Thursday, February 23, 2017

20+ years of FBI data – “Assault Rifles” pose little threat to public safety





Since 1995 (the year after the 1994-2004 Assault Weapons Ban), the FBI has maintained a very detailed list of how many people have died at the hands of assault weapons and/or rifles, which are merged into the same group. Therefore, we can make a solid comparison on what gun violence looks like.

In 2014, you are 67% less likely to be murdered by an assault weapon or rifle than you were in 1995.

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4th Circuit Rules Common Rifles not Protected by Second Amendment



On 21 February, 2017, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that common semi-automatic rifles are not protected by the Second Amendment of the Constitution. The ban includes semi-automatic rifles that can take detachable magazines and have two of these three features: folding stock, grenade/flare launcher, or flash hider.  There is a long list of existing models that are explicitly banned, including all AR15s and variants, and all AK47s and variants. The list of banned guns includes some firearms that are not semi-automatic, such as a version of the Mossberg 500 pump shotgun. The law also bans all detachable magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

From the decision:
As explained below, we are satisfied to affirm the district court’s judgment, in large part adopting the Opinion’s cogent reasoning as to why the FSA contravenes neither the Second Amendment nor the Fourteenth. We diverge from the district court on one notable point: We conclude — contrary to the now-vacated decision of our prior panel — that the banned assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are not protected by the Second Amendment. That is, we are convinced that the banned assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are among those arms that are “like” “M-16 rifles” — “weapons that are most useful in military service” — which the Heller Court singled out as being beyond the Second Amendment’s reach. See 554 U.S. at 627 (rejecting the notion that the Second Amendment safeguards “M-16 rifles and the like”). Put simply, we have no power to extend Second Amendment protection to the weapons of war that the Heller decision explicitly excluded from such coverage.
The M-16 rifles mentioned in Heller were included in the category "Dangerous and unusual weapons.  From the Heller decision:
We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those "in common use at the time." 307 U. S., at 179. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of "dangerous and unusual weapons." See 4 Blackstone 148-149 (1769); 3 B. Wilson, Works of the Honourable James Wilson 79 (1804); J. Dunlap, The New-York Justice 8 (1815); C. Humphreys, A Compendium of the Common Law in Force in Kentucky 482 (1822); 1 W. Russell, A Treatise on Crimes and Indictable Misdemeanors 271-272 (1831); H. Stephen, Summary of the Criminal Law 48 (1840); E. Lewis, An Abridgment of the Criminal Law of the United States 64 (1847); F. Wharton, A Treatise on the Criminal Law of the United States 726 (1852). See also State v. Langford, 10 N. C. 381, 383-384 (1824); O'Neill v. State, 16 Ala. 65, 67 (1849); English v. State, 35 Tex. 473, 476 (1871); State v. Lanier, 71 N. C. 288, 289 (1874).

It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service--M-16 rifles and the like--may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause. But as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment's ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty. It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large. Indeed, it may be true that no amount of small arms could be useful against modern-day bombers and tanks. But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right.
The problem for the Fourth Circuit decision is that the semi-automatic and other firearms banned are not "dangerous and unusual". AR15 and similar semi-automatic rifles are the most popular rifles in the United States, numbering about 5-10 million.  There are likely a hundred million standard capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds in use in the United States.  The Supreme Court unanimously held, in the Caetano PER CURIAM decision (pdf), that:

The Court has held that “the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding,” District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U. S. 570, 582 (2008), and that this “Second Amendment right is fully applicable to the States,” McDonald v.Chicago, 561 U. S. 742, 750 (2010).
Rifles, as a group, are arms that are least likely to be used in homicides. The Fourth Circuit cleverly avoided considering that fact by pre-emptively excluding those rifles from the protection of the Second Amendment. Because they excluded the rifles from Second Amendment protection, the Court avoided the requirement to apply strict scrutiny to the law.

From the FBI statistics, Rifles are used to commit homicide far less often then hands and feet, knives, or blunt objects.   In 2014, 248 homicides, total, were committed with all rifles.  Hands and feet were used in 660 homicides. Knives were used in 1,490 homicides. Blunt objects were used in 428.  The numbers have been decreasing for several years.

Semi-automatic rifles are commonly in use, therefore they are not "unusual". They are far less often used in homicides than pistols, hands and feet, knives, or blunt objects. Therefore they are not "dangerous" in the context that they are more than usually dangerous.  All potential weapons are "dangerous". In context, dangerous has to mean "more than usually dangerous".

It is likely the case will be appealed to the Supreme Court.  It is far less likely that they will accept the case.  With an eight member Supreme Court, it is very uncertain that the Supreme Court would overturn this decision.


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

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NH: Governor Sununu Signs Constitutional Carry



Governor Chris Sununu has signed SB12, the "permitless" or Constitutional carry bill for New Hampshire in a signing ceremony.  The ceremony was held at 10:30 Eastern time, today, 22 February, 2017. From Governor Sununu's facebook page:
Signing #SB12 into law is a commitment I made to the people of New Hampshire. I am proud today to fulfill that commitment.
Similar bills were vetoed twice by former Democrat Governor Maggie Hassan.  Hassan left the Governor's mansion to become a U.S. Senator from New Hampshire.

The bill passed with solid margins in the Senate, 13-10, and in the House, 200-97. Here is the analysis of SB12 from the New Hampshire legislature:
I. Increases the length of time for which a license to carry a pistol or revolver is valid.
II. Allows a person to carry a loaded, concealed pistol or revolver without a license unless such person is otherwise prohibited by New Hampshire statute.

III. Requires the director of the division of state police to negotiate and enter into agreements with other jurisdictions to recognize in those jurisdictions the validity of the license to carry issued in this state.

IV. Repeals the requirement to obtain a license to carry a concealed pistol or revolver.
A campaign to push Governor Sununu to veto the bill was pushed by Michael Bloomberg organizations. Some New Hampshire police organizations joined the campaign.  From the eagletribune.com:
CONCORD, N.H. — Senate Bill 12, a bill ending the permit requirement to carry concealed guns in New Hampshire, will allow sex offenders and children to carry certain firearms concealed if signed by Gov. Chris Sununu, according to the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police.
Reading carefully, the police are worried that people under the age of 18 might legally carry rifles and shotguns concealed.  They are also worried that people who have committed some misdemeanors would be able to carry concealed.

Their efforts were blunted by the fact that both Vermont and Maine have similar rights to carry firearms. Vermont has been a "permitless" or Constitutional carry state for its entire existence; Maine joined the club last year. Neither has had any adverse experiences with Constitutional carry.

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

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

IN: Armed Woman Rescues Officer, Fataly Shoots Attacker



During their interaction, police say Holland began to resist the officer and started a fight.

A woman at a nearby home came to assist the officer, who was reportedly being overtaken by Holland. The woman fired a single shot from her personal firearm, hitting Holland in the torso.

He was given first aid by witnesses and EMS transported him to the Dearborn County Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
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OR: Business Owner Shoots Man who Attacked Him



PORTLAND, Ore. – A man shot and wounded Monday afternoon during a confrontation with a Southeast Portland business owner has died, police said.

The business owner, 47-year-old Charlie Win Chan, called 911 to report the shooting, according to Sgt. Pete Simpson with Portland Police. He cooperated with the investigation and surrendered his handgun.

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TN: Domestic Defense, Estranged Husband Shot



HENRY COUNTY, Tenn. — Henry County deputies say one man died after being shot by a resident inside a home on Turkey Lane.

Investigators say Jon Goodlow went to the home Friday night after following a GPS tracking device placed on his estranged wife’s car.
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OH: Armed DQ Employee Shoots Armed Robber



MAYFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio - An employee of a Dairy Queen in Mayfield Heights shot a would-be armed robber Sunday evening.

Police report that the suspect came into the store at 5713 Mayfield Road at 10:20 p.m. and pointed a gun at employees. That was when the employee, who had a CCW permit, shot the suspect once.
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Prohibited Possessor Accepts 3 1/2 Years in Prison in 80% Receiver/Machine Shop Case



A machine shop/80% receiver case has resulted in a 3 1/2  year sentence for a California man, Daniel Crowninshield, of Sacramento. Crowninshield is 54 years old.

Crowninshield plead guilty. He did not insist on a jury trial. It is easy to see why.  Here is the plea agreement.  The agreement was signed on April 14, 2016.

Crowninshield is a prohibited possessor. He was convicted of domestic violence in 2000 and again in 2001.  The indictment shows that he possessed three pistols, two M-16 type receivers, and an AK type receiver.  The receivers were characterized as machine guns.

He was indicted on six counts.

1. Unlawful dealing in firearms - based on the manufacturing of receivers without a license, I would presume.

2.  Possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

3.  Possession of a machinegun.

4-6 Possession of an unregistered firearm ( U.S.C. Section 5861(d)). Probably 80% receivers that were completed and did not have serial numbers.

Those are the six crimes (counts) mentioned in the indictment.

Potential jail time was up to 55 years in federal prison.

All the charges against Crowninshield were federal charges.

Crowninshield advertised on firearms forums under the name of Dr. Death.  He operated in the "open" and did not attempt to conceal his operation. It was an undercover agent from the California Department of Justice that gave critical testimony about Crowninshield's operation: From justice.gov.com:
51. UC#1 then asked if CROWNINSHIELD had AR-15 blanks for sale. CROWNINSHIELD led UC#1 to the office where CROWNINSHIELD showed UC#1 AR-15 blanks and AR-10 blanks that were available. UC#1 asked CROWNINSHIELD how long it would take to mill the blanks into completed lower receivers. CROWNINSHIELD responded that the process could be completed in under 20 minutes. UC#1 told CROWNINSHIELD that UC#1 would buy two AR-15 blanks and one AR-10 blank. UC#1 paid $920, covering the cost of the AR-15 and AR-10 blanks, as well as the machine work on all three blanks to convert them into lower receivers.

52. CROWNINSHIELD directed UC#1 to a large table near one of the CNC machines 10.CROWNINSHIELD took the AR-15 blank purchased by UC#1 and placed it into a jig that fit around the AR-15 blank. UC#1 informed CROWNINSHIELD that UC#1 has not done this before. CROWNINSHIELD responded if he went too fast just tell him to start over. CROWNINSHIELD then guided UC#1 to load the AR-15 blank into the CNC machine, close the door, and hit a specific button to start the machine. UC#1 asked CROWNINSHIELD how much the CNC machines cost and CROWNINSHIELD said a couple hundred thousand. CROWNINSHIELD added that the CNC machines were paid off.

53. Once the CNC machine process was completed, CROWNINSHIELD then instructed UC#1 on how to drill the first AR-15 blank; UC#1 then completed some of the drilling on a drill press. With the assistance of CROWNINSHIELD, UC#1 completed the drilling on all three blanks. Upon completion of the drilling, UC#1 left C&G with two completed AR-15 lower receivers and oneAR-10 lower receiver.
A participant at calguns.net had a different experience.   From a discussion in 2014 on calguns.net:
I watched one happen at his facility. Dr. Death didn't touch the machine once. He pointed to things and explained what to do. That's it. Mind you... not the best done receiver... but regardless, he did none of the lifting himself. It's all programmed. I doubt he even wrote the program. You can download this stuff.
Another participant at calguns.net had a similar experience:
I saw the same thing, and he was very careful not to touch anything in the process. You positioned it, clamped it, he took a look and ok'ed it, and you hit the button.
I watched the process with a half dozen different customers, same way every time.
After reading the documents, I'm still trying to figure out "exactly" what the charges are, and what he did wrong, to be charged.
"He" wasn't manufacturing anything, and the lowers were machined to prevent any F/A parts from being used.
Here is yet a third participant from calguns.net:
I know someone that used his shop, hehe and it was on the up and up. The guy had to even clamp the lower in the CNC. No one touched it but the builder. Then it was on to the drill press to finish.
During the discussion above, on calguns.net, no one mentioned, or apparently knew, that Crowninshield was a prohibited possessor or that he illegally possessed firearms.

Crowninshield plead guilty to one count of unlawful manufacture of a firearm, and one count of dealing firearms. He got a 3 1/2 year sentence.  Two CNC machines and two drill presses, as well as all firearms and ammunition mentioned in the indictment were forfeited.  He also paid a $200 fee.

There has been much discussion of how machine shops might rent equipment, such as CNC machines to individuals to machine 80% receivers into completed receivers.  There has been discussion of what constitutes instruction, and what constitutes machining. Freedom of speech covers instruction on how to operate machines.

Obvious lessons from the Crowninshield case are:

1. Do not be a prohibited possessor of other firearms while running such an operation.

2. Be able to document that you never touched an 80% receiver that was machined at your shop. A simple way to do this would be to require that participants wear red gloves, and you wear no gloves, then video the machine operations showing the hands doing the operation.

3. Do not sell the 80% receivers yourself.

4. Assume that everything you say will be recorded. Perhaps a sign in the shop, to that effect, would be useful. Much was made of Crowninshield asking an agent about why he wanted to machine four receivers. Was he equipping a private army?, Crowninshield joked.  The agent replied "of course" "isn't that what this is all about".

5. Have a good lawyer on retainer.

Individual manufacture of guns has always been done.  It is even done in prison. But technology is making the process easier than ever before.

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

Gun Watch

AR: Campus Carry Compromise Considered




The campus carry bill being debated in the Arkansas legislature has undergone a considerable evolution.  It started as a bill to require campus administrators to allow staff with a concealed carry permit to carry on campus.  The staff would have been required to notify the administration. Graduate students were excluded from eligibility. The bill is HB 1249

An attempt was made to require 16 hours of additional training. That amendment was passed, then defeated.  Negotiations resulted in a compromise where additional training is required, but the pool of eligible people is increased to anyone age 25 or older, who have an Arkansas concealed carry permit. From arkansasmatters.com:
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The debate over guns on college campus's took another turn Monday as a compromise was reached between state Republican leaders.

The new proposal allows anyone age 25 and older to bring their guns on campus so long as they have a conceal carry permit and attend up to 16 hours of active shooter training.
 From the amendment, here are the requirements for the training:
(2)(A) A training program administered under this subsection may consist of up to sixteen (16) hours and may include:

(i) Active shooter training;
(ii) Defensive tactics;
(iii) Weapon retention; and
(iv) Handgun safety and maintenance.

(B) The costs of the training program under this subsection shall not exceed a nominal amount.

(C) The Department of Arkansas State Police shall maintain a list of licensees who have successfully completed a training program under this subsection.
HR 1249 has already passed the House.  This compromise  will have to pass the Senate Judiciary committee, then the full Senate, and then go back to the House.

If it clears those hurdles, it will be sent to Governor Hutchinson. Governor Hutchinson came out in favor of the earlier version of the bill that passed the House.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- A bill making it legal for people who work at state universities to bring guns onto campus passes the state house, and now Governor Asa Hutchinson is coming out as a supporter.

Hutchinson said he supports the provisions allowing universities to require active shooter training before staff members can bring their weapons on campus.
The higher education lobby is pulling out the stops to prevent this bill from passing. No significant problems have been found in the 150 plus campuses where the right to bear arms has been partly restored. From concealed campus.org:
Among the more than 150 college campuses that currently allow concealed carry, there have been three accidental/negligent discharges—two by faculty/staff and one by a student. Two of the negligent discharges were the result of the license holder carrying the gun in a pants pocket without a holster (both of these incidents resulted in non-life-threatening injuries to the license holder’s leg), and one was the result of the license holder showing a new gun—a gun with which she was not yet familiar—to her coworkers (this incident resulted in only minor abrasions that did not require medical attention). All three of these incidents could have been avoided through proper training and/or the implementation of appropriate policies (e.g., allowing colleges to require that licensed students, faculty, and staff keep handguns holstered or cased at all times) that do not restrict the ability of license holders to carry concealed handguns for personal protection.
Institutes of higher learning have become power centers of "progressives". It appears that the debate is not about safety, but about power. Passing campus carry shows college administrators that they are controlled by the legislature, not the other way around.

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

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

WA: Home Invasion, 2 Juveniles Shot


YAKIMA, Wash. — A juvenile was shot in the chest during a west Yakima home invasion robbery early Sunday in which several masked suspects, who were armed, were confronted by one of the people living in the home.


The juvenile was taken to a local hospital in critical condition after the incident. Police arrived at the home in the 800 block of South 46th Avenue about 4:40 a.m. to find an armed homeowner who had detained one of the intruders.
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TX: Gunfight, Clerk Shoots Robbery Suspect



Swanton said officers learned at least one man walked into the store and brandished a handgun, which he fired one time into the ceiling.

The store clerk also had a handgun which he pulled out and began firing at the suspect, Swanton said.

The suspect was hit twice in the exchange of gunfire but the clerk and customers inside the store were able to escape injury.
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CO: Man Tells Police he Returned Fire after being Fired at



A man who said he thought he heard someone breaking into his apartment building early Friday told police he returned fire after being shot at twice when he went to investigate.

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Domestic Violence: More Guns, Less Injury

A new study shows that only 17 of 35,413 domestic violence incidents resulted in a gunshot wound. The study was based on police reports collected in Philadelphia in 2013.

From psychcentral.com:
A new study shows that when guns are part of domestic violence, women actually suffer fewer injuries, but experience greater fear.

According to a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, that’s because when a gun enters the situation, women are more likely to back down than fight back.
This is consistent with the use of guns in other crimes, and in self-defense. It is not limited to women. Men who are threatened with a gun are also more likely to back down than fight back.

People who commit robberies with guns instead of other weapons are less likely to physically harm their victims.

People who use guns for self defense are less likely to suffer injuries than people who use other weapons, hands and feet for defense, or who use other strategies.

While Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is characterized as violence by men against women, the results from the abstract show that there is a substantial amount of violence that is not man on woman.  From the study:
Results: Of the 35,413 incidents, 6,573 involved hands, fists, or feet, and 1,866 involved external weapons of which 576 were guns. Most incidents were male-on-female: 63.4% (no weapon), 77.4% (bodily weapon), 50.2% (nongun external weapon), and 79.5% (gun). Guns were used most often to threaten the partner (69.1%). When a gun (vs. bodily or nongun external weapon) was used, IPV victims were less likely to have visible injuries (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.64 and 0.23, respectively)—offenders were less likely to have pushed or shoved, grabbed, punched, or kicked the victim—but (victims) were more likely to be frightened (AOR = 3.13 and 1.49, respectively).
These are the incidents that were reported to the police, which may result in selection bias. Men are less likely to seek help for Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) than women are. Numerous studies have shown that women use IPV against men at a rate that is equal or higher than men use IPV against women.

35,413 incidents were studied from the Philadelphia Police Department. 576 of the events with weapons were alleged to involved guns (1.6%). 

The incidents and usage are "alleged" because they are based on accounts that were told to officers at the scene by the person described as the victim.
That form included information about what the responding officer saw and did at the scene, as well as a body map to indicate injuries and a place for what Sorenson described as the “narrative,” where officers write in their own words what the victim described happened.
These are not adjudicated cases; they are police reports.

While 576 cases were classified as  "Guns were used", the data shows 17 cases involved someone being shot. 40 cases involved guns being fired. The gun was used as a blunt instrument in 33 cases.  In 187 of the incidents, no gun was seen. 

Of 35,413 incidents over three quarters did not involve a weapon or physical attack.

I asked a retired officer if those numbers seemed reasonable. Without hesitation, he said most of the time officers go to domestic violence calls, they are responding to an argument, with no violence involved.


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

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Followup AL: David Hutchins not Guilty in Murder Trial





David Hutchins was found not guilty of murder on Friday evening after deliberation found that he did act in self-defense when he shot and killed Chris Timberlake.

The state and defense gave their final arguments before the jury deliberated Friday afternoon in the murder trial against Hutchins.


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WA: Gunfight, Man Uses Gunfire to Drive off Masked Intruders



SEATTLE -- A Rainier Beach resident who met a masked intruder on the stairs of his house early Friday morning opened fire, police report.

The gunshot prompted the intruder and other suspects to run away, police said. Police later arrested one suspect.

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Followup OR: Case Against Bob Swan Dismissed



Today, the Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Fleming confirmed that her office had dismissed the case against Brian Swan, who was arrested for shooting a man last April he said was an intruder.

Fleming said that the man who had been shot could not be located to testify. “Unfortunately,” she said, “in spite of a lot of effort to try to locate the victim, we could not find him…We had to dismiss with the understanding we can refile if we locate the victim.”
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FL: Intruder Shot by Homeown Found Outside



JACKSONVILLE, FLa - A home intruder was shot Saturday night while inside a Westside home, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said.

A homeowner on Moses Street, in the Sweet Water neighborhood near the intersection of Wilson Street and Interstate 295, called police around 11:30 p.m. reporting that they shot at an intruder.
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MI: Armed Customer, Robbers in Gunfight at Store



A customer at a Roseville party store fights back against a couple of would-be robbers.

Two crooks came in covering their faces, one of them pointing a gun. One of them hopped on the counter when suddenly, he was confronted by someone else with a gun.

A customer was also armed and he started shooting. The masked men took off and police believe one of them may have been hit.

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

MO: Neighbor Shoots Robbery Suspect

CLAYTON, MO. (AP) - A north St. Louis County man is facing robbery charges, and is hospitalized with gunshot wounds, after allegedly trying to rob a man, only to be shot by the victim's neighbor.

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Saved by the Second: Interview with Martha Salomaa



Martha Salomaa is an inspiring, badass mother who saved herself and her two daughters by shooting an intruder. You can watch her amazing story in this just-released CarbonTV web-series pilot, “Saved by the Second.” For more about Martha, and how her life – and that of her children – has changed since that dangerous encounter, check out the exclusive Q&A and watch her story below.
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TX: Off Duty Officer Shoots Man who Attacked him



The man pulled out a heavy metal rod used in automotive repair work known as a "pickle fork" because of its resemblance to the smaller dining utensil. Acevado said it was clear the man intended to use it as a weapon against Johnson, who was in full Houston police uniform.

"It can lead to serious bodily injury or death," Acevado said.

HPD officials said Johnson fired "more than once" at the burglary suspect.

Acevado warned against using a dangerous weapon on a police officer in uniform. "You can almost be assured you're going to get shot," he said.

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CA: Man with Concealed Carry Permit involved in Self Defense Shooting



Initial dispatch calls at 9:13 p.m. Wednesday said the shooting was possibly related to road rage, though DiMatteo said that wasn’t the case. Michael Lake, 27, stopped at a red light when the man approached his vehicle while riding a bicycle.

It’s unknown why the two began fighting but the altercation ended with Lake shooting and killing the man, police said.

When they arrived, officers found a green car at the intersection with a broken window.

Authorities covered a nearby body with a tarp and a coroner arrived at 10:20 p.m.

Lake has a concealed weapons permit and provided police with a statement before they allowed him to leave, officers said.


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11th Circuit partially Reverses 3 Judge Panel on Interrogation and Record Keeping of Gun Ownership




The 11th Circuit has released their en banc ruling on Wollschlaeger v. Florida. They partly reversed the three judge panels ruling on whether doctors have the right to interrogate patients on gun ownership, and record the answers in medical records, outside of reasons concerning individual patient care. The three judge panel had asserted that the state had a compelling interest in protecting Second Amendment rights, and could regulate licensed doctors to do so. The legislation in question is the Firearms Owners' Privacy Act (FOPA).

The 11Circuit asserted that doctors were merely private actors. As private actors, they have no legal authority to take away patients firearms.  From uscourts.gov:
The first problem is that there was no evidence whatsoever before the Florida Legislature that any doctors or medical professionals have taken away patients’ firearms or otherwise infringed on patients’ Second Amendment rights. This evidentiary void is not surprising because doctors and medical professionals, as private actors, do not have any authority (legal or otherwise) to restrict the ownership or possession of firearms by patients (or by anyone else for that matter). The Second Amendment right to own and possess firearms does not preclude questions about, commentary on, or criticism for the exercise of that right.
The new ruling also stated that fears that electronic databases that contained private firearms information could be misused and subject to hacking were merely "hypothetical" and therefore not usable to support the FOPA legislation.
The state officials rely in part on the panel’s assertion that the challenged FOPA provisions are constitutional because there is a danger that information electronically stored by doctors and medical professionals about firearm ownership might be subject to hacking, theft, or some other intrusion. See Wollschlaeger IV, 814 F.3d at 1195 n.22 & 1197. Under heightened scrutiny, however, a court may not come up with hypothetical interests and rationales (or discover new evidence) that might support legislation that restricts speech.
The ruling upheld the right of patients to refuse to give information about private ownership of guns to doctors, and the provision of the law that forbids discrimination based on firearms ownership.

The record-keeping, inquiry, and anti-harassment provisions of FOPA violate the First Amendment, but the anti-discrimination provision, as construed, does not. The district court’s judgment is affirmed in part and reversed in part, and the case is remanded so that the judgment and permanent injunction can be amended in accordance with this opinion.
With the election of President Trump, and the potential of the repeal of Obamacare, concerns of federal abuse of medical records have been slightly reduced.  But the major reason for concern of the mix of doctors, medical records, and information about gun ownership, is that a data base of gun owners would be abused.

It is likely that gun owners will compare this ruling to the recent ruling in the Ninth Circuit, where a purely hypothetical rational was used to uphold a waiting period for gun purchases.  From uscourts.gov:
The district court's assumption is not warranted. An individual who already owns a hunting rifle, for example, may want to purchase a larger capacity weapon that will do more damage when fired into a crowd. A 10 day cooling-off period would serve to discourage such conduct and would impose no serious burden on the core Second Amendment right of defense of the home identified in Heller.
It seems a hypothetical reason is impermissible in the 11th circuit as a reason to protect Second Amendment rights, but is permissible in the 9th circuit to uphold infringements on the Second Amendment.

It is unknown if Wollschlaeger v. Florida will be appealed to the Supreme Court. Only a limited number of cases that are appealed to the Supreme Court are accepted.

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

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Saturday, February 18, 2017

WA: Resident uses AR15 to Drive off Invaders



The resident grabbed an AR-15-style rifle. He showed it to the suspects, who ran when they saw the weapon and jumped into a green Honda, said Undersheriff Jeff Parks. One of the fleeing men ran through the neighborhood, instead of getting into the northbound car.

The resident fired two rounds from the rifle “in an attempt to disable the vehicle,” according to the sheriff’s office. Sheriff’s deputies found a green Honda car broken down about 2 miles northwest at Olson and Unick roads, with at least one bullet hole in the car, though Parks wasn’t sure if that’s why it broke down.

Read more here: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/news/local/crime/article133272739.html#storylink=cpy

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FL: Armed Woman Shoots Man attempting to Break into Home



When he still tried to get in, Shirley fired twice.

The intruder, later identified as 48-year-old Timothy Scott Tugman, was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound, where he underwent surgery. He is expected to survive and will be facing burglary charges.
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Followup AL: No Charges for Man who Shot Isaiah Johnson



The man who shot and killed a Wenonah High School student during a gun deal in downtown Birmingham won't be charged with any crime.

However, a friend of the teen who was killed is charged with his murder, authorities announced today.
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Followup MO: Shooting of Tyler Gebhard ruled Justified


ST. LOUIS COUNTY • County Prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch’s office has concluded that an off-duty St. Louis County police officer acted in self-defense last summer when he fatally shot an intruder at his home in Lakeshire, a small city in South County.

The document, provided to the Post-Dispatch on Wednesday, notes that Tyler Gebhard, 20, had violently broken in, was impaired by marijuana, was known to have mental illness and had spoken of killing police. It calls the shooting justified.
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Caetano Inspired Lawsuit for Massachusetts Stun Gun Ban




The last direct action by the United States Supreme Court on the Second Amendment was the decision of  Caetano v. Massachusetts.  The case was decided in 2016. The Court unanimously held, in the Caetano PER CURIAM decision (pdf), that:

The Court has held that “the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding,” District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U. S. 570, 582 (2008), and that this “Second Amendment right is fully applicable to the States,” McDonald v.Chicago, 561 U. S. 742, 750 (2010).
The case was about a Massachusetts State law that banned the possession of electric weapons, including stun guns. The Supreme Court did not directly invalidate the Massachusetts ban.  It held that the Massachusetts Supreme Court was wrong when it found that electric weapons were not protected by the Second Amendment.

After the U.S. Supreme Court decision, the defendant in the case, Jaime Caetano, was formally found not guilty. The judge agreed to allow her record to be sealed, so that it would not show on a record check by a potential employer or other person.  The Massachusetts ban remained on the books.

A federal lawsuit has been filed against  Massachusetts AG Maura Healy, challenging the constitutionality of the stun gun ban.  The lawsuit was filed on February 16, 2017. Here is the demand for judgment at the end of the complaint document
WHEREFORE Plaintiffs request this Court enter judgment in their favor and against Defendant as follows: 
1. A declaratory judgment, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2201, that Section 131J violates the United States Constitution and laws of the United States, specifically, the Second and Fourteenth Amendments and 42 U.S.C. §1983;

 2. An order permanently enjoining Defendant, her officers, agents, servants, employees, and all persons in active concert or participation with them, from enforcing Section 131J, and any custom, policy, or practice of prosecuting individuals for sale, possession, or lawful use of an electrical weapon; 

3. Attorneys’ fees and costs pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1988, 28 U.S.C. §1920, and any other appropriate authority; and 
4. Any other further relief as the Court deems just and appropriate.

The Caetano case was about electric weapons. There are a number of States and local governments that have universal bans on electric weapons. Howard County, Maryland, is one of them. A lawsuit has been filed against Howard County as well.The Howard County Council is scheduled to vote on the repeal of the ban on Tuesday, 21 February.  The Howard County Police Chief has stated the police department does not enforce the ban. 

The Maryland case is the latest in a string of lawsuits Second Amendment supporters have enjoyed using the Caetano decision.  Such lawsuits have had success in New Jersey, New Orleans, and the District of Columbia. Another lawsuit is being pursued in New York State.

It is difficult to argue that stun guns should be banned when the laws allow for possession of handguns.  AG Maura Healy has already taken extreme actions to ban certain guns in Massachusetts.  Gun owners in the state consider her to be hostile to the Second Amendment. 

Internet searches have not revealed legal challenges to similar bans in Hawaii and Rhode Island.

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

Gun Watch

MT: Constitutional Carry Sent to MT Governor for Third Time




Montana has "permitless" or Constitutional carry, for areas outside of city and town limits, which is more than 99% of the state.  Bills to extend Constitutional carry to the entire state have passed the legislature three times.

The first time was in 2011. Democrat Governor Brian Schweitzer vetoed HB 271, and the legislature was not able to override the veto.

The second time was in 2015. Democrat Governor Steve Bullock vetoed HB 298.

The third time happened on February 15, 2017. The Senate passed HB 262, which will now go to Governor Bullock again.

HB 262 passed the house 60 to 39.  There are 59 Republicans and 41 Democrats in the House.

The bill passed the Senate 31 to 18. There are 32 Republicans, 17 Democrats, and 1 vacancy in the Senate.

Governor Bullock was re-elected with 50.25% of the vote in 2016. The Republican candidate received  46.35% and the Libertarian candidate 3.4% of the vote. Here is Governor Bullock's statement on Second Amendment Rights:
As a lifelong gun owner and as Montana’s former top cop, Steve Bullock is a staunch supporter of our Second Amendment rights and fights for the right of all law-abiding citizens to own and responsibly use guns.
The absence of any mention of self defense, or the right to *bear* arms are obvious "tells" that this politician is not serious about protecting the right to keep and bear arms.

In Montana, a Governor has 10 days to sign a bill, veto it, recommend amendments, or take no action. If he does not veto the bill, it becomes law in 10 days.

If the Governor vetoes the bill, the legislature may override the veto with a two thirds vote in both chambers of the legislature.

A veto seems likely.  It does not appear that there are sufficient votes to override a veto.


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

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Friday, February 17, 2017

GA: Manager Survives Gunfight, Suspect does not



According to DeKalb County police, the manager of Happy's Package store on Rockbridge Road said a hooded suspect came into the store around 8 p.m. Tuesday and demanded money. The manager pulled out his gun and began firing at the suspect, who fired back.
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MI: Rare Mistaken Identity Shooting



Upon their arrival, officers were told by the man he'd believed someone was breaking into his home and fired off a shot that struck a person coming through the front door.

The person behind the front door was the man's father, police said. He was taken to Hurley Medical Center for a gunshot wound to his side and listed in good condition.
More Here

AZ: Gun Beats Hammer, no Shots Fired



One of the men hit the homeowner on the head with a hammer before they took off on foot.

The homeowner told police that he may know one of the two men.

“I let him do some work around the house and I paid him for it in the past,” the homeowner said.

He said one of the burglars asked him for his gun.

“I realized it was right next to me,” the homeowner said. “I grabbed it, pointed it at him and started yelling at him. Should have shot him but he took off running.”
More Here

NRA Ballot: Tips and Recommendations



Every year,  there are elections for the NRA board members. There are 76 NRA board members. One third of them are elected each year, plus enough to fill existing vacancies.

I have been pleased with the direction the NRA has taken in the last decade. As an organization, they are more protective of our rights than they were in the 1980's and 1990's.  Before 1976, the NRA board was and exclusive club. The board members selected any new board members. The NRA revolt at Cinncinatti in 1976 changed that Board members could be selected by the membership. Those reforms have been eroded.  The membership now has much less power than it had in 1980.

This year, there is a separate ballot for the NRA bylaws, with 15 amendments.

The proposed amendment package of the bylaws is an attempt to weaken the power of the NRA membership even more.  It is effectively a coup to put all power of the organization in the board of directors.  As with any group of part time board members, this means that a small group of insiders will have total control. They will decide who gets on the board and who does not.

The meat of the bylaw amendments are inside the rather lengthy total package. Some reasonable administrative changes are included. You are only allowed to vote yes or no on the entire proposal.

The amendments would make it nearly impossible for the membership to nominate board members outside of the current power structure. Currently, 250 signatures of voting members are necessary for a membership nomination.  It is difficult to obtain that many signatures, but not impossible.  One of the problems with the suggested amendments is that it raises the number required to .5% of the votes cast in the previous election. That would be 500 or 750 signatures. Members with experience in the process know that this is a very difficult thing to do, unless the candidate is a national celebrity.

Item  12 takes away the possibility of a by law change at the annual meeting.  Item 13 makes it virtually impossible for the membership to petition for a change, by requiring the petition to have the signatures of a staggering 5% of the number that voted in the last election.  If such a Herculean feat were accomplished, item 14 allows the Board to unilaterally undo the change.

Not all NRA members have voting rights.  In order to vote in an NRA election, you have to be either a life member, or have been a member for five consecutive years.   Of voting members, about 5% voted in the 2015 elections, so your vote can have disproportionate weight.

Most voting members do not know the people they are voting for. As there are at least 25 slots to fill, (26 in 2017) people depend on the biographies printed in the NRA magazines to determine who to vote for.  Prominent in the biographies are whether or not the candidate has been nominated or renominated by the nominating committee.

If you wish to be an effective NRA voter, do not vote for 26 members. It is what most voters do, and it dilutes your vote.  The candidates who receive the most votes win election to the board.  If you know of only one candidate that you support, vote for that candidate. Just as importantly, do not vote for other candidates that you have little knowledge of.  That maximizes the impact of your vote.

The NRA magazines are controlled by the current NRA management. It is the nature of the beast. The NRA management controls who is on the nominating committee. If you want to change in the way the NRA is doing business, it is unlikely that you will obtain change by voting for the establishment candidates.

Jeff Knox of the Firearms Coalition, has watched the NRA board closely for decades. I have always found his recommendations to be well thought out. He is recommending votes for three nominees to the board.   From Jeff:
For the Board of Directors election, I am recommending you vote only for the following 3 candidates, and no others: Sean Maloney, Adam Kraut, and Graham Hill. There are others on the ballot who are good, but they don’t need our help.
The recommendation on the package of bylaw amendments is simpler. Just vote no.  If you do not know enough to vote for directors, the bylaw vote is a separate ballot.  It is easy to fill the circle by the word NO completely, put the ballot in the envelope, sign it, and drop it in the mail.

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

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MD: More Fruits of Caetano in Maryland



Howard County, Maryland has introduced an emergency bill to remove the current ban on electronic weapons. The bill is in response to a lawsuit challenging the ban as violating the Second Amendment.

The last direct action by the United States Supreme Court was on  Caetano v. Massachusetts. The Court unanimously held, in the Caetano PER CURIAM decision (pdf), that:
The Court has held that “the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding,” District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U. S. 570, 582 (2008), and that this “Second Amendment right is fully applicable to the States,” McDonald v.Chicago, 561 U. S. 742, 750 (2010).
The Caetano case was about electric weapons. There are a number of States and local governments that have universal bans on electric weapons. Howard County, Maryland, is one of them. From the baltimoreson.com:
Howard County lawmakers introduced an emergency bill Wednesday that would lift a ban on electronic weapons in response to a federal lawsuit that challenges the county's longstanding restrictions on the use and sale of Tasers and stun guns.

In the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Maryland in late January, Leah Baran, a Marriottsville resident, is suing Baltimore City and Baltimore and Howard counties — which have electronic weapons bans in effect — to allow her to carry a stun gun.
The Howard County Council is scheduled to vote on the repeal of the ban on Tuesday, 21 February.  The Howard County Police Chief has stated the police department does not enforce the ban. 

The Maryland case is the latest in a string of lawsuits Second Amendment supporters have enjoyed using the Caetano decision.  Such lawsuits have had success in New Jersey, New Orleans, and the District of Columbia. Another lawsuit is being pursued in New York State.

Internet searches have not revealed legal challenges to similar bans in Hawaii and Rhode Island.

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

Gun Watch


Thursday, February 16, 2017

KS: Armed Man Stops Knife Assault



TPD says two men were involved in an altercation, when a third party conceal carry holder intervened and stopped the assault.

"He intervened, drew his firearm, and held the people to the ground basically at gun-point," said Topeka police Sergeant Joshua Klamm.
More Here

LA: Gunfight Armed Homeowner Shoots, Kills, Armed Invader



The shooting happened around 12 p.m. Tuesday in the 7700 block of Glenlea Avenue. The East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office says 19-year-old Terione Williams pushed his way inside a home and robbed the occupants at gunpoint.

The victim allegedly retrieved his gun and fired shots at Williams. Once hit, Williams fled on foot and died from his injuries a short distance from the victim's home.
More Here

LA: No Charges for Armed Customer the Shot, Killed Armed Robber



New Orleans police are not likely to seek charges against the armed customer who fatally shot a suspected robber Friday night (Feb. 10) in a T-Mobile store, the department said Monday.

"From all accounts it appears there will not be any charges brought forward for this incident, however, it is still being investigated," NOPD spokeswoman Dawne Massey said in an email message.
More Here

NM: Business Owner uses AK47 Clone to Defend Himself



A criminal complaint said the owner feared for his safety, grabbed an AK-47 and fired one shot.

“It's a matter of time. How many times can you let someone come into your yard, you know, if it was your backyard, after a few times, you're going to want to protect your property too,” he said.

The suspect, Jake, was later arrested and taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the thigh. He told police he broke into the business to buy diapers for his kids.
More Here

.22 at Yuma WalMart in 2017


I have been monitoring the local WalMart to see if the .22 bubble shows any sign of deflating.  A heavy winter visitor presence has returned to Yuma.  I have not seen any .22 long rifle in WalMart for months.

This afternoon was different.  I stopped at the store, and made my usual inspection of the ammunition counter.  There were thousands of .22 LR cartridges for sale, most of them in bulk packs.  Bulk packs are the preferred purchase of people who are buying the ammunition for resale, or simply to stock up.  All of the .22 ammunition there was Winchester, except for a few CCI shot shells.

There were ten bulk packs of Winchester 333 round count, as pictured above.  As I watched, a couple form Washington State purchased five of bulk packs.  WalMart still has the 3 box limit; so he bought three and she bought two.  They cut their purchase back by 1 box.

I asked them if they had .22 available in Washington State. The answer was that they had it now and then, but this was a better price.

The gentleman said that he had gone to WalMart, early in the morning in Washington State this summer, for two months straight, every day. and he had never scored a round of .22.  The last he recalled, he bought the 333 round bulk packs at over $26 a box.  The price in Yuma is $17.37,  just over 5.2 cents a cartridge.

There were a thousand rounds of .22 Winchester SuperX, but they had not been touched.  They were priced at $8.37 a box of 100.

My favorite WalMart clerk, Yittzel, was working today.  She said the shipment came in this morning, and included 15 boxes of Federal bulk pack of 525 rounds.  The Federal bulk packs sold out first and fast. I wasn't able to get a price on the Federal rounds.

 There were also 15 boxes of the Winchester bulk pack that came in this morning.  10 of those were left at 3:30 this afternoon, down to 5 boxes by 4 p.m.

The thousand rounds of Winchester SuperX were already there this morning, and were still there when I left the store this afternoon.

In the last week, I have seen .22 long rifle as low as 5 cents a round on the Internet.  There is market resistance to breaking the 5 cents a round barrier, but it is coming. Demand is starting to be met.

The prediction that we will see bulk pack .22 long rifle ammunition at 4 cents a round by the end of October, still holds.

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

Gun Watch






Wednesday, February 15, 2017

TX: Gas Station Owner Shoots Robbery Suspect?

Early reports

The caller claimed the owner shot a man who had attempted to rob the store, police said. The caller said someone was taken to Ben Taub hospital. It isn’t clear whether the victim was the store owner or alleged robber.

More Here

Followup OR: Strickland Convicted by Judge in Self Defense Case

What was the strategy of agreeing to have the case heard by a judge instead of a jury trial? Usually, that happens when the facts are so clear as to be assured of an acquittal.  They seemed clear, but the judge found him guilty on all counts.

A judge found Michael Strickland, 37, guilty Friday on ten counts of unlawful use of a firearm, 10 counts of menacing and the charge of disorderly conduct.

Strickland was arrested during a rally in downtown Portland on July 7, 2016.

He identified himself as a journalist filming the event for YouTube. He told FOX 12 that he was threatened and shoved by marchers who also used their flagstaffs as weapons against him, so he drew his gun.

No shots were fired.

“I feared for my life because I was outnumbered and they had weapons,” Strickland said in July 2016.
 More Here

IL: Armed Kewanee Homeowner Shoots, Kills Home Invader



According to a news release, the homeowner called police to report a man kicked in his door, and the homeowner shot him in self-defense. The man was taken to OSF St. Luke's Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
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TX: Armed Homeowner fires Shot to Stop Aggresive Suspect



Questioning the man’s intentions, the homeowner says Goode ignored him and headed towards the truck parked in the driveway. Goode then opened the truck’s door and climbed into the driver’s seat. At this point, the affidavit states, the homeowner pulled out a pistol and told Goode to get out of his truck.

Goode eventually got out of the truck and started to walk away before he turned and charged at the armed homeowner. Firing a shot in front of Goode, the homeowner warned the suspect to stop. While he held Goode at gunpoint, the homeowner called police.
More Here

Interview with Josh Waldron of SilencerCo on the HPA



The Hearing Protection Act (HPA) is the main bill now in the Congress to remove gun mufflers (silencers/suppressors/moderators) from the National Firearms Act.  The HPA is getting a lot of attention from the public, Congress and the media.  It has been the in the top ten of the bills viewed at the Congressional web site for many weeks.  For a while, both the 2015 version and the 2017 version, which are identically worded, were both in the top ten.

Josh Waldron, CEO of SilencerCo, was instrumental in getting the bill introduced into Congress.  He is one of the founders of the American Suppressor Association, the ASA.

At the shot show this year, I was able to interview Josh Waldron, CEO of SilencerCo.

Everyone is asking about the HPA.  What are your thoughts about it?

"HPA is a very important piece of legislation for us. It would really change the industry. It would do a lot for our company. But right now, we have to focus on getting the momentum, getting it through committee.  We have to get 60 votes in the Senate.

We have to really activate the grass roots, we have to get the letters in.  We have a lot to do.

At the end of the day, we are not going to make it in the first 100 day agenda. We are probably not going to make it in the first six months.

I don't want people to lose hope. I think it is going to happen, but it is going to take a lot of heavy lifting, and we really need peoples support."

You have an invitation to the inauguration of Donald Trump. Do you feel any relationship with President Trump?  Do you think you are operating on the same wavelength? 

I respect the man a lot.  I am a brash person, so is he. I say what is on my mind. I challenge the status quo, so does he.  We have these similarities. The reason I offered my support a long time ago, when it was unpopular to offer my support, was because I believe that he was the only one who was going to get in and make a change.  I really believed that he was the guy who was going to be able to do it.  We are all tired of politics the way they used to be. This is finally the only way we can go in and make legitimate change and bring something  back to some base level of what we think America should be.

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

Gun Watch



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

MS: Domestic Defense, Woman Shoots Ex



Police said a man was shot Sunday after he allegedly broke into his ex-girlfriend's home.
More Here

LV: Homeowner Shoots, Wounds Attacker Armed with Knife



About 7:45 a.m., a man was doing maintenance on a residence in the 1400 block of Marion, near North Nellis and East Washington, when the suspect attempted to attack the homeowner with a knife and an electric drill, according to Metro Lt. Grant Rogers.

"The homeowner pulled out his firearm and shot the suspect once in the leg,"

More Here

FL: Armed Wife Scares off Burglary Suspect



"I yelled to my wife, 'Go get the gun!'" Gibbons told NBC2, describing the moment he saw Cintra on the lanai.

"I was opening the blinds. As I opened the blinds, he's standing ... like about this far away from me."

That's when Gibbons' wife leveled the gun at Cintra, who was attempting to break in.

"She said if he had been fiddling with the door, trying to open it, she would have shot him."
More Here

AL: Luther Strange, New Senator, is pro Second Amendment



On February 9th, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange was sworn in as a replacement for Senator Sessions.  Senator Sessions joined the Trump administration as Attorney General of the United States. From al.com:
"This is truly a remarkable time in our state's history," Bentley said in a press release this morning. "Alabama has surely been well represented by Senator Sessions, and I am confident Senator Strange will serve as a fine representative for our people. His leadership on a national level, service as a statewide elected official and long record of taking on tough federal issues are the very qualities that will make him a strong conservative Senator for Alabama."

Strange was also quoted in the statement.

"I am greatly honored and humbled to accept the appointment to Alabama's Senate seat vacated by Senator Jeff Sessions," Strange said. "Senator Sessions' commitment to public service is nearly unparalleled in Alabama history and his departure from the Senate leaves tremendous shoes to fill. I pledge to the people of Alabama to continue the same level of leadership as Jeff Sessions in consistently fighting to protect and advance the conservative values we all care about."
A month ago, Luther Strange ordered the City of Huntsville to take down signs that prohibited people from exercising their Second Amendment rights in the City Library.   From al.com:
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has instructed the city of Huntsville to remove a sign prohibiting guns at the Huntsville-Madison County Library but city officials are not eager to comply.
As AG, Senator Strange has been a vigorous defender of Second Amendment rights.  In 2015, the NRA-ILA commended Strange for his actions.   AG Strange pursued numerous cases where he forced local governments to take down illegal gun free zone signs.  Strange required  the Sheriff in Lawrence County to stop placing illegal conditions on the pistol permits that he was issuing.

In short, Senator Strange will likely be as faithful to the Constitution as Senator Sessions has been.

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

Gun Watch

Alabama Strongly Considering Constitutional Carry



State Senator Gerald Allen, R-Tuscloosa, is pushing to restore "permitless" or Constitutional carry in Alabama. He pre-filed a bill on 18 January, 2016, for that purpose. From al.com:
Sen. Gerald Allen, R-Tuscaloosa, has pre-filed a bill to end a requirement that he said is an improper limit on the constitutional right to bear arms, according to a news release.

"It's time we give our citizens the right to bear arms without first seeking the government's permission," Allen said.

Alabama already allows people to openly carry a holstered pistol without a permit. Allen said there is no logical reason to continue the permit requirement for carrying a concealed pistol.
The bill is SB 24. It has significant support in the Alabama Senate. The Alabama
Senate Republicans released a set of six goals on February 6th,for the 2017 session. One of them was to pass "permitless" carry. From alsenaterepublicans.com:
Permitless Carry
Ten states across the country allow their citizens to carry guns without a permit, and Senate Republicans believe Alabamians should have a similarly unimpeded right to protect their families and property. Therefore, a repeal of the requirement for a conceal carry permit shall be a priority in the 2017 session. Alabamians could still apply for a pistol permit in order to carry a gun in states like Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida that have reciprocity laws with Alabama. A pistol permit holder would also retain the benefit of foregoing a background check when purchasing firearms.
Alabama has a legislative session of 30 meeting days during a 105 day span.  This year the session started on February 7th.

Alabama is a Republican trifecta. The Governor, Robert J. Bentley  is a Republican. In 2015, Governor Bentley ordered the removal of signs that banned the carry of guns at Alabama rest stops. In 2016, he signed a bill that eliminated the fees for concealed carry permits for retired military personnel.  In 2010, running for Governor, he made this campaign promise:
The Second Amendment clearly grants every American the right to own firearms. As Governor I will protect each Alabamian's right to legally purchase, own, carry, and use firearms.
In the House  there are 72 Republicans, 31 Democrats, and two vacancies.  In the Senate there are 26 Republicans, 8 Democrats, and 1 Independent.  Both House and Senate seats are subject to election every four years.  The next election will be in 2018.

Support for SB24 is less clear in the House.

Alabama could become the 13th State with "permitless" or Constitutional carry.

Alabama passed a revision of it state constitutional right to carry amendment in 2014.  The amendment passed with 72% of the vote. The new amendment created a high barrier for any restriction on the right to bear arms.  From ballotpedia.org:
(a) Every citizen has a fundamental right to bear arms in defense of himself or herself and the state. Any restriction on this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.

(b) No citizen shall be compelled by any international treaty or international law to take an action that prohibits, limits, or otherwise interferes with his or her fundamental right to keep and bear arms in defense of himself or herself and the state, if such treaty or law, or its adoption, violates the United States Constitution.[1][2]
The State Constitution is a significant reason to pass "permitless" carry in Alabama.

Ten states have restored the freedom to carry without a permit. They are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, Mississippi, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Vermont never required a permit to carry a firearm.  In addition, the New Hampshire legislature passed a "permitless" or Constitutional carry bill.  Governor Sununu is expected to sign it any day.

Several other legislatures are considering "permitless" or Constitutional carry bills in 2017.  Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Texas, Virgina, Utah, and Wisconsin are all considering reform legislation to restore Constitutional carry. That list may increase as the year progresses.


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

Gun Watch




Monday, February 13, 2017

MO: Woman Shoots, Kills 1 of 3 Robbery Suspects



A woman shot and killed an attempted robber Thursday afternoon after he and one other man tried to rob three people in her apartment.

According St. Louis Metropolitan police, Jarrett Richardson and one other man entered the apartment on the 1800 block of Cass Avenue through the unlocked door and demanded money from the two women and one man inside.
More Here

LA: Armed Customer Shoots, Kills Robbery Suspect at T-Mobile

NEW ORLEANS - A customer foiled an apparent armed robbery at the T-Mobile store on St. Andrew Street, police said, shooting and killing the armed robber.


More Here

GA: Armed Man Chases Burglar from House


“I look up at this dude and he looks at me,” Sadler recalled Friday, “and he takes off running.”

Sadler, still groggy, grabbed his .40-caliber Glock and took off after the guy.

During the chase, Sadler said he let loose with a few “choice words” and yelled “what I would do to him if I got my hands on him” as he chased the man through a sunroom and out a sliding-glass door.
More Here

Read more here: http://www.macon.com/news/local/crime/article132060964.html#storylink=cpy

TN: Woman Shot While Breaking into Home

Police said the preliminary investigation found Mundy was forcing her way into the home when the male homeowner shot her "in defense of his life." At least one other resident of the home knew Mundy at the time of the shooting, police said.

The homeowner and several other people at the home were taken to the Safety Building and interviewed by investigators. After reviewing the facts of the investigation with the District Attorney General’s Office, KPD said police declared the shooting a justifiable homicide and declined to file charges, releasing all the individuals.

More Here

PA: Deli Owner Shoots Armed Robbery Suspect



Police say a gun-toting man walked into the deli and declared a holdup.

That's when, police say, the owner pulled out his gun and shot the suspect in the groin.

Police say the owner is licensed to carry.
More Here

Followup: Carl Harper Turns Himself in Connection with Shootout



On Thursday, around 10:23 p.m., Jackson police were called to the Westwood Apartments at 3150 Robinson Road regarding a shooting. When police arrived, they found that four people had been shot during an alleged robbery.

The victims were in an apartment playing dominoes when at least three people came inside. Police said they did not force themselves inside but gained "unforced entry" into the apartment.

At least two of the intruders were armed with a gun and demanded the people inside the apartment to give up their belongings.

The people in the apartment also had guns and exchanged gunfire with the intruders.
More Here

MO: Gun Beats Broomstick



ST. LOUIS • Police say a man shot a woman who was beating him with a broomstick Thursday.

The woman was shot in the abdomen and in critical but stable condition at a hospital Friday, police say.
More Here

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sheriff Offers Victim a Gun, Gun Shop Gives a .38



On Friday, 3 February, 2017, 66-year-old Billy Harrell was being robbed in the parking lot of the restaurant he manages, the Ole Times Country Buffet.  He was closing for the night. It was about 9:30 p.m. in Dublin, Georgia.  Holding a gun to his head, the two robbers forced him into his SUV. They took a gun from the vehicle and other items. From idahostatesman.com:
The robber grabbed a pistol and some other items from the vehicle and started to leave.

When he turned back around with his gun pointed, Harrell fired a shot from another weapon he had concealed in the car, hitting 21-year-old Devin Wilbert.
Police were able to arrest both suspects.  As part of the investigation, Harrel's guns were seized and are being held as evidence. The sheriff of Telfair County, where Harrel lives, applauded his crime fighting efforts. At this point Harrels name was not yet published.  From facebook.com:
I am extremely grateful that this fellow Telfair Countian was not killed or seriously injured during this violent encounter, and I commend him for having his own personal protection, and for being prepared to use it,
 The sheriff did not stop there. Sheriff Steverson showns gratitude to the armed citizen. He commends him for his actions,  he then says he will find a way to make sure that Harrel is not left disarmed, even if he has to give Harrel one of his own weapons to do so.
As Sheriff of Telfair County, I am sworn to serve and protect our citizens, and I can assure you that after today, this "Telfair County Citizen" will again have a weapon and be fully equipped to defend himself if need be, even If I have to give him one of my own!

Sheriff Chris Steverson
Sheriff Steverson did not have to furnish Harrel a weapon for long.  A local gun shop, CL Defense LLC,  saw both a need, and an opportunity. They gave Harrel a new .38 Smith & Wesson.

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

Gun Watch

Followup GA: Victims Gun Seized, Gun Shop Gives him .38



“There’s nothing I hate worse than a thief,” said Ellis, who co-owns CL Defense in McRae with Marshall. “These guys could have very well killed this man.”

They decided to give Harrell a new Smith & Wesson .38 Special worth about $400.

Since he was already a licensed gun holder, they signed it over to him Wednesday.

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CO: Wife Escapes as Husband Shoots at Suspect



A man fired shots Wednesday night at someone trying to steal his car from the garage while his wife was caught hanging in the window, Colorado Springs police said.

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FL: Dogs Attack Cat, Man Shoots Dogs

PALMETTO BAY — A homeowner opened fire on two stray dogs that attacked his pet black and white cat on Thursday, killing one and wounding the other, according to village police.

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MI: Armed Customer Stops Assault, Shoots Attacker



HOLLAND, Mich. — A man who walked into a party store on the lakeshore ended up breaking up an assault late Thursday night by shooting the suspect. Police say he was legally carrying his firearm and acted in self defense.
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AP Misquotes NRA on Concealed Carry


  map by gun-nuttery.com

The Associated Press has long been known  for its anti-Second Amendment attitude.  John Lott exposed there bias in The Bias Against Guns, published in 2003. They have gotten a little better in the last decade, because numerous errors have been exposed.  AP committed another error about gun laws  on February 10th, 2017.

In a story about Constitutional or "permitless" carry moving through the New Hampshire legislative process, the AP wrote that the NRA said that concealed carry is legal in 11 states.  From AP via nbcboston.com:
The National Rifle Association says concealed carry is legal in 11 states, including Maine and Vermont.
The problem is that AP left out an important qualifier.  That is "permitless".  AP does not say where they obtained the information from the NRA. I suspect it was from the nraila.org article on the New Hampshire bill.  Here is the relevant paragraph from the NRA-ILA article:
New Hampshire is the only northern New England state that does not allow permitless carry. Permitless concealed carry is legal in 11 states nationwide, including both Maine and Vermont. Similar legislation has passed the state legislature twice before, but the former governor vetoed it both times.
All 50 states have legal concealed carry of some sort. Most states, 31, are shall issue, meaning that concealed carry permits must be issued if applicants meet objective criteria.

11 states are "permitless" or Constitutional carry, where no permit is required to carry openly or concealed.  Ten of the eleven also have provisions for a permit if people wish the permit for reasons of reciprocity across state lines, or as an alternative to the NICS check when purchasing firearms.

Only 8 states still have the archaic "may issue" system in place, where some authority has the power to issue or not issue permits, essentially by whim. Several states abuse this authority, and are virtual no-issue states, such as Hawaii, New Jersey, and Maryland.  No states categorically deny all concealed carry permits.

The AP story would have us believe that only 11 states have legal concealed carry.

The Associated Press used to be considered a reliable source of news.  When it comes to guns, they often get simple facts wrong.  It will be interesting to see if they correct this error.

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

Gun Watch







Saturday, February 11, 2017

Followup MI: Santa Clause Shooter Has Life Turned Upside Down



“When you get caught up in the system, even if you were in the right, it’s a nightmare,” said Weldon, who works at MGM Casino doing building repairs and odd jobs.

“Some people who I looked at as friends and mentors turned their backs on me because they’re anti-gun,” he said. “But I also met a lot of people from the gun community who supported me.”

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WV: Homeowner Shoots, Wounds 1 of 2 Intruders



Deputies said Dale William Light of Culloden was shot early Thursday morning by a homeowner after making entry into a residence on Ashton Upland Road near the Mason-Cabell county line, according to a news release from the Mason County Sheriff’s Department.
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OK: Son Shoots Suspect who Stole Father's Truck



Police say the truck owner was getting ready to leave but ran back inside his house to get the coffee cup he'd left there. The man said when he came back outside, there was a masked man in the driver's seat of his Ford pickup.

The truck owner jumped into the passenger seat, police say, and when they came to a stop sign, the victim's son blocked the truck from leaving and shot the alleged thief.
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OR: Gun Beats Slingshot



The resident told authorities that he then felt something strike him in the leg.

The resident thought he had been shot by a gun, so he returned fire at Wilson, Carver said. Sheriff’s deputies later determined Wilson had used a slingshot to hit the resident in the leg with a rock. The home also was hit with rocks and damaged, Carver said.
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GA: Robbery Victim uses Berreta 92FS to Shoot at Suspect



Meanwhile, the victim raced to his truck and retrieved his Beretta 92FS handgun, the sheriff’s report added, and “while at his truck, (the victim) saw one of the suspects come back from where he originally fled. (The victim) grabbed his gun and began chasing the suspect. ... (He) fired three rounds at the suspect. It is unknown if the suspect was struck.”

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CA: Gunfight, Intruder Shoots Son, Father Kills Intruder

The father and son may have attacked and disarmed one of the intruders in the process.

An armed intruder who shot a Lemon Grove man was killed by the victim’s father during a home invasion early Tuesday, police said.

A second robber escaped.

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GA: Soldier Breaks into Home, Gets Shot, Killed

Other sources indicate that the soldier may have been under the influence, and believed that his wife and daughter with in the apartment with another man. It was the wrong apartment.

The Fort Benning soldier killed in a Sunday morning shooting on Armour Avenue had broken into an apartment and was shot by the resident living there, according to a police report on the incident.

Read more here: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/news/local/article131041814.html#storylink=cpy

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