Friday, May 26, 2006

NRA asks chiefs, mayors to sign gun seizure pledge: "Alarmed by the way authorities confiscated guns in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, the National Rifle Association called on all police chiefs and mayors Thursday to sign a pledge they will never forcibly disarm law-abiding citizens. 'Mayors and police chiefs have already sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States in their oaths of office. So signing this pledge should be just as effortless,' NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre said a day before the 4 million-member group opens its annual convention in Milwaukee. The nation's most powerful gun lobbying group also said it would support state and federal legislation making it a crime to forcibly disarm law-abiding citizens."

Scotland: Guns banned so knives are next: "Any person accused of carrying or using a knife who has a similar previous conviction will face prosecution before a judge and jury instead of a sheriff alone, meaning tougher sentences will be handed down. Police have also been instructed to arrest anyone caught carrying a knife and police will no longer be able to grant bail to someone arrested for such an offence - instead they will be kept in custody before their first appearance in court. Prosecutors will also routinely oppose bail in the courts if an accused has one or more previous convictions for knife-related crime. And the maximum sentence available for people caught carrying knives in public is set to increase from two to four years for cases prosecuted on an indictment - that is, before a jury. But police criticised the tougher sentences because only a tiny fraction of such cases are tried in front of a jury under "solemn" procedures. They called for a mandatory 18-month prison sentence for all those caught carrying knives, which ministers rejected."

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