Thursday, July 31, 2014

Analysis of Stay in Palmer v. D.C.



The stay of the permanent injunction ordered by Judge Frederic J. Scullin in the Palmer v. D.C. case has raised considerable ire among those who believe that the right to keep and bear arms has been denied in the District of Columbia for far too long.   Many thought that if constitutional carry were allowed for a period of time in the District, crime rates would have dropped.  Alan Gura predicted sucha  drop.    Many thought a crime rate drop would make it hard to justify a stay.   Some accused Alan Gura of being an accomplice of the establishment in limiting the effect of the ruling. 

Others are convinced that Alan Gura has done a masterful job of managing the inevitable issuance of a stay to forward the ends of restoring second amendment rights.  From commenter Dirk Diggler at TheTruthAboutGuns.com:

there are certain rules that apply in this situation. A stay is reasonable to allow DC to craft legislation that the judge said they had to have. An open-ended stay is not. 90 days for a municipality to craft rules is reasonable. just remember – DC is a federal enclave. The House is working to de-fund alot of DC’s anti-gun agenda/budget exactly for crap like this. I am hopeful given the $$$ hanging over their head like the sword of damacles . . . Congress will be on a 5 week recess, but the DC Council better not screw the pooch on this one or they will lose more $$$ that they don’t have.

The judge is not stupid. He is following the law to prevent chaos. Illinois got 210 days to craft legislation. Remember that it has to be voted upon several times. go to different committees. allow for public comment. get voted on again, sveral times. Legislation is like making sausage. You just want the outcome and not have to watch the process.

anyhow – DC knows its days are numbered. They have the judge telling them which cases (Peruta) he thought were reasonable. They know they cannot ban out of staters as well as have a blanket prohibition on carry. once the legislation is crafted, it will be public before it gets voted on. that’s when you contact your federal rep/senator and raise hell since Congress oversees DC and its budget. make it difficult for them to try the same sneaky crap they tried in Chiraq. NRA and SAF can organize a campaign with the local chamber and tourist board. think of how many visitors DC can attract now or better yet, lose when it is highlighted how out of touch the city politicians are with the rest of the country. No – this stay is ok. Glad it is only 90 days and not 180. they will go by quickly.
Dirk is an attorney.  Others made clear that if Judge Scullin had not granted a stay, it was likely that a worse, longer stay would have been granted by the appeals court.  From Thundar at opencarry.org:

The way the 90 day order is written is actually a very good order for gun owners.

Those that would suppress our civil rights were always going to get some sort of stay either from Scullin or from the Circuit Court. 90 days (instead of 180 days) and only for writing constitutional laws is a good thing. Not giving DC grounds to appeal the stay at this time is another good thing.

Remember this order is not a general stay, but a stay so that the district may draft constitutional law if they so choose. The district has 45 days to appeal the ruling. If DC appeals the ruling, the stay goes away. So the district has until September 9 to appeal the ruling. If they do appeal, the DC Council will not be in session until 15 September. So it would appear that in order to appeal, the district would have another period under which constitutional carry would apply.

Gura is smart. He is playing to win. Appearing reasonable and not backing the decider into a corner is good when dealing with a single district court judge. It also sets a tone for the length of stays in the future - 90 days instead of 180 days.

Here is a link to the pdf file of court ordered Stay in Palmer v. D.C.  I have transcribed it below for those who do not wish to open the pdf.   Any errors in the copy below are mine.   The formating is a little different from the original, and I have cut out the addressing.   I believe it makes the order easier to read.  I have added links to the D.C. code mentioned.


ORDER

In a Memorandum-Decision and Order dated July 24, 2014, this Court concluded that the District of Columbia's total ban on the carrying of handguns in public was unconstitutional; and, therefore, the Court permanently enjoined Defendants from enforcing D.C. Code §§ 7-2502(a)(4)  and 22-4504(a).

On July 28, 2014, Defendants filed a partially unopposed motion to stay pending appeal  or, in the alternative, for 180 days and for immediate administrative stay. See Dkt. No. 52 at 1.  In support of this motion, Defendants' counsel advised the Court that he had conferred with  Plaintiffs' counsel, "who indicated that [P]laintiffs do not oppose a 90-day stay starting  immediately 'pending the city council enacting remedial legislation that complies with  constitutional standards.'" See id. at 1-2.

Based on the parties' agreement that an immediate 90-day stay is appropriate to provide  the city council with an opportunity to enact appropriate legislation consistent with the Court's  ruling,1 the Court hereby

ORDERS that Defendants' motion for a stay is GRANTED to the extent that the Court's  July 24, 2014 Order is stayed nunc pro tunc for 90 days, i.e., until October 22, 2014; and the  Court further

ORDERS that Plaintiffs shall file their opposition to Defendants' motion for a stay  pending appeal on or before August 4, 2014; and the Court further

ORDERS that Defendants may file a reply in further support of their motion for a stay  pending appeal on or before August 11, 2014. 2


 IT IS SO ORDERED.

Dated: July 29, 2014
Syracuse, New York



Note 1 The Court notes that it sees no need to clarify its decision. The only issue before the  Court was whether the District of Columbia's complete ban on the carrying of handguns in  public was unconstitutional. Thus, the Court's injunction clearly applied only to handguns and  not any other type of deadly dangerous weapon.

Note 2 Based on the papers that Defendants have filed in support of their motion for a stay  pending appeal, the Court is not convinced that Defendants will be able to demonstrate a  likelihood of success on the merits to warrant such a stay. Nonetheless, the Court will provide  the parties with an opportunity to present their arguments in full before ruling on this part of  Defendants' motion.
This looks more and more like a smart strategy on the part of Alan Gura.  Notice that both parties are required to present argument as to why or why not a stay should be granted pending appeal.   The court explicitly says that court is "not convinced that Defendants will be able to demonstrate a  likelihood of success on the merits to warrant such a stay".     To me, that makes it likely that if the District decides to appeal, the stay will be lifted, just at Thundar noted above.

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

VA: Clerk Shoots one of two Robbery Suspects



On Monday, 28 July, a robbery was attempted at a Chesapeake, Virgina Exxon station.      It wasn't the first time.   The reporter stated that it was the second robbery at the station this month.   The robber displayed "a dark colored handgun".   As the robber was leaving the store, the clerk fired several shots.

At first, it was not clear if any of the shots had connected.  Then, 35 minutes after the holdup,  19 year old Terry Graves checked into Maryview Hospital with a gunshot wound to the shoulder.   His picture is shown above.  From wavy.com:

 Investigators confirmed Graves was the suspect who had been shot at the gas station, and he was arrested.

The woman pictured, Michelle Barber, was arrested and charged with driving the getaway vehicle.   Both were charged with robbery and use of a firearm in commission of a crime.

This story shows the utility of fighting back.   Even though no one was killed, the wound was sufficient to lead to an arrest, and an excellent chance of conviction.    The match with DNA evidence at the scene and video footage is likely to be conclusive.

No information was given as to the caliber of the firearm used.  From the picture, it appears that either Graves was facing the clerk or the bullet completely passed through Graves, leaving an exit wound.   The location of the bandage would indicate a likely penetration of the left lung, but without further information, we cannot be sure.   Any penetrating wound of the torso is serious; however, a good friend of mine was stabbed in the chest, with the lung being punctured.   He was treated at the hospital and insisted on being released.  He healed very well and did not require additional treatment.  He was in his 80's at the time.

The armed response of the clerk is likely to lead to a reduction of robberies in the area, at least for a time.

Nothing was said of the robbers firing at the clerk. Criminals' handguns are often in poor shape or unloaded. 

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

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Judge Scullin Grants 90 day Stay to D.C. on Carry in the District



Judge Scullin has granted a 90 day temporary stay on enforcement of the injunction placed on the District in the Palmer v. D.C. case.   For a brief period, people were able to legally carry handguns in the District of Columbia.   Except for government agents, this has not been the case for 37 years for concealed carry, and 70 years for open carry.

The District council is on recess, and will not reconvene until 15 September, 2014.    That is 48 days.  That leaves 42 days, or six weeks to pass the necessary legislation.    In the meantime, legislation authored by Representative Massie, which would cut funding for enforcement of the D.C. gun laws, has passed the house.

This the government of the District of Columbia is under double pressure to conform their law to the Constitution.  If they do not do so, he is under no obligation to renew the stay.

I would have preferred that the injunction remain in place.  We would quickly determine if the D.C. crime rate would rise or fall.   All previous evidence is that it would fall.

Now we wait until the 22th of October.   No extensions should be given.   The people of the nation have had their rights suppressed for far too long already.

In reality, there is no need for new legislation.   The registration process in the District is far more burdensome than obtaining a permit to carry concealed in nearly all the other states.    The rules that the City established, published by Chief Lanier under the injunction, would work perfectly well.   The District could then  work to reduce the ridiculous burdens imposed on its residents by the registration scheme.

Update: I have read the stay.  It explicitly grants the stay in order for the District ot craft legislation, not for an appeal.   Both sides will submit further arguements.

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

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

D.C. Chief: Police Need RAS to Stop Open Carriers in DC








D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier has issued more guidance for D.C. police, dealing with the court order in Palmer v. D.C.   That Court decision ruled that the  District's laws against the carry of pistols in public are unconstitutional.   The Chief initially told officers that carry outside of the home was legal for D.C. residents that had legally registered handguns, and for non-residents who could legally carry in their state of residence.   Now she has clarified that officers must have a reasonably articulable suspicion (RAS) of a crime before a person carrying a gun may be legally stopped.  Here is a pdf file of the memo

Officers need reasonable, articulable, suspicion of a crime in order to conduct a stop of a person in possession of a firearm.
No one knows when or if a stay to the injunction ordered by the court will be granted.   It appears that one person has already legally open carried in D.C.  All other District laws are in force, such as the prohibition on possession of magazines with a capacity of over 10 rounds.

Caution and research are suggested before a photo op.  At least one group is considering an open carry picnic in the District.
Anyone up for a Open Carry picnic in DC on August 2nd?
Mdshooters.com has started a thread for people who have carried in D.C. to share their experiences.

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

MN:Armed Homeowner Drives off Invader, Who tries Second Home, Is Shot Dead

The homeowner retrieved a shotgun and struck Beaudoin over the head several times, breaking the stock off the shotgun according to the sheriff.

The sheriff says Beaudoin then fled the scene to another home a few miles away where a 72-year-old woman let Beaudoin into her home. Jespersen says Beaudoin began assaulting the woman.

"He was choking her and banging her head off the floor. Of course, the son came out and saw that. He told him to get off of her and he was going to get his gun. When he turned around in his bedroom the guy jumped at him and he shot him," Jespersen said.

More Here

NE: Man Attempts Carjack; Armed Neighbor Stops Him

Investigators believe Wilcinot approached a 16-year-old sitting in a car near 13th and Otoe streets around 2 a.m. Sunday and demanded his keys, punched him and forced his way into the car, Capt. Michon Morrow said.

The 16-year-old left the area, but a friend of the 16-year-old came out of a nearby house with a gun, fired a warning shot and demanded that the suspect leave, police said.

Wilcinot then got out of the car and was shot multiple times, Morrow said. Scheinost said no other arrests have been made in the incident.

WA:Elderly Man Wounds Intruder

Police say an elderly couple was arguing with a man they did not know, who was intoxicated and belligerent in front of their home. When the man refused to leave their property, police say the homeowner went and got his gun, came back out and fired at the man.

More Here

IA: Armed Woman Drives off Home Invader

Authorities said after a struggle the homeowner was able to retreat to a bedroom where her firearm was located.  She fired the weapon at the man and he ran out.

MO:Armed Gas Station Owner Captures Teen Robbery Suspect

The clerk fired one shot during a struggle but no one was wounded. The clerk cut his hand and suffered a bump on the head. The suspect is in custody at a juvenile detention facility.

More Here

AL: Woman Justified in Shooting Armed Intruder

The Autauga County Grand Jury has cleared a Booth homeowner in a case where she shot and killed an armed burglar who had forced his way inside her home.

(snip)

The incident occurred on April 4 shortly after midnight. Reports from the Autauga County Sheriff's Office show that Mikel Smith, 18, of Marbury, forced his way into the home while armed with a knife. Smith had told the homeowner that his vehicle had broken down nearby and that he needed assistance, he then forced his way into the home, the reports show.

The woman had gone to the door, armed with a .32 cal. revolver, sheriff reports show. She shot Smith several times, the reports show.

More here

DC: Alan Gura on Stay and/or Appeal of Palmer v. D.C.



There have been rumors flying about on what Alan Gura has agreed to on a stay on the Palmer v. D.C. case.   These were fueled in part by the wording in the District's request for a stay, which originally claimed that it was unopposed. 

According to Alan Gura on his blog, that is not the case:
I have a better understanding of what the city will now do.

The city will probably file an appeal — that’s within their right.

The city would ask for a stay pending the resolution of the appeal — they can ask for that, and we would oppose that.

The city would ask, in the alternative, for a shorter, closed-ended stay of the Palmer decision to allow the city council time to enact remedial legislation. In Moore, the state of Illinois received first 180 days, then over our strenuous objections, another 30 days on top of that.  We would not agree to anything in that neighborhood here, but we would not oppose a shorter stay that would give the city council some reasonable window in which to make a decision, without frustrating the progress of the appeal. The decision as to whether to grant any stays and if so for how long, of course, belongs to the courts.

I’d expect the city to file something later this afternoon.
Remember, Alan had to petition the Court twice for a writ of mandamus to obtain this decision.   He has been frustrated by the lack of response for nearly five years.   I do not believe that he will allow the city to obtain an open ended stay that would result in further interminable delay of this case, unopposed.  

We have not seen any documents that he has submitted to the court in response to the city's request for a stay.

As he says, it is up to the court.

In this case, that means Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr.



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





Actual DC Police Order on Carry in DC

Here are screen shots of the actual orders that were sent to D.C. police about how to handle people who are carrying guns in the District of Columbia, while the Court Injunction is in effect.  Here is a link to the PDF file if you prefer that.



Here is the second page:




It seems clear that if you may legally carry a pistol where you legally reside, then you may legally carry in the District of Columbia.   Of course, they also have gun free school zones, and federal buildings where you may not carry.

If you go to DC to carry, or for a photo op in doing so, do due diligence and be careful.


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


MI:Multiple Dog Attack Stopped by Gunfire. This one too Late.



In Michigan, two Cane Corsos, a large breed descended from Roman war dogs, attacked a jogger.  A neighbor saw that the jogger was down with the dogs attacking him.   He  defended the attacked man with a .44 magnum, firing two shots, one in the air, the other at one of the dogs, grazing it.   That stopped the attack.   Later one of the dogs tried to return to the attack, but left when it saw the man with the gun.  From  freep.com:
A man mowing his lawn waved at Sytsma, a 46-year-old Livonia man, who politely waved back. The man said he continued mowing the lawn and the next time he saw Sytsma, he was in a nearby ditch being attacked by two loose dogs.

(snip)

The man who had been mowing shot a handgun into the air. Still, the dogs would not let go. So he shot at one of the dogs, grazing it in the side.
 The attacked man later died.  Cane Corsos tend to weigh over a 100 lbs as adults.   From wikipedia:
 The Cane Corso is not recommended for novice dog owners. As a puppy, it requires strong leadership and consistent training. Its natural instinct is to be suspicious of strangers and for this reason it is highly encouraged to begin socialization as soon as possible. Ideally the Cane Corso should be indifferent when approached and should only react in a protective manner when a real threat is present.
These multiple dog attacks show the utility of firearms in defending against animals.  

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

MD:Private Buyers "Run Off" from Turn In "buy back" Event



Private buyers competed with ShopRite food cards for guns at a Baltimore City gun turn in "buy back" on Saturday, the 26th of July.    That may be one reason that this event only collected half as many guns as last year's event did.  231 guns were turned in this year, 460 last year.  The term "buy back" is a bit of propaganda, because the people buying the guns never owned them in the first place.   From baltimoresun.com:

Several men holding signs that said "$$ Cash for Guns" stood outside the event, trying to persuade people to sell their guns to them instead. They were later run off by the gun buyback organizers. One of the men, who declined to give his name, said they didn't want to see historic guns melted down. "We're trying to save a part of history," he said.
It is not clear if it was the police who "ran off" the private buyers.   The police have illegitimately coerced private buyers from other turn in events around the country.

One of the people turning in two guns that she had inherited from her Grandfather had no idea what the guns were or how much they were worth.  She did, however believe that the "buy back" would not cut crime.
"The people who are committing the crimes aren't turning in their guns, and their guns are probably illegal," she said. "It's more people like us who have guns sitting around the house," who are turning them in.
This is precisely what criminologists and economists who study these events have concluded.   The people who wrote "Freakonomics" agree.



This Rossi revolver is one of the handguns turned in at the event.   Private buyers were prevented from buying handguns at the event due to Maryland's severely restrictive gun laws.

It is significant that even in Maryland, with all its restrictions, private buyers have the courage to brave official disapproval and attend this event.

These private additions to the public turn-in are effective, no doubt, in getting more guns off the street, because they add to the resources that are available to those who want to get rid of guns for something of value, be it a grocery card or a number of twenty dollar bills.


Private buyers make the turn-in in more effective by standing on the curb with  "Cash for Guns" signs, or at a folding table, willing to offer more than the gift card for firearms that are more valuable. If numerous private parties are available,  more good guns are transferred into responsible hands.

This action serves many useful purposes. It stretches the turn-in budget so that more guns can be taken off the street. It helps keep fearful widows from being defrauded of most of the market value of the gun they are turning in. It prevents valuable assets from being destroyed by bureaucratic inflexibility. It is a win-win-win situation.

It also dispels the pernicious message that guns are bad and should be destroyed.

Those who discourage private buyers, such as what happened in Baltimore City, show that their purpose is more about perpetuating the notion that "guns are bad and should be turned in to police"  than it is about "getting guns off the street".


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

First Legal Open Carry in DC in 70 Years



It wasn't until 1932 that a permit was required to carry a concealed weapon in the District of Columbia.   It was legal to carry pistols openly until 1943.   At the time, it was clear that the prohibition on open carry did not apply to long arms. 

In 1973 the District of Columbia was granted "home rule".   In 1976, the new District government passed the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975.    The law went into effect in 1977.   It has been over 70 years since it was legal to openly carry a pistol in the District of Columbia.

In the recent court decision on Palmer v. D.C.,  judge Scully relies heavily on the Peruta decision in the Ninth Circuit, saying it is clear that their exists a constitutional right to carry guns outside the home, and that the existing bans on  the general carry of guns outside the home are unconstitutional.   Peruta strikes down the local discretion to deny carry permits to the vast majority of applicants.

The D.C. Police Chief has ordered the police force not to arrest people carrying pistols unless they have felony records.   One unknown second amendment activist has taken the opportunity to obtain a photograph of himself openly carrying in the District. 

He will likely be the first of many.

D.C. attorneys have requested a stay for 180 days.   Here is a link to the request.

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

Constitutional Carry Confirmed For D.C.



Yesterday evening, Emily Miller tweeted that D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier had issued an order that police were not to arrest people who could legally carry in their home state; or D.C. residents who could now legally carry in the District of Columbia.

Early this morning, the Washington Post confirmed Miller's scoop, only in more detail:

Lanier’s instructions to police also said that residents of other jurisdictions without felony records would not be charged under the ban on carrying pistols.
While the story emphasized that the D.C. attorneys will be seeking a stay, it is not certain that a stay would be granted or when it might be granted.  Alan Gura is quoted:
 “The decision is in effect, unless and until the court stays its decision,” said Alan Gura, the lawyer who represents the group challenging the ban.
Gura predicted that crime in the District will drop, that the removal of the burdensome restrictions will have an immediate, positive effect.  The court decision resolves a case that was filed nearly five years ago.   Alan Gura filed petitions for a write of mandamus (to force the court to make a decision) twice.  The last time was on May 6th of this year.

Stays of a court order are usually only granted if the petitioner can show some harmful effect if the order is left in place.


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

Monday, July 28, 2014

WaPo Confirms Constitutional Carry in D.C.



Emily Miller tweeted yesterday that Washington D.C. Police Chief Lanier has issued an order that police will not arrest non-felons who are carrying pistols in the District of Columbia.  This morning the Washington Post confirmed her report:
In an order approved by Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier, police were told that District residents are permitted to carry pistols if the weapons are registered. Those who had not registered their handguns could be charged on that ground, the instruction said. 

The number of registered pistols is thought to be low. 

Lanier’s instructions to police also said that residents of other jurisdictions without felony records would not be charged under the ban on carrying pistols.
 The District attorneys have said that they will be "seeking a stay shortly".  It is not clear if the court will grant a stay. 

It is worth noting that the paper cites the 4th circuit as upholding Maryland's restrictive "may issue" carry law, but ignores the Peruta Decision in California.

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


Via Emily Miller: Police Chief Recognizes Carry Reciprocity in D.C



Emily Miller reports:

STUNNING DEVELOPMENT: DC Police Chief Lanier just told force not to arrest a person who can legally carry a gun in DC or any state.

As of 6:24 p.m. on July 27, 2014, this is a welcome development.   Many have said that the D.C. political establishment will ignore the judges order.   This shows that Police Chief Lanier is, at minimum, unwilling to be found in contempt.   Notice the broad extent of the order: no arrests for a person who can legally carry a gun in D.C. or any State.

With 30 states having open carry without a permit, and over 11 million concealed carry permits valid in the United States, that is a lot of people who may legally carry in the District.


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

Giving up Rights for Politicians' Fear is Silly



According to Emily Miller, the famous investigative reporter, DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson emailed her this message in reaction to the District Court finding that the constitutional rights of Americans did not stop at the District borders:
"Because of the District's unique national security concerns, the right to carry a firearm in public must be more heavily restricted than any place else in the nation. Four U.S. presidents have been assassinated by gunfire, and at least five others have been shot at, including Ronald Regan who was seriously wounded in 1981. Neither the Secret Service nor the Capitol Police will disclose all incidents where they have recovered firearms, but we do know that just two years ago someone hit the White House with gunfire, and there are frequent threats on the foreign diplomatic corps."
Consider the preposterous assumptions inherent in that statement.  It comes down to two.

1. Americans have to give up their rights to add some highly questionable measure of unproven protection to politicians and foreign diplomats.

2. Politicians are so much more important than other citizens, that no sacrifice on the part of the people is too much, if it makes the politicians feel a little safer.

This turns the core values of our constitutional republic on their head.  Politicians are there to serve *us*.   We do not exist to serve *them*.     There is no lack of politicians.   For every powerful politician, there are dozens; no, hundreds; no, thousands; of people just as able, that would love to have the opportunity to serve.  They should assume the position in full knowledge that they assume some risk.   They should realize that they serve *us*, and if a little more risk comes with the service, so that our rights are protected, that is something that every soldier already accepts.  They should have to accept it as well if they want to represent *us*.    Every single one of them has volunteered.   All have fought hard for the position that they are in. 

Politicians are plentiful and easily replaced.   There is a virtual unlimited number of them.   Our rights, however, are fragile flowers, constantly under assault by politicians.   Once degraded, they are not easily built back up; once destroyed, it takes enormous effort, blood, and treasure to restore them.   A great many Americans gave their lives to protect our rights.   It is not too much to ask that politicians take a little risk to preserve them.

Life is risk.  To live is to be at risk.   Politicians, as public servants, should be willing to shoulder as much risk as the ordinary pizza delivery person or soldier.  Most do.  In return, they get the perks and privileges of representing us and wielding power in our name. 

The Imperial accouterments that we have given the President are shameful for a free people.   The Obamas' flagrant squandering of treasure for their ostentatious displays is more reminiscent of French Kings, Eastern Potentates, or Albanian Dictators, than a President of the United States.  

The security that we have lavished on presidents, but not on lower levels of government officials, is far more than it should be.  

Cut it back by half, and threats to the President will not be increased in any substantial amount.    Shutting down an airport so that a President can get a haircut should be a thing of the past.   Shutting down traffic in most of a city because a president is due to come that way, is insane. 

Let us have no more foolish talk of the People giving up Rights for insignificant increases in a politician's security.

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

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Will Dick Heller Carry in D.C.?






Dick Heller (yes the famous Heller of the Supreme Court case) is celebrating the resounding victory in the Palmer v. D.C. carry outside the home case that was released yesterday.    From Dick:


Within minutes of getting home and sitting down at my kitchen table, I received a phone call. It was George Lyon, a plaintiff in the case as well as an attorney. He shared the good news that Judge Scullin, who was appointed by Justice Roberts, had issued a decision striking down the ridiculous and useless restrictions on self-defense with a firearm outside my home.

With George on the phone, we noted that at least for the next few hours (or even days) Washington D.C. joins states like Arizona and Vermont in being “constitutional carry” jurisdictions. George went on to advise against strapping on my Buntline Special lest I run into an ill-informed member of the MPD and wind up “ventilated.”


Dick would not have to parade around with his Buntline special. That could be dangerous. He could however, put it on under a large shirt, go to a few iconic D.C. landmarks, and briefly display it for photographic proof to future generations that for at least a few hours, it was legal to openly carry weapons in the modern District of Columbia!   He has minimal worry, because his handgun is already registered in the District of Columbia.

Dick has shown that he is courageous and smart.

I would love to see those photographs!


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

Will Emily Miller Carry in DC?



Emily Miller is the famous investigative reporter who wrote the series  "Emily Gets Her Gun" about applying for a permit to legally own a firearm in the District of Columbia.  The series led to her successful book of the same title.   An autographed copy sits near my elbow.   I met Emily a couple of years ago at a Gun Rights Policy Conference.   She is a sharp woman, intimately familiar with the insanity of D.C. gun laws, who owns a legally registered handgun in the District of Columbia.

She recently tweeted:
Stay tuned- I'm writing a story with the details on the decision -- and how DC will be forced to allow gun carry rights.
What I find fascinating is that Emily is in an ideal position to actually exercise her second amendment rights in the District of Columbia tomorrow.   She has always wanted to be able to carry her handgun, a Sig Sauer P229, if only with the 10 round magazines allowed in the District.   Now she may legally do so.

She may only have a short window of opportunity, as it is possible that the District's attorneys will be able to convince an appeals court judge to issue a stay against the decision.   I do not think this is likely, at least not immediately.  After all, tomorrow is Sunday, the House of Representatives just voted to defund any gun law enforcement by the D.C. government, and two fairly high profile cases have been brought against obviously law abiding citizens with the very laws under question.   All this works against any kind of "emergency" stay.

The summary judgment by the court does not differentiate between open and concealed carry.   Emily could commemorate her celebration of freedom for men and women everywhere with a picture of her carrying with a recognizable D.C. landmark in the background.

I wish Emily the best.  She is a real trooper.   I would love to see that photograph!

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

D.C. Has "Permitless" Carry for an Unknown Time



Alan Gura reports that the District Court, after nearly five years of stonewalling, has found for the Constitutional right to bear arms outside of the home.  It has struck down the prohibitions on carry outside of the home in the District of Columbia, for both residents and non-residents.   It took five years and two petitions for a writ of mandamus to obtain this decision.  The wording below is from the decision.   From alangura.com:

In light of Heller, McDonald, and their progeny, there is no longer any basis on which this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia’s total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny. Therefore, the Court finds that the District of Columbia’s complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public is unconstitutional. Accordingly, the Court grants Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and enjoins Defendants from enforcing the home limitations of D.C. Code § 7-2502.02(a)(4) and enforcing D.C. Code § 22-4504(a) unless and until such time as the District of Columbia adopts a licensing mechanism consistent with constitutional standards enabling people to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms.4 Furthermore, this injunction prohibits the District from completely banning the carrying of handguns in public for self-defense by otherwise qualified non-residents based solely on the fact that they are not residents of the District.

No doubt the D.C. government  will work quickly to place some restrictions on carry outside of the home.   But today is Saturday, the 26th of July.  I refuse to beleive that they will be able to enact an ordinance or obtain a stay from the appeals court before Monday.   For some period of time, it will be legal to carry a firearm outside of your home in D.C. without a permit to carry.

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

Alan Gura: Victory in Palmer v. D.C.

Justice never sleeps…. not even on a Saturday afternoon, when this opinion was just handed down.
In light of Heller, McDonald, and their progeny, there is no longer any basis on which this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia’s total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny. Therefore, the Court finds that the District of Columbia’s complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public is unconstitutional. Accordingly, the Court grants Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and enjoins Defendants from enforcing the home limitations of D.C. Code § 7-2502.02(a)(4) and enforcing D.C. Code § 22-4504(a) unless and until such time as the District of Columbia adopts a licensing mechanism consistent with constitutional standards enabling people to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms.4 Furthermore, this injunction prohibits the District from completely banning the carrying of handguns in public for self-defense by otherwise qualified non-residents based solely on the fact that they are not residents of the District.
In 2012, I won Moore v. Madigan, 702 F.3d 933 (7th Cir. 2012), which struck down Illinois total ban on the carrying of defensive handguns outside the home. With this decision in Palmer, the nation’s last explicit ban of the right to bear arms has bitten the dust. Obviously, the carrying of handguns for self-defense can be regulated. Exactly how is a topic of severe and serious debate, and courts should enforce constitutional limitations on such regulation should the government opt to regulate. But totally banning a right literally spelled out in the Bill of Rights isn’t going to fly.  My deepest thanks to the Second Amendment Foundation for making this victory possible and to my clients for hanging in there. Congratulations Americans, your capital is not a constitution-free zone.

Source

LA: Another Gun Owner Stops Attack by Multiple Pit Bulls




It was only  a week ago that Dennis Williams saved a neighbor that was being attacked by ferocious Pitt Bulls.   He retrieved a pistol when baseball bats were not enough, and killed one dog before the others ran off.   He used a .22 revolver.   Now, in Louisiana, on the north side of Lake Ponchartrain,  a very similar incident has occurred.  A young woman was attacked along a walking trail by two Pitt Bulls.   A neighbor heard the screams, just at Dennis Williams did.  He brought a 9mm pistol, killed one of the attacking Pitts, and severely wounded the other.  From nola.com:

Two pit bulls were shot on a walking trail near Slidell after they attacked a woman and her miniature collie Wednesday morning, authorities said. The woman was taken to a hospital with bite wounds to her left arm and left leg, and her dog was transported to a local veterinary clinic to be treated for its wounds.

(snip)

 A neighbor who heard the woman screaming responded and fired a shot from a 9 mm pistol, killing one of the pit bulls and injuring the other. The wounded dog fled, the Sheriff's Office said.

The owner of the Pitt Bulls was given a misdemeanor summons  for violation of the leash law.

In both circumstances, the people attacked were walking their own dogs.  Pitt Bulls are often more aggressive toward other dogs than they are to people, but when people defend their pets, the Pitts may turn on them.   Neighbors who have weapons and who know how to use them may be one of the reasons that fatal dog attacks number less than 20 per year, in spite of total attacks that require treatment numbering in the hundreds of thousands.   From dogbites.org:

The breeds that the CDC considers highest risk are pit bulls, Rottweilers, German shepherds, huskies, Alaskan malamutes, Doberman pinschers, chows, Great Danes, St. Bernards and Akitas.
While I have not seen any studies on packs of dogs, my experience is that dogs are most aggressive when running loose in a group.  At that point they seem to express a "pack" mindset, much like "mob rule".

Without a human to restrain them, they revert to pack hunting instincts.


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

FL:Court Uphold Florida Law Limiting Doctor Snooping and Recordkeeping of Patients Gun Ownership



http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_A8tM-hOOUqQ/S8HTXqrkIZI/AAAAAAAAA9g/QnOs59Ck3LI/s1600/Doctor+Big+Brother.jpg

The old media in Florida tried to frame the issue as one of the limiting of Doctor's speech, but it was never about that.   The law was in reaction to Doctors inappropriately asking questions about gun ownership, and potentially feeding that information into government databases.  This is known as a "boundary violation" where a professional uses his power in inappropriate ways.

The 11th Circuit Cout of Appeals upheld the law yesterday, the 25th of July.  It is possible that the rulling will be appealed to the Supreme Court.   From the startribune.com, Marion Hammer, a proponent of the law speaks:
"The intent is to protect the privacy of firearms owners and to stop the political interrogation of gun owners and the children of gun owners when they seek medical care," Hammer said in an email.
A majority of the judges agreed:
"The act simply codifies that good medical care does not require inquiry or record-keeping regarding firearms when unnecessary to a patient's care," states the opinion written by U.S. Circuit Judge Gerald Tjoflat.
From the decision:

The Act seeks to protect patients’ privacy by restricting irrelevant inquiryand record-keeping by physicians regarding firearms. The Act recognizes that when a patient enters a physician’s examination room, the patient is in a position of relative powerlessness. The patient must place his or her trust in the physician’s guidance, and submit to the physician’s authority. In order to protect patients, physicians have for millennia been subject to codes of conduct that define the practice of good medicine and affirm the responsibility physicians bear. In keeping with these traditional codes of conduct—which almost universally mandate respect for patient privacy—the Act simply acknowledges that the practice of good medicine does not require interrogation about irrelevant, private matters.

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

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Another Citizen Ensnared by D.C. Gun Law



A prominent veterinarian and farmer, who is also a member of the North Carolina State University's Board of Trustees, was arrested in the District of Columbia after police discovered a holstered, loaded handgun in his briefcase.   He apparently was scheduled to attend a meeting in the Cannon House Office Building.  Capitol police discovered the firearm in an ankle holster inside of his brief case.   I suspect it was the Ruger LCP, a popular, small, pistol.



A friend believes that the small gun was inadvertently left in the luggage.  From the comments at thestate.com:

I know Ron personally and he is an honest upstanding citizen and I truly believe he forgot it was in his brief case. He wasn't planning on committing any crime with it. My husband has often forgotten he was carrying a gun in his car but has been very lucky and hasn't been stopped in states that don't reciprocate with our state.
This points out the wisdom of Representative  Massie, who wants to reform the draconian D.C. gun laws:

“Gun free school zones are ineffective. They make people less safe by inviting criminals into target-rich, no-risk environments,” said Massie. “Gun free zones prevent law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves, and create vulnerable populations that are targeted by criminals.
This is the second time in a week that an upstanding citizen has been ensnared by these laws of questionable constitutionality.   Ryan Lee Shucard, press secretary to Representative Tom Marino, Pa, was tripped up in the same way on 18 July.

The D.C. law has been challenged in the Courts, but the court refuses to rule on it.   It seems likely that the court simply does not want to rule the law unconstitutional, and so has chosen to make no ruling at all.   The case will have been pending for five years on August 6th.   A writ of mandamus, to require the court to make a ruling, has been requested twice.

Update: Since this was written, the District Court has ruled the D.C. laws unconstitutional!   Now is the time for those being prosecuted under the laws to move for the charges to be dismissed!

A related case is pending in New Jersey, where a young black mother with a concealed carry permit is facing three years in jail because she was truthful with the police officer who stopped her for an "improper lane change".

Congress has the votes to pass legislation requiring all U.S. jurisdictions to honor state issued gun carry permits, just as they do state drivers licenses, but Harry Reid has blocked any progress on the issue.


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

SC: Marine takes Robber Suspects Gun, but does not Advise it

Classic defensive training, as I received 40 years ago.  Evaluate the situation.  Use a disarm technique only if you think you are likely to get shot anyway.  They are high risk techniques.  Kudos to Mr. Morris.

He says his reaction was instinctive, but he only did it because he was sure the guy was going to shoot him even if he had turned over his money.

 "The look in the guy's eyes, I was going to get shot whether I gave him my money or not," said Morris, a Desert Storm veteran. "I had nothing to lose. It's dumb to try it, but in that situation, with his demeanor, I did not think I had a choice. It was either stand there and get shot or get shot trying to get away or take the gun from him."

More Here

UK Paper Gets it Right: Hero doctor stops hospital shooting rampage



The UK is a very unfriendly place for the gun culture, yet compare this headline from the dailymail.co.uk with the old media in the U.S.:
Hero doctor stops hospital shooting rampage: Psychiatrist uses his own gun to shoot patient who killed caseworker in front of him
Here is the Washington Post:
Authorities search for motive in gunfight between psychiatric patient and doctor
Consider that the doctor had just witnessed a murder of a coworker in front of him, and was wounded in the head and hand while defending himself and others.

It says a great deal when a British paper delivers better reporting than a supposed "elite" American paper.   I am waiting for the Post to find that somewhere in his past, the good Doctor Silverman had some military or police training.   Then all will be explained... because, you see, it wasn't really a "civilian" defensive gun use after all!   Sarcasm alert.

I would like to see Shannon Watts public apology for her statement, when asked about shootings in public places being stopped by a "good guy with a gun", to use Wayne LaPierre's phrase.
Watts responded: "This has never happened. Data shows it doesn't happen."
That was a lie at the time, of course, as illustrated numerous times here:

 Mass Killings Stopped by Armed Citizens

I do not expect Shannon Watt to apologize.   If she would, it would undercut her whole media campaign, and likely stop the Bloomberg funding.

But it appears that the Washington Post has a long way to go before it regains any reputation as a reliable news source.   I had great hopes after the paper changed hands last year...


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

MA: But, Nobody Wants to Take Your Guns!



We hear the tired old shibboleth trotted out in the debate over the second amendment again and again: "Nobody Wants To Take Your Guns".  Except when they do.  Here is Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans on Boston Public Radio, second hour, starting about 9:20:

“For the most part, nobody in the city needs a shotgun, nobody needs a rifle, and I don’t know a lot of people who are into hunting who, being lifelong residents, would actually want that who lives in the city, but, especially here in the city I want to have discretion over who’s getting any type of gun because public safety is my main concern and as you know it’s an uphill battle taking as many guns off the street right now without pumping more into the system.”
There are several minutes of ignorance of crime statistics and simple desire for more power over peoples lives shown in these few minutes of discussion.  But what is abundantly clear is that the Police commissioner does not think people need any kind of guns in the city, and that the police should have full authority to decide who has one and who does not.   At one point, the "moderator" says, well, if it was unconstitutional, then it would be unconstitutional for handguns as well, wouldn't it?  Clearly the moderator never read the Heller decision.   It is just as clear where her sympathies lie.

The police commissioner, several times says that he doesn't want people to have rifles or shotguns, because they might be stolen and used by criminals.  Wow.  So we will trample on the rights of honest people, because we are afraid that criminals will steal.   It is obvious that he does not consider the right to be armed of any importance at all.

So, if you are from the 95 percent of the country where police cannot prevent you from owning guns, and you move to Massachusetts, the police commissioner thinks he should be able to tell you whether you can own one or not.   And if he decides that you should not own them?   I suspect that he will either come to take them or force you to turn them in.  

The end game has always been to reduce the number of firearms owners until it is politically insignificant.   The police commissioner is obviously miffed that it has not happened yet.

Yes, he wants to take your guns.  Or he wants to decide whether or not you can have them.   It amounts to the same thing.



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

MS:Judge Overrides State Law to Keep Baliffs Armed

 Judges are generally immune from lawsuit.

Kingfish reports that Hinds County bailiffs carry and can use firearms even if they fail their weapons qualifications test.   Bailiffs are deputies who work for the county sheriff and are assigned the courtroom.   State law requires all deputies qualify with their weapon and the law sets the minimum standard they must achieve.  If a deputy can not achieve the minimum standard they are not allowed to carry a firearm on duty.

(snip)

 Hinds County Circuit Judge Tomie Green barred the Sheriff from demoting or firing any bailiff in a 2012 court order.  Even though the bailiffs failed to meet the minimum score of 75 out of 100 in their annual qualification they are still allowed by order of the court to carry a side arm and maintain their job as bailiff.

More Here

Deputies, Police Reserves, and Militia



There were no police at the time the Constitution was written and the Bill of Rights ratified.   Police as we know them did not come into being until a couple of decades later, in the UK, with Sir Robert Peel.   There, giving the police power was resisted as an infringement on local power for a considerable time, and police only gradually spread across the United States.

Police forces have taken over many of the functions of local militias, and are for the most part, locally controlled.   The closest modern equivalent of to the militia of the constitutional era are reserve deputies.   While the Militias traditionally elected their officers, sheriffs are elected by county voters.   Police chiefs are not elected, but are appointed by people who are, an unfortunate remove from responsibility to the electorate.

Sheriffs have traditionally been able to appoint deputies at will.   In northern Wisconsin, we called them "dollar a year deputies" because the nominal stipulation was that they were paid a dollar a year.   Deputies have arrest powers, but dollar a year deputies rarely exercise them, wisely choosing to avoid the type of entanglements that come with acting outside of emergency situations.   I would bet considerable money that reservists commit far fewer crimes per capita than police do, just as concealed carry permit holders.   It makes sense; people who are reservists or CCW holders tend to be self selected as the most responsible group in the community.  I suspect that much the same could have been said of militia that took their duties seriously.

In the United States, police, deputies, or other officers who have  HR 218/Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) status, may legally carry concealed firearms throughout the United States and its territories, including the District of Columbia.    This is an avenue for people to have effective national right to carry. It applies to many places that are prohibited to people with ordinary concealed carry permits, though those exceptions are dwindling.   For example, all states now allow people to carry in restaurants that serve alcohol, but some states allow officers, but not permit holders, to carry in bars.  HR 218 status is valid in places that do not have any reciprocity with other states, and in the few federal enclaves where concealed carry permits are not allowed, such as most military bases or the District of Columbia.

A small town in Michigan is being investigated for no apparent reason but that it has a large number of reserve police, about a 100, for a population of 290.  From the detroitnews.com:
Earlier this month, The Detroit News reported the auxiliary officers donate so much money that they cover the $38,000 police budget and some other government expenses.

Their status as reserves allows them to bring their guns into no-weapon zones such as bars and ballparks, according to state law.

Critics accused the officers of trading donations for the looser weapon rules.
Police Chief Rob Reznick, who denied there’s any quid pro quo, said he has nothing to hide. “We welcome the investigation,” he said. “We will cooperate fully.”
It is not clear that the reservists mention are HR 218 qualified. However, they are issued a badge and ID, and a gun, and may have a department willing to back them up. How would any enforcer throughout the nation know that they were not?

Before Wisconsin passed their shall issue law in November of 2011, they had no provision for concealed carry by ordinary citizens. Often overlooked, however, was the ability of sheriffs to appoint deputies, and police chiefs, reservists. Far back in antiquity, I was a police reservist for a time. It was a position that I actively sought for the ability to carry a concealed weapon. A good friend of mine, a woman, obtained her "dollar a year deputy" card by going to the sheriff and telling him that she was going to carry... so give her a card and make her legal. He did just that. Perhaps the most famous fictional character to use this stratagem was Henry Bowman, in the novel, Unintended Consequences.

Over the years, some states have enacted legislation making it more difficult to become a deputy or police reservist.  Some require that the applicant attend a peace officer academy, which can be a large investment in time and money, and may require political appointment in some areas.  Many areas elect constables.   In sparsely populated rural areas this office might be obtained with little effort. 

While it is likely that national reciprocity for carry permits will become law in the near future (several attempts have been made, even during the Obama administration), the potential of becoming a reserve officer or deputy offers an interesting possibility for those who travel extensively and who wish to exercise their right to self defense during those travels.


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

PA Update: Official: Hospital gunman intended to kill others

A crazy man starts killing people in a gun free zone... only a doctor who violated the rules fought back and stopped the killing.   Those who want a disarmed population will say this was not a mass killing because the mass killing was stopped by an armed citizen...



Dr. Lee Silverman emptied his gun's chamber, striking patient Richard Plotts several times, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan said. Plotts by then had shot the caseworker in the face and fired several shots at Silverman, including one that grazed his temple and another that struck his thumb, he said.

(snip)

"If the doctor did not have a firearm, (and) the doctor did not utilize the firearm, he'd be dead today, and I believe that other people in that facility would also be dead," Whelan said.

More Here

FL: Armed Citizen Robbed, Shoots at Suspect

"The victim was getting his scuba air tank filled at a business in the 5000 block of Sandcastle Blvd., when an unknown armed black male, riding a bike, approached the victim," said Terri Barbera, public information officer with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

The suspect then robbed him of his wallet and took off on his bike.

The victim had a concealed weapons permit and feeling threatened, fired one shot at the suspect, according to deputies.


more Here

Friday, July 25, 2014

AL: 14-Year-Old Shoots Ayatollah Mohammad

It is early in the investigation, but it appears that the 14-Year-Old was justified.

“They’re very upset,” says Brett King, defense attorney for the alleged shooter. “There was a domestic incident that morning. The deceased was actually escorted off the property and actually taken to Jefferson County. And best we know right now is he actually walked on foot back the seven miles, was back in the house when he was discovered by the mother and the son. And soon there after he was shot.”

More here

PA: Armed Doctor Stops Killing in Gun Free Hospital

A crazy man starts killing people in a gun free zone... only a doctor who violated the rules fought back and stopped the killing.   Those who want a disarmed population will say this was not a mass killing because the mass killing was stopped by an armed citizen...

A troubled patient opened fire on a caseworker and psychiatrist in a small office at a unit of Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Delaware County on Thursday afternoon, police said, leading the doctor to draw his own weapon and shoot the assailant.

The confrontation left the caseworker, 53-year-old Theresa Hunt, dead and the 52-year-old psychiatrist, a veteran doctor at the hospital whom sources identified as Lee Silverman, with a graze wound to the head. The patient, Richard Plotts, was in critical condition Thursday night from three gunshot wounds.

More Here

IA:Armed Citizen Holds Five Fugitives for Police

In the video, it is clear that the armed citizen, Scott, who has a CCW, held the fugitives at gun point.   That fact is left off of the transcript.

During the chase, the deputy who was chasing them fell so Tim and Scott got into a truck and continued to chase the men.

The men were eventually caught when the neighbors confronted them and held them there until back up arrived.

The officer who fell did hurt his shoulder during the chase - he was taken to St. Luke’s. The five men in the car are all charged with interference with official acts with injury on a peace officer. The driver is also charged with several traffic offenses.

More Here

Philadelphia Agrees to Settlement, Training, License Procedures for Guns



The City of Philadelphia recently settled a class action lawsuit concerning people who had applied for a license to carry firearms (LTCF).   The City did not admit to any wrongdoing, but they agreed to pay 1.4 million dollars in settlement fees, and to change procedures.   The lawsuit stemmed from the city posting personal information contained in applications on line and available to the public.

While the City did not admit to any wrong doing, what they agreed to do in the future is quite revealing.   The actual settlement agreement is available online here, in a PDF file.

First, the City agreed not to post LTCF information where the public could find it.    That is expected.   It is the following actions that are more significant.  They are:

The City will not require references for LTCF applications.   This can be a major hurdle for someone trying to obtain a carry license.   Not everyone knows people who are willing to be a reference for an action the local government clearly disapproves of.   It is also possible that references can be intimidated or found to be "unacceptable".

The City will not require naturalization papers for citizens or legal residents who provide a passport, unless they can show reason to do so, such as irregularities in the passport.   Thus, another considerable paperwork burden is eliminated.

The City will not deny LTCF on the basis of convictions or charges where the conviction or charge was expunged or pardoned.   What good is an expungement or pardon, if you are still treated as if they did not happen?

The City will process applications within 45 calendar days, and notify the applicants of the decision.   This is required by Pennsylvania law.   I suspect that the City was not following the law previously.

If the application is denied, the City will refund $15 of the $20 application fee.  A small thing, but it is a little less incentive for the City to deny applications, and a little less risk in applying for a license.

The City shall train employees not to tell applicants that they *must* disclose the possession of a LTCF permit or a firearm to police officers.   Such disclosure is voluntary under Pennsylvania law.

The City shall train officers not to confiscate any LTCF license or legally carried firearm unless there is probable cause to believe the license or firearm is evidence of a crime.   If confiscated, officers *must* provide a receipt, including information such as officer name and badge number, and serial number of the firearm being confiscated.  This is a simple step that should have been followed all along.   All too often, Cities engage in legalized theft of firearms.

The City shall not require applicants to disclose if they own firearms as part of the application process.

The City does not admit of any wrongdoing, but... Look at what they say they will do now!   Add up all of the above and consider what steps the City may have been taking to chill the exercise of the right to keep and bear arms. 

The settlement is a great step forward for second amendment supporters in Philadelphia, but how far the City has fallen from the days of Benjamin Franklin!

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

Thursday, July 24, 2014

CA: 80-Year-Old Shoots One of Two Intruders

(LONG BEACH, CA.) -- They came to the wrong house to do a B & E (break and enter) that night and they most certainly frightened and roughed up the wrong 80-year old man.

For one of the invader-robbers that night, a woman, it was indeed a fatal error in the victim selection process.


(snip)


But during the attack on Greer the robbers didn't know that somehow he had gotten a hold of his .22 caliber revolver. 

More Here

CA:Woman Intruder Shot

"What we believe happened at this time was the resident came home and possibly interrupted a crime in progress," Hendricks said. "At some time, there was a shooting that took place and the suspect of the original crime, the woman, is deceased."

(snip)

 The investigation is on-going and more information will be available as it comes.

More Here

IN: Homeowner shoots burglary suspect during break-in

Police said the homeowner heard noises upstairs, confronted the burglar and shot the burglar in the arm.

(snip)

 Police said there was evidence of forced entry into the victim’s home and the suspect also had a warrant for criminal conversion.

More here

CT:Resident Stops Assault with Handgun

The commotion woke up another resident in an upstairs bedroom, who came downstairs and confronted the teenager with a handgun of his own, they said. The juvenile immediately dropped his gun and complied with the residents' orders to remain still until police arrived.

More Here

GA: Resident Shoots one of four Robber Suspects

The man shot one of the teens and the other three ran off, police said. The resident called police, who tracked down all four, taking three into custody and sending one to the hospital.

Police say they do not believe the resident will face any charges,

More Here 

David Codrea: Lawyers’ comments raise troubling questions about ATF and NFA collector’s group

Wow! David brings up important points about inside dirt on ATF in this article.  If you have watched the out of control, incompetent ATF leadership, this is a must read.

“[ATF] failed to describe a single situation illustrating the problem it purports to address,” FICG noted. “The entire rulemaking seems to rest on a false premise … [ATF] failed to identify a single example where a prohibited person gained actual possession of a NFA firearm by virtue of his relationship to a legal entity, let alone where a person gained possession of a NFA firearm due to his relationship to a legal entity and then used that firearm in the commission of any crime."

More Here

David Codrea: Major Legal Win for Right to Carry in Philly

The City of Philadelphia has agreed to pay $1.425 million and to make policy changes to settle a class action lawsuit regarding “posting and disclosing of what we alleged was confidential license to carry firearms (LTCF) information,” Prince Law Offices, P.C., announced Tuesday.

(snip)

 “Under the proposed settlement, the City will pay $1.425 million to the class and will be separately responsible for the costs of administering the settlement,” the release explains. “In addition, the City will voluntarily implement substantial changes in certain policies and procedure s, which will positively affect firearm owners who have legally obtained a firearm, and those who choose to carry a firearm for self defense and other lawful purposes.

More Here

MD:Cheap Gun Opportunity in Baltimore City, 26 July, 2014 Turn In (buy back)



Long Guns Turned In at Phoenix event in May, 2013

There will be a gun turn in event on 26 July, 2014 in Baltimore City, Maryland.  While these events are commonly labeled with the propaganda term "buyback" the guns were never owned by the people attempting to buy them.

The location for the event will be at the New All Saints Catholic Church in the 4400 block of Liberty Heights Avenue from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

The event offers a $100 gift card for turning in guns.   From wbaltv.com:
get a $100 gift card to ShopRite. Officials said no questions will be asked upon the exchange.
These events offer Second Amendment activists the potential for picking up some firearms for reasonable prices.  The gift cards offered for firearms generally undervalue a significant number of the firearms turned in.


At an event at the end of 2012, 460 guns were turned in.   At the last event, none of them were recorded as being stolen.
 Howard County police granted the I-Team access to the ballistics testing that happened after a 2013 collection in that county. None of the weapons that were test-fired came up as stolen, Weiner reported, and it's believed none of the turned-in weapons were ever used in a crime.
The potential for problems with stolen firearms is discussed in this article linked to below.  The risk seems exceptionally small.

What is the Legal Risk of Buying a Gun at a Turn In (buy back)?

Across the country, communities, police departments and churches are sponsoring gun turn-ins to get "guns off the street". At many of these events, private buyers are showing up, offering cash for the more valuable guns. These private additions to the public turn-in are effective, no doubt, in getting more guns off the street, because they add to the resources that are available to those who want to get rid of guns for something of value, be it a grocery card or a number of twenty dollar bills.

You can help make the turn-in in your area more effective by standing on the curb with your "Cash for Guns" sign, or at a folding table, willing to offer more than the gift card for firearms that are more valuable. It would be best if numerous private parties were available, as more good guns could then be transferred into responsible hands.

This action serves many useful purposes. It stretches the turn-in budget so that more guns can be taken off the street. It helps keep fearful widows from being defrauded of most of the market value of the gun they are turning in. It prevents valuable assets from being destroyed by bureaucratic inflexibility. It is a win-win-win situation.

It also dispels the pernicious message that guns are bad and should be destroyed.

Private sales of long guns that are not "regulated" appear to be legal in Maryland.  Here is a link to the state list of regulated long arms.  Pistols are regulated.   I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on the Internets, so it would be wise to check out the laws for yourself.   Residents of Maryland would do well to learn them in any case.   Here is one source:

What are the Gun Laws in Maryland?

Link to article with numerous examples of private sales at gun turn in events
 
Link to most recent article about private buyers at Detroit event

Link to Phoenix Article: pictures of private buyers

First hand accounts of this turn-in would be appreciated, as would any pictures.

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