January 2007

Downrange 01/07

Arms Decision to be Appealed

Following the decision of Lake County, Ind., Superior Court Judge Robert A. Pete, declaring the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act unconstitutional, firearm manufacturers under suit have filed a motion to certify the courtís ruling.

This is a procedural move that must be done to appeal the judgeís decision.

The city of Gary, Ind., filed a frivolous lawsuit against 16 firearm manufacturers, including Smith & Wesson, Colt, Browning, Sturm, Ruger & Co. and Beretta, in 1999 seeking to blame them for gun crimes committed in the city. The manufacturers filed for dismissal of the suit under the PLCAA. Judge Pete sided with the city, and the gun manufacturers are planning an appeal.

Todd Woodard

To see the actual filing in PDF form, log on to and click on the Legal & Legislative button near the top of the page, then click on Municipal Litigation.

The "AK" Effect: In November 2006, the Washington Post published an article by Larry Kahaner about the AK-47. The piece began, "In the grand narrative of World War II, the Battle of Bryansk is a minor conflict, barely deserving of a footnote. But Bryansk has another place in history.

"It was there that a then-unknown tank commander named Mikhail Kalashnikov decided that his Russian comrades would never again be defeated. In the years following the Great Patriotic War, as Soviet propagandists dubbed it, he was to conceive and fabricate a weapon so simple, and yet so revolutionary, that it would change the way wars were fought and won. It was the AK-47 assault rifle."

The rest of the article tells the story of the man and the gun, and was worth reading. Itís available on . For gunnies interesting in a fuller treatment of the AK-47, log on to and review the book notes online.

FFL Protection. We reported in November that U.S. Rep. Howard Coble introduced a bill, HR 5092, that would give federal investigators new power to fine or suspend dealers who break rules designed to keep pistols, rifles and shotguns out of the wrong hands.

The proposal also would have prevented the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from lifting a dealerís license for some kinds of administrative mistakes. However, with the change of power in Congress, passage seems unlikely. Thatís a shame, because BATFE could use a makeover.

Most-Rejected States. Anyone who has purchased a firearm through a dealer has experience with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The top five states in number of gun-purchase applications rejected (by percentage) for 2005 were: 1. Delaware, 3.8; 2. Tennessee, 3.5; 3. Utah, 3.2; 4. Alaska, 2.1; 5. Louisiana, 1.8. GT