Monday, May 12, 2008

States consider limiting toy guns: "Concerns that realistic-looking toy weapons are confusing police and threatening safety have led 15 states to try going beyond gun control and cracking down on fake firearms. Officer Micheal Hoover knows a fair amount about guns as a sniper instructor for a Tennessee SWAT team. He recalls the night two years ago when a car pulled up beside him on a highway and the passenger waved what looked like an Uzi. "It scared me," he said. "If anyone is in their right mind, I don't see how it wouldn't." Hoover was off duty and called for police help. A 20-year-old man was charged with aggravated assault after police found a black plastic Uzi submachine gun under the car's passenger seat, but he was acquitted because jurors felt the officer should have been able to tell it was only a toy."

Guns in restaurants draw stares but little outcry: "In Virginia, gun owners are allowed to carry firearms in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, as long as the restaurant permits it and they carry their weapon openly. Legislation to allow concealed weapons in restaurants serving alcohol passed the General Assembly this year, but was vetoed by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine. The patrons at Champps, an upscale restaurant and bar chain, were eating ribs and drinking beer on a recent Saturday when customer Bruce Jackson stood up and made an announcement: He was armed, and so were dozens of other patrons. The armed customers stood up in unison, showing off holstered pistols and revolvers. Jackson said a word or two about the rights of gun owners to carry firearms in Virginia, then thanked everyone for their attention and sat down. And the diners returned to their burgers and Budweisers. The Virginia Citizens Defense League organized the dinner at Champps to prove a point: that the presence of armed customers in northern Virginia restaurants would elicit little more than shrugs. The dinner - and several other restaurant visits throughout northern Virginia last month - were a response to comments from the majority leader in the state Senate, Democrat Richard Saslaw, who said during a legislative debate that armed patrons would be unwelcome in northern Virginia restaurants."

MD cops shoot madwoman: "Howard police officers shot an erratic 62-year-old Columbia woman armed with a knife at her senior citizen apartment complex in self-defense, the county police chief said Thursday. "Preliminarily, it looks like our officers acted appropriately," said Howard County Police Chief William McMahon at police headquarters Thursday. "They were faced with a woman threatening them with a very large knife." Police said Pearl Harris went into her bedroom and returned waving a large knife at Officer Matthew Mehrer on Wednesday. A second officer, Pfc. Mark Baxter, ordered Harris to drop the knife, but she instead lunged at Mehrer. Baxter fired once, striking Harris in the hip, police said. Harris was expected to be released Thursday from the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore City and transported to a psychiatric facility, police said."

Fool Shot After Police Chase: "A Milwaukee police officer shot and wounded a man during the weekend, authorities said. Department spokeswoman Anne E. Schwartz said officers responding to a report of shots being fired found about 20 men getting ready to fight at a gas station parking lot Friday just before midnight. She said in a news release that a 20-year-old man reached into his waistband during a subsequent chase, crouched down and turned toward an officer, who then shot the man. The man, who is a known gang member, sustained what were believed to be non-life threatening injuries, Schwartz said. The 30-year-old officer who fired the shot was placed on administrative duty pending completion of the investigation, the department spokeswoman said."

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