Saturday, May 28, 2016

UK: Weapons Cache, Table Knives, Tweezers and Hammer?




Here is the headline from the standard.co.uk:

A haul of weapons and more than £30,000 in cash were seized by police in a major drugs bust this morning.

I thought the U.S. was being converted to a bunch of wimps.  This is pathetic.  Any normal 15 year old could come up with better weapons than this collection from the kitchen drawer and utility closet.  A golf club or Cricket bat would be more formidable.

 A tip of the hat to Just an Earth-Bound Misfit, I.

The Metropolitan Police must be hard pressed to justify their jobs.  No wonder the Muslims think that they can easily conquer and convert Europe.

  ©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

OK: Strong Right to Keep and Bear Arms Amendment Killed by Republicans




A strong right to keep and bear arms amendment to the Oklahoma state constitution was killed by the Republican leadership at the last minute. They did this by running out the clock in the conference committee, by not voting on HJR 1009.  The clock ran out on May 19th.

The tactics were similar to what was done in 2014.  This year the measure was passed with overwhelming votes in both the House and the Senate. It passed the House 66-7.  It passed the Senate 39 to 7.  That is by 90% and 85% respectively.  Obviously, the measure was wildly popular.  Then some lobbying by special interests seems to have gotten involved. Backroom deals may have been struck.

According to okta-action.org, several members of the conference committee have decided to oppose the measure, after voting for it twice.  From ok2a-action.org:
Several Republican members of the House Rules Committee (which is the House side of the Conference Committee for HJR1009) that previously voted for HJR1009 - most of them twice - and have even signed on as co-authors of the measure, have suddenly flip-flopped on the issue.  One of them even seemed to get a kick out of the possibility of killing it.  Are you angry yet?  Republicans laughing about trampling on your right to keep and bear arms while following marching orders from a liberal, New York, gun-grabber lobbying against your natural right to protect yourself - that should make every pro-gun Oklahoman livid!
Oklahoma's current right to keep and bear arms amendment was weak to begin with and has been rendered toothless by Oklahoma Supreme Court decisions. Here is the current version:

The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power, when thereunto legally summoned, shall never be prohibited; but nothing herein contained shall prevent the Legislature from regulating the carrying of weapons.
You can see the problem "; but nothing herein contained shall prevent the Legislature from regulating the carrying of weapons."  With that clause, the court has ruled that the "bear arms" part of Section 26 is a legal nullity.

Here is the reform.  Underlined words are new; lined through words are removed: 

From the Oklahoma Legislature (pdf):

Section 26.
A.
The fundamental right of a each individual
4 citizen to keep and to bear arms in defense of his home, person, or
5 property, or, including handguns, rifles, shotguns, knives,
6 nonlethal defensive weapons and other arms in common use, as well as
7 ammunition and the components of arms and ammunition, for security,
8 self-defense, lawful hunting and recreation, in aid of the civil
9 power, when thereunto legally lawfully summoned, or for any other
10 legitimate purpose shall never not be prohibited; but nothing herein
11 contained shall prevent the Legislature from regulating the carrying
12 of weapons infringed. Any regulation of this right shall be subject
13 to strict scrutiny.
14
B.
This section shall not prevent the Legislature from
15 prohibiting the possession of arms by convicted felons, those
16 adjudicated as mentally incompetent or those who have been
17 involuntarily committed in any mental institution.
18
C.
No law shall impose registration or special taxation upon
19 the keeping of arms, including the acquisition, ownership,
20 possession or the transfer of arms, ammunition or the components of
21 arms or ammunition

Reformed Constitutional amendments protecting the right to keep and bear arms have been wildly popular with voters.  The difficulty is getting them on the ballot.  In 2014, the Oklahoma amendment passed both houses in slightly different versions. It was scuttled in the conference committee between the House and the Senate.

Alabama passed a similar amendment in 2014 with 72% of the vote; Missouri had strengthened its Constitution just months before with 61%; Louisiana in 2012 with 74% of the vote; and  Kansas in 2010 with 88%. Wisconsin voters protected their rights with a strong amendment in 1998 with 74% of the vote.

Wisconsin had one of the most difficult paths.  Constitutional amendments there must pass the legislature twice, with an election in between.  Then they are put before the people in a referendum.

 The legislature has not yet learned that playing these games is no longer a safe way to kill measures that you vocally support, but secretly conspire to kill.

Perhaps ok2A-action.org will determine just who the responsible parties are, and find a way to hold them accountable.  I believe this amendment will eventually make it to the voters for their decision, but it will depend on grass roots support to make it happen.

 ©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

Audio Shows Katie Couric Documentary Deceptively Edited Interview with Pro-Gun Activists

The makers of a new Katie Couric documentary on gun violence deceptively edited an interview between Couric and a group of gun rights activists in an apparent attempt to embarrass the activists, an audio recording of the full interview shows.

At the 21:48 mark of Under the Gun a scene of Katie Couric interviewing members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a gun rights organization, is shown.

Couric can be heard in the interview asking activists from the group, “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?”

The documentary then shows the activists sitting silently for nine awkward seconds, unable to provide an answer. It then cuts to the next scene. The moment can be watched here:

More Here

Noah Feldman Admits that First and Second Amendments are Fundamental Rights



In an op-ed in The Post and Courier, Noah Feldman has penned an article that grudgingly admits that the Second Amendment is a fundamental right deserving as much respect as the First Amendment.  Feldman gets much wrong.  For example, he declares that the Supreme Court found that the Second Amendment is an individual right for the first time in 2008.  From bloomberg.com:
The evolution of gun rights has an internal legal logic to it. The contemporary story starts in 2008 with the case of D.C. v. Heller, a 5-to-4 decision in which the Supreme Court declared for the first time that gun ownership was an individual right, not a collective right of “the people” to organize into militias.
That characterization of the Heller decision is a favorite of disarmists, but it is false.  The Supreme Court never found that the Second Amendment was a "collective right".  The "collective right" theory was created out of whole cloth by the Kansas Supreme Court in 1905.  The muddy Miller decision in 1934 did not say that the right was a collective one, even though that test case was heavily manipulated by the Franklin Roosevelt administration.  There are plenty of previous Supreme Court decisions that declare the Second Amendment to be an individual right, though they do not strike down laws.

In the Post and Courier article, Feldman is having an difficult time explaining why the Second Amendment should *not* be a fundamental right.  From the postandcourier.com:  
With that, the court embraced the old slogan that if you outlaw gun ownership, only criminals will have guns. The court then held that the regulation wasn’t narrowly tailored because the city would have to prove that its scheme made people safer than any less restrictive alternative. And it said it was “skeptical” that such proof could ever be possible. The regulation would only be narrowly tailored, he said, if it were “targeted at keeping guns away from people who are likely to misuse them or situations where they are likely to be misused.”
  Then Feldman writes this bombshell statement, for a person on the left:
City lawyers tried to argue that the regulation simply restricted the time, place and manner of bearing arms, limitations that are permissible even when applied to the free-speech protections of the First Amendment. But the court replied that the analogy was flawed — which of course it is. A law that prohibited you from speaking while on the street but let me speak while at home wouldn’t be permissible. The analogy to free speech is one that belongs to advocates of gun rights, not to the other side.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will have to review this decision. But it’s worth noting that, astonishing as the reasoning sounds, it makes logical legal sense once the right to bear arms is treated as a fundamental right comparable to free speech.
Feldman clearly comes at the issue from a "progressive" lens, with the idea that "rights" are what the government decides, not originating in natural law.  In a previous article, he proclaims that rifles such as the AR-15 are not useful for self-defense, without a shred of  evidence to back such a claim.  He does so out of pure subjective personal preference. From bloomberg.com:
That leaves the view that there’s something special about weapons that can be used both for self-defense and for militias. According to Scalia, those are the weapons that the people who ratified the Second Amendment had in mind.

Today, that includes handguns. But it doesn’t include assault rifles. They’re great for military purposes, and no doubt fun to shoot on the range. But they aren’t useful for self-defense, almost by definition.
But that view is nonsense.  First, AR-15s are not "assault weapons".  They are the civilian version of the M-16, having been altered to make them semi-automatic.  That makes them specifically designed for civilian use and useful both for self defense and militia use. Second, many firearms experts extol the virtues of AR-15 and similar rifles as being especially suitable for home defense, for all the reasons that they would be useful in military operations.

They are light, easily used firearms.  They give a defender a fighting chance against superior numbers.  There appearance has become so well known that they provide superior deterrence for a home or self defender.  They are precisely the firearms that are most useful for spontaneously organized militias to use to assert order after a natural or manmade disaster.

Feldman asserts that the Court will not accept this view, because then they would have to accept rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons as well.  But that is a false assumption.  The Court has already accepted a limit by allowing more regulation on fully automatic weapons.  Feldman does not appear well schooled in weaponry.  He makes the novice error of assuming that because AR-15 type rifles are included in legal definitions of "assault weapons" that they are "assault rifles".  It is an easy error for a lawyer to make.

Rocket propelled grenades are already in a separate federal legal category from semi-automatic rifles.  That line is likely where the current court will hold on Heller and Heller generated challenges to the Second Amendment.

It may be that Noah Feldman will come around to this view.  He seems to value intellectual honesty, in spite of his errors.

If he comes to understand that disarming the population does not confer any real advantages to society, he may switch sides.  He seems to be moving in that direction.

Definition of  disarmist

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch



AR: Poll: Should the University of Arkansas Allow Concealed Carry?


Image from arkansasonlin.comPoll at the this link 


An online poll arkansasonline is showing the strong support for allowing people who can legally carry concealed weapons to carry on campus in Arkansas, just as they can in the rest of the state.

The question is:

Should the UA System allow concealed-carry at its schools?

Currently the poll is at 92% for restoring the right to bear arms to public property that is part of the University of Arkansas system.

Link to the poll

On line polls  measure the ratio of those who are interested enough to answer an online poll. The results here are typical.  Second Amendment supporters typically outnumber those who push for more restrictions by 3-10 to 1. In this case the ratio is now over the 10-1 ratio. This poll is asking a fairly clear question about the desirability of allowing the exercise of a basic Constitutional right on  public property.

People in Arkansas tend to be strong Second Amendment supporters.  It is not surprising that they would support this small, incremental step to restoring a right that many believe they have always had.

The poll in Arkansas is topical because legislators around the country are debating whether to restore Second Amendment rights to institutes of higher education.  Last year, a campus carry bill passed the Arkansas House 66 - 25.  It was killed in committee.  Campus carry was supported by Governor Hutchinson.

An associate dean of an Arkansas graduate school, and a history professor wrote an article debunking the fears of the higher education lobby.  From arktimes.com:
If you work at a Texas college and are worried by the prospect of having guns in your classroom, relax. The new campus-carry law changes your risk of gun violence very little. I can almost guarantee that if you have a few semesters of teaching under your belt, at some point there have been students with guns in your classroom. If those illegally armed students were not moved to violence by the content of your course or the statements of their fellow students, it seems highly improbable that a new group of legally armed students will prove to be more volatile or violence-prone than their scofflaw peers.
 Texas public universities are in the process of constructing rules for campus carry that comply with the Texas law passed last year.  From the star-telegram.com:
Texas A&M University’s proposed new campus carry rules include few major restrictions for handguns and will allow the weapons in classrooms and dormitories.

The proposed rules have been approved by Chancellor John Sharp and A&M System legal staff. They will be reviewed by regents later this month. State law doesn’t require board approval of campus carry rules, but does allow regents to amend the rules if they disagree with them.
Institutes of higher education have become centers of "progressive power".  Legislation that insists that they respect rights guaranteed by the Constitution, threatens the basic assumption of that power; that experts know what is best and that the government should not be limited.

Campus carry will likely come to Arkansas, sooner or later.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/state/texas/article71653807.html#storylink=cpy


©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.  Link to Gun Watch

ATF gets Black Eye for Abusive Conduct on Alaskan Highway



On 19 May, 2016, a member of the ATF, or at least someone driving one of their vehicles at a time that it was supposed to be in service, may have engaged in abusive behavior on the Glenn Highway in Alaska.  From ktuu.com:
Police say that at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, a driver on the Glenn Highway said he pulled over for an unmarked white Ford SUV. The SUV flashed red and blue interior dash lights.

When the motorist stopped, police wrote that the driver, “sped past him, laughed, and flipped him the middle finger.”

The man called 911, and told police that he watched as the SUV did the same thing three other times with other drivers.
At the time that the incident was reported, the police checked the license plate of the vehicle, but could not find a match.  Four days later, investigation revealed that the vehicle was an unmarked  vehicle registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, (ATF).  The vehicle was not in the Department of Motor Vehicles data base.  It was an unmarked ATF vehicle whose official existence is shielded from ordinary police view.  This was discovered by a computer search though thousands of police reports. It happened that the ATF vehicle was at the scene of another investigation, and an investigating officer had noted the vehicle plate number in their report.

The person in the ATF vehicle had good reason to believe that they were immune from accountability in this case.  A few years ago, they would have escaped without consequences. From adn.com:
Police contacted the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives, a U.S. Justice Department agency, which confirmed that the SUV was theirs, Castro said.
The person driving the ATF owned Ford SUV has not been identified.  Initial reports describe the driver as a white male in their 30s with short hair.  ATF has a policy not to "comment on personnel matters".

This is not a mere "personnel matter".  If the allegations are true, this is an abuse of authority.  It is a blatant violation of law. It is a deprivation of rights under color of law. If it occured as alleged, it should be easy to ascertain the truth, and the ATF official should not be allowed to be shielded by the agency. 

Using police lights to pull someone over without cause is depriving them of their constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment. It is hard to believe, given the description of events, that the person in the vehicle had a legitimate reason to pull the vehicles over.  The abusive finger salute adds to the impression that this was a simple abuse of authority under the color of law

It was a minor abuse. Damages under 42 U.S.C.  § 1983 would likely be small. It is roughly the equivalent of the abuse of police officers using lights and sirens to go on a pizza run; or using their police identification to push to the head of a line for personal reasons. But it is exactly these sort of abuses that are very damaging to the rule of law. Citizens see the abuses. They see that nothing is done to correct them, and they conclude that officers consider themselves a special class, above the ordinary rules of society and the law. 

Such abuses make the allegations in more serious cases, such a the Fast and Furious gun running case, all the more believable. In that case, it is alleged that the Department of Justice conspired with the ATF to facilitate the illegal transfer of firearms to Mexican drug cartels, for the purpose of pushing the Obama Administration's policies on gun control.

Digital recording devices make these abuses of authority under color of law much easier to prove. At least two appellate courts have ruled that it is a First Amendment right to video/audio record public officials in the course of the public execution of their duties.  A U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania has refused to recognize recording as a First Amendment right, when there is no intention of criticising the police; that case is being appealed to the Third Circuit.

The case would not apply to those who record police with an intention to criticise their actions.

Criticism of police is at an all time high under the Obama administration. Many of the criticisms have not been justified by later investigations, such as in the Trevon Martin case or the Ferguson shooting case of Michael Brown.

That does not mean that abuses do not occur. It makes the case that recordings of altercations can help to absolve the innocent as well as convict the guilty.

The ubiquity of digital recording devises is helping to make all authorities more accountable for their actions. 

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch

Friday, May 27, 2016

MI: Armed, Wounded Homeowner Wins Gunfight, Kills 1 of 2 Invaders


WESTLAND, Mich. (WXYZ) - A 24-year-old Westland man was shot and killed after he allegedly took part in a home invasion at a house on Glenwood Thursday morning.

The 23-year-old man who lives in the house was shot in the leg.
More Here

Townhall: Katie Couric Busted for Anti-Second Amendment Propaganda



Yesterday, Pavlich wrote about Katie Couric being busted for deceptively editing her group interview with members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League. Couric has a new anti-gun documentary, Under the Gun, and it seems the folks behind this piece of propaganda were doing everything they can to make pro-gun activists look like idiots. In the clip, Couric asking “if there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons, or terrorists, from walking into a licensed gun dealer and purchasing a gun?” The feature shows seconds of silence as to insinuate that Couric has stumped them. It’s pure unadulterated crap, as Stephen Gutowski of the Free Beacon pointed out with the unexpurgated audio clip that took place.

Yet, have no fear, folks. The makers of this documentary didn’t mean to make them look like thoughtless troglodytes. In fact, The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple noted that the statement that sought to clarify the editing seemed to a) admit to it as such and b) was probably one of the most pathetic excuses ever to give for engaging in such behavior. This is how director Stephanie Soechtig explained the omission of the VCDL audio [emphasis mine]:

More Here

Thursday, May 26, 2016

OK: Man Attacks Armeed 70-Year-Old, Is Shot


When police got to the home they saw the homeowner applying pressure to a gunshot to Claunch's neck. The homeowner, who is in his 70s, told police the man approached while he was doing yard work and punched him in the back of the head.

The homeowner said the man continued to beat him and even "mounted" him to hit him.

Officers said the homeowner was carrying a gun and fired a warning shot then fired another shot in the man's neck. Doctors performed emergency surgery on Claunch, and at last check, it's not clear if he is going to survive.
More Here

OK: Armed Woman Shoot 1 of 2 Home Invaders


TULSA, Oklahoma -

Police say a Tulsa woman shot at two men who broke into her house near I-44 and Garnett. One suspect is in the hospital and the other is still on the run.
More Here

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

MA: Brockton Gun Turn In "buy back" a Bust


Image from enterprisenews.com

Brockton Massachusetts held their first gun turn in or "buy back" in 22 years on 21 May, 2016. "Buy Back" is a propaganda term; the guns were never owned by the people who are buying them.

The event was advertised as accepting guns anonymously, no questions asked. This seems to violate Massachusetts law. There may be an exemption for police.  Police will be present; it is unlikely that they would enforce the law against themselves, even if there is no exemption.  From wcvb.com:
In exchange for each gun turned in, a $200 gift card to Vicente’s grocery store will be given. The gift cards were paid for using forfeiture money that has been seized by the police from drug arrests and raids that led to convictions.
The event seems to have had 9 pistols turned in, two shotguns, a rifle, and a couple of BB guns.

Gun turn in events have dwindled in most states, but most states have not infringed on private sales.  Private buyers have become common at gun "buy back" events in other states. Private buyers destroy the propaganda message that "guns are bad, and should be turned in to the police". In Massachusetts, it would be risky to attempt a private sale with a heavy police presence at the site. From state.ma.us:
Additionally:
  1. It is unlawful to conduct a personal sale or transfer of a weapon to anyone other than an individual lawfully licensed in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is strongly recommended that you require the buyer/transferee to produce a valid FID/LTC License Validation Certificate (obtained by the buyer/transferee using this system) prior to conducting a personal sale or transfer.
  2. You may need your PIN number to complete a transaction. You may obtain your PIN number at your licensing authority.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Massachusetts law requires all gun owners to report ALL private sales, transfers, and surrenders of firearms to the Massachusetts Firearms Records Bureau via the Massachusetts Gun Transaction Portal. Paper FA-10 forms are no longer accepted for these transaction types.
It is too bad that private purchasers were unable to participate in the Brockton Turn In event.  There were some very nice revolvers turned in for the $200 gift cards.  The three Colt revolvers were likely worth about $600 each on the open market.  They are not made any more.  The Smith & Wesson model 15 would be worth about $600 or more.  The center revolver is likely a Rossi or a Taurus, probably about a $250 pistol.  The other four pistols are inexpensive, and would bring about $50 to $100 on the open market.  $200 was generous compensation for them.
 
A criminal justice professor and former police officer admits the program is primarily a propaganda measure.
“They’re mostly publicity stunts. It’s not going to affect the crime rate. But it may prevent an individual crime,” said Mitch Librett, a criminal justice professor at Bridgewater State University. “I’ve done a few of these and you’d get 100-year-old revolvers, you’d get shotguns that were rusted so badly that you couldn’t even open them up. They’re people who are usually elderly, who are hurting for money and they bring back a Luger from WWII.”
The professor does not mention that a WWII Luger is likely worth 5 to 10 times the value of the gift card offered.

Those who brought the cheap handguns did well.  Those who brought the Colts and Smith were taken advantage of.

In nearby Pennsylvania, a  City Councilperson is using public resources more effectively.  The guns that are collected with his program are sold on the legal market to fund further "buy backs".  From cincinnati.com:


Deer Park City Councilperson Charles Tassell, who is pro-gun and holds a concealed-carry permit, didn't think that was the best way to run “Street Rescue,” his gun buyback program.

Instead, he turns in the collected guns to federally licensed firearms dealers to be sold to the right hands.

"It’s not my determination of the 'right hands,'" Tassell said. "It’s the federal government's decision."
Gun turn in events, or "buy backs" are dwindling as Second Amendment supporters have learned to negate their propaganda value with private buyers.

The events will linger on in states such as Massachusetts, where private sales suffer under many infringements, or in programs such as Street Rescue, where the emphasis is on efficacy instead of propaganda.


©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch

Should Criminals be Encouraged to Use Fake Guns?



Criminals tend to be optimists, at least when it comes to carrying out crimes.  They often envision only one scenario, and assume that everything will go as planned. It is one of the reasons that many criminals depend on imitation, toy, or replica firearms.  A number of  states treat the use of a replica or imitation gun the same as the use of a real gun in a crime.

No state requires a defender to determine if a gun pointed at them is real or imitation. There is no controversey in the law about that.  If the defender reasonably believes that they are under deadly threat, it does not matter if the perpetrator was using an imitation gun.

Imitation guns are less expensive and a bit easier to obtain than real guns. 

Some Texas police officers believe that the use of imitation guns for criminal purposes is on the rise. From cbslocal.com:
DALLAS (AP) -- Police in Texas say more crimes are being committed with imitation weapons such as BB guns, likely because they're cheap, easy to obtain and criminals may believe -- mistakenly -- that if they're caught, they'll avoid the severe punishment that can come with illegally possessing a real one.

California law differentiates between real and imitation guns in their laws on brandishing. From shouselaw.com:
    1. Brandishing  a  pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person... in a rude, angry, or threatening manner... in a public place:
      • a minimum three (3) month, to a maximum one (1) year, jail sentence, and/or
      • a maximum $1,000 fine.92
  1. Brandishing any other firearm... or brandishing a firearm in other than a public place... in the same manner:  not less than three (3) months in county jail.93
  2. Brandishing an imitation firearm: not less than 30 days in county jail.94
Should the use of imitation firearms in crime be subject to the same penalties as real firearms?

I submit that penalties for the use of imitation firearms in crime should be less.  The criminal is putting the victim(s) at lower risk, and is putting themselves at higher risk. This is behavior that should be encouraged.

It is good public policy to reward this behavior with lower penalties, just as non-confrontational crime has lower penaties than crimes that occur in direct confrontation, such as robbery. 

I would prefer to confront a robber armed with an imitation gun instead of a real one.  I would prefer to confront a robber with an imitation gun instead of a knife or club.

Many criminals are ignorant of the law, so incentives do not always have a significant effect.  In this case, the law would reinforce an existing belief, so the chance of success is greater.

Replace criminals guns with imitation guns?  We should encourage this trend.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch

Canadian Officer Says Gun Registry is an Important Symbol of Government Power












Canada passed its long gun registration scheme in 1995.  The bureaucratic attempt to require state knowledge and tracking of all legal guns in Canada was a disaster from the beginning.  It was plagued with non-compliance, sabotage, corruption, crony-ism and cost overruns.  Advertised as costing only 110 million, the costs ballooned into billions, as the ruling party used the program to reward favorites, and paid consultants to lobby to increase registry funds.

The registry was discontinued on April 5, 2012.  Quebec fought to keep the registry in courts, but was ruled against in the Canadian Supreme Court a year ago. 

There never was any data showing that the registry had any effect on crime.  It appears the RCMP, at the minimum, assured that no data was kept that would indicate if the registry was of any use as a crime fighting tool.  No instances could be found where the registry was useful in solving crimes.

Now, as the Quebec government fights to create its own, separate, long gun registry, a new, perhaps clearer and more honest reason for the registry has been put forward by a long retired police officer. From news1130.com:
But Brisebois believes the registry is more than just a tool for law enforcement — that it’s a symbol of how a society treats firearms and that it reinforces Canada’s cultural differences from those of the United States.

“Seeing what the registry did for me — spend the money,” Brisebois said.

“The important thing is to show people you are doing something (about guns),” he said. “The American way is that guns represent liberty and rights — do we want this? I don’t. So am I ready to spend that money? Yes.”
Brisebois does not want symbols of liberty and rights.  It does not matter that the registry is expensive and ineffective in fighting crime. 

The Canadian Supreme Court even refused to hear a case put forward by leftist feminists, claiming that doing away with the registry violated their rights.  The reason the court did this? Because there was no evidence that the registry had reduced crime one iota.

Interestingly, this is a very similar reason given for the great forced Australian gun "buy back". Prime Minister Howard said that he hated guns and did not want Australia to go "the American way".

The long gun registry was never popular in Canada.  It was put forward as a way to punish cultural conservatives, to show rural and western Canadians who was in charge, and it was not them. 

Canadians educated themselves.  They lobbied.  They voted.  They rid themselves of the registry.  Similar situations are occurring in many American states.  The compliance with long gun registration schemes in New York, Connecticut, and California are at 4-10%.  Whether that resistance will result in political changes is uncertain. 

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch



Tuesday, May 24, 2016

NC: Man Says He Shot Intruder Attempting Break-In


Sgt. Steve Stroud says the homeowner told police he heard someone trying to kick in the door to his house. He told police he warned the intruder to stop before firing shots through the door.

The victim was taken to Wilson Medical Center, where he died.
More Here

MI: Homeowner Retrieves Gun in Hostage Situation, Drives off Intruders

Daniel McNamara and his wife were being held at gunpoint.  He had a gun stashed in the area where he was being held.  He accessed the gun and fired two shots, driving off the intruders.  He was worried that the intruders were going to kill them because they had seen the intruders faces.  The link is to the video report.

More Here

Donald Trump Supports The Second Amendment more Strongly than Any Previous Republican Nominee



Many people have said or written that while Donald Trump supports the Second Amendment, talk is cheap, and we do not have actions to back up the talk.

There is some truth in that. Donald Trump does not have a legislative record to show actions to back up his words. But words have meanings. If a nominee is unwilling to give us words in support of the Second Amendment, why should we believe that he will go to bat for us in the legislature, in the executive branch, or in the courts? If the nominee is too concerned with being politically correct when running for office, even in the primary, why should we believe that they will be willing to take more heat while in office, facing re-election, or under media pressure?

If a nominee will not specifically defend the Second Amendment verbally and in writing before being elected, why would we expect them to do so afterwards?

Here is the record of Republican nominees over the last hundred years to see how they compared with Donald Trump.

The Second Amendment was not an issue before 1968. In 1932 Franklin Roosevelt had pushed through the first serious federal gun control law.  It impacted few people at first.  It only had an effect on machine guns, short barreled shotguns and rifles, and silencers that crossed state lines in interstate commerce.  Most people paid little attention to the onerous regulations and taxes that were imposed.  There were few prosecutions.

Even as late as 1964 Barry Goldwater, when he spoke of the Second Amendment, spoke of it in the context of hunting.  From scribd.com:
Goldwater:
At a young age, Barry Goldwater was taught by his mother how to shoot rifles and shotguns.
v
He believed that gun control was “impossible,” and served as an NRA spokesman, appearing incommercials for the group. He was also an avid gun collector, devoting an entire room of his houseto a variety of guns that he had both made and purchased over the years.
vi
Goldwater was, however, opposed to the sale of automatic firearms:”I’m completely opposed to selling automatic rifles. I don’t see any reason why they ever madesemi-automatics. I’ve been a member of the NRA, I collect, make and shoot guns. I’ve never usedan automatic or semiautomatic for hunting. There’s no need to. They have no place in anybody’sarsenal. If any S.O.B. can’t hit a deer with one shot, then he ought to quit shooting.”
Richard Nixon personally hated guns.  He likely approved of GCA 1968.  From ontheissues.org:
Twenty years ago, I asked Richard Nixon what he thought of gun control. His on-the-record reply: "Guns are an abomination." Free from fear of gun owners' retaliation at the polls, he favored making handguns illegal and requiring licenses for hunting rifles.
Gerald Ford was considerably better:  From ontheissues.org:
FORD: The record of gun control, whether it's in one city or another or in some States does not show that the registration of a gun, handgun, or the registration of the gun owner has in any way whatsoever decreased the crime rate or the use of that gun in the committing of a crime. The record just doesn't prove that such legislation or action by a local city council is effective. What we have to do--and this is the crux of the matter--is to make it very difficult for a person who uses a gun in the commission of a crime to stay out of jail. I don't believe in the registration of handguns or the registration of the handgun owner. That has not proven to be effective. And, therefore, the better way is to go after the criminal, the individual who commits a crime in the possession of a gun and uses that gun for a part of his criminal activity.
But, Gerald Ford proposed a ban on a whole class of guns:
I had always opposed federal registration of guns or the licensing of gun owners, and as President, I hadn't changed my views. At the same time, I recognized that handguns had played a key role in the increase of violent crime. Not all handguns-just those that hadn't been designed for sporting purposes. I asked Congress to ban the manufacture and sale of these "Saturday night specials."
Ronald Reagan was not a firm supporter of the Second Amendment in his words.  From ontheissues.org:
[In a 1991 speech, Reagan said]: "I'm a member of the NRA. And my position on the right to bear arms is well known. But I support the Brady bill and I urge the Congress to enact it without delay. It's just plain common sense that there be a waiting period [7 days] to allow local law enforcement officials to conduct background checks on those who wish to buy a handgun."
The Brady bill was opposed by the current President, George H.W. Bush. "I don't think it would be proper for me or any other ex-president to stand and tell an acting president what he should or shouldn't do," Reagan said. But then he added: "I happen to believe in the Brady Bill because we have the same thing in California right now."
He was asked why he had opposed all gun-control measures while he was President. He shook his head. "I was against a lot of the ridiculous things that were proposed with regard to gun control.
George Bush Sr. was at best a lukewarm supporter of the Second Amendment.
Bush exacted his revenge in May 1995, when he read about an NRA fund-raising letter that described federal agents as "jack-booted thugs". Ripping up his NRA membership card, Bush wrote a letter of resignation, which his office made public. He accused the NRA of slandering dedicated officials "who are out there day and night laying their lives on the line for all of us."
Robert Dole was lukewarm on the Second Amendment.

George Dubya Bush was lukewarm at best. He promised to sign the extension of the "assault weapon" ban if it reached his desk:
BUSH: I did think we ought to extend the assault weapons ban and was told the bill was never going to move. I believe law-abiding citizens ought to be able to own a gun. I believe in background checks. The best way to protect our citizens from guns is to prosecute those who commit crimes with guns.
John McCain was somewhat pro-Second Amendment in his 2008 campaign.   From ontheissues.com:
  • McCain opposes restrictions on so-called “assault rifles” and voted consistently against such bans.
  • McCain opposes bans on the importation of certain types of ammunition magazines and has voted against such limitations.
  • McCain believes that banning ammunition is just another way to undermine Second Amendment rights. He voted against an amendment that would have banned many of the most commonly used hunting cartridges on the spurious grounds that they were “armor-piercing.”
I was surprised to see that Senator McCain had some positive positions on Second Amendment issues.  His actions were far less supportive.

Mitch Romney was lukewarm on the Second Amendment at best.  From ontheissues.org:
ROMNEY: Yeah, I'm not in favor of new pieces of legislation on guns and taking guns away or making certain guns illegal. We of course don't want to have automatic weapons, and that's already illegal in this country, to have automatic weapons. What I believe is we have to do is to make enormous efforts to enforce the gun laws that we have and to change the culture of violence we have. And you ask, how are we going to do that? Good schools, to give people the hope and opportunity they deserve, and perhaps less violence from that. But let me mention another thing. And that is parents. We need moms and dads helping raise kids.

Let us compare these remarks to Donald Trump's on the Second Amendment. From ammoland.com:
“The Trump family will stay vigilant in our support of right to keep and bear arms.  And given today’s threats across the United States it is as important now as ever.  National Security begins in our homes.  All citizens must have the ability to protect themselves, their families, and their property.  The Second Amendment is a right, not a privilege. Our safety and defense is embodied in the Second Amendment and I will always protect this most important right.
Not only does Donald Trump support the Second Amendment with stronger and clearer language, he goes into specifics of what he is going to do to help restore the Second Amendment.  He often talks about how the Second Amendment is needed for self defense, a topic no other Republican Nominee would touch. From cnn.com:

TRUMP: -- I promise there wouldn't have been 130 people killed and hundreds of people lying in the hospital to this day. It might not have happened. Because if they knew there were guns in the room, it might not have happened. But if it did, you would have had bullets going in the opposite direction. And believe me, the carnage would not have been the same by any stretch of the imagination.
Trump supports the carry of concealed weapons all over the country with national reciprocity: From the Washington Times:
 Mr. Trumpmade the arguments in a “position paper” on the Second Amendment in which he makes the case that people who don’t break the law should be able to obtain a concealed carry permit allowing them to carry in every state, and that members of the military should be able to carry their arms on military bases and at recruitment centers.
 Donald Trump support doing away with federal gun free zones: from cnn.com:
And this whack-job walks in and starts shooting and killed all five of them. Gun-free zones. We are getting rid of gun-free zones. OK? I can tell you.
 Donald Trump says no to Universal Background Checks.  From ammoland.com:
“I do not support expanding background checks. The current background checks do not work.”

“They make it more difficult for law abiding citizens to acquire firearms while consistently failing to stop criminals from getting guns. We should re-examine our policy to make sure that these prohibitions do not impede law abiding citizens from exercising their Second Amendment rights.”
 Donald Trump compares his position to Hillary Clinton's.  From cnn.com:
But Hillary Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment. We are not talking about change it. She wants to abolish the Second Amendment. We're not going to let that happen. I can tell you. That we're going to preserve it. We're going to cherish it. We're going to take care of it. OK? They keep chipping away. They talk about the magazines, they talk about the bullets. We're going to take care of it.
This is another major difference from previous Republican nominees.  None of them talked about the incremental attacks on the Second Amendment.

Donald Trump has supported the Second Amendment more forcefully and more specifically than any Republican nominee to date.  He has not been in office, so we cannot measure his support with his actions.  If he puts into practice even 20% of his proposals to restore Second Amendment rights, he will have done more for the Second Amendment than the last four Republican presidents altogether.

His proposals are strongly supported in Congress.  The Congress voted down Universal Background Checks.  They voted for national reciprocity.  They showed support for an end to many gun free zones, such as in the Post Office and on Army Corps of Engineers managed lands. As Commander in Chief, Trump would not need Congress to end gun free zones in the military.

Donald Trump could enact many of his proposals.  And why wouldn't he?  He would have been elected because of them.

 ©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch 

Michigan Police Choose to Destroy $500,000 of Legal Firearms Annually



Under Michigan law, the State Police are required to publish a list of the firearms that they intend to dispose of each month.  All the agencies in Michigan are required to turn over to the State Police firearms that have been forfeited or confiscated from prohibited possessors.

The firearms are checked to see if they have been reported stolen.  If they have not been reported stolen, the State Police are required to dispose of them.  Before they are disposed of, the list of firearms has to be published each month.  Owners of the firearms are given 30 days to contact the police to recover their property.

I doubt if many do so; if they have not been listed as stolen, the chances of the owner checking the State Police list each month to determine if their firearm shows up seems vanishingly small.

The State Police have the choice to dispose of the firearms by sale or to destroy them.  They have been choosing to destroy them, likely for political reasons. It is hard to see why they would avoid selling them at auction. 

There are 298 firearms listed to be destroyed after June 1, 2016 (pdf).  Many are inexpensive.  Many are not.  They run the gamut from a Webley and Scott 12 gauge shotgun to a Butler .22.  The Webley and Scott Shotgun is potentially worth thousands; the Butler .22, maybe $50.  Most of them are pistols, 225 of them. There are 39 shotguns and 34 rifles.

At auction, confiscated firearms average between $100 and $200 to dealers.  It is likely that the Michigan public treasury would gain about $150 per firearm, or about $44,700 for the firearms to be destroyed in the month of July.  It is unknown how much the police have to pay to have the firearms destroyed; no doubt they require a paper trail to be sure that none are diverted prior to destruction.  That cost would roughly cancel out the cost of having the firearms auctioned.

The police do not have to have the firearms destroyed.  They run no risk of liability if they auction off the firearms. Under Michigan law, they are immune from liability for the disposal of the firearms. From the relevant Michigan code 750.239:

 750.239 Forfeiture of weapons; disposal; immunity from civil liability.
Sec. 239.
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) and subject to section 239a, all pistols, weapons, or devices carried, possessed, or used contrary to this chapter are forfeited to the state and shall be turned over to the department of state police for disposition as determined appropriate by the director of the department of state police or his or her designated representative.

(2) The director of the department of state police shall dispose of firearms under this section by 1 of the following methods:

(a) By conducting a public auction in which firearms received under this section may be purchased at a sale conducted in compliance with section 4708 of the revised judicature act of 1961, 1961 PA 236, MCL 600.4708, by individuals authorized by law to possess those firearms.

(b) By destroying them.

(c) By any other lawful manner prescribed by the director of the department of state police.

(3) Before disposing of a firearm under this section, the director of the department of state police shall do both of the following:

(a) Determine through the law enforcement information network whether the firearm has been reported lost or stolen. If the firearm has been reported lost or stolen and the name and address of the owner can be determined, the director of the department of state police shall provide 30 days' written notice of his or her intent to dispose of the firearm under this section to the owner, and allow the owner to claim the firearm within that 30-day period if he or she is authorized to possess the firearm.

(b) Provide 30 days' notice to the public on the department of state police website of his or her intent to dispose of the firearm under this section. The notice shall include a description of the firearm and shall state the firearm's serial number, if the serial number can be determined. The department of state police shall allow the owner of the firearm to claim the firearm within that 30-day period if he or she is authorized to possess the firearm. The 30-day period required under this subdivision is in addition to the 30-day period required under subdivision (a).

(4) The department of state police is immune from civil liability for disposing of a firearm in compliance with this section.

The laws were originally written during the progressive era, at about the same time that registration of pistols was required and short barreled shotguns and rifles were made illegal.  The laws were modified in 2010.  Disposal requirements are essentially the same under 750.239  (1931) and 28.434  (1927).

So why do the Michigan State Police willfully throw away about 40 - 50 thousand dollars each and every month?  It adds up to a half million dollars a year.  Only the State Police know for sure.

A few phone calls did not connect with anyone at the State Police with an answer by the time this was published. 

If I get an answer, I will add it.


©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch 





Monday, May 23, 2016

Followup NH: James Cooper not Guilty of all Charges



Before the trial went to closing arguments, Judge Richard Titus granted a judgment of acquittal on one count of reckless endangerment, saying he did not believe there was sufficient evidence that Cooper had placed bystander Lisa Pickett in danger when she drove her car past the scene as Cooper held the two men at gunpoint.

In closing arguments Friday, Eldridge argued that Cooper was innocent of the charges, based on four defenses: defense of others, defense of property, mistake of fact and self-defense. For the jury to find Cooper guilty, Coyne had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Cooper did not meet every standard set in each of the defenses.

Throughout his argument, Coyne argued that Cooper was not reasonable in holding the two men at gunpoint and instilled fear in Richard Jehu and Tyler Forgas, seeking to prove that Cooper committed assault. Eldridge had argued that the men were never scared based on their actions in a video a bystander recorded of the incident.

More Here

Followup MS: Domestic Defense found in Shooting Death of Firefighter


No criminal charges will be filed against Michelle Moore in the Aug. 26 shooting death of her estranged husband, Biloxi firefighter Richard Lewis "Ricky" Moore, 45.

"The grand jury considered the facts of this case, and one issue was self-defense," District Attorney Tony Lawrence said. "Their decision to issue a no true bill means they found that there was not sufficient proof of criminal wrongdoing."

Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/news/local/counties/jackson-county/article79096817.html#storylink=cpy

More Here

AK: Former AZ Democrat, Felon, Charged with First Degree Murder in Alaska

Victim Tony Rosales and Wife

One of the most deadly of assaults is a surprise attack from someone who has gained the trust of the victim.  The Thugee of India perfected this technique over hundreds of years and are believed to have murdered more than a million people.  An attack reminiscent of Thugee, involving a former Arizona Democrat legislator, has been reported in Alaska.  The former Democrat legislator, Mark De Simone or Desimone, resigned from his legislative seat after being accused of domestic violence eight years ago. He was originally from New York.  From juneauempire.com:
Mark De Simone, a 53-year-old man couch surfing in Juneau for the past month, was charged Monday with first- and second-degree murder for allegedly shooting and killing 34-year-old Juneau resident Duilio Antonio “Tony” Rosales, who is originally from Nicaragua. De Simone also faces manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide charges.
(snip)
ADA Paige asked judge Levy to assign a $1 million bail to De Simone, saying he has no true connections to Juneau and could leave if released. Paige said De Simone was born in upstate New York, then lived in Juneau from 1981 to 1988. From there, the DA’s office believes he spent time in Arizona, where he was convicted of felony loitering and later served as an Arizona state legislator.
From the court documents it appears that Mark De Simone was drinking at a hunting cabin all day.  The victim, "Tony" Rosales, was in the process of removing his boots at the end of the day when he was shot in the back of the head by the former Democrat legislator.  De Simone may have been a prohibited possessor because of the felony loitering conviction in Arizona. The state trooper noted that the victim, "Tony" Rosales, had an empty holster on his right hip.

I suspect the double action .41 magnum revolver that was used in the shooting belonged to "Tony" Rosales.  No other firearm is mentioned in the court records.  The question comes to mind: how did De Simone access the revolver?  We do not know, but I know of at least one other case where the murderer gained the victim's trust, and simply asked for the victim's gun, then killed him with it. 

Rosales would have been in a particularly vulnerable position, with his hands occupied in removing his boots, when he was shot from behind.  He was then shot a second time, apparently to make absolutely sure that he was dead.  Both shots were to the back of the head, though from considerably different angles.

The witness who heard the shots said that they sounded like "target shooting", so they were likely a few seconds apart.  There is speculation that the victim and the shooter had worked together for a short period of time. No motive for the shooting is known at present.

 

A dear friend of mine recently passed away, at the age of 96.  An experience of his comes to mind.  About a decade ago, I heard that my friend, "Doc" Birdick, had been stabbed in the chest.  He was taken to the hospital and patched up.  The knife penetrated the lung, but Doc survived with minimal ill effects.

I asked him about the stabbing.  His attacker, a vagrant, went to prison for 14 years.  Doc described him thus:  "He is a really nice guy when he isn't drinking."

It is difficult to guard against this sort of attack.  I make a habit of unloading guns before I hand them to casual acquaintances, but no method can guard against all contingencies.

We may never know exactly what happened at the remote hunting cabin.  "Tony" Rosales was reluctant to go, but did so when he was told that supplies were needed.  There were five other members of the party.

More details will surface as the case proceeds.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Donald Trump to NRA: We Will Get Rid of Gun Free Zones


Donald Trump attended the annual NRA meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.  The local news carried pictures of rain and record crowds, three hour waits to get into the meeting room, thousands of attendees, and traffic snarled as people overflowed the Kentucky Expo capacities.  I saw lines stretching for a quarter mile or more.  The local press described the crowds waiting to register for the NRA events as even bigger, but they were moving faster.  At the Leadership forum, before Trump spoke, a polished NRA VP Chris Cox made the announcement: The NRA is endorsing Donald Trump for President!

It was not unexpected.  There have been elections when the NRA did not endorse a presidential candidate.  This year the choice is much clearer than any election in recent memory.  Hillary Clinton has said that the Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment.  Donald Trump says the Second Amendment must be cherished and protected; and he give specifics.

Donald Trump came on stage.  He was pleased and gratified with the endorsement. I believe he had hoped for an endorsement, but did not know exactly when it would come.

He told the crowd, referring to Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox in the NRA leadership:
"I want Wayne and Chris to know - I will not let you down."
He reiterated his policy paper on the Second Amendment.  And he made this statement:
"We are going to get rid of gun free zones.  I am telling you that."
Gun free zones have become a major tactic of anti Second Amendment activists to make carrying a gun for legal purposes impractical and legally dangerous.  Gun free zones are designed to spread like smallpox, and eventually prevent most people from carrying guns most places.  As John Lott has shown, spree killers who plan mass murders in public spaces are attracted to gun free zones.

The most pernicious and dangerous of the "gun free zone" laws is the Federal Gun Free School Zone act. It criminalizes the carry of guns in wide swaths of territory far from any actual school.  The boundaries are not marked, infractions are felonies. From crimeresearch.org:
The problem is that the Federal Gun Free School Zone Act prohibits firearms of any kind within 1,000 feet of a school ground, and not the center of the school, but the edge of the property. “School” is defined as K-12 and includes public schools, private schools, parochial schools, and in some places possibly home schools. Idaho lets you carry in these school zones if you have a concealed handgun permit, but without a permit you could face a 5 year prison term.
The original act was struck down as unconstitutional in 1995, in U.S. v. Lopez.  Bill Clinton immediately and emotionally demanded that a slightly modified law be passed again.  He threatened to keep legislators in Washington, D.C. and away from their districts during the 1996 election cycle, until they passed the new law.

The law was passed September 30, 1996, and become the Gun Free School Zone Act of 1997.  Prosecutions under the law have been sparse.  Observers believe that federal prosecutors fear to bring a case that could subject the act to another Supreme Court ruling.  That might change with the absence of Justice Scalia.

A separate federal law, the Gun Free Schools Act of 1994, provides incentives for schools themselves to be gun free zones.

In U.S. v. Heller, the Supreme Court ruled that schools were "sensitive places" where the government could restrict the exercise of the Second Amendment.  It did not say that 1,000 foot zones around Schools were "sensitive" places.  No one knows why schools were included as "sensitive".  Governmental bans on  the carry or possession of guns in schools are neither historically long standing or logically reasonable.  The apparent rational for bans on guns in schools is to teach students that guns are bad and the government can ban them.

A Trump administration would have to obtain congressional support to repeal the Gun Free School Zone Act of 1997.  It could push hard for congressional repeal of the act. It could unilaterally state that the law violates both the Second and Tenth Amendments.  It could state that it will not prosecute under the Act, setting a moral example for the rest of the country.

A Trump administration could replace Justice Scalia with another judge who would uphold the Constitution  as written, rather than treat it as a mailable document that effectively binds no one.

It could weakly prosecute a test case to bring the act into the courts under the most favorable conditions, hoping for a repeat of U.S. v Lopez, citing the Second and Tenth Amendments, as well as the Commerce Clause.

Such test cases have been a favorite tactic of "progressives".  It was used by the Franklin Roosevelt administration to obtain the muddy results in U.S. v. Miller.  

The 1934 Miller case was inappropriately used in appellate courts to justify infringements on the Second Amendment for decades.  Those appellate decisions were invalidated with the Heller decision.

Donald Trump has publicly promised to get rid of gun free zones, directly to the members of the NRA.  They will expect him to work hard to do so.  The controversial Gun Free School Zone Act's may finally be repealed.

Trump specifically mentioned military gun free zones.  The vast majority of active duty military are forbidden from carrying self defense firearms while on duty.  It is a policy that started shortly after WWII and has been reinforced under later administrations, including the Obama administration. President Trump, as Commander in Chief, could reverse that policy immediately.

Gun Free Zones in the Post office could be reinterpreted by a Trump Department of Justice to be unconstitutional and unenforceable.  A reform of Post Office regulations could neuter the ban.  A directive to require removal of signs banning guns at Post Offices would make the ban unenforceable.  A permanent legislative solution could be pursued in Congress.  A removal of the Post Office ban has significant congressional support.

A Trump Administration could demand the Army Corps of Engineers eliminate its regulatory ban on the exercise of the Second Amendment on the lands that it administers.  Congressional removal of the Army Corps of Engineers' ban has significant support and could be enacted during a Trump administration. Court challenges of the ban have had mixed results.  A removal of similar bans on National Park lands was enacted during the Obama administration.

Donald Trump, if elected, will have real opportunities to "get rid of gun free zones".  The military ban could be eliminated immediately.  The Post Office and Army Corps of Engineers bans could be pursued with regulatory reform, executive actions, and legislation. The Gun Free School Zone ban could be attacked in the Congress and pursued in the Courts.

Opportunities for Donald Trump to keep his promise to "get rid of gun free zones" are available and multiple.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch

GA: Disabled Veteran Shoots, Kills Intruder


Eddie Frank Smith, 69, was at home in Monticello on Thursday about 9 p.m. when Andre Smith, 22, (no known relation), forced his way into Eddie Frank Smith’s home through a rear door, according to a media release from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

When Eddie Frank Smith went to investigate, Andre Smith lunged toward the resident, who shot the intruder once in the chest, according to the GBI.

More Here

FL: Armed Victim Shoots Armed, Tatooed, Teen Robbery Suspect


LAKE CITY, Fla.—Police said they are searching for an attempted robbery suspect after a construction worker defended himself with his handgun in Lake City Sunday night.

Gary Cleveland was determined to have used his weapon in self-defense and will not face any criminal charges for firing two shots at an allegedly armed attempted robber, the Lake City Police Department said in a release.

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Followup VA: Jury finds Crist Justified in Second Jury Trial


NEWPORT NEWS — A Circuit Court jury this week acquitted a man in a shooting death outside Kelly's Tavern nearly six years ago.

Charles Shane Crist, now 33, was charged with second-degree murder and using a gun in felony in the slaying of Gregory Arsenault, 29, a Hampton welder and father of three, in a dispute outside the Port Warwick eatery just before midnight on July 9, 2010.

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LA: Armed Homeowner Shoots, Kills 1 of Several Home Invasion Suspects


A homeowner shot and killed a Port Allen man who authorities believe was in the middle of a home invasion armed robbery of the homeowner’s residence Thursday night, West Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputies said.
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NC: Gun Beats Machete in Sampson County Home Invader


Two Sampson County men are facing felony charges — and one severe gunshot injuries — following a burglary in which one of the men, reportedly wielding a machete, was shot by the homeowner.

Around 10:49 a.m. Friday, the Sampson County E-911 received a report of a residential burglary on Honeycutt Road, in which the homeowner had shot one of the burglars.
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OH: 1 of 2 Home Invaders Shot by Resident


Tony Kendrick and an unknown suspect forced an apartment door open after pounding and kicking it when a resident tried to just crack the door to see who it was.

Kendrick then pointed a gun at the first resident.

Another resident heard the noise from his bedroom, came out with a gun and shot Kendrick in the arm.
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PA: Man Shoots Attacking Pit Bulls



A man shoots two pit bulls, killing one of them, after they attack his lab. Police are still investigating whether or not that shooter will face charges.

Police say two pit bulls entered a home on the 200 block of East 29th Street through an open window and dragged a lab outside. The owner told police he tried to pry the pit bulls off his dog. When they wouldn't budge, he shot them.

More Here

Saturday, May 21, 2016

NM: Armed Bystanders Hold Shooter at Gunpoint


Officer Tanner Tixier said 32-year-old Eugene Padilla and another man were fighting over drugs near the 7-Eleven at Wyoming and Candelaria NE when Padilla fired several rounds shooting the man and nearly striking several passersby.

When police arrived they found the victim had been shot in the leg, and two people were holding another man, later identified as Padilla, at gunpoint, Tixier said.
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FL: Man Holding Gun was Shot in Self Defense



According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, shortly before 11 p.m. Wednesday, Tyler Ray Howell, 19, of Ocala, climbs out of the passenger seat of a blue vehicle driven by an unknown man.

He approached a red vehicle driven by Durrell Anthony Boswell, 23, of Plant City, sheriff's officials said. Howell aimed a silver handgun at Boswell and an unidentified woman, who was a passenger in the red vehicle.

In an act of self-defense, Boswell pulled his 9mm handgun and shot at Howell, striking him twice, a sheriff's release states.
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Followup CA: No Charges for Woman who Shot Man Fighting Boyfriend



MARTINEZ - The Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office has declined to file charges against a woman arrested Saturday after she shot a man who was fighting her fiancé in Martinez.

Dawn Iverson, 46, of Martinez, allegedly used a pistol to shoot her fiancé's adversary, who was hospitalized but was said to be in stable condition, according to police.

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MS: Homeowner Shoots Aggressive Burglary Suspect


On Wednesday evening, Sneed and his girlfriend first showed up at the trailer. When the homeowner confronted them, they claimed to have car trouble. Early the next morning, the homeowners heard something outside.

“The female homeowner goes out to investigate and finds Mr. Sneed inside one of the vehicles, walks up to the vehicle, she is armed and she instructs him that he is trespassing and he needs to get out, he makes a lunge action toward her and that’s when she fires one shot,” Sheriff Johnson said.

The female homeowner instructed Sneed’s girlfriend to remain in the truck, while she called 9 1 1.

More Here

Knife Check at NRA Meeting in Louisville, 2016



Open carry is unrestricted at the NRA annual meeting in Louisville, Ky, this year.  But with presidential candidate Donald Trump speaking at the Leadership Forum, the Secret Service set up a system to stop the entrance of people with guns and knives.  Doug Ritter of Knife Rights realized that the carry of pocket knives is common with people across the United States, and that it is a major inconvenience to trudge a half mile back to a parked car to deposit a pocket knife after walking through a quarter mile line to hear the speakers.

The procedure was simple.  Hand a friendly boy scout your knife or knives.  They would put them in a zip lock bag, with a ticket that you kept a stub from.  If you wanted, you could take a picture of the knives in the bag as an alternate way of recovering them.

As a bonus, the ticket to pick up your knives at the check in station could be turned in at the Knife Rights booth, #4507 for a drawing to win one of two $500 knives.  Of course, you had to pick up your knife first, then go to the Knife Rights Booth.


A steady stream of customers came up to the knife rights check in station to take advantage of the free service offered by Knife Rights.  I saw a significant number of knives being checked in.  I tested the system with my own Cold Steel Voyager XL, which has always worked well for my needs.  I had no trouble retrieving my pocket knife, and I expect that no one else will either.

Doug Ritter was helping man the booth.  He has created Knife Rights from  the ground up, and admitted that the brilliant idea had been his.  He demonstrated what a small organization can accomplish in short order.  From the moment of conception to use at the NRA meeting, his Knife Check station was put into operation in one week!

Knife Rights say they are fighting on the second front in defense of the Second Amendment.  They have had amazing success, rolling back infringements on the Second Amendment that were put in play over a hundred years ago, at the start of the "progressive" era.  They have had success in over a dozen states, and are currently pushing knife reform laws in another eight states and the federal government at present.

In Wisconsin this year, they eliminated the switchblade ban from the 1950's, put in place a broad knife preemption bill that standardizes knife laws across the state, removed the prohibition on concealed carry of knives for anyone who can possess a firearm; and eliminated any bans on the open carrying of knives in most places.

Knife rights has even pushed and passed knife reform at the federal level, though that is a tougher sell.

I have talked to Doug Ritter when we have been at events such as the NRA annual meeting.  He has shown himself to be honest, approachable, and principled.  He has demonstrated integrity.  The legal and philosophical waters seem ripe for reform of knife laws across the country.  Most legislators are astounded that these antique infringements on the Second Amendment are still on the books.  Knife Rights has won victory after victory.

They accomplish all this on a shoestring budget.  What they might accomplish with a couple hundred thousand a year boggles the mind.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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IN: Armed Victim Shoots at Attacker in car



INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Police say a gas station customer shot at a robbery suspect after being hit by the getaway car on the city’s northwest side this morning.

The incident happened around noon at a gas station near 69th Street and Michigan Road.

According to police, a customer walked out of the gas station, and as soon as he got to his car at one of the pumps, a man came up and tried to rob him.

The victim wrestled the robber; and police say someone driving a getaway car sped into the parking lot and hit the victim with the car. The victim the pulled out a gun and fired at the car as it tried to drive away.
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Open Carry at the 2016 NRA Annual Meeting in Louisville, Ky



Before the NRA meeting, it was well known that open carry would not be discouraged.  I entered Freedom Hall at the Louisville Kentucky Expo center this morning, as people were registering.  Within a minute, I had spotted three open carriers, and managed to get pictures.  From nraam.org:
Firearms Carry Policy

During the 2016 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits, lawfully carried firearms will be permitted at Annual Meeting venues including the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC), KFC Yum! Center Arena, and Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC) in accordance with Kentucky law. Firearms and knives will be prohibited in any areas temporarily under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Secret Service. When carrying your firearm, please remember to follow all federal, state and local laws.

Drew and Susan Hebson were happy to have me take pictures of their open carried pistols.  Drew said that when he and Susan had gone out for dinner the night before, they had seen quite a few people openly carrying holstered pistols.  When others commented on it, he simply answered: NRA meeting.

While were were doing the photo shoot by an NRA table, a uniformed police officer was strolling by.  I waved him over, to get another point of view.  The officer said he could not give an official statement, but did not have a problem with an unattributed quote.  He said that he did not have any problem with open carriers, and was seeing more today than at previous events.  He volunteered:
"We (officers) think that if you are going to allow open carry without a permit, you should be able to conceal carry without a permit as well
Drew was an FNH tactical .45, and Susan a Sig 9mm.  Susan normally carried the Sig concealed, but uncovered for the event.

Another open carrier, Brian Mensing, said that he had checked about open carrying before coming to the NRA meeting.  Everyone that he had talked to, starting with the State police and continueing from there, had said that it was not a problem.  He was open carrying a Glock 21.  He said that he expects to upgrade his holster shortly.


In the past the NRA has been criticized as being hypocritical for having their annual meeting at venues that prohibited the carry of firearms, openly or concealed.  Last year, in Nashville, Tennessee, there were rumors that firearms were prohibited.  Those were quickly squashed with plenty of photographs of open carriers at the event.

This year, there seem to be more open carriers. Second Amendment supporters are winning the culture war. Open carry is becoming normalized as the legal exercise of the Second Amendment is being restored.

Texas became an open carry state as of 1 January, 2016.  A legislative attempt to restore open carry rights in Florida was defeated in spite of strong legislative support.  Florida is now one of only five states that prohibit the open carry of holstered pistols in most public spaces.  The other four states are South Carolina, New York, California, and Illinois.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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