Thursday, April 24, 2014

GA: Governor Deal Signs Modest Gun Reform Bill




Governor Deal signed Georgia's modest gun law reform today, 23 April, 2014.  Gun law reform has been stalled in Georgia for several years, leading to the measure that makes several modest changes in Georgia's law.   None of the changes are particularly radical.   All, with one possible  exception, have been adopted in other states before this law was passed.  From FoxNews.com:
The bill makes several changes to state law. It allows those with a license to carry to bring a gun into a bar without restriction and into some government buildings that don't have certain security measures. It also allows religious leaders to decide whether it's OK for a person with a carry license to bring a gun into their place of worship.
Here is a more comprehensive list from a previous article.
  • Removal of fingerprinting for renewal of Weapons Carry Licenses (“WCL”).
  • Prohibiting the state from creating and maintaining a database of WCL holders.
  • Creation of an absolute defense for the legal use of deadly force in the face of a violent attack.
  • Removal of the sweeping restrictions on legally carrying a firearm with a WCL in bars, leaving this decision to private property owners.
  • Lowering the age to obtain a concealed WCL for self-defense from 21 to 18 for active duty military, with specific training.
  • Repealing the unnecessary and duplicative state-required license for a firearms dealer, instead requiring only a Federal Firearms License (FFL).
  • Preempting a ban on firearms in public housing, ensuring that the right to self-defense should not be infringed based on where one calls home.
  • Codifying the ability to legally carry, with a WCL, in sterile/non-secure areas of airports.
  • Incorporation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act for mental health reporting.
  • Stating that under a declared state of emergency, all law-abiding gun owners will not have their Second Amendment rights restricted or infringed by executive authority through Emergency Powers protection.
  • Strengthening current firearms preemption statutes through further clarification of the regulatory authority of local governments, excluding firearm discharge ordinances.
  • Allowing school systems to decide whether staff and faculty may carry a firearm on school property, pending approved training, similar to the NRA’s National School Shield program.
  • Allowing the lawful carry by WCL holders in government buildings where it is not currently restricted or security screening personnel are posted during regular business hours.
  •  Hunting with suppressors allowed.
  • Opt in for Churches, rather than traditional private property rights, and reduction for of the penalty for carrying in a church that does not opt in to a $100 civil fine.

The one provision that I have not seen in other states is the provision that may create a legal defense for people who use a firearm in justified self defense, even if they have previously been convicted of a felony.   It is common for people who have had to go through the trauma of defending themselves with lethal force, to then face mandatory prison terms because they were not allowed to possess a firearm due to a previous felony conviction.     I recall one case where the defender managed to disarm his attacker and use the weapon to defend his family.   He still faced prosecution, even though the firearm that he "possessed" had been brought to the situation by the hands of his attacker.

I have only read Collin Goddard, as an anti-second amendment advocate, make this claim, so I am not certain that it is a real part of the law.   Here is his claim, from foxnews.com:
Colin Goddard, who survived the 2007 campus shooting at Virginia Tech, told Georgia Public Broadcasting he's alarmed by a provision that waives criminal prosecution of felons who use illegal firearms in the act of self-defense.
I do not think that felons should be prosecuted for justifiably defending themselves against deadly force.    Perhaps an attorney can read the statute and determine if the above is an actual effect of the law. 


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

WI:Cheap Gun Opportunity Coming in Milwaukee




There will be a gun turn in event in Milwaukee on Saturday, 17 May,  2014.  While these events are commonly labeled with the propaganda term "buyback" the guns were never owned by the people attempting to buy them.

The event will be held at Tabernacle Community Baptist Church, 2500 W. Medford Ave.  The jsonline.com article indicates that it is in a high crime neighborhood.

The event is scheduled to run from 10 am to 2 pm. People often turn up early at these events.

The incentives for the gun turn in are unknown at this time.  From jsonline.com:
Details of the gun buyback, such as the amount of money offered for different types of firearms, are still being organized.
It is common at these events for rifles and shotguns to be accepted for amounts from $50 to $100, handguns from $50 to $150, and "assault rifles" from $150 to $250.  What is considered a "assault rifle" often depends on what the individual at the turn in event decides is one at the moment it is turned in.

This may be the first gun turn in event in Milwaukee since 2005.  Wisconsin is a gun friendly state, with a high percentage of avid deer and duck hunters, as well as offering good goose, ruffed grouse, turkey, bear, squirrel, rabbit and pheasant hunting.    The Milwaukee Journal ran a famous column by Gordon Macquarrie until 1956, glorifying the the hunting camp in northern Wisconsin.  On the start of deer season, the freeways are  jammed with hunters heading north.    It is likely that there are numerous attics in Milwaukee with forgotten treasures that belonged to grandpa or even great-grandpa.

The potential for valuable old guns being turned in is very large.    I would be surprised if there were no Savage model 99 deer rifles or Winchester model 1897 shotguns turned in.   There will likely be some decent double barreled shotguns; maybe even a drilling that a German immigrant brought over from the old country.   Milwaukee supplied many WWII soldiers, and there is a good chance for WWII trophy Lugers, P-38s, Mausers, Enfields, and Springfields.  Up until 1968, many of these guns were available mail order for a few dollars.   I will be surprised if at least one M1 carbine and one M1 Garand are not turned in.

Private sales are legal in Wisconsin, but the Milwaukee police chief, Ed Flynn is infamous for his animosity to armed citizens.   In 2009, before the passage of the shall issue law in Wisconsin, Chief Flynn said, as recorded by milwaukeestory.com

"My message to my troops is if you see anybody carrying a gun on the streets of Milwaukee, we'll put them on the ground, take the gun away and then decide whether you have a right to carry it."

Chief Flynn was imported from Massachusetts.  It is not so easy to find his intolerant attitude in Wisconsin.  The law has been clarified since that point, and several settlements have been paid to citizens who were falsely arrested while legally carrying guns.   It would be well for private buyers to have recorders and to operate at in pairs so as to deter police misconduct.

To give an idea of what sort of guns might come into this turn in, consider that Chief Flynn is sitting on about $2,000,000 worth of guns that have already been turned in, and which Wisconsin law makes difficult for the authorities to sell.

If there is much of a turn out at the turn in, private buyers should look for easy places for people to park so that the merchandise can be looked at prior to purchase.  Often people bring several guns to these turn in events. 

You might want to read about the Phoenix event to see how things were handled there.

Be prepared for a percentage of people who refuse to talk to anyone but police.  All the private buyers that I saw in Phoenix were very polite and let these ideologically driven people turn in their guns for a fraction of what they would be worth on the open market.

Signs are helpful, as are good grooming, cash, and a friendly attitude.  Dale Carnegie's advise for dealing with people works very well.

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.   The ideal situation for those organizing the turn in would be to allow private buyers to purchase the valuable guns, while having the organizers take the cheap guns "off the streets".   As these events are ideologically driven, that seems unlikely, but it might be worth an attempt at outreach.  All parties would benefit.

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

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

Link to Phoenix Article: pictures of private buyers

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

KS: Governor Signs Gun Reform Bill




Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed HB 2578 into law today, 23 April, 2014.   The law strengthens state preemption by preventing local governments from banning  the open carry of firearms and making the disclosure of the possession of a concealed carry license a condition of employment.  From kansas.com:

The governor has signed a bill that will bar local governments from enforcing local gun ordinances, his office announced Wednesday morning.

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2014/04/23/3419021/kansas-governor-signs-gun-legislation.html#storylink=cpy

It requires adequate signage to prohibit the open carry of firearms by premises that choose to do so.   There is no penalty for open carrying in such premises unless the open carrier refuses to leave when asked to do so.

Guns that are forfeited to law enforcement agencies are mostly prohibited from being destroyed, unless used in a homicide. Local governments are not allowed to spend money on gun "buyback" programs

Local governments are given immunity from lawsuit for employees that commit a wrongful act with a firearm, and are not allowed to ask if employees have a concealed carry license as a condition of employment.   Local governments are allowed limit employees from possessing weapons while working.

Firearms may not be carried while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.   There are exceptions for private property and unloaded firearms.  The blood alcohol standards that apply to impaired driving are applied to the carry of loaded weapons. 

A broad knife pre-emption is part of this package, part of a trend that recognizes that knives are arms protected by the second amendment.

Governor Brownback signed another firearms reform bill a year ago on the 16th of April, 2013.


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

AZ: Legislature Sends Reform of Firearms Definition to Governor





On 22 April, the Arizona legislature passed SB 1366, a reform of the definition of what is a firearm in Arizona law.  The legislation now goes to Governor Brewer, who has 5 working days to veto it, sign it, or allow it to become law.  The fate of the bill was uncertain until the last minute.   The bills supporters were able to use parliamentary maneuvering to bring the bill up for a vote, where it passed easily.

Arizona has long suffered under two potentially contradictory definitions of what is a firearm under the law.   I taught these two definitions for fifteen years as a concealed carry instructor, and no one could ever be sure which definition would be applied to any given situation.  The problem was that one part of the law defined a firearm as a device that expelled a projectile by means of an explosion, while another defined a firearm as a device that expels a projectile by means of explosive expansion of a gas.   This was sometimes used to include airguns as firearms.   The new definition would change both to be the same, and include these words:
 rapidly expanding gases created by a burning propellant or burning powder.

The new definition  positively removes airguns from the definition of firearms.  

It seems likely that Governor Brewer will sign the bill.   She recently vetoed two gun law reform bills and may feel the need to mend fences with second amendment supporters.

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

TX:Robber is Shot, runs off with Money

The robber then asked the clerk to kneel on the ground while he grabbed a pack of cigarettes. That’s when the clerk pulled out a gun of his own and shot the man in the hand. The man dropped his gun and fled the scene.

More Here

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

AZ:Governor Brewer Vetos Gun Law Reforms



Governor Jan Brewer vetoed gun law reforms that would have held local governments accountable.   HB 2517 would have put teeth into the state's preemption law, with penalties for government officials that prosecuted people  for violating illegitimate local ordinances.   Florida passed a similar bill in 2011 after scofflaw governments routinely persecuted citizens who exercised their second amendment rights.  Pennsylvania and Ohio are considering similar measures.

HB 2339 would have ensured that local governments who wished to prevent people from carrying weapons in public buildings would have to do more than depend on those who would obey signs directing them to disarm.   If people with a permit were not allowed into the public buildings, then security measures would have been required to insure that those who did not obey the law were disarmed as well.   Representative Brenda Barton of Payson was disappointed at the veto.   A similar bill had been vetoed last year, and she said that she had crafted the bill to address the Governor's issues with it.  From therepublic.com:

House Bill 2339 would have allowed people with concealed-carry permits to bring weapons into government buildings unless security measures — including armed guards, metal detectors and gun lockers — are in place. The measure excluded public K-12 schools, community colleges and universities.
Kansas passed a similar bill last year.  Opponents of the bill have claimed that it will require them to spend large amounts of money to implement; proponents have noted that it does not take much money to remove a sign.

Governor Brewer has served two terms and is not expected to run for reelection.


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

AZ: Citizen Disarmament Advocates Lobby to Maintain Disarmed Victim Zones




In Arizona, a few women and children lobbied Governor Brewer to veto legislation designed to help keep people safe in the state.   John Lott, one of the foremost researchers on the effects of legislation restricting access to defense options, has noted that the vast majority of public mass shootings occur in gun free zones.  From a nationalreview.com interview:
Lott offers a final damning statistic: “With just one single exception, the attack on congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2011, every public shooting since at least 1950 in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry guns.”
The law in Arizona is designed to insure that if law abiding people are disarmed in a particular location, then there must be a reasonable attempt to insure that criminals are also screened for carrying weapons.   Public buildings would not be allowed to ban licensed people from carrying arms unless security measures such as metal detectors and armed guards are in place.   The Kansas legislature passed a nearly identical bill into law in 2013.   A similar bill passed the legislature last year, but was vetoed by Governor Brewer.   Some speculated that it was vetoed under pressure from Arizona educators.   This year the legislation exempts universities and colleges from the requirements.

The bill, HB2339 passed 34 to 22 in the House and 16 to 12 in the Senate.  Governor Brewer has until the end of today, 22 April, 2014, to either sign the bill, veto it, or allow it to become law without her signature.

I watched the news event on video from azcentral.com.  I counted six children and six adults, though the video was not designed to give a count.   One of the women had lost a child in a drive by shooting several years ago.   I am not sure what that has to do with the current bill.   Concealed carry permit holders are more responsible with their weapons than police.  But, this lobbying is not rational or logical.   It is emotional, by design.
 


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

Moms Demand Action: Emotion Wins Debates





Courtesy Oleg Volk


A hat tip to joehuffman.org for pointing out the absurd in this article from ABCnews.   It quotes Shannon Watts as saying the following:

“I think the NRA should be very afraid of Americans, who’ve had enough of the gun violence in this country and in particular moms,” Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action and a board member for Everytown for Gun Safety, said. “Moms are afraid our children will be taken away and in the end, I think that’s the emotion that will win the debate.”
So Ms. Watts believes that debates are about  emotion, and apparently, questions of law should be decided by the fears of mothers rather than by facts, thought, rational consideration of reality and reasonably expected consequences.   Not that we shouldn't be afraid of Ms. Watts and the power of the anti-second amendment media and politicians behind her.

Relying on the power of emotion over fact and logic is a standard ploy for sophists whose facts and logic do not make the grade.   It is standard fare for those who believe that people are too stupid to control their own lives, so they have to be lied to in order to bring their "betters" into power to take care of them.    It is the mainstay of the nanny state.

The danger is that emotions can win debates, when those emotions are backed up by threats of violence.   An inflamed mob or majority can kill you.  If you inflame the ignorant enough, you can get them to go along with disarming and killing those whom they are told are the danger.   You can use emotion to concentrate the power in the hands of the government to kill off the educated, as in Cambodia, or the Jews, as in the Holocaust.

My colleague, John Jay Ray, has studied the motivations of political leftists, and they are founded in strong negative emotions.  

It is worthwhile to note that Shannon Watts finds her strongest card in emotion, and not fact.

That is what you do when the facts, the culture, and the Constitution are all against you.


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

CT: Boxed in by Cars, Citizen Wins Fight

Police say the shooting happened around 2 a.m. on Newberry Street in Hartford. The homeowner was trying to pull into his driveway, when two other drivers blocking the way, refused to move their vehicles.

Following a verbal altercation, officials say one of the drivers pointed a gun at the homeowner. The homeowner, reached for his own gun and fired first.

More Here

MA:Concealed Carrier Stops Armed Robbery

According to police, the "victim" was a concealed carry licensee who was returning home with a friend when the two thugs confronted them. Blake stuck a shotgun in the victim's face] while Williams put a handgun to the head of his friend and forced them both inside the building.

As Blake turned to talk to someone behind him, the concealed carrier took action. He drew his .357 Magnum and fired multiple shots at Blake - striking him twice in the chest.


More Here

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Terminally dumb


Bloomberg ad. below



This is not what happens when a bullet is fired

The graphic depicts a cartoon bullet flying, shell casing and all, like a rocket out of a cartoon gun barrel.

Popular Mechanics Scores with 3D Gun Article



The Popular Mechanics article shows that it understands technology much better than the New York Times or the Washington Post.  This isn't too surprising, given the politics of the the two prominent newspapers, but it was not always so.

The  Article sums it up nicely:
So, should we be afraid to live in a world where anyone can afford the equipment to manufacture a gun in his or her basement? I hope not—because that's the world we live in now. Guns are comparatively simple devices. In fact, plenty of custom firearms are manufactured today using equipment that wouldn't be out of place in a basement.
The utility of 3D printed guns is not so much that they make the technology of firearms available to everyman; that has been the case for centuries.  The utility is that it demonstrates that fact in a way that resonates with those in the "progressive elite", especially in the old media, that they were blind to otherwise.

They may never have operated a drill press; they may never have filed a  washer to make a shim of the right thickness; they may never have ground a screwdriver blade to the proper size and shape for the task at hand.   But, they have operated a printer!

So when someone talks about 3D printed guns, it is a revelation, a "road to Damascus" moment.  They understand that it would be possible for them, and almost anyone, to set up the machine and hit the "print" button.

They ignored the Pakistan shops in Darra Adam Khel.    They ignored the thriving underground Philippine gun industry, the percentage of homemade guns in the District of Columbia, and the Brazilian workshop submachine guns.  Yet they find the 3D printed single shot pistol compelling.

This is a good thing, because it brings them a bit closer to understanding the reality beyond their "progressive" theories.    Some "progressives" are known to mature out of "progressivism".    The more that do, the more we have a chance to escape the devastating consequences of willfully ignorant policy makers. 


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

TX:Resident Shoots Intruder

According to investigators, a man kicked in the door to a home on Glenheath and Ruthby around 4:50 a.m. on Sunday.  A husband and wife were home at the time.  The husband shot the suspect twice in the abdomen.

More Here

Monday, April 21, 2014

CT:Off Duty Guardsman Shoots two who Attacked in Cars

The resident told them he didn’t want trouble, and both drivers briefly left but then returned and drove toward his
 car. One, Edwin Franqui, rammed the Newbury Street man’s car head-on, while the other, Leanardo Vasquez, pulled
 alongside the man and aimed a gun at him, according to police.
 
The resident pulled out his own pistol and fired several shots; one struck Vasquez, police said.
 Vasquez, 23, ran off and was later admitted to a hospital and listed in stable condition,
 according to police.
 
More Here 
The resident told them he didn’t want trouble, and both drivers briefly left but then returned and drove toward his car. One, Edwin Franqui, rammed the Newbury Street man’s car head-on, while the other, Leanardo Vasquez, pulled alongside the man and aimed a gun at him, according to police.
The resident pulled out his own pistol and fired several shots; one struck Vasquez, police said. Vasquez, 23, ran off and was later admitted to a hospital and listed in stable condition, according to police. Franqui, 22, was arrested by arriving officers and charged with failing to drive in the proper lane, driving with a suspended license and failing to carry a license. Police said he later damaged a door at police headquarters and was charged with criminal mischief.

Read more at http://foxct.com/2014/04/19/overnight-shooting-reported-in-hartford/#tXCfPW7h3YEyM6GX.99
The resident told them he didn’t want trouble, and both drivers briefly left but then returned and drove toward his car. One, Edwin Franqui, rammed the Newbury Street man’s car head-on, while the other, Leanardo Vasquez, pulled alongside the man and aimed a gun at him, according to police.
The resident pulled out his own pistol and fired several shots; one struck Vasquez, police said. Vasquez, 23, ran off and was later admitted to a hospital and listed in stable condition, according to police. Franqui, 22, was arrested by arriving officers and charged with failing to drive in the proper lane, driving with a suspended license and failing to carry a license. Police said he later damaged a door at police headquarters and was charged with criminal mischief.

Read more at http://foxct.com/2014/04/19/overnight-shooting-reported-in-hartford/#tXCfPW7h3YEyM6GX.99
The resident told them he didn’t want trouble, and both drivers briefly left but then returned and drove toward his car. One, Edwin Franqui, rammed the Newbury Street man’s car head-on, while the other, Leanardo Vasquez, pulled alongside the man and aimed a gun at him, according to police.
The resident pulled out his own pistol and fired several shots; one struck Vasquez, police said. Vasquez, 23, ran off and was later admitted to a hospital and listed in stable condition, according to police. Franqui, 22, was arrested by arriving officers and charged with failing to drive in the proper lane, driving with a suspended license and failing to carry a license. Police said he later damaged a door at police headquarters and was charged with criminal mischief.

Read more at http://foxct.com/2014/04/19/overnight-shooting-reported-in-hartford/#tXCfPW7h3YEyM6GX.99

Sunday, April 20, 2014

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



In most of the United States, it has always been legal to buy and sell firearms privately without any paperwork.    Private sales are not required to go through a Federal Firearms License (FFL).   It is against the law to build or maintain a Federal firearms registry.   One of the purposes of this restriction is to insure against firearms confiscation by the Federal government.

There are a few states that have effectively banned private sales.  California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, and Rhode Island, are six states that require that private parties have a background check conducted by the government before each sale, effectively making the "private" sales public.   Having a background check done on the buyer does not mean that the guns are checked to determine if they were stolen at some point.

Pennsylvania and Maryland require background checks for pistols, and a number of other states have various requirements for permits to purchase that may or may not require that information about the firearm be entered into a government database. 80% of the  states do not regulate private sales of firearms.

For the purposes of legal action that might be taken against a purchaser, it is the number of guns that are reported stolen and available to be found on a database searched by police that is important.   Many millions of guns were manufactured before the government started to mandate that guns have serial numbers.   There is no way to determine if those firearms were stolen, unless there is some sort of distinctive marking that could connect the firearm to a previous owner.   That sort of marking could be input into the FBI data base nearly as easily as a serial number.
 
The FBI has maintained the database of stolen guns for the United States since 1967, so we have about 46 years of data in the system.   There are a few state data bases, such as Florida's, but it is a reasonable assumption that most of the firearms in state databases would also be reported to the FBI for inclusion in the National Crime Information Center  (NCIC) system.   

As of April 15, 2014, there were 2,920,846 stolen guns in the system.   The current estimates for the number of privately owned guns in the United States is about 310,000,000.   Thus, the chance of purchasing a stolen gun in a private sale is likely a bit less than 1 percent.   I monitor gun turn in events where police check the guns turned in to see if they are stolen.   The number of stolen guns found at these events is consistent with the above figure, usually less than one percent.   At the turn in event in Phoenix in May of 2012, of the nearly 2,000 guns turned in, four (.2 percent) were found to be stolen.

Of course, there are other indicators that can be used to reduce the possibility of purchasing a stolen firearm.    Most states make it illegal to possess a firearm if the serial number has been defaced or removed.  I would not buy one.   I would be leery of buying a gun on a street corner in a bad neighborhood.

I recall, in the late 1960's, that some criminals tried to sell stolen guns in northern Wisconsin, where I grew up.  The criminals likely believed that in the heart of the gun culture, they would have no trouble disposing of some desirable rifles and shotguns for a good price.    The people of the area thought the prices were a bit "too good" and reported the crooks, who were captured and prosecuted in short order.

Another consideration is how long ago the firearm might have been stolen.  The BATFE concentrates on investigating firearms that were stolen within the last 12-18 months.  This amounts to a couple of hundred cases a year.  Older than that, it is likely that the firearms have passed through too many hands for the investigation to be fruitful.    It is unlikely that any firearm that was stolen more than three years ago will result in any charges.  The numbers of firearms reported to NCIC as stolen for the last three years are:

2013:  191,420

2012:  183,801

2011:  174,236

Total:  549,457

This is less than .2 percent of the total firearms in the United States, about one in 500.

A study done by the Bureau of Justice statistics ( BJS) shows a fairly reasonable approximation to the NCIC numbers, using the National Crime Victimization Study. Their study shows 145 thousand victimizations involving the theft of firearms in 2010. They do not give the number of guns stolen, but give an average of 232,00 per year from 2005 to 2010.   This is a bit higher than the numbers reported to the FBI, but I find the number plausible, given that many guns are not reported stolen, many never had serial numbers to begin with, and many are homemade or made outside of regular commerce.

My understanding is that virtually all "possession of stolen property" crimes involve an element of "knowing" that the property was stolen.   Arizona has a "Trafficking in stolen property" statute:
A. A person who recklessly traffics in the property of another that has been stolen is guilty of trafficking in stolen property in the second degree.

B. A person who knowingly initiates, organizes, plans, finances, directs, manages or supervises the theft and trafficking in the property of another that has been stolen is guilty of trafficking in stolen property in the first degree

The Legislature has codified permissible inferences in ARS 13-2305:
1. Proof of possession of property recently stolen, unless satisfactorily explained, may give rise to an inference that the person in possession of the property was aware of the risk that it had been stolen or in some way participated in its theft.

2. Proof of the purchase or sale of stolen property at a price substantially below its fair market value, unless satisfactorily explained, may give rise to an inference that the person buying or selling the property was aware of the risk that it had been stolen.
Being in possession of a firearms stolen more than three years ago relieves the buyer of most of the concern about being charged with trafficking in stolen property.   I believe that pictures of the firearms purchased at a gun turn in, with a date/time stamp, coupled with a citation of this article, would provide the satisfactory explanation mentioned above.

My retired peace officer friends have told me that prosecution in cases where a private individual buys a firearm without a reasonable knowledge that it is stolen, are unheard of.

If it is somehow discovered that a firearm that you have acquired was stolen sometime in the past, the likely outcome is that you would be asked to return the stolen property.   This is not entirely bad, as I would like to have property that was stolen from me returned.    If you can contact the legal owner, they might be willing to pay for shipping and transfer charges to have the firearm returned to them.

The NCIC was conceived and executed when computers were enormously expensive, took dedicated and highly trained individuals to operate, and there was no Internet.   A possible reform would be to make the database available over the net, so that people could easily determine if a firearm was reported as stolen, or if a firearm that was stolen or lost has been recovered.   As with the updating of any legacy code, such a project would entail some expense.    The entire existing data for guns, consisting of a small amount of text and numbers, with no pictures or video, would easily fit on a single smart phone.  It is a reform that reasonable people could agree to.

Every person must make their own assessment of risk and benefit every day that they live.   The risk of purchasing stolen firearms at a gun turn in event is very small.  The potential of being prosecuted becomes microscopically small.   I have purchased firearms at these events and expect to continue to do so.  I have yet to hear of a single person who purchased one or more firearms at one of these events, who was prosecuted for that action.

The FBI supplied the information about the number of stolen guns that are maintained by the NCIC.


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

Reid: I can Tell a Real Terrorist


More Here

Canada:Five Killed in Mass Knifing

One attacker, one knife, worse death total than many mass gun attacks.

From AP

CALGARY, Alberta — The son of a Calgary police officer was charged in the fatal stabbing of five people at a house party that the law enforcement officials called the worst mass slaying in the western Canadian city's history.

Matthew Douglas de Grood, a recent graduate of the University of Calgary, picked up a large knife shortly after arriving at the party and stabbed the victims one by one shortly after 1 a.m. Tuesday, said police Chief Rick Hanson.

More Here 

 From DailyStar.co.uk

Matthew Douglas de Grood, the son of a veteran police officer, has been charged with five counts of murder following the killings in Calgary.

Police Chief Rick Hanson said: "We have never seen five people killed at one scene. The scene was horrific."

More Here

From the CBC:

De Grood, who attended the University of Calgary, was planning to attend law school.

He was also tagged in a Facebook post that said he graduated with a bachelor of science (major in psychology/minor in law and society) with distinction in June 2013.

De Grood was currently working at a grocery store not far from where the killings took place this morning.

More Here

Bloomberg Reacts to Facebook Squatters

The "Hitler in Bunker Videos" are overdone... But this one is a good one!


I thought the "he won't force us back on dial up" line was a very nice touch.

MA:Federal Court Rules in Favor of Second Amendment Right for People with Old Marijuana Convictions




The Latin motto on the great seal of the State of Massachusetts, loosely translated, means: "By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty."  It is rather inconsistent with Massachusetts strict firearms laws.  Those laws became a little more reasonable on April 18th, 2014.


A federal judge, relying on both the McDonald and Heller decisions and current Massachusetts law, effectively removed one class of prohibited people from the law.

The case MICHAEL WESSON, THOMAS WOODS, and COMMONWEALTH SECOND AMENDMENT, INC.,  involves two well established men who had out of state marijuana convictions from decades ago.    Massachusetts decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana in 2008.   The Massachusetts 1998 Gun Control Act made prohibited possessors out of people who were convicted of:
 a crime involving the use or sale of firearms, or a violation of any criminal provision of the firearms law or the Controlled Substances Act;
The two men applied for permits to purchase firearms, and were denied under the above provision, because they had the records for marijuana convictions.   They sued, claiming that their second amendment rights were being denied without just cause.   The case was filed in March of 2013.  From The Daily News of Newburyport:

 The suit, filed in U.S. District Court by Michael Wesson along with Thomas Woods of Natick and Commonwealth Second Amendment Inc., claims that Salisbury and Natick town officials violated the two men's constitutional rights by denying them access to firearms based on what is now a civil offense rather than a criminal one, according to court documents.

On April 18th of 2014,  U.S. District Court Judge Richard Stearns ruled for the two men in summary judgement.  From the Boston Herald:

A federal judge yesterday ruled that two Bay State men — previously convicted of marijuana possession in other states — could not be denied the right to have guns in their homes for self-defense purposes based on their prior drug crimes.
Because this is a District Court, I do not think that the case establishes binding precedent on other courts, though it will be cited in the future.  It certainly establishes precedent for permit issuing authorities in Massachusetts.    Comm2A, a local second amendment activist organization, is responsible for promoting this case.

It seems likely that this reasoning would apply to minor violations of firearms law as well.   In many states there are numerous ways to be convicted of minor civil firearms violations.   In Wisconsin, a few years ago, it was common for people to be cited for having a firearm that was not entirely enclosed in a case in a vehicle, for example, before the Walker administration passed the shall issue gun law reform of Act 35.

With the ascendancy of digital records and the Internet, those convictions might well be available to permit issuing authorities in other states.  This case serves as an example that fundamental constitutional rights must not be denied for trivial reasons.

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

Saturday, April 19, 2014

AZ: Zoning Overreach Results in Legislative Protection of Private Shooting Rights



Last year, a landowner in rural Yavapai County, Arizona, was finally vindicated in a hearing after a prolonged legal battle with local zoning officials.  The case involved local officials who claimed that they had the power to shut down shooting on private land, because shooting was not an "approved use" in the zoning code.  The closest complaining neighbor was  miles distant from the property. 

A common practice in "model" zoning codes is to invert the ordinary structure of American law, claiming that everything that is not allowed is prohibited, instead of the long recognized construct of everything that is not prohibited is allowed.

A Yavapai County bureaucrat is quoted as testifying at the hearing:
If a County Ordinance doesn’t permit the activity, the activity is disallowed. No shooting allowed under Ordinance 400, so “no shooting as a matter of right” Simply stated, “you are not allowed to shoot cans on your property.”
Second amendment supporters said that they would seek legislative redress to this abuse of bureaucratic power, and they did.    HR 2483  preempts local  codes that:
4.  Prevent, restrict or otherwise regulate the otherwise lawful discharge of a firearm or air gun or use of archery equipment on a private lot or parcel of land that is not open to the public on a commercial or membership basis.
The law is clear that if the shooting activity takes place more than a quarter mile from an occupied structure , it is protected.   It can take place within a quarter mile if permission is granted.  It appears that there is some protection for people shooting on private property that is closer than a quarter mile, in that if damages are alleged, then:
D.  In an action alleging damages from the loss of property value due to the otherwise lawful discharge of a firearm or air gun or the use of archery equipment on a private lot or parcel of land that belongs to another person, the lost value shall be proven by clear and convincing evidence.
What is fascinating about this legislation is that it is a reaction to zoning overreach.   That is almost never seen.   Local elites guard their zoning power with considerable zeal.   It offers more opportunities for abuse than much of the rest of local code.


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

NY:Pizza Guy Shoots one of Four Would be Robber

In the front hallway of the house, one of the robbers, who wore a mask and had a brown hoodie pulled over his face, hit the deliveryman on the head with a hammer, according to police.

The masked man also displayed what appeared to be a gun, police said.

But then, the deliveryman told investigators, he pulled out his own handgun and fired a shot, striking the masked man. The rest of the gang scattered.

More Here

TX:Gas Station Fight Stopped with One Shot

Police tracked the pickup over to Portland where they discovered the driver had been shot in one hand.

Back at the Stripes store, police released the shooter because he has a concealed handgun permit and officers felt he was acting in self-defense.

More Here

AZ:Governor Brewer Signs Concealed Carry Permit Reform



Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed HB 2103 yesterday, the 17th of April, 2014.  The bill reforms concealed carry permit qualifications in the state, allowing people with military service to obtain a permit at 19 years of age.  From trendtrack.com:

E. The department of public safety shall issue a permit to an applicant who meets all of the following conditions:
1. Is a resident of this state or a United States citizen.

2.  Is twenty‑one years of age or older or is at least nineteen years of age and provides evidence of current military service or proof of honorable discharge or general discharge under honorable conditions from the United States armed forces, United States armed forces reserve or a state national guard.
The blue letters indicate the change in the law.

Arizona is one of five "constitutional carry" states.   No permit is required to carry concealed weapons for people who are 21 years of age and who may legally possess weapons.  The permit has advantages, however, as it is recognized by about 35 other states and allows concealed carry in establishments that serve alcohol, as long as the permit holder refrains from consuming alcohol.  This allows armed citizens to eat at most restaurants that other citizens frequent.

The concealed carry reform is one of dozens of bills sweeping across the country.  More than twenty states have reformed their firearms laws in the last year, removing antiquated infringements on second amendment rights.   The reforms have occurred in the face of strong opposition from the "progressive" establishment, including President Barrack Obama.    Millions of dollars were spent trying to overpower grassroots backed reforms.

A tiny number of states have enacted more restrictive legislation under intense lobbying by Billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the administration, and the old media.  The legislation in New York, Connecticut, and Colorado is being challenged in the courts.  Three Colorado legislators lost their seats because of unprecedented popular challenges after they voted  for restrictive firearms laws.

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


Friday, April 18, 2014

TX: 19-Year-Old was Likely Carrying Slung Mosin-Nagant Rifle when He was Tased

Photo: Alma E. Hernandez, For The San Antonio Express News
Henry Vichique, shown with his pregnant wife, above, is the 19 year old man who was tased by police for carrying a WWII Russian rifle in a San Antonio residential neighborhood while walking home.  From the Houston Chronicle:

San Antonio police arrested him March 30 while he was walking home with a loaded Russian World War II-vintage rifle slung across his shoulder.

The event occurred after dark.   Police at the scene told Henry that people had reported that he had been pointing the rifle at others.   Henry replied that he had never done so, and he could prove it because he had video taped the event.   It appeared that the encounter was over when third police officer showed up and tased Henry.   Henry had answered the previous police officers questions about the rifle that was slung on his back.   Yes, it was loaded.

San Antonio has a local ordinance that bans the carry of loaded rifles.  Texas has a strong preemption law that forbids local ordinances regulating the carry of firearms, and a state Constitution that protects the carrying of long guns.

While we do not have a picture of the rifle, as a WWII era Russian rifle, it is very likely one of the ubiquitous Mosin-Nagants.



Texas is one of a few states that bans the open carry of modern handguns in most public settings.   During the last year, a grassroots movement of carrying long guns openly in public has sprung up in an attempt to spur legislative reform.. Both Republican and Democrat candidates for governor in Texas have said that they favor the legalization of the open carry of handguns.

The picture of Henry and his wife above was take during a protest of Henry's tasing and arrest.  He has been charged under the local ordinance.

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

CA:Salinas Resident Shoots Intruder

The homeowner armed himself, went to the garage because he heard noises there, encountered Espino, and shot him once, police said.

Espino was critically injured but he was upgraded to stable condition late Monday afternoon. The homeowner wouldn’t go on camera but said, “The whole thing scared the hell out of me.”

AZ: Poll Favors Reforming Gun Laws



A story in the Arizona Daily Star about an anti-second amendment group included a poll on whether gun laws needed to be stronger, changed a little, kept the same, or reduced.  From the Star:

Do you think we need more laws placing restrictions on guns?

Yes. We need much stronger laws.

Yes, but only a few common-sense changes.

No. The laws are OK the way they are.

No. We have too many laws, and most of them should be eliminated.
What is interesting about this poll is the last choice.   It is almost never given on these old media gun restriction polls.   The times are changing, because it was included on this one.   After only 16 hours, here are the results so far:


5%      Yes. We need much stronger laws.
2%      Yes, but only a few common-sense changes.
 
7%      No. The laws are OK the way they are.
86%    No. We have too many laws, and most of them should be eliminated.
I think we are in the middle of a sea change of public opinion.  For the last hundred years, we have been increasing government power and centralizing it in at the federal level.  Perhaps the next hundred will be spent decreasing and decentralizing government power.

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

MI:Detroit Homeowner Kills One of Two Intruders



Detroit police say one man is dead after a shootout between a Rosedale Park homeowner and suspected home invaders.

(snip)

 “There were shots fired in the home before the two suspects busted through the front door,” said Sgt. Woody. “That’s when the two suspects fired shots at the homeowner from outside, the homeowner returned fire striking the driver in the car.”

More Here

Grand Funk Railroad - Don't Let 'em Take Your Gun - Drum cover


Grand Funk Railroad - Don't Let-em Take Your Gun - Drum cover



Oh, people why don't you come in here
And let me talk to you a while
That's right, step right up and listen
To a concerned citizen speak his piece

I'll tell you a little something that my daddy told to me
"My basic fundamentals if you want to be free
'Cause son, there's something wrong internally
So, if you want your freedom son
Don't want your country to be overrun
You got to keep America number one"

My daddy told me, "Son, don't let 'em take your gun
That's what they tryin' to do
Son, don't let 'em take your gun
They're takin' your Bill of Rights away from you''
My daddy said, "Son, don't let 'em take your gun
That's what they tryin' to do
Son, don't let 'em take your gun
Don't let 'em take your gun away from you"

Oh, this year is our anniversary
Two hundred years, people we've been free
Won't be nobody takin' over our land
If everybody's brother's got a gun in his hand

I'm tellin' you we learned to fight for justice
We're willing to die for freedom
Hand in hand, you got to understand
We are American men

Said, "They want your gun"
Said, "They want your gun"
Send 'em on the run
Send 'em on the run
Hip-hurray for fun
Hip-hurray for fun
If they do we're done
If they do we're done

My daddy said, "Son, don't let 'em take your gun"
That's what they tryin' to do
Son, don't let 'em take your gun

They're takin' your Bill of Rights away from you"
My daddy said, "Son, don't let 'em take your gun
That's what they tryin' to do

Son, don't let 'em take your gun
Don't let 'em take your gun away from you"

Songwriters
Mark Farner
Published by
CRAM-RENRAFF CO.

Sig Sauer Lawsuit Against ATF Muzzle Brake/Silencer Ruling has Merit

Photo from the ATF letter.  Sig Sauer never contended that the muzzle brake would not function as part of a gun muffler/silencer/suppressor

Sig Sauer, Inc., the well respected firearms manufacturer, has filed suit against  B. Todd Jones as the Director of the ATF for ruling that the muzzle brake that they submitted for evaluation is "a part intended only for use in the assembly or fabrication of a silencer and therefore is a silencer..."  as defined in U.S. statutes.   The case document can be read here.  It is nine pages long, and makes a fascinating read.

Sig Sauer Inc., included laboratory tests that showed that the muzzle brake reduced muzzle rise and did not reduce the report of the firearm to which it was permanently attached.

The crux of the matter is the part of the law that requires severe regulatory and financial burdens for the sale and possession of silencers.   The law defines silencers in three ways.  From law.cornell.edu, here is the definition of silencers in U.S. code:
(24) The terms “firearm silencer” and “firearm muffler” mean any device for silencing, muffling, or diminishing the report of a portable firearm, including any combination of parts, designed or redesigned, and intended for use in assembling or fabricating a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, and any part intended only for use in such assembly or fabrication.
For the first test:  Is it a device for silencing, muffling, or diminishing the report of a portable firearm?

Sig Sauer includes tests showing that it does not silence, muffle or diminish the report, and says that it is for use as a muzzle brake.

For the second test: Is it a combination of parts, designed or redesigned and intended for use in assembling or fabricating a firearm silencer or firearm muffler?

Clearly it is *a* part, but just as clearly it is not a sufficient "collection of parts" by itself, which brings us to the third test, which ATF used in its letter to justify its classification of the muzzle brake as a "silencer":  Is it "any part intended only for use in such assembly or fabrication"?

This is the entire crux of the matter.   Sig Sauer says that it is a "dual use" component, that can be used as part of a gun muffler, *and* can be used as a muzzle brake, and that it is designed and sold as a muzzle brake.  They include tests to that effect.

It appears to me that they have a logical and reasonable case.  Will a judge see it that way?

The courts have not challenged the ATF judgement regularly, but there is precedent.   Few have challenged the ATF with first rate attorneys and corporate financial backing.   Thompson-Center Arms did, and won their case,  United States v. Thompson-Center Arms Company.   In that case, it is worth noting that one of the main points of Justice Souter's argument in the majority opinion, was that the parts had dual use utility, depending on the way that they were assembled, and applied the rule of lenity to rule against the ATF.

Just recently, in  Innovator Enterprises v. United States, the D.C. district court held that the ATF must do more than merely declare something to be what it says it is.  It has to show reason and logic, it may not be arbitrary and capricious in its rulings.  The Innovator case is very close to the Sig Sauer case, in that both involve muzzle brakes that the ATF ruled as "silencers" without any scientific testing of the devices.

Will Sig Sauer win its lawsuit?  It is impossible to know.  Clearly the muzzle brake can be used as part of a suppressor, but just as clearly, it works just fine as a muzzle brake.

In the Innovator case, the court made use of the research done by P. Clark on the Criminal Use of Firearm Silencers.  In this academic work, Clark shows that the original purpose of the law was never explained, and that it is doubtful that there is any useful purpose served by the law.

While repeal of the extreme regulation of silencers is a legislative function, a court could well take into consideration the limited utility of the law in determining how broadly or narrowly to interpret it.   While courts have been severely criticized for looking at foreign law as a means of justifying their decisions, in this case it could work for the narrow interpretation of this particular law.   Most European jurisdictions regulate gun mufflers far less than the United States, if at all.  

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

Thursday, April 17, 2014

PA:Second Amendment Supporters Win Open Carry Victory

For more than 40 years, a Pennsylvania ordinance banned fire arms in city parks, so when a group of people held a rally for Open Carry Pennsylvania in Perry Square last year, they were cited for it.

It did not end there, though. Demonstrator Justin Dillon sued the city over the ordinance, claiming it violated his second amendment rights. He won.

In January, the Commonwealth Court ruled the ordinance was "unlawful" and "unenforceable," giving a thumbs-up to carry guns in city parks once again.

More Here

TX:Local Gun Rights Activists Demonstrate Right to Openly Carry Firearms in Light of Nevada Standoff


It is about much more than simply refusing to pay a fee.  All the other ranchers in the area have been driven out by the Federal government.   It is about a clear overeach by a corrupt government.

A Nevada rancher made headlines after he refused to pay a fee to graze his cattle on federal land.

He's backed by many supporters including people right here in the Permian Basin.


Stand for Freedom Permian Basin is a group of demonstrators who hit the streets of Odessa every Sunday afternoon to show citizens that they are fully within their rights to openly carry firearms.

And after the weeklong standoff in Nevada, this issue is at the forefront of their minds.

If you're driving around Odessa on a Sunday afternoon, you're likely to see Jeff Clower and supporters standing on the side of a busy street, a rifle slung over his shoulder.

He says it's a constitutional right and he wants people to understand that.

TX: Store Owner Kills one, Drives off Two

A jewelry store owner shoots and kills a suspected thief breaking in Monday morning. Just before 1 a.m. police say Robert Trevino, 41, broke the glass door of Harper's Fine Jewelry with a hammer.

(snip)

"As best we can tell the suspect turned toward the owner with something in his hand which we found out was the hammer and then he shot him one time killing him instantly," said Bratton.
 

Bundy Ranch - What You're Not Being Told

Worthwhile read from a self proclaimed person on the left.

In this we're going to present you with evidence of blatant corruption and criminal activities that anyone, including law enforcement, can easily verify.

But before we go into the details, it's important to acknowledge here, that the political left and the political right are watching this crisis through very different eyes. You on the left saw this old rancher defying the Federal government over cattle grazing fees, with right wing pundits pleading his case, and armed militia moving in to intervene... it probably gave you the impression of Tea Party temper tantrum... with guns. Given some of the personalities who were involved in the media circus surrounding this, that impression is perfectly understandable, but underneath the appearances there is something here that all Americans need to see, whether they consider themselves conservative, liberal or none of the above.

All I ask is that you suspend your preconceived notions of what this crisis was about, for five minutes.

First let's eliminate some of the disinformation, speculation and conspiracy
theories.

More Here

CO:Special Election for Open Carry in Castle Rock

CASTLE ROCK, Colorado — The Castle Rock Town Council has agreed to let voters decide whether or not to repeal the town's ban on openly carrying firearms in town-owned buildings and parks.

The approval came Monday after a successful petition against council's vote to repeal the ban in January.

 More Here

MI: Flint Homeowner Kills One Intruder

The homeowner was sleeping when he awoke Tuesday just after midnight to the sound of his home being broken into, police say.
 
The man fired his gun, striking one of the intruders inside the home on Bradley Avenue near Court Street.

More Here

Theft of Firearms in the United States


Data provided by the FBI

The United States has one of the highest per capita numbers of firearms in the world.   It is estimated that there is about one gun for each man, woman and child in the United States, about 310 million firearms.   Every year, some of those firearms are stolen, breaking any official chain of ownership.   In any given year, the percentage of firearms reported stolen is fairly small.  191 thousand firearms were reported stolen to the NCIC in 2013.  That is about .06 percent of the total firearms in private hands.  Not six percent, but six hundredths of one percent.

The FBI started the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) in 1967.   The NCIC maintains a list of stolen firearms that are reported to it from a variety of sources, primarily from other criminal justice agencies.  From fas.org:
SOURCES OF DATA: Data contained in NCIC is provided by the FBI, federal, state, local and foreign criminal justice agencies, and authorized courts.
The numbers recorded in the NCIC system represent a minimum of the firearms that are stolen in the United States.  Some guns are stolen but not reported to the police, some owners have not recorded or remember serial numbers, tens of millions of guns have been manufactured before serial numbers were required, and unknown numbers of firearms are made at home or in small workshops.

NCIC keeps data on stolen firearms until action is taken by the originating agency to clear or cancel the record, normally when the firearm is recovered or another reason is found to invalidate the original entry.

As of April 15, 2014, NCIC had records of 2,920,846 stolen firearms in the system, which is a little less than one percent of the total firearm stock in the United States.


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

Update: A study done by the Bureau of Justice statistics ( BJS) shows a fairly reasonable approximation to the NCIC numbers, using the National Crime Victimization Study.   Their study shows 145 thousand victimizations involving the theft of a firearm in 2010. 
 As more than one firearm is averaged for each theft, the study notes that an average of 232,00 guns were stolen in each year from 2005 to 2010.  This is consistent with the NCIC numbers.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Oregon Appeal Court: Frisk that Found Pistol Unconstitutional




When I was being trained as a peace officer, the subject of searching or "frisking" citizens was addressed several times.   Some of the training seemed to be  more about how to finesse the legal boundaries than the necessity of respecting citizens' rights.   I vividly remember one instructor saying: "I have never heard of a judge throwing out a case where a weapon was actually found."

The pendulum seems to be swinging back the other way. From AP at FindLaw.com:
The judges ordered that the officers' discovery of the loaded pistol carried by Diego Rodriguez-Perez be suppressed as evidence and sent the case back to trial court.
 This reinforces the Supreme Court decision in Florida v. J.L. (2000) 529 U.S. 266:
Finally, the Court dismissed the state’s argument for a blanket “firearm exception” to the Terry reasonable suspicion requirement. Under such an exception, an undetailed and uncorroborated “tip alleging an illegal gun would justify a stop and frisk even if the accusation would fail standard pre-search reliability testing.” (Id. at 272.) The Court reasoned that this would allow wrongdoers to engage in harassment of other individuals by falsely asserting that they were carrying firearms. (Ibid.) Moreover, there is no logical way to limit any such public policy exception merely to tips involving firearms; any exception would quickly be expanded to drug-related tips and beyond to any tip reporting dangerous or threatening criminal behavior. (Id. at 272-73.)
 While this is a Oregon Appeals Court, it none the less signals a movement back toward some limits on government and police power.

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

NC:Police Shut Down Private Buyers at Gun Turn-In (buy back)




Winston Salem had its second gun turn in event this year (2014).   They spent over $40,000 in the two events, collecting over 475 firearms, 364 on March 15th, and 111 yesterday, the 12th of April.  Both events quickly ran out of money.   On the 15th, the City issued IOUs, yesterday they stopped giving out gift cards when the money ran out.   

Long lines were reported when the money ran out, about 5 minutes before the official start time of 9 am.  Ordinarily, this is an ideal opportunity for private buyers to purchase guns from people who do not want them.   The private buyers get the guns off the street and into responsible hands, stretching the "buy back" dollars.   In Winston Salem, the police were not allowing private purchasers to buy guns.  From "Ruger" at opencarry.org:
It was a bust. We arrived at 8:55. From 3 different entrances into the neighborhood, cars were lined up for the event & officers were approaching the vehicles. The first words out of the officer's mouth were "We're all out of money." This was 5 minutes before the scheduled start time. The officer was insistent that they don't want anyone getting out of their vehicles. I explained our intent & my interpretation of the law in that we would not be doing anything illegal. The cop was polite, but admitted point-blank that they don't want other people taking the guns that are being brought here.

I appealed to him, "Look - y'all are out of money & it's obvious that there are lots more people here with guns they don't want. I ain't here to cause trouble. To the best of my knowledge there's nothing illegal about what I intend to do. I just figure maybe there's some blue haired old lady with her husband's old WWII 1911 or service revolver who doesn't know what she's got & doesn't want it anymore. I'm a gun owner. I have no criminal record. I like guns and I like bargains. I'd love to give a good home to an unwanted gun or two."


He called his supervisor over. I went through the same thing with him. He asked if I am a dealer (no). Eventually he agreed that we could stand on the corner and attempt to purchase from the folks who were showing up, "since you have a permit."


Me: "Huh? Permit?"

Supervisor: "You do have a solicitation permit, right?"
Me: "No. Never heard of such a thing."
Supervisor: "In Winston Salem you have to have a solicitation permit in order to stand on public property in attempt to buy/sell."
Me: "Nice." [sarcasm]

That ended it for us. That neighborhood was crawling with cops. I didn't drive there to get arrested for failing to have a solicitation permit. I Googled it - WSPD *does* arrest folks for violating this law. The permit does exist.


I figure since this is the 3rd such event the city has held in the last year, and since this one was such a smashing success (in their view), there's bound to be another one. So next time when my buddy & I show up we will have permits to solicit.
I suspect that this is pure intimidation.    I doubt that such a "solicitation permit" would hold up in court, but people do not want to be a test case without significant preparation.     The code that seems to apply in Winston Salem is a "Peddlers" license, section 34-23.   It does not apply to people who offer to buy items, only to people who are selling.   From the municipal code of Winston Salem:
Every itinerant salesman or merchant who shall expose for sale, either on the street or in a house rented temporarily for that purpose, or from railroad cars, any goods, wares or merchandise, bankrupt stock or fire stock, not being a regular merchant in the city, shall apply for in advance and procure a city license from the revenue collector for the privilege of transacting such business.
This shows the wisdom of recording such police interactions.   Unless there is another  ordinance that I am unaware of, the police supervisor clearly violated "Ruger"'s constitutional rights of free association and free speech.   Mr. "Ruger" appears to have an actionable case for suppression of constitutional rights under color of law.

While Winston Salem had 111 guns turned in at this event, it appears that the police  illegally and unconstitutionally prevented dozens of others from being taken off the street.  

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