Wednesday, May 25, 2016

MA: Brockton Gun Turn In "buy back" a Bust


Image from enterprisenews.com

Brockton Massachusetts held their first gun turn in or "buy back" in 22 years on 21 May, 2016. "Buy Back" is a propaganda term; the guns were never owned by the people who are buying them.

The event was advertised as accepting guns anonymously, no questions asked. This seems to violate Massachusetts law. There may be an exemption for police.  Police will be present; it is unlikely that they would enforce the law against themselves, even if there is no exemption.  From wcvb.com:
In exchange for each gun turned in, a $200 gift card to Vicente’s grocery store will be given. The gift cards were paid for using forfeiture money that has been seized by the police from drug arrests and raids that led to convictions.
The event seems to have had 9 pistols turned in, two shotguns, a rifle, and a couple of BB guns.

Gun turn in events have dwindled in most states, but most states have not infringed on private sales.  Private buyers have become common at gun "buy back" events in other states. Private buyers destroy the propaganda message that "guns are bad, and should be turned in to the police". In Massachusetts, it would be risky to attempt a private sale with a heavy police presence at the site. From state.ma.us:
Additionally:
  1. It is unlawful to conduct a personal sale or transfer of a weapon to anyone other than an individual lawfully licensed in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is strongly recommended that you require the buyer/transferee to produce a valid FID/LTC License Validation Certificate (obtained by the buyer/transferee using this system) prior to conducting a personal sale or transfer.
  2. You may need your PIN number to complete a transaction. You may obtain your PIN number at your licensing authority.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Massachusetts law requires all gun owners to report ALL private sales, transfers, and surrenders of firearms to the Massachusetts Firearms Records Bureau via the Massachusetts Gun Transaction Portal. Paper FA-10 forms are no longer accepted for these transaction types.
It is too bad that private purchasers were unable to participate in the Brockton Turn In event.  There were some very nice revolvers turned in for the $200 gift cards.  The three Colt revolvers were likely worth about $600 each on the open market.  They are not made any more.  The Smith & Wesson model 15 would be worth about $600 or more.  The center revolver is likely a Rossi or a Taurus, probably about a $250 pistol.  The other four pistols are inexpensive, and would bring about $50 to $100 on the open market.  $200 was generous compensation for them.
 
A criminal justice professor and former police officer admits the program is primarily a propaganda measure.
“They’re mostly publicity stunts. It’s not going to affect the crime rate. But it may prevent an individual crime,” said Mitch Librett, a criminal justice professor at Bridgewater State University. “I’ve done a few of these and you’d get 100-year-old revolvers, you’d get shotguns that were rusted so badly that you couldn’t even open them up. They’re people who are usually elderly, who are hurting for money and they bring back a Luger from WWII.”
The professor does not mention that a WWII Luger is likely worth 5 to 10 times the value of the gift card offered.

Those who brought the cheap handguns did well.  Those who brought the Colts and Smith were taken advantage of.

In nearby Pennsylvania, a  City Councilperson is using public resources more effectively.  The guns that are collected with his program are sold on the legal market to fund further "buy backs".  From cincinnati.com:


Deer Park City Councilperson Charles Tassell, who is pro-gun and holds a concealed-carry permit, didn't think that was the best way to run “Street Rescue,” his gun buyback program.

Instead, he turns in the collected guns to federally licensed firearms dealers to be sold to the right hands.

"It’s not my determination of the 'right hands,'" Tassell said. "It’s the federal government's decision."
Gun turn in events, or "buy backs" are dwindling as Second Amendment supporters have learned to negate their propaganda value with private buyers.

The events will linger on in states such as Massachusetts, where private sales suffer under many infringements, or in programs such as Street Rescue, where the emphasis is on efficacy instead of propaganda.


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

Should Criminals be Encouraged to Use Fake Guns?



Criminals tend to be optimists, at least when it comes to carrying out crimes.  They often envision only one scenario, and assume that everything will go as planned. It is one of the reasons that many criminals depend on imitation, toy, or replica firearms.  A number of  states treat the use of a replica or imitation gun the same as the use of a real gun in a crime.

No state requires a defender to determine if a gun pointed at them is real or imitation. There is no controversey in the law about that.  If the defender reasonably believes that they are under deadly threat, it does not matter if the perpetrator was using an imitation gun.

Imitation guns are less expensive and a bit easier to obtain than real guns. 

Some Texas police officers believe that the use of imitation guns for criminal purposes is on the rise. From cbslocal.com:
DALLAS (AP) -- Police in Texas say more crimes are being committed with imitation weapons such as BB guns, likely because they're cheap, easy to obtain and criminals may believe -- mistakenly -- that if they're caught, they'll avoid the severe punishment that can come with illegally possessing a real one.

California law differentiates between real and imitation guns in their laws on brandishing. From shouselaw.com:
    1. Brandishing  a  pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person... in a rude, angry, or threatening manner... in a public place:
      • a minimum three (3) month, to a maximum one (1) year, jail sentence, and/or
      • a maximum $1,000 fine.92
  1. Brandishing any other firearm... or brandishing a firearm in other than a public place... in the same manner:  not less than three (3) months in county jail.93
  2. Brandishing an imitation firearm: not less than 30 days in county jail.94
Should the use of imitation firearms in crime be subject to the same penalties as real firearms?

I submit that penalties for the use of imitation firearms in crime should be less.  The criminal is putting the victim(s) at lower risk, and is putting themselves at higher risk. This is behavior that should be encouraged.

It is good public policy to reward this behavior with lower penalties, just as non-confrontational crime has lower penaties than crimes that occur in direct confrontation, such as robbery. 

I would prefer to confront a robber armed with an imitation gun instead of a real one.  I would prefer to confront a robber with an imitation gun instead of a knife or club.

Many criminals are ignorant of the law, so incentives do not always have a significant effect.  In this case, the law would reinforce an existing belief, so the chance of success is greater.

Replace criminals guns with imitation guns?  We should encourage this trend.

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

Canadian Officer Says Gun Registry is an Important Symbol of Government Power












Canada passed its long gun registration scheme in 1995.  The bureaucratic attempt to require state knowledge and tracking of all legal guns in Canada was a disaster from the beginning.  It was plagued with non-compliance, sabotage, corruption, crony-ism and cost overruns.  Advertised as costing only 110 million, the costs ballooned into billions, as the ruling party used the program to reward favorites, and paid consultants to lobby to increase registry funds.

The registry was discontinued on April 5, 2012.  Quebec fought to keep the registry in courts, but was ruled against in the Canadian Supreme Court a year ago. 

There never was any data showing that the registry had any effect on crime.  It appears the RCMP, at the minimum, assured that no data was kept that would indicate if the registry was of any use as a crime fighting tool.  No instances could be found where the registry was useful in solving crimes.

Now, as the Quebec government fights to create its own, separate, long gun registry, a new, perhaps clearer and more honest reason for the registry has been put forward by a long retired police officer. From news1130.com:
But Brisebois believes the registry is more than just a tool for law enforcement — that it’s a symbol of how a society treats firearms and that it reinforces Canada’s cultural differences from those of the United States.

“Seeing what the registry did for me — spend the money,” Brisebois said.

“The important thing is to show people you are doing something (about guns),” he said. “The American way is that guns represent liberty and rights — do we want this? I don’t. So am I ready to spend that money? Yes.”
Brisebois does not want symbols of liberty and rights.  It does not matter that the registry is expensive and ineffective in fighting crime. 

The Canadian Supreme Court even refused to hear a case put forward by leftist feminists, claiming that doing away with the registry violated their rights.  The reason the court did this? Because there was no evidence that the registry had reduced crime one iota.

Interestingly, this is a very similar reason given for the great forced Australian gun "buy back". Prime Minister Howard said that he hated guns and did not want Australia to go "the American way".

The long gun registry was never popular in Canada.  It was put forward as a way to punish cultural conservatives, to show rural and western Canadians who was in charge, and it was not them. 

Canadians educated themselves.  They lobbied.  They voted.  They rid themselves of the registry.  Similar situations are occurring in many American states.  The compliance with long gun registration schemes in New York, Connecticut, and California are at 4-10%.  Whether that resistance will result in political changes is uncertain. 

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



Tuesday, May 24, 2016

NC: Man Says He Shot Intruder Attempting Break-In


Sgt. Steve Stroud says the homeowner told police he heard someone trying to kick in the door to his house. He told police he warned the intruder to stop before firing shots through the door.

The victim was taken to Wilson Medical Center, where he died.
More Here

MI: Homeowner Retrieves Gun in Hostage Situation, Drives off Intruders

Daniel McNamara and his wife were being held at gunpoint.  He had a gun stashed in the area where he was being held.  He accessed the gun and fired two shots, driving off the intruders.  He was worried that the intruders were going to kill them because they had seen the intruders faces.  The link is to the video report.

More Here

Donald Trump Supports The Second Amendment more Strongly than Any Previous Republican Nominee



Many people have said or written that while Donald Trump supports the Second Amendment, talk is cheap, and we do not have actions to back up the talk.

There is some truth in that. Donald Trump does not have a legislative record to show actions to back up his words. But words have meanings. If a nominee is unwilling to give us words in support of the Second Amendment, why should we believe that he will go to bat for us in the legislature, in the executive branch, or in the courts? If the nominee is too concerned with being politically correct when running for office, even in the primary, why should we believe that they will be willing to take more heat while in office, facing re-election, or under media pressure?

If a nominee will not specifically defend the Second Amendment verbally and in writing before being elected, why would we expect them to do so afterwards?

Here is the record of Republican nominees over the last hundred years to see how they compared with Donald Trump.

The Second Amendment was not an issue before 1968. In 1932 Franklin Roosevelt had pushed through the first serious federal gun control law.  It impacted few people at first.  It only had an effect on machine guns, short barreled shotguns and rifles, and silencers that crossed state lines in interstate commerce.  Most people paid little attention to the onerous regulations and taxes that were imposed.  There were few prosecutions.

Even as late as 1964 Barry Goldwater, when he spoke of the Second Amendment, spoke of it in the context of hunting.  From scribd.com:
Goldwater:
At a young age, Barry Goldwater was taught by his mother how to shoot rifles and shotguns.
v
He believed that gun control was “impossible,” and served as an NRA spokesman, appearing incommercials for the group. He was also an avid gun collector, devoting an entire room of his houseto a variety of guns that he had both made and purchased over the years.
vi
Goldwater was, however, opposed to the sale of automatic firearms:”I’m completely opposed to selling automatic rifles. I don’t see any reason why they ever madesemi-automatics. I’ve been a member of the NRA, I collect, make and shoot guns. I’ve never usedan automatic or semiautomatic for hunting. There’s no need to. They have no place in anybody’sarsenal. If any S.O.B. can’t hit a deer with one shot, then he ought to quit shooting.”
Richard Nixon personally hated guns.  He likely approved of GCA 1968.  From ontheissues.org:
Twenty years ago, I asked Richard Nixon what he thought of gun control. His on-the-record reply: "Guns are an abomination." Free from fear of gun owners' retaliation at the polls, he favored making handguns illegal and requiring licenses for hunting rifles.
Gerald Ford was considerably better:  From ontheissues.org:
FORD: The record of gun control, whether it's in one city or another or in some States does not show that the registration of a gun, handgun, or the registration of the gun owner has in any way whatsoever decreased the crime rate or the use of that gun in the committing of a crime. The record just doesn't prove that such legislation or action by a local city council is effective. What we have to do--and this is the crux of the matter--is to make it very difficult for a person who uses a gun in the commission of a crime to stay out of jail. I don't believe in the registration of handguns or the registration of the handgun owner. That has not proven to be effective. And, therefore, the better way is to go after the criminal, the individual who commits a crime in the possession of a gun and uses that gun for a part of his criminal activity.
But, Gerald Ford proposed a ban on a whole class of guns:
I had always opposed federal registration of guns or the licensing of gun owners, and as President, I hadn't changed my views. At the same time, I recognized that handguns had played a key role in the increase of violent crime. Not all handguns-just those that hadn't been designed for sporting purposes. I asked Congress to ban the manufacture and sale of these "Saturday night specials."
Ronald Reagan was not a firm supporter of the Second Amendment in his worlds.  From ontheissues.org:
[In a 1991 speech, Reagan said]: "I'm a member of the NRA. And my position on the right to bear arms is well known. But I support the Brady bill and I urge the Congress to enact it without delay. It's just plain common sense that there be a waiting period [7 days] to allow local law enforcement officials to conduct background checks on those who wish to buy a handgun."
The Brady bill was opposed by the current President, George H.W. Bush. "I don't think it would be proper for me or any other ex-president to stand and tell an acting president what he should or shouldn't do," Reagan said. But then he added: "I happen to believe in the Brady Bill because we have the same thing in California right now."
He was asked why he had opposed all gun-control measures while he was President. He shook his head. "I was against a lot of the ridiculous things that were proposed with regard to gun control.
George Bush Sr. was at best a lukewarm supporter of the Second Amendment.
Bush exacted his revenge in May 1995, when he read about an NRA fund-raising letter that described federal agents as "jack-booted thugs". Ripping up his NRA membership card, Bush wrote a letter of resignation, which his office made public. He accused the NRA of slandering dedicated officials "who are out there day and night laying their lives on the line for all of us."
Robert Dole was lukewarm on the Second Amendment.

George Dubya Bush was lukewarm at best. He promised to sign the extension of the "assault weapon" ban if it reached his desk:
BUSH: I did think we ought to extend the assault weapons ban and was told the bill was never going to move. I believe law-abiding citizens ought to be able to own a gun. I believe in background checks. The best way to protect our citizens from guns is to prosecute those who commit crimes with guns.
John McCain was somewhat pro-Second Amendment in his 2008 campaign.   From ontheissues.com:
  • McCain opposes restrictions on so-called “assault rifles” and voted consistently against such bans.
  • McCain opposes bans on the importation of certain types of ammunition magazines and has voted against such limitations.
  • McCain believes that banning ammunition is just another way to undermine Second Amendment rights. He voted against an amendment that would have banned many of the most commonly used hunting cartridges on the spurious grounds that they were “armor-piercing.”
I was surprised to see that Senator McCain had some positive positions on Second Amendment issues.  His actions were far less supportive.

Mitch Romney was lukewarm on the Second Amendment at best.  From ontheissues.org:
ROMNEY: Yeah, I'm not in favor of new pieces of legislation on guns and taking guns away or making certain guns illegal. We of course don't want to have automatic weapons, and that's already illegal in this country, to have automatic weapons. What I believe is we have to do is to make enormous efforts to enforce the gun laws that we have and to change the culture of violence we have. And you ask, how are we going to do that? Good schools, to give people the hope and opportunity they deserve, and perhaps less violence from that. But let me mention another thing. And that is parents. We need moms and dads helping raise kids.

Let us compare these remarks to Donald Trump's on the Second Amendment. From ammoland.com:
“The Trump family will stay vigilant in our support of right to keep and bear arms.  And given today’s threats across the United States it is as important now as ever.  National Security begins in our homes.  All citizens must have the ability to protect themselves, their families, and their property.  The Second Amendment is a right, not a privilege. Our safety and defense is embodied in the Second Amendment and I will always protect this most important right.
Not only does Donald Trump support the Second Amendment with stronger and clearer language, he goes into specifics of what he is going to do to help restore the Second Amendment.  He often talks about how the Second Amendment is needed for self defense, a topic no other Republican Nominee would touch. From cnn.com:

TRUMP: -- I promise there wouldn't have been 130 people killed and hundreds of people lying in the hospital to this day. It might not have happened. Because if they knew there were guns in the room, it might not have happened. But if it did, you would have had bullets going in the opposite direction. And believe me, the carnage would not have been the same by any stretch of the imagination.
Trump supports the carry of concealed weapons all over the country with national reciprocity: From the Washington Times:
 Mr. Trumpmade the arguments in a “position paper” on the Second Amendment in which he makes the case that people who don’t break the law should be able to obtain a concealed carry permit allowing them to carry in every state, and that members of the military should be able to carry their arms on military bases and at recruitment centers.
 Donald Trump support doing away with federal gun free zones: from cnn.com:
And this whack-job walks in and starts shooting and killed all five of them. Gun-free zones. We are getting rid of gun-free zones. OK? I can tell you.
 Donald Trump says no to Universal Background Checks.  From ammoland.com:
“I do not support expanding background checks. The current background checks do not work.”

“They make it more difficult for law abiding citizens to acquire firearms while consistently failing to stop criminals from getting guns. We should re-examine our policy to make sure that these prohibitions do not impede law abiding citizens from exercising their Second Amendment rights.”
 Donald Trump compares his position to Hillary Clinton's.  From cnn.com:
But Hillary Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment. We are not talking about change it. She wants to abolish the Second Amendment. We're not going to let that happen. I can tell you. That we're going to preserve it. We're going to cherish it. We're going to take care of it. OK? They keep chipping away. They talk about the magazines, they talk about the bullets. We're going to take care of it.
This is another major difference from previous Republican nominees.  None of them talked about the incremental attacks on the Second Amendment.

Donald Trump has supported the Second Amendment more forcefully and more specifically than any Republican nominee to date.  He has not been in office, so we cannot measure his support with his actions.  If he puts into practice even 20% of his proposals to restore Second Amendment rights, he will have done more for the Second Amendment than the last four Republican presidents altogether.

His proposals are strongly supported in Congress.  The Congress voted down Universal Background Checks.  They voted for national reciprocity.  They showed support for an end to many gun free zones, such as in the Post Office and on Army Corps of Engineers managed lands. As Commander in Chief, Trump would not need Congress to end gun free zones in the military.

Donald Trump could enact many of his proposals.  And why wouldn't he?  He would have been elected because of them.

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

Michigan Police Choose to Destroy $500,000 of Legal Firearms Annually



Under Michigan law, the State Police are required to publish a list of the firearms that they intend to dispose of each month.  All the agencies in Michigan are required to turn over to the State Police firearms that have been forfeited or confiscated from prohibited possessors.

The firearms are checked to see if they have been reported stolen.  If they have not been reported stolen, the State Police are required to dispose of them.  Before they are disposed of, the list of firearms has to be published each month.  Owners of the firearms are given 30 days to contact the police to recover their property.

I doubt if many do so; if they have not been listed as stolen, the chances of the owner checking the State Police list each month to determine if their firearm shows up seems vanishingly small.

The State Police have the choice to dispose of the firearms by sale or to destroy them.  They have been choosing to destroy them, likely for political reasons. It is hard to see why they would avoid selling them at auction. 

There are 298 firearms listed to be destroyed after June 1, 2016 (pdf).  Many are inexpensive.  Many are not.  They run the gamut from a Webley and Scott 12 gauge shotgun to a Butler .22.  The Webley and Scott Shotgun is potentially worth thousands; the Butler .22, maybe $50.  Most of them are pistols, 225 of them. There are 39 shotguns and 34 rifles.

At auction, confiscated firearms average between $100 and $200 to dealers.  It is likely that the Michigan public treasury would gain about $150 per firearm, or about $44,700 for the firearms to be destroyed in the month of July.  It is unknown how much the police have to pay to have the firearms destroyed; no doubt they require a paper trail to be sure that none are diverted prior to destruction.  That cost would roughly cancel out the cost of having the firearms auctioned.

The police do not have to have the firearms destroyed.  They run no risk of liability if they auction off the firearms. Under Michigan law, they are immune from liability for the disposal of the firearms. From the relevant Michigan code 750.239:

 750.239 Forfeiture of weapons; disposal; immunity from civil liability.
Sec. 239.
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) and subject to section 239a, all pistols, weapons, or devices carried, possessed, or used contrary to this chapter are forfeited to the state and shall be turned over to the department of state police for disposition as determined appropriate by the director of the department of state police or his or her designated representative.

(2) The director of the department of state police shall dispose of firearms under this section by 1 of the following methods:

(a) By conducting a public auction in which firearms received under this section may be purchased at a sale conducted in compliance with section 4708 of the revised judicature act of 1961, 1961 PA 236, MCL 600.4708, by individuals authorized by law to possess those firearms.

(b) By destroying them.

(c) By any other lawful manner prescribed by the director of the department of state police.

(3) Before disposing of a firearm under this section, the director of the department of state police shall do both of the following:

(a) Determine through the law enforcement information network whether the firearm has been reported lost or stolen. If the firearm has been reported lost or stolen and the name and address of the owner can be determined, the director of the department of state police shall provide 30 days' written notice of his or her intent to dispose of the firearm under this section to the owner, and allow the owner to claim the firearm within that 30-day period if he or she is authorized to possess the firearm.

(b) Provide 30 days' notice to the public on the department of state police website of his or her intent to dispose of the firearm under this section. The notice shall include a description of the firearm and shall state the firearm's serial number, if the serial number can be determined. The department of state police shall allow the owner of the firearm to claim the firearm within that 30-day period if he or she is authorized to possess the firearm. The 30-day period required under this subdivision is in addition to the 30-day period required under subdivision (a).

(4) The department of state police is immune from civil liability for disposing of a firearm in compliance with this section.

The laws were originally written during the progressive era, at about the same time that registration of pistols was required and short barreled shotguns and rifles were made illegal.  The laws were modified in 2010.  Disposal requirements are essentially the same under 750.239  (1931) and 28.434  (1927).

So why do the Michigan State Police willfully throw away about 40 - 50 thousand dollars each and every month?  It adds up to a half million dollars a year.  Only the State Police know for sure.

A few phone calls did not connect with anyone at the State Police with an answer by the time this was published. 

If I get an answer, I will add it.


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





Monday, May 23, 2016

Followup NH: James Cooper not Guilty of all Charges



Before the trial went to closing arguments, Judge Richard Titus granted a judgment of acquittal on one count of reckless endangerment, saying he did not believe there was sufficient evidence that Cooper had placed bystander Lisa Pickett in danger when she drove her car past the scene as Cooper held the two men at gunpoint.

In closing arguments Friday, Eldridge argued that Cooper was innocent of the charges, based on four defenses: defense of others, defense of property, mistake of fact and self-defense. For the jury to find Cooper guilty, Coyne had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Cooper did not meet every standard set in each of the defenses.

Throughout his argument, Coyne argued that Cooper was not reasonable in holding the two men at gunpoint and instilled fear in Richard Jehu and Tyler Forgas, seeking to prove that Cooper committed assault. Eldridge had argued that the men were never scared based on their actions in a video a bystander recorded of the incident.

More Here

Followup MS: Domestic Defense found in Shooting Death of Firefighter


No criminal charges will be filed against Michelle Moore in the Aug. 26 shooting death of her estranged husband, Biloxi firefighter Richard Lewis "Ricky" Moore, 45.

"The grand jury considered the facts of this case, and one issue was self-defense," District Attorney Tony Lawrence said. "Their decision to issue a no true bill means they found that there was not sufficient proof of criminal wrongdoing."

Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/news/local/counties/jackson-county/article79096817.html#storylink=cpy

More Here

AK: Former AZ Democrat, Felon, Charged with First Degree Murder in Alaska

Victim Tony Rosales and Wife

One of the most deadly of assaults is a surprise attack from someone who has gained the trust of the victim.  The Thugee of India perfected this technique over hundreds of years and are believed to have murdered more than a million people.  An attack reminiscent of Thugee, involving a former Arizona Democrat legislator, has been reported in Alaska.  The former Democrat legislator, Mark De Simone or Desimone, resigned from his legislative seat after being accused of domestic violence eight years ago. He was originally from New York.  From juneauempire.com:
Mark De Simone, a 53-year-old man couch surfing in Juneau for the past month, was charged Monday with first- and second-degree murder for allegedly shooting and killing 34-year-old Juneau resident Duilio Antonio “Tony” Rosales, who is originally from Nicaragua. De Simone also faces manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide charges.
(snip)
ADA Paige asked judge Levy to assign a $1 million bail to De Simone, saying he has no true connections to Juneau and could leave if released. Paige said De Simone was born in upstate New York, then lived in Juneau from 1981 to 1988. From there, the DA’s office believes he spent time in Arizona, where he was convicted of felony loitering and later served as an Arizona state legislator.
From the court documents it appears that Mark De Simone was drinking at a hunting cabin all day.  The victim, "Tony" Rosales, was in the process of removing his boots at the end of the day when he was shot in the back of the head by the former Democrat legislator.  De Simone may have been a prohibited possessor because of the felony loitering conviction in Arizona. The state trooper noted that the victim, "Tony" Rosales, had an empty holster on his right hip.

I suspect the double action .41 magnum revolver that was used in the shooting belonged to "Tony" Rosales.  No other firearm is mentioned in the court records.  The question comes to mind: how did De Simone access the revolver?  We do not know, but I know of at least one other case where the murderer gained the victim's trust, and simply asked for the victim's gun, then killed him with it. 

Rosales would have been in a particularly vulnerable position, with his hands occupied in removing his boots, when he was shot from behind.  He was then shot a second time, apparently to make absolutely sure that he was dead.  Both shots were to the back of the head, though from considerably different angles.

The witness who heard the shots said that they sounded like "target shooting", so they were likely a few seconds apart.  There is speculation that the victim and the shooter had worked together for a short period of time. No motive for the shooting is known at present.

 

A dear friend of mine recently passed away, at the age of 96.  An experience of his comes to mind.  About a decade ago, I heard that my friend, "Doc" Birdick, had been stabbed in the chest.  He was taken to the hospital and patched up.  The knife penetrated the lung, but Doc survived with minimal ill effects.

I asked him about the stabbing.  His attacker, a vagrant, went to prison for 14 years.  Doc described him thus:  "He is a really nice guy when he isn't drinking."

It is difficult to guard against this sort of attack.  I make a habit of unloading guns before I hand them to casual acquaintances, but no method can guard against all contingencies.

We may never know exactly what happened at the remote hunting cabin.  "Tony" Rosales was reluctant to go, but did so when he was told that supplies were needed.  There were five other members of the party.

More details will surface as the case proceeds.

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

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Donald Trump to NRA: We Will Get Rid of Gun Free Zones


Donald Trump attended the annual NRA meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.  The local news carried pictures of rain and record crowds, three hour waits to get into the meeting room, thousands of attendees, and traffic snarled as people overflowed the Kentucky Expo capacities.  I saw lines stretching for a quarter mile or more.  The local press described the crowds waiting to register for the NRA events as even bigger, but they were moving faster.  At the Leadership forum, before Trump spoke, a polished NRA VP Chris Cox made the announcement: The NRA is endorsing Donald Trump for President!

It was not unexpected.  There have been elections when the NRA did not endorse a presidential candidate.  This year the choice is much clearer than any election in recent memory.  Hillary Clinton has said that the Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment.  Donald Trump says the Second Amendment must be cherished and protected; and he give specifics.

Donald Trump came on stage.  He was pleased and gratified with the endorsement. I believe he had hoped for an endorsement, but did not know exactly when it would come.

He told the crowd, referring to Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox in the NRA leadership:
"I want Wayne and Chris to know - I will not let you down."
He reiterated his policy paper on the Second Amendment.  And he made this statement:
"We are going to get rid of gun free zones.  I am telling you that."
Gun free zones have become a major tactic of anti Second Amendment activists to make carrying a gun for legal purposes impractical and legally dangerous.  Gun free zones are designed to spread like smallpox, and eventually prevent most people from carrying guns most places.  As John Lott has shown, spree killers who plan mass murders in public spaces are attracted to gun free zones.

The most pernicious and dangerous of the "gun free zone" laws is the Federal Gun Free School Zone act. It criminalizes the carry of guns in wide swaths of territory far from any actual school.  The boundaries are not marked, infractions are felonies. From crimeresearch.org:
The problem is that the Federal Gun Free School Zone Act prohibits firearms of any kind within 1,000 feet of a school ground, and not the center of the school, but the edge of the property. “School” is defined as K-12 and includes public schools, private schools, parochial schools, and in some places possibly home schools. Idaho lets you carry in these school zones if you have a concealed handgun permit, but without a permit you could face a 5 year prison term.
The original act was struck down as unconstitutional in 1995, in U.S. v. Lopez.  Bill Clinton immediately and emotionally demanded that a slightly modified law be passed again.  He threatened to keep legislators in Washington, D.C. and away from their districts during the 1996 election cycle, until they passed the new law.

The law was passed September 30, 1996, and become the Gun Free School Zone Act of 1997.  Prosecutions under the law have been sparse.  Observers believe that federal prosecutors fear to bring a case that could subject the act to another Supreme Court ruling.  That might change with the absence of Justice Scalia.

A separate federal law, the Gun Free Schools Act of 1994, provides incentives for schools themselves to be gun free zones.

In U.S. v. Heller, the Supreme Court ruled that schools were "sensitive places" where the government could restrict the exercise of the Second Amendment.  It did not say that 1,000 foot zones around Schools were "sensitive" places.  No one knows why schools were included as "sensitive".  Governmental bans on  the carry or possession of guns in schools are neither historically long standing or logically reasonable.  The apparent rational for bans on guns in schools is to teach students that guns are bad and the government can ban them.

A Trump administration would have to obtain congressional support to repeal the Gun Free School Zone Act of 1997.  It could push hard for congressional repeal of the act. It could unilaterally state that the law violates both the Second and Tenth Amendments.  It could state that it will not prosecute under the Act, setting a moral example for the rest of the country.

A Trump administration could replace Justice Scalia with another judge who would uphold the Constitution  as written, rather than treat it as a mailable document that effectively binds no one.

It could weakly prosecute a test case to bring the act into the courts under the most favorable conditions, hoping for a repeat of U.S. v Lopez, citing the Second and Tenth Amendments, as well as the Commerce Clause.

Such test cases have been a favorite tactic of "progressives".  It was used by the Franklin Roosevelt administration to obtain the muddy results in U.S. v. Miller.  

The 1934 Miller case was inappropriately used in appellate courts to justify infringements on the Second Amendment for decades.  Those appellate decisions were invalidated with the Heller decision.

Donald Trump has publicly promised to get rid of gun free zones, directly to the members of the NRA.  They will expect him to work hard to do so.  The controversial Gun Free School Zone Act's may finally be repealed.

Trump specifically mentioned military gun free zones.  The vast majority of active duty military are forbidden from carrying self defense firearms while on duty.  It is a policy that started shortly after WWII and has been reinforced under later administrations, including the Obama administration. President Trump, as Commander in Chief, could reverse that policy immediately.

Gun Free Zones in the Post office could be reinterpreted by a Trump Department of Justice to be unconstitutional and unenforceable.  A reform of Post Office regulations could neuter the ban.  A directive to require removal of signs banning guns at Post Offices would make the ban unenforceable.  A permanent legislative solution could be pursued in Congress.  A removal of the Post Office ban has significant congressional support.

A Trump Administration could demand the Army Corps of Engineers eliminate its regulatory ban on the exercise of the Second Amendment on the lands that it administers.  Congressional removal of the Army Corps of Engineers' ban has significant support and could be enacted during a Trump administration. Court challenges of the ban have had mixed results.  A removal of similar bans on National Park lands was enacted during the Obama administration.

Donald Trump, if elected, will have real opportunities to "get rid of gun free zones".  The military ban could be eliminated immediately.  The Post Office and Army Corps of Engineers bans could be pursued with regulatory reform, executive actions, and legislation. The Gun Free School Zone ban could be attacked in the Congress and pursued in the Courts.

Opportunities for Donald Trump to keep his promise to "get rid of gun free zones" are available and multiple.

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

GA: Disabled Veteran Shoots, Kills Intruder


Eddie Frank Smith, 69, was at home in Monticello on Thursday about 9 p.m. when Andre Smith, 22, (no known relation), forced his way into Eddie Frank Smith’s home through a rear door, according to a media release from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

When Eddie Frank Smith went to investigate, Andre Smith lunged toward the resident, who shot the intruder once in the chest, according to the GBI.

More Here

FL: Armed Victim Shoots Armed, Tatooed, Teen Robbery Suspect


LAKE CITY, Fla.—Police said they are searching for an attempted robbery suspect after a construction worker defended himself with his handgun in Lake City Sunday night.

Gary Cleveland was determined to have used his weapon in self-defense and will not face any criminal charges for firing two shots at an allegedly armed attempted robber, the Lake City Police Department said in a release.

More Here

Followup VA: Jury finds Crist Justified in Second Jury Trial


NEWPORT NEWS — A Circuit Court jury this week acquitted a man in a shooting death outside Kelly's Tavern nearly six years ago.

Charles Shane Crist, now 33, was charged with second-degree murder and using a gun in felony in the slaying of Gregory Arsenault, 29, a Hampton welder and father of three, in a dispute outside the Port Warwick eatery just before midnight on July 9, 2010.

More Here

LA: Armed Homeowner Shoots, Kills 1 of Several Home Invasion Suspects


A homeowner shot and killed a Port Allen man who authorities believe was in the middle of a home invasion armed robbery of the homeowner’s residence Thursday night, West Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputies said.
More Here

NC: Gun Beats Machete in Sampson County Home Invader


Two Sampson County men are facing felony charges — and one severe gunshot injuries — following a burglary in which one of the men, reportedly wielding a machete, was shot by the homeowner.

Around 10:49 a.m. Friday, the Sampson County E-911 received a report of a residential burglary on Honeycutt Road, in which the homeowner had shot one of the burglars.
More Here

OH: 1 of 2 Home Invaders Shot by Resident


Tony Kendrick and an unknown suspect forced an apartment door open after pounding and kicking it when a resident tried to just crack the door to see who it was.

Kendrick then pointed a gun at the first resident.

Another resident heard the noise from his bedroom, came out with a gun and shot Kendrick in the arm.
More Here

PA: Man Shoots Attacking Pit Bulls



A man shoots two pit bulls, killing one of them, after they attack his lab. Police are still investigating whether or not that shooter will face charges.

Police say two pit bulls entered a home on the 200 block of East 29th Street through an open window and dragged a lab outside. The owner told police he tried to pry the pit bulls off his dog. When they wouldn't budge, he shot them.

More Here

Saturday, May 21, 2016

NM: Armed Bystanders Hold Shooter at Gunpoint


Officer Tanner Tixier said 32-year-old Eugene Padilla and another man were fighting over drugs near the 7-Eleven at Wyoming and Candelaria NE when Padilla fired several rounds shooting the man and nearly striking several passersby.

When police arrived they found the victim had been shot in the leg, and two people were holding another man, later identified as Padilla, at gunpoint, Tixier said.
More Here

FL: Man Holding Gun was Shot in Self Defense



According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, shortly before 11 p.m. Wednesday, Tyler Ray Howell, 19, of Ocala, climbs out of the passenger seat of a blue vehicle driven by an unknown man.

He approached a red vehicle driven by Durrell Anthony Boswell, 23, of Plant City, sheriff's officials said. Howell aimed a silver handgun at Boswell and an unidentified woman, who was a passenger in the red vehicle.

In an act of self-defense, Boswell pulled his 9mm handgun and shot at Howell, striking him twice, a sheriff's release states.
More Here

Followup CA: No Charges for Woman who Shot Man Fighting Boyfriend



MARTINEZ - The Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office has declined to file charges against a woman arrested Saturday after she shot a man who was fighting her fiancé in Martinez.

Dawn Iverson, 46, of Martinez, allegedly used a pistol to shoot her fiancé's adversary, who was hospitalized but was said to be in stable condition, according to police.

More Here


MS: Homeowner Shoots Aggressive Burglary Suspect


On Wednesday evening, Sneed and his girlfriend first showed up at the trailer. When the homeowner confronted them, they claimed to have car trouble. Early the next morning, the homeowners heard something outside.

“The female homeowner goes out to investigate and finds Mr. Sneed inside one of the vehicles, walks up to the vehicle, she is armed and she instructs him that he is trespassing and he needs to get out, he makes a lunge action toward her and that’s when she fires one shot,” Sheriff Johnson said.

The female homeowner instructed Sneed’s girlfriend to remain in the truck, while she called 9 1 1.

More Here

Knife Check at NRA Meeting in Louisville, 2016



Open carry is unrestricted at the NRA annual meeting in Louisville, Ky, this year.  But with presidential candidate Donald Trump speaking at the Leadership Forum, the Secret Service set up a system to stop the entrance of people with guns and knives.  Doug Ritter of Knife Rights realized that the carry of pocket knives is common with people across the United States, and that it is a major inconvenience to trudge a half mile back to a parked car to deposit a pocket knife after walking through a quarter mile line to hear the speakers.

The procedure was simple.  Hand a friendly boy scout your knife or knives.  They would put them in a zip lock bag, with a ticket that you kept a stub from.  If you wanted, you could take a picture of the knives in the bag as an alternate way of recovering them.

As a bonus, the ticket to pick up your knives at the check in station could be turned in at the Knife Rights booth, #4507 for a drawing to win one of two $500 knives.  Of course, you had to pick up your knife first, then go to the Knife Rights Booth.


A steady stream of customers came up to the knife rights check in station to take advantage of the free service offered by Knife Rights.  I saw a significant number of knives being checked in.  I tested the system with my own Cold Steel Voyager XL, which has always worked well for my needs.  I had no trouble retrieving my pocket knife, and I expect that no one else will either.

Doug Ritter was helping man the booth.  He has created Knife Rights from  the ground up, and admitted that the brilliant idea had been his.  He demonstrated what a small organization can accomplish in short order.  From the moment of conception to use at the NRA meeting, his Knife Check station was put into operation in one week!

Knife Rights say they are fighting on the second front in defense of the Second Amendment.  They have had amazing success, rolling back infringements on the Second Amendment that were put in play over a hundred years ago, at the start of the "progressive" era.  They have had success in over a dozen states, and are currently pushing knife reform laws in another eight states and the federal government at present.

In Wisconsin this year, they eliminated the switchblade ban from the 1950's, put in place a broad knife preemption bill that standardizes knife laws across the state, removed the prohibition on concealed carry of knives for anyone who can possess a firearm; and eliminated any bans on the open carrying of knives in most places.

Knife rights has even pushed and passed knife reform at the federal level, though that is a tougher sell.

I have talked to Doug Ritter when we have been at events such as the NRA annual meeting.  He has shown himself to be honest, approachable, and principled.  He has demonstrated integrity.  The legal and philosophical waters seem ripe for reform of knife laws across the country.  Most legislators are astounded that these antique infringements on the Second Amendment are still on the books.  Knife Rights has won victory after victory.

They accomplish all this on a shoestring budget.  What they might accomplish with a couple hundred thousand a year boggles the mind.

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

IN: Armed Victim Shoots at Attacker in car



INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Police say a gas station customer shot at a robbery suspect after being hit by the getaway car on the city’s northwest side this morning.

The incident happened around noon at a gas station near 69th Street and Michigan Road.

According to police, a customer walked out of the gas station, and as soon as he got to his car at one of the pumps, a man came up and tried to rob him.

The victim wrestled the robber; and police say someone driving a getaway car sped into the parking lot and hit the victim with the car. The victim the pulled out a gun and fired at the car as it tried to drive away.
More Here

Open Carry at the 2016 NRA Annual Meeting in Louisville, Ky



Before the NRA meeting, it was well known that open carry would not be discouraged.  I entered Freedom Hall at the Louisville Kentucky Expo center this morning, as people were registering.  Within a minute, I had spotted three open carriers, and managed to get pictures.  From nraam.org:
Firearms Carry Policy

During the 2016 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits, lawfully carried firearms will be permitted at Annual Meeting venues including the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC), KFC Yum! Center Arena, and Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC) in accordance with Kentucky law. Firearms and knives will be prohibited in any areas temporarily under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Secret Service. When carrying your firearm, please remember to follow all federal, state and local laws.

Drew and Susan Hebson were happy to have me take pictures of their open carried pistols.  Drew said that when he and Susan had gone out for dinner the night before, they had seen quite a few people openly carrying holstered pistols.  When others commented on it, he simply answered: NRA meeting.

While were were doing the photo shoot by an NRA table, a uniformed police officer was strolling by.  I waved him over, to get another point of view.  The officer said he could not give an official statement, but did not have a problem with an unattributed quote.  He said that he did not have any problem with open carriers, and was seeing more today than at previous events.  He volunteered:
"We (officers) think that if you are going to allow open carry without a permit, you should be able to conceal carry without a permit as well
Drew was an FNH tactical .45, and Susan a Sig 9mm.  Susan normally carried the Sig concealed, but uncovered for the event.

Another open carrier, Brian Mensing, said that he had checked about open carrying before coming to the NRA meeting.  Everyone that he had talked to, starting with the State police and continueing from there, had said that it was not a problem.  He was open carrying a Glock 21.  He said that he expects to upgrade his holster shortly.


In the past the NRA has been criticized as being hypocritical for having their annual meeting at venues that prohibited the carry of firearms, openly or concealed.  Last year, in Nashville, Tennessee, there were rumors that firearms were prohibited.  Those were quickly squashed with plenty of photographs of open carriers at the event.

This year, there seem to be more open carriers. Second Amendment supporters are winning the culture war. Open carry is becoming normalized as the legal exercise of the Second Amendment is being restored.

Texas became an open carry state as of 1 January, 2016.  A legislative attempt to restore open carry rights in Florida was defeated in spite of strong legislative support.  Florida is now one of only five states that prohibit the open carry of holstered pistols in most public spaces.  The other four states are South Carolina, New York, California, and Illinois.

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

Thursday, May 19, 2016

MA: Voters Reject more Restrictions on Gun Owners


WGGB-TV reports that Longmeadow, Mass. residents recently voted down a series of controversial gun control initiatives at the annual town meeting last week.

Voters rejected proposals that would require gun owners to provide the police department with descriptions of each firearm they own, limit where guns can be carried in town and ban certain types of guns and magazines inside town lines altogether.
More Here

PA: Homeowner Shoots Intruder in Head

WISSINOMING (WPVI) -- Police say a homeowner shot and killed a burglar in the Wissinoming section of Philadelphia.

The shooting happened around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday on the 4600 block of Higbee Street.

Police say a 28-year-old man was shot in the head.
More Here

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

SF Moves to Require Long Guns to be Locked up in Home



Photo Courtesy of local8now.com

San Francisco is posed to pass an ordinance to require all guns not carried on your person to be unloaded and locked up.  It would be very close to the Washington, D.C. case of District of Columbia v. Heller, where the Supreme Court reaffirmed that the Second Amendment was a fundamental, individual right to keep and carry arms for self defense.  The difference with this ordinance is that it allows a person to carry a loaded handgun on their person, in their home, but requires all other firearms to be unloaded and locked up.

From sfexaminer.com:
The proposal comes after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal filed by the National Rifle Association seeking to block a city 2007 ordinance that requires residents to store handguns in a locked container or disabled with a trigger lock that has been approved by the Department of Justice.

Farrell is now proposing to add what are called long guns to the requirement, which are rifles or shotguns.

Farrell’s legislation advanced toward approval Monday out of the Board of Supervisors Land Use and Economic Development Committee. The full board is expected to approve it next week.
It is likely that the ordinance will be challenged.  One of the main findings in the Heller case was that it was unconstitutional to remove a whole class of firearms as being useful for self defense in the home.  From Heller:
3. The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment . The District’s total ban on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an entire class of “arms” that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense. Under any of the standards of scrutiny the Court has applied to enumerated constitutional rights, this prohibition—in the place where the importance of the lawful defense of self, family, and property is most acute—would fail constitutional muster. Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional. Because Heller conceded at oral argument that the D. C. licensing law is permissible if it is not enforced arbitrarily and capriciously, the Court assumes that a license will satisfy his prayer for relief and does not address the licensing requirement. Assuming he is not disqualified from exercising Second Amendment rights, the District must permit Heller to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home. Pp. 56–64.
The ordinance essentially removes most possibilities of using long guns for self defense in the home.  Long guns are used for self defense many times more often than accidents occur in the home.  While defensive uses of firearms are not tracked by police or any official agency, surveys show that firearms are used for defensive purposes between 500,000 and 3 million times each year.  Long guns total about 2/3 of all guns in the United States, and many households only own long guns, and not handguns. Anecdotal accounts of the use of long guns for defensive purposes are common.  From 26 April, 2016 wtvm.com:
"I think when he punched me, he thought he'd knocked me out. Because he kept coming toward, down the hallway. And that's when I went right back into the bedroom and grabbed the gun,” said Linton.
Now armed with the 12 gauge, she intended to use it to keep her daughter safe.
"The only thing I can remember is the guy at the door hollering 'oh...' and running. And I just fired, like I said, all I could think was it was him or me. And I had to protect my daughter,” Linton said.

Total accidents involving firearms have been trending down for decades.  In 2014, the last year available for record, the CDC reports  15,928 accidental, non-fatal injuries involving firearms.  There were 586 fatal firearm accidents.  It is likely that there are about 30 - 180 defensive uses in the home for each accidental injury with a firearm.

It seems doubtfull that this ordinance could survive a Constitutional challenge on its face.  But the San Francisco Board of Supervisors may be emboldened by the refusal of the Supreme Court to hear the challenge to the 2007 ordinance, and by the death of Antonin Scalia, a strong supporter of a literalist interpretation of the Constitution.

The ordinance has yet to be passed, challenged, or heard in an court.  Any judical decision will be months or years in the future.

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


Followup TX: More Details in Macias Shooting



Witnesses said Macias exited the vehicle and approached the passenger side of the other car. He then reached into the car and began to assault the woman in the passenger seat, while attempting to pull her from the car. The driver and backseat passenger pulled at the woman in the front passenger seat, trying to keep her from being pulled from the car.

Macias reached for the seat belt mechanism, in a failed attempt to remove it. The backseat passenger saw Macias reach for something around his waistband, and fearing for his life, and the life of the woman in the front passenger seat, the backseat passenger fired two shots from a handgun, with both shots striking Macias. Macias fell to the ground and both cars left the scene. When officers arrived at the scene, they observed a screwdriver next to Macias’s body.

Mesquite investigators believe that this is a case of self-defense, and defense of a third party. The case is being referred to the Dallas County Grand Jury.

More Here

KY: Man insists He Acted in Self Defense



Police said Hayes followed Wilson into a bank parking lot after road rage on the Watterson Expressway.

Hayes said Wilson struck his truck with a bat, so he shot in self-defense.

The bullet struck the frame of Wilson's car, split and the fragments hit Wilson twice in the face.

Jurors watched video showing Hayes being prepared for jail. His cheeks were swabbed for DNA, and his clothing removed and traded for a white jumpsuit.

The original 911 call was made by a woman at a barber shop near the bank. She reported it as a car accident since Wilson's car struck parked cars after the shooting.

More Here

NC: Armed Victim Retreats, is Followed Shoots Aggressor


Police say a shooter will not yet be charged after acting in self-defense when he fired several rounds from his handgun and struck a victim outside of a North Charleston bar early Saturday morning.

Spencer Pryor, a spokesperson with the North Charleston Police Department, said police have used a statement from the shooter, or subject, and video evidence to make the determination.
More Here

D.C. Judge Grants Temporary Injunction Against D.C. Gun Permit Law



Judge Richard J. Leon has issued a tightly reasoned opinion granting a temporary injunction against the enforcement of the District of Columbia's unreasonably restrictive handgun licensing scheme.  In effect, Judge Leon ruled that the District scheme was a thinly veiled ban on the carry of arms outside the home for the purposes of self defense in the District of Columbia.

 From dcist.com:
A federal judge told D.C. to stop enforcing its concealed-carry gun law, which requires people to have a "good reason" in order to get a permit from police to carry guns.
This may seem like deja vu ... and that's because it isn't the first time a federal judge overturned District legislation on guns. The previous ruling prompted the D.C. Council to pass a law designating where licensed owners can carry handguns in public. They have to demonstrate they have a "good reason to fear injury to his or her person or property" or "any other proper reason for carrying a pistol."
Judge Leon found that it was likely that the plantiff's arguments would prevail in the civil case, and that irreparable harm would result if they were denied their right to bear arms in the interim. Second Amendment supporters have been saying this for decades.  Most people would find it obvious upon casual reflection.

As the good judge observes, the denial of a fundamental Constitutional right is, by definition, irreparable harm.  To reach this conclusion, Judge Leon first shows that Second Amendment rights extend outside the home.  Again, to impartial observers, this is obvious.  But to those who have been insisting that the Second Amendment is a legal nullity for a hundred years, there is no pretzel twisted logic that is a reach too far.  Judge Leon demolishes those weak and nonsensical attempts.  From Judge Richard J. Leon's opinion (pdf):
Given the textual and historical evidence, I have little trouble concluding that under its original meaning the Second Amendment protects a right to carry arms for self- defense in public. Of course, Judge Scullin already reached this same conclusion in Palmer. 59 F. Supp. 3d at 182. And, not surprisingly, the Court of Appeals panels that have directly addressed the issue have also reached the same conclusion. See Moore, 702 F.3d at 936 right to bear arms thus implies a right to carry a loaded gun outside the home?); Peruta, 742 F.3d at 1166 ("T]he carrying of an operable handgun outside the home for the lawful purpose of self-defense, though subject to traditional restrictions, constitutes 'bear[ing] Arms' within the meaning of the Second Amendment") (alteration in original). And other circuits have at least been willing to so assume. See Bonidy, 790 F.3d at 1125; Woollard v. Gallagher, 712 F.3d 865, 876 (4th Cir. 2014); Drake v. Filko, 724 F.3d 426, 431 (3d Cir. 2013); Kachalsky v. County of Westchester, 701 F.3d 81, 89 (2d Cir. 2012). Indeed, no Court of Appeals to date has found to the contrary.
The opinion was only filed a few hours ago.  The Washington Post has great sources inside the federal judiciary.  I found a Link to Unitedstatescourts.org archive of Grace et al v. District of Columbia et al. The opinion has not been added to the archive of the case documents at that site, but I expect it will be added shortly.

It is likely that the District of Columbia will ask the  District of Columbia Court of Appeals to stay the injunction pending an appeal.  That is what the District did in previous cases.  There were differences in those cases, however, and it is not clear if the D.C. Court of Appeals will grant a stay in this case.  We should find out shortly.

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



Legal Aid Society Files Amicus Brief in Knife Rights Case



May 12, 2016: The Legal Aid Society, the oldest and largest private non-profit legal services agency in the nation and New York's primary public defender, yesterday filed an Amicus Curiae (Friend of the Court) Brief in support of Knife Rights' long-running Civil Rights Lawsuit against New York City and District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr.

Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter said, "The Legal Aid Society's well-reasoned and eloquently written brief compellingly tells the stories of individuals who have fallen victim to defendants' unconstitutional practices and ties directly into the key elements of the defendants' continued sordid prosecutions of innocent knife owners. The Society has succeeded in adding additional human faces to the injustice these prosecutions have visited on tens of thousands of law-abiding knife owners, highlighting the serious constitutional issues at stake here."

The lawsuit, filed in 2011, challenges the City's and DA Vance's attempt to criminalize as contraband the most widely-owned pocket knives in America under the state law prohibiting gravity knives. The case seeks a judicial determination that the New York State law regarding gravity knives is unconstitutionally vague as applied by NYC and the DA to these common pocket knives (which are distinct from gravity knives because of their bias towards closure).

Knife Rights' lawsuit intends to stop NYC officials from abusing this vague state law to make bogus arrests of law-abiding citizens carrying common pocket knives, and from coercing knife retailers into making huge payments to avoid prosecution. The Village Voice two years ago analyzed data from several sources to come to the conclusion that there have been as many as 60,000 gravity-knife prosecutions over the past decade, and that the rate has more than doubled in that time.

Several rounds of trial papers have already been field with the court by the parties with a public hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Katherine B. Forrest currently scheduled to be held on June 16 in the United States Courthouse in Manhattan.

Click here to read the Notice of Motion to File Amicus Curiae Brief.
Click here to read The Legal Aid Society's Amicus Curiae Brief.

Click here for additional information on the lawsuit.

Source 

Ninth Circuit Finds Second Amendment includes a Right to Acquire Arms


In a ruling released yesterday, the 16th of May, 2016, a three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Second Amendment includes the right to be able to legally buy firearms from commercial sources.

This is a significant decision in support of Second Amendment right.  It clearly holds that to be able to exercise Second Amendment rights, a person has to have legal access to firearms. The following is part of the summary of the decision, with the full decision available on the pdf file. From Teixeira v. Alameda County(pdf):
Affirming the dismissal of the Equal Protection claims,
the panel determined that this was not a situation where one
group was being denied a right while another similar group
was not. The panel held that because the right to keep and to
bear arms for self-defense is not only a fundamental right, but
an enumerated one, it was more appropriately analyzed under
the Second Amendment than the Equal Protection Clause.
The panel further held that plaintiffs failed to plead a 
cognizable class-of-one claim because they had neglected to
identify a similarly situated business.

Reversing the dismissal of plaintiffs’ Second Amendment
claims, the panel held that the County had offered nothing to
undermine the panel’s conclusion that the right to purchase
and to sell firearms is part and parcel of the historically
recognized right to keep and to bear arms. The panel held
that the Ordinance burdened conduct protected by the
Second Amendment and that it therefore must be subjected
to heightened scrutiny—something beyond mere rational
basis review.

The panel held that under heightened scrutiny, the County
bore the burden of justifying its action, and that the district
court should have required the County to provide some
evidentiary showing that gun stores increase crime around
their locations or negatively impact the aesthetics of a
neighborhood. The panel held that if on remand evidence did
confirm that the Ordinance as applied, completely bans new
guns stores (rather than merely regulating their location),
something more exacting than intermediate scrutiny would
be warranted.
This decision helps put to bed the disarmist contention that they do not have to ban guns; they can just ban ammunition, or gun stores, or require that all guns be locked up, or similar nonsense.  At least this three judge panel is shows some rationality that if a polity does not allow the sale of guns, it makes it quite difficult to exercise Second Amendment rights.

The dissent is particularily chilling.  Judge  Silverman wrote:
Concurring in part and dissenting in part, Judge
Silverman agreed that the equal protection claims were
correctly dismissed, but dissented from the majority’s opinion
regarding the Second Amendment. In Judge Silverman’s
view this case was a mundane zoning dispute dressed up as a
Second Amendment challenge and the district court correctly
ruled that the ordinance restricting the location of a gun
store is “quite literally a ‘law[] imposing conditions and
qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.’”
If you can place conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms without any limits, you can obviously ban the commercial sale of arms.  Two of the three judges on this panel saw the obvious.

The question now is whether Alameda County will ask for an en banc ruling by the entire Ninth Circuit. It is also likely that a single judge in the Ninth Circuit will as for an en banc ruling.  That is what has happened with the Peruta decision, and with the Nordyke v. King decision.  Given the history, I will not be surprised if an en banc review is requested and the court votes to accept it.

The Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments on the Peruta case almost a year ago, on June 16, 2015.  No decision has been issued.  It is not unusual for an en banc review to take more than a year. The final Nodyke decision, also in Alameda County, took over a decade.


Definition of  disarmist

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

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Pastor Phil's First Rifle


Eight years ago, I met the pastor of my brother's church in Northern Wisconsin.  Pastor Phil and his wife, Kathy, had answered the call when the church had entered some hard times.  His career had started in Chicago.  His parents were called to the ministry; his father had been a Marine.  The streets that he grew up on in Chicago had an international flavor.  There were Greek, Polish, and Germans, and they generally got along.  His family did not have any guns, and his lone experience with firearms was an informal couple of shots with a .22  at twilight, in of all places, Maryland.  The relative who supplied the rifle was also a Marine.  Phil and Kathy were new to the North Woods, and the church was starting with very little.

My mother lived on the land that my parents had purchased before I was born, a couple of miles from Pastor Phil's Church. She required someone to be with her 24/7, and I was one of those who stayed with her, in her home, cooked, helped her in and out of bed, and did all the necessary things that children do for elderly parents.

People who have been in this position will tell you that any assistance can make a large difference.  Pastor Phil, and his wife, Kathy, went far beyond what could be expected.  They cheered my mother, brought over food, spend considerable time with her and me. There presence was always appreciated, a bright spot in my mother's life.  They have said that she was a bright spot in theirs.

They may have spent more time with my mother than I did during those years.  They were there all year.  I only helped intermittently a month or two at a time. They were rich in spirit, but materially, not much better off than, well, church mice.

They taught me about Christian charity.

I would take a little time while my mother was sleeping to sharpen my shooting skills. I shot from the deck of her house, with a monitor nearby or in my pocket. A long barrelled .22 with standard velocity ammunition is pretty quiet.

Pastor Phil and Kathy had a garden at their new Wisconsin home, and the rabbits would raid it.  I arranged to give Phil an old Remington 550.  It was old enough to not have or need a serial number.  It worked well, and my brother soon had the factory sights dialed in. I supplied a few hundred rounds of .22 ammunition.  This was before the great Obama .22 shortage.  At some point, a member of the church donated a brick of .22 to pastor Phil.

Phil and Kathy took to the gun culture as if they were born to it.  My mother died a couple of years ago, but my friendship with Pastor Phil and Kathy has remained.  Their material position has improved as the little church has grown and thrived.  On an ordinary Sunday, a few dozen will be in attendance. Phil has taken a toll on the rabbit and squirrel population.  At last count, he had stopped the garden predations of 35 of them.

As their modest income increased, Phil purchased a Ruger American rifle and put a scope on it.  They acquired two carry handguns and Wisconsin concealed carry licenses. The class for the carry licenses was given at the Church by my brother.  21 people attended. Kathy has been as enthusiastic about their entry into the gun culture as Phil has. 



I am delighted to have helped introduce pastor Phil and Kathy to the American gun culture.  Northern Wisconsin is a rich center of that heritage; far more so than bloody Chicago, which was considerably more peaceful when Pastor Phil was growing up in the 50's and 60's, than it is today.

Pastor Phil and Kathy are part of that great surge in gun ownership that has happened during the Obama regime.  Neither had owned a gun before; now they both do.  It is far less likely that they will need to use their pistols for defense of self or others, than Phil's use of the rifle to defend their vegetables.  The centers of the gun culture tend to be more peaceful than the urban centers whose political leadership wishes to disarm the rest of us.

I am not sure the guns themselves cause this difference.  I suspect the attitude that goes with owning guns is a more important part of the picture. In the gun culture, there is a strong belief in the necessity of personal responsibility. The ownership of guns gives the knowledge of increased power.  The belief that self control is necessary and desirable has always been a strong component.  The active nurturing of community without coercion, and faith in God, tend to be  associated with gun ownership and peaceful communities in American life.

Phil was happy to have the address of the Calvary Baptist Church included in this story.  It is 13713 W. Thannum Fire Ln, Hayward, Wisconsin, 54843.  If you are in the area, feel free to stop by.  Services are from 10 to 11 a.m. on Sundays.

Pastor Phil's email address is pandkmarkel@gmail.com.

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





Dave Workman: Why the Second Amendment is under attack this week


It’s a tradition as old as yellow journalism, “Bash the Second Amendment” week, and it was off to a vigorous start with last night’s debut of “Under the Gun,” touted as a “documentary” hosted by Katie Couric and broadcast on Epix.

The press seems to relish in doing gun control stories in the week leading up to the annual convention of the National Rifle Association. The NRA gathers this coming weekend in Louisville, and in addition to the Couric program, there’s an anti-gun opinion piece in today’s Seattle Times from Jerry Large, and another column in today’s Daily Californian that will infuriate Second Amendment activists.

The last time this column discussed this tradition, we called it “Bash the NRA Week.” But it’s not just that single organization under attack these days. Gun prohibitionists have dropped all pretense, attacking the Second Amendment, itself, and the much broader “gun lobby” that includes the Second Amendment Foundation, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Gun Owners of America and all the state and local gun clubs, plus tens of millions of gun owners not affiliated with any group, but who cherish their right to own and use firearms.
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OH: Man Charged in Shooting Claims Self Defense



COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- "Hello, my name is Earl Jones. Um, I just fired my weapon in self-defense.

"That call came into the Hamilton County Communications Center on Monday night, not long after a fatal shooting in the front yard of a home on Overdale Drive.

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AL: Armed Victim Shoots Burglary Suspect in Foot


ARAB, Ala. — Police say a man caught stealing from a home is facing charges and recovering from a gunshot wound after the homeowner shot him in the foot.

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AL: Free Carry Permits for Retired Military Veterans


In Alabama, Governor Robert Bentley signed HB98, which provides for retired veterans who qualify, to obtain free pistol permits.  The bill was popular with the legislature, passing nearly unanimously. HB98 passed the House 93 to 4 with 3 abstentions. It passed the Senate 30 to 2 with no abstentions on 3 May, 2016, and was signed into law by Governor Bently on 13 May, 2016.

The bill applies to retired military veterans who are non-disability retirees from the Army, Navy, Coast Guard or Marines, or any reserve component thereof. From the HB98(pdf):
24  (b) Any retired military veteran who meets the
25  conditions for issuance of a pistol permit pursuant to Section      1    13A-11-75, Code of Alabama 1975, shall be eligible to obtain
2   the pistol permit without paying a fee for the permit. Upon
3   approval of the pistol permit application, the pistol permit
4   shall be issued by the sheriff of the county in which the
5   veteran resides upon presentation by the retired military
6   veteran of the United States government issued Veteran
7   Identification Card or a DD-214 Proof of Military Service form
8   and sufficient proof that the person is a military retiree.
9   The retired military veteran shall apply for renewal as
10 required by law, but shall be eligible to obtain renewed
11 pistol permits without paying a fee as long as he or she meets
12 the conditions for renewal of the permit.
A number of states make special provisions for verterans, allowing their military service to be sufficient proof of training to obtain a carry permit.  Alabama does not issue permits to non-residents, so the free permits are only available to military retirees who maintain a residence in Alabama.


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