New 9mm Commander; Reports show how
bad guys get guns

22

Taurus recently announced shipments of a new 1911 Commander-size semi-auto pistol chambered for the 9mm and it got the Insider’s attention.

Some years ago, we had the chance to break in a then-new Taurus full-size M1911, finding it to be a very good pistol. It was accurate, didn’t jam through several hundred rounds and with a flat mainspring housing, it fit the hand like an old friend.

The Commander-sized pistol is not new to the market, but the 9mm chambering is. It’s got an all-steel slide and frame, finished in matte black with checkered black grips. Because it’s a 9mm this pistol holds 9 rounds in the magazine. The pistol comes with just the one magazine.

Thanks to significant advances in bullet design and pistol propellant, the 9mm has evolved from a cartridge once held in low esteem by fans of the .45 ACP to a genuine man-stopper. Insider Online has always considered the Commander platform to be perfect for concealed carry as it’s got the right dimensional balance and tucks well into an IWB rig — out of sight and out of mind.

Features include a firing pin block, extended beavertail grip safety, manual thumb safety and Novak drift-adjustable front and rear sights. An overall length of 8 inches, the pistol’s slide, with front and rear cocking serrations and lowered and flared ejection port, hides a 4.2-inch barrel and flat mainspring housing. The frame sports checkering on the front strap.

The new 9mm model weighs 308 ounces and it carries an MSRP of $639.45. As handguns go, there is no doubt that this new Taurus Commander model is going to build a quick fan base.

How Bad Guys Get Guns

Earlier this week, the city council in Tacoma, Wash., was scheduled to vote on a new gun and ammunition tax, postponed from late October until after municipal elections.

The council’s proposal was sold as a tool to reduce so-called “gun violence” by making it more expensive for thugs to get guns. Rights activists in Tacoma and the surrounding area have been repeating the adage that you cannot fix stupid, but there may be some educational value in a story that hit the news about the same time.

Only about 100 miles away was a story out of Wenatchee, where a convicted burglar who had recently spent nearly 30 months in a prison-based drug rehab program was busted, again. This time around, he is suspected of stealing firearms during residential burglaries in Wenatchee and nearby Dryden, according to NCW Life news.

Criminals don’t walk into gun stores to purchase firearms like this Ruger semi-auto.
They often steal them or get guns from somebody else who stole them.

The suspect was sacked by Moses Lake police during what was described as “an attempted theft” from a local Walmart.

This fellow allegedly has been a busy boy, breaking into homes in three counties where he and a partner apparently grabbed seven firearms from one home, and a pistol from another residence.

Not bad for a guy who had been released in August, and something of a walking lesson for members of the Tacoma council. Criminals don’t typically walk into a gun store and pay retail, plus a $25 fee, when they can steal one or more and not pay any fees.

There is something else about this story we just had to share. The councilman behind this proposal, Ryan Mello, originally wanted to put a higher fee on the sale of “high-velocity ammunition,” which he claimed to include “hollow point bullets” that are “designed to pierce through body armor with the intent to kill somebody.”

We’ll save that for another Insider.

Then There’s This Other Guy

Get acquainted with Miguel Sanchez Alvarez, who will be spending three years in prison for attempting to smuggle nine handguns and 200 rounds of ammunition, plus spare magazines, into Mexico.

Sanchez and an accomplice identified as Victor Orlando Leal-Medina (he pulled 14 months for entering a plea) were stopped at the border when they tried to cross over with the guns hidden in a bucket of roofing tar. Alvarez reportedly put the guns in the bucket then gave the bucket to Leal-Medina. This occurred at the DeConcini Port of entry in Nogales two years ago.

Now, here’s a surprise. According to KTAR News, all of the guns actually belonged to Alvarez. Instead of copping a plea, he opted for a jury trial. He’ll have 36 months to think about that decision.

The Maine Thing

Maine is an interesting state, and one thing making it so appears to be how relatively safe it is, according to FBI crime data and a story in the Bangor Daily News.

Frightful predictions of soaring murder rates in Maine after it adopted
“constitutional carry” in October 2015 have failed to materialize.

For the seventh straight year the number of crimes in the state have dropped, according to data from the Maine Department of Public Safety. Since 2009, according to the Bangor Daily News, crime overall had declined more than 40 percent, except for homicides and simple assaults.

However, before anybody is overcome with angst, the entire state produces fewer homicides in a year than Chicago reports for some weeks. Last year, there were 23 slayings in the whole state, of which 11 involved firearms, according to FBI data.

In 2017, the Pine Tree State saw 23 murders, but that year 12 involved guns. Back in 2016, there were 20 homicides, 11 involving firearms. And in 2015, 16 or 23 people were found to be murdered with firearms, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report for that year.

Why is this so remarkable? Back on Oct. 15, 2015, Maine became a “constitutional carry” state, where no license or permit is required to openly or conceal carry a firearm. But this runs contrary to predictions from gun prohibitionists — people the late Col. Jeff Cooper said suffer from “hoplophobia” — that more relaxed gun laws would result in blood flowing in the streets.

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