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Secure Your Firearms

Two sources with knowledge of the situation expressed concern to Rolling Stone that it is an unsafe environment for children, alleging there are unattended guns strewn around the home on Miller’s 96-acre property. One source, who, like the other, requested anonymity for fear of retribution, recalled an instance where one of the children — a one-year-old — allegedly picked up a loose bullet and put it in her mouth.
— RollingStone: Guns, Bullets, and Weed: Ezra Miller Housing Three Young Children and Their Mother at Vermont Farm

Don’t bother to give them the click. I don’t know anything about the person involved, I gave them the click so you wouldn’t have to.

Securing your firearms means different things to different people. There is a scene in Coolhand Luke where we see a convict sent to get a rifle from the truck. The guards were not concerned because that rifle was secured. It was secured because the “boss” had the bolt for the rifle. Without the bolt the rifle would not work.

One of my very first firearms was a Remington 700. At the time I didn’t have a rifle safe, I did have a pistol safe. I had children. I put the bolt in the pistol safe. That rifle would not function without a replacement bolt so it was secure from my children.

It would be nice to spend as much on my safes as I spend on my firearms. I’d have a couple of Fort Knox style safes. A top of the line 24 rifle gun safe can run over $8000. A low end 24 rifle safe will run near enough to $1000.

A locking gun cabinet can be had for less.

The goal is to secure your firearm(s) in a way that protects them from the threats they may encounter.

Many years ago I had to take a psych evaluation in regards to a custody case, so did my ex-wife. One of the questions is designed to discover if you are narcissistic. It read something like “Do you believe that people are trying to steal your work?”. To which I answered “yes”. The automated scoring used this to claim I was narcissistic but they psychologist said “nope, he’s not.” Why? Because I worked in a place where I had to attend briefings every year where important people got up and said “The work we are doing is very important. The work YOU are doing is very important. There are people with lots of resources trying to steal your work.”

Nobody is trying to “steal” my work today. Maybe they want to cheat me out of my labor, but they aren’t trying to steal my work.

When I lived in certain places in Maryland, I expected to have somebody breakin and steal things. It was a bad neighborhood. Even when I lived in better neighborhood I was always concerned about somebody breaking in. Same when I lived in Michigan.

I needed to secure my firearms from thieves. I had to secure them when the thieves would have two or more hours to steal things.

More importantly to me, I had to secure my firearms from my young children.

So there are multiple different “danger” curves you must deal with.

Children

There is a very very short period of time after a child is born before your security of your firearm must be better than “out of reach.”

When my wife was younger she was on very strict diets. Even so, her mother kept cookies in the house. The cookies were stored on top of the refrigerator. My wife can recall using drawers as a step ladder to get up onto the counter and then using other things to reach the top of the refrigerator to reach the cookies. She thinks she was 3 or 4 years old.

My friend didn’t like her pistol because she could not work the slide. It was too heavy. We’ve all seen the videos of a young child cocking a 1911 style pistol by hitching the slide to the edge of a table and using their entire body weight to slide it back.

Children can do more than you expect, so don’t think that an unsecured firearm is “safe” Secure it!

While my grandchild was here, all firearms were secured. That meant “under lock and key.” For the ready weapon in my bedroom that happened to be a cable lock through the magazine well and out the ejection port. Without the key, my grandchild would not be able to operate that firearm.

Would that cable lock slow down a thief taking off with my rifle? No. It would not. House security is a different issue for us. Child security was paramount.

To repeat, every single firearm in the house was kept under lock and key.

How good were most of those locks? They were pure shit. I practice lock picking from time to time. I can pick every single one of the gun locks I have in less than a minute. They are not that secure. Every one of the padlock/cable lock style can be cut with a simple set of bolt cutters.

They were good enough to secure that one weapon from my grandchild.

As my children grew older, security had to increase. All of my firearms were secured in a gun cabinet or a gun safe. In my opinion, the biggest security for my firearms was a policy of access. If my children wanted to see or handle a firearm all they had to do is ask. I would stop what I was doing and pull out the firearm. Go over the safety rules, clear the weapon. Hand it to them and make sure they cleared the weapon.

Security came by them knowing that they firearms were not magic scary things. It came with training and knowledge and a refusal on my part to make them a hidden goal.

Remember how good you were at finding your Christmas presents as a child. Apply that to your children finding your secret gun.

Today I have firearms that are in the safes, some that are in the gun cabinet and some in gun display cases. All of which are secure enough for my children.

The secondary issue is when my children have friends over. When they were younger, that was not an issue as all firearms were always secured. Today it is one of room access. Guests are not allowed in certain areas of the house which means they don’t get access to firearms.

Having said all of this, I’m relaxed about this part of my firearm security.

Quick Snatch and Grab

In my opinion, this is the biggest threat to most of us. This is the thief that notices you disarming before walking across the street to mail a package at the post office. He sees and knows it is a quick smash and group to walk away with a valuable item.

A pistol is worth a few hundred dollars at the least. When I lived near Baltimore we knew that you didn’t leave anything of value in your car if it was parked down there. People had their cars broken because of the coins visible in the center console.

Any car lock box is a good start. Remember what you are securing and what you are protecting from. Yes, a pair of bolt cutters will cut the cable lock easily. The thief doing a smash and grab is unlikely to have bolt cutters with him.

Secure your firearm if you must leave it in your vehicle

When considering your lock box, consider how you are going to access it while in the vehicle. What do you think others see when you have to get out of your vehicle, pull the lock box from under the seat, take your firearm from its holster, put it in the box. Lock the box and put it back in the vehicle?

You need to be able to secure your firearm while sitting in your seat without it looking like the dance of the seven veils.

Also, be very very aware of what is considered a firearm where you are. In MA, a fired shell is a reloading component and requires a license to possess. In Maryland, a magazine with a round in it is considered a loaded gun.

You think you are being a good subject and disarming before entering the local post office? Did you do it in the parking lot? That’s a sensitive location and you aren’t allowed to carry there.

In your home, you have the same consideration in the smash and grab. So the display case above my Lady’s bed is firmly anchored to the wall. Not a J.Kb. levels, but secure enough. The clasps holding closed are locked. The “glass” is actually plexiglass and pretty hard to break.

It would take a little bit of time to rip it off the wall and it would require tools to do so. It is enough to secure a firearm from a child or curious person and enough to slow down a thief for a bit. Call it 5 to 10 minutes.

The gun cabinet is more than enough to secure my firearms from a quick smash and grab.

The cable look for the display case that secures all the rifles is enough.

All of this is designed to stop the smash and grab. That person is not going to have access to anything quickly.

The Burglary

This is where the thieves have time. Enough time without the owner that they can do what they want. In this case your goal is to get that sweet spot where the amount of time it takes them to access or remove your safe is longer than the response time to the monitored alarm.

If the response time to a house alarm in your area is 20 minutes, your safes have to be secure for at least 30 minutes.

So what does secure mean? It means both access and removal. While you might be concerned about having 24 guns rattling around in the bed of your pickup truck, a thief isn’t going to care. If those 24 guns are rattling around in the back of a pickup truck inside a safe, the thieves don’t care either.

Limiting access to a safe means keeping them from getting inside while the safe is in place. So the safe rated at 2 hours with a biometric electronic lock with a key override sounds really good. Until you figure out that it is pretty simple to drill the key override and just unlock it that way.

Get a safe that is actually rated for the time period listed. When I had to break into my own gun cabinet. The key had gone missing. It took 5 minutes with a drill to drill out the cylinder lock. I replaced that lock with a better lock but I was surprised at how easy it was.

There is the physical access as well. The safe that our friend asked us to open took 20 minutes. I was able to use 3 cut off wheels on my angle iron to cut three sides of the back and a crow bar to access the concrete interior. A sledge hammer and a cold chisel made short work of the concrete interior to gain access to the inside of the safe. Total time was about 35 minutes.

Unfortunately the safe didn’t have anything valuable inside.

A person that has physical access to a security container can open it. It is only a question of time and the amount of destruction.

Make sure the safe you purchase has a security rating that will give the cops time to respond to your alarm.

And now to J.Kb.’s point. Make sure they don’t just walk off with that safe!

Just look up YouTube videos of people hooking a truck up to an ATM and just yanking it out of the wall and driving away.

This is the issue. It might take a thief longer to access the safe than it takes to steal the safe.

Your method of securing your safe is dependent on weight and anchors.

Weight is NOT security.

I have machines that weight in excess of two tons in my shop. I move them by myself. The magic is levers, toe jacks and rolling bars. All you have to do is get it up high enough to get a bar under and then you can roll the heavy item where ever you need to go. A goo lever/pry bar will let you turn things AND steel on steel slides darn well.

This means you have to anchor your safe in location.

Leverage is important in this and you have to make sure your anchors are strong enough to not pull out. You also have to consider static vs dynamic load.

I watch a demonstration where a guy carefully hung about 500 pounds off a chain attached to a forged eye bolt that was through a 2 by 8 beam. Absolutely no problem.

This 180 lbs guy then proceeded to rip that eyebolt right through the beam. He took all the hanging weight off the chain and then proceeded to use a whip like motion to impart a huge shock on the system. Much more than the 500lbs he demonstrated with. It was enough to strip the threads and yank the bolt right out of the beam.

The same is true of our safes. If you can get it to rock even a little bit, that motion can be enough to rip bolts out of the floor or from the wall. Make sure you anchor things so they can’t get your safe moving at all.

If you have an air gap between your safe and the wall, consider putting something there and anchoring through that filler into the wall. This doesn’t keep them from getting a pry bar in there or a strap to yank things. It is just to slow them down a little bit more and to keep that safe from moving at all.

Fini

Secure your firearms. Secure them for the time and place you are at. Secure your firearms in such a way they are protected from the threats you anticipate. Secure them well enough that a response can arrive before you loose your firearms.

And remember, the lock picking lawyer isn’t what you are protecting from. Your thief is much more likely to be an animal with a crowbar and more muscles than brains.

The War Continues: Senate Advances Gun Rights Infringement Bill S.2938

So first it is important to note that the Democrats always cheat. They are mean and nasty about it to.

Senator Marco Rubio introduced a bill back in October,2021 to change the name of a courthouse and federal building in Tallahassee, Florida to “Joseph Woodrow Hatchett United States Courthouse and Federal Building”.

That bill was sent to the house where it passed on May 18th, 2022. It had not made it back to the floor of the Senate for a vote.

So an amendment was offered and accepted. This amendment gutted the entire bill and replaced it with the monstrosity that is the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act”.

I expect that shortly after Joe signs this we will see court cases filed. I’m hoping that those filing go for nation wide injunctions. This is likely the next battle in our rights as guaranteed under the second amendment.

You have called your Representative and let them know your opinion on the matter? It might not feel like it makes any difference but if you don’t try it will fail.

The list of Senators voted are All Democrats (including those that claim to be “independents”) plus

  • Murkowski, R-AK
  • Cotten, R-AR (Not Voting)
  • Young, R-IN
  • McConnell, R-KY
  • Cassidy,R-LA
  • Collins, R-ME
  • Blunt, R-MO
  • Burr, R-NC
  • Tillis, R-NC
  • Cramer, R-ND (Not Voting)
  • Portman, R-OH
  • Toomey, R-PA
  • Graham, R-SC
  • Cornyn, R-TX
  • Romney, R-UT
  • Capito, R-WV

NYC By the Numbers

In an article talking about how the SCOTUS decision will affect the people of NYC some numbers came up.

Around 16,000 New Yorkers have permits that allow them to keep handguns in their homes. Yeah, you need a permit to possess a handgun in your home in NYC.
There are another 700 Business owners that have permits to have a handgun in their place of work.
There are another 3,500 people that can carry guns because of their work
And 2,400 security guards that can carry at work but can’t have a gun at home.

That gives us 20,200 people that can carry a firearm for protection outside of security guards.

The population of NYC is 8,380,000 in 2020. That gives us 241/100,000 within NYC.

There are around 18,660,000 CCW holders in the US. This doesn’t count the millions that live in free states.

That averages out to 5.7k/100,000 across these United States.

Florida does a little better with 6.1K/100,000.

Things that make you go “hmmmmm”

New York Post: What does the Supreme Court ruling on guns mean for NYC?

Paul Clement Leaves Firm to Open Boutique Firm

For those of you that don’t know, Paul Clement is the super star lawyer that just won NYSR&PA, Inc v. Bruen. He has been around for a long time fighting for conservative ideals on a constitutional basis.

He fought to “remove immigration protections from so-called Dreamers”.

The firm he use to be with was Kirkland & Ellis. After today’s SCOTUS announcement, Kirkland & Ellis issued a statement that they will no longer represent clients in Second Amendment matters.

It sounds like Clement heard this or knew this was going to happen so he and a former Kirkland partner, Erin Murphy, left to form their own firm.

This guy has been fighting woke culture and the gun rights infringers for a very long time. He left his prior firm when they with drew from a case involving same sex marriage.

I’m glad he is still here with us, fighting the good fight.

Bloomberg Law: Clement to Open Boutique After Kirkland Withdraws From Guns

Finding Common Ground

I hope you have all seen the cake analogy of gun rights. Where compromise always consists of us giving up some more of our gun rights in return for keeping some of ours. We never seem to get any back.

Beto O’Rourke is out there talking about “Finding Common Ground.” The democrat talking point is “balancing responsible gun ownership with public safety”.

All of them consist of ignoring just a little bit of the second amendment “for the common good”, “for public safety”, “to save just one life”.

My state has constitutional carry. I have a CCW as well. This allows me to travel to a few more states without problems as those states recognize my CCW. When we talk about common ground, how about allowing my permit to allow me to carry in every state and D.C.?

How about we recognize that short barreled rifles were added to the NFA to keep people from avoiding the tax by claiming a pistol was a rifle? How a person can end up arrested because it was 15.99inches instead of 16.00 inches long.

How about removing suppressors from the NFA? The fact that I can buy a stainless steel suppressor for a 64mm pipe for $200 installed but it is $200 just for the tax stamp and another $600+ for the actual can?

We know that we can get suppressors down around the $30 mark because people sell “solvent traps” that can be converted into a suppressor.

Common ground? I’d love to find common ground with the gun infringers. Unfortunately there seems to be a huge gulf between us that they are unwilling to cross.

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that Texas needs to find “common ground” on gun control by respecting the Second Amendment while also requiring safety measures on firearms.

O’Rourke highlighted moderate gun control measures that both Republican and Democratic residents of his state can get behind, some of which appear in a bipartisan Senate plan considered this week in light of the Uvalde shooting.

“Universal background checks, red flag laws, safe storage laws — these are things that most Texans agree with,” O’Rourke said.
O’Rourke: Time to find ‘common ground’ on gun control

Journalisming? ABC Reports on NYSR&PA, Inc v. Bruen

Color me surprised, a balanced article from ABC News that actually starts from a pro rights point of view.

It is the most significant case regarding the Second Amendment since the high court affirmed the right to bear arms with its 2010 decision rendering Chicago’s nearly 30-year ban on handgun ownership unconstitutional.

“There’s been a big push to get more Second Amendment cases before the courts because many people believe that the lower courts were not being faithful to the Supreme Court’s decision in 2010 saying that states, as well as the federal government, were restricted by the Second Amendment,” Seth Chandler, a professor at the University of Houston Law Center who teaches constitutional law, told ABC News. “The Supreme Court for the past 10 years or so has just not placed that hot-button issue on its docket. But now, with this New York State Rifle and Pistol v. Bruen case, they’ve accepted those challenges.”
Major Second Amendment case awaiting Supreme Court decision

They actually describe Giffords Law Center as “Gun control advocates”. Amazing! I’ve read so few articles where these gun rights infringers are actually identified as advocates for gun control. Normally they are described in terms like “gun violence prevention” and “advocating for gun safety.” I’ll take this as a win.

SCOTUS: New York State Rifle & Pistol ASSN., Inc v Bruen UPDATED

Held: New York’s proper-cause requirement violates the Fourteenth Amendment by preventing law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in public for self-defense. Pp. 8–63.

(1) Since Heller and McDonald, the Courts of Appeals have developed a “two-step” framework for analyzing Second Amendment challenges that combines history with means-end scrutiny. The Court rejects that two-part approach as having one step too many. Step one is broadly consistent with Heller, which demands a test rooted in the Second Amendment’s text, as informed by history. But Heller and McDonald do not support a second step that applies means-end scrutiny in the Second Amendment context. Heller’s methodology centered on constitutional text and history. It did not invoke any means-end test such as strict or intermediate scrutiny, and it expressly rejected any interest-balancing inquiry akin to intermediate scrutiny. Pp. 9–15.

It is undisputed that petitioners Koch and Nash—two ordinary, law-abiding, adult citizens—are part of “the people” whom the Second Amendment protects. See Heller, 554 U. S., at 580. And no party disputes that handguns are weapons “in common use” today for
self-defense. See id., at 627. The Court has little difficulty concluding also that the plain text of the Second Amendment protects Koch’s and Nash’s proposed course of conduct—carrying handguns publicly for self-defense. Nothing in the Second Amendment’s text draws a home/public distinction with respect to the right to keep and bear arms, and the definition of “bear” naturally encompasses public carry. Moreover, the Second Amendment guarantees an “individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation,” id., at 592, and confrontation can surely take place outside the home. Pp. 23–24.

This is all from the opinion PDF warning written by Thomas.

It is a relatively easy read. Go read it, enjoy the win

Update-1

On page 70 of the opinion is Justice Alito’s concurring opinion.

His opinion directly attacks the use of polls, statistics, number of shootings, mass shootings and everything else that is outside the context of the question.

“Much of the dissent seems designed to obscure the specific question that the Court has decided…”

In light of what we have actually held, it is hard to see what legitimate purpose can possibly be served by most of the dissent’s lengthy introductory section. See post, at 1–8 (opinion of BREYER, J.). Why, for example, does the dissent think it is relevant to recount the mass shootings that have occurred in recent years? Post, at 4–5. Does the dissent think that laws like New York’s prevent or deter such atrocities? Will a person bent on carrying out a mass shooting be stopped if he knows that it is illegal to carry a handgun outside the home? And how does the dissent account for the fact that one of the mass shootings near the top of its list took place in Buffalo? The New York law at issue in this case obviously did not stop that perpetrator.

Like that dissent in Heller, the real thrust of today’s dissent is that guns are bad and that States and local jurisdictions should be free to restrict them essentially as they see fit.3 That argument was rejected in Heller, and while the dissent protests that it is not rearguing Heller, it proceeds to do just that. See post, at 25–28.

The dissent is painful to read. It starts, as Alito states, with all sorts of fear mongering. After that Breyer goes off about the court not having any discovery or evidence to support the opinion. Even though in oral arguments New York made statements that directly show that the law is infringing.

What the dissent comes down to, in my opinion, is that the states are more democratic and thus the states should be able to pass what ever laws they want in regards to firearms.

Last, I’ve called my Senator’s offices and left messages with staffers saying this opinion has dropped. That it requires the 2nd be applied with strict scrutiny and thus in order for my Senator to uphold their oath to the Constitution they must vote NO on “The Bipartisan Safer Communities act”. Left the same message with my Representatives office and accidently left it with my state Senator’s office.

I did say I had my congress critters on speed dial. Click on the wrong one when trying to contact my US Representative’s office.