ATF Agent Caught Creating Illegal Gun Registry With Personal Cellphone

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Dave Nagel, one of three co-owners of Black Metal Firearms in Mesa, Arizona, said there was something odd about the inspector the ATF sent to audit his gun shop late last year.

Pamela Scott, an Industry Operations Investigator, or IOI, from ATF’s Phoenix Field Division, showed up in December, 2021. Her audit lasted two months and concluded in February, which ruined more than a few Christmases.

“People ask me why I waited until July to go public about this,” Nagel said. “The public needs to know that the crazy stuff the government is accused of doing, they’re actually doing.”

Nagel and Scott clashed from the very beginning. All of his records are on paper. Nothing is computerized.

“She asked me why our stuff wasn’t digital,” Nagel said. “I told her I wouldn’t trust her with our digital info.”

During another exchange, Scott told Nagel he had a lot of “gun nuts” frequenting his shop.

“I told her we prefer ‘gun enthusiast,’” Nagel said. “She said she prefers ‘gun nuts,’ and she works for the ATF?”

Scott found nothing in the shop’s books other than a few minor clerical errors. There were no missing firearms or other significant problems.

“She said she was going to put us in for revocation, and that it may change as it goes up the chain, but that was her recommendation,” Nagel said. “We didn’t sell guns to the drug cartels like the ATF did. Everything we deal in is something that can readily be sold to a customer. There’s nothing here outlandish. We sell normal stuff to the common man, and she treated us like drug dealers.”

An illegal gun registry

Nagel noticed that Scott always had two cell phones – a government-issued phone and her personal cell.

This became important when he caught her copying pages from his A&D Book – using her personal cell phone.

The ATF requires gun dealers to maintain an Acquisition and Disposition book – a log of every firearm that’s acquired by the shop, as well as personal information of the buyers.

“Once she started recording the information from our books, I confronted her. I was concerned she was creating a database,” Nagel said. “She claimed that copying our records with her personal cell phone was ‘part of the purview of her investigation.’”

Nagel has retained Scottsdale, Arizona attorney Derek Debus to help him fight the revocation of his Federal Firearm License.

Debus reacted strongly when told of Scott’s actions.

“There’s no reason for her to be taking photographs of my client’s data,” Debus said. “It’s illegal. There are rules against it.”

Nagel took several videos of Scott copying his records and posted them on his social media. The videos have gone viral.

ATF declines to comment, again

Scott declined to comment.

“Thank you for the email and yes, I see that you are calling me. I would appreciate you contacting our division PIO Cody Monday with any questions regarding my inspection of Black Metal Firearms.  He may be able to answer any questions that you have at this time,” Scott said in an email.

Cody Monday, public information officer for ATF’s Phoenix Field Division, said he could not comment because the investigation was ongoing.

Brendan Iber, ATF’s Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix office similarly declined to comment.


The ATF has recently come under fire for warrantless home inspectionsquestionable arrestsignoring federal open-records laws, and inflating “ghost gun” numbers, in the hopes that Congress will inflate its budget.

The agency is clearly ramping up its enforcement efforts as part of the Biden-Harris administration’s war on “rogue” gun dealers, which has caused FFL revocations to skyrocket a staggering 500%.

The Black Metal Firearms audit and the actions of ATF’s IOI clearly show – yet again – the agency is out of control.

The ATF is willing to do whatever it takes for a pat on the head from the current administration – even to violate the law. This needs to be stopped immediately. They need to be brought under control because their history proves that the ATF’s mistakes often end in bloodshed.


This article was published by The Second Amendment Foundation and is reproduced with permission.


Jewish Gun Group Plans to Sue New York Over Law Banning Concealed Carry in Churches and Synagogues

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

A Jewish firearms organization is preparing to sue New York state over its new gun-control law, which prohibits most congregants from carrying a concealed weapon into a house of worship.

The New York State Jewish Gun Club has “retained a civil rights attorney to challenge the law and is asking others to join the fight,” reports the Bronx’s News 12. “[Founder Tzvi Waldman] says synagogues should be able to let licensed civilians carry guns in case of an attack.”

The law, known as the Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA), was introduced and passed on July 1, just eight days after the Supreme Court invalidated the Empire State’s prior, highly restrictive concealed-carry law. The CCIA, which took effect September 1, makes it a felony for anyone to carry a concealed weapon in a “sensitive” location unless he is an active or retired police officer, an active-duty member of the military, or a private security guard. As one might expect from a law specifically designed to circumvent the Supreme Court’s decision, that list of “sensitive” locations is quite lengthy and includes most public buildings, private businesses, schools, and houses of worship.

Houses of worship, especially synagogues, have good reason to oppose the new law. As New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms observes, “In essence, the state has made it unlawful for houses of worship to have armed congregants serve as members of their security teams unless those congregants are active or retired law enforcement officers. Churches would be permitted to hire professional security, but that could prove cost prohibitive for many houses of worship.”

It is, in fact, quite common for churches and synagogues to have congregants packing heat.

“Almost every orthodox synagogue in Baltimore has an armed congregant,” Rabbi Yaakov Menken, the managing director for the Coalition of Jewish Values, told the Daily Caller. “People do not feel like calling the police or having an armed security guard who may be five blocks away is enough.”

Even if the police got there in time, they could react as the officers did during the May school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. “What happens if we run into a police officer who does not want to involve himself?” Pastor Jesse Stevenson of Revive Church of Rockland County told News 12. “Why then would it not be necessary for someone who is licensed to carry?”

Houses of worship have, after all, been the sites of several shootings in recent years, from the 2015 South Carolina church shooting to the 2017 Pittsburgh synagogue massacre. A 2019 attack on a Texas church was largely thwarted by an armed worshiper, demonstrating the value of allowing concealed weapons in church services.

“The average Orthodox Jew spends up to 20 hours a week in shul (synagogue). So for us, not being able to be protected in shul means more than the average person who goes to church once a week,” Waldman told News 12.

“Violent criminals could not care less about gun-free zones. They see them as easier targets,” Representative Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) told the Daily Caller. “This is especially dangerous for Jewish New Yorkers, who are experiencing an alarming rise in antisemitic violence, with far too few consequences for those committing the violence.”

Jews aren’t alone in fearing racially motivated attacks during worship. One clergyman told Buffalo’s WGRZ that the racist who allegedly shot 13 people, killing 10, at a Tops supermarket in that city “was seen on security camera video apparently casing an East Buffalo church the week before his supermarket attack.” Another clergy member “said they would not allow themselves to be sitting targets for a killer looking for a place where Black people congregate,” meaning worshipers at that minister’s church should be permitted to arm themselves.

“Churches should be allowed to decide for themselves whether or not congregants should be allowed to carry in church,” asserted New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms. “Instead, state government has taken that decision out of their hands.”

Not if the gun club’s proposed lawsuit succeeds. Waldman told the Daily Caller he is “very confident” the courts will overturn the CCIA because it is “unconstitutional on so many levels.”

“The Second Amendment,” he declared, “is not a second-class right.”


This article was published by The New American and is reproduced with permission.

Weekend Read: The Six Things Americans Should Know About the Second Amendment

Estimated Reading Time: 9 minutes

Editors’ Note:  This well-reasoned argument was made before several Supreme Court decisions which affirm, that the right to keep and bear arms, is an individual right.  Two important decisions in that regard were rendered just this year, even though the right of self-protection has long been part of our history and tradition.  This morning, a lead editorial in the  Wall Street Journal cites a “new study” from Clemson University showing that where Blacks kept arms, they were much less likely to be lynched in the Jim Crow South.  You would hardly think a “study” would be necessary to confirm common sense, but as readers likely know, common sense is in short supply these days. A number of states continue to try to make an end run around recent Supreme Court decisions and have reconfigured their onerous restrictions on the right to have arms in defiance of the Court. Likewise, Progressives have successfully bullied banks and others to deny credit to gun dealers and credit card companies are now conspiring among themselves and with Progressive pressure groups to code firearms-related transactions in a way that could act as a national registry. There is a growing ominous trend whereby Progressives, are unable to democratically get their way in the legislatures, and are unable to prevail in court, but resort to enlisting private companies to deny rights to citizens. That these companies would even consider alienating more than half the population, and hence many of their customers, is an indication of how “woke culture” has captured the executive suite. In order to appreciate the importance of these recent Supreme Court decisions and corporate developments, it is likewise helpful to revisit the Biblical antecedents for the right of self-defense and the English common law.  Much like a cut flower, you can’t expect the flower to remain beautiful for very long if it is severed from its roots. Hence, you can’t expect our rights to be protected if severed from the philosophical roots that produced them. You would think freedom-enhancing positions would be supported without much argument.  But the actions of many governors and legislatures in Democrat-run states, corporate executives, as well as recent statements from the Premier of Canada Justin Trudeau; indicate that many in the West no longer understand the origins of Western morality or the theory of natural rights.  Or maybe, they do understand the origin of these rights, and rather wish to destroy the roots from which they have grown.



A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.


FIRST: The Second Amendment protects an individual right that existed before the creation of any government. The Declaration of Independence made clear that all human beings are endowed with certain unalienable rights, and that governments are created to protect those rights.

A. The unalienable right to freedom from violent harm, and the right to self-defense, both exist before and outside of secular government.

  • 1. Torah: Exodus 22:2.
  • 2. Talmud: Jewish law set forth in the Talmud states, “If someone comes to kill you, arise quickly and kill him.” (Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin. 1994,2, 72a; The Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Berakoth. 1990, 58a, 62b).
  • 3. Roman Catholic Doctrine: Christian doctrine has long asserted the right and duty of self defense. “Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow.” See Catechism of the Catholic Church 1994, sections 2263-65 (citing and quoting Thomas Aquinas).
  • 4. Protestant Doctrine: Individual has a personal and unalienable right to self-defense, even against the government. Samuel Rutherford, Lex, Rex [1644]1982, pp. 159-166, 183-185 (Sprinkle Publications edition.) Jesus advised his disciples to arm themselves in view of likely persecution. Luke 22:36.

B. John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government (1690) aimed at reforming Britain’s monarchy and parliamentary system and limiting the power of government and profoundly influenced the Founders and all Western Civilization. John Locke explained that civil government properly exists to more effectively protect the rights that all individuals have in the “state of nature.” The individuals have the rights to life, liberty, and property. They give the civil government power over themselves only to the extent that it better protects those rights. Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, specifically declared that the ideas of John Locke’s Second Treatise were “generally approved by the citizens of the United States.”Jefferson mandated that Locke’s Second Treatise be taught in the University of Virginia.

C. Christian religious thinkers, such as Samuel Rutherford (in Lex, Rex, 1644) argued that man’s rights come from G-d. Using Biblical principles and examples, they argued against the notion that kings ruled by divine right. To be legitimate authorities, all governments must uphold man’s rights and do justice. Otherwise, the people owe a lawless and tyrannical ruler no allegiance at all.

D. Cicero, Rome’s leading orator, had early argued that the right to self-defense was natural and inborn, and not a creation of the government. The right to use weapons was a necessary part of the right to self-defense — any view to the contrary was silly nonsense. [Stephen P. Halbrook, That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of A Constitutional Right (1984), p. 17, fn 76-77.]

E. The right to keep and bear arms simply implements the unalienable right to individual self-defense against aggression of any kind. The Second Amendment refers to “the right of the people” (not the state) as a pre-existing right that government must respect.

F. The United States Supreme Court, in United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez, indicated that the word “people” in the Second Amendment referred to individuals, not to states. [494 U.S. 259 (1990)] (This was not a holding or ruling of law, but an observation by the Court).

SECOND: The language of the Second Amendment prohibits the federal government from “infringing” on this right of the people. There is nothing ambiguous about “shall not be infringed.” (See Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed.1983, p. 941.) The language of the Second Amendment is about as clear as the First Amendment’s prohibiting Congress from infringing the right to freedom of speech, press, and religious expression. There is no logical reason to read the Second Amendment as a weak statement, while treating the First Amendment as a strong protector of rights.

A. The Second Amendment protects a fundamental right and should be read broadly because it implements the right of self-defense. Self-defense is the ultimate right of all individuals to preserve life. The rights to a free press, free speech, assembly, and religion are extremely important — but none of them matters very much if you can’t defend your own life against aggression. None of them matters very much when an evil government is fully armed and its citizens are disarmed.

B. Article I, Section 8, clauses 15 and 16 of the U.S. Constitution refer to Congress’s powers concerning the state militias. Clause 15 empowers Congress to “call forth” the state militias into national service for specific purposes. Clause 16 empowers Congress to organize, arm and discipline the state militias, and to govern the militias while they are in national service. The Second Amendment confines Congress’s power by guaranteeing that the Congress cannot “govern” the militias right out of existence and thereby disarm “the people.”

THIRD: The Second Amendment refers to “a well-regulated militia.”The right of the people to form citizen militias was unquestioned by the Founders.

A. The Federalist Papers, No. 28: Alexander Hamilton expressed that when a government betrays the people by amassing too much power and becoming tyrannical, the people have no choice but to exercise their original right of self-defense — to fight the government.[Halbrook, p. 67]

B. The Federalist Papers, No. 29: Alexander Hamilton explained that an armed citizenry was the best and only real defense against a standing army becoming large and oppressive. [Halbrook, p. 67]

C. The Federalist Papers, No. 46: James Madison contended that ultimate authority resides in the people, and that if the federal government got too powerful and overstepped its authority, then the people would develop plans of resistance and resort to arms. [Halbrook, p. 67]

D. There was no National Guard, and the Founders opposed anything but a very small national military. The phrase “well-regulated” means well-trained and disciplined — not “regulated” as we understand that term in the modern sense of bureaucratic regulation. [This meaning still can be found in the unabridged Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed. 1989, Vol 13, p. 524, and Vol 20. p. 138.]

E. The Federalists promised that state governments and citizen militias would exist to make sure the federal military never became large or oppressive. To say that the National Guard replaces the notion of the militia runs contrary to what the Founders said and wrote.

F. The Third Amendment: Expressly restrains the federal government from building a standing army and infiltrating it among the people …and at the people’s expense … in times of peace. The Third Amendment runs against the idea of a permanent standing army or federalized National Guard in principle, if not by its words.

FOURTH: The Second Amendment begins with the phrase “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State.” Some people argue that this phrase limits the right to keep and bear arms to militias only … which they say means the National Guard. Very recent research shows, however, that it was the style of writing legal documents in the late 1700s to include a preamble. The Constitution has a preamble, and the Bill of Rights has a preamble — yet people don’t argue that the Constitution is limited by the preamble. Professor Eugene Volokh at the UCLA Law School has examined numerous other state constitutions of the same general time period, and observed this kind of preamble language in many of them. (The Commonplace Second Amendment, 73 N.Y. Univ. Law Rev. 793-821 (1998)). The preamble states a purpose, not a limitation on the language in these government charters.

A. Examples:

  • New Hampshire’s Constitution in 1784 contained a preamble for the freedom of the press: “The Liberty of the Press is essential to the security of freedom in a state; it ought, therefore, to be inviolably preserved.”
  • Rhode Island’s 1842 state constitution recited a preamble before its declaration of the right of free speech and press: “The liberty of the press being essential to the security of freedom in a state, any person may publish his sentiments on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty…”
  • New Hampshire’s Constitution in 1784 also contained a detailed preamble and explanation of purpose for its right to a criminal trial in the vicinity where the crime occurred.
  • The Massachusetts Constitution of 1780, the 1784 New Hampshire Constitution, and the 1786 Vermont Constitution, all contained preambles or explanations of the right of freedom of speech and debate in the state legislatures.
  • The New Hampshire Constitution also gave an explanation, right in the text, for why there should be no ex post facto laws.

B. The Second Amendment falls right within the style of legal drafting of the late 1700’s. The “militia” clause emphasizes the individual right to keep and bear arms by explaining one of its most important purposes. The militia clause does not limit the right.

FIFTH: Before the Civil War and the Fourteenth Amendment, many states enacted laws that made it illegal for slaves and for free black people to possess firearms (unless they had their master’s permission or a government approval). [See list, with sources in law reviews, in Gran’pa Jack No. 4 ]

A. The Second Amendment did not protect black people then, because(1) it was understood to limit the federal government’s power only and (2) black people were not considered citizens whose rights deserved to be protected. [Dred Scott decision, 60 U.S. 393 (1857) (Judge Taney observed that if blacks had the privileges and immunities of citizenship, then they would be able to freely possess and carry arms … unthinkable to Southern slave owners.)][Halbrook, pp. 98, 114-15]

B. The Second Amendment was designed by people who did not want to become slaves to their government, but they were unfortunately and tragically willing to permit private slavery in some states. Now that slavery is abolished, however, all citizens of all races should enjoy the Second Amendment’s legal protection against despotic government.

SIXTH: Several Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal have held that the Second Amendment does not confer an individual right, but only a collective right of states to form a militia. The federal court decisions cite United States v. Miller as precedent. The 1939 Supreme Court case, United States v. Miller, did not make that ruling. Even in Miller, where only the prosecution filed a brief and the defendant’s position was not even briefed or argued to the Court, the Supreme Court held that the federal government could only regulate firearms that had no military purpose. [307 U.S. 174 (1939)] [See JPFO special report about Miller case]

  • A. Nowadays, gun prohibitionists want to illegalize firearms unless they have a “sporting purpose.” The “sporting purpose” idea was part of the Nazi Weapons Law of 1938. JPFO has shown that the U.S. Gun Control Act of 1968 imported much of its organization, content, and phrasing, from the Nazi Weapons Law. [See … Zelman, Gateway to Tyranny]
  • B. In contrast, even under the U.S. v. Miller case, the Second Amendment protects the individual right to keep and bear military firearms. Learn how the federal courts deceptively and misleadingly employed the Miller decision to deny the individual right to keep and bear arms in Barnett, Can the Simple Cite Be Trusted?: Lower Court Interpretations of United States v. Miller and the Second Amendment, 26 Cumberland Law Review 961-1004 (1996).
  • C. A federal judge recently struck down a federal “gun control” statute as unconstitutional in United States v. Emerson, 46 F. Supp. 2d 598 (N.D. Tex. 1999). In his scholarly written opinion, District Judge Cummings extensively reviewed the law and historical foundations of the Second Amendment to conclude that the right to keep and bear arms protected by the Second Amendment is an individual right. The Emerson decision remains pending an appeal in the Fifth Circuit as of this date.

Before a government can become a full-blown tyranny, the government must first disarm its citizens. The Founders of this nation, from their own experience, knew that when government goes bad, liberty evaporates and people die … unless the people are armed.


As you read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights:

  • (1) Look at the enumerated powers of the federal government;
  • (2) Look at the express limitations on federal power as set forth in the Second, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments;
  • (3) Ask yourself, where does the federal government get any power at all to regulate firearms?
  • (4) Ask yourself, why don’t the high school and college textbooks devote any time to the history, philosophical basis, and practical meaning of the Second Amendment?

And then consider that law students and future lawyers likewise have received precious little education about the Second Amendment.

Realize, too, that the judges know just about as little. Then imagine how little the average American knows — based on the average public school coverage of the Constitution.

The protection of our sacred right of self-defense against both petty criminals and oppressive government — the right of civilians to keep and bear arms — is in your hands.


This article was published by JPFO, Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, and is reproduced with permission.

New York Banker: Gun, Ammunition Purchase Code ‘answers the call of millions’

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Editors’ Note:  There are a number of highly disturbing trends embedded in this article. First and foremost, is the ability of Democrats to make an end run around the legislative process by engaging highly regulated industries for their cause. Whether it be electric vehicles from GM, suppression of free speech by Facebook and Twitter, or now highly regulated banks creating a national firearm registry; Democrats are getting what they want without the representatives of the people voting. They do this openly while criticizing others for threatening “democracy.” Secondly, the alliance of big business with the government truly would make Mussolini proud, since that was among the key ingredients of Italian-style fascism. Thirdly, it shows no amount of evidence will convince Progressives of their folly. Most guns used in the commission of crimes are stolen and are not purchased using a credit card from legitimate dealers. The law-abiding public buys at gun stores, not hardened criminals. At the margin, this will likely hardly make a dent in crime, especially since the same Democrats are reducing or eliminating bail, freeing dangerous criminals early, and joining with Black Lives Matter and other groups in denigrating and de-funding police forces. Democrats are turning our major cities into hellholes. This all makes the average citizen need to have a gun for self-protection. But now, his or her private purchases will be monitored by the banking system, which is a weaponization of the banking industry by the Democrat party. Be sure to view the video by Jason Riley in the video section.  It would seem their goal is to leave us all vulnerable to criminals, as pictured above.


The president and CEO of the New York-based bank that pushed for a specific credit card code for gun retailers have claimed victory in the wake of the International Organization for Standardization’s approval of that request last week.

“We all have to do our part to stop gun violence,” Amalgamated Bank’s Priscilla Sims Brown said in a statement from Guns Down America.

Critics say she and the ISO have done little.

“The ISO’s decision to create a firearm-specific code is nothing more than a capitulation to anti-gun politicians and activists bent on eroding the rights of law-abiding Americans one transaction at a time,” Lars Dalseide, spokesman for the National Rifle Association, told The Center Square. “This is not about tracking or prevention or any virtuous motivation – it’s about creating a national registry of gun owners.”

As part of its gun safety crusade, Amalgamated says it does not offer loans to “gun, nuclear weapon or ammunition manufacturers or distributors.” It also offers investment funds that exclude those companies.

Brown said in her statement that the merchant category code will allow Amalgamated to “report suspicious activity and illegal gun sales” to law enforcement while not interfering with lawful purchases.

This action answers the call of millions of Americans who want safety from gun violence, and we are proud to lead a broad coalition of advocates, shareholders, and elected officials to achieve this historic outcome,” Brown said.

Amalgamated got support from New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Attorney General Letitia James, both Democrats, who said establishing the MCC would help prevent mass shootings.

James, in a letter co-signed by California Attorney General Rob Bonta to executives of American Express, Mastercard, and Visa, said the perpetrator of the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando that killed 49 people and injured 53 used six credit cards in spending $20,000 to buy the guns and ammunition used in the attack.

Guns Down America said the MCC will apply to all federally-licensed 9,000 gun and ammo retailers.

According to PaymentCloud, a financial services provider to merchants, MCCs were initially established to simplify 1099 reporting to the IRS. However, credit card processors have since started using them to determine fees assessed to merchants and consumer cashback rates.

“High-risk merchant category code classifications can also come with other downsides,” PaymentCloud said on its blog. “This can include exclusion from the same eCommerce fraud protections as other businesses. Some MCCs, like those assigned for gambling and money orders, do not receive these protections in transactions where a card is not present.

“Sometimes high-risk businesses are not accepted by a credit card provider at all.”


This article was published by The Center Square and is reproduced with permission.

Giffords [Wife of Senator Mark Kelly] Opens Florida Office, Backs Anti-Gun Extremist Candidates

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Editors Note: Gabbie Giffords is the wife of Senator Mark Kelly of Arizona and a former liberal Congresswoman from southern Arizona. Kelly, who is making every effort to appear to be a moderate Democrat, is actually a staunch opponent of the Second Amendment. Don’t be fooled. Conversely, his Republican opponent Blake Masters is a strong advocate for Second Amendment rights. If you believe in Second Amendment rights and the rest of the Bill of Rights is important, support Blake Masters.

Progressive Democrats are advancing a multi-prong attack on personal safety. They have let huge numbers of dangerous felons out of prison ostensibly because of Covid, they want to put fewer people in prison supposedly because of “racial equity”. They promote prosecutors who will not work to put criminals in prison, weaken criminal statutes,  reduce or eliminate bail, push for early release, and strive to both defund and hamstring the work of local police. The results in many Democrat-run cities are obvious: widespread carnage and lawlessness. Thus leaving citizens more exposed than ever to violent criminals, they seek to confiscate or restrict access to firearms by citizens. In a crisis, the citizen is the first responder, and cannot rely on the government. If Democrats get your guns, you will be defenseless against the Democrat crime wave.  Arizona must not return Mark Kelly to the US Senate. He is just too dangerous to our safety and our Constitutional rights. It is Florida today, and tomorrow, it will be Arizona.


One of the mysteries of the ages is why the political left has, for centuries, lavished so much attention on the well-being of the criminals and paid so little attention to their victims. Thomas Sowell


Gabbie Giffords is taking aim at the Gunshine State.

In a press release issued this week, she announced the creation of Giffords Florida, which she described as “a new initiative dedicated to supporting candidates for local, state, and federal office in the Sunshine State who have the courage to fight gun violence.”

According to the release, this is Giffords “first and only state-specific political initiative,” as well as the “largest bilingual gun safety political program focused entirely on Florida.”

Giffords, which is headquartered in Washington, D.C., has more than $5 million in assets. Their law center, located in San Francisco, has more than $10 million.

Giffords bankrolled their new Florida office with $1 million, which they say they will spend on “endorsing candidates with strong records on gun safety, helping get out the vote for gun safety candidates, conducting research about Floridians’ views on gun violence prevention measures.”

Much of their efforts and money will be spent in Miami-Dade, promoting a slate of anti-gun candidates Giffords calls its “gun safety champions.”

Giffords endorsed Democrat Janelle Perez for Florida’s Senate District 38, which consists of part of Miami-Dade county.

According to her website, Perez, a political newcomer, holds extreme anti-gun views, including the licensing of gun owners.

“Much like driving a car requires a license, Janelle supports license requirements for owning a gun to keep our community safe,” her website states. It does not draw a distinction between owning a firearm, which is a constitutional right, and operating a motor vehicle, which is not.

Perez also supports a ban on “military-style assault rifles,” increased background checks “for every gun sold in the state of Florida,” and a ban on “modifications that increase the rate of fire.”

In a written statement, Perez does not appear to know the difference between constitutional carry, which Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Republican-dominated state legislature support, and open carry.

“Our Governor and radical Republicans in the state Legislature have committed to passing open carry next year – putting our children, our community, and our future at risk for preventable gun violence,” Perez said in a statement. “When elected to the Florida Senate, I vow to fight for the kind of responsible, commonsense gun safety measures supported by the majority of Americans that protect us all.”

Giffords Florida steering committee consists of Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, State Rep. Anna V. Eskamani, State Rep. Christine Hunschofsky, and others. The committee is chaired by former Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.


This article was published by the Second Amendment Foundation and is reproduced with permission.

President Biden: Ignorant Demagogue

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

President Biden was recently in Pennsylvania where he campaigned against “assault weapons” again, committing multiple egregious factual errors.

The press describes such events as “gaffes” and the President as “gaffe-prone.”

But simple factual errors occur so frequently, and most often in the context of major policy positions, that one must conclude either the President is either an ignoramus on the whole subject of crime and guns, or he is deliberately demagoguing the subject.

He also took the occasion to spin the yarn that Democrats were not for defunding the police but rather Republicans were. This is because Republicans refused to vote for some Federal funding for police buried in legislation that spent billions on wasteful and unconstitutional spending.

Apparently, Biden is not aware of the summer of 2020, the 700 or so BLM riots, and the frequent calls to “defund the police” by Democrat activists.

Besides, funding or defunding police forces is largely a local matter not within his jurisdiction.

Some time ago, Biden suggested firing shotguns into the air as a way to deter crime and suggested that when assaulted, police should shoot people in the leg.  Brandishing and discharging a firearm is a  crime in itself, and shooting someone in the leg may be one as well. Normally, the use of deadly force is permitted ONLY if the life of the victim or an innocent party is in imminent danger. If imminent danger is not the condition, discharging a firearm into the air, or shooting for the leg, is circumstantial proof that imminent danger was not at hand. Moreover, if imminent danger to life and limb are indeed present, both actions suggested by Biden would not save the lives of the victims because the perpetrator would not be stopped from committing his crime.

Concentrating on “assault weapons”, he told the crowd that the bullet used by AR-15 rifles is five times faster than any other kind of bullet.  He was suggesting that their lethality was therefore on a scale that should not be permitted. However, if the same round is fired from a bolt action rifle, rather than a semi-auto, the speed is the same, but he is not suggesting banning bolt action rifles, or is he?

Ballistically speaking, this is a lie, and anyone could prove it with three minutes’ worth of research. Anyone who has taken high school physics knows that force equals mass times velocity squared. So, the size of the bullet, its speed, what it hits, and how the projectile expands, are also factors in determining lethality.

The .223 or 5.56 mm used in the AR and similar platforms, shoots a very small .22 caliber projectile, commonly 55 to 62 grains in weight. It is so small, that while allowed in some states, most knowledgeable hunters believe the round is too small even for deer hunting. Ironically, the .223 is not permitted for deer hunting in Pennsylvania, the state in which the President was bloviating. The .223 is part of a family of centerfire rifles cartridges generally considered “varmint rounds” only suitable to be used on prairie dogs and coyotes.

As to the velocity of the round, it is not even the fastest, let alone FIVE TIMES as fast. Most .223 rounds travel around 3,200 feet per second.

How does this compare to other rounds?  Well, the .270 Winchester has been around since 1922 and is a popular mid-sized hunting cartridge. With a  90-grain projectile, it travels at 3,600 feet per second.  The .220 Swift similar in size to the .223 is considered the fastest “commercial” cartridge and moves along at 4,200 feet per second. That is 1,000 feet per second faster than the .223.

Custom, hand-loaded rounds, can go even faster.

Biden’s statement suggests the .223 travels at over 20,000 feet per second, which is just errant nonsense.

He also suggested the .223 blows up the target and therefore should be banned. Earlier he had suggested 9mm pistol rounds “blow the lungs out of the body.”

If that were true, Biden is guilty of war crimes because the .223 and 9mm are the standard rifle and pistol ammunition of the US Armed Forces which he commands, and it would violate the Geneva Convention. The Geneva Convention does not allow rounds to be used in warfare that completely explodes humans.

Some politicians have attacked the AR-15 platform because it is semiautomatic, but an “assault weapon” has a selector switch that allows the rifleman to go to fully automatic, that is one squeeze of the trigger sends multiple rounds downrange, as in a machine gun. ARs that Biden is referring to require one pull of the trigger for one round, which is common in other weapons that are semiautomatic. 

Semiautomatic rifles and pistols have been made since the late 1800s. They no more cause crime than do hands and feet. However, more people are killed annually with hands and feet than with AR-type rifles.

True assault weapons, which have a fully automatic function, are illegal in the US and like all machine guns can be acquired only with special Federal permits.

Biden is somewhat unique in that rather than attacking magazine capacity or appearance, he is attacking the round itself. In so doing, he commits numerous factual errors. One can only surmise he is lying to mislead the public on this subject.

This is not without serious consequences. When a President shows his ignorance of the important subject matter or deliberately lies, it makes citizens wonder if they can believe anything the man is saying. When people can’t believe their President, this is serious. We may face critical issues in the future wherein getting the American public ready to endure a crisis may be necessary. If the President has repeatedly blown his credibility or is believed to be deeply dishonest, he will not be able to rally the public in the event of an emergency.

Besides destroying domestic credibility by constant demonstrations of ignorance, a President may show foreign leaders that he is a buffoon as well. This too, makes the world a much more dangerous place.

This is much more than committing gaffes. President Biden is destroying the credibility of the most powerful office in the world. He should not be excused for being an ignorant demagogue.



These 11 Defensive Gun Uses Show Protective Benefits of Second Amendment

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Editors’ Note: The collection of data is important to policy. Just as temperatures taken from heat islands can lead climatologists to wrong conclusions about “global warming”, so can incorrect data on the use of firearms can mislead policymakers. Professor John Lott is perhaps one of the best independent sources of information relating to firearms. Recently, he wrote in Real Clear Investigations:

“Evidence compiled by the organization I run, the Crime Prevention Research Center, and others suggest that the FBI undercounts by an order of more than three the number of instances in which armed citizens have thwarted such attacks, saving untold numbers of lives. Although those many news stories about the Greenwood shooting also suggested that the defensive use of guns might endanger others, there is no evidence that these acts have harmed innocent victims.”

So much of our public understanding of this issue is malformed by this single agency,” notes Theo Wold, former acting assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice. “When the Bureau gets it so systematically – and persistently – wrong, the cascading effect is incredibly deleterious. The FBI exerts considerable influence over state and local law enforcement and policymakers at all levels of government.”

We will leave it to our readers and Mike Pence as to why FBI data is so consistently wrong.


testified before Congress’ Joint Economic Committee last month in a hearing focused on “the economic toll of gun violence.”

Of course, there’s no doubt that gun violence imposes a tremendous cost on society, both financially and in far less readily calculable ways. How does one measure, for example, the mental and emotional toll of being shot?

As I explained to the committee, however, lawful gun owners are not largely to blame for these costs, despite many insinuations to the contrary by gun control advocates. Most lawful gun owners never will harm themselves or others and never will add a single dollar to the overall bill for gun violence.

Meanwhile, lawful gun ownership provides significant but often underacknowledged protective benefits, enabling peaceable citizens to defend themselves and others far more effectively than if they were unarmed.

Almost every major study on the issue has found that Americans use their firearms in self-defense between 500,000 and 3 million times annually, according to the most recent report on the subject by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For this reason, The Daily Signal each month publishes an article highlighting some of the previous month’s many news stories on defensive gun use that you may have missed—or that might not have made it to the national spotlight in the first place. (Read other accounts here from 2019, 2020, 2021, and so far in 2022.)

The examples below represent only a small portion of the news stories on defensive gun use that we found in July. You may explore more by using The Heritage Foundation’s interactive Defensive Gun Use Database. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s multimedia news organization.)

  • July 3, Surprise, Arizona: An armed citizen fatally shot a gunman who opened fire at a neighborhood Fourth of July gathering, police said. Witnesses said the gunman lived in the neighborhood and had engaged in small talk and eaten a plate of food before drawing a handgun and shooting those around him. He killed two and wounded four others before being fatally shot by the armed citizen. Police said they thought the gunman’s actions were unprovoked, but didn’t know his motive.
  • July 5, Houston: A woman was barbecuing with friends when her adult son showed up drinking and acting strangely, police said. The woman and her son went inside, where the son grabbed a rifle and fired more than 20 rounds at his mother before she fled outside. The son chased her, but was fatally shot by an armed neighbor who heard the gunfire and came to the woman’s defense, police said. The mother suffered multiple gunshot wounds, but was expected to survive. No one else was injured.
  • July 7, Pensacola, Florida: A local sheriff told reporters that a homeowner would “absolutely not” face charges for using an “AK-47-style” rifle to defend his home against three men who broke in and threatened him with a handgun. Police arrested two of the three men, one of whom was the subject of several active arrest warrants for violent crimes. Police were looking for a third man, who apparently was wounded.
  • July 12, Chicago: Police said that the holder of a concealed carry permit turned the tables on a teenager who started shooting at him in a restaurant parking lot. The man drew his own gun and shot his assailant in the hand and foot.
  • July 17, Greenwood, Indiana: A 22-year-old man with a concealed carry permit fatally shot a would-be mass shooter who opened fire in a crowded mall food court, police said. The gunman killed three people, but the permit holder saved countless lives by ending the shooting just 15 seconds after it began. Experts roundly praised the permit holder’s marksmanship after he hit the gunman with eight out of 10 rounds from 40 yards away, without any police or military training.
  • July 19, Kansas City, Missouri: Authorities said that a man won’t face charges after shooting and wounding an assailant who attacked him and his mother with a machete in a hardware store parking lot. The man and his mother were sitting in their vehicle when the assailant approached and began shattering car windows with the machete. He then swung the blade at them as they tried to escape. Although injured, the man managed to fire at least five rounds at the assailant, who ran a short distance before collapsing. Police charged him with several felonies.
  • July 22, Billings, Montana: Police said a man asked a hotel guest for a cigarette, then tried to rob him at knifepoint despite the fact that the guest openly carried a handgun. The guest drew the gun and shot the would-be robber when he lunged.
  • July 25, Williamsburg, Virginia: A homeowner and his family were sitting on their porch when an unknown man jumped a gate and approached, police said. The family went inside and locked the door, but the man tried to kick down the door and force his way inside. The homeowner fatally shot the intruder, police said.
  • July 27, Wichita, Kansas: A couple briefly left their SUV unattended in their driveway, only to discover upon their return that the car had been stolen—with their two young children still inside. Police said the man and woman called 911 while starting a frantic search. They quickly found the stolen SUV and held the teen driver at gunpoint until police arrived. Bystanders found the children unharmed two blocks away, left on the side of the road while strapped into their car seats. Police arrested three others, all younger than 18 and suspected of being involved in “numerous other crimes.”
  • July 29, Indianapolis: Just days after burglars “ransacked” his home, police said, a homeowner found himself again targeted by criminals. This time, he was home and armed when someone broke in, and he fatally shot the intruder. It was the second time the homeowner had used armed force to defend his home. In 2014, he shot and wounded another intruder, who was arrested. The homeowner told reporters that “you shouldn’t have to be armed inside of your house,” but that he hopes would-be criminals learn their lesson.
  • July 31, Norco, California: An elderly liquor store owner was manning the counter early in the morning when he saw on his security monitors that a man armed with a rifle was about to enter the store. The store owner grabbed his own shotgun and the second the armed man aimed a  rifle to announce a  robbery, he fired a single blast that sent the robber fleeing while screaming, “He shot my arm off!” Police later arrested the wounded man and three other suspects. Although the store owner was not injured during the incident, he had a heart attack shortly afterward and is now recovering.

As these examples underscore, lawful gun owners save lives and protect livelihoods. They routinely interrupt criminal activity and stop bad situations from becoming even worse. Significant evidence indicates that the threat of armed resistance deters many criminals from committing crimes in the first place.

And in this way, lawfully armed civilians help reduce the costs imposed on society by criminal actors.

Lawful gun owners are not a significant part of the problem of gun violence. The evidence shows, however, that they are part of the solution.


This article was published by Daily Signal and is reproduced with permission.

With 87,000 New Agents on Way, 4 Facts About IRS Gun Arsenal

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Some of the 87,000 new agents whom Democrats propose to hire at the Internal Revenue Service could come with some extra firepower.

On Friday, House Democrats gave final passage to the tax and spending bill they dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act, which, among other things, would double the size of the IRS with 87,000 new agents to beef up enforcement.

As of two years ago, the IRS had an arsenal of 4,600 guns, reported OpenTheBooks, a government watchdog group. 

Two federal investigations in the past decade found that IRS agents had not been sufficiently trained and were accident-prone with the weapons they have. Armed IRS raids on nonviolent taxpayers surfaced as a concern almost 25 years ago during a Senate hearing. 

Democrats’ bill, which the Senate passed Sunday, awaits the signature of President Joe Biden should it clear the House as early as Friday [it did].

The legislation, which unwinds from 2023 through 2031, would devote $80 billion to expanding the IRS and boosting tax revenue to pay for Democrats’ green energy subsidies and other pet projects.

Americans for Tax Reform, a conservative group that opposes the legislation, assembled information about the IRS arsenal from government and media reports.

During the House floor debate Friday, Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., raised concerns about arming IRS agents.

“This bill has new IRS agents and they are armed, and the job description tells them that they need to be required to carry a firearm and expect to use deadly force if necessary,” Boebert said. “Excessive taxation is theft. You are using the power of the federal government for armed robbery on the taxpayers.”

Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., suggested that no IRS agents are armed.

“The idea that they are armed—I know that Ms. Boebert would like everybody to be armed, but that’s not what IRS agents do,” Yarmuth said. “I would implore my Republican colleagues to cut out the scare tactics. Quit making things up.”

In a posted job opening for a special agent, the IRS specified that applicants should be “willing and able to participate in arrests, execution of search warrants, and other dangerous assignments,” and able to carry “a firearm and be willing to use deadly force, if necessary.”

After sparking some controversy amid the proposed expansion of the agency, the IRS deleted “willing to use deadly force” from the job description.

The IRS referred questions to the Treasury Department as to whether the arsenal would increase as the number of personnel multiplied.

The Treasury Department did not immediately respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment for this report.

Here are four key things to know about the Internal Revenue Service and weapons.

1. IRS Guns and Ammo

The current IRS workforce includes 78,661 full-time employees, so Democrats’ legislation, if passed as written, would more than double the agency’s employees.

A 2020 report from OpenTheBooks, titled “The Militarization of the U.S. Executive Agencies,” shows that the IRS Criminal Investigation division has a stockpile of 4,600 guns.

The firearms include 3,282 pistols, 621 shotguns, 539 rifles, 15 fully automatic firearms, and four revolvers, the report says.

The Government Accountability Office, a federal watchdog agency, reported in 2018 that the IRS had 3.1 million rounds of ammunition for pistols and revolvers. 

The tax agency had 1.4 million rounds of ammunition for rifles, the GAO report said, along with 367,750 shotgun rounds and 56,000 rounds for automatic weapons.

2. Armed Agents ‘Not Properly Trained’

The IRS’s National Criminal Investigation Training Academy has the responsibility to implement firearms training and a related qualification program nationwide.

However, IRS agents assigned to the Criminal Investigation division regularly failed to stay up to date with training or to report incidents of improper firearms use, according to a 2018 report from the Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration.

The inspector general’s report notes that “there is no national-level review of firearms training records to ensure that all special agents meet the qualification requirements.”

“Special agents not properly trained in the use of firearms could endanger the public, as well as their fellow special agents, and expose the IRS to possible litigation over injuries or for damages,” the report says.

For qualification, each agent must score 75% or higher on the firing range, but the IRS lacked documentation showing its agents met the standards, according to the inspector general.

The report says that 79 of the 459 special agents in the agency’s long gun cadre failed to meet standard qualification requirements. Further, the report says the IRS could not provide information about whether 1,500 special agents were trained in tactical equipment proficiency.

In fiscal year 2016, the inspector general’s report determined, that the IRS Criminal Investigation division “did not maintain documented evidence that 145 out of 2,126 special agents met the firearm standards established by CI [Criminal Investigation] and therefore were not qualified law enforcement officers.”

3. More Unintended Discharges Than Intended Ones

The poor firearms training for IRS agents has led to more accidental firings than intentional firings, according to a separate inspector general’s report from 2012. 

“Having the availability of deadly force puts hiring so many new agents into perspective,” Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, told The Daily Signal.

The inspector general for tax administration “found they fired their guns more times by accident than on purpose,” Norquist said. “I’m not sure if that’s good or bad.”

The poor training was not a new problem, since the 2012 report from the inspector general found similar issues with firearms training.

“If there is insufficient oversight, special agents in possession of firearms who are not properly trained and qualified could endanger other special agents and the public,” the report says.

The 2012 report not only found that IRS agents fired their weapons by accident more times than intentionally, but that the agency concealed details about the accidental discharges.

“There were a total of eight firearm discharges classified as intentional use of force incidents and 11 discharges classified as accidental during FYs 2009 through 2011,” the report says.

And, the inspector general’s report continues, “we found that four accidental discharges were not properly reported.”

It says that “the accidental discharges may have resulted in property damage or personal injury.”

The public report, however, redacts four references to unreported accidental discharges of firearms.

4. IRS History of Armed Raids

In 1998, the Senate Finance Committee held investigative hearings into IRS abuses that featured testimony from a Virginia restaurant owner.

The restaurant owner said that armed IRS agents with drug-sniffing dogs burst into his restaurant during breakfast hours and ordered customers to get out.

Agents took his cash register and records, the restaurant owner told the Senate committee. When he returned home, he found that his door had been kicked open and his residence had been raided.

A tax preparer from Oklahoma gave similar testimony, saying that about 15 armed IRS agents came to his business and harassed his clients.

The owner of a Texas oil company recounted that agents came to his office and told employees: “Remove your hands from the keyboards and back away from the computers. And remember, we’re armed!”

In each case, the agents came up empty-handed.

The Washington Post reported at the time that Democrat and Republican lawmakers alike expressed dismay and that the Clinton administration’s IRS commissioner, Charles O. Rossotti, promised an investigation of such actions.

At a separate hearing that year before the same Senate committee, Treasury Department’s inspector general, Harry G. Patsalides, told senators that the IRS had tolerated car thefts and anonymous bullying by promoting an agent accused of sexual harassment and allowing agents to conduct armed raids on nonviolent taxpayers.


This article was published by Daily Signal and is reproduced with permission.

Gun Sales Are Collapsing in Arizona

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Editors’ Note: The statistics below should be compared with the next several six-month analyses following the SCOTUS New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen decision in favor of gun owners and their second amendment right for concealed carry without the need to show cause for that carry.


Gun sales in America, as estimated by background checks, jumped at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and remained high until well into 2021. Several days and weeks in that period set all-time records. Total sales were 28,369,750 in 2019 and 39,659315 in 2020. These figures come from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System — firearm background checks are often used as a proxy for gun sales.

During the period of the increase, the number of first-time gun buyers jumped. Sales also rose among women and minorities. First-time buyers have accounted for about 20% of new gun sales nationwide in 2020.

Recently, however, gun sales have collapsed, both month to month and year over year. The pace of the decline accelerated in June. June gun sales last year totaled 3,054,726 nationwide. Last month, nationwide gun sales totaled 2,570,608. Compared to the first six months of 2021, there were 6.4 million fewer background checks for the purchase of a firearm, a 28.7% drop.

In Arizona, gun sales are falling, but at a slower pace than the national decline. There were a total of 273,584 FBI firearm background checks in the state in the first half of 2022 compared to 322,799 in the first six months of 2021 — a 15.2% reduction and the 43rd largest decline among states.

Reasons for the slowdown are not as clear as those that explained the surge reported last year. The New York Times reported in May 2021, “While gun sales have been climbing for decades — they often spike in election years and after high-profile crimes — Americans have been on an unusual, prolonged buying spree fueled by the coronavirus pandemic, the protests last summer and the fears they both stoked.”

Rank State and Change in sales, 1st half 2021 to 1st half 2022. Background checks in 1st half of 2022 and Background checks in 1st half of 2021.

47 Delaware -8.4% 34,602 37,764
46 Minnesota -8.6% 458,568 501,936
45 New York -9.6% 221,579 245,023
44 California -10.1% 691,718 769,591
43 Arizona -15.2% 273,584 322,799
42 North Dakota -15.8% 35,732 42,421
41 Tennessee -16.2% 420,199 501,372
40 Montana -17.1% 70,552 85,087
39 Iowa -17.1% 127,848 154,243
38 Maine -17.4% 53,787 65,116
37 Oregon -17.7% 201,022 244,214
36 Alaska -18.0% 39,759 48,493
35 New Mexico -18.4% 86,322 105,821
34 Oklahoma -18.5% 180,342 221,221
33 Pennsylvania -18.9% 619,530 764,206
32 Idaho -19.3% 119,491 148,011
31 Texas -19.4% 855,905 1,062,416
30 Mississippi -19.6% 134,642 167,522
29 Louisiana -19.6% 170,127 211,706
28 Florida -19.8% 748,659 933,434
27 Vermont -19.8% 22,197 27,678
26 Utah -19.9% 506,367 632,562
25 Wisconsin -20.0% 316,376 395,468
24 Massachusetts -20.4% 113,472 142,631
23 Virginia -20.7% 278,978 351,987
22 South Carolina -20.9% 209,843 265,374
21 New Hampshire -21.7% 66,013 84,286
20 Kansas -21.9% 95,135 121,781
19 Colorado -21.9% 266,553 341,260
18 Wyoming -22.2% 35,169 45,201
17 West Virginia -22.6% 92,541 119,606
16 Nebraska -22.6% 38,309 49,518
15 Connecticut -22.9% 126,268 163,741
14 Nevada -23.0% 80,710 104,884
13 Missouri -24.4% 261,399 345,880
12 Maryland -24.5% 114,372 151,424
11 Michigan -26.1% 403,011 545,526
10 South Dakota -26.7% 41,772 56,973
9 Arkansas -27.1% 113,314 155,524
8 Alabama -27.4% 374,096 515,239
7 North Carolina -28.1% 316,997 440,812
6 Ohio -28.7% 336,981 472,354
5 Rhode Island -33.7% 15,157 22,853
4 Georgia -34.6% 302,270 461,957
3 New Jersey -40.1% 81,209 135,591
2 Indiana -45.0% 625,360 1,137,707
1 Illinois -65.9% 2,064,400 6,050,704


This article was published by Center Square and is reproduced with permission.

New York Times Inadvertently Makes The Case For More Concealed Carry

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Editors’ Note: Not much is known about the heroic young man who used his concealed weapon to stop a mass shooter.  More will likely come out fairly soon. Was he violating mall policy to have the weapon on him? If so, thank heavens he violated that silly requirement. It never seems to dawn on Progressives that the reason so few citizens stop mass shootings is that almost all mass shootings are in gun-free zones, which discourages good people from stopping criminals. But it never stops criminals because if you are about to murder innocents, who would care about violating some gun-free sign? Even that said, stopping 5% or more of such tragedies is significant. Moreover, this young man is one hell of a shot.  News reports so far do not indicate he had military or police experience, but rather learned to shoot with his grandfather. Making a 40-yard shot, hitting no bystanders with a 9mm pistol, and hitting the target 8 of 10 times under pressure as people are being killed, and under severe time constraints is almost an Olympian feat.  It would appear that a sick, cowardly young man, was stopped by a heroic young man. We should ignore the former and give due praise to the latter.


The evidence shows that an armed citizen is more likely to stop a mass shooting than any of the policies being advocated by Democrats.

After Eli Dicken stopped a mass shooter this weekend at an Indiana mall, left-leaning outlets began churning out pieces arguing that “good guys with guns” are rare. Now, I don’t know a single pro-gun advocate who claims constitutional carry is a panacea. The nihilistic mass-shooter problem is crying out for a holistic societal remedy. There is no one solution. But it’s clear from the very statistics offered in pieces like this one from the New York Times (which generously quotes me) that concealed carry saves lives.


1. Eli Dicken is an absolute badass. The 22-year-old reportedly took down the shooter with eight of 10 shots just 15 seconds after the incident began from 40 yards, showing more bravery and composure than the hundreds of cops milling around while students were being slaughtered in a Uvalde school.

2. The only reason Dicken was armed with a 9-millimeter at the Greenwood mall is that Indiana had recently passed a permitless carry law, which removed license requirements for handgun carriers (though gun buyers still go through the usual FBI background check, a fact omitted in many news stories.) One can assume that Dicken would not have brought any weapon with him had it been illegal to do so, but that the killer, Jonathan Douglas Sapirman, would have shown up with his 100 rounds, two ARs, and a pistol regardless of how forcefully the signs in the mall informed him that he was in a gun-free zone.

3. The New York Times refers to Dicken’s shooting as a “statistical unicorn.” But is it? “An examination of 433 active shooter attacks in the United States between 2000 and 2021,” writes the Times, “showed that only 22 ended with a bystander shooting an attacker, according to data from the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center at Texas State University.”

Only 22 of 433 incidents is 5 percent — which translates to a significant number of lives saved. Or, put it this way: The lives saved by bystanders taking down shooters are as, or more, effective than any Democrat-led policy effort on gun safety.

When The Washington Post fact-checkers looked at 41 of the most deadly mass shooting since 2015, they could come up with only two instances where “universal background checks” might have averted a shooting. The Post’s claim is debatable in both instances because unlike the shooters who are killed by bystanders, we have no idea what alternative actions would-be mass shooters might take. But, for the sake of argument, let’s concede that “universal background checks” stopped just under 5 percent of the worst mass shootings (there is no reason to believe the percentage rises with bigger sample size). Would the Times categorize the policy’s effectiveness as a “statistical unicorn”? Unlikely.

4. But even the Times’ 5 percent number is misleading. Many, probably most, planned mass shootings happen in places where citizens are forbidden by law to carry guns for self-protection. How many of these rampages would be stopped — or more quickly ended — if teachers or movie theater patrons or mallgoers were allowed to legally carry weapons? The number is surely more than 5 percent. Maybe a lot more.

5. Adam Skaggs, chief counsel, and policy director at Giffords, told the Times that good guys with guns are “exceedingly rare” and “the exception rather than the rule. The reality is that more people carrying guns means more conflicts escalating into deadly violence and more people being shot and killed.”

That is not the reality. There is little correlation between high levels of gun ownership and criminality. There are counties where gun ownership is widespread and there is little criminality, and there are urban areas where the percentage of gun ownership is low and there is exceedingly high criminality, and there are places with low gun ownership and low criminality. But the reality is guns exist in this country. Hundreds of millions of them. Society should be incentivizing responsible ownership and punishing irresponsible ownership. The fact that we strip people of the ability to protect themselves is indefensible.


This article was published by The Federalist and is reproduced with permission.