Monday, December 06, 2004

Massachusetts: First electronic fingerprinting for gun licensing: "With a quick electronic scan of a fingerprint, gun shop owners in Massachusetts will know immediately if a customer is eligible to buy a weapon, using a system that officials say is the first of its kind in the nation. The Massachusetts Instant Record Check System, developed over the past six years with nearly $7 million in information technology grant money, will be in place in all police departments and gun shops across the state by next summer."

Oklahoma: Ban on gun pits state against big firms: "In late summer of 2002, Steve Bastible put three bullets into a dying cow at his ranch, threw the emptied rifle behind the seat of his pickup and forgot about it. A few weeks later, the rifle cost him his job of 23 years. That Oct. 1, in a surprise search, Weyerhaeuser Co. sent gun-sniffing dogs into the parking lot of its paper mill here. Mr. Bastible and 11 other workers were fired after guns were found in their vehicles. The timber company said the weapons violated a new company policy that extended a longtime workplace gun ban to the parking area. The fired workers said they knew nothing of the new rule. The firings outraged many in this wooded community in the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains. In rural Oklahoma, carrying a firearm in one's car is commonplace. 'In Oklahoma, gun control is when you hit what you shoot at,' says Jerry Ellis, a member of the state legislature."

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