Saying Goodbye To 2020 Is Worth Celebrating

Happy New Year!
; .

2020 may be in the rearview, but we're not hoping for too much in 2021,
and we’re definitely not taking any bets.

The direction of the country, and quite possibly the future of your Second Amendment rights, is up for grabs in Georgia next Tuesday, Jan. 5, when voters will decide a special election for two U.S. Senate seats to determine whether Republicans or Democrats hold the majority.

If Republican incumbent Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler hold onto their seats, the Senate will be a barrier to passage of Joe Biden’s anti-gun agenda and other far Left programs. If Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock win those seats, the 50-50 Senate tie will invariably be broken by Kamala Harris in her role as President of the Senate.

Before anyone argues, “it isn’t over, yet,” let’s just presume Biden and Harris will be sworn into office Jan. 20 barring a last-minute miracle.

If you live in Georgia and value your gun rights, you need to vote. Pay no attention to anybody telling you not to vote as a protest of a crooked system. Warnock and Ossoff will support Biden’s gun control package. Perdue and Loeffler will oppose it.

Georgia Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue are being challenged in a special
election to fill two critical Senate seats. (Source: WCTV, YouTube)

The Biden scheme as it relates to handguns is alarming. Here are some of its tenets:

Put America on the path to ensuring that 100% of firearms sold in America are smart guns. Today, we have the technology to allow only authorized users to fire a gun. For example, existing smart gun technology requires a fingerprint match before use. Biden believes we should work to eventually require that 100% of firearms sold in the U.S. are “smart guns.” But right now the NRA and gun manufacturers are bullying firearms dealers who try to sell these guns. Biden will stand up against these bullying tactics and issue a call to action for gun manufacturers, dealers, and other public and private entities to take steps to accelerate our transition to smart guns.

Require gun owners to safely store their weapons. Biden will pass legislation requiring firearm owners to store weapons safely in their homes.

Reduce the stockpiling of weapons. In order to reduce the stockpiling of firearms, Biden supports legislation restricting the number of firearms an individual may purchase per month to just one.

Give states incentives to establish gun licensing programs. Biden will enact legislation to give states and local governments grants to require individuals to obtain a license prior to purchasing a gun.


Mandatory ‘safe storage’ is part of Biden's gun control plan, but is
locking up guns legal under the 2008 Heller Supreme Court ruling?

Now, Wait a Minute

The part about requiring gun owners to “safely store their weapons” might run into a speed bump called District of Columbia v. Heller, the June 2008 Supreme Court ruling that declared unconstitutional a requirement for firearms to be rendered and kept inoperable at all times.

If that includes requiring firearms to be locked up, in safes or with gunlocks, that could be a problem; a question best addressed to a clever attorney. Here’s what the high court said on Page 58 of the ruling:

“We must also address the District’s requirement (as applied to respondent’s handgun) that firearms in the home be rendered and kept inoperable at all times. This makes it impossible for citizens to use them for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional. The District argues that we should interpret this element of the statute to contain an exception for self-defense…But we think that is precluded by the unequivocal text, and by the presence of certain other enumerated exceptions: ‘Except for law enforcement personnel …, each registrant shall keep any firearm in his possession unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock or similar device unless such firearm is kept at his place of business, or while being used for lawful recreational purposes within the District of Columbia.’”

Where does it say in the Constitution a citizen must first get a license as a prerequisite to exercise an enumerated, fundamental right? Such a requirement would make it no right at all, but a regulated privilege. Can you say litigation?


Late Associate Justice Antonin Scalia authored the landmark 2008 Heller decision, which defined
the Second Amendment as protective of an individual right. (Source: CBS News, YouTube)

Heller Protects Handguns

Gun prohibitionists went berserk when the Heller decision came down, because not only did it clarify the right to keep and bear arms was an individual right separate from service in any militia, it also specifically protected handguns.

Authored by the late Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, the 64-page majority opinion notes on Page 57: “It is enough to note, as we have observed, that the American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon. There are many reasons that a citizen may prefer a handgun for home defense: It is easier to store in a location that is readily accessible in an emergency; it cannot easily be redirected or wrestled away by an attacker; it is easier to use for those without the upper-body strength to lift and aim a long gun; it can be pointed at a burglar with one hand while the other hand dials the police. Whatever the reason, handguns are the most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense in the home, and a complete prohibition of their use is invalid.”

Hindsight is 2020

When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in late February and the national shutdown kicked in by mid-March, one thing happening in many, if not most, states was a suspension of law enforcement agencies taking new applications for concealed carry licenses or permits.

This was because fingerprints are typically a requirement to obtain a license, which means literal hand-to-hand contact with strangers. Lawsuits were filed in some jurisdictions seeking to force agencies to accept applications, otherwise the right to bear arms was being infringed.

Some agencies were accepting fingerprints taken by third-party vendors, others refused, opting instead to essentially suspend the Second Amendment and maybe a state constitutional bearing arms provision.

One might consider Scalia’s opinion was prescient in a way. In his final paragraph, he observed, “the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table.” When the law requires citizens to have a license to carry a defensive sidearm, and then makes applying for such licenses impossible, that’s a constitutional foul.

Just be glad 2020 is now in the rearview mirror. Hopefully, the next 12 months will be a little less dramatic. However, Insider isn’t hoping for too much, and we’re definitely not taking any bets.

Nosler's Reloading Guide, Vol. 9 features over 800 pages of updated load data.

Nosler Reloading Guide

Insider has learned from the good folks at Nosler that Reloading Guide, Volume 9, is available now, and it may be purchased at the Nosler website or a local gun shop or sporting goods store.

According to Nosler, the 800-page Volume 9 is “built from thousands of hours of data shot in the Nosler ballistics lab…featuring 101 cartridges, hundreds of new powder additions, 9 new cartridges, plus stories and articles from industry icons.”

Yours truly isn’t an “icon” by any stretch, but I was honored to author short narratives on the .257 Roberts and .357 Magnum for this new edition.

There has been a Nosler Reloading Guide on the bookshelf above my loading bench for several years, serving as a go-to resource when I’m trying a new powder or different weight bullet — and one never gets bored reading the stories from the many writers who contribute. Some of them I’m proud to call friends.

This edition includes AccuBond Long Range loading data, plus details on handloading for the 26 Nosler, 28 Nosler, 30 Nosler and .458 SOCOM.

By the time you read this, I’ll hopefully have a copy.


Careful What You Ask For

When a Bronx resident identified as Luis Vasquez stood on the steps of Manhattan’s famous Cathedral of St. John the Divine and challenged New York police officers to “kill me, kill me,” he may not have expected them to be so obliging, albeit reluctantly so, because they begged him to drop his guns.

He didn’t. Instead, he fired several shots into the air as bystanders fled on Sunday, Dec. 13.

According to reports from Fox News and the New York Daily News, the 52-year-old Vasquez was armed with a couple of handguns, both semi-autos, and had a criminal record that included an arrest for attempted murder in August 1990. In addition, the newspaper said he had also been busted for drugs, assault and fare evasion.

Vasquez reportedly opened fire during a Christmas concert outside of the church. He took cover behind a pillar but fired more shots as police moved in. Ultimately, the cops had to take him down and he was stuck in the head as more than one officer opened fire.

Investigators found two handguns and a bag nearby that contained rope, a can full of gasoline, wire, several knives, tape and a Bible, Fox News noted.

If this was a suicide by cop, authorities hadn’t made that determination at this writing, but it sounds like one. The whole incident was caught on a cell phone video, so investigators had some decent evidence, along with video from body cams.