Thursday, December 02, 2010

Missouri: Shooting victim, companion allegedly arrived with bats and masks to settle dispute: "William Smoot, who is charged with attempted robbery in the incident, told authorities he and a friend went to Michael Bellmyer’s home — armed with baseball bats and wearing masks — to settle a dispute. The man who was shot, identified in court documents as Thomas Stevens, has not been charged. According to the probable cause statement in the case, Smoot admitted to arriving at Bellmyer’s home in the 700 block of West Wall Street carrying a baseball bat and, because it was cold outside, wearing a mask. He told authorities he and Stevens went over to confront Bellmyer about past disagreements. Smoot said he used the bat to knock on Bellmyer’s door, which Bellmyer answered with a gun pointed in his direction. Smoot said he pushed or kicked the door when he saw the gun and took off running. According to the court documents, Bellmyer told police he answered the door while holding the gun because of the early hour and where he lives. He said he later recognized Smoot when 911 dispatchers asked Bellmyer where the suspects had gone and he looked out his front door. He told authorities the two men had run across the street, and the man he now recognized as Smoot had taken his mask off."

Guns on Amtrak: "It WILL soon be legal to carry unloaded firearms in checked-baggage on trains in the US after Congress has lifted restrictions imposed in the wake of September 11, 2001 attacks. "In December 2009 the US Congress passed a law that told us that we had to reinstate firearms as part of checked baggage service," said US national rail corporation Amtrak spokesman Steve Kulm. Weapons allowed when the new policy begins on December 15 include shotguns, rifles and pistols, and a passenger can also carry up to five kilos of ammunition. "Amtrak operates over 300 trains a day... We anticipate less than 100 have checked baggage service. So less than a third of our trains have checked baggage service," the train service said in a statement."

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