About Tom Lindsay

Just a regular guy who likes to shoot and cook barbecue. Leukemia survivor. Bourbon drinker. Chemical Engineer.

If Clear, Hammer Down, Holster, and Mask Up

I finally got my USPSA RO certification renewed, the week before the governor closed down Georgia. So, the matched for the last two months have been cancelled, leaving me to have to settle for dry fire practice in the office.

But finally, the River Bend Gun Club, where I shoot most often, has decided to re-open, and I have volunteered to RO this new match. And given the Most Recent Unpleasantness, we will be subject to a few new rules, which will certainly make things a lot more interesting.

First, squads will be limited to ten people, made up of 8 shooters and 2 ROs. Since RBGC normally has 125 plus shooters, this means there will be a morning run and an evening run, and I and set to shoot in the morning and RO in the afternoon.

Now, at first, all competitors were going to be required to bring and wear a mask, but this requirement has since been relaxed to an encouragement. As a cancer survivor, I wear one all the time when I go out, so I will then, too. We will also be limited to social distancing to no less than 6 feet, and because of this, only two competitors will paste targets and reset the stage, and this will rotate. This minimizes the chance of getting too close to others.

I welcome the return to shooting and I will keep you updated.

Gun Owners – Please Support this Change

For some time, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) refused to allow the carry of weapons for self defense, even if the person involved held a license or permit. Even in recent times, as more and more states issued licenses, the USACE refused to honor them, despite the fact that they were recognized in State Parks, and in National Parks that are not run by the USACE.

For those wondering (and I did) the USACE runs State Parks and National Parks that involve dammed waterways, and they maintain the dams. This sets these parks apart somewhat, in that they are managed by a branch of the military, rather than by the civilian parks departments. Because of this, a lot of the park rules reflect those in effect on Army bases, and one of those rules has been a prohibition on carry of weapons, even by service personnel.

As the other park systems began to relax their prohibitions in the wake of less restrictive carry laws, the Corps remained mired in the past. But state groups, notably GeorgiaCarry.org, continued to press the Corps to allow lawful carry by license holders.

In 2019, following a series of lawsuits by GCO, the Corps agreed to issue permission letters, if a citizen were to write and ask for such a letter. Then, should one be asked, this letter could be presented as proof of the right. But to be honest, even this restriction is too much, and GCO continued its legal pursuit.

And finally, this year the Corps agreed to change the rule! The proposed rule change is open to comments, and I highly recommend you go here and read the docket, and submit your supporting note. The deadline to submit is June 12, 2020.

Look for updates here as the rule gets closer to change.

Condition Orange – Georgia Update

Earlier this week I wrote about how we need to be in Condition Orange during the current pandemic. As part of this I posted a copy of the federal and Georgia state laws that apply to declarations of emergency. A GeorgiaCarry member read this and pointed out that Section 8 of the Georgia law had been changed in 2014 to read:

(8) Suspend or limit the sale, dispensing, or transportation of alcoholic beverages, explosives, or combustibles; provided, however, that for purposes of this paragraph, the terms “explosives” and “combustibles” shall not include firearms or ammunition or any component thereof; and

This allows personal sales in addition to FFL sales, and was due in a large part to the work of my friends at GeorgiaCarry.org.

So I have corrected the copies of the law posted. If you got the one from the previous post, please discard it and use this one.

Condition Orange

In a state of emergency, like the current COVID-19 pandemic, things are already hectic and unpredictable, bordering on chaotic. In these times, one would think that the government would focus on helping citizens protect themselves, both from the stated dangers of the virus, and the dangers of those who would prey on the weak by taking advantage of the emergency.

Sadly, this is not the case.

In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the police went door to door and seized firearms from legal owners, and held them, until forced to return them three years later, after settling a lawsuit brought by the NRA-ILA.

So what should we law abiding gun owners expect, now that the White House and many states and cities have declared states of emergency?

Well, as with many things, this depends on where you live.

First, know that the US Government cannot seize your guns – legally – because of a state of emergency. See 42 U.S. Code § 5207.

In Georgia, the law used to allow authorities to seize our guns, but thanks to GeorgiaCarry, the law was changed, and now, while we can’t buy new guns, we can still carry the ones we own.

Georgia law O.C.G.A. 38-3-51 says,:

(c) The Governor shall have and may exercise for such period as the state of emergency or disaster exists or continues the following additional emergency powers:
…..
(8) Suspend or limit the sale, dispensing, or transportation of alcoholic beverages, explosives, or combustibles; provided, however, that for purposes of this paragraph, the terms “explosives” and “combustibles” shall not include firearms or ammunition or any component thereof; and
(Emphasis added)

For a summary of laws from other states, see this post from Bigfoot Gunbelts.

So, what should we do?

First, know your rights in the state where you live. Do research. Contact your local state gun rights group.

Second, print out and keep a copy of the law with you, in case someone you encounter does not know the law. For those in Georgia, here is a copy.

Then, take action. For those of us in Georgia, buy ammo, if you can. Here in Kennesaw, 9mm was gone last week. But that’s why I lay in ammo any way.

But always, stay alert. Stay in Condition Orange. And stay safe.

++++

NOTE – Section 8 of the Georgia law had been updated to the current correct version.

Range is Clear

I originally took the USPSA Range Officer course back in 2013, and I acted as an RO in matches, up until The Late Unpleasantness caused me to let my certification lapse.

As it turns out, I could have written the National Range Officer Institute – the NROI – and asked them for an exemption, and re-certified. But, given the amount of time that lapsed, and seeing that there was now a new class of gun being used – Pistol Caliber Carbines, or PCC – I decided I would invest my time and money and take the course again, which I did this past weekend at the River Bend Gun Club in Dawsonville, GA.

The instructor this time was the NROI Director, Troy McManus, and there were 25 of us, altogether, representing a wide range of experience and shooting ability. The first day was all classroom training, going over the rules. The USPSA has doen a lot of editing and revision to the 2020 rulebook, and we went over it from front to back. I’m glad we did, because, honestly, I don’t read it enough.

The second day was all about exercising what we learned, by ROing shooters. Whereas we shot only one stage the first time I took the class, this time there were two stages, and the second stage helped illustrate the kinds of decisions an RO has to make. There were enough tough calls that we all go our turn at it.

As a side note, I shot very well on the two stages, with no mikes, and good times. In fact, just for fun I tried doing head shots on the second stage, and did well. The reason I did better? Obviously it’s because I wasn’t under pressure. I felt confident, and different. I think I learned something there.

Now, I have to pass the test, and I get my certification back, which will be another victory for me.

Farewell to Production

When I started shooting USPSA, I shot in Production. Production Division limits guns to 10 rounds per magazine, and all competitors shoot in minor power factor. This means I can shoot 9mm and not be penalized.

The issue with Production, though, is that, for me, the whole stage became all about when I should change magazines – sometimes 3 changes in a stage.  As an example, look at how many changes I make in the top video, versus the bottom one where I shoot Limited.

So as a result, with my fat-boy catcher speed, I was never able able to move fast enough and shoot well enough to get out of D class.

So, I decided at the start of 2019 to switch to Limited, which doesn’t have the number of rounds limited, just the size. With G17 mags and the right extenders, I could fit 22 rounds in if I needed to. Even with my normal extended mags, I can get 19 rounds in, which means usually one mag change per stage.  Now, given that I am still shooting 9mm, I am in minor power factor, which admittedly puts me a disadvantage. But, I managed over the year to shoot well enough to end up in C class, which made to change all worthwhile. I was elated.

And then . . .

Looking at my Production scores one day, I calculated that if I shot a 45 on a Production classifier, I could move up into C class in. Looking at my recent classifiers, and knowing that classifiers are generally designed so that all classifications shoot the same, I thought, why not? Make a good score, and then finally retire from Production.

So, I looked, and the next match had a classifier that required a mag change (well, it was 12 shots, so for Production, it does), so I practiced changing magazines in my office for a couple of weeks, and gave it a try.

Now, as an explanation, not an excuse, I shot the classifier about 5 stages into the match, by which time I was so dadgum pissed off at having to change mags 3 times in a stage, that, true to form, I made a miss on the classifier, and ended up not moving up.

So now, I am now retiring from Production. RIP