One where shooting through the door may be justified

As always, my disclaimer I am not a lawyer.

As a general rule, don’t shoot through the door.

Quite often, some chest thumping idiot will tell you that if someone is banging on your door, trying to come in, just shoot through the door.

That is terrible advice, since the prevailing opinion is that the guy outside hasn’t breached your perimeter, he’s technically not an imminent threat to you.

By shooting through the door, you are the one breaching your perimeter, and therefore initiating the violence.

It’s very rare that I would come across a case that makes me go against this.

This one, I think might just do it.


This guy is actively threatening the home owner with an illegally modified, full auto Glock with an drum mag, for maximum intimidation factor.

It’s a message that screams, “Here is my machine gun I’m going to kill you with.”

I think that’s a sufficient level of a threat to justify going through the door.

Just make sure you have something that has the oomph to do that.

I’m thinking this might be one for busting out with the AR-10 and a mag full of 150 grain 308 soft points.

I’ll have to circle back on this one when Andrew Branca covers it.


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Isn’t Form 4473 Unconstitutional?

In —Opinion, Garland v. Cargill, No. 22-976 (U.S. Jun. 14, 2024), the Supreme Court found that the BATFE had exceeded their authority in changing the definition of “machinegun”. The ATF argued that they were just interpreting the law that congress had passed.

This is in keeping with our governmental forms. The three branches of the government are the legislative, executive, and judicial. The legislative branch creates laws, which must be approved by the head of the executive branch. Or the congress must override the president’s veto. The executive branch then implements those laws. The judicial branch defines what the laws actually mean.

In addition, the judicial branch is tasked with evaluating laws that are in conflict to determine which law overrides the other.

So, if the ATF can just make up laws, where did the 4473 come from?

It came from a Democrat, of course. Instead of yelling about “mass shootings” and “school shootings” the cry in the 60s was about assassinations. That is to say, three assassinations. JFK, RFK, and MLK. Because three assholes killed three men, we had our ability to acquire firearms infringed.

In 1968, the Gun Control Act of 1968 was passed. This codified the first full on gun control in the country. The NFA attempted to establish full gun control with full registration and prohibitive taxes on all firearms, but it only did it to machineguns, short barreled shotguns, short barreled rifles, and suppressors.

The reason given was that this would force all the bad guys to buy guns in person.

The 4473 was part of the executive’s implementation of the GCA of 1968. Every question on the 4473 is supported by code, not regulation. If you read §922(g) you will see that it is translated directly into questions in from 4473.

From 1968 through 1993, the process was a buyer went to the FFL, decided what firearm they wanted to buy. Filled out the 4473 and walked out with the firearm.

There was no waiting.

If a bad guy wanted to buy a gun, he could walk in, fill out the 4473 and just lie. This meant that when he decided to use his gun in an illegal way, or was picked up as a felon in possession, they could add on lying to an FFL, lying on the 4473.

This would stop the bad guy from doing bad things.

Since evil people are going to do evil, and criminals will do criminal acts, this didn’t actually work like the gun-control infringers said it would. It didn’t stop anybody. To get a feel of just how bad this is:

On a personal note, the form fails to keep certain persons from obtaining firearms. This failure is seen in Question 11.f.
Linda Gilbertson, The History of ATF Form 4473: Transaction Record Explained, (Jul. 27, 2017)

This was a former ATF agent. He truly believes that a piece of paper stops people. This is the same sort of person that gets women killed by denying them firearms but giving them a restraining order.

One of Hagar’s friends was murdered by her estranged husband. She had a restraining order against him. This didn’t stop him from killing his wife and children. Nor did taking some of his guns from him. He had decided to commit murder. Why would violating a restraining order slow his rampage down?

I’m sure that when she held up the restraining order, it stopped the bullets he fired at her.

In the 90s, the infringers started screaming that the 4473 wasn’t stopping criminals. They demanded that background checks be done before a person took possession of their firearm.

The original goal was to add waiting periods while the background check was being done. There are states that have excessive waiting periods. I was upset when purchasing some rifles and all pistols required me to wait 21 days. Oh, even though that sounds like three weeks, it is really 4 weeks and 1 day. Because those are business days. This was when I was back in Maryland.

The NRA was the group that got NICs as part of the deal. When some moron tells you that the NRA supported background checks, they didn’t. What they did was fight for a compromise of an instant background check, with the default being you get the firearm.

Some “compromises” they defeated were options where the state had 30 days to reply, but there was no penalty if they took longer. Just ask J. Kb. how the state is perfectly willing to use their incompetence as an excuse to deny you, your Second Amendment protected rights.

So, is form 4473 “Constitutional”?

The answer is yes. This is because the form is a proper implementation of the GCA of 1968.

Is the GCA of 1968, as amended, Constitutional?

Bruen did not answer that question. Bruen told the inferior courts how to properly apply the Heller methodology.

If the individual’s (proposed) conduct implicates the plain text of the Second Amendment, the state has the burden to show representative regulations from this Nation’s historical tradition of firearms regulation.

If we have a hypothetical case, where a person was stopped for a routine traffic stop, and during that stop admitted to smoking a little weed and the cops find he is in possession of a firearm. According to §922(g)(3), he is a prohibited person. He is going to jail. See the Range case.

Did his conduct implicate the plain text of the Second Amendment? Yes. Gun, bear, possess, Second Amendment implicated.

If the Second Amendment is implicated, the state has the burden to prove this Nation’s historical traditions of firearm regulation (in the 1790s) would have prohibited a person who smoked weed (or drank) from keeping or bearing arms.

Since the state cannot do so, §922(g)(3) is Unconstitutional.

Which takes us to lying to an FFL.

for any person in connection with the acquisition or attempted acquisition of any firearm or ammunition from a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector, knowingly to make any false or fictitious oral or written statement or to furnish or exhibit any false, fictitious, or misrepresented identification, intended or likely to deceive such importer, manufacturer, dealer, or collector with respect to any fact material to the lawfulness of the sale or other disposition of such firearm or ammunition under the provisions of this chapter.
Gun Control Act of 1968, 18 USC § 921 (U.S. 1968)

If §922(g)(3) is unconstitutional, then lying about being a drug user is not a material fact. Thus, no violation of §922(a)(6).

Which only leaves §924(a)(1)(a). This gives a penalty for making a false statement or representation. This is where I yell IANAL!!!!

My reading says that this could stand.

Regardless, the 4473 is still here. It is being challenged because §922(g) is being challenged.

Final note:

Q7: Has ATF issued a new Form 4473, Firearms Transaction Record?
Under the Paperwork Reduction Act, federal agencies are required to seek public comment and assess the burden associated with any changes to federal forms, through a process managed by the Office of Management and Budget. Consistent with that process, ATF has not been required to issue nor has it issued any changes to the Form 4473, since April of 2012. When the form was last changed (2012), ATF published the changes in the Federal Register and provided a 60 day comment period for the public to comment on the form, as required under the Paperwork Reduction Act. ATF received no public comments.
ATF Form 4473 FAQs | Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, (last visited Jun. 16, 2024)

See, the ATF is not changing the form very frequently, OOPS!

ATF Form 4473 (5300.9)
Revised August 2023
— ATF Form 4473 (5300.9) Rev. Aug 2023

It seems like the ATF lies even when they have nothing to lie about.

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Make it difficult to follow you


Never go straight home from the bank, casino, jewelry store, or any other place that would suggest you have large sums of cash or valuables on you.

Stop for a coffee.

Go to the grocery store.

Do something that make it difficult to be followed without the followers being noticed.

Give them a reason to break contact with you.



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Cargill v. Garland, what does it mean?

This is “the bump stock” ban case. It has been kicking around for a while.

In October 2017, there was a mass casuality event in Las Vagas, Nevada. 58 people were killed and over 500 were wounded.

When the police breached the room they believed the shots were coming from, they found a corpse, IIRC. I don’t believe the cops shot him.

They found a number of weapons, some of which were AR15 style semi-automatic rifles. They found magazines and at least one of the rifles was equiped with a bump stock.

President Trump, looking at the make up and the will of the congress told the ATF to ban bump stocks.

One version says that Trump is a traitor to the Second Amendment for doing this. Another says that Trump was playing 5D chess and kept congress from acting.

The ATF promligated a new regulation where they redefined “machinegun” to include semi-automatic firearms equiped with bump stocks as machineguns, and demanded that all owners of bump stocks turn them in within 90 days or face charges.

Mr. Cargill turned over 2 bump stocks to the ATF, under protest, then filed suit challenging the final rule as being in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.

This is NOT a Second Amendment challenge. This is an Administrative Act challenge. It is a claim that the ATF did not have the authority to exerciese its power the way that they did. The ATF can not change laws nor can they make laws.

The district court found for the ATF. A merits panel of the Fifth Circuit court afrimed. The case was then heard en banc where the Fifth Circuit reversed the merits panel. Note that this was a weak finding.

The Fifth Circuit en banc found that under the rule of lenity, the plaintiff, the good guy, wins.

The rule of lenity is that when the law is ambiguous, The People win.

This means that the case was appealed to the Supreme Court which granted cert and issued their opinion today.

So what did the Supreme Court actually say?

Justice Thomas delivered the opinion of the court. He answered the question put to them. Did the ATF exceed its statutory authority? The Supreme Court said they had.

With this, the ATFs rule is gone. Does this mean that we can now own bump stocks? The answer is a strong “maybe”.

If your state has banned bump stocks, those laws are still good. This opinion only affects the ATF’s Rule. It was found that the ATF did not have the authority to redifine the meaning of “machinegun.”

Even if your state’s government waved the magic pen and banned bump stocks, those bans have to be fought in court. This case is not even good case law for a state level executive ban.

This case is even weaker as case law IF your state’s legislature passed bills that were signed into law banning bump stocks.

On the good news side, Justice Thomas does a great job of describing the trigger group of an AR-15. This makes it absolutely clear that an AR-15 is a semi-automatic firearm. This can be used to slap down the Woods and Easterbrooks of the country that find that AR-15’s aren’t even arms protected by the Second Amendment.

This is why I like originalist Justices. Justice Alito concurered. He wrote that he was agreeing with the majority because that is what the law said. He then goes on to say that if the Congress that defined what a machinegun was knew about devices like bump stocks, they would have considered a bump stock to be a machinegun.

But he says very clearly:

There is a simple remedy for the disparate treatment of bump stocks and machineguns. Congress can amend the law—and perhaps would have done so already if ATF had stuck with its earlier interpretation. Now that the situation is clear, Congress can act.
Opinion, Garland v. Cargill, No. 22-976 (U.S. Jun. 14, 2024) Justice Alito, concurring.

But the biggest take away comes not from the majority opinion, but from the minority dissent.

On October 1, 2017, a shooter opened fire from a hotel room overlooking an outdoor concert in Las Vegas, Nevada, in what would become the deadliest mass shooting in U. S. history. Within a matter of minutes, using several hundred rounds of ammunition, the shooter killed 58 people and wounded over 500. He did so by affixing bump stocks to commonly available, semiautomatic rifles. These simple devices harness a rifle’s recoil energy to slide the rifle back and forth and repeatedly “bump” the shooter’s stationary trigger finger, creating rapid fire. All the shooter had to do was pull the trigger and press the gun forward. The bump stock did the rest.
Linda Gilbertson, The History of ATF Form 4473: Transaction Record Explained, (Jul. 27, 2017) Justice Sotomayer, dissenting

The dissent gives us “in common use” for semiautomatic rifles and implicitly says that AR-15s are not M-16s

Not a Second Amendment win, but a win for The People.

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