Marine Colonel Tarnishes Tin Eagles With False Testimony

By Mark Oliva

PSA AR15 Midlength Jim Grant
Retired Marine Colonel Craig Tucker is throwing in his 25 years of Marine Corps service, combat experience and military expertise to deny Californians their Second Amendment rights. IMG Jim Grant

USA – Retired Marine Colonel Craig Tucker is throwing in his 25 years of Marine Corps service, combat experience and military expertise to deny Californians their Second Amendment rights. The problem is, he’s doing it on a bed of verifiably false allegations of what today’s Modern Sporting Rifle (MSR) is and isn’t. He discloses that he’s being compensated for his “expert” opinion at $200 an hour.

Colonel Tucker, a former Commander of the Corps’ Regimental Combat Team 7 that fought in the 2004 Battle of Fallujah, filed “expert testimony” in Rupp v. Bonta, the case that California’s Attorney General Robert Bonta is desperately trying to keep California’s “assault weapon” ban alive. That case was originally filed in 2017. In June of last year, the U.S. District Court’s order was vacated by U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit and remanded back to the District Court given the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bruen decision, which expressly forbids the court from using an “interest balancing” test to decide Constitutionality of Second Amendment-related cases.

Justice Clarence Thomas expressly forbids the practice in Bruen, writing in the majority opinion, “The Second Amendment ‘is the very product of an interest balancing by the people’ and it ‘surely elevates above all other interests the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms’ for self-defense.”

Attorney General Bonta is scrambling to salvage what’s left of California’s unconstitutional ban on the most popular-selling semiautomatic rifle in America. There are over 24.4 million of these rifles – AR-15s and AK-47s – in circulation today. They discharge one cartridge for each pull of the trigger – no different than popular semiautomatic duck hunting shotguns or personal defense handguns.

Colonel Tucker argues that these are firearms only meant for military use. I’m not writing to impugn the colonel’s character. Like him, I’ve served in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. I carried the M-4, firing the 5.56mm cartridge. I own several MSRs, chambered to accept .223 Remington/5.56mm and 6.5mm Creedmoor ammunition. Like him, I’ve got extensive experience with the Colt 1911 .45 caliber handgun as well as multiple handguns chambered for 9mm, including Beretta’s M-9.

The facts he presents to the court, however, are verifiably false.

Mythical M-4 & 5.56mm

Colonel Tucker qualified MSRs as “assault weapons” based on California’s list of cosmetic characteristics that have nothing to do whatsoever with the rifle’s actual functions. He testifies that the selector switch that renders an M-4 capable of automatic fire is a “picayune” or “petty or worthless” difference. By that definition, Colonel Tucker would classify any semiautomatic firearm as a “weapon of war.”

But he goes further.

“A single round is capable of severing the upper body from the lower body, or decapitation. The round is designed to kill, not wound, and both the AR-15 and M4 contain barrel rifling to make the round tumble upon impact and cause more severe injury.”

I’m not doubting the colonel’s combat acumen. I certainly can’t say that’s what I saw in combat. I never witnessed a single 5.56mm round fired at the enemy decapitate or sever a human body in half. If this were true of the 5.56mm cartridge, it would beg the question of why the military is spending millions to move to the 6.8mm Next Generation Squad Weapon, using a heavier caliber that carries more kinetic energy downrange. It would also beg the question of why the military also uses 7.62x51mm, .300 Winchester Magnum, .338 Lapua Magnum, and .50 BMG caliber ammunition. If the 5.56mm cartridge were that devastating, there would clearly be no additional need for heavier bullets with more gunpowder behind them.

I’ve killed coyotes and prairie dogs with both 5.56mm and .223 Remington. Nothing of what Colonel Tucker describes ever happened on these much smaller targets. In fact, in my home state, the .223/5.56mm cartridge isn’t considered powerful enough for an ethical harvest of whitetail deer.

Rifling, Stocks & Grips

The rifle-barreling remark is odd, too, especially coming from an infantry officer. I have studied firearms, and it is common knowledge that rifling is designed to improve accuracy by stabilizing the bullet in flight as it travels toward the target, not to make it tumble upon impact. Artillery tubes have rifling for the same reason.

Colonel Tucker’s military expertise isn’t done, though. He claims that pistol grips and adjustable stocks on rifles are especially deadly.

“It is my opinion, based on my military service, that these features, individually and in combination, make semiautomatic rifles more lethal and most useful in combat settings, as described in more detail below,” Colonel Tucker testified.

Those are also the same features that allow for greater control and more accuracy when firing. That’s safer shooting. The adjustable stock makes it so my wife can fit the same MSR to her body that I fit to mine, with minor adjustments of the length of the stock. Adjusting stocks to be customized to the shooter is not a new concept. Rifle and shotgun shooters have been doing it forever.

This isn’t the first time Colonel Tucker’s taken on lawful firearm ownership. He co-authored an article in 2017 with two other Marines, one of whom I personally served within the Corps. The column attacked the NRA for what they termed as “engaging in shameless fear tactics.” They added, “We believe that ALL of our civil liberties are worth defending for ALL Americans—including protection from the use of excessive lethal force by those sworn to protect and serve our communities.”

That’s all rights, except the full spectrum of Second Amendment rights, apparently.

Full Semiautomatic

It’s not the first time military officers used rank to present themselves as an authority on firearms. Army Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling did this with CNN following the tragedies in Parkland, Fla., when he explained to a reporter that he was going to fire on full semiautomatic.” That was lampooned, not just because of the ill-turn of phrase, but because of the intentional narrative twisting. Military officers are using their former ranks to tell the American public they can’t be trusted to possess commonly-owned and commonly-used firearms.

I’m proud of my service. I’m proud of the Marines I served with, including Marines like Colonel Tucker, with whom I passionately disagree on this issue. The American public should be keenly aware that the U.S. military is very good at what it does. That’s control. That control, however, should never be exerted on the American public, especially when it is presented as “expert testimony” that is dubious at best and verifiably false at worst.

The American public generally respects and admires military leaders. But, we should not be blinded to the facts by military brass.

Apparently, at $200 an hour, California is getting a steal on this testimony and Second Amendment rights.

About the Author
Mark Oliva is NSSF’s Managing Director of Public Affairs. He is a retired Marine Master Gunnery Sergeant with 25 years of service, including tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Albania, and Zaire.

About The National Shooting Sports Foundation

NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations, and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit

National Shooting Sports Foundation

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The colonel impugned himself by spewing that tripe. He demonstrated he is a despicable liar for sale.

Wild Bill

He is a $200.00 per hour whore.

Knute Knute

Ooooo…. that’s a good one!
“A two hundred dollar an hour whore”.
I like it. I’m going to steal it for use on every gun control fanatic, like I stole this slogan from a “T” shirt:
“Gun control is hitting your target!” 🙂


I have no problem impugning the colonel’s character, he’s either fool who bloviates on issues he doesn’t understand or a pathological lair. Guys like this who engage in inexcusable behavior then try to shield themselves from criticism with their military sevice John McCain style derserve no respect.




Isn’t that lying traitor alexander vinman still wearing a uniform?

He should have been tried for purjury and treason yet he’s still there, wearing the uniform instead of breaking big rocks into small ones or being stood up in front of a firing squad.

The termites think they can win.

Traitors like t(f)ucker should NEVER HOLD A POSITION OF HONOR IN THE U.S.


I want to thank the vinman / traitor supporter for the thumb down……


I think he just recently retired. He should use his expertise to assist Ukraine, but will probably be an “expert” witness on MSNBC!


Why would anyone want to assist Ukraine?

Wild Bill

Why would anyone want to assist Ukraine, you ask. Well because: 1 Every nation in Europe knows that they are on Putin’s list, each in their own turn; 2 it is better to beat the Russians, and snuff out WWIII on Ukraine soil that their soil; 3 the Chinese thought that they were getting an unbeatable ally. Ukraine has proved that false; 4 Russia is now dependent on China for support, thus delaying China’s timetable for take over of Taiwan, the whole South China Sea and all the micro nations within the SCS; and 5 Ukraine supplies a huge percent… Read more »


Noooooo, nooot youuu … Bill, listen very carefully. This is a sham. Think about this. Why has everyone so conveniently forgotten about that money laundering deal in Ukraine with all this top level dims? Why is this ‘war’ so important to the Biden admin? Why doesnt the media report on the almost 90,000 self-identified “nazis” within the Ukrainian ranks? How can we trust the same resources, for the reporting on Ukraine; that we don’t trust for other reasons? Russia is the last white country IN THE WORLD, that hasn’t been infiltrated by woke globalist. This all doesnt add up …… Read more »

Wild Bill

You asked why, and I addressed the military issues to the exclusion of other issues.


Yes you did.


Spot on Boom! I’ve been preaching this to every one of my fellow retired Spec Ops “Contractors”…but, alas, so many have gotten themselves into financial trouble, they will whore themselves out to the highest bidder. Frustrates me.


Bottom line? Because it’s profitable.


Don’t sugar coat it. The ‘Col.’ clearly committed perjury and should be charged.


It is not perjury about the rifling and devastating results of an AR-15 if he really doesn’t know better. It just proves to me and you that do know better, that he is an idiot. California is gaining nothing by paying this guy 200 bucks per hour. Eventually California is going to get their asses handed to them by SCOTUS.


If he doesn’t know better about rifling and ballistics, then claiming to be an expert is perjury. Either way he’s a lying sob.


I don’t know if claiming to be an expert is actually perjury….seems to me that saying I am an expert, can be determined by other people based on whether or not they agree with what that expert claims. He might say that he is an expert on leading troops into battle, because he has, but whether or not he is actually is, depends on the troops he led having eyewitness testimony that he is. Obviously, if he is an expert on firearms, then he doesn’t fit the bill. If he said under oath that he was expert on firearms, than… Read more »


BS We all know what a expert witness is supposed to be. You like playing the lefts game ? Wordsmiths. This is the problem up is down, down is up, left is right, right is left, WTF ? Pure fricken insanity, C’mon Man


awaiting approval? Good grief…………….


The good colonel is a despicable shitbird and should be remanded as such. He discredited our Marine Corps in a manner adjacent the price of a cheap hooker. Much less this is a direct act of stolen valor in that he utilized our Marine Corps and his rank for personal gain which in this case is a felony. Needless to say his questionable knowledge of his combat arms weaponry is alarming to say the least in that his position in Iraq could have / or possibly did cost Marines their lives.


Another oathbreaking traitor.


Some years ago, the military services engaged in a carefully constructed plan to purge their ranks of conservatives and America First patriots. The plan came directly from the Executive Branch and resulted in large numbers of good officers being shown the door. What was left was a cadre of left wing zealots, as exhibited by this particular colonel. When the “people in charge” dismiss the rights enshrined in the Constitution, we may well be witnessing the death throes of The Republic.


Correct, but in past tense.


When asked if they thought American troops would fire on American citizens, 78% of respondents said yes.

it’s these disgraceful brainwashed pussies who will give / follow those orders.


And this is down voted because……?


It is now 12:51 of 2/17/2023. There are no DOWN VOTES showing as I read this article and read the comments. CENSORSHIP?


Saw your comment and had to throw my vote in the ring.


J. when I enlisted (74) that question came up on occasion and the ‘positive’ responses were in the low single digits. By the time I retired (2010) that had changed but not as high as the figure you cited. With the current mindset of many senior officers, it might actually be that high. ;-(


Have you ever heard of fraging? While I served in VN in 1970-71 I was 50 yards from a fraging where a Army major was killed in his bunker in Cu Chi. There were plenty of butter bars who where injured or killed by 223 55 grain FMJ bullets.


LOT of difference in ‘fragging’ an incompetent or dangerous troop and agreeing to fire on unarmed Citizens.


At Kent State they were national guard troops, SCARED $HITLESS.


Somewhere around 2008, maybe.


Cappy – yep, that occurred during the reign of barky, and it also was done to senior enlisted folks. It was so bad that while I was going thru my disability board one of my warrant buddies said his name would be on my retirement certificate. I told him I could fix that with a sharpie. He about had a heart attack from laughing so hard.

Funny thing is I never did get that certificate 😉

Capn Dad

Mark Oliva your respect for that dirt bag colonel is wasted. He’s a traitor.


Old – most of us wouldn’t be willing to sell our integrity that cheaply, ‘maybe’ for a million bucks an hour but likely not even then.

Remember the old story about Churchill and the woman who agreed to sleep with him for a million pounds but refused for five pounds. The price is irrelevant, the characterization is.


It isn’t clear that the retired Marine Col. is selling his sole to whomever is willing to pay $200/hr. It is my experience that unless these brass hats have technical expertise in the subject they are providing their opinion their opinions are blowing smoke. I doubt that a Marine Col. who spent his carrier commanding combat troops has much knowledge about ballistics nor ergonomics. Also, there is a lot of years between when he wore railroad tracks on his lapels & he retired as an O6; so, unless he has a firearms hobby he would have he ain’t an expert… Read more »


 He committed adultery with a lower ranking Marine, which is a violation of the UMCJ, betrayed the Marine Corp and his wife, betraying the American people was a short step for him. F Him.

Rob J

I grew up around firearms, hunting and shooting for as long as I can remember. Many hours of my youth were spent at the reloading bench with my father, pouring over ballistics charts and loading exacting standards to fit the needs of each individual load. During my tour of duty in the US Army, I served a 2 year stint as my unit armorer. I spent 6 weeks attending maintenance and repair classes on the various weaponry we had, from the individual weapons (rifle and sidearm) to various crew served squad weaponry and vehicle mounted weaponry as well as explosives… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Rob J

The Colonel needs to go to jail for perjury.


Just another Kalifornia Commie


What are possible consequences(if any) for submitting verifiable false information to a California Court?


Future political office


So, the author is proud of Marines…..including the colonel who lies in attempting to help deprive us of our rights???


Rank, doesn’t automatically mean knowledge or competence in any subject but A$$ Kissing.


This author ate too many crayons.


So if Col. Tucker and his cohorts

“believe that ALL of our civil liberties are worth defending for ALL Americans—including protection from the use of excessive lethal force by those sworn to protect and serve our communities.”,

does that mean we do NOT deserve protection from ‘minimal lethal force’?


I only put in 10 years, my service was cut short due to severe disability, service connected, but in that time I spent 4 years as an infantryman in the 82nd Airborne and 6 years either in training or as a Special Forces weapons sergeant. I can say without a doubt that Colonel Craig Tucker, like a few other retired combat arms officers, didn’t learn a damn thing about weapons while serving.


Sellout traitor!!!!! Liar!!!! He knows what the bullet will do and he knows he is lying but just like a true politician he is doing it for a profit and doesn’t care that he is slitting his fellow countrymen’s throat.


I’m glad that my USMC service was not with Col. Tucker. I like to think of my fellow Marines with pride and respect. Clearly, he sold out.
1st. Lieutenant, USMC, 1958-61


The man (I CANNOT and WILL NOT call him a Marine) is a failure to his military background and a disgrace to his uniform and nation… He has become part of the “left modified” problem in this nation, these brainwashed, bought and paid for liars have to be sought out and exposed to all for what they ARE ! His Marine “brothers” need to enact a “family” intervention focused on stopping his socialist addiction and bring an errant MARINE back to the Corp !.

Doug G.

Conduct Unbecoming.


I totally understand how you feel about these Marines Mark as you are all a part of a brotherhood. What I cannot abide by is those who would trade the honor they swore to never disgrace for $200 an hour. I don’t know about you but my honor is worth a helluva lot more than all the money California could pay in a millennium.


Select fire, semi- auto or not. One round per trigger action or many. Weapon of war, sporting arm or not. All of these distinctions are irrelevant. We the People have a right to keep and bear each and every kind of arms that shall not be infringed.

Get Out

He sold himself out as a $200 an hour tool to promote lies.


I have no problem impugning his character, but he’s doing a good enough job all by himself. Whatever service he did for his country has died an ignoble death. He’s become nothing more than another oath-breaking, grifting whore of the Marxist-left in this country. He’s a disgrace to this country, the Marine Corps, and the men he led. As a peer of his, he is dead to me as a brother-in-arms. He has sold out and for all I’m concerned, he’s now in the category of “domestic enemy”. He’s not my countryman, he’s less than an undocumented prostitute, I don’t wish… Read more »




These ass hats were the reason for me getting out.It amazes me how they even get past second lieutenant. They know deep down they won’t survive in the real world. So they make a career out of time served. And kissing ass.


As a Retired Army Special Forces Chief Warrant Officer, decorated Veteran, I would be MORE than HAPPY to bich slap the snot out of that disgusting JarHead Officer….what a pathetic piece of garbage. Same as Ollie North. Hey, Marines, where do you get these losers? Same place we got Milley, Vindman and Powell?


This officer is a disgrace to his uniform and himself! Not to mention he is demonstrating is total ignorance of firearms in a rather grand manner. Shocking how such a buffoon could attain the rank of Colonel in the USMC. Hell, he’s not qualified to be a buck Private.


…..if you ain’t CAV. . .


It seems that a good portion, (but far from all!), of career military personnel can’t function as civilians. They struggle to make decisions without “orders”. It’s entirely possible that Colonel Tucker doesn’t have the mental capacity to comprehend the Constitution, but CAN repeat what someone pays him to say. That would make him guilty of perjury, but not necessarily a traitor. I can’t say the same for the people who are using him to bring down the USA. (I hope I get some of those “Thumb Down” votes. It’ll show me that I’m on the right track.)

Dogma Factor

Such an highly held expert state witness is a pure gift to our side! He’s cast complete doubt on all state testimonies submitted. Goes to show that California is will to pay well for perjury.


money if the chief of all evil in this country now if you can be bought off for in this a holes case 200 bucks ,you are now no good to anybody cause you have been bought and paid for no matter what your previous job was or is ,case in point Joe Biden bapf by the chinese and they don’t even try to hide it any more because so many in the government are on the chinese payroll. don’t listen to the lies they spew its all designed to lead you into a false state of mind . defend… Read more »


This “colonel”was probably just another paper pusher, no wonder it took him 25 years to achieve senior officer status.

Last edited 1 month ago by PMinFl

So much for his oath of service.


The National Shooting SPORTS term an attempt to justify a sporting use. I prefer the MILITIA STANDARD RIFLE. The history is clear but rarely taught. Patrick Henry said and did far more than say ” Give me liberty or give me death.” But that is all 98% know. The entire Bill of Rights exists because Henry and some others objected to Art One, Section 8 which only spoke of a states right/ power to have a militia. The National Guard is not militia, rather a subset of the Army. A Governor cannot object to what the Federal government does with… Read more »


CK – a ‘bit’ of clarification – there is a BIG difference between the National Guard/Air Guard and a ‘state guard’, the first can be Federalized (Title 10 or 14) and then come under the control of the Army or Air Force command structure. A ‘state guard’ cannot be federalized and remains under the control of that state’s governor, and cannot be used outside their state except under some very limited emergencies. Good example is the New York “Naval Militia”.


The term “quisling” leaps to mind .