Monday, February 29, 2016

TX: Charges Dropped in Lubbock Homicide Case

Self Defense plea would likely prevail.

(LUBBOCK, TX) - Charges against a juvenile murder suspect in Lubbock were dropped Thursday according to an official with the 364th State District Court.

The suspect was never publicly named because she was a juvenile at the time of the incident.

Alize Henderson, 17, died after a stabbing in the 2600 block of East Auburn Street.

More Here

CA: San Francisco Police Chief Offers to Have his Officers Test "Smart Guns"

I suspect that the Chief's officers are less than thrilled.

San Francisco police are welcoming the chance to become the country’s biggest smart gun proving site as police chief Greg Suhr offered to equip the department’s tech heads with the weapons in a speech this week.

“Officer safety is huge, so you wouldn’t want to compel that upon officers,” Suhr told audiences at a smart gun symposium in San Francisco. “But we have so many officers who are so into technology, I am all but certain there are officers that would be willing to do such a pilot.”

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MO: Domestic Defense?

The Poplar Bluff Police Department is investigating after a man was killed during a fight involving guns.
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TN: Liston Matthews: Is Knoxville's shooting range prohibition unconstitutional?

The City of Chicago has spent many thousands of dollars, including the payment of plaintiff's attorney fees, of their taxpayers' money fighting against the right to keep and bear arms. First there was the McDonald case, in which the Supreme Court affirmed that the right to keep and bear arms applies, not only to Federal enclaves, but to the States and their subdivisions.

Then, they spent more Windy City money (not to worry, it's just the taxpayer's money) litigating the Ezell case. In that case, the city decided that in order to purchase a handgun, a person must have firearms training, yet they banned all commercial ranges within the city.

Why does this matter in Knoxville? It has recently come to my attention that the City of Knoxville bans commercial indoor shooting ranges:

Sec. 19-109 (c). Commercial indoor shooting ranges. Because of the ultra-hazardous nature of the operation of a commercial indoor shooting range, and because of the potential threat to the safety of the citizens of the city from the operation of such activity, it is hereby declared to be an unlawful purpose to operate an indoor commercial shooting range within the city limits.
Will that ban pass constitutional muster?

More Here 

WV: Constitutional Carry on Governor Tomblin's Desk

The West Virginia Constitutional carry bill, HB 4145, has passed both the House and the Senate by wide, veto proof margins.  The House, 68-31, the Senate, 24-9.   The bill went to Governor Tomblin on the 26th of February.  According to West Virginia law, Governor Tomblin has five days to sign or veto the bill. 

Last year, 2015, he did not receive the Constitutional carry bill until the last day of the session.  He was able to veto Constitutional carry after the legislature had adjourned, ensuring that his veto would not be overridden. 

This year, 2016, Constitutional carry was passed with enough time for a veto override if necessary.  If Governor Tomblin signs the bill, it becomes law; if he does nothing, it becomes law after five days.  If he vetoes the bill within the five day period, the West Virginia legislature can override his veto with simple majorities in both houses.  From
Action by the Governor 
After a bill passes both chambers in the same form, it is sent to the governor. While the Legislature is in session, the governor has five days to approve or veto a bill he or she receives. After the Legislature adjourns, the governor has 15 days to act on most bills. However, the budget bill and supplemental appropriations bills must be acted upon by the governor within five days regardless of when they are received. If the governor does not act within these time limits, bills automatically become law without his or her signature.

Overriding a Veto

 If the Legislature is still in session when the governor vetoes a bill, a simple majority vote of the members of both legislative bodies is necessary to override the veto. In cases when a budget bill or supplemental appropriation bill is vetoed, a two-thirds vote of the members of both houses is needed to override the veto.
 By my count the bill was sent to Governor Tomblin on  the 26th of February; If he does not sign or veto it, I expect it to become law on 3 March, 2016.  The West Virginia Legislature is scheduled to stay in session until 12 March, 2016.

We should know if Governor Tomblin has vetoed HB 4145 by the third of March; the legislature will have to act promptly if they are to override a veto.  They only have until the 12th of March, about six ordinary working days.

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

Link to Gun Watch

OR: Dog Shot After Attacking Boys

The dogs had been running in the street, chasing a car, when they spotted the boys and went after them.

Billy says his grandfather was standing in the doorway and picked him up to safety when he ran in. The dogs, however, were still running around until someone else, possibly another neighbor, shot one of them.
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FL: Clerk Uses Gun to Beat Knife

 From January 11th, 2016:

About 3:13 p.m., the 38-year-old clerk at the Hope Food Store, 4002 N. 22nd St., called 911 to report he was being robbed, according to Tampa police. The clerk said a man armed with a knife -- identified as Anthone Bryant, 22 -- entered the store and demanded money. The clerk then warned the suspect, who continued to come at him, and the clerk then shot the suspect.

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FL: More on Liquor Store Gunfight

Police said they pointed guns at the clerk, identified as 57-year-old Willie Morris, and demanded money.

Morris pulled out a gun and at least one of the suspects fired at him, police said.

Morris fired back and struck one of the suspects, 20-year-old Cody Bolesta.

Bolesta was pronounced dead at the scene.

The second suspect fled the scene.

More Here

Saturday, February 27, 2016

OK: Invader Holds Couple at Gunpoint; Male Victim Accesses Handgun, Shoots, Kills, Intruder

Another crime spree stopped.

Walker said a man had knocked on the front door and asked to use the phone. He used a handgun to hold and the man and woman in the home at bay and started gathering items to steal.

The man who lives there got his own handgun, Walker said, and shot the suspect. He says the intruder then stumbled out of the home and collapsed at the corner of Queen and Cheyenne. Police said that's where they found his body.

More Here

TX: Homeowner Fires Shotgun to Stop Burglary, Wounds Suspect

When HPD arrived at the scene they found a male with a gunshot wound to the torso. He had a pillow, blanket and a black bag with unknown items.

Apparently, he was shot while breaking into a home. The homeowner and his wife were inside at the time.

When the husband heard the burglar breaking in, he grabbed a shotgun and shot the man, who then fled from the home.

More Here

NV: Property Manager Shoots, Kills Burglary Suspect

The man died at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center after being shot just before 3 p.m. Police said the preliminary investigation showed the man was a suspected burglar, and was shot by a property manager after being discovered inside a home.

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FL: Four Carjack Suspects Approach Vehicle; Armed Victim Takes Action, 13-Year-Old Suspect Shot

When a group of four would-be carjackers approached a vehicle in North Miami Beach, Fla., recently, a legally armed passenger reportedly took action before the planned crime could take place.

Police reports indicate a female driver warned the passenger that at least one of the suspects was armed. It was at this point, authorities say, that the victim fired two shots, seriously injuring a 13-year-old suspect.
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MA: Legally Armed Man Protects, Son, Poodle, Shoots Pit Bull

No charges are expected from Haverhill Police after the owner of a miniature poodle Sunday evening shot and wounded a pit bull attacking his pet when the pit bull’s owner could not control his dog.

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MI: Legallly Armed Man Shoots Aggressive Dog

JACKSON, MI – A pit bull is dead while the owner may face a misdemeanor charge after two dogs wandered up to a neighbor's home and attacked a woman early Tuesday morning in Jackson.

At around 6:45 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, an officer with the Jackson Police Department responded to the 700 block of Third Street in order to investigate a report of a vicious dog that had been shot by a neighbor, Jackson Police Lt. Christopher Simpson said.
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IN: Car Owner Shoots at Stolen Car and Thief

Smith said she was out talking to neighbors when she saw her car drive past. She started chasing it, and in doing so, fired several shots near Sample and Fellows.

The car eventually crashed, and the driver fled on foot.
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TX: Resident Accidently Shoots Roomate During Home Invasion

HOUSTON – Police say a resident accidentally shot his roommate during a home invasion at an apartment building near downtown early Thursday.

According to the Houston Police Department, it happened just before 5 a.m. Thursday at the Home Wood Apartment Homes, located in the 2500 block of Webster near St. Charles.

At that time, two unknown males kicked in the door to an apartment unit and entered the unit. There were two males asleep inside the apartment were woken up by the intrusion.

One of the two residents grabbed his shot gun and went to the living room, at the same time his roommate was heading to the living room from his bedroom.

More Here

KS: Mass Killing at Excel Plant in Kansas was in a Gun Free Zone

The mass killing in Kansas happened at the Excel Industries plant in Heston.  The plant is a "gun free zone".  From the
Excel Industries is apparently a gun-free zone.

“We got signs saying ‘no guns,’ but this guy’s got an AK and began spraying,” Mr. Pierce said.
From pictures posted on Facebook, it appears that the shooter had access to a Glock pistol and an AK clone of some kind.  Because the shooter had an extensive criminal record, the guns were almost certainly possessed illegally.  It says something about the enforcement of illegal possession laws that the shooter, a convicted felon, barred from the possession of firearms, was able to post pictures of himself in illegal possession on social media, without anything being done.

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

Friday, February 26, 2016

TN: Handgun Carry Permit Fees may be Reduced

The Tennessee legislature is in the process of reduceing the administrative fees required to obtain a Tennessee handgun carry permit.  The current fees are $115.  It was discovered that only $77 was required to process the permit. 

On Tuesday, February 23, an "administration" bill was presented in the Senate Judiciary Committee that has the effect of cutting the existing handgun permit fees charged to Tennesseans by more than half over time. That bill, which is referenced as Senate Bill 2566, was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee members on a 9-0 vote with no significant debate.

John Harris, Executive Director of the Tennessee Firearms Association, stated, "The current permit costs $115 and is good for four years. This bill reduces the state fee to $100 and extends the permit to an eight year permit."
 From on HB2575/SB2566:
Handgun Permits - As introduced, makes various changes to handgun carry permits, including extending permit renewals to occur every eight years and lowering the initial application fee from $115 to $100. - Amends TCA Section 39-17-1351.
 A companion bill in the House, HB 2575, has already cleared several committees.  The Senate and House versions will be hear in the Finance, Ways and Means Committee of the Senate on 1 March and the House on 2 March.

 There is a reform trend among the states to reduce the fees for carry permits.  In Wisconsin, the fee was reduced from $50 to $40.  Wisconsin does not require a photograph or fingerprints; items which add little but expense to the process.

Opponents of high fees contend that they are an especial burden on the poor, and that they chill the exercise of a fundamental Constitutional right.

In some states, such as South Dakota, the fees are as low as $10.  South Dakota does not require a photograph or fingerprinting.  An electronic background check is deemed sufficient.

The Crime Prevention Research Center(pdf) has found that a $10 increase in permit fees decreases the number of permit holders by about one half of a percent of the adult population:
Each $10 increase in fees reduces the percent of adults with permits by about a half a percentage point.                           
South Dakota and Tennessee are both in the group of states that have legislation pending to remove the requirement for a permit to carry.  The removal of the requirement is said to be "Constitutional carry" because no permits were required to carry arms, openly or concealed, when the Second Amendment was ratified as part of the Bill of Rights, in 1791.

Idaho and West Virginia seem the most likely States to reform their laws to Constitutional carry in 2016.  Seven states have already instituted the reform; Vermont has never restricted it with a permit requirement.

If the Tennessee legislature passes a Constitutional Carry bill, Governor Bill Haslam has promised to sign it.

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

Gun Control and Indian Arms Act 1877 During the Days of the Raj

Notice the similarity to the arms act in 1920.  No right to have a gun.  Instead, the applicant must plead to the government for a gun permit.  We call that "prior restraint" in the United States.

The arms act of 1877 was the first gun control law in India. On the face it looked reasonable, but in practice getting an arms license was a tedious process for an Indian. This law made it mandatory for any Indian wishing to own a gun to obtain a license for it. An unlicensed gun was punishable with a fine and imprisonment up to 3 years. Thus in one blow the British restricted the ownership of guns during the days of the Raj.
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Trophy Lion Hunting Vindicated. 200 Lions to be Wasted

When the witch hunt for Walter Palmer began on social media, following the killing of an old, collared lion tagged "Cecil" by humans, many warned that the emotional outburst would result in further loses of lions and lion habitat. This is because trophy hunting is what provides the mechanism to conserve lions in the wild.  This is especially true in Africa, where locals view lions as a pest, and only tolerate them if they bring in desperately needed dollars, marks, or euros.  Trophy hunting makes lions valuable.  Social Justice Warriors (SJW) who work to destroy trophy hunting out of ignorance and misplaced anthropomorphism, accomplish exactly the opposite.  The predictions of those who sought to bring reason and facts to counter the demonization of Dr. Palmer, are being vindicated, as was Dr. PalmerFrom the
BUBYE VALLEY CONSERVANCY, Zimbabwe — It is the country where Cecil the lion was killed, sparking international anger against the American dentist who harvested the lion with bow and arrow.

The outcry over Walter Palmer’s killing of Cecil drove other big-game hunters away from Zimbabwe, fearful they too would attract the ire of the public.

But in what is being described as a side effect of the affair, Zimbabwe’s largest wildlife area says it now finds itself suffering from an overpopulation of lions.

Bubye Valley Conservancy has more than 500 lions, the largest number in Zimbabwe’s diminishing wildlife areas.

It has warned that its lion population has become unsustainable and that it may even have to cull around 200 as a result of what is being called “the Cecil effect.”
 Lions, aside from men, are at the top of the African food chain.  It takes a lot of range, dozens of antelope and other animals every year to support one lion.  It can only be done if there is a reason to support the enormous open spaces required.  Trophy hunting is the mechanism to that allows this.  All animals die, but trophy hunting allows for a quick, clean death compared to what most animals suffer in the wild.  Trophy lion hunters kill lions far more humanely than lions kill their prey. It is a good trade-off to be able to preserve the wild country that would otherwise be overrun by grazing or farming.

Some SJWs will say that we need to set aside more land for lions.  Here is their chance to do so.  It will only take a couple of billion dollars to purchase enough land to sustain 200 lions in the wild.  If each SJW chips in a few dollars or Euros, the sum should be raised in a few days.  Let the SJWs put their money where their ideology is.  Trophy hunters do.  Trophy hunters are why some African lion populations are hanging on.  Just remember, lions multiply, so next year, the SJWs will have to come up with another few billion.  The trophy hunters do not need to do that.  Practising their ideology keeps the lion population in check.

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

Video of WA Convenience Store Gunfight

On Thursday, 18 February, 2016, a robber and store clerk Seul Lim exchanged shots in Lim's Pacific Quickmart.  The robber is believed to be Tyrone Prophet, Jr.  Prophet is 23, Lim is 30.  Police believe that Prophet may have been involved in a string of armed robberies in the area, one of which involved a shooting of another clerk.

In the shootout, one shot was fired by each of the two participants.  Lim missed and Prophet's shot hit Lim in the abdomen. From the brief view of the pistol that Lim used, it appears to be a Glock or glock-like.  A .380 pistol was recovered when Prophet, the robbery suspect, was arrested.  It is likely that the shot by Prophet did not puncture the abdominal wall, as Lim was treated and released from the hospital the same day.  From
Clerk Seul Lim, 30, and the accused gunman Tyrone Prophet Jr., 23, each got off one shot, authorities told Q13 Fox. His bullet struck Lim in the abdomen. Hers just missed his head.

Prophet is accused of being the masked gunman who walked into Lim’s Pacific Quickmart in Spanaway Thursday afternoon.

In the video, which is just more than 1 minute, a masked gunman demands money from Lim. She surrenders cash from the till and then pulls out of gun hidden near the register when the robber's head is turned.
 Link to Video of exchange of shots

There are several lessons to be learned from this shooting.  Notice that the robber has a very difficult time watching all his surroundings.  He is constantly turning and looking, attempting to cover all possible security threats.  This leaves him open to the defensive fire of Lim.  It appears that the robber racks the slide as he comes in the door, indicating some lack of preparation on the robber's part.

The results are illuminating.  Both participants fired one shot.  Even though the robber appeared to be unskilled, he still hit Lim.   Fortunately, the wound does not appear to be life threatening.  Lim's shot is said to have missed the robbers head.  Cover is always worthwhile.  Lim suffered from significant exposure to the robbers fire.  Perhaps a discreet barrier to pistol fire could  be installed in the counter front.  A quarter inch steel plate would stop nearly all pistol and shotgun rounds.  Vests that are resistant to most pistol and shotgun rounds can be had for a few hundred dollars.  They are mildly uncomfortable to wear.  Defensive barriers should be considered as well as defensive arms.

Gunfights are unpredictable things, best avoided if possible.  Even an unskilled robber can wound or kill you. In this case, it was known that recent robberies in the area had resulted in an unprovoked shooting.  Seul Lim made a judgement call.  She showed good tactical sense in waiting for the robber to be distracted. While Lim was wounded, her actions also lead to the arrest.  The robber left his mask at the scene, and did not take any money. 

It is wrong to expect victims to win every situation.  They do not have to.  Robbers who attack armed victims face bad odds.  They have to win every time to survive for very long.  This may be one of the reasons that violent crime has dropped precipitously while concealed carry permit numbers have risen explosively.  Violent criminals make up a tiny segment of society.  Remove them from society, and crime rates fall.

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

WV: Constitutional Carry Passes Senate with Veto Proof Margins

The West Virginia Senate passed an amended HB 4145 on Monday, 22 February, 2016.  The bill is also called constitutional carry or permitless carry.  The bill passed with an overwhelming, veto proof margin of 24 to 9. 
People 21 years and older would be allowed to carry concealed guns in West Virginia without permits or training under a bill that passed the Senate on Monday.

Senators voted 24-9 to approve the measure Monday. The bill requires at least one additional House vote before the Republican-led Legislature sends it to Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, who vetoed a similar proposal last year over safety concerns from law enforcement. All local senators voted for the bill.
Because the Senate amended the bill, it will have to return to the House for concurrence.  The amendments in the Senate appear to be mostly in technical without changing the basic thrust of the bill. For example, a provision in the House version provided for a mandatory prison term of 10 years for "use or display" of a firearms during any felony.  The Senate changed that to 5 years, and added in an exemption for people who acted in self defense in good faith.
Bill text from WV legislative site
1 (a) Except to the extent that a greater minimum sentence is otherwise provided by any
2 other provision of law, any person who uses or displays a firearm during the planning or
3 commission of any felony shall, in addition to the punishment provided for such felony, be
4 sentenced to an additional term of imprisonment in a state correctional facility of five years, which
5 sentence may not be reduced or suspended.
HB 4145 also contains a mechanism for people 18-20 to obtain a provisional permit to carry.  The permitless or Constitutional carry provisions apply to people 21 or over.

The bill is moving rapidly.  It passed the West Virginia House on February 8th, 68-31. From
Today, House Bill 4145, NRA-endorsed legislation that would allow an individual to lawfully carry a concealed handgun without a permit, passed the House of Delegates with a bipartisan 68-31 vote.
 Last year, in 2015, the bill passed with large margins in both the House and the Senate, and was sent to Governor Tomblin.  The bill was sent to the Governor on the last day of the legislative session, allowing the Governor to veto it with almost no chance of the legislature overriding the veto.  This year the bill has been expedited in an attempt to get it to the Governor with enough time to override a veto, if necessary.  In West Virginia, an veto override can be done with a simple majority, unless it is a budget bill.

Six states have restored constitutional carry to various degrees.  They are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Maine and Wyoming.  Vermont has had constitutional carry for its entire history, so it did not need to restore it. 

In addition to West Virginia, legislation is also being considered in Indiana, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.  Mississippi enacted a law last year that is very close to Constitutional carry.  Constitutional carry is the law in 99% of Montana and Idaho.

15 years ago, Constitutional carry was a dream for most Second Amendment supporters.  Many derided it as unobtainable.  It has been restored in 6 states, and is being debated in 15 others, some of which have passed bills with veto proof majorities in previous years.

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

Followup MT: Homicide Charges dropped Against Stiffler in Johnson Shooting


Charges in the case of James Stiffler, accused of fatally shooting a home intruder, have been dropped.

In a motion filed in District Court on Tuesday, Lewis & Clark County Attorney Leo Gallagher asked that the case against Stiffler be dismissed in the interests of justice.

Stiffler was charged with deliberate homicide for the May 2013 shooting death of Henry Johnson.

More Here

Thursday, February 25, 2016

FL: Man Disarms Robber/Kidnapper, Shoots Kills Him

TOWN ‘N’ COUNTRY, FL (WFLA) – A man shot and killed a suspect who tried to get into an apartment and rob it, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

According to HCSO, a woman was walking her dog Friday evening around 8 o’clock near her apartment on Diordora Way. A black male suspect grabbed her at gunpoint and dragged her into her apartment.
More Here

Followup OK: Names of Dead Home Invasion Suspects Released

Sgt Dave Walker says while both cases are still being investigated, it appears that Coulter and Sanders were both armed with handguns and breaking into homes that they did not live in.

More Here

TX: Showdown looms in Texas over university's reading of campus carry law

University of Texas-Austin President Gregory Fenves declared this week that he'll comply with the law, but claimed a loophole allows him to ban firearms in dormitories.

“I do not believe handguns belong on a university campus, so this decision has been the greatest challenge of my presidency to date,” Fenves wrote in a Feb. 17 letter to students, faculty and staff. “However, as president, I have an obligation to uphold the law.”

“I do not believe handguns belong on a university campus, so this decision has been the greatest challenge of my presidency to date.”

- UT Austin president Gregory Fenves

The law authorizes those with permits “to carry a concealed handgun while on the campus of a public, private, or independent institution of higher education.” But Fenves believes the law allows him to impose a dormitory ban.

That interpretation is not likely to sit well with state Attorney General Ken Paxton, who in December said that a ban on guns in dorms would be flouting the law.
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UK: Tony Martin, the Police, and Gun Charges

Tony Martin became a cause celebre in 1999 when he shot a pair of professional burglars in the middle of the night, at his remote farm in the UK.  The teenage suspect died.  The Shotgun that Martin used was not registered. Martin was prosecuted and convicted of murder.  On appeal the charge was reduced to manslaughter.  He served three years of a five year sentence.  His case sparked a resurgence in the belief of the right to self defense in the UK, and attempts at reform.

Martin had credible death threats made against his life. From :

14 April 2000: Norwich Crown Court hears that Martin is taken to a secret address under police protection after death threats are made against him and reports of a £60,000 price tag on his life emerge.
In 2015, Martin continued to move about frequently, often sleeping at friends houses and at different locations, sometimes in his car on the farm where the original shooting occurred.  On 29 December, 2015 Martin gave an interview to a reporter about a recent shooting homicide in the UK.  From ukshootingnews:
The police operation against Martin is said to have been pre-planned. Norfolk Constabulary refused to deny Starr’s allegations that local constables wanted to teach the old man a lesson.

Martin had been commenting to a local newspaper about a fatal shooting at an Essex care home on 29th December. A resident in her 80s was shot dead, reportedly by a man of about the same age armed with a revolver.

It is thought the farmer said words to the effect of “Do I still have a gun? You’ll have to find out, won’t you.”
The reports it this way:
He allegedly claimed that he too kept at least one weapon. He also referred to the Norfolk Constabulary as “a bunch of halfwits”.
The police staged a raid on Martin's Farm.  Martin may have been sleeping in his car, because the police impounded the vehicle. From the
Police have been accused of pursuing a vendetta against Tony Martin as it emerged they impounded the car the farmer sleeps in after finding a possibly unlicensed air rifle during a raid on his land.

The 71-year-old began the New Year hiding at a secret address after he was released from custody amid fears he was keeping illegally held guns at his farmhouse.

Martin, who spent three years in jail after shooting dead a teenage intruder in 1999, was held while police searched his 300-acre farm in Emneth Hungate, Norfolk.

Officers uncovered an air rifle during the “planned operation” on New Year’s Eve, and are understood to have impounded his car.

The millionaire landowner frequently sleeps in the vehicle – when he is not dossing down at the homes of friends or the adjoining barn at his farm.
On 12 February, 2016, all charges were dropped against Martin.  As a convicted felon, he is not allowed to own an air rifle in the UK.  The "air rifle" found during the raid was not functional.  One wonders what was actually found. From
Farmer Tony Martin who was jailed after shooting and killing a burglar in 1999 will not face any fresh firearms charges.

Norfolk Police said they arrested a 71-year-old on suspicion of firearms offences after searching a property near Wisbech on New Year's Eve.

Officers said the raid on the farmhouse at Emneth Hungate was based on "credible intelligence".


Det Ch Insp Andy Coller said: "Following the arrest a thorough search was conducted and officers seized a firearm, which was believed to be an air weapon.

"However following further enquiries, it was deemed not to be a viable weapon due to its condition."

For U.S. citizens, the Tony Martin case epitomizes the reasons for the Second Amendment, the Castle Doctrine, Stand Your Ground laws, and strong support for the right of self defense in the U.S. legal system.

Three years after the Tony Martin case, in 2002, another UK farmer shot an intruder with a shotgun.  That intruder survived, and the outcome of the trial was far different.  A Jury of his peers found him not guilty, and while the shotgun that he used was not registered, the Judge cleared him of all charges.  From
He gave Mr Hemstock an absolute discharge after the farmer admitted not having a certificate for the shotgun involved, although he legally held five others.

The judge told him: "You have suffered quite enough as a result of what happened on that night. You can go and I am sure we will never see you again."
It is not known if Mr. Hemstock had given any interviews to reporters in 2015.

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

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Minnesota Tops 221,000 Permits to Carry

SAINT PAUL, MINN. – The number of valid Minnesota carry permits is now 221,712, an increase of more than 6,000 in the last month, according to figures released by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

That’s the second-largest increase ever. The largest increase occurred in March 2013, in the wake of calls for increased gun control following the murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

The sharp increase following the San Bernadino, California mass murder — and subsequent calls for more restrictions on firearms — was entirely predictable, according to GOCRA President Andrew Rothman. “Nothing gets people more interested in exercising their rights than the threat of having them taken away,” he said, noting a similar increase after Sandy Hook.

GOCRA’s founder and chairman, Professor Joseph E. Olson, emphasized that although police arrived at the San Bernadino scene in under five minutes, the killers had already taken 14 lives and fled the scene.

“The only solution to a mass murder incident is instant counterfire,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who is shooting back: police, security, or an ordinary citizen.  All that matters is that someone is.  As history shows, after the first armed resistance, the murderer will almost always either give up, or run for cover — and often commit suicide.  Either way, the presence of instant counterfire ends the murdering.  Nothing else does.”

The number of active permits has grown by more than 20,000 in the last six months, a 9.3% increase.

Those numbers mean that more than one in 19 eligible Minnesota adults has a Minnesota Permit to Carry (approximately 3% of Minnesota permits are held by residents of other states).



Since the passage of the Minnesota Citizens Personal Protection Act in 2003, permits to carry a firearm have been available to any adult 21 and over who successfully completes training and passes multiple criminal, mental health, and substance abuse background checks. Prior to that law, permits were issued at the discretion of law enforcement, and numbered about 12,000 statewide in 2003.

While the “Minnesota Permit to Carry A Pistol,” commonly known as a “Carry Permit,” is sometimes mistakenly referred to as a “concealed carry” permit, the law allows either open or concealed carry by licensed individuals.

Data is summarized from monthly reports issued by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Copies of the last seven years of reports may be accessed here:

We have tabulated the monthly numbers here:

Population percentages are based on a U.S. Census Bureau 2015 estimate of Minnesota population at 5,489,594 and 2010 age demographics.


Founded in 1989, Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance (GOCRA) is a nonprofit advocacy organization focused on supporting and defending the civil rights of Minnesota’s more than two million law-abiding gun owners. GOCRA successfully lobbied for the passage of the Minnesota Citizen’s Personal Protection Act, one of the most effective carry laws in the country. GOCRA was also instrumental in passing the Minnesota Range Protection Act, ensuring that current and future generations will be able to enjoy the shooting sports. In 2015, GOCRA helped pass five separate Second Amendment rights bills through the Minnesota Legislature.

MN: Armed Victim Wins Gunfight

A man with a permit to carry a firearm fatally shot an armed would-be robber on a Brooklyn Park street, authorities said Tuesday.

The two men exchanged gunfire about 8:05 p.m. Monday in the 7500 block of Imperial Drive, police said. Officers arrived at the scene and found the man who was attempting the robbery on the ground.
More Here

IA: Multiple Gun Law Reform Bills Pass Iowa House

Multiple gun law reform bills are advancing in Iowa. Just before noon on 23 February, 2016, the House had accomplished the following:

HF2279 Hearing Protection Act - Removes ban on gun mufflers. Approved in the Senate last year, did not clear the House. Today, passed the House 74-24.
From iowafcorg:
 Iowa is one of just nine states in the entire country that prohibits its citizens from owning a firearms suppressor. Despite how they’re portrayed by Hollywood and gun control advocates suppressors do not silence a firearm. In reality they cut the noise signature of a gunshot by approximately 20-25%. While this doesn’t eliminate the noise of a gun shot (as many would have you believe) it does lower it enough that the ear damaging effects to the shooter and those around them are reduced by a significant margin. Many European countries require gun owners to own suppressors as a common courtesy to those around them.

HF 2280 Removes power to suspend Second Amendment rights  during an emergency.  Passed the House, 67 - 31
This bill would prohibit the confiscation of firearms, ammunition, and other Second Amendment rights during a “disaster emergency proclamation” or “public disorder” declared by the governor, or any other state official, or any community within the State of Iowa. In essence this bill would keep Hurricane Katrina style confiscation of firearms from happening in Iowa.
HF 2281 Removal of a ban on parents teaching children about handguns under supervision. Passed the House 62-36
Here is the relevant portion:

 1  3    5.  A parent or guardian or spouse who is twenty=one years of
  1  4 age or older, of a person fourteen years of age but less than
  1  5  under the age of twenty=one may allow the person to possess a
  1  6 pistol or revolver or the ammunition therefor for any lawful
  1  7 purpose while under the direct supervision of the parent or
  1  8 guardian or spouse who is twenty=one years of age or older, or
  1  9 while the person receives instruction in the proper use thereof
  1 10 from an instructor twenty=one years of age or older, with the
  1 11 consent of such parent, or guardian or spouse.

HF 2314  Make carry permits uniform across the state, keep carry permit records confidential, streamline process for obtaining and renewing permits. Passed the House 97 - 1.
In addition to protecting the private information of law-abiding Iowans the Privacy Protection Act also requires Iowa’s Sheriff’s Departments to issue Permits to Carry on uniform cards. For years Sheriff’s have done whatever they like when issuing permits. We’ve seen everything from plastic credit card style permits, to carbon copy paper permits, and everything in between. This has led to plenty of headaches when Iowans move from one county to another, or are asked to show their Permit to Carry to an officer not familiar with a different style of permit. If the Privacy Protection Act is signed into law Permit to Carry licenses would be uniform across county lines and across the State of Iowa.

HF 2283 Remove obsolete ban on carrying loaded firearms on off road vehicles.  Passed the House 78 - 20.
Nearly one in ten Iowans now hold a Permit to Carry, but current Iowa law prohibits anyone from carrying a firearm while riding an ATV, snowmobile, side-by-side vehicle, or any other off-road vehicle. This means anyone out riding recreationally, farming, or simply riding from point A to point B is committing a crime if they have a firearm with them that’s not unloaded and in a case.

This bill would amend the state code and allow all lawful Permit to Carry holders to carry their weapon with them while they are using an off-road vehicle.
 The bills were immediately messaged to the Senate.  From
Unanimous consent requested to immediately message HF 2279, HF 2280, HF 2281, HF 2283, HF 2314 to the Senate
The Senate is working on a bill to remove the ban on Iowa deer hunters carrying handguns while hunting.

SF 2016  From
Deer hunters in Iowa are currently prohibited from carrying while hunting. SF2026 would amend the current legal code related to the carrying of firearms to allow carry. If passed this would allow a lawful Permit to Carry holder to carry a handgun while hunting, but it cannot be used to hunt deer.

It is a busy year in Iowa for Second Amendment supporters.

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

GA: Business Owner Requires Employees to be Armed

Image from

In Georgia, a business owner has taken a pioneering step in employee relations.  He is requiring his employees to obtain a concealed carry permit and to carry guns openly in his places of business.  I have been predicting that this would happen for a while. There are so many advantages, and so few disadvantages, that it is hard to see the idea failing to be adopted all over the country.  The only refinement that seems likely, is to require job applicants to have a concealed carry permit *before* they apply. From
An Atlanta business owner with several offices in Georgia is now requiring all of his employees to get a concealed carry license and be armed.

Business owner Lance Toland said after hearing about recent home invasions and violent crime in the metro Atlanta area, he came up with the new office mandate.

“They all had their conceal carry permit within three to four weeks of me announcing that this was something you had to do,” he said. “With the presentation of their license, they all got a 410 Judge Pistol.”
It seemed likely that this would start in Wisconsin or Kansas.  In both of those states, but particularly in Wisconsin, allowing employees to carry guns gives the business a clear competitive advantage.  In Wisconsin law, if the business allows the carry of guns, the business is immune from torts that rise from an employee carrying guns in the business.  If the business does not allow guns, no immunity.  The Kansas law is similar, but not quite so clear.  The advantage in tort immunity is obvious, but there are several other advantages.  Now that Toland has broken through the wall of innovation, others see them more clearly:
Toland says several high-profile business owners who have private planes he insures may follow his lead.

“A lot of my clients are high fiving when they hear this. They think it's the best things for a company to mandate gun ownership and be responsible,” he said.
Here are a few of the not so obvious advantages.  They have been hidden behind a smoke screen of media misinformation and stereotypes.

First, employees with a concealed carry permit are a deterrent to robbery and physical attacks on the business premises.  This may seem obvious, but you will find many who claim, without support, that it is not so.  Having more than one employee armed at a location makes it an extremely unattractive target.  There are too many variables, and too much to go wrong for any thinking robber.

Second, there is an obvious, clear screen to limit employees to a very select, high quality level.  This is where requiring a permit for application become critical.  Permit holders are self selected to be one of the most law abiding, responsible, and forward thinking groups in the nation.  Their crime rates are only a fraction of those of police officers; they are many more times as law abiding as the general population.

Third, the giving of a gun is a brilliant management move by Lance Toland.  It speaks volumes about his leadership skills.  He is boldly proclaiming to his employees that their lives are important to him.  He is whispering to them, "I trust you so much, I am putting my life and the life of others in your hands."  A clear subtext is "We are a team.  We take care of each other." This is the sort of thing that builds loyalty that money cannot buy.

Fourth, your employees are have shown themselves to be in a select group that puts a high value on personal responsibility and self reliance.  This is precisely the group least likely to blame you for personal failures, or to see your business as a potential source of a "liability lottery".  They are likely to see a failure in your business as part of a personal failure on their part.  They look ahead, see problems, and do things about them.  Who does not want employees with that attitude!  In the 15 years that I taught concealed carry in Arizona, I never had a bad check.

Fifth, the state is now doing a continuous screening process for you, one that is actionable and clear.  If an employee becomes likely to have problems (according to the state, not the employer), their permit will be taken from them.  The employer then has an obvious and clear reason to dismiss the employee.  They can no longer fulfill one of the stated requirements for the job.  It is a good reason to have the employees open carry on the premises.

There are other advantages.  I leave those as an exercise for the reader.  Here is a prediction.  We will see more of this.

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

AR: Homeowner, Alerted by Neighbor, Shoots Intruder

According to the police report, a man saw someone suspicious and heard glass breaking at his neighbor's home. He told his neighbor someone may have broken into the house.

The homeowner went and got his pistol from his truck.

When the homeowner walked to his back door, he saw a man, later identified as Aaron Beasley, inside his house. The victim told police Beasley then started running towards him at the back door, and he fired multiple shots at Beasley.

More Here

UK: Jury Aquits Farmer who Wounded Intruder

To be clear, this occurred in 2002!  I came across it while doing research.  It is a worthwhile anecdote in opposition to the Tony Martin case.

A farmer who shot and injured a man he believed to be a burglar walked free from court yesterday.

Father-of-two Frederick Hemstock, 55, fired at Gary Smith after he discovered him trespassing on his land in the early hours of the morning.

As he wept tears of relief yesterday, a judge criticised the lack of police response to a 999 call made by Mr Hemstock's wife, Wendy. She had been told that officers would not turn out unless property had actually been stolen.

TX: Bill Clinton on Second Amendment Infringement

Bill Clinton is known for his lies.  He was one of the most anti-Second Amendment presidents in history.  He pushed through the "assault weapons" ban, and created a path for gun registration with the Brady Bill.

He told supporters he agrees with the Second Amendment but believes in common sense gun restrictions.

“It is not too much to ask all our fellow citizens, there ought to be universal background checks,” said Clinton. “And it doesn’t interfere with the Second Amendment, I don’t care what anyone says.”
More Here

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

GA: Campus Carry Moves Forward

Yesterday, 22 February, 2016, the Georgia House passed a campus safety act that restores some of the Second Amendment rights to people who have a Georgia Weapons Carry License (WCL).  In 2014, a gun law reform bill passed that seemed to allow carry on campus for people with a WCL, but the wording allowed for ambiguity of interpretation.  The reform passed by the house yesterday is clear and unambiguous. From HB859(pdf):
 15 "(19)(A) Any license holder when he or she is in any building or on real property
16 owned by or leased to any public technical school, vocational school, college, or
17 university, or other public institution of postsecondary education; provided, however,
18 that such exception shall:
19 (i) Not apply to buildings or property used for athletic sporting events or student
20 housing, including, but not limited to, fraternity and sorority houses;
21 (ii) Only apply to the carrying of handguns which a licensee is licensed to carry
22 pursuant to subsection (h) of Code Section 16-11-126 and pursuant to Code Section
23 16-11-129; and
24 (iii) Only apply to the carrying of handguns which are concealed.
The bill passed with overwhelming margins, nearly 2-1.  From
The state House voted Monday to legalize carrying concealed guns on Georgia’s college campuses.

State Rep. Rick Jasperse, R-Jasper, led the charge for House Bill 859, a piece of legislation he has informally dubbed the state’s Campus Safety Act: “It’s a real world solution to a real world problem,” Jasperse said. “In today’s world, it’s a must.”

But in an hour-and-a-half debate before the 113-59 vote, House Democrats said the bill would allow the weapons with “no instruction, no training, no supervision,” said state Rep. Virgil Fludd, D-Tyrone. “We’re putting (students) in volatile situations with alcohol and hormones.”
The campus safety act was strongly supported by Georgia Carry, a group that supports Second Amendment rights in Georgia.  From
Summary of HB 859

Would allow Campus Carry:
  • Except in buildings or property used for athletic sporting events & student housing including, but not limited to, fraternity & sorority houses
  • Only allows licensed carriers to carry on campus
  • Only allows concealed carry
GeorgiaCarry.Org Opinion on HB 859
  • GCO Strongly Supports this legislation
The Campus Safety Act now goes to the Georgia Senate.  If it passes there, it will go to Governor Deal.  Governor Nathan Deal has been a Second Amendment friendly Governor; it is likely that he would sign the legislation into law.

The reform movement that is restoring Second Amendment rights on the public property of universities and colleges is gaining ground.  Texas passed a campus carry act last year; it will go into effect on 1 August of 2016 for four year colleges, and a year later for Junior colleges. 

The Georgia bill largely conforms with the goals of  Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, a group that was formed after the 2007 Virginal Tech Massacre.  The movement has had considerable success, with reforms passing in Idaho, Wisconsin, Texas and Kansas, and with successful court challenges in Colorado.  The Florida House passed a campus carry bill by a large margin this year; it appears to have been killed by Senator Portilla R-Miami, chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee.

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

ID:Hundreds Demonstrate for Constitutional Carry at Idaho Capitol

Image from

A large crowd of 700 people demonstrated for Constitutional carry at the Idaho Capitol on  February 20th. 

Constitutional carry has been introduced for this session of the Idaho legislature.  The current version of the bills are HO422 and HO423

Statement of purpose of HO422:
This legislation would make Idaho a permitless carry state. Currently, permitless carry applies to all areas outside of city limits. This legislation specifies who may carry a concealed weapon without a permit. The bill also adds an age restriction for permitless carry to those 21 years or older. The concealed carry permitting statutes will remain unchanged for reciprocity reasons.
No impact to the General Fund.
It is important that there is no impact to the General Fund.  In many states, bills that have significant monetary impact require several more steps to pass.

In 2015, it looked as though a similar bill would pass.  Intramural infighting among the Republican party doomed the bill. 

This year, things seem better.  HO422 has been sent to the House Ways and Means committee.  This committee is a very powerful committee in most legislatures.  The committee Chair is Christy Perry, from the 11th District.  Greg Pruitt of the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance has Representative Perry on Video of Christy Perry stating that she supports permitless (Constitutional) carry.

HO422 has one serious flaw.  Currently, Idaho has permitless carry outside of cities.  It has open carry all over the state for people who are 18 years old or older.  HO422 would increase the age of open and permitless carry to 21, thus depriving the 18-20 year olds of rights that they now have.

I cannot wonder if the age limit was put in place as a "poison pill" to once against stymie Constitutional carry in Idaho.  Chair of the Ways and Means Committee, Christy Perry has not brought the bill up for a vote.  Another common way to kill a bill is to run out the clock.

On the Idaho legislative web site, I was unable to find any hearings scheduled for the bill. 

Will Republican infighting once again stop Constitutional carry in Idaho.  It appeared that it should be a slam dunk this year, but chances looked very good for passage last year as well.

Sometimes personalities override common sense and a desire to get the legislatures work done.

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

Rob Morse: So, He Has a Gun?

The man across the restaurant has a gun.

I look up. Yeah, there it is carried on his hip. I nod and go pack to checking my mail while we wait for our food to arrive. I know some people with strange phobias and they are afraid of firearms. The few people with phobias are unusual; not the 110 million gun owners in the US. It is time for the rest of us to get over the novelty and drama of firearms ownership. The guy has a gun. So what?

Today, good guys have guns. Good guys have guns everywhere. Good guys and gals have guns.. and nothing happens. Most of the time you don’t even notice. It isn’t newsworthy. I want to change the attitude of the guy on the street towards firearms. But, I don’t want to stop there. It is time our legislators, prosecutors, law enforcement officials and the media to come to terms with gun ownership as well. We are not there yet.
More Here

LA: Law to Allow Schools to Teach Gun Safety in Effect

Accident prevention is not a pro-gun or anti-gun issue, it's a safety issue.

So says Blake Miguez, a competitive shooter and state representative, who successfully pushed a bill allowing school districts to instruct elementary school students in firearm safety.

House Bill 446 easily passed the Legislature and was signed into law in July.

"I have my own personal views — I'm pro-Second Amendment — but this is not anti-gun or pro-gun," said Miguez, a Republican from Erath. "This is not politics. This is children's lives."

The law gives school districts the option of providing "age- and grade-appropriate classroom instruction regarding firearm accident prevention and safety" to elementary school students. The instruction would be based on the National Rifle Association's Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program, "or a substantially similar program."

More Here

Monday, February 22, 2016

FL: Store Gunfight, 1 Suspect Dead, Clerk Uninjured

An apparent armed robbery attempt at a liquor store in the V.M. Ybor area resulted in one of two intruders shot to death by the clerk late Sunday, Tampa police said.

Police said investigators were still working to verify the initial account that two people brandishing a firearm entered Cut Rate Liquor Store, at 3312 N. 15th St., and exchanged gunfire with the employee.

More Here

Judge Dan Slayton Refuses to Reduce 2 Million Dollar Bail in Flagstaff Campus Self Defense Case

Image from

Superior Court Judge Dan Slayton refused to reduce the 2 Million dollar bail for Steven Jones, who pleaded self defense last year after being beat and chased by a group of fraternity men at Northern Arizona University.   The prosecutor's office is the Coconino County Attorneys office out of Flagstaff.

It is the same prosecutor's office that handled the infamous Harold Fish case.  Fish also pleaded self defense.  Prosecutors mishandled the Fish case.  He spent three years in prison until an appeals court overturned the conviction and released him pending a new trial. Coconino prosecutors asked the Court to review the case again; the Superior Court refused.

Arizona legislators passed four bills aimed at getting Fish a new trial.  The first bill was deemed insufficient by court for a new trial; Governor Napolitoano vetoed two more bills. A fourth bill was finally signed by Governor Janet Brewer after Napolitano resigned to join the Obama administration.  After Fish was released from prison, he made this statement, from
“I never felt I was guilty and felt that I was never able to communicate that in a way the system would understand,” he said. “We tried and tried, but they just didn’t want to hear what really happened. Once they (Coconino Attorney’s Office) got it into their mind they wanted to pursue a conviction, then no amount of reason or truth would deter them.”
The Harold Fish case came to mind because of some of the statements made by Coconino County Deputy Attorney Ammon Barker. From
The defense also contended that prosecutors did not present information on the extent of Jones’ injuries to the grand jury.

Jones told police he was punched and later wrestled to the ground. Police reports say officers observed injuries on his head, back, chest, arms and knees as well as swelling on a wrist.

Prosecutors said Jones’ injuries weren’t relevant to his self-defense claim.

"The injuries are superficial ... they are just little scrapes and bruises, nothing more," Barker said.
The idea that injuries are irrelevant to a self defense claim is rather unusual, especially in a case where the defense is based on fear of beating by multiple attackers.  Barker put forward another legal theory:
"You cannot bring a gun to a fist fight," Barker said.
It is a strange contention, when defense against multiple attackers has long been recognized as sufficient disparity of force to justify deadly force; and since numerous people have been killed with a single punch to the head.  Arizona law has no duty to retreat.

Toxicology results show that all four of the people that Jones shot had levels of alcohol in their blood beyond legal intoxication; three showed evidence of marijuana use.  Jones' test did not show any alcohol or drugs in his system.

Two million dollars of bail is beyond most peoples means.  A bail bondsman would charge 10%, or $200,000 for the bail.  Jones has been in jail since October 9th, 2015. The Judge said that he might be willing to consider home detention with electronic monitoring.  I wonder how long it will take to bring that up as a separate motion; and how much in lawyer fees will be involved.

What is exasperating about this is that it has the appearance of punishment by process.  Drag out the process; keep the accused in jail while you are doing so, even though it seems unlikely that you will prevail in court.

Harold Fish spent three years in prison.  His legal fees amounted to more than half a million dollars; he was eventually exonerated.  Because of his case, the Arizona legislature reversed an eight year old change in Arizona law, returning the law of self defense back to the standard of 48 other states.  Jones has that legislative change in his favor.

This is a very interesting case to watch.  Jones never fled the scene, and sought officer protection when they arrived.  He cooperated with the police.

The shooting took place on the Northern Arizona University campus; observers have speculated political motives for the prosecution.  Campus carry bills have received super majority votes in the Arizona legislature, but did not survive Governor Brewer's veto.  Steven Jones was 18 at the time of the shooting. He was legally in possession of the Glock pistol in his vehicle.

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

OH: Armed Resident Shoot, Kills Person Attempting Break-in

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A resident shot and killed a person believed to be breaking into a north Columbus home early Sunday morning.

Columbus Police said it happened around 3 a.m. on Duxberry Avenue.

More Here

Sunday, February 21, 2016

OK: Sheriffs Encourage Armed Citizens; Carry Permits Spike

Just how many Oklahoma sheriffs have waived all or part of the gun-carry license fees is unclear, OSBI spokeswoman Jessica Brown said.

According to news reports, sheriffs in Creek and Garvin counties have waived all or part of the $25 fingerprinting fee normally charged to gun-carry license applicants.

In December, a Facebook page maintained by the Garvin County sheriff’s office posted a photocopied letter by Sheriff Larry Rhodes. The image was shared nearly 2,500 times and received 1,422 “likes.”

“As sheriff of Garvin County, I encourage you as citizens to follow the laws of the Oklahoma Self Defense Act, which allows you to legally carry a handgun,” Rhodes wrote in the letter. “In a time when our nation is under attack by domestic and international threats and our safety is at risk due to acts of violence, I do not want to restrict your ability to protect yourself and exercise your Second Amendment rights.”

More Here

Followup MD: Trujillo found Justified in Shooting of Mario Perez

The Maryland resident who shot and killed a man at a holiday party has been cleared of murder, with a grand jury determining he acted in self-defense and out of fear for his family.
More Here

CT: Lawsuit Filed to take Down Gun Makers and the Second Amendment

Image from msnbc

In Connecticut, a cynical lawyer is attempting to destroy the Second Amendment for money.   Josh Koskoff, a medical malpractice and personal injury  specialist in Connecticut, is taking advantage of the grief of parents and staff from the Sandy Hook massacre to attempt to destroy innocent firearm manufacturers.

He has filed suit against gun manufacturers who make the AR-15 rifle that was used in Sandy Hook, the wholesaler, and the retailer, Riverview sales.  It appears that the shooter, who I will not name, has claimed another innocent victim.  Riverview sales, who had done nothing illegal, is now defunct.  Josh Koskoff is attempting to claim more innocent victims.  This is the ploy that was hatched by disarmists that led to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).

The stated purpose was always to bankrupt innocent companies through frivolous lawsuits.  The PLCAA forbids that, and allows for the rewarding of court costs and lawyers fees if the attempted lawsuit fails.   There are exceptions in the law for the usual problems of negligence.  One of those is negligent entrustment, where a person supplies a gun to someone who they know is not allowed to have one.  As the gun manufacturer had nothing to do with supplying the AR-15 to the shooter, who, after all committed murder of his own mother to obtain it, this is an enormous stretch.

The theory that Josh Koskoff attempts to make is this.  From
In a 48-page brief arguing against dismissal of the case, attorney Josh Koskoff is trying to establish that the common law theory of negative entrustment applies to the introduction of the AR-15 into the market by the Bushmaster Firearms International, the manufacturer of the weapon used by Adam Lanza in his shooting spree inside the school that left 26 people, including 20 children, dead.

"Their argument is what is negligent here is not selling the gun by the gun shop but what is negligent here is releasing the weapon into the market in the first place," Georgia State University Law Professor Timothy Lytton said.

In his brief, Koskoff argues that the AR-15 has no business being sold to civilians, that it was made for the military and "is built for mass casualty assaults" and to deliver "more wounds, of greater severity, in more victims, in less time."
There are so many holes in this argument that one wonders why Koskoff is bringing the case at all.  Has he notified his clients that they are liable for the other sides' court costs and legal fees when he loses the case, which seems most likely?

First, one of the main purposes of the Second Amendment is to insure that military arms suitable for a militia are available to citizens.  Such was clearly ruled in the U.S. v. Miller case that established precedent before the Heller and McDonald cases.  Miller was not overturned by those cases.

Second, rifles such as the AR-15 are seldom used in crime.  Murders with all rifles are only about 2-3% of homicide victims.  To claim that these rifles, among the most popular in the United States, and the most suitable for militia service, should not be made available to the public because they are used in disproportionately less crimes than other firearms, is insane.

Third, it is exactly the characteristics of the rifle that make it useful to the military that make it so well suited for defense of self, neighborhood, and community if the need arises.

Fourth, nearly all firearms have military origins.

This is precisely the type of emotional, abusive case that the PLAA was designed to prevent.  Most observers believe that the case will be thrown out.  Even when that happens, the plaintiffs are likely to be on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars in court costs and lawyers fees.

A similar case happened in Colorado where a couple who filed a lawsuit against Lucky Gunner in the Aurora Theater shooting, was required to pay the legal fees, amounting to $202,000 dollars.  The award is under appeal.

Society cannot operate under this sort of insane theory.  If this theory was allowed to stand, no car company could sell cars, no gasoline company could sell gasoline, no lumber company could sell lumber to build stairs.  All of those things result in more deaths annually than occur from the use of AR-15 rifles in criminal hands each year.

I hope that Josh Koskoff has informed his plaintiffs of the financial risk that he is putting them in.  It would only be right.

Definition of  disarmist

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

David Codrea: Universal Orlando’s Discrimination against Gun Owners Made Possible by Indifference

“A Universal Orlando worker who was fired after someone stole a gun from his car at work has sued his former employer,” the Orlando Sentinel reported. “A licensed concealed weapons holder, [Dean] Kumanchik regularly took his gun to and from work and kept it locked in his vehicle. He parked in an area accessible to both employees and the public. In December, someone broke into his vehicle and stole the gun. He reported it to police. Upon learning what had happened, Universal immediately fired him.”

So much for doing the right thing. So much for putting 20 years of your life into a place.

Universal didn’t care. Back when Florida first passed a law allowing employees with concealed carry permits to keep their guns locked in their cars while at work, the theme park giant claimed having a public alternative education school located on a limited section of property exempted the whole place from state law. Ditto for Disney, which maintains their fireworks license means they are free to ban guns from employee vehicles.

More Here

Followup WA: Judge orders State to Pay Costs of Jarred Ho in Self Defense Knife Case

SEATTLE (AP) — A judge has ordered the state to pay a 22-year-old man the money his family spent on successfully defending him in a case in which he stabbed another University of Washington student during a fight last year.

Jarred Ha was found not guilty of assault with a deadly weapon by a King County Superior Court jury in January for stabbing Graham Harper. He was also found not guilty of punching a woman in the face.

More Here

Saturday, February 20, 2016

AL: Armed Homeowner holds Suspects for Police

According to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, a homeowner noticed three suspects allegedly trying to break into his shed outside his residence on Tomahawk Circle around 12:30 p.m. The homeowner grabbed his gun and confronted the trio, two of whom were women. The suspects ran from the armed man and attempted to drive away, but their car got stuck in a ditch. The homeowner then held the male suspect at gunpoint while the two females ran from the car.

More Here

OK: Domestic Defense; Armed Woman Kills Man

Investigators are interviewing a woman who reportedly shot and killed a man she shared children with after he entered her home through the back window and confronted her, according to police.

More Here

OK: Resident Shoots Home Invasion Suspect

Tulsa Police Sgt. Dave Walker says a woman called 911 early Friday to report that a man came to her door asking to use the phone, then forced himself inside and began gathering items to steal. Walker says a man who lived at the home retrieved a handgun and shot the suspect.

More Here

AZ: State Aims to Use Federal System to Protect Citizens Rights

Arizona Capitol Demonstration in favor of Second Amendment 2013

As the media cartel loses its power to define the agenda and dictate the terms of debate, states are starting to reassert their power to protect their citizens from an out of control federal government.  A number of states have already passed laws that serve to reign in federal power over the regulation of guns.  From
In Idaho, the Legislature unanimously passed a law this year to keep any future federal gun measures from being enforced in the state. In Kansas, a law passed last year says federal regulation doesn't apply to guns manufactured in the state. Wyoming, South Dakota and Arizona have had laws protecting "firearms freedom" from the U.S. government since 2010.

A News21 analysis shows 11 such bills in nine states have been signed into law, mainly in Western states, along with Kansas and Tennessee. Three more passed but were vetoed by governors in Montana, Missouri and Oklahoma. Many others failed to pass, even in conservative states.

Nullification laws have been introduced in more than three-quarters of U.S. states since 2008. More than half of those bills have come in the last two years, after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. All but three have been introduced since President Barack Obama took office.

Arizona is considering a bill, HB 2300, that would prevent local governments from serving as agents of the federal government if new federal gun regulations are passed.  President Obama has vowed to use his executive power to push through such restrictions.  The executive orders he has passed to date on the subject, while troubling, have not had much practical effect.  From HB 2300:
A. Notwithstanding any other law and except as required by a court order, an agency of this state or a political subdivision of this state or an employee of an agency or political subdivision of this state acting in the employee's official capacity shall not do any of the following:

1. Knowingly and willingly participate in any way in the enforcement of any federal act, law, order, rule or regulation issued, enacted or promulgated on or after the effective date of this section regarding a personal firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition. 
2. Use any assets, state monies or monies allocated by this state to political subdivisions of this state on or after the effective date of this section, in whole or in part, to engage in any activity that aids a federal agency, federal agent or corporation providing services to the federal government in the enforcement or any investigation pursuant to the enforcement of any federal act, law, order, rule or regulation issued, enacted or promulgated on or after the effective date of this section regarding a personal firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition.
The law is close to a law adopted by Idaho in 2014, but is a little stronger in that it covers all new federal firearms law, not just confiscations of firearms.  The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the Federal government cannot compel state agents to enforce federal laws.  The last case to that effect was Printz v. United States, in 1997.  The court decision is referenced in the HB 2300:
4. That this right to be free from the commandeering hand of the federal government has been most notably recognized by the United States Supreme Court in Printz v. United States when the Court held, "The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States' officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program."

5. That the anticommandeering principles recognized by the United States Supreme Court in Printz v. United States are predicated on the advice of James Madison, who in Federalist Number 46 advised "a refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union" in response to either unconstitutional federal measures or constitutional but unpopular federal measures.
The federal system and the Constitution were largely designed to limit government power through a system of checks and balances.  During the "progressive era" of the last hundred years, the checks and balances have been seriously eroded, with the federal government taking control of vast areas of peoples lives.  Guns and the Second Amendment are just one issue where the people are attempting to reassert limits on government power.

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