All posts by Jeff Knox

NY AG Letitia James Files a Revised & Amended Complaint Against NRA

NRA Board of Directors
NRA Board of Directors

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- We’ve warned the NRA Board.

We’ve talked with past presidents and high-level insiders. We’ve advised, pleaded, and begged them to take action to prove that the Association’s governing body is in charge of the Association, that Directors understand their fiduciary duty is to the membership and not to serve as lackeys to Wayne LaPierre and his accomplices, co-conspirators, apologists, and enablers.

We have repeatedly detailed and documented the exorbitant salaries and contractor payments, the self-dealing, cronyism, fraud, kickbacks, and abuse that has been ongoing at the top of the Association for years. We’ve consulted with legal and financial experts, reporting their analysis and advice, and we’ve urged members to lobby their NRA Directors, just as they would their members of Congress or local government, demanding accountability and transparency.

We warned that, unless the Board stepped up and took significant actions to root out any hint of corruption or malfeasance, the New York Attorney General and the courts would use the lack of action as proof that the Association is corrupt to the core, and undeserving of any sort of second chance or opportunity to reorganize.

NRA Directors chose to ignore it all as just political attacks and those negative Knoxes grinding their daddy’s old axe.

NRA Board Fails to Take Corrective Action

On Monday, August 16, the NY AG filed a 193-page Revised and Amended Complaint against the NRA and four named defendants; EVP Wayne LaPierre, Secretary John Frazer, former Treasurer Woody Phillips, and former Deputy EVP Josh Powell. You can read the document by clicking the link above or below, or going to www.FirearmsCoalition.org. Please do read it and share it, as it’s very enlightening.

Just as we had predicted, the AG’s Amended Complaint digs deeply into the testimony of NRA officials and vendors during the NRA’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy trial, including damning testimony from LaPierre himself, and a couple of hours worth of “On the advice of counsel, I wish to invoke my rights under the 5th Amendment to the US Constitution and refuse to answer that question,” from former Treasurer Woody Phillips. And just as we had predicted, the AG is now focusing heavily on the Board’s failure to take substantive action to correct problems, its failure to distance the Association from those accused of wrongdoing, and its failure to institute policies and procedures to ensure no further abuse or malfeasance can occur, as well as instituting safeguards to ensure strict compliance with those policies and procedures.

The AG’s Amended Complaint points out, not only the Board’s failure to take any of the needed actions, but also the fact that additional abuse and misspending has occurred since the problems were clearly disclosed to the Board, and many of those abuses were actually approved by the Board or by committees of the Board, after the adoption of, and in direct contradiction to, their claimed “course correction” policies.

We’ve probably passed the point of no return, and it seems unlikely that the Association can be salvaged by any action of the Board. Even if the Board were to elect a new slate of officers, including a new Executive Vice President to replace Wayne LaPierre, which they could have done at their now-canceled Houston meeting, it’s likely that the judge would see the action as too little, too late. But that’s the only rational action any Board member could take to distance themselves from the lies, corruption, and gross mismanagement that’s been going on under their noses.
We had hoped NRA members would show up in droves at the Houston Annual Meeting of Members, to demand that the Board stop making excuses, and start taking substantive action to protect the Association. The decision to cancel the Houston meetings, and all of the events surrounding them, leave everything in limbo. The recently elected directors can’t be seated until the Association holds an Annual Meeting, meaning that the current Board remains in office. Election of officers can’t take place until the first Board meeting after the Annual Meeting of Members.

So Carolyn Meadows remains as President, Charles Cotton remains as 1st Vice President, Willes Lee remains as 2nd Vice President, and Wayne LaPierre remains as Executive Vice President and CEO.

The NRA Bylaws have long required that an Annual Meeting of Members be held every year prior to November 30. But at some point during the past year, the Board voted to amend the Bylaws to qualify that requirement with an exception for “acts of God,” such as a hurricane or a pandemic. That new bylaw gives the Board plenty of room to delay or even completely forego a Members’ Meeting this year. I expect though, that they will hold some sort of abbreviated meeting, similar to the one they held last year in Tucson, where Board members and their wives almost outnumbered Voting Members in attendance. Their hope would be to avoid a large turnout of angry members demanding change.

A shake-up in Houston was probably wishful thinking, and even if we could have pulled it off, it’s unlikely that it would have changed what’s coming. At this point, with or without major changes in the leadership structure and management of the Association, knowledgeable observers say it’s a better than even-money bet that the Association will be in receivership within a few months, with criminal charges filed against some staff and key Board members.

Nonetheless, I plan to be at the Members’ Meeting, whenever and wherever it eventually is held, trying to convince the Board to do what they should have done years ago. If members still had the legal authority to take substantive actions at the Members’ Meeting, as they did in Cincinnati in 1977, that’s what we would be trying to do. But the membership has been neutered over the intervening years, almost always with orchestrated votes by the members themselves. Today, members at an Annual Meeting have no real power, beyond creating a record and having a stage from which to possibly influence Directors.

The NRA is way more than just a rights advocacy organization. No other organization has the infrastructure and experience to take over the myriad of things the NRA does. Rebuilding the NRA will take years. Building something comparable from scratch, or even from an existing organization, would take decades, if possible at all. The New York court could turn out to be the Association’s last hope if the judge installs a good trustee to reorganize the Association with guidance from a Members’ Committee.

There’s no telling what the NRA “leadership” will do next. Whatever they do, we’ll let you know. If they do announce a new date, time, and place for a Members’ Meeting, I hope to see you there. You are the Gun Lobby, not the NRA, but the NRA has been the most powerful tool in our fight for rights, so I’m not going to let it go without a fight.


NY AG Letitia James Files a Revised & Amended Complaint Against NRA August 16th, 2021

Last Push Needed for Comments on ATF Rule Change ~ “What’s a Firearm”

Polymer 80 PFC9 Serialized Glock 19 Compact Frame
Polymer 80 PFC9 Serialized Glock 19 Compact Frame

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- Time is running out on the Comment Period for the BATFE’s proposed changes to the definitions of “Firearms,” “Frames and Receivers,” and the marking of same.

In short, the proposed regulations would define as a “firearm” the upper receiver or slide of a firearm, as well as the barrel of a firearm, and possibly other parts, all at ATF’s discretion. As firearms, those parts would require serialization, maker information, and all of the other controls and restrictions currently applied only to lower receivers. The regulation also redefines “Gunsmith” and the word “readily,” as it applies to phrases currently in the regulations about guns that may be “readily restored” to fire in fully automatic mode, or “readily converted” to expel a projectile.

The objective is to control and regulate the lawful sale of major firearm components and restrict what gun owners can legally do to modify their personal guns, or to build their own firearms.

The comment period closes on August 19, 2021, so it’s important that you get your comment in before that deadline.

Comments should be businesslike, factual, and to the point, and should never include vulgarities or threats. Additionally, declaring “shall not be infringed,” has not proven to be a successful argument. Copying and pasting the arguments of others, or pieces of them, is not a good strategy, as the agency is looking for original thoughts, not ditto marks. Comments don’t need to be long and detailed, but a valid argument does help, and can seem to make an impact.

Below is a sample comment I am submitting. You are welcome to steal ideas, but please couch them in your own words, not mine. It’s best to read the proposed regulation, to have a clear understanding of what is being proposed, then write your comment.

You will find the draft regulation here. Follow the links to the Comments section.

You may submit comments on or before August 19, 2021, by mail, fax, or the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov.


“I am writing in strong opposition to the proposed regulatory changes in the Definition of Frame or Receiver and Identification of Firearms.

The ATF is overstepping their authority with this proposal. Such a major change to firearm definitions is the purview of Congress, not the ATF.

The US has operated under the existing definitions since at least 1968, with much of it dating back to 1934 or before, with only minor adjustments during all of that time. Very little has changed regarding firearm design or function since those definitions were developed, and certainly nothing so drastic as to warrant these major changes. While manufacturing technology has advanced, and some would argue that it is more available today, the reality is that our fathers and grandfathers, most of whom worked with their hands and had a wide variety of tools at their disposal, along with the skills to use them, we’re much more capable of home manufacture of firearms than the vast majority of Americans today, even with the expensive new tools.

Americans have always had the ability – and the right – to make and modify guns.

What has really changed is a false alarm raised by those who don’t like civilian ownership of any sort of firearm. They are constantly looking for angles to encroach on the right to arms. Whenever they find some particular gun, feature, or practice that can alarm their base and the uninformed public, they ride it for all it’s worth. That is what is going on in this case and what has instigated the current proposed regulation.

The documents supporting this proposal include a number of false assumptions, chief among them being the idea that marking and regulating more parts of a firearm, will reduce firearms-related crime, or assist in the solving of crimes. There is no valid evidence to support this claim, and there is plenty of evidence that it is a pipe-dream.

The estimated costs of the proposal are also distorted. The regulatory burden alone will cost gun manufacturers, distributors, retailers, gun owners, and police and sheriffs offices, untold millions of dollars in man-hours, not to mention new tools and equipment. In the case of law enforcement, this represents money and man-hours that would otherwise be spent on actually preventing and investigating crimes. These are funds and resources that law enforcement agencies – and the public – simply can’t afford to be wasting on bureaucratic busywork that has little impact on crime or the activities of criminals.

And that’s the crux of the issue: These proposed regulations, if implemented, would have little effect on criminals, but would have major impacts on regular gun owners and the industry that serves us.

Riding herd on the public as our “Gun Nannies,” is not supposed to be the ATF’s mission. Stopping and catching violent criminals who use firearms to harm and intimidate others is what you’re supposed to be doing, and this proposal does not advance that mission at all.

The proposal should be scrapped in its entirety.”


…but wait there is more.

There is another ATF proposal regarding the classification of firearms with arm braces attached, that you should also leave a comment on. That comment window closes on September 8, 2021, and can be accessed by clicking here. I hope to have more about that in another column soon.

Protection Of Lawful Commerce. Arms Have Been Unnecessarily Specified

ATF Releases Annual Firearms Manufacturers & Export Report
By focusing the original bill exclusively on the arms industry, proponents made garnering support for it a bit easier within the gun-rights world – while at the same time focusing opposition.

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, or PLCAA, has been coming under more intensive fire since Joe Biden was declared President of the United States, and it’s our own fault.

The PLCAA should just be the PLCA, the Protection of Lawful Commerce Act. The only reason the words “in Arms” were included, was specifically to make the bill a “gun bill,” to help motivate the troops and provide brownie points and bragging rights to politicians and lobbying organizations.

The introduction of the PLCAA was a legitimate response to the lawfare waged against the gun industry, but the legislation should have been much broader, encompassing all lawfully manufactured and sold products. By focusing the bill exclusively on the arms industry, proponents made garnering support for it a bit easier within the gun-rights world – while at the same time focusing opposition – and they avoided generating additional opposition from the powerful trial lawyers’ lobby, which opposed the bill, but didn’t put a lot of effort into their opposition.

They also painted a big, bright bullseye on the back of the law, and that’s what the Biden administration is aiming at now.

The above points were argued by Neal Knox back in 2004 when the PLCAA was first introduced. He reasoned that a broader bill would be somewhat harder to sell, and would run up against some stronger opposition, but that it would also bring in additional allies, and result in better law in the end.

The core premise of the PLCAA is that a manufacturer or seller of a lawful product, which is not defective and was not marketed under false pretexts, should not, and indeed may not, be held responsible for the misuse of that product by a third-party actor.

This should be true, regardless of what the product is. In fact, in most of the lawsuits that have been brought seeking to hold a manufacturer or seller of a lawful product accountable for the actions of someone misusing their product, the courts have ended up throwing the suits out as “frivolous” or unreasonable. But “most” is not good enough, and in the case of firearms and ammunition, the suits were becoming more and more frequent, and were well-funded, often with taxpayer dollars. They weren’t just occasional, random attempts by unscrupulous attorneys taking pot-shots at gun companies in hopes the companies would settle before the cases got tossed. The litigants acted with a clear and coordinated intent to bankrupt the firearms industry, not necessarily through winning, but by forcing the industry to defend itself. Repeatedly.

In any civil litigation, there’s a calculation that has to be made, weighing the cost of the litigation against the cost of settling early. Often the settlement costs are substantially lower than the litigation costs, even if the case is eventually tossed by the judge.

What the PLCAA effectively does is create a pretrial reality check, requiring the judge to look at the case right at the outset and determine whether there is a reasonable claim, or whether it is a case of someone trying to hold an innocent party responsible for the actions of an unrelated guilty party.

This should be standard procedure in all civil litigation. No individual, group, or government entity should be able to weaponize the courts as a way of beating down a person, business, or industry.

Along with the protections of judicial review up-front, before a whole lot of money has been spent on attorneys, and the restitution of those attorney fees if the case gets tossed, there should also be protections on the backside of civil litigation, in the form of restitution of legal fees for the prevailing party. That’s something the trial lawyers’ lobby has opposed for decades because it would cause many of their clients to hesitate before going forward with frivolous and abusive litigation.

The most prevalent talking point from opponents of the PLCAA, As we just heard again from Governor Cuomo in New York, is that the gun industry is the only industry in the US that enjoys protection from civil suits. While that’s not really true, the perception of imbalance is unacceptable, so it’s time to protect all lawful businesses from predatory legal assaults. While we continue to defend the PLCAA, The Firearms Coalition is proposing that members of Congress start working on the Protection of Lawful Commerce Act, shielding all lawful businesses from abusive lawfare attacks based on the actions of unrelated third parties. The PLCA would provide restitution of legal fees to victims of such abuse, both upfront, and on the backside of these attacks if they are allowed to proceed.

We might not have the votes to pass it until 2023, after the next congressional election, but let’s get it started right now.

You can help. Send a letter to your friendly Representative and Senators, urging them to support the Protection of Lawful Commerce Act. Include a copy of this article or a link to it, so they can see how and why it makes sense.

You are the Gun Lobby. Use your influence to get solid pro-rights legislation introduced and passed, even if it doesn’t mention guns.

We’ll have more to say about this proposal soon, so stay tuned.

The Epidemic Of Gun Lies ~ It’s All A Dangerous Diversion

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- By now you’ve probably heard, or heard about, some of the outrageous statements made by President Joe Biden in his widely-touted speech to address the nation’s sudden spike in violent crime. The whole dog and pony show – led by the lying dog-face pony soldier in chief – was focused on gun control, specifically to distract from the other aspects of Biden’s initiative, and the dismal state of things in general under the Biden administration.

Even though the press conference was an unmitigated disaster, with Uncle Joe wandering so far off a script that even the historically protective “fact-checkers” were forced to rate some of his statements, such as the claim that; “The Second Amendment, from the day it was passed, limited the type of people who could own a gun and what type of weapon you could own,” as 4 Pinocchio, pants on fire, falsehoods – in other words, lies. Biden went on to claim that at the time the Second Amendment was written, “you couldn’t buy cannons,” which is also unquestionably untrue.

Biden also wandered off-Teleprompter to take another crack at a line that had bombed for him during primary season, Jefferson’s famous quote about the “blood of patriots and tyrants.” This is as close as I can transcribe it from several video replays:

Those who say the blood of liberty… the, uh… blood of patriots… you know, and all this stuff about how we’re going to have to move against the government… Well, the tree of liberty is not watered with the blood of patriots. What’s happened is that there’s never been – if you wanna – think you need weapons to take on the government, you need F-15s and maybe some nuclear weapons. The point is, there’s always been the ability to limit – to rationally limit the type of weapon that can be owned and who can own it.

What?

Once you sort through the babble and get a grasp on what he’s intending to say, it’s easy to understand how his previous attempt at this statement concluded with him garnering only 8.4% of the vote in the New Hampshire Primary, far behind Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, and even Elizabeth Warren, leading many analysts to declare his campaign for President dead at that point. In that instance though, Biden couched his argument in more cogent, and even more threatening terms, when he said;

“Those who say ‘the tree of liberty is watered with the blood of patriots’ – a great line – well guess what: The fact is, if you’re going to take on the government you need an F-15 with Hellfire Missiles. There is no way an AK-47 is going to take care of you if you’re worried about the government knocking down your door.”

Resident Biden’s mental decline in the past 18 months, is both obvious, and scary. This is the “leader of the free world?” The man who has Armageddon following him in a briefcase everywhere he goes, and who’s supposed to have certain nuclear launch codes memorized? […not a chance]

Vladimir Putin must be shaking in his boots after their recent meeting.

The brightest political strategist in the country couldn’t have come up with anything for Biden to say that would have outraged knowledgeable gun owners and history buffs more than these statements did. His nonsense rant guaranteed that irate gun guys would be howling for weeks, refuting Biden’s comments with tidbits from history, to prove how smart and knowledgeable we are, and how ignorant and out-of-touch he is. Unfortunately, all of this outrage and fact-checking is doing little more than to distract from the things the Biden team wants to keep under wraps.

The whole press conference, with its focus on the gun control aspects of the “Biden Plan” to stem violent crime, was definitely intended to distract from the other serious problems that are burning out of control around the country since Biden took over.

Biden and his crew have been dismantling anything and everything with President Trump’s fingerprints on it, regardless of how good or effective it might have been. The economy, inflation, astronomical debt, the border crisis, tensions in the Middle-East, tensions with Russia, tensions with China, the embarrassing Fauci “lab leak” theory, and just about anything and everything that the Biden administration has weighed in on, demonstrates a reverse Midas touch.

The problems that Trump seemed to have corralled, or at least damped down, all exploded with the advent of the Biden-Harris team, especially those things that Biden and Harris most harshly criticized Trump about.

But Biden’s biggest problem isn’t inflation, continuing unemployment, the slow economic recovery, world instability, or the growing number of kids in cages on the border. His biggest problem is the big divide within his party. The brains behind Biden-Harris – which we know don’t reside in the skulls of Biden or Harris – have recognized that the Democrats’ “woke” progressive wing, represented by academia, Silicon Valley, and a gaggle of radicals that unapologetically cite Marx and display the hammer and sickle, are fully at odds with the voting base of the Democratic Party. The adults among the Democrats – and there are some – recognize that the most important thing needed to reduce crime is more and better policing and putting bad actors in jail for extended periods. That view directly contradicts the idea of defunding the police, which is a major factor – maybe The major factor – in the current violent crime surge.

So Biden’s crime reduction plan not unreasonably includes increased funding for police, along with funding for various social programs, violence intervention, mental health, job training, and other programs. Some of it is potentially worthwhile, while a lot of it is just throwing money at the problem, creating opportunities for corruption and cover for the bad actors.

Their big worry for the press conference was to keep the focus away from the refunding of police, and far away from the root causes of the surge in violent crime: support for criminals, violent rioters, and looters, over the police and property owners.

Just as the “Broken Window” theory of policing shows that enforcing minor laws reduces the frequency of violations of major laws, the inverse is also true. Ignoring minor and major crimes has sent a clear signal to criminals and the criminally minded, that it’s open season. By bailing out violent rioters and looters – as Kamala Harris encouraged – and reducing or eliminating bail, reducing major felonies down to minor misdemeanors, releasing violent criminals early, and refusing to prosecute violent criminals, calling that “justice reform,” prosecutors, judges, and politicians have thrown the lid off of Pandora’s box, and invited career criminals and their young thug proteges, to do as they will and fear no consequences.

That’s the big truth that Joe Biden’s handlers don’t want penetrating into the public psyche, so they focus their attention on an issue that has a pretty clear, preexisting, culture war divide: gun control.

The tactic worked to some degree, but the American people are beginning to realize that they made a huge mistake last November, and now they’re trying to figure out what to do about it.

Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. The main thing is to support Republican obstructionism, to keep the damage done by the extremist Democrats to a minimum. Then, in November of 2022, we can send a loud and clear message to DC, that we want no part of the crazy, criminal-empowering Democratic agenda.

It seems like a far-off objective, but believe me, the 2022 elections will be here before you know it, and GunVoters need to be ready and already engaged when they get here.

Stay tuned and stay armed.

The Federal Abuse of Gun Collector Albert Kwan

Gun Collector Albert Kwan
Gun Collector Albert Kwan

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- The following is a slightly edited version of a plea I wrote for a GoFundMe campaign for my friend Albert Kwan. It should make your blood boil.

In 2005, Albert Kwan was living the American dream. Then the US government stepped in and turned his world upside down for no valid reason. They incarcerated him, ruined his reputation, destroyed his businesses, and almost cost him his US Army pension, then they prosecuted him on bogus charges that took Kwan over a decade, and almost a half-million dollars to overcome.

Today, Albert Kwan lives primarily on his small military pension, which he was supplementing with Christian mission work and recruiting of students for a US foreign exchange program, but a recent stroke and subsequent eye surgeries now limit his ability to travel or do that work.

I first wrote about Albert’s abuse at the hands of federal agents, back in 2009. Since then, he’s been exonerated in the gun cases, but the feds are still refusing to issue him an FFL, and now, with his health taking a turn for the worse, a group of us are raising money to help him with his current living expenses, and hopefully to build some savings with which to hire an attorney to sue the US government for the unjustifiable abuse they have put him through.

Caught-Up In an Unrelated Murder Investigation

In 2005, Albert Kwan was approached by federal agents investigating the 2001 murder of a US Attorney in Seattle. Authorities were able to determine that the gun used was a Makarov. They also determined that the gun had been updated with a popular aftermarket barrel. Kwan happened to be among the thousands of people who had purchased one of the 3,500 barrels known to have been sold. As a gun collector and former licensed firearms dealer, it is not unusual at all that Albert had purchased one of the barrels for one of the several Makarovs in his extensive collection, and Albert had no objection to the investigators inspecting his Makarovs or the aftermarket barrel.

Problems arose though, when Albert, in accordance with the advice he had received from his attorney, refused to allow FBI and BATFE agents unfettered access to his home and gun collection.

Instead, he gave the requested guns and parts to his attorney who passed them on to the federal agents. There was also an issue regarding how many barrels Kwan had purchased. Federal agents insisted, based on incomplete and chaotic sales and shipping records, that some 10 years prior, Kwan had purchased two of the suspect barrels, but Kwan insisted that he recalled purchasing only one barrel of the type the FBI was seeking. He turned over all of his Makarovs and barrels, along with similar Walther pistols and barrels, but the federal agents weren’t satisfied.

They felt that Kwan’s refusal to allow them to search his home was suspicious. They also had a suspect in the murder who happened to have lived near Kwan for a time, though there was no indication that they ever met.

With those two issues nagging at them, the agents discovered that Kwan had made arrangements to travel to China. Even though the trip had been planned months before Kwan had any contact with federal agents, and he routinely traveled back and forth to China, often several times a year, they characterized the trip as an attempt to flee.

Agents stopped Kwan at the airport, put him in handcuffs, and drug him to the Federal Court House in Seattle where they informed him that he was under arrest as a “material witness” in the investigation into the murder of US Attorney Thomas Wales.

Albert was held in solitary confinement in a Federal Detention Facility for over 20 days. He was handcuffed and shackled repeatedly and questioned over and over again about the supposed second Makarov barrel. Throughout his incarceration and afterward, federal agents issued press releases naming Kwan, or describing him, and implying that he was somehow connected to the murder of Thomas Wales. This exposure did serious damage to Albert Kwan’s reputation, destroying his commercial real estate business, costing him his Top Secret security clearance, and causing him to be suspended from his position in the US Army Reserves.

ATF Creates Evidence for False Gun Charges

After arresting Kwan, FBI agents obtained a warrant, and with a BATFE “firearms expert” in tow, they searched Albert’s house and gun collection, finding nothing of the “missing” Makarov barrel or anything else related to the Wales murder case. But the BATFE agent used the opportunity to identify certain guns in Kwan’s collection, which he thought might be “questionable,” so the very next day, a new warrant was issued to the BATFE, authorizing them to search Kwan’s home for illegal weapons.

The BATFE search yielded two guns that they claimed were illegal, and Kwan was threatened with prosecution for those two guns if he continued to refuse to tell the murder investigators what they wanted to know. Kwan insisted that he had told them everything he knew and that he was unable to change his story.

Federal prosecutors followed through on their threats, charging Kwan first with illegal possession of an unregistered machine gun, and later with illegal possession of an unregistered Short-Barreled Rifle.

The first “illegal” gun was an M14 rifle that had been legally built by a government contractor as a semi-auto-only, target rifle, and legally sold by a government agency to the civilian market back in the 1960s.

After modifying the gun with numerous parts from another full-auto M14 that Kwan legally owned, and spending some time modifying the receiver with a grinding tools, the BATFE “experts” were eventually able to make the gun fire full-auto.

After hearing the evidence and looking at the amount of work done by the BATFE “experts” to turn the gun into a full-auto, the jury concluded that the gun was a legal semi-automatic target rifle, just as Kwan had maintained. He was acquitted on that charge, but BATFE said they couldn’t return the rifle since it was now a machine gun and couldn’t be legally converted back. They destroyed both that gun and the full-auto M14 used as a parts donor. The original rifle, as a very unique sample, would be valued at several thousand dollars, and the legal, full-auto rifle would sell today for around $20,000.00 or more.

Kwan received no compensation for either.

Kwan was also charged with having an unregistered, Short-Barreled Rifle because they found a HK VP70Z pistol and a combination holster/stock for a VP70M. The BATFE claimed that, since the pistol was capable of accepting the stock, this constituted “constructive possession” of a Short-Barreled Rifle. They made this claim, even though Kwan also owned a legally registered, full-auto VP70M that was registered as a Short-Barreled Rifle. The BATFE insisted that the critical distinction was that the semi-auto version of the pistol was capable of accepting the shoulder stock. They convinced the jury and Kwan was found guilty, but the judge learned that the BATFE had misrepresented several pertinent facts, and he reversed the jury verdict, declaring a mistrial.

It took Kwan almost a decade to finally be declared Not Guilty and exonerated on all charges. It also cost him his life’s savings and then some.

Conclusion

In the end, Albert Kwan, who had served honorably in the US Army and Reserves for 29 years, first in the Infantry and later in Intelligence, where he was granted a Top Secret/SCI security clearance, worked for the US Immigration and Naturalization Service, and had started and run several successful businesses, including a commercial real estate business, interpreter services, recruiting for student exchange programs, and running a federally licensed firearms business, as well as assisting with Christian mission work overseas, was kidnapped by federal agents, held against his will, and prosecuted for non-crimes, all because he followed his lawyer’s advice and said No when federal agents asked to search his home without a warrant.

Now, at the age of 60, Albert suffers from premature health issues, including suffering a mild stroke and needing surgeries on both of his eyes. His reputation in the business community is still tainted. He was able to recover his Army pension but missed the opportunity to serve with his unit in a second deployment to Afghanistan. He was forced to send most of his firearm collection into storage out of state, where it was pillaged by thieves, and he was recently denied his final appeal in trying to force the BATFE to issue him a new Federal Firearms License, which means that he cannot resume his firearm business.

The whole ordeal has cost Albert close to a half-a-million dollars.

The federal government has never apologized for what they did to Albert, and they’ve never paid anything in the way of restitution or compensation for what they took from him. While he’s not destitute, he is struggling to make ends meet, and has been forced to sell some of his most prized possessions, just to cover taxes on his long-time home.

I, and others, believe the US government owes Albert Kwan something, and we’re hoping that a GoFundMe campaign will not only help Albert meet his current financial needs but that it will enable him to fund a retainer fee for a civil rights attorney to file suit for wrongful prosecution and abuse of power against the federal government [read: BATF].

You can contribute to Albert’s GoFundMe campaign by clicking here. Any help you choose to give is greatly appreciated.

NRA Board Election Endorsements for 2021 ~ Including Who NOT to Vote For

If you are a Voting Member of the National Rifle Association, you should have received your ballot for this year’s NRA Director elections. The ballots are primarily distributed as an insert in your NRA magazine (the June/July edition), or for those who don’t receive a physical magazine, your ballot should be mailed as a stand-alone piece.

Only Life Members and Annual Member who have maintained their membership for 5 consecutive years, are eligible to vote.

Due to the pandemic, the schedule got twisted in a way that made it impossible for any petition candidates to qualify for the 2021 ballot. That’s likely to happen again next year. The Nominating Committee could have made accommodations for the unusual circumstances, but moved on in business-as-usual fashion, disregarding the Bylaws and the concerns of the members. I’m particularly disappointed in Bob Barr, who chaired the Nominating Committee last year, as once again, the most important factor in whether someone received a nomination, appears to have been whether they are likely to support Wayne LaPierre and the current leadership.

On your ballot, you have 28 candidates to fill 25 seats. Note that although you can vote for up to 25 names, you are not obligated to vote for that number. Voting for less than 25 amounts to a vote against the other candidates.

Most of the candidates offered are current members of the Board, and almost all of those will be reelected, just because the majority of Voting Members who bother to vote, routinely vote for incumbents first.

I am endorsing only two candidates whose names appear on the ballot:

  • Owen Buz Mills of Paulden, Arizona, and James Tomes of Wadesville, Indiana. Buz Mills is the owner of Gun Site Academy, and has long been active in Arizona politics, including a run for governor.
  • Jim Tomes is the founder of a solid 2A group in Indiana, and served several years in the Indiana Senate. I’ve known him for many years and know him to be a man of humility and integrity.

Those are the only names on the ballot I can endorse. I encourage you to mark your ballot for only those two and no one else, then turn the ballot over and write in the following three names:

  • Frank C. Tait of Wayne, PA
  • R.B. Rocky Marshall of Boerne, TX
  • Duane Liptak, Jr. of Austin, TX

As usual, the ballot includes a share of people whose policy positions have earned my direct opposition. At the top of the Don’t Vote For list is current Board President Carolyn Meadows of Marietta, Georgia who is one of Wayne LaPierre’s biggest enablers. Mrs. Meadows has the support of the American Conservative Union [a hot-bed of RINO Republicans] and historically has easily won her seat, coming in 4th or 5th in the balloting each time she runs. I have no illusions that I can block her reelection, but I want my opposition on the record.

Another American Conservative Union-associated candidate on the ballot is Past President David Keene of Fort Washington, Maryland. Mr. Keene has also been an outspoken supporter of LaPierre and company, and much of the financial chicanery that has put the NRA in such a precarious position happened during his presidency. Since his terms as President, Mr. Keene has been receiving some $50k per year to attend Friends of NRA Banquets. What dedication! By sheer coincidence, an article penned by Mr. Keene happens to be included in the magazines, just after the ballots. Between his support from the ACU and his name and picture being prominently placed next to the ballot in the magazines, it’s again, highly unlikely that we can block his reelection, but tell your friends, he doesn’t deserve your vote.

The final candidate I’m actively opposing is Scott Bach of Newfoundland, New Jersey. I have endorsed Mr. Bach in the past, but his dogged defense of LaPierre has earned my opposition. Mr. Bach was one of the first members of the Board to publicly come out in support of LaPierre after the revelations that were published in the New Yorker in early 2019. In an article in Ammoland Shooting Sports News, he explained that it was LaPierre who discovered the “problems” in the NRA, and made the necessary “course corrections” to “right the ship.” What Mr. Bach failed to explain is why it took LaPierre over 20 years to notice the exact “problems” that he went to war with Neal Knox to preserve in 1997, but has supposedly corrected now, and that well after the “course corrections,” LaPierre and others, including scandal-ridden former Treasurer Woody Phillips, and shameless self-promoter Marion Hammer, received massive “golden parachute” contracts promising them millions in future “consulting” payments. He also failed to explain why the NRA has continued to pay Democrat attorney William Brewer over $2 million per month, after LaPierre repeatedly declared that Brewer was “the only one who can keep me out of jail.”

NRA Board Election Ballot 2021
NRA Board Election Ballot 2021

There are several others on the ballot who I really don’t think belong on the NRA Board of Directors, but the truth is, the seats are going to be filled. For the sake of ease of sharing, I’ll leave the Don’t Vote For list at just these three: Meadows, Keene, and Bach.

The candidates elected in this election will be seated at the Members’ Meeting in Houston on September 4 2021. They will then join the other 50 Directors at a Board of Directors meeting in Houston on Monday September 6, at which time the President, 1st VP, 2nd VP, and Executive Vice President will all be elected. Historically, the Nominating Committee simply puts forward a slate of the incumbents, and no one else is nominated, so the slate is “elected by acclamation.” That’s what happened in Indianapolis in 2019, and in Tucson in 2020, and that’s what they want to happen in Houston in 2021.

This year, we intend to offer a full slate of alternative candidates to challenge the incumbents, but we need your help to make those efforts successful.

We need you to be actively lobbying every current and potential future member of the Board, demanding that they stop the lies and corruption, and return the Association to the members. There are only about 15 Directors who are completely in the tank for LaPierre and company, and about an equal number who are very troubled by the current regime and the situation they’ve created. The rest just sort of follow the path of least resistance, so it’s critical that you pressure them to stop spending the NRA’s resources on protection of LaPierre, and start focusing on protection of the NRA.

Here are some questions to ask current NRA Board Members:

  1. Do you believe Wayne LaPierre’s continued employment by NRA helps or hurts the organization and its mission?
  2. Do you believe Wayne LaPierre’s continued employment by NRA helps or hurts the NRA’s case in NY?
  3. Who do you think would make a reasonable candidate for Interim EVP, to realign the NRA, if LaPierre were to resign tomorrow? Give two options please.
  4. Can you suggest two names of current Directors who you could/would support for President of the Board?
  5. Can you suggest two names of Directors who you could/would support for 1st VP of the Board?
  6. Can you suggest two names of Directors who you could/would support for 2nd VP of the Board?

Don’t let them skirt around these simple questions – get answers.

Remind these Directors that their first loyalty is supposed to be to the Association and its members, not any one man or leadership team. If Wayne LaPierre really cared about the Association, he’d have resigned, just to avoid being any sort of obstacle to NRA’s future success, whether he had done anything wrong or not. If Directors were thinking about the good of the Association first, they’d have demanded LaPierre’s resignation, and elected someone to replace him in Indianapolis in 2019, rather than circling the wagons around him and spending tens of millions defending him over the best interests of the Association for the past two years.

The final lobbying effort comes in Houston at the Members’ Meeting, where we need to turn out in droves to demand that the Board do what they should have done over two years ago, and elect someone with an untarnished record to lead the Association’s defense in the New York case, and on to restoration of the Association.

It’s up to you. I’m just a gnat buzzing around the Board’s ears. You’re who they’re supposed to be working for. If you don’t push them between now and September to do what’s right, then show up in Houston on September 4, to demand that they take action, then the battle is lost – possibly forever, as Letitia James has said she intends to resume the case against NRA and LaPierre early next year.

Houston in September could very well be our last opportunity to right the ship and save the NRA, so now is the time to lobby your Directors and stand up for your Association.

Please share this article with all of your NRA member friends. We need everyone working together on this.

NRA Bankruptcy and Other Court Documents

We’re gathering and posting documents from the NRA’s bankruptcy and other legal cases, so readers can reference them.  Additional documents will be added over time.

Tax exempt donations to support Phil Journey’s efforts can be sent to: CDFE c/o Phil Journey,
PO Box 501
Haysville, KS  67060

Here’s the empty Reorganization Plan approved by the Board on May 1: reorg-plan

NRABankruptcyPetition

BrewerCounselPetition

CreditorCommittee

JourneyMotionForExaminer

Debtor’s info Brief

Dkt.-131-AMcs-Motion-to-Dismiss

NYAGMotiontoDismiss

NRA’s Financial Statement

MMPMotionforNewCreditorCommittee

TrusteeObjectiontoBrewer

Motion for Members

 

The Gun Rights Movement is Not Violent

Neither violence nor advocacy through Intimidation are condoned by leaders in the Gun Rights Movement.

On the eve of a Presidential inauguration that will take place behind unprecedented security after our Nation’s Capitol Building was attacked by a small band of violent and destructive rioters, we feel it is important to make this clear.

Since the incursion that temporarily interrupted the certification of the Presidential Election on January 6th, some journalists, media pundits, anti-gun activists and even a small number of elected officials have attempted to tie the Gun Rights Movement to the reprehensible acts that lead to deaths that day and fear of further violence this week. These claims are unfounded.

No gun rights organization or recognized leader called for violence on January 6th.

Political Violence goes against the heart of the gun rights movement. The Second Amendment protects gun rights in order to provide for defense. The gun community has denounced violence tied to protests throughout 2020, as we also condemn the violence and destruction of property at the US Capitol in January 6th without equivocation.

As early as the afternoon of January 6th, the President of the Second Amendment Institute International, Tyler Yzaguirre, who lives in Washington, DC, posted publicly:

Today there was an illegal and unprecedented charge on the U.S. Capitol.

You have the right to “peacefully” protest. Not to put the lives of Members, police officers, and your fellow Americans in danger.”

Second Amendment Organization’s Executive Vice President, Rob Pincus, has vehemently denounced the violence and posted early during the gathering at the Capitol:

I’m sincerely hoping that this protest remains peacefully disruptive.”

Alan Gottlieb, Founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, stated that the small band becoming violent at the US Capitol “…disturbed me greatly.”

The list of gun rights movement leaders who have shared similar thoughts is extensive. There are an estimated 100 Million Gun Owners in the United States with over 400 Million Guns. Less than 1000 rioters entered the US Capitol and not one of them fired a single shot. As David Yamane, a Professor at Wake Forest who studies Gun Culture, observed in his rebuke of a recent article in The Atlantic attacking our movement:

As easy as domestic terrorism is to commit, few gun owners turn to insurrectionist violence.”

It should also be noted that there is only one political cause that unites all gun owners: Gun Rights. No action being undertaken that day at the Capitol was specifically related to gun rights. The violent mob were only a very small percentage of the people gathered in DC for political purposes that day. They were certainly not us.

Members of every political party and position are Gun Owners in the US. Organizations in our community represent gun owners of various faiths, lifestyles, races and interests. Every State has a gun rights organization representing its residents, most have several. The Second Amendment protects the rights of all Americans, regardless of political party, vote or position on any issue… and we respect everyone’s right to hold differing opinions and express them peacefully. At this time of great division in our country, we call for unity amongst all gun owners in the fight to protect our gun rights in the future, regardless of who you voted for or how you feel about the 2020 Election.

 A crowd of thousands of US Gun Owners gathered on the west lawn of the US Capitol Building just 14 months ago to Peacefully Rally in Defense of Gun Rights.

A Statement this week from the 2A Rally group, which held a peaceful 4 hour event at the US Capitol in 2019, by working with the US Capitol Police Special Events Division, included the following:

Responsible Gun Owners know that violence is an act of last resort, not to be engaged in out of anger or frustration.

All Gun Owners should consider how their actions might negatively affect our movement. Anyone who feels compelled to protest over the course of the next week should take advantage of their First Amendment Rights lawfully and respectfully. We believe that peaceful protest should be focused on demonstrating strong support for a cause and educational advocacy, not intimidation, towards those one hopes to influence.”

We agree fully.

-Second Amendment Organization

-Guns For Everyone National

-Liberal Gun Owners

-National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers

-The Firearms Coalition

-Walk The Talk America

Second Amendment Organization 2AO (Second Amendment Organization) is a nonprofit, non-political, grassroots organization with a focus on engaging, educating, and equipping all shooters, firearms owners and pro-Second Amendment businesses in order to protect and preserve the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
2ao.org

Guns For Everyone National is a national non-profit organization that certifies firearms
instructors, operate national & local firearms competitions, and provide training, including courses in personal protection, in small arms safety, use, and marksmanship.
gfenational.com/

Liberal Gun Owners is a 501c4 Non-Profit Organization which has a two-pronged mission. Our first prong is to provide continued support for the reasonable, center-to-left firearms owner with constructive community platforms for enjoyment, education, business support and specialized training. Our second prong is to operate under what we call “simultaneous proponency”: which gives American society a substantial example of an innovative organization that works to strengthen both firearms ownership rights and improvements to public safety.
liberalgunowners.org

The Firearms Coalition is, as the name suggests, a coalition of gun clubs, state and local rights organizations, and individuals committed to preserving and restoring the right to arms. Since 1984, The Firearms Coalition has provided timely news, analysis, and assistance with political and legislative strategy, to our members and the public.
firearmscoalition.org

National Association of Sporting Goods was organized in 1953 and incorporated in 1954. The NASGW is the organizer and sponsor of the NASGW Annual Meeting/Expo Event. This annual event provides an unmatched educational, marketing and communications opportunity for the hunting and shooting sports wholesaler, manufacturer and sales professional. The NASGW annually recognizes manufacturers with Manufacturer of the Year Awards and works to Promote the common interest of the sporting goods industry.
nasgw.org

Walk The Talk America is a 501c3 formed in 2018 by firearms industry professionals with a goal is to raise awareness and create a change in the misunderstandings regarding mental illness and firearms by bringing together industry leaders to reduce gun violence, negligence, suicide, and the trauma created by these events. WTTA Develops programs to reduce firearms involved suicide, prevent firearms negligence, mitigation of trauma in the aftermath of violence and increase child safety around firearms.
WTTA.org

Gun Rights Legend & Activist Neal Knox’s Guns Up for Auction

Westerns Arms 2Nd Model Dragoon And Lyman 1858 Reproduction Percussion Revolvers From the collection of Neal Knox
Westerns Arms 2Nd Model Dragoon And Lyman 1858 Reproduction Percussion Revolvers From the collection of Neal Knox

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- A number of guns from the collection of my father, Neal Knox, are being auctioned by Morphy auctions this week, December 16th through 18th, 2020.  I’m afraid I was too busy with the elections to participate in the auction arrangements or promotion, and things have snuck up on me, so my apologies for the short notice.

Anyone interested in bidding on the guns, or just looking, can view the auction catalog at the Morphy Auctions website.  Dad’s guns are identified as being “From the collection of Neal Knox,” so a search on the name “Knox” will show you all of them (plus a Civil War relic with a connection to Knoxville, Tennessee, but no connection to our family).  I believe there are a total of about 53 lots from Dad’s collection in this auction.

Morphy December 16, 17, & 18, 2020 Field & Range Firearms Auction

Four of Dad’s guns, in three lots, were sold in a Morphy auction in November, including a Ruger Blackhawk in .30 Carbine that Dad acquired in 1968 with a serial number of 47.  There was also one of Dad’s very few safe queens, a beautiful Browning Olympic rifle which he picked up on a smoking deal many years ago at a gun show.  The final lot in that auction consisted of two almost identical Remington Model 742 Woodsmaster semi-auto rifles in .30-06.  They were both presentation guns given to attendees at a gun writer convention back in 1967.  The only differences between the two guns are their serial numbers and the names of the writers each rifle was presented to.  One is engraved with the name “Neal Knox,” the other is engraved with the name of his friend “Elmer Keith.”  Elmer gave his rifle to Dad, and Dad was always proud to have them side-by-side in his gun rack.  I was particularly disappointed in the price those 2 guns sold for as I loved the provenance.

Dad always referred to himself as more of an “accumulator” than a “collector.”  As a prominent gun writer through the 1960s and ‘70s, he had access to all of the new guns and gear and often had the opportunity to get a “brother-in-law discount” on guns he had reviewed.  That means there are quite a few great examples of guns from the ‘60s and ‘70s in the collection, with many of them having been featured in articles in publications like RifleHandloaderGun WeekGuns, or Guns & Ammo.  Dad was also an avid hunter, top-notch skeet addict, and National Champion Benchrest shooter, and those passions are well represented in the collection, especially the numerous Trap, Skeet, and Field shotguns that he accumulated over the years, and the several Benchrest rifles being offered, including the Shillen DGA rifle he used to win the Benchrest Nationals.

We weren’t able to get all of the guns’ histories into the auction descriptions, but we’re happy to answer questions and share information we have about any particular gun, whether from prospective buyers, or after the sale.  Inquiries can be sent to Info@FirearmsCoalition.org.

Again, my apologies for not getting more information about this auction out sooner.  This auction represents the bulk of Dad’s collection.  There are a few guns that are currently in the hands of various family members, and which might be offered for sale at some point in the future, but if you’re interested in owning a gun that belonged to Neal Knox, this is your best opportunity to do so.

All proceeds from this auction will go directly into my mother’s estate to provide for her care as she struggles with health issues. Again, Dad’s guns will be part of a larger auction being held by Morphy Auctions this week, December 16 – 18, 2020.

You can review the auction at MorphyAuctions.com, or click here.