Bits and Pieces


There are so many things going on in the gun world these days, it’s hard to dial in and focus on just one thing. So this month, here’s a collection of bits and pieces about the gun culture and products that caught my eye:

  • I was fascinated by a YouTube video put out by Cabot Gun Company detailing how they create Damascus steel for their handguns. I love the look of Cabot’s Damascus Steel 1911 Pistols, but they’re out of my price range. To see the video, search for “Dirt to Damascus” in your browser or on YouTube.
  • In an extremely important case before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, the state of Illinois won a stay of a lower court order that found the state’s semi-auto rifle and standard-capacity magazine bans were unconstitutional. These laws enact a ban on AR-15s and other semi-automatic firearms, as well as magazines that can hold more than 10 or 15 rounds. A district court judge in southern Illinois ruled the bans were unconstitutional, but a single judge on the Seventh Circuit stayed, or stopped, the lower court’s ruling, which would have kept the bans from going into effect. So at this moment, a lot of semi-autos in Illinois are illegal to sell or possess or transfer. The Seventh Circuit has set an expedited briefing schedule for the case, with oral arguments set for June 29, or about the time you read this. This is a bad, bad law, and this circuit is packed with anti-gun-rights judges.
  • On the other side of the ledger, in the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division, District Court Judge Robert S. Payne ruled that federal statutes and regulations that ban 18- to 20-year-old citizens from purchasing handguns is facially unconstitutional. The case, Fraser v ATF, was brought by four citizens between the ages of 18 and 20. Judge Payne ruled against the ATF in part because the Second Amendment, unlike other amendments in the Bill of Rights, contains the phrase “shall not be infringed.” Bravo, Judge Payne. Awesome ruling.
  • Elsewhere, a three-judge panel for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the legality of the ATF’s administrative ban on bump stocks, saying that it is unclear whether bump stocks fit within the current statutory definition of “machine gun.” Of course they don’t, and it’s good the court recognized that a bump stock is not a machine gun, as the agency’s flip-flopping on the definition also shows. In the opinion, Judge Ronald Lee Gilman wrote, “An Act of Congress could clear up the ambiguities, but so far Congress has failed to act.” Yep. Because the relevant statute does not clearly and unambiguously prohibit bump stocks, the court was right to find against ATF.


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