Outdoors in RI: Ice fishing, a gourmet game dinner, 1791 leads the way in 2A – Jeff Gross

Gun Rights

by Jeff Gross, contributing writer

Photo, top: Randy Rafuse

Food Pictures:  Michelle Renee Audette Ghenne

Ice fishing in Maine is exceptional as of late. Fortunately, some days have had great weather to boot, as shown in the header picture.  If you have the time and money there are numerous lodges and camps set up to accommodate you folks that ice fish.  The ice on Moosehead Lake is averaging 16″ thick, so it will handle a group of people easily. The 23″ Native Brook trout (Yes, native) is one of many being caught as of late, as well as Togue (Steelhead Trout), Cusk and everyone favorite Atlantic Salmon.

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If it were not for a move from East Bay to West Bay within the last month this writer would be on his way up to Moosehead.  For those of you who cannot make the trip some warm weather is coming in and the trout and Salmon have been biting on recently stocked RI trout ponds.  Remember that that the possession limit for this time of year is 2 trout.

Photo: Lucas Sellrain

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RIFGPA Dinner a Feast

It had been nearly 6 months that I attended any event or set foot on RIFGPA property.  In a spontaneous moment I found there were 9 seats available at the RIFGPA gourmet game dinner. To those members and folks that left the remaining 6 dining room seats unfilled, not good! This was a once in a lifetime game dinner! Day 3 of leftovers from the dinner and I just savored and dined on Chris’s Venison Wellington again. The flavor and aroma of the Wellington are exceptional, I think I just had an orgasm as a result!  Now the aroma of his Venison Wellington fills my new home and it is better than any mountain fresh air! Chris R. and his combined staff consisting of Patty R., Michelle G., John G., Chris T., Mike (Chris R.’s neighbor), Spike W, Brian W. , Dennis G. , Zach B., and Tom B. donated ice cream, and Jim P. lent a hand setting up – all deserve a standing ovation for their fantastic work!

If we are fortunate to have another phenomenal Game Dinner, like the one just mentioned, I fully expect the seats to be filled in minutes.  Take heed, my fellow sportsmen and women! If one is looking to impress a significant other, a RIFGPA gourmet game dinner is the way to go as you will not generate a $300 restaurant tab, nor incur the cost and hassle to drive to New York city nor Boston to indulge in the same calibre meal.

Bad Bridges from here to there

Bridge closures are mounting in RI. Not only is the 195 Bridge a disaster, throw in the Frosty Hollow Bridge is closed, and in the last few days The Cahoone Road Bridge in Coventry is closed.

Frosty Hollow’s closure presents a problem to anyone looking to fish Breakheart Pond or Breakheart Brook or access the north end of Midway Trails. The Cahoone Road Bridge’s closure interferes with access to and fishing in Warwick Brook and Bucks Horn Brook. 

The I-195 Bridge closure interferes with just about everything!  When this writer has sat on the top of the Mount Hope Bridge (in a traffic jam) the bridge will shake from pickup trucks going by in the opposite direction. Never mind dump trucks or trailer trucks, I am talking Ford and Dodge trucks.

Since that incident I avoid the Mt Hope Bridge. Noted, it is all the cement patch work repairs done to the Mt Hope Bridge. The patchwork looks like some 1800’s quilt. The Mt Hope was built in 1927 – just shy of 100 years ago. I wonder if the Mt Hope receives the high-quality inspections that the 195 has received over the last 3 years? (Editor’s note: When the Mt. Hope Bridge was being completed and ready to open, contractors noted structural abnormalities, and the decision was made to take the bridge down and reconstruct it – at the cost of the bridge building company – $200,000).

RI Legislation of interest

In the RI House bill H-7358 changes the rules in how “road kills” are handled.  It appears that the bill looks to make the “roadkill” process more efficient by eliminating some of the paperwork for Epos and by giving the car owner more ability to obtain the kill. What caught this writer’s eye is the word “Deer” is changed to “Wildlife”.  Having some legal background that would mean that if a Tweety Bird hits and breaks my truck windshield, that is substantial damage – and by the wording of H-7358 it must be reported to the DEM. 

This is poor language and reminds me of the hunting accident bill from 2017-2022. The hunting accident bill was to include “all accidents while hunting”, which was nonsense. It took 5 years for the writing lawyers in the RI State House to finally write the bill correctly by changing “all accidents” to “shooting involved accidents”. An enjoyable conversation with Terry Gray yielded that he would have his staff review H-7358 as he stated that bill was to only apply to large animals. Terry’s reply makes absolute sense. Again, I wonder if it is just mass production of these bills inside the RI State House, without input from the DEM and also without QC and QA?

2A Activities – NRA, RI Legislation, national court cases impact here

Scott Bach is an attorney from NJ and good friend. Scott is a candidate for the NRA’s Executive Board. Scott is involved in a number of Second Amendment cases some of which are headed to SCOTUS. Scott brings plenty of expertise to the board and great public relations, so I, personally, ask that you fill out the ballot in your NRA magazines and vote for Scott, please.

A couple of years ago the Washington Democrats’ rhetoric stated that Republicans wanted to “throw Grandma off the cliff” by cutting Social Security.  That was solely rhetoric and never happened.  What is not rhetoric is the fact that RI Democrats will throw the 86-year-old grandmother pictured in jail for choosing to own an AR-15 thru the Democrats AR-15 ban legislation H-7217. The grandmother stated she will not register the firearm as the Democrats in the RI House demand!  She states that there was no analogous law in 1791 that prohibited owning of any firearm, nor any registration of any firearm.  Further, she also stated she will not comply with the mandatory safe storage, as again there is no analogous 1791 law and forced storage is unconstitutional under the Heller decision. This grandmother is also the constituent of Speaker Shekarchi’s. The Heller Decision was pointed out, back in 2018-2019, to then Senator Erin Lynch Prata and others in the Senate Judiciary. Apparently, they did not learn in the State House – here we go again.

This writer contacted various RI politicians to implement a number system similar to the registry so to expedite the testimony process and hopefully changing the evening end time from 1am to a more respectable time like 10pm on House and Senate Judiciary anti-gun nights.

While RI continues to entertain anti-2A laws, the lawsuits that RI must battle are funded by your tax dollars. Ask yourself are you getting your money’s worth, or are the millions of dollars being wasted and squandered on court battles that are almost guaranteed to favor the gun owners. These millions of your tax dollars could go to repair of our collapsing bridges, house and feed homeless veterans, improve our roads, and reduce our taxpayer burdens among other issues.

Currently we gun owners are winning cases at a rate of 27-1. A good friend, Chris, asked me what I thought about the 1.  The 1 being a Hawaii judge who ruled that the 2A does not apply to Hawaii residents. My reply to Chris was that just because a person has a fancy piece of paper on the wall does not mean they are smart. Along the same aspects, the 9th “circus court” has vacated the three judge panel that decided the Hawaii butterfly knife ban was unconstitutional. The 9th will now hear the case enbanc. For the anti-gun crowd: don’t get to excited as this case, like all the rest, will end up in the US Supreme court – stay tuned! 

This writer knows too many with PHDs that lack total common sense. The 2 anti-gun HI decisions are no surprise. Last year the statement was made as this writer exited the House Judiciary chambers that “all assault weapons bans were upheld”. That statement came from a Representative that is a lawyer.  The actual truth at the time was an Illinois ban was struck down as was an Oregon Assault Weapon ban as well. The Representative’s statement was made to the Capital TV viewers in an attempt to mislead the viewers. I did not forget!

In a follow up, the voter passed Oregon AR-15 Ban received a final judgement where the ban was ruled unconstitutional and permanently enjoined from being enforced and there is no appeal made!

RI House bill H-7217 Assault Weapons ban is almost identical to the Oregon Ban. This bill was submitted by Knight, Caldwell, Boylan, Dawson, Speakman, Craven, Batista, Felix, McEntee, and Ajello.

RI House Bill H-7373 is the safe storage bill submitted by Caldwell, Knight, Fellela, Batista, Boylan, Kazarian, Fogarty, Stewart, McEntee, Handy.

What was in 1791, will stay so today

Neither bill has an analogous law in 1791 so therefore both are unconstitutional.  The Government must prove a similar law in 1791 for the current law or bill to have any hope of constitutionality.  Like Mark W. Smith routinely says – “when in doubt throw it out”. In 1791 there was no law banning any weapons (writers note: some colonists actually owned cannons – aka Howitzers, or field guns – this research will be in upcoming article), further there was no law requiring safe storage of arms. Children were quite often trained to shoot at a very young age. This writer learned to shoot at age 5, as did his children. These analogous law benchmarks are the standard that will eliminate almost all of 11-47 anti-gun laws.  The only laws that will stand are those laws pertaining to violent crime such as cold-blooded murder.

Currently in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals an under 21 ban is heating up regarding the 1968 federal law banning handgun purchase by those under 21 years of age.  My colleagues that are constitutional scholars are all predicting that this under 21 issue will be heard in the Fall 2024 term.

As reported today by Jared of Guns and Gadgets YouTube, Louisiana is well on its way to becoming the 28th state with constitutional carry. We are rapidly approaching the 2/3s mark which may enable a constitutional amendment for National Constitutional Carry as well as National Stand Your Ground to force the rest of the states into compliance!

On February 28th at 9am the Vanderstock v Garland case will be heard in the US Supreme Court. This case currently being promoted by the MSM as it will allow US citizens to own Machine Guns (writer’s note: I wonder how many in the MSM are lawyers?). This MSM is a total misrepresentation of the truth and has nothing to do with Machine Guns at all!  It will indeed decide the constitutionality of owning a bump stock, but more so will decide how far the BATF has overstepped its boundaries. Also, if decided in the gun owners favor, it will eliminate the RI Bump Stock ban.  Contact this writer if you would like the link to listen in on the oral arguments audio at the US Supreme Court for the Vanderstock case on Wednesday February 28th at 9 am.

March 19th the 9th Circus court will hold oral arguments of the Duncan v Bonta case.  This is the SCOTUS GVR (Cert Granted Vacated Decision Remanded for Rehearing in light of the Bruen Decision) This case has the potential to eliminate the RI Mag Ban. Also, the Duncan v Bonta case may have a direct impact on the HI Butterfly Knife case as well. Noteworthy as well is the fact there are 5 AR-15/Mag Ban cases submitted to SCOTUS in the last 2 weeks. One of note is the Bianci v Frosh case. 

This is an appeal to SCOTUS as the 4th circuit is playing games with the Bianci case.  If accepted for recert. this case will be a major spanking for the 4th circuit. A 2nd request for Cert. was submitted earlier this week regarding the political games being played by the 2nd court of appeals it dragging out the post-Bruen concealed carry restrictions.

I just made a statement to Mark Smith that I have this image in my head of the Cavalry sitting on a hilltop waiting to come charging down! 

Stay Tuned! Jeff

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Jeffrey “Jeff” Gross spent 21 years as an Analytical Chemist at the USCG R&D Center in Groton, Connecticut, Woods Hole Laboratories, and Helix Technologies. Changing careers is a “great learning experience for everyone”, Jeff says, and I’m an avid outdoorsman and conservationist, a student of the sciences, and the world. The US holds too many wonders not to take a chance and explore them”.

Jeff is the Model Train and Railroad entrepreneur. Proud Golden Retriever owner. Ultra strong Second Amendment Advocate and Constitutionalist. “Determined seeker of the truth”.  Jeff is a RIFGPA Legislative and Legal Officer, Freshwater Chairman, NRA Liaison.

His subjects include Outdoors, Second Amendment, Model Railroading, and Whimsical. He can be reached at: trainsbythe144@aol.com

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