Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Shooting Sports

Yeah, yeah. You've got your IPSC, your IDPA, your cowboy action shooting... But for my money, the best shooting sport around is NJ/MA Gun Law Bitching. Where some states have football rivalries, our respective governments have been locked in a spirited competition to have the country's most ridiculous gun laws. You want "assault weapons" bans? That was minor-league stuff. Abusive "may issue" policies? Oh, yeah--we gotcha covered (NJ's ahead on points here; some Mass PDs will issue permits, but NJ's centralized the process into a de facto statewide no-issue policy).

But restrictions on scary-looking rifles and concealed carry are only the warmup in this subtle ballet:

"In NJ, I had to wait months for permission to pick up my gun!"
"You got it easy! I can't buy that gun at all because of our ridiculous 'approved handgun' list!"
"PFF! Yeah? Well in three years, the only legal handgun in NJ will be a $10,000 .22!"
"You call that anti-gun paranoia? Massachusetts preemptively banned ray guns!"


  1. Makes me really glad to be in Texas where we "only" have to fight to get Open Carry.

    Well a few other minor things by comparison.

    I'll make the standard "Escaping Gun Blogger" invitation - If you ever get tired of living behind the lines and want to escape, I'll put you up for a couple of days to job/house hunt.

  2. At the current time, I believe MA is ahead on points - at least we can posess without permission, and the empty cases rattling around my desk aren't a potential felony...

  3. Bob, yup, Heller meant a very different thing for us behind enemy lines. I can understand why it seemed good-but-not-great to y'all, but over here it was like the whole world changed.

    And I'll keep you in mind if I ever convince the ladies to move that far from home. ;)

    Ian, it all depends on what's important to you. Concealed carry being completely out of the question is a big strike against in my opinion. And our bizarre posession laws on expanding bullets (which for most people make it legal to _own_ them, but not to _practice_ with them) deprive us of a self defense tool that's standard and essential everywhere else.

    I say it's like the Glock/1911 "debate": which one's better or worse depends on what you're looking for.

  4. As long as I am using hollow-points in a handgun w/o a carry permit; there's no problem. The limits on transport and possession of hollow-points are the same as those on handguns.

    (If I owned a rifle right now I'd be SOL, admittedly - I am flat out of jacketed ball .22lr and the last 2 boxes I bought turned out to be hollow-points; which they could have used bigger type to denote)...

    MA is a license to possess state, IIRC; and the license must be renewed. That means that you can be a felon by taking NO action (no renew your license). At least in NJ you have to DO something to break the law. MA has a safe storage law.

    OTOH you can get a carry permit outside of Boston, and you can own an MG or a pre-ban full-capacity magazine. Still think the difficulty of posession outweighs the ability to carry; esp since private property owners (such as my employer) can still prevent me from carrying.

  5. I'm not a lawyer. But my reading of the NJ law, which was backed up by an old State Police FAQ that I don't have handy and my NRA basic pistol instructor (who has a larger gun collection than almost any shop I've ever been in) is that NJ prohibits the posession of hollowpoints except while you're hunting, in your home, at the shop where you bought the bullets, or travelling from the shop to your home. As I understand it, there's no such exemption for bringing hollowpoint bullets to a shooting range, meaning the only way to legally practice with hollowpoints is to buy them at the range, or to shoot in another state (where, as I read it, you _might_ be covered under FOPA).

    Again, not a lawyer. Grain of salt, grain of salt.

    And I feel your pain. I inherited about 8,000 rounds of .22lr along with the MkIII, most of it hollowpoint.

  6. The current NJSP FAQ says (at http://www.state.nj.us/njsp/about/fire_hollow.html)
    " Sub section f (1) further exempts from the prohibited possession of hollow nose ammunition "persons engaged in activities pursuant to N.J.S.A 2C:39-6f. . . ."
    N.J.S.A 26:39-3f. (1).

    Activities contained in N.J.S.A 26:39-6f. can be broken down as follows:

    1.A member of a rifle or pistol club organized under rules of the National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice and which filed its charter with the State Police;
    2.A person engaged in hunting or target practice with a firearm legal for hunting in this State;
    3.A person going directly to a target range, and;
    4.A person going directly to an authorized place for "practice, match, target, trap or skeet shooting exhibitions."
    That's the same list of exemptions under which you have relations with Elsie outside your house and I take my long austrian friend out for a joy ride.

    OTOH I got all tingly from the last line of the referenced FAQ: "The State Supreme Court has "characterized the Gun Control Law as 'highly purposed and conscientiously designed toward preventing criminal and other unfit elements from acquiring firearms while enabling the fit elements of society to obtain them with minimal burdens.'" Id. at 559."

    (WV: swiesses - a european people with some sensible firearms views)

  7. I'm printing out the FAQ and putting a copy in my range bag.

  8. I think California should be in the running for gold on this as well.

  9. The Bradies sure think so. Cali gun owners are welcome to play in any pickup game I'm in, anyway. The more the merrier.