Saturday, April 29, 2017

Open Carry at the NRA Meeting 2017



For the last three NRA Annual Meetings, open and concealed carry have been legal and practiced on the premises.  In 2015 it was at Nashville in Tennessee. In 2016, it was at Louisville in Kentucky.  In 2017, it is in Atlanta, Georgia. Today in the press room, there were a few open carriers. From the printing that I noticed here and there, there were a significantly greater number of concealed carriers.

I was one of those. The Press room was rather chilly for a Yuma, Arizona resident. I kept my jacket on.  Out on the floor, there were few open carriers. Then it hit me. President Trump was scheduled to speak. The Secret Service does not allow anything that they consider a weapon in the room with the President for the speech.  I noticed one gentleman with an empty holster, heading toward the venue for the President's speech.


I asked him if the empty holster was because he was going to hear President Trump.

Yes, he said. That was exactly the reason. 

When I talked to people who had attempted to enter the forum for the speech, it is questionable if even the empty holster was allowed.  One man was had to go to Knife Rights knife check facility and check a penlight flashlight!  The explanation for the small numbers of open carry on the first day was obvious. I expect the numbers to increase over the next few days.



Open and concealed carry at NRA Meetings is here to stay. I doubt the NRA will schedule a meeting in a state that does not respect the Second Amendment enough to have a shall issue concealed carry law, and reasonable reciprocity.

A national reciprocity law could change that, opening up the 10-13 states that severely infringe on Second Amendment rights.

People who live on the borders of Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, California, Connecticut, and Delaware would appreciate the change.  Even Illinois, Oregon, and Washington state would become much friendlier to visitors.

I expect more open carry in the next few days.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.



AZ: Flagstaff Judge rules Police Video of Suspect Inadmissible as "Prejudicial"


Photo taken days after the shooting


The trial involving the Flagstaff shooting of a mob of drunken fraternity members who attacked an 18 year old pistol owner, is almost over.

The shooting occurred in October of 2015.  As of 27 April, 2017, the jury is considering the case.

A motion for mistrial by the defense has been refused by the trial judge, Dan Slayton.  Slayton previously took the unusual stance of ruling the police video from the scene as "prejudicial".  In the video, a bloodied and hysterical 18 year old, Steven Jones, tells the police how glad he is that they are there, and that he thought he was going to die.

Then, in the closing arguments to the jury, the prosecutor claimed that Steven Jones, the shooter, never claimed self defense until he "had an audience at the police station". The defense cried foul. From azcentral.com:

A Coconino County Superior Court judge Thursday morning denied a mistrial for prosecutor misconduct in the Steven Jones murder trial.

But he ordered that the jury be given an instruction about inaccurate statements made by the prosecutor in his closing argument that would diminish Jones' claims of self-defense.

Before the trial began, prosecutors Ammon Barker and Bryan Shea convinced the judge to preclude statements Jones made to witnesses and police at the scene of the October 2015 shooting that left one student dead and three others wounded on the Northern Arizona University campus.

Immediately after the incident, Jones told another student that he acted in self-defense, and when he was in a police car after being detained, he was recorded on camera as saying, "Why were they going to hurt me?" and "I thought I was going to die."
Consider if, in the police video, Steven Jones had said, "They were evil and deserved to die". Do you think it would have been admitted as evidence? Want to take any bets?  Of course it would have been admitted, to show the shooters state of mind. But clear evidence of the shooter's state of mind, taken minutes after the shooting, was excluded, because it favored the defense.
The jury has been out for about a day. It hasn't turned in a verdict yet.  If it comes up with a guilty verdict, expect an appeal.
There is considerable punishment simply in the process.
The Coconino County Prosecutor's office is the same office that prosecuted Harold Fish.
I do not know who the prosecutor in this case is, but Michael J. Lessler is the Chief Deputy Attorney in Coconino County. He is the prosecutor who was in charge of the infamous Harold Fish case. Lessler claimed, for example, that Fish's use of a 10mm and hollowpoint bullet were somehow indications of malice.

An appeals court finally reversed and remanded Fish's conviction in 2009. Harold Fish had been in prison for three years. The Harold Fish prosecution was so over the top, it resulted in the Arizona legislature making three separate changes in Arizona law, to stop the abuses obvious in the case, and to insure that Harold Fish was able to obtain a new trial.
Fish died not long after being released from prison.

The shooting was originally covered in the media as a "school shooting". That was the take before details started coming out that indicated a self defense case.

Things like the shooter immediately surrendering to police, and thanking them for being there.  Things like being outnumbered by a mob of drunken fraternity members (all the people shot had blood alcohol far beyond being legally drunk, and traces of marijuana). Things like the Steven Jones having no alcohol or drugs in his blood. The person who was killed was shot at a range of two feet or less, as he was moving toward Jones.

News coverage today is far more even than it was in the early days after the shooting.

The verdict will be very interesting.

If the verdict is not guilty, will the LA Times will issue a retraction over its early coverage?

We will know the verdict in a few days.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.


Friday, April 28, 2017

NC: Resident Shoots, Kills, 1 of 5 Home Invaders


Officers say when they arrived, Stacey Ross, Jr. of Jacksonville was found laying in the parking area. The 20-year-old was shot multiple times and later died at Onslow Memorial Hospital.

Police say their investigation showed Ross was one of five people involved in the attempted home invasion and a police department spokeswoman says the resident of the apartment shot Ross.
More Here

FL: Armed Homeowner Shot and Killed Home Man Attempting Break-In

A man was home with his 3-year-old son around noon when he grabbed his gun as he heard someone breaking in, police said. The homeowner shot and killed the burglar trying to make his way into the duplex on Northwest 71st Street and 5th Place.

More Here

CA: Doctor Zong Retrieves Handgun from Drawer, Kills Attacker



BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - UPDATE: Investigators have determined the business owner of Garden Oasis Medical, Dr. Edwin Zong, was assaulted by the suspect, whom he didn't know. As the assault was happening, the suspect made numerous comments regarding money. As a result of the assault, Dr. Zong received injuries to his face and head. Dr. Zong retrieved his firearm from a desk drawer and fired three rounds at the suspect, strinking him the upper torso

During a search of the business a handgun was located, which was confirmed to be registered and legally owned by Dr. Zong. The indentity of the suspect will be released by the Kern County Coroner's Office.

More Here

Oklahoma likely to pass Defensive Display (SB 40)



The vast majority of defensive firearm uses involve the defensive display of the firearm. In some states, it is illegal to display a gun for defensive purposes without risking a felony. Mere display is considered the use of deadly force.

Estimates of defensive gun uses vary form about 100,000 to 3 million each year(CDC pdf).

Yet only 1,500 to 3,000 people are justifiably killed each year. About five to ten times that many are shot and end up hospitalized. About five to ten  times as many as are shot, are shot at, but missed.  The number of times when no shots are fired are about 90 - 95 percent of all defensive cases.

In numerous states, anti-self defense prosecutors have charged people who were defending themselves. The defenders used restraint and did not have to shoot. They were then charged with illegal use of deadly force. Because of those abuses, Arizona, Florida, Iowa, and other states have enacted defensive display laws similar to the Oklahoma bill. 

The law should not penalize people who realize that they do not need to shoot in a defensive situation. The current law is an incentive to turn a dangerous situation into a deadly one. SB 40 changes that in Oklahoma. From the bill text:
A person pointing a weapon at a perpetrator in self-defense or in order to thwart, stop or deter a forcible felony or attempted forcible felony shall not be deemed guilty of committing a criminal act.
In an article about the bill, Oklahoma Representative Bobby Cleveland makes the case.  From americanow.com:
A newly proposed Oklahoma state law, formally known as Senate Bill 40, could make it legal for people to brandish guns in an act of self-defense.

As they currently stand, state laws forbid the deliberate exposure of firearms except in instances of deadly force, according to Tulsa World.

"When you go and get your (concealed carry) license, that instructor tells you that you don't bring your gun out, you don't show your gun, you don't intimidate somebody with your gun," said Slaughterville Representative Bobby Cleveland.

"If you bring it out, you have to shoot."
Representative Cleveland is showing the absurdity of that advise.

What about the numerous cases where people draw guns, and the perpetrator flees? Should the defender shoot at the fleeing felon? We did away with those laws long ago.

What about a defender who is menaced with a knife, or a club, or a mob threatening to kill them? Must they shoot? No, it would be irresponsible to shoot once the menace has stopped being a threat.

 
The bill is all about defensive display of weapons. It should be the law in every state.


It is simple common sense.

Requiring someone to shoot when they draw a gun is a deadly legislative mistake.


SB 40 passed the Oklahoma Senate, 36-5. It passed the Oklahoma House 82-8. It still needs a procedural vote in the Senate, then it will go to Governor Mary Fallin. It seems likely to be signed into law.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

On the Way to Atlanta, NRA Meeting 2017




I drove to the NRA Meeting in Atlanta yesterday, the 26th of April, 2017.  I had been visiting family in Dallas, Texas, so it was only 800 miles.

On the way, I reflected on the last time I was in Atlanta for more than a flight change. It was over 40 years ago, when I was in the Army.

What happened then was not important. But what has happened in the last 40 years has been phenomenal for Second Amendment Supporters.

In 1974, the Gun Control Act of 1968 was only six years old. It had not been improved by the Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986. Travel with firearms was a bit dicey. I figured my military orders would keep me out of trouble for the firearms I had in the car, but it was far from certain.

Now, in 2017, I drove with confidence from Texas to Georgia, with jacket on or off, carrying openly or concealed as convenience and temperature dictated.

In 1974, Texans had no right to carry, except in extremely limited circumstances, such as on their own land. There was an affirmative defense if you were carrying while travelling. That meant you could be arrested, and then have to prove to a judge that you really were travelling. There was some precedent to indicate traveling might be interpreted as crossing a county line.  Today, both concealed and open carry are legal and accepted with a shall issue permit, and reciprocity for the permit extends to many states.

I crossed the line into Louisiana, noting that gas prices dropped momentarily to $1.99 per gallon. In constant dollars, it is close to the price paid for gas in 1974.

The scenery was beautiful. Louisiana passed an improved right to carry amendment in 2012. Their constitution had given the legislature the right to regulate the wearing of concealed weapons shortly after they became a state. The 2012 amendment took away that specific power.

Louisiana has a shall issue permit and wide reciprocity, and open carry without a permit, for anyone over 17. A talk radio station in Louisiana extolled the virtues of small government, and railed against an anti-business tax.  In 1974, it was hard to find any commentary on the air extolling limited government and holding to the Constitution.

Mississippi came into view as I crossed the river. Mississippi had very restrictive carry laws in 1974, especially if you were black.  In 2016, Mississippi joined the Constitutional Carry club. You do not need a permit to carry in Mississippi, openly or concealed. It does not matter if you are white or black, because you do not need to apply for a permit. I felt as if I were in friendly territory.

I had forgotten how beautiful the South is. The gently rolling hills, greenery covering the fields, expansive, dense woods, lots of pretty wild country. That is the way it was as I rolled through Alabama.  In 1974, Alabama had concealed carry permits that were issued by County Sheriff offices. Issue of permits were to locals that the Sheriff approved of. Even today,  a sheriff has a some "discretion" in issuing permits. Obtaining a permit from out of state was practically impossible in 1974.  Open carry was likely to get you hassled.

In 2017, open carry is recognized as legitimate. Concealed carry in many formats, does not require a permit.  The Alabama Senate has passed Constitutional Carry. Alabama is likely to joint the Constitutional Carry club soon.

The traffic in Georgia left a little to be desired. Georgia has required a carry permit for a long time. An outsider had no real chance of getting a Georgia permit in 1974. Wisconsin had no statutory system of issuing permits then (my residence was in Wisconsin at the time). Georgia would not have recognized a Wisconsin permit, in any case.  The Georgia permit changed from "may issue" to shall issue" in 1989. Georgia recognizes both my Arizona and Florida permits, as it does permits from 30 other states, including Wisconsin. A permit is good for both open and concealed carry, and covers knives as well as handguns.

I felt quite comfortable carrying a handgun and knife in Georgia. I carried in the World Congress Center in Atlanta where the NRA Meeting is being set up.  I wore a jacket, but if it becomes warm in the press room, I will have no problem openly carrying my Glock 17. I did it at the NRA Meeting last year.

Second Amendment supporters have made tremendous strides in 40 years.

40 years ago, most activists believed they were fighting a delaying action, hoping to hold onto what was left of Second Amendment rights for as long as possible.  We were told that demographics and the growth of Urban America were against us.  We were  given bad information. That sounds rather familiar, thinking of recent pronouncements from academia.

The fight to restore Second Amendment rights has been long, hard, and fruitful. Incrementalism has worked. Another justice who takes his oath seriously has been confirmed to the Supreme Court. The second U.S. President in the history of the NRA is going to speak at the 2017 annual meeting. The Trump administration is rolling back administrative rules. National reciprocity has many co-sponsors in both the House and the Senate.

The Trump administration is the beneficiary of 40 years of hard fought battles to restore Second Amendment rights. The Trump Administration is expected to carry that battle to Congress, and win it.

Much remains to be done. Numerous infringements remain in the statutes and regulations. But Second Amendment supporters are winning, and the NRA has been a large part of those victories.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

FL: Neighbors Hold man at Gunpoint; He says he came back to Apologize for Breaking In

A Dunnellon man this week kicked open the back door of a woman’s home, returned hours later to apologize but was then detained at gunpoint by neighbors, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

When a deputy arrived in the 18800 block of Southwest 31st Street in Ocala early Tuesday morning, three people were holding Anthony Talley at gunpoint. In the patrol cruiser on the way to jail, Talley told a deputy, “I had a really bad night last night,” according to a Sheriff’s Office report. Talley had multiple scratches on his arms, face and legs, the report noted.
More Here

TX: Armed Woman Stops Home Invasion with Gunfire



She spotted a Hispanic male in his early 20’s breaking in through her back kitchen door. She started screaming at the man as he managed to kick in the door and make his way into the kitchen.

He continued to come into the home, so she opened fire. She doesn’t think she hit him. No blood was found at the scene.

“She shot through the window,” explained Sgt. Michael Oliva from the San Antonio Police Department. “She was probably trying to scare him. We checked and there’s no evidence that he was shot.”
More Here

KS: Salvage Yard Worker fires Shots at Aggressive Robbery Suspects



One of the suspects allegedly hit the 52-year-old man with a stick. The man then pulled his personal firearm and attempted to hold the suspects at gunpoint while the 61-year-old man called 911 for help.

"During this time, the suspects were able to get into their vehicle, which was parked on the property," Sgt. Woodrow said. "And at some point, while the suspects were driving by the property owner, the 52-year-old fired several shots toward the vehicle."

The suspects' vehicle was struck twice, but they were not hit.
More Here

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

TX: Mugger Disarmed, Shot, Killed by Wounded Victim


A robbery suspect was killed with his own gun after he shot one victim and pistol-whipped another in west Oak Cliff late Monday, police said.

(snip)

Homicide detectives who interviewed witnesses determined that the robber produced a handgun and tried to rob two people. One of the people got shot and then fought with the suspect to defend himself, Jones said. The victim managed to get the gun away and shoot the suspect.

More Here

OH: Employees Hold Robbery Suspect for Police



CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Employees of a convenience store in the city's Stockyards neighborhood thwarted an armed robbery Friday by sneaking up behind the masked gunmen, putting a gun to his back and firing warning shots into the ceiling, according to police.

The employees held Fredrick Thornton, 26, at gunpoint inside the Convenient Food Mart on Clark Avenue until police took him into custody, according to police reports and surveillance footage of the incident.

More Here

ATF Clarifies Legality of Pistol Arm Brace Use

Ad from 2013

Late in 2012, the ATF approved of a device that fit on the buffer tube of AR-15 style pistols. It made one handed shooting of these firearms much easier, and hence more accurate. The SB15 was invented by a disabled veteran, Alex Bosco. He quickly sold the rights to produce the arm brace to Sig Sauer.

As you can see, the device can also be used as a very short stock for the AR-15 pistol, even though that is not what it is designed for.  Many people have put the brace to this use, as it is much easier to purchase AR-15 pistols and a brace than it is to go through all the bureaucratic and bizarre requirements to obtain a legal short barreled rifle (SBR) or short barreled shotgun (SBS). The legal restrictions on SBS and SBR firearms never made any sense. They only made sense if the federal government put the same restriction on handguns, as FDR attempted to do in 1934. That attempt failed, due in large part because of lobbying by the NRA.

In 2015, the ATF issued an open letter claiming that using the arm brace as a shoulder stock was a "redesign" of the pistol as an SBR.
The pistol stabilizing brace was neither “designed” nor approved to be used as a shoulder stock, and therefore use as a shoulder stock constitutes a “redesign” of the device because a possessor has changed the very function of the item. Any individual letters stating otherwise are contrary to the plain language of the NFA, misapply Federal law, and are hereby revoked.

Any person who intends to use a handgun stabilizing brace as a shoulder stock on a pistol (having a rifled barrel under 16 inches in length or a smooth bore firearm with a barrel under 18 inches in length) must first file an ATF Form 1 and pay the applicable tax because the resulting firearm will be subject to all provisions of the NFA.
The letter is an egregious stretch of the definition of "redesign" and is virtually unenforceable.  Now that the ATF is part of the Trump administration, things have changed. The first substantial hint was a white paper by BATFE second in command, Ronald B. Turk, dated the day of President Trump's inauguration, January 20th, 2017. The paper was leaked to the Washington Post.

In the paper, Mr. Turk indicated that the ATF would be open to removing the "redesign" language form the open letter. From the white paper:

... ATF could amend the determination letter to remove the language indicating that simple use of a product for a purpose other than intended by the manufacturer - without additional proof or redesign - may result in re-classification as an NFA weapon.
SB tactical has now reported the ATF has reversed the position of the 2015 open letter, as suggested in Mr. Turk's leaked white paper. From SB-Tactical:
SB Tactical™, inventors and manufacturers of the Pistol Stabilizing Brace®, is excited to announce that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) has issued SB Tactical a reversal letter containing a sensible clarification of the Bureau’s position on the lawful use of SB Tactical braces.

The new clarification of opinion letter states, “an NFA firearm has not necessarily been made when the device is not reconfigured for use as a shoulder stock – even if the attached firearm happens to be fired from the shoulder. To the extent that the January 2015 Open Letter implied or has been construed to hold that incidental, sporadic, or situational “use” of an arm-brace (in its original approved configuration) equipped firearm from a firing position at or near the shoulder was sufficient to constitute “redesign,” such interpretations are incorrect and not consistent with ATF’s interpretation of the statute or the manner in which it has historically been enforced.”

SB Tactical, along with the law offices of Mark Barnes & Associates, have worked tirelessly for more than two years to correct what they believed to be an inaccurate interpretation of “redesign,” related to the Pistol Stabilizing Brace. “It has always been our belief that the addition of our Pistol Stabilizing Brace benefits shooters, both disabled and able-bodied, and that neither strapping it to your arm nor shouldering a brace equipped pistol would constitute ‘redesign’ of a pistol to a NFA firearm”, said Alex Bosco, inventor, founder and CEO of SB Tactical. “We are strongly encouraged by the ATF’s reversal of opinion and commend their willingness to continually review policy, including their own opinions, to ensure public safety and the fulfillment of their mission.”
There is no logical reason for SBS or SBR firearms to be regulated or restricted any more than handguns and pistols are. This change in interpretation by the ATF makes that abundantly clear. It seems likely the Trump administration will be able to make major reforms in the National Firearms Act.

Removing silencers, SBR and SBS firearms from the cumbersome and expensive bureaucratic controls of the NFA would be a logical and long overdue reform that fits well with the Trump agenda of protecting Second Amendment rights and reducing burdensome regulations.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Carry at the NRA Annual Meeting in Atlanta



This year, 2017, the NRA Annual Meeting is being held in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center. 80,000 people are expected to attend.  There will be 450,000 square feet of exhibits. As with the past two annual meetings, attendees will be able to carry firearms in accordance with state laws. In Georgia a carry permit is required.

Georgia recognizes carry permits from 32 other states.

Handgunlaw.us lists the states.

Virginia is not listed on the official Georgia.gov page, but I understand that Georgia reciprocity with Virgina has been restored. You are responsible for validating your own information. From handgunlaw.us:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming all recognize Georgia-issued firearms licenses. 
Georgia recognizes both resident and non-resident permits from the above states. Georgia carry law covers both handguns and knives that are designed for defense or offense, and have blades that are over five inches in length.

A carry permit is required for both open and concealed carry.
There are gun free zones in Georgia law, but most do not apply to the  Georgia World Congress Center where the Annual Meeting will be held.  However, the food court at the CNN Center in their hotel complex is a gun free zone. There are other areas in the CNN Center, which has a number of retail shops, that ban guns.  Here is a statement from the nraam.org
Firearms Policy for the 2017 NRA Annual Meetings:

During the 2017 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits, lawfully carried firearms will be permitted in the Georgia World Congress Center and the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center in accordance with Georgia law. However, firearms are not allowed in the remainder of the CNN Center, including the food court and shops. When carrying your firearm, remember to follow all federal, state and local laws.
Be aware of your surroundings. If someone asks you to leave an area because you are carrying, it is best to politely leave.
 
Last year there were a number of open carriers at the NRA annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.

Anti-rights political activists complained that the NRA would not allow people to carry firearms at their annual meetings.  The NRA stopped those complaints by insisting on allowing legal carry. The anti-rights groups cannot make that claim any longer.

It seems unlikely that the NRA leadership would schedule an Annual Meeting for a state that does not honor the right to bear arms. That would rule out California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. It might rule out Washington State, Oregon, and Illinois, on the basis of lack of reciprocity.

The next few Annual Meetings are:

2018  Dallas, Texas

2019  Indianapolis, Indiana

2020  Nashville, Tennessee

2021  Houston, Texas

2022  Undetermined

2023  Indianapolis, Indiana

Attendance at the NRA Annual Meetings has grown to about 80,000. There are a limited number of venues that can accommodate that number of attendees. In addition, a central location makes it a bit easier for attendees to travel to the Meeting.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
 


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

AZ: Carjack Suspect Shot



A spokesman for the Tucson Police Department says when a man armed with a gun tried to steal a car, the victim fired several shots at the suspect, hitting him.

The suspect fled the scene without the vehicle, and was driven to a hospital by a friend.
More Here

TX: Dallas Homewoner Shoots Burglary Suspects

A homeowner shot two burglary suspects early Friday in far southeast Dallas.

More Here

AR: Gunfight, Homeowner Wounds Masked Intruder



The homeowner confronted an armed perpetrator, who was dressed in all black and wearing a ski-mask.

The two-exchanged gun fire and the suspect fled the area on foot. At the time of the call deputies were unable to locate the suspect.

More than two hours later, just before 7 a.m., deputies were notified of a 16-year-old male gunshot victim at Wadley Hospital.
More Here

AL: Valuable Shotgun, Ammunition, turned in as Hazardous Waste


On April 22, 2017, in Hoover, Alabama, an antique German shotgun, made in 1892, was turned in as hazardous waste.  At first, the Hoover authorities were going to have the shotgun destroyed. After finding that the antique could be worth thousands of dollars, they decided to try to find the owner instead. From hooversun.com:
One of the most unusual items dropped off today was an 1892 double-barrel German shotgun. David Buchanan, a painter for the city of Hoover who was helping unload items brought in by residents, said an older gentleman brought the weapon after finding it in his closet and figuring he had no use for it.

Hoover Councilman Gene Smith, a co-owner of Hoover Tactical Firearms, estimated the antique shotgun is probably worth at least several thousand dollars.

Smith and city workers initially said the gun would have to be melted down like other guns turned into police. However, Hoover City Administrator Allan Rice said city officials will try to locate the man who surrendered the gun and help him determine the value of it and what should be done with it. The city does not plan to destroy the antique and will work to preserve the history associated with the weapon, Rice said.
It is good to see some common sense in Hoover City administration. They should have known that a gun made in 1892 is not considered a firearm under Federal law. It is an antique, and not subject to the 1968 Gun Control Act.

While the authorities made the correct decision about this shotgun, they will be destroying 75 pounds of ammunition.


I would not shoot reloaded ammunition from such a source. It could be disassembled for components.  Quite a bit of the ammunition in the picture is obviously from the factory. I would not be worried about shooting it. I should attend the next Hazardous Waste day in Yuma to see what shows up. If most of the ammo were shotgun shells, 75 lbs would be about a thousand rounds of ammunition, worth about $200.

Sources have told me that they have obtained tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition, simply by promising to "dispose of it properly".

Modern ammunition is remarkably durable. If kept dry and in reasonable temperatures, expect a shelf life of at least 75 years.

If you are willing to experience a few misfires, or perhaps even hangfires, even ammunition that has been stored in poor conditions is likely to provide good service. Proper care should be taken when shooting it.

Unless the cases are badly corroded or damaged, the danger of poorly stored modern ammunition is that it might not expel a bullet or shot charge from the barrel. If that condition is not discovered, a burst or bulged barrel is almost certain, and damage to the person is possible.

It would be far better that the unwanted ammunition be expended at a range, where the lead will be recycled, than burned in an incinerator.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.


Illinois Appellate Court Protects Second and Fourth Amendments



An Illinois appellate court has upheld the Fourth and Second Amendments. They did so rather apologetically.  The case was decided on 31 March of 2017, but the events involved occurred in 2011.

When you read the entire case two distinctive versions of events are discerned. Neither version would justify the police actions. That is why the conviction was overturned. Here is what both sides seem to agree on:

An unmarked police car is slowly driving through a poor black neighborhood. A man and a woman are standing on the porch of a row house. Another man is standing a couple of feet off of the porch with his back to the street, talking to them. Two police officers are in the unmarked car.One police officer is scanning the neighborhood. The other is driving. They drive past the house. The police passenger tells the driver to stop the car. At about the same time, the person standing off of the porch quickly ducks into the house and locks the door.

The police call for backup. After five to six minutes, backup arrived and the police have obtained keys to the house. The two initial officers unlock the door, and search the house. Inside, they find two men. In one of the bedrooms, they find a semi-automatic handgun hidden under a mattress. The handgun was not listed as stolen. Evidence was not allowed showing the legal owner of the handgun. A resident of the house testified that the handgun belonged to his brother, who lived in the house with him. From illinoiscourts.gov:
After the suppression hearing, but before trial, the State orally moved to preclude Horton from introducing evidence regarding the gun’s ownership and whether the gun was stolen. Horton sought to introduce a document from the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Explosives National Tracing Center naming the owner and showing that the weapon was not stolen.
The man who ducked into the house had two prior convictions for non-violent felonies in "1998 and 2003 for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver".  He was not a resident of the house.

Here are some items that were not agreed on.

One of the critical points was whether the officer actually saw a gun or not before entering the house.

The passenger police officer (Hummons) said he saw a bulge in the waistband of the defendant, and that he glimpsed a "metallic object" as the subject briefly turned, as the police car passed the house. The bulge and the "metallic" object were not mentioned to his partner, nor were they included in the initial incident report or the arrest report.

I found the following assertion disturbing, but the court did not comment on it.
 
The passenger police officer said he found a set of keys on the floor of the porch near where the woman was sitting. The man and woman were detained in the police car while the officers called for backup. They were searched before being put in the car.

If an officer finds a set of keys, does that give him the authority to enter your house? As a former officer, I find it more likely that the keys were found in the man or woman's pockets, but we do not have testimony to that effect.

Most cases such as this would be plea bargained. But this case was taken to a jury trial, and then appealed.  The Second Division Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, made the correct decision. From illinoiscourts.gov:
[*P1] Chicago police officers, in their mission to “serve and protect,” must remove from the city’s streets illegal guns, which claim hundreds of lives each year and imperil the public’s safety and security. Presumably acting on that laudable desire, an officer had a hunch, based on seeing “a metallic object” in Markell Horton’s waistband, that Horton might have a handgun and pursued him. Eventually, police found a handgun hidden under a mattress in a bedroom where they found Horton, and he was charged with possession. But changes in Illinois law (in part mandated by United States Supreme Court rulings protecting the right to keep and bear arms) now hold that it is not illegal to carry a concealed handgun, as long as certain procedures are followed.
[*P2] As judges, we are stuck between a hammer and the anvil. On the one hand, we are ever mindful of, and horrified by, the level of gun violence that continues to plague the City of Chicago. We feel confident in saying that all members of the judiciary wish for reformative solutions. But we also are mindful of our limited role in a constitutional system. We cannot sidestep or disregard instruction from both the United States and Illinois Supreme Courts to achieve a specific outcome. When we hold that precedent dictates the result here, it is not because we are na├»ve, or “soft on crime.” On the contrary, it is because we must follow, not rewrite, the established law and the facts in evidence.
[*P3] We now turn to the specifics of Horton’s appeal. Horton argues four issues: (i) the trial court improperly denied his motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence; (ii) the trial court improperly barred him from introducing registration and ownership evidence of the weapon, both before and after the State “opened the door” to the evidence; (iii) reasonable doubt; and (iv) ineffectiveness of trial counsel. In addition, this court ordered supplemental briefs on the issue of probable cause to pursue Horton “in view of the rulings in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008); McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. 741 (2010); People v. Aguilar, 2013 IL 112116; and People v. Burns, 2015 IL 117387.”
[*P4] We hold that the trial court improperly denied Horton’s motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence. The probable cause to pursue Horton was based on the officer’s belief that Horton possessed a gun in violation of the unlawful use of a weapon statute (720 ILCS 5/24 1.1(a) (West 2010)), later found unconstitutional on its face and void ab initio. Aguilar, 2013 IL 112116; Burns, 2015 IL 117387. As a result, the search and seizure of the gun was unlawful and the trial court erred when it denied Horton’s motion to quash his arrest and suppress the evidence.
As a gun owner, it is distressing that so little attention was paid to the actual owner of the firearm. It seems that the owner was a resident  of the house that was raided. It appears that he followed the rules in obtaining and keeping the firearm. Was the pistol returned to him? It seems highly unlikely. The costs for obtaining a court order from a judge, requiring the police to return the pistol, would be far more than the pistol was worth. Moreover, finding a judge in Chicago who would be willing to make such an order is highly problematic.

California used to be notorious for this sort of "legalized theft". It took several lawsuits to force the California legislature to create a system for legal gun owners to recover firearms that had been impounded.  Many police departments around the country still follow a sometimes spoken rule: they never return firearms without a court order to do so.

Perhaps this case will help bolster the rule of law in Chicago. It is a step in the correct direction.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch




OH: Armed Woman Shoots Intruder who Tackled Her



BLOOMINGTON — An Ohio woman said she was "fearing for her life" when she shot an intruder who tackled her after she discovered him in the garage of her parents' south Bloomington home early Friday morning.


"Anything could have happened by just the way he lunged at me, and I had the gun in his face and told him not to come out because I would shoot," said Kim Sinnott of Hamilton, Ohio. "He probably thought I wouldn't shoot."

More Here

More on San Antonio Shooting TX: Man Shot Woman's Ex as he attempted Break-in



SAN ANTONIO - A 48-year-old man is being questioned in connection with a deadly shooting at a home just east of downtown.

San Antonio police said he shot and killed another man who had threatened a woman with a gun on Thursday night.
More Here

TN: Customer Disarms Suspect, Kills 1, Wounds 2



Metro police told News 2 a group of people were inside the store when at least three armed suspects came in through an unlocked back door and began firing.

Witnesses said one of the people in the group was able to wrestle one of the suspect’s gun away and exchanged fired with at least one person.
More Here

Person shoots, kills, attacking Dog, wounds Companion



According to police, one of the individuals walking allegedly tried to shoot the attacking dog using a legally permitted gun, but accidentally shot another person they were walking with in the lower extremity.

Police say the person shot was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. They say that the attacking dog is dead, while the dog that was attacked is reportedly fine.
More Here

Monday, April 24, 2017

Pennsylvania Bill to Enforce Firearm Preemption Against Scofflaw Governments



The Pennsylvania legislature is aiming to enforce their strong firearms preemption law. A similar enforcement law was enacted in 2014, but was struck down in 2016. The state Supreme Court ruled that the legislature had violated the state constitutional requirement for "single issue" statutes when the bill was passed.

On April 19, 2017, a replacement bill passed the House Judiciary committee by a 20-5 vote.

As with most states, Pennsylvania has a strong firearms preemption law. The statute has been on the books for over three decades. The preemption law requires that virtually all firearms law in Pennsylvania be uniform at the state level. Local governments are forbidden from passing a patchwork quilt of firearms regulations that can entrap innocent residents as they exercise their Second Amendment rights.

The preemption statute had no provisions for penalties or enforcement. It was presumed that local governments would follow the law. That was a bad assumption. Over 50 local governments have made a mockery of the rule of law by passing restrictive and illegal local firearm ordinances in Pennsylvania.

 If the law was violated, affected private individuals and organizations that they belong to, could sue local governments for damages. The law passed by large, veto proof majorities, and was signed by Governor Corbett.

The law was opposed by the political class in large urban centers such as Philadelphia. In a bizarre turn, the Pennsylvania AG, Kathleen Kane, refused to enforce the law, and aided the cities in challenging the law in court. In 2016, the law was struck down as having passed the legislature improperly. In an ironic twist, Democrat Kathleen Kane was convicted of felonies while in office, in the same year the statute was struck down.

The current bill, HB 671, is essentially the same as the legislation that was struck down. From state.pa.us:

§ 6120. Limitation on the regulation of firearms and ammunition.

* * *

(a.2) Relief.--A person adversely affected by an ordinance, a resolution, regulation, rule, practice or any other action promulgated or enforced by a county, municipality or township prohibited under subsection (a) or 53 Pa.C.S. § 2962(g) (relating to limitation on municipal powers) may seek declaratory or injunctive relief and actual damages in an appropriate court.
The 2014 bill passed by margins of 143 to 54 in the House, and 34 to 16 in the Senate.

It seems likely to pass again in 2017. The legislature will be careful to follow all the procedural requirements. But this time, a Democrat, Tom Wolf is the Governor. It is likely that he will veto the reform bill. His voter base is in the urban centers. The urban center's political establishments have shown a strong desire to continue to violate the preemption law.

Republicans hold large majorities in the House and Senate. 123 to 83 in the House, and 31-19 in the Senate. It is unknown if enough Democrats would cross the aisle to override a veto.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch



VA: Domestic Defense, Neighbor Shoots Aggressive Ex



When a neighbor who tried to intervene in a domestic domestic late Sunday was assaulted during his attempt, he grabbed a gun and shot the assailant in the leg, according to Greenville police.
More Here

VA: Gunfight, Armed Woman Thinks she Wounded Home Invader



About one to two minutes went by and a black male dressed in all black entered the room with a gun and fired a shot into the ceiling. The victim then rolled out of the bed and grabbed her gun from her purse and fired back at the subject in the room.

The victim believed the offender was hit with gunfire because he moved quickly to one side.

The suspect was heard saying, “give it up I am going to kill you.”


More Here

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Open Carry Muslim posts Video with Weapons and F-Bombs at Christian Event




An American Muslim who open and concealed carries weapons got into trouble for a facebook live video. He filmed and posted the video outside of a Christian event that some called "anti-Muslim". The event occurred on April 9th, 2017.

Ehad Abdulmutta Jaber bought tickets for the event and was wearing the T-shirt pictured above. The Shirts says:

I am an American

I am a Muslim

I open carry

I concealed carry

I am only dangerous

If you are stupid.

Ehad entered the event wearing the shirt and openly carrying a holstered pistol. He was concealed carrying another pistol in an ankle holster.  One account said he was filming the event, but he was only there for a few minutes.

Ehad was approached by a security guard and asked to leave, as firearms were prohibited at the venue. By all accounts, Ehad was asked to leave politely, and he politely left. It was after he left the venue and was inside his van in the parking lot, that he made a serious error.

He posted a live facebook video of himself, speaking of the event.  Here are links to the video.  I found the dailymail link easier to view, it is not a reverse image.

From facebook.com:

Video at dailymail.com 

Ehad has First and Second Amendment rights. He says that he is an American citizen who has lived in Sioux Falls for 25 years. The T-Shirt is clearly a political statement.

The video may have been a bridge too far.  In the video, Ehad says that he was at the event. He is upset, and uses considerable profanity. He says "And now if you really want to be scared, be scared," he then briefly displays four semi-auto pistols, an AR-15 type rifle, and an AK type firearm that might be either a pistol or a rifle.  He also shows that he has ammunition. He says "be terrified". Up to this point, the video may be taken as sarcasm.

A Police officer said that Jaber was not arrested at the rally. The officer is quoted as saying that there was no direct threat. From kdlt.com:
“He had a lot of guns with him, but he wasn’t breaking any laws. He didn’t threaten anybody directly, he didn’t threaten any groups of people anything like that and it’s not illegal to carry guns or have guns with you,” says Officer Sam Clemens of the Sioux Falls Police Department.

Police say Jaber does have open carry and concealed carry permits. They also spoke with him, so did the FBI. Police say the information was sent to the Lincoln County State’s Attorney’s Office and no charges will be made.

“You have to have some type of specific threat or manner, just having a gun just because it alarms people doesn’t constitute a threat. That doesn’t mean you are going to harm people,” says Clemens.
But Jaber's last statement on the video may make a significant difference. His last sentence was "F*ck all ya all."

I have written, read, and participated in open carry and Second Amendment events over considerable parts of the country.  I have some sympathy for Ehad Jaber. Posting a video in the parking lot of an event that you are protesting, showing a number of legal weapons, while telling people to be scared, to be terrified, is extremely unusual and provocative.

Then to say "F*ck all ya all." is over the line. I have never seen anyone at any of the events I attended or wrote about, or read about, tell people to be scared and terrified, as they handled weapons, or to make the F-bomb threat. Those are dozens of events over the years.

I could follow the sarcasm up to the last F-bomb. Then it became ambiguous.


After a little study, the Lincoln County AG made the decision to arrest Jaber and charge him with one count of a terrorist threat. From argusleader.com
A man who authorities say brought weapons to an anti-Islam event earlier this month has been arrested on charges that he made a terrorist threat, according to a release from the South Dakota Attorney General.

Ehab Abdulmutta Jaber, 45, was arrested Friday and charged with one count of terrorist threat, despite an earlier indication from Sioux Falls police that the man would face no charges.

When Jaber was arrested, a search was made of his residence. Law enforcement reports that they found methamphetamine.
A SWAT team was dispatched along with local police, Forster said, but once they arrived, Jaber was taken into custody in a "standard operation."

During a search of Jaber’s residence, the release said, law enforcement seized firearms as well as methamphetamine.
The methamphetamine find seems fortuitous for law enforcement; but it might explain the rant and poor choice of words in the facebook video.

To look at this objectively, consider if the religions were reversed. Suppose a Christian had worn the shirt with "Christian" instead of "Muslim" to a Muslim event. Suppose a Christian had made the facebook video. My experience is that the Christian would quickly have been arrested.

That is why you do not see such activity at other open carry events. There are many open carry events that you can see on the Internet. The participants are polite to the police, as was Ehab. They do not go to a van in the parking lot of an event they are protesting, and then post a video that can easily be taken as threatening.

I wish Ehad well, but fear he has made a mistake that will haunt him for the rest of his life.  When you are politically active for both the First and Second Amendments, there is no room for foolish bravado.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

FL More on Varn Shooting: Armed Woman Defends Husband, Shoots EX




Finally, on Easter weekend, the tension between the two men ended in an exchange of gunfire in a ranch pasture that left both dead and a third man injured. On Wednesday, the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office released dramatic new details about the sequence of events.

First, Milton Varn shot his brother Perry dead and fired on George "Terry" Long, hitting him in the shoulder. Then Milton Varn threatened to shoot his ex-wife, Joanne Varn, now married to Long. Fearing for her life, Joanne Varn shot and killed him, the Sheriff's Office said.

Deputies arrived at the ranch to find the bodies of Milton, 62, and Perry, 66. Long, 71, was treated and released from Tampa General Hospital this week.
More Here

Followup AR: Shooting of Michael A. Woith Ruled Justified



"It is the opinion of this office that James Wisely was justified in his use of force, which does not merit the filing of any criminal activity,” Sebastian County Prosecutor Dan Shue wrote in a news release.

Shue noted the applicable law as reading “A person is justified in using deadly physical force upon another person if the person reasonably believes that the other person is committing or about to commit a felony involving force or violence; using or about to use unlawful deadly physical force.”

The law goes on to say that a person may not use deadly physical force in self-defense if the person knows that he or she can avoid the necessity of using deadly physical force by retreating. However, a person is not required to retreat if the person is unable to retreat with complete safety, the law adds.

More Here

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Louisiana Constitutional Carry Bill



Louisiana passed a strong Constitutional protection for the right to keep and bear arms in 2012. Representative Barry Ivey is working to modernize the state laws to reflect the change desired by the voters.  Louisiana law recognizes the right to carry weapons openly, but requires a permit to carry concealed. From wafb.com:
However, House Bill 68 by Baton Rouge lawmaker, Rep. Barry Ivey, would do away with the permitting process. That means anywhere a person can legally carry a gun openly, they could also carry a concealed gun without a permit. Convicted felons would still not be allowed to carry.
HB 68 would not "do away" with the permitting process. The permitting process would remain in place. It simply would not be mandatory any longer. A commenter at legiscan writes that it is the House Administration of Criminal Justice committee that has killed the bill in the past. She notes that the requirements for a permit chill the exercise of the right to bear arms for many. From the comments at legiscan.com:
This bill has been shot down multuple times in the past years by the House Administration of Criminal Justice. It is time to let the poeple you represent vote on whats right for them and let this bill pass on to a vote of the people. Instead we have politicians who think they know whats best for you or police who dont want to deal with any hassle. Guess what, criminals are going to conceal anyway so this only affects law abiding citizens and the state because they count on this money. The only help we need on this one is to let us vote. There are alot of good people in this state that cant afford to take time off work ( not open on weekends)not to mention the $500.00 fee to get a lifetime concealed permit.
Louisiana has a shall issue concealed carry that was passed in 1996. Several incremental improvements in the law have been passed since then.  Honorably discharged veterans have been exempted from fees for the five year license. People who have had felony convictions expunged can now obtain permits. A lifetime permit is offered.

But those improvements still require the permit, with is not consistent with the Louisiana Constitutional Amendment. From the Constitution on the State of Louisiana:
Section 11. The right of each citizen to keep and bear arms is fundamental and shall not be infringed. Any restriction on this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.
It is hard to see that the requirement for a permit to conceal carry would pass the strict scrutiny standard. 13 other states do not require permits, and their crime rates are generally lower than that of Louisiana, so proving that the permit lowers crime would be difficult.

Passage of HB  68 seems unlikely this year. But New Hampshire and North Dakota have passed Constitutional Carry bills, and Alabama, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin bills are in play.

Montana passed a "permitless" carry bill for the third time this year. The bill would have extended "permitless" carry to the 1% of the state where a permit is required, but it was vetoed for a second time by Governor Bullock. South Dakota passed a Constitutional Carry bill for the second time, to have it vetoed the second time by Governor Daugaard.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Friday, April 21, 2017

AL: Armed Homeowner Detains Burglary Suspect for Police



Later that afternoon at approximately 1:55 p.m., officers responded to the 6100 block of Quail Run South in reference to a burglary in progress. Officers arrived and observed that the male victim had detained the burglary suspect identified as 35-year-old Steven Adcock.

The victim told police that Adcock had broken into his shed. Adcock was arrested and transported to Mobile County metro Jail.
More Here

AL: Yard Worker Shoots Aggressive Dog



“When he charged at me he was looking like he was going to attack me, so I had to pull out my gun and shoot him,” Hardy said. “I didn't want to shoot the dog.”

Hardy said he'd never had any trouble with the neighbor's dogs before but was warned recently by the homeowner who employs him to be careful of them.

“The owner just told me this last month to start watching out for those dogs,” Hardy said. “I don't know where they came from. I don't know if they were in the house or they were chained up, but now they're loose, and that fence is broken, and that's when they jumped across the fence at me.”
More Here

IN: Armed Woman Stops Home Invasion with Warning Shot



EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) -

An Evansville woman was asleep when someone began kicking in the door. The noise woke her up so she immediately grabbed some protection, her gun.

The 76-year-old woman says she saw a man without a shirt on attempting to enter her home. She warned him she had a gun and wasn't afraid to shoot. She proved just that by shooting a warning shot in the grass, and police say she had that right.

"She's in her upper 70s, and she has every right to defend herself. That's her castle and in Indiana, the castle doctrine is in effect," Sgt. Jason Cullum said.
More Here

Thursday, April 20, 2017

OK: Woman Shoots, Kills, Man Attempting Break-in

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -A man is dead after police say he was shot while trying to break into a woman's home in Lawton.

More Here

TX: Domestic Defense, Father Shoots Son

The 28-year-old attempted to run over his father after an argument, KXAS-TV (NBC5) reported. The man then shot his son in self-defense, police said.

More Here

DE: Home invasion Gunfight, two Intruders and Resident Wounded



When they arrived, officers found two men lying on the ground between buildings suffering from gunshot wounds. An investigation revealed one of those men was a victim of the home invasion and the other was a suspect.

Hours later, a third person who police learned involved in the home invasion and subsequent exchange of gunfire showed up at a hospital with a gunshot wound.
More Here

WA: Domestic Defense, 19-Year-Old Woman Shoots Ex



SEATTLE, WA - A 19-year-old woman had to shoot her ex-boyfriend as he charged at her holding a gun in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood Monday morning, Seattle police say. The 32-year-old man was shot in the leg, but is expected to recover. However, Seattle police intend to arrest him on felony harassment charges as soon as he's discharged from the hospital.
More Here

CA: Shotgun Fired During Struggle, Intruder Flees



After confronting the suspect, a struggle for control of the shotgun ensured resulting in the discharge of one shot. The suspect then fled on foot in an unknown direction and responding officers from the Elk Grove Police Department were unable to locate the suspect.
More Here

Venezuela Dictatorship to Arm Brownshirts


Venezuela is following a predictable pattern of dictators as they feel threatened. They disarm the general population, while allowing or insuring that their loyalists are armed. It is a pattern as old as history. The English did it by disarming the Irish, then the Catholics. Responses to the later disarmament brought about the English Bill of Rights, which served as the base for our Second Amendment.  The British did it again in India, after the mutiny/revolt in 1857.

Hitler did it, building on the base that the Weimar Republic built in the late 1920s.  If you were in the SS or SA, you could buy guns. Jews were forced to surrender their weapons. Only persons of "undoubted reliability" who "demonstrated need" were allowed to obtain "firearms acquisition permits or firearm carry permits". (page 59, translation, Gateway to Tyranny)

The English gun laws in the 20th century were based on the desire to disarm "unreliable" elements, and give the guns to those in support of the ruling government.

Saddam Hussein gave out guns and gun permits to his supporters.

Venezuela enacted stricter and stricter gun controls over the period of the Chavez/Maduro regime.  Venezuela banned the commercial sale of guns and ammunition in 2012. The murder rate in Venezuela has become one of the highest in the world. Police are routinely murdered for their guns.

But making guns illegal for most of the people is only half of the equation. As Venezuela is falling apart, unable to feed its people or to keep crime under some control, the dictator Maduro has decided to arm those he thinks are loyal.  From foxnews.com:
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said he will expand the number of civilians involved in armed militias, providing guns to as many as 400,000 loyalists.

The announcement came as Maduro's opponents are gearing up for what they pledge will be the largest rally yet to press for elections and a host of other demands Wednesday.

The Bolivarian militias, currently at approximately 100,000, were created by the late Hugo Chavez to assist the armed forces in the defense of his revolution from external and domestic attacks.

Speaking to thousands of militia members dressed in beige uniforms gathered in front of the presidential palace, Maduro said that vision remains relevant as Venezuela continues to face "imperialist aggression."

"A gun for every militiaman!" he cried.
Many have noted a glaring inconsistency. There are only about 100,000 Bolivarian militiamen at present. They do not have arms in the pictures. We are to believe that there are another 300,000 "loyal" Venezuelans that the Madura regime is willing to arm? It seems a bit unlikely. Even strongholds of Chavista are showing scenes of discontent with the regime.

I look forward to seeing pictures of those brown ( or is it tan) shirted militiamen walking around the streets of Caracas, armed.

A brutal dictator who disarms his people, and is willing to keep the blood flowing in the streets and concentration camps, can stay in power.

Leftist dictators have demonstrated the ability to do so, again and again.

But today, everyone has digital cameras. Venezuela has shown that it does not have the ability to control the flow of information with the ruthlessness and effectiveness of North Korea. Venezuela does not have a Walter Durante who is willing to lie about the reality of a Soviet enforced famine to a complicit New York Times. That may make a difference.

As an aside, is the left handed salute a Venezuelan innovation? Do other countries use it?

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch




Alabama Senate Passes Constitutional Carry






The Alabama legislature is moving toward passing Constitutional Carry. The bill, SB 24, has passed the Senate, 26 to 8 on Tuesday, 18 April, 2017.  The bill would enforce the Alabama Constitutional amendment passed in 2014.

Amendment 3 passed with 72.5% of the vote in 2014. SB24 is the legislature enforcing the Constitutional amendment with statutory reform. Here is a description of Amendment 3. From ballotpedia:
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to provide that every citizen has a fundamental right to bear arms and that any restriction on this right would be subject to strict scrutiny; and to provide that no international treaty or law shall prohibit, limit, or otherwise interfere with a citizen's fundamental right to bear arms.
SB24 removes the requirement to have a permit in order for people to exercise their fundamental right to bear arms under the Alabama Constitution, and under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.

According to the NRA-ILA, the bill is likely to be assigned to the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.  The Chairman of the committee is Allen Treadaway.  Treadaway is a police officer as well as a legislator. From legislature.state.al.us:
He was born on September 25, 1961, and received his Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission from the Birmingham Police Academy. Representative Treadaway serves as a Police Captain with the City of Birmingham.

In 2010, he received a 92% rating from the NRA political victory fund.

Allen Treadaway voted to put amendment 3 on the ballot. If SB24 is approved by Treadaway's committee, it will likely pass in the House. The NRA-ILA is providing a link to contact Treadaway. If the bill passes the House, it would be sent to Governor Kay Ivy.

Governor Ivy received an A rating and an endorsement from the NRA-ILA in 2014.  From al.com:
The National Rifle Association has issued its endorsements and grades in a number of Alabama races, and big endorsement winners are incumbent Gov. Robert Bentley and Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey.

Bentley and Ivey are both Republican incumbents elected in 2010 who face primary opposition. Not only did both earn A grades, they won endorsements.
Alabama is on track to be the third state to pass Constitutional carry this year. New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signed a bill that brought New Hampshire into the Constitutional carry club on 22 February, 2017.  North Dakota's bill was signed into law by Governor Dick Burgun on 23 March, 2017.

There are 13 current members of the Constitutional Carry Club. They are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming, and West Virginia.

Vermont was the only Constitutional Carry state until 2003, when Alaska passed its modernization bill. Arizona was next, in 2010. Since 2010, ten more states have modernized state law to reflect respect for the exercise of the Second Amendment.

Several other states have legislation introduced or in process.  Indiana, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Virgina, Utah, and Wisconsin all introduced bills in 2017. North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin bills are currently in play.

Montana passed a "permitless" carry bill for the third time this year. The bill would have extended "permitless" carry to the 1% of the state where a permit is required, but it was vetoed for a second time by Governor Bullock. South Dakota passed a Constitutional Carry bill for the second time, to have it vetoed the second time by Governor Daugaard.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

MI: Mistaken Identity Shooting; Teen Mistakes Cops for Burglars



The 19-year-old opened fired on two officers with a shotgun “fearing for the safety” of his mother and brother, Detroit police Chief James Craig said at a media briefing on Monday.

He had already called police three times believing his family’s home along Lesure Road in west Detroit was being targeted by several break-in attempts on Sunday.
More Here

MA: Gunfight, Resident and Invastion Suspect both Wounded


A man and woman inside the home told police that the man had approached the side door of the home, demanding entrance and threatening a man and woman inside with his gun.

The believed burglar and a male resident inside the home exchanged gunfire, police say, and both were hit. The resident, 24, was found by police suffering from a serious gunshot wound.

More Here

Followup MD: Man who shot Firefighters Sentenced to Four Years on Weapons Charge

The firefighters were breaking into Lumkin's home. Lumpkin was ill with diabetes.

Darrell Lumpkin, 62, pleaded guilty this year to an illegal-weapon charge in the shooting that left Ulmschneider dead and injured another firefighter as well as Lumpkin’s brother.

“I’m sorry for the family,” Lumpkin said at his sentencing hearing Friday afternoon. “I was sick at the time.”

More Here

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

SC: Constitutional Carry to be Heard in Senate, Governor McMaster Says He Will Sign it



The South Carolina House passed Constitutional Carry as H. 3930, 64-36 on 5 April, 2017.  The move to modernize South Carolina law has progressed to the Senate. The Constitutional Carry companion bill S. 449 will be heard in the Senate this week, the 18th of April. From the charlotteobserver.com:
What did make it in time to be considered for passage this year? A bill that would make it legal for residents to carry guns – concealed or openly – without a permit or training. It passed the House and is being considered in the Senate this week. McMaster said he would sign it if it reaches his desk.
Governor McMaster has said that he would sign a Constitutional Carry bill if it passes. From postandcourier.com:
COLUMBIA — Gov. Henry McMaster said Friday he would sign a law granting open, permit-less carry of weapons if it passes the General Assembly.

"Gov. McMaster appreciates the House’s hard work on this bill, believes it is constitutional and will sign it if it reaches his desk,” McMaster spokesman Brian Symmes said.
Bills designed to impose more infringements on the exercise of Second Amendment rights in South Carolina have not been popular. A bill to increase the wait to exercise Second Amendment rights failed to make the legislative deadline.

In 2016, the Senate stopped a Constitutional Carry bill supported by Senator Lee Bright. Bright lost his primary and is no longer in the South Carolina legislature. One of the Senators who voted against the bill last year, is a sponsor of S. 449 this year.  Senator Katrina Frye Shealy (R) Lexington was one of the primary opponents. She is still on the Judiciary Committee, which is a likely place for the bill to be sent in the senate.

The Constitutional Carry bills in South Carolina remove the restrictions on both open and concealed carry of handguns. South Carolina is one of only five states that ban the open carry of holstered handguns in most public places.

Constitutional Carry, or very close approximations, were the law in 11 states at the beginning of 2016.  In the first quarter of 2017, New Hampshire and North Dakota have joined the club.  We will find out if South Carolina will join the club in the next few weeks.


©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

TN: Bill would reduce Penalty of Carrying Handguns



Tennessee, as part of reconstruction after the Civil War, banned the open or concealed carry of handguns.  The state constitution was changed to allow this infringement of the right to bear arms in 1870.  From the 1870 Tennessee Constitution:
That the citizens of this State have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defense; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms with a view to prevent crime. Art. I, § 26 (enacted 1870).
Some Tennessee legislators are attempting to minimize the infringement by reducing the penalty for bearing handguns from a misdemeanor to a civil offense. The penalty would be a fine of $25 for the first offense, and $50 for the second offense.

Tennessee has a shall issue permit law. The law partially restores the right to carry handguns, openly or concealed, but requires a state issued permit to exercise that right.

In order to move toward Constitutional Carry, the intermediate step of reducing the penalty for carrying without a permit would be enacted with HB 1176:
As introduced, reduces the penalty for the offense of carrying a handgun without a permit and with the intent to go armed to a Class C misdemeanor with a $25 fine for a first offense or $50 for a second or subsequent offense and requires a citation to be issued in lieu of arrest. - Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13 and Title 40.
 The bill has been passed from the Civil Justice Committee to the Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee.

This late in the year, the chances of passage do not look good.

 ©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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AZ: Gun and Knife Fight in Glendale



The altercation started after two men came to the victim's home, police said. The victim was stabbed in the arm and in turn, shot one of the suspects.

The pair fled the scene before police arrived and the victim allegedly admitted to shooting one of the men, authorities said.
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WA: Homeowner Shoots, Kills 27-Year-Old Intruder



TACOMA, Wash. -- A homeowner shot and killed a 27-year-old man who forced his way into his home early Saturday morning.
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AL: Gunfight, Homeowner Shoots Intruder, Intruder Dies



The caller stated two white males entered his residence and attempted to rob him. The caller said one of the suspects pulled out a weapon and, at that point, gun fire was exchanged between the robbery victim and one of the suspects.





Emergency personnel arrived and found the robbery victim who directed the medical personnel to the wounded suspect, Steven Alan Ammons, 24, of Ozark. Ammons was transported to the Southeast Alabama Medical Center for further treatment. At 4:20 am. Thursday, Ammons was pronounced dead.

More Here

Monday, April 17, 2017

Requiring CCW for Employees: A Smart Move



In a recent defense story from Cleveland, Ohio, a man said that he had a concealed carry permit because his past employer required it. From cleveland.com:
He said he has a concealed carry permit because he used to work at a barbershop, and the owner required barbers to get their concealed carry licenses for their protection.
I suspect that more businesses are taking this approach. It brings about many benefits. Last year, we had the example of a Georgia business owner who required his employees to be armed. He would give them a Taurus Judge revolver when they showed him their concealed carry permit.

Here are a few of the advantages.  They have been hidden behind false narratives and misinformation about people who legally carry guns.

1. Employees with a concealed carry permit are a deterrent to robbery and physical attacks on the business premises.  This may seem obvious, but you will find many who claim, without support, that it is not so.  Having more than one employee armed at a location makes it an extremely unattractive target.  There are too many variables, and too much to go wrong for any thinking robber.

2. There is an obvious, clear screen to limit employees to a select, high quality level.  Permit holders are self selected to be one of the most law abiding, responsible groups in the nation.  Their crime rates are only a fraction of those of police officers; they are many more times as law abiding as the general population.

3. Your employees are in a group that puts a high value on personal responsibility and self reliance.  This is the group least likely to blame you for personal failures, or to see your business as a potential source of a "liability lottery".  They look ahead, see problems, and do things about them. 

4. The state is now doing a continuous screening process for you, one that is actionable and clear.  If an employee becomes likely to have problems (according to the state, not the employer), their permit will be taken from them.  The employer then has reason to dismiss the employee.

In some states there is another benefit.

Wisconsin, Kansas, and Tennessee offer immunity from lawsuit if the employer allows employees to be armed. From Wis. Stat. § 175.60(21)(b), (c):
(b) A person that does not prohibit an individual from carrying a concealed weapon on property that the person owns or occupies is immune from any liability arising from its decision.
From kslegislature.org 75-7c10(c)(2)
(2) Any private entity which does not provide adequate security measures in a private building and which allows the carrying of a concealed handgun shall not be liable for any wrongful act or omission relating to actions of persons carrying a concealed handgun concerning acts or omissions regarding such handguns.
From tndefenselitigation.com:

(a) A person, business, or other entity that owns, controls, or manages property and has the authority to prohibit weapons on that property by posting, pursuant to § 39–17–1359, shall be immune from civil liability with respect to any claim based on such person's, business's, or other entity's failure to adopt a policy that prohibits weapons on the property by posting pursuant to § 39–17–1359.

The advantages are clear. We will be seeing more business owners with this policy.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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