Bikernet Banner

Politicians are Dead Wrong About the Danger of Red Flag Laws

By | General Posts

By the Firearms Policy Coalition

In the era of “just do something” public policy, legislators on both sides of the aisle are pitching red flag legislation as a moderate form of gun control; one having a positive impact on mental health reform while simultaneously keeping Americans safe. Nothing could be further from the truth, and what these politicians won’t tell you is that their position is unsupported by evidence and riddled with far-reaching, unconstitutional implications for everyone.

How Red Flag Laws Work

So what happens when someone is subjected to a red flag seizure? Any of a number of acquaintances – a family member, teacher, roommate, or even a co-worker or former co-worker, can file a petition with the court to have an individual’s rights stripped from them.

This means that people with a merely tangential relationship to a respondent can file a petition, and because most red flag laws have no measures to deter malicious filing, they leave the door open for malicious people to bring forth unsupported accusations.

When the petition is filed, an initial hearing is typically held without the subject person present, so he is completely unable to defend himself. The standard of proof is substantially lower here than what would be required had an actual crime occurred, and as such it’s incredibly easy for the order to attach with little to no evidence.

The Danger of Gun Confiscation Orders

Once a seizure order is issued by the closed court, state-sanctioned “swatting” occurs. The police can show up unannounced at the person’s door, potentially catching him off-guard. This is a recipe for catastrophe, because the police can be mistaken for intruders.

Even if the police identify themselves during a seizure, a combination of insufficient training and heightened anxiety still puts human life in unnecessary peril; red flag laws have already resulted in at least one confirmed death when a surprised homeowner answered the door and was shot by police during a brief argument.

Assuming the police are successful in safely executing the seizure order, not only do they take the respondent’s firearms, ammunition, and magazines, several states also revoke the subject person’s concealed carry license, which can be costly and time-consuming to replace or reinstate. Following the initial seizure, the order remains standing for two to three weeks unless a final hearing is held.

No Right to an Attorney

Unlike in a criminal trial, the subject person has no right to legal representation during final hearings, which often means spending thousands of dollars in legal fees if they want a competent defense. Even if a person is innocent and goes deep out of pocket for a lawyer, they might still lose their rights.

Standard of Evidence

The evidentiary standard for a final hearing is even lower than the initial hearing – “preponderance of the evidence” – which means the difference between the state keeping or returning the respondent’s firearms is essentially a coin toss. If the person loses, the state may keep his property for up to a year, and in New Jersey, indefinitely unless a court terminates the order at a later date.

Red flag laws raise several red flags of their own: they victimize the poor, deny due process, and allow the state to seize property for a substantial amount of time when a crime hasn’t even occurred, leaving people defenseless in their own homes.

Legislators can’t prove they are effective in deterring violence, and they ironically amplify the stigma against people with mental health issues. Not only are these laws ineffective, they may even deter people from seeking the help that they desperately need, creating the threat politicians claimed to be addressing.

To learn more about the specifics of these laws, their history, and FPC’s policy position, you can read more here. To take action against Red Flag Laws, go to

–Truth About Guns

Cross Country Chase Stage 8

By | General Posts

Excitement is building as we race toward the finish line with two more days of riding under predicted dark skies, wind and occasional rain in the forecast. Today’s weather, however, afforded riders their first look at the ocean as they made their way toward Crystal Harley-Davidson for an elegant hot lunch served on the dealership veranda. Riders enjoyed the hospitality and lingered over lunch before hitting the road again with the hopes of staying dry, which didn’t happen, but the sporadic rain served to cool things off enough to make the trip even more enjoyable. By the time the group pulled into Lakeland Harley-Davidson for the hosted dinner, the clouds gathered for another attack and sent riders off to the hotel with soggy duds. Again.

So, race fans, here are the scores from Stage 8. You’ll notice the top five have been juggled again but the top two spots are a BSA ridden by Todd Cameron in first and a Harley-Davidson ridden by Jim Gilfoyle holding second, followed closely by a Triumph, then five Harleys, an Indian and a Norton to round out the top ten spots with a good showing from a variety of marques.

The list of bikes that have dropped out includes 1-BSA, 3-Indians, and 4-Harley-Davidsons and the list

#5 James Maloney
#17 Rick Salisbury
#42 Michael Bruso
#50 Rowdy Schenk
#62 Scott Funk
#70 Will Lusignan
#77 Brent Mayfield
#91 Jeff Fredette

There are an additional 5 riders with various issues that have taken them out of the competition in terms of contending, but they continue to ride to finish out the trip and that list includes 2-Harleys, 2-Indians, and the only Zundapp entered:

#51 Shane Masters
#36 Bill Reese
#96 Richard Campbell
#22 Don Gilmore
#65 Mike Butts

As of tonight’s tally, there are still 35 riders who have made all 1,980 miles with no penalty points, though another 8 have actually made the miles but were docked points for various reasons.

SO, what does all this mean? Basically, that the number of bikes that will actually be motoring across the finish line on Sunday afternoon is still very unpredictable! The public is welcome to come on out to Key West to cheer riders on as they’re waved in with the checker flag and to join us for the celebration at the awards banquet afterwards. Tickets are available for purchase by going to

See ya there!


By | General Posts

Your Weekly Biker Bulletin from Inside the Beltway

Your Motorcycle Riders Foundation team in Washington, D.C. is pleased to provide our members with the latest information and updates on issues that impact the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. Count on your MRF to keep you informed about a range of matters that are critical to the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle. Published weekly when the U.S. Congress is in session.

Motorcyclist Advisory Council:

In late 2015 Congress passed the Highway Bill known formally as Fixing American Surface Transportation Act or the FAST ACT. Included in the FAST Act was Section 1426: MOTORCYCLIST ADVISORY COUNCIL It read as follows:

The Secretary, acting through the Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, shall appoint a Motorcyclist Advisory Council to coordinate with and advise the Administrator on infrastructure issues of concern to motorcyclists, including— (1) barrier design; (2) road design, construction, and maintenance practices; and (3) the architecture and implementation of intelligent transportation system technologies.

While we appreciate that Congress has directed the Secretary of Transportation to focus on issues of concern to motorcyclists, we have one fundamental problem with the current language, RIDERS SHOULD BE AT THE TABLE AND PART OF THE CONVERSATION.

For example, it’s obviously important to have people like road engineers discussing the needs of motorcycles and the science behind constructing a road. But doesn’t it make sense to have someone who has actually ridden a motorcycle be a part of a discussion on the same topic?

In an attempt to broaden the membership of the council we have asked lawmakers to add this simple line to the next Highway bill:

Membership of the Motorcyclist Advisory Council should consist of at least one representative from a state motorcycle rights organization and two representatives from different nationwide motorcycle rights organization.

We are encouraged that Congressman Troy Balderson of Ohio, a fellow rider, as well as Congressman Don Young of Alaska, have taken an interest in the topic. Both are members of the House Transportation Committee and will be in a position to advocate for the needed changes.

Meeting of the Minds

Next week is the 35th Annual Meeting of the Minds in Bloomington, Minnesota. As part of the weekend, the D.C. team will be putting on two separate presentations. First, as part of the general session, we will give a legislative update on a host of issues that we have been focused on during the last year. With the close of the 115th Congress in December and the start of the 116th Congress in January, it has been a busy few months. We will touch on not only our successes but where we see our legislative priorities headed in the near and long term.

Second, as part of a breakout session, we have a presentation on lobbying tips and tricks. After completing nearly 170 in-person meetings on motorcycle issues we have learned a few things we think will be valuable to MRF members. We hope that some simple ideas and strategies can pay dividends whether you are lobbying in your state capitol or here in Washington, D.C. Find the Meeting of the Minds Agenda here.

Finally, if you are in Bloomington, please come up and chat with either Tiffany or Rocky if you have questions about your Members of Congress. We have had meetings with at least one Congressman from 48 different states. We have a pretty good feel for each state’s congressional delegation and might have some state-specific ideas or thoughts that can help your state motorcycle rights organization maintain and build relationships with your federally elected officials.

Standing Update:

We are currently at 85 cosponsors from 36 states and one territory for H. Res 255, the motorcycle profiling resolution. This is an increase of 9 new cosponsors since last week. We also added our first lawmakers from Idaho, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The map below shows which states have at least one lawmaker signed on as a cosponsor.

Click HERE to see if your member has signed on to H. Res 255.

Your Team in D.C.  Tiffany & Rocky
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation

About Motorcycle Riders Foundation
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) provides leadership at the federal level for states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders. The MRF is chiefly concerned with issues at the national and international levels that impact the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. The MRF is committed to being a national advocate for the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle and works in conjunction with its partners to help educate elected officials and policymakers in Washington and beyond.


By | General Posts

This week you probably received several thoughtful emails about the 18th anniversary of 9/11.  While many organizations talked about ways to honor the fallen, Operation Gratitude acted to do so – demonstrating to our military and first responder heroes that we, as a grateful nation, would never forget their service and sacrifices.

In New York City on September 5th, Operation Gratitude joined hundreds of New Yorkers to assemble 10,000 Care Packages filled with more than 400,000 individual items for deployed Troops around the world and First Responders here at home.

We couldn’t have done it without you! Our collective efforts to give back in a hands-on way to our nation’s heroes were featured during this live remote on Fox & Friends.

We received your care packages today…(they) brought tears to peoples’ eyes, and knowing they’re remembered and cared for is a gift that is priceless to the soul. Click here to read more….

Now we need more of your ACTION. In addition to sending us handmade items to fill 75,000 Care Packages you can help us ship them to deployed Troops, Veterans, Wounded Heroes and their Caregivers on Veterans Day, during the Holiday Season, and through the end of the year.

On 9/11 and over the past two days, thousands of those Care Packages were delivered to Service Members in harm’s way, as well as in-person to 800 Police Officers, Firefighters, and EMTs who were among the first to respond to the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon 18 years ago.

Because of you, our actions really did speak louder than words. The impact you made is clear in the words of this young Airman, John, who received a Care Package on 9/11; he will never forget your kindness:

Cross Country Chase

By | General Posts

Stage 7 turned out to be one of the better days for the sweep crew since the trailer only carried three bikes into the Harley-Davidson of Tallahassee dealership at the end of the day. After a tasty dinner hosted by the dealership, our gracious hosts opened up their service department and allowed riders to wrench on every available lift and the grateful jockeys took full advantage of the opportunity. From oil changes to rewiring, bikes were getting their jockey’s full attention. While breakdowns may be fewer, wrenching is definitely not ignored as riders fight to keep their machines off the trailer and on schedule.

Though Todd Cameron, #99, still holds first place, the top five ranks have been juggled to now include a BSA, two Harley-Davidsons, a Triumph and a Henderson. And one woman rider! But we’re not going to jinx her. Instead, we’ll point out that this Grandma is steadily gaining rank and scoring well on the daily quizzes.

As riders left the Canadian border 7 days ago, they started out with 44 Harley-Davidsons, 15 Indians, 3 BSAs, 3 Triumphs and one each Velocette, Nimbus, Norton and a Zundapp. As of tonight, there have been 10 drop outs for various reasons, including health.

Weather is a concern now as the group crossed into Florida today with another weather pattern forming out at sea that may bring heavy rain and winds as riders make their way to the Florida Keys.

Dale Walksler Inducted Into AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame

By | General Posts

The American Motorcycle Association Motorcycle Hall of Fame announced this week that they will add five new inductees at their annual ceremony on December 6 in Columbus, Ohio.

Included in the Class of 2019 is Dale Walksler, founder and curator of Dale’s Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, NC. Walksler’s induction to the Hall of Fame pays tribute to his lifelong passion and tireless effort to preserve and promote vintage American motorcycling.’

Walksler’s introduction to American motorcycling came when he bought a wrecked Harley-Davidson Servi-Car from behind a local repair shop. A few weeks later, he rode the machine out of his garage and into a lifelong love of motorcycles. After high school, he opened a motorcycle custom shop and then a Harley-Davidson dealership in 1974. During its 26 years, Dale’s Harley-Davidson of Mt. Vernon was continually recognized as a top 100 dealer, receiving countless awards from Harley-Davidson and industry organizations alike.

Over the years, Walksler continued to add to his personal collection some of the rarest and most historic American motorcycles and collectibles, eventually opening a museum to attract customers to his dealership. When he sold his dealership in 1999, he moved to Maggie Valley, NC to open Dale’s Wheels Through Time Museum. Recognized worldwide for its all-American collection of vintage motorcycles and automobiles, each machine being kept in running and operating condition. The museum has hosted over a million and a half visitors during its seventeen years in North Carolina. Walksler’s legacy includes not only the museum but his own celebrated television show, “What’s In The Barn,” as well as numerous appearances on other programs such as “American Pickers,” “Chasing Classic Cars,” and “American Restoration.”

The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame was started in 1998 and exists to “to honor the legends and heroes of American motorcycling and highlight their achievements and contributions to motorcycling.”

Ken Ford, a member of the AMA board of directors, said, “The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2019 includes individuals who have impacted motorcycling in positive and powerful ways, as both advocates and sportsmen, leaving a lasting impression on the sport we all love. Generations of motorcyclists owe them a debt of gratitude for their accomplishments. We’re honored to recognize them this December 6 at the induction ceremony as the newest members of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.”

The other four inductees for 2019 include Mark Buckner, Kurt Caselli, Ron Lechien, and Wiltz Wagner.
Founded in 1924 with a mission to “to promote the motorcycling lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling,” the American Motorcyclist Association now boasts over 200,000 members and in excess of 1,110 chartered clubs.

Cross Country Chase Stage 6

By | General Posts

The city of Chattanooga sits in a valley between two small mountains, Lookout Mountain and Signal Mountain, and this day of exceptional riding started out with Chase riders climbing out of the valley up above the clouds that engulfed the city below for a breath-taking view as they set out for there 258-mile day. >From the “Rock City” point they rode past, it’s said that seven U.S. states could be seen: Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, but there was no time for dawdling since weather was an issue again as the heat index started to climb early.

Riders ended their day at the very welcoming Harley-Davidson of Macon, Georgia. The family owned dealership celebrated Grover Sassaman’s 98th birthday earlier this year but you’d never have guessed he was closing in on the century mark. As founder of the company, Sassaman first attended Harley-Davidson® Factory School in 1939, establishing a life-long relationship with the Motor Company, and he was happy to share the particulars of how he came to be the longest owned independent dealership in the world. Quick and witty, Grover talks motorcycles with the best of them, sharing dates, details and tidbits that held the group in rapture.

Grover cruised the property on his scooter greeting the CCC group and offered great advice to riders, including rider #35. Jon Dobbs had his 1939 HD EL in the service bay due to coil problems and Mr. Sassaman offered tips on what could be causing the trouble since the EL has consumed 4 coils since the start of the run. Dobbs later started the bike and rode it out of the dealership, so we’re betting the problems are solved.

Grover rolled through the Chase bikes outside and was particularly smitten with the 1939 HD EL owned by rider #61, Bob Zeolla, because he considered it to be one of the most original of machine on the run. Tomorrow’s route will take riders 249-miles down the road to end at Harley-Davidson of Tallahassee with bikes being on display between 4:30-6:00 pm. Come join us, you never know who you might get to meet!


By | General Posts

Today, we join Americans across the country in remembering the lives lost on September 11, 2001.

On this day of remembrance, we also honor the brave men and women who stood up and enlisted after the attacks on that fateful day. As Americans, we will never take for granted the freedoms we enjoy because of those who serve and protect our country … because of veterans like you.

Thank you for standing with us today in remembrance — and for standing with your fellow veterans every day.

Stephen “Butch” Whitehead
DAV National Commander

Keith “Bandit” Ball