Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Do Massachusetts Gun Laws apply to all? (Part I)
Boston Gun Rights Examiner ^ | 21 June, 2009 | Ron BoklemanGo to Ron's Home Page

Posted on 06/22/2009 4:24:22 AM PDT by marktwain

Middlesex District Attorney Gerry LeoneThere are a few social issues in this country that, if judged by the output of so called mainstream media outlets, seem to be driven by pure emotion rather than logic and the laws of our republic. One could, I believe, argue that the top two issues falling into that category are those of abortion and gun control.

I believe that despite the constant flow of emotional rhetoric and lack of facts from these sources Americans can and will ultimately insist that logic and the law prevail, but not unlike the dreadful Dred Scott decision these things can take time to correct.

We’ve already had enough discussion of how the media feeds these issues with false and misleading information, but when either the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) or a State Supreme Court decide to take up cases involving either issue its very big news indeed.

On Friday the Massachusetts Supreme Court has decided to hear an appeal (SJC will review gun lock ruling, Law at odds with US high court) of a case that may have only short-term implications and yet the complexity and implications are lost on the general public, and the so called experts at the Boston Globe, and the Boston Herald.

I say lost because the issue is a complex one and given that most of general public have an attention span of a ferret on a double-cappuccino when it comes to digesting complex issues, they can and will do their utmost to ignore the nuances that make this so important. That aside, I’m going to try anyway to clearly lay this out as simply as I can.

In the DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ET AL. v. HELLER (07-290) decided June 26, 2008 clearly ruled in favor of the long held view that you and I have an individual right to keep and bear arms. The ruling also established that requiring a firearm, available for self-defense, to be kept under lock or disassembled was also unconstitutional.

The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied toself-defense) violate the Second Amendment.

Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional. -- D.C. v. Heller, June 26, 2008

The ruling by the Supreme Court concerning firearm storage became an immediate issue in Massachusetts when Lt. Richard Bolduc of the Massachusetts State Police used the D.C. v. Heller case as his defense in a case involving his 12-year old son. One day before the Supreme Court decision, Bolduc’s 12-year-old son took the unloaded weapon — a Sig Sauer P226 .40-caliber handgun — from an unlocked bureau, brought it outside in his Sandwich neighborhood, pointed the gun at a 5-year-old girl and pulled the trigger.

Bolduc's lawyer, Daniel O'Malley, argued the charge should be dismissed based on the Supreme Court's ruling that found a Washington D.C. handgun ban unconstitutional. The ruling also said requiring trigger locks hinders a person's right to self defense. Against some local opposition, on February 21, 2009 the case was dismissed against the officer, and he was returned to full active duty. Notice that no appeal was made to the Massachusetts State Supreme Court in this case making the previous opposition columns points worth considering.

In my former role as the Norfolk County League of Sportsmen’s Clubs President I wrote that while I was glad the court upheld Heller, I was concerned that this was a case of special treatment and we would see what happened when an average citizen was found guilty of similar charges. Well, we didn’t have to wait too long as another case was already in progress.

M.G.L. c. 140, § 131L makes it unlawful to store or keep any firearm, rifle or shotgun including, but not limited to, large capacity weapons, or machine gun in any place unless such weapon is secured in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other safety device, properly engaged so as to render such weapon inoperable by any person other than the owner or other lawfully authorized.

On April 1, 2008, several months before the Heller decision, Billerica police were called to the Fernwood Road home of Richard Runyan, for a report of a BB gun shot through a window. Police found Runyan’s 18-year-old son, Alexander, shooting a BB gun out the window at his neighbor, William Durant. Officers seized the BB gun from Alexander, who has Down syndrome.

Alexander, who was home alone during the day, showed police his father’s bedroom where they found two other guns stored under the bed in soft g carrying cases. Officers found a 12-gauge shotgun bound by a trigger lock and an unsecured semi-automatic hunting rifle, according to police reports.

On Aug. 14, 2008 Runyan filed an instant motion to dismiss the gun charges against him based on the same defense as Lt. Richard Bolduc.

On March 5th of 2009, Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone appealed the dismissal of the Runyan case to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) – shortly after the case of Lt. Richard Bolduc, facing nearly identical charges, had already been dismissed. Note that no appeal has been made by Barnstable County District Attorney Michael O’Keefe concerning the Bolduc case.

Why would the SJC take up this case on appeal? How would the SJC be viewed by the citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts if they indeed were to rule against Runyan?

What if they rule in favor of Runyan? What, if any would be the short or long term ramifications?

We’ll take a deeper look into these questions in Part II.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Massachusetts
KEYWORDS: banglist; gun; heller; ma
I will be looking forward to part II.
1 posted on 06/22/2009 4:24:22 AM PDT by marktwain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: marktwain
How would the SJC be viewed by the citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts if they indeed were to rule against Runyan?

No problem from most of the people from the People's Republic of Massachusetts because being liberal means never having to be consistent.

2 posted on 06/22/2009 4:39:57 AM PDT by libertylover (The problem with Obama is not that his skin is too black, it's that his ideas are too RED.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

Both firearms owners are guilty of felony stupidity.

What reasonable adult leaves a weapon, unloaded or not, where it can be accessed by a 12 year old or a retarded 18 year old?

The Trooper is lucky they do not change this from a firearms case to a case of endangering a minor.

These are not cases for us to be proud of or draw attention to.


3 posted on 06/22/2009 4:55:25 AM PDT by MindBender26 (The Hellfire Missile is one of the wonderful ways God shows us he loves American Soldiers & Marines)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MindBender26
What reasonable adult leaves a weapon, unloaded or not, where it can be accessed by a 12 year old

They used to do it all the time at Coney Island.

ML/NJ

4 posted on 06/22/2009 4:59:57 AM PDT by ml/nj
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: MindBender26

MindBender26 posted:

“What reasonable adult leaves a weapon, unloaded or not, where it can be accessed by a 12 year old or a retarded 18 year old?”

marktwain replies:

I was raised that way, and I raised my children that way.

Only about half the country does it, with no significant problems. Children learn responsibility by being given responsibility.


5 posted on 06/22/2009 5:06:13 AM PDT by marktwain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: marktwain
Children learn responsibility by being given responsibility.

Absolutely

6 posted on 06/22/2009 5:11:33 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: MindBender26
I see you have gotten some responses to your question already but I will add my response. Where I grew up there was ALWAYS a loaded 12 ga by the back door and a loaded 30-30 over the fireplace. Even God could not save you if you touched one of them before you were told too. We all received extensive instruction in gun use starting at about age 6. Get caught misusing any tool especially a gun and justice was swift, harsh and usually very painful. No one had accidents or “played” with the guns. That was just the way it was.
7 posted on 06/22/2009 5:12:59 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Nemo me impune lacessit)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

The police officer needs to be teaching his son proper firearms safety. If he had an Eddie Eagle course, my guess is that he would not be pointing a real gun (unloaded or not) at any other neighborhood kids. He was just lucky it was unloaded. I doubt the kid knew that.

The other case is interesting indeed as it appears to me that there are 4th amendment violations here as well. Those firearms were under his bed (i.e. not in plain sight). What right did they have to search this persons house? Certainly, the word of a retarded child cannot be enough cause for that. Never mind the Heller case, go for the illegal search and seizure. Seems more pat.


8 posted on 06/22/2009 5:16:06 AM PDT by Old Teufel Hunden
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mad_as_he$$

I would only make one caveat to what you said. The second case involved a child with Downs syndrome. I’m no expert on retarded kids, but I don’t think they have enough understanding to appreciate firearms safety. If I had a retarded child in my house, I think I would have my firearms locked up or have gunlocks on them. Just an opinion.


9 posted on 06/22/2009 5:19:07 AM PDT by Old Teufel Hunden
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Old Teufel Hunden
Probably not bad advice. Not sure I would go gun locks but prudence is prudence.
10 posted on 06/22/2009 5:20:32 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Nemo me impune lacessit)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: MindBender26
What reasonable adult leaves a weapon, unloaded or not, where it can be accessed by a 12 year old or a retarded 18 year old?

Oh, please. Don't succumb to the modern thinking that anyone under 68 is a child. A normal 12 year old should have already known for years when he can use the guns and when he can't (and who he shouldn't be pointing them at when he does). The 18 YO Down's patient is another matter. Depends on his functional level. Down's patients range from barely impaired to severe. If he's fairly severely impaired, I would probably agree with you in his case.

11 posted on 06/22/2009 5:52:59 AM PDT by Still Thinking (If ignorance is bliss, liberals must be ecstatic!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Still Thinking; marktwain; mad_as_he$$
Please reread the article:

Bolduc’s 12-year-old son took the unloaded weapon — a Sig Sauer P226 .40-caliber handgun — from an unlocked bureau, brought it outside in his Sandwich neighborhood, pointed the gun at a 5-year-old girl and pulled the trigger.

That is why you never leave an unsecured firearm where a 12 year old can get it.

He didn't know, or didn't care, that you should never point a firearm at anything you do not want to kill. Any resourceful 12 year old can find some .40 rounds somewhere.

Never leave an unattended firearm anywhere. Mine are in an instant access gun safe or on my person 24/365.

BTW, on the issue of securing weapons, that is the NRA, ILA and GOA's firm position as well.

12 posted on 06/22/2009 6:16:26 AM PDT by MindBender26 (The Hellfire Missile is one of the wonderful ways God shows us he loves American Soldiers & Marines)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Still Thinking; marktwain; mad_as_he$$
P.S. This is not a “gun owners rights” issue. This is an endangering a child issue. The 5 year old is a vic here.

If an adult (or minor) points an unloaded firearm at any person, that is an assault. It may not be “ADW,’ Assault with a Deadly Weapon, but it is certainly ADI, Assault with a Dangerous Instrument. In this case, the Trooper facilitated his son assaulting the young girl.

Stupid 101, and not the kind of case we want to use to establish our point. It's a perfect “See, that's why we need gun locks” media case for the other side.

13 posted on 06/22/2009 6:24:18 AM PDT by MindBender26 (The Hellfire Missile is one of the wonderful ways God shows us he loves American Soldiers & Marines)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: MindBender26
The NRA does not insist that all firearms be in locked containers when not in the immediate presence of the owner. They actively oppose such a requirement being made law:

http://www.nraila.org/Issues/Articles/Read.aspx?id=20&issue=009

Most firearms in the country are not locked up in safes in the home of the person who owns them. Millions of teenagers have been successfully raised around firearms without a problem. There have also been numerous cases of children using firearms to defend themselves and their families.

“Safe storage laws” has reportedly resulted in at least two deaths by homicide in northern California, when the 14 year old girl that had been trained in firearms use and safety was forbidden by law from accessing the firearms necessary to protect her siblings from a madman with a pitchfork who then killed them.

14 posted on 06/22/2009 6:35:52 AM PDT by marktwain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

I’m looking forward to Part II as well, for parochial reasons.

As a Massachusetts gun owner, I’m required to keep all firearms under lock and key, either in a gun safe or with a trigger lock. What hogwash! This gives me heartburn for several reasons.

First, I guarantee that I will not be giving permission for ANYBODY to inspect my gun storage. But can the jackboots obtain a search warrant if they SUSPECT my guns are not under lock and key? Say if my neighbor saw that rifle over my mantle and called it in?

Second, the state never offered to buy me a gun cabinet, so it escapes me how they can require one. This seems akin to an illegal taking, since I’m being required to fork over money for something I don’t want. Then again, Massachusetts also requires motorcycle helmets ... but of course.

Then again, I heard that our “new” police chief in town doesn’t the idea of civilians with concealed weapons, so his orders supposedly are that all pistol permit renewals will be for “Target Practice Only” and no longer for “All Lawful Purposes” as in the past. But I don’t have to renew for three more years, so I can put off that battle for now.

(For all you folks living outside the People’s Republic ... yes, you need a permit from the town just to OWN a pistol in Massachusetts and these permits are NOT easy to obtain!)


15 posted on 06/22/2009 7:21:22 AM PDT by DNME (Develop non-electronic means of communication with friends. Quickly!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain
Every legitimate gun owners’ group supports keeping weapons secured from children.

The Trooper did not do so in this case. You are trying to make a legal case. That's fine, make those arguments in court, but do not make a PUBLIC argument that the Trooper did no wrong when his 12 years old pointed his unsecured pistol at a 5 year-old and pulled the trigger!

We will lose that battle in the court of public opinion every time!

16 posted on 06/22/2009 7:42:23 AM PDT by MindBender26 (The Hellfire Missile is one of the wonderful ways God shows us he loves American Soldiers & Marines)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: libertylover
"No problem from most of the people from the People's Republic of Massachusetts because being liberal means never having to be consistent HONEST"

.

17 posted on 06/22/2009 8:02:49 AM PDT by editor-surveyor (The beginning of the O'Bummer administration looks a lot like the end of the Nixon administration)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: MindBender26
Mine are usually on my hip and/or in my vehicle, just inside the door at home or on the nightstand. I will never have to ask a criminal to wait a second while I go get my gun.
18 posted on 06/22/2009 8:36:25 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Nemo me impune lacessit)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: MindBender26

I’m slightly sympathetic to that point of view, but I still think it’s wrong. You accused both gun-owners of stupidity. Before posting, I rechecked your post to see that you were accusing the cop on the basis of allowing access and not failing to educate his kid. Sorry, the NRA is wrong on this (they sometimes can be found appeasing on legislation or spouting PC conventional wisdom as advice). It was done the other way without significant problems for too many generation to alledge now that it won’t work. (Now I do agree the cop IS terminally stupid, but for failing to educate, not for normal firearm storage.)


19 posted on 06/22/2009 8:36:26 AM PDT by Still Thinking (If ignorance is bliss, liberals must be ecstatic!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: MindBender26
Oh and by the way. I could care less what the NRA thinks; I might consider GOA’s position but the NRA can kiss my ground pounding a$$.
20 posted on 06/22/2009 8:37:59 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Nemo me impune lacessit)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: MindBender26
If an adult (or minor) points an unloaded firearm at any person, that is an assault. It may not be “ADW,’ Assault with a Deadly Weapon, but it is certainly ADI, Assault with a Dangerous Instrument. In this case, the Trooper facilitated his son assaulting the young girl.

Yes he did, but he did so by failing to educate his kid, not by failing to store his weapon in some bizarre and foolish manner mandated by a bunch of pants wetters. You and I both know that children older than toddlers, when properly trained, are safe around firearms. It's been that way for centuries.

21 posted on 06/22/2009 8:41:31 AM PDT by Still Thinking (If ignorance is bliss, liberals must be ecstatic!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: MindBender26
MindBender26 posted:
“Every legitimate gun owners’ group supports keeping weapons secured from children.”

marktwain replies:
This is from GOA. They do not seem to be saying that everyone under 18 should be prevented from having access to firearms:

http://gunowners.org/op0132.htm

What do you mean by “secured from children”? Do you mean that no one under 18 should have access to a firearm except in the presence of an adult?

22 posted on 06/22/2009 8:45:18 AM PDT by marktwain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

All 3 of my daughters were taught to shoot, were taught gun safety and knew all 7 places in the house where a locked and cocked gun resided.

They got in trouble when they pointed a toy pistol at someone. All three are very capapble women and deadly with a variety of handguns. And ... all knew how to shoot by age 14.

It’s thet stupid jerks that teach their children only one thing to do “do not touch that” that run into trouble. Teach them respect and that every arm they pick up is loaded, even if the slide is open or the bolt is out or if they can see daylight down the barrel. That gun is ALWAYS considered loaded.

Even while cleaning, the muzzle is pointed in a harmless direction. Teach childrn that, and they will never have or cause a problem.

Never have I been worried about loaded weapons in my house.


23 posted on 06/22/2009 8:55:00 AM PDT by HiramQuick (work harder ... welfare recipients depend on you!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: mad_as_he$$

Thank You ... common sense and discipline prevailed in your house.

Some of us were taught it. My kids were taugt it from the time they could understand .. and then as maturity came they were taught how to use those firearms as well.

Hide it from your faily and kids ... trouble brews and will erupt. It is the day we live in.


24 posted on 06/22/2009 9:01:57 AM PDT by HiramQuick (work harder ... welfare recipients depend on you!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: mad_as_he$$

The goa doesn’t have a position on this. They have no safety classes. They have no shooting competitions. They don’t teach safety officers. There is no incident when the goa has ever done a single active thing about gun safety.

Talk isn’t cheap when you’re a goa member. They’ll talk you to death about what they want to do without a single accomplished action.

You’re a fool for throwing your money at nonaction.


25 posted on 06/22/2009 1:42:56 PM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (NRA /Patron - TSRA- IDPA)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: marktwain; XeniaSt

Jeff Cooper’s four rules of gun safety:

RULE I: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED

RULE II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY

RULE III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET

RULE IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET

I’ll let Xenia St. post the NRA’s since I favor Cooper’s.


26 posted on 06/22/2009 1:47:27 PM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (NRA /Patron - TSRA- IDPA)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Shooter 2.5
Since it is well known that you are an NRA shill get your facts straight.

I NEVER said I was a GOA member and I NEVER said they had a position only that I MIGHT listen to them over the NRA.

Please try and read more carefully before you start your NRA is god attacks.

27 posted on 06/22/2009 2:13:18 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Nemo me impune lacessit)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Shooter 2.5; marktwain
Jeff Cooper’s four rules of gun safety:

RULE I: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED

RULE II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY

RULE III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET

RULE IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET

I’ll let Xenia St. post the NRA’s since I favor Cooper’s.

Thanks for the ping.

Col Cooper's rules have value in a "free-fire zone"
however in any other place they are patently
absurd as 99.9% of all guns are unloaded.

This leads to familiarity and loss of focus.

There are a great many differences between Cooper Rules and the NRA rules.



NRA rules are all positive and start with the same positive word.
which facilitates learning and retention.

Cooper rules are random and confusing,
thus difficult to learn and retain.



NRA rules use words that can be understand by all.

Cooper rules use words which are not easily understood by all.



Each NRA rule is one topic.

Cooper rules 2 & 3 each contain two topics.
Sometimes Cooper rule three has two topics



The NRA rules are in a sequence of safety
If rule one is observed rule two and three if violated will cause no harm.
If rule two is observed rule three if violated, will cause no harm



The most violated Cooper rule is rule number one.(I thought it was unloaded)

Some wag stated ""All guns are always loaded!" is a ridiculous thing to say.
What kind of safety rule is a declarative statement which is patently false?

That is why NRA Certified Instructors teaching NRA basic courses teach
"Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction" as Rule One.

NRA Gun Safety Rules :

Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction

Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot

Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use

NRA T/C CRSO

28 posted on 06/22/2009 2:30:33 PM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: mad_as_he$$

You clowns get all innocent when you get corrected.

What did you tell us the NRA can do on post 20?


29 posted on 06/22/2009 2:37:43 PM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (NRA /Patron - TSRA- IDPA)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: UriĀ’el-2012
Too bad you couldn't have posted the NRA rules without criticizing the Cooper rules.

The NRA rules are not “better”. It's only a matter of opinion since there has never been a study between accidents between Cooper trained individuals and NRA trained individuals.

30 posted on 06/22/2009 2:43:06 PM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (NRA /Patron - TSRA- IDPA)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

Comment #31 Removed by Moderator

To: UriĀ’el-2012
Col Cooper's rules have value in a "free-fire zone" however in any other place they are patently absurd as 99.9% of all guns are unloaded.

Sir, I must respectfully disagree. I would argue that Cooper's formulation is the simplest yet devised that covers the broadest range of circumstances, with particular relevance to those, like CCW holders or police officers who, while not living in free-fire zones, carry a hot weapon on a daily basis. They apply in administrative settings (ie, changing ammuntion, clearing a weapon etc.), while training, when the weapon must be presented, and during a firefight. The mental reminder "all guns are loaded" has saved more than a few ND's. One needn't quibble that this is an illogical, or even factually untrue assertion; it serves as a simplified mental "safety" when one is tired, distracted, or otherwise not at the top of one's game.

And in such real-world situations, the final reminder, to be aware of one's target and background, is perhaps the most important, and should not be conflated into a "safe direction" phrase. Indeed, CCW holders must on occasion point their weapons in directions that are inherently unsafe from someone's perspective, as, for instance, at an armed assailant.

There is nothing wrong with the NRA rules, but historically, and practically, they are directed at a recreational or training environment where one might argue that it is acceptable to holster a cold pistol, and one need not worry about the target or ballistic integrity of the backstop.

32 posted on 06/22/2009 4:55:36 PM PDT by absalom01 (Molon Labe!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: absalom01
>U-2012 Col Cooper's rules have value in a "free-fire zone" however in any other place they are patently absurd as 99.9% of all guns are unloaded.

Sir, I must respectfully disagree. I would argue that Cooper's formulation is the simplest yet devised that covers the broadest range of circumstances, with particular relevance to those, like CCW holders or police officers who, while not living in free-fire zones, carry a hot weapon on a daily basis. They apply in administrative settings (ie, changing ammuntion, clearing a weapon etc.), while training, when the weapon must be presented, and during a firefight. The mental reminder "all guns are loaded" has saved more than a few ND's. One needn't quibble that this is an illogical, or even factually untrue assertion; it serves as a simplified mental "safety" when one is tired, distracted, or otherwise not at the top of one's game.

And in such real-world situations, the final reminder, to be aware of one's target and background, is perhaps the most important, and should not be conflated into a "safe direction" phrase. Indeed, CCW holders must on occasion point their weapons in directions that are inherently unsafe from someone's perspective, as, for instance, at an armed assailant.

There is nothing wrong with the NRA rules, but historically, and practically, they are directed at a recreational or training environment where one might argue that it is acceptable to holster a cold pistol, and one need not worry about the target or ballistic integrity of the backstop.

I am quite familiar with Col. Cooper's rules.

They have value for dogfaces and grunts.
Which is where they were developed during WWII.

However they have proven to be unsafe.

Police Officer Safety Training (POST) train with Cooper rules.
The NRA Training Department has developed Police Firearms training
based on NRA Safety rules in hope of reducing NDs by LEOs

Many years ago the NRA used the Cooper rules;
His rules proved to be unsafe as NDs did not decrease,
the NRA training dept spent years developing safer rules.

Since the introduction of the new rules NDs among
those trained with the new rules have dramatically decreased

They are much safer because:

Why do I point the gun in a safe direction?
Because until I inspect the chamber, I assume it is loaded.

Why do I keep my finger off the trigger?
Because I assume that it is loaded until I inspect the chamber.

I don't load a gun until I plan to use it.

I train and certify NRA Certified Instructors in all disciplines
including Personal Protection both in and outside the Home.

I'm a Chief Range Safety Officer training NRA Certified Range Safety Officers
and I also teach the development of Standard Operating Procedures for the operation of
both indoor and outdoor ranges in all disciplines.

Here are the rules which are safer than Cooper rules:

Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction

Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot

Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use

When you plan to shoot or store , the following rules come into effect:
NRA Eight Rules for Using or Storing A Gun

1. Know your target and what is beyond.

2. Be sure the gun is safe to operate.

3. Know how to use the gun safely.

4. Use only the correct ammunition for your gun.

5. Wear eye and ear protection.

6. NEVER use alcohol or drugs before or while shooting.

7. Store guns so they are NOT accessible to unauthorized persons.

8. Be aware that certain types of guns and many shooting activities require additional safety precautions.

There are many more training rules for both concealed and open carry.

However the three fundamental rules apply in all circumstances.

I hope that I have made it very clear why Cooper rules have failed to protect the shooter.

If you rely only on the Cooper rules you have placed yourself at greater risk.

33 posted on 06/22/2009 7:34:14 PM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: UriĀ’el-2012

This is indeed a topic that seems never to rest. If there are empirical data showing that the NRA’s “ABC” ruleset itself generates a lower ND rate among trainees, that would be good news indeed, and speaks well for the hard work of a fine organization, and dedicated trainers such as yourself.

However, there is more to it than that.

For example, rule A seems overly delicate, and frankly, appears guaranteed to leave “training scars” if one must train for the fight, rather than the range. Cooper’s turn of phrase, both more poetic and more accurate “not willing to destroy” also conjures the terrible consequences firearms are capable of delivering. Indeed, it is unsafe to point your duty weapon at, say, an armed robbery suspect, but it must be done and the officer or armed citizen must be willing to take that terrible step and “destroy” his target, if it comes to that. In training we indulge at our peril in soft euphemisms, a luxury the grunt and the dogface, the cop and the armed citizen cannot afford.

Cooper himself does a better job of addressing this, so those interested would be well advised to consult the guru:
http://www.molonlabe.net/Commentaries/jeff11_13.html

That said, I’m not trying to pick a fight. You have your perspective, based on your training and experience, and I have mine, based on my own. That’s not really material, though. Testable hypotheses will eventually be proved in the field. At present, Rules 1-4 have been shown to work, and Rules ABC are the contenders.


34 posted on 06/22/2009 10:55:29 PM PDT by absalom01 (Molon Labe!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: UriĀ’el-2012

Again, I’ll remind you that no set of rules is “better”. For that to happen, two sets of control groups who have never had any experience with firearms would have to be divided with one set trained with Cooper’s Rules and the other set trained with the NRA rules.

The two groups would then be set out into the firearms world for a complete count of accidents, negigent discharges and near misses.

Only then would you be able to claim that one group of rules is “better”.


35 posted on 06/23/2009 9:34:58 AM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (NRA /Patron - TSRA- IDPA)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Shooter 2.5; absalom01
Again, I’ll remind you that no set of rules is “better”. For that to happen, two sets of control groups who have never had any experience with firearms would have to be divided with one set trained with Cooper’s Rules and the other set trained with the NRA rules.

The two groups would then be set out into the firearms world for a complete count of accidents, negigent(sic) discharges and near misses.

Only then would you be able to claim that one group of rules is “better”.

As I have attempted to explain before on numerous occasions,
the study that you call for took place twenty to twenty-five years ago.
It started with the NRA having used the Cooper rules for many years,
finding that the number of NDs had not declined, the NRA began a study
to make all shooting safer.

From the study, the decision to depart from Cooper rules took place.
It was loud and personal, as Col. Cooper had been and as was a member of
the NRA board. He used all of his bullying power to prevent the adoption
of the current NRA rules. He took it very personally. In his pride, he
ignored the safety of others who would be killed and injured due to his rules.
The current NRA safety rules were not adopted until the NRA board of directors
were convinced over the loud and bullying objections of Col. Cooper.

Use whatever rules you want when you shoot, but don't presume they are
safe to teach to others.

When you try to teach others defective safety rules, you place their lives
and well-being at great risk.

Of all the unsafe situations that I have ever been in it was always precipitated
by a P.O.S.T. Instructor. They would wheel around and sweep everyone behind them.
When called on the issue of safety, the response was always "the gun is unloaded"

So much for rule one !

I made up my mind to never be on an unsafe range nor hunt with unsafe shooters.


36 posted on 06/23/2009 11:21:30 AM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: UriĀ’el-2012

And I attempted to explain to you that a study in the number of ND had to be accounted for in both groups.

This will be the second time I had asked you for this study that took place. Can you site a link to this?

As far as the bullying tactics of Col. Cooper, he wasn’t bullying anyone. That was his natural demenor even if you asked him what time it was.


37 posted on 06/23/2009 12:21:12 PM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (NRA /Patron - TSRA- IDPA)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: Shooter 2.5; UriĀ’el-2012

Well, since we’ve hijacked this thread anyway, maybe we can get to closure on at least one point: the much-discussed, but hard to find study that compares ND rates between novice users trained using the API rules, and those trained using the “new” NRA rules. If such a study exists, I for one would be most appreciative of any pointer in its direction. That wouldn’t be dispositive, but it would certainly be a big deal.


38 posted on 06/23/2009 2:37:29 PM PDT by absalom01 (Molon Labe!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson