Politics

Fact vs. Fiction: AR15

Today I’m starting a new series here on the BLD blog (don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about that promised article on weapon selection) entitled “Fact vs. Fiction”. We’re going to debunk or affirm various myths and rumors about firearms and self defense.

In the wake of the horrible events of the past week, the AR15 rifle has come under attack in the media. Therefore, let us take an honest look at the facts and fictions surrounding the AR15 platform.

Rumor: “AR” stands for “assault rifle”.
Status: FICTION
Reason: The AR15 rifle was developed by Eugene Stoner, who was working for the ArmaLite corporation at the time. “AR” stands for nothing more than “ArmaLite”. All firearms developed by the ArmaLite corporation have a model number starting with “AR”. Once the AR15 platform was sold to Colt (who then sold it to the military), Colt needed to make up a new definition for “AR” to avoid using the name of their competitor. Hence, Colt said it stood for “automatic rifle”.

Rumor: The AR15 is an automatic weapon / machine gun.
Status: FICTION
Reason: The standard AR15 is a semi-automatic firearm. One pull of the trigger fires one round. Only the military variants of the rifle (e.g. M16, M4) have select-fire capabilities, and those rifles are not available to civilians without extensive federal and local background checks, registration, and regulations, along with costs that are out of the practical range of most firearm owners.

Rumor: The AR15 was originally designed as a military rifle.
Status: FACT
Reason: The AR15 was developed under the United States military’s search for a new rifle which started with Project SALVO. However, it should be noted that even bolt-action “hunting” rifles were originally designed for military use. The AR15 is no different in this regard.

Rumor: The AR15 fires a “high-power” round.
Status: FICTION
Reason: Actually, the AR15 fires a .22 caliber round, the .223 Remington or NATO equivalent 5.56x45mm. This round is small enough to be prohibited for deer hunting in some states (it is legal for deer hunting in our home state of Minnesota).

Rumor: The AR15 can have a bayonet fixed on it.
Status: FACT
Reason: There is indeed a bayonet lug on the AR15.

Rumor: It is simple to turn an AR15 into a fully automatic rifle.
Status: FICTION AND FACT
Reason: The mechanics of the change are simple enough, but I won’t provide them here. However, just buying or making the parts and changing an AR15 into an automatic rifle is extremely illegal, with probable penalties of 20+ years in federal prison. You can go to prison for simply owning the parts without the proper paperwork and registration. It is often stated in the media that you can find the parts you need for such a conversion at gun shows. I’ve been to more gun shows than I can count, and I have never seen any of the restricted parts for sale…not a single part, not even once.

The truth: Rifles that are accepted as “hunting” guns today had their time in the military just like the AR15. The AR15 is considered to be a modern sporting rifle. The caliber is effective for deer hunting with a properly placed shot, and the buffer system reduces the recoil to make the rifle extremely comfortable and safe to use for even young shooters. Ammunition is inexpensive compared to the higher-powered calibers, meaning that target shooting and hunting become more affordable.

The features that are touted in the media as dangerous are either cosmetic or simply for the comfort of the operator (e.g. adjustable stock, pistol-style grip). The inclusion of the bayonet lug in the 1994 assault weapons ban is silly to me. I’ve yet to hear of a murderer yelling “fix bayonets” before committing a crime. It was included by politicians to ensure that the maximum number of firearms would qualify for restriction under the ban.

You will continue to see half-truths and full falsehoods spread through the media and even within the gun community about the AR15. Feel free to use the above points to have meaningful and truthful conversations about this extremely versatile and useful platform. We just ask that you give Blue Line Defense copyright credit if you quote directly from us.

As always, if you have questions or would like to discuss training on the AR15 or any other platform, please call or email us.

Second Amendment & Permit to Carry

In order to exercise your Second Amendment rights in the state of Minnesota, there are some specific rules and regulations that you will have to abide by. The Second Amendment guarantees that United States citizens have the right to own firearms, but there are various laws that restrict how you can use them, and where you can have them.

If you want to carry a weapon out in public, you will need a MN carry permit. By getting a Minnesota carry permit, you’ll be able to take your gun with you in areas where carry is allowed. Most areas in Minnesota are allowed to carry, but inside certain places, you cannot bring your gun with you when you. It is important to take Minnesota carry permit course to understand where you can and cannot carry your firearm.

If you are interested in getting a MN carry permit, you must be 21 years old. You also have to complete an application form that will be used to conduct a background check. You have to be a resident of the county in which you are requesting a permit from. You also cannot be included in the criminal gang investigation system.

When you do not necessarily want to be able to carry your gun out in the open in the state of Minnesota, you do have the right to keep your gun at home. You can also transport a gun that you just purchased to your home or place of business without having to have a permit.

Click here to learn more about our Permit to Carry Course

Tell Gov. Dayton to sign the Stand Your Ground. TODAY!

 

If you do only one thing for gun rights this year, this is it!

What you can do today:

  1. Call the governor’s office, and ask him to sign HF1467, the Stand Your Ground bill, TODAY!Metro: 651-201-3400
    Toll Free: 800-657-3717
  2. Write a real letter, on paper. These are incredibly effective in convincing a politician of how seriously we take an issue.
    Governor Mark Dayton
    130 State Capitol
    75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
    St. Paul, MN 55155

    Suggested language: “Please sign HF1467, the Stand Your Ground bill, today.”

  3. Send an email: Go to the governor’s web site at http://mn.gov/governor/contact-us/form/, and send the same message.
  4. Got a fax machine? Send a fax with the same message to 651-797-1850.
  5. Forward this to a dozen friends and ask them to do the same.

What you can do tomorrow, and every day until he signs the bill:

  1. Do it again (see above). Seriously.
The Stand Your Ground bill protects and restores our rights in many ways. Here’s the detail:

HF1467/SF1357 Summary
HF1467/SF1357, the Defense of Dwelling and Person Act of 2011, brings “Stand Your Ground” protections to Minnesota, restores the presumption that a person using self defense is innocent until proven guilty, enhances Castle Doctrine, prevents the state from seizing guns during an emergency (remember Hurricane Katrina?), improves carry reciprocity with other states and requires the government to do its job to serve law-abiding citizens.

The full text of the bill can be found here: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bin/bldbill.php?bill=H1467.2.html&session=ls87

Here’s some more detail about the bill:

Adds Stand Your Ground
HF1467 brings “Stand Your Ground” protections to Minnesota, removing the requirement that an intended victim of violent crime must retreat from a place where he has a right to be before using deadly force in self defense.

Enhances Castle Doctrine
The bill also strengthens Minnesota’s “Castle Doctrine,” clarifying when and under what circumstances individuals can legally use deadly force to protect themselves in their homes and vehicles. In addition, it creates a presumption that, when faced with an apparent home invasion, carjacking or kidnapping attempt, a person may use deadly force in self defense.

Adds Universal Carry Permit Acceptance
Of particular interest to carry permit holders, the final article of the bill updates our carry permit reciprocity standards, allowing people holding carry permits from any other state to carry in Minnesota (under Minnesota law, of course). This should result in a large increase in the number of states where Minnesota permit holders can carry, since many states allow other states’ permit holders to carry on a reciprocal basis.

Prevents Gun Seizures During a State of Emergency
Taking a lesson from the problems in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, the bill also bans government agencies from seizing guns or ammo, revoking permits to purchase or carry, closing gun shops, or otherwise suspending our constitutional rights during a civil emergency — or at any other time. It also prohibits law enforcement officers from seizing a person’s gun, unless the person is arrested, or the gun is evidence of a crime.

Enhances Purchase Permit Rights
The bill also borrows a page from the Permit to Carry law, providing a more robust appeal process for denied purchase permits, and requiring that police chiefs and sheriffs whose purchase permit denials are overturned must pay the applicants’ legal costs.

Please forward this link to gun owners and civil rights supporters, and ask them to sign up for our email blasts at http://www.gocra.org/join.html

Senate leadership kills Stand Your Ground

From GOCRA

We have received word that the Republican leadership in the Minnesota Senate has decided to kill The Defense of Dwelling and Person Act by not bringing it to the Senate floor for a vote.

The Senate leadership did not sacrifice SF 1357 for other priorities. They made a deliberate, political decision to refuse to put the bill on Governor Dayton’s desk.

The Senate leadership was not forced into this retreat by the DFL or anti-gun groups. They decided, unilaterally, to give up on this important civil rights legislation.

The Senate leadership did not run out of time. The Senate doesn’t have to finish before Monday at midnight. They could still hear the bill if the leadership does their job.

Please call and email the Senate leadership NOW, and respectfully demand that the bill get an immediate hearing.

You might also want to email and call your own senator, especially if he/she is a Republican, with the same message.

Tell them that Minnesota gun owners vote — and that they have very long memories.

Author: Rob Doar

Defense of Dwelling and Person Act Ready for Floor Vote

GOCRA E-Blast

The Defense of Dwelling and Person Act of 2011 has passed through the House and Senate committees and is ready to be voted on in both chambers.

Defense of Dwelling and Person Act of 2011 Summary

HF1467/SF1357, the Defense of Dwelling and Person Act of 2011, brings “Stand Your Ground” protections to Minnesota, restores the presumption that a person using self defense is innocent until proven guilty, enhances Castle Doctrine, prevents the state from seizing guns during an emergency (remember Hurricane Katrina?), improves carry reciprocity with other states and requires the government to do its job to serve law-abiding citizens.

Adds Stand Your Ground
SF1357 brings “Stand Your Ground” protections to Minnesota, removing the requirement that an intended victim of violent crime must retreat from a place where he has a right to be before using deadly force in self defense.

Enhances Castle Doctrine
The bill also strengthens Minnesota’s “Castle Doctrine,” clarifying when and under what circumstances individuals can legally use deadly force to protect themselves in their homes and vehicles. In addition, it creates a presumption that, when faced with an apparent home invasion, carjacking or kidnapping attempt, a person may use deadly force in self defense.

Prevents Gun Seizures During a State of Emergency
Taking a lesson from the problems in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, the bill also bans government agencies from seizing guns or ammo, revoking permits to purchase or carry, closing gun shops, or otherwise suspending our constitutional rights during a civil emergency. It also prohibits law enforcement officers from seizing a person’s gun, unless the person is arrested, or the gun is evidence of a crime.

Adds a Robust Appeals process to Purchase Permits
The bill also borrows a page from the Permit to Carry law, providing a more robust appeal process for denied purchase permits, and requiring that police chiefs and sheriffs whose purchase permit denials are overturned must pay the applicants’ legal costs.

Adds Universal Carry Permit Acceptance
Of particular interest to carry permit holders, the final article of the bill updates our carry permit reciprocity standards, allowing people holding carry permits from any other state to carry in Minnesota (under Minnesota law, of course). This should result in a large increase in the number of states where Minnesota permit holders can carry, since many states allow other states’ permit holders to carry on a reciprocal basis.

The full text of the bill can be found here: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bin/bldbill.php?bill=S1357.0.html&session=ls87

Author: Rob Doar

HR1467 Hearing

This is probably the biggest leap in advancing gun owner’s rights in Minnesota since the Personal Protection Act.

Tony Cornish’s (Rep – Good Thunder) bill addresses several gaping holes in MN gun laws, and addresses real concerns that are affecting civil rights.

A note from my friends at GOCRA with email addresses is attached below, but in a nutshell, Cornish’s bill addresses the following:

Adds “Stand Your Ground”:- Removes the obligation to attempts retreat before defending yourself
Enhances “Castle Doctrine”:- Clarifies use of deadly force in your home, leaves less up for interpretation.
Prevents Gun Seizures:- Gov’t cannot seize guns, or suspend gun ownership as we saw in Katrina.
Forces MN DHS to make all records (e.g. Mental Health) available to NICS :- Strengthens NICS background Check system with current MN data.
Extended Permit to Purchase to 5 years:- Lightens the administrative burden on Police, updates time frame to coincide with “permit to carry”.
Universal Carry Permit Resiprosity:- MN will accepts all other state’s carry permits, and MN carry permit holders will be able to carry in more states.

GOCRA Eblast:

The most important piece of gun legislation since the MCPPA gets its first hearing at the Capitol next Thursday, and we need you there!

Tony Cornish’s HR1467 brings “Stand Your Ground” protections to Minnesota, enhances Castle Doctrine, prevents the state from seizing guns during an emergency (remember Hurricane Katrina?), extends purchase permits to five years and improves carry reciprocity with other states.

Here’s some more info about the bill, in case you missed it last week:

“The most important update to Minnesota gun law since the Minnesota Citizens’ Personal Protection Act.”

That’s what GOCRA president Joseph E. Olson had to say about a sweeping set of reforms introduced today in the Minnesota House.

The full text of the bill can be found here: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bin/bldbill.php?bill=H1467.0.html&session=ls87

The bill expands our rights in many ways. Here’s an overview.

Adds Stand Your Ground

HR1467, authored by long-time gun rights advocate Representative Tony Cornish (R – Good Thunder), brings “Stand Your Ground” protections to Minnesota, removing the requirement that an intended victim of violent crime must retreat from a place where he has a right to be before using deadly force in self defense.

Enhances Castle Doctrine

The bill also strengthens Minnesota’s “Castle Doctrine”, clarifying when and under what circumstances an individual may use deadly force to protect themselves and their homes and vehicles. In addition, it creates a presumption that, when faced with an apparent home invasion or kidnapping attempt, a person may use deadly force in self defense.

Prevents Gun Seizures During a State of Emergency

Taking a lesson from the problems in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, the bill also bans government agencies from seizing guns or ammo, revoking permits to purchase or carry, or closing gun shops, during a civil emergency or for any other reason. It also prohibits law enforcement officers from seizing a person’s gun, unless for the person is arrested, or the gun is evidence of a crime.

Extends Purchase Permits to Five Years

The bill also extends the validity of handgun purchase permits from one to five years, adds an annual background check for people holding those five-year permits. It requires the Minnesota Department of Human Services and state courts to make their background check records available electronically to authorized agencies, including the National Instant Background Check system (NICS) — a process that was supposed to have been in place 16 years ago! This should reduce purchasing delays as well as ensuring that state and federal checks produce the same results.

The bill also borrows a page from the Permit to Carry law, providing a more robust appeal process for denied purchase permits, and requiring that police chiefs and sheriffs whose purchase permit denials are overturned must pay the applicants’ legal costs.

Adds Universal Carry Permit Reciprocity

Of particular interest to carry permit holders, the final article of the bill updates our carry permit reciprocity standards, allowing people holding carry permits from any other state to carry in Minnesota (under Minnesota law, of course). This should result in alarge increase in the number of states where Minnesota permit holders can carry, since many states allow other states’ permit holders to carry on a reciprocal basis.

GOCRA is proud to have worked with Representative Cornish in the creation and polishing of this bill. Joined by the NRA, we shared our advice and experience, lending a historical perspective and suggesting beneficial statutory language. This bill is an excellent example of cooperation between legislators, local activists, and our national partners to support and extend our civil rights.

We’ll be talking much more about the details of the bill in the coming days.

Author:Rob Doar