October 20, 2019

Florida Gun Bill Stalls

Florida was just beginning the debate in the House of Representatives, when it became clear that the Republican controlled House was all over the board on House Bill 129. HB129 if passed, would force business owners to allow its employees to have guns in their cars while parked on business property.

The business owners in Florida mounted a strong defense for their right to control their property rights. They say passage of this bill would seriously jeopardize the safety of its employees and their own business.

The NRA is supporting the bill that was sponsored by Dennis Baxley (R) Ocala. They cite personal safety and 2nd Amendment issues as reasons for passage of the bill. They say that people going to and leaving the workplace have a right to protect themselves.

As the debate began to heat up, it became clear that the Republicans were split in which side to take. The Republican controlled House has historically sided with Florida business and gun rights issues.

After a few feeble attempts at discussing compromises, it was decided to table the bill and go to work behind the scenes to work out some compromises. It was obvious nobody at this point in time wanted to force the Republicans to take a side.

The NRA’s argument about business being able to tell its employees what they can bring to work in their cars, is simply big business controlling the personal lives of its workers. I agree to a point. The representatives of the business lobby fighting this bill say that if this passes and employees are allowed to bring their guns to work and keep them in their cars, it is a major violation of that businesses private property rights. Isn’t that stance hypocritcal? If that is a clear violation of their property rights, isn’t prohibiting things in a person’s automobile also a clear violation of personal property rights?

This is a complicated issue. Does one right trump another? If an employer can dictate to its employees that they can’t bring a gun to work in their car, what else can they then dictate? Does the business owner have the right to inspect every car upon entry to the parking lot?

These are all good questions and I don’t know who will answer them. Ultimately, I believe it will be decided in the courts and I don’t even like the thoughts of how our judges will view this issue.

Tom Remington


Why Can't People Mind Their Own Business?

The Virginia Legislature killed a bill that would stop doctors from asking their patients about guns in the home. Doctors say they talk with their patients about many things, especially children, when it comes to the overall safety, health and well being. They discuss locking the medicine cabinet, wearing a helmet while riding on a bicycle and whether they have access to guns.

Those who oppose doctors asking these questions say it is an infringement on their privacy.

First of all, who cares? I am my own self. I choose who I go see for a doctor. If I don’t like the doctor asking what I might consider private issue questions, I’ll not give him the answers. If it becomes a problem beyond that, there are more doctors to choose from. If my children are seeing a doctor, as a parent, I will always be with the doctor and my child. The same rules quoted above will apply.
I am not a doctor and therefore I can’t come up with any real good reasons why I would be asking anybody whether they had access to guns, unless they were an extreme mental case. The same applys with wearing helmets or locking the medicine cabinet. Is that somewhere in the hippocratic oath that doctors swear to ask personal probing questions that really don’t pertain to the administration of medicine?

In Virginia, the bill began because someone thought doctors shouldn’t be allowed to ask these questions. As I said before, if you don’t like it move on. Too many Americans are caught up in running everybody else’s lives – including doctors.

Thankfully, the Virginia Legislature saw fit to kill this ridiculous bill. People need to be assertive and take control of their own healthcare issues and doctors should mind their own business. We should all stop trying to make laws forcing people to do things simply because we don’t like them.

Chalk up a victory for the Virginia Legislature.

Tom Remington


The Gun Nut From Field and Stream

David E. PetzalFor us gun nuts, David E. Petzal who has been writing for Field and Stream for 30 years has a new blog. It is called The Gun Nut, and rightfully so!

He has tons and tons of stuff to say about guns, shooting, new gear, and hunting. Looks as though he has been updating it each day. Go check it out…

They describe his blog simply as the  “Rantings and ravings from Field and Stream’s David E. Petzal”

Steven Remington


The 28-Gauge Shotgun

Vice President Dick Cheney was hunting with a Perazzi Brescia, Italian made 28 gauge shotgun. The affidavits from the Kenedy County Sheriff’s Office does not say what size shell or number of load he was using. My guess would have been a #7 1/2 or #8. Depending on the brand of shell, or perhaps he was firing reloads, the shell probably was a 2 3/4 inch shell. Ammo is limited for 28 gauge. Approximate muzzle velocity would have been around 1200-1300 fps and the number of pellets, again depending on make and size, could have been roughly between 250 and 300.

People have wondered what kind of damage could really have been done at 90 feet away. The article below says that the 28 gauge with a #9 load gives a good enough pattern density to break a clay target at reasonable distances.

Not trying to play this down any but, considering the muzzle velocity, the size of the load and the distance, it probably hurt like hell and obviously there was enough velocity for at least one pellet to penetrate Mr. Whittingtons skin and get somewhere near his heart.

Being that Mr. Whittington is 78 years old, the bruising visible on his face and neck today when departing the hospital, could have been expected. Had he taken the brunt of the load in his legs, most of the pellets probably would not have penetrated his clothing.

The reason I mention the lower body is the Mr. Cheney stated in his affidavit that Mr. Whittington was standing in a low area and had he been on the same level as the VP when he shot, he would have hit him in the lower part of the body not the upper.

These observations I am sharing are only that. I am not an expert and I realize that under certain conditions, most anything could happen. I am only making an attempt to help people who have been asking, to better understand how seriously Mr. Whittington was injured.

Below is an article I retrieved from Chuck Hawks web site about shotguns and loads. This may be of help to anyone looking for a better understanding of Mr. Cheney’s weapon, etc.

The 28 Gauge: The Little Shell That Could

By Chuck Hawks

The highly respected American firm of Parker Bros. introduced the 28 gauge back in 1903. The nominal bore diameter of the 28 gauge is .550 inch; not much compared to the .729 bore of a 12 gauge. But, perhaps surprisingly, it has proven to be quite effective on both upland game and clay targets.

The small bore skeet class, for which the 28 gauge is legal, has played a major role in keeping the 28 alive for the past century. In recent years the little gauge has become increasingly popular with upland hunters, who appreciate the 28 gauge gun’s light weight and fast handling characteristics.

28 gauge guns typically have light recoil, pattern well, and point like a dream. They are lightweight, easy to handle guns. They are far more effective than their small bore might suggest, patterning much like a 20 gauge. The selection of guns made in 28 gauge is somewhat limited. Perhaps the most common 28 gauge guns in North America are the Browning BPS and Remington 870 pump shotguns. Browning, Charles Daly, Ruger, and Weatherby O/U field guns are also available in 28 gauge, and while certainly not inexpensive they are more affordable than most 28 gauge doubles. For the shooter of means, most of the bespoke side by side doubles can be ordered in 28 gauge.

All 28 gauge shells are 2 3/4 inches in length. The selection of shot shells in 28 gauge is pretty limited, and all are loaded with lead shot. I will cover them individually below. Price can also be a problem, as 28 gauge shells are not widely distributed and are seldom found in discount stores. Most fans of the 28 probably reload the bulk of their ammunition.

The 28 is not the gauge for large size shot, as a limited number of pellets can be accommodated in the standard 3/4 ounce load. Like the .410, the 28 is probably at its best with #7 1/2, 8, and 9 size shot. #7 1/2 is probably a pretty good compromise for shooting most upland game and #9 gives the pattern density to break clay targets at reasonable ranges.

For years Federal offered a 1 ounce magnum load in 28 gauge. I have not seen it listed in recent Federal catalogs, but it has been picked-up by Winchester in the form of a Super-X High Brass load with a muzzle velocity (MV) of 1205 fps. Shot sizes are 6, 7 1/2, and 8. The one ounce load allows efficient use of shot as large as #6, which number 225 to the ounce. Winchester offers no other 28 gauge hunting load.

Remington also offers exactly one hunting load in 28 gauge. This is a high brass Express Extra Long Range load with 3/4 ounce of #6 or #7 1/2 shot at a MV of 1295 fps. There are 262 #7 1/2 shot in a 3/4 ounce load, but only 169 #6 pellets.

Federal’s single 28 gauge offering for the hunter is a Premier high brass 3/4 ounce load at a MV of 1295 fps. Shot sizes 6, 7 1/2, and 8 are the choices. There are 307 #8 shot in a 3/4 ounce load, which makes for pleasantly dense patterns.

The most common 28 gauge shell is the target load, available from all three of the big ammo companies at a MV of 1200-1230 fps. These are skeet or sporting clays loads containing 3/4 ounce of #8, 8 1/2, or 9 shot. Size 8 and 9 shot are offered by Remington and Winchester; Federal offers 8 1/2 and 9. The somewhat unusual #8 1/2 size shot has a pellet count of 373 in a 3/4 ounce load.

There is no law against using #8 target loads on the smaller species of upland birds at moderate range, where they have proven quite effective. Target loads have the singular virtue of reduced recoil compared to the higher velocity hunting loads. The 3/4 ounce target load at 1200 fps generates 12.8 ft. lbs. of recoil according to my Shotgun Recoil Table.

The 28 gauge is the little shell that could. It can dominate small bore skeet, it’s effective on upland birds, and it makes a light yet low recoiling gun for beginner or expert alike. All it lacks is the public acceptance that would bring with it a larger assortment of guns and ammunition at reasonable prices, and that may be coming.

Tom Remington


The Anatomy of a Hunting Ignorant Politician

I have brought you several stories here about the state of Wisconsin’s attempt to pass a bill that will lower the minimum age to hunt from 12 years to 8. I am not going to debate this issue. What I am going to do is debate the stupidity of politicians who open their mouths on issues they know absolutely nothing about as well as display their overall ignorance in general.

Pat Kreitlow, a former news anchor at WEAU-13 TV in Wisconsin, is running for the 23rd District Senate seat in November. He has opened his mouth and revealed his true colors on the issue of lowering the hunting age. I will share some of his comments with you.

These quotes come from an article written by Jeremy A. Jenson in the Chetek Alert.

Kreitlow says that citizens of Wisconsin need to ask bigger questions. And what is this BIGGER question?

“It’s not that the issue is good or bad; in my mind, it’s a matter of priorities,” says Kreitlow. “Instead of tackling tough issues that impact everyone – education, property taxes, campaign reform, the health care crisis – they’re talking about stuff like this.”

Well said! NOT! Gobbledy Gook from a politician who has no direction and to make matters worse, he has done something probably an eighth grader would have learned while campaigning for student council. He refers to debate on lowering the hunting age “stuff like this”. Oooh!

“We need to talk about the issues that are going to impact real people in their everyday lives,” says Kreitlow.

Yikes! Strike two. Real people? Oh, man! The father who strongly knows his 10 year old can and should be with him in the woods, isn’t a real person? My guess is Mr. Kreitlow never walked in the woods, say nothing about hunted. Hunting heritage is huge in Wisconsin and other states. Sorry, Mr. Kreitlow, this bill impacts a lot of real people in Wisconsin. Are you sure you want to be a Senator from Wisconsin?

But he gives it another shot. Afterall, he’s got one more strike but he may not get another at bat in this ballgame. He says there is no consistency – I think refering to state government in passing laws. Read this.

“It’s ironic, really, that the very same week they’re taking up the bill about requiring booster seats for children until their 8 years old, they’re also talking about lowering the hunting age to eight,” says Kreitlow. “What they’re saying is that in order to be safe, a child has to stay in a booster seat until they are 8 years old, and then we’re going to turn around and send them into the woods with a loaded gun. Where’s the consistency there?”

If all of Wisconsin was that stupid, I would have to agree. I happen to know one person from Wisconsin and I think they are smart enough to know not to vote for Kreitlow. There is quite a bit of difference between riding in a car and going hunting with dad. I’ll go hunting with anybody’s dad before I’d ride in a car with my dad – much safer.

Of course Kreitlow’s true colors come shining through loud and clear when he inflames his statement with rhetoric saying that this bill would send an 8-year old kid into the woods with a loaded rifle.

It is obvious Mr. Kreitlow is one of those who doesn’t think his constituancy is smart enough to raise their kids the way they see fit. He doesn’t understand the real people of Wisconsin and he is sending the message to his voters that unless he has an issue that he feels strongly about, it is not worth pursuing.

My point is this. Hunting, fishing, trapping and all related matters, are all very important, high impacting issues in Wisconsin. Unless Mr. Kreitlow’s Senate District seat doesn’t go beyond the bounds of the steel city, he doesn’t have a chance in hell at getting elected.

Tom Remington

*update* As soon as I finished this piece, I realized that the same newspaper that wrote the article also has an editorial supporting Kreitlow’s point of view along with a few other inflammatory comments.


Utah Bill to Carry Loaded Gun in Car on Hold

A Bill in the Utah State Legislation that would allow anyone over the age of 18 to carry a loaded gun in their car, has been put on hold only after the Bill was nearly killed. Currently, it is lawful to carry a gun in your car but it has to be unloaded and cannot be concealed. The new law would allow the gun to be loaded and either encased or on the car seat.

Surrounding states allow for loaded weapons but there was emotional and inflammatory comments that have played a part in slowing this Bill up. Some of the negative comments have come from businesses claiming they have the right to keep a safe workplace and from the inflammatory rhetoric we always hear about gun possessors going mad and killing anything in sight.

Some lawmakers had some concern about the age factor but didn’t seem too concerned about dangerous weapons and crime rate. This Bill may proceed slowly in the next few weeks.

Tom Remington


Who Has a Right to Know Who's Carrying?

In South Dakota, HB1199, if passed, will ensure that anyone who has applied for or who owns a permit to carry a concealed weapon, will not be available to the public. In what is being described as a privacy issue, supporters of the new Bill say that it is legal to own guns and it is legal, through lawful permitting, to carry a hidden gun and it shouldn’t be information that is necessary for the public to know. Many feel those wanting to know who has a permit, want to know so they can harrass permit holders or applicants.

Opponents of the Bill claim that they have a right to know and that withholding the information also will infringe on their 1st Amendment right to free speech. These people want to be able to publish lists of names of people possessing permits. Of course, I haven’t stretched my weak mind far enough to be able to see how this is an infringement on free speech.

The Bill was embraced by the Senate Judiciary Committee and now goes before the full Senate. At present, those in the process of applying for a concealed weapons permit, are added to a list that is public. The new Bill would make that list private as well as permit holders.

Tom Remington


Wisconsin's Right To Carry Will Be Decided on Tuesday

A bill that was approved to allow citizens to carry concealed weapons in public places in Wisconsin, was sent on to Governor Jim Doyle’s desk for signing and he quickly vetoed it. The Wisconsin Senate put together a successful attempt to override the Governor’s veto in a vote of 23-10. The bill goes back to the general Assembly where an override vote will be taken on Tuesday. Many feel the Assembly has enough votes to complete the override.

Wisconsin is one of only a handful of states that have any kind of gun carrying legislation. Proponents are anxious to get the bill passed and opponents still, in my opinion, can’t come up with any good reason not to allow weapons carry.

State Assembly Assistant Minority Leader Jon Richards (D) Milwaukee, presented a report compiled by his staff called, “Not Welcome in Wisconsin: An Analysis of Concealed Carry Legislation”. The report is an attempt to disspell what they consider dangerous myths about guns and gun carrying but according to the NRA in an article in the Green Bay Press Gazette:

“the same old, tired misinformation from lobbying organizations that oppose an individual’s right to self-defense.”

David Hemenway, a professor of health policy at Harvard University and author of, “Private Guns Public Health” had some things to add to the argument.

….says much of the pro-gun lobby has based its arguments on research published in the 1990s that has since been found to have “serious reporting errors” and miscoding in its data analysis.

He cited a report by the National Research Council released last year in which a panel of scientists found no causal link between concealed-carry laws and crime rates.

In a telephone interview Friday, Hemenway said about right-to-carry laws, “You can definitely say that there is no good evidence that it has reduced crime.”

We all know that statistic can be manipulated to show whatever results we want it to show. Hemenway says there is no good evidence that having right-to-carry laws has reduced crime. Is there also no good evidence to show that crime hasn’t increased? Is there bad evidence that shows either up or down changes in crime?

As always, those opposed to gun ownership generally come from one or both of two areas – fear of something they know nothing about and their anger toward someone doing something they don’t like. But then you get politicians adding their lame reasons why Wisconsin shouldn’t have this bill passed.

Representative Thomas Nelson (D) Kaukauna had this brilliant response.

“I think the bottom line with this issue is this is a bill that’s going to do nothing to make health care more affordable, it’s going to do nothing to create jobs and it’s going to do nothing to make home heating costs more affordable.”

Where would we be if the majority of our policy makers approached their jobs with this kind of thinking? There are many bills that passed through the houses of politicians that have litte effect on many things. Is that reason enough not to pass them?

And of course citizens added their same old, same old into the mix. This response was made known via the Internet.

“I totally disagree with this proposal because even though you may have to go through training to get your permit to carry a weapon, training doesn’t mean that you’re not going to snap one day just because you had training,” said Kevin Spice of Green Bay, who cited the example of Chai Vang, a trained National Guard sharpshooter who was convicted last year of killing six deer hunters in Northern Wisconsin.

That’s true and I could make just as ingnorant a statement by applying that same logic to driving an automobile, flying a plane, or working in the Post Office.

Now more than ever, Americans are able to better understand why it is important for them to defend and protect themselves. Carrying deters criminals and provides individuals the ability to protect themselves when seriously threatened. Lawful, educated gun owners are not criminals. They do not use their guns to rob banks and kill innocent people. They simply want to protect and defend themselves, their families and their property and they should not have that right taken away from them by a small minority of scared people.

Tom Remington


S. Dakota Bill Will Clarify Deadly Force

A bill to actually clarify existing law, cleared the South Dakota House Judiciary Committe in a vote of 10-2 in favor. The bill defines that people can stand up and protect themselves without having to run away.

A 1998 decision by the South Dakota Supreme Court stated that people don’t need to run the other way when faced with serious injury or death and had the right to use deadly force. This bill would clarify that ruling.

Tom Remington


Attack the Facts Not the Innocent

Two states this morning, Montana and Delaware, are reporting that hunting licenses are being sold to convicted felons. There are people in both states that are angry and upset that this is happening. The problem is they don’t understand the laws or the sport and refuse to face facts.

Montana has turned up some 660 licenses known to have been sold to convicted felons but in their still on going investigation, the vast majority of them are hunting with bow and arrow. The rest they are working with parole officers in determining if violations of parole or probation has occured and remedying the problem.
In Delaware, a felon who was hunting, discharged his firearm, which of course is illegal for him to possess, and the bullet went through the windshield of a passing motorist stiking him in the head injuring him. The victim is sueing everybody, including his own mother (not really, I’m making a point.

First let’s clarify the law and then we’ll discuss the lawsuit. It is unlawful for a felon, to be in possession of a firearm. But in nearly every state and it may be all of them, it is not illegal for a convicted felon to purchase and hunting license. Why? Many felons take up hunting with bow and arrow and that is perfectly legal. Also, nearly every state has no means to check whether the person they are selling a license to is a felon. If they did, it is still legal to sell them a hunting license. That is why they don’t.
If the citizens of this country want to change the laws so that convicted felons can’t hunt, then they should persue that endeavor. Personally, I think it’s a stupid idea and would solve nothing. I can guarantee that the felon in Delaware who was out hunting would be out hunting whether or not there was a law. That’s what criminals do.
So, on to the lawsuit. Anthony Higgins was the gentleman I spoke of who became the victim of an errant bullet supposedly fired from the rifle of a convicted felon possessing a valid hunting license.

The felon, Benjamin Walls III, 37, has a string of felony convictions on his resume. Here’s what an article in Delaware Online had to say about who Higgins was sueing.

Higgins, who narrowly escaped death, is suing Walls and other members of the hunting party, as well as the plumbing supply store that sold Walls a hunting license despite his failure to present proof of required hunter education training.

As part of the initial lawsuit, Higgins was also naming the owners of the land Walls was hunting on.

In an August ruling dismissing the owners of the land upon which Walls and his companions were hunting as defendants in the lawsuit

The judge who heard that part of the case and dismissed the land owners went on to say that it was against the law for Walls to buy a hunting license.

Superior Court Judge Joseph Slights wrote that “the parties appear to agree that Walls was ineligible for licensure because he was a convicted felon.”

What? The judge ruling in this case doesn’t know the law? Holy cow! The lawyer representing Higgins, Richard Diliberto, said that –

…that’s not the law. Nothing in the Delaware code prohibits Walls or any other felon from getting a hunting license.

That was confirmed also by James Graybeal, director of enforcement for the Division of Fish and Wildlife.

“In Delaware, it’s not illegal for you to buy a license because you’re a felon,” said James Graybeal, director of enforcement for the Division of Fish and Wildlife. “The breaking of the law comes when you are carrying a firearm when hunting, because that’s against the law.”

“Some of the police agencies, they can’t understand why we sell a license to a felon, and I try to make them understand that we don’t have the technological infrastructure set up to not allow it,”

Unless the laws are going to be changed to include the loss of being able to buy a hunting license, then the only recourse is to enforce the laws that already exist to stop felons from having a gun.

People and lawyers need to stop attacking the Fish and Wildlife Departments for not being able to control convicted felons. If the states want those issuing licenses to have all the necessary technology to run background checks on everyone who wants to buy a license, they need to be able to cough up the money to do it and not expect the hunters to foot the bill by paying higher license fees.

I’m sure none of us have heard the last of this. If this in any way can be used by the anti-hunting, anti-gun crowd to further demand taking our guns away, they will.

Tom Remington