2A Newsletter: Week of January 20th
ATF releases Pistol Brace Ban Final Rule
Photo Source: W. Scott McGill via Shutterstock
Just as we released last week’s newsletter the ATF published their final rule on the pistol brace ban, otherwise known as 2021R-08. What followed in the past can really only be described as mass pandemonium - just one that isn’t really visible to the public. What does that mean and what do we do now? Basically, the ATF’s given all pistol brace users 120 days to register their guns as SBR’s and to incentivize that, the $200 tax stamp for it would be waived. While the original ATF proposed rule’s document was 293 pages in length. The final version was shortened to 44 pages which is what gun owners should be focusing on.
For gun owners in states that do not allow for SBR’s (short barreled rifles), if you wish to comply your options would be to convert your shorter AR build into something compliant with a legal barrel length. It’s pretty simple. The reality? Millions of gun owners will likely ignore this rule entirely and simply start using a regular buttstock.
Why, you ask? The grace period provided by the ATF is only 120 days and historically speaking the ATF has not been quick to issue tax stamps. We know that tens of millions of pistol braces have been sold to Americans (at the minimum). Imagine if simply 1 million applicants decided to go for compliance. Hardly anyone would ever receive a tax stamp, be it for a SBR or suppressor at that point. The system would be so gummed up the ATF would probably give up and have to ask Congress for additional funds to hire more staff at that point.
Additionally, let us be reminded it was the 5th Circuit of Appeals that (while en banc) overturned the bump stock ban. Yes, that’s the same Circuit to which we filed for our preliminary injunction (and we got it) against the ATF’s rule against 80 percent frames and lower receivers. Their reasoning - the ATF’s “rule” that banned bump stocks was unconstitutional. So we’ve got an ATF rule that was struck down by the 5th Circuit, and the same court which granted us a temporary restraining order against the ATF for another one of their rule…
It doesn’t bode well for the ATF’s “rule” on stabilizing braces either. We’re likely to see several lawsuits be filed for this situation in the very near future so stay tuned for more information and updates. More importantly, stay free.
ATF to target Smoke Grenades and Distraction Devices in new rule?
Photo Source: IWA International
Another product that the ATF may have set their sights on include smoke grenades and sound distraction devices. If you’ve been an airsofter or paintballer this is incredibly sad as these relatively well priced products bring a higher level of realism to a fun game.
For the everyday larper like us, they’re vital training tools and at the very least… really fun to use for digital content creation. We first got wind of this from I.W.A. International’s Instagram post that reveals they may be privy to information the public is not yet aware of.
So if there was ever a time to stock up on distraction devices or smoke grenades, now might be then. Or, you could hold your breath and hope that the ATF loses its ability to make arbitrary “rules” that are treated like law and policy.
When that may happen? With the developments we saw in 2022, you can bet 2023 is going to be just as wild in the courts. Never have there been more tactical classes being offered by former members of the military or law enforcement.
Whether you need these tools for fun or for some more serious training that covers room clearing, etc. — some other brands that make fun smoke grenades can be found from Enola Gaye. If you’re looking for a more affordable alternative to simulate a distraction device, consider Thunder B’s from Hakkotsu.
If or when the ATF releases a new proposed rule to ban these products from civilian ownership we will let you all know as that situation develops.
Biden blasted for repeating false claims about guns at MLK event
Photo Source: Gins Ivuskans via Shutterstock
What does it say when Biden uses an event meant to celebrate and remember Martin Luther King Jr. to spread misinformation and falsities about gun culture and control?
Our sleepy commander in chief seems to think it's the perfect time to repeat gun claims that have been repeatedly debunked. Some of which include:- “I am going to get ‘assault weapons’ banned.”
- “...and ban the number of bullets that go in a magazine.”
- “Deer aren’t wearing kevlar vests out there.”- “If you need to worry about taking on the federal government, you need some F-15’s. You don’t need an AR-15.”
The Twitter comments to the event and recording of Biden’s remarks were so well said there’s really not much for us to say that can be considered as novel.
- “I can easily kill you with my military, dumb-dumb citizens,’ is not a good talking point to refute the need for self-defense.” - CNN Commentator Mary Katherine Ham
- “Biden reminds everyone that they ultimately have no freedoms, the Bill of Rights is essentially void and we live under a tyrannical federal government…” - Comedian Tim Young
Apple has begun to scan your camera roll without consent; why does this matter?
Photo Source: Alberto Garcia Guillen via Shutterstock
Do you use an iPhone? Do you use a whole host of Apple products? You better think twice about where you’re storing those gun pics, friend.
This week, we came across an article that meticulously depicted how Apple has begun to scan your camera roll’s image files without consent. We’ll briefly go over why this is important and immensely important.
The article’s author, Jeffrey Paul, uses a program called Little Snitch which alerts you to network traffic attempted by the programs that are being used. Paul has set it up so that he denies network access to many Apple OS-level applications out of an abundance of caution and references how Apple has publicly stated they've previously handed over 30,000 customers’ information to US federal police without any search warrant.
While browsing some images he had in his Mac’s Finder, Little Snitch told him that the macOS was attempting to communicate with an Apple API (application programming interface - in this situation, it's software that allows apps to communicate with other apps and servers) called Media Analysis Daemon - a background process for analyzing media files.
Crucial context: In 2021, Apple said that they planned on rolling out a new CSAM (child sexual abuse material) policy thru an iOS update, a program designed to detect child pornography or anything else really (it’s a slippery slope) which simply means that end users’ photo and or data could be used to provide police surveillance breaking several privacy laws and human rights. The news was not received well by the public and there was significant backlash. To which Apple backpedaled and said,
“Based on feedback from customers, advocacy groups, researchers and others, we have decided to take additional time over the coming months to collect input and make improvements before releasing these critically important child safety features.”
The mass media falsely reported that Apple had reversed course. Fact of the matter is that this is not the case.
If you Google search Apple’s record on how they’ve handled government requests for user data over the past decade you’ll find various results depending on the year. To summarize as Paul so eloquently put it,
“macoS now contains network-based spyware even with all Apple services disabled. It cannot be disabled via controls with the OS: you must use third party network filtering software (or external devices) to prevent it.”
Photo Source: Sneak.Berlin
If you’re interested in learning more about your own network traffic, you can try downloading Little Snitch here. Something to note; tech consumers tend to get brand loyal and think it's Apple vs Google vs Microsoft, but the reality is all three major companies do something similar with regard to the CSAM debacle.
Alright, to bring it back to guns - some may say “just don’t do anything bad, and the alphabet boys won’t have anything to hide.” That’s irrelevant at best and naive at worst. If you’ve done nothing wrong and have nothing to hide it’s arguable that is the most important time to limit information transfer to law enforcement.
The "don't do anything bad" notion is debatable on two points. First, the idea that Apple's program is designed only to dig for and flag images related to child pornography or human/sex trafficking is a logical fallacy. It would take no effort to include a slew of items for the API to hunt for in your local image files i.e. our guns and precious builds.
The second point is how something innocent can easily be twisted into something sinister. Let’s say a parent takes a picture of their naked child and sends it to their doctor via a telehealth call. Would that get flagged? Childcare Services are a nightmare for any parent to deal with, especially if there was no harm or foul play involved to begin with. Parents wrongfully losing their kids, even if only temporarily to Childcare Services without cause is unfortunately not uncommon. Can you imagine the irreparable harm done to a kid and their family because of the unnecessary parent-child separation? Some byproducts of this include trauma, PTSD or a difficult recovery to name a few.
While it’s no tragedy for data on criminals to be transferred to law enforcement… When law enforcement investigates innocent people, it often leads to extreme injustice. Therefore, the natural reaction should be to reject all law enforcement surveillance attempts, an obvious point if you’re actually a criminal, but especially true if you're innocent.
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