent crime, fewer murders and fewer aggravated assaults. The numbers don’t lie – which is likely why Mr. Cork didn’t cite any.
Congress can do more to restore the rights of law-abiding gun owners. Today, when a Florida conceal carry permit holder travels to Alabama, Georgia or any other state, they cannot carry absent duplicative permitting. I’ve joined Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) introducing national conceal carry reciprocity legislation. In our state, conceal carry permit holders are remarkably law-abiding citizens. In fact, they are eight times less likely to commit crimes than members of law enforcement. We hope to pass this bill soon.
Mr. Cork writes, “There are numerous effective strategies that reduce the odds of the mentally ill obtaining firearms. The NRA and Rep. Gaetz oppose them all.” That is a lie. And I can prove it.
No person should be able to walk out of a mental institution and return to an arsenal. In 2013, I was Criminal Justice Chairman in the Florida House of Representatives. We worked with Democrats, Republicans, the NRA and others to pass HB 1355. According to nonpartisan analysis, this law prohibits the sale or delivery of firearms to someone “adjudicated mentally defective” or who has been “committed to a mental institution.” That’s just commonsense. Perhaps Mr. Cork should take better aim of the facts before publishing fake news.
For eight years President Obama has blamed law-abiding gun owners for the tragic events caused by a disturbed few. In Northwest Florida, we proudly “cling to our guns and bibles.” We always will. And if anyone ever wonders who I am protecting by supporting the Second Amendment, it just may be you or your family. Because, in America, you always have the right to protect yourself.
Congressman Matt Gaetz represents the First District of Florida. He serves on the Armed Services, Budget and Judiciary Committees and lives in Fort Walton Beach.
Ex-Army Sniper takes out neighbor's home intruder from bedroom window!
By Travis Henderson - January 9, 2017
<Texas> Jeremy Elmore, a 42-year-old retired Army Sniper currently residing in El Paso, Texas, is being hailed a hero after he saved a neighborhood family from 3 violent home intruders late Tuesday evening.
Elmore, who retired from the Army at 41 after giving 21-years of service was spending the night home alone as his wife and 3 young children are visiting family members in Indiana.
According to Elmore, he wasn’t quite ready to go to sleep when he retired to his bedroom around 1:15 AM- so he decided to engage in one of his favorite activities – breaking down and cleaning one of his firearms. The firearm that Elmore decided to break down and clean was his M24 Sniper Riffle (officially referred to as the M24 Sniper Weapon System).
At approximately 1:50 AM – after cleaning and reassembling the rifle, Elmore rested it on the sill of his bedroom window to adjust its scope. While adjusting the scope it unintentionally landed on one of his neighbor across the street’s open windows; Elmore told police and reporters that he was amazed at what he saw happening inside. Elmore told local ABC affiliate reporter Karen Lodestone, “I honestly thought I was dreaming hallucinating at first – it took over a minute for the situation to fully register in my brain”.
What Elmore saw through the high-powered scope on his riffle was – his neighbors, Fredrick and Lydia Cole tied to chairs in their upstairs family-room. The couple’s 2-children Douglas (11-years-old) and Daniel (6-years-old) were sitting near their mother – also tied to kitchen-style chairs.
According to Elmore, the mother and children had what looked to be duct-tape around their mouths and 3 masked-intruders appeared to be focusing primarily on Fredrick Cole. The 3 masked-intruders were holding handguns and were acting in a very violent manner – often destroying the Cole’s property or striking Fredrick Cole in the face with their pistols.
Things seemed to be escalating quickly at the Cole residence and Elmore used his bedroom telephone to call 911. After notifying authorities, Elmore continued to monitor the situation across the street. According to Elmore, while waiting for the police to arrive things continue to escalate rapidly at the Cole residence and he was greatly concerned for the family’s safety. Elmore told reporters that his military training and instinct kicked in and he knew that he had to do something to intervene.
Elmore proceeded to load his rifle with the custom 7.62 x 51mm ammunition and stationed himself at his bedroom window. As Elmore continued to watch the situation unfold across the street, the home intruders became increasingly more violent. As one of the intruders held his handgun (later identified as a .45 caliber Taurus 1911) to Mrs. Cole’s head – Elmore took the first shot from his riffle immediately striking his intended target.
According to Elmore and members of the Cole family – the home intruder instantly fell to the floor dropping his weapon in the process. The remaining 2-home intruders were visibly stunned and confused by the incident and gave Elmore enough time to fire 2 additional rounds striking both remaining intruders before they had an opportunity to retaliate.
Police arrived shortly after Elmore’s intervention and discovered 2 of the 3 home-intruders dead upon their arrival. The surviving intruder – since identified as Charles L. Brooke was treated for his injuries at a nearby hospital and has since been arrested and booked into a county jail.
Among those singing praise for Elmore’s heroic actions are the members of the Cole family who have told reporters they owe their lives to Elmore and will never be able to thank him enough or fully express their gratitude for the retired Army Sniper.
The Good and Bad of the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act
North Carolina Rep. Richard Hudson introduced a bill yesterday that would make a concealed carry permit issued in any state valid in every state.
Republican Rep. Richard Hudson (N.C.) on Tuesday introduced a bill that would require states to recognize each other’s gun carry permits.
The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 would address the patchwork nature of the country’s gun carry laws. Currently, each state decides which other states’ gun carry permits it will recognize.
Some states recognize all other states’ permits, other states recognize no other states’ permits, and many fall somewhere in between. Gun rights advocates have long decried the web of local laws as confusing and unfair–one in which a wrong turn or missed exit could end in an otherwise law abiding gun owner unintentionally committing a felony.
“Our Second Amendment right doesn’t disappear when we cross state lines, and this legislation guarantees that,” Hudson said in a statement. “The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 is a common sense solution to a problem too many Americans face. It will provide law-abiding citizens the right to conceal carry and travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state codes or onerous civil suits.”
Sources within the major gun rights organizations have consistently said that a national reciprocity law is among their top priorities, along with a pro-gun Supreme Court pick and reform, for the upcoming congress. Now, after announcing the bill had been drawn up before the new year, Hudson has introduced his take on the proposal.
I think that the odds of the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (PDF) passing both houses of Congress with minimal changes/amendments and being signed into law by President Trump by this summer are fairly high.
And yet, I’m of very mixed feelings about it.
While I’d be thrilled that I’d no longer be disarmed and treated like a second class citizen when I visit my friends in the Northeast (other than needing to acquire some “NY legal” downloaded magazines, and another few boxes of Federal Guard Dog 9mm to get around New Jersey’s ignorant ban on hollowpoint ammunition), I frankly am opposed to federal gun laws.
All of them.I don’t want more federal gun laws, but instead want the federal gun laws that exist (the National Firearms Act of 1934, Gun Control Act of 1968, etc) repealed or declared unconstitutional. Why?
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Based upon my plain reading of the Second Amendment, in the broader context of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution as written and accepted in the early 1790s, along with the broadsheets, letters, and other collected historical documents of the Founding Fathers, it is very clear that they meant that the federal government had no roll at all when it came to determining the arms and ordnance owned by the American people.
In their time, citizens owned unreservedly owned muskets, handguns, fast-firing rifles with 20-round detachable magazines (the Girandoni pictured below, one of which was owned by Thomas Jefferson), mortars, cannon, howitzers, rockets, pivot guns, early auto-cannon, and private warships capable of carrying all of these weapons and flattening coastal cities if they so desired.
And they wanted it that way.
Let me say that again: It is beyond the scope of the federal government to pass any gun laws, of any kind. The Founders never even considered it.
Federal gun laws are a botched and blatantly unconstitutional 20th century statist concept that should be crushed in the 21st century by either reform-minded legislators or the U.S. Supreme Court.
If laws restricting firearm ownership are valid anywhere, it would belong at the state level, as state constitutions allow it. This would necessarily mean an uneven patchwork of laws, which is both frustrating and infuriating, but is “least worse” and most constitutionally-correct option.
We need to get away from this beggar’s concept that we ask permission from the federal government. We, the People, are the power. Our Constitution and its Amendments are written to constrain the government, not the people.
It’s time we start repealing federal laws and shrinking government and take back our core human right to bear arms for our self-defense.
In my opinion, the only federal gun laws that we should be passing are those that dismantle the existing federal gun laws that trample our core liberties.
I’ll freely admit that I’ll take advantage of the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 when it becomes law, but it will be a bittersweet moment, as it is one more unconstitutional federal gun law that I don’t believe the Founders wanted to exist.
Tested: The Polycase ARX Bullet
Many of the new products rolling out onto the shooting market each year are variations or improvements of existing designs. But once in a while, something unique arrives. Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to travel to Savannah, Ga., and meet with the team at PolyCase Ammunition to learn more about the company’s fundamentally new approach to bullet design and manufacturing.
The ARX bullet came about in the pursuit of creating single-use ammunition for national security forces. In many countries, terrorist organizations and cartel members pick up spent brass cartridge cases (the single most difficult ammunition component to obtain) that were left behind by government security forces, and reload them with homemade lead bullets and propellant extracted from fireworks. Starting in 2011, retired Lt. Col. Paul Lemke teamed with Juan Carlos Marin, an engineer from Spain, to develop a nylon-based cartridge case that can be loaded only one time. Thus the company name of PolyCase. The firm’s first success was a .380 ACP cartridge case with a zinc-alloy base and nylon body.
The nylon and polymer materials in these cases, however, do not work reliably with conventional, copper-jacketed, lead-core bullets. So, the team at PolyCase had to devise a projectile containing enough polymer to function reliably in the nylon cases. This lead to the development of the Inceptor line of bullets.
Unlike conventional jacketed bullets, which require several steps and a good deal of heavy equipment to shape, Inceptor bullets are made by the high-pressure injection molding of a heated blend of powdered copper and epoxy/polymer resin. After it cools a bit, the mold opens and a cluster of bullets fall onto a conveyer belt to be collected and smoothed before loading. The excess molding material (called sprue) is ground up and reused. Injection molding is fast and efficient, allowing for high production volume with very little waste.
The result is a lightweight projectile with several desirable qualities. The bullets are lead-free, allowing them to be used in jurisdictions and facilities that restrict or ban the use of lead-based ammunition. The polymer/copper material maintains its integrity as it travels down the barrel and strikes soft targets, but it fractures when it hits hard targets such as steel plates or building materials—greatly reducing the chance of ricochets. After the bullets have been fired, the copper can be reclaimed by heating the bullet fragments to burn off the polymers.
It’s a fairly straightforward process to make solid, round-nose bullets using the injection-molding process. However, the polymetallic blend of materials does not lend itself to the production of the hollow-point bullets commonly used for self-defense. The formulation has to be tough enough to survive loading, firing and flight into the target, which means it’s too hard to expand on impact. With that in mind, PolyCase went back to the drawing board once more to find a way to manufacture a non-expanding bullet with effective terminal ballistics comparable to a hollow point.The end result of the company’s R&D is the ARX bullet, a patent-pending design that takes full advantage of the flexibility provided by injection molding. PolyCase ballistics engineers—along with third-party aerospace and fluid engineers—spent months experimenting with aero and fluid dynamics using Finite Element Modeling (FEM), which led to the design of uniquely shaped flutes, or channels, the company calls Power Blades. The flutes act to displace the target material using the bullet’s forward and rotational momentum, or “lateral force dispersion.”
Imagine an outboard boat motor running at full speed with the propeller blade suspended in the air above the surface of a lake. The blade’s fast rotation might generate a bit of a breeze but not much else will happen. Now imagine plunging that spinning blade into the lake. It would cause quite a splash as the kinetic energy is dispersed into the water, a much denser medium than air.
The ARX bullet functions in a similar fashion. As the bullet spins through the atmosphere, the flutes do little to disrupt the air it passes through. But as the bullet comes into contact with a fluid medium, such as 10 percent ballistic gelatin, the fluid within the target is suddenly and forcefully churned by its flutes. The fluids are thrust out and away from the bullet at velocities that are anywhere from one-and-a-half to two times faster than the velocity the bullet is traveling.
For example, if a 74-gr. 9 mm Luger ARX bullet is traveling 1450 f.p.s., the fluids will move through the flutes and away from the bullet at somewhere between 2175 to 2900 f.p.s. When the ARX bullets are launched at rifle velocities, the effect is amplified. Firing a .45-cal., 140-gr. projectile from a .458 SOCOM cartridge at 2500 f.p.s. generates fluid displacement at velocities ranging from 3750 to 5000 f.p.s. Due to the law of energy conservation, this increase in fluid speed also creates a decrease in pressure (known as the Venturi Effect), which, in turn, increases the effect of cavitation. Thus the terminal effects of the ARX bullet in a fluid medium include the production of a large temporary cavity, a generous permanent cavity and deep penetration without bullet deformation.
As it turns out, PolyCase bullets function reliably in either the company’s proprietary polymer cartridge cases or in industry-standard brass cases. Rather than wait until the polymer cases are ready for market, the company opted to introduce the shooting public to its unconventional approach to bullet making by launching the Inceptor lines using traditional reloadable brass cases. As of this writing, Inceptor ammunition is available in round-nose (RNP), defensive (ARX), and tracer (FireFly) configurations for .380 ACP, 9 mm Luger, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP pistols—with more chamberings on the way.
Everything I learned at the factory appeared promising, but what I really wanted was to see the ammunition in action. PolyCase obliged by providing the media members in attendance a good deal of trigger time at local indoor and outdoor shooting ranges. At the indoor range, we fired hundreds of rounds through dozens of guns in all of the available pistol calibers along with the .458 SOCOM load through rifles.
Firing the relatively lightweight bullets produced notably reduced levels of felt recoil, especially in pocket-size, concealed-carry pistols. The PolyCase loads ignited without the choking clouds of smoke that accompany some brands of ammunition. Downrange accuracy was on par with other premium defensive handgun loads.
But the number one question with any new type of ammunition is: Will it function reliably? The PolyCase ammunition I fired in a variety of calibers and all tested firearms fed, fired and ejected without any malfunctions. We then did some shooting with sound suppressors. Again, no problems occurred. Lastly, the company broke out a couple of submachine guns for full-automatic fire. That test proved that the Heckler & Koch MP5 select-fire submachine gun had no troubles digesting PolyCase ammunition.
At the outdoor range, we took turns firing single ARX rounds into calibrated 10 percent ballistic gelatin with and without cloth barriers, a Class 2 bullet-resistant vest, and informal targets including water jugs and watermelons.
The ballistic gel results were impressive, demonstrating terminal effects comparable, or superior, to typical hollow-point pistol ammunition. Because the bullet retains its original shape on impact, the ARX is not significantly affected by layers of fabric or intermediate barriers. As a result, it provides deep penetration like other non-expanding bullets. However, when the ARX was fired into a bullet-resistant vest, it fractured and stopped before penetrating the vest’s Kevlar plate.
The permanent wound cavities in the gel exhibited an unusual three-pronged shape—as if a spinning blender blade had passed through the block. The bullets continued to penetrate after they stopped spinning, often flipping over so that their flat base was facing forward by the time they came to a stop. In most cases, the only evidence to be found that the bullets recovered from the gel had been fired were the rifling marks.
The terminal effects of the ARX bullet become even more pronounced with greater velocity. Firing a .458 SOCOM cartridge into bare gelatin caused about 10" of the 16" gel block to blow apart. After causing such massive damage, the bullet broke apart inside the gel block with the fragments creating multiple secondary wound channels. In short, rifle-velocity ARX bullets are simply devastating. Shooting into water jugs and melons produced a similar effect. They didn’t just split or break open, they exploded.
Since attending the PolyCase writers event, I’ve had the opportunity to fire more ARX ammunition in additional test guns. It continues to perform flawlessly with respectable accuracy and reduced levels of felt recoil. The company recently introduced a .50 Beowulf ARX load in conjunction with Alexander Arms, and more new cartridges are expected soon, including .38 Spl. and .223 Rem.
The PolyCase ARX bullet is just one of several innovations this new company plans to bring to market. Just as Glock’s polymer-frame pistols inspired critics to pontificate at length when they arrived on the U.S. market 30 years ago, I expect some folks will be skeptical about adopting injection-molded bullets for target practice and self-defense. Based on what I’ve seen so far, the ammunition lives up to the hype. My hope is that the shooting community will give this exciting new bullet design, and the company producing it, a chance to grow. To learn more, visit polycaseammo.com.