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  • 06/22/2021 3:48 PM | Anonymous

    Chipman and BATFE  by Tom Reynolds

    David Chipman is the worst possible nominee to head the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (BATFE); he is firmly in the corner of gun grabbers and it would be impossible for him to even-handedly administer BATFE.  Apparently, there has been enough political opposition to him that the Democrats are regrouping. 

    The best and simplest description of Chipman’s place in the Biden administration was written in the National Review by David Harsanyi, who observed, “We now have an energy secretary who is against affordable energy, a transportation secretary who is against efficient travel, and perhaps soon an ATF director who wants to gut Second Amendment protections.   

    The following is from Ammoland and spells out the status of his nomination:

    The Judiciary Committee has delayed voting on the nomination of retired federal agent-turned-gun control advocate David Chipman one week, until Thursday, June 24, and during that time, grassroots Second Amendment activists are expected to be flooding Capitol Hill with messages of opposition.

    “Between now and next Thursday,” suggested Jason Ouimet, executive director of the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action, “(gun owners) ought to be contacting their Senators. They don’t want a partisan person like David Chipman running ATF.”

    Ouimet spoke…expressing alarm that a nominee with Chipman’s background would be considered for the job of running the government’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. NRA has opposed the Chipman nomination from the beginning, stating, “Chipman has a long history of gun control advocacy that disqualifies him from leading the agency charged with enforcing federal gun laws.”

    “The person who runs ATF ought to be somebody who can put politics aside, work with industry, gun owners and law enforcement,” Ouimet said.  Chipman, however, has worked for the gun prohibition lobby in the years since retiring from the ATF, which is responsible for enforcing the nation’s federal gun control laws.

    Quimet expects a solid party-line vote in the Judiciary Committee, which is evenly divided with 11 members from each side of the aisle. It is when, or if, the nomination gets to the full Senate where each vote will hang in the balance, and a tie would be decided by Democrat Kamala Harris, in her role as president of the Senate.

    And this, also from Ammoland, which gives a possible reason why the Democrats need to regroup.  Without Kelly’s vote, the Democrats only have 49 for confirmation.

    Yesterday, the Arizona state House of Representatives issued a proclamation opposing the nomination of David Chipman to be the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and asking Senator Mark Kelly (of Arizona) to recuse himself from a confirmation vote…Senator Kelly is co-founder of the national anti-gun group that currently employs David Chipman. As such, Chipman cannot be trusted to uphold the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans, and Senator Kelly voting on his confirmation is a conflict of interest.

    Obviously, our NY Senators are firmly in the gun grabbers camp, but it doesn’t hurt to show them that they are going too far.  (Neither of them is on the Judiciary Committee but they will have a vote if it comes to the Senate floor.  And, obviously, Schumer has influence.)

    Email Schumer

    Email Gillibrand

    And if you know someone in another state, ask them to contact their Senator.

  • 06/21/2021 5:55 PM | Anonymous

    2nd Amendment Cases, From Coast To Coast  by Tom Reynolds

    Several 2nd Amendment cases are in the news lately and, strangely, some are positive and come from two of the most anti-gun states, California and New York

    U.S. District Court Judge Roger Benitez struck down California’s 30-year-old ban on Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs) in his ruling on Miller v. Becerra (also known as Miller v. Bonta).  Judge Benitez compared California’s litigation stance to similar  views professed by Oakland’s police chief - that crime victims shouldn’t arm themselves, but be willing victims who can later testify against their attackers.  Benitez replied, “Of course, a dead victim is a lousy witness.”

    Benitez cited the Supreme Court’s unanimous Caetano v. Massachusetts ruling which overturned a ban on stun guns.  In it, SCOTUS basically said: if 200,000 stun guns are enough to meet the standard of being in “common use”, then the millions of modern multi-purpose semiautomatic rifles are clearly worthy of “common use” protection; Caetano had also ruled that advancing technology does not negate 2nd Amendment protection; it rejected  as “bordering on the frivolous” the argument that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment.

    Judge Benitez scrutinized the evidence the state offered in support of California’s “assault weapon” ban, found it inadequate, and declared California’s laws banning common “assault weapons” (like the AR-15) unconstitutional. Benitez wrote that California’s ban on such firearms “has had no effect” on shootings in the state” and that “California’s experiment is a failure.”

    Judge Benitez’s ruling was made in this June and includes an automatic 30-day stay of his order. This gives the state time to appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which the California Attorney General (Bonta) has already promised to do. 

    In another case, Duncan v Becerra, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit struck down three California state laws on Large Capacity Magazines (LCM’s):

    1. a bill passed by the Legislature making it illegal to own magazines that hold 10 or more bullets;

    2. a voter-passed ballot measure that requires people to get rid of such LCM’s that they already own or face being charged with a misdemeanor or infraction;

    3. a 2000 law which made it illegal to sell or buy LCM’s.

    The court held that: firearm magazines are protected arms under the Second Amendment; that LCMs are commonly owned and typically used for lawful purposes and are not “unusual arms” that would fall outside the scope of the Second Amendment; that LCM prohibitions are not longstanding regulations and do not enjoy a presumption of lawfulness; that there was no persuasive historical evidence in the record showing that LCM  possession  fell  outside the realm of Second Amendment protection.

    The panel further held that “Strict Scrutiny” was the appropriate standard to apply and, under it: the law struck at the core right of law-abiding citizens to self-defend by banning LCM possession within the home; and that the near-categorical ban of LCMs substantially burdened core Second Amendment rights.

    The laws were originally struck down by U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez (yep, him again) who said that the law “turns millions of responsible, law-abiding people trying to protect themselves into criminals.”  His decision was appealed to the three-judge panel which upheld his decision.  California is now appealing the three-judge decision to the entire Ninth Circuit (en banc).

    In Rupp v. Becerra, US District Court Judge Josephine Stanton upheld the California Assault Weapons Control Act that makes it a crime to manufacture, sell, import or transfer hundreds of popular semi-automatic firearms with a pistol grip or adjustable telescoping stock.  The law also includes a ban on transfers or gifts between parents, grandparents, and children. 

    California gun owners who legally owned such a rifle before December 31, 2016 had to register by July 2018; failure to register is a crime.  Rupp said that the registration process violated the plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights, as well as their due process rights, specifically, as it related to the act of registering an “assault weapon.”  One of the requirements before registering is that applicants must state (under penalty of perjury) the date of acquisition of their firearm in their application for registration of their rifle.  Many individuals legally own their weapons, but failed to retain their original paperwork, and thus, could not complete the form without guessing as to the date or location of purchase.

    In her decision, Judge Stanton went into great detail to explain that the plaintiffs (Rupp) were not in a position to sue for relief since, essentially, none of them had actually committed perjury yet by attempted to register.  The judge also wrote, “Even an outright ban on certain types of semiautomatic weapons does not substantially burden the Second Amendment right."  She also suggested that if semiautomatic rifles like the AR-15 were outlawed, California gun owners "would be left with myriad options for self-defense”.

    The case is appealed to a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court and has been fully briefed

    Here in New York the Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to hear the case of NYS Rifle and Pistol Association v Corlett.  The case will be heard this Fall.  The key question is, “Can the government prohibit law abiding, ordinary citizens from carrying handguns outside of their home”.  Anti-2A lawyers have been trying to argue that the Heller and McDonald decisions only covered guns in the home and not outside the home.

    The Second Circuit ruled that the New York law is constitutional. The current composition of the Supreme Court makes a pro-Second Amendment decision look very possible.

    Miller v Becerra / Bonta,  Duncan v Becerra and Rupp v Becerra) are all likely to be delayed by the Ninth Circuit pending the Supreme Court’s decision on NYSRPA v Corlett.  So, the Corlett decision could topple a number of dominos.

    The Becerra cited in these cases is former California Attorney General Xavier Becerra who is currently serving as Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Biden administration and whose nomination was criticized for his lack of health care experience.  Judge Roger Benitez, who issued pro 2A rulings, was appointed by President George W. Bush.   Judge Josephine Stanton, who issued the anti-2A ruling was appointed by President Barack Obama.  Just sayin’.

  • 06/18/2021 6:59 PM | Anonymous

    Plan B (continued)  by Tom Reynolds

    Monday, SCOPE wrote about “Plan B”, the anti-gun left’s strategy to work around the 2nd Amendment with the goal of getting rid of private gun ownership.  Specifically, to make the cost of owning a firearm unaffordable for most Americans.  But Plan B doesn’t just stop with making firearms unaffordable.

    Joe Biden is pushing - and Congressman Adam Schiff has introduced - a bill to repeal the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act” (PLCAA). The PLCAA,  “Prohibits a qualified civil liability action from being brought in any state or federal court against a manufacturer or seller of a firearm, ammunition, or a component of a firearm that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce, or against a trade association of such manufacturers or sellers, for damages, punitive damages, injunctive or declaratory relief, abatement, restitution, fines, penalties, or other relief resulting from the criminal or unlawful misuse of a firearm.”  (Under PLCAA, you can’t sue a gun manufacturer just because the gun was used in a crime, any more than you can sue a car manufacturer because a car was used in a crime.)

    The left is deceptive in their justification for repealing PLCAA. Assemblywoman Pat Fahy, a Democrat from Albany, echoed a common Democrat talking point, “Right now, only one industry in the United States enjoys blanket immunity from civil liability under federal law for negligence in the use of their products; the gun industry." Read her statement closely and it is flatly untrue.  This law is not “blanket immunity” against all civil suits, it’s immunity against a very narrow range of civil suits; for instance, gun manufacturers can be sued if they produce a faulty product, just as any other manufacturer could be sued under the same circumstances.  PLCAA was passed because the anti-gun left was trying to harass gun manufacturers out of business with nuisance law suits when a gun was used in a crime - and anti-2A judges were allowing it to happen.  The cost of defending against hundreds of lawsuits would be prohibitively expensive and drive companies out of business.

    There are other back door attempts to circumvent the 2nd Amendment:

    HR1004 would require liability insurance to purchase a firearm.  We discussed the financial impact of this on Monday in HR127.  It should be noted that, thanks to the efforts of Andrew Cuomo, it is very difficult – if not impossible for most people - to get gun related liability insurance in New York State.  This law would require insurance that the ordinary gun owner will not be able to purchase in NY State. (That is called “Catch 22”.)  Not to mention that it would require having insurance in order to exercise a constitutional right, which sounds … unconstitutional.

    HR0647 would prohibit “A Federal firearms licensee from transferring a long gun to a person who the licensee knows or has reasonable cause to believe does not reside in…the State in which the licensee’s place of business is located”.  No interstate purchases of long guns.  All Cuomo and the NY City Democrats have to do is increase regulations and close down NY gun retailers to the point where there are only a few in NY State, making it extremely difficult to get a long gun. 

    We also have the issue of the ammunition shortage and its rising prices.  It’s difficult to buy enough ammo to maintain proficiency and, as far as self-defense goes, a gun without ammunition is only a club.  What is causing the ammo shortage?  It’s reasonable that the initial causes of the shortage were factory shutdowns because of the China Virus and the unexpected rise in gun purchases (with related ammo purchases for the gun.) Certainly, many gun owners are buying extra ammunition - when they can get it.  Manufacturers claim there is no increase in government ammo purchases causing the shortage.  However, it is also being reported that the Pentagon is destroying or using up $1.2 billion in “excess” ammo.  (Why not sell it?)  Not to promote conspiracy theories but, whatever the cause, the Democrats’ Plan B has gotten an unexpected boost from the ammo shortage and we need to keep watch that they do not further exploit it.

    HR0405 would prohibit lead ammunition being used on federal lands.  If there is already a shortage of lead ammo, think about how hard it would be to buy non lead ammo.

    A7771 was introduced by Democrat Assemblywoman Chantel Jackson (a Sheila Jackson Lee wannabe).  Jackson proposes: requiring a person to apply for a hunting license prior to the purchase of a shotgun or rifle; requiring taking a five hour gun safety course and exam; passing a shooting range test with 90% accuracy; providing notarized proof of a passed drug test and mental health evaluation; providing proof of purchase of firearm and ammunition safe storage depositories; and passing a criminal background check.

    My dad had a saying, “Ten minutes after a law is passed there are 10,000 lawyers looking for a way around it”.  Certainly, that is the case following the Supreme Court decisions of “Heller” and “McDonald”.  The above are a few examples of those efforts.  The left’s “Holy Grail” is no private gun ownership and they will not let something like the Constitution or the Supreme Court stand in their way.

  • 06/14/2021 10:17 PM | Anonymous

    Plan B  by Tom Reynolds

    The left has plans to get around the Constitution, when it gets in the way of their plans for a socialist world.  With small variations, the same plan keeps repeating itself.  Gun owners need to pay attention.

    Whether or not you are a promoter of the “Green New Deal”, there can be no question that the price of “green energy” products is higher than that of fossil fuels such as Natural Gas and Oil and their related products.  This cost difference is a major problem for the left in their quest to replace fossil fuels.  So, what is their plan?

    Plan A was to narrow the cost gap with the government heavily subsidizing solar, wind energy and “green” products at both the production and retail level; electric cars are a good example.  But “green” purchases are still more expensive than conventional purchases, even after the subsidies.  Enter Plan B.

    To promote electric cars, in 2008, Barack Obama’s future Energy Secretary Steven Chu laid out the left’s Plan B when he said, “Somehow, we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.”  The week of June 7th, 2021, the median price of a gallon of gas in Europe was over $6 per gallon and over $8 per gallon in some countries.  Due to the Biden administration’s policies, the median price per state in the USA was $2.96 with only California exceeding $4 per gallon.  Basically, gas is twice as expensive in Europe.

    So, what does this have to do with the 2nd Amendment?

    The left is trying to implement a similar Plan B to get around that pesky 2nd Amendment of the Constitution. 

    Estimates are that there are 100 million gun owners in the United States. In 2020, over 20 million guns were sold and 5 to 7 million of these were to first time gun owners.  That’s a lot of potential votes against gun control politicians, so the left has to be careful of any anti-gun legislation at the national level and it does not appear that they will be able to amend or legally overturn the Constitution.  Enter Plan B; make it so difficult and expensive to own a firearm that most people will not be able to afford one.

    Numerous separate bills are being introduced to implement Plan B by running up the cost of owning a firearm.  Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee rolled most these into her bill HR 127, which says:

    ·       “…the Attorney General shall issue to an individual a license to possess a firearm and ammunition.” (You will need a federal license to possess a firearm, even those you currently own, not just new ones.  This has previously been prohibited to the federal government.  Lee’s bill does not lay out the amount of the fee that will be charged for this license but, since the feds have no competition, they can charge as much as they want.)

    ·       To get a license, all licensees will undergo, “…a psychological evaluation (The gun owner will need to pay for a psychological exam which will cost hundreds of dollars.) In addition, “…as deemed necessary by the licensed psychologist involved, the evaluation included a psychological evaluation of other members of the household in which the individual resides; and as part of the psychological evaluation, the licensed psychologist interviewed any spouse of the individual, any former spouse of the individual, and at least 2 other persons who are a member of the family of, or an associate of, the individual to further determine the state of the mental, emotional, and relational stability of the individual in relation to firearms.  (How much do you think all those additional interviews will cost?  What about anti 2A psychologists who want to do away with private gun ownership or run up their fee for purposes of greed?)

    ·       All licensees will, ”…successfully complete a training course…in the use, safety, and storage of firearms, that includes at least 24 hours of training.  (How expensive do you suppose three full 8 hour days of training will be?)

    ·       The Attorney General shall issue to any person who has applied for a license…and has paid to the Attorney General the fee (for) a policy that insures the person against liability for losses and damages resulting from the use of any firearm by the person during the 1-year period that begins with the date the policy is issued.  The fee specified in this paragraph is $800.”  (That’s $800 per year $800 times 100 million gun owners is $80 billion dollars, annually!  As SCOPE pointed out in an earlier email, only 1 in 100,000 gun owners would be eligible to use this insurance as compared to 1 in 40 car owners who use their auto insurance.)

    Jackson Lee renames the “Modern Sporting Rifle” as a “Military Style Weapon”.  You will need a separate license for that, too.  And in addition to all of the regular license requirements, you will need live fire training; a few more $. 

     “The Attorney General shall issue to an individual a license to display an antique firearm.  (Do you have an Antique Firearm you display?  That’s right, you will have to have a license to hang an antique firearm on your wall.  A few $ more.)

    Other anti 2A politicians are a bit cleverer in the way they attempt to implement Plan B.  (Jackson Lee was never noted as the sharpest tack in the box.) Their efforts go to the same goal: drive up the cost of owning a firearm to such a level that private gun ownership is too costly for most Americans. 

    We can still have our 2nd Amendment, but will we have the cash to afford it? 

    Our best answer to this challenge is to vote.  Oh wait, many gun owners won’t vote.  I hope they have the cash because deer meat will get really expensive.

  • 06/04/2021 12:18 PM | Anonymous

    SCOPE’s 2021-2022 Officers Elected

    At the May 8th annual meeting, SCOPE elected its officers for the coming year.  They are:

    Chairman Jack Prendergast lives in Geneva.  A US Army Veteran, he got an AAS in Engineering from SUNY Alfred, BS in Chemistry from Hobart College and an MBA from the Simon School of the University of Rochester. He worked 40 years for Ferro Corp., Cleveland, Ohio in Manufacturing, R&D, Globally Sales & Marketing, retiring in 2007.  From 2007 to 2014 he worked at Clarkson University in the Center of Advanced Materials Processing as Deputy Director.  From 2014 to present, Prendergast has been the Supervisor of the Town of Benton, Yates County.  He has been a member of SCOPE for 15 years, the Yates County Chairman for 10 years and Vice President of NY SCOPE since 2012.

    President Tom Reynolds resides in Horseheads.  A US Army veteran, he was a Chief Financial and Business Officer for 30 years in colleges, nursing homes, wholesaling and not-for-profit corporations.  He has also served on 8 boards of directors.  Reynolds was first elected SCOPE’s President from 2016-2017 and served as its Treasurer from 2018-2020.  He was elected President, again, in 2020.

    Secretary Curtis Cappellano’s home is East Greenbush and he is the current chairman of the Capital District chapter.  Curtis is a Professional Geologist and environmental scientist and owns his own company. He was first appointed as SCOPE’s temporary Secretary in 2019 and was elected as Secretary in 2020, and reelected in 2021.

    Treasurer Rob McNally resided in Cattaraugus County. A US Army 30-year retiree and municipal police officer for ten years, he has dabbled in contracting nationwide as well as teaching.  Rob was a Vice-Chairman for the Southwestern District of the Friends of the NRA for 8 years.  He helped get Cattaraugus County’s SCOPE chapter started and served as Chairman between 2013-2016. He has also served as an At Large Director as well as SCOPE Chairman at the state level.

    1st Vice President Steven Getman lives in Watkins Glen.  An attorney for 29 years, Steven has served as counsel for a number of local governments in the Finger Lakes, including the Towns of Seneca Falls, Romulus and Ovid and the County of Schuyler.  In addition to practicing law, Steven is an adjunct instructor at Keuka College, where he has taught classes in Constitutional and Criminal Law.

    2nd Vice President Leigh Williams resides in Vine Valley, Middlesex.  He is a US Army Reserve veteran who worked 30 years for Rochester Gas & Electric, retiring as the Canandaigua Finger Lakes District Manager. Leigh also worked as a Utility Power Broker thru-out NY State. A S.C.O.P.E. member since we started the chapter 18 or 20 years ago. He has also served on many not-for-profit Boards throughout the Finger Lakes.

    All SCOPE officers are volunteers who give their time, talent and energy to protecting and defending the Constitution and the 2nd Amendment.  Their diverse homes show SCOPE’s presence in and representation of many areas of Upstate New York.

  • 05/31/2021 10:21 AM | Anonymous

    Memorial Day

    Dr. Robert Young posted this, last year, on the web site of Doctors For Responsible Gun Ownership.   

    Memorial Day has now come for the 53rd time since it was officially proclaimed in 1967. It has been kept nationwide, though unofficially, since World War II, and as Decoration Day since 1868.  It was born in spontaneous memorials early during the Civil War.  Remembering war dead has been important throughout history, even as the manner of recognition has changed across time and societies.

    As with many things cultural, I wonder about the layers of meaning in this universal expression of respect for those who have died in service to something we consider larger than any of us.

    For those who have lost loved ones to war, the meaning is close and personal. We would remember them no matter what, but losing them in this way blends in pride and at times anger to the usual loss.  No one who dies in war enjoyed their natural span of years in which to fully form and contribute. This is a greater loss the younger they are (and most are not very old).

    Yet by and large, we experience greater appreciation than distress as we honor our fallen. We are looking beyond the impact of death on them and to their impact on our lives. In many cases, such as the Civil War and World Wars I and II, the men (and, more recently, women) who died, along with the greater number of their fellows who survived, changed the course of history to our benefit.

    Can lives lost always be weighed against lives saved? If we can reckon those numbers, perhaps so. That is, unless there was another, less costly way to save them, which we may speculate on but is ultimately unknowable.

    We may not believe in the justice of a war.  But we don’t blame the dead, because the fallen are victims too. We should have learned by now not to blame the survivors, who could easily have become their guiltless dead friends. Memorial Day is not one on which we call anyone to account.

    Nor is it a day for the dead; their watch has ended. They gain nothing from our praise. It is really a day for the living who remember them.

    So, what does memorializing do for us? Psychologically, a great deal. The act of remembering someone we knew keeps them closer despite the unfathomable gulf between life and death.  It keeps the memory of them fresher, the more it is exercised.  It softens the hard edges of loss by lessening the intensity of their absence. They are still with us, at least this much.

    That makes sense personally, as individuals. What of the cultural pull to gather at cemeteries, to march in and watch parades, to recall and celebrate the gift these people unintentionally made us?  This is the greatest gift of all, that of one’s life and future.

    The sacrifice of so many lives across so many generations of Americans is typically framed as the cost of keeping America free and whole. Freedom isn’t free, as an exceptional epigrammist once said. But is it worth that price?

    One argument in favor is based on outcomes. Winning the Revolution, the Civil War and World War II made America, held it together and kept it safe. The battles for westward growth were probably inevitable given the pressure to expand, and ultimately likely for better than worse for the most people. Other wars may not have affected America’s welfare as dramatically, but have often shown our willingness to try to help others too.  In every case, when America wins, the rest of the world becomes more secure, too.

    However, we don’t subdivide our battle dead by war, theater or era. They all mean the same. I think we are reminding ourselves of something deeper and more fundamental about life on this earth, especially about our lives as citizens of the freest and most democratic and opportunity-filled nation in history.

    It’s not just that our freedom isn’t free, but that this world is not America anywhere but here. It is harsher, more divisive, and much more threatening than we ordinarily contemplate, much less experience. The cost of maintaining our country’s “way of life”, as hackneyed as that phrase has become, actually is constant vigilance and readiness to defend it. Being ready to defend it means finding that we often must, against dangers that our vigilance discovers.

    The consequences of a world without guns or of being unwilling to use them are the same. The mighty prevail. America’s gift that underpins Memorial Day is our willingness to use our Might on behalf of what we, sometimes uncertainly, see as Right, for ourselves and others.

    America is a nation defined by its founding documents and the course of its history built upon them. It is the idea that those principles matter more than anyone’s or any group’s success, which makes it possible for more individuals of more groups than ever before to achieve their own, unique successes. It is the reality that we have something unequalled in the world that can only be maintained by fidelity to our exceptionalism in these ways.

    And, finally, America is the people who are willing to uphold those values by giving themselves to the fight for them. These include all of us who vote, respect our laws and keep faithful to our founding ideals. They are all us who care, who argue, who split apart and come together over how to continue to enact those ideals. And they are those of us who have given energy, toil, blood and tears to provide for America’s security.  Many have done so, some more briefly than others, whose lives were given too soon.

    Memorial Day reminds us of all this—that what is good is not natural, automatic or self-sustaining in a world that is amoral and disinterested in our survival, let alone our success. Many have stepped up to do their bit, and some their all, to ensure that our nation’s good (and so each of ours) can survive, and may thrive.

    Memorial Day reminds us what it takes to live in this world. May we always remember that.

  • 05/26/2021 2:07 PM | Anonymous

    We Don’t Need Your Stinking Jobs!  by Tom Reynolds

    Troy Industries is moving from Massachusetts to Tennessee.

    Beretta, the world’s oldest arms manufacturer since 1526, is leaving Maryland for Tennessee.

    Weatherby left California for Wyoming.

    Accessories maker Hi-Viz closed shop in Colorado for Wyoming.

    Magpul left Colorado for Wyoming and Texas.

    Stag Arms announced a move from Connecticut to Wyoming.

    PTR left Connecticut for South Carolina.

    Ruger opened manufacturing in North Carolina.

    Kimber has been moving from New York to Alabama.

    Check-Mate has been moving from New York to Georgia.

    Kahr Arms has moved manufacturing from New York to Pennsylvania.

    Smith & Wesson, which was founded in Massachusetts, has been pushing production and distribution to Missouri.

    Kimber expanded production in Alabama over New York.

    LMT (formerly Lewis Machine & Tool) moved over the state line from Illinois to Iowa.

    Ammo maker Olin-Winchester is headquartered in Illinois but has concentrated production in Mississippi.

    Notice any trend in all the above?  Gun manufacturers moving and taking jobs from anti-gun states to gun friendly states?

    No lesson here for NY’s Democrat lawmakers.  They are too busy pushing their anti-gun agenda, no matter how useless.  For instance, the Senate Codes Committee just passed S4116 on a party-line vote of 8 to 4.  This bill would require all new semi-automatic pistols to be equipped with microstamping technology.  This essentially would ban the sale of traditional handguns, the real goal of the left.    

    Microstamping leaves an identifying mark on the cartridge, which is supposed to make it easy for law enforcement to identify the gun in which it was used.  Of course, law enforcement needs the expended cartridge to do identify the weapon.    What if criminals use revolvers, which do not eject casings.  What if criminals pick up casings and even misdirect investigations by dropping other spent cartridges?   Microstamping is also easily defeated with common household tools.      

    This bill has floated around Albany for well over a decade and has gone nowhere for a good reason.  It doesn’t work.  But that doesn’t stop the left, since their goal was never to stop crime but, instead, to indirectly do away with the 2nd Amendment.  If they also indirectly drive jobs from New York State, that is just collateral damage.    

    SCOPE usually focuses on gun control as a threat to the 2nd Amendment and the Constitution.  We should also be focusing on gun control as a threat to New York’s economy.

  • 05/25/2021 3:26 PM | Anonymous

    End of legislative Session  by Tom Reynolds

    Yesterday, SCOPE distributed a list of proposed gun control bills in the New York Legislatures.  It also distributed a similar list at the Members Meeting.  As you should have noticed, there is a huge number of them – 75 and growing on an almost daily basis - and they are overwhelmingly anti-2A. 

    The New York State legislatures adjourn their annual session in June and, in a last-minute flurry of activity many bills get passed, hoping that they will not be noticed and buried in all the activity.  Since the legislatures are overwhelmingly Democrat and, thus, anti 2A, it’s quite probable that some of these bills will be approved and sent to the Governor for his signature into law.  (And you know about him!)

     It’s important that your legislator be made aware that 2A defenders are watching and the usual last-minute shenanigans will not go unnoticed or be tolerated.  Whether your legislator is Republican or Democrat, many may be in competitive districts and they need to know that gun owners are watching and could tip the balance in an election. 

    Toward that end, a draft email / letter is below and also attached.  We encourage you to personalize it and use it - or make up one yourself.  Just do something!  The most influential move would be to email and then mail it, too. 

    Dear Senator / Assemblyman/Assemblywoman_______________,

    As a gun owner and defender of the 2nd Amendment, I am a member of SCOPE, ___________ and ___________ .  (List all 2A’s Conservation Clubs, Rod & Gun Clubs, etc. to let them know you are a serious 2A defender and, thus, serious about this issue.)

    SCOPE recently updated a list of proposed bills in the New York Legislatures - 75 and growing – which appalled me.  Many would, in effect, restrict my Constitutional right to “Keep and bear arms”.  A few – very few – re-enforce or expand my 2nd Amendment rights.  Some anti 2nd Amendment proposals make it more difficult to obtain a firearm or ammunition while others would make it too expensive to own a firearm.  Many would have the effect of criminalizing my behavior while doing nothing to stop real criminals from committing real crimes.  Without any doubt - in spite of political spin to the contrary - all have the same goal of moving another step closer to eliminating private ownership of guns except, of course, for a few “approved” individuals. 

    Since there are too many bills to address individually, I am writing to tell you that I oppose any bills which would limit my 2nd Amendment rights.  I will be watching your voting record on these bills as well as the record of your party.  Each legislator is also responsible for the actions of your leadership since you - not I – voted to put them in that leadership position.

    It is especially important that you are aware of my opposition since, historically, the legislature’s end-of-session activity results in many bills being approved and lost to the general public in the tumult of activity.  Many of the organizations to which I belong help me to track voting records on the bills that have been proposed.  Their outcome will not be lost.  I vote and I pay attention to who supports the 2nd Amendment and who opposes it.  Which one are you?  Your actions will define that for me.


    Name, address and contact information

  • 05/19/2021 12:40 PM | Anonymous

    SCOPE held its annual meetings in Montour Falls on May 8th.  by Tom Reynolds

    The Members Meeting featured a presentation by Congressman Lee Zeldin to the more than 80 people who were present.  Many believe Zeldin is the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for governor in 2022.  In a little more than a month since he announced his run for Governor, he has made several campaign tours through the Southern Tier. (Former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and Lewis County Sheriff Michael Carpinelli have also announced their candidacy for the Republican nomination.)

    Congressman Zeldin spoke on a wide variety of subjects and held a long Question-and-Answer Session.  Among the topics discussed were Governor Cuomo’s Nursing Home Scandal and the tax increase included in the latest New York budget, which Mr. Zeldin criticized as making New York State the highest taxed state in the nation.  He encouraged everyone to oppose HR1, the attempted federal power grab to take election regulation away from the states. He also criticized cashless bail and reiterated his belief in term limits for elected officials.  Zeldin pointed out that he was pro Second Amendment, in obvious contrast to Governor Cuomo.  Mr. Zeldin used a humorous anecdote to criticize the Democrats in Congress for their attempt to injure the Second Amendment by repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

    State Senator Tom O’Mara also spoke to the audience and he, too, held a Question-and-Answer Session.  Senator O’Mara took the audience through a variety of state issues and was especially critical of the $2.1 billion set aside for unemployed illegal aliens that was approved in the latest budget.  O’Mara echoed his support for voter ID and other voting reform measures.  Several current and proposed New York State gun control laws were discussed in detail.  The Senator also discussed the upcoming redistricting and the Democrats attempt to repeal a fairly recently enacted Constitutional Amendment on redistricting - before it has ever been used.      

    During the past year’s election, both Mr. Zeldin and Mr. O’Mara received “A” ratings from SCOPE for their stance on the Second Amendment.

    Tom King, Second Amendment advocate and President of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA), spoke and introduced the other speakers.  King explained about the lawsuit, NYSRPA v Corlett, which deals with the right to carry a concealed handgun outside the home; the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to take up this important case and it should be heard in the Fall.  Mr. King’s presence at the SCOPE meeting demonstrated how Second Amendment defenders are coming together to fight for their constitutional right.

    Other speakers were a representative of State Senator George Borrello and Steuben County Republican Chair Joe Sempolinski.

    Several speakers and audience members emphasized the theme of getting gun owners to vote.  It is estimated that between 1 in 4 and 1 in 5 New Yorkers are gun owners and if they voted they would be a powerful political force to counter the radical gun control lobby and the billionaires behind it.  To date, 75 gun related bills have been introduced in the New York Legislatures and 19 of them are two-house bills proposed in both legislatures.  This list was distributed at the meetings.

    At the Board Meeting, SCOPE also held its annual election of officers and the results demonstrated its statewide presence.  Elected were: Chairman Jack Prendergast from Yates County; President Tom Reynolds from Chemung County; Treasurer Rob McNally from   Cattaraugus County; Secretary Curtis Cappellano from Rensselaer County; 1st Vice President Steven Getman from Schuyler County and Second Vice President Leigh Williams from Yates County.  Dave Colburn from Wayne County was elected to an At-Large SCOPE Board position.

  • 05/17/2021 1:44 PM | Anonymous

    The Senate and Ghost Guns  by Tom Reynolds

    On May 7th, the Department of Justice published its proposed new rules for 80% lowers and frames, what politicians have derisively dubbed “ghost guns”, in order to demonize home-built firearms. The proposed rules would significantly broaden the definition of a firearm; any part that can be “readily completed” into a receiver will now be treated as a receiver and regulated as a functional firearm, complete with serialization and background check requirement.

    The very next week, on May 11th, in the Senate Judiciary’s Subcommittee on The Constitution’s hearing titled “Stop Gun Violence: Ghost Guns”, there was some interesting testimony surrounding so-called “ghost guns” and the Department of Justice’s proposed rule to redefine a firearm; testimony you will not hear about in the main stream media.

    Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) led the pro-gun charge by challenging the idea that the hearing was intended to reduce crime because it was really about gun registration and eventual confiscation.  He said, “They want a registry of every firearm in America…when you see countries enact registries of firearms, the next step is confiscation. And numerous Democrats on this committee have advocating confiscating firearms.”

    Anyone doubting Cruz’ statement about confiscation only needs to see California Senator Dianne Feinstein 1995 “60 Minutes” TV interview in which she said about guns, “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them…turn them all in.” 

    Cruz continued his attack from a legal standpoint, “Homemade firearms…are treated like any other firearm under the law.  If a person commits a crime with a homemade gun, they will be prosecuted just the same as anyone else. If a felon makes a homemade gun, he’s a felon in possession of a firearm and will be prosecuted. If a person sells a homemade gun to a criminal, that person will be prosecuted.”

    Ashley Hlebinsky, a noted firearms historian, demolished the anti-gun left’s use of language as a weapon in her keynote testimony.  She said, “I will not be using the term ghost gun and that’s because as a historian I try to be as precise as possible and the term is used more as a rhetorical tool, a marketing tool and because of that, it can create a false sense of authority on the subject.” 

    Of course, the left wants to use the “ghost gun” because it creates the impression of being untraceable.

    Both Hlebinsky and Senator Mike Lee of Utah pounded on the point that innovations and improvement have, historically, gone through private experimentation before a product is developed that is patentable.  Hlebinsky said, “I know a lot of people here don’t necessarily like some of the technology that exists today, but I really want to make the point that innovation also means making firearms safer.”

    Hlebinsky and Lee also pointed out that these changes only affect the law-abiding citizen and not the criminal.  Lee summarized this well when he said, “I’m convinced that proposals like the proposed rule the Biden administration issued on Friday will affect those law-abiding Americans who use 80 percent lower receivers or receiver blanks while doing very little to stop criminals who want to use guns in order to hurt other people”.  Hlebinsky added, “It’s interesting and important to understand that these things can affect both sides, criminalizing those that would otherwise be considered innocent and opening the door for loopholes and litigation, and worst of all, continued violence.”

    Hlebinsky and Lee had reiterated what SCOPE has always saying about gun control laws, “Criminals don’t obey laws”.  That, of course, comes as a shock to many on the left.  

    There can be no doubt that the Biden administration is radically anti-gun and will continue to use every weapon at their disposal to neuter and eventually destroy the 2nd Amendment and the right it protects.

A 2nd Amendment Defense Organization, defending the rights of New York State gun owners to keep and bear arms!

PO Box 165
East Aurora, NY 14052

SCOPE is a 501(c)4 non-profit organization.

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