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from our SCOPE membership

  • 05/16/2024 11:57 AM | Anonymous

    Crime Going Down?

    The Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) published an interesting study covering an 8 years period.

    Percent of Violent Crime NOT Involving Guns:

    2015   94%

    2016   91%

    2017   92%

    2018   93%

    2019   92%

    2020   92%

    2021   92%

    2022   91%

    But, but, but, Joe Biden and his Democrat minions say the answer to violent crime is more gun control, even though less than 10% of violent crimes involve guns.  Could they be misleading us in order to promote their policies of disarming law-abiding citizens?  Why not go after the other 90+%?

    A SCOPE member sent the above to us.  In researching the background, we found some other interesting information.

    The U.S. employs two distinct measures of crime:

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting program counts the number of crimes reported to police annually.

    The Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, in its National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), asks 240,000 people a year whether they have been victims of a crime.

    The two measures have diverged since 2020: The FBI has reported less crime, while the NCVS reports that more people say they have been victims.

    Taking advantage of this statistical difference, in his State of the Union address this year, President Joe Biden proclaimed: “America is safer today than when I took office…last year, the murder rate saw the sharpest decrease in history, and violent crime fell to one of the lowest levels in more than 50 years.”

    Did Joe do battle with the truth (again)?  Why the difference?

    Several large cities no longer report crime statistics to the FBI.  As the Washington Examiner notes: “In 2019, 89% of agencies covering 97% of the population submitted data, but by 2021, that coverage plummeted to less than 63% of departments overseeing just 65% of the population.“ Included in those that no longer report to the FBI are New York City and Los Angeles.

    In addition, the CPRC says that FBI is undercounting crimes.  The CPRC cited discrepancies in reports from cities such as Baltimore, Milwaukee and Nashville.  The CPRC stated: “This trend is consistent across the board: While 2022’s FBI city-level figures track the police’s own data, the 2023 numbers consistently undercount offense totals. Any year-to-year comparison overstates decline.”

    Basically, any year-to-year comparison of crime by the FBI is no longer valid since the basis of comparison has radically changed.  Which means Biden’s statement about the decrease in crime is not valid and the general public perception that crime is an increasing problem is backed up by the National Crime Victimization Survey.  Per CPRC: “While the violent crime rate reported to police fell by 1.7% between 2021 and 2022, the National Crime Victimization Survey shows that total violent crime (reported and non-reported) rose from 16.5 to 23.5 per 100,000.” 

    (Put another less gentle way, the general public has a better grasp of the issue than Biden and the Democrats.)

    There is also another big problem with using the FBI Uniform Crime Report data on crimes reported to police because victims don’t report many crimes.

    Why is that?

    Per CPRC: “The number of crimes reported to police falls as the arrest rate declines. If people don’t think the police will solve their cases, they are less likely to report them to the police.”  (Emphasis added.)

    The DOJ Crime Victimization report affirms the CPRC statement, but buries it: “Victims may not report a crime for a variety of reasons, including fear of reprisal or getting the offender in trouble, believing that police would not or could not do anything to help, and believing the crime to be a personal issue or too trivial to report.”

    If people don’t report crimes because they do not believe anything positive will come of it, is that a reflection on the “soft-on-crime policies of the Left?  And if that is so, could those policies be the reason why liberal media fails to cover non reporting of crime as a reason for the statistical (but not real) drop in crime.

    Put another way: do you believe Joe Biden or your lying eyes?

  • 05/14/2024 9:09 AM | Anonymous

    NY Senate Proposed Bill S9225

    Per Subdivision 1 of section 265.00 of the NY penal law:

    Machine-gun" means any weapon…from which a number of shots or bullets may be rapidly or automatically discharged from a magazine with one continuous pull of the trigger...”

    Sounds like the classic definition of an automatic weapon which is commonly referred to as a “machine gun”. 

    Under proposed NY Senate bill S9225, included the definition of a machine gun will now be “any convertible pistol that is equipped with a pistol converter. A "Pistol converter" means any device (that) enables the pistol to discharge a number of shots or bullets rapidly or automatically with one continuous pull of the trigger.”)

    Hard to argue that if one makes a semi-automatic into an automatic, it becomes a “machine gun”.  (For example, if you pour alcohol into a glass of 7 Up, it is no longer a soda and has become an alcoholic drink, so S9225 isn’t exactly forging new law – in that case.)

    However, S9225 goes too far – way too far…

    S9225 also says “Convertible pistol" means any semi-automatic pistol that can be converted into a machine-gun solely by the installation or attachment of a pistol converter.”

    If you own a semi-automatic pistol that can potentially be converted into an automatic pistol (but is not converted and is still a semi-automatic weapon) you now have a “machine gun” under S9225 - even though it is not a machine gun.

    (Using the previous example, if one has a glass of only 7 Up, is it an alcoholic drink because it can be converted into an alcoholic drink by adding another ingredient?  Under the principle in S9225, the answer would be yes, it is an alcoholic drink.)

    Apparently, there is already in existence a “Glock switch” that can convert Glock semi-automatics into automatics.  So, if this became law, all Glocks - including those unaltered weapons that are currently owned - would become “Machine guns” and the owners would become felons.

    At any point in the future, potentially, every semi-automatic pistol could be made illegal if some inventor finds a way to convert them to fire automatically. 

    This follows in the path of many democrat efforts to make people responsible for what other people do, in order to strike at the 2nd Amendment’s guaranteed rights.

    SCOPE recently wrote about the lawsuit against an FFL (Vintage Firearms) where the owner is accused of selling an illegal “Assault Weapon” because the buyer later drilled out the fixed magazine of a legal weapon and converted it to an illegal weapon.

    And of course, the left wants manufacturers to be responsible for lawfully sold weapons that are someday used illegally, even though the manufacturer obeyed all laws in making and selling the weapons.

    What’s the penalty under S9225?

    “Any person, dealer, firm, partnership, or corporation who disposes of or who transports or ships as merchandise a convertible pistol is guilty of a class D felony.”

    Senator Zellnor Myrie of the 20th Senate District (Brooklyn) is the sponsor of this bill.  Three guesses what political party he belongs to?  (And if you guess wrong, you probably also wonder what religion the Pope belongs to.)

    If you own a semi-automatic pistol – or you care about your 2nd Amendment rights – it might be worth your while to contact your state legislator and express your distaste / concern / outraged indignation over S9225.  The right you save may be your own!

    One closing thought:

    The Crime Prevention Research Center has often pointed out that television crime shows seem to think criminals constantly use machine guns to commit crime. The reality is that the use of machine guns is so rare that it is statistically insignificant. 

    But Senator Myrie is hot-on-the-trail of anything insignificant.

    Link to actual bill:  Bill Search and Legislative Information | New York State Assembly

  • 05/13/2024 4:50 PM | Anonymous

    Driving Firearms Manufacturers Out Of Business

    On October 27th, 2023, a “90-day pause” to examine firearm export policy was announced by the Biden Administration. (If my calendar is correct, the 90 days pause has lasted over 180 days.)

    Exporting firearms from the U.S. involves two major entities: the U.S. Department of State controls exports of guns that are “inherently for military end use;” and the U.S. Commerce Department controls exports of guns that do not fit this category.

    Under a just announced “Interim Final Rule published by Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), the “pause” is going to become permanent policy. The export freezes sought by the Biden administration will be permanent. 

    Hiding under the cover story of U.S. national security, this rule is intended to hobble the firearms industry’s ability to compete in the international market by eliminating export sales of firearms (by Americans) and, the Biden Administration hopes, make the firearms’ business less financially viable.

    The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) estimates that the total economic impact of the Interim Final Rule easily exceeds $250 million to U.S. manufacturers and exporters, which is well above the low estimates BIS has been telling Congress.

    The public can comment on the Interim Final Rule until July 1st.

    The Interim Final Rule is scheduled to take effect May 30, 2024.

    To intimidate exporters, under the Interim Final Rule, firearm export licenses will be reduced from four years to just one year.  (This has been a favorite tactic of Democrats since Franklin Roosevelt and his FCC tried to intimidate radio stations that dared to criticize FDR by dramatically shortening their licensing period.)

    And there are foreign policy concerns (because the Biden Administration has been so successful in its foreign policy initiatives.)

    License applications will consider foreign policy, national security risk factors, government corruption (ours or theirs?), diversion of firearms and human rights abuses, among other criteria.  (Sounds like something Letitia James would have thought up.)

    There will be a presumption of denial for firearm export licenses to those countries identified by the State Department as “at risk,” which include 36 countries – mostly in Latin America, the Caribbean and Southeast Asian countries.

    All previously approved firearm export licenses to “high risk” countries will be revoked 60 days after with the Interim Final Rule takes effect, in 2024

    Will it make the world safer?  Nah!  Other countries are more than happy to fill the void and enjoy the sales revenue.  (Kinda like Biden’s policies on oil and natural gas.)

    Constitutional protections are relatively weaker in firearm exports than in sales of firearms to U.S. citizens.  Executive authority is relatively greater in foreign affairs so the Biden administration takes advantage of this to weaken firearms manufacturers and drive them out of business.

    Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President & General Counsel said this:.

    The enmity of the Biden administration against the firearm industry and Second Amendment rights is without parallel. This is deeply troubling the lengths to which this administration will go to turn the levers of government against a Constitutionally-protected industry in order to cozy up to special-interest gun control donors.”

    Is he saying Biden is catering to one branch of the Democrat Party in an election year by attacking firearms?  Is there any evidence that he does this sort of electioneering with other groups?  Say, forgiving student loans or reparations to blacks?  (Sarcasm intended.)

    Keane also said: These “policies that would strike at the heart of the ability of this industry to stay in business. This has been the end goal since President Biden said from the Democratic debate stage that ‘firearm manufacturers are the enemy.’ This is a wholesale attack on the industry that provides the means for Americans exercising their Second Amendment rights.”

    Remember when Biden came to office as a self-proclaimed uniter?  An American industry is his “enemy.”  That’s uniting?

    Export licensing may seem distant from the usual 2nd Amendment issues but the Biden administration will use every power, constitutional or not, to achieve its far-left goals, which includes destroying 2nd Amendment rights.

  • 05/10/2024 8:25 PM | Anonymous

    Court Cases and the NRA Elections

    The U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York has denied a preliminary injunction to stop NY’s law requiring background checks for ammunition sales.  By denying the motion for a preliminary injunction, that means that ammo background checks will stay in effect while the actual litigation against it is decided in court.

    The case arose because, under NY State’s 2022’s Concealed Carry Improvement Act, (CCIA) the state police established a statewide license and record database specific for ammunition sales.  Background checks for ammunition are run by state police and also incur a fee of $2.50. 

    In the finding to uphold CCIA, Judge Geraci cited a colonial Virginia statute dating back to 1756, which prohibited Catholics from owning or possessing arms. This historical precedent, according to Geraci, reflects a longstanding “national tradition” of restricting access to firearms for individuals deemed dangerous or unfit.

    Note: The 1756 statute targeted a specific religious group during a time of war, while the CCIA applies to all ammunition buyers.  This citing is in the tradition of many of the ‘historical’ gun bans that are traceable back to the post-civil war Jim Crow days and were aimed at disarming blacks. 

    In California, the case of Nguyen v Bonta is a challenge to California’s one gun purchase per month law.

    In March, Judge William Q. Hayes of the United States District Court, Southern District of California ruled the law violated the text of the Second Amendment and there were no reasonable analogies in the relevant legal history of the United States.

    Judge Hayes, stayed his decision for 30 days to allow defendants to appeal to California’s liberal-leaning 9th Circuit

    The case was sent to be heard by a three judge administrative panel of the Ninth Circuit.

    The Ninth Circuit has not been friendly to Second Amendment cases. Any rulings by three-judge panels on the Ninth Circuit that are favorable to the Second Amendment, have all been reversed by the entire court.

    Note: If California is successful, can New York be far behind?

    __________________________________________________________________

    The case of Bevis v Naperville involves ‘assault weapons’ bans by both Naperville and the State of Illinois.

    A district court in Southern Illinois found the ban unconstitutional.

    A federal district court in Chicago and overturned the district court’s ruling and found the ban was constitutional.

    The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit agreed with the federal district court, ruling that AR-15s are NOT protected by the Second Amendment.  The decision was made by a three-judge panel, with two judges finding similarities between AR-15s and M16s, and one judge dissenting.

    Note: Similar in cosmetic ways but not the same in any substantial way.

    In dissent, Judge Michael P. Brennan said, “Because the banned firearms and magazines warrant constitutional protection, and the government parties have failed to meet their burden to show that their bans are part of the history and tradition of firearms regulation, preliminary injunctions are justified against enforcement of the challenged laws.

    The two judges finding the ban legal said, “even the most important personal freedoms have their limits...Government…may condition free assembly on the issuance of a permit; it may require voters to present a valid identification card…The right enshrined in the Second Amendment is no different.”

    Note: Getting a permit or a license is not the same as banning something altogether.

    _____________________________________________________________           

    NRA Board of Directors election results are in and four reform candidates were elected, each winning a 3-year seat.

    Judge Phil Journey and Rocky Marshall, who got on the ballot via petition of the members, were elected. Wayne Anthony Ross of Alaska, a former Vice President who’s been on the Board since 1980 was reelected.  Jeff Knox was also elected. 

    The ‘reformers’ are only 4 Directors among 76, which means they will probably have no real power or influence.  But…

    It’s notable that candidates who did NOT get elected included long-time Director Joel Friedman, as well as two past-presidents, John Sigler and David Keene. Friedman and Keene were vocal defenders of Wayne LaPierre.

    The NRA is a thousand pound gorilla in defense of 2A and it is vital that they get past their current problems and can concentrate on defending 2A.

  • 05/06/2024 12:11 PM | Anonymous

    Is It A Scam?

    It seems whenever there are good intentions, there is someone trying to use those intentions in a scam to make money.

    Ammoland recently carried an article by Chris Lee, the Midwest Director of Government Relations – State Affairs for NSSF, the firearms industry trade association.  The NSSF is a legitimate 2A group with numerous lawsuits in defense of 2A. 

    Lee lives in Indiana and is, obviously, active in that state’s politics.  He wrote in Ammoland about a new ‘No Compromise’ 2A group in Indiana called the “Indiana Firearms Coalition” which claims to be “Indiana’s biggest and most powerful gun group.” [www.indianafirearmscoalition.org

    The problem is, neither Lee nor any of his political contacts had ever come into contact with the ‘biggest and most powerful gun group’ in Indiana: “…in all the time I spend at the statehouse, I’ve never seen them there.”

    Lee states that the Dorr brothers are behind a network of 24 organizations.  The typical comments about them is their fund raising efforts and taking credit for legislation they had nothing to do with.  

    The following are three articles about these groups and the brothers behind them.

    Exposing the Dorr Brother Scams

    Patriots Beware Of New Scam ‘No Compromise’ 2A Group In Hoosier State (ammoland.com)

    "Ohio Gun Owners" is not here to help | Buckeye Firearms Association

    According to the first article, the Dorr’s have two organizations in NY State:

    New York State Firearms Association 

    New Yorkers Against Excessive Quarantine

    And for our friends south of the border:

    Pennsylvania Firearms Association

    Pennsylvanians Against Excessive Quarantine

    NSSF is a legitimate 2A organization and is a trade organization for businesses engaged in 2A operations.  It is not competing for membership against any of the Dorr Brothers Organizations, so there is no apparent self-serving reason for Lee to have written what he did.

    There are many 2A organizations and SCOPE tries to avoid criticizing other 2A groups as we should all be in this together, for the same goal, which is not to enrich ourselves. 

    SCOPE does not take a position on this other than informing 2A defenders that they need to look closely at organizations and decide for themselves before they donate.

  • 04/25/2024 3:35 PM | Anonymous

    Highlights 2024

    SCOPE defends the 2nd Amendment and the entire Constitution at both the state and local level.  Our chapters give us a local connection that very few statewide organizations have developed.  The chapter Chairpersons make up the state Board of Directors so there is a close relationship. 

    The following are a few of the past year’s highlights:

    Donations to help fund 2A Lawsuits

                GOA - $16,000+ from state, chapters and members

                2nd Amendment Foundation - $6,000 from Steuben Chapter

                Vintage Firearms – $6,000 from state SCOPE

    Financial Support

                High School Trap and Skeet Teams – Multiple Chapters support teams

                Armed Women of America – Steuben Chapter supports

                $5,000 from state SCOPE to Steuben Chapter for get-out-the-vote campaign

                Miscellaneous other chapter support

    Petitions

                Repeal the Ammo background check

    Support

                SCOPE sent letter supporting NY Citizens Audit       

    Bill Proposed by SCOPE and introduced into NYS Senate by Senator

               S8609 Open Carry

    Monroe Chapter sends a letter to a legislator at every meeting

    Jefferson Lewis sponsored the play The American Soldier

    Educate and Inform are our central goals

                Firing Lines bimonthly (distributed beyond membership)

                Emails to members on current issues 3-4 times per week  (many are passed on &              quoted)

                Speakers at Chapter meetings, Members Meeting and Banquet

    • NY Citizens Audit

    • Legislators

    • Voter Registration officials

    • County Clerks

    • Sheriffs

    • Judges

    • Candidates

    • District Attorneys

    Special Interests

                Chapters attend Fairs, gun shows, etc.

    Political Contacts

    State officers and chapter chairpersons develop relationships at both the state and county levels.

    Member Support

                Research questions for members

    Letters to Editors by Members

    Strategic 2A Huddle

                Multiple 2A organizations working together

    Quarterly gun raffles to raise funds for activities

    Planning for this November’s Election

    • Research & publicize candidates          

    • Rate Candidates

    • Outdoor News ads

    • Distribute e mails to media

    • Op Eds

    • Interviews

    • Advertising

    • Chapters have candidates to meetings

    • Candidates attend SCOPE Annual Banquet in September

    SCOPE is a volunteer organization, we have only one employee.

    State and chapter officers volunteer their time and money to support 2A 

  • 04/24/2024 11:53 AM | Anonymous

    HR 6492  /  The Bataan Death March

     1.)  HR 6492  "To improve recreation opportunities on, and facilitate greater access to, Federal public land, and for other purposes."

    The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 6492, the Expanding Public Lands Outdoor Recreation Experiences (EXPLORE) Act. The bill, introduced by U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), garnered 51 bipartisan cosponsors. The measure was approved in a voice vote, a rare demonstration of Congress working across party lines.

    The EXPLORE Act must be approved by the U.S. Senate before it can be considered by President Joe Biden.

    The bill includes the Range Access Act, which would increase and improve outdoor recreation opportunities across the nation while improving infrastructure and driving economic growth in rural communities.

    Specifically, that portion of the bill would require the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to have at least one qualifying recreational shooting range in each National Forest and BLM district which is crucial to ensuring safe public recreational shooting. The EXPLORE Act also contains other provisions to improve hunting and recreational shooting access.

                   Congress Giveth and New York Taketh Away

    NY Senate bill S8461A introduced by Senator Harckham (D. District 40 – Peekskill & east) is aimed at driving Rod & Gun clubs and any shooting ranges out of business in the name of preventing ‘lead migration’.

    • Outdoor shooting ranges and skeet / clay / trap fields will need to be at least 300 yards wide to the left, to the right and forward.

    • No portion of a skeet field tract shall include a wetland or open water source.

    • Ranges will need to do lead reclamation and report on it under very bureaucratic guidelines but as yet undetermined specific rules.

    • If unable to comply with the requirements, the range shall construct and maintain appropriate backstops to prevent lead migration outside of the designated skeet field tract. Such backstops shall be constructed of material that effectively captures bullets and shall be covered by a roof to prevent precipitation from eroding such backstops.

    1st violation is $1,000 per day fine and 2nd violation is $2,500 per day fine.

    The bill is currently in the Environmental Conservation Committee but it more accurately would be in the Gun Grabbers Committee.

    If you enjoy a shooting range, you might consider doing what the next SCOPE member did.

                   Letter to Legislature

    A SCOPE member sent the following letter to his State Senator and Assemblyperson with a copy to Kathy Hochul.  We need more people to do this to let legislators know where we stand and remind them that we are watching. 

    Dear Representatives,

    I value my life and will not travel nor spend money in New Youk City. This is an area of New York State that is a cesspool of violent crime with no deterrent to correct the problem. Bill O’Reilly states how dangerous it is on the streets and in the subways. Other news networks often show footage of innocent victims brutally assaulted and pushed into whatever. I fail to understand how any police office can go to work and do their job, because the courts and the mayor fail to support what they do.

    Two legislators are sponsoring legislation A03855 and S05763. These bills are another assault on the US Constitution and the 2nd Amendment. Tennessee’s Senate passed a bill for teachers to carry concealed firearms in school K-12. Society is looking for alternatives to protect life. All the legislation on gun controlhas not helped. Now these two legislators along with many others want to turn upstate NY into a community just like NY City. 

    Gov. K Hochul awarded $ 12 million to address our mental health issues. We’ll be watching to see if these resources help. We should be addressing our drug issues as well. Correct the health issues and most of the gun problems will go away.

    Think how to resolve problems.

    NOTE from SCOPE: A3855 and S5763 establish “additional requirements to purchase a firearm, shotgun or rifle.”
    ______________________________________________________

    2.)  Bataan Death March

    Scope tries to remind you of important historical anniversaries.  We missed one, last week, but thanks to Tom Shepstone of Energy Security and Freedom for reminding us.

    During World War II, on April 9, 1942, 75,000 American and Filipino soldiers surrendered to Japanese forces after months of battling in the Philippines. These soldiers, including members of the 200th Coast Artillery from the New Mexico National Guard, endured extreme conditions, defending Luzon and Corregidor with outdated equipment and limited supplies.

    Following their surrender, from April 9th through the 17th, the prisoners faced horrific treatment as POW’s, enduring deprivation and a grueling 65-mile march known as the Bataan Death March, where it is estimated between 5,500 and 18,650 died. The march was marked by severe physical abuse and wanton killings. POWs who fell or were caught on the ground were shot.

    The POWs wouldn’t see freedom until 1945, when U.S.-Filipino forces recaptured the Philippines, yet many suffered health complications or perished after liberation. This event profoundly impacted New Mexico families, with hundreds of soldiers from the 200th and 515th Coast Artilleries never returning home.

    After the war, Japanese commander General Masaharu Homma and two officers were tried for war crimes and sentenced to death for failing to prevent atrocities committed by their subordinates.

    On July 4th 1946, the United States granted independence to the Philippines.  Freedom doesn’t come cheap, anywhere.

  • 04/18/2024 2:14 PM | Anonymous

    Vintage Firearms Lawsuit (Part 2)  by Tom Reynolds

    Yesterday, SCOPE gave you the legal background to the lawsuit we are discussing, today.

    This e mail is about an effort to drive a small gun store into bankruptcy through unsubstantiated lawsuits. An NRA official said about similar lawsuits, “These cases aren’t designed to win… It’s a sinister abuse of the legal system aimed at bankrupting a lawful industry.” If they can drive gun stores out of business in New York State, they remove access to guns and ammo. 

    This lawsuit is supported by the usual anti-gun suspects:  Everytown (Bloomberg), Giffords, Brady United. 

    On May 14, 2022, at a Tops Friendly Markets supermarket in Buffalo, ten people were murdered and three were injured.    

    The murderer, Payton S. Gendron, a white male, was 18 years old at the time of the shooting.  He had traveled three and a half hours to the Tops supermarket from his hometown of Conklin, New York.

    On November 28, 2022, Gendron pled guilty to all state charges in the shooting, including murderdomestic terrorism, and hate crimes. On February 15, 2023, Gendron was sentenced to 11 consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.

    There seems to be no question that this was a ‘hate crime’ based on writings of Gendron.

    The Bushmaster XM-15* that was used in the shooting was purchased from Vintage Firearms in Endicott, NY. 

    Currently, there are six lawsuits filed against Vintage Firearms owner Robert Donald by: the City of Buffalo; the City of Rochester; relatives of the victim; bystanders at the shooting.  All lawsuits attempt to skirt the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) and use New York State’s Nuisance laws passed in 2021.  (See yesterday’s email for deeper discussion on those laws.)

    There is no question that Gendron passed the NICS background check after filling in Form 4473 at Vintage FirearmsGendron had also cleared another NICS check while purchasing a shotgun (not used in the murders) at a store in the neighboring town of Great Bend, Pennsylvania.  Two passed NICS checks would seem to prove that the seller had no reason to question the legality of the sale. 

    In addition, an ATF inspection of Vintage Firearms after the shooting found no issues.

    The lawsuits contend that Vintage Hardware’s owner should have seen that something was wrong with Gendron and stopped the sale.  But there is not a single factor that indicates that the owner would have known something was wrong with Gendron; for instance, he was not in any rush when buying the rifle. Gendron did nothing to arouse suspicion and the seller did not remember Gendron until later shown his picture. There are no accusations in the lawsuits that Vintage Hardware’s owner shared any of Gendron’s racial animosity that made it a ‘hate crime.’ 

    In addition, the owner of a local pawn shop frequented by Gendron is an Irani immigrant who did not see any racist signs in Gendron.

    So, the lawsuits throw a “Hail Mary.”

    Since New York prohibits the purchase and/or possession of ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition, Gendron traveled to Pennsylvania to purchase a 30-round ammunition magazine.  In his on-line diary, Gendron posted photos of modifications he made to his rifle so that it could be equipped with the 30-round magazine, while acknowledging that this was illegal in New York.

    The lawsuits claim that a Vintage Firearms employee instructed him as to how to replace the fixed magazine with the 30 rounds magazine.  Vintage Hardware’s owner told SCOPE he does not have any employees and, in fact, he did not know how to make this change until shown how, after the shooting! 

    The change involves drilling out a part and the plaintiffs claim this made the magazine removeable.  (This is important!  If the lawsuits are successful, they will have redefined every semi-automatic rifle with a fixed magazine as an Assault Rifle, as there would be no fixed magazines; every magazine would be removeable by drilling it out.)

    How are these suits possible since the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) protects firearms manufacturers and dealers from being held liable when crimes have been committed with their products. This is the law that Joe Biden constantly lies about by saying gun manufacturers can’t be sued. 

    Under this law, both arms manufacturers and dealers can still be held liable for damages resulting from defective products, breach of contract, criminal misconduct, and other actions for which they are directly responsible; this is the same basis as almost every other product.  (This is not an issue in these lawsuits.)

    Manufacturers and dealers may also be held liable for negligent entrustment if it is found that they had reason to believe a firearm was intended for use in a crime. (There is no evidence that Vintage Firearms had an inkling of what Gendron intended to do.)

    There is another loophole in PLCAA and this is the one that the plaintiffs are using.  PLCAA does not shield the manufacturer or retailer when: “a manufacturer or seller of a qualified product knowingly violated a State or Federal statute applicable to the sale or marketing of the product, and the violation was a proximate cause of the harm for which relief is sought.”  Under NY laws passed in 2021, (bills S7196 and A6762B), they classify firearms as a public nuisance to circumvent PLCAA.  Even though they are probably unconstitutional, the laws are still on the books.  Therefore, the plaintiffs say NY’s laws were violated and PLCAA does not apply.

    Vintage Firearms is under attack.  But it isn’t about just this one gun store.  The gun grabbers in NY State are sending a message to all gun stores; we’re coming after you.  Open a gun store in NY State and you open yourself up to bankruptcy as the left will drag you through court and even if the gun store wins, the cost of defending themselves is so great that they lose.  In proof of this, Gendron purchased some of the parts he used from a major gun retailer which would have had the money to defend itself.  The lawsuits omit that store and go for a one-man operation in hoping it can’t afford to defend itself.

    These anti-2A organizations like Everytown (Bloomberg), Giffords and Brady United are vicious and no-holds-barred in pursuit of neutering the 2nd Amendment.  Get in their way and they will punish you!

    These lawsuits are great example of how anti-2A organizations with deep liberal pockets are a direct threat to our constitutional rights, by using the court system. 

    If you would like to help, make check to the owner, Robert Donald and send it to:

    Robert Donald
    PO Box 5567
    Endicott, NY 13763

    Please note that you are a SCOPE member

    Or send the check to SCOPE and note that it is for Vintage Firearms; 100% will be quickly forwarded.

    SCOPE
    PO Box 165
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  • 04/17/2024 11:59 AM | Anonymous

    Vintage Firearms Lawsuit (Part 1) PLCAA and Nuisance by Tom Reynolds

    Vintage Firearms of Endicott, NY is a retailer of firearms and is being sued in several lawsuits related to a mass murder.  This is a good example of the strategy of the gun-grabbing Left, but is quite involved so SCOPE is presenting it in two parts on two successive days.

    First, some general legal background.

    What if you were walking down the street and were subjected to a drive by shooting; someone in a Ford drove by and shot at you with a Glock.  Would anyone expect to sue Ford because their car was used in a crime?  But the Left expects, under those same circumstances, to sue Glock.

    How is a lawsuit possible under the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) which was signed on October 26, 2005 and became Public Law 109–92? 

    PLCAA protects, firearms manufacturers and dealers from being held liable, in most instances, when crimes have been committed with their products.  This is the law that Joe Biden constantly lies about by saying gun manufacturers can’t be sued.  Under this law, both arms manufacturers and dealers can still be held liable for damages resulting from defective products, breach of contract, criminal misconduct, and other actions for which they are directly responsible; this is the same basis as almost every other product. 

    However, there are some loopholes that the gun-grabbing Left jumps through.

    Under PLCAA, firearms manufacturers and dealers may be held liable for ‘negligent entrustment.’  Negligent entrustment means: “the supplying of a qualified product by a seller for use by another person when the seller knows, or reasonably should know, the person to whom the product is supplied is likely to, and does, use the product in a manner involving unreasonable risk of physical injury to the person or others.”

    PLCAA also does not protect when: “a manufacturer or seller of a qualified product knowingly violated a State or Federal statute applicable to the sale or marketing of the product, and the violation was a proximate cause of the harm for which relief is sought.”   

    As usual, the Democrats in the NY State government don’t believe the laws apply to them.  In order to circumvent PLCAA, NY laws passed in 2021: bills S7196 and A6762B.  Direct quotes from the bills:

    § 898-B. PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES.

    1.NO GUN INDUSTRY MEMBER, BY CONDUCT EITHER UNLAWFUL IN ITSELF OR UNREASONABLE UNDER ALL THE CIRCUMSTANCES SHALL KNOWINGLY OR RECKLESSLY CREATE, MAINTAIN OR CONTRIBUTE TO A CONDITION IN NEW YORK STATE THAT ENDANGERS THE SAFETY OR HEALTH OF THE PUBLIC THROUGH THE SALE, MANUFACTURING, IMPORTING OR MARKETING OF A QUALIFIED PRODUCT.

    2.ALL GUN INDUSTRY MEMBERS WHO MANUFACTURE, MARKET, IMPORT OR OFFER FOR WHOLESALE OR RETAIL SALE ANY QUALIFIED PRODUCT IN NEW YORK STATE SHALL ESTABLISH AND UTILIZE REASONABLE CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES TO PREVENT ITS QUALIFIED PRODUCTS FROM BEING POSSESSED, USED, MARKETED OR SOLD UNLAWFULLY IN NEW YORK STATE.

    § 898-C. PUBLIC NUISANCE.

    1.A VIOLATION OF SUBDIVISION ONE OR TWO OF SECTION EIGHT HUNDRED NINETY-EIGHT-B OF THIS ARTICLE THAT RESULTS IN HARM TO THE PUBLIC SHALL HEREBY BE DECLARED TO BE A PUBLIC NUISANCE.

    2.THE EXISTENCE OF A PUBLIC NUISANCE SHALL NOT DEPEND ON WHETHER THE GUN INDUSTRY MEMBER ACTED FOR THE PURPOSE OF CAUSING HARM TO THE PUBLIC.

    In trying to justify this, the race card was also used in these bills; apparently, the firearm, itself, is prejudiced against minorities.  According to the bills:

    This nuisance poses specific harm to New Yorkers based largely on their zip code and certain immutable characteristics such as race and ethnicity.  Illegal firearm violence has disproportionately affected underserved black and brown neighborhoods in our cities and throughout the state despite stringent state and local laws against the illegal possession of firearms.

    These laws are (intentionally) vague enough to drive a tank through.  The Left will claim that any “controls and procedures” were not reasonable (by their definition.) 

    Perhaps the ‘stringent’ laws which keep blacks in certain ‘zip codes’ from owning guns and practicing self-defense are a root cause and it’s not the firearm itself? 

    Are blacks ‘underserved’ by the lack of gun stores available to sell them firearms with which they can practice self-defense?

    New York State is not alone in this effort to take away your guns by any means.

    Ammoland wrote about another state’s efforts to disarm law abiding citizens.

    The city of Chicago filed suit against Glock for the third-party criminal misuse of its products, even though Glock is not directly responsible for the actions of criminals. Chicago is seeking to hold Glock liable when criminals use illegal devices (auto sears or so-called “Glock switches”) to illegally modify Glock pistols into illegal machine guns.  Chicago is using a “public nuisance” theory. A Chicago Tribune editorial said the lawsuit “represents an abuse of the tort liability system.”

    In addition, devices that are designed to convert semi-automatic firearms to fire automatically are already illegal throughout the U.S under Federal law, 26 USC § 5845(b), which defines these devices as a “machinegun.”

    Ammoland continues:

    U.S. tort law has long held that a person or entity cannot be held responsible for a third party’s criminal acts.  Simply put: people are not responsible for the behavior of others. Therefore, if a violent criminal acquires and misuses a firearm to commit a crime, it is the criminal who is liable for the conduct, not the company that produced the firearm. Just like how Chevrolet isn’t responsible for the actions of drunk drivers.

    In 2004, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled against Chicago and its public nuisance theory. Pointing to well-established tort law, the opinion noted: the claimed harm is the aggregate result of numerous unforeseeable intervening criminal acts by third parties not under defendants’ control…the manufacturer and distributor defendants…are even further removed from the intervening criminal acts.

    Chicago lost, but the city imposed tremendous costs on the defendants. An NRA official explained at the time, “These cases aren’t designed to win… It’s a sinister abuse of the legal system aimed at bankrupting a lawful industry.”

    Such abuses led to the enactment of the PLCAA in 2005 which merely codified the standard tort principle.  Despite the PLCAA’s clear mandate, anti-gun politicians and their tort attorney allies continue to concoct unconstitutional legal theories in an attempt to get around the law.  Especially in deep blue states like New York where, in 2021, a nuisance law was passed about firearms.

    (Continued Tomorrow)

  • 04/16/2024 11:18 AM | Anonymous

    Lee Strikes Again  by Tom Reynolds

    Representative Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas is a major opponent of the 2nd Amendment and has told a few whoppers about guns, in the past.  She has now broadened her ‘expertise’ into astronomy. 

    Lee’s district neighbors the Johnson Space Center and she is a member of the House Committee on Science.  In1997, she visited the Mars Pathfinder Operations Center in Pasadena, California. While there, according to an article by Sandy Hume in The Hill, Jackson Lee asked if the Pathfinder succeeded in taking pictures of the American flag planted on Mars by Neil Armstrong in 1969.

    Recently Representative Lee spoke at Booker T. Washington High School in her Houston-area district.  She tried to provide some scientific explanation for the solar system's workings — but any students who listened are going to fail Astronomy 101. 

    "You have the energy of the moon at night," Jackson Lee explained. 

    (Note: the moon doesn't release energy at night, it is merely reflecting light from the sun.)

    "Sometimes you need to take the opportunity just to come out and see a full moon," which the graduate of Yale explained is a "complete rounded circle which is made up mostly of gases." It's "almost impossible to go near the sun," but the "moon is more manageable" because it's "made up mostly of gases"

    Jackson Lee continued, saying "that's why the question is why — or how — could we as humans live on the moon. The gas is such that we can do that,"

    (Note:  I’m sure you and Neil Armstrong know – but Lee doesn’t - that the moon is solid, not gas.  According to NASA, the moon's "weak atmosphere and its lack of liquid water cannot support life as we know it.")

    Perhaps NASA should check with Jackson Lee and get the correct information from her?  Or not. 

    These students will hold this with them forever; I am glad we were able to bring everyone together for such a historic moment. pic.twitter.com/7ldL8w0uql

    — Sheila Jackson Lee (@JacksonLeeTX18) April 8, 2024

    Hopefully the students will remember this and not vote for Jackson Lee when they become eligible.

    And you thought Joe Biden was confused!

    More Members’ Meeting Attendees

    NY State Senator Thomas F. O'Mara of the 58th Senate district will be attending but is not a main speaker.  O’Mara has been a Senator since 2010 and prior to that was an Assemblyman from 2005 to 2010

    The 58th Senate District is comprised of all or portions of Chemung, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Yates and Allegany County.

    Tom worked as an Assistant District Attorney and County Attorney in Chemung County before becoming the Chemung County District Attorney, so he has first hand experience with the crime issues that are plaguing New York.

    Per his web site: “Senator O’Mara has been guided by a long-held belief:  Government does not create jobs, business does.  That’s why he’s focused on developing public policies and strategies that allow state government to improve the economic climate for doing business in New York by opposing tax increases, and reducing state spending, mandates, overregulation and oppressive property taxes.”

    Senator O’Mara is a member of the NRA and SCOPE.  He supported a repeal the Safe Act and has opposed the expansion of Red Flag laws.

    Former Congressman Joe Sempolinski will be attending but is not a main speaker.  Sempolinski is running for the 148th Assembly District seat.

    The 148th Assembly District contains all or portions of Allegany, Cattaraugus and Steuben Counties.

    Sempolinski was elected to Congress in 2022 to serve out the last four months of a resigning congressman’s term.  He declined to run for a full term.

     Per Sempolinski’s web site: “The right to bear arms is a fundamental, individual, human, and Constitutional right. The NY SAFE ACT should never have become law. He is against the new state laws that implement background checks to purchase ammunition and restrict law abiding gun owners in so called “sensitive locations.”

    Concerning freedom of speech: “In a free society, the way to defeat an idea is by arguing for a better idea, not by silencing those who think differently.”

    Joe is a SCOPE and NRA member and a gun owner.

A 2nd Amendment Defense Organization, defending the rights of New York State gun owners to keep and bear arms!

PO Box 165
East Aurora, NY 14052

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