Thursday, December 31, 2015

Followup WI: Milwaukee Shooting Self Defense; Possession of Gun a Crime


On July 26th, 2015, there was a shooting in Milwaukee, outside a bar.  One man attacked another.  The man who was attacked defended himself by shooting the attacker, who died at the scene.  We know that the story is close to that because the Milwaukee prosecutor has ruled that the shooting was in self defense.  What is worth thinking about is that the shooter was carrying the gun he used to defend himself illegally. As a convicted felon, Augusta Walton, 34, has been charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.
From Fox6now.com:
MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee police say a July homicide has now been ruled self-defense.

The homicide happened on July 26th, 2015.

(snip)

Police say they have been notified by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office that this incident has been ruled self-defense.

The suspect in this case, 34-year-old Augusta Walton, was charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.
Being a convicted felon places a person on the federal list of people who are barred from purchase and possession of firearms by federal law.  There are about 1.9 million people who are in that category and on the federal list of prohibited possessors. 

But does the right to defend one's life end with conviction for a felony?  In Augusta's situation, it was legal for him to defend themselves, but not to possess the means of defense.

Currently, it is very difficult for someone with a felony conviction to regain the right to arms.  In some states it can be done, though it is a laborious process.  It is almost impossible to have a federal felony conviction reversed.  One of the few ways to do so is to get a presidential pardon for the crime.  Some are given; I have seen exactly one, presented to me by a student at a concealed carry class, to show that he was eligible for the concealed carry permit.

A path to regain rights lost should be clear and obvious, and not take an enormous amount of money to activate.  It would act as an incentive for felons to stay on the right side of the law.  And that would mean that everyone wins.

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

WY: Bill would Excempt 3 Firearms from Bankruptcy Proceedings



CASPER, Wyo. — A bipartisan group of lawmakers is sponsoring a bill that would exempt up to three firearms and up to 1,000 rounds of ammunition per gun from creditors in the process of seizing a debtor’s assets.

More Here

Niccolo Machiavelli: Advice on Disarming


Niccolo Machiavelli is what some have called the first modern analyst of political power.  Some have called him the founder of modern political science.  Others have compared him to the Devil, as he showed the moral underbelly of political power.  He is widely honored on the left as showing how to use power to stay in power.  Most of the people who know of Machiavelli know him from his most famous work "The Prince".  "The Prince" is essentially a short course on how to get and keep political power. 

At the time it was written, it was a rather long job application, to show that he understood and would be useful in the world of political power.  In "The Prince", Machiavelli makes some observations about armed men.  One of them is a quote that I have used repeatedly. From "The Prince":
There is no comparison whatever between an armed and disarmed man; it is not reasonable to suppose that one who is armed will obey willingly one who is unarmed; or that any unarmed man will remain safe.... - Niccol├│ Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.
But Machiavelli wrote another, much longer book that is not read or quoted nearly as often.  I refer to "The Discources".   "The Discourses" should be viewed as the longer, more thorough work from which "The Prince" is a shorted, abbreviated, version.  In "The Discourses", Machiavelli talks about using deception to achieve wanted ends.   He talks about the necessity of being deceptive when attempting to achieve an evil desire.  The example that he uses is that of disarming.  Here is the quote from The Discourses":
For it is enough to ask a man to give up his arms, without telling him that you intend killing him with them; after you have the arms in hand, then you can do your will with them."  The Discourses end of chapter XLIV
The quote is worth noting today, as a means of explaining why current disarmists must resort to lies and deceit.  They cannot put forward their real reasons. If they did, they could never pass the desired legislation. 

Machiavelli is worth quoting, because he is recognized as one of the founding fathers of modern state politics.  His pronouncements carry considerable weight in statist circles.  He is, essentially, an authority that statists have been taught to trust.

While not quite as definitive an authority for a statist as the Bible would be for a Christian, or the Koran for an Islamicist, Machiavelli holds considerable weight for those who worship at the alter of state power.   His words can be used to educate them to advantage.

Definition of  disarmist

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

TX: "Gun Free" Wall of Text Required to Disarm Patrons


When Texas passed the shall issue concealed carry law in 1995, part of the deal concerned how people would be notified that a business did not allow concealed carry on the premises.  A compromise was worked out that an entity that chose not to allow concealed carry on its premises was required to post a sign on all entrances, clearly showing people entering, that concealed carry was not allowed.  The sign had to be large and highly visible, in both English and Spanish.  The letters had to be at least one inch tall.   An example of the "30.06" sign is shown below.  30.06 comes from the statute that requires the sign.  It takes up about one half of a door space.


When the legislature restored some open carry rights for people who had concealed carry permits, they decided to use the same requirements for banning open carry from an establishment. Because this requirement is to ban open carry, a separate sign is required. The legislature made this code in sequence to the existing 30.06 code, so the new signs are "30.07" signs. They are nearly identical to the 30.06 signs, but they do not ban concealed carry, only open carry. If an establishment wishes to forgo the business of both concealed carriers and open carriers, they need to put up a literal "Wall of Text", both 30.06 and 30.07 signs. Those signs together take up very close to an entire door.

Here is the relevant section in the Texas code. From legis.state.texas.us:

SECTION 43. Section 30.06(c)(3), Penal Code, is amended to
read as follows:
(3) "Written communication" means:
(A) a card or other document on which is written
language identical to the following: "Pursuant to Section 30.06,
Penal Code (trespass by license holder with  a
concealed handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter
411, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not
enter this property with a concealed handgun"; or

(B) a sign posted on the property that:

(i) includes the language described by
Paragraph (A) in both English and Spanish;

(ii) appears in contrasting colors with
block letters at least one inch in height; and

(iii) is displayed in a conspicuous manner
clearly visible to the public.

SECTION 44. Chapter 30, Penal Code, is amended by adding
Section 30.07 to read as follows:

Sec. 30.07. TRESPASS BY LICENSE HOLDER WITH AN OPENLY
CARRIED HANDGUN. (a) A license holder commits an offense if the
license holder:

(1) openly carries a handgun under the authority of
Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, on property of another
without effective consent; and

(2) received notice that entry on the property by a
license holder openly carrying a handgun was forbidden.

(b) For purposes of this section, a person receives notice
if the owner of the property or someone with apparent authority to
act for the owner provides notice to the person by oral or written
communication.

(c) In this section:
(1) "Entry" has the meaning assigned by Section
30.05(b).

(2) "License holder" has the meaning assigned by
Section 46.035(f).

(3) "Written communication" means:

(A) a card or other document on which is written
language identical to the following: "Pursuant to Section 30.07,
Penal Code (trespass by license holder with an openly carried
handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411,
Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not enter this
property with a handgun that is carried openly"; or

(B) a sign posted on the property that:

(i) includes the language described by
Paragraph (A) in both English and Spanish;

(ii) appears in contrasting colors with
block letters at least one inch in height; and

(iii) is displayed in a conspicuous manner
clearly visible to the public at each entrance to the property.

(d) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor
punishable by a fine not to exceed $200, except that the offense is
a Class A misdemeanor if it is shown on the trial of the offense
that, after entering the property, the license holder was
personally given the notice by oral communication described by
Subsection (b) and subsequently failed to depart.

(e) It is an exception to the application of this section
that the property on which the license holder openly carries the
handgun is owned or leased by a governmental entity and is not a
premises or other place on which the license holder is prohibited
from carrying the handgun under Section 46.03 or 46.035.

(f) It is not a defense to prosecution under this section
that the handgun was carried in a shoulder or belt holster.
If the signs are not present, then it is not illegal to carry the handgun into the establishment.  It does not mean that the establishment cannot ask an open carrier to leave; they can.  But they have to ask the person to leave face to face.  For that to hold up in court, it would likely have to be on video and audio recording, in the presence of witnesses, or in the presence of a police officer.  I suspect that  many employers and employees will not actually be willing to tell customers to leave because they are openly carrying a holstered handgun. The signs do not apply to long guns, which are directly protected by the Texas Constitution. Some may, but the experience in other states indicate that those establishments will lose business, while those who simply choose to follow the lead of the government, will gain that business. Second Amendment supporters outnumber disarmists by 5-10 to 1 or more, perhaps much, much more. 

In addition, the dedication of an entire door's worth of space to prevent people from exercising their Constitutional rights in your establishment has costs.  It costs to have the signs made and put up; it costs to take down advertising from the space that the signs occupy.  In short, putting up these signs is bad business.

For public spaces, the legislature made clear that most of them may not ban concealed carry or open carry in their premises; and for those, even if they put up a sign, the sign is not valid.  I have already seen that portion of the law take effect.  I write these words from the Benbrook Public Library, just South of Fort Worth.  Last year, the Library had a small no guns sign.  It was not enforceable because it did not meet the 30.06 standards. 

This trip, the sign was gone.  It was a welcome change.  

In a few days, Texans will be legally able to open carry modern, holstered handguns in most public places, just as citizens of 44 other states have the right to.   In Texas' case, it took 146 years to partially restore the right that was stripped from the Texas Constitution by the carpetbagger government in 1869.

There are only 5 states that have not kept or restored open carry rights, at least partially; California, Illinois, Florida, South Carolina, and New York.  Florida and South Carolina are in a race to see which will restore open carry rights first.

Definition of  disarmist

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

VA: Employee Shoots Robbery Suspect


Newport News Police identified the robbery suspect as a 48-year-old Newport News resident.

The employee has not been charged, police spokeswoman Holly McPherson said, and once the investigation is complete, it will be handed over to the Commonwealth's Attorney Office.
More Here

GA: Possible Domestic Defense Shooting



“The shooting victim pushes Taylor’s mom down, and charges at the son,” said Camp. “Taylor shot one round that went into the victim’s chest area, below the heart, at close range.”

Taylor fled the area and discarded the gun. About an hour later, he called 911 and turned himself in.
More Here

MI: Suspected Intruder Shot

A Taylor resident shot and wounded an alleged intruder early Tuesday morning.
The resident discovered the suspect inside his garage outside his house in the 8000 block of Oak Street at about 2:50 a.m. The house is located east of Telegraph and west of Pardee.

More Here

AL: Victim Shoot Tire of Scammer; both Arrested



The first reports came in on Christmas Eve.

This past weekend an alleged victims confronted Barfield and an accomplice at a Millport convenience store.

When the duo tried leave the man shot out their tire, forcing them to wait on police to arrive.

The accused accomplice and alleged victim were both charged with misdemeanors.
More Here

TX: Residents Shoot man Attempting to Break in to Home


Police say the suspect was breaking windows on a Lily Street home around 6:30 a.m. when someone inside shot him three times with a handgun.

They said a woman and her adult son were inside the house at the time, and while police weren’t sure who fired, a family member added that both people inside the house fired shots.
More Here

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

TX: Two Robbery Suspects Shot, Killed by Armed Victim


Colvert and Harris entered a building at 1912 Mitchell Boulevard, near U.S. 287, and “robbed numerous subjects that were inside the building,” said Sgt. Steven Enright, a police spokesman.

One of the people being robbed “produced a handgun and fired multiple times, striking the robbery suspects,” Enright said.

More Here

OH: Invasion Suspect Shot by Armed Resident


COLUMBUS, Ohio - Police say a young man was fatally shot by a resident while attempting to rob a central Ohio home.

More Here

OH: Armed, Naked man Holds Suspect for Police



“I think he could see right through and everything is lit up,” Klein. “He said ‘I picked the wrong house to do this.’”

Klein kept the gun trained on the would-be burglar until deputies got on scene.

He says he's surprised at the calm that came over him. But he thinks that's partly because, in such an anxious moment, there was something to laugh at.

“I was standing there wearing nothing but my .40 caliber,” Klein said.

More Here

NE: Victim Shoots at Fleeing Attackers

COLUMBUS – Across from Van Berg Golf Course in Columbus, a father and son were awakened around 2:30 a.m. Saturday by home invaders they say were attempting to kill them.

More Here

TN: Suspect Glad to see Deputies after Victim Shoots Tires


The notion to “do something stupid” landed an alleged burglar in jail on Christmas Day, Sheriff Bud McCoig said.

Kicking in the door to a Jefferson City residence led to a confrontation with an armed homeowner, who blasted holes in the get-away car’s tires.

“I think the alleged perpetrator was glad to see the deputies,” the sheriff said. “He told them he’d tried to do something he shouldn’t have.”
More Here

CA: Bandit Shot by Armed Citizens



A masked bandit who police say helped rob a San Bernardino liquor store on Christmas was shot by armed citizens. The suspect, a juvenile, is not expected to survive, a police department news release states.

More Here

MO: Armed Woman Shoots at intruder


A Cape Girardeau woman said she shot at an intruder Sunday in her home at the 2800 block of Lynwood Hills Drive, but she missed, and the suspect escaped.

More Here

OH: DGU of the Day Woman Takes on 3 Home Invaders






Three men break into a home in Trotwood, Ohio.  They are all armed.  It is before 6 am, just three days after Christmas, on 28 December, 2015.  One of the men is armed with a Tec-9 pistol.  The other two hold what appear to be conventional semi-auto pistols.  They bypass two sleeping children to find the mother.  The surveillance video shows the three following the mother after they pistol whipped her in the laundry room.

 Link to video

The man directly behind her has the  Tec-9.  Not shown, he presumably holds her at gunpoint while the other two attempt to drag off a safe, in a room with two more children.

While the two men are occupied with the safe, the woman breaks free from her captor, accesses a hidden pistol, and starts to fire.

All three run, but the Tec-9 gunman, Azikiwe Presley, is mortally wounded.  His body is found 100 yards from the house.  From wdtn.com:
"I got my gun and I started shooting and they ran," the female caller told dispatchers. "They all three had guns, I'm confused ... they must not have had bullets because after I pulled the trigger they just took off, instead of firing back. I don't know if I hit one or not, I don't see blood anywhere."


Kipling says that the female of the  species is more deadly than the male.   I have found that female students in my concealed carry courses often said they were not sure if they could shoot someone.   When I ask them if they could shoot someone who threatens their child with death or rape, they always replied with an emphatic yes!, without hesitation.  Then I ask them if they could shoot someone who would deprive their child of their mother.  It always made the point.

In this case, the recipient of that female dedication ran a hundred yards and died.  It is not uncommon for a man who is fatally shot to run that far, even with a heart/lung shot.  As he was likely the one holding the woman at gunpoint, and the closest, greatest, threat with the Tec-9, it is not surprising that he drew the lethal ticket.  Whether through choice or happenstance, the mother made the right tactical decision.

Let us not forget that violent criminals have friends and family and associates.  Azikiwe had quite a few.  A look at his facebook page shows numerous heartfelt regrets at his passing.  From facebook:
I swear this doesnt even seem real you will always be that loud goofy clown with the big heart who would sit and crack jokes with me at lunch at Webber middle I can't believe your gone but know this you will never be forgotten and you will forever be missed my head so messed up right now rest up my buddy I'll never ever forget you
Most people will say, do not do home invasions if you do not want to be shot.  Aziwike's facebook page says he "Studied at University of blood" attended from 2004 to 2008.

Statistics would predict that if he had lived, a 29 year old career criminal would have hundreds, perhaps thousands, of crimes ahead of him in his career.

We will never know if Aziwike would have turned his life around, but the odds were not in his favor.

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

TX: College Station Shooting Self Defense


COLLEGE STATION - A seemingly quiet apartment complex turned into a crime scene over the weekend, after a resident shot and killed a man who tried to force entry into his home.

More Here

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Gun 'buyback" Briarpatch



Congressman Donald M. Payne Jr. (D-N.J.-10), has recently reintroduced "The Safer Neighborhoods Gun Buyback Act" (pdf).    It is the same bill as one that was filed last year.  I have written about the bill, HR-4278.   It makes no economic sense, for the Nation as a whole, and it will not reduce crime an iota.  It has little chance of passing.   But on close examination of what the bill actually does, it is a  "briar patch" that  Second Amendment Supporters might not mind being thrown in.  We are far past the point where there is any sense or connection between the money raised for the Republic by taxes, and what is actually spent.  From congress.gov:
(a) In general.—In conducting the grant program authorized under section 101, the Director may reserve such funds as may be necessary to acquire and distribute smart prepaid cards to eligible entities that receive grants under this title. The Director shall distribute the smart prepaid cards without any funds loaded onto the cards.

(b) Market value of guns.—The Director shall determine the market value of each gun that the Director determines should be included in the gun buyback program and make such information publicly available.
For those who do not understand the cultural reference, the 'briar patch' was where Br'er Rabbit begged Br'er Fox not to throw him, because that is where he wanted to end up.

The bill would allocate over a billion dollars, spread over three years,  to be spent on buying firearms at 125% of 'market value'.  That sounds as though a lot of money would go to gun manufacturers, gun shops, and Second Amendment Supporters.  Quite a bit would likely end up there.  No more than 15% of the funds are allowed for 'administration' and another 10% is allowed to fund programs to 'recycle' guns and ammuntion,  so at least 75% of the the money should go to the purchase of guns.

The BJA would be required to determine what the 'market value' of firearms are.  If they have to determine the market value for most common firearms they likely would use common references, such as manufacturers suggested retail prices (msrp) found in the Gun Digest.  Those prices are already high compared to the real market; 125% of that would be a significant profit margin for people who want to upgrade their firearms.

Some state governments are requiring local governments to sell or use guns that they confiscate or gain possission of, in order to stop the wanton destruction of valuable assets.  This program would get around that requirement by allowing dealers to buy the guns with grant money and then turn the guns over to the BATF.  What a massive SNAFU such a situation would make at the BATF offices.  The program does not allocate any money to the BATF to recycle the guns, so they would have to beg the BJA for it as part of the 10% allocated for such purposes.

Perhaps an innocuous amendment to the bill could be added by a congressional Second Amendment Supporter to the effect that "accessories and parts" could be salvaged and recycled by local governments or dealers.

This would allow dealers or individuals to remove all valuable parts from an AR clone for example, and turn in the stripped lower receiver to obtain 125% of the msrp for that model.

Another possibility is to 'recycle' guns to local shooting clubs or schools for use in gun training programs, or to encourage new hunters, and pay them part of the 10% 'recycling' money to have their storage and range facilities upgraded.  That might be allowed under some state laws that forbid the destruction of valuable property.

There you have it.  A briar patch that sends a billion government dollars into the gun culture.

It will never make it through Congress.  I could be wrong.  We have seen many absolutely stupid and irrational programs funded by Congress, and we have seen a complete lack of real budgets or any budget discipline for the entire reign of the Obama administration.


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


Followup SC: Lawsuits Fiiled Against Man who Shot Intruder



The first lawsuit says Brown caused the wrongful death of Leandus Pickens in April 2014 by “negligently and recklessly discharging a firearm.” The second lawsuit says Brown “failed to exercise due care” before shooting Pickens.

Each lawsuit seeks $10 million in damages.
More Here

Virginia Citizens Defense League on Democrat attack on Virginia CCW Reciprocity



A very infomative email alert by VCDL: 

1) THOUGHTS FOR OUR FELLOW OUT-OF-STATE CHP HOLDERS

First, I’d like to offer an apology to our fellow CHP holders from the 25 states that are about to lose recognition on February 1st.

All of you who have visited Virginia over the years have been exemplary and have not caused any problems within the Commonwealth.

This is NOT about you or anything you have done that was wrong.

It’s about our Governor, Terry McAuliffe, and our Attorney General, Mark Herring, who were both elected by a very small margin, and are a great embarrassment to Virginians. Neither of these individuals are reflective of the attitudes toward liberty and freedom and the values that we cherish here in Virginia. In fact, both have been referred to as “lawless” by some of our own General Assembly members, many of who are going to work to fix the situation we find ourselves in.

Here in the Old Dominion, the anger of gun owners at what our Attorney General has done is palpable, and I cannot remember anything to match it. Herring and McAuliffe have endangered your lives when you travel here and our lives when we travel outside of Virginia. SIX MILLION CHP holders in half the country are affected!

And all this treachery was done as political payback to Michael Bloomberg for campaign contributions.

VCDL will be working to fix this problem from various angles and we will be trying to do so as expeditiously as possible. We want Virginia to be a welcoming state again for our fellow gun owners. We ultimately want to recognize ALL out-of-state permits.

Sadly, we understand if you decide you can’t visit us until we can honor your permits. I’d be a hypocrite if I said I would do so if the tables were turned.

HOWEVER, you do have a few options if you still want to come visit us:

1. Open carry is legal in Virginia - no permit required and you can open carry in most places in Virginia. Our police don’t bat an eye. VCDL's website has a list of the places that you cannot carry. And, here’s another good reason to open carry: McAuliffe and Herring HATE open carry. But, hey, it was THEIR brilliant idea to prohibit concealed carry, so they will have no choice but to get used to a whole lot more people open carrying in Virginia! ;-)

2. You can have a LOADED handgun in a CLOSED, but not necessarily locked, compartment or container in a vehicle. That includes a glovebox, console, and trunk as long as the compartment or container has some kind of latch. Optionally the loaded handgun can be in plain sight, on the seat or on the dashboard. Again, if concealed it MUST be in a compartment or container and nowhere else. Upon exiting the vehicle, the loaded handgun can be holstered and carried in plain view or you can unload the gun and put it in a carrying case.

3. You can get a Utah non-resident concealed handgun permit or you can get a Virginia non-resident concealed handgun permit. For the money and the fact that Virginia’s permit has now been degraded by the Attorney General, I’d go for the Utah permit.

Whatever you do, please don’t judge our great Commonwealth based on our current Governor and Attorney General.

2) WHAT CAN BE DONE?

VCDL is working to fix "Herring’s Folly" from several angles.

a) A bill on VCDL’s behalf has been introduced by Delegate Lee Ware and will be considered by the General Assembly, which convenes on January 14th (Lobby Day is on the 18th, BTW). This bill will change Virginia law to honor the CHPs from ALL states! Expect a matching bill to come from the Senate.

Yes, McAuliffe will probably veto it, but with your help, we will work to get as large a majority as possible to pass it. More on this in future legislative updates in January.

In the meantime, here is a link to the bill:

http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?161+ful+HB12

b) The General Assembly’s “Power of the Purse” can be used in different ways to help with this battle

c) We can possibly use the courts to override Herring and McAuliffe’s actions

d) There is a petition you can sign. Yes, Herring will ignore it, but it will make a great PR item, when I say something like, “X thousand of people signed a petition against Herring’s actions.” 7,283 have signed it so far and you guys are just learning about it! Here is the link:

http://tinyurl.com/pajlh9x

d) Since Herring is making our lives miserable, we can return the favor. More on this next week. Oh, and Herring is going to run for Attorney General again in 2017. I’ll bet he’ll be surprised at just how good our memories can be!

3) DON’T FORGET TO KEEP PUSHING PEOPLE YOU KNOW TO COMMENT ON MCAULIFFE’S STATE-AGENCY BAN

As of 8 PM on December 23rd, 2,818 comments have been posted. All but a handful, if that many, are against McAuliffe’s gun ban!

That's nice, but we can do better. Get this link into the hands of others you know and get them to leave a comments opposing the ban. If you haven’t commented yet, now is a great time to do so. Click on the link and then click on “Enter a comment” to get started:

http://www.townhall.virginia.gov/L/Comments.cfm?StageID=7379

Here’s an article on McAuliffe’s state-agency gun ban and VCDL:

http://bearingdrift.com/2015/12/23/abc-goes-gun-free-before-holidays-privatization-resurrected-as-vcdl-fights/

or

http://tinyurl.com/gpmf2nu

4) DETAILS ON THE BUSES COMING TO LOBBY DAY WILL BE READY VERY SOON

The buses are now confirmed and I will let you know where the pickup points will be, the times, and how to make a reservation. Please make this the biggest Lobby Day VCDL has ever had!

5) MARK YOUR CALENDARS: VCDL MEETING IN RICHMOND AREA ON DECEMBER 29!

VCDL will be holding a long awaited membership meeting in the Richmond area. We will meet at the Glen Allen Library on Tuesday, December 29th at 7:00 p.m. The meeting room will be open to us at 6:30 p.m. for fellowship and the meeting will begin around 7:00.

We will be discussing strategy for Lobby Day and the implications of the recent "audit" by AG Mark Herring and the Executive Order #50 issued by Gov. McAuliffe.

We will adjourn at 8:30 and those who care to will go to the Nuevo Mexico restaurant for continued fellowship.

The meeting is open to all, regardless of your membership status. In fact, we encourage you to bring people who have never been to a VCDL meeting before.

Location:

Glen Allen Library
10501 Staples Mill Road
Glen Allen, VA 23060

Time:

7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Continued Fellowship:

Nuevo Mexico Restaurante
10282 Staples Mill Road
Glen Allen, VA 23060
www.nuevomexicorestaurante.com

FINALLY - MERRY CHRISTMAS AND MAY GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU!

------------------------------
-------------
***************************************************************************
VA-ALERT is a project of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
(VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.

VCDL web page: http://www.vcdl.org [http://www.vcdl.org/]

Followup ME: Ex-Lobsterman could Face Eviction for Gun Possession (Nagant)


“Threatening to evict Mr. Lembo for defending himself clearly violates his constitutional rights,” NRA Maine State Liaison John Hohenwarter said last month after Lembo sued, the Daily News reported. “Self-defense is a fundamental, God-given right that belongs to every law-abiding American — no matter their tax bracket, zip code or street address. Furthermore, Article 1 Section 16 of the Maine Constitution echoes this sentiment by stating: ‘Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned.’”

More Here

CO: Pistols taken in Museum Theft Recovered



GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) - Authorities say they have found three prized pistols stolen last month from a western museum in Grand Junction.

More Here

3dprint.com take on EFF Support of Cody Wilson & Defense Distributed

Too bad the author did not take the time to read the Second Amendment Foundation's brief.  It is very similar to the Amicus brief filed by EFF.

Earlier this week I wrote about a group of 15 Republican congressmen co-signing an amicus brief in support of the creator of the 3D printed LIberator handgun, Cody Wilson, and his lawsuit against the State Department. After publishing the 3D printing files for his one-shot handgun online, Wilson was ordered to remove them by the State Department because according to them he was violating an act that regulated the distribution of weapons and information to international sources.

Because his case involves firearms, it’s only natural that a handful of conservative lawmakers, gun advocacy groups, and conservative think tanks would back Wilson. But perhaps the most important backer of his lawsuit is the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a relatively apolitical free speech advocacy group that focuses on digital rights and how they apply to civil liberties in the US.

Like the group of Congressmen, the EFF recently filed an amicus brief with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed. While many of Wilson’s advocates are focusing on what they believe to be a violation of his Second Amendment rights, an argument that I believe has little merit, the EFF is backing him based on the State Department violating his First Amendment rights–an argument that I believe has far more merit.

More Here

Monday, December 28, 2015

Who are the Prohibited Possessors on the NICS list?



At the end of 2014, there were 12,881,223 people who were legally prohibited from possessing modern firearms on the NICS list of prohibited persons(pdf).  As can be seen from the chart below, obtained from the FBI, nearly half of those prohibited, 49.2%, are illegal aliens. 

The next largest number are those who have been adjudicated with a mental health problem.  177,000 of the recent numbers are veterans  added by the veteran administration.  The total "mental defectives" is over 29% of the prohibited possessors in the NICS data base.  In 2007, only 10.15% of prohibited possessors were listed as mental defectives.  Under the Obama administration, the number of "mental defectives" in the prohibited possessor list has grown from 518,499 at the end of 2007, and 648,120 at the end of 2008, to 3,774,301, an almost sixfold increase of over 3 million people.  The Obama administration has said that it wishes to swell those numbers even more, by adding in Social Security recipients who choose to have their financial affairs attended to by someone else.   Those numbers are reported to be over 4 million.  The Obama administration backed away from that executive action after a strong public reaction.

Then come those convicted of a crime, a felony, or misdemeanor punishable by two years of incarceration, or more.  They amount to almost 15%.  I was surprised by that number.  Only 15% of those on the NICS prohibited possessor list are for felony or serious misdemeanor convictions.  Fugitives from justice account for another 3.6%

Those four categories account for 96.8% of all the people on the database. 

All the rest are relatively minor numbers:

State Prohibitors: .9%  These numbers started being added in to the NICS system in April, 2012.  They include information voluntarily submitted by the states. 

Convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence: .9%  I thought this would be a much larger number. 

Order of Protection/Restraining Order domestic violence: .4%  This number is also much smaller than I thought it would be.  Orders of Protection/Restraining orders are relatively easy to obtain, but they also are often temporary. 

Under Indictment/Information: .3%

Federally denied persons file: .2%

Renounced U.S. Citizenship: .2%

Unlawful user/addicted to a controlled substance: .2%  This one appears to be low, but most people who have been convicted in a court of law are likely picked up in the felony/serious misdemeanor category.

Dishonorable discharge: .1%




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

2015 Guns by the Numbers


Total private guns in the United States,  390 million

Murder rate in the U.S.  2015  4.5 per 100,000  FBI
Murder rate in the U.S.  1993  9.5 per 100,000  FBI
Murder rate in Brazil (latest) 25.2 per 100,000  Wikipedia
Murder rate in Mexico  2012 21.5 per 100,000  Wikipedia

Number of people with Concealed Carry permits in the United States: 12.8 million  CrimeResearch.org study

Number of States where no permit is required to carry concealed or openly:  10
CrimeResearch.org study

Number of states who issue carry permits - 49

Number of states where open carry of firearms is legal: 44 in 2015, 45 with the addition of Texas on 1 January, 2016.   Opencarry.org map

Number of NICS background checks in 2015  22.6 million  (pdf) FBI

Number of  police killed with their own guns in 2014 - 1  FBI
 
Number of times guns used to stop crime or for defense yearly: 1.5 million  CDC(pdf)

Suicide rate in the United States  12.1 per 100,000 suicide.org
Suicide rate in France                  12.3 per 100,000
Suicide rate in Japan                    18.5 per 100,000
Suicide rate in South Korea         28.9 per 100,000

U.S. Fatal Firearm Accident rate in 2015   .2 per 100,000  Gun Watch
U.S. Fatal Firearm Accident rate in 1932 2.5 per 100,000

Michael Bloomberg Dollars devoted to restricting the Second Amendment,  50 million:  Forbes

Percent who believe concealed carry of guns makes people safer:  53%   Gallup

Percent who think concealed carry makes people less safe: 41%  Gallup

Number of guns stolen or lost per year:        200,000  governing.com

Murders committed with handguns:                  6,115    FBI UCR

Murders committed with shotguns:                      366

Murders committed with rifles :                           367

Murders committed with (hands,fists,feet,etc.)    769

Murders committed with blunt objects:                549


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

Followup SC: Ordeal Over for Sally Memmert Good Samaritan Self Defense Case

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A decision by the attorney general’s office means a Kershaw County woman will not be prosecuted for fatally shooting a mentally ill Army veteran she’d been trying to help, but who later entered her home and attacked her.

Attorney General Alan Wilson dropped the case against Sally Anne Memmert of Elgin for the 2012 shooting death of 29-year-old Petra Boykin, The State newspaper reported Saturday (http://bit.ly/1Os9IY2 ).

More Here

GA: Man Shoots, Kills Robbery Suspect

Police say Antonio Bagley, 29, told them Jerrell Walker tried to rob him so he fired his pistol at him. Walker later died from a gunshot wound to the torso.

More Here

TX: Woman Shoots Man Attempting Break-in, Hits Him Twice



Deputies said the man was trying to climb in through a window, when the woman fired several shots, striking him twice.
More Here

Followup NV: Mom apologises to Homeowner who killed her son

The mother of a teenager shot and killed during a burglary attempt is speaking out to Action News.

(snip)

"I apologize to the homeowner," said mom Mandra Adams. "I know it's heavy on your heart."

Family members said Manquise Adams and his cousin Lucane Pierre, both 17, were shot while breaking into a home.

Pierre is said to be in stable condition. Adams was pronounced dead on the scene.

More Here

FL: Wounded Intruder Attacks Homeowner, is Shot Again, Dies



Deputies spoke with the homeowner, Joseph McKinney, who indicated that he, his wife and a friend were in the living room when they heard what sounded like someone entering the back of the home. The homeowner retrieved a handgun and walked to the back of the house.

The intruder had entered the screened-in porch area and was attempting to open the door that leads to the kitchen. The homeowner asked the suspect who he was and told him to leave, but the suspect lunged at him, so the homeowner fired his weapon, officials said. The suspect then pushed the homeowner onto a table and was on top of him, causing the homeowner to shoot a second time.

More Here

CA: Coach Disarms Carjacker, Fires Shots into Ground

He lunged back at the suspect and grabbed his gun, Griffin said. As they struggled over the weapon, two shots were fired into the roof and the Jeep veered off the road, crashing at San Vicente and Wildcat Canyon roads in Ramona. The coach told the teen to run as he held the suspect at gunpoint.
The victim fired two shots at the suspect’s feet, Griffin said, and the suspect ran away, bleeding from his leg.

More Here

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Congressman Payne (D) New Jersey, Prevaricates about Gun 'buyback" Bill



Congressman Donald M. Payne Jr. (D-N.J.-10), has recently reintroduced "The Safer Neighborhoods Gun Buyback Act" (pdf).  Academics have routinely labeled such measures as ineffective at fighting crime.  Perhaps the most famous of these is Alan Binder of Freakonomics fame:
When it comes to gun buybacks, both the theory and the data could not be clearer in showing that they don’t work. The only guns that get turned in are ones that people put little value on anyway. There is no impact on crime. On the positive side, the “cash for clunkers” program is more attractive than the gun buyback program because, as long as they are being driven, old cars pollute, whereas old guns just sit there.
Reading this article at New Jersey TV online, I thought that a new twist was being tried on this tired old scheme.  Congressman Payne said that the program was aimed at the guns most used in crime, and that they were using ATF data to determine what the 10 guns most used in crime were.  From njtvonline.org:
Payne: What it does is it allows the Department of Justice to secure a $360 million grant in order to buyback old guns, get guns off the street and incentivizw getting these guns back out of the hands of people that might not need to have them.

Williams: My impression from looking at gun buyback research is that very often it doesn’t work because the guns being brought back are great grandpa’s rifle that hasn’t been fired in 50 years. Are those the kind of guns you need to get off the streets?

Payne: No, actually we’ve identified through the ATF the 10 most used guns in street crimes. We have incentivized return of those guns by up to 25 percent over the market value of the gun. You would receive a debit card where once you turn in the gun. You get a debit card and that can be used for anything. You can’t get cash for it and you can’t use it to purchase guns. If they were tried to use in that manner there’s a possibility of a two year jail sentence, and that goes along with using it illegally. So, 25 percent over the retail cost of the gun and we think that is a great incentive in order to bring them back.
This was interesting information.  I was curious as to what guns the ATF had determined were the 10 most used in crime, so I read the actual bill to find out.  I worried about having to trudge through dozens or hundreds of pages of legalese to worry out the facts; but such was not the case.  The bill is a bit more than a page long.

I could not find anything in the bill about any particular model of gun, other than the ATF is supposed to publish the "market value" of gun models so that the people that are buying the guns to be turned in to be destroyed, will know how to calculate the 125% of market value they are to pay people who turn in the guns.  Too bad.  I hoped there might actually be some interesting information in the bill. 

The bill has little or no chance of passing in a Republican controlled House, and it is the epitome of irresponsible legislation.   Paying 125% of "market value" for an item is a quick way to go bankrupt.  It simply means that people would bring every gun that they did not have an emotional attachment to, and make a quick 25% profit, then buy more new.    Arizona had a similar program for alternative fuel vehicles.  In some cases, the State paid more than half the cost of the vehicle.  It almost bankrupted the State before it was halted. 

I do not know why Congressman Payne felt impelled to prevaricate about the guns being affected by this bill.  Maybe he wasn't worried because he knew it has no chance of passage, at least at present.

It is unlikely that the error will cost him anything.  Donald M. Payne, Jr. inherited the majority minority district in 2012 from his father, Donald M. Payne.  He was was elected, in November of 2012, after his father's death in March of 2012.  It is a very safe Democrat seat, in one of the most anti-Second Amendment states in the nation.

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

OK: Wounded Suspect Calls 911



OKLAHOMA CITY -

A homeowner made a quick decision and shot a man accused of breaking in. That suspect nearly made a quick getaway, but then did something unexpected.

The suspect barely made it a block near Southwest 50th and May before he apparently had to make a life or death decision.

Police said he called 911.
More Here

UT: Man Fires shot to drive off Burglar



Police say James Dover Merritt broke into the garage of a home in North Park. He was caught when the homeowner heard noises coming from the garage. The two men engaged in a fight but the homeowner was armed. He fired a shot into the ground to scare Merritt away according to police.

More Here

TN: Christmas Burglar caught by Armed Homeowner



According to the arrest affidavit, police were called to a White Oak Valley Circle residence in reference to a home invasion. The caller told dispatch that a man was trying to break into his home through the garage.

The home owner reportedly grabbed his handgun and confronted Jump. Jump reportedly came toward the home owner and that when the home owner pulled his gun on him. Jump reportedly fled the scene but the home owner chased him on foot to a nearby barn.

Collegedale police arrived on scene and immediately took Jump into custody.

More Here

Saturday, December 26, 2015

MI: Pepper Spray Fails in Dog attack, Man uses Pistol



Kessler was walking with Daisy on North Boulevard about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday when the attack occurred.

Kessler said he was on the sidewalk when the large dog charged.

"Before he got to me I got my pepper spray out and sprayed him but that didn't stop him," he said. "After the pepper spray the dog started attacking mine, I tried kicking it, but it was so aggressive I took out my gun and shot it."

More Here:

Kansas Gun law Reform Pays off; Wichita Gun Auction 2015-2016




Reform of Kansas gun laws are paying off.  In 2014, Kansas passed a law requiring government entities to sell or use firearms that came into their possession rather than to destroy these valuable assets in a modern version of the Medieval Deodand law.

In Deodand law, items were tried and sentences passed.  They were destroyed or forfeited to the Church for Godly purposes.  The legal precedent is continued in modern forfeiture laws.

Kansas stopped that superstitious practice with the reform of the gun law.  From the dailycaller.com:
This bill will prohibit seized firearms not used in the commission of a felony from being destroyed by law enforcement agencies. These firearms, so long as they are in operable condition, would either be sold to a licensed gun dealer (FFL) or donated to hunter education programs. In addition, it would also mandate that if a firearm has been seized by law enforcement and the owner is acquitted of the charges or the charges are dropped, the firearm must be returned to the owner within thirty days.
 The Wichita Police Department was going to sell the accumulated firearms to Budsgunshop.com, one of the biggest gun retailers on the web.   From kansas.com  in February of 2015
More than 200 guns, of various makes and models, will be available on BudsGunShop.com for purchase by licensed firearm dealers, said Elizabeth Harlenske, assistant city attorney. 
But something must have happened to scuttle those plans, because the Wichita Police are now going to auction the guns to one or more dealers.   From kwch.com on December 22, 2015:
Licensed federal firearms dealers get them first and are free to sell the weapons just like any other.

Tuesday the Wichita city council took the first step toward organizing a dealer auction of almost 200 handguns and rifles for the Wichita Police Department. Among those guns are weapons used in crimes from 1997 to 2015.
There hasn't been a date set for the auction.  It will likely be in 2016.  As with many cities, the handguns collected outnumber long guns.   There are about 170 handguns, and 50 long guns to be auctioned .  Here is a sample of the handguns listed.


You can see there are many high quality, expensive pistols listed.   A quick look at the entire list reveals about 50% of them are high quality handguns.

Here are some of the long guns:


A much higher percentage of long guns are excellent, sought after, serviceable firearms.  But even inexpensive single shot shotguns tend to be of good quality, meant to last a few lifetimes if cared for properly.

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article11066141.html#storylink=cpy

It is likely that most of the guns are from old domestic protection order cases.  The law was reformed in 2014 to require police to return guns or other weapons to owners who were not convicted of any crime.  This stops the "legalized theft" of firearms, where departments required individuals to obtain a court order to have their firearms returned.  Often, the cost of the court order was more than the firearm was worth.  Now, as part of Kansas statute 22-2512(d) :
(d) If a weapon is seized from an individual and the individual is not convicted of or adjudicated as a juvenile offender for the violation for which the weapon was seized, then within 30 days after the declination or conclusion of prosecution of the case against the individual, including any period of appeal, the law enforcement agency that seized the weapon shall verify that the weapon is not stolen, and upon such verification shall notify the person from whom it was seized that the weapon may be retrieved. Such notification shall include the location where such weapon may be retrieved.
 This reform will reduce the number of firearms available for auction in the future.  Looking over the list of firearms to be auctioned, I saw a number that were listed as "returned to owner".


This  reform will help to restore respect for the law.  Having your property taken at gun point, then finding that you will be required to spend more than the property is worth to recover it, when you are found not guilty, does substantial harm to the idea of the rule of law.  Any belief that the criminal justice system can be relied on to use a little common sense is destroyed. 

Without belief in the rule of law, civilized society falls apart, exactly as we have seen in many urban centers.

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


Friday, December 25, 2015

SC: Armed Victim Holds Theif for Police



SUMMERVILLE, SC -

Investigators say a 38-year-old man's attempt to steal Christmas packages from a house in Cane Bay was thwarted by the homeowner who held the would-be thief at gunpoint.

The 28-year-old victim, who does not want to be identified, held the alleged thief, 38-year-old William Singleton, at gun point until Berkeley County deputies arrived at the scene.

More Here

More on FL: Restaurant Employee Shoots Robbery Suspect



According to Rues, the suspect entered the eatery wearing a ski mask and gloves. The employee fired several shots, killing the suspect, Rues said.

At least one customer and other employees were in the restaurant at the time but no other injuries were reported.

"There were words that were spoken and at present time we are taking a statement from the employee that fired his weapon and bystanders that were at the restaurant as well," Rues said.

More Here

Followup FL: Shooting of Fiancee Ruled Accidental

Tragic.  While rare, these tragic situations occasionally happen.

Her finance, Philip Nisa, Jr., 52, was at the scene when deputies arrived. The sheriff’s office said Nisa cooperated with deputies and detectives. They say Nisa told them he accidentally fired his gun at Glenda after mistaking her for an intruder.

"After a thorough investigation by our Criminal Investigations Division, with input from the 19th Judicial Circuit State's Attorney, it is concluded that the shooting on November 19th was a tragic accident," Sheriff Mascara said. "The Gregory and Nisa families were more than helpful and cooperative during our investigation and we continue to offer them our sincere condolences during this difficult time."


More Here

More on NV: Man attempting to Break in Shot, Killed


LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) - It was just before 5:00 a.m. Wednesday morning. A couple was woken up to violent sounds.

"A female caller reporting somebody was trying to break into their apartment," said Lieutenant Dan McGrath with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. "The suspect was kicking and banging on the door."

According to McGrath with Metro homicide, the homeowner verbally warned the intruder he was armed.
More Here

More on IN: Craiglist Robbers Shot


A northern Indiana man was killed and his girlfriend shot after trying to rob two Illinois men looking to buy a vehicle from a Craigslist ad, police said.

Brandon Johnson, 22, was shot several times about a block from his home in Gary, Indiana, after he pulled a gun on the would-be buyers and tried to rob them, officials said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
More Here

FL: Robbery Suspect loses Gunfight with Restaurant Employee


MIRAMAR, Fla. - A person intent on robbing a Miramar restaurant was shot and killed during an exchange of gunfire with a restaurant employee, police said.

The attempted armed robbery happened at Captain Max Seafood Restaurant in Miramar.
More Here

NV: Homeowner Shoots 2 Juvenile Burglary Suspects


A homeowner shot two juveniles, one fatally, who police said were burglarizing a central valley home Wednesday morning.

Las Vegas police were originally dispatched at 11:16 a.m. to the 1400 block of Daybreak Road, near Torrey Pines and Vegas drives, to look into a call about a burglary. Department spokesman Jesse Roybal said one person died at the scene and another was in critical condition, and both are suspects in the burglary.

More Here

Free Shotgun with Jewelry Purchase in Florida Store


There have been a number of promotions over the years where shotguns have been given away with the purchase of a car or truck.  This Florida stores, which combines jewelry and guns, are offering a free shotgun with the purchase of select Jewelry.  And the jewelry is not as expensive as a car.

In Deland, Florida, the Downtown Goldsmith & Engraving and 2nd Amendment  Firearms are two stores with the same ownership and are under the same roof.  They are owned by a husband and wife team who started the business three years ago.  They have been offering the promotion for all three years.  From wtsp.com:
Czerok says she hasn't gotten any negative response, adding that background checks are made for every gun that goes out the door.
"We are doing everything you legally have to do to purchase a firearm.  So, these are not just going on the street to anybody," Czerok said.
The store owners say they may need to order more shotguns before the promotion ends.
The shotgun offered is a Stevens shotgun model 350 Security Pump.  Here is a description from Cabela's:

Savage® Arms/Stevens 350 Security Pump-Action Shotgun

    • 18.5'' carbon-steel barrel with matte-black finish
    • Black synthetic stock
    • Ghost-ring sights for rapid target acquisition
    • Bottom-eject design
The Savage Arms/Stevens 350 Security Pump-Action Shotgun is loaded with tactical features, making it a must-have for home defense. Its 18.5” carbon-steel barrel with matte-black finish ensures lasting durability, while the black synthetic stock offers a secure, comfortable hold. Equipped with ghost-ring sights for rapid target acquisition. Tube magazine with five-round capacity. Right-hand design with bottom eject. Also features cylinder choke and sling swivels.
 The jewelry end of this purchase offer is not as expensive as a car.  From insider.foxnews.com:
The free shotgun is worth about $270. The eligible jewelry - including pearls, diamonds and gemstones - range from $450 to $4,000.

"This kind of gives the guy an incentive to purchase a piece of jewelry for his wife, or vice versa. We’ve sold a couple of gentlemen’s ring and the wives got the shotgun," owner Jesse Czerok said.
Second Amendment Supporters are winning the culture war when offers such as this become mainstream stories across the country.  The story has been featured in The New York Daily News, Fox and Friends, and numerous other media outlets.  Firearms sales have been setting records for the last eight years.  2015 will be another record year, almost certainly eclipsing 2013, when over 16 million firearms were added to the existing private stock in the United States.  In 2013, the National Instant Check System (NICS) processed over 21 million checks, some of which were for concealed carry permits.  Some checks can also be for the purchase of multiple firearms. 

The NICS system had processed nearly 20 million checks by the end of November.  Less than 2 million checks are required to break the existing yearly record.  It is likely that the number of checks done in December of this year have already surpassed that number.
Downtown Goldsmith & Engraving in Deland, Florida, will be offering the same deal on Valentine's day.

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

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Virginia Shoots Itself in the Foot



Virginia currently has concealed carry reciprocity agreements with 30 states, but beginning Feb. 1, 2016, only five of those agreements will be honored. A new crackdown was announced by Attorney General Mark R. Herring, who, in the words of The Washington Post, claimed “severing the out-of-state agreements can prevent people who may be dangerous or irresponsible from carrying a concealed handgun.” Only five states deemed by the attorney general not to have substandard firearm regulations made the cut — West Virginia, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah. However, “The move also means several states will no longer recognize Virginia’s concealed carry permits because they require mutual recognition of permits. Those include Florida, Louisiana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Wyoming.”

If the stench you smell reeks of Barack Obama-style unilateral circumvention, that’s because it is. The Post notes, “The move is part of a broader effort by gun control advocates to tighten restrictions without going through GOP-controlled legislatures.” In essence: When you can’t win through the electorate, what’s a little diktat by fiat? Virginia House Speaker William J. Howell observed, “Unfortunately, I have little doubt as to his true motivations. Mark Herring consistently seeks to interpret and apply the law of the commonwealth through the lens of his own personal, political opinions. He is damaging the integrity of the office he holds.” We’ve seen plenty of that from Gov. Terry McAuliffe. And as the saying goes, birds of a feather…

In the end, however, Herring’s ill-advised decision is going to hurt Virginians more than it hurts visitors. Once states begin voiding their reciprocity agreements with Virginia (it’s called reciprocity for a reason), the only thing the AG will be saying is: I’ve made a huge mistake. As for what to do about it, University of Tennessee professor Glenn Reynolds suggests, “This is why we need national carry legislation.”


http://patriotpost.us/posts/39649

SAF will Appeal Seattle Court Ruling on Gun Tax



BELLEVUE, Wash., Dec. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Second Amendment Foundation promised an immediate appeal in its challenge to the City of Seattle's special tax on firearms and ammunition sales following a judge's ruling that the tax is legal, despite what appears to be a clear conflict with Washington's 32-year-old preemption statute.

SAF was joined in the lawsuit by the National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, two local gun stores and two private citizens. They are fighting the city's so-called "gun violence tax" of $25 per firearm and five cents per cartridge, which their attorneys contend is a violation of state law that puts sole authority over firearm regulation in the hands of the State Legislature.

"We are disappointed and strongly disagree with Judge Palmer Robinson's ruling, and we are confident that the State Court of Appeals will ultimately concur with our position," said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. "SAF and NRA are very familiar with the state preemption statute because we teamed up once before against Seattle and beat the city soundly four years ago.

SAF and its partners filed suit this past summer after the city hastily adopted the gun tax. Under specific language in the state's preemption statute, all firearms regulation – including "registration, licensing, possession, purchase, sale, acquisition, transfer, discharge, and transportation of firearms, or any other element relating to firearms or parts thereof, including ammunition and reloader components" – falls entirely under the legislature's authority. "Local laws and ordinances that are inconsistent with, more restrictive than, or exceed the requirements of state law shall not be enacted and are preempted and repealed, regardless of the nature of the code, charter, or home rule status of such city, town, county, or municipality," the statute says.

"This tax is a violation not only of state preemption but also the state tax laws," he added. "It is unconscionable for Mayor Ed Murray and the City Council to codify what amounts to social bigotry against firearms retailers and their customers, and we are going to fight this vigorously in defense of a state preemption law that has served Washington citizens well for more than three decades."

The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation's oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

Source

PA: Luzerne Co. Gun Auction to be Held in early 2016


The Luzern County, Pennsylvania Sheriff's Department has decided to auction off about 175 firearms, some air guns, knives and other items.  The items have been collected under a number of different administrations over 17 years, from 1993 to 2010.  Most of the items are from Prevention From Abuse (PFA) orders, temporary and permanent.  The Sheriffs office published (on their website, in a pdf file) a list of 154 cases that had expired, and told people who wanted their property returned to inform them (on the Sheriff's Department web site).  That was done on 5 November of last year.   From the website(pdf):
Please be advised, a hearing has been scheduled for the following cases on November 5, 2014 at 10:00 A.M. at the Luzerne County Courthouse, 200 N. River Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711 on a Petition to Dispose of Stored Weapons. These weapons were confiscated and stored pursuant to the following legal proceedings and the enforcement of the Pennsylvania Domestic Relations Code. At this time, despite the expiration of the court orders in the referenced cases, the weapons remain in the possession of the Luzerne County Sheriff. The defendants in the referenced cases are advised to appear at the hearing with identification and proof of ownership in order to seek return of the weapon(s). Further, you may appear any time prior to the hearing at the Luzerne County Sheriff to provide identification and certification of ownership of the weapons to seek return of the weapons. If you do not appear, the hearing will proceed based upon the evidence presented to the Court at that time and your weapon(s) shall be forfeited.
I contacted the Sheriff’s office by email, and phone, but was unable to obtain specifics on what notification of individual parties might have occurred or been attempted. 

Asking for a court to direct return of property is much more burdensome than merely picking it up.  It appears that all of the property has been in the possession of the Sheriff's Office for at least three years.  For perspective, 154 cases over 17 years is 9 cases per year.  The court hearing on 5 November, 2014 was required before the items could be sold, but I do not know if any attempt was made to contact individual owners.    From the timesleader.com:

If the restraining order is withdrawn, declined or expired, the defendant can petition the court to retrieve the weapons.

Weapons are considered abandoned if they have gone unclaimed for three years after a PFA lapses, though the county still needed clearance from a judge before it could sell or destroy them. 

A court hearing on the county’s request to sell the weapons was held in November 2014, and only six citizens claimed their weapons.
One comment at the article said that the commenter had not seen any announcement in the paper.
 I don't ever remember the information listed about claiming your firearm in the paper.
 
The Sheriff was concerned about liability.  This seems a bit overblown, considering that the items can easily be transferred through a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder.  The Sheriff made this determination, and changed his mind.
The sale, which has been in the works for more than a year, will generate revenue for the cash-strapped county, free up storage space and reduce liability, said county Sheriff Brian Szumski.

Szumski initially opposed the sale of weapons, worrying the county could be sued if a weapon was auctioned and then involved in a crime.
The same safeguards could be had by requiring that individual bidders have their purchases transferred through an FFL.  This would have resulted in more money (and a bit more work) for the Sheriff's Department.   Some departments have followed this model.

While the public will not be allowed to bid on the lot, they will be allowed to view the items, in a severely restricted way, for 1/2 hour on January 9th.  Prospective buyers with an FFL will also be able to view the items, but for a longer period.  I am not sure why the Sheriff's office allowed for this viewing by the public.  I suspect some legal advice.  I would love for a citizen reporter to obtain the permission to view the firearms and take pictures for the rest of us who are not so fortunate as to be in the vicinity.  I do not know if the Sheriff will allow photography.

Touching the firearms will not be allowed by the public.

125 rifles and shotguns, 50 handguns, 20 air guns, 15 bows and 120 knives and other items could be work viewing.  If you manage to go; try to take pictures.  If you are not allowed to take pictures, please send us a report of what you saw.


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

What is the Islamic State and its Intentions?

A good article about ISIS and its theology, even if I disagree with its conclusions.

What is the Islamic State? Where did it come from, and what are its intentions? The simplicity of these questions can be deceiving, and few Western leaders seem to know the answers. In December, The New York Times published confidential comments by Major General Michael K. Nagata, the Special Operations commander for the United States in the Middle East, admitting that he had hardly begun figuring out the Islamic State’s appeal. “We have not defeated the idea,” he said. “We do not even understand the idea.” In the past year, President Obama has referred to the Islamic State, variously, as “not Islamic” and as al-Qaeda’s “jayvee team,” statements that reflected confusion about the group, and may have contributed to significant strategic errors.

The group seized Mosul, Iraq, last June, and already rules an area larger than the United Kingdom. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been its leader since May 2010, but until last summer, his most recent known appearance on film was a grainy mug shot from a stay in U.S. captivity at Camp Bucca during the occupation of Iraq. Then, on July 5 of last year, he stepped into the pulpit of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, to deliver a Ramadan sermon as the first caliph in generations—upgrading his resolution from grainy to high-definition, and his position from hunted guerrilla to commander of all Muslims. The inflow of jihadists that followed, from around the world, was unprecedented in its pace and volume, and is continuing.

Our ignorance of the Islamic State is in some ways understandable: It is a hermit kingdom; few have gone there and returned. Baghdadi has spoken on camera only once. But his address, and the Islamic State’s countless other propaganda videos and encyclicals, are online, and the caliphate’s supporters have toiled mightily to make their project knowable. We can gather that their state rejects peace as a matter of principle; that it hungers for genocide; that its religious views make it constitutionally incapable of certain types of change, even if that change might ensure its survival; and that it considers itself a harbinger of—and headline player in—the imminent end of the world.

 More Here

Location of Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal



Because we deal with federal court decisions with some regularity, I am posting this map of the areas under jurisdiction of the eleven federal district courts of Appeal.

Many have suggested that the 9th Circuit needs to be split.  It is by far the largest circuit, and the most reversed.

Dean Weingarten

TX: Woman using Gun, Stops Attack after Calling 911

On Saturday morning, Amarillo Police responded to a domestic disturbance on the 300 block of Fairlane. 
 
The victim told dispatch that the male was assaulting her but that she did have a weapon and would protect herself is she had too. A few moments later she told call takers that she had indeed shot the male subject.
 
Upon arrival, officers entered the residence and located a male subject with a gunshot wound to the leg.

More Here

GA: Woman Stops 4 a.m. Attack by Shooting Intruder



Heath-Heard, 56, and Franklin Thomas, 65, were asleep in the residence when shortly before 4 a.m. an unidentified 24-year-old man broke in and attacked Thomas.


According to police, when Thomas called for help, Heath-Heard responded with a gun and shot the attacker in his right leg, after which she called 911 emergency while Thomas held the intruder for police.
More Here

Followup WI: No Charges for Man who protected Parents Against Brother at Restaurant


Police say 42-year-old Rodney Jones was shot and killed by his 36-year-old brother, who's the restaurant manager, around 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 12 at Bungalow Restaurant after a confrontation between the two men turned physical.

Another restaurant employee told police that the 36-year-old man was trying to protect his parents during the incident.
More Here

Clayton Cramer: Why FBI's Justifiable Homicide Numbers are Deceptive

I may have had a small part in pointing Clayton toward this conclusion.   The FBI numbers are unlikely to be more than 1/5 of justified homicides in the United Sates.

Abstract: As part of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports system, the FBI gathers and reports both civilian and police officer justifiable homicide statistics. The methods by which these numbers are gathered make them gross undercounts of the actual legal, defensive homicides by citizens. Furthermore, comparing the civilian justifiable homicide numbers to criminal homicides for public policy cost/benefit analysis understates the crime reducing effects of civilian gun ownership.

More Here(pdf)


GA: Sister Shoots Brother to Save Father



Police say Jackie Saunders entered the residence and began physically assaulting his father, Jack Saunders.

According to witness statements, after being told numerous times to stop by the mother and daughter, the daughter, Cynthia Saunders, retrieved a weapon from within the residence and shot her brother Jackie Saunders.
More Here

MI: Customer Kills Robbery Suspect who told him to Empty his Pockets

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Detroit police are investigating after a gas station customer shot and killed an attempted robber on Detroit's west side early this morning.


More Here

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A hero


Armed father saves his son from killer doctors:  "A father took a gun into hospital to stop doctors taking his son off life support - and during the three-hour stand-off the young man squeezed his hand.  The sign that he wasn't brain dead meant he was kept alive - and he is now recovering and doing well. His father, 59-year-old George Pickering II, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after marching into Tomball Regional Medical Center in Texas with a gun. His 27-year-old son, George III, had been declared brain dead after suffering a massive stroke in January. After doctors declared there was no more hope for him, they ordered a 'terminal wean' - whereby life support is slowly withdrawn to end a life.  But Pickering Sr told KPRC: 'They were moving too fast. The hospital, the nurses, the doctors. I knew if I had three or four hours that night that I would know whether George was brain-dead.' During the standoff, Pickering's faith that his son had been misdiagnosed never wavered and after he finally got the response he wanted from his boy, he surrendered peacefully to authorities."