Monday, July 18, 2005

Indiana cops steal octogenarian's firearm: "84 year old man shoots a burglar. DA calls it justifiable homicide. That was February. They still have his gun. Wanna know the reasoning? "Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Frank Schaffer said Birtwhistle's revolver is part of a death investigation, and he'll never see it again. 'We keep weapons for evidence for our own records,' Schaffer said. 'You never know what's going to happen, so we keep it all." Frank Schaffer. Worthwhile to remember his name, since it's not too often you run into a thief so proud of his work that he justifies it to the press. It's a wonder they didn't seize his house; after all that's where the incident happened. And what does Mr. Schaffer's 84 year old victim say about all this? "But that response isn't satisfactory to Birtwhistle, who said his only protection was his revolver. 'I'm an easy target,' he said. 'I'm feeble and have no (lung capacity). ... As far as I'm concerned, they have stolen that gun.""

Houston: Invader shot: "A homeowner shot and killed a man who tried to break into his west Houston home. The man says he heard someone trying to force their way into the house on Bellewood at Wirt around 3:45am Friday. The owner confronted the intruder and says he warned him to go away. "The individual said, 'Hey, I've got a gun and I'm going to go get it.' Then the homeowner told him 'Hey, I've got a gun also just to let you know.' The individual reached into his vehicle and produced what appeared to be a weapon at that time the homeowner shot him," said Sgt. LA Flores with the Houston Police Department. Houston police are investigating. The suspect was found dead at the front door"

Gun industry to be freed from litigation: "The gun industry is likely to win sweeping protection against civil liability lawsuits in the U.S. Senate this month, reflecting a more firearm-friendly Senate after the 2004 elections, lawmakers said on Thursday. Last year the Republicans killed their own bill, meant to shield gunmakers, gun distributors and gun sellers against many liability suits, after gun opponents attached amendments to it, including an extension of the 1994 ban on assault rifles. But the November elections left a bigger Republican majority and the Senate is now a more conservative and more pro-gun rights body. Several Democrats, particularly from rural states, also back the immunity measure. Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig, lead backer of the legal protections bill, said he was confident it would win Senate approval with few if any unpalatable amendments. A vote is likely in the next two weeks".

Antigun police at work: "In the two years since he's been in the military reserves, the United States Army has trusted David Bardfield to carry and fire a weapon. But the town of Brookline doesn't seem to have the same faith in the 28-year-old Army specialist. Bardfield recently completed military police investigator course work at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. Since 2003, he has been issued a military firearm on various occasions, including a handgun at Fort Devens in Ayer, where he worked on patrol. He also patrolled an Army base in Italy, where he was authorized to carry a pistol when he made his rounds. But Bardfield has been waiting nearly four months for the town to grant him a license to participate in target practice to help sharpen his skills. "It's very frustrating," said Bardfield. "I just want my license." Bardfield said police told him last month that because his name appeared in a police incident report when he was a teenager, he is being denied a license - even though he was not arrested at the time.... Police told the TAB earlier this week, however, that Bardfield's license was not denied. Instead, they said his application was incomplete. Brookline Police Capt. John O'Leary would not say what about his application was incomplete, but said police sent a letter to his lawyer on Friday letting him know what he must do to complete the application. Bardfield's lawyer, Keith Langer, believes his client has fulfilled all license requirements. "His [the chief's] position is that the application is incomplete, and it is our position that the state requirements have been fully satisfied as well as those additionally proposed by the Brookline Police Department," said Langer"

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