Tactical Training Specialties
Youth Firearms Camp on April 8, 2023
Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club
FREE OF CHARGE!
On Saturday, April 8 the annual Spring Youth Firearms Camp will be offered at the Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club just south of Hallsville on Academy Road. This event was first presented in 2019 and remains an acclaimed activity for families to participate in a supervised day outdoors with their children aged 6-15 years old. The camp is sponsored by the Green Valley Youth Shooting Sports Foundation and several corporations in the firearms industry. This event is FREE OF CHARGE and you can register online by clicking here.
Our first group of 10 participants will begin at 9:00 am in a safety briefing and orientation with their parent/guardian and the program director (Editor: that’s me!) Then they will head to the first range where they will be partnered with an experienced firearms coach and allowed to handle and fire a 22 rimfire pistol. After 30 minutes, the group will rotate to the next range and each participant will meet their next coach who will allow them to handle and fire a 22 rimfire rifle. After an hour of range time, a complimentary picnic lunch is served in the range building. From beginning to end, the experience lasts for about 90 minutes.
The firearms we will be training with are brand new as of last year and they were purchased by Green Valley specifically for this annual event. Ammunition, hearing protection, and protective eyewear are supplied at no cost if you do not bring your own. Our corporate sponsors have also offered door prizes and equipment giveaways in the past, and we have gained additional new sponsors this year.
While a fun time is had by all, parents can be assured that safety is the primary guiding principle in the context of the firearm being used as a respected tool. Each child will be individually coached in an environment of dignity and respect. If your children have not yet received formal instruction on the rules of firearms safety and how to behave around firearms, this is absolutely the place for you to be on Saturday, April 8th!
I am not exaggerating when I say that this training event is a potentially life-saving opportunity just like a fire drill or learning how to swim. Sign up today. Share this with your neighbors who have kids. We only have room for the first 80 folks who enroll online. As of this printing, we were already at about 25% capacity. We hope to see you and your kids on the range!
In This Issue:
Did You Know…
On February 3rd the U.S. Justice Department released a publication studying over 50 years of information regarding public mass shootings. Researchers have developed a publicly accessible database including traits of the shooters. The aim of the database is to build a broader understanding on the part of the public, the justice system, and the research community of who mass shooters are and what motivates their decision to shoot multiple people. You can view the report HERE.
April 1: CCW1: Carrying a Concealable Firearm (also on May 6 and July 1)
April 8: Youth Firearms Camp at Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club
Free of Charge, Firearms Provided, and Open to Public!
More to follow, you may contact Green Valley for more information.
April 22: AR-101
May 13: CCW2: The Principles of Personal Defense
May 26-27: Tactical Pistol Camp in Nehawka, Nebraska
June 26-30: Tactical Pistol Instructor in Hallsville, MO
July 8: Tactical Shotgun
October 28: CCW3 – Prevailing In Low Light
November 3 & 4: Tactical Rifle Camp 2022
Note about our training courses: Remember that “repeat offenders” are welcome to a $25 discount if they return to repeat any course other than CCW1. The discount for repeating CCW1 is $10. Our CCW1 course remains a bargain at $100, and we have not raised this price in 18 years! Significant changes have occurred to Missouri State Statutes over the years and, of course, our class reflects those updates and changes. Many folks have come back and retaken CCW1 and commented how glad they were that they did. Recertification is not required but consider the good faith investment you are making when you voluntarily participate in accredited training led by professional and credentialled instructors. I am aware of no other course that offers the instructor-to-student ratio that ours does. Also, remember that all of our courses are approved by the Missouri Department of Public Safety – Police Officer Standards and Training Commission, and our medical courses are valid for continuing education credits through the Missouri Bureau of EMS.
Vote On April 4th!
Chuck Basye for Columbia School Board!
by Todd Burke
Editor’s Note: Chuck Basye is one of the most honorable men I have ever known. Elected to the Missouri House of Representatives for District 47 in 2014, Chuck served 8 years and sponsored many useful bills that served Missouri citizens, particularly our children in school. To see his track record CLICK HERE. I have known Chuck personally for many years and he truly has a servant’s heart. His election to the Columbia School Board on April 4th will be a big win for our children’s safety and education and I encourage you to vote for him. Chuck is pictured on the right in the photo with our longtime friend and colleague Dale Roberts on the left.
Note: The ballot allows you to select (3) candidates for the CPS Board. You do not have to vote for three, you can select only two which will increase the chances for Chuck to serve. I recommend you vote for Chuck Basye and John Potter, another fine man with a proven track record and history of advocating for our kids.
Below is Chuck’s open letter dated February 5, 2023 that states undisputable facts about how the current Columbia Public School Administration and system are failing and hurting our children!
As you may have heard, I recently decided to jump into the race for the Columbia Public Schools Board of Education. I humbly ask for your financial help.
Our school district needs a conservative perspective on the board of education. Our present and previous school boards have been pushing a socialist agenda. The Missouri National Education Association (MNEA) is behind this effort, and unfortunately, they have been able to hide this from the parents and taxpayers.
When I am elected I will bring much-needed transparency to the public. This will force accountability onto those responsible for their failed leadership. I will also expose the wasteful spending that has been occurring for years at Columbia Public Schools (CPS).
The biggest problem at CPS, is the declining academic scores that are rarely mentioned by district officials or the current board members. For example, in the 2020-2021 school year, CPS students achieved an 89% graduation rate. That appears to be a respectable statistic. However that same academic year only 44% of all students (Low-Income students 24%) were proficient in English/Language Arts! The scores for Mathematics were worse showing 31% proficient (Low-Income 13%). So how can a rational person celebrate high graduation rates when the academic proficiency scores are so abysmal?
School officials like Superintendent Dr. Brian Yearwood and democrat politicians claim Critical Race Theory (CRT) isn’t being taught, but yet CPS has hired an outside agency (The National Conference for Community & Justice, St. Louis) to teach the teachers how to teach that garbage to our children. In addition, see the attached document from the NEA supporting the teaching of CRT that was passed at their 2021 national convention!
Please consider a donation to my campaign, it will be used wisely!
Marijuana and Firearms
by Dale Roberts
Editor’s Note: This original article was heavily researched by Dale Roberts and contains significant footnotes and cross-references. If you would like a copy of the original document with all references intact, you can download it from MoGunlaw.com (click here).
NOTE: This material was prepared as an academic presentation. This is not legal advice. You must consult your attorney for the specifics of your situation.
QUESTION PRESENTED: Now that Missouri law allows the recreational as well as medical use of marijuana, is it still a criminal offense to possess both marijuana and a firearm?
When the effect of new legislation seems uncertain, the answer often comes from a judicial opinion in a criminal case. Do you want to receive an answer to that confusion by being the defendant in State v. (insert your name here)? I always urge an abundance of caution when the wrong assumption may result in being sent to a federal prison. Current law is set out below.
- Marijuana is a controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act. There are no exceptions in federal law for marijuana use “even if such use is sanctioned by State law.”
- If you use marijuana, federal law automatically classifies you as an “unlawful user” of a controlled substance.
- Federal law prohibits any person who is an “unlawful user of…any controlled substance” from receiving or possessing firearms or therefore, under federal law, any person who uses marijuana is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition.
- The ‘4473’ (the background check questionnaire) originally asked: “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?”
In 2011, the ATF added the following:
“Warning: The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside.”
- Failure to disclose the use of marijuana when completing form 4473 is a federal felony.
- Federal law makes it a crime to sell, loan, or give ammunition or a firearm to any person whom you have reason to believe is an unlawful user of a controlled substance. If you are aware the buyer has a card authorizing the possession and use of marijuana under state law, you may not transfer firearms or ammunition to that person, even if the person answered “no” to question 11.e. on ATF Form 4473. (The 4473 has been rewritten and the question about drugs is now #21g.)
- Thus, federal law still penalizes the possession of both marijuana and a firearm.
- At the November 8, 2022 election, Missouri voters passed Amendment 3 legalizing recreational marijuana for personal use. That change took effect on December 8, 2022.
- Amendment 3 was an amendment to Section 1, Article XIV, of the Missouri Constitution and also added a new section (Section 2.)
- Prior to the passage of Amendment 3, possession of a firearm while in possession of marijuana constituted the felony “unlawful use of a weapon.”
- The new law retains two possible unlawful use of a weapon offenses.
- Someone 21 or older who is in possession of more than 3 ounces of marijuana and is in possession of a firearm would still be guilty of the felony unlawful use of a weapon.
- Someone under 21 who is in possession of a firearm and more than 35 grams of marijuana would be guilty of the felony unlawful use of a weapon.
- However, under the new law it is no longer illegal for a person at least 21 years of age to possess three ounces or less of marijuana. Therefore, a person at least 21 years old who possesses a firearm and 3 ounces or less of marijuana would not be committing the offense of unlawful use of a weapon. (This assumes no other violation is involved. See RSMo 571.030.)
Federal law. It is still a felony to possess both marijuana and a firearm. At this time, the Second Amendment will not provide protection for someone who is in possession of both. The federal courts have previously held “The Second Amendment does not protect the rights of unlawful drug users to bear arms” just as it does not protect the rights of “felons and the mentally ill.”
State law. Marijuana is no longer a controlled substance for someone at least 21 years of age who possesses three ounces of marijuana or less. Therefore, the Missouri statute on “unlawful use of a weapon” would no longer treat the possession of a firearm while in possession of marijuana as a criminal offense.
In other words, although possession of both a firearm and marijuana might not be a crime under Missouri law, it is still a crime under federal law. You may be thinking: “What are the chances of a federal agent (ATF, FBI, etc.) catching me?” When asked about this possibility, ATF spokesperson Cherice Williams responded:
“ATF focuses on those criminals who utilize guns to commit their crimes as they pose the most danger to our communities. However, if an ATF Agent does come in contact with an individual who is in possession of a firearm and who does meet the definition of an ‘unlawful user of a controlled substance,’ that person would be subject to federal criminal prosecution.” (Emphasis added.)
So, while the chance of getting caught by a federal agent might be small the penalty is not. In addition to attorney’s fees, a federal violation could subject you to imprisonment for ‘up to 10 years’ and a fine of $5,000. Upon release from prison, you would have a federal felony conviction on your record and could never lawfully own a firearm again.
Warning: Some marijuana dispensaries are telling their customers: “Contrary to a popular rumor, yes, you can still own and purchase guns in Missouri as a medical marijuana patient!” Really? Before you risk arrest and incarceration because of someone’s ‘advice’, you might ask: (a)“Where did you get your law degree?” and (b)“Are you going to pay for my legal defense if I get arrested?”
The dispensaries make money from your business. Could that affect their ‘advice’?
Unlike the dispensaries, I am not offering legal advice. I am simply sharing the information I compiled for an academic presentation. Both the courts and various state legislatures continue to announce changes to your Second Amendment rights. This is especially true in light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen. You must consult your own attorney about the facts of your situation.
LATE ADDITIONS. While this lesson was being prepared two new cases appeared in the news. These cases do not change state or federal law in Missouri but are worth consideration.
Banning Guns For Marijuana Users Unconstitutional.
On February 3rd, 2023, a federal judge in Oklahoma ruled the federal law prohibiting people who use marijuana from owning firearms is unconstitutional. The US Supreme Court recently held in Bruen, that in order for firearms regulations to be constitutional they cannot restrict the rights covered by the Second Amendment’s text. The Bruen decision went on to hold that any firearms regulations must be “consistent with this nation’s historical tradition.” To be consistent with that tradition, the regulation must have a parallel in the types of regulations that were in place at the time of the Constitution’s framing. (Emphasis added.) The law banning possession of marijuana and firearms wasn’t enacted by Congress until 1968. Following the guidance set out in Bruen, Judge Wyrick wrote, “[T]he mere use of marijuana carries none of the characteristics that the Nation’s history and tradition of firearms regulation supports.” Upon review of the effect of this ban, the decision further noted:
Recall that § 922(g)(3) imposes the most severe burden possible: a total prohibition on possessing any firearm, in any place, for any use, in any circumstance—regardless of whether the person is actually intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance.It is a complete deprivation of the core right to possess a firearm for self-defense, turning entirely on the fact that an individual is a user of marijuana.
This decision, coming from a federal court in Oklahoma, does not have any effect on the laws of Missouri. Moreover, it appears likely the Department of Justice will appeal that decision.
“Des Moines Man Sentenced on Firearm Offenses.”
According to court documents, an Iowa man knowingly made false misrepresentations on the 4473 (form.) He failed to disclose that he was a user of marijuana and was subsequently charged with lying on the 4473 form on four different occasions by checking “no” after question 21, which asks “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?”
Thereafter, he “knowingly possessed four pistols while being an unlawful user of marijuana” and was sentenced to 12 months and 1 day in prison. Following his prison term, he must serve three years of supervised release (similar to probation.) As a convicted felon he can no longer lawfully possess ammunition or a firearm.
This case is noteworthy because it is virtually unheard of for the ATF / Department of Justice to arrest and prosecute someone for lying on the 4473 form. As a rule, cases are only brought against individuals involved in gang activity, drug sales, illegal gun distribution, etc., and lying on the 4473 is simply added as yet another offense. However, this individual was not charged with any other activity that would have brought him to the attention of federal authorities. Lying on that form is, of course, a violation of federal law but prosecuting that offense, absent additional criminal activity other than subsequent possession of the firearm(s) he purchased, is somewhat like prosecuting a motorist for not wearing a seatbelt when no other offense occurred. I don’t mean to minimize the federal offense. It’s just so rare to see it as a lone violation. Is this going to happen more often now that states have legalized marijuana?
THE FINAL NOTE:
The simultaneous possession of a firearm and marijuana is controlled by both federal and state law and we see how confusing that can be. In addition, decisions from courts around the country are challenging and changing the conduct that is considered lawful under the Second Amendment. More than ever, you must find a qualified attorney and ask about the facts of your situation.
The Super Belt – Now Sold Internationally!
I have been wearing a Super Belt, made right here in Mid-Missouri, for 5 years. I use if for both IWB and OWB carry and I have been very happy with it’s performance and wear. It has several characteristics that uniquely qualify it as the perfect stabilizing platform for mounting a holstered pistol. A couple of my friends who are U.S. Secret Service agents are currently wearing this belt on protection assignments. Read the endorsement that follows from my friend Mike, a special agent currently on the Presidential Protection Detail and former protector for President Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, and their son Barron. Ellis Benus is the owner/operator of The Super Belt and he has made a short video explaining exactly what The Super Belt is, options you can choose, and why you should have one – it’s a fun watch! You may also take advantage of a 10% product discount if you enter the coupon code “tacspec” at checkout. Good stuff! Watch Super Belt video here!
A Testimonial from a USSS Special Agent on the Presidential Protection Detail:
“Brother Todd, let’s talk about gear you have recommended to me, specifically belts and lights.
You know I trust you when I put into use a piece of equipment I haven’t spent hours on the range with first. “If Todd says it’s good, that’s good enough for me.” That phrase goes right along with your quote “Gentle pressure relentlessly applied.”
For this latest trip I decided to carry my new Powertac light & I LOVE IT!! Bright light, perfectly balanced & I love the magnetic charge port! So in just a few days, the light has been to the Biden Residence in Wilmington, aboard both Nighthawk-2 (HMX) & Air Force-1, to the US/Mexico border & to Mexico City.
Second, I have worn 5.11 belts for about fifteen years and I would have to replace them every two years or so. Thanks for introducing me to Ellis Benus and his Super Belt! Initially, I was skeptical because a belt is a belt, right? Well, five years later all my Super Belts look and feel the same way they did when they were brand new. I have now referred Super Belt to many of my coworkers and they too have become loyal Super Belt customers.”
The Powertac M5-G2
A High-Intensity White Light Fighting Tool
Over 40 years in emergency services have taught me many valuable lessons. When it comes to flashlights there are two kinds:
- Utility lights that you can purchase anywhere and throw in your toolbox or center console, or
- An engineered light that you can depend upon when your life is on the line.
I have been carrying the Powertac M5-G2 (click here) for over a year and I have given many away as gifts to people who are important to me. In our two low light firearms classes, Low Light Pistol Skills (4 hours, indoors) and CCW3: Prevailing in Low Light (8 hours, live fire on range, coming October 28, 2023) we cover 8 specific principles for how to fight with a gun in the dark, where over HALF of all gunfights take place. We also explain and demonstrate the difference between a utility flashlight and a light suitable for fighting with a firearm or simply to use in self-defense. I chose the Powertac model because of its many features, its size is only slightly larger than a roll of pennies, 2,000-lumen brightness, magnetic charging cable, and very modest price. Pictured here is USSS Special Agent Mike with his M5-G2 while flying aboard Air Force 1 in February this year.
A Sidenote to Parents: Each summer I get calls from parents who are confronted with the reality that their daughter who just graduated from high school is preparing to become a freshman in college…and leave home! They ask me to schedule a self-defense class or tell them where to get pepper spray. While those options are viable, I suggest a quality flashlight that is legal everywhere, easy to use, useful for many more things than just self-defense, and can be used as a striking object when held in a back-fist and retain a sample of an attacker’s DNA when used to strike.
Student Discount: Steve Meitzler, the marketing director for Powertac, tells me the M5-G3 is now available. If you would like to be the first kid on your block to have one click here. Powertac offers a 30% discount to our students when they enter the promotional code TACSPEC and order online for ANY of their high-intensity lights and gear. Browse their website. I also purchased the colored filter set shown here. Happy flashlighting!
Folks We Trust and Do Business With…and You Should Too!
ADVERTISING – THIS IS HOW WE ROLL…Many have asked how much it costs to advertise in The Shooting Times. The answer is ZERO. I don’t currently accept paid advertising. The folks you see in our newsletter are people I know and trust and do business with myself. They share the good word about who we are and what we do, and we do the same for them. The barter thing that helped get our country going. Still works today. So when you see an ad, a business card, or a referral in The Shooting Times, they didn’t pay for it…they earned it! Thanks everyone!
Exercise Your First Amendment Right…Let Us Hear from You!
Would you please take a minute to “leave a comment” in the section at the bottom? The authors, staff, and coaches who offer our training and education services value constructive feedback, and we want to keep this FREE newsletter going in a direction that honors God, our country, and our families. Many man-hours go into the construction of each edition. We invite you to share your thoughts with us!
Our Participants and Graduates Comment…
The comments and positive outcomes explained below reflect WHY we do what we do!
Graduate of AR101: “Todd, A quick e-mail to let you know I really enjoyed the class this past Saturday and am much more comfortable with the AR platform. When you began class with the Pledge and Prayer I knew I was in the right place. Keep up the great work. Thanks, Doug.”
Graduate of CCW3: “Todd, Thank you again for a fantastic class. I had some equipment malfunctions that pulled my focus and frustrated me. But once again, your instructors were so helpful and never once made me feel less than or anything! This class made me aware of what I need to work on and I greatly appreciate that. I know I can shoot in a non-stress environment. Today I got a little stressed and my form suffered. All things that I can improve upon. I am encouraged once again by the work that you do and your attitude in doing it! Have a great evening and may God bless you and your family. Thanks, Ben.”
Graduate of CCW1: “It was a bit hectic after the course on Saturday as everyone was leaving and waiting to speak with you. I wanted to thank you for your time and sharing your skills. Also, send my thanks to your instructors who assisted. The course surpassed my expectations and I look forward to continuing my education with you. Thank you, Christean.”
Graduate of Firearms Instructor (3 Gun): “Hey Todd, I am glad to hear your family is doing so well and all of the staff. I feared last year was going to be a monetary killer for you. Praise the Lord he guided you through! I was going to retire at the end of 2020 but the Chief promoted me to the number two spot, so I guess I need to stick around a little longer. At least I don’t have to work nights anymore! You have always treated us well and I want to thank you for all you and your staff do to make sure we have the skills to pass on so that all of our officers go home every night. Take care and stay safe!” Tom, Police lieutenant
Multi-Course Participant: “The unique scenario of bringing (my son) and spending 3 weekends with you and your coaches probably makes it understandable for anyone interested in coming back a second time to CCW1. You and your family make this world a brighter place. The patience and kindness you display are favorable in our Lord’s eyes, I’m certain of that! I will see you at Practical Pistol, hopefully (my son) will be able to join me. I will continue to sing your praises and direct (good) folks your way. Peace, Craig.” Participant in CCW1, CCW2, CCW3, Practical Pistol Skills.
Graduate of CCW1: “Todd, First I want to thank you soooo much! This class was beyond words! I would like to share a story with you and whoever else you feel needs to hear this. Growing up, firearms were not permitted in our household just for the simple fact that my alcoholic father was not responsible with them as he had proven several times. Later in life, in my early adulthood, I was faced with a situation an 18-year-old should not have had to face. I was young and naive and involved with people I should not have been around. I was on the phone one afternoon and heard what I thought were firecrackers but in reality, it was someone being shot and killed. Someone in class today spoke of following your gut and being aware of your surroundings. Well before I came to know of the entire situation I came face to face with this murderer and as I spent time with this man I remember telling myself that I was not going to come out of this situation alive (mind you I did not know about the murder at this time). My gut and instincts were telling me that there was danger near and I had absolutely no way to protect myself. After learning the truth and the entire situation that I had so blindly walked into I told myself that I would never let myself be that vulnerable again. I made a bucket list of things that I wanted to learn to better protect myself and my family. So after years of counseling and working to strengthen myself mentally I have begun working on all the physical things I can do to be able to protect myself and my family. So I want you to know that I truly appreciate what you are doing, and what you and your volunteers helped me accomplish today. In case you are wondering, the man was convicted and is serving life in prison because I risked my life and spoke up about the situation, even though I was threatened not to breathe a word.” Stephanie
Graduate of Firearms Instructor (3-Gun): “Todd, This week our SWAT team participated in CMTOA, our local Tac Officer Association, with (several) other teams. Part of the training was a timed two-gun competition. My team took the top team award as well as 4 of the top 5 individual times. Which was of course rewarding. However, the real reward was one of the facilitators, a competition shooter, pulling one of our guys aside and asking about our training after everyone had gone through it. He was complimentary on our weapons handling, professionalism, and not throwing tactics to the wind for the sake of competition. He stated he never had to remind us about muzzle direction, safeties, finger index, etc. Other teams needed multiple reminders. I owe this to you as I always try to train purposefully, and use our training time wisely. He was surprised when told we spend a large amount of time dry firing, even when we’re only allowed two training days per month. I appreciate your coaching and mentorship, and I don’t think we would receive that praise if I didn’t follow the ideals you taught me.” Thank you, [name withheld]. One of our coaches and a certified Police Firearms Instructor.
“Todd, I wanted to thank you for the job you and the other instructors do. I don’t know if you ever hear of the profound effect that you and your team have on those whom you train. I am thankful for the training I got with my weapon but more thankful that that training came from godly men who sincerely care for those they train. The greatest thing I took from the classes was the lesson in humility. I learned my own pride not only stood in my way of learning, but it also stood in my way of hearing God and acting on his wishes.” Scott, Participant in our 4-day Pistol Camp.
Graduate of Firearms Instructor (3 Gun):“Thank you Todd, I feel you have helped make me the instructor I am today. I have learned a lot from your teaching and hope to continue doing so in the future. I’ve been to several classes where the instructor made it apparent they were better than me or the students and most time would ignore any ideas or suggestions. This is something that you and your team have not shown and you should be very proud of the quality you bring to the table. Thanks again, Craig.” Graduate of Tactical Firearms Instructor and one of our coaches.
Graduate of Crisis Casualty Care: “Great course! Loved the presentations and the handout is an excellent reference. Appreciate the multiple assistants and coaches for learning the hands-on skills: tourniquets, wound packing, webbing, etc. Great style, particularly for this type of class. You do a great job of explaining things step-by-step. The most important part was the many repetitions in the drills.” Excellent class, thank you! Matt and Gwen
Graduate of Low Light Pistol Skills: “Great hands-on with verbal instructions. Specific, organized, and factually based. Real-world applications that I can apply at church or my home. Safety was always first. Look forward to the CCW3 class on the range in October!” Andrew
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