Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Self-defence or murder? Outrage as pharmacist who shot 16-year-old trying to rob his shop gets life sentence

A controversial decision to send a pharmacist to jail for life for shooting dead a young man who tried to rob his store has caused a storm of protest. Jerome Ersland was given a life sentence for the first-degree murder of 16-year-old Antwun Parker at an Oklahoma court last week.

The 59-year-old pharmacist shot the youngster six times during an attempted armed robbery in 2009, leading jurors to decide he had acted beyond the limits of self defence.

Thousands in the area have, however, reacted furiously to the decision, insisting Mr Ersland had simply acted to protect himself, his store and his customers. The debate has now moved online, with many joining groups in his support and ones that argue his punishment is deserved on Facebook.

The argument is similarly divided on social networking site Twitter, with thousands sending out messages of support for either Ersland or the justice system.

One group on Facebook, titled 'Jerome Ersland should not have been found guilty' has more than 2,500 members.

Others, such as the 'Jerome Ersland got what he deserved' group have also attracted much attention.

There have also been petition sites started which hope to send more than 5,000 signatories to the government following the controversial court case.

Support has also come from notable public figures, including Oklahoma State Senator Ralph Shortey. 'I'm gonna spend the rest of my career, however long it may be, trying to right this wrong,' he told ABC News.

Dramatic CCTV footage from May 19 2009 shows Antwun Parker and an accomplice running into the Reliable Discount Pharmacy in south Oklahoma City and pointing a gun directly at Mr Ersland. The pharmacist, who was once an Air Force lieutenant colonel, can then be seen reaching for a pistol of his own before firing at the two young men, with one of the shots hitting Parker to the ground.

After chasing the accomplice from the store, Ersland then gets a second gun before shooting Parker another five times, almost a minute after he fired the first gunshot.

In court, Mr Ersland's attorneys insisted their client had acted in self-defence. Defence lawyer Irven Box asked jurors to close their eyes and imagine what they would do if they were confronted with the same situation. 'He eliminated the armed robber,' Box said.

Box added to ABC News that the pharmacist had shot repeatedly because he saw Parker was still moving after the first hit so deemed him still to be a threat.

Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Chance, however, argued that: 'This defendant was absolutely not defending himself or anyone else.'

The jury responded after three and a half hours of deliberation by recommending a life sentence.

Ersland must now be sentenced by Oklahoma County District Judge Ray Elliott on July 11. If he upholds the jury's decision, Ersland will not be eligible for parole for at least 38 years. Ersland's lawyers said they would appeal the murder conviction.


British School reprimands seven-year-old boys for playing 'army game'

They actually used their hands to represent a GUN!

A primary school has been condemned by parents for disciplining two seven-year-old boys after teachers ruled playing army games amounted to "threatening behaviour". Staff at Nathaniel Newton Infant School in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, reprimanded the two boys after they were seen making pistol shapes with their fingers.

Teachers broke up the imaginary classroom shoot-out and contacted the youngsters’ parents, warning them that such behaviour would not be tolerated. The school, which caters for around 180 pupils aged four to seven, said the gun gestures were “unacceptable” and were not permitted at school.

However, parents have described the reaction as “outrageous”, while family groups warned that “wrapping children in cotton wool” damages their upbringing.

Defending its policy, a spokesman for Nathaniel Newton Infant School said: “Far from stopping children from playing we actively encourage it. “However a judgement call has to be made if playing turns into unacceptable behaviour. "The issue here was about hand gestures being made in the shape of a gun towards members of staff which is understandably unacceptable, particularly in the classroom."

A father of one of the boys who was disciplined said: "It’s ridiculous. How can you tell a seven-year-old boy he cannot play guns and armies with his friends.

"Another parent was called for the same reason. We were told to reprimand our son for this and to tell him he cannot play 'guns' anymore. "The teacher said the boys should be reprimanded for threatening behaviour which would not be tolerated at the school.”

The community primary school was rated as “good” overall in an Ofsted report published last year, but warned that children oughtt to have greater freedom to play. The inspectors praised pupils’ behaviour as “outstanding”, telling them in a letter: “Your behaviour is excellent and you work very well together.” They added that they had asked teachers to “make it easier for the children to play and learn outside”.

Parenting groups condemned the school’s reaction to the children’s game of soldiers, warning that it risked causing a rift between the school and parents.

Margaret Morrissey, founder of the family lobby group Parents Outloud, said: “It is madness to try to indoctrinate children aged seven with political correctness in this way. “Children have played cowboys and Indians like this for generations and it does them absolutely no harm whatsoever. “In my experience, it is the children who are banned from playing innocent games like this who then go on to develop a fascination with guns.

“We cannot wrap our children in cotton wool. Allowing them to take a few risks and play games outside is an essential part of growing up. “By reprimanding these youngsters at this age, the school makes a very big issue out of something trivial, which will divide the parents and teachers.”

The case follows a string of similar incidents in which children’s playtime activities have been curbed by overzealous staff over health and safety concerns. Earlier this year, a Liverpool school banned youngsters from playing football with anything other than sponge balls amid fears youngsters might get hurt.

Research last month also found that one in six British schools had banned conkers over concerns of pupils being hit in the face. Other traditional playground games such as British bulldog and even leapfrog are prohibited at 30 per cent 10 per cent of schools respectively, a study by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers union found.

Marcus Jones, the Tory MP for Nuneaton, said: “It is quite apparent that the seven-year-olds would be playing an innocent game. "This is political correctness gone mad. When I was that age that type of game was common place and I don't remember anyone coming to any harm from it."


Monday, May 30, 2011

Gun Owners Have a Right to Privacy

If you own a gun in Illinois, take precautions. The state attorney general, Lisa Madigan, wants to release the names of gun owners in response to an Associated Press request. Publication of that list would tell the criminal class where the guns are, which could be useful to two different sorts of lawbreakers: gun thieves who want to know where the guns are and burglars who want to know where they are not.

New York City released its list recently at the New York Times’ request. It included “dozens of boldface names and public figures: prominent business leaders, elected officials, celebrities, journalists, judges and lawyers,” the Times reported. It then named names.

People who want the lists made public say the disclosure is necessary to ensure that government doesn’t issue permits to felons. They point to an AP report that gun permits were given to hundreds of felons in Florida, Tennessee, and Indiana. So because government is not competent enough to obey its own rules, the rest of us must have our privacy compromised?

I don’t buy it.

As Richard Pearson of the Illinois State Rifle Association says: “There is no legitimate reason for anyone to have access to the information. The safety of real people is at stake here. Once this information is released, it will be distributed to street gangs and gun-control groups, who will use the data to target gun owners for crime and harassment.”

Good point. One nice thing about concealed weapons is that even people who don’t carry guns are safer because the muggers can’t tell who is armed and who isn’t. Releasing the list of permit-holders undermines that benefit. It’s not unusual for a woman who has been threatened by an ex-husband or boyfriend to obtain a gun and a carry permit for self-protection. Why should the threatening male get to find out if the woman is armed?

The anti-gun lobby downplays this danger as though it were inconceivable that someone would get names off a list in order to commit violence. However, we know of cases where people named on sex-offender registries were murdered.

We also know that lawful gun owners in New Orleans had their guns confiscated by government authorities after Hurricane Katrina.

No one should be soothed by assurances that publication of those lists poses no threat to law-abiding gun owners.

The only reason that governments have lists of gun owners is that they require licenses or concealed-carry permits. The right to self-defense, and therefore the right to buy and carry a handgun (the most effective means of self-defense), should require no one’s permission. It is a natural right. The Second Amendment didn’t invent the right to own guns. It merely recognized it: “[T]he right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” It doesn’t say, “The people shall have the right to keep and bear arms.”

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court, while striking down outright bans on handguns, left room for permits. But it’s hard to see how that is consistent with the natural right of self-defense.

I leave aside whether a felon who has served his sentence should be deprived of the means of self-defense because there’s a more practical point: Gun laws have no effect on people who plan to break other, more serious laws. Guns are the tools of the criminal trade. If people in that business can’t get them legally, they’ll get them in the black market. And where there is prohibition, there has always been a black market.

The law of supply and demand is as reliable as the law of gravity.


Kirkland pit bull incident probably a ‘good shoot’

The weekend shooting of an aggressive pit bull at a Kirkland park appears to fall well within the guidelines of self-defense under this state’s statutes, and the incident has ignited a furious debate about dangerous dogs.

The case, according to Alan Gottlieb, executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation in Bellevue, underscores why his organization fought to nullify Seattle’s illegal parks gun ban. The State Court of Appeals is now mulling that case. Joining SAF in that lawsuit were the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, the National Rifle Association, Washington Arms Collectors, and five local residents.

The city lost the first round in King County Superior Court and appealed. Oral arguments before the State Court of Appeals were held in March.

KOMO News broke the story about the Kirkland incident, which occurred Saturday afternoon at Juanita Beach Park. The man who fired the shot, identified as Tim Lewis of Kirkland, drew his legally-concealed handgun and shot one of three pit bulls that had attacked Lewis’ German shepherd unprovoked. Kirkland police are investigating. A spokesman for the King County Prosecutor’s Office indicated that it is legal to shoot an attacking dog in defense of life or, in this case, property, that being Lewis’ pet.

One witness, Charles McLennan, told KOMO that “If (Lewis) didn’t have that gun, he would probably be dead.”

As Gottlieb observed, “There are many reasons why law-abiding citizens would want to be armed in a public park, and the Kirkland incident typifies one of the best. Aggressive dogs can launch an attack without warning. They could seriously injure an adult or child.”

The shooting has gotten the attention of Washington Open Carry advocates, who recall the Seattle lawsuit. It is also reminiscent of a case this column discussed about two months ago involving a retired Cincinnati police lieutenant now living in Indiana. He simply fired a shot to scare off a dog that had him by the leg., and he was prosecuted for it, and won in court.

More here

Sunday, May 29, 2011

MI: Walgreens pharmacist fired after he scared away would-be armed robbers by shooting at them: "To many, Jeremy Hoven is a hero who was wrongly sacked. The pharmacist, 36, was working at a Walgreens late at night in Benton Township, Michigan, when two armed and masked robbers allegedly tried to pull a stick up. Mr Hoven told the Herald-Palladium that one of the alleged robbers jumped over the counter, just a few steps away from him, after leading a store manager at gunpoint. So the pharmacist reportedly drew his own gun and fired three to four shots in the vicinity of the intruders. The two men scrambled off, their alleged robbery foiled. Police say one may have been hit, though Mr Hoven said he didn't see any blood anywhere. The three other employees at the store at the time have praised Mr Hoven for his bravery and quick thinking. No customers were apparently in the building. Still, Walgreens fired Mr Hoven eight days after the incident. [Boycott Walgreens!]

Gun Law Expert Commends House on Memorial Day Self-Defense Vote: "Members of the U.S. House of Representatives deserve Americans' thanks and commendation for voting to support the right to self-defense of our service men and women," gun rights expert John M. Snyder said here today. The Mica Amendment would require the Secretary of Defense to ensure that the rules of engagement applicable to armed forces assigned to duty in a hostile fire area fully protect the service members' right to bear arms and authorizes the service members to fully defend themselves from hostile actions. "It is almost incredible that such a proposal even is necessary, but that is the sorry state of affairs to which our country has fallen under the Obama administration," said Snyder." Congressman Mica explained that he offered the amendment in response to pleas from armed forces personnel serving in combat zones around the world."

Saturday, May 28, 2011

NC: Jury finds man not-guilty: "A Scotland County jury handed down a not-guilty verdict Friday in the 2009 shooting death of the man in a Laurinburg Piggy Wiggly. Police say Odum, a butcher, was working in the meat department of the Piggly Wiggly on East Church Street when McLean threatened to harm him. The dispute occurred over Odum’s ex-girlfriend, whom McLean was dating at the time of the shooting, according to authorities. The woman is also the mother of Odum’s two children. Authorites say McLean walked into the store on July 17, 2009 shouting for Odum. When McLean confronted Odum, the butcher drew out a handgun and shot McLean three times at close range, according to police. McLean died at the scene. After the shooting Odum walked to the police station and turned himself into authorities. Odum’s Attorney William H. Dowdy said that Odum shot McLean in self-defense. He told the jury that McLean had a reputation for being violent. “Aubrey was at his job and the man walked in threatening him and attacked him. Aubrey was defending himself,” he said."

NY: Man (above) who was shot by store owner is sent to prison for robbery attempt: "A Syracuse man shot while trying to rob the owner of a city convenience store was sentenced today to serve nine years in state prison. Rayshawn Johnson, 29, had nothing to say before state Supreme Court Justice John Brunetti imposed the penalty agreed to when Johnson pleaded guilty. Johnson admitted he was armed with a knife when he tried to rob Ruben Colon in the victim's Los Amigos convenience store at 204 W. Brighton Ave. Sept. 27. Authorities said that when Johnson threatened Colon with a large knife, Colon pulled a gun to defend himself. Johnson tried to wrestle the gun away from Colon and was shot in the side when the weapon went off during the struggle, officials said."

Friday, May 27, 2011

TX: Homeowner Kills Teen Burglary Suspect: "A Fort Worth teenager is dead after police said he tried to break into a house and was shot. The homeowner said shortly after he returned home from work he heard a noise at his back window. The man said he pulled back the blinds and saw a young man with a crow bar trying to pry the window open. “He was coming in the house. He scared me. I didn’t know what else to do,” he said. “I put the clip in the gun and I clicked it thinking that he heard all that.” But that didn’t work, he said. “When I raised the blinds he was still there, like he was still coming in. He was almost in then. I didn’t know what else to do,” the man said. “When I raised the blinds up I shot him.” Police believe that’s when 17-year-old Ernest Morris turned around and jumped over the fence. But he didn’t make it far. He died behind the house from a bullet wound to the chest. At this point the homeowner has not been arrested."

VA: Dog box thief guilty: "A Suffolk man shot in the head during a botched attempt to steal from a retired police officer pleaded guilty Thursday to charges stemming from that incident and another theft. Quamaine Lamar Lassiter, 20, pleaded guilty to attempted grand larceny of a dog box. Duck shot Lassiter in the head after he awoke in the middle of the night on Jan. 13 because his dogs were barking. He looked outside and saw Lassiter attempting to load the dog box from his yard onto a pickup truck. Duck retrieved a gun, opened a window and yelled at the man to move to the front of the truck. When Lassiter instead leaped into his truck as if to get a weapon, Duck fired several shots at the vehicle. A bullet hit Lassiter in the head and lodged under his skin but did not penetrate the skull. Duck was not charged in the incident, because it was ruled self-defense."

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Range Protection Legislation Passes in the Texas Legislature: "Today SB 766 by Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) passed the Texas House on Third Reading and is now headed to Governor Perry’s desk. TSRA sponsored Shooting Range Protection Act, SB 766, was authored in the Senate by Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls). His chief of staff, John Bennett and our volunteer legal consultant Charles Cotton wrote the language. In recent years, a disturbing trend has developed which serves to undermine safe and responsible gun ownership and use. Frivolous lawsuits are being filed against sport shooting ranges and their owners, often in an attempt to shut down a safe range so the land can be sold to developers. Lawsuits have been brought based on fraudulent claims alleging bullets leaving the range property often from many miles away."

Wisconsin moves closer to passing concealed carry law: "At least three bills are circulating in the Wisconsin Senate that will make gun rights advocates happy including the Wisconsin Concealed Carry Association, a 10-year-old lobbying group pushing for passage. State Senator Jim Holperin (D-Eagle River) says he will support the least restrictive or “constitutional carry” version of legislation which would allow Wisconsin citizens to carry a concealed handgun without training or a permit. “I favor the ‘constitutional carry’ or ‘shall issue’ version of concealed carry, but I’ve co-sponsored all three of the handgun bills that have been offered this session because this issue needs to advance and finally get signed into law,” he said. A “Shall-Issue” jurisdiction is one that requires a permit to carry a concealed handgun, but where the granting of such permits is subject only to meeting certain criteria laid out in the law"

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

ND: Jury acquits man who shot at a group who smashed a window of his trailer: "The men found Tallman at home, with his gun already out on the breakfast bar near the front door. "He anticipated Delzer and his friends going to his house," Dillon said. "He knew they were coming. He's waiting for them." Dillon said the men stood in the entryway, and by their own admissions "were talking smack" to Delzer. "The defendant, with that gun in hand, says, 'Leave,'" she said. "'Get out of here. Leave.' And they did. They left that entryway." Delzer admitted pounding on the trailer, then Sanderson broke the window. Even so, Dillon said, three witnesses testified that all the men were walking away when the shooting began. In addition, she said the deadly accuracy of Tallman's fire defies the idea that he was terrified at the time."

OH: Ohio poised to approve concealed carry law allowing guns in bars, restaurants and stadiums: "The Ohio legislature is on the verge of approving one of the country's most wide-reaching bills allowing concealed firearms in places that serve alcohol, including bars and stadiums. Lawmakers who support the measure argue that Ohio is merely catching up to 42 other states that already allow concealed carry permit holders to tote their firearms in booze-pouring establishments."

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

WA: 1 dead, 1 injured in garage burglary: "A homeowner shot two men who broke into his detached garage in Tacoma's South End early today, killing one and injuring the other. The homeowner and his wife heard noises at their home in the 3800 block of South D Street about 4:40 a.m., Fulghum said. Dogs were barking. The homeowner grabbed a handgun and went to investigate as his wife called 911, Fulghum said. The homeowner went into his detached garage, where he found the two burglars. The homeowner confronted the two and held them at gunpoint, Fulghum said. The homeowner told police that when the two men charged at him, he fired his gun, Fulghum said. One of the intruders ran off and died a short distance from the detached garage.Tacoma firefighters found the man in the alley behind the house when they arrived. The other intruder was wounded and stayed in the detached garage."

PA: Trailer invader shot, killed: "No charges will be filed for a deadly shooting of a man during a break-in of a mobile trailer in February. State police allege a masked Muntz kicked open the trailer’s front door and ran to the bedroom where he confronted Bowman’s boyfriend, Jeffrey Laton, 40. Muntz was armed with a firearm, state police allege, when he struggled with Laton on the bed. Bowman grabbed a loaded .40-caliber handgun, crawled into a closet and fired, missing Muntz. Muntz fired his weapon, hitting Bowman in the arm. Bowman fired a second round, hitting Muntz in the head, instantly killing him, according to the criminal complaint. “The investigation on behalf of the Pennsylvania State Police and the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office clearly supports a case of self-defense,” Musto Carroll said in a prepared statement.

Kalifornians even hate air rifles: "If California anti-gun activists get their way, all air rifles sold in the state would have to be painted bright yellow, pink, blue or orange. This shouldn’t bother a grown man, but it bugs me — mainly because I own one of the more iconic BB guns ever created. When Daisy commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Daisy Red Ryder model, I jumped at the opportunity to buy one. In fact I bought two. I gave one to my nephew and kept the other to give to my son. A medical condition made it impossible to give the gun to my son, so I locked the Red Ryder away in my gun safe. It’s still there. It offends me that a perfectly wholesome kid’s toy — one that a wise parent could use to teach safety and responsibility in addition to marksmanship — could be so demonized by the Terribly Concerned that it gets saddled with a latter-day version of The Scarlet Letter."

Mystery: More guns = less crime: "The number of violent crimes in the United States dropped significantly last year, to what appeared to be the lowest in nearly 40 years, a development that was considered puzzling partly because it ran counter to the prevailing expectation that crime would increase during a recession. In all regions, the country appears to be safer. The odds of being killed or robbed are now less than half of what they were in the early 1990s, when U.S. violent crime peaked."

Monday, May 23, 2011

WA: Progressives cheer gun-toting neighbor who saved them from burglar: "A terrifying burglar has been preying on Seattle's hippest 'hood lately. This person (or persons) apparently has no fear of entering people's homes while they sleep and stealing their shit before they wake up. Fortunately, at least one Capitol Hill resident packs heat"

FL: Gun-toting neighbor foils trailer-park burglary: "A gun-toting neighbor foiled a burglary in a New Smyrna Beach trailer park on Saturday after he spotted people taking boxes out of a neighbor's trailer, then chased the burglars and detained them until police arrived. A man called the Volusia County sheriff's office at 5:54 p.m. Saturday, saying he'd spotted a break-in at the Eldorado Estates mobile home park. The witness told police that he and his adult son were chasing the suspects, who'd taken off in an SUV after they were spotted. The duo lost the getaway vehicle at one point, as it traveled along Taylor Road. But they quickly caught up with them and the suspects pulled over, police said. One of the suspects got of the vehicle and then walked toward the witness's car. That's when the witness got out of his car, pulled a pistol from his pocket and held it at his side for self defense, he said. Deputies arrived at the scene minutes later and reported that they found two televisions, a laptop computer, an X-Box game system, a screwdriver and a pair of rubber gloves in the suspects' vehicle."

CO: Fatal shooting appears to be self-defense: "Authorities are investigating what led to an apparent self-defense shooting that killed one man on Saturday night. Denver Police say officers were called to a shooting in the 5500 Block of Xanadu Street at 9:39 p.m. When they arrived, they found a 54-year-old man who had been shot. He was taken to a local hospital where he later died. According to homicide detectives, there was an argument between the man and the suspect, who both lived at the house, before the shooting. They say the suspect shot the man in self-defense. The suspect was arrested at the scene but has since been released."

KY: Shooting Victim Fights Back: "Two men are in a Lexington hospital after an armed robbery Sunday morning took an unexpected turn. Investigators say the alleged victim managed to grab the suspect's gun, then shot him. Officers were called to East Seventh Street near Chestnut around 2:15 am. They believe the suspect, Quantez Allen, tried to rob a man and shot the victim 3 times. But investigators say the victim managed to get the gun from Allen, then shot him twice. Allen and the alleged victim were taken to UK Hospital. No word on their condition."

Sunday, May 22, 2011

FL: Watercraft thief shot: "According to Miami-Dade Police, a man walked onto the dock in the backyard of Davis' home and tried to steal a WaveRunner. The thief reportedly used an extension cord to operate a lift and lower the WaveRunner into the water. Police said either Davis' wife or his teenage son, who were the only people home at the time, confronted the thief and felt threatened by the crook. The robber said he had a gun, according to authorities, and someone in the home shot and killed the suspect. Miami-Dade Police Detective Roy Rutland said, "It does appear that he made some threat that he was armed, and it does appear that that was exactly when the person in the home, we don't know if it was the mother or this teenager, shot and killed him. Police are still unsure about who fatally shot the suspect: Davis' wife or his son. However, Florida's self-defense laws state that if a homeowner has a legitimate fear for his or her safety, he or she can use lethal force to protect life and property."

CO: Security guard shoots woman after stolen vehicle rams car: "A security guard approached a suspicious vehicle and asked for the driver and passenger's names. "He was trying to run their names when that vehicle rammed [his security vehicle]. He then got out of his vehicle and no longer had the protection of the vehicle when the car came after him again. That's when he opened fire," says Kelley. The Sheriff's Department says the guard shot into the back window several times, hitting the female passenger, 30-year-old Amber Rose Angers. Kelley says the guard held the male driver, 42-year-old Cameron Lundstorm at gunpoint until deputies arrived. "Based on what we are leaning, [the security guard] was in fear for his life. He was very frightened and thought that he was not going to be able to get away [from the car]. From what we believe, he was acting in self-defense," says Kelley."

Saturday, May 21, 2011

NC: Armed business owner chases would-be robber away: "A business owner fought back Thursday when an armed man attempted to rob his nail salon. The owner of Kim Nails at 224 Stanford Road in Lincolnton didn’t just hand over the cash when a masked man brandishing a handgun demanded it. Rather, the man pulled out a gun and chased the robber out the door, firing several shots at the getaway car as the man fled, according to police. The would-be robber entered the business through the back door at 6:17 p.m. “He kicked through the back door. We heard a loud boom. He came in with his ski mask, a gun and a bag. Everybody was scared,” said T.T. Nguyen. Nguyen’s family owns the nail salon that has never experienced such a crime in its six years. The masked man put a gun to Nguyen’s brother and demanded money. But when Nguyen’s brother reached for a gun, the robber ran."

NJ: One robber shot; one flees: "Newark detectives on Friday were continuing their investigation into the attack on a retired Florham Park police officer, who was shot during a robbery and is recovering at University Hospital under police guard. Newark police have said they believe the former officer was targeted by assailants who laid in wait for him. The victim was carrying cash to fill an ATM at a bar on Elm Street when two males approached him, one from the front and one from the rear, police said. A shootout occurred, with the victim able to use his own handgun. One of the robbers was wounded in the leg. One suspect, who is still at large, fled on foot. The second, wounded suspect drove away and crashed his vehicle at Congress and Lafayette streets, police said. He was found in possession of several weapons and the unspecified cash proceeds of the robbery. He was brought to University Hospital for treatment of the gunshot wound, and has been charged with weapons offenses and robbery, Henderson said."

MT: No charges in fatal alley shooting: "A Billings woman involved in a fatal gunfight in a South Side alley last year will not be charged, according to Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito. In a letter this week to Billings Police Chief Rich St. John, Twito said an extensive investigation into the shooting death of 19-year-old Arthur Mario Santos Banda on Nov. 13 supports the claim of self-defense made by the 24-year-old woman. The woman, identified only by the initials S.M., told investigators that she was standing in the rear entry of her residence at 515 S. 35th St. when she fired a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol numerous times at about 2:41 a.m. The woman said she “fearfully believed there were several individuals in the alleyway a short distance away coming at her armed with a weapon,” Twito said in the letter dated May 18. Banda and a 15-year-old boy were hit by the gunfire. Banda died at the scene of bullet wounds to the head, shoulder and stomach. The boy was struck in the knee. A .40-caliber semi-automatic rifle was found near Banda and the investigation determined that it had been fired six times in the woman’s direction."

California Gun Registry Bill Back Again: "Assembly Bill 809, introduced by Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D- Los Angeles), would require the state to keep registration information for all firearm transfers. Currently, California law requires persons who purchase or transfer a handgun to register the gun with the state. These gun owners are required to provide personal information that includes: name, address, place of birth, telephone number, and occupation. The law also requires gun owners to provide a detailed description of the handgun and the gun’s serial number. Under AB 809, the handgun registration requirements would apply to all firearms, including rifles and shotguns commonly used by sportsmen for hunting and recreational shooting. It’s expected that a vote on AB 809 could come as soon May 27th during a hearing before the Assembly Appropriations Committee."

Friday, May 20, 2011

S.C. man Shoots Blade-Wielding Assailant; Gets Charged: "Laurens County investigators say a man who shot an assailant who was threatening him with a lawn-mower blade is facing an attempted murder charge. According to an arrest warrant, Matthew Ferguson went to Billy Ernest Morris Jr.’s home, and the two men began to argue. Ferguson grabbed a lawn mower blade and threatened Morris with it, according to the warrant. Morris was holding Ferguson’s 2-year-old child at the time, the warrant said. Investigators said Morris retreated into the home, and Ferguson began to beat on the door with the lawn-mower blade while threatening to kill Morris. The warrant said “in a fit of rage,” Morris got a handgun and opened the door and fired two rounds, hitting Ferguson once in the arm. Morris’ brother, Paul Morris, said his brother should not have been charged with attempted murder because the shooting was self-defense. "In my opinion, if a man comes in your house or your yard and yells at you, starts screaming that they're going to kill you ... they should never arrest anybody for that," Paul Morris said.

WV: Two men indicted on murder charges: "Two men accused of causing the death of an innocent bystander killed during a July 20, 2008, shooting outside a local bar were indicted Wednesday by a Berkeley County grand jury on charges of felony murder, first-degree robbery and conspiracy to commit murder. Both Dale E. Knight, 24, whose mailing address is listed as P.O. Box 6129, Martinsburg, and 25-year-old Donzell W. White, of Winchester Avenue, Martinsburg, are alleged to have been involved in the armed robbery of 24-year-old Elan Bell-Veney, of Martinsburg, outside the former Orioles Club on Mid-Atlantic Parkway near Martinsburg. During the robbery, Bell-Veney pulled out his own gun and fired multiple shots in self-defense, hitting both White and Knight, as well as 37-year-old Kenneth Waybright, of Stephens City, Va., who was struck in the head by a stray bullet. Waybright, who wasn't involved in the altercation, was taken to City Hospital in Martinsburg, where he later died after being pronounced brain-dead"

CA: Two dead in botched home-invasion robbery: "A botched home-invasion robbery in Rialto ended with the death of one of the robbers and a resident of the home Wednesday night. A third man, another robbery suspect, was wounded in the shooting but is expected to survive, police said. The incident began at 8:45 p.m. in the 900 block of North Beechwood Avenue. Rialto police said at least three armed men entered a home and tried to rob the people inside. But the occupants grabbed firearms themselves, leading to a gun battle between the robbers and victims. Police arrived and found one of the robbers dead on the street outside the home. One of the victims, a resident of the home, also died at the scene. Another robber who was wounded in the shooting fled with at least three other men in a white van, police said. The driver eventually stopped in the 300 block of North Wisteria Avenue, where two men got out of the van and ran. The driver took off in the van again, leading police to Lancewood Avenue north of Second Street. He finally stopped and was arrested. He and the wounded passenger were arrested."

Canada: Woman sues police after home seized in gun search: "A woman who was barred from her home during a fruitless search for a missing gun is suing Waterloo Regional Police for $10,000. The lawsuit in small claims court stems from a high profile 2007 incident in which an undercover officer’s handgun was stolen near Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate Institute. ... The teen’s lawyer, Brennan Smart, publicly accused police at the time of charging him without reliable evidence as a public relations ploy. Now the teen’s mother is seeking damages because she and her other three children were forced to stay with neighbours after police seized her rented townhouse for almost three days without a warrant."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Obama: “I’m working on gun control under the radar”: "According to the article, Jim and Sarah Brady visited Capital Hill on March 30, the 30th anniversary of the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan; to push for a ban on "large magazines." The couple reportedly were meeting with press secretary, Jay Carney, when, according to Sarah Brady, the President came in. She said the President told her he wanted to talk about gun control and "fill us in that it was very much on his agenda." She went on to say Obama told her, "I just want you to know that we are working on it. We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar." The statement reinforces an article in the Huffington Post describing how the administration is exploring ways to bypass Congress and enact gun control through executive action. The Department of Justice reportedly is holding meetings discussing the White House's options for enacting regulations on its own or through adjoining agencies and departments."

Concealed carry "compromise" considered in Illinois actually abject surrender: "The problem, of course, is that in any jurisdiction in which the government frowns on armed private citizens, 'may issue' tends to become 'won't issue.' We've seen that in Hawaii, which is technically a 'may issue' state, but one in which it is universally understood to be absolutely impossible for an ordinary private citizen to obtain a permit."

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Philadelphia Gestapo unrepentant: "Fiorino said he sat handcuffed in a police wagon while the officers made numerous phone calls to supervisors, trying to find out if they could lock him up. When they learned that they were in the wrong, they let him go. But only temporarily. Fiorino posted the audio recordings on youtube, and now they are harassing him again. A new investigation was launched, and last month the District Attorney's Office decided to charge Fiorino with reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct because, a spokeswoman said, he refused to cooperate with police... He's scheduled for trial in July. If one listens to the audiotapes, it's hard to imagine how a reasonable person could charge Fiorino (and not the cops) for disorderly conduct. [Update on story posted here on 16th]

CA: Federal judge ignores 2nd Amendment: "A federal judge ruled Monday there is no constitutional right to carry a hidden gun in public — a decision that dealt a setback to gun-rights advocates who had challenged how much discretion California law enforcement officials have in issuing concealed weapons permits. U.S. District Court Judge Morrison England Jr. in Sacramento supported a policy by Yolo County Sheriff Ed Prieto that says applicants must have a reason, such as a safety threat, to legally carry a concealed weapon in his county northwest of Sacramento."

IL: Concealed carry ban heads to court: "Two Illinois citizens, backed by a Washington-based pro-gun group, filed suit in federal court asking that the state's ban on both concealed carry and open carry of firearms be declared unconstitutional. Michael Moore, of Champaign, and Charles Hooks, farmer from Percy, have taken a play from the liberal playbook and are using the courts to get around opposition from the state legislature and Governor."

Mexicans take up arms in self-defense: "Five years into President Felipe Calderon’s war with the drug cartels, a growing number of Mexicans are tired of shopworn excuses from a government which appears to be incapable of protecting the public from murderers and kidnappers. Life in a country which is increasingly being recognized as a 'failed state' is leading more and more citizens to the realization that self-defense is the right and responsibility of every human being. That realization is leading to more and more Mexicans procuring firearms, often despite the Mexican regime’s harsh laws regulating their ownership."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

TN: Police, prosecutors seek more prison time for gun offenses: "The gunman stormed the Mrs. Winner’s chicken restaurant on Lebanon Pike and forced employees to kneel down in a circle while he robbed the business. Police say that the gunman was Antwan Tyson, 26, and that cases like his illustrate just how easy and dangerous it is for felons to get guns in Tennessee. The problem is only getting worse, prompting a state group lobbying on behalf of Tennessee police and prosecutors to push new legislation that would stiffen the penalties for violent and drug felons caught with guns. Tyson had at least three felony convictions involving drugs, reckless endangerment and vandalism before the Mrs. Winner’s robbery, court records show. He faces charges of robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm."

Concealed Carry Bill Aims to Protect Louisiana Students’ Right to Self-Defense: "In a legislative session filled with bills to heavily alter Louisiana’s higher education system, students of public universities and colleges may soon experience one more adjustment: concealed weapons on campus. HB 413, sponsored by Representative Ernest Wooton (I – Belle Chase), would allow licensed individuals to bring concealed firearms onto campuses of public universities, colleges, and post-secondary vocational schools. The bill was introduced to the House on April 25. The state’s 36,000 concealed handgun permit holders would have the same self-defense rights they possess elsewhere, with a few notable exceptions. Licensed firearm carriers would be required to inform school officials of their intent to carry on campus. In addition, residence halls and sporting venues would retain their “gun-free zone” statuses."

OH: Bill would allow concealed carry holders to have guns in businesses that serve liquor: "Ohioans with conceal carry permits would be allowed to take their hidden firearms into bars and restaurants that sell alcohol, as long as they're not partaking of those beverages, under legislation approved by the Ohio House May 11. House Bill 45 passed on a mostly party-line vote of 56-40 following more than two hours of debate and heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration. Comparable legislation passed that chamber last month. Among other provisions, the legislation approved by the Ohio House May 11 would allow licensees to carry firearms into those establishments as long as they are not consuming or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Businesses would still be allowed to post signs prohibiting firearms on their premises."

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Philadelphia Gestapo

Man who clashed with cops over legal gun was also armed with audio recorder

Excerpts from an audio recording Mark Fiorino made of his Feb. 13 encounter with Philly cops on Frankford Avenue near Placid Street:

Sgt. Michael Dougherty, approaching Fiorino, who had a gun holstered on his left hip: "Yo, Junior, what are you doing?"

Mark Fiorino: "Junior?"

MD: "Let me see your hands."

MF "Excuse me, why are you pointing your gun at me, officer? . . . Sir, you're threatneing me with lethal force."

MD: "No, I'm not threatening you."

MF: "You're pointing a weapon at me."

MD: "I don't know who you are; you've got a gun on you."

MF: "Would you like to see my license to carry firearms and my driver's license? . . . I'm going to hand you my license to carry firearms."

MD: "Keep your hand right where it's at. . . . I don't know who you are. Get down on your knees."

MF: "Excuse me?"

MD: "Get down on your knees. Just obey what I'm saying."

MF: "Sir, I'm more than happy to stand here -"

MD: "If you make a move, I'm going to f------ shoot you. I'm telling you right now: You make a move, and you're going down!"

MF: "Is this necessary?"

MD: "Yes it is. I don't know who you are, why you have a gun on you."

MF: "Because I carry a firearm for self-defense purposes."

MD: "Do you know you can't openly carry here in Philadelphia?"

MF: "Yes, you can, if you have a license to carry firearms. It's Directive 137. It's your own internal directive."

[About two minutes after the incident began to unfold, other officers responded to Dougherty's call for backup and arrived at the scene while Dougherty and Fiorino continued to exchange words.]

MD: "He's got a gun right on his left side."

Unidentified officer: "Get on the f------ ground!"

MF: "Excuse me, I'll get on the ground -"

UO: "Lay the f--- down! Lay the f--- down!"

MF: "All right! All right! This is not necessary, gentlemen -"

MD: "Everybody relax, relax."

MF: "Gentlemen, this is not necessary -"

UO: "Shut the f--- up! Shut your f------ mouth!"

The encounter lasted for more than 40 minutes before Fiorino was ultimately released.

The full audio recording, which is filled with graphic language, can be found here


OH: Proposal allows firearms on Corps property: "When Congress voted to allow guns in Ohio's national parks in 2010, it did not include lands owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Lakeville, wants to make sure people otherwise allowed to carry firearms can take them into these properties as well. Gibbs' 18th District includes all or part of 14 counties in rural southeastern Ohio, including Coshocton, Muskingum, Ross and Licking counties. Gibbs introduced the Recreational Lands Self-Defense Act on Thursday. "The Recreational Lands Self-Defense Act is a bipartisan effort that seeks to correct this oversight and restore Second Amendment rights to law-abiding citizens while they are legally camping, hunting, and fishing on the 11.7 million acres of Army Corps recreational property,"

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Minnesota House passes revised gun bill: "A bill expanding rights to use deadly force in self-defense situations cleared the Minnesota House on Saturday evening. The Republican-controlled House voted 79-50 for the bill, which would broaden what's considered a "dwelling" and reverses the burden of proof in cases of self-defense from the defender to the prosecution. Dwellings would include such places as vehicles, garages and temporary residences. Before the bill was heard, the chief sponsor, state Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Good Thunder, changed or dropped several elements, saying he had addressed numerous concerns stated by police. Cornish conceded people already have the right to defend themselves in their homes, but he said that standard is too limited. "We're trying to increase the rights to defend yourself," said Cornish, also a police chief."

Ohio Bill would allow concealed carry holders to have guns in businesses that serve liquor: "Ohioans with conceal carry permits would be allowed to take their hidden firearms into bars and restaurants that sell alcohol, as long as they're not partaking of those beverages, under legislation approved by the Ohio House May 11. House Bill 45 passed on a mostly party-line vote of 56-40 following more than two hours of debate and heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration. Comparable legislation passed that chamber last month. Existing law prohibits concealed carry licensees from taking firearms into rooms or open-air arenas covered by type D liquor permits, including retail stores, restaurants, nightclubs, hotels, river boats, and shopping malls, according to an analysis compiled by the state's legislative service commission."

Missouri: Owner thwarts attempt to rob his pharmacy: "Columbia police still are searching for the man responsible for an attempted robbery yesterday at Flow’s Pharmacy. At 8 a.m. yesterday, a robbery attempt at the store, 1506 E. Broadway, Suite 118, was halted by owner Randy Flow and his pistol. The suspect entered the store displaying a 2- to 3-inch silver knife asking for drugs and approached the counter, but retreated toward the door when Flow approached him with a pistol. Flow followed the suspect until he exited the store. The suspect, who did not get away with any merchandise or cash, was described as a white male in his mid-20s, about 5 feet 9 inches tall and 175 pounds, in all-black clothing, police said. He was seen leaving in a cream or pearl-colored Lexus SUV."

Saturday, May 14, 2011

LAPD flouts its legal obligations to gun applicants

A lawless law enforcement body

Through their joint Legal Action Project, the NRA and CRPA Foundation are sponsoring two new legal actions to enforce a 16-year old court Order against the City of LA over its concealed weapons permit (CCW) issuance policies.

Under Penal Code § 12050, et seq., the LAPD has an obligation to process applications for CCWs, and to issue CCWs if the applicant has “good cause.” For many years, the City and the LAPD had a policy of not making applications available, never finding good cause to exist, and effectively prohibiting the issuance of any CCWs.

Two lawsuits filed in the 1990′s were supposed to change that. But despite a binding settlement in those suits that resulted in LAPD being ordered by a court to implement new policies, the LAPD has abandoned these court ordered policies for handling citizens’ applications for CCWs, and has fallen back on its old habits.

The City’s unlawful refusal to properly process CCW applications was challenged in two lawsuits in 1992 and 1994. To settle the suits the LAPD agreed to implement a specific and transparent court ordered procedure to provide clarity and fairness for citizens applying for CCWs. The LAPD agreed that all citizens who request a CCW permit application would be provided a CCW application at any LAPD station house, that the application would be accompanied by a written copy of the LAPD’s procedure for handling the application, and the applicants would be informed of the procedures for appealing the denial of a CCW application. The settlement also resulted in the establishment of a Citizens Advisory Review Panel, made up of appointed citizens who would review CCW applications denied by the LAPD and make recommendations regarding whether the LAPD should reverse its denial of the CCW application.

A memorandum discussing the suits and their history is posted here.

The LAPD has repeatedly failed to honor its legal obligations under the settlements. The LAPD no longer makes CCW applications and a written copy of the CCW policy and appeal process available at all station houses. And the LAPD is ignoring the recommendations of the Citizens Advisory Review Panel and has instead enacted a de facto policy of again issuing no CCWs, despite whatever showing of good cause the applicants might make.

So in a city with almost 4 million citizens, with some 300 CCW applications being made per year, LAPD has only granted 24 active CCWs. Citizens who have had credible and ongoing threats made against them and their families, and those who carry large sums of cash as part of job and are high-profile robbery targets, have been repeatedly denied CCWs despite meeting the “good cause” criteria for receiving CCWs that the LAPD was forced to agree to years ago.

To rectify this situation, two new legal actions are being pursued. The first new court action is a motion to enforce the court’s old order in the 1994 case, Assenza v. City of Los Angeles. Some of the original plaintiffs from that case seek to force the LAPD to reinstate its agreed-to policy of providing applications and copies of its written policy at all LAPD station houses. In support of its motion, NRA grassroots activist citizens who were recruited to investigate the LAPD’s practices have submitted declarations about their recent attempts to get CCW applications. They were frustrated by uncooperative officers at individual station houses, all of whom had a complete lack of understanding of the LAPD’s application process, and who in almost all instances could not provide a CCW application to the requesting citizen, much less a copy of the LAPD’s written policy. Perhaps most egregiously, LAPD officers bluntly told citizens that unless they were celebrities, they shouldn’t even bother filling out the CCW application because they would be denied a CCW as a matter of LAPD policy.

The second action is a new lawsuit, Davis v. City of Los Angeles. The nine plaintiffs in this new action, some of whom have had CCW applications pending and unresolved with the LAPD for years, have submitted sworn declarations attesting to a litany of missteps and abuses by LAPD in its handling of their CCW applications. These abuses include not only the failures to provide applications and copies of the written policies at stationhouses, but refusals to timely consider their applications, failures to respond to inquiries regarding the status of applications, failures to acknowledge the availability of the Citizens Advisory Review Panel as a method of appealing denial, and the failure to give any weight to recommendations by the Citizens Advisory Review Panel.


IL: 2 teens shot, charged with attempted robbery: "Two teens wounded outside a Concord Commons apartment late Thursday night face felony charges in connection with events that led to their shooting, police said. Orlando Marshall, 17, of 2021 W. 8th Ave., and Stephan Alexander, 19, of 4216 Jackson St., were stopped at 5th Avenue and Taft Street in a silver Chevrolet described by the man who said he was assaulted at the door of his apartment about 11 p.m. Kenneth Paige, 21, told police he heard someone knocking on his window about 11 p.m. and opened the building’s entrance door to the men he said he didn’t recognize. After hearing someone knock on his apartment door, Paige told police he thought something was wrong and grabbed his gun before opening the door. wo men beat him and pointed guns at him, then fled when Paige fired at both of them, Sgt. Williams Fazekas said. The teens face charges of criminal recklessness, attempted robbery and other felonies.

Friday, May 13, 2011

MN: Fearing for his life, beating victim fired shots: "Two days after firing at two men suspected in a recent string of violent south Minneapolis robberies, Edward Curtis, 61, wanted people to know he wasn't proud of what he'd done. But given the beating the men were giving him Tuesday night, he figured he had no choice but to use his handgun, he said. "I had to do what I had to do," he recalled Thursday. "I thought they were going to kill me. They didn't get a chance to." Curtis, blindsided outside his Pillsbury Avenue apartment building, was left with a broken nose and fractured right eye socket, he said. He said police have yet to find any evidence that Curtis' shots hit either of the suspects who fled Tuesday night. As for whether the shooting was justified, Fossum said: "We don't have any plans at all in having him charged with anything. In fact, he's more like a hero than a villain, that's for sure."

Police will not charge person in Virginia Beach shooting: "Shawn Ross [above] is dead and police say the person who shot him won't face any charges because it was self defense. Investigators say Ross seen in the previous mug shot had a gun and tried to break into a home on Rose Marie Avenue in the Aragona section of Virginia Beach. "He was climbing through the back window. The guy had a gun and the owner of the house had a gun and came out of the house and started shooting outside the door," says Jesse. Police say someone dropped Ross off at a fire station about four miles from where the shooting happened. Right now investigators are still trying to figure out why."

SAF challenges interstate handgun sales ban: "The Second Amendment Foundation today filed suit in U.S. District Court in Virginia challenging the constitutionality of federal and Virginia provisions barring handgun sales to non-residents. SAF is joined in the lawsuit by Michelle Lane, a District of Columbia resident who cannot legally purchase handguns because there are no retail firearms dealers inside the District."

Censorship of Gun Ads: "Today, the Goldwater Institute filed a legal challenge to the removal of a business advertisement from 50 Phoenix bus shelters in October 2010, claiming the city’s rules are so vague that they allow city officials to violate business owners’ right to free speech. The Phoenix Public Transit Department says posters for a website operated by TrainMeAz did not comply with city standards for advertising at bus shelters. But city officials cannot explain how the TrainMeAZ ads are substantially different than posters that appear on bus stops throughout the city for other businesses including jewelry stores, fast-food restaurants, and weekend gun shows, said Clint Bolick, the Goldwater Institute’s litigation director. “Phoenix’s officials can oversee the content of advertising on city property to prevent obscene material or truly inappropriate messages,” Mr. Bolick said. “But the city cannot dismiss ads based on a bureaucratic whim."

Thursday, May 12, 2011

GA: Woman kills attacker in Gwinnett home: "Gwinnett police Cpl. Edwin Ritter told the AJC that the woman, who is in her early 50s, was getting out of the shower when the intruder, who she did not know, turned out the lights and attacked her. She fell back into the shower, injuring her back, and attempted to fight the man off with the shower rod, Ritter said. "She was telling him that she has money and please don’t hurt her," Ritter said. "He forced her into her bedroom," Ritter said. "Once inside the bedroom, she retrieved a .22-caliber pistol and shot him several times." Ritter characterized the attack as an attempted sexual assault. The suspect, who was in his 20s, ran outside the house and collapsed. He was taken to Gwinnett Medical Center, where he died. Wisecup said her neighbor is a "a nice lady, just a sweet lady.Thank God she's OK and she had a weapon to protect herself with." Ritter said the victim would not be charged in the incident."

Ohio House OKs concealed-carry in bars, eateries: "Both sides conceded that "alcohol and guns don't mix," but the Ohio House Wednesday voted to allow carrying hidden handguns into bars and alcohol-serving restaurants, nightclubs, and outdoor arenas. Republicans on this one were alone in pushing constitutional and self-defense arguments. They said the bill would bar permit holders from drinking at the establishments or being under the influence of alcohol when they got there. Democrats argued that the bill would add a dangerous element to what already could be a volatile situation. House Bill 54 passed 56-40 and goes to the GOP-controlled Senate, which has passed a similar bill."

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

About 200 rally for gun rights in annual rally at Pennsylvania Capitol: "Gun enthusiasts from around the commonwealth have been told to press lawmakers to preserve and expand their right to have firearms. About 200 people gathered at the Capitol for Tuesday's annual "Right to Keep and Bear Arms Rally." Speakers and activists urged lawmakers to approve an expansion of the state's self-defense law that would allow a person to use lethal force in self-defense without first trying to retreat from an attacker. Opponents say they are concerned that the change could lead to more urban violence. National Rifle Association President David Keene attended the rally and told The (Harrisburg) Patriot-News that advocates have scored important victories in the Keystone State."

Nervous CA legislator: "Assemblyman Tony Mendoza was one of four state legislators who were denied permission to carry a concealed weapon inside the state Capitol and other legislative buildings. A law took effect this year requiring everyone except peace officers to get permission from the Legislature before bringing their guns into legislative buildings, even if they have a concealed weapons permit from a local sheriff. Mendoza wanted to bring his handgun into his Norwalk district office, which is part of a large building and sits away from other developments. A man approached Mendoza on the sidewalk and threatened to kill him if he returned to the area. The man eventually was convicted and spent four years in jail. Upon the man's release, Mendoza said he applied for and received a permit from the Los Angeles County Sheriff to carry a concealed handgun. "I want to be safe," Mendoza said."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

MI: Armed Walgreens worker foils robbery: "There was one thing two robbers didn't anticipate when they barged into a Benton Township Walgreens drug store early Sunday and tried to march the workers into the back room: A worker already in back carried a handgun and knew how to use it. Benton Township police Lt. Delmar Lange said the worker fired multiple shots at one of the bandits, forcing the men to flee. "He could see the hostage situation developing," Lange said. "He could not retreat any further. He was in the back room. If it was me, I would have done the same thing. The robber tried to fire back but his gun malfunctioned. The robber and his partner then ran out. He said the worker was licensed to carry the concealed handgun. The robbers are each described as black males, about 6-feet tall, Lange said. One wore a gray hooded sweatshirt and dark pants."

TX: Burglar met with gunfire during attempted robbery: "The suspected burglar broke into a home on Midnight Moon Drive late Monday morning. The owner pulled a gun on him and started shooting. Police say none of the shots fired by the homeowner actually hit the burglar, and he was able to speed off in his car. A police chopper helped track the burglar to his home on Quicksilver Drive - only a couple miles away from the burglary. Police arrested the man and searched his home for evidence. "We were fortunate enough to have plain clothes detectives that were already monitoring this particular person, and knew exactly where he was going," explained Sgt. Michael Ross from the San Antonio Police Department. Police recovered a gun during their search."

KY: Road rager shot dead: "Su Hong Springer, 53, of Murfreesboro, was pronounced dead about 4:52 a.m. Monday at University Hospital from a single gunshot wound, said deputy coroner Jack Arnold. Police were told by witnesses that Springer’s Dodge Caravan was tailgating two northbound vehicles in a construction area near Glendale when those two vehicles, both acquaintances, exited the interstate. Video surveillance shows Springer following the vehicles to the gas station parking lot and a passenger side window being lowered on his vehicle. Police said a gun was pointed out of the Caravan window at occupants in a Nissan Rogue and soon after shots were fired from the Rogue, striking Springer once. Howard K. Wright, 24, of Memphis, was identified by police as the shooter. Wright had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, according to Officer Virgil Willoughby, a spokesman for Elizabethtown police. Willoughby said Wright was questioned but was not arrested"

PA: Man chases house scammers with antique rifle: "An elderly Pennsylvania man pointed an antique gun at shady workmen out of his home after they tried to charge him $11,700 to fix his roof, the Pocono Record reported Monday. Walter Peppel, of Middle Smithfield Township, 112 miles north of Philadelphia, said he felt like he was being trapped in a scam when three men came to his house and told him his roof needed to be fixed. ... Peppel, 86, said one of the men climbed into the roof cavity, and he claimed, dropped water on his head to convince him the work needed to be done.... Peppel became angry when the men refused his requests for them to leave so he fetched his antique Winchester 94-32 rifle that had belonged to his father and pointed it at them."

Monday, May 09, 2011

FL: New gun law muzzles meddlesome pediatricians: "A pending law in Florida would make it illegal for pediatricians to ask families whether guns are being safely kept in their patients' homes. Supporters of the NRA-backed measure insist that questions by doctors and other health care professionals amount to an invasion of privacy and a violation of their Second Amendment rights. Pediatricians routinely ask parents about safety concerns in the home like whether or not the family has a pool, if the child wears a bike helmet, or rides in a car seat. To gun advocates, however, questions about the presence of firearms in a child's environment are intrusive and go too far."

Right to bear Arms Movement growing in America: "The number of shootings in the schools and streets of America has done little to dampen the enthusiasm of thousands to assert their Second Amendment rights. The movement to bear arms publicly at all times is significant and growing. Some even see their semi-automatics as a last line of defense against the government."

Coverup of official gunrunners: "Continued stalling by the Justice Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives over Congressional inquiries about 'Project Gunrunner' strongly suggest that the Obama administration is more deeply involved than the president has indicated, and now appears to be actively stonewalling the investigation, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today."

Sunday, May 08, 2011

IL: Shooting may have been self-defense: "A St. Louis man who died April 20 in a shooting inside a house in the 4700 block of North 20th Street was killed while attacking two others with a nightstick, police said. The case is being investigated as a justifiable homicide. Paul Rose, 34, was shot as he assaulted a man, 31, and a woman, 34, inside the house, police said. Both victims suffered large cuts to their heads in the attack. The male victim shot Rose in self-defense in the altercation, police said.

OH: One robber shot; one escapes: "A second suspect remains at large after last week's failed robbery attempt at a convenience store. The incident happened April 26 at the Lexington Avenue Drive-Thru. Police said Jefferie Barnes had a gun and demanded money from the cash register. Store owner Ahmad Fares shot Barnes three times, according to police. Barnes was struck twice in the back. A ricochet hit him in the ankle. Barnes was taken to Grant Medical Center in Columbus, where he remains. Barnes is known to local law enforcement. He pleaded guilty April 13 to burglary in connection with an August incident. He is scheduled for sentencing in that case June 1. Police said Fares fired five shots with a .40-caliber pistol. He is not expected to face charges. The second suspect is described as black, about 5 feet, 7 inches tall and 160 pounds."

Conceal and carry shot down in Illinois: "Democratic Governor Pat Quinn and his comrade Chicago Mayor Richard Daley worked the phones, called in favors and leaned on their partisan troops in the legislature to kill a measure which would have allowed law-biding citizens in the ‘Land of Lincoln’ the right to conceal and carry firearms for their protection. Score another victory for the corrupt Chicago machine in their unholy quest to strip the citizens of Illinois of their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms."

Saturday, May 07, 2011

TX: Towaway anger gets man shot to death: "Police said tow truck driver, Antonio Jones, and his partner, Jose Martinez, were towing illegally parked cars at the Casa Place Apartments on the 3300 block of Chapel Creek Drive early Friday when they were flagged down by a man. That man was the brother of Israel Esparza, whose car was towed earlier in the evening. While Jones and Martinez were talking with the man, Esparza emerged from between two vehicles and shot Martinez in the back of the head at close range. Jones then unholstered a gun and the two exchanged gunshots. Esparza was killed in the shootout."

NH gun ban is short-lived: "It started about a month ago when a resident walked into Town Hall with a handgun stuck in her belt. A town employee became concerned, even though the woman was there only to register a car. "She had a weapon on her, and people just didn't think it was right," Selectman James Devine said yesterday. Devine and Selectman Brenda Copp said selectmen were just trying to do the right thing when they reinstated an old ordinance that allowed only law enforcement officers to carry a weapon in town buildings. But selectmen soon reconsidered their decision when Concord attorney Penny Dean sent them a letter, saying the board violated state law and she would take legal action, if necessary, to protect the public's right to self-defense. "The bottom line is they are violating state law and we all have to follow state law," Dean said yesterday. "That just puzzles me that they think this is right. Dean said she is glad selectmen rescinded their decision, but they never should have adopted the ban in the first place."

Friday, May 06, 2011

MI: Teen shot by homeowner dies: "A 16 year old who was shot by a homeowner as he entered her house has died. The shooting happened at around noon Tuesday in the 1900 block of Roselawn near Cloverlawn. Family members say their mother, in her late 50s, told them a kid was climbing through the window and she warned him she had a gun. The incident ended with her shooting the intruder." [See also here]

OH: Homeowner shoots robbery suspect: "The homeowner said a man, a teenaged boy and a woman stormed into his house and tried to rob him. The elderly man says the three left only to return later to threaten him. One of the suspects reportedly went to take the homeowner's television set. That is when the homeowner says he opened fire, hitting a 20-year old suspect in the back. The three suspects fled."

TX: Burglary suspect runs from armed shop owner: "A gun-toting business owner caught a would-be burglar in the act Sunday, but the suspect risked being shot to get away before police arrived. ... The shop owner told police that the suspect started approaching him, so he raised a handgun he keeps with him at work and told the suspect to get on his knees and stay there. He then called 911 from a cellphone. The shop owner told police the suspect then started begging to leave, saying he was homeless, had a family and had already been to prison. When the shop owner said officers were coming, the suspect stood and said, 'You're just going to have to shoot me' and ran away."

CA: Man acquitted after shooting at gang banger: "A Cathedral City man who claimed self-defense for shooting at a neighbor was acquitted of attempted murder, his attorney said Thursday. Derek Nigel Lopez, 33, was also found not guilty on Wednesday of a charge of shooting at an occupied vehicle. Attorney Mark Sullivan told jurors that his client reacted in self-defense when he fired multiple rounds at Jose Luis Perez, who lived in an adjacent duplex in the 32-000 block of Monte Vista Road. None of the shots hit Perez. Three days earlier, Perez and several other members of the Barrio Cathedral City gang had beaten up Lopez's stepfather, Sullivan alleged. Lopez told law enforcement about the alleged attack, which angered Perez, the attorney said. "My client was being terrorized by this guy," Sullivan said. "Jose Luis Perez was retaliating against my guy Derek for snitching." Lopez first fired at Perez on June 20, 2008, from his rooftop because he saw Perez pointing a gun at him, Sullivan alleged. Lopez then fired more shots soon afterward because Perez drove a car toward him."

Thursday, May 05, 2011

TX: Home invasion victim shoots two gang members dead: "Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe TreviƱo said Monday he does not expect to file charges against an unidentified individual who reportedly shot two armed gang members during a home invasion Saturday. ... Investigators believe the brothers, armed with handguns, kicked in the front door and assaulted four residents, one of whom reportedly shot at them with a handgun kept on the premises for protection."

WA: Suspect in Auburn double-shooting released: "An Auburn man accused of killing a popular youth sports coach and wounding his brother on Sunday was released Wednesday from the King County Jail pending additional investigation by police and prosecutors... According to an Auburn police report, Woods saw "several Samoan males approaching his house so he went inside to get his gun." He heard the men yelling at him to come outside, police said, so Woods walked toward the front door with a loaded handgun, its safety released and its hammer cocked. "The front door was kicked in and Woods saw two Samoan males standing at his front door," police wrote in the report. "Woods yelled at the males to get out of his house and they complied." As Gaston took a "half step" toward him, police said, Woods fired the gun, striking the 23-year old man in the chest. Shennon attempted to grab Woods as he walked out of his house and was shot in the neck, police said. Gaston survived, but Shennon died."

TN: Shooting deaths self defense, grand jury finds: "No one will be charged for the shooting deaths of two Lawrence County brothers in Decatur on Christmas Day 2009. A Morgan County grand jury Wednesday did not return an indictment against a suspect due to insufficient evidence to prove the deaths of Joshua Blankenship, 30, and Caleb Blankenship, 34, were not self-defense. “We have nothing to contradict the suspect’s statement that the shootings were self-defense. We presented all the evidence we had to the grand jury, and they no-billed it.” Anderson said the physical evidence and the angle of the gunshot wounds corroborated the suspect’s statement. “He was in a confrontation over the gun with one of the brothers and got the gun away and used it to defend himself. There was no evidence to show that it happened any other way than the suspect said it happened,” Anderson said. Illegal drugs were involved."

FL: Teen accused of killing father released from jail: "Eighteen year old Brandon Davis by all accounts lead a normal life in a Fort Myers neighborhood with his mother and father. But his lawyer and family friend says the family had a violent past. Joe Viacava says James Davis was battering his wife Dana and son Brandon during family vacation in a Tampa area hotel. Deputies say Davis took out a gun and shot his father several times. Viacava says it was in self defense. Davis will be attending college in the fall, but will be required to travel to Tampa for court hearings in the meantime. The South Fort Myers High School graduate does not have a criminal record.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

MI: Intruder shot as he breaks in, dies: "A 17-year-old is dead after he was shot by a Warren homeowner during an attempted break-in this morning. The homeowner grabbed his shotgun when he heard someone attempting to enter a rear window of the home on Los Angeles, near 9 Mile between Dequindre and Ryan, said Warren Police Commissioner Jere Green. “He confronted the intruder and fired a shot at him, and hit him in the groin, upper leg area,” Green said. The homeowner then called 911 and reported he’d shot an intruder. The shot appeared to have hit the femoral artery, Green said. The intruder fled about 50 yards through the backyard and collapsed. He was alive when found but was pronounced dead at Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital. Green said there was evidence the intruder was “gaining entry” into the home when he was shot." [H/T Blogprof]

Three reasons why gun control advocates don’t want you to have a gun: "If you’re wondering why the gun control community favors civilian disarmament, it’s all about personal responsibility. They don’t believe that Americans are responsible enough to own a gun. Why? I’ve got a simple list. But before I trot-out the terrible troika of gun grabbing gibberish, I want to highlight an important point: contrary to their public protestations about 'good' vs. 'bad' gun owners, gun control advocates do want to grab your guns. But they know they can’t. And not just because the Supreme Court says they can’t. Gun control advocates know there are several million Ted Nugent-types ready to do the cold dead hands thing. So they focus their efforts on preventing newbies from tooling up. By discouraging new firearms owners (to say the least), they can grab the guns before they’re sold. They’re gun abortionists, as it were. In this they have been ridiculously successful."

Texas Senate takes up another round of guns debate: "Texas senators voted Tuesday to allow concealed handgun license holders to carry their weapons into public university classrooms, but an angry senator stopped the measure from getting a final vote. The 19-12 vote in favor of the concealed guns measure was significant because it was the first by either the full Senate or House on an issue that has become a flashpoint of controversy in the 2011 session. But minutes later, Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, who opposes the measure and was angered that one of her bills was changed to add the guns issue, pulled the bill from further consideration and vowed to let it die. The moves leaves the guns issue stuck in limbo at the start of the final month of the legislative session. Sen., Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, vowed to keep trying to pass it before the session ends."

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

ND: State mental hospitals to become killing fields?: "Employees at North Dakota's state mental hospital in Jamestown won't be allowed to keep guns in their vehicles while they're at work. Last month, lawmakers passed a bill that says workers can keep firearms locked in their vehicles on company property even if their employers don't like it. The bill allowed employees at the Jamestown state hospital to bring firearms to work as long as the guns were kept in their vehicles. But on Friday the Legislature decided the new law shouldn't extend to state hospital employees."

High-profile gun bill advances in Minnesota House: "In a packed committee room — many in the audience wearing green buttons proclaiming, “Self Defense is a Human Right” — a House committee today (Thursday, April 28) heard and advanced controversial gun legislation. House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee Chairman Tony Cornish’s bill expands a person’s ability to defend themselves and their property against perceived threats through the use of deadly force. Although current state allows for the use of deadly force under certain conditions, Cornish’s bill would significantly change the law. For instance, it broadens the definition of dwelling to include all buildings on a person’s property, and also includes tents, motor homes, hotel rooms. The bill allows for a defender to meet force with superior force, and continue using that force until the threat is eliminated. Other provisions in the bill include the recognition of concealed carry gun permits issued in other states by Minnesota."

Monday, May 02, 2011

FL: Cabbie shoots 19-year-old man in self-defense: "An unidentified Yellow Cab driver picked up 19-year-old Travonte Myles just before 3 a.m., according to police. Shortly after, Myles and the driver got into an argument and the driver pulled the cab over at Roosevelt Boulevard and Bay Vista Drive, according to Largo police Sgt. Richelle Wasylyna. The driver asked Myles to get out and Myles pulled out a weapon, Wasylyna said. The cab driver got out of the vehicle and Myles followed him with the gun. About 3 a.m., the cab driver and Myles then exchange fire. Myles was struck at least three times. He was taken to a local hospital, where he is expected to live. Police said he was shot in the lower extremities. Myles fired at the driver once or twice, but the cab driver was not injured, police said. Wasylyna said the cab driver is licensed to carry a concealed weapon and fired in self defense."

NYC Youngster Buys Loaded Semi-Automatic Handgun At School For $3: "On April 28, police responded to PS 107 Thomas A. Dooley on 45th Avenue in Queens for a male eight-year-old that bought a 9mm semi-automatic loaded firearm," a spokeswoman for the City of New York Police Department told Weird News. Police say the third-grader purchased the gun for $3 from another eight-year-old child and took the weapon home. The boy thought the gun was a toy and showed it to his mother, who recognized it as a real handgun. The irate mother took her son and the pistol back to the school, where school administrators immediately contacted police. The unidentified eight-year-old who sold the weapon has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon. His father, whom police have identified as 54-year-old Ignacio Galvin, has been charged with criminal possession and acting in a manner to injure a minor, police said. "The father has made statements that he purchased the gun for self-protection," Kelly said." [So much for NYC gun control]

IN: Senate passes bill allowing guns in most government buildings: "The Senate passed 40-10 a final version of a firearms bill that would allow Hoosier to carry guns into most government buildings and would leave cities and towns unable to regulate firearms.' 'This is not about the state trying to override local government,' said the bill's author, Sen. Jim Tomes, R-Wadesville. 'This is a case where local government has had an insidious progress of taking powers that was not delegated to them.'"

Sunday, May 01, 2011

IL: St. Louis man (above) charged with kidnapping and robbing young couple: "Trevin Ridgel, 21, of the 3900 block of Lexington, was charged Saturday with: one count of first degree robbery, one count of first degree attempted robbery, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of first degree assault and four counts of armed criminal action. A judge set $100,000 cash bond. A couple in their 20s from Illinois told police they were on their way to Florissant to visit friends Wednesday night when they got off the interstate in St. Louis and got lost. They ended up at the 3900 block of Palm Avenue, where they say two teens who said they had a gun forced them to drive to ATMs for money. They ended up at a gas station at East Grand and North Broadway, where one of the victims got away from her captors long enough to tell a store clerk she was being robbed, she told police. One of the teen suspects then fired shots at the store clerk, a 33-year-old man who pulled a gun and returned fire. No one was hit. The robbers ran off unhurt.

Kentucky university student Fired Over Gun in Car: "The University of Kentucky has fired a graduate student and former anesthesia technician, Michael Mitchell, for keeping a gun in his car a mile away from the university hospital where he was employed. The university then proceeded to try to deny Mitchell unemployment compensation by claiming, unsuccessfully, that he was fired for misconduct. A hearing officer found against the University of Kentucky and in favor of Mitchell. All this, despite the fact that Mitchell had a Kentucky concealed carry permit, believed he had fully complied with Kentucky law governing concealed carry, and therefore cooperated fully with police and university authorities. Mitchell appealed directly to the Kentucky Supreme Court, which voted 5-2 to hear his appeal. A win in this lawsuit will end the illegal and discriminatory practice on the university."

Wal-Mart Firearms Policy

(Bentonville, Arkansas) Be advised of a Wal-Mart policy change this week.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc, is bringing back hunting rifles and shotguns to about 500 U.S. Walmart stores, mostly in rural areas, to broaden product assortment as part of an attempt to make its outlets one-stop shopping destinations.

The move comes as the world’s largest retailer attempts to reverse seven straight quarters of same-store sales declines at Walmart U.S.

Walmart U.S. already carries hunting weapons in more than 1,000 of its about 3,600 namesake locations. The company sells handguns only in Alaska, said spokesman Lorenzo Lopez.
So, Wal-Mart is going to broaden product assortment. Good idea.