Monday, September 05, 2005

Too tight a line on gun possession : "The case, Washington v. Gurske, involved a man stopped for an illegal left turn while driving. Police discovered his driver's license had been suspended, arrested him and searched his truck. Behind the driver's seat was a backpack that contained three grams of methamphetamine. He was convicted of felony possession of an illegal drug and sentenced to an extra 18 months because his backpack also contained a pistol and ammunition clip. To fire the gun, he would have had to stop the truck, get out of the driver's seat, flip it forward, unzip the pack, find the gun and clip, and insert the clip. The court ruled unanimously that he was not armed."

Georgia: Pawn shop employee, burglary suspect exchange gunfire: "A pawn shop employee escaped injury in an exchange of gunfire with a burglar late Friday night, Warner Robins police say. Warner Robins police Lt. Bobby Brantley said the suspect also was not hit and fled with a stolen handgun. The suspect was interrupted by the employee who arrived at the Northside Pawnshop at 1313 Green St. just before midnight. According to a Warner Robins police news release, the employee responded to the business alarm, which automatically calls his residence when the alarm is sounded. The employee was fired upon as he entered the store and he returned fire. The employee fled the pawn shop and called 911. The suspect also fled."

Texas DA: Screw the law, persecute gun owners: "Motorists arrested for carrying pistols in their cars without a concealed handgun license will continue to be prosecuted in Houston, despite a new law that purports to give them a legal defense, Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal said Monday. ... 'It is still going to be against the law for (unlicensed) persons to carry handguns in autos,' the district attorney said, adding that the new legal defense can still be challenged by prosecutors. The new law, enacted during the regular legislative session last spring, seeks to clarify a longtime law that allowed Texans to carry handguns while traveling, a qualification that was subject to a number of inconsistent court interpretations over the years.The new statute says a person is 'presumed to be traveling' if he or she is in a private vehicle, is not engaged in criminal activity (except for a minor traffic offense), is not prohibited by any other law from possessing a firearm and is not a member of a criminal street gang."

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