Monday, February 02, 2015

FL: Intruder Shot Dead in Orlando (Leesburg)



Steven Ricker has been in and out of jail 11 times since 2006.   At about 4:30 a.m. on Thursday, 1 February, he was shot and killed.  The Leesburg resident who shot him says that Ricker was attempting to force his way into his family's apartment.  The manager of the apartment complex says that Ricker had banged on his door first, and that he appeared to be high and searching for drugs.  The manager thought Ricker had left, until he heard the gunshot.

 Video at the link.

 ©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch


Sunday, February 01, 2015

LA: Homeowner and Burglar exchange Gunfire

Off duty officers are just another armed citizen.  This one was in his home when the event occured.

According to police, the burglar attempted to break into the home, but was stopped by the officer. As the officer went to take the burglar into custody, the burglar shot at the officer, who returned fire. The suspect fled to a vehicle waiting nearby. The driver of the car and the burglar quickly drove away, traveling south on Highway 1.




More Here

SD: Gun law Reform Bill Introduced



A gun law reform bill, HB1116, has been introduced into the South Dakota house.  The bill has 28 co-sponsors.  The house has 70 members, 58 of which are Republicans, and 12 Democrats.   36 votes will be needed to pass the bill.   In the Senate, there are 27 Republicans and 8 Democrats, a bit tighter ratio.   The South Dakota Governor is Dennis Daugaard, who has been in office since 2011.  

Governor Daugaard vetoed a constitutional carry bill in 2012, citing concerns of law enforcement officials.   In 2013, Governor Daugaard signed a bill that specifically allowed school districts to determine if teacher would be armed in their schools, with the permission of local law enforcement.

HB1116 cleans up language in the current statutes, removes references that require guns that are carried without a permit to be unloaded, and makes certain that people from other states, who have concealed carry permits, will be able to carry in South Dakota, if they follow South Dakota law.  From the bill:

Section 8. That § 23-7-7.4 be amended to read as follows:
    23-7-7.4. Any valid permit to carry a concealed pistol, issued to a nonresident of South Dakota, is valid in South Dakota according to the terms of its issuance in the state of its issue, but only to the extent that the terms of issuance comply with any appropriate South Dakota statute or promulgated rule. However, if the holder of such a nonresident permit to carry a concealed pistol becomes, at any time, a legal resident of South Dakota, the provisions of this section no longer apply.
The bill would strike the language that would render an out-of-state permit invalid when the holder of the permit became a legal resident of South Dakota.

Another part of the bill seems to recognize carry without a permit.   It states:
The availability of a permit to carry a concealed pistol pursuant to the provisions of this chapter may not be construed to impose a general prohibition on the carrying of a pistol without such permit or the recognition of out-of-state permits to carry a pistol openly or concealed and loaded or unloaded.
 There may be other statutes that impose limitations on carry outside  of the concealed carry law.  No legal analysis of the bill was found.

The bill seems to have a good chance of passage in the House and Senate, but it is unclear whether Governor Daugaard will sign it.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

NC:Suspect Detained at gun Point

On Monday afternoon, John Painter called the McDowell County Sheriff's Office to say he had the suspect detained at gun point. Deputies say they don't get this kind of call very often, but Painter said he'd do it again if he had to even though it's not something he ever wanted to do.

(snip) Richelle Bailey is the McDowell County Sheriff PIO


Bailey said the number of concealed carry permits are on the rise, so home invaders should think twice.

More Here

LA: Musician Beaten after Self Defense shooting; Beware Accomplices


Billy Gregory is a successful musician and vocalist in New Orleans.  The NOPD is saying that early Friday morning, about 1:15 a.m., the 30th of January, the musician shot a man outside of a night club:  From wgno.com:

The NOPD is backing a musician`s claim that he shot a man outside a Marigny nightclub in self-defense.
It appears that a 'gutter punk' accosted Gregory.  He drew a legally carried pistol and fired one shot to the chest of one of the 'gutter punks', Nicholas Temper, 23 years of age.  Temper collapsed in a nearby bar after 911 was called.   Temper was helped to the bar by at least two others, according to a witness.

 Other reports say Temper's girlfriend complimented Gregory on his outfit, after which Temper escalated the conflict:
The police report says that 23-year-old Nicholas Temper threatened to commit bodily harm on the 64-year-old musician and take his guitar.
“He said something and the kid got jealous. Got mouthy with Billy,” says Walt.

Fearing for his safety, police say the musician took out a pistol and shot Temper once in the chest.
One commenter at nola.com speculates that it was a set up:
Sounds like a set-up to me: girlfriend distracts mark, boyfriend feigns anger over girlfriend to engage mark, rob mark with cowardly friends as back-up.  In this case, the mark had a CCP and was armed.  A bullet to the chest disrupted the set-up.  Looks like the cowardly friends are lucky they don't have lead trinkets in their bodies as well.

It is unclear how much time elapsed after the initial shooting, before Gregory was attacked again by two assailants.  I suspect that they caught him by surprise, because there are no reports of additional shots.    Numerous police came to the scene for the shooting and 911 call.
Witnesses say other gutter punks followed the Gregory and beat him up.

One suspect was arrested for helping with the assault.

One more suspect remains at large.

Gregory did not escape unharmed.  One assailant admitted to holding down Gregory while another beat and kicked him.   From nola.com:
 Following the shooting, police said Temper's friends attacked the shooter, knocking him to the ground while punching and kicking him. Police said the man sustained several abrasions to his head and arms.
This explains the comment from Gregory's friend Walt, who is a doorman at BMC:
   “I couldn’t figure out why it was one shot fired, and they all weren’t dead.”




"gutter punks" near the crime scene. 
Violent crimes are commonly committed with accomplices.  I believe the number is above 50%.  Usually, they run off when a gun is pulled and/or a shot is fired.  It is important to be aware of the possibility of a retaliatory attack and not become complacent because the immediate threat has been dealt with.  We do not have Billy Gregory's side of what happened, but he was probably blind sided and knocked down before he was aware that he was again under attack.  I suspect that it happened before the police arrived, but not by much, as they arrested one suspect. 

In an urban environment, it is especially difficult to keep track of all the possible threats, and to maintain distance.    We may never know exactly what happened.  Fortunately, the attack did not seem to cause severe injury or death to Gregory.   Very likely he was able to protect his head from some of the kicks and punches.    Punching and kicking to the head can easily kill or severely injure a person.    Presumably, he could not draw his firearm because he was being held.

The police showed one of their fairly effective roles: be a backup force so that aggressors only have a limited time to carry out their attacks. 

I do not know how long Mr.  Gregory was being kicked and punched, but something or someone cause the assailants to stop. 

Watch for accomplices, watch your back, get to someplace safe.


©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch


TN: CCW Holder stops Violence in Road Rage Beating


In the ensuing altercation, the man said the other driver began punching him in the face. He said that he struck back, but that the other man wrestled him to the ground and continued striking him in the face.

At that point, he said he noticed that another man, a 24-year-old Maryville man, had gotten out of his vehicle, which was also idling in the line of traffic at the light. The onlooker told the dark-complected man to stop hitting the alleged victim, witnesses said.

(snip)

When that didn’t happen, the third man produced a .40-caliber Firestorm handgun. He later admitted to police that he pointed the gun at the attacker because he feared for the safety of the victim.

The man in the Nissan fled the scene. Several witnesses essentially corroborated the victim’s story, including the wife of the 24-year-old man with the gun. She told police that she was also armed, and that she had her weapon at the ready, fearing for the safety of her husband and the victim.

More Here

Saturday, January 31, 2015

FL: Armed Man Stops Car Theft



Investigators said two suspects tried to steal the victim’s car in front of his home on Strasberg Trail near state roads 408 and 436 just before 4 a.m. Friday.

The victim woke up and grabbed his gun, then ran outside and fired a shot. The suspects fled on S.R. 436, police said.

More Here

NH: Constitutional Carry Introduced



Constitutional carry has been introduced in New Hampshire by Jeb Bradley(r).  David Boutin and J.R. Hoell are cosponsors.   The bill number is SB116, and is being followed at the nhliberty.org site.  Here is the analysis if the bill:
This bill:
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.
In 2011, constitutional carry, in the form of HB330, passed the house 244 to 109.   Then the NRA representative started bad mouthing the bill.   It was put on hold.  The weaker NRA bill also was put on hold.  Neither passed.   From pgnh.org:
 John Hohenwarter, the NRA representative, worked hard to cause HB330 to be held.  The main reason is he has a four page amendment (the different version) he does not want to debate in public.  He has told Bob Clegg, the President of Pro-Gun New Hampshire (and former NH Senate Majority Leader), that NH is one of those states too stupid to deal with its own legislation, and has stated he will continue to interfere politically until NH accepts his amendment and does so without public hearings in the House or the Senate. Mr. Clegg intends on meeting him head on all year until the bill is released.  As a life member of NRA he also intends on speaking out against NRA's spokesperson, because if NH caves in to this kind of treatment it won't be long before every representative of NRA is as anti-constitution-carry as John Hohenwarter.
This is an excerpt of the defense of the actions in New Hampshire in 2011 by the NRA-ILA:

Unfortunately, H.B. 330, while well-intentioned, was poorly drafted. In its current form, the bill falls short of good firearms policy. Changes and clarifications are necessary to not only strengthen its provisions, but also to prevent serious, unintended legal consequences.

As passed in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, H.B. 330 would create legitimate concerns about the carrying of concealed loaded handguns in public by minors. While the bill would not protect the carrying of firearms by minors, it would not actually prohibit it either. This is a key distinction, as under current law, minors are essentially prohibited from carrying concealed loaded handguns in public by the licensing requirement, which would be repealed if H.B. 330 were enacted.

Even more problematic, H.B. 330 would preempt prosecution for the carrying of a firearm in any situation that is not specifically excluded in the bill itself. This includes such instances as:
A search of NRA field representatives shows Brian Smith as the field rep for Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire at this time.

I would have thought the best strategy would have been to pass it, even if some parts might be questionable.  They could always be fixed later.   There is a momentum to a bill's passage, and it appears that the NRA rep managed to stop the momentum cold.   This year, New Hampshire has another Democrat Governor, Maggie Hassan, who is careful not to mention that she is a long term committed Democrat in her Governor's web site.

Constitutional carry has expanded to five or six states, depending on how you count.  Some count Montana, others do not.   Several states have passed a bill, some have been vetoed by hostile governors.

Constitutional carry in New Hampshire seemed like a shoo-in, even past a governor's veto, in 2011.  It will be interesting to see what happens this year.


©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

David Codrea: Revoked judgment in Dobyns case reveals further government misconduct




Starting out quoting Shakespeare and ending up citing Kafka, Judge Francis M. Allegra’s conclusions about ATF conduct that led him to rule in favor of retired agent Jay Dobyns in a breach of covenant suit are scathingly revealed in his previously sealed opinion. That judgment was revoked after Allegra learned of “fraud upon the court” considerations, this column reported Sunday.

Leading his opinion with a verse from Othello, Allegra pointedly let the government defendants he ruled against know he considered them to have robbed Dobyns of his “good name.” Concluding his opinion with a reference comparing Dobyns’ ordeal to that imposed by the ‘totalitarian state” in “The Trial,” and calling it “Kafkaesque,” Allegra further observed that the conduct of "certain ATF officials ... bears little resemblance to the lofty sayings carved into the facades of the Department of Justice.” He was referring to “words now carved into the office rotunda of the Attorney General” that “The United States wins its point whenever justice is done its citizens in the courts.”

“Based on the breach of the covenant, the court finds that plaintiff [Dobyns] is entitled to damages in the amount of $173,000,” Allegra ordered in the opinion he has since revoked in order to pursue an investigation into further government misconduct. “The court concludes that defendant [ATF] is entitled to – nothing.”

Contained between such surprisingly literary judicial bookends is much “legalese,” and much “backstory” that in many cases reads more like a novel than like a record of dry facts. It's almost surreal when figures from Operation Fast and Furious appear in this account, and they act in character consistent with how they established themselves in that story. This time, with additional “cast members” (and the legal document at times reads just like a script), the technique of “slow walking” (as in deliberately dragging their feet investigating the arson of Dobyns’ home) brings to mind another “walking” technique employed by ATF in that other installment of the bureau’s directed misadventures.

Also contained in the narrative is the judge’s unequivocal opinion that Dobyns was not only clearly exonerated for the fire that destroyed his home – a smear intended to cast his character and motives into doubt – but that ATF officials knew he was innocent, and behaved in a manner that was “reprehensible” and actually “compounded the potential harm that might have befallen the Dobyns family." And testimony presented later in the opinion further revealed that reopening the arson case was discouraged by ATF’s Chief Counsel’s Office because it “would damage [the] civil case.”

More Here

Does Marin Prosecutor Beberian have an Unhealthy Obsession with Guns?



More evidence has surfaced that California's Marin County Prosecutor, Ed Berberian, has a bias, perhaps even an obsession, against gun owners and self defense.  Six months ago Dr. James Simon defended himself and his wife of 38 years from an aggressive driver who followed him to his home, drove his Mercedes part way into the Simon's garage to prevent the door from closing, and persisted in invading the home after two warning shots were fired.   Doctor Simon shot the man and called the police.

Berberian prosecuted anyway.  He has a history of aggressively prosecuting self defense cases, especially those who use guns, according to commenters from Marin County.   From marinij.com:

In the other case I mention, a person was arrested after shooting a knife- wielding attacker who had broken into the victim's house through the window while the victim was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher. The victim had never committed a crime in their life and had a restraining order against the attacker. The victim had called the police many times about the attacker. The attacker got in through the broken window, lunged at the victim to wrest the gun away and was shot and killed. The victim was charged with murder by our Marin DA but the judge threw out the charge, so the DA is now pursuing manslaughter charges against the victim. The victim is still in jail after many months, awaiting trial, cannot afford the bail amount. I read in the IJ that the DA will push for 21 years prison time, because he used a gun. 21 years for defending yourself in your own home against an armed intruder while you are on the phone to 911? REALLY?!

The evidence in the case involving Dr. Simon was so one sided, that the judge dismissed it at a preliminary hearing.  Berberian did not like the result, and said so in public:
“I’m very disappointed in the ruling. I think it sends the wrong message to the community. Since I have been DA, I have been extremely sensitive to the issue of gun violence. I don’t want that in our community. We have to have some community standards,” Berberian said.
Dr. Simon has an extensive gun collection of over 50 firearms, mostly WWII collectibles and hunting guns.  Such a collection could be worth tens of thousands of dollars.  All of the guns were registered and legal under California's highly restrictive gun laws.  Given Berberian's obsession with "gun violence", the possession of over 50 guns might subject Dr. Simon to more prosecutorial attention than otherwise.   Berberian has gone so far as to encourage families to get rid of toy guns.  From marinij.com:
Berberian is joining forces with the Center for Domestic Peace and Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream to encourage families to get rid of toy guns and violent video games.
Berberian has pushed for legislation making it a crime to possess a toy gun that does not have an orange or red tip on the muzzle.  From contrcostatimes.com:
Frustrated by the situation, Berberian called Assemblyman Marc Levine to see if there is a way to introduce legislation making it a misdemeanor offense to possess an altered toy gun.
Berberian pushed for symbolic gun "buy back" turn-in programs that criminologists have repeatedly said have no measurable effect.   Economist Steven D. Levitt of "Freakonomics" fame agrees that they are not effective in fighting crime.  But they make strident political theater, screaming out the message: Guns Are Bad.  Turn Them In!   From nbcbayarea.com:
A second gun buyback event is scheduled for Monday at the Mill Valley Police Department, but Berberian said people surrendering guns there will be told they won't receive any money. The buyback is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m..
Berberian decided to act on his disappointment with the judges ruling in Dr. Simon's case.  He convened a grand jury, and Dr. Simon faces another indictment before another judge today, 30 January.    Berberian is personally prosecuting the case.  From sfgate.com:
The case is being prosecuted personally by District Attorney Ed Berberian.
Prosecutors whose cases are dismissed at preliminary hearings can refile charges or take evidence to grand juries without violating defendants’ double-jeopardy rights, said legal analyst Steve Clark, a former Santa Clara County prosecutor who now works as a defense attorney.

“He gets one more bite at the apple,” Clark said.

But Clark added, “The question becomes, why are they doing it? Is it vindictive prosecution, that you’re sort of piling on a case that shouldn’t be done, or is there new or different information?”
Marin County has a low crime rate, so perhaps DA Berberian has a lot of time on his hands.  Time he can use to push prosecutions of upstanding elderly doctors who defend their families.    After all, it is not his money.  And maybe, just maybe, he will be able to destroy a doctor's life and 50 some collectible guns.  He has to send a "message".  After all, its "for the children".    No matter how many innocent lives have to be destroyed. 

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch



Friday, January 30, 2015

FL: Home Invader Shot by Man Protecting Family



Police said the resident, Jimmy Soto, 28, armed himself with a 9mm handgun and partially opened the door.

According to police, Ricker tried to pull the door open and force his way inside.

(snip)

"He was looking for drugs when he came to my house," Stinson said. "I'm sure the (the resident) had to defend himself because the dude was trying to break in. It's scary. It happens everywhere but you don't expect it to happen that close to home."

Other residents said they believe Soto had no choice but to open fire.

More Here

TX:Gunfight with Home Invaders



A woman who works on the lot said three or four armed men wearing masks yelled at the homeowner to get on the ground. The homeowner ended up exchanging gunfire with them.

“He grabbed his own weapon for self defense and he started shooting at them because they started shooting at him too,” the woman said.

More Here

MI: Detroit: 74-Year-Old Shoots 19-Year-Old White Home Invader



"As he walked through the home, the home invader confronted him with the gun. He shot the home invader and the home invader died here on scene," Coombs said.

Neighbors know the 74-year-old man as "Larry." They say he legally carries a gun and they know he would defend his home.

More Here

TX:Retired man and Robber gunfight, both hit

A retired deputy was injured during a gunfight with a robber inside a fast food restaurant in east Houston.

(snip)

The robbed fled the scene, but police believe he was also shot because he left a blood trail behind.

More Here

Gun range owner bans Muslims, claims business booming


  "An Arkansas gun range owner says she saw business explode after she banned Muslims from the premises. Jan Morgan, the owner of the The Gun Cave Indoor Firing Range in Hot Springs National Park, issued the ban in the fall of 2014. According to her website janmorganmedia.com, Morgan has read the Qur'an and did not like what she saw. Sun News interviewed Morgan and found out that business is booming since she pulled the trigger on the ban."

http://www.calgarysun.com/2015/01/29/gun-range-owner-bans-muslims-claims-business-booming

TX: Patrick Continues Support for Open Carry



Lt. Governor Dan Patrick was quoted as saying that open carry bills might not come up for a vote this session on Tuesday.  From dallasnews.com:
 “Open carry is important, but I don’t think there is support in the Legislature to pass it,” Patrick said. “The votes have not been there.”
 Wednesday he reiterated his support for that legislation.  From texastribune.org:
After noting that he had referred a bill to committee allowing concealed weapons to be carried on university campuses by those with appropriate licenses, Patrick said in a statement, "Now that [Senate Bill] 11 has support and is moving towards passage we can focus on other Second Amendment issues, including open carry, which I have consistently supported."
It does not appear to me that Patrick is actually waffling here.  What I suspect is that this controversy was ginned up by the more leftist media in Texas, attempting to derail pro-second amendment legislation.  Patrick made the initial remarks to Texas Tribune editor in Chief, Evan Smith.  Smith is an Austin Texas transplant from New York, who founded and runs the Texas Tribune, a decidedly left of center publication.  From chron.com:
When Smith pressed the Houston Republican whether he would be a “yea” or “nay” vote for open carry if he was still a senator, Patrick deflected, saying, “I don’t have a vote anymore.”
“That’s not an answer,” Smith shot back, to which Patrick finally responded, “If I was going to vote against it, then as lieutenant governor I would hold the bill. I just said I’m going to let the bill move, OK?”
Patrick, who co-sponsored legislation in 2013 to legalize concealed carry on college campuses, also said he thinks the votes are there this year to allow gun toting at universities. On Monday, a campus carry bill filed boasted a super-majority of 19 co-sponsors, the exact number needed to pass the bill out of the Senate under new rules the chamber passed last week.
If open carry is to pass in Texas, open carry advocates will have to convince 19 Texas Senators that they have more clout than leftwing Texas media does.  That is the power structure that the senators will be looking at.

Do they face the ire of thousands of dedicated activists who have vowed to primary those who vote against the bill?   Or do they face the opposition of leftwing media who have held disproportionate power in Texas for a significant time?   The defeat of Governor candidate Wendy Davis, her willingness to support open carry, and the large majorities of Republicans in the House and Senate appear on the open carry supporters side.

There is no credible public policy position against open carry, as it is in effect in 44 states without problems.   The ban of open carry of handguns in Texas (open carry of long guns is protected by the Texas constitution) is a relic of the reconstruction government.

I wrote the above words before I found Dan Patrick's tweet here
  Dan Patrick         @DanPatrick
It's typical of the media looking to build wedges among conservatives, to take words out of context. More : https://www.facebook.com/dan.patrick.texas/posts/10152543325461836 
Then I found this statement at the facebook page above:

There were inaccurate reports in the media and across the Internet yesterday regarding my comments concerning Open Carry legislation. Despite reports to the contrary, I have never changed my position on the issue. I remain a steadfast supporter of the second amendment and Open Carry legislation.

As is typical of the media looking to build wedges among conservatives, many stories took words out of context. I did not say the bill was dead but suggested instead that, because the votes were not there (at this time), it had not risen to a level of priority....at this point. That is far different than saying an issue is not a priority, it just means work still needs to be done.
It is clear that the activists are finding out who really opposes them.  From the facebook page comments:
 Sarah Mass Lefever Figured lamestream media had something to do with this mess.. keep up the good fight. . Would love to volunteer for you!
 Jarrad Mears Dan,

I've been hating on you a little hard but I do know how the media can twist words. Get this done and make it happen. A lot of people are stirred up and really pissed off. All I can say is prove yourself and we'll follow. If you don't then you know how that story will end.
Pat Davis Pearson Fight for us sir, and we will fight for you. I expect to see this bill come up for vote.



 ©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

Thursday, January 29, 2015

OH: Evidence Supports Self Defense Claim



At the same time, the alleged robbery victim contacted Columbus police and admitted he shot Mullins. He told officers that he shot him in self-defense after Mullins attempted to rob him at gunpoint.

Police say evidence indicates Mullins was attempting to rob the man when he was killed. So far, charges have not been filed against that shooter.

More Here

TX: Robbers Run in, Robbers run out. Nothing taken

In this unusual case in Texas, four robbers run in, then they run out.  In a store full of expensive jewelry, they take nothing.  There is video at the link.
As the four left the store, Parker said, the jeweler who was forced to the ground grabbed his gun and shot at the robbers. She said the robbers shot back at least twice hitting her store.

Police said the robbers took off in a stolen van that was found just down the street. Nothing was taken from the store. No one was hurt. She added security and hopes to keep this from happening again.

More Here

Restoration of Second Amendment on Corps Land Proposed by Senator from Idaho



Idaho Senator Mike Crapo has introduced legislation(pdf) to remove federal infringments on second amendment rights from lands controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). From the press release:

The bill seeks to make firearm regulations consistent across federal lands by allowing law-abiding citizens to carry firearms on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) property. Under current law, a person may carry a concealed weapon in a National Park or Refuge as long as individuals comply with the firearm laws of the park’s home state. However, the same rights are not extended to Americans who hunt, camp or fish on land owned by the Corps, effectively denying them of their Second Amendment freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution when on Corps lands. 
 This legislation has been introduced for the last three sessions of Congress but has been bottled up by Harry Reid in the Senate and the Obama administration.  Perhaps the administration should have agreed to the legislative compromise before the ban was challenged in court.   Now the Corps is faced with a court decision citing Peruta in the Ninth Circuit, that declares that carry outside of the home is a constitutional right.

On 10 January, 2014, Judge B. Lynn Winmill of the United States District Court for the District of Idaho, issued a preliminary injunction against the Army Corps of Engineers to prevent enforcement of the Corps' rules banning guns on the properties that it manages.   Here is a link to the ruling itself (pdf).

The press release continues:
“Not only does this policy discourage use of the 11.7 million acres, 460 lakes and almost 500 recreational areas that are owned or managed by the Corps, but, more importantly, it infringes on Americans’ Second Amendment rights,” said Crapo. “The rights of lawful gun owners do not stop at arbitrary boundaries, and this legislation will ensure those rights are protected by bringing consistency to the current conflicting myriad of firearm regulations imposed across public lands.” 
Specifically, Crapo’s legislation would clarify that federal regulations should not forbid the possession of firearms on Army Crops projects and lands, as long as the firearm possession complies with state laws. Additionally, it would ensure that Corps policy is consistent with the policy already in effect at National Parks or Refuges. 
 In June of 2014, a lawsuit was filed in Georgia asking for an injunction against enforcement of the Corps' ban in that state.   The  judge there ignored the second amendment implications, ruling that all of Corps lands were "sensitive", like a school or government building.

Summary judgment in favor of second amendment rights was granted in the Idaho case on October 13, 2014.  Here is a link to the rulilng(pdf).

Now that Harry Reid is not controlling the Senate, able to block reforms, the bill has a good chance of passage.   President Obama might sign it if it is attached to legislation that he wants to see passed, as he did with the reform that removed most federal infringements on second amendment rights in national parks and refuges.

When the national park legislation was passed, an unfortunate oversight left a provision in that the law for a general prohibition on the carry of arms into "federal facilities", which applied to federal offices.  This allowed the National Park Service (NPS) to regulate the carry of firearms within federal "facilities" enclosed in National Parks.

The Park Service has used this oversight to ban the carry of guns in most National Park buildings, including restrooms in Yellowstone!  I was surprised to see the reason given in the Intermountain regulations.    Apparently, your ability to carry a personal firearm into a National Park restroom is considered a matter of national security.   Here is the quote from the IMR NPS pdf.
•     For national security reasons, guns cannot be
carried into federal facilities within national
parks. Notice of this rule will be clearly
displayed outside all federal facilities. If
you are unsure if a park building is a federal
facility, look for a sign or ask a park ranger.

Perhaps this time, the oversight that allowed recalcitrant NPS bureaucrats to ban guns in park bathrooms will be corrected.   I doubt that the Senate meant for people with personal pistols to be forced to pee behind a tree.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch


FL: Student saves Herself and Boyfriend with Revolver given by Father


Sable Nehme shows how she turned from the closet and pointed the revolver.

In this case in Florida, a young woman stops a potential tragedy by quickly retrieving a gun that had been given to her by her father.  A second later would have been too late.  From wftv.com:
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. —
Channel 9 talked with a University of Central Florida student who pulled a gun on two violent intruders who attacked her boyfriend and threatened her life.
The neighborhood, the Village of Alafaya Club, in Orlando, may be sketchy, as are many neighborhoods around universities.  Perhaps local readers will be able to tell us if that surmise is true.  The boyfriend, Nour Skargee, checked the peephole before opening the door.  He only saw one of the intruders.  As he cracked the door open, the intruder pushed his way in, grabbed him and pushed him inside.  A second intruder in a hoody quickly followed, placed a gun in his face, and ordered him to the floor.



That is when the intruders threatened his girlfriend:
"They said they were going to kill (her), and that's when I really lost hope, you know?" Skargee said.
Fortunately, Sable Nehme's father had given her a revolver.  She was in her bedroom, and the revolver was in the closet of her bedroom.  She quickly locked the door and retrieved the revolver, slipping off the holster that it was in.  By this time one of the invaders had broken through the door and was rapidly approaching.  By the time she had turned, he was within a couple of feet of her.  As she turned and pointed the gun at him, he slammed to a halt and ran from the room and out the apartment.

Link to video:

Sable's gun was real.  It later turned out that the invader's gun was a pellet gun.   Even without the threat of the invader's gun, she would have been justified in shooting the criminals.  As Nehme said:
"I am so thankful I had that gun in my room. Like, I don't know what would have happened,"
Skargee added his opinion, from wesh.com:
If we didn't have a gun, it would have been game over. They were bigger than me, bigger than both of us," Skargee said. "We had no way of stopping them. The gun was the one thing that made them run."
But what if Sable had not been in her bedroom?  What if she had kept the gun unloaded and locked up, as many disarmists suggest?  What if the invader had been a second faster or a step quicker?

Of course, better security at the door would have helped a lot.  If Nour had a gun on him, or had retrieved one before answering the door, those questions would likely have been moot.

What did not happen is also important.  The disarmists claim that college students are too irresponsible to have guns.  They claim that they will indiscriminately shoot themselves and others.   It did not happen in this case, and seldom happens at all.  This case is one of many hundreds of thousands each year that do not result in shootings and are therefore unrecorded.   There will be no official record of this defensive gun use.

Sable Nehme is a lucky young woman whose father thought enough of her to realize that she was responsible enough to protect herself.  If he had not, she would likely be just another statistic, beaten, raped, or killed.

Could this be the wise father who supplied Sable with her revolver?  The caption says "Beautiful day on the beach with my family :) "  He appears in several other photos of Sable on photobucket.

Sable, from social media, is 22 years old.  She is eligible for a Florida concealed carry license.I hope that she takes some self defense courses and obtains a concealed carry license.  Many people do after having a close call such as this one.

 Definition of  disarmist 
 
 ©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

Powerful Read: Save a life or sneer at an idiot - your choice

This powerful essay by Greg Ellifritz is worth reading.

Interesting experience at the shooting range this afternoon ...

The range is packed. Everyone got new guns for X-mas and wants to shoot them. There was about an hour wait for a stall. I sit down and start reading as I wait my turn. In a few minutes, a young girl sits down to wait in the chair next to mine. She's by herself and appears to be in her early 20s. She's the only black person in the room and one of the only women. She seems nervous as she fiddles with the gun case in her lap. She's obviously uncomfortable.

Uncomfortable people with guns in their hands shooting in the stall next to me isn't what I like to see. I decide to talk to her. Keep in mind that no one at this range knows me or knows what I do for a living. That's why I like shooting there; I have complete anonymity and can focus on my own training rather than teaching others. I rarely talk to anyone, but something told me that I needed to talk to this girl.

"It's a long wait, huh?" "What kind of gun did you bring to shoot?"

She smiles and seems visibly relieved that someone was being nice to her. She says "It's just a 9mm. Nothing special, but it's the only thing I could afford."

We keep talking. I find out she's a single mom with two kids. Her house has been broken into three times in the last two months. The last burglary attempt occurred while she was in the house with her kids. She has never shot a gun, but she recognized that she had a duty to protect her family. She went to a gun show and bought a Jimenez Arms JA-9. She asked all her male friends and family members to go to the range with her, but all of them turned her down.

She tells me that she has a bad feeling that the robbers are coming back tonight to get the x-mas presents she bought for her kids. She doesn't know anything about guns and doesn't know anyone who can teach her. She's signed up for a CCW class, but no one teaches classes on the week of Christmas and she can't find an opening until January. The problem is that she thinks the robbers are coming TONIGHT. A January class isn't going to help.

More Here

David Codrea: Chicago pol paves way for Surgeon General Murthy to break phony pledge on guns



“[T]he gun lobby’s campaign against Murthy isn’t really about his record, or him at all,” ZoĆ« Carpenter of The Nation told her “progressive” readers last March, meaning Opposite Day warnings should have been in full effect. She was passing along citizen disarmament lobby talking points about why Obama’s nominee for Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, was being opposed by the mean old National Rifle Association.

“[T]he campaign against Murthy is the continuation of a longstanding effort to make discussion of gun violence taboo,” Carpenter offered as the motive, purposely keeping mum about the real reason – to stop using tax plunder to gin up fake “studies” with predetermined conclusions for the express purpose of giving “progressive” politicians phony “health data” to exploit and defraud Americans out of their rights.

But don’t take my word for it – ask Mark Rosenberg of the CDC, who said he wanted to see guns “dirty, deadly and banned,” or Harvard School of Public Health’s Deborah Prothrow-Stith, who opined "My own view on gun control is simple. I hate guns – and cannot imagine why anybody would want to own one. If I had my way, guns for sport would be registered, and all other guns would be banned."

“His positions on guns are hardly radical or even activist,” Carpenter argued, no doubt because she's disappointed they don’t overtly go anywhere near as far as Rosenberg and Stith would take us, and because she’s evidently at least marginally mature enough to know whining “When are we gonna be there?” won’t make an incremental journey to the end goal any shorter. “He has ... expressed support for limited gun safety measures like a ban on assault weapons, mandatory safety training and limits on ammunition.”

You know, “reasonable” stuff. What happens when millions of gun owners reply “Hell no” and salivating citizen disarmament zealots let slip the dogs of war to bend us "ammosexual gun-humpers" to their will is left unstated, but the results would no doubt represent the pinnacle of “progressive common sense,” not to mention be a “progressive public health model” triumph – keeping that Opposite Day truism in mind, of course.

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Open Carry Activists in Texas Gain Ground



Open carry activists at the State Capitol in Austin.

The movement to restore open carry to Texas has heated up in the last year and a half.  It arguably accelerated with  C.J. Grisham being accosted by a police officer in rural Bell County.  An army veteran whose family owns thousands of acres in Bell county,  Grisham was eventually convicted of "interfering with police duties" after a second jury trial.  He is paying a $2,000 fine.  On the installment plan.  In nickles.   The results are still under appeal.  Many who have watched the video of the event think the police officer is the one who should have been reprimanded.  The video went viral, and Grisham's zeal for open carry has blossomed into thousands of armed Texans marching to demand their second amendment rights.  Charges against nearly all open carriers have been dropped.

Those thousands of activists across the state have been busy.   A number of Republicans have been primaried, and even the Democrat governor candidate could not hang onto her senate seat.  She was replaced by a staunch pro constitution Republican.   The new Governor, the Lt. Governor, and many, many legislators have all said that they support open carry.  There is some question about what kind of open carry will come from the legislature.  Governor Abbot has said that he will sign whatever open carry bill comes his way, either licensed open carry, which 13 states have, or constitutional carry, which 5 states have.  Not mentioned was unlicensed open carry, where a license is required for concealed carry, but not for open carry.  31 states have that arrangement.  Texas is one of only six states that ban the open carry of modern handguns in most public spaces.

It was with some interest that I read the article in the texasobserver.org. titled "Open Carry Activists Rally at Capitol.

The article made a passing reference to how open carry came to be restricted in Texas.   It was born of the reconstruction government after the War Between the States, or Civil War, if you prefer. 

It notes that the activists have learned effective political theater.  In this case, putting bananas in empty holsters to make a point.  It is a powerful image that attracts the eye.



The article also shows that most states already have open carry, and that Texas is an anomaly. 
Texas is one of six states that doesn’t allow open carry of handguns, although it does permit the open carry of long-guns and antique handguns made before 1899. Thirty-one states currently allow open carry without a permit and 13 require a permit.

They give some more detail about the origin of the ban as opinion from a black open carry activist:
Sterling Lands, a bishop with Family Life International Fellowship in Austin and the lone black face in the crowd of demonstrators, had a reason for supporting open carry that wasn’t articulated by the speakers. He believes that restrictive gun laws in Texas were created as a response to the Emancipation Proclamation and the end of the Civil War, and that current gun laws are discriminatory.
“The idea was to make certain that blacks were never able to rise up in any type of an armed revolt,” Lands said.
Representative Jonathan Stickland who authored the bill, spoke to and demonstrated with the open carry activists.  He showed his commitment to  constitutional carry, with the threat of primary opposition:
Stickland is also committed to getting constitutional carry legislation passed, promising that he will offer an amendment on any gun-related bill, “no matter what my colleagues say.”
“We will force the vote,” Stickland said. “And if they have the gall to vote against this bill then we will replace them in the next primary.”
Looking at this from a Republican representative's eyes, in a purely Machiavellian approach, it is hard to see much in the way of downsides to passing Constitutional carry, while there are many positives.

It is clear that there are thousands of activists throughout the state, that they will be watching the votes, and that they have long memories.   The threat of being primaried is real, and has happened to other representatives who no longer hold their exalted positions. 

There does not exist *any* such opposition on the other side.  What opposition that exists is mostly in the form of dying media outlets and billionaires who want to tell everyone else how to live.   Those billionaires do not have their sights set on Texas.   There are no grass roots efforts to primary pro-constitution people. 

There is a tiny negative in that the old media has some weak opposition to open carry.  It matters little to Republican candidates, who are constantly tarred as tools of the NRA by the old media in any case. 

The existence of open carry in the vast majority of states makes the fear based arguments against it ineffective.   Criminals almost never openly carry, because it draws attention to them.   Other than a vague "we hate guns" principle on the left, there are no valid public policy arguments against it.

The Republican legislators have very strong reasons to vote for constitutional carry, and very weak reasons to vote against it.   Vote for it, and have thousands of activists approve, maybe even promote your election.   Vote against it, and have thousands of activists that have shown their dedication, work to take you out in the next primary.

This is the same dynamic that resulted in the concealed carry revolution across the 50 States.   The best summation of it is in Rise of the Anti-Media, by  Brian Anse Patrick, professor of Communications at University of Toledo, Ohio.

If I were a Texas Republican, I would pass constitutional carry, and not have to worry about the next primary and facing the same issue again the next legislative session.  That is exactly how constitutional carry came to Alaska.   An Alaska Democrat just got tired of constantly losing incremental battles to restrict the legal carry of firearms, and said, let's pass constitutional carry, then we can get on to bigger issues.   It is good advice for legislatures in all the states.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

Gun Control Group Wants Emily Miller Fired


Members of a pro-gun-control group want Washington Fox affiliate WTTG to dismiss reporter Emily Miller for her speech last week at a pro-gun rally in Richmond. A petition, being circulated by the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, takes umbrage with Miller’s longtime advocacy for looser gun regulations, much of which she’s documented during her career in journalism.

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NM: Store Owner Wins Gunfight with Rifle Armed Robber



Investigators say Zebadiah Romero, 26, entered the store around 1 p.m. with a .30-.30 caliber rifle.

According to police he threatened people inside the store and demanded money from the cash drawer. While in the store he fired one shot at the owner, but police say the owner returned fire hitting Romero in the leg.

More Here

OR: Warning Shots Scare off Suspect

That neighbor also called 911 to report that the man had attempted to break into his house. He told deputies he fired a handgun into the air to scare the suspect away, Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said.

(snip)

A spokesman with Clackamas Co. Sheriff’s Office told KOIN 6 News while it is not illegal to fire a gun, if a stray bullet from the homeowner was found to have hit a person or property, he could face charges.

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NE: Shooting was Justified



Kleine says Lorenz was helping Toler's wife while she was having a conflict with her husband.

Witnesses say Toler broke Lorenz's windshield with his bare hands, according to Kleine, and Lorenz shot in self defense.

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TX: Gunfight, 30 shots, no hits



According to investigators, the homeowner grabbed his pistol and began firing shots at the criminals from the top of the stairs.

"It's our understanding he was quite scared and terrified, in fear of his life. He discharged his weapon, and as they retreated, they shot back," said Assistant Chief Mark Herman with Harris County Precinct 4.
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LA: Homeowner Holds Suspect at Gunpoint

"Initial reports indicate Damico came to the residence looking for someone and forced his way in past the homeowners. The complainant then chased Damico out of the residence where he was met by another family member … who held him at gunpoint until deputies arrived," a news release said.

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MN: Councilman with Gun acts, defends Colleagues



In the dramatic video from inside the New Hope, Minnesota city council chambers, one of the council members reacts to the sound of gunfire outside of the doors by drawing his own weapon and preparing to defend his colleagues. 

Link to video:

It is clear that the council member on the left of the screen has considered this sort of scenario, and is mentally prepared.   Immediately after the shots are fired, you hear a voice saying, "Get down!, Get down!".  As the video progresses, and shows the councilman with the handgun on the left, it is clear that he is the one giving commands and taking responsibility for defense, even though he has to expose himself to do so.

The image stands in stark contrast to the picture at the Canadian parliament, where the legislators armed themselves with makeshift spears.  

It appears that the city council was the target.  The attacker, Raymond Kmetz, had a long history of difficult interactions with local governments and police.  He had been committed numerous times and had been found incompetent.  He was not legally allowed to possess firearms.  Felony cases against Kmetz had been dismissed because of his mental state.  From kstp.com:

Kmetz’s brother told KSTP'S Beth McDonough, that the family had warned police officers about threats Kmetz apparently made about using firearms and "all we could do was sit back and wait for it to happen."  He asked not to be identified.
Two new officers had been sworn in at the New Hope City Council moments before, and were attacked just outside the door with other officers.  Initial reports are not clear if the attacker used a long gun or a hand gun.  Two officers, one newly sworn in, were wounded before the attacker was shot and killed.   It has to be one of the fastest shootings in a police career, no more than minutes; perhaps only seconds!

One of the most difficult barriers for people to overcome in their own defense, is the denial that it could happen to them.   Over and over again, we read of victims that say, "I could not believe that it was happening".  "This can not be real".  "I did not believe that it could happen to me".    If something is outside of your mental framework, it takes considerable processing to understand what is going on.

People who obtain concealed carry permits have overcome that barrier.  They have already decided that it could happen to them.   In the New Hope shooting, the city council member with the concealed carry permit shows this mindset very clearly.   He is the first to understand what is going on.  He takes charge and issues appropriate commands.  He prepares for the worst,and does not panic. 

In a emergency, quick action is often required.  Many valuable seconds are wasted in denial that what is happening is real.   One way to overcome this handicap is to play the "what if" game.   As people go about their daily lives they consider; what if someone tried to carjack me at the grocery store; what if someone insisted that I give them money; what if someone attacked the city council.  Then, when an emergency happens, they have already considered a response to a somewhat similar situation, and they do not have to start the mental processes from scratch.

Another good method is to read about actual crimes that have occurred, as are shown on Gun Watch.  Having read about actual self defense situations makes it easier to accept that one is happening to you.

I applaud the city council member who took quick action to defend his colleagues.   Though he did not have to shoot anyone, he showed that he has "the right stuff".   Quick thinking and clearheaded action in the face of gunfire at the door should be applauded and rewarded.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Knife Owners Protection Act Filed in Congress


Congressman Matt Salmon from Arizona has filed the Knife Owners Protection Act (KOPA) in the 2015 session of Congress.   KOPA would extend to knives the protections afforded to firearm owners in the Firearms Owners Protection Act (FOPA) of 1986.   If a person may legally own a knife where he started his travel, and may legally own it where at the end point, he would be protected in possessing it at points in between.  From H.R. 419(pdf):
(a) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding any provision of
8   any law or any rule or regulation of the United States,
9   or of a State or any political subdivision of a State, any
10 person who is not otherwise prohibited by Federal law
1   from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a
2   knife or knives shall be entitled to transport a knife or
3   knives from any place where such person may lawfully pos-
4   sess, carry or transport such a knife or knives to any other
5   place where such person may lawfully possess, carry or
6   transport such a knife or knives if—
 The law corrects some of the oversights in the FOPA legislation by explicitly protecting overnight stays, stops for fuel and food, and for any stop reasonably connected with the travel.     It also allows for civil action against officials who ignore the law and arrest or prosecute individuals who are following the law, under provisions similar to 18 U.S.C.  Knife Rights says this about the bill:
"Originally authored by Knife Rights and first introduced by Representative Salmon in the last session of Congress, Knife Rights developed the Knife Owners' Protection Act to address this absurd situation in a commonsense manner that is fair and equitable and is based on established legislative and legal precedent," Ritter noted, "we've fought hard to defend the right to carry a knife in the individual states, cities and towns, but KOPA represents a key initiative to protect law-abiding knife owners simply passing through areas like New York City where possessing the most commonly owned pocket knife in America today, the one-hand opening folding knife, may result in arrest and prosecution."

Over the last century of progressive rule, numerous knife laws have proliferated among thousands of local governments, making travel a legal minefield for people who carry simple, everyday tools.   In New York City, 60,000 people have been arrest in the past decade for simply carrying common pocket knives. 

No doubt the laws were passed with the assurance that police officers and prosecutors would use discretion and only prosecute "bad guys".  But what happens when a greedy or ambitious prosecutor discovers that he has a gold mine at his disposal, as happened in NYC?  There the prosecutor is running what amounts to a protection racket.   A retailer that carries commonly available pocket knives is told that if he does not cease to carry the product, he will be charged.   The charge will be dropped if he makes a "contribution" to the prosecutors pet "public education fund" that is completely controlled by the prosecutor.  From kniferights.org:
Among the dozen or so businesses that have reported to have been targeted in New York City are Eastern Mountain Sports, Orvis, Paragon Sports, Lowe's and Home Depot. At least one out-of-state Internet retailer has been targeted.
You can view one of a number of news articles and images of the DA's Thursday afternoon news conference (held after this initial Knife Rights new release was sent out) here: http://bit.ly/ar7FLT

The six-figure so-called "contributions" are being made to a "public education fund" controlled by the DA in order to secure "deferred prosecution" agreements to avoid threatened criminal charges. Additional outrageous and over-reaching demands have also apparently been made to avoid prosecution.

Even the Village Voice has come out against this sort of prosecutorial misconduct.

Second amendment friendly states are not immune.  Before Arizona passed its knife preemption statute in 2010, a major city in the Phoenix metroplex outlawed the carry of any knife with more than a 1.5 inch blade!

Knives are clearly arms protected by the U.S. Constitution.  This legislation is a good first step in the direction of restoring those Constitutional rights.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

TX: Campus Carry Has Senate Support



A bill to reduce defenseless victim zones on establishments of higher learning has been introduced in the Texas legislature.  It is commonly known as a "campus carry" bill, SB11.

SB11 has 19 of 20 Republican senators as authors. They are; Birdwell | Bettencourt | Burton | Campbell | Creighton | Eltife | Estes | Fraser | Hall | Hancock | Huffines | Kolkhorst | Nelson | Nichols | Perry | Schwertner | Seliger | Taylor, Larry | Taylor, Van.

There are only 31 senators in the Texas senate, so a majority of senators already agree with the bill.

The bill is a moderately complicated campus carry bill that removes state restrictions on the carry of concealed handguns on campus by permit holders.. It seems to only apply to handguns, not to knives, pepper spray, stun guns, or any other of the multitudes of legal self defense weapons that individuals elect to carry. Institutes of higher learning may adopt rules or regulations regulating the storage concealed handguns in dormitories or other residential properties that they own. From the bill:
(d) An institution of higher education or private or
independent institution of higher education in this state may
establish rules, regulations, or other provisions concerning the
storage of handguns in dormitories or other residential facilities
that are owned or leased and operated by the institution and located
on the campus of the institution.
It does not force private or independent colleges and universities to allow students to carry concealed weapons if they have a concealed carry permit.  If they wish to ban the carry of handguns on campus, they must adopt rules or regulations to do so, after consultation with the students, staff and faculty. But if they do so, they lose immunity from lawsuit for actions authorized by this sub-chapter of the law. It is similar to the Wisconsin shall issue law that grants immunity to businesses that do not prohibit people from carrying on their premises.

Hospitals and lower level schools and preschools located on the property of institutes of higher learning are allowed to ban concealed handguns with the Texas 30. 06 sign.

This is the early stage of the legislature, but the fact that the bill only applies to concealed handguns seems rather strange.  Amendments are likely.  Substituting weapons for handguns would extend the protections of bill to all legally carried concealed weapons.  It would create a weird situation in the law if a permit holder could legally carry a handgun, but be prosecuted for carrying a pocket knife.

I recall the horror that I felt in reading the student contract for the Texas A&M dormitory, and learning that my daughter would be in violation for the mere possession of a pocket knife!

Few students who live in dormitories will be old enough to qualify for concealed carry permits, but there will be some. 

When Thomas Jefferson's 15 year old nephew, Peter Carr, left to obtain a higher education, Jefferson gave him this advice in a letter from Paris, dated 19 August, 1785:
A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercise, I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprize, and independance to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks.
Jefferson recommended that two hours a day be set aside for exercise.

A campus carry bill came close to passage  in the Texas legislature in 2013.  It passed both houses but was stopped by political maneuvering in the Senate Democratic Caucus, according to an article on Ammoland:
This issue has been fully vetted by both the House and the Senate over the past three legislative sessions. It has passed out of every committee hearing and passed in both chambers, House and Senate.

This session the issue was halted by the Senate Democratic Caucus after the bill had passed in the Texas House
The probability of passage seems even higher in the 2015 session.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

National Review: Why Gun Makers are Worried



The SHOT Show — Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show — is the world’s largest gun show. Held annually in Las Vegas, it’s intended for those in the trade, not the general public. Walking its almost 16 miles of booths is a near-marathon feat of endurance, and every mile exhibits more firepower than all the armies of the ancient world combined.

But despite their formidable powers of self-defense, members of the firearms industry are a nervous lot — and not without reason. Two years ago, after Newtown and the 2012 election, the show anxiously awaited President Obama’s executive actions on gun control. A year ago, the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), on which I’ve written copiously, promised nothing but trouble. This year, executive actions were back on the agenda: with the midterm elections now past, the industry fears there’s nothing to stop the president from indulging his anti-firearms instincts.

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Liston Matthews: Musings on the University of Tennessee gun debate



The University of Tennessee hosted a gun control debate January 21, 2015. The debaters were Juan Pacheco, a former gang member and speaker for the Peace Warriors Network, and Glen Caroline, Director of the NRA Grassroots Division of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA ILA).

Pacheco began with a presentation about himself, his background and his purpose. He spoke about the need for safe storage of firearms; one might say he is in general agreement with the NRA and all responsible gun owners.

Later, Pacheco attempted to correlate firearms availability to suicide in the US. Yet, a check of World Health Organization (WHO) data, as reported by World Life Expectancy shows the US suicide ranking is number 63, far behind South Korea and Japan, at 13 and 14 respectively. Both those nations have a suicide rate about twice that of the United States. Both those nations have nearly a virtual ban on private possession of firearms. They illustrate that firearms availability does not closely correlate to suicide.

Pacheco attempted to equate increase in firearms ownership with crime, yet government statistics show, as Caroline pointed out in a slide, that as the gun ownership rate has increased dramatically, crime has decreased in US.

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CA: Thomas Greer as example; Do not Talk to Reporters after a Shooting



Thomas Greer gained fame in July of this year by making some imprudent statements to reporters.   He had shot one of a pair of burglars that had assaulted him in his home.   He said that the woman that he killed, Andrea Miller, had told him that she was pregnant as a ruse to gain advantage and prevent him from shooting her.   Greer is 80 years old, and had his collar bone broken in the assault.  From the dailymail.co.uk:
‘Thomas Greer is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily injury,’ according to the report signed by Deputy District Attorney Janet Moore.

‘Greer exercised his legal and legitimate right of self-defense when he shot and killed Andrea Miller.’

The investigation makes it seem likely that Greer was "tough talking" to reporters, rather than clearly stating the facts of what happened.  His previous statement: 
'The lady didn't run as fast as the man so I shot her in the back twice. She's dead.. but he got away. She says "don't shoot me, I'm pregnant, I'm gonna have a baby" and I shot her anyway.
The statement did not hold up against forensic analysis.  Mr. Greer fired three shots, two of which struck Miller, once in the left side of the chest, and once in the right knee.  Neither shot is in the back, as stated by Greer.  The shooting happened inside of Greer's home, not outside, as was implied by early reporting. After being shot, Miller fled the home and collapsed in the alley outside.

Presumably, Greer told prosecutors a different version of events, one that was consistent with the physical evidence, probably on the advice of counsel.  

The incident serves as an example of why it is a bad idea to talk to the media after a self defense shooting.  While you have no legal obligation to tell the media the truth, you will be tried in the court of public opinion.  Greer was widely accused of being a cold blooded murderer because of the ill considered statements that he made.  He would have been better served by refusing comment.

I have to give the prosecutor, Janet Moore, credit for thoroughly investigating this case and making the right decision.  It would have been politically correct to take the old white guy's braggadocio at face value and prosecuted him to the full extent of the law. 

It would not have served justice, it would have been a waste of taxpayers money, but it would have been politically correct.

Gus Adams, who has been implicated as Miller's accomplice, is being charged with her murder, under the felony murder rule.   Most states have a version of the rule.   Its essence is that if you are involved in a crime where someone is killed, where the death would not have happened if the crime were not attempted or committed, you can be charged as the person responsible for the death.  From thefreedictionary.com:
A Rule of Law that holds that if a killing occurs during the commission or attempted commission of a felony (a major crime), the person or persons responsible for the felony can be charged with murder.
Generally an intent to kill is not necessary for felony-murder. The rule becomes operative when there is a killing during or a death soon after the felony, and there is some causal connection between the felony and the killing.
 While Mr. Greer was finally found to have been justified in his actions, it could have cost him far more than it did.  His case serves as a strong example to others not to talk to the media.


©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch



Tuesday, January 27, 2015

KY: Intruder Shot, Killed by Homeowner



Honeycutt fired a shot at the intruder, who retreated through the window and over an embankment. Johnny Collins was later located on Perkins Madden Road by Jimmy Dunn, who observed that Collins had an apparent gunshot wound. Dunn transported Johnny Collins to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead by the Deputy Coroner.

More Here

BATF Pistol Brace Letter and Irrational Law


Properly installed arm brace at Sig Sauer booth at the Shot show.

On 16 January, just before the Shot Show, the BATF published an open letter on the subject of "The Redesign of "Stabilizing Braces". The letter was supposed to "clarify" the increasingly muddy, irrational, and stupid law. A combination of the thwarted original intent of the legislation, combined with continued bureaucratic desires to "grow the rice bowl*" and the irrational belief of disarmists that any additional regulation is good, not matter what, has resulted in our arrival at this point.

The National Firearms act regulation of short barreled rifles and shotguns from 1934 should be eliminated.   It made little sense when the primary purpose for the regulation was thwarted when it passed, it has become increasingly irrelevant, and it makes no sense at all after the Heller and McDonald decisions.

The reason for the ban on short barreled rifles and shotguns had very little to do with the criminal use of such items.   After all, criminals use handguns many, many, times more often.    Short barreled rifles and shotguns are, in fact, as modified and used by criminals, expediently manufactured pistols.

The National firearms act of 1934 originally lumped in handguns with full auto firearms.  It is clear that the Roosevelt administration wanted to subject pistols and revolvers to the same draconian regulations and taxes that machine guns were finally subjected to.   Congress simply would not go along.  It was a step too far for even the heavily Democrat Congress of 1934.

Once you understand that licensing of handguns to the point of prohibition was the major target of the legislation, the reason for including short barreled rifles and shotguns becomes clear.    What is the point of banning handguns if any person can buy a rifle or shotgun, a hacksaw, and make a functional pistol in fifteen minutes from that rifle or shotgun?

Michigan had served as a blueprint for this action.  First they had required licensing of handguns; then they made the possession of short barreled rifles or shotguns illegal.

The prohibition on short barreled rifles and shotguns was passed in the hope of making handguns so heavily regulated as to be impossible for an ordinary person to obtain.   Without that regulation, the restrictions on short barreled rifles and shotguns become non-nonsensical.

The BATF then did what bureaucrats do.   They worked hard to keep and enlarge their reason for existence, their "rice bowl"; and short barreled rifles and shotguns were one of the primary reasons.   The definition of a "rifle" and "shotgun" were based on the idea of them being "fired from the shoulder" so putting a shoulder stock on a pistol, even though it made the pistol harder to conceal, was ruled to be illegal, because the pistol then became a "short barreled rifle".   As a child, I struggled to understand what was so evil about shoulder stocks on pistols.  The logic escaped me, as it has, apparently all criminals.   I have yet to read of a crime committed by someone using a pistol with a shoulder stock attached.

Hope sprang eternal to the disarmists' heart.  They still hoped to make the citizen ownership of handguns rare, and eventually, banned.  As Pete Shields of Handgun Control stated:
The first problem is to slow down the number of handguns being produced and sold in this country.  The second problem is to get handguns registered.  The final problem is to make possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition-except for the military, police, licensed security guards, licensed sporting clubs, and licensed gun collectors-totally illegal.
              Richard Harris, A Reporter at Large: Handguns,  New Yorker, July 26, 1976, at 53, 58 (quoting Pete Shields, founder of Handgun Control, Inc.) (boldface added, italics in original).

But that did not happen.  Handgun possession, in the face of an increasing crime rate, design innovation, movies glorifying handgun use, and increased prosperity, soared.   The revolution in concealed carry licenses happened.  All 50 states now have them.  More people have more handguns than ever before in the United States, and carry them more, and crime rates have been consistently dropping for 20 years.

The desire to reduce the number of handguns has been a complete and utter failure.  Even the agitprop to make handguns socially unacceptable has completely failed.  The idea of banning handguns, which was widely accepted in 1960, now appeals to only one quarter of the total population.



The utter destruction of the hope of substantially reducing the number of handguns in American hands occurred in 2005 with the Heller decision in the Supreme Court, which held that the second amendment of the Constitution included, as a fundamental, enumerated right, the right to possess a loaded handgun in the home for the purpose of self defense.

With the right to possess handguns for self defense enshrined in a recent Supreme Court decision, the last shred of a reason for the ban on short barreled shotguns and rifles died a death without even a whimper.  Few even noticed.   If people have a right to possess handguns, and rifles, and shotguns, what is the rational to ban intermediate arms: short barreled rifles and shotguns?   There isn't any.   At the very worst, the same restrictions that exist on the possession of handguns should apply to short barreled rifles and shotguns, as they do in many other countries of the world.

But, the primary purpose of a bureaucrat is to ensure that his job is kept safe.  Either he does this out of pure self interest, his vision of the public good, or a combination of the two.  In any case, the results are the same.  Bureaucrats will fight to keep their rice bowl, tooth and nail.   The disarmists fight to keep their dream of citizen disarmament alive, even when it no longer makes any sense, if it ever did.

Now we have reached the insanity of the current BATF letters.  First, they ruled that it was legal to have a forearm brace on a pistol, if the intent was to fire the pistol one handed.   This is technically correct, but what has it to do with crime?  Absolutely nothing.  It is just rice bowl rhetoric.  Then, they published a letter saying, that if you used one of these pistols with the forearm brace installed, as a short barreled rifle with a short stock, it was legal, because what made the brace legal was the intent with which it was made, not how it was used. Again, relationship to use in crime? Zero, Zilch, Nada.

Finally, we have the latest installment, which does a reasonable job of muddying the regulatory waters still further.  The new letter states that if you use the arm brace as a stock, you have "redesigned the firearm", it is now a short barreled rifle, and you are now in violation of the law if you do not have the tax stamp.  Here are a couple of paragraphs from the BATFE  OPEN LETTER ON THE REDESIGN OF “STABILIZING BRACES”(PDF)
The pistol stabilizing brace was neither “designed” nor approved to be used as a shoulder stock, and therefore use as a shoulder stock constitutes a “redesign” of the device because a possessor has changed the very function of the item. Any individual letters stating otherwise are contrary to the plain language of the NFA, misapply Federal law, and are hereby revoked.

Any person who intends to use a handgun stabilizing brace as a shoulder stock on a pistol (having a rifled barrel under 16 inches in length or a smooth bore firearm with a barrel under 18 inches in length) must first file an ATF Form 1 and pay the applicable tax because the resulting firearm will be subject to all provisions of the NFA.


To be fair, at least some in the firearms community are saying that the letter is simply badly written, and what it "really means" is that if your intent was to use the brace as a stock when the firearm was built, then it is a violation.  But, if you use the brace as a stock only because it is there, and you did not intend to build it that way, it is legal.  From Nick Leghorn in TTAG:

The following is a paraphrased version of the letter that might make a little more sense to the lay person, and including the previous letters’ rulings:
You asked if building an AR pistol with a SB-15 brace required a Form 1 as a Short Barreled Rifle. If you build the pistol as described and intend to use it as a pistol, then it does not require a From 1 and is just a pistol. If you intend to build a pistol and it is improperly used from time to time, that’s OK. If you intend to build the firearm to be a Short Barreled Rifle and use the pistol brace as a stock, then you intend to build an SBR and that requires a Form 1 and a tax stamp. If you intend to build a small gun designed to be fired from the shoulder, that is an SBR no matter what parts you use.
So, there we have it.   A obsolete law that was meant to make control of handguns plausible, left in place by legislative oversight, coasting on legal momentum from a dying dream of disarmament, barely kept alive by desperate bureaucratic support to maintain their rice bowl.  This sort of stupidity should not last.   It should be confronted and eliminated.    I hope it will be, but as a famous person said of human stupidity, it is the only thing that is in truly infinite supply.

Some credit must be given to Sig Sauer here.   They are not taking the vague and poorly written letter as definitive. As quoted in americanrifleman.org:
“We question ATF’s reversal in position that the classification of the brace may be altered by its use.  We are reviewing the legal precedents and justification for this position, and will address our concerns with ATF in the near future.

“We will vigorously defend the classification of all of our products and our consumers' right to use them in accordance with the law. If we find that the open letter opinion is outside the scope of the law, we will seek further review.”
The saga of this law is a clear and utter failure of the legislative process.  It should have been repealed at least a decade ago, when the Heller decision came down from the Supreme Court.   But powerful special interests in the BATF bureaucracy and those who wish to disarm the citizenry, have been able to block needed reforms.

Fantasies about crime and guns cannot stop reform forever.   The people and legislators are becoming educated about the particular idiocy of this law.  With hard work, it will eventually be eliminated.   It made little sense when passed,  80 years ago.   It makes no sense whatsoever, now.

*rice bowl: Military slang introduced from Southeast Asia.  It is loosely translated as "the means to feed yourself at the public's expense".

Definition of  disarmist 

 ©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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