Bear Arms n’ Bitcoin 2020: Q&A with Ragnar of Guns n’ Bitcoin

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Guns N’ Bitcoin, the company known for making the first ever hybrid crypto-pistol gun case and a cyberpunk dystopia focused podcast, recently released details of their first ever event, “Bear Arms N’ Bitcoin 2020”.

The conference takes place June 13th and 14th in Portland, Oregon.

A two-day conference in the beautiful Northwest, Bear Arms n’ Bitcoin 2020 will offer plenty for anyone in the libertarian, crypto, and 3D printing firearm space. Enjoy anonymous attendance, presentations and demos, a fun opportunity to meet and chat with other people in the community, and even spend a morning at an outdoor shooting range with your friends from Twitter and Keybase.

Bear Arms n’ Bitcoin 2020

The first day of Bear Arms n’ Bitcoin 2020 will feature presentations and demos by prominent personalities in the space of 3D printing, home manufacturing, firearms advocacy, bitcoin, and censorship resistance. You’ll also have the chance to participate in silent auctions and a ‘Satoshi square’ for attendees to buy and sell Bitcoin!

Day two of BAB2020 is a morning at the range for some target shooting with your new friends. The cost of ammo, targets, rental guns, and ear and eye protection is included with your ticket! Spending the morning at the range with your crypto and gun printing buddies? Sounds pretty amazing!

Read the full event itinerary and purchase tickets here.

En Bloc Press is proud to be a media partner for this event. We put together a Q&A with Ragnar, Chief Range Officer at Guns n’ Bitcoin, about it below.


Q&A With Ragnar

What compelled you to put together this event? What’s the goal?
People need to meet and talk and work together in real life. Bear Arms N’ Bitcoin 2020 will provide the opportunity to do so. Online interactions are insufficient. Getting together in meet space has three benefits. First, you gain hands-on education. For example, setting up a bitcoin wallet or inspecting a DIY firearm to see how it’s engineered for safe firing. Second, you gain solidarity and encouragement from meeting online friends in real life. It can be lonely toiling away alone in your garage, behind a pseudonym. Third, you have fun. 

Those involved in DIY gun making have been reluctant to get together in person for privacy and security reasons, which is prudent. At the same time it’s unfortunate because, besides a few exceptions, making your own gun and sharing your knowledge is protected under the 1st and 2nd Amendments. Having to hide in the shadows to exercise your rights is wrong. It’s up to us to change that.  

What can folks expect to take away from this event when they leave to head home? 
They will go home with new practical skills. They will know how to do something they didn’t know how to do before. They will see or experience something at the event that will spark an idea that they will take home and develop. And I hope the friendships that form will enhance online relationships after the event. 

What are your goals in terms of attendance?
We don’t have a goal for a specific number of attendees or presenters. We’re focusing on putting on a quality, intimate event at a reasonable cost. This is the first time we’re doing this, and as far as I know, an event about guns and bitcoin has never been done before.

Do you envision this being a yearly thing or part of a series of ongoing events?
We’re going to see how the event goes and then decide on future plans. But ideally, Bear Arms N’ Bitcoin will be an annual event and possibly spur small, local events. I’d love for others to do things in real life.  

Privacy is of course a huge concern for this event. It looks like you’re taking that seriously. Guests and presenters are encouraged to remain anonymous or pseudonymous to attend. I think that’s critical to curating a TAZ. What, if any, obstacles did you run into with organizing this event in terms of privacy? 

So far, we haven’t haven’t had any obstacles with privacy for planning the event. Our policies prevent any possible issues. 

You’ll have some personalities there who may or may not be of interest to public sector actors like law enforcement or private sector actors like The Trace and other anti-gun groups, or even black hats seeking to mine exploitable data about prominent personalities. What are your thoughts on the risks associated?

Safety is our first priority. That being said, no illegal or unethical activity will be tolerated at our event. The risks we have from hostile press, law enforcement, and hackers are no different than any other Bitcoin or gun related event. Think of SHOT Show or Bitcoin 2020. How we differ from these events is that we have measures to protect the privacy of our presenters and attendees. I’m actually shocked other events don’t.

This event doesn’t allow for audio or video recording at any time. I think that’s great. Without giving away too much information, what’s your approach to ensuring operational security, information security, device prohibition or detection, and other ‘electronic warfare’ concerns? Disallowing something is one thing; detecting or preventing it is another.
It’s classfied!

What items would you encourage attendees to bring to get the most value out of the event? 
For Saturday, I recommend attendees bring a small notepad and a pen. For those going to the Sunday morning at the gun range, they can bring their own firearms if they wish.

We live in a strange time. This event is, realistically, pretty innocent. This will be a place for people who believe in free markets and free ideas to gather and share and learn. And yet, the idea of doing this “in the clear” is almost unfathomable in 2020. What are your thoughts on that?

At Guns N’ Bitcoin we say that we “arm you with the tools and stories to help you thrive and survive the cyberpunk dystopia”. Part of this dystopia is corporations and cabals of individuals and organizations having power equivalent to the State. Compared to the rest of the world, in the US we have strong protections for free speech and the right to bear arms. But now we’re in the ugly era of cancel culture and woke capitalism against anyone not submitting to radical leftist views. They use deplatforming, financial censorship, and intimidation against free speech to enforce their religion. Gun owners and businesses are one of their primary targets. Unlike the State, these people and organizations are not restricted by laws. They’re crybullies. The solution is to be unintimidated, to live your life according to your own conscience. Bullies give up when you stand up for yourself.

What’s the target demographic for this? Is this best suited for people brand new to crypto-anarchism or for people who are already involved? Or am I off-base in phrasing it that way?
Our target demographic is anyone who believes in financial autonomy, self-defense, and freedom.

Anecdotally, it feels like in the last year there’s been a noticeable shift where more people are getting involved in concrete activism or meeting like-minded people locally. A lot of folks are doing more than just shitposting memes anymore. Virginia is an example. Do you notice this too, and if so, and what are your thoughts on this trend?
I have noticed that more people are acting rather than just talking. I think that’s because censorship and infringements on rights have accelerated by the State and the radical Left. Memes and and petitions and complaining don’t cut it anymore. In many ways, the other side is winning. For DIY guns, technology like Keybase, SPEE.CH and bitcoin empower people to innovate around censorship and infringements. The changing demographics of this country is a permanent force that will make gun control worse and worse every year. It’s irreversible. Technology, innovation, and non-compliance are the bulwarks against the tide of cultural and government tyranny. The purpose of Bear Arms N’ Bitcoin 2020 is help build those bulwarks. 

Ragnar, Chief Range Officer at Guns n’ Bitcoin. (Twitter: @Ragnarly)


Big thanks to Ragnar for taking the time to answer our questions!

If you’re interested in meeting up with the folks of your online circles, this would be a great event. It would also be a great place for folks curious about these topics to be to learn from subject matter experts and people active in the community. The location is beautiful and the focus on privacy and security sounds like a refreshing change of pace.

An in-person event like this is an important step in mainstreaming concepts like privacy, autonomy, freedom of speech, and personal liberty. Hit up Ragnar on Twitter with any questions, or join Keybase team gnb_events for the group chat to learn more.

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