Friday, May 06, 2016

NPR Highlights Problems with "Smart" Guns

All Things Considered is an iconic program from National Public Radio (NPR).  They have a reliably "progressive" approach to the world, but sometimes they stumble onto inconvenient truths.  That is what seems to have happened a month ago when NPR ran this story on how a naive investor pushed Colt to develop a so called "smart" gun, which is actually a "stupid" gun. 

First, the push for the "stupid" gun came from the new owner of the company, Donald Zilkha.  He was a banker from New York City.  He did not own a gun.  I suspect, he knew nothing of American gun culture.  He made a very human mistake.  He assumed that everybody thought about, and had assumptions about the universe that were the same as his.  From NPR:
ZILKHA: Initially, I thought this would be something that could be adapted over 20-30 years and everybody would say, wow, this is a good way to own a handgun.

ROSE: But almost right away, Zilkha discovered that the customers he imagined were not as enthusiastic as he was. Let's start with police. Stephen Albanese is a retired New York City police officer.

For 20 years, it was his job to make sure the department's guns worked like they were supposed to. Albanese says he and other officers weren't sure they could trust smart guns to fire every time.
 If the owner of the Company tells you they want something, especially if they culturally have no connection with you, people are loathe to contradict them.  It takes great courage to risk you job in a shaky company with a new owner.  Somehow, through miscommunication or misunderstanding, Zilkha thought that Colt engineers had made the company's "stupid" gun reliable.  He scheduled a demonstration with a reporter from the Wall Street Journal.  I have a hard time imaginging the pressure that the Colt engineers were under.

So, in a near laboratory environment, on Colt's terms, at their range, without weather, blood, hand to hand combat, or long storage times, the reporter, Vanessa O'Connell, watched the demonstration.  It failed.  Spectacularly.  From NPR:
ROSE: The timing was awful. Just when Colt needed to convince potential customers they could trust this new smart gun, here's a front-page story in The Wall Street Journal saying they can't. Not long after, Colt pulled the plug on smart gun research. Seventeen years later, no American gun company wants to pick up where Colt left off. Joel Rose, NPR News, New York.
The fact is that "Stupid" gun technology is a really stupid idea, designed to make guns fail.  It operates under the assumption that it is better for a gun not to fire than to fire.  Proponents of the idea are either blissfully ignorant of real world problems with the idea, or they simply love the idea of making guns less reliable.

There is at least one simple, non-electronic, mechanical system called the Magloc.  It uses a magnetic ring.  If you are wearing the ring on the correct finger, it works pretty reliably.  It has had a limited commercial success, and is almost certainly much more reliable than the considerably more complicated electronic systems of "stupid" guns.

There are three basic problems for so called electronic "smart guns" that cannot be overcome technologically.

First, they use electricity, so they are dependent on batteries.  Batteries are one of the components most prone to failure.  Not because of the design of the batteries, but because of there nature.  They are time limited.  They have a shelf life.  They use up the power that they have stored.  All of these things mean that batteries introduce multiple points of failure into a firearm that are not there without them.

Second, because they are electronic systems, they are subject to jamming and interference.  Have you ever had your phone lose a call, for no apparent reason?  Similar problems apply to electronic gun controls.

Third, the design function of the system is to restrict the use of the gun to a very small number of people.  Yet one of the great positives about a gun is that it can be used by a large number of people, reliably.  Your partner may need to pick up the gun that you left behind to answer the door, now that you are down and fighting for your life with the home invader.  Your child may need to pick up the gun and defend themselves from the burglar that just broke in.  Your neighbor may need to use the gun as part of a neighborhood security system during a riot, or after a hurricane, tornado or flood.

Gun owners do not want so called "smart" guns.  They have demonstrated this in the marketplace with existing systems that are more reliable than proposed ones.  The very philosophy behind the design idea presumes that it is more valuable to stop guns from shooting than it is to make sure they shoot when they are needed.  Gun owners, from across the United States, including the military and police, reject the idea that this stupid idea is "Smart".  As usual, with many simplistic solutions to complex problems, it does not work.

It is nice to see NPR make this important point to its nationwide audience.

Many people who would reject the NRA as a source will accept NPR.

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

Thursday, May 05, 2016

WI: Permit Holder has gun Stolen in Armed Robbery

WASHINGTON COUNTY — A 22-year-old Milwaukee man has been criminally charged, accused of stealing a firearm from a CCW permit holder trying to sell that firearm in the Ashley Furniture parking lot in Richfield. The man was one of four people taken into custody after this crime.

The accused is Justin Reed, who faces one count of robbery with threat of force as party to a crime and possession of a firearm by a felon, repeater.

More Here

MS: Man Holds Naked attacker at Gunpoint


A terrifying encounter forced a Harrison County woman to fight off her alleged attacker and her husband holding the suspect at gunpoint. Investigators say the home invasion and attempted sexual assault case could have ended tragically. Instead, the suspect is in jail and it turned out the couple said they know the man accused of breaking into their home.
More Here

FL: Domestic Father Shoots Son to Stop Sword attack

A Navarre man is behind bars after being shot while attacking his father with a sword, according to a Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office arrest report.

William McClanahan-Spenler, 21, is facing a charge of aggravated assault with a weapon in connection with an incident Sunday afternoon in the 9200 block of Quail Roost Drive.

More Here

OK: Governor Fallin Signs Knife Reform

On April 27, 2016, Governor Fallin signed the latest in a series of knife reform bills. The bill, HB1159, will go into effect on 1 November, 2016. The infringement on the carry of knifes dates back to early statehood at the beginning of the "progressive" era. Text of the 1921 Oklahoma Criminal Code, pages 523 to 525, shows that specifically named knives were forbidden for most people to carry. It seems that the laws were enacted enbloc from other states, as some of the statutes seem contradictory. The 1921 text refers to laws from 1910. Oklahoma became a state in 1907.

Knife Rights started to lobby to reform these laws three years ago. SB1159 is the culmination of their efforts. From
April 27, 2016: Knife Rights' Oklahoma Knife Law Reform bill, SB 1159, has been signed into law by Governor Mary Fallin. SB 1159 removes dagger, bowie knife, dirk knife and sword cane from the items prohibited from carry in Oklahoma, and finishes the job Knife Rights began last year with the repeal of the ban on carrying switchblade (automatic) knives and with the passage of Knife Law Preemption in Oklahoma.

Since Knife Law Preemption is already the law in Oklahoma, the revised law will be effective statewide when it takes effect on November 1, 2016.
Knife Rights is one of the most effective Second Amendment organizations in the Country.  Yes, knives are clearly arms protected by the Second Amendment. Knife Rights gets extraordinary results for the tiny budget that they run on.  Since they started lobbying for knife rights six years ago, they have passed 21 reform bills in 15 states, and successfully lobbied for reform of the  Federal Switchblade act in 2010.

I have talked to Doug Ritter, Chairman of Knife Rights on a number of occasions, at conferences that we both attended. He is passionate about knife rights fighting on "the second front for the Second Amendment". He has accomplished amazing things on the tiny amounts that Knife Rights subsists on.

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

TX: School Shooting was Done with Single Shot Derringer

On 2 May, 2016, a 15-Year-Old student shot himself, accidentally, at Kimball High school in Dallas.  He dropped the pistol after the shooting. Another student took a picture of the dropped pistol, which made its way onto numerous social media. The pistol had been carried in a front pocket.  It was reported that the bullet went through the student's hand and across the top of his leg.  It was not clear if it penetrated the skin of the leg.  No one else was hit.  From
DALLAS - A student was taken to the hospital Monday morning after shooting himself at Kimball High School in Dallas.

Dallas ISD said the student “inadvertently shot himself with a single-shot revolver at the end of first period.” He went to the hospital by ground ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries.
 From the
A 15-year-old student accidentally shot himself in the hand and leg in a Dallas classroom after bringing a loaded .22 caliber pistol to school on Monday.
From the picture and the dailymail ID of the caliber, the pistol is clearly *not* a single shot revolver (a contradiction in terms), but most likely an IAR Butler copy of the Colt #4 derringer, chambered in .22 short.  Here is a YouTube video of the IAR Butler being demonstrated.

 Link to video of IAR Butler copy of Colt #4 derringer

 I believe the derringer to be the Butler copy because they were quite common.  The poor resolution of the the social media makes absolute identification difficult, but the hammer shape and the color of the frame makes the Butler the likely candidate.

Without more details, we cannot be certain how the accident happened. 

A likely scenario is that the young man was fooling with the pistol in his pocket, and had cocked it.  Once cocked, he decided to uncock it, but attempted to do so while it was in his pocket, to avoid detection.  He likely used his off hand to steady the pistol while he activated the trigger while attempting the uncock.  Then he lost control of the hammer, and the pistol discharged, the bullet penetrating his off hand and injuring his leg.

Whether more details will be released that might confirm the above speculation, is uncertain.

Copies of Colt #4 derringers are still offered in percussion kits in .31 caliber.  They are legally sold through the mail.  At least some of them have been converted to .22 rimfire through the use of a barrel insert.  The converted pistols do not have an extractor  for fired cartridges, so a rod is used to extract the fired cases. 

A common problem with the pistols was main spring breakage.  I saw one pistol where the owner had substituted a rubber band to power the hammer.  He reported that it worked satisfactorily.

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

MO: Teen Car Thief Wreaks; attempts Break-in, is Shot Twice

Less than 15 minutes later, he got into a two-vehicle wreck at 39th Street and Bruce R. Watkins Drive. The car’s engine caught fire.

He ran to a neighborhood in the 1600 block of East 38th Street and allegedly tried to break into a home.

The homeowner shot him, twice. He ran away.

More Here

Read more here:

Followup AL: Suspect Shot by 11-Year-Old Arrested

TALLADEGA, Ala. —An accused burglar who was shot by an 11-year-old Talladega boy is now behind bars.

Christopher Ryan Stringfellow, 33, of Talladega, was charged with first-degree burglary in the crime. Bond has not yet been set.
More Here

Followup NY: Homeowner who

FREDONIA – A homeowner who shot a man he said knocked on his door and threatened him will not be charged, acting Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick E. Swanson said Tuesday.

More Here

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

TX: How Can I Bear Arms?

Donnie's former apartment complex

A week or two ago I wrote about how a former Marine fought off an attempted home invasion.  He managed to fire three shots, and it appeared that no one was hit.

As I visited a local gas station, I ran into Donnie again.  He is a large, powerful black man, he makes an impression.  We shook hands and I told him that the article had been published.  He had not seen it yet, because he is in the middle of a move.  He did not say; but I suspect it was a decision precipitated by the aborted home invasion.  He had lost my card in the packing shuffle.

He asked me: How can I bear arms?

I was openly carrying when I met him.  I was directly demonstrating the right to keep and bear arms when we met again.  I believe that prompted the question.

It was a simple, direct, question.  People who are immersed in the gun culture often fail to understand that people who are not so inclined do not know the intricacies and subtleties of what it takes to go about armed in today's society.

Donnie was trained as a Marine.  He knows how to use firearms.  But he is only a peripheral member of the gun culture.

I gave him another card and explained the requirements to obtain a carry permit in Texas.  I asked if he had access to the Internet. He said he did. I told him to do a search for concealed carry Texas. I said that he would need to take a class, pay about a hundred dollars, and then he could get the permit.  I asked if he had any felony or misdemeanor domestic violence convictions.  He said that he did not.

I hope that Donnie follows up on legally bearing arms in Texas.  There are some noteworthy exceptions, such as on your own property, in your car, and while hunting.  But to generally bear arms in Texas, you need a carry permit.

Bringing peaceful, responsible black people into the gun culture is a way of showing them that they are also protected by the Constitution.  Unfortunately, permit fees and classes disproportionately make it harder for people of limited means to obtain permits.  For a great many reasons, black people are disproportionately in the lower income brackets.   The Crime Prevention Research Center(pdf) has found that a $10 increase in permit fees decreases the number of permit holders by about one half of a percent of the adult population:

Each $10 increase in fees reduces the percent of adults with permits by about a half a percentage point.                           
There is a movement to bring Texas into the permitless or "Constitutional" carry club.  It has some backers in the legislature, and a fair number of activists supporting it.  It may take a while, but Texas is rolling back infringements on the Second Amendment that have been in place for a hundred and forty years.

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

GA: Governor Deal Vetos Campus Carry

Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia has vetoed HB 859, which would authorize the carry of concealed weapons by concealed carry permit holder on Georgia campuses. The bill was very popular in the legislature, passing with wide margins. The bill passed the House 113 to 59, and the Senate 37 to 17.

From Governor Deal's statement on the veto at
HB 859 seeks to amend O.C.G.A. § 16-11-127.1, which relates to the carrying of weapons within school safety zones. It would add an exception to the prohibition of carrying or possessing a weapon in such school zones, to “any licensed holder when he or she is in any building or on real property owned or leased to any public technical school, vocational school, college or university or other public institution of postsecondary education,” except for “buildings or property used for athletic sporting events or student housing, including, but not limited to fraternity and sorority houses…”

Some supporters of HB 859 contend that this legislation is justified under the provisions of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution which provides in part that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Identical words are contained in Article I, Section, I, Paragraph VIII of the Constitution of the State of Georgia. It would be incorrect to conclude, however, that certain restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms are unconstitutional.
 The Governor then goes into a long and involved justification for his actions, which amount to as statement that it is not unconstitutional to ban the carry of arms on colleges, and we have done it up to now.

He gives no indication why colleges should be any different from the city just across the street from their boundary.  He does not acknowledge that concealed carry permit holders are less likely to abuse the right to carry than are police officers, and are far more law abiding than the general population.

Governor Deal then goes further, to propose that increased the criminal penalties for unauthorized possession of firearms on campus:
I suggest to the General Assembly that it consider making the unauthorized possession and/or use of a firearm on a college campus an act that carries an increased penalty or an enhanced sentence for the underlying crime.
I doubt that Governor Deal expects to run for office in Georgia again.

He quotes a decision from a meeting that Thomas Jefferson attended in 1824, setting up rules for the University of Virginia, but ignores a quote from Jefferson to his nephew in 1785, who has been sent off to school, where he advises Peter Carr to
"Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks." 
Which he suggested should take up about two hours of every day.

The upper education lobby is a very powerful force in most legislatures.  In "progressive" theory, "experts" are supposed to tell the people what to think and what policies to follow.  Those "experts" are often from places of higher education.  In practice, the "experts" are carefully chosen to advance the agenda that the "progressives" want to advance.  If other experts such as John Lott, disagree, they are minimalized.

Campus carry is likely to come to Georgia, but not this year.  The legislature passed the legislation too late for a plausible veto override.

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

Gun Stolen from Back Pocket at Phoenix McDonalds (with video link)

A handgun was stolen from the back pocket of a legal gun carrier at a Phoenix McDonald's on Saturday, 30 April, about 3:45 p.m.

Link to video

In a nation of millions of gun carriers, strange things happen. Both concealed carriers and open carriers have had handguns stolen from them in the past.  Concealed carry handguns are usually stolen after the gun is discovered during a robbery or assault. Open carriers' guns have been stolen in a couple of armed robberies.  One of those was when the openly carried gun was required to be unloaded by law.  One concealed carrier's gun was stolen after it was noticed by a thief; the permit holder then shot when he pursued the suspect. The carrier in this case pursued the suspect, but was not shot. From
The male suspect came up behind him and stole the gun from his back-pocket holster and then fled the store.
The victim chased down the suspect, but the suspect then pointed the weapon at the victim, and then ran off.

The suspect is described as a black man, 18-to-25-years-old, about 6'0" to 6'2," and about 160 pounds.
I did not see any evidence of a holster.  As noted in the commentary by the officer, there does not appear to be any retention, other than gravity, of the handgun.

Note the line of the T shirt falls below the top of the back pocket on the right side.  Both legs of the victim are bent; this may have contributed to the exposure of the pistol butt.

In my experience, pocket carry is far more commonly practised as a concealed carry method instead of a method for open carry.  I have observed and been told by many that they carry concealed in a pocket; I have never observed it or been told of it as a method of open carry.  While the report mentions a "back-pocket holster", I suspect they are referring to pocket carry instead of an actual pocket holster. 

The officers comments and the video are reminders of the necessity of situational awareness, and awareness of your carry system and its limitations.

The thief in this case seems to have been opportunistic.  He spotted the butt of the pistol, the inattention of the owner, and took the opportunity to make the snatch.  Almost any sort of holster retention would likely have prevented this theft.  The much maligned Fobus holster does not allow a pistol to be "slipped out"  it takes effort to do so and the effort is multiplied at unusual draw angles.

It is likely this suspect will be apprehended.  He is probably a local, and someone will know who he is.  A reward has been offered.

Both the victim and the suspect seem to be left handed.  The pistol is carried in the left rear pocket, and the thief uses his left hand to slip it from the victim's pocket.  The "phone" in the suspects right hand appears to be camouflage, but he may be so casual about his thieving that he does it during a phone call.  One is reminded of the Zimmerman/Martin case.

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

GA: Governor Deal Decides on Campus Carry Today

Georgia Governor Nathan deal has said that he will either sign or veto the Campus Carry bill passed by the Georgia legislature today, 3 May, 2016. The bill was very popular in the legislature, passing with wide margins. The bill passed the House 113 to 59, and the Senate 37 to 17.  As the Legislature is adjourned, their is no reasonable possibility of a veto override.

The May 3 deadline is here for Gov. Nathan Deal to make his decision whether to sign or veto the 'Campus Carry' bill.

After the religious freedom bill, which Deal vetoed earlier this year, HB 859 was arguably the most contentious. If Deal signs the bill into law today, it would legalize concealed-carry weapons on Georgia's colleges.
 Governor deal has expressed reservations about the bill, and asked for some modifications.  The legislature did not share the Governor's concerns, and did not modify the bill.  From

The governor’s office released the following statement in response to “campus carry” legislation passed by the General Assembly:
“As a lifetime defender and staunch supporter of Second Amendment rights, Gov. Deal has signed every pro-gun bill to reach his desk. However, he believes legitimate points have been made in regards to certain aspects of the ‘campus carry’ bill and he calls on the General Assembly to address these concerns in related legislation before Sine Die. Specifically, these areas of concern include dually enrolled k-12 students who leave school to attend classes at a university or technical college campus, as well as daycare centers on these same campuses. Deal also believes the governing boards of universities and technical colleges should have the discretion to set reasonable rules regarding disciplinary hearings and faculty and administrative offices. Addressing these issues is an important step in ensuring the safety and freedoms of students, faculty and staff in our institutions of higher learning throughout our state.”
Why would daycare or k-12 students on campus be more at risk than the same students off campus?  Day care outside of campus would be equally at risk if the exercise of Second Amendment rights were suppressed there.  How would it make sense to have one set of laws for the state, and one for the public property on the grounds of institutes of higher education?

Governor Deal's decision is expected to be made public today, 3 May, 2016.

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

TN: Campus Carry Becomes law Without Governors Signature

Campus Carry for employees of public institutions of higher learning has become law in Tennessee, without Governor Bill Haslam's signature.  In the State of Tennessee, a bill becomes law if the Governor does not sign or veto it in ten days.  From 
The Governor may sign the bill; veto it; or allow it to become law without his signature. The Governor is allowed ten days (Sundays excepted) after a bill is presented to him to approve or veto the bill; if he takes no action within that period, the bill becomes a law without his signature. The Governor also has constitutional authority to reduce or disapprove any sum of money appropriated in any bill while approving other portions of such bill.
That is what happened with SB2376. From
A bill allowing staff and faculty at Tennessee's public colleges and universities to be armed on campus became law Monday without the Republican governor's signature.

Gov. Bill Haslam said in a statement that he disagreed with the bill for not allowing institutions "to make their own decisions regarding security issues on campus."
The bill only applies to employees of Tennessee's public colleges and universities, if they have a Tennessee concealed carry permit.  The firearm must be concealed. Open carry is not permitted. Permit holders are required to inform the University police that they have a permit, and that they will be carrying. Their names and identification are to be kept confidential.

Absolute immunity from damages caused by permit holders is granted to the University.  Missing from the bill is any recourse for adverse action taken against University employees who dare to exercise their Second Amendment rights under the provisions of this bill.  They might be able to sue for damages under a breach of confidentiality, if it could be shown.

Here is part of the legislative summary of the SB2376.  From

(a) Employees of public higher education institutions who have a handgun permit will be authorized to carry a handgun on property owned, operated, or controlled by the institution that employs the employee. Any employee of a public higher education institution who elects to carry a handgun pursuant to this bill must provide written notification to the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the property owned, operated, or controlled by the employing institution. The employee's name and any other information that might identify the employee as a person who has elected to carry a handgun on institution grounds will be confidential. This amendment authorizes law enforcement agencies to develop and implement policies and procedures designed to implement the notification and confidentiality requirements of this amendment and a voluntary course or courses of special or supplemental firearm training to be offered to the employees electing to carry a handgun on the institution's grounds. Unless carrying a handgun is a requirement of the employee's job description, the carrying of a handgun pursuant to this bill is a personal choice of the employee and not a requirement of the employer. Consequently, an employee who carries a handgun on property owned, operated, or controlled by the public institution of higher education at which the employee is employed will be responsible for their own conduct and any damage that the employee causes. This amendment specifies certain locations and situations where an employee will not be permitted to carry a handgun. This amendment specifies that a public institution of higher education shall be absolutely immune from claims for monetary damages arising solely from or related to an employee of that institution's use of or failure to use a handgun;
This is a good deal for the colleges and universities of Tennessee.  In return for doing the right thing, and having a few people be able to exercise their Second Amendment rights on public property, they gain full immunity from lawsuit for any damages that might result.  The likelyhood of damages is very small.  Concealed carry permit holders have been some of the most responsible people in communities across the nation.  The commit crimes at a fraction of the rate of police officers, and a tiny fraction of the rate of the population as a whole.  The public institutions of higher learning also benefit from the added protection provided by the armed staff.

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

Culture: 5.11 Jeans for Exercising the Second Amendment

While walking through 5.11 Tactical’s store, Tom Davin stopped, placed a finger on his pocket and noted, “What’s great for a rifle magazine is also great for a cellphone.”

As many in the digital age can attest, loose or small pockets can easily lead to phone catastrophes. But while a civilian’s cracked screen can lead to financial headaches, bullets tumbling from a poorly pocketed magazine clip during an arrest could have more severe consequences.

Originally launched as a recreational apparel company in 1977, 5.11 is named for an especially arduous rock climbing level. Today, the Irvine-based company is responsible for making the uniforms and gear of some of the world’s largest government agencies. 5.11 specializes in field uniforms that have the look of SWAT team apparel.

In 1992, the FBI Academy selected 5.11’s tactical pants for training, which led to the brand’s expansion. From 2007 to 2012, 5.11’s sales grew by 20 percent, and they have continued to increase.

More Here

Obama's Supreme Court Nominee is Anti-Second Amendment

The usual gaggle of anti-gun suspects has come out of the woodwork to attack the “gun lobby” for its opposition to any action on behalf of Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.

Coupled with their typical protestations that their attacks on Second Amendment advocates are not attacks on the Second Amendment itself, their words are laden with half-truths and selectively culled “facts.”

But the truth is simple. Second Amendment issues have come before Garland, at least four times. He voted anti-gun every time.

In 2007, Garland was one of four judges on the District of Columbia Circuit who voted for the full court to rehear a pro-gun holding of a three-judge panel overturning Washington’s draconian gun ban in District of Columbia v. Heller.

More Here

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Review: Criminal Use of Firearm Silencers

Silencers in New Zealand are cheap and unregulated

Western Criminology Review 8(2), 44–57 (2007)
Criminal Use of Firearm Silencers*
Paul A. Clark
Alaska Public Defender Agency

Paul A. Clark has done some long needed research on the illegal and legal uses of silencers, and the theory for criminalizing their possession in the United States.  The paper was published in 2007.  It is 57 pages long, with the last three pages consisting of end notes and references.

The research was prompted in part by the draconian mandatory sentencing for possession of a silencer during a crime.  The crime of unregistered silencer possession warrants a  minimum sentence of 27 months in prison.  If a silencer is possessed during a drug transaction, the mandatory sentence is 30 years; if the silencer was unlicensed, another 10 years can be added.

The paper is easy to read, although it is in a dry, academic, just the facts, style.  The dry style cannot erase the numerous examples of legislative horrors that the author casually mentions.  A hunter who made a silencer to shoot pests without annoying the neighbors - over two years in prison.  An otherwise minor drug case - 40 years in prison.

Clark covers various approaches to the regulation of silencers across jurisdictions.  In Sweden, there were no restrictions; in Texas, heavy restrictions and penalties.  The data is slightly dated.  Most Texas restrictions were removed in 2014, although the draconian federal penalties still apply.

The examination of the legislative history behind the United States extreme regulatory scheme is revealing as to purposes.  There were none. From Criminal use of Firearm Silencers(pdf):
In 1934, the federal government began to regulate
machine guns, sawed-off shotguns and silencers by plac-
ing a $200 tax on such weapons to discourage their sale
(U.S. Congress, 1986b:219-220). The 1934 congressional
debates provide no explanation about why silencers were
licensed. Paulson (1996:10) opines that during the Great
Depression, poaching game was thought to be a problem
and silencers were licensed because of this concern.
In 1968 the federal government passed the first ma-
jor federal gun control provisions. Anyone committing
a felony which could be prosecuted in federal court re-
ceived an additional one to ten years if a firearm was used
(88 Stat. 1214, 1225 (Oct 22 1968)). The statute did not
distinguish among different types of firearms, or include
Clark dutifully notes the record of piling on of mandatory sentences for suppressor use without any evidence of necessity or purpose. In 1986, an enhanced sentence of 20 years was added for use of a silencer in the commission of a crime.  No reason was given.  In 1988, the penalty was increased to 30 years.  The reason given was the murder of left wing radio personality Alan Berg in Denver in 1984.  It was widely assumed that a silencer had been used, though there was no evidence to indicated this.  In fact, the gunshots were reported by neighbors.  The enhanced penalty has been on the books ever since.

Clark methodically works at determining how often silencers are used in crime, and whether silencers make criminal gun use more or less likely.  His estimates, which are convincing, are about 1 murder per year, and about 2 assaults, with possession during commission of another crime (mostly drug trafficking) the balance of about 30 cases a year, all with illegal silencers.  Here is his conclusion:
Comparing the silencer conviction data with ordi-
nary firearm conviction data shows that guns “equipped
with a silencer” are only one-third as likely to be used to
kill or injure, one-half as likely to be actively employed,
and one-half as likely to be used by someone with a prior
Clark methodically works through all the data present on silencer use by criminals, and the legislative history, to attempt to determine whether there is any reason for the draconian sentencing enhancements, or for that matter, for the expensive, time consuming bureaucracy that has been used to stifle legal silencer use and development.

It is a well researched academic paper on the subject. Anyone interested in the history of gun laws, especially United States gun laws, would be well served by reading this paper.

When presented with the facts of silencer legislative history, regulation and use, it is hard to justify any regulation at all.  This may be the reason why several nations have either minimal regulation, or, none. 

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

Monday, May 02, 2016

MA: Armed Victim Shoots Robbery Suspect

Brockton police are still investigating the incident, but they said it appeared as though a man had posted a fake ad online to sell a dirt bike and when another man answered the ad and showed up on Washburn Street with money to buy the bike the seller pulled out a BB gun and tried to rob him.

The buyer pulled out a real gun, though, and opened fire, hitting the would-be robber.

More Here

IL: Burglar Attempts Disarm, Homeowner Wounded in Hand

The man grabbed a handgun, but the home invader attempted to disarm him and a struggle ensued, police said.

During the struggle, the 69-year-old man was shot in the hand, police said. The home invader then ran away.

The man was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was listed in good condition, police said, adding that he is not expected to be charged.

More Here

WA: 80-Year-Old Wife Shoots Intruder who Stabbed Her Husband

An 80-year-old woman shot and killed a man who stabbed her husband after breaking into their Sultan home Thursday night, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said.

Medics airlifted the injured 75-year-old man to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with stab wounds to the abdomen, according to a news release from sheriff’s spokeswoman Shari Ireton. The intruder, 25, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was from Gold Bar.
More Here

Sunday, May 01, 2016

GA: Woman, Assaulted, Uses 12 Gauge to Protect Children

A Savannah woman confronted by two robbers in her own home says her maternal instinct kicked in and helped her run the intruders off with the help of a 12-gauge shotgun.

More Here

Violent Criminals and Holsters are Seldom Found Together

Police have long understood that violent criminals almost never use holsters.  The obvious reason is that a gun is readily abandoned by tossing it from a car, in a dumpster, down a drain, or off a bridge.  A holster, normally worn on a belt, is much harder to discard, and can result in embarrassing questions when found in a search.  Having a holster on ones person when you are not allowed to carry or possess a firearm becomes rather problematic.

Here is a comment from Landric  at
There is no real firm answer, but in general, no street thugs don't tend to use holsters. The reasons are many, and the main ones are posted above. I've come across people illegally possessing/carrying weapons in holsters, but they tended to be concealed in vehicles inside a holster (generally the holster the gun was in when it was stolen).

I'm working on year 13 as an LEO and I've never charged illegal possession or CCW against someone who was actually wearing a handgun in a holster.
 and another:
 My experience mirrors Landric's. I can tell you that I have seen many shootings inside bars or other buildings begin with the words, "(X)itch, go out the car and gimme my pistol....". The "holster" is the area under the front seat or in the spare tire well, depending on the individual's need for...concealment vs. speed of draw. Generally, if a bad guy is carrying the gun, he has just retrieved it/had it retrieved and stuffed it down the front of his pants (and may be holding both up with one hand in some cases) or a pocket if it is of the non-stolen type-a small .25 or .22. 
I do remember a sawn-off shotgun carried under a coat, suspended from the arm by a cloth strip nailed to the stock. It was way under the legal limit, and the guy's attorney tried to say it was legal because by measuring from the tip of the barrel to the end of the strip, it was PLENTY long. But that was years ago, pardon the drift, anyway.
There is an FBI published study from 2006 that confirms these comments.  The study published by the FBI is "Violent Encounters: A Study of Felonious Assaults on Our Nation's Law Enforcement Officers."  In a summation from

The offenders said they most often hid guns on their person in the front waistband, with the groin area and the small of the back nearly tied for second place. Some occasionally gave their weapons to another person to carry, "most often a female companion." None regularly used a holster, and about 40% at least sometimes carried a backup weapon.

In motor vehicles, they most often kept their firearm readily available on their person, or, less often, under the seat. In residences, most stashed their weapon under a pillow, on a nightstand, under the mattress--somewhere within immediate reach while in bed.
Here is a comment from, claiming knowledge of a U.S. Secret Service Seminar:
“95% of criminals carry their guns on their strong side, mostly stuck in the front of their bodies, inside the waistband without a holster.”

– From a US Secret Service Seminar on detecting concealed weapons
Here is confirmation from an official Secret Service document, though it simply says "a majority".  From
The majority of those righthanded people that carry handguns illegally carry them in the right front waist band, loose.
While it is impossible to claim that violent criminals never use holsters, it appears to be very rare.  If a person is carrying a gun in a holster, they are almost certainly a peaceful, responsible, gun owner.

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

SC: A Felon Has Rights to Self Defense

Quintonio Porter

Felons do not give up their right to self defense simply because they have committed crimes in the past.  They often live a very dangerous lifestyle, and as the most common victims of homicide, they may need effective self defense more than other people. 

A recent case in South Carolina shows that the justice system is realizing this truth.  It investigated the shooting where Quintonio Porter, a convicted felon, shot and killed his friend, Jarrius Harding, in the middle of a gunfight. From
Jarrius Harding, 18, was killed in the midday shootout near the intersection of Black Street and Keels Avenue east of downtown Rock Hill. The shoot-out culminated a wild, 24-hour spree of gunfire in four incidents in the city.

Quintonio Porter, 23, who was in the car with Harding, also was shot and later was charged with attempted murder in the shootout with men in another car. But after an investigation, police and prosecutors determined that Porter was firing in self-defense when he shot Harding, said Willy Thompson, 16th Circuit deputy solicitor. They dropped the attempted murder charge against Porter.
Porter and Harding were being fired upon without immediate provocation by them.  Porter was attempting to fire back, but his pistol became entangled in the seat belt.  His shot struck Jarrius Harding as Harding sought to avoid the gunfire coming his way from the assailants.

Criminals almost never use holsters (FBI study) because they are hard to get rid of, so the seat belt entanglement is more understandable.

The study published by the FBI is "Violent Encounters: A Study of Felonious Assaults on Our Nation's Law Enforcement Officers."  In a summation from
The offenders said they most often hid guns on their person in the front waistband, with the groin area and the small of the back nearly tied for second place. Some occasionally gave their weapons to another person to carry, "most often a female companion." None regularly used a holster, and about 40% at least sometimes carried a backup weapon.

In motor vehicles, they most often kept their firearm readily available on their person, or, less often, under the seat. In residences, most stashed their weapon under a pillow, on a nightstand, under the mattress--somewhere within immediate reach while in bed.
It is a good thing that self defense is legitimate for criminals.  The major reason for the proliferation of violent crime, particularly homicides, is a belief that the criminal justice system is unreliable.  Reinforcing the reliability of the police and the rest of the justice system is the key to reducing homicides.

David Kennedy from Harvard has repeatedly shown that this is so.  Only a small number of violent criminals commit most homicides in most cities.  When the community is willing to cooperate with police to remove, intimidate, and/or rehabilitate this tiny minority, the homicide rate falls precipitously.

Perhaps there is some way to tie the ability for effective defense to rehabilitation.  If such a system could be worked out, it would be a powerful incentive for criminals to avoid future problems.

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

NC: Magistrate Shoots out Burglar's Tires

“I was looking out the window and saw a red vehicle pull down this street and pull into the driveway,” Funderburk, a Gaston County Magistrate, said. He thought it could be nothing, until the man's actions told him otherwise.

“He began to hit the door with his shoulder and his hip, and at that time is when I gathered all of my stuff and came over here myself,” Funderburk said.

Funderburk’s mindset quickly shifted to what he knows best. He once worked for Gaston County Police, Lowell Police and the North Carolina Highway Patrol as a law enforcement officer.

“I drew my weapon and aimed it at him,” he said.

Eventually, Funderburk said the suspect, later identified as 25-year-old Casey Philbeck, got in his car and tried to drive away. That’s when Funderburk says he fired twice at Philbeck’s back tires.
More Here

11-Year-Old Shows that Smart Guns are Stupid Guns

A couple of days ago, on 27 April, 2016, an 11 year old boy in Alabama shot a burglar. From
Home school student Chris Gaither, 11, was alone Wednesday morning when he heard a noise. Someone had broken into his house and walked upstairs.

Gaither said he was scared, but wanted to be prepared so he grabbed a nine-millimeter hand gun.

“When he was coming down the stairs, that’s when he told me he was going to kill me, f-you and all that,” Gaither said.
The pistol would not have been useful to Chris Gaither if it had been rendered useless by "stupid" gun technology.

While children using guns defensively are a small fraction of defensive gun uses, they are far more common than gun accidents involving children.

The reasons are clear and simple.  Most children who have guns in their home have responsible adults who teach them the safety rules, keep the guns under control when the children are young, and teach the children to shoot when they are old enough to understand.

Mandated "smart" but actually "stupid" gun technology is meant to shortcut this time tested and effective method of gunproofing children.  It will only affect those who need it least, those who are the most responsible in society.  Gun owners who are meticulous about obeying laws are some of the most responsible members of society.

We know this from data about gun carry permit holders. They have gone to some trouble to obey the law. Police commit crimes at a rate of 6-10 times as often(pdf) as concealed carry permit holders.

Most small children who are shot are shot by adult males who are irresponsible. Most older children that are shot are members of criminal gangs. "Stupid" gun technology will not stop those accidents or shootings.

A day later, on April 28th, 2016, from the opposite end of the age scale and across the country in Washington State, an 80-year-old woman defended her husband from a man who had just stabbed him.  From
The woman's husband was taken by helicopter to Harborview Regional Medical Center in Seattle for treatment of stab wounds.
The man who reportedly broke into the home, 25, of Gold Bar, died at the scene.

“At this time, detectives do not believe the suspect was known to the residents of the home and that this was an attempted home burglary,” Ireton said in a press release.
The woman was not injured. The same was true for the couple's son, 45.
It is likely that a "stupid" gun would not have allowed the 80-year-old wife to defend her husband.

"Stupid" gun technology means that a person who buys a "stupid" gun will not be able to teach their minor children to shoot. It means that guns will not be available to people other than their owners (at best) to shoot for training or self defense. It means that "stupid" guns will become vulnerable to electronic countermeasures such as jammers and "stupid" gun detectors, not to mention battery failure.

"Stupid" gun technology is designed to prevent a gun from firing.  It is meant to change the default condition of a loaded gun from ready to not ready. 

Guns are simple devices that have become amazingly reliable over 500 years of mechanical evolution.  You do not hear a cry for "Stupid" guns from gun owners, because gun owners see a great many disadvantages, and almost no advantages.

Simple mechanical systems that prevent guns from firing unless held by the owner have existed for nearly 20 years. They have not caught on, except for a small, specialized, market.  They are far more reliable and effective than "stupid" gun electronic circuitry and software mandated by government fiat.  The mechanical system does not use batteries.

The people pushing for "Stupid" gun technology are not gun owners.  They are disarmists.  Because they are not the ones who will be relying on a gun in a defensive situation, they have no problem with mandating unreliable, overly complex guns that end users do not want.  After all, "Stupid" gun problems will not be their problems.  To a disarmist, any measure that reduces gun effectiveness is a plus.

Disarmists see guns as a problem instead of a solution.  They refuse to believe evidence that guns are a net plus for civilization.  Most of them have made the decision not to be armed themselves.  They see guns in the hands of other people as a risk.  Niccol├│ Machiavelli understood this dynamic very well in 1537.  From "The Prince":
There is no comparison whatever between an armed and disarmed man; it is not reasonable to suppose that one who is armed will obey willingly one who is unarmed; or that any unarmed man will remain safe.... - Niccol├│ Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.
Many disarmists have consciously put the responsibility for their defense in the hands of the state.  This does three things.  It makes them fearful and resentful of armed people who have not shared their naive decision.  Disarmists flinch from any suggestion that the state might do them harm or be less than beneficent, because it suggests that their judgement is faulty. They refuse to accept that guns in the hands of peaceful, responsible owners help to protect them, because that would mean they, the disarmists, are less than socially responsible.

By requiring everyone but the state to be disarmed, they remove the nagging double about their choice, because the choice can be legitimized under the cover of choosing to obey the law.

"Stupid" guns are a technological subset of the desire to disarm those who have not chosen to be disarmed.  It is not supported by those who will carry its burdens, and it is unlikely that any benefits will result from its mandate.  Smart gun owners do not care if "stupid" guns are brought to the market.

"Stupid" gun technology has failed repeatedly.  Armed members of society fear government mandates of "stupid" gun technology. They see it as a solution in search of a problem; a "solution" that is likely to be abused.  It is not wanted by the police or military for the same reasons.

States with disarmist legislators have demonstrated their desire to impose such mandates.  New Jersey, Massachusetts, California, and New York come to mind.

Disarmists do not want people to be able to choose to be armed or unarmed.  They want the state to make that choice, and they want the choice to be disarmed.

Definition of  disarmist

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

Saturday, April 30, 2016

AL: 11-Year-Old Shoots Teen Burglar

Gather was home alone on Wednesday morning when he heard a noise. Someone had broken into his home. Scared, Chris grabbed a 9mm handgun.

“When he was coming down the stairs, that’s when he told me he was going to kill me, f-you and all that,” said Chris.

The intruder made it out the front door with a hamper in hand. That’s when Chris started firing off bullets. As the intruder was about to jump a fence, Chris’s 12th and final shot hit the bad guy in the leg.

More Here

AZ: Scud Missle and BRDM in Arizona Desert

This picture was taken near Tacna, Arizona at the beginning of April, 2016.  I believe the missile is a mock-up of a Scud B and the MAZ-543 launcher, mounted on a trailer.  I do not think a dually Ford would be able to move around a real Scud and launcher, but maybe.  The Scud B, loaded, would be about 7 tons.  But I cannot see sane U.S. military forces  allowing an missile fuelled with tons of kerosene and nitric acid out on the highways and desert for a training exercise.  Without the fuel or warhead, maybe the Ford could handle it.

The armored vehicle, which looks to be a real BRDM-2 (Combat Reconnaissance Patrol Vehicle), is another matter.  This one is capable of being driven about.  Some have been reported being used as taxis in Russia today.

If you wonder what it would take to purchase one, they are available for about,$23,000 to $27,000, not counting shipping or import fees.  They are meant to withstand small arms fire up to 7.62 mm. I do not know if that is the NATO 7.62X51 armor piercing, or the East Block 7.62X39 or 7.62X54.  The 7.62X54 is  roughly the ballistic equivalent of the NATO round.

It is not every day that you see former Soviet/Russian or East block missile launchers and armored vehicles in the Arizona desert; unless you are on Yuma Proving Ground.  These were not, and that made them interesting.

Back in the middle 1990's, there were rumors and conspiracy theories floating about of Soviet armor being "prepositioned" in the United States, supposedly for a Red Dawn type take over, facilitated by traitors in the Clinton administration.  I considered them all bereft of plausibility.

I was shocked and stunned when travelling through West Texas.  I saw a whole trainload of Soviet armored vehicles heading West, while I was heading East.

There were T-72 tanks, BMPs, and one or more  BRMDs.  The train was not short, and I watched with wonderment as dozens of Soviet era armored vehicles headed West on American railroad tracks. This was before widespread cell phones, digital cameras, and only a rudimentary Internet.

When I returned to Yuma Proving Ground a few days later, I thought my tale of Soviet armor would brand me a conspiracy theorist of the first order.  But I told my colleagues of the sighting anyway.  Truth deserves an audience.

I expected scepticism and disbelief.  Instead, I got a "Yeah, we just unloaded them over the last week.  They are here for target ID and research use."

I wonder if the BRMD was one of those that came over with that shipment.

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

MA: New Range a Hit

WORCESTER – With a $1 million investment, Justin Gabriel said his Prescott Street shooting range offers an upscale experience while going above and beyond the required safety and protection features.

Mr. Gabriel, owner of The Gun Parlor, launched the nine-station shooting range April 11, about six months after the retail store part of the business opened.

The License Commission granted the 11,000-square-foot business a shooting gallery license in August, rejecting opposition from Police Chief Gary J. Gemme and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, which is located nearby.

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Friday, April 29, 2016

How New York Became a Nexus of Second Amendment Infringement

Big Tim Sullivan on right

New York state, but particularly New York City, has long been a nexus of infringement of Second Amendment rights.  New York had more than its share of Tories during the revolutionary war, and New York is one of only six states that has no protection for the right to keep and bear arms in its state constitution.  Still, the right was routinely respected until 1911.  That was when the infamous Sullivan law was passed to protect organized crime from armed citizens.

The bill was created and pushed through the legislature by "Big Tim" Sullivan, a crime syndicate leader and politician who was part of Tammany Hall.  His toughs had complained about immigrants who were resisting their extortion efforts.  Big Tim had a simple solution.  Make it illegal for his opposition to legally have or carry weapons.  From the New York Post:
Sullivan knew the gangs would flout the law, but appearances were more important than results. Young toughs took to sewing the pockets of their coats shut, so that cops couldn’t plant firearms on them, and many gangsters stashed their weapons inside their girlfriends’ “bird cages” — wire-mesh fashion contraptions around which women would wind their hair.

Ordinary citizens, on the other hand, were disarmed, which solved another problem: Gangsters had been bitterly complaining to Tammany that their victims sometimes shot back at them.

So gang violence didn’t drop under the Sullivan Act — and really took off after the passage of Prohibition in 1920. Spectacular gangland rubouts — like the 1932 machine-gunning of “Mad Dog” Coll in a drugstore phone booth on 23rd Street — became the norm.
The police in large cities were corrupt enforcers for their political bosses.  With the Sullivan law, Big Tim ensured that his forces could legally disarm any opposition.  Here is a description of the policing of the era, and why Big Tim could be reliably assured the police would hand out gun permits only to those he approved of.  From  History of the Police(pdf):
Politicians were able to maintain their control over police agencies, as they had a direct hand in choosing the police chiefs that would run the agencies. The appointment to the position of police chief came with a price. By accepting the position, police chiefs had little control over decision making that would impact their employees and agencies.52 Many police chiefs did not accept the strong political presence in their agencies, and as a result, the turnover rate for chiefs of police at this time was very high. For example, “Cincinnati went through seven chiefs between 1878 and 1886; Buffalo (NY) tried eight between 1879 and 1894; Chicago saw nine come and go between 1879 and 1897; and Los Angeles changed heads thirteen times between 1879 and 1889.”53 Politics also heavily influenced the hiring and promotion of patrol officers. In order to secure a position as a patrol officer in New York City, the going rate was $300, while officers in San Francisco were required to pay $400.54; In regard to promoted positions, the going rate in New York City for a sergeant’s position was $1,600, and it was $12,000 to $15,000 for a position as captain.55 Upon being hired, policemen were also expected to contribute a portion of their salary to support the dominant political party.56 Political bosses had control over nearly every position within police agencies during this era.
What is surprising, is that today people are celebrating the political corruption of large cites as being necessary for city administration.  Walter Russel Mead at makes the dubious claim that political corruption was necessary for large cities to function.  From
All right thinking Americans united in the 19th century to deplore the malign influence of corrupt big city political machines, but it is hard to think how else the tens of millions of immigrants streaming into those cities from all over the world could have learned to govern themselves and begin the process of integration into American life.
That is putting lipstick on a pig.  London had intense immigration during the same period.  Its police were a model of legitimacy.

Teaching new immigrants that the American political system depended on "who you knew" and "how much you paid" was the antithesis of American constitutional government.  The legacy of that corruption lives on.  Mead wrote the above in a glowing endorsement of the corrupt political machine that the Clintons have put together.  Mead makes a case for what he calls "honest graft".  It is not surprising that corrupt politicians want the population disarmed. 

New York has long been a center of immigration.  People who come to America without any tradition of freedom are not taught they have a right to keep and bear arms.  The City and its corrupt politicians teach that only the rich and powerful have enough political influence to obtain permission from the state to be armed. This reinforces the understanding immigrants had in their country of origin.  With a hundred years of this policy in place, and millions of immigrants and their offspring experiencing a city without the Second Amendment, it is not surprising that New York is a nexus of antagonism against the right to keep and bear arms.

22% of New York State residents were foreign born in 2010.  In New York City, the percentage was 37%.

Police in large cities are mostly creatures of the political entity they work for.  In spite of reforms, requirements for training, police unions, and state wide police standards, police chiefs usually serve at the pleasure of the City Council or Mayor.

This is why most urban police chiefs differ from street policemen on gun control policies.  They are not independent actors, but are acting on the desires of their bosses. An exception that proves the rule is Chief James Craig of Detroit.  He is one of the few big city police chiefs to speak in favor of armed citizens, and their ability to reduce crime.  He was not put in place by the Detroit political machine.  Because Detroit went into bankruptcy, he was appointed by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr to the position.

Two of the three chief engineers of the recent "SAFE" act have been found guilty of corruption. The history of New York City has been a history of corruption and a disregard of the Constitution for a hundred years.

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

Followup WV More on Staggs Justifiable Self Defense Case

“His story has been consistent all the way through. He even testified on his own behalf, and the bottom line is the jury believed him,” Holstein said. “We’re very happy that the jury sided with a man who defended himself on his own property.”

The victims were found shot early in the morning last year when Kanawha County sheriff’s deputies stopped their car. Mays was allegedly driving the car covered in blood.

Holstein said 911 tape footage confirmed Staggs’ story that he was attacked, as well as a baseball bat that was found.

“There were a couple of pieces of evidence that were really important in this case,” he said. “There was a baseball bat that Andrew Staggs told the police about. Sure enough, they found that bat in the other guys car. He had attacked my client with that baseball bat.”

More Here

Followup WV: Staggs Found Not Guilty in Shooting of Daughter-in-law and her Ex

LINCOLN COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man accused of murdering his daughter-in-law in March 2015 and wounding her ex-husband has been found not guilty of all charges, his lawyer told WSAZ on Wednesday.

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Followup MN: Bello-Sanchez Found Not Guilty in Shooting from 2013

Jonathan Tadeo Bello-Sanchez, 24, was charged in June 2013 in the shooting death of Fernando Leon-Celis, 20, inside Bello-Sanchez’s home.

The defense argued that Bello-Sanchez was acting in self-defense.

The jury deliberated for nearly four days before announcing their decision early Wednesday, said Daniel Gerdts, Bello-Sanchez’ attorney.

According to charges, Bello-Sanchez said the two were arguing about money when the shooting occurred.

More Here

AL: Child Shoots Burglary Suspect

Talladega police are investigating an incident at a residence on Creekside Circle near the Bemiston community, where a minor child shot a suspected burglar Wednesday morning, according to police Capt. Leon Thomas.

The intruder was taken to Brookwood Health Center-Citizens Baptist Medical Center. The extent of his injuries were unknown late Wednesday. The age of the child and the suspect’s identity have not yet been released.

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SC: Domestic; EX Boyfriend Attemps Break-in, is Shot

A man was shot while breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s residence early Sunday morning, according to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.

Read more here:

More Here

Thursday, April 28, 2016

AZ:More than a sign may be Required to ban Second Amendment in Public Buildings

Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona

Kansas and Texas have removed bans on the carry of guns by permit holders in the last few years.  Kansas allows local governments to prevent permit holders from exercising Second  Amendment rights in public buildings if the public building puts metal detectors and armed guards on all the entrances.

In other words, merely relying on a sign to prevent responsible and peaceful people from carrying arms, while not actively preventing criminals from carrying them, is no longer acceptable in Kansas.  Arizona is looking to follow Kansas' lead.

The theory is simple.  Mere signage will not stop people who have evil intent from carrying concealed weapons into public buildings.   By placing signage, but without significant enforcement mechanisms, the signs effectively screen out the most law abiding, while doing little to keep out the most dangerous individuals.

The law has been popular in past legislatures, passing with veto prof majorities in the last two.  Both times it was vetoed by Governor Brewer; she was no longer running to be re-elected.  This law only applies to those who have taken the necessary classes, passed the background check, undergone the bureaucratic application and been granted a permit to carry concealed.   Arizona has 264,010 valid concealed carry permits as if April 24, 2016, or right at 7% of the adult population.

Police officers have always been exempt from the 'gun free zone' signs, and they commit crimes at a rate of 6-10 times as often(pdf) as concealed carry permit holders.

The primary obstacle to the bill's passage has been Governor Brewer.  The new Governor, Doug  Ducey, seems a bit friendlier to Second Amendment supporters, at least in this early part of his term.  His office asked that an additional exception be added to the bill; then he could support it.  The exemption was for the special health care district in Maricopa County.  From an Arizona Citizens' Defense League email:
At the request of the Governor’s Office, SB 1257 was amended in the House to exempt facilities operated by Special Health Care Districts.  Currently, there is only one special health care district facility and it is located in Maricopa County.

As amended by the House, if a state, county or local facility’s
only protection is a “no weapons” sign, then anyone with a CCW permit would not be required to disarm when entering, with the following exceptions:

  • Courts, jails, law enforcement agencies.
  • Federal facilities.
  • Schools, colleges or universities.
  • The Arizona State Hospital.
  • The facility operated by the Special Health Care District in Maricopa County.
  • Public establishments licensed to serve alcohol.
The Kansas law is considerably broader, and includes Universities. 

A version of the bill passed the Senate on 3 March, 2016 18 to 12.  The bill with the amendment passed the House on 26 April, 35 to 23.

It seems likely that the Senate will concur with the amendment, and that Governor Ducey will sign the bill.

Costs of the bill are zero, unless a government agency decides to ban people who have concealed carry permits from exercising their Second Amendment rights in government buildings.  To do so, they will need to put in metal detectors and armed guards, which they did not have before.

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

MO: Missouri House votes for Constitutional Carry


In Missouri, the House just passed HB 1468, a combined permitless of "Constitutional" carry  and immunity from lawsuit for businesses that have a criminal act occur on the premises.  It also removes any prohibition on the carry of weapons in a person's motor vehicle, and does not allow businesses to regulate what is inside of a motor vehicle that they do not lease, or own.

From Bill Summaries:

HB 1468 -- FIREARMS (Burlison)


Standing Committee on Emerging Issues
Currently, an individual with a permit to carry a concealed weapon
is exempt from the general statute banning the carrying of
concealed weapons in public areas. This bill repeals this general
prohibition on carrying concealed weapons such as firearms and
knives, except in the those places listed under Section 571.107,

The bill does not grant the same rights to carry firearms
concealed, except for carrying concealed firearms onto private
property whose owner has posted the premises as being off-limits to
concealed firearms, as the permit system which imposes only minimal
penalties for mistakes.
Every permitless or "Constitutional" carry state has some differences that apply at the fringes, but the sentiment is essentially the same.  People who are not forbidden from owning firearms may carry them openly or concealed, in most public places, without a permit.

This is the state of the law that existed when the Bill of Rights was ratified on 15 December, 1791.

Missouri has several similar bills filed in the House and the Senate.  HB 1468 passed the House 112 to 37.  That is enough to override a veto, if the bill makes it to Governor Nixon.  First, it has to pass the Senate.  The Missouri legislature has been relatively Second Amendment friendly, but Governor Jay Nixon, Democrat, has not. 

Governor Nixon vetoed a bill to restore and protect Second Amendment rights in  2014.  The legislature responded by overriding his veto on September11th of the same year. 

This year, three states, West Virginia, Idaho, and Mississippi have all passed legislation to make their state a member of the "Constitutional" carry club.  The current number stands at 10; some people say that Montana should be included, as Consittutional carry is in effect in 99% of the state.  Missouri would be the 11th or 12th state to join the club, depending on how you count.

Vermont, plus the nine states that have restored "Constitutional" carry now make up 20% of all the states in the Union.  They are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, West Virginia, and Wyoming.  They extend from the Pacific to the Atlantic, and from the Canadian border to the Mexican.   They outnumber the states that cling to the outdated notion of "may issue" concealed carry permits.

A number of other states have "Constitutional" or permitless carry legislation in the works.  Their number could pass majority status in a few years.

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

IN: Burglar Sues Homeowner Who Shot Him While he Fled

McLaughlin, now 33, fired gunshots at the intruder he saw fleeing from his property, in the 400 block of West Commerce Drive. One of the bullets hit Bailey in the left arm as he ran down an alley.

In September 2014, a Jay Superior Court jury found McLaughlin guilty of criminal recklessness in the shooting. Judge Max Ludy later sentenced the Dunkirk property owner to 60 days in jail, to be followed by four months on home detention.

More Here