Category Archives: Current Events

What Secretary Clinton Believes About Guns and Why You Should NOT Vote for Her

Maple Grove Firearms is unashamed to be pro-2nd Amendment. It is a right given to us by our founders and our Creator. Secretary Clinton doesn’t believe the way we do, so we want to outline what she believes from public comments and writings she has made and then ask you to NOT vote for her in the coming election.

On her campaign web site, Mrs. Clinton will do everything she can to repeal the Protection in Lawful Commerce of Arms Act (here too). Signed by George W. Bush in 2005, the Act prevents firearm manufacturers from being held liable if someone uses their products to commit a crime. Mrs. Clinton, presumably, would let the trial lawyers have a red-meat feast of suing these manufacturers to the point where defense costs would drive up retain pricing, thus reducing the number of people who could afford to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights.

Mrs. Clinton is simply wrong on this issue. If one can sue firearm manufacturers when their products are used to commit a crime, why not sue baseball bat manufacturers when a Louisville Slugger is used to kill someone, or sue hammer manufacturers when a hammer is used to kill someone or the automobile manufacturers when a car is used to commit a crime? She is inconsistent – calling out only the firearm manufacturers – for this type of exposure to liability.

Moreover, on her campaign web site, Mrs. Clinton will work to reinstate the assault weapons ban that was signed by her husband and ended under Bush 43’s administration. So all you folks who have AR-15’s and similar types of weapons, she wants to ban them, take them away and probably use that opportunity to ban other types of weapons and magazine sizes as well.

Thirdly, she doesn’t really believe the 2nd Amendment is a constitutional right that we have. Check out this article on her interview with George Stephanopoulos regarding her basic belief about the 2nd Amendment. She says “IF it is a constitutional right….” (emphasis added) (here and here too). “IF”? Seriously? She disagrees with the Heller decision. Fine. But her side lost at the Supreme Court. It is a personal right that is not tied to serving in the Militia the Court concluded. There is no “If”. But in her mind, it’s still “If”.


So, there are three examples of why you shouldn’t vote for Mrs. Clinton for President if you’re pro-2nd Amendment:

  1. Mrs. Clinton wants to expose the firearm manufactures to endless lawsuits that will drive up the costs of firearms and ammunition to the point where most will not be able to afford to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights
  2. She wants to reinstate the ban on “assault” firearms. But rest assured that she’ll not stop with the AR-15 – she’ll want to include many other semi-auto firearms in her ban. I know I’m not wrong on this prediction.
  3. She doesn’t recognize or respect the Court’s Heller decision. She doesn’t think you and I have a personal right to carry a firearm for self-defense

Three very good reasons to not vote for Mrs. Clinton.

Bill English
Maple Grove Firearms

Do You Have a Duty to Inform?

In Minnesota, when you are stopped by state or local police, do you have a duty to inform them that you’re legally carrying a firearm before being asked by a peace officer?

The short answer is “no”. Minnesota law states: “The holder of a permit to carry must have the permit card and a driver’s license, state identification card, or other government-issued photo identification in immediate possession at all times when carrying a pistol and must display the permit card and identification document upon lawful demand by a peace officer…” (624.714, Subd 1b). So in Minnesota, only after you are asked by a peace officer must you show him/her your permit to carry license.

If you don’t have your permit with you, the peace officer can charge you with a petty misdemeanor. The fine for the first offense is not more than $25 and your firearm is not subject to forfeiture. However, if you can produce your license later in court or in the office of the arresting officer, Minnesota law states that the citation must be dismissed.

Since the license does not contain your picture, if the officer chooses to do so, s/he can lawfully require you to write a sample signature in the officer’s presence to verify your identity. Presumably, your sample signature would be compared to the one on the license you produced to ensure you are who you claim to be.

In all encounters with peace officers, when you’re carrying, it is a good (real good) idea to make sure that you treat them with respect and that you follow all orders, even if you feel they are in violation of law or your constitutional rights. The time to argue your points is not with the officer – it is in court. Treat the officers with respect and chances are good that they’ll do the same in return.

Bill English
Founder, Maple Grove Firearms

Gun Control is Crouching at Your Door

Recently, 124 House Democrats have co-sponsored HR 4269, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2015. You should stop right now and read the bill before you read further in this post.

The bill would, in effect, prohibit the manufacturing, distribution and possession of most (what are commonly known as) assault rifles, while exempting those rifles that are already in existence. I guess their thinking is that over a period of decades, the assault rifle would die off and not be available for mass shootings.

It also bans the gifting of assault rifles between private parties and all “grandfathered” weapons would be subject to the same limitations and exclusions as new weapons.

If this thing were to ever pass, say goodbye to your AR-15 and other similar types of firearms.

Mind you, this will do *nothing* to stop mass shootings. According to the Congressional Research Service, in 2009, there are a total of 310 million firearms in the United States broken out as follows: 114M handguns, 110M rifles and 86M shotguns. Any one of these types of guns can be used to kill numerous people at the same time. Regulating assault rifles in order to lower mass shootings is a bit like regulating minivans in order to lower automobile deaths. It will have little effect – except to create a black market for AR-style firearms and turn those who own them into criminals.

In addition, the same report showed that firearms-related murder and non-negligent manslaughter rates per 100,000 citizens dropped from 6.6% in 1993 to 3.2% in 2011. This report did not find a correlation between the increase in the number of firearms and an increase in firearm-related murders and manslaughters. This report also found that the use of weapons in non-lethal crimes decreased from 2.4 persons in 2000 to 1.4 persons in 2009.

The mere existence of firearms does not pose a threat to society or individuals within that society, much like the mere existence of fattening foods does pose a threat to us. It’s what we do with the firearm that matters. You can leave a fully loaded shotgun on your front porch and I’ll promise you that everyone will be safe and no one will be harmed until someone picks it up and uses it to shoot another person.

If gun control people really want to solve this problem by removing guns from our society, then they should go big or go home: either abolish the 2nd Amendment or go home.

The ATF Ban on 223 Ammunition: Talking Points

The ATF has opened a public-comment period until March 16. Email to give your opinion. Write your congressmen and senators. Stand up now or your freedom will be diminished by this absurd proposed rule. When you write them, here are some talking points you might consider putting down in your own words:

  • The definition for what constitutes “armor piercing” reads: “a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely … from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium. The M855 ball ammunition the ATF wants to ban as “armor piercing” doesn’t have a core made of the metals listed in what legally makes a bullet “armor piercing.” The M855 actually has a lead core with a steel tip.
  • The 223 is made for sporting purposes and thus is exempt from the Gun Control Act of 1968.
  • In 1986, your organization – the ATF – specifically exempted the .223 round that you are now proposing to ban. No change in the architecture of the cartridge has occurred, so what has changed that is causing you to propose this rule?
  • The ban against armor-piercing ammunition was designed to save the lives of police and law enforcement. So this begs the question: Is .223 M855 ball ammunition currently a problem for law enforcement? Or, more precisely, is M855 ball ammunition when shot from handguns killing law-enforcement officers? According to the FBI’s “uniform crime reports” about 2.5 percent of all murders are committed with rifles of any caliber. The FBI does not break out its statistics by caliber. One will be hard pressed to find a single murder of a police officer in a shooting where someone used a handgun chambered in .223—much less one using M855 ball ammunition.
  • This is a solution in search of a problem

If you have other talking points that folks could consider when they write, please post them here. Thank you.

For more information, read these articles:

Obama and ATF Move to Ban .223 Rifle Ammunition

It’s been all over the news yesterday, hyped by Rush Limbaugh and is a growing story today. That’s right – why ban guns when it is so much easier to ban ammunition? It’s difficult to argue with the logic. So the President is abusing his Executive Authority by moving to ban .223 ammunition that is used in the AR-15 rifle.

Let’s get to the facts:

First, the way they are going about this is to claim the M855 ball ammunition, a .223 (or 5.56 mm) rifle bullet that has been used by American citizens for decades, is an “armor piercing” round. Armor piercing ammunition was been banned to the general public in the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA) Federal law was passed by Congress. Frank Miniter at elaborates:

“The definition for what constitutes “armor piercing” reads: “a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely … from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium.

Now, to be as nitpicky as the law, the M855 ball ammunition the ATF wants to ban as “armor piercing” doesn’t have a core made of the metals listed in what legally makes a bullet “armor piercing.” The M855 actually has a lead core with a steel tip. Also, the M855 is traditionally a rifle cartridge and the ban only covers handgun ammunition. The DOJ argues this doesn’t stop them because the law stipulates they can ban a bullet that “may be used in a handgun.” And, after all, any cartridge may be used in a handgun.

Still, the definition has another condition. According to law, when ammo is made for “sporting purposes” (hunting, recreation shooting and so on) it is exempt from this ban. According to the DOJ the “GCA exempts ammunition that would otherwise be considered armor piercing if the Attorney General determines that the specific ammunition at issue is ‘primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes.'” So, according to the DOJ, they simply get to decide on this condition.

The “sporting purposes” caveat is an important exemption, as every bullet designed to ethically kill a deer or other big-game animal (whether from a pistol, rifle or shotgun) will also shoot through a bulletproof vest. If all bullets that could potentially shoot through a cop’s bulletproof vest were banned, then hunting—at least ethical hunting with firearms—would cease. Also, shooting competitions and more would effectively be terminated. (For a behind-the-scenes expose of where gun rights and gun design is headed see my book The Future of the Gun.)

Now, the ATF isn’t saying they want to do all that, but this regulatory move would certainly take us in that direction. Also, you can’t blame people for questioning the politics behind this move when the attorney general behind this proposed ban has said his failure to further restrict Second Amendment rights is his greatest failure.”

American hunters, sportsmen and defenders of freedom won’t stand for this. The .223 will be produced, even if banned. It will create a black market that many in law enforcement won’t bother to enforce. Obama hates the 2nd Amendment and the rights of gun owners. He hates the population being able to defend itself. If you’re a person who clings to your Bible and your guns, you’re the picture of what he thinks is wrong with this country.

Rise up and let your voice be heard. Be part of the millions who band together to defeat him. The ATF has opened a public-comment period until March 16. Email to give your opinion. Write your congressmen and senators. Stand up now or your freedom will be diminished by this absurd proposed rule.

Bill English

Mass Shootings and Gun Rights: Do Pro-Gun People Value Their Guns More Than Life?

At the time of this writing, we’ve had three mass shootings in the last 14 days: Santa Barbara, Seattle, and Las Vegas. It is sickening and horrifying to see how easily people kill others now. Our culture has reached a point where the value of human life is based mostly on what can do for society, not on any inherent value of life in general. We don’t agree with this position, which is why we value both the life of the unborn and those born alike: Even in our old age, we have inherent worth simply because we are all made in the image of God.

So some will wonder then, why we teach people firearm safety and enable them to complete the process to legally carry firearms in public by getting their Minnesota Permit to Carry and Utah Conceal Carry licenses. If guns kill 11K+ people a year, then surely we are hypocrites for advocating more people carry firearms. “You must be selfish enough”, they think, “to want to have your guns at the expense of innocent lives lost to gun violence.” We don’t see it that way and here’s why.

gun-free-cartoon-3In short, we have disarmed our population to the point where mass shootings can occur with relative certainty on the part of the shooter. The reality is that most who kill others unexpectedly with guns look for places where they know people will be disarmed. For example, this was the case in the Santa Barbara shooting, where Elliot Rodgers, in his manifesto, wrote these haunting words:

“During this Spring of 2013, I began to seriously think about planning the Day of Retribution. My next step towards planning for it was to buy my second handgun, a Sig Sauer P226. It is of a much higher quality than the Glock, and a lot more efficient. In turn, it was also a lot more expensive. My Glock 34 was around $700 dollars, whereas my new Sig Sauer P226 was $1100…….

For a while, I had been deciding on whether I would exact my Retribution in Isla Vista or at Santa Barbara City College. In both places, I had suffered greatly at the hands of everyone there. I have seen attractive young couples walking around in both places, and those were my targets. I wanted to kill as many attractive young couples as I possibly could. After a lot of thinking, I came to the conclusion that the Day of Retribution will take place in Isla Vista…….

It came to a point where I had to set a date for the Day of Retribution. I originally considered doing it on the Halloween of 2013. That is when the entire town erupts in raucous partying. There would literally be thousands of people crowded together who I could kill with ease, and the goal was to kill everyone in Isla Vista, to utterly destroy that wretched town. But then, after seeing footage of previous Halloween events on Youtube, I saw that there were too many cops walking around. It would be too risky. One gunshot from a cop will end everything [emphasis added]. The Day of Retribution would have to be on a normal party weekend, so I set it for some time during November of 2013……

It was time to plot exactly what I will do on the Day of Retribution. I will be a god, punishing women and all of humanity for their depravity. I will finely deliver to them all of the pain and suffering they’ve dealt to me for so long…..

The first thing I had to consider was the exact date it will take place. Valentine’s Day would have been very fitting, since it was the holiday that made me feel the most miserable and insulted, the holiday in which young couples celebrated their happy lives together. The problem was that Valentine’s Day was only a month away. I needed more time than that. Also, on Valentine’s Day most young couples will be spread out in various restaurants in the city instead of being packed together at parties in Isla Vista. Another option was Deltopia, a day in which many young people pour in from all over the state to have a spring break party on Del Playa Street. I figured this would be the perfect day to attack Isla Vista, but after watching Youtube videos of previous Deltopia parties, I saw that there were way too many cops walking around on such an event. It would be impossible to kill enough of my enemies before being dispatched by those damnable cops [emphasis added]…..

The reality is that one sense, these people are mentally ill – but not in a schizophrenic way. They are not connected and the people in their lives miss the signs of impending violence. But in another way, they are not mentally ill or insane – they are intensely angry, calculating, planning, thoughtful, articulate people who know exactly what they are doing. It’s just that they really don’t care about the morality of killing others. They are filled with evil and they eventually act out their evil in the form of killing others. Elliot had choices and could have realized that the reason no one paid attention to him was due to deficiencies in his personality and character. Instead, he chose to blame women, thinking that sex was the ultimate form of acceptance. He blamed everyone but himself. And his hatred for women grew to the point where he concluded in a twisted logic, that killing others before he was killed was the only way out of his pain and the only way justice would be served on those who had committed acts of injustice against him. Twisted logic, to be sure – but he’s still thinking very clearly about where to carry out his Day of Retribution – in a gun-free zone where he can kill as many as possible. He planned his attack for over 1.5 years – something that is not uncommon for these mass killers.

Santa Barbara has a conceal carry rate of just 0.016%. Out of 337,000 residents, just 53 have a conceal carry permit. No wonder he chose this town in which to commit his killings – who would oppose him?

You see, from our perspective, Elliot Rodgers is an example of most mass shooters – they choose their victim based on when those victims will be most vulnerable. It is a cold, hard fact that the presence of guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens who know how to use them is the best way to ensure that mass shootings subside in this country.

In other words, we don’t see guns as the issue – we see people who are deeply disturbed but still able to think clearly enough who are willing to kill innocent people – they are the issue. These demented people are the problem, not the guns. In fact, we conclude that helping more people carry guns in public after sufficient training and background checks as a way to curb gun violence in our society, including these mass shootings.

We predict that Chicago will see a lessening of homicides with firearms in the coming years. Why? Because law-abiding people will be getting their permits and legally carrying firearms to protect themselves and those around them. Everywhere in the US where conceal carry or permit to carry laws have been passed, violent crime has been reduced.

So, we value human life more than guns. But we find that the presence of firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens saves lives. It is really that simple for us. See our Armed Citizen stories for how people have used guns to save lives.


We have Disarmed Ourselves to the Point Where Mass Shootings are Common

We’re not kidding. When you read through the common threads of how recent mass shooters chose their targets, one thing emerges with remarkable clarity: they choose targets where they *know* guns will not be present. When you obtain your Utah Conceal Carry Permit or your Minnesota Permit to Carry license and then safely and quietly carry your firearm, you’re helping our society be safer, not more violent. Many of these mass shootings would not have occurred had many more law abiding citizens carried firearms for protection and had then been able to use them against the mass shooter.

If you don’t have your Minnesota Permit to Carry license, now is the time to register for our next class. Within 40 days, you can have your permit and be carrying – helping to keep our society safe.

What is a CCW Permit?

In the minds of most people, a CCW (Carry a Concealed Weapon) means carrying a concealed firearm in public. Since many states don’t have open carry laws, many assume that Minnesota offers a CCW. The truth is that Minnesota is an open carry state, which is why we have a “Permit to Carry” instead of a CCW license. You can think of the Minnesota Permit to Carry license as our equivalent to other state’s CCW license.

The various states use different terms for licenses or permits to carry a concealed firearm. Here’s a quick cheat sheet for the various acrostics:

  • Concealed Handgun License/Permit (CHL/CHP)
  • Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW)
  • Concealed (Defensive/Deadly) Weapon Permit/License (CDWL/CWP/CWL)
  • Concealed Carry Permit/License (CCP/CCL)
  • License To Carry (Firearms) (LTC/LTCF)
  • Carry of Concealed Deadly Weapon license (CCDW)
  • Concealed Pistol License (CPL)

Here is a cool, animated GIF that shows how the carry and concealed handgun and firearm laws have developed since 1986.  This is taken from open source/common areas of Wikipedia.



Just remember, Minnesota is an open carry state, so we have a Permit to Carry license, not a Concealed Handgun License.

Bill English
NRA Instructor