Monday, July 28, 2008

AZ: Man pulls gun, loses it, gets shot: "The news of Matthew John Bentz being shot to death two years ago in Mesa was about five hours old when one of the biggest murder cases in East Valley history went down. A quintuple slaying in the same city meant Bentz's death went largely unnoticed. No one but police was looking for details about Bentz, 40, being shot during an argument and scuffle with Moody Dewitt Clark, then 22. Only two weeks ago, Clark was exonerated when Bentz's death was ruled self-defense by the Maricopa County Attorney's Office... Police reports show that Bentz, James Ladd and Sara Kimble were in a room that Ladd lived in at the Majestic Guest Inn, 1554 W. Main St., on Feb. 20, 2006, when Clark - Kimble's boyfriend - arrived. Kimble told police that Bentz confronted Clark about robbing him of $500 at gunpoint about two weeks earlier. She said Bentz pulled a gun on Clark. Bentz told Clark, "You can either leave with me and we can go out east somewhere, or I could just shoot you now," according to a statement Kimble gave to police. Clark replied: "If you're not going to let me leave, I guess you're just going to have to shoot me." Bentz then pushed Clark onto a couch in the room, according to police reports. Clark jumped up and the two fought. The men struggled for the gun and, according to Kimble, Clark got it and hit Bentz on his head. She said she heard three shots and that Bentz fell after the third shot as Clark ran from the room".

Will Seattle gun ban stand up to legal review? "Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels recently targeted firearms by prohibiting guns on city property, including parks and community centers. His executive order, signed on June 9, directs city departments to develop "a plan to implement a gun-free policy." The mayor cited the May 24 shooting at the Folklife Festival as reason for these measures.... Critics, such as Dave Workman, senior editor for Gun Week magazine, say Mayor Nickels exceeds his authority. Paul Guppy of the Washington Policy Center says the measure will likely prove ineffective: "people who seek to hurt others don't obey gun laws, so adding more laws won't help," he said. Washington state law specifically prohibits local governments from adopting policies that are more restrictive than state law. The Washington Constitution also provides strong protection for gun owners: "The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired...."

Lawmaker wants no guns at airports, cites Ga. law : "The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee says he might pursue new gun restrictions in response to a recently enacted Georgia law that could allow people to carry concealed firearms in parts of the Atlanta airport.Apparently surprised that some airports long have allowed guns in unsecured areas, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said the new Georgia legislation represents a significant hole in national security and a threat to travelers.He asked the [TSA] to clarify federal law governing weapons in areas outside security checkpoints. In a letter Monday to TSA Assistant Secretary Kip Hawley, he said `the committee may seek legislative action to correct this omission' if there are no restrictions."

Fight over open carry gun policy in Texas: "Imagine walking down the street and next to someone with a gun strapped to their hip. It's an image a group of Texans are hoping to turn into reality and they're gaining support by the thousands every day.'This is a basic right,' said former state Legislator, Suzanna Hupp. ..Hupp helped pass the current concealed carry law in the mid 90's.'It wasn't blood and chaos in the streets when we enacted the concealed carry,' said Hupp.Now she wants more.'We should allow people to carry. That means in their pocket, in their purse, on their forehead, on their hip. I don't care how they carry. If they can legally own a gun I think they should be able to carry it in public,' said Hupp."

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