Thursday, March 31, 2011

Important Not Guilty verdict in dog ‘warning shot’ case

Retired Cincinnati, Ohio police Lt. Harry Thomas was found “not guilty” by Carmel, Indiana City Court Judge Brian Poindexter following a three-hour bench trial

Thomas is the ex-cop who fired a single round into the ground on his own property, within inches of his own leg last October when a neighbor’s vicious dog put a jaw lock on his lower limb, after having menaced a neighbor who was walking her small dog across the street from Thomas’ house. His legal adventure began when a responding police officer wrote a report that resulted in a charge against him; a case that got attention on three different gun rights forums, here, here and here. We wrote about his dilemma the other day, noting that today was his trial date.

According to Thomas’ account of the trial, the prosecutor tried repeatedly to trip him into admitting that he didn’t have to fire the shot, but Thomas, who had appeared at numerous trials as a witness during his law enforcement career, offered an affirmative defense; that is, he testified as his own expert witness, explaining how firing as he did was the only safe thing to do.

The judge even acknowledged – against prosecution arguments – that under Indiana law and local ordinance, firing in self-defense does not necessarily require shooting someone or some animal fatally. There is no prohibition against “warning shots,” even though firing one is frowned upon by police agencies, a fact that Thomas confirmed under cross examination.

Thomas told this column that the verdict sets something of a precedent, that one needn’t kill when firing in self-defense. “We now have a precedent that you are not required to shoot-to-kill,” he said happily. During his police career, Thomas never had to kill anyone, and one suspects he sleeps well at night as a result.

Thomas had a couple of very good witnesses who testified about the dog that attacked Thomas, and the dog’s mate. The owner of those dogs has since moved farther into the country, apparently in part to keep his animals away from people.

The retired cop from the Flatlands may not realize it, but his actions may offer some guidance to citizens of the West, and no doubt there will be more discussion about this subject.


FL: 66-Year-Old Jewelry Store Owner abandons gun for fists: "Forty-five-year-old Joseph Anthony Borras entered Snow's Jewelers yesterday around 6 p.m. armed only with a crowbar and began smashing display cases. He attempted to take off with three Fendi watches, but a female employee confronted him. When Snow realized she was in danger, he took out a gun, but instead of shooting at the criminal, he began hitting him, eventually pinning him on the ground. "He could have hurt my employee or he could have hurt me, so there really wasn't a choice. We beat the crap out of him," Snow told NBC Miami. A Coral Gables Police officer told Local 10 that Snow is a hero. Borras was transported to the hospital before taken to jail. He faces charges of grand theft and armed robbery."

New Jersey continues to trash Second Amendment: "On March 16, the New Jersey Attorney General filed its final lower court response in the recently-filed lawsuit challenging New Jersey’s extreme and subjective handgun carry laws. As in its previous papers, the Attorney General again trashed the Second Amendment, arguing that the right to bear arms does not apply outside the home, and that New Jersey’s carry laws are constitutional and necessary to protect the public from those who legally carry firearms."

Brady Campaign invents new demon: "Brady Campaign President Paul Helmke has, perhaps inadvertently, revealed his intentions to push for an expanded ban on semiautomatic sport-utility rifles, and he invented a new demon in the process, proving he has no intention of finding common ground with gun owners, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Obama Triangulates on Gun Control

Chuck Norris

Loyal readers will recall that I warned last year of the perfect storm approaching on gun control. Now, with the Tucson, Ariz., tragedy as a steppingstone and with eyes firmly focused on his re-election, President Barack Obama has opened a campaign to appease his base on the polarizing issue.

Let me completely disclose my position: I am a strong Second Amendment advocate. I believe in protecting our fundamental rights, including our Second Amendment rights, through the political process. To that end, I serve as honorary chairman of the "Trigger The Vote" voter registration campaign.

That campaign is funded by the National Rifle Association's Freedom Action Foundation. We work in every election cycle to register gun owners and hunters to vote and add them to the ranks of millions of grass-roots voters who have established Second Amendment issues as the new "third rail" of American politics. Those voters and the newly registered voters we can add to their ranks between now and November 2012 will have their job cut out for them in the next election cycle.

The 2012 election now looms large for this administration. Even while the president's top aides are deserting the White House to staff up his campaign office, those left behind seem to be working from a mandate to begin patrolling the divided Democratic base.

Up until now, the Obama White House had given a wide berth to the gun control debate, abandoning campaign promises to pursue new restrictions on our gun rights. This avoidance does not reflect any shift in position; it is merely recognition of the political reality that most members of his party have no interest in having yet another political loser of an issue crammed down their throats.

At the same time, those in Obama's liberal base have grown restless and rancorous over his first two years in office because he hasn't done everything they've wanted, at least regarding more restrictions on our Second Amendment rights. They resent the president's avoidance of fulfilling his campaign rhetoric.

Gun control groups have thrown tantrums for months that Obama wouldn't champion their agenda, with one group resentfully awarding him an F. So only now is Obama sticking his toes into the swirling currents of the Second Amendment debate.

His campaign kicked off in the Arizona Daily Star, with a subtle op-ed that was intentionally vague. The words could be read as a broad endorsement of proposed gun control measures; they also could be read as embracing the NRA mantra that enforcement of current laws is what's needed. But Obama's attempt to place himself at the center of an ideological divide over guns is pure political positioning, and it comes with the rank odor of cold, crass calculation. One can almost hear the tearing of another page from the Clinton playbook.

One thing he definitely got wrong, however, was his arrogant statement that he had "expanded" the rights of gun owners. The Bill of Rights is guaranteed and can't be "expanded" by government, as it contains fundamental natural rights. Those rights can, however, be restricted by illegitimate government fiat, which is why the clear language of the Second Amendment prohibits even "infringement" upon it. But infringement is clearly on the agenda, despite Obama's rhetorical vacillations.

Implementation of the goals set out in his article came via phone calls from Justice Department operatives seeking to arrange a series of "active listening" meetings for groups on both sides of the gun control debate, as well as industry companies and groups. The proposed meetings were intended to develop an agenda of new legislative and regulatory proposals for the White House to embrace and push in Congress. Let's tally the results thus far.

First, my friends Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox at the NRA not only declined the invitation but did so in the form of a strong letter that gave lie to many of the article's core assertions.

Second, gun control groups eagerly attended their meeting, reporting on the process in glowing tones, which must have brought a rosy glow to the White House operatives assigned to the realignment of the political base. They continue their private muttering about a "lack of leadership" from the White House.

Third, the media panned the Obama strategy and operation. The White House must have been particularly stung by criticism from the editorial board of the Arizona Daily Star itself.

The meetings with other groups will continue. You can bet that we haven't heard the last of this issue. But so far, all that Obama has proved is this old political adage: The only thing accomplished by sitting in the middle of the road is that you can be hit from both sides.


IL: Boyfriend shot. No charges: "Cook County prosecutors today declined to file criminal charges in a domestic-related shooting that left a suburban father of three dead, officials said. Antwon Wormely, 28, of Harvey, was killed early Sunday when a male relative of his live-in girlfriend shot him once in the chest as the couple quarreled, according to Harvey police. He later died at a local hospital. The young couple lived with the girlfriend's parents and their 2- and 5-year-old daughters at a home on the 300 block of East 147th Place in Harvey. Wormely also had a 10-year-old daughter from a previous marriage."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Radio Shack: Free gun with your Dish Network: "Culture is a strange thing. Elements that appear normal in one culture--say, drinking a beer on the street when you're as old as 20--are reviled in another. So one has to accept that pockets of humanity see the world in their own way. However, a promotion by Radio Shack in Hamilton, Mont., might move one or two people to move there just to benefit from its full-bore imaginative core. For the Ravalli Republic reports that the Radio Shack Super Store in Hamilton has a very fine sign of the times outside its store. It reads: "PROTECT YOURSELF WITH DISH NETWORK SIGN UP NOW GET FREE GUN."

Changes Coming to New Jersey Gun Laws: "The question posed to the author was, “In light of federal court decisions striking down gun restrictions in Chicago and Washington, D.C., do you believe New Jersey will have to change some of its strict gun laws?” Most certainly. For the last forty years the legislature, via a combination of ignorance, arrogance and no small measure of hoplophobia has finally managed to box itself into a corner with regard to the way it treats the fundamental right to firearms as codified in the Second Amendment. The entire foundation of New Jersey’s blatantly unconstitutional gun laws is found in a 1968 State Supreme Court decision; Burton v. Sills. This decision relied on an intellectually bankrupt and now discarded interpretation of the Second Amendment as pertaining only to “the militia” or National Guard. This definition is more commonly known as the “collectivist interpretation” which was eliminated once and for all in the 2008 Supreme Court case Heller v. DC."

Monday, March 28, 2011

GA: Homeowner Shoots, Kills Intruder: "Police said a home invasion led to a deadly shootout in a south Fulton County neighborhood early Wednesday morning. One intruder is dead and a neighbor hit by a stray bullet is in the hospital. Channel 2 Action News reporter Amy Napier Viteri spoke with police who said two men kicked in the door of a Creel Road home at about 1 a.m. and began firing weapons and demanded money from a 24-year-old son living there. The man’s father heard the noise and came in with his own gun, shooting and killing one of the men, police said. The other would-be robber was able to drive away, police said."

OK: Self-defense considered in shooting at Tulsa apartment complex: "The men went their separate ways briefly before the confrontation resumed, he said. When it did, McDowell said, the older man fired a shotgun at the younger man, spraying the victim with pellets. ... Police believe that the victim also fired a pistol at the older man, although he did not admit that to officers when he was initially questioned at the hospital, McDowell said."

Sunday, March 27, 2011

TX: Hispanic fatally shot while attempting to rob father, son: "A man who attempted to rob a father and son at gunpoint Thursday night was fatally shot after the father wrestled the gun away from him and fired five times, Sheriff Omar Lucio said. Francisco Antonio Moreno, 31, of Brownsville, fled the scene with an accomplice, but was found dead a short time later near a neighborhood in Harlingen, Lucio said. The shooting occurred after Moreno, Ramon Cardoza, 21, of San Benito, and an unidentified man attempted to rob a family off of Rabb Road near La Feria Thursday night, Lucio said. Lucio identified Louis Earl Dixon as the man that was physically assaulted by the men. Dixon told investigators that he and his 21-year-old son were approached by three men, wearing masks, outside of their home Thursday night."

Tasers coming to Michigan? "Muskegon County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Jeff Blackmer said he wishes the state legislature would holster attempts to allow stun guns under the state’s concealed weapons law. “People might treat (stun guns) like toys and they’re dangerous. There is an awful lot of power,” he said. Now, a bill to allow stun guns under the state’s concealed weapons law recently passed the state House. The bill would allow people to carry so-called “citizen Tasers,” if they undergo a training course and meet the standard requirements for getting a concealed weapons permit. Those include not having a felony criminal record or documented history of mental issues. Many legislators support the bill and say concerns about people misusing stun guns have simply not born out in the 43 states that already allow them."

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ban on Large Capacity gun magazines would offer no protection

While I sympathize with the attack on Rep. Gabby Giffords, and the deaths in Arizona, blaming the gun or its parts does not go to the root of the problem. The problem was a disturbed individual, who had been noted for previous aberrant behavior, and was not locked up. While this legislation may sound good on paper, and make Congress feel like it is addressing the problem, it falls far short.

The legislation creates an economic hardship on those who presently own high-capacity magazines. Magazines are not inexpensive, and to have to replace an existing magazine with another is an excessive expense. There is no provision for just compensation for the cost of replacing existing magazines.

There is also the matter of compliance. Who is going to enforce this new law? Are you willing, in these severe economic times, to fund the "magazine police"? Have you and your colleagues thought about how easily smuggled these devices are? If millions of illegal immigrants and millions of dollars worth of drugs can be smuggled in, are you now going to create a new underground market in high-capacity magazines?

This bill, if enacted, will affect many more people than criminals. Someone who has Grandpa's M1 carbine as an heirloom will now become a criminal if they don't turn in the magazine. Certain competitive sports involving these magazines will have to be radically changed. Another tool for self-defense is being denied to honest Americans.


TX: Police Say Man Shot by Homeowner in Self-Defense: "Authorities say the man found dead on the side of the road in Harlingen was shot because he was threatening a homeowner, and the homeowner fought back. It all started around 9:30 Thursday night on Rabb Road in La Feria. Authorities say 31-year-old Francisco Antonio Moreno, Roman Cardoza and another man approached a La Feria homeowner. The men allegedly forced the homeowner and his son out of their car and demanded they be let inside the house. They used a gun, knives and baseball bat to threaten the homeowner. The sheriff says the homeowner refused, wrestled the gun away and shot in self-defense. Cardoza is charged with two counts of aggravated robbery. The homeowner held him down until police arrived. Moreno was shot and fled with the third suspect in a car. They drove to Harlingen on Karime and Julia Marie Road. That's where Moreno was found dead on the side of the road. The third suspect remains on the run."

Friday, March 25, 2011

TX: Man fatally shoots woman’s ex-boyfriend: "The woman and her current boyfriend were inside the home watching television around 7 p.m. The ex-boyfriend was banging on the front door and the woman opened the door to avoid the man from damaging it. Deputies say the man came in the home and attempted to fight the woman's current boyfriend, who produced a pistol and shot the unarmed ex-boyfriend more than once. According to police, he said it was in self-defense."

TX: Residents Tied Up At Gunpoint, Victim Frees Himself, Shoots At Suspects: "Two New Territory residents were tied up at gunpoint yesterday, with one victim freeing himself, retrieving a firearm and shooting at the three suspects, injuring none before the suspects fled. One of the three suspects has been identified as 25-year-old Rafael Juarez-Rosas. A warrant has been issued for his arrest on charges of aggravated robbery. The suspects tied up two adult residents, a man and a woman, and ransacked the home, taking firearms and electronics. The male victim freed himself, retrieved a gun and shot at the suspects None of the suspects were injured, and they fled the residence."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

FL: Shooter exonerated by jury: "Witnesses have testified that several brawls had broken out outside of the Riverfront Saloon in Leon County. Wilson took the stand on Tuesday. He said he got his gun from his truck after seeing his roommate fighting, tucked it in his waistband, and after taking three or four steps, he fell after Jones punched him in the head. Wilson says Jones straddled on top of him on the ground and was hitting him. Wilson says he pulled his gun out and shot Jones. Hobbs said, "Mr. Wilson is a very, very mild-mannered young man. He doesn't go looking for trouble. He's never been in trouble in his life. This was an aberration and I think that but for the fact that he was caught in a very violent situation, he would never had done what he did." Hobbs said in witness testimonies no one saw Wilson standing over Jones and says that Jones was the aggressor."

President can’t tell gun safety advocates from prohibitionists: "President Obama’s well-intentioned Sunday essay on gun rights in a Tucson newspaper demonstrates that he -- and probably his entire administration -- remains confused about firearms safety and gun control, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today. 'The president evidently can’t tell the difference between genuine gun safety advocates and gun prohibitionists,' said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Miss.: Jewelry store shooting killed one robber and injured another: "Pearl police said the shooting occurred during a robbery attempt at Gold and Silver Extravaganza on Highway 80. "Both suspects are male, dressed as females,” Townsend said. Townsend said the duo entered the store and tried to rob the employees shortly before 6 p.m. “The individuals came heavily armed. They had several weapons,” Townsend said. Police said the store manager pulled out his own weapon and fired first, killing one of the men and injuring the other. Investigators said the men managed to get off a shot, but only grazed the manager."

FL: Beauty queen defends home, kills felon: "Meghan Brown had fired her pink .38-caliber handgun only inside a shooting range. Even there, she said, she wasn’t very good. That Saturday was different. A man barged into her home, attacking her and beating her fiance. Adrenaline pumping, she fetched the gun from her bedroom. She trained it on the man, following his movements as he tussled with her fiance. She saw an opening. She pulled the trigger. Pop. Pop. Pop. Pop. Albert F. Hill, 42, never got up.... The man shot to death after deputies say he forced his way into a Tierra Verde home early Saturday morning spent 13 years in prison since 1987 but had turned his life around, his girlfriend said. Albert F. Hill, 42, ended his last prison term in September, his fourth time in prison since a two-year sentence on burglary charges in 1987. Fourth time? The man is a career criminal who should have been in prison for the rest of his life. Beauty queen or ugly’s sister, Meghan Brown should not have encountered this man. Ever."

ND: Proposed Bill Allows Employees to Keep Guns in Cars at Work: "A bill in the legislature has taken an unlikely path, and a senate committee is taking the latest look. The bill would make it illegal for employers to forbid employees from keeping guns locked in their vehicles while at work. The bill got a do not pass recommendation from the House committee that first looked at the bill, but passed overwhelmingly on the floor. It`s no secret that many North Dakotans like to hunt, and the state constitution holds Second Amendment rights in high regard. But some gun owners say their rights are being violated when employers set rules not allowing employees to keep their guns locked in their vehicles at work. "Somebody might want to go hunting before or after work. I have a friend in Aberdeen, S.D., who used to go over his lunch hour," explained Darin Goens of the National Rifle Association."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

MI: Market Worker Shot, Killed Robber: "A local market owner took justice into his own hands when police said two men tried to rob his business. Flint police told TV5 two people came in the door on a mission to rob Jules Market, but Edmund Joubran, who works at his parents' business, fired before the robbers could. "One guy came around the corner and showed my son his gun,” said Joubran. "As he's handing him the money, he pulls out his gun and shot him. Its hard on him because he shot someone.” Police said one of the two robbers struck by the bullets died on his way to the hospital. Police said the other robber is wounded and still on the run."

Should the FBI know how many guns you own?: "The 'library records' provision of the so-called Patriot Act could also be known as the 'gun records' provision, because it also allows the FBI to seize the forms you use to buy guns. This infamous provision, Section 215, is a direct assault on your Fourth Amendment rights because it allows the FBI to obtain personal information about you, without a warrant and without your knowledge. Section 215 is set to expire in May, along with two other provisions. But Congress will probably renew these provisions unless it hears from YOU."

Monday, March 21, 2011

CO: Loveland police settle suit with gun-carrying man: "Without a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity that the officer could articulate when he acted, the police officer could not legally stop and search Mr. Miller or seize Mr. Miller's property,' Boyle said in a news release. ... The settlement stipulates that officers will receive training on the Second and Fourth amendments of the U.S. Constitution, addressing the right to bear arms and search and seizure."

Who are the heartless ones?: "I'm disgusted when supporters of strict gun laws label their opponents as heartless or uncaring; gun control leaves victims little choice other than futile cooperation with those who, like Jonathan and Reginald Carr, have no intention of sparing them from unimaginable suffering and death. Condemning people to defenseless victimhood to protect them from accidental injury is no more compassionate than depriving them of water or heat to protect them from drowning or suffocation, each five times more common than accidental firearm death, according to the 2000 National Vital Statistics Report by the Centers for Disease Control."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

GA: Rely on yourself, not the cops, for protection

Who exactly, I'd like to know, is the Atlanta Police Department protecting?

On March 2, a friend and I were harassed and assaulted by a man in Little Five Points who was either out of his mind, on drugs or both. He tailed us through the neighborhood, threatening to kill us, and eventually hit my friend on the shoulder with a skateboard, hard enough to leave a lump the size of a softball.

After we'd gotten to safety and calmed down, I called 911 to report the incident. I was put on hold. When I finally got through to a real human being, several minutes, I might add, after the assailant had run off, she asked for a description and hung up after I gave it. No officers were sent to the scene.

The next day, I had an appointment at traffic court, which is located a few blocks from a high-crime area of the city. Still shaken from the night before and not about to take any chances, I brought my Taser with me.

But when I attempted to enter the courthouse, I was told my weapon would be confiscated. When I asked if they could hold it for me at the entrance, a courtesy they extended to my bike lock, which was also in my backpack, they told me I was breaking the law.

At this point, I broke down crying and explained the situation from the night before. The officers were unyielding, berating me and telling me my only option was to hide the weapon outside and retrieve it after my appointment. This seemed extremely unsafe — why hide a weapon in a bad neighborhood where it could easily be stolen and possibly used against an innocent person? — but they told me it was my only option and said they would arrest me if I continued my behavior. Without a choice, I handed over my Taser and went to my appointment.

I should clarify that isn't my intent to vilify all police officers. In fact, I spoke with a very helpful officer outside of the Graveyard Tavern on March 5. He expressed sympathy for my experience and gave me excellent advice about self-protection. He recommended carrying either a handgun, Mace Pepper Foam or a Blackjack, a billy club that straps to your hand and can incapacitate an attacker with a single strategic strike.

But with this one exception, my confidence in the APD was severely shaken. Mine is not an isolated incident. Atlanta's 911 center came under fire in summer 2009 after repeated complaints about delays in addressing emergencies. These complaints culminated in the firing of director Miles Butler, but the problem itself hasn't been fixed. If there aren't enough 911 dispatchers, more need to be hired. Period. There is no excuse for being put on hold in case of an emergency.

Additionally, members of the police force need to be reminded about who they're supposed to protect and serve. Where were the tough cops threatening arrest on the night my friend and I were attacked? Who exactly are you protecting when you take away a single woman's Taser?

Which brings me to the most important lesson I took away from this experience: You have to be able to look out for yourself. Whether it's a weapon or a self-defense class, you need to have some way that you can defend yourself in a bad situation.

Be aware of your surroundings. If someone is giving you a creepy vibe, don't be afraid to go somewhere you know is safe. It's better to risk offending someone than to risk being attacked.

Finally, if you see someone who looks like they're in trouble, do something. In a city where the majority of police seem apathetic, it becomes the citizens' job to look out for one another.

So the next time you see someone in a bad situation, step up and say something. You never know who you might save.


Robbery gone bad? "St. Louis police have an arrest in that Friday night gunfight at a home repair shop in the 31-hundred block of Ivanhoe near Arsenal on the south side. Police say it appears 74-year-old Robert Hartzell had an argument with a 50-year-old man inside the shop, pulled a gun and shot the 50-year-old who staggered out and collapsed nearby. Hartzell then got into his car. As he drove away, police say a third man shot Hartzell in the head. Hartzell died and the third man fled, only to be picked up by police late Saturday. The 50-year-old who was critically wounded is hospitalized. Neighbors say Hartzell had been in the home repair business for over 50 years."

Utah’s list of state symbols now includes an official firearm: "Until this week, Utah had 24 state symbols, from tree (the blue spruce) to insect (the honeybee) to even cooking pot (the Dutch oven). Now it’s added an official state firearm — the John M. Browning-designed M1911 pistol, becoming the first state in the nation to have one, according to the state legislator who sponsored the law. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed the new symbol into law this week. State Rep. Carl Wimmer, a Republican who was a police officer and SWAT team commander, came up with the idea for a state firearm last year... Wimmer selected the semi-automatic M1911 because gun maker Browning was born and raised in Ogden, Utah, and was the son of Utah pioneers who crossed the plains in the 1800s, Wimmer said. This year is also the 100th anniversary of when the U.S. military chose the M1911 to be its standard-issue sidearm for all branches of service"

Saturday, March 19, 2011

White House Gun Summits

President Barack Obama's op-ed column in the March 13 Arizona Daily Star invited all sides of the gun-control debate to a series of meetings in Washington.

Two problems: The President invited the NRA to the summits -- which declined to attend -- but neglected to extend invitations to other influential Second Amendment advocacy groups, such as the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA).

CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb said it was odd that the CCRKBA, nor its sister organization, the SAF, were invited to the meetings -- especially since it was the SAF's Supreme Court challenged that resulted last summer's McDonald v. City of Chicago ruling that solidified the Second Amendment's protection of an individual civil right.

The NRA declined the invitation but responded to Obama's op-ed with an open letter on March 15 by Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and Executive Director of the NRA Institute for Legal Action Chris Cox. The letter said Obama says one thing (i.e. the Second Amendment guarantees a person to bear arms) and acts another way (i.e. setting in place regulations restricting gun rights), and ripped his administration for being "under a cloud for allegedly encouraging violations of federal law."

"We suggest that you bring an immediate stop to BATFE's 'Fast and Furious' operation, in which an unknown number of illegal firearm transactions were detected – and then encouraged to fruition by your BATFE, which allegedly decided to let thousands of firearms 'walk' across the border and into the hands of murderous drug cartels," the letter alleges. "One federal officer has recently been killed and no one can predict what mayhem will still ensue. Despite the protests of gun dealers who wished to terminate these transactions, your Administration reportedly encouraged violations of federal firearms laws…"

Gottlieb, on the other hand, said he would love to speak with Obama during the meetings, which began on March 15 at the White House and will continue through the end of the month. He “would be eager to talk with the White House, especially about the ‘Project Gunrunner’ and ‘Fast and Furious’ scandals, where federal agents helped facilitate gun sales to suspected gunrunners," he wrote in CCRKBA's response to the President's op-ed.

As Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea noted in his March 15 column on, the ways the NRA, SAF, and CCRKBA -- and other Second Amendment advocacy groups -- reacted demonstrates "that the 'gun lobby' is not the monolith the media often portrays it to be."

But Blogosphere Buzz Examiner Bill Belew in his March 16 column asks if the NRA, SAF, and CCRKBA aren't going to the President's gun summits, what pro-Second Amendment groups are?


SC: Retreating man fired in self-defense: "Former law enforcement officer Joel O’Quinn was cleared by a jury of all charges Friday in the Sept. 11, 2009, shootout with Rusty Spencer and his nephew Timothy Spencer outside a Point South restaurant. During the early morning confrontation, O’Quinn shot Rusty Spencer in the parking lot of the Country Kitchen and was shot four times by Timothy Spencer. Both men survived but only O’Quinn was charged after an investigation by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. O’Quinn had testified that when Timothy Spencer unexpectedly showed up with his uncle after he challenged Rusty Spencer, he tried to end the altercation and fired a warning shot in the air before Timothy Spencer suddenly opened fire on him. O’Quinn was shot four times as he tried to retreat, he said. Bullet casings from O’Quinn’s .40 caliber Glock were found along the path he took as he ran for cover in nearby woods, his lawyer, Jared Newman told the jurors, proof that he was trying to get away. O’Quinn said he fired three “cover shots” while running but was not aiming at anyone."

Friday, March 18, 2011

Obama Looking For Ways Around Congress On Gun Policy

Faced with a Congress hostile to even slight restrictions of Second Amendment rights, the Obama administration is exploring potential changes to gun laws that can be secured strictly through executive action, administration officials say.

The Department of Justice held the first in what is expected to be a series of meetings on Tuesday afternoon with a group of stakeholders in the ongoing gun-policy debates. Before the meeting, officials said part of the discussion was expected to center around the White House's options for shaping policy on its own or through its adjoining agencies and departments -- on issues ranging from beefing up background checks to encouraging better data-sharing.

Administration officials said talk of executive orders or agency action are among a host of options that President Barack Obama and his advisers are considering. “The purpose of these discussions is to be a productive exchange of good ideas from folks across the spectrum,” one official said. “We think that’s a good place to start.”

Earlier in the day, House Democrats joined New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to offer another possible starting point, announcing legislation that would make fundamental changes to the nation’s gun background check system. Sponsored by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), a longtime gun control advocate, the bill mirrors one introduced late last month by another New York Democrat, Sen. Chuck Schumer.

“Too often, any serious discussion about guns devolves into ideological arguments that have nothing to do with the real problem,” Bloomberg, a co-founder of the coalition Mayors Against Illegal Guns, told reporters at a press event outside the Capitol. “Our coalition strongly believes in the Second Amendment. We also know from experience that we can keep guns away from dangerous people without imposing burdens on law-abiding gun owners."

For gun control advocates, however, executive action remains a more promising -- albeit more limited -- vehicle for reform than Congress. On Monday, The Huffington Post first reported that the Justice Department was convening meetings with groups from across the ideological spectrum in an effort to chart potential policy changes to Second Amendment law.

The discussions were meant to build a broad coalition around the elements of reform Obama had outlined a day earlier in an op-ed for the Arizona Daily Star, including stronger state-to-state coordination, expedited background checks and greater enforcement of the laws already on the books, especially with regard to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

But the coalition-building didn’t start off on a promising note. The National Rifle Association responded to the op-ed by arguing that Obama had missed the point “entirely” in ignoring lax law enforcement and shortcomings in the nation's mental health system.

The NRA’s response crystallized what administration officials and gun control advocates have long known to be a major potential roadblock in any reform effort: a policy approach that gives off even the hint of restricting access to firearms will be met with forceful opposition by the gun lobby and its allies.

Even when Democrats attempted to limit the ability of outside interest groups to make anonymous campaign donations, they ultimately exempted the NRA for fear that the group would derail the entire enterprise. And so, the conversation has drifted towards executive action.

“We need tougher laws, but there’s a lot we can and should be doing to enforce the laws we have,” said Mark Glaze, the executive director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. “Sometimes it’s a question of manpower and money, but in many cases it’s just a question of political will. We think the president knows that and is getting there.”

The extent to which Obama can change gun law without the hand of Congress is not, gun control activists say, wholly insignificant. Though they say they'd prefer longer-lasting, broader legislative responses to shootings like that which occurred in Tucson, Ariz., in early January, there are notable gaps that can be filled with presidential action.

With respect to the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), a Clinton-era rule had prevented the military from reporting to the Federal Bureau of Investigation that the alleged shooter, Jared Loughner, had been rejected as a recruit for failing a drug test. Obama could reverse that without Congress, Glaze and an administration official said.

As for other possible actions that can be taken without Congress, Mayors Against Illegal Guns has compiled a wishlist of sorts, suggesting that the national background-check system enforce the requirement that all federal agencies report individuals forbidden under federal law from purchasing guns; that the White House restructure regulations requiring that the FBI destroy firearm-purchase records after 90 days; that the FBI, DOJ and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives be more aggressive in pursuing federal prosecutions against those individuals who illegally attempted to buy firearms; and that the latter agency ramp up undercover investigations of sales at gun shows.


New Jersey Continues To Trash Second Amendment In Right To Carry Lawsuit: "On March 16, the New Jersey Attorney General filed its final lower court response in the recently-filed lawsuit challenging New Jersey’s extreme and subjective handgun carry laws. As in its previous papers, the Attorney General again trashed the Second Amendment, arguing that the right to bear arms does not apply outside the home, and that New Jersey’s carry laws are constitutional and necessary to protect the public from those who legally carry firearms. The federal lawsuit, filed in November of last year by Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, the Second Amendment Foundation, and six individual plaintiffs, challenges New Jersey’s unconstitutional “justifiable need” standard for issuance of handgun carry permits – a nearly impossible standard to meet that has all but eliminated the right to self defense with a firearm in the Garden State."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

ID: Ex-lover shot as he threatens new boyfriend: "Bilsky, 58, was acting in self-defense when he fired on Larson, according to testimony from a probable cause hearing on Monday. Bilsky told investigators he proceeded to the gate, where he found Adams on the ground and Larson kneeling nearby. Bilsky told detectives Larson drew the weapon on him and ordered him to leave. Bilsky said he began to back away and drew his own weapon. Investigators concluded that Larson fired first and ended up using all six shots in his .44-caliber Ruger revolver. Bilsky fired twice, Johnston told the court. Only Larson was injured during the exchange. “Is it fair to say Bilsky’s actions were a result of him attempting to defend himself as well as to defend Lora?', Greenbank asked Johnston during the hearing. “Yes,” Johnston replied. Judge Barbara Buchanan found there was sufficient cause to charge Larson with two felony assault counts for threatening Adams and attempting to shoot Bilsky."

OH: Man says he shot at four males who attacked him: "An Elyria man said he shot at four males who jumped him overnight. Police were called to the man’s Berwick Court home about 9:45 p.m. after the man’s girlfriend called to report she’d heard shots fired outside. Albert Goldsmith, 49, who has a concealed-carry permit, also contacted a dispatcher to report the shots had been him firing at attackers, according to a police report. Goldsmith told officers he had first observed four young black males walking around the apartment complex’s parking lot looking into cars. Goldsmith got his gun from his home and went out looking for the men. His girlfriend contacted police to report two of them were in the area of Berwick Court and Brunswick Drive and two others were hiding in a bush. The dispatcher told her to call back if the men re-entered the parking lot, the report said. Goldsmith told officers the men attacked him, and he fired two rounds at one of the men somewhere on Brunswick Drive, the report said."

TX: Self defense accepted in killing of hefty sister-in-law: "A Llano man was acquitted by a jury for First Degree Murder at the Blanco County Courthouse in Johnson City in the 424th Judicial District. Hilary Matthew "Matt" Steelman had been on trial for the death of his sister-in-law after he shot her in the head at his parents’ home located at the 200 block of Lagitos Lane in Rio Llano. Roxianne was taken to Brackenridge Hospital where she died six days later. Davis told the jury that Roxianne weighted 287 pounds and was 5 feet and 11 inches tall, a significant size difference compared to the defendant. Davis reminded the jury that once the gun was pointed at her, according to the defendant, Roxianne said "You ain’t got the balls," just before she lunged at Steelman. Davis asked the jury if the situation had been gender reversed, if it were a woman who shot and caused the death of a man who significantly outweighed her, would there have been a case to go to trial in the first place. He commented that Roxianne was capable of inflicting serious bodily injury to Steelman."

TN: Shootout after attempted robbery of market; No injuries: "On Wednesday, store owner Kamil Alakabi described what happened. “They came straight to me, and they don't say nothing. They just put the gun in my face. When they put the gun in my face, I tried to grab his gun, and they put me on the floor, and they punched me with their gun in my shoulder,” said Alakabi. He instantly fell to the floor and immediately tried to grab one man’s gun. That's when, Alakabi said, he thinks the men were startled by another worker on the other side of the aisle. “When they saw my buddy back there, they run to him. And I grab my gun and keep shooting them. When I keep shooting them and they keep shooting me, they run away you know,” Alakabi said."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

ATF Should Change Its Name to WTF

Doug Giles comments on efforts by the ATF to "plant" evidence of gun smuggling

What finally drew my ire and ink was the underreported story about how, according to Alan M. Gottlieb, Chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA), the Obama Administration and members of Congress are still trying to take away our Second Amendment rights, especially in the wake of the Tucson shootings.

And I quote: "The ATF has a very political agenda in mind, and that is to take away your gun rights—even if it means allowing gun sales to criminals so they can present ‘evidence’ to the administration that the Second Amendment should be restricted or abolished!”

For instance, Gottlieb reports:

On December 14, 2010, Customs and Border Protection Agent Brian Terry was shot as he tried to capture heavily armed "bandits” targeting illegal immigrants trying to get across the border near Rio Rico, Arizona. He died the next morning. It was a tragic incident that occurs frequently on our southern border, made all the more tragic because the semi-automatic rifle that was used to kill Agent Terry was bought by a criminal and smuggled into Mexico under the watchful eye of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).

William La Jeunesse (Fox News broadcast, February 22, 2011) states, "The gun used to kill Agent Brian Terry has been sourced, not to Mexico, but to a gun store in Phoenix that was actually part— and cooperating with—a federal investigation into arms trafficking. However, U.S. agents did not stop the sale or the transfer of that gun to the cartels that killed Terry.”

Quoting Gottlieb again, the accusations against ATF and DOJ officials include:

1. They intentionally allowed perhaps as many as 3,000 firearms to "walk” across the U.S. border into Mexico.

2. They instructed U.S. gun dealers to proceed with questionable and illegal sales of firearms to suspected gunrunners.

3. They intentionally withheld information about U.S.-sanctioned gun smuggling from the Mexican government.

4. One of the guns ATF allowed or helped to be smuggled into Mexico was involved in the death of CBP Agent Brian Terry.

Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) is now demanding answers on ATF's "Project Gunrunner.” Hundreds of guns were allowed to be purchased along the border by alleged straw buyers, while ATF conducted its investigation and DID NOTHING. The ATF looked the other way while these guns slipped into Mexico into the hands of drug cartels, and then they blamed gun laws in the United States for the transactions.

Anti-gun activists, led by the Obama administration, are doing all they can to make the connection between law-abiding citizens and deranged criminals—even standing by while known drug dealers purchase guns on our soil and take them back to Mexico ... and then use them to take the lives of our brave border agents!

Whistleblower John Dodson, 39, a front-line agent for the ATF, told the Center for Public Integrity that the guns the ATF allowed into the hands of drug lords and gun runners "are going to be turning up in crimes on both sides of the border for decades. With the number of guns we let walk, we'll never know how many people were killed, raped, robbed ... there is nothing we can do to round up those guns. They are gone.” Dodson said his supervisors were "elated every time a gun was recovered in Mexico” because they "saw it as proving the nexus that we were dealing with a real drug trafficking group.”

For two years, we've been hearing from Holder and others in the Obama administration about a so-called "iron pipeline” of American guns across the border, and federal officials have been working to strip you of your rights.

Wouldn't it be ironic to learn that while the Obama administration was blaming our gun rights for the drug war violence in Mexico, its own gun sting operation was a major source of illicit firearms?

Gottlieb and The CCRKBA call on Congress to support Senator Grassley's investigation into "Project Gunrunner” and to cut funding to the corrupt ATF immediately. Obama nominated anti-gun zealot Andrew Traver to head up the ATF prior to Congressional recess last year and reappointed him in the 112th Congress, but the Senate Judiciary Committee has yet to hold hearings. Rumors are that this Gunrunner issue is causing problems because the ATF doesn’t want questions about this case to come up. What does the ATF not want us to know?


NH House votes on deadly force bill: "A gun rights bill blocked five years ago by New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch is back and it faces a vote in the House on Tuesday. Lynch vetoed the bill in 2006, which would expand a person's right to use deadly force in self defense or in defense of others without first attempting to retreat. Right now state law allows people to use deadly force in their homes to defend against crimes like rape, but in public places people can only use deadly force if they try to retreat first."

Pro-Gun Bills Move Forward in Arizona House & Senate: "As reported last week, Senate Bill 1201 passed in the Senate on its final reading by a vote of 21 to 8, with one absent. This pro-gun bill is a comprehensive firearms reform measure which would make a number of improvements to Arizona’s carry laws. Most importantly, it would help put an end to “gun free” signs limiting your right to carry in most currently prohibited places and unsecured buildings. This reasonable right-to-carry reform legislation is designed to prohibit the arbitrary lines created by these signs which currently restrict your right to self-defense. Also, Senate Bill 1469 had its first reading in the House yesterday and was referred to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration. This important self-defense reform would strengthen the current “Castle Doctrine” self-defense law by broadening the definition of reasonable use of force"

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

IL: Amish gun owners face tough choice: "Amish gun owners in Illinois face a showdown over their religious teachings and their Second Amendment rights .... The Amish have a religious edict against having their photo taken. Up till now, the state had allowed them to obtain an FOID card without a photo, as is required of every other gun owner. But last month, the state police director reversed that policy, and said photos would be required of every gun owner, Amish or not." [Why pick on these harmless people?]

How did you get more human rights than me?: "Chicago’s now ex-mayor Daley is back in town. He’s talking about guns. Typically, those who want gun laws 'abhor violence' and yet they use violence to try and get what they want. Ironic. Yes, if there were no guns, there would be no gun violence. But let’s return to the real world for a moment. Fewer guns may translate into less gun violence, but if I can’t possess a gun then the only gun violence that can occur in my world is gun violence against me."

Monday, March 14, 2011

Nevada discusses allowing guns on college campuses: "There is a new bill being proposed this legislative session that will lift a campus gun ban. It is the first of its kind in the state of Nevada and the thought of allowing people to carry their gun legally on college campuses has stirred up quite the controversy. This also isn't an issue just being discussed here; people from across the country have used social media to express their opinion. The issue of self defense is the reason behind this new bill. Senate Bill 231 will allow people with concealed weapon permits to carry their guns onto property within the Nevada System of Higher Education."

Independent Poll Shows Strong Support For Open Carry Of Firearms: "WCTV-TV in Tallahassee is reporting results of two new independent polls show strong support for Florida Senate Bill 234. The bill, would reverse the current general ban on the open carry of firearms, and would remove Florida from the list of only seven states in which the practice is prohibited. Taken by marketing research, advertising, and public relations firm Open Market Research, Inc., the polls show broad support for the measure across a wide range of demographics, including sex, age, and political preference in Districts 2, 3, and 4 of Northern Florida.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

NM: Family Says Son Shot in Self Defense: "The family of shooting suspect Eric Marquez, 26, said Saturday that Marquez shot Julian "J.T." Melendrez, 22, to death in self defense, not cold blood. According to Marquez's girlfriend, she said Marquez told her what happened just before he allegedly reached for his gun. "When Eric looked up, J.T. (Julian Melendrez) was scrambling for something in his truck," said Marquez's girlfriend, who didn't wish to be identified. "He (Melendrez) was looking for a gun. Eric felt threatened, so the first thing to do was safety, self defense." Marquez's family said this shooting is the result of years of fighting between Melendrez and his friends... "Ever since then, they (Melendrez and friends) would just show up and do drive-bys," said Rosa, Marquez's mother, who didn't wish to give her last name. "We never knew what to expect." Currently, Marquez's home is covered in bulletholes from previous drive-by shootings."

Second Amendment Culture Wars: Eastern Elites vs. Gun-Friendly Red States: "America's gun-rights debate has moved into some new territory that highlights the ideological divide separating gun-hating Eastern elites from Americans in fly-over country. Recent events in New York City, Washington D.C., and in gun-friendly fly-over states (mostly red) demonstrate how profoundly the nation's Second Amendment debate is wrapped up with its culture wars. Consider how Americans on opposite sides of the liberal-conservative divide are viewing the gun-rights debates underway in at least nine state legislatures. According to Eastern elites, lawmakers are doing the unthinkable: They're debating whether to eliminate so-called "gun-free zones" on public college and university campuses... Conversely, 25 other states leave it to colleges and universities to allow or ban concealed carry holders; and so a handful of schools in the Midwest and West actually do allow concealed carry holders on campus to varying degrees."

Saturday, March 12, 2011

KY: Delivery Driver Shoots Alleged Robber: "A shooting during an attempted robbery of a delivery driver Friday night sent one person to the hospital. It happened just before 10:00 p.m. at Fairmont Court and Lakeshore Drive in Lexington. Police said a Wing Zone delivery driver was making a run on Fairmont, when several men approached him as he got out of his car. The driver told officers one of the men showed a gun and demanded cash. That's when the driver said he fired a gun, that was legally stored in his vehicle, in an attempt to defend himself. The alleged robber shot was taken to UK Hospital. His name and condition have not been released. Police are still searching for three other men believed to be involved".

Suit challenges discretion in issuing gun permits: "The nationwide debate over liberalizing gun laws spilled into a federal courtroom in Sacramento on Thursday as gun-rights groups challenged how much discretion California's law enforcement officials have in issuing concealed weapons permits. Gun-rights advocates argued that county sheriffs, who handle most such permits, must issue them to anyone who completes a training course and has no mental health problems or criminal background. They are challenging a policy by Yolo County Sheriff Ed Prieto, who says applicants in his county northwest of Sacramento must prove they have a reason to carry a concealed weapon, such as a threat to their safety."

Friday, March 11, 2011

TX: Man aquitted of murder in shooting death of sister-in-law: "A Llano man accused of shooting and killing his sister-in-law in 2009 was found not guilty of murder this week, officials said. Steelman was arrested on Aug. 5, 2009, after he called 911 and told a dispatcher he’d shot Roxianne Steelman in the head during an argument. Hilery and Roxianne Steelman lived in separate residences on the same property. Davis said Hilery Steelman told officials that when he displayed the gun, Roxianne Steelman threatened him and charged at him. That’s when he fired, Davis said. The jury, “was not convinced that it was not self defense,” Davis said. “If you have a reasonable doubt if it’s self-defense, then they’re instructed to acquit.”

OR: “I just broke into a home and the owner came home”: "After breaking into an Oregon residence last night, Timothy Chapek, 24, barricaded himself in a bathroom after the owner unexpectedly arrived home. Chapek, you see, was worried that Hilary Mackenzie might be armed ... So he called 911 seeking help. ... 'I think she’s got guns,' Chapek added. ... Simultaneously, Mackenzie called police to report that there was an intruder in her Portland home .... Chapek, pictured in the above mug shot, was arrested and charged with criminal trespass."

The witch hunt against gun owners: "Public disclosure of concealed carry licenses varies from state to state. Eighteen states protect permit holders' privacy from public view. Virginia is one of 17 states that make licensee records public. If information is public, does it make it right for a newspaper to publish it? The media exercise discretion all the time in withholding the names of minors or rape victims. Why should the privacy of law-abiding concealed handgun permit holders be treated with any less concern?"

NH: House panel OKs unlicensed carry bill: "New Hampshire may soon be rolling back gun control laws to allow anyone to carry a firearm without a concealed weapons permit. The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted 11-6 Wednesday to recommend HB 330 pass the House. In addition to eliminating concealed weapons permits, the bill removes restrictions related to transporting firearms in vehicles. While the bill expands the right to carry a firearm, those changes will not trump other laws that ban weapons from public schools, restrict who may possess a weapon, or govern hunting, according to lawmakers."

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ohio security guard off the hook: "Ernest Stanford, 62, has been on paid leave since August, when a grand jury indicted him for shooting Charles Eskridge, who was attempting to rob Silverman's Discount Store on Hayden Avenue. Stanford was off-duty, working as a security guard at the store, which Eskridge had robbed once before. A scuffle ensued and Eskridge was shot twice -- one bullet grazed his face, the other hit his leg. Diemert said Eskridge had tried to reach for the detective's gun, so Stanford held the weapon to keep it away from the suspect. The gun accidentally fired during the struggle, leaving a minor wound on Eskridge's face, Diemert said. Then Eskridge shoved Stanford to the floor and appeared to be reaching for something in his pocket, when Stanford shot him in the leg, Diemert said. Upon reviewing the video, prosecutors handling the case agreed that the evidence against Stanford was insufficient to lead to a conviction"

Pro-gun billboard cruises Miami: "A billboard on wheels has been cruising the streets of South Florida, heralding a pointed message in giant type: 2,191 Americans Use Guns In Self-Defense Every Day; Guns Save Lives. Of course, the traveling advertisement won’t make any friends in the administration of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has made a crusade of ridding his city of illegal guns. Bloomberg is co-chairman of an association of mayors trying to make it tougher for criminals to get firearms. That group has a rolling billboard truck of its own proclaiming “34 Americans Are Murdered With Guns Everyday” – a statistic the pro-gun Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep Bear Arms disputes."

WA: Carrying guns now OK in county parks: "Clark County commissioners amended a code Tuesday to make it legal to carry guns in parks. It remains illegal to discharge a weapon, except under specific circumstances, such as in self-defense. The county code regarding guns in parks now aligns with state law, which says people may openly carry firearms in a nonthreatening manner. Last summer, Vancouver resident Joe Winton, a member of a national gun advocacy group, went before the commissioners to ask that the code be updated. The county code pre-dated the state’s open-carry law. Nobody testified Tuesday before the commissioners voted to update the code. Winton also went before the Vancouver City Council last year, and city park signs have been updated to reflect state law."

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Man Is Shot Dead in Dispute at Barber Shop in Brooklyn: "A 77-year-old man with a gun was shot and killed by an off-duty city correction officer after an argument and a scuffle in a barber shop in Brooklyn on Tuesday afternoon, law enforcement officials said. The gunman was identified by the union representing city correction officers as Michael Mininni, 25, who has been an officer for a little more than two years and works at the George Motchan Detention Center on Rikers Island. A law enforcement official identified the dead man as Carl Calabro. Mr. Calabro entered the shop, began arguing with Mr. Mininni and displayed a small-caliber pistol, the police said. Mr. Mininni, who was getting a haircut, pulled out his own gun and shot Mr. Calabro, the police said. It was unclear how many times Mr. Mininni fired his weapon; it was also unclear whether Mr. Calabro fired his, the police said. Mr. Mininni was taken to Lutheran Medical Center with an arm injury, the police said."

Pa. Senate passes bill to broaden Castle Doctrine: "The state Senate passed legislation Tuesday to expand the rights of gun owners who act in self-defense. Senate Bill 273 would remove the "duty to retreat" clause from the Castle Doctrine when someone is threatened by an attacker in any place they have a right to be, including their vehicle. The measure would also provide protection against criminal prosecution or civil litigation for those who act to defend themselves. Those who use lethal force would need to demonstrate a reasonable belief that they were in imminent danger. The law would apply only to those who legally possess a firearm. It does not apply if used against a law enforcement officer. The legislation now goes to the state House, where similar legislation has been introduced."

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

CT: Murder, manslaughter charges off the table in shooting by druggie: "The Southwood Square resident who shot and killed a Norwalk man in September in what attorneys called a case of self-defense will not face murder or manslaughter charges, prosecutors said Monday. Last fall Jason Kendrick, 24, admitted to authorities that he killed 20-year-old Michael "Brazy" Patterson, of Norwalk, on Sept. 25 after witnessing him fire several rounds into Donta Wilks, a 31-year-old Stamford man who died from his gunshot wounds early the next morning. Kendrick told police he returned fire with a legally owned handgun after Patterson shot at him and a friend in the Southwood Square housing complex following a dispute at a barbecue that turned deadly."

Illinois Attorney General Releases Gun Owner Names: "Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has issued a letter instructing state police to release the names of authorized gun owners in Illinois to the press, the Associated Press is reporting. State police had initially denied the AP's request for a list of Illinois residents with a Firearm Owners Identification card on the grounds that disclosing the names would violate the privacy of gun owners. The wire service explains that police officials have not indicated whether they will comply with Madigan's ruling, and that there are currently Republican-sponsored bills in the Illinois House and Senate that would prohibit disclosing this kind of information. The news comes less than two weeks after the New York Times obtained the names of more than 37,000 people licensed to own handguns in New York City from the New York Police Department"

PA: Court rejects 2nd Amendment argument by convicted felon: "A Washington County man lost his Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms when he was convicted in 1995 of cocaine trafficking and receiving stolen firearms, a federal appeals court ruled today. James F. Barton, 51, of Washington, claimed the law making it illegal for a felon to possess a firearm was unconstitutional. His appeal cited a 2008 U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down a District of Columbia law prohibiting the private ownership of handguns"

Monday, March 07, 2011

IN: Woman shot ex-boyfriend after he attacked her: "Police said a 53-year-old woman shot her ex-boyfriend after he broke into her house and started beating her. Donald Bryant, 40, approached the woman in the 2300 block of West 19th Avenue while she was starting her car, according to a police report. Bryant said he wanted to talk with her about getting back together, the report said. She ran into the house and he chased her inside and pushed in the door while she yelled for her sister to call 911, Lt. Sam Roberts said. Bryant "began punching her with his fist and began to grab and choke her," Roberts said. The victim pulled out a gun and shot Bryant in the stomach, police said. Bryant was arrested for residential entry and battery after being transported to Methodist Hospital Northlake Campus in Gary. The woman was not arrested"

Utah: Judge says suit over mall shooting gun sale can go on: "A state judge on Monday said a pawnshop owner will face a civil trial over whether a gun used in a Utah mall shooting that killed five people was sold illegally. Third District Judge Glenn K. Iwasaki in Salt Lake City said in a statement that disputed facts on whether the gun was intended to be used as a shotgun will move the case to a jury trial. Both sides said they expect the case to go to trial next year. Talovic, a Bosnian immigrant, was 18 when he bought the gun. He died in a shootout with police after opening fire in the mall. The pawnshop's lawyers argued at a Feb. 14 hearing that the case should be dismissed. Mike Hansen, an attorney for Rocky Mountain Enterprises, also known as Sportsman's Fast Cash, said the gun was sold legally because it was a shotgun and there was no way to foresee what Talovic would do after he purchased the gun."

Sunday, March 06, 2011

IN: Man who shot drunken student acquitted: "Sherman Hammons was found not guilty this week of committing a crime. Hammons heard someone trying to open his screen door, and then he heard voices. He yelled at them to get off his porch. But the person persisted, turning the door handle and trying to get inside, according to Hammons. Hammons went to his bedroom, unlocked his safe, and pulled out his .40-caliber handgun. He fired a single shot through the door, and heard a scream. Outside was Notre Dame student Rachel Payne and another man. The pair had mistakenly thought Hammons' house was their own and were allegedly intoxicated, according to past Tribune reports. Payne was struck in the arm. She and her companion fled the scene, and by the time Hammons came outside, they were gone, he said. He was put on trial in March 2010 in St. Joseph County Circuit Court, but the jury deadlocked and the magistrate declared a mistrial. But in the second trial, it took the jury less than one hour to deliver a not guilty verdict Tuesday."

Texas college students at center of gun legislation debate: "Sliwowski and his classmates — not yet born when a student gunman opened fire atop the clock tower in the summer of 1966 — are now at the center of a debate over whether to allow concealed handguns on Texas college campuses. A proposed law would make Texas one of the few places in the nation where faculty, staff and students with concealed handgun licenses could bring guns inside campus buildings. Supporters say it would give them the same rights of self-defense they have off campus and could help prevent massacres like the one at Virginia Tech that claimed 32 lives in 2007. The bill has substantial political support at the state Capitol, but remains weeks away from a vote. About 500,000 people have concealed handgun licenses in Texas, a state where handguns are allowed inside the Capitol and hunters outnumber the population of South Dakota."

Saturday, March 05, 2011

WA: Man shot in road-rage incident may face charges: "A Marysville man who was shot in the chest with a .357 Magnum revolver last December during a road-rage dispute could be charged with assault. That's the recommendation of police. Detectives say the man, 26, was the aggressor in a confrontation that started with salty words in the Frontier Village parking lot in Lake Stevens. Before he was shot, he is accused of beating a Lake Stevens man over the head with a 3-pound flashlight. No charges are recommended against the 25-year-old man who said he shot in self defense. Patrol officers were called Dec. 29 after a report of an assault with a weapon at the intersection of North Davies Road and 96th Avenue Northeast. Bystanders called 911 after watching the Marysville man get out of the passenger side of a Toyota truck and assault the driver of a Subaru, police said. The man in the Subaru was struck with a flashlight. He grabbed a gun and shot, leaving his attacker with wounds to his arm and chest, according to police reports."

Dumb BATFE operation: "Guns allowed to come into the possession of suspected smugglers in a tracking operation were found at the scene of the killing of a U.S. agent, officials said. Weapons bought by a known straw purchaser surfaced after the killing of a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent in Arizona, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday. The guns were involved in Operation Fast and Furious, a 15-month Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigation, the newspaper said. The BATFE, working with other law enforcement agencies, intended to track smuggled guns from U.S. suppliers to Mexican drug cartels. Brian Terry was killed Dec.14 in a shootout near Rio Rico."

Friday, March 04, 2011

UT: Shooting may have been in self-defense: "The shooting happened after five people went to Johnson's house to evict him. They confronted Johnson in a shed behind the house and began beating him up and hitting his head with a brick, Hoyal said. In fear of his safety, police say Johnson fired several shots at the individuals, striking three of the five people."

MS: Sheriff Believes husband shooting was "Self-Defense": "A 29 year old Simpson County man was shot to death by his 26 year old wife Wednesday night. It happened at a home at 316 Main Street in downtown Braxton. Simpson County Sheriff Kenneth Lewis says he believes it was a case of self defense. "It stemmed from just a fight between and man and a wife, and ah, the lady picked up a gun and shot him. And he had bounced her off the wall two or three times, her eye was black and she was bloody. And so she had just had enough or she was ready to stop it," said sheriff Lewis. Lewis identified the victim as Carl Pittman of Braxton. 26 year old Brandi Pittman, his wife, was not facing charges Thursday. A neighbor says there were some problems between the couple."

CO: Man says he exhausted options before shooting dog: "The owner of a 70-pound greyhound said Thursday that he exhausted all options before pulling his handgun on a 140-pound dog that had latched its jaws around his greyhound’s neck. “I had no choice but to shoot into the dog and kill him,” Robert McCombs said. Tammy Martinez, who owned the dog shot to death, was served a summons Thursday afternoon on suspicion of unlawful ownership of a dangerous animal, a misdemeanor, according to Joe Stafford, director of animal services at the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region. Martinez identifed her dog as a bullmastiff. McCombs shot the attacking dog twice, killing it, Colorado Springs police said. He had a permit to carry a concealed handgun, police said, and appeared to be “within the guidelines of the law” when firing his handgun."

Arizona Senate votes to allow guns in most public buildings: "With both sides invoking the memory of the Tucson shootings, the Senate voted 21-8 Thursday to expand where people can carry their guns. SB 1201 would make most public buildings places where weapons are permitted. It would allow gun owners to ignore the "no weapons" signs now posted on most buildings unless visitors also had to either go through metal detectors or be screened by security personnel with hand-held wands. It would not, however, disturb existing laws about guns on college campuses. But separate legislation proposes to overturn that ban. Senate President Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, said the measure simply recognizes that people have a right to defend themselves. Pearce said there is a constitutional right of self defense. "Yet we believe it's OK to create no-defense zones," he said, where the only people who pay attention to the signs banning guns in public buildings are those who obey the law in the first place."

Thursday, March 03, 2011

NC: Subway worker won't be charged in killing: "An employee at a Subway restaurant in northeast Charlotte who shot and killed a robbery suspect in January will not face charges. On Jan. 17 around 7 p.m., two men armed with handguns entered the Subway restaurant on Sugar Creek Road near the Hidden Valley neighborhood. They were trying to rob the restaurant, police said, and an altercation began when the employee refused to comply with the suspects' demands. The employee opened fire, shooting both men. Jamal Steven McKenith, 20, was found dead not far from the store at the end of the strip mall. The other suspect, Demetrius Nathaniel Thomas, 19, was injured. He's been in jail since he was released from an area hospital in January, charged with conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon and robbery with a dangerous weapon."

Angel Alvarez Cleared of lying police charges: "Angel Alvarez was cleared of charges that he opened fire on Harlem police, an alleged action that led the police to shoot the man 23 times. Alvarez consistently proclaimed his innocence. The New York Post adds that he maintained that he was not even guilt of gun possession and did not hold a gun during the ordeal until he grabbed the one of rival Luis Soto in self defense. The police then shot at him and Soto for no reason. Police say they only shot at Alvarez when he pointed the gun at them. After hearing Alvarez's testimony, the jury found Alvarez innocent. "The grand jury -- the people of the city -- considered all the evidence and found the truth," said Zachary Johnson, one of Alvarez's lawyers. A jury will also decide on what will happen to the police officers who fired their weapons. The shootout left Soto dead, four bystanders injured, and one police officer injured by a shot fired by another officer."

WY: Mead signs concealed gun bill: "Wyoming has become the fourth state to allow citizens to carry concealed guns without a permit. Gov. Matt Mead signed a bill into law Wednesday to allow state citizens legally entitled to own guns to carry them concealed starting in July. Similar bills are pending in about half a dozen other state legislatures around the country. Alaska, Arizona and Vermont already don't require permits for carrying concealed guns."

FL: Bill would allow guns to be carried openly at universities: "A new bill in Florida would allow for the open-carry of firearms in the state, including on the campuses of Florida’s universities. Sen. Greg Evers (R-Crestview) introduced the legislation, SB 234, which is currently in committee. If passed, the bill would allow anyone with a concealed weapons permit to also carry a firearm visible to the public. Florida is one of seven states in the country that currently does not allow a person to do that."

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Connecticut Moves to Ban “Large Capacity” Gun Magazines: "SB 1094 seeks to prohibit the possession of firearms magazines that accept more than ten rounds of ammunition. If passed and signed into law, any person in possession of any magazine greater than ten rounds, who has not already surrendered the magazine prior to enactment or ninety days after enactment, will be guilty of a class D felony. SB 1094 is a bill in search of a problem, despite the recent media attention given to “large capacity” magazines, no correlation exists between the size or arbitrary capacity of a detachable magazine and violent crime. Owners of “large capacity” magazines are not criminals or individuals intent on committing atrocious acts; they are sportsmen or firearm enthusiasts who own the magazines for a variety of reasons, including sport, competition or self-defense."

SC: Proposed gun law changes could cost state in lost fees: "A bill that is working its way through the state legislature could eliminate concealed weapons permit requirements and cost the state millions of dollars in lost permit fees. Many Anderson-area instructors said they are still following the bill and want to learn more, but they are worried that no longer having mandatory classes for concealed weapons permits could hurt or destroy their business."

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

IL: Pharmacy robber shot: "A man who was shot by an employee while attempting to rob a Wauconda pharmacy had held up the same store in December, police said Monday. Guy Michael Conti, 31, of the 27600 block of North Hickory Street in Island Lake, has been charged with aggravated robbery and robbery. Police said he robbed Wauconda Pharmacy, 222 S. Main St., on Dec. 10 and tried again on Feb. 14, when the shooting took place. Police said Conti walked into the drug store on Dec. 10, told employees he had a gun and demanded prescription painkillers. He left the store after receiving the painkillers, police said. When Conti returned on Feb. 14 – this time threatening employees with a knife and again demanding painkillers – he scuffled with two pharmacy employees, one of whom shot him, authorities said. Conti has been hospitalized since the shooting and is under police guard. His bond has been set at $500,000, police said."

SC: Castle doctrine popular defense: "A man is strangled to death in a Colleton County home. Another is gunned down outside a West Columbia house. A third is grazed by a bullet as five rounds rip through his car on James Island. All three events occurred this month, and in each case authorities know exactly who inflicted those injuries. But so far, no one has been charged with a crime. That's because each incident involves a citizen trying to protect his home or property, and the state tends to give great leeway to folks who use deadly force in such situations."

SC: lawmakers discuss pros, cons of gun bill: "Some state lawmakers in South Carolina are working to make it easier for gun owners to carry concealed weapons. A recent proposal unanimously approved Thursday by a bipartisan state House Judiciary subcommittee would allow any legal gun owner over the age of 21 to carry a concealed weapon without a permit"