Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Ted Budd is the Second Amendment Champion North Carolina Deserves ( from Gun Owners of America)



Gun owners in the Tar Heel State deserve a Second Amendment Champion in the US Senate.  

Congressman Ted Budd has proven himself to be that champion. 

He’s cosponsored legislation to remove short-barreled rifles and shotguns, as well as suppressors, from the National Firearms Act. He’s also supported concealed carry reciprocity and an almost endless list of pro-gun bills in his short time in Congress. 

In fact, he led five other North Carolina Congressmen in writing a “Second Amendment Sanctuary” letter, urging North Carolina’s governor and attorney general to not enforce President Joe Biden’s gun control.  

And most recently, he voted against military red flag gun confiscation, a measure that over 130 turncoat Republicans voted for.  

Time after time, he’s proven himself to be a standout for the Second Amendment. Gun owners need Ted Budd to represent them in North Carolina.  

In fact, North Carolina is a “must-win” state in taking back the Senate from the anti-gun likes of Sen. Chuck Schumer and Vice President Kamala Harris. And Ted Budd is the man for the job. 

He’s earned the support of Gun Owners of America and President Trump. He’s the gun owners’ choice for the Old North State.

Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. 

Monday, December 20, 2021




BELLEVUE, WA – Following Wednesday morning's oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, the Second Amendment Foundation predicts a victory for the right-to-carry a firearm in public for personal protection.

"Based on questions from the Supreme Court Justices," said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, "I'm confident we're going to win either on a 5-4 or 6-3 vote."

He said suggestions from New York Solicitor General Barbara D. Underwood and Deputy Solicitor General Brian H. Fletcher with the U.S. Justice Department—defending New York's restrictive "may issue" carry law—that the case is remanded back to the lower courts smacks of an attempted stall.

"I think at that point the anti-gun rights justices, as well as the attorneys for New York, recognized they are not going to win," Gottlieb observed, "and they were trying to forestall an unfavourable ruling. During the oral arguments, several justices affirmed that the right to keep and bear arms does not stop at the front door."

"This important Supreme Court case," he added, "was only made possible by SAF's 2010 Supreme Court victory in McDonald v. City of Chicago, which incorporated the Second Amendment to the states via the 14th Amendment."

Presenting the oral argument for the plaintiffs, attorney Paul Clement told the court that the constitution protects carrying concealed firearms outside the home. He also said there should be no requirement for a citizen to prove a particular need to exercise a constitutionally protected fundamental right. Several justices' questions and comments pointed out that many lower courts were not adhering to the Heller and McDonald decisions by the high court and not applying the proper heightened scrutiny levels that the Second Amendment deserves.

SAF filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the NYSR&PA case, joined by several other gun rights organizations.

"After listening to the oral arguments," Gottlieb said, "I'm convinced the ruling will impact the other seven states that do not recognize Second Amendment rights with their discretionary 'may issue' carry laws. I also think the court's ruling should impact dozens of other cases SAF has filed that are currently in the lower federal courts.

"An affirmative ruling, which we expect sometime in June 2022," Gottlieb noted, "will only reinforce our mission to win back firearms freedom, one lawsuit at a time."

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

North Carolina: Gov. Cooper Vetoes Pistol Permit Repeal ( from NRA)


Governor Roy Cooper, who is no friend to the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, also ignores the recommendations of law enforcement. Today, he vetoed House Bill 398, NC Sheriffs’ Association-backed legislation to repeal the pistol permit favouring the federal NICS background check. This is the second piece of pro-Second Amendment legislation Gov. Cooper has vetoed this year, the first being a self-defence bill.

The pistol purchase permit was created before modern, computerized background checks existed. The federal NICS checks that licensed firearms dealers to conduct are often completed in minutes. North Carolina’s court system finished furnishing mental health involuntary commitment records to NICS in 2019, ensuring that it can do thorough checks. Repealing the pistol purchase permit ensures that law-abiding citizens can exercise their Second Amendment rights without this unnecessary obstacle and fee burdening law-enforcement resources.

Please stay tuned to www.nraila.org and your email inbox for further updates.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Lessons from the Case of Kyle Rittenhouse - Part 2 by Art Joslin, J.D., D.M.A. from Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network

 You are well aware that Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted at trial of all charges levied against him by this time. Before we get into the details of lessons learned, I want to clarify something from last month’s eJournal. I alluded to, in passing, that the Rittenhouse defence team would need to prove their case by a reasonable doubt. Because of publication deadlines and my rush to get information to the members, I hastily overlooked the need to explain this issue. Allow me to clarify.

The Burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt; this Burden falls on the prosecutor. He must prove his case by that standard. In a case of the affirmative defense of self defense, however, the defense has the Burden of production and should produce some type of evidence, at some level above zero, to show self defense. The old standard was the defense must prove self defense by a preponderance of the evidence. This is no longer the case as the last holdout state, Ohio, changed its statute. This went away on March 19, 2019, and is now the standard in all 50 states. You may still see a preponderance of the evidence used in a self-defense immunity hearing. If immunity is not granted, then the case can go to trial. If immunity is granted, case over.

This would be a good time to explain these burdens. The Burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove the charges against the defendant at trial beyond a reasonable doubt. Beyond a reasonable doubt is a high standard. Although most legal scholars are hesitant to place a threshold number on the standard, many agree it is somewhere north of 90%. However, in any criminal case, the defendant may sit mute and not offer any evidence or testimony, relying solely on the lack of ability of the prosecution to prove the charges against them (at least they hope so). Although the defense does not have to offer anything, the Burden of production typically falls on the reason. In other words, the defense has the Burden to produce some minimal amount of evidence, to the trier of fact, to dispute the prosecution’s charges.

We received plenty of emails and inquiries into the actual trial process of the State of Wisconsin vs. Kyle H. Rittenhouse. Members wanted to know why the defense team wasn’t objecting more often. It’s called trial tactics. I’ve watched plenty of trials where I sit and scream internally, “Objection!” But let’s parse this a little more. If the defense counsel objects to everything they can, it can paint them as abusive, overly interruptive, and generally negatively to the jury. Juries don’t like that. They want to hear the facts without interruption and make their decision. However, the defense should object when the prosecution goes awry. Additionally, the defense must object at certain times to get their objection on the record if they need to appeal; it preserves the issue. So, trial attorneys object when required and when required, but often they won’t object if opposing counsel is making their case for them, as we saw multiple times in Rittenhouse.

The first lesson we learn from this case is to make sound decisions regarding events and situations in which we choose to involve ourselves. I have been to protests and marches in both Detroit and Chicago. I decided to be there because of the historical aspect of the protest. I have attended these events as an observer, not an active participant. When Tucker Carlson interviewed Kyle Rittenhouse, Kyle stated he had permission to watch one of the auto stores to prevent looting. I’ve also worked in the armed security industry. Never was there a time I showed up with a team without proper pre-planning that was done a day or so before the security event. Showing up to a racially-charged protest with national significance without adequate planning, surveillance, experience, and training is never a good thing. Stay away from people with a mob mentality. I’ll leave it right there.

Next, don’t bring a skateboard to a gunfight. I don’t say this sarcastically; I say it with all sincerity. Making a conscious decision to involve yourself in a deadly force situation, or really, in any level of force situation, be sure to have the adequate tools to defend yourself. This element in the mob mentality happens when groups of people believe they are invincible and think they can get their whacks in and then move out of the situation without suffering harm. Please don’t be that person. Be a good witness. Call 911. Runaway. We should be taught to move to cover and avoid making ourselves a static target in our concealed carry classes. If I see the other person has a gun, I don’t purposely move into the fray, thinking I’ll hit him with my club and get away without being shot. That is stupidity. I realize that sometimes we could be placed in a situation where we only have what we can use in our immediate environment to defend ourselves. In those situations, too, we need to be thinking about getting out of harm’s way, not running into it.

Third, I’ve read many comments in the gun forums (and one nationally recognized trainer) saying it is a waste of time or that it is even silly to focus on the lessons we can glean from the way the trial played out in Kenosha. I believe what we can learn is an essential aspect of the entire event. Realize that if you are involved in a self-defence incident, you will be scrutinized to no end by family, media, outsiders, organized anti-gun groups, neighbors, etc. Perhaps you won’t be scrutinized at the national and international level Kyle Rittenhouse was, but you will suffer the damage emotionally, physically, and mentally. It’s a proven fact in post self-defense incidents. Many books have been written about this aspect of how the body reacts to post-traumatic events. Massed Ayoob stresses this area of self defense in his classes. The Network has member-accessible videos that discuss this exact topic. Once a person survives an attack and successfully defends themselves against their assailant, only then does the journey through the mire of emotional and physical stress play out. In the Tucker Carlson interview of Rittenhouse, Kyle seemed very put together and succinct in most of his answers. However, his journey has only begun. This is something he will never forget, and the aftermath of stressors will follow him for the rest of his life.

Additionally, be prepared for the government to come after you in ways you’ve never imagined. The role of the prosecution in any criminal case is not to get a conviction; it is to seek justice. Granted, getting a conviction against a serial sex offender may very well be justice. But attempting to try a case because of political motivations or pressure because you disagree with the defendant’s actions is certainly not silly. Expect the government to go after you with the vitriol with which they went after Kyle.

Folks, some will miss the point here. I speak with people every day who genuinely think self defense is the in-the-moment act of surviving. Imminent survival is only one part of the equation, although granted, it’s the most important. However, pre-survival is going to the range, training, role-playing, visualization, and training in medical skills, to name a few. Consider post-survival skills and their role. The pre-survival training in medical skills might come in handy if you are injured and need to apply those skills for yourself or a loved one. I routinely carry a small medkit and have it with me or access it within a few seconds. It contains what I need to increase survivability in case I am shot or stabbed. It is for me, although I can use it for my partner if required. I would suggest you do the same.

Post-survival skills may also be needed months and even years after the incident. PTSD, emotional, psychological, and physical issues may continue for years. They not only affect the survivor but also their spouse, children, friendships, and other relationships. Learn from the Rittenhouse case; prepare pre-and post- self-defense incidents. The effects of the 3-second self-defense incident will last a lifetime.

There are so many more things we can learn from Rittenhouse. These are but a few that come to mind. Please keep your emails coming and watch for more content in video blogs on the Network website. Be safe!Joslin A


At Joslin, J.D, D.M.A. is the Network’s new Legal Issues Editor. Contact him with your questions and comments at ajoslin@armedcitizensnetwork.org.

Monday, December 6, 2021

North Carolina: Pitt County Bans Lawful Carry On County Property (from NRA)



On Monday, the Pitt County Board of Commissioners voted 5-3 to pass an amendment to the county’s Law Enforcement Ordinance No. 4 to ban concealed handgun permit holders from possessing handguns in county-owned or controlled buildings. This is despite a Board member saying they surveyed county employees and found that the overwhelming majority favoured allowing concealed handguns on county property.

The reason the Board of Commissioners cited for this ban is supposed to be concern over the “increased presence of deadly weapons… on County property and about the threat that such increased presence will pose to the health, safety, and general welfare of the community.” While the county ordinance already required the County Manager to post signs at county buildings -notifying people of the gun ban from which carry permit holders were previously exempt. The amended law contains no language requiring the county to take any active measures to prevent criminals from violating the ban and entering with firearms, such as metal detectors or security guards.

This ordinance creates a so-called “gun-free zone” that only disarms law-abiding citizens and leaves them defenceless against the criminals who ignore such arbitrary boundaries.

Please stay tuned to www.nraila.org and your email inbox for further updates.

Friday, December 3, 2021

Lessons from the Case of Kyle Rittenhouse - Part 1 by Dr. Art Joslin, J.D. from Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network



Kyle Rittenhouse. Many Americans and most in the self-defence world will recognize a name that has been the subject of discussions, blog posts, articles, news, and videos around the country and around the world. On August 25, 2020, during a Kenosha, Wisconsin protest over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, Kyle Rittenhouse killed two men and wounded a third. Many in the media have called Rittenhouse a vigilante and immediately accused him of setting out to wantonly kill anyone in his path. This two-part series will attempt to parse the facts of what happened that night and perhaps bring some clarity to a confusing situation. Opinions vary, and this one is mine.

Ultimately, my opinion, and the opinions of scores of writers and columnists, do not matter. The final verdict (the trial is set to begin November 1) will be determined by a group of citizens called the trier of fact, otherwise known as the jury.

Unrest and protests occurred in Kenosha over the shooting of Blake, a black man, by police. The officers were white. He was shot seven times by police as a neighbour caught much of the incident on video. Blake survived but is permanently paralyzed. Racially-charged protests ensued. Kyle Rittenhouse, then a 17-year-old, travelled from Illinois to Kenosha in response to a call from local militia, intending to protect area businesses and residences from looting and destruction during the riotous protests. It was during this riot that Rittenhouse shot and killed two men, Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and wounded a third, Gaige Grosskreutz. But was Rittenhouse acting as a vigilante, as many have claimed? Or did he act in self-defence? Many naysayers have been quick to label Rittenhouse a murderer without fully understanding the law and without the ability to apply it correctly.

In Wisconsin, as in most jurisdictions, you may use deadly force against another when you reasonably believe that another person intends to do great bodily harm or cause the death of you or another person. However, you may use only a level of force that is proportionate to the power being used against you. For example, if someone intends or is attempting to use an object against you that could cause your death or great bodily harm, you are authorized, under law, to use any level of force, up to and including deadly force, to stop that threat. Next, you cannot provoke or incite the attack to claim self-defence. In other words, if you are the initial aggressor or the one who starts the fight, your claim of self-defence will most likely fail. Like many jurisdictions, if you are the initial aggressor, you must make every reasonable attempt to avoid using deadly force by attempting to run, escape, avoid the attack, or prevent the attack, before resorting to using deadly force, and even announce to the other party that you are done fighting, and don’t want to fight anymore to regain your innocence.

Video retrieved from that night shows Joseph Rosenbaum chasing Rittenhouse into a used car lot amid the riotous environment. Authorities say it shows Rosenbaum throwing an object (later determined to be some type of plastic bag) at Rittenhouse, and an attempt was made by Rosenbaum to take Rittenhouse’s rifle away from him. Rittenhouse fired his AR-15-style rifle at Rosenbaum, killing him. When someone other than law enforcement attempts to disarm a loaded weapon from your person, can you assume they intend to use it against you? This can be a difficult question to answer. It depends on several factors that might be in play. In law enforcement training, when a subject attempts to disarm a police officer of their weapon, deadly force is authorized. It is presumed that the subject’s only reason for disarming the officer is to use that weapon against them. Can we make the same presumption when a civilian attempts to disarm another civilian? Perhaps, we can. However, it may come down to what you reasonably perceived, at the moment, in the totality of the circumstances and whether you can articulate the reasonableness of a deadly force threat. Rittenhouse, and others in the self-defence world, contend that Rosenbaum threw the plastic bag at Rittenhouse in an attempt to distract him, intending to disarm him. 

Following the first shooting, Rittenhouse appears to be running toward police and away from an angry mob chasing after him when he trips and falls in the street. The video clearly shows a mob of protesters; I counted at least eight to ten, chasing him down the road. At one point, a protester appears to kick Rittenhouse in the head when he is down on the ground. Tripping and falling to the ground, Rittenhouse was in a position of disadvantage, with what appeared to be multiple attackers quickly gaining on him. Can Rittenhouse reasonably believe that he is about to be attacked by various people? One of them kicked him in the head; what would the others do? Taking a blow to the head while in a position of disadvantage, with multiple people about to jump on you, can certainly cause a person to reasonably believe this attack can lead to death or great bodily harm. 

At this point, Anthony Huber appears to stumble over Rittenhouse as he hits Rittenhouse with the end of a skateboard. He is shot as he grabs the barrel of Rittenhouse’s gun. A skateboard is a large, solid wood object with four hardened wheels and is not intended to be used as a deadly weapon. However, using any object as a weapon that can cause death or great bodily harm is considered deadly force. Was it reasonable for Rittenhouse to believe he would be struck again or that the ensuing mob would overpower him with each rioter taking turns raining blows down on him? Rittenhouse has at least four attackers within lunging distance of him and his rifle. Almost immediately, Gaige Grosskreutz approaches within about two feet from Rittenhouse with what appears to be a handgun. Rittenhouse shoots Grosskreutz wounding him in the arm. 

In the totality of the circumstances, would Rittenhouse’s actions stack up to the elements of self-defence?

The five elements of self-defence that have been identified by Attorney Andrew Branca in his book, Law of Self Defense (https://lawofselfdefense.com/shop-losd/), are Imminence, Innocence, Proportionality, Avoidance, and Reasonableness.

These elements of self-defence can be found, for the State of Wisconsin, in WI Stat §939.48 (2014), Self-defense and defence of others. 

It states, in part: 

A person is privileged to threaten or intentionally use force against another to prevent or terminate what the person reasonably (Reasonableness) believes to be an unlawful interference with their person by such other person (Avoidance, or no statutory duty to retreat. See State v Wenger). The actor may intentionally use only such force or threat thereof as the actor reasonably (Reasonableness) believes is necessary (Proportionality) to prevent or terminate the interference. The actor may not intentionally use force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm unless the actor reasonably (Reasonableness) believes that such power is necessary to prevent imminent (Imminence) death or significant physical injury to themselves.

Imminence can be defined as where in time does the threat fall? Imminent means it is happening right now; it isn’t happening five minutes from now, and two minutes ago is too late. The danger must be happening right now, in an instant, and requires your immediate action.

Innocence is defined as who started the fight. You can’t start a war, escalate it to the point the other party draws a weapon, and then innocently use deadly force, claiming they drew first. It doesn’t work that way. Regaining innocence, in many jurisdictions, means you must announce to the adverse party your intention to stop fighting. Furthermore, some additional action would be appropriate such as a retreat, running away, or moving to a position of safety. If, after regaining your innocence, your adversary pursues you, they may be considered the initial aggressor, and you may use the appropriate level of force allowed under the law. 

Proportionality simply means you can use only that level of force necessary to stop the force being used against you. Someone grabs your purse; you can generally grab it back. However, if the force that can cause death or great bodily harm is used against you, you may use deadly force to stop that threat. I want to insert a note here: in the WI statute, the term “unlawful interference” is used. Please don’t take this out of context. Unlawful interference could be unwanted touching. However, this would not be a deadly force threat. Read the following sentence of the statute. “The actor may intentionally use only such force or threat thereof as the actor reasonably believes is necessary to prevent or terminate the interference.” So perhaps using only enough force to remove the hand of the person touching you would be warranted.

Avoidance is the duty to retreat. In a few jurisdictions, you must make an attempt to flee to a position of safety before deadly force is allowed. Michigan, my home state, is more of a hybrid duty-to-retreat state. In other words, a person does not have to retreat as long as they meet some aspects of the law. However, Michigan has a jury instruction that allows the jury to use the fact an actor did not retreat, when they could have (or should have), in their verdict decision if they determine the actor was culpable at some level. Typically, no duty to retreat hinges on two primary factors; the actor is not in the commission of a crime and is in a place they have the legal right to occupy.

Throughout this writing, I’ve used the term reasonableness. Reasonableness is simply looking at all elements, in the totality of the circumstances, and applying the standard of the average person, in the same set of circumstances, with similar general knowledge and life experiences, to the facts at hand. Each element must be present; reasonableness is the umbrella that covers the other four. Keep in mind, in an actual case of self-defence, you (your defence team) must prove all five elements to acquit; the government must disprove only one to convict.

As you open this online journal, the Rittenhouse trial should be at its inception. The trial is scheduled to start on November 1 (whether or not the trial goes as planned, I will report back in the next issue). The burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt; this burden falls on the prosecutor. He must disprove self-defence by that standard. However, the defence has the responsibility of production and must produce some type of evidence at some level above zero to show self-defence. The old standard was the reason must prove self-defence by a preponderance of the evidence. This is no longer the case as the last holdout state, Ohio, changed its statute. This went away in all 50 states on March 19, 2019. You may still see a preponderance of the evidence used but most likely in a self-defence immunity hearing. If immunity is not granted, then the case can go to trial. If an exemption is granted, matter over. A recent Louisiana appellate case cited preponderance of the evidence, but it was a non-homicide case, and it appears the defendant was the initial aggressor.

4 levels of crisis sheltering (and when to use each) (from Jason Hanson spybriefing.com)


When it comes to a major crisis, whether it be the collapse of the dollar or a wildfire barreling toward your home…

There are 4 different types of sheltering that you need to rely on when things get terrible.

The first type is obviously, your home.

If possible, you always want to shelter-in-place.

Your home already has a bunch of supplies, and you’ve already got a roof over your head, so no need to leave if you can help it.

But sometimes you don’t have a choice…

Perhaps a dangerous mob is coming towards your home, or maybe there’s a natural disaster that you need to flee from.

This is where the second type of sheltering comes into play, and it’s simply your vehicle.

Back in college, I remember sleeping in my car a time or two…

Not because I was homeless or anything like that. But because we would drive to the beach and sometimes be too cheap to get a hotel, so we’d sleep in the car.

A vehicle, while not roomy, still provides a good roof over your head.

And, if you’ve got a vehicle survival kit like this one, you can live in your vehicle for several days if needed.

The third type of crisis sheltering is your bug out location.

Ideally, you’d drive your car straight to your bug out location and be able to hunker down in safety for as long as you needed to.

My bug out location is within 2 hours of my house and will provide a good shelter for my family as long as we need it.

The fourth type of crisis sheltering is a high-quality tent.

Let’s assume a worst-case scenario…

You’ve had to flee your house, your car broke down, and it wasn’t safe to sleep in your vehicle where you’re at.

This is when you’d go for the tent.  

I have a large canvas tent that my entire family can fit in, all 8 of us.

Keep in mind, this tent is not lightweight, so you won’t be trekking long with it, or you’ll need a (collapsible) wagon to pull it in.

Remember, when it comes to survival, a good shelter is one of the most critical factors determining how long you’re going to make it.

So, make sure you’ve got several different shelter options and that you can keep them warm since the temperature is dropping fast in many parts of the country.