HB209: Horrible Bill Must be Killed

On Tuesday, April 12, Rep. Landry voluntarily deferred her HORRIBLE bill because we had so much opposition at the hearing. The bill is being brought back in front of the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice on Tuesday, April 19 in Committee Room 6 starting at 9:30 AM.
Please. TODAY, send an email (see below).
If you can come to the hearing, your presence in the room will have a huge impact on the committee members. We need bodies in the room! When you arrive in the room, ask the security guard for a red card. Complete the red card in opposition to HB209 and hand it back to the guard.
HB209 by Rep. Mandle Landry (Dem., New Orleans) This is an absolutely HORRIBLE bill and must be killed. This bill is designed to remove the preemption protections under current laws. It would allow the 367 local governing entities throughout the state to make their own firearms laws. A law abiding citizen could easily violate a law simply by driving his or her car across a municipality border without an intent to do so. This law is an awful idea!
Right now, but absolutely no later than Monday, Aoril 18 by Noon send this email to h-acrj@legis.la.gov and also to weinmans@legis.la.gov
Subject: Opposition to HB209
Dear Mr. Committee Member,
I STRONGLY OPPOSE HB209. Under current law, the governing authority of a political subdivision is prohibited from enacting any ordinance or regulation more restrictive than state law concerning in any way the sale, purchase, possession, ownership, transfer, transportation, license, or registration of firearms, ammunition, or components of firearms or ammunition. The proposed law would change this and allow a patchwork of laws throughout the state. A law abiding citizen could easily violate the law by simply crossing a border into a different municipality. This is a horrible idea. Please join me in opposing this bill.
Sincerely,
[Insert your name]
[Insert your mailing address]
If you have time to call the members of the committee, please do. BE POLITE! State your opposition and tell them why. Ask them if they will oppose HB209 at the hearing.
Bacala, Tony District 59 R  Email (225) 677-8020
Bryant, Marcus Anthony District 96 D Email (337) 373-9380
Fontenot, Bryan District 55 R Email (985) 447-0999
Garofalo, Raymond E. District 103 R Email (504) 277-4729
Goudeau, I, Jonathan District 31 R Email (337) 347-7077
Marcelle, C. Denise District 61 D Email (225) 359-9362
Marino, III, Joseph A. District 85 I  Email  (504) 361-6013
McCormick, Danny District 1 R Email (318) 995-8040
McKnight, Scott District 68 R Email (225) 465-5703
Muscarello, Nicholas District 86 R Email (985) 974-0009
Nelson, Richard District 89 R Email (985) 222-2638
Seabaugh, Alan District 5 R Email (318) 676-7990
Villio, Debbie District 79 R Email (504) 468-8603

“Gun Day” at House and Senate Committees: April 12, 2022

“Gun Day” at House and Senate Committees
Tuesday, April 12, 2022
ACTION REQUIRED!
On Tuesday, April 12, 2022:
The House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice will hear 11 bills that have important Louisiana Second Amendment implications. The House Committee hearings will be in Committee Room 6 starting at 10:00 AM.
The Senate Judiciary C Committee will hear 1 bill that has important Louisiana Second Amendment implications. The Senate Committee hearing will start at 9:30 AM.
When you arrive in the room, ask the security guard for green cards and red cards. Complete them and hand them back to the guard. The LSA has taken a position on 10 of the 12 bills.
If you can attend this meeting, please fill out Green Cards to Support HB37, HB43, HB464, HB483, HB868, and HB897 and Red Cards to Oppose HB101, HB209, HB949 and SB327.
You do not have to speak to make your position known. In many cases, it’s best to let the professionals do the speaking for you!
Whether you attend or not, please send the following emails today!
HB464 by Rep. Seabaugh This is an extremely important bill. It provides additional due process protections to people accused of Domestic Violence in a civil proceeding and raises the burden of proof. There are too many cases of false claims being made for leverage in divorce cases where a person can lose their Second Amendment Rights and have their firearms confiscated without due process.
Right now, but absolutely no later than Monday, Aoril 11 by Noon send this email to h-acrj@legis.la.gov:
Dear Mr. Chairman,
I SUPPORT HB464. Under current law, a person can lose their Civil Right protected under the Second Amendment by simply presenting a credible threat. This is a very low threshold for one to lose a Right guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. The proposed law would increase the standard to one of clear and convincing evidence. I appreciate your support.
Sincerely,
[Insert your name]
[Insert your mailing address]
HB209 by Rep. Landry This is an absolutely HORRIBLE bill and must be killed. This bill is designed to remove the preemption protections under current laws. It would allow the 367 local governing entities throughout the state to make their own firearms laws. A law abiding citizen could easily violate a law simply by driving his or her car across a municipality border without an intent to do so. This law is an awful idea!
Right now, but absolutely no later than Monday, Aoril 11 by Noon send this email to h-acrj@legis.la.gov:
Dear Mr. Chairman,
I STRONGLY OPPOSE HB209. Under current law, the governing authority of a political subdivision is prohibited from enacting any ordinance or regulation more restrictive than state law concerning in any way the sale, purchase, possession, ownership, transfer, transportation, license, or registration of firearms, ammunition, or components of firearms or ammunition. The proposed law would change this and allow a patchwork of laws throughout the state. A law abiding citizen could easily violate the law by simply crossing a border into a different municipality. This is a horrible idea. Please join me in opposing this bill.
Sincerely,
[Insert your name]
[Insert your mailing address]
SB327 “Red Flag Law” by Sen. Carter This bill will remove one’s Second Amendment Rights without adequate due process. The proposed law would allow a district attorney or an assistant district attorney to petition a court to seize any firearm from any person when the petitioner has probable cause to believe any of a number of situations apply. Like most “red flag” laws, the goal of the law is laudable but it falls short in failing to recognize that the Right to Bear Arms is a Civil Right guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, and there is inadequate due process to protect one’s rights. The proposed law is severely flawed.
Right now, but absolutely no later than Monday, Aoril 11 by Noon send this email to sjudc@legis.la.gov:
Dear Mr. Chairman,
I STRONGLY OPPOSE SB327. The proposed “Red Flag” law is severely flawed. The Right to Bear Arms is a Civil Right guaranteed under our Bill of Rights. This right should not be removed simply because a petitioner asks a DA or ADA to petition a court. As you no doubt can see, this proposed law could easily result in the wrongful violation of one’s Civil Rights without any due process. This is a horrible idea. Please join me in opposing this bill.
Sincerely,
[Insert your name]
[Insert your mailing address]
Additional Information on Other Bills SUPPORTED by LSA
HB37 “Constitutional Carry” Bill by Rep. McCormick A similar measure was passed by the House and Senate last year and has strong support by Louisiana citizens, despite the misinformation the Governor used last year to defend his veto of that measure. The Governor has shown that he will use any and all of his political clout to keep Constitutional Carry from happening on his watch. The LSA strongly supports this Bill and will speak on its behalf, but the reality is that this is unlikely to become law with a Democrat in the Governor’s mansion.
HB43 “Sanctuary State” Bill by Rep. Frieman Although mainly symbolic, the Federal government has recently shown a strong propensity to infringe upon the Second Amendment Rights of Louisiana Citizens. HB43 provides that a federal action infringing upon a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms shall be held invalid and of no effect in this state, regardless if enacted after Jan. 1, 2022.
HB483 by Rep. Travis Johnson would shorten the length of time for a person with a felony conviction to possess a concealed weapon or apply for a concealed handgun permit from 10 years to 5 years.
HB868 by Rep. Miguez would direct the State Police to provide a 2-hour online handgun education course at no cost to Louisiana residents. The course would be completely optional and would not be required for obtaining a concealed handgun permit.
HB897 by Rep. Charles Owen would allow members of the Armed Forces of the US stationed in Louisiana on Active or Reserve Duty to obtain a concealed handgun permit.
Additional Information on Other Bills OPPOSED by LSA
HB101 by Rep. McCormick vastly expands the definition of justifiable homicide to include for the purpose of preventing imminent destruction of property or imminent threat of tumultuous and violent conduct during a riot. While this legislation may sound acceptable to you on the surface, please consider that under Louisiana law a riot is defined as 3 or more people. So, in theory, someone could shoot and kill a person if three people are standing next to your car and threaten to scratch it. This bill has the potential for too many unintended BAD consequences.
HB949 by Rep. Phelps Under current law, a juvenile (defined as a person less than 18 years of age) may not knowingly posses a handgun on their person. The proposed law removes the requirement that the handgun be possessed on the offender’s person for the offense to apply. Under the proposed law, it would be illegal for a juvenile to be in a vehicle with a handgun, even if that juvenile does not know the handgun is in the vehicle.

 

Fifth Circuit Rules Against New Jersey in 3-D Gun Ban Case: Nationwide Implications

The Second Amendment Foundation and Defense Distributed today are celebrating a court victory in a long-running battle to allow online publication of information related to the 3D printing of firearms, thanks to a ruling by the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that returns claims against the New Jersey attorney general (NJAG) to its jurisdiction.

A district court order had wrongly severed the case against the NJAG, from a lawsuit filed by the plaintiffs, and transferring it to a federal court in New Jersey. Today’s ruling in the Fifth Circuit directs the district court in Texas to “request re-transfer from its counterpart in New Jersey.”

“It’s a huge victory for us,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “because New Jersey wanted to be severed from our legal action in their effort to prevent publication of the information by Defense Distributed, thus violating the company’s and SAF’s First Amendment rights to promote the exercise of Second Amendment rights, also there are accessories like the best jacket for carrying a concealed gun that are great for people into guns.

This effort began when anti-gun-rights attorneys general, led by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, filed suit in the Western District of Washington to enjoin the State Department from authorizing the release of Defense Distributed’s files on the internet under a settlement from a previous SAF and Defense Distributed lawsuit. That effort was an offshoot of attempts by then-New Jersey AG Gurbir Grewal and several of his peers to prevent the plaintiffs’ distribution of materials related to the 3D printing of firearms.

Writing for the majority, Circuit Judge Edith H. Jones stated, “Correctly assessed, the NJAG did not carry its burden to clearly demonstrate that transfer is clearly more appropriate than the Plaintiffs’ choice of forum. The district court erred legally and factually in virtually every aspect of this issue, and its decision, which has unnecessarily lengthened this litigation even more, represents a clear abuse of discretion for which mandamus is an appropriate remedy.”

An earlier ruling by a Fifth Circuit panel held that the NJAG is “subject to the jurisdiction of Texas courts” in this case because Defense Distributed is a Texas-based company. Today, the Fifth Circuit ruling directs the district court to:

  • Vacate its order dated April 19, 2021 that severed Defense Distributed’s claims against the NJAG and transferred them to the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey;
  • Request the District of New Jersey to return the transferred case to the Western District of Texas, Austin Division; and,
  • After return, to reconsolidate Defense Distributed’s case against the NJAG back into the case still pending against the State Department.

“This case has dragged on for years,” Gottlieb noted. “What today’s ruling clearly demonstrates is that attorneys general who violate our First and Second amendment rights will be held to answer by the courts, wherever the violations occur.

“NJAG wanted their case severed and transferred,” he added, “and now that will not happen. It’s unfortunate that justice has been delayed so long. It’s time to move forward. This is a case we fully expect to totally win.”

Louisiana Bills to Watch in 2022 Session

There are  a number of important pro- and anti-Second Amendment Bills to be considered in the 2022 Louisiana Legislative Session. Here is a list and the position taken by the LSA.

HB37 MCCORMICK This is the Constitutional Carry bill filed by Rep. McCormick last year. LSA supports this bill. It is pending in the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee.

HB43 FRIEMAN This is the 2nd Amendment Sanctuary State bill filed by Rep. Frieman last year. LSA supports this bill. It is pending in the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee.

HB101 MCCORMICK This bill is new. It changes the definition of justifiable homicide to include a homicide committed against a person threatening property damage during a riot. It is a great expansion of the justifiable homicide statute that previously has required a threat of death or great bodily harm. LSA believes that this expansion is unwarranted and will cause significant problems. LSA opposes passage of this bill. It is pending in the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee.

HB209 LANDRY This bill repeals the state preemption law and would allow governing authorities of certain parishes to adopt regulations related to firearms and ammunition more stringent than state law. This is a terrible bill that would create a patchwork of firearms regulations through which law-abiding gun owners must navigate. LSA opposes the bill. It is pending in the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee.

HB422 STEFANSKI and HB635 SCHAMERHORN These bills are identical and provide for the taking of deer by use of pre-charged pneumatic devices (Air Guns). This will bring Louisiana law into step with modern air gun technology and the laws of other states. LSA supports this bill. It is pending in the House Natural Resources Committee.

HB463 SEABAUGH This bill removes the prohibition of the concealed carrying of switchblades by law enforcement officers and concealed carry permit holders. It will treat switchblades the same as other knives. The bill has already passed the House 92-2 and is now pending in Senate Judiciary C Committee. LSA supports this bill.  

HB464 SEABAUGH This bill provides for greater due process protections for those accused of domestic violence in a civil case. It also provides for a higher burden of proof to obtain a domestic violence restraining order that denies the right to keep and bear arms. This bill is designed to prevent abuse of restraining orders in civil cases because these orders have the same result with respect to firearms rights as a criminal conviction. LSA supports this bill. It is pending in the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee.

HB483 TRAVIS JOHNSON  Shortens the time period for the restoration of gun rights of eligible convicted felons from 10 years to 5 years. LSA supports this bill. It is pending in the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee.

HB585 FREEMAN This bill provides for reporting certain firearm data to the La. Commission on Law Enforcement. LSA opposes this bill. It is pending in the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee.

SB287 BERNARD This bill provides for lifetime concealed handgun permits and reduces the permit fee. While this bill may sound good, it is problematic as it will adversely affect the reciprocity with other states and the ability to use a CHP to purchase a firearm. LSA opposes the bill. It is pending in the Senate Judiciary C Committee.

SB327 GARY CARTER This bill provides for the seizure of firearms from persons who pose a risk of imminent injury to self or others. This is a so called “Red Flag” bill. It has issues concerning due process and is unnecessary because existing law provides sufficient protection. LSA opposes the bill. It is pending in the Senate Judiciary C Committee.

Lessons of the Rittenhouse Trial

By Everett Baudean, Esq.

Now that it has been a few months since the verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, I have had time to both collect my thoughts and to discuss the trial ad nauseum with friends and colleagues. I even had the luxury of teaching a self-defense law seminar for US Law Shield the night before the verdict was released, and a week before that I taught one while the trial was ongoing. There was no shortage of relevant points to be made about the facts of the case and how they fit in with the law. Even though I’m not a Wisconsin lawyer, many of the legal elements are virtually the same, and having a nationally-televised trial to refer to was very helpful in explaining how things may play out in real life.

Entire books could certainly be written about this trial. It was a long one with a lot to cover, especially if you look at the media coverage and internet discussion that went on for over a year before the trial actually started. A common refrain I heard during the trial was that “the right to self-defense itself is on trial,” but I don’t necessarily agree with that. A decision of one state trial court can’t possibly have such sweeping implications. I also can’t necessarily agree that this case “should never have gone to trial” or that it was “the most clear cut self-defense I’ve ever seen” as I’ve read online numerous times.

While I do think that the jury reached the correct result and that Kyle was acting in lawful self-defense, there were obviously some things about the case that made a trial appropriate. It is important to remember that the videos and media coverage that we all saw are not the same as “all of the evidence” or even necessarily the relevant evidence for self-defense. People had a lot of questions about what happened that night, and one point of a trial is to sort all that out with some semblance of fair procedure (though whether the procedure of this trial ended up being completely fair is debatable). If you strip away all of your preconceived notions about self-defense and the inevitable involvement of politics in everything before, during, and after the shooting, and if you look at a trial as a means of determining truth, it is easy to see why it was necessary and important to have a trial.

As an attorney and concealed carry instructor, I am grateful that we did have this trial, as I think there are a few major lessons that we should all learn from this, both practically and legally. First, there are many relevant things we can learn about self-defense and its strategies from what happened to Kyle in the field. And, perhaps more importantly, we have learned a great deal about how trials like this can go down. While this was by no means the first nationally televised trial involving a hotly debated self-defense shooting, it has the distinction in my mind of showcasing basically all of the things that we worry can happen to us if we end up on trial, all rolled into one.

I’ll break down the analysis of what I consider the most important lessons into two categories: the practical and the legal. By practical, I mean the lessons that we should carry forward with us into the practice of carrying guns, whereas the legal will deal with what we may expect in the aftermath of a shooting and how we should comport ourselves in that aftermath to hedge against those legal pitfalls.

In terms of the practical, I think one of the more interesting tactics the prosecution tried to use in the trial was to make the very act of openly carrying a so-called “assault style” rifle, specifically under the tense circumstances of an ongoing riot, an act of provocation in itself. Generally, if you provoke a situation, you don’t get to claim self-defense. While I think that this argument was legally unsound, and I think the jury was correct to reject it, I don’t necessarily think that the judge was wrong to allow the prosecutor to at least make this argument, overruling the defense’s objections to the same.

To those of us who carry guns, the idea that lawfully carrying a gun in itself might be provocation is a frightening idea. As I said, the jury was right to reject it. The idea that defending yourself with a gun could, at any time, be unlawful if the very act of having brought a gun counts as provocation would be a ridiculous catch-22. But when it is open carry rather than concealed carry, and when it is under circumstances of high tension as in this case, it isn’t quite as ridiculous of a theory.

Imagine for a moment that the people who Kyle shot were other guys like Kyle himself, out there and armed, specifically for the purposes of stopping violence. Kyle shot the first person, Rosenbaum, after a gunshot can be heard nearby. Had Rosenbaum been a verifiably good person, had he not made previous threats against Kyle, and had he legitimately believed that Kyle had fired that shot at some innocent person, it would not be unreasonable for him to do what he did in trying to take the gun from Kyle. That does not mean that it would not have still been self-defense for Kyle to shoot him, if Kyle still believed that he was in danger of being killed, and if it was just a misinterpretation by Rosenbaum that Kyle was a threat.

Similarly, assume that Gaige Grosskreutz, the man with the Glock pistol who Kyle shot in the bicep, had been lawfully carrying that gun. If we change a few facts around and say that his concealed handgun permit hadn’t been expired, and that he had been walking around just like Kyle, volunteering to render first aid (as he also claimed that he had been doing), how would that change the situation? Again, Kyle would still have been acting in self-defense under the bare facts that he knew at the time. But it is also possible, if you believe Grosskreutz’s testimony, that he thought he was pulling that gun on Kyle in defense of himself and others. Again, if you take everything you now know about Grosskreutz out of the analysis, he could have easily been any one of us – carrying a concealed handgun and believing that Kyle was an active shooter.

To reiterate, this doesn’t mean that Kyle would not still have been acting in self-defense. What this points out is that, in a large-scale and chaotic situation like a riot, it seems possible that everyone might be acting in self-defense. As self-defense is based on what the shooter believes to be reasonable and apparently necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm, it is easily possible that small mistakes of fact could lead everyone to think that they are being reasonable. In that case, it wouldn’t mean that anyone was committing a crime, but it would mean that anyone shot would be a pure tragedy.

This is something that is often discussed when it comes to concealed carry and self-defense in mass-shooting scenarios. How do you know who is a good guy and who is a bad guy? If you hear shots and, in the chaos, draw your pistol on someone you see holding a gun, you can’t assume that person fired the shots. After all, there you are, standing and holding a gun yourself. Open carry, especially of a rifle during a riot, makes this even more complicated, as it is more difficult to determine who is who, who has fired shots, and whether or not someone is holding their gun in a threatening posture or not.

So while the assertion that just bringing the gun amounted to provocation failed, I do think it is important for us to consider where that line would be. In a chaotic situation like a riot, especially if you deliberately go into the situation, it is critical to be on your highest alert. Not just high alert for how other people may be acting and appearing to be threats, but also on high alert for how you are acting or how you may appear to be a threat, even if by mistake. I think we can all agree that, if you go to a riot to defend a business, it would be best to stay put at that business. Even if it becomes appropriate to walk around, Kyle also made the mistake of becoming separated from the other armed man he was walking with. After all, he testified that Rosenbaum’s threat was that he would kill any of them if he caught them alone, and this threat is one reason he felt deadly force was necessary. Still, if that is the case, it was a bad mistake to end up getting caught alone.

Again, none of this means that I don’t believe that Kyle was acting in self-defense. I believe that he was, based on the evidence, and the jury reached the right decision. But it still brings up a lot of important issues and hypotheticals, as a few different facts could have changed the outcome. A few different choices could have led to the shootings being avoided entirely, which is always the goal. It is possible to believe that Kyle was 100% justified in his actions, but to also recognize that there are lessons to be learned and mistakes that were made. Acquittal is great, but never having to go to trial is better, and never having to be involved in a shooting at all is best.

Moving on to the legal side of things, I think this is another place that we learned a great deal. Prior to this trial, “what the prosecution will use against you” was a very common topic of discussion in the self-defense community. Would they interpret your choice of gun as criminal intent? Your choice of ammunition? Gun modifications? Your training? Your lack of training? Your politics? Your lifestyle? Your social media posts?

Before this trial, this discussion was always much more speculative. There were limited examples to be found, but they were piecemeal. There might be one case here or there where one of these hypothetical factors was argued. Or others, such as the shooting of Daniel Shaver, where the gun modification was part of the news of the shooting but was excluded as evidence in the trial. In any event, the axiom that the prosecution will make every ridiculous argument under the sun was common, but the concrete proof of that actually happening was much less so.

This trial, on the other hand, seemed to have literally all of it. It was most evident when Kyle himself was on the stand. It was as if both the prosecution and the defense had read ALL of those myriad online discussion threads, and both sides vowed to play those hypotheticals out in real life. Kyle’s testimony was, on the whole, very well delivered. I was impressed with it, especially from an 18 year old kid. But it was also very predictable for anyone who has been a part of these kinds of discussions, and it followed the usual “script” to a T: “I didn’t shoot to kill, I only shot to stop the threat,” et cetera. In essence, we got to see the most common recommendations for handling these situations actually implemented at trial.

And on the flip side, the prosecution left no straw un-grasped at. As I said before, it was as if they read every speculative discussion thread on what the prosecution in such a trial may try to argue, and just copy/pasted that list as the outline of their oral argument. They also had no real concern for truth in these arguments, only appearance. Further, they didn’t seem to have much of a concern for consistency in their argumentation, whether with the facts or the law. We saw, for example:

  1. A disgusting attempt to use Kyle’s exercise of his 5th Amendment rights against him, which elicited a wrathful response from the judge.
  2. The argument that the choice of gun implied criminal intent. However, this was presented against the alternative of a handgun, with absolutely no apparent consideration of the fact that handguns have a higher age limit for purchase than long guns. I couldn’t tell if this was deliberately meant to mislead the jury, or if the prosecutor simply hadn’t even thought the argument through.
  3. The argument that the choice of ammunition implied criminal intent. However, this is usually more of a concern people have with carrying hollow point ammunition. This case shows that it probably doesn’t matter what ammo you have, a misleading argument will still likely be made about it. The prosecutor in this case even tried to talk about the differences between FMJ and JHP ammo, seemingly just to describe the “explosive” effect of JHP ammo for shock value or to confuse the jury, as that isn’t even what Kyle had in the gun. This line of questioning was eventually shut down, fortunately, as it became clear the prosecutor was trying to testify through Kyle, who said multiple times that he was not knowledgeable about different ammunition types.
  4. An attempt to use that the gun had a sling on it (of all accessories) as an argument against self-defense against an unarmed attacker, as it would make Kyle harder to disarm.
  5. An attempt to present evidence of Kyle being photographed with a T-shirt saying “Free as F***” as evidence, somehow. This was fortunately excluded, but it isn’t clear that such evidence would always be excluded in every trial, especially if the prosecution believes political leanings may have motivated the shooting, which seems to be more and more likely every day.
  6. A showing of Kyle’s TikTok account name “4doorsmorewhores” seemingly just to make him look like a bad person, which strains at admissibility, but that Kyle had the rifle in his profile picture didn’t help.
  7. And last but not least, an attempt to link playing first-person shooter video games to an intent to commit premeditated murder for similar thrills.

This is, of course, only an illustrative list of the bad arguments that stood out to me, as they’re ones that the self-defense community has always expected to face in such a situation. In the hours and hours of testimony, there were many other things that were argued as well. Fortunately, it seemed obvious to most people watching and commenting on the trial, even those who supported a guilty verdict, that the prosecution’s arguments were poorly crafted. That is the silver lining of the case – we have seen that a prosecutor absolutely will try to hold everything against you, no matter how stupid, but that this can just as easily backfire on them. That appears to be what happened here. The more strained the arguments became, the more people lost confidence in the State’s case. I think that, had their cross examination been more focused, it would have made their case seem less weak.

On the whole, it is now clear that the correct result was reached in this case, despite the shenanigans. While it is frightening to see all of the feared tactics employed by the prosecution, it is at least comforting that these tactics didn’t seem to actually work when applied, at least not in this case. It is also good to see the usual advice on how to testify about a defensive shooting (if you choose to testify, as in this case) successfully used. Still, every case is different, and a potential future defendant may not be so lucky. I don’t think anyone should be approaching this situation as the anti-gun articles fear – as a permission slip to shoot people under similar circumstances in the future. I think it would only have taken a few different facts for the verdict to change, and that the pro-gun people arguing that this is the “most clear cut case of self-defense they’ve ever seen” are clearly admitting that they have not seen very many.

As we now all turn to watch what happens with the Chad Read shooting, which seems like a much more uphill battle for a self-defense claim, I think it is important to put politics aside and reflect on the Kyle Rittenhouse case. There are many lessons we can learn from it, that the shooter of Chad Read should have learned from it. Unfortunately, it now seems like Kyle will be forever embroiled in politics, and that his life will be forever lived in the shadow of something that happened when he was only 17. Whether the rabid media coverage helped or hurt his case is anyone’s guess, and I’m not sure if I would want such coverage if I were in a similar situation. I think we can all agree, however, that there’s no way he could have paid these legal fees without the public interest in the case. As an armed citizen yourself, you can’t guarantee you’ll get that kind of public support, but fortunately there are many options for self-defense insurance these days, such as U.S. Law Shield. People can debate whether that kind of insurance is truly necessary or not, but if you think you’d ever deliberately head into the area of a riot to defend a business, that would absolutely justify buying coverage.

Wildcatting During a Reloading Component Shortage: Using .30-30 Cases to form 6.5 JDJ Brass

Jay D. Hunt, III, PhD

Many years ago, LSA President Dan Zelenka introduced me to perhaps the best all-around wildcat cartridge for the Thompson/Center Contender pistol: the 6.5 JDJ. With a 120 gr. bullet, mid-sized game don’t stand a chance. Even African plains game fall to its punch. The cartridge was developed by famed gunsmith and founder of SSK Industries, J.D. Jones. The 6.5 JDJ is based on the rimmed .225 Winchester, which is necked up to 6.5 mm (.264”) and fire formed to produce the finished case that has about 7% more powder capacity than the parent .225 Winchester. This increased capacity results from the 25º shoulder, which is located 1.530” forward of the base in the .225 Winchester, being pushed forward to 1.630” in the 6.5 JDJ at an increased 40º angle.

When working with .225 Winchester cases, a single pass through the 6.5 JDJ die expands the case mouth to accept a bullet of .264” diameter.  After priming the case with a large rifle primer, a medium burn rate rifle powder like IMR-4320, IMR-4350, H-4831, or IMR-4831 can be used with a 10% reduction from the maximum charge. Typically, I use 140 gr bullets to fire form the cases, but any .264 bullet can be used. Fire forming cases is fun, and you’ll likely find that the reduced charged cases are very accurate, although perhaps not a great choice for hunting given the reduced powder charge.

But what does one do when there is a nationwide shortage of reloading components, there are no .225 Winchester cases to be found, and there is no production of obsolete cases on the horizon? Well, short of paying $5.25 per case to a boutique custom brass producer, one searches the amazingly useful The Handloader’s Manual of Cartridge Conversions by John J. Donnelly. According to Donnelly, .225 Winchester cases can be produced from .30-30 Winchester brass. I just happen to have a pile of once fired .30-30 brass laying around, so I headed out to the reloading shop.

The process of converting a .30-30 Winchester case to 6.5 JDJ involves (left to right) an annealed .30-30 case, a .30-30 case that has been trimmed and the rim reduced in diameter and thickness, necked down to .263″, loaded with a reduced powder charge over a large rifle primer topped with a 140 gr. bullet, and finally the fire-formed finished product.

The first step in the process is to anneal the .30-30 cases. As a case is loaded and reloaded, the process causes the brass to become work hardened. Work hardened brass with eventually result in split necks, split cases, or separated cases. During the process of converting .30-30 cases to accept the .264 bullet, the neck will need to be reduced from .308” to less than .264”. Work hardened brass will be brittle and bad things are likely to happen.

There are many good but expensive annealers on the market. If you anneal a lot of brass, you already own one. But if you don’t, you can anneal brass with nothing more than a propane torch. A simple and effective method is to hold the base of the case with your bare fingers (this is important) and then hold the neck/shoulder area of the case in the flame. Once the case becomes uncomfortable to hold, the neck/shoulder area is hot enough to anneal the brass. Simply drop it on a heat resistant surface and let it air cool. There are many other methods to anneal brass, and you may have your favorite one. If you like the way you do it, then by all means do it that way.

After annealing and cleaning the cases, the next step was to trim the .30-30 cases to a length that approximates the maximum overall length of the 6.5 JDJ case. The once fired .30-30 cases that I used for this project averaged 2.32” in overall length. The maximum length of the 6.5 JDJ is 1.900”, so .30-30 cases were trimmed to 1.93” using a manual RCBS case trimmer. The extra 0.03” of length ensured that cases would not be too short after the final fire forming step and would allow me to trim them to the final 1.900” after the final step.

A 1934 South Bend 9″ lathe was used to reduce the rim diameter and thickness.

The .30-30 Winchester has a rim diameter of 0.50”, whereas the .225 Winchester parent case has a rim diameter of 0.473”. Although 0.027” doesn’t sound like a lot, the rims of the .30-30 cases needed to be turned down prior to use. The .30-30 case rims would not load properly into the Contender barrel. To accomplish this, I used the collet chuck in my 1934 South Bend 9” lathe to hold the .30-30 cases with the rims exposed, and then used a carbide cutting tool to quickly reduce the diameter of the rims. If you don’t own a lathe, there are other ways of accomplishing this task including the use of a power drill and a file.

Donnelly noted that it is not necessary to reduce the rim thickness of the .30-30 case; however, since I had the cases chucked up and thinning the case rims was a quick and easy task on the lathe, I reduced the rim thickness from 0.06” to 0.045”.

Rims were reduced to a final diameter of 0.473″

To allow the highly modified .30-30 case to accept a .264” bullet, the neck internal diameter needed to be reduced from 0.308” to something below .264”. I set the Hornandy 6.5 JDJ die in the press so that the neck was reduced to an internal diameter of 0.263”. This would allow the case to firmly hold the bullet but would also require the least amount of stress on the newly sized brass. This step is the reason that the brass was annealed in the first place.  Incidentally, the outside diameter of the .30-30 brass started at 0.332” and was reduced to .288” (brass thickness of 0.012”). Be certain that you lube the neck and shoulder of the .30-30 case before inserting into the 6.5 JDJ die, or you will have a big mess on your hands.

Ugly ducklings! Highly modified .30-30 cases are loaded a charge of H-4831 prior to fire forming.

A Winchester large rifle primer was inserted and then a reduced charge of H-4831 was used. Layne Simpson recommended a charge of 34.0 – 37.0 gr. of H-4831 under a 140 gr. Speer bullet as a standard hunting load. I had a stockpile of old Sierra 140 gr. SPBT bullets that I was happy to use as fire forming fodder. I measured 30.6 gr. of H-4831 into the cases, which was a 10% reduction in the starting load recommended by Simpson (10% of 34.0 is 3.4 gr. 34.0 – 3.4 = 30.6). Simpson wrote that he uses a flat 5.0 gr. reduction from the maximum load for fire forming, which would be 32.0 gr. of H-4831. Whatever you decide to use as a fire forming load, keep in mind that there is about 7% less case capacity in a .225 case than in a 6.5 JDJ case, and there is likely even less capacity in the long necked .30-30 case before fire forming. It is prudent to be cautious when fire forming brass!

From left to right, a 6.5 JDJ case created from .30-30 Winchester brass, a 6.5 JDJ case produced from .225 Winchester brass, and a loaded 6.5 JDJ case ready for whitetail season.

Of course, the most fun step in the process is the actual firing of the ugly duckling loads to produce the beautiful swan, a useable 6.5 JDJ case. I gave that honor to my 17-year-old nephew who gladly leapt at the opportunity to fire 140 gr. 6.5 mm bullets into improvised targets at the shooting range at our hunting camp. He reported that after a couple of rounds to figure out where the bullets were impacting, he hit 100% of the targets.

If you are interested in the 6.5 JDJ, 14-inch barrels can be obtained from SSK Industries.  I’ve been working with the cartridge for about 12 years and have developed some good data for hunting loads. Here are a few of my favorite loads.

Bullet Charge and Powder

Velocity (FPS)

120 gr. Nosler Ballistic Tip 37.0 gr. VV N550

2431 ± 9

120 gr. Nosler Ballistic Tip 38.0 gr. VV N160

2300 ± 9

120 gr. Nosler Ballistic Tip 33.5 gr. AA2520*

2463 ± 14

120 gr. Nosler Ballistic Tip 38.5 gr. IMR-4350

2347 ± 17

120 gr. Barnes TTSX 33.5 gr. Reloader 15†

Unknown

120 gr. Barnes TTSX 33.8 gr. Varget

2376 ± 21

125 gr. Nosler Partition 36.5 gr. VV N550

2375 ± 12

129 gr. Nosler ABLR 32.0 gr. Reloader 15

2107 ± 5

129 gr. Nosler ABLR 32.1 gr. AA2520

2311 ± 8

129 gr. Nosler ABLR 32.5 gr. VV N550

2046 ± 35

129 gr. Nosler ABLR 35.5 gr. VV N550

2277 ± 15

129 gr. Nosler ABLR 30.0 gr. IMR-4320

2176 ± 81

129 gr. Nosler ABLR 32.0 gr. IMR-4320

2309 ± 36

130 gr. Berger VLD Hunting 36.0 gr. VV N550

2340 ± 22

*Outstanding 5-shot accuracy = 0.63” @ 100 yards. This is my go-to hunting load
†5-shot accuracy = 0.91” @ 100 yards
All loads developed in Winchester .225 Winchester cases fire formed to 6.5 JDJ using CCI-200 or Winchester large rifle primers. The 6.5 JDJ is not a SAAMI cartridge, but maximum peak chamber pressure should not exceed 50,000 PSI. The reader should reduce powder charges by 5% and work up to these loads in his/her pistol to ensure these loads are safe.

For my go-to hunting load: 120 gr. Nosler BT over 33.5 gr AA2520, CCI-200 primer, COAL = 2.905”

Distance (Yards)

Velocity (FPS)

Measured Group Size (Inches)

Muzzle

2463

0

100

2284

0.63

200

2113

2.26

300

1949

3.01

Abbreviations: FPS, feet per second; VV, Vihta Vuori; AA, Accurate Powder; TTSX, tipped triple shock expanding; ABLR, Accubond Long Range; VLD, very low drag; COAL, cartridge overall length

References:

Wildcat Cartridges: Volume II, Chapter 129: The 6.5 JDJ by Layne Simpson. Pages 831-8835; Wolfe Publishing Company, Prescott, AZ. 1992

The Handloader’s Manual of Cartridge Conversions by John J. Donnelly. Page 160; Stoeger Publishing Company, South Hackensack, NJ. 1987

2022 Annual Meeting of Members and Elections

The LSA will return to live annual meetings in 2022 by hosting its Annual Meeting of Members and Elections of the Board of Directors at the Cabela’s in Gonzales, LA on Sunday, February 13, 2022 between 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM. The meeting will be held in the upstairs meeting room. The Board reserves the right to cancel or postpone the event if the current COVID-19 pandemic forces a change in plans. If plans change, you will be notified by email and on this website.

Unlike previous years, NO REFRESHMENTS WILL BE PROVIDED.Cabela’s catering service is temporarily closed.

Each year the Members present at the Annual Meeting of Members elects five Directors and two Alternate Directors. The current Board is composed of:

Directors (Office, term expires):

Paul Angrisano (2022)
Barret Kendrick (Vice-President, 2022)
John K. Laws, III (Director-at-Large, 2022)
LTC Joseph “Jay” Meynier, USMC Retired (2022)
Daniel E. Zelenka, II (President, 2022)

Clifford Grout (2023)
Gordon Hutchinson (2023)
Brannon LeBouef (2023)
Dr. Gerald “Jerry” Liuzza (2023)
CAPT George Petras, USCG Retired (2023)

Ron Duplessis (2024)
Dr. Jay D. Hunt, III (Treasurer, 2024)
Ronald “Buck” Kliebert (2024)
CAPT Paul Prokop, USCG Retired (Secretary, 2024)
Dwayne Vidrine (2024)

Alternate Directors

1st Alternate: Ted A. Torres, III (2022)
2nd Alternate: Dave Ramey (2022)

Those Directors whose term expires in 2022 and both Alternate Directors will be up for re-election. Also, any Member-in-Good-Standing who wishes to run for an open Board position are encouraged to do so. Please feel free to reach out to any current Director for more information.

Monumental Victory for Gun Rights in 4th Circuit Ruling

A ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals declaring the ban on handgun sales to young adults in the 18-20-year age group to be unconstitutional is a monumental victory for Second Amendment rights. (Read the Opinion from Judge Julius N. Richardson here).

Judge Richardson, writing for the majority, observed, “Looking through this historical lens to the text and structure of the Constitution reveals that 18- to 20-year-olds have Second Amendment rights. Virtually every other constitutional right applies whatever the age. Our nation’s most cherished constitutional rights vest no later than 18. And the Second Amendment is no different.”

We first find that 18-year-olds possess Second Amendment rights. They enjoy almost every other constitutional right, and they were required at the time of the Founding to serve in the militia and furnish their own weapons. We then ask, as our precedent requires, whether the government has met its burden to justify its infringement of those rights under the appropriate level of scrutiny. To justify this restriction, Congress used disproportionate crime rates to craft over- inclusive laws that restrict the rights of overwhelmingly law-abiding citizens. And in doing so, Congress focused on purchases from licensed dealers without establishing those dealers as the source of the guns 18- to 20-year-olds use to commit crimes. So we hold that the challenged federal laws and regulations are unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. [Editor: emphasis added] Despite the weighty interest in reducing crime and violence, we refuse to relegate either the Second Amendment or 18- to 20-year-olds to a second-class status.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is one of twelve regional appellate courts within the federal judicial system. The court hears appeals from the nine federal district courts in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina and from federal administrative agencies. What does this mean to us in Louisiana? The 4th Circuit opinion does not affect a similar law in Louisiana that denies young adults 18-to-20-years-old  their constitutional right to purchase a handgun. However, LSA has filed a suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. In fact, there are similar cases pending in Louisiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Washington, California, Minnesota and other states that this Fourth Circuit ruling could directly impact.

The importance of common-sense decisions such as Judge Richardson’s cannot be over-stated.

M1 Garand Raffle Support Through the Years

The Louisiana Shooting Association has a strong tradition of training young competitive shooters. In the last couple of decades, we have helped many fine young men and women compete at national and international shooting events, including David Higgins who trained in Louisiana, attended the US Air Force Academy and shot on their collegiate team, and then qualified for and shot in the 2016 Summer Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro.

All of this support comes directly from you through donations and the purchase of raffle tickets. Each year, the Civilian Marksmanship Program provides a low-cost M1 Garand rifle to each State’s Association to use for fundraising efforts to support Junior Shooting Programs in that state. The LSA conducts a raffle each year on the third Saturday in October. This year’s winner was Mr. Bruce Lemmert of Marrero. Congratulations Bruce!

The LSA purchases equipment and supplies for the Junior shooters and provides travel grants and match fee support for young shooters. Over the years we have spent thousands of dollars on this program. All of these funds came from you!

However, we have noticed a significant decline in support of our raffle efforts the past couple of years. Each year the LSA prints 5000 raffle tickets, In the past, we sold all or most of those tickets, But you can see from the chart below that support has waned.

To this end, please consider purchasing raffle tickets to support Junior Shooting in the State. All of the money raised is set aside to support this program. The fund currently has $14,714.16. Please help us build the fund back up!

The drawing will be held on Saturday, October 15, 2022.

Failed Constitutional Carry Bill: Next Steps

By now you have certainly heard that the attempt to override the veto of SB118 (Constitutional Carry) failed on a vote in the Senate during the special session 23 Yeas to 15 Nays. When SB118 initially passed in the Senate, there were more than enough Yeas to override a veto. However, some of our key allies flip-flopped, dooming the override to failure.

The following senators changed their votes on the bill:

Gary L. Smith, Jr. (Democrat, Norco),

Franklin J. Foil (Republican, Baton Rouge),

Louie Bernard (Republican, Natchitoches), and

Patrick Connick (Republican, Marrero).

Make sure you remember that these politicians cannot be counted upon to support the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.  They cannot be trusted.

Foil, Bernard and Connick are freshman Senators. Let’s make sure their first term is their last.

Smith allegedly wants to be Governor. Another Democrat who claims to support the 2nd Amendment but votes against it when his vote is truly needed? I think not. We have seen that show before. Keep that in mind when you head to the polls!

Next Steps

A RINO (Republican In Name Only) is a legislator who calls him or herself a Republican, but who then makes deals with liberal Democrats at the expense of those that put that RINO in office.

There is an obvious fix when a RINO shows his or her true colors:  Recall that RINO and remove that RINO from the State Legislature. When that is done all the other RINOs will see that there is a cost to failing their constituents who thought they would uphold Republican values: the values that got them into office in the first place.

There is a group of highly dedicated individuals who are putting together a team to work on that project, and they need your help. They have started a consortium to Recall RINOs.

If you are someone who supports the effort to Recall RINOs, please email help@rinorecall.la with your name and a photograph.

The list of names and pictures will be placed on the RINORecall.la website.

LSA President Dan Zelenka, Political Director of the Firearms Professionals of Louisiana Chris Patron, Louisiana Director of Gun Owners of America Joshua Barnhill, and Founder of the Home Defense Foundation Michael Weinberger are all helping on this project, and more will join the effort very soon.

This effort will only succeed if you get involved!