Friday, February 28, 2014

WA:11-year-old Girl Shoots Cougar Stalking 13-year-old Brother

When Tom White spotted a cougar approaching his teenage son outside their home in rural Washington state last week, there was only one thing to do - hand a gun to his 11-year-old daughter. 
Without a moment's hesitation, Shelby White killed the female cougar, and wildlife officials suggested that the animal may have been sick. 

The mountain cat was 4 years old and weighed about 50lbs, which is about half of what an animal that age should weigh. 

More Here

MILLER: Pressure for Supreme Court to take up Drake case and rule on concealed carry laws for nation

From the Washington Times:

John Drake just wants to legally carry a gun to defend himself in New Jersey since he has been chased by robbers after refilling ATMs with thousands of dollars in cash. His application for a concealed carry permit was denied because the state does not consider self-defense a “justifiable need.”

Mr. Drake is taking his case all the way to the Supreme Court. If the high court decides to hear it, the ruling could change the laws related to the individual’s right to bear arms from coast to coast.

After retiring from Sprint, Mr. Drake decided to buy 50 ATMs to put in stores, some of which are in high-crime areas. He generally carries about $30,000 in $20 bills to fill up 10 machines at one time. He was sneaking the cash under his shirt and racing in and out of the stores but has still been pursued by criminals to his car three times.

In 2010, the lifelong gun owner and hunter decided to go through all the requirements for a permit to defend himself while on the job.
The state rejected the application, stating that Mr. Drake “failed to establish that an urgent necessity for self protection as evidenced by prior specific threats or previous attacks demonstrating a special danger to your life.”

Bogus Arrest of Open Carry Activist in Temple Texas

Jason Orsek, on Right, With Chief of Police in Gonzalez, Texas, October, 2013

A little after midnight on the morning of February 20th, Jason Orsek was parked in the parking lot of Trinity Christian Center in Temple, Texas.  He had every right to be there; he had received advance permission from the pastor.  The center has a fast wi-fi connection, and he had been given a password and permission to use it.   He was uploading an instruction video that he had created to show the differences between black powder percussion pistols and modern handguns.  Police had complained that they could not tell the difference, so this video showed them how to do so.

Temple, Texas is the town where C.J. Grisham was arrested while legally carrying a slung rifle.   Grisham's arrest was caught on video.  He was charged with interfering with a police officer.  The first trial resulted in a hung jury, the second in his conviction.  He  is currently appealing the conviction.  That incident, and the outrage that it fueled among Texans, spurred the growth of the open carry movement in Texas.    Jason is an open carry activist.  He knows Grisham and supports him, though he is Vice President of Come and Take It Texas (CATI) instead of the open carry organization that Grisham belongs to.  Jason says that he is well known in the area as a supporter of open carry and Grisham.

A little after midnight, two police cars rolled into the parking lot.  The officers asked Jason what he was doing there.  Jason told them.  The officers asked for identification.  Jason refused, as is his right under Texas law.  To show that he was lawfully  on the property, Jason went so far as to have the officers contact the Pastor, Ed Dowell, though he was reluctant to do so, so late at night.  The officers called Pastor Dowell and confirmed that Jason was completely within his rights to be there and use the wi-fi.  The officers told Pastor Dowell that Jason had firearms.  The pastor said, effectively, "So what?".  James Franklin of Come and Take it Midlands/Odessa, was on the phone with Jason at this time, and was able to confirm this account.

It is legitimate police activity to check out a vehicle in a church parking lot after midnight, with an occupant inside involved in undetermined activity.   After they have determined that the occupant is there legitimately, and has a completely reasonable explanation for his activity, I would expect them to leave.

Not this time.

The officers spent several minutes in one of the squad cars, perhaps to determine what to do.  They then returned to Jason's car.  The officers used their flashlights to look inside.    While doing this, one of the officers noticed part of a holstered Glock that was in the back of the car.    Jason says that he was not aware that it was exposed.  Jason has a legal Texas Concealed Handgun License (CHL).

The officers now ordered Jason out of the car.   He was allowed to turn off his computer, the upload stopped at 80% done.    The officers searched the vehicle and found Jason's holstered Glock in the back.   They arrested him for unlawful carrying of weapons,   Texas code 46.02:
Sec. 46.02. UNLAWFUL CARRYING WEAPONS. (a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun, illegal knife, or club if the person is not:

(1) on the person's own premises or premises under the person's control; or

(2) inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle or watercraft that is owned by the person or under the person's control.

(a-1) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun in a motor vehicle or watercraft that is owned by the person or under the person's control at any time in which:

(1) the handgun is in plain view;
Jason repeatedly asked the officers not to tow his car.  They had it towed anyway, even though it was parked on private property.   Jason was taken to the police station, processed, and held until bail could be raised.  The pastor was concerned enough that he called the police the next day to find out what had happened.  When he heard that Jason was still in jail, he was outraged and attempted to have Jason released.   CATI members were able to raise the $3,500 bail that was required.   Jason was let out on bail after spending two nights sleeping on concrete.    I have slept on concrete.  It is not comfortable.   Pastor Dowell loaned Jason the $251 to get his car out of the impound lot.

Jason and Car in Parking lot of Church. Pistol is a legal 1851 Navy Colt Replica

Jason belongs to a legal protection group because of his open carry activism.  He has nothing but praise for Texas Law Shield, who arranged for Attorney Ed Walker to represent him.   Jason and his lawyer are extremely confident that they will get the case dismissed because no laws were broken.

A similar case occurred in Wisconsin to Krysta Sutterfield in November of 2011.   Krysta was in her vehicle, using the wi-fi of a business that she had been  given permission to use.  She was legally openly carrying a firearm.  When ordered out of the vehicle, the officer said that she saw the firearm, but that it was concealed.  Krysta ultimately prevailed in court.  Her saga is recorded on a 15 page discussion at

Police officers have a saying: "They may beat the rap but they will not beat the ride."   Police know that they can inflict considerable punishment on people that they disapprove of simply by putting them through the judicial process, even when the charges are not legitimate.   Punishment by "the ride" only works on people who do not have the resources to fight the system.   Those who wish to restore Constitutional rights, like Jason Orsek, are learning how to insure that those rights are respected.

Jason recently talked to me to confirm some details about this story.   He was back in the parking lot of the Trinity Christian Center, working online.

I will report on developments in the case as they occur.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch 

TX:Hostility to Constitution Costs Travis County

 Travis County, Texas, the home of the State Capitol, Austin, is one of the most "progressive" areas of the state.  The county commissioners have shown that they have no respect for constitutional rights, and would like to ban gun shows in the county if they could.   They attempted to use contract law to weasel around the limitations placed on them by federal and state law.  But, they have been a bit conflicted, because to do so would significantly reduce revenues to the County.   Their politically correct pandering has had a result, whether they desire it or not.  It has been estimated that loss of the event will cost the county  $800,000 annually, of which $100,000 is direct rent on the Expo Center.

One of the most comprehensive comparisons of highly regulated gun shows in California versus gun shows with little regulation in Texas, showed that Texas guns shows not only did not increase crime, but were associated with a slight drop in murders.

The Saxet gun show, which used to be held in the Travis County Expo Center, was driven away by the unreasoning hostility to Constitutional rights and the rule of law shown by ideologues.   The show will now be held at the Dripping Springs Ranch Park and Event Center.  The first show at the new venue will be held on March 29th and 30th.

Travis County cannot print money like the Federal Reserve, so direct attacks on freedom tend to result in direct and immediate consequences. 

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

Thursday, February 27, 2014

GA:Gun Mufflers for Hunting Passes Senate

Use of Silencers is encouraged in Europe Photo Courtesy Gun World

Gun mufflers, also known as suppressors or silencers, have been approved for hunting in Georgia by the Senate.

The bill passed the senate 43-10.  SB 93 will be considered by the house next. 
A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Part 1 of Article 1 of Chapter 3 of Title 27 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions regarding hunting, so as to authorize the use of suppressors on hunting firearms under certain circumstances; to provide for suspension of hunting privileges for persons who are convicted of hunting without landowner permission, hunting in an area that is closed to hunting, or hunting big game out of season or at night with a suppressor equipped firearm; to provide for related matters; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
The United States has some of the most restrictive laws about the use and ownership of gun mufflers of any country in the world.  Most European countries treat the devises as simply another firearm accessory.   No one knows why gun mufflers were included in the National Firearms Act of 1934.  In that act, existing gun mufflers had to be registered with the federal government, and a tax of $200 paid, which was the equivalent of $4,000 today.  As the gun mufflers were commonly sold for $10 or less, the law was an effective ban on legal ownership of the devices.

There were no movies or television shows linking the devises to fictional figures in organized crime, nor was any other reason given for including the devices in the 1934 ban.   The unintended consequences of hearing loss for tens of millions of shooters was not even considered.  It wasn't until the 1960's that the effect of the exposure to momentary loud noises on hearing loss was well understood.

Inflation has reduced the real cost of the tax to near the cost of the mufflers, and the obvious safety and social utility of these devices is receiving more attention.  In Europe, use of gun mufflers is encouraged as a polite way of not disturbing the peace and quiet of your neighbors morning when you dispatch a garden pest or engage in some target practice.

In Finland, gun mufflers for .22 caliber firearms sell over the counter for the equivalent of 50 dollars.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

AR: Law Journal: Meaning of Carry Law Plain, Legislature Screwed up

Constitutional Carry Walk in Little Rock, Arkansas

An article in Arkansas  Law Notes by Associate Professor Laurent Sacharoff and student Jacob Worlow, expresses their understanding and concern with Act 746 (formerly H.B. 1700), the act that made constitutional carry the law in Arkansas.  The law went into effect in August of 2013.

The authors deserve credit.  They clearly state what the law does, rather than attempt to use sleight of hand to discredit it, as did Attorney General McDaniels.   They mention that the vast majority of prosecutors in the state agree with their interpretation of the plain language of the law:
As noted above, John Threet, the Washington County Prosecutor, has directed the Sheriff not to arrest those carrying handguns, even without a permit, unless other circumstances suggest the person intends to use the gun to commit a crime such as robbery. Threet also reports that at the last meeting of prosecutors from all 28 judicial districts in Arkansas, only 2 were instructing police or sheriffs to arrest—though he emphasized this was not a formal vote but merely his sense of the room.
The article is interesting in a number of ways.  First, it is clear that the authors consider the passage of act 746 a bad thing.  Here is the last paragraph in the article:
 Section 120 deserves immediate attention from the legislature. If it wants to legalize open carry, do so openly, as it were, though we would have the legislature not only clarify the law, but restore it to its responsible previous substance—requiring citizens to first acquire a license before carrying a concealed weapon, and banning open carry entirely.
Even though the authors disapprove of the law, they are honest in their assessments of it.    Another point from the article is that they believe that the not only the legislature screwed up, but perhaps more importantly, the media screwed up:
Courts should also look to the history of related bills, and here the legislature recently rejected two, H.B. 1231 and H.B. 1408. H.B. 1231, that would have permitted certain school employees to carry weapons on school grounds as security personnel. 15 The bill received massive attention from the media prior to its rejection. On the other hand, H.B. 1700 did not receive any considerable media attention prior to the day Governor Beebe signed it, nor does it seem that anyone had even remotely characterized H.B. 1700 as an open carry bill. H.B. 1700’s smooth and silent path to enactment strongly suggests that the legislature did not comprehend any open carry interpretation of the bill.
I find this a sideways acknowledgement that the media is at least as powerful as the legislature.   How is the legislature supposed to know how to vote, if the media does not tell them in advance?   While I am exaggerating to make a point here, this example is particularly striking if you have read Daniel Greenfield's essay, "The rise of the mediacracy".  In it, he postulates that the media exerts far more power in selecting the legislature than the people do.

In an article in thecitywire, in response to the UA law article, Denny Altes, R- Fort Smith says that he and fellow lawmakers "did not screw up":
Altes said open carry had "been the law in Arkansas since at least the 1800s. He said through several attempts to update the law through the years were unsuccessful, he was able to strike the right balance with the language of HB 1700 to please groups including the Sheriff's Association, the Chiefs of Police Association, the Prosecutors' Association and the State Police.

"The old code was written so there were many defenses to carrying a weapon. So, I asked why not make it a right with exceptions. This met with approval from everyone. It seems that it is two sides of the same coin," he wrote. "So, we didn’t really change the law, we only clarified that it is a right to keep and bear arms according to the Second Amendment of our Constitution (According to Webster’s 'bear' means 'to carry')."
In the citywire article, Steve Jones of Arkansas Carry says that no one has been arrested for open carrying by itself:
Since the law went into affect, there have no known arrests except of "people who were already committing crimes, which is how the law reads," according to Jones.

"Other than that, we do not know of anyone. We're looking and waiting to see if someone could be arrested to see how a law case would come out."
 Steve Jones and others have been instrumental in organizing open carry marches, also known as constitutional carry marches, or celebration of Act 746 marches around the State to educate the population about their rights and the new law.

In the end, the authors of the law article offer the obvious solution to those who do not like the new law: have the legislature change the law to something that they like better.

I suspect that will not happen.  The old law was put in place with deliberate ambiguity and was selectively used to deprive people who were not in favor with local elites, of their rights.   It is one thing to use the power of the media to stop a law.   It is much harder to remove it once it is in place.

On an interesting historical note, Arkansas was the home of the infamous Judge Heartsill Ragon, who plotted and engineered the controversial U.S. v Miller case to finagle the constitutionality of the first effective national gun control law, the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

WA:Friends Shoot one of Two Home Invaders

LAKE STEVENS — Police said two masked, armed men allegedly entered a garage of a home in the Lake Stevens area, confronted the homeowner and his friend there and allegedly attempted to rob them. But the friend was able to pull a gun out of his car and opened fire, hitting one of the suspects and prompting the other one to flee, police said.

More Here

NC:Armed Home Invasion one Killed

Michael P. Holliday, Jordan M. Sanford, Brian P. Bailey and Jonathan D. Koncir, conspired to break into the residence belonging to John P. Moore and rob him. Michael P. Holliday and Brian P. Bailey entered the residence brandishing a 20 gauge shotgun; While Jonathan D. Koncir and Jordan M. Sanford waited nearby in a get away vehicle.  

While inside the residence Brian P. Bailey and deceased Michael P. Holliday pointed the shotgun at John P. Moore while demanding drugs and money. Then John P. Moore pulled a 22 cal. pistol and demanded that they leave his residence. During the course of the robbery Michael P. Holliday was shot before fleeing the residence with Brian P. Bailey.

More Here

Dave Workman:Two pending cases exemplify shortfalls of ‘universal background checks’

Two pending criminal cases in Seattle – one reported yesterday by the Seattle and the other from early last week on the Seattle Police Blotter – underscore the futility of so-called “universal background checks” because the suspects in both capers have criminal records, and both cases involve guns that were not obtained through legitimate channels.

Gun rights activists would quickly observe this is the rule rather than the exception in criminal activities across the country. See if the circumstances support that theory.

Yesterday’s Seattle story was about 21-year-old Mohamed Abdi Ali, also known as “Sharmarke,” who has been charged with first-degree robbery, armed robbery, illegal firearms possession and several other crimes. Mr. Ali reportedly did not show up for arraignment on charges filed in January stemming from the Dec. 13 pistol-whipping/robbery of a Seattle cabby.

Ali, according to the published report, “has previous convictions of vehicle theft, possession of stolen property, assault and theft, among others.” Last month, Ali may have been involved in a robbery at Hashi Money Wire in SeaTac. The robber aimed a gun at an employee and took $7,000 and then fled in a vehicle. When cops found that car, they found a stolen handgun inside.

In the other case, a man identified as Akiel Troy Taylor was arrested after allegedly committing a residential burglary. At the time, according to the Seattle Police Blotter, Taylor was allegedly high on crack, and when cops confronted him a short distance from the crime scene, he ran through a parking lot, tried to escape through a blackberry tangle, struggled with them, tried to grab one officer’s pistol and in the process a stolen Ruger Super Blackhawk single-action .44 Magnum revolver fell from his waistband. Documents obtained from the King County Prosecutor's office detail Taylor's arrest and pending criminal charges.

This column knows a bit about that handgun, a heavy stainless steel model with an adjustable rear sight and hardwood grips. It was stolen in a residential burglary in late November in the SeaTac area from the home of an Examiner reader, where it had been secured unloaded. The burglars kicked the front door off its hinges, took some firearms, including the .44, that were in a locked security cabinet and fled. That “transaction” also did not involve a background check. It is not clear how Taylor got the gun, but he certainly didn’t buy it at the store, or at a gun show.

More Here

Wy:15-Year-Old Shoot man Stops Kidnapping

Gillette, WY (AP) - Campbell County sheriff's officials say a 15-year-old boy fatally shot a man who was trying to abduct a woman in Wright.


 It's not clear how the teen became involved. Sheriff's Cpl. Gary Sams says the teenage shooter had no family relationship to either Fears or the woman.

More Here

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Homemade Brazilian Submachine Guns

Supporters of the second amendment have long pointed out that firearms are 14th century technology that can be replicated in any blacksmith shop around the world, and can be much more easily produced with the common tools that are inexpensively available to the garage workshop hobbyist.

Others have pointed out that it is much easier to make a submachine gun than it is to make a revolver or semi-automatic pistol.  A ban on handguns was predicted to result in an increase in the number  of illegal sub-machineguns on the black market.

The prediction has proven correct for Brazil.  Brazil has one of the most oppressive set of gun laws and regulations on the planet.  It is not surprising that it is one of the areas of the world where you find the most homemade submachine guns.  The celebrated blog, Thefirearmsblog, has a stunning collection of pictures of homemade submachineguns from Brazil.  Here is a snippet to whet your appetite:

The firearmsblog is an excellent site with much useful information.

Once again, the Link to thefirearmsblog article.

The hardest part of a sub-machine gun for an individual or small shop to make is a reliable magazine.

It was demonstrated a few months ago, that the most difficult parts of reliable magazines, the body and follower, can be easily printed on 3-D printers. After all, magazines bodies are just a box of reasonably precise dimensions, and the follower is just a small part of a certain shape.  Plastic is an eminently suitable material to make these parts, and numerous commercially available magazine bodies and followers are made of plastic.  Springs are widely available on the open market.

Everything else required for making a submachine gun is easily available. The steel used for submachine gun barrels is common, ordinary steel.   Heat treating could be desirable, but not necessary.  The barrels are short, so no special barrel making machinery is needed.   A number of homemade submachine guns do not bother to rifle the barrels, but rifling increases range and accuracy.

I would not be surprised to see the proliferation of 3-D printed magazines in Brazil, as 3-D printers become common.   Magazines are small parts, and the resolution required for reliable functioning is well within the capacity of inexpensive 3-D printers.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch
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Another common variation:
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- See more at:

Kurt Hoffman: 'Assault weapons,' registration, and the lessons of Connecticut

Much has been written of late about what appears to be massive non-compliance with Connecticut's "assault weapon" registration requirement (the guns are banned, but "grandfathered," if the owner registers them). Well, much has been written, that is, in gun rights advocacy circles--the mass media would apparently have us believe that it's not worth covering the fact that scores of thousands--maybe hundreds of thousands--of people are committing a felony "crime" punishable by five years in prison.


 It is only through defiance of evil, unjust, illegitimate laws that one can avoid becoming a victim of them. This is a lesson for the entire country. If tens of thousands of citizens of one state can face the government down over a state gun ban and registration scheme, tens of millions of Americans can do the same in a face-off with the federal government, over an analogous law at that level. It is we the people who hold the only legitimate power in this country, and if enough of us stand together to exercise it, we can do so without firing a shot.

More Here at St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner

David Codrea: Anti-gun California political powerhouses indicted on corruption charges

California State Senator Ron Calderon and his brother, former Assemblyman Tom Calderon, have been indicted on political corruption charges resulting from an FBI investigation, the Los Angeles Daily News/Whittier Daily News reported Friday, citing what officials call “the largest insurance fraud case to date in California.

“Sen. Ron Calderon was charged ... with fraud, bribery, conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering and aiding in the filing of false tax returns,” the report explains. “His brother, Tom Calderon, a former Assemblyman, was also charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering.


 One connection "Authorized Journalists" writing for "mainstream" outlets have not, and will not explore, is the affinity the Calderon clan has for using their political power to impose citizen disarmament edicts.

More Here at Gun Rights Examiner

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

WA:Clark County May Allow Second Amendment Rights for Employees

Clark County, Washington, is strongly considering joining the group of local governments that have reformed their work rules to allow employees to exercise their second amendment rights.  Many states do not restrict citizens from exercising their rights to bear arms in public buildings, so it makes little sense to restrict employees from being able to carry as well.  From the Columbian:
Commissioners Tom Mielke and David Madore on Wednesday requested that Chris Horne, the county's chief civil deputy prosecutor, investigate what revisions could be made to the county's workplace violence policy to allow employees to carry concealed firearms. Commissioner Steve Stuart was absent from the meeting.

The county's current policy prohibits employees from bringing concealed firearms at work, even if they have a permit to do so. Other people, including elected officials and the public, are exempt from the policy and may bring weapons into some county buildings.
One of the issues being addressed is that of insurance rates.
 Upfront insurance costs could go either way -- up or down -- if the county implements a looser weapons policy for employees, an insurance professional said.
 When schools in Kansas decided to allow teachers to carry concealed weapons, their insurance company, EMC, threatened to drop their policies.   The schools shopped for other alternatives and ended up with a new insurer.  They expect to save $2 million over the next decade in insurance costs.

An opponent of the right to bear arms made this statement:
"A gun is not a defensive tool, it's an offensive tool," said Heidi Yewman, a Vancouver-based gun control advocate. "A gun won't do you any good unless you are holding it out and ready to fire."
In the last two decades, the number of people with concealed carry permits has sky-rocketed from an estimated 1 million in 1993 to over 10 million today.  During the same period, criminal homicides have dropped by 50 percent.

Experts say that such correlation does not prove causation, but it does make it harder to argue that an armed population causes crime.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch 

NC:Son Uses .22 Revolver to Fiight Intruders

The family may need better locks and a bigger gun.

"I got hit in the face a couple of times, then I realized what was happening," he told WBTV. "I'm still in shock. I can't believe it would happen to me."

After the first home invasion in early February, Ludwick's father gave him the family's .22 revolver in case his home was broken into again.

"I shot at them and they ran out," said Ludwick.

But Ludwick says one of the men wrestled the gun from him and slammed it into the back of his neck and head.

More Here

TX: Andrews Open carry March Doubles in Protest of Arrests

The 15 February open carry march in Andrews Texas more than doubled the size of the last march of a month ago.   Two arrests that appear to be motivated by legal open carry have occurred in the city.  No charges have yet been filed, and the men arrested remain in legal limbo.  James Franklin of the Midlands/Odessa CATI has told me that they are applying for several more permits, in order to educate the people of Andrews about their Constitutional rights.

Over 80 people participated in the 15 February march, in a small town near the Texas panhandle.  

CBS7 News reported on the event locally.  James Franklin is the organizer of Midlands/Odessa CATI.
During today’s march, a local restaurant allowed participants to go inside wearing their guns across their backs, drivers honked and waved to show their support as activists walked down Main St.

“We want to establish Texas as a bulwark of freedom to maintain our constitutional rights here in this state, if nowhere else,” Franklin says.

Open carry of long guns has become a popular way to express dissatisfaction with the Texas legislature for not passing an open carry law last year.  The law passed the House, but then stalled out.  Texas is only one of five states that ban the open carry of holstered handguns in most public places.

Numerous open carry demonstrations have been held in  Arkansas to enforce a change in the law.    Numerous settlements have been gained from police departments who abuse open carry rights in Washington, Michigan, Wisconsin, VirginiaPennsylvania, and others.

Both of the likely candidates for Texas Governor now support the restoration of legal open carry of handguns in Texas.

California is the only fish to be swimming against this tide.   It banned open carry of even unloaded handguns in 2011 and rifles and shotguns in 2012.  The laws are being challenged in the courts.   The ban on open carry resulted in the Ninth Circuit upholding the second amendment right to carry handguns outside of the home for self defense.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

PA: Former Police Officer Ordered to Stand Trial for Murder of Gun Shop Owner

Entrance to Frank's Gun Shop by Ashley Hardway

In this highly unusual case in Tunnelton, PA, the action was all caught on video.  The gun shop owner, Frank Petro, knew the former officer, Jack O. Edmundson.  Family members said that Edmundson had been extorting Petro by impersonating a state lottery officer.  The scam was that Edmundson claimed that Petro's winnings were fraudulent, and that he would jail Petro unless Petro paid him the winnings.   Petro, as a highly regulated gun shop owner, was particularly vulnerable.  Even an accusation might have resulted in the BATFE pulling his license and livelihood.   When Petro's brother read a newspaper article where Edmundson was prosecuted for impersonating an officer, Petro contacted a lawyer to see about recovering the $130,000 that he had already paid Petro.

It was at this point that the attack occurred.  From
The video footage shows that Edmundson entered the shop, reached behind the counter and grabbed a small-caliber gun that he used to shoot Petro following a brief argument.
The attack seems to have been premeditated.  Edmundson was wearing what appeared to be blue latex gloves under his winter gloves.  After shooting Petro, Edmundson is seen to be spreading black powder and an accelerant that he brought with him, around the shop and  over Petro's body.   But Petro still had fight left in him.  From

“He lays there three minutes and appears to be unresponsive,” before he tried to rise, “and the video clearly shows Mr. Edmundson kicks him in the face and knocks his glasses off,” Valyo said.

The men went to a hand-to-hand scuffle and Edmundson seemed to try to shoot again, but the gun apparently malfunctioned before “he cleared it,” Valyo said.

The fight went on several minutes “until Mr. Petro started to lose his strength. They fell behind the display case,” Valyo said. “And although you can’t see the muzzle flash, it appears this is the time Mr. Edmundson was shot.”
Edmundson manges to prevail over the gun shop owner, who had been shot twice and was 62 years old. He then shoots Petro twice more to finish him off.
State police believe Edmundson's plan was to set fire to the store, but he was shot in his right thigh during the second scuffle with Petro and telephoned 911 for help, according to the criminal complaint.
Edmundson might have got away with the crime, but after he was shot, he could no longer set fire to the gun shop. He claimed that he had to shoot Petro in self defense, but the video showed a different story. The story did not say if the video was uploaded to an off site storage facility, but the story would be a good advertisement for such a capability.

The shooting occurred on 31 December of last year. At the preliminary hearing,  on Friday, Edmundson was in a wheelchair.
After listening to about an hour of testimony, Indiana District Judge Guy Haberl ordered Edmundson to stand trial on counts of first-degree murder, arson and aggravated assault.
Incredibly, an anti-rights blogger at is claiming that if only Frank Petro, the gun shop owner, had not had any guns, he would have been better off. They spout the usual false talking points:
Every life is precious, but multiple studies show that a gun is far, far more likely to cost you your life than to protect you, as Mr. Petro and others have found out.
Frank Petro did not survive the attack, but by fighting back, he started the chain of events that resulted in the arrest of Edmundson, and will likely remove a very dangerous predator from society.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch

MI: Armed Woman Stops Carjack, Kills One

It was shortly after midnight when two men approached a woman in the driveway of her home on Abbington Street on Detroit's west side, and attempted to carjack her.

The woman, who has a permit to carry, pulled out a gun and fired several shots at the men. One of her would-be carjackers was killed.

More Here

MI: Armed Homeowner Kills one Wounds one

Detroit — Two men who broke into a southwest Detroit house early Saturday morning encountered an armed homeowner who opened fire, killing one of the intruders and wounding the other. 

The incident is the second this week involving a homeowner who used a firearm to fend off intruders.

John Lott: Media cherry picks Missouri gun data

With headlines claiming “Study Shows Gun Control Works,” media outlets such as CBS, MSNBC, PBS, Washington Post, and BBC were breathless over a soon-to-be-released study by Daniel Webster in the Journal of Urban Health. The claim is that when Missouri in 2007 made it easier to buy handguns, the murder rate went up relative to the U.S. murder rate.

Prior to August 2007, Missouri law had established what is known as a universal background check, closing down the so-called gun show loophole.

While it is true that the murder rate in Missouri rose 17 percent relative to the rest of the U.S. in the five years after 2007, it had actually increased by 32 percent during the previous five years. The question is why the Missouri murder rate was increasing relative to the rest of the United States at a slower rate after the change in the law than it did prior to it. Missouri was on an ominous path before the law was ended.

Simply looking at whether murder rates were higher after the law was rescinded than before misses much of what was going on. Most likely, getting rid of the law slowed the growth rate in murders.

But there are other reasons not to accept the conclusion touted by the press.
 There are currently 17 states with these background check laws, down from a peak of 19 states. Missouri is just one of them.
 If you are going to insist on looking at just one state, Missouri adopted the law in 1981 and rescinded it in 2007. Why not test if the murder rate fell after 1981 and whether it increased after 2007?
 Why only look at just the murder rate for this one state? Why not the overall violent crime or robbery rates?
The reason for this cherry picking is obvious. Only those conditions produced the desired results. For example, Missouri’s violent crime rate fell 7 percent faster than the violent crime rate for the rest of the United States from 2006 to 2012.

More Here

CA:Homeowner Wins Gunfight

A man who lives at this house told police that someone had shot at his house and was trying to break in. He says he got his own gun, fired back in the direction of the shots, and called 911.


A short time later, a man was dropped off at a hospital with at least one gunshot wound and he died. 


Police say there is evidence someone fired on the house, but they only have the resident's version of events.

More Here

Monday, February 24, 2014

WI:Milwaukee Jury Troubled by Gun Muffler Case

Fake gun muffler mounted on barrel

A case has been sent to the jury in Milwaukee, where the BATFE appears to have used a career criminal to entrap a citizen who is both a gun collector and a lawyer.  In many ways it is bizarre, because it is clear that the criminal worked very hard to get the citizen to commit an illegal act of buying what amounts to an ersatz gun muffler.  Under the BATF administrative rules, any device that can be attached to a gun, that decreases the sound by *any* amount, is considered to be a gun muffler, and is illegal unless the $200 tax is paid and the paperwork, which often takes months, if not years, to accomplish, is done.   This level of over regulation of what amounts to a safety device, has never been justified.  The "silencer" in this case only reduced the noise level from 147 to 141 DB.  It is doubtful that an ordinary person would be able to consistently notice the difference.   Given the BATFE's history of lying in court, I am not surprised that a jury would have trouble convicting Mr. Barrett, who was never in trouble with the law before.  There are lots of fake suppressors on the market.  From the
A jury spent more than five hours Thursday deciding whether a lawyer and gun collector committed a crime when he bought a "hit man's gun" with an illegal silencer.

But jurors couldn't reach a verdict and will continue deliberating Friday.
Thomas Michael Barrett, 54, a Wauwatosa lawyer, was arrested in August 2011 during a reverse sting outside Mayfair Mall. 
Michael Barrett took the stand to defend his actions:
Barrett said as soon as he met Bond, he became a bit nervous that he was perhaps being set up to be robbed. He said he kept trying to do some "fast talking" to get out of the situation without upsetting Bond. He said he initially offered to buy the gun without the silencer for more than Bond had been asking.

But Bond kept insisting Barrett should buy both and then offered to sell them for $400, well less than the $600 they had discussed over the phone.

"I didn't want to piss him off," Barrett said. "He wouldn't take no for an answer."
I am interested in seeing how this case turns out.  Barrett is risking his entire career on this on principle.  I am sure he could have cut a deal, but he has refused to do so.  There seems to be some real doubt in the case.   Perhaps the storefront scandal in Milwaukee, that covered extensively, has produced a little well deserved skepticism of the BATFE and their operations.

Here is the only comment on the story so far:
I was cop for 25 years, and I wouldn't have convicted him. For 2 reasons: 1) 147 db reduced to 141 db this is still extremely loud, and still have a painfully loud "Report" If the silencer reduced the report from 147 db was down to 105 db then maybe I would consider it a silencer, and 105 db is still very very loud!!!
2) The test for entrapment is called the "origin of intent rule" Who came up with the request for the silencer first. If the government agent offered it first, then its entrapment. If the Atty ask for the silencer first then he's guilty. Then it should be a real silencer, down to 105 db or less...
This helps explain why police are routinely excluded from juries.  They know too much.

It is possible that there is a little jury nullification going on here. It is one of the strong checks on government overreach that has consistently been eroded for the past hundred years. Then again, perhaps this is simply a weak case.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch

Update:  Michael Barrett Convicted from jsonline:
A jury found a Wauwatosa lawyer guilty Friday of buying what he called "a hit man's gun" with a "highly, highly, highly illegal" silencer during an undercover reverse sting in 2011.

Tenth Amendment Center:Missouri Senate Votes to Nullify Federal Gun Control, 23-10

A Missouri bill which seeks to nullify virtually every federal gun control measure on the books, “whether past, present or future,” passed the Senate Thursday. SB613 would ban the state from enforcing virtually all federal gun control measures, and includes criminal charges for federal agents attempting to violate the right to keep and bear arms in Missouri.
The measure passed 23-10.

SB613 counts as what could be the strongest defense against federal encroachments on the right to keep an bear arms ever considered at the state level. It reads, in part:
All federal acts, laws, executive orders, administrative orders, court orders, rules, and regulations, whether past, present, or future, which infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States I and Section 23 of the Missouri Constitution shall be invalid in this state, shall not be recognized by this state, shall be specifically rejected by this state, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this state.
Federal acts which would be considered “null and void and of no effect” include, but are not limited to:
(a) Any tax, levy, fee, or stamp imposed on firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition not common to all other goods and services which might reasonably be expected to create a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
(b) Any registering or tracking of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition which might reasonably be expected to create a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
(c) Any registering or tracking of the owners of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition which might reasonably be expected to create a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
(d) Any act forbidding the possession, ownership, or use or transfer of a firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition by law-abiding citizens; and
(e) Any act ordering the confiscation of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition from law-abiding citizens
The legislation specifically bans all state employees from enforcing or attempting to enforce any acts running counter to the proposed law. Such a tactic is an extremely effective way to stop a federal government busting at the seams. Even the National Governors Association admitted the same recently when they sent out a press release noting that “States are partners with the federal government in implementing most federal programs.”

That means states can create impediments to enforcing and implementing “most federal programs.”  On federal gun control measures, Judge Andrew Napolitano suggested that a single state standing down would make federal gun laws “nearly impossible to enforce” within that state.

James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” advised this very tactic.  Madison supplied the blueprint for resisting federal power inFederalist 46. He outlined several steps that states can take to effective stop “an unwarrantable measure,” or “even a warrantable measure” of the federal government. Madison called for “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” as a way to successfully thwart federal acts.

More Here

Free Dominion Shut Down by Lawfare

Free Dominion, one of the adamant foes of the Canadian Gun Registry, has been shut down.

The conservative website, Free Dominion, has shut down after a long legal battle with censorship champion lawyer Richard Warman.  Warman gained notoriety for his attacks on sites he disargreed with by using the "hate speech" law in Canada (the Canadian Human Rights Commission) to censor speech.  He was essentially the only person using the law and the process.  The CHRC became his personal tool of repression.  He had considerable success, though the CHRC has since been reformed by parliament as a result.

Free Dominion has had a warm spot in my heart for  12 years.   They were one of the first sites to post my essay, Gun Registration is Gun Confiscation, and it lead to a spirited discussion on the site that I referenced more than once.  When I wanted to find the essay on the Internet, a search always turned up Free Dominion.  Not any more. 

According to Mark Steyn, who was attacked by Warman, Warman's  modus operendi was to create multiple Internet personalities, and use those to promote personal "hate speech" on websites.   He then referenced the posts in his lawsuits, and obtained quite a fortune from the process.   Now that the CHRC has been reformed, Warman has resorted to another part of Canadian law. 

Warman is now using the law on defamation, to shut down Free Dominion.  The Canadian law is so antithetical to free speech that it becomes impossible to meet the standards of the court and operate a web forum at the same time.  From Free Dominion:
Today, Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Smith issued an order in the Richard Warman vs Mark and Connie Fournier and John Does defamation case heard September, 2013. In addition to ordering that we must pay Warman $127,000, Justice Smith issued an injunction against us ordering we that never publish, or allow to be published, anything negative about Richard Warman. This means we are barred for life from ever operating a public forum or a blog (even about cookie recipes) where the public can comment. If we do so, any one of Warman’s handful of supporters could, and probably would, use a common proxy server to avoid being traced, plant a negative comment about Warman on our site, and we would both be charged with contempt of court. If that happened --unlike in the Ottawa courtroom where we were blocked at every turn from presenting a defense-- we actually would have no defense. We would both go to jail. This life sentence was imposed for our terrible crimes of voicing our honestly held beliefs and allowing others to do the same. Defamation law, in its current state, is entirely inadequate and counterproductive when applied to the internet. Now it is being used as a tool of censorship. Effectively!
While this is more of a free speech issue than a second amendment one, the two are closely intertwined.   The Canadian press is itself cowed by the ruling.   Only one article has appeared about it in Canada, and the comments section was turned off.   But then, perhaps the old print media likes the idea of Internet political forums being shut down.   The ruling makes it impossible to allow a free interchange of ideas on the Internet, without fear of a successful lawsuit, in Canada.

Canadian law does not have an exception for public figures, as does American law.  Truth is only a defense if you can absolutely prove that what you write is true.  There is no room for opinion.  The has a pretty good overview of the case.   The article sums up Warman's claims here: has been critical of Warman’s efforts and published dozens of comments that called him, among other things, a “censorship champion.”
 So, in Canada defamation law, saying that someone is a censorship champion can result in their ability to effectively censor you.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Washington Times: EDITORIAL: Connecticut gun owners revolt

Canadians revolted against their gun registry as well.  It took 17 years, but they repealed their long gun registry.

Laws are more than just symbolic gestures. Connecticut's General Assembly must come to grips with this truth before its recent effort to “save lives” ends up destroying them.

State law enforcement officials are now in the difficult position of dealing with one of the most widely flouted laws since the end of the 55 miles-per-hour speed limit and Prohibition. If it’s really serious, the state will have to find space to imprison 300,000 residents for the next five years.

The first article of the Connecticut Constitution couldn’t be more clear. “Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state,” it says.
Busybodies at the Capitol in Hartford decided that “every” doesn’t really mean every, and it banned the semi-automatic rifles that would be most useful in defense of the state. As of Jan. 1, owners of arms that have a menacing appearance had to submit registration paperwork to the state.

Only about 50,000 did so. There’s no way to know how many “assault rifles” remain unregistered, but the best guess is that the new “gun safety” law instantly created 300,000 felons.

TX:Holes in DHS Houston Air Rifle and SWAT Story

On Monday, 17 February, a soldier in an unfinished development in Harris County near Houston was confronted by a swat team, an armored vehicle, and accusations of criminal mischief, because he was practicing with an air rifle. reports that an off-duty homeland security agent was looking at one of the unfinished houses (that had been damaged by vandals).  The agent is said to claim that one of the windows was shattered.    The agent then looked out, saw a man with a rifle, and called dispatch.   That became an "active shooter event".
 An off-duty Homeland Security agent – and potential buyer -- just happened to be inside that house when the glass shattered right next to him.
He looked out and saw the soldier holding what he thought was a telescopically high-powered rifle so he called the sheriff.

"An "active shooter" call dropped," said Captain Jay Coons with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

The response was that the swat team and numerous police poured into the neighborhood and approached the soldier's house in full battle gear with weapons at the ready.  They found an air rifle and some pellets on the porch.  The agent has not been identified.

The soldier, Ramon  Hooks, disputes the off duty agent's interpretation of events.  Here are his comments:
“Kinda crazy! It all blew up over an air rifle.  It was real intense,” the 25-year-old man said.

Hooks said he had been target practicing at the house next door to his home when his dog got out and he went to look for her.  Hooks said he even bumped into the Homeland Security Agent who was house shopping in the neighborhood. “He was calm. I said, ‘Had you seen my dog?’ He said. ‘Yes, she ran around the back way,’” Hooks said.  

Shortly afterward, the federal agent called for help, saying shots had just been fired into a house he was walking through.  Deputies confronted Hooks and then retrieved the air rifle and pellets Hooks left on his front porch. They said there’s no evidence the men spoke before that call for help.
It is not clear what is being implied by the above paragraph.  How would Hooks  know exactly when the call for help was made?  Perhaps the agents are trying to imply that if the agent saw Hooks unarmed, he would not have made the call to dispatch?   I do not see how they have a clear time-line on when the men spoke and when the call from the agent was made. 

Hooks disputes the claim that he shot a window, either deliberately or through a ricochet.  From
 Hooks, a US Army specialist who served in Iraq, said he wasn’t aiming at the house where the federal agent had been. He said the target next to that house was an old one. “If I felt it ricocheted over here I would’ve said so,” he said.
 KHOU shows some of the broken windows on the house in question.  Most of the windows appear to be broken by vandalism.  Only two show a hole that might have been caused by  small projectiles, and they do not look much like holes in glass that I have seen caused by small, fast, projectiles.   Here is one of the images in question:

The framing is likely .5 of an inch in width, which would put this hole at about 1.5 inches in diameter.

Here is the reporter pointing to what appears to be the above hole:

Here is another picture of a hole in glass found at the site:

Notice the size of the holes.  The framing appears to be about 1/2 of an inch.  The paper label on the inside, would typically be 3/4 of an inch wide.  The windows panes seem to be close to a standard 12 inches square.  That puts this hole about an inch in diameter.

I have seen a fair number of bullet holes in glass over my life, and these seem rather anomalous.  Holes from high speed projectiles tend to have numerous radial cracks and concentric rings.   There are only a few radial cracks in these pictures, and hints of concentric rings.  They do not seem consistent with holes from an air rifle to me.  

Here is a test that was done with an air rifle on glass.  It is not quite the same, because the glass was taped to help preserve the fracturing patterns:

The concentric pattern in this image appears to be about 3 inches in diameter.  This is closer to what I would expect for damage to glass from an air rifle.  Here is the YouTube video that shows damage from a few types of pellets:

Pellet holes in glass

The holes at the site, from my experience, might be made from a slingshot and marbles, or pebbles. 

Having said that, there are many types of glass, and there is considerable difference in air rifles and pellets.  The windows appear to be double paned, which further complicates the matter.   From video of a target at the site, it appears that the air rifle in question is either a .177 or a .22 caliber, by far the most common air rifle calibers.   As both the rifle and pellets are in custody, it should be easy to do a test on a sample of the glass in question and see if the damage is consistent with what was observed at the window that the agent says was smashed.  It is unlikely that a .177 or .22 caliber pellet would smash a window, but they can certainly put a hole in  it.  Damage from a ricochet would be less because of the energy used in the initial impact.

Forensic evidence could determine if a vandal with a slingshot flung a marble or rounded stone at the window with the off duty agent behind it, or if an air rifle pellet could have done the damage.   Perhaps the soldier had the bad luck to be visible from the vantage point of the agent when the agent looked out.  It would have been easy to draw a false conclusion.  A simple forensic test should be able to determine if the damage witnessed by the agent is consistent with the air rifle and pellets recovered at the scene. 

Based only on the evidence gathered by the news crew, my experience is that the damage does not look like that done by an small caliber air rifle.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Petulant Judge Returns Guns, Destroys Ammunition

This "old"  ammunition is safe and reliable

In a well publicized case in Florida, former Marine John Rogers shot and killed a drinking buddy.  He said that he had been attacked after he asked the man to leave.  He retrieved a rifle, and said the man, James DeWitt, then charged him, giving him no choice but to fire.  The case gained some notoriety because Rogers is legally blind.  Rogers spent 22 Months in jail awaiting trail on a first degree murder charge.   Half way through the trial, the judge dismissed the charges under Florida's Stand Your Ground law.

Evidence showed that the dead man was shot from a distance of 18 inches, supporting Rogers account and casting doubt on the claim of DeWitt's girlfriend, Christina Robertson, that the shooting had been completely unprovoked.

Today, 21 February, 2014, nearly  two years after the shooting, Judge John Galluzzo reluctantly returned John Rodgers' guns.   He said that he was forced to do so, because it was the law.  From
 "I have to return property that was taken under the circumstance," Galluzzo said. "I have researched and haven't found case law to say otherwise."
Then, in what can only be described as a fit of petulance, judge Galluzzo ordered all of John Rodgers ammunition be destroyed.
Galluzzo did order that all ammunition to be destroyed. He said it was too old and dangerous.
The judge might not agree with what the law called for. It seems likely that John Rogers tends to be violent when drunk, and he seems to get drunk fairly often.

But he has never crossed the law far enough to be convicted of an offense that would disqualify him from owning guns. We are a nation that is supposed to be ruled by law, rather than men.

The destruction of the ammunition falls under the latter category. Judge Galluzzo, clearly piqued at his inability to deny John Rogers his property, made the unsupported claim that the ammunition was "old and dangerous". I do not see any justification in the law for destruction of such property, or any legal support for Judge Galluzzo's actions. I am sure that he knows, that after spending nearly two years in jail, on a charge that has now been dismissed, that it is unlikely that John Rogers has the stomach for a legal contest with a judge over some ammunition. It seems a case of petty spite, simply because the judge knows that he can get away with it.

The judge's actions, in my opinion, show that he is unfit for the bench. This sort of emotional fit, under the color of law, should never be seen in court. Unfortunately, it is seen all too often.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch

Clayton Cramer:House of Cards: Profoundly Subversive

Clayton Cramer writes these very interesting observation about the program "House of Cards". 

Peggy Noonan's Wall Street Journal column asks a really important question, and gives the answer:
Watching Season 2 of “House of Cards.” Not to be a scold or humorless, but do Washington politicians understand how they make themselves look when they embrace the show and become part of its promotion by spouting its famous lines? Congressmen only work three days a week. Each shot must have taken two hours or so—the setup, the crew, the rehearsal, the learning the line. How do they have time for that? Why do they think it’s good for them?
“House of Cards” very famously does nothing to enhance Washington’s reputation. It reinforces the idea that the capital has no room for clean people. The earnest, the diligent, the idealistic, they have no place there. Why would powerful members of Congress align themselves with this message? Why do they become part of it? I guess they think they’re showing they’re in on the joke and hip to the culture. I guess they think they’re impressing people with their surprising groovelocity.
Or maybe they’re just stupid.
 If you have not watched it, House of Cards is perhaps the most mercilessly subversive television show about politics that I have ever seen.  (If you are familar with Shakespeare's Richard III, you will recognize the essential plot outline.)  Interestingly enough, while it is not partisan in the same sense that West Wing was reported to be (evil, ignorant Republicans, well-intentioned Democrats), it is primarily focused on a Democratic Administration, and a Democratic member of Congress moving his way up, through criminal actions and hardball politics.  I don't know if any members of Congress are quite as criminal as Frank Underwood, but the manipulation, log-rolling of favors for votes, and the general moral turpitude of most of the players, is very accurate.  And the Republicans are nearly villagers in the opera, they are so unimportant.

Raymond Tusk is a very obvious Warren Buffett-like character -- fabulously rich because of business acumen and knowing how to grease the levers of power in Washington, trying to get even richer, while pretending to be looking out for the public good.

The only people that do not seem to be utterly crooked is one Congresscritter who is far enough left to still be idealistic and a Tea Party Senator who is unwilling to go along with entitlement reform because of some of the dirty stuff in the bill.

I don't know how many Americans actually watch House of Cards, but it should provoke considerable skepticism of Big Government, no matter which party is in charge.  Sadly, I know that many state legislatures are every bit this sleazy.  (Maybe all?  I don't know quite enough about Idaho's legislative insides to know for sure.)

Amusing side note: Texas senator Wendy Davis, Democratic gubernatorial nominee and general all-around sleazy politician, was married to... Frank Underwood.  (Not the fictional character; Wendy Davis would fit right in with the fictional character, however.)


ID:Campus Carry Coming

On Tuesday, February 18, the Idaho Senate voted to reform current law to allow those with concealed carry permits to carry their defensive firearms on public campuses.   The bill is SB 1254, and has some interesting exceptions:
"the exception of carrying within student dormitories and residence halls, and within public entertainment facilities, as defined."
I suppose that this is the sort of compromise that was required to obtain the strong legislative majorities that the bill has attracted.  It passed the Senate by a 25-10 majority, and is expected to pass the house, where a similar reform measure was passed in 2011.  From AP, bill sponsor Curt McKenzie, R-Nampa, is quoted:
  "It's the Legislature saying you have a constitutional right and you don't lose that right when you step onto a publicly held universality," McKenzie said.
The law also grants immunity from lawsuit to colleges and universities for actions arising from allowing legal possession and storage of firearms on campus.

Senator Jim Rice, R-Caldwell had a memorable quote about the purpose of government:
"We sometimes think our duty is to make everyone safe," Rice said. "It's to preserve liberty. It's not to make a society that's absolutely safe."
The bill seems likely to pass and to be signed into law.  Governor "Butch" Otter has said that he will sign it.

Several other states now allow the carry of weapons on campus, with various restrictions.   No ill effects have been noticed, and it is likely that the trend will continue.

One wonders at the effect on other bizarre university policies.  Only a dozen years ago, it was illegal for my daughter, attending Texas A&M, to possess a pocket knife.    The proposed Idaho law appears to apply only to firearms.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

GA:Gun Reform Passes House 119-56

Last year, second amendment supporters struggled to push an omnibus gun reform bill in the Georgia legislature.  They struggled.  There were conflicts between groups that claimed similar aims.   The bill stalled and ran out of time in the Senate.

This year, a very similar bill, HB 875, has sailed through the house committee and has passed the House by a more than two to one margin.    Here is a list of who voted for or against the bill.  It has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Non-Civil Committee, the same committee it was assigned to last year.  The members of the committee and their contact information are listed at

 HB 875 provides for a number of reforms, which were previously commented on here.   A list from the NRAILA is shown below:
  • Removal of fingerprinting for renewal of Weapons Carry Licenses (“WCL”).
  • Prohibiting the state from creating and maintaining a database of WCL holders.
  • Creation of an absolute defense for the legal use of deadly force in the face of a violent attack.
  • Removal of the sweeping restrictions on legally carrying a firearm with a WCL in churches and bars, leaving this decision to private property owners.
  • Lowering the age to obtain a concealed WCL for self-defense from 21 to 18 for active duty military, with specific training.
  • Repealing the unnecessary and duplicative state-required license for a firearms dealer, instead requiring only a Federal Firearms License (FFL).
  • Preempting a ban on firearms in public housing, ensuring that the right to self-defense should not be infringed based on where one calls home.
  • Codifying the ability to legally carry, with a WCL, in sterile/non-secure areas of airports.
  • Incorporation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act for mental health reporting.
  • Stating that under a declared state of emergency, all law-abiding gun owners will not have their Second Amendment rights restricted or infringed by executive authority through Emergency Powers protection.
  • Strengthening current firearms preemption statutes through further clarification of the regulatory authority of local governments, excluding firearm discharge ordinances.
  • Allowing school systems to decide whether staff and faculty may carry a firearm on school property, pending approved training, similar to the NRA’s National School Shield program.
  • Allowing the lawful carry by WCL holders in government buildings where it is not currently restricted or security screening personnel are posted during regular business hours.

Senate bill 93 will be coming up for a vote in the natural resources committee in the near future.  It makes the use of gun mufflers legal for the taking of game in Georgia.  Similar legislation has been implemented in Arizona, Oklahoma, Indiana, North Carolina and Texas.  This bill was introduced last year but did not make it past the Senate committee.  A list of the Committee Members is available here.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch