Tuesday, February 28, 2017

National Reciprocity Bill in Senate: What are the Prospects??

On Saturday, 25 February, 2017, Senator John Cornyn (R) Texas announced that he will introduce the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act in the Senate this week.  From the dailycaller.com:
Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn announced Saturday at the general meeting of the Texas State Rifle Association in Austin that he will introduce the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act in the upper chamber next week.
The bill is said to mirror H.R. 38, in the House of Representatives.

A similar national reciprocity bill was put forward by Senator Cornyn in 2013. It came within 3 votes of overcoming the Senate fillibuster.  57 senators voted for it, 43 against it.  After the 2016 election, that number should have switched to 58, assuming that all Republicans vote for the bill, and all Democrats who voter for it before will still vote for it.  The Democrats who voted for it in 2013 are:

Joe Donnelly of Indiana

Jon Tester of Montana

Tom Udall of New Mexico

Martin Heinrich of New Mexico

Mark Warner of Virginia

Joe Manchin of West Virginia

Those senators are all still in office.

33 senators voted against it, and are still in office. The turnover of 10 senators who voted against the bill from 2013 to2017,  only switches one vote with clarity.  Of the 33 who are still in office, five are up for election in 2018, in states that Trump won.  Those five senators are from states with large numbers of concealed carry permits. One, Missouri, is now a Constitutional carry state, which means that everyone who votes in Missouri, over the age of 20, is now a potential legal gun carrier.  The numbers of permit holders in those states has increased from those listed below:
Bill Nelson, Florida Over - 1,400,000 resident permits in Florida.  All are voters.

Claire McCaskill, Missouri - Over 171,000 permits, potentially all voters over 20.

Sherrod Brown, Ohio Over - 574,000 permits in Ohio. All are voters.

Bob Casey, Pennsylvania Over - 1,000,000 permits in the state. All are voters.

Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin, over 240,000 permits in the state. All are voters.

It is reasonable to believe that in 2013, the Obama administration lobbied hard against the national reciprocity bill.  In 2017, it is reasonable to believe that the Trump administration will lobby hard in favor of it.  National reciprocity was one of the pillars of the Donald Trump campaign.

Will they be able to switch two votes to overcome the 60 vote filibuster barrier? It looks to be eminently plausible. 

The only reason to vote against the bill is purely ideological. Why would Senator Bill Nelson of Florida want to prevent 1.4 million voters in his state from being able to carry in other states?  Permit holders from other states can already carry in Florida. The same is true in Ohio, Missouri, and Wisconsin. Pennsylvania honors permits from 25 other states.

Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin is an extreme ideologue.  I do not expect her to switch.  I am not so certain about the other four.  Perhaps readers with more information can comment on Bill Nelson, Claire McCaskill, Sherrod Brown,and Bob Casey.

Only two senators have to flip to pass national reciprocity over the 60 vote filibuster barrier.

I predict that we will obtain national reciprocity under the Trump administration.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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Monday, February 27, 2017

VA: Governor McAuliffe vetoes Knife Law Reform

On 20 February, 2017, Governor McAuliffe (D) Virginia vetoed HB 1432.  The bill would have reformed Virginia law to remove the blanket prohibition on carrying, possessing, trading or selling switchblade knives.

The law was a holdover from the 1950's when bans on the ownership of switchblade knives swept the nation. The bans were based on groundless hysteria about their supposed use by street gangs. The play "West Side Story" was said to have a role in the passage of these laws.  A federal statute banning the interstate sale of switchblade knives was passed.  From the excellent article by Bernard Levine, published in 1990, which details how the ban came into existence:
 Congressman Delaney's mind was made up, so it probably would have been pointless to confuse him with the facts. Switchblades came into common use in the United States, not around 1950 as he stated, but around 1850. After the turn of the century, thanks to the inventive genius of George Schrade (and the "protection" of the Tariff Acts of 1891 and 1897), American made switchblades of all sizes became popular and commonplace.
Wikipedia has a good bit of the history on their article about switchblades. From Wikipedia:
In 1954, Democratic Rep. James J. Delaney of New York authored the first bill submitted to the U.S. Congress banning the manufacture and sale of switchblades, beginning a wave of legal restrictions worldwide and a consequent decline in their popularity. In 1955, U.S. newspapers promoted the image of a young delinquent with a stiletto switchblade or flick knife with lurid stories of urban youth gang warfare, often featuring lower class youth and/or racial minorities.[4]
All of the laws were pushed based on propaganda and unfounded assertions by a congressman from New York City.  It sounds eerily familiar to gun control efforts made during the last eight years. Bans on rifles such as the AR-15, that are used in a minuscule number of murders. Bans on rifles because they have a bayonet lug, even though bayonetting murders are never heard of.

Knife Rights has had considerable success in removing these antiquated and irrational knife bans. Reforms have been passed in Wisconsin, Nevada, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma, Indiana, Alaska, Missouri, Maine, and New Hampshire.

Gun Rights has found that when legislators are educated about the history and effect of these knife bans, they can be persuaded to remove them.  In Virginia this year, the process happened fairly quickly.

On January 14, HB 1432 as introduced by Delegates Scott Lingamfelter and Lee Ware.  On January 24th, the bill was passed out of the Courts of Justice Committee.  The vote was 13 for, 7 against.  On January 30, the bill passed the house 57-Y to 39-N.  On February 2nd, HB 1432 passed the Senate, 22-Y to 16-N.  On February 20th, Governor McAuliffe (D) Virginia, vetoed House Bill 1432.

With house votes of 57 - 39, and Senate votes of 22-16, there were not enough votes for a veto override.

Switchblade knives are just another tool that has been demonized by those who worship the power of the state.  It never made any sense to ban them. Knife law reform in Virginia awaits a Governor who is willing to move forward.

 ©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

OH: Dayton Woman Shoots Career Criminal Breaking into Home

DAYTON (WDTN) — A man was shot while trying to break into a house in Dayton.

It happened around 4:40 a.m. on Thursday at a house in the 200 block of Baltimore Street.

Police say a woman called 911 and said a man had been shot while trying to break into the house.
More Here

CA: Employee Shoots, Kills Man Breaking into Donut Shop

LANCASTER — One of two men who broke into a Lancaster doughnut shop today was shot to death by an employee, and the other suspect fled, authorities said.

A call about the shooting came in a little before 3 a.m. about the shooting at Sugary Donut the 43600 block of 15th Street West, according to Deputy Trina Schrader of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.
More Here

NC: Man Stops Stabbing Attack with Gunfire

A Salisbury man was stabbed in the neck, head and back before he shot at the teenager trying to break into his car early Friday, police said.

The teen, Tyler Aaimer Spencer Nichols, 17, of Salisbury, turned himself in at the Salisbury Police Department later Friday and was charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, four counts of breaking and entering of a motor vehicle and three counts of larceny. Nichols was jailed on $25,000 bail pending a court appearance on Tuesday.

More Here

CO: Dog Shot while Attacking, Killing, Goats and Kids

Thomas Comisky told the deputy that he found his neighbor’s dog attacking his goats that morning and had shot it after he couldn’t scare it off. Two kid goats and one adult were killed, and Comisky said he would have to kill three other goats because of their severe injuries. The dog’s owner, Cody Lopez, agreed to pay for the goats, and no charges were filed.

More Here

MI: Homeowner Shoots at Burglary Suspect, Misses

Officers say at one point the homeowner had the suspect at gunpoint in the basement of the home. Police say shots were fired at the suspect but did not hit him and he took off running.
More Here

Sunday, February 26, 2017

WA: Man Shoots Pit Bull that Bit Him

SCRAPS says the man saw his neighbor’s pit bull running loose, and was bit in the leg when he went to contact the dog’s owner.

The man says he shot the dog after he went to back up and was bit a second time.

Police told SCRAPS that the man who shot the dog had a license to carry, and have determined that the man acted appropriately in the situation.
More Here

Followup MI: No Charges for Customer that Shot man Assaulting Woman

The 43-year-old male customer attempted to intervene, and the ex-boyfriend then began to assault the customer. The customer then shot the man, Jansen said.

Video footage from the convenience store backed up the accounts of the store owner and shooter, police said. Police said the video, which has not been released, shows the victim to be visibly afraid, and at one point tries to escape.

More Here

Followup SC: No Charges for Elijah MClendon 'Mac' Teal in Night Club Shooting

ROCK HILL, S.C. - Charges will not be filed against a Rock Hill nightclub owner whom authorities said shot and killed a patron in January, the York County Sheriff's Office announced Friday.

Sheriff Kevin Tolson said after a thorough review of the facts and circumstances, it was determined by the Sheriff’s Office and solicitor’s office that the shooting was a justified act of self-defense.
More Here

ID: Armed Woman Stops Carjacker

"He got my face once, and my forehead once, and when that didn't work he grabbed my hair and began pulling me out of my car and I finally said 'OK, OK, that's enough stop! I'll give you my purse,” said the woman.

So he did. That’s when the woman got the upper hand.

“When I turned to give him my purse, I reached in my center console and I grabbed my gun and I pointed it at him, and it scared him off,” the woman said.

More Here

LA: Armed Woman Shoots Man Attempting Break-in


A man is in the hospital after he was shot by a homeowner as he allegedly was attempting to enter her home.

Around 7 a.m. Wednesday, a woman called 911 to tell authorities she had just shot an intruder, according to Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso.
More Here

TX: Arlington Jogger Shoots Armed Robbery Suspect

A jogger carrying a concealed weapon shot a suspect who was trying to rob him at gunpoint early Wednesday in southwest Arlington, police said.

A man in his 20s was jogging about 6 a.m. from his home to LA Fitness, a part of his morning routine, when he noticed a pickup following him near the 6000 block of Poly Webb Road, said Lt. Chris Cook, Arlington police spokesman.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/arlington/article134206554.html#storylink=cpy

More Here

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Iowa Omnibus Gun Law Reform Bill Shows Lessons from Other States

House Study Bill 133 is an omnibus weapons law reform bill. The authors of the bill appear to have searched through various weapons laws enacted in the United States in the last several decades.  They looked for the best features of the laws that have worked elsewhere.  When they found them, they incorporated them into this omnibus bill.  There are a couple of twists unique to Iowa. HSB 133 was introduced on February 20th, 2017.

The bill covers so many reforms that amendments and wording changes are almost certain. Here is an overview of most of the prominent features of the bill.

HSB 133 makes clear that presumption of evil intent is not to be inferred from the mere act of being armed. From iowa.gov:
A person who goes armed with any dangerous weapon with the intent to use without justification such weapon against the person of another commits a class “D” felony. The intent required for a violation of this section shall not be inferred from the mere carrying or concealment of any dangerous weapon itself, including the carrying of a loaded firearm, whether in a vehicle or on or about a person’s body.
The bill strengthens Firearms Preemption with a strong preemption rewrite of the law. Firearms law would be uniform across the state.

A Stand Your Ground provision is included in the law.

The bill removes the prohibition on  the carry of pistols or revolvers on snowmobiles or all terrain vehicles (ATVs).

It removes authority of officials to seize or confiscate legally possessed firearms during states of emergency.

It removes the authority of Director of Administrative Services to ban weapons in the Capitol and associated buildings.

It protects the privacy of permit holders by prohibiting disclosure of personal information on carry permits, except for specifically authorized disclosures.

There is a provision to appeal to decision of Sheriff or Commissioner if a permit is refused; court fees can be awarded if the appeal succeeds.

It allows for carry without a permit, open or concealed, if the requirement for training for carrying a weapon, has been done. It is not quite Constitutional carry, but it is "permitless" carry.   From iowa.gov:
1. Except as provided in subsection 2, the availability of a professional or nonprofessional permit to carry weapons under this chapter shall not be construed to impose a general prohibition on the unlicensed carrying, whether openly or concealed, of a dangerous weapon, including a loaded firearm.

2. A person shall be prohibited from the unlicensed carrying, whether openly or concealed, of a dangerous weapon, including a loaded firearm unless the person has completed a firearm safety training program described under section 724.9, subsection 1.
It allows for firearm training to be done online.  Honorable discharge from the armed forces is sufficient to prove training.

Defensive display is allowed for. From iowa.gov:
The bill provides that a threat to cause serious injury or death by the production, display, or brandishing of a deadly weapon, is not deadly force, as long as the actions of the person are limited to creating an expectation that the person may use deadly force to defend oneself, another, or as otherwise authorized by law.
Parents are allowed to supervise children during the lawful use of a pistol or revolvers, if the parents are 21 or over.

During the 2016 elections, Iowans removed politicians that had been blocking gun law reforms for many years.  Second Amendment supporters in Iowa are hopeful that most of the above reforms will be able to move through the legislature and be signed into law.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Friday, February 24, 2017

FL: Son Shoots Invaders that Attacked Mother

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - When two home invaders put a gun to a woman’s head, her son fought back, deputies said.

One intruder was fatally shot and a second was critically wounded Tuesday morning during a home invasion in a Pine Hills neighborhood, the Orange County Sheriff's Office said.
More Here

TX: Woman Shoot Teen Car Burglary Suspect

A short time later, the family’s dogs began to bark and she and her father went outside where they found three males breaking into the vehicle, Neely said.

The three ran and the woman and her father gave chase.

“The female had a pistol and fired one shot that struck one of the males in the leg,” Neely said.

The 15-year-old boy was taken to Scott & White Medical Center with what Neely said were non-life-threatening injuries.
More Here

Six-Time Felon Killed By 13-Year-Old During Home Invasion Shootout

This is from Jan. 15 but I can't see where we picked it up at that time

Two convicted felons breaking into a South Carolina home were surprised to find themselves facing a 13-year-old with a gun.

The 13-year-old boy opened fire on two burglars attempting to break into his Charleston, South Carolina home. The boy saw someone trying to get in through the back door and fired through the door. The burglars reportedly fired back.

At 1:30 p.m., a 13-year-old boy was home alone when he heard a commotion at the back of his house. The boy retrieved his mother’s gun and went to investigate. The mother said to the Post and Courier, that she bought the gun for protection but never taught her son how to use it.

As the suspects tried to make their way into the house, the boy opened fire, but the suspects reacted by returning fire before fleeing from the scene. The boy chased the suspects out of the home and continued to fire as they fled in their vehicle. The boy, who was uninjured, then called his mother, who instructed him to call the police.

A short time later, one of the suspects, who was later identified as Lamar Anthwan Brown, 31, was dropped off outside the emergency room of a nearby hospital. Brown, who was shot three times, died at the medical facility. The getaway driver, Ira Bennett, 28, later turned himself in to authorities saying he was just helping a friend. He was charged with first-degree burglary and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

The two burglars both have an extensive criminal history.


MT: Governor Bullock Vetoes Constitutional Carry, again

Governor Bullock (D) of Montana vetoed constitutional carry again. This year,2017, it was HB 262. Bullock vetoed the bill on Thursday afternoon, the 22nd of February. In an nbcmontana.com article, Governor Bullock stated that allowing individuals to decide whether they are eligible to carry concealed weapons is absurd:
Bullock noted in his veto letter that he had rejected two bills identical to Harris' measure in past sessions. The governor says the idea of allowing individuals to decide for themselves whether they are eligible to carry concealed weapons is absurd.
Governor Bullock did not mention that in Montana, individuals can already do so in 99% of the state.

It is unlikely that there will be a veto override attempt.  The bill passed with strong margins, about 60% of the votes, but it did not collect the two thirds necessary for an override.

 ©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

Florida Legislature Battle with Courts Continues on "Stand Your Ground"

In 2005, the Florida legislature passed a bill that returned Florida to the majority position in the United States on Self Defense. 35 States have adopted stand-your-ground statutes or follow the principle by precedent.

In Florida, person facing unlawful deadly force or significant bodily harm was no longer required to retreat before defending themselves in public places.  The Florida law required the prosecution to prove that the defendant did not act in self defense in a pre-trial hearing, if the defendant claimed self defense and invoked the stand-your-ground immunity.  In 2008, the Florida Supreme Court reversed the burden of proof.  From criminaldefenseattorneytamp.com:
At the hearing, the trial court must weigh and decide factual disputes as to the defendant's use of force to determine whether to dismiss the case based on the immunity. Peterson v. State, 983 So.2d 27, 29 (Fla. 1st DCA 2008). The defendant bears the burden of proof on the issue of whether the "stand your ground" or "castle doctrine" immunity attaches to his or her actions. Id.
There have been several attempts in the Florida state legislature to return to the original legislative intent. The latest version appears to have a good chance of passage.  From theledger.com:
TALLAHASSEE — A move to shift the burden of proof in "stand your ground" self-defense cases is off to a fast start in the House, where the controversial proposal died a year ago.

The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee voted 9-4 along party lines Wednesday to approve the National Rifle Association-backed measure (HB 245), which would shift the burden of proof from defendants to prosecutors during pre-trial hearings in "stand your ground" cases.
The law is meant to shield defendants who use force in self defense from being destroyed by the system. Prosecutors have very high levels of immunity. Prosecutors can destroy a defendants life, even though the facts of self defense are clear at the time.

The proposed change is supported by the Florida Public Defender Association.

It is opposed by state prosecutors.

The most famous case where Stand-your-ground immunity was used is that of Gabriel Mobley.  In the Mobley case, the attack and defense were captured on video.  The prosecution and local court refused to grant Stand-Your-Ground immunity.  The appeals court disagreed, and ordered that immunity be granted. The prosecutors appealed, and the Supreme Court refused to hear the case.  The process took six years.

In Florida, black defendants use the law twice as often as their percentage of the population would indicate.  Black crime victims and perpetrators are several times as common as those in white and Hispanic populations.

The best explanation of the history of Stand-Your-Ground laws has been done by Clayton CramerHis paper focuses on Texas, but provides an excellent historical overview.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Josh Waldron, CEO of SilencerCo on the Suppressor Export Act

Suppressors are currently under the jurisdiction of the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC). That means suppressors may not be sold to individuals overseas, only to approved governments. Suppressors are not extraordinary high technology. Sophisticated suppressors are not secrets. They can be produced by any concern with modern machinery.

The current restrictions were put in place by a memorandum from the Department of State in 2002, a few months after the attack on 9/11.  While U.S. manufacturers are forbidden to sell to individuals overseas, foreign manufacturers are not.  A bill was introduced in the House of representatives in 2016 to rectify this situation.  It is called the Suppressor Export Act.

Josh Waldron of SilencerCo explained some of the details of the current situation.

Do you think the Suppressor Export Act will go through in the first year?

"The interesting thing about the Suppressor  Export  Act is that we have the ability to change that in several ways.  I was appointed to President Trump's Second Amendment Coalition.  Once the new administration is settled,  If I can use my relationships to convince the State Department to get rid of the policy memo that forbid the export of suppressors, we do not need legislation.

There never was a regulation change, there never was a comment period, there was never legislation, that made it that we could not export suppressors. There was a guy who sent out a memo saying "we are no longer going to approve of the export of suppressors."

We are working it from all angles. Moving into Commerce takes it out of DDTC. That would be extremely helpful.   There is a three pronged approach, legislation, export reform, a relationship to convince the administration to tear up the memo."

One man in the Department of State stopped all commercial exports of suppressors with one memo.

The memo explains why I did not notice any American "sound moderators" in a recent article about .22 sound moderators in an English shooting publication.

President Trump has often talked about unfair trade deals. This sounds like a self imposed trade limit that could be reversed rather easily.  It appears to be a problem that could be solved by another memo from the State Department.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

KY: Constitutional Carry back in the Running

Kentucky seems a natural match for "permitless" or Constitutional carry. The state is very Second Amendment friendly.  But in the Kentucky Senate, the Constitutional carry bill was pulled from consideration a week ago. It was said that the votes for the bill were not there, and the Republican leadership did not wish to risk a loss.  The Senate bill is SB 7.  SB 7 has now been changed to conform to the House version of Constitutional carry, HB 316.  One of the changes was to limit Constitutional carry to adults who are 21 years old, or older.

A Second Amendment activist who has been intimately involved with the Kentucky Constitutional carry legislation, has insight into the situation.  From gutshot at opencarry.org:
Today, Senator Robin Webb introduced a complete and total substitute to SB 7. Senator Web is a democrat from Grayson. The amendment is word for word like HB 316. The only difference between the new SB 7 and the old one is that the new bill requires anyone carrying a concealed weapon to be 21 years old or older. The other wording in the new bill just says the same things that the old bill said, but says it in fewer words. There is one other democrat co-sponsor of SB 7, Ray Jones of Pikeville. There may be some life in this bill yet.
Gutshot says that the learning curve in Kentucky has been steep.
Maybe,but most of the legislators that I have talked to think that Ky. is plowing new ground here. They had never heard of constitutional carry before they saw this years bill and then thought that it was the first one ever written. The ignorance and misunderstandings around this bill are amazing.They don't believe it when I tell them that other states have had this for years. There has been a terrific learning curve and we haven't caught up with it yet.
The Constitutional carry bills keep the current permit system in place.  Kentucky is one of the states where a carry permit serves as an alternate to NICS checks for firearm sales from gun dealers. A permit is useful for carry in other states that have reciprocity with Kentucky.

The Kentucky Senate consists of 11 Democrats and 27 Republicans. That ratio is the same as in 2015.

The Kentucky House consists of 36 Democrats and 64 Republicans, a dramatic reversal from 2015, where the House had 53 Democrats and 46 Republicans.

The Kentucky Governor is Matt Bevin.

The Kentucky legislature has a very short session in odd numbered years.  In odd numbered years, the legislature is limited to 30 days in session, and the session must end by March 30th.  If Kentucky is going to pass Constitutional carry this year, they will need to get busy.  Yesterday's strike and insert amendment to SB 7 shows that it can happen.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

ND: House Passes Constitutional Carry 83-9

North Dakota has passed a "permitless" or Constitutional carry bill in the House. The bill had very strong support, passing 83-9, with two representatives not voting. From nd.gov:
11th Order - Final Passage House Measures - HB1169 - Energy and Natural Resources - Do Pass - Votes Required 48: PASSED - Yea 83 Nay 9 N/V 2 Exc 0
For a Constitutional carry bill, the legislation is fairly complicated, as it removews various restrictions in ten pages. It applies only to North Dakota residents. Residency may be shown by displaying a North Dakota picture ID that was issued at least a year previously.  The bill includes a "duty to inform" provision that requires people carrying concealed weapons to inform police that they are armed, during police interactions.

North Dakota is a "shall issue" concealed carry permit state, with over 10% of the adult population having concealed carry permits. The permit fee, at $10, is one of the lowest in the nation. Correction: the permit fee is $25.

North Dakota is one of 25 political trifectas in the United States, where the Republican party has control of both houses of the legislature and the governorship.  In North Dakota, Republicans have 38 seats in the Senate, Democrats have 9.  In the House, Republicans have 81 seats, Democrats have 13.

The sponsor of the bill, Representative Rick Becker, believes it will pass in some form.  From bismarktribune.com:
Becker said he’d be surprised if HB1169 didn’t pass in some form.
The Constitutional carry bill, HB 1169, will have to pass the Senate and either be signed by Governor Dick Burgum, or have the legislature override a veto, for the bill to become law.  It has been reported that similar bills have been killed in the Senate. From kvrr.com:
The Senate has killed a similar measure in the past two sessions.
Internet searches did not show a similar bill in 2015 or earlier.

Governor Dick Burgum was elected in 2016, replacing fellow Republican Jack Dalrymple.   Internet searches did not find any statements either in support or opposition to Constitutional carry.

Governor Burgum was asked about guns during his campaign.  From grandforksherald.com:
He said guns are a part of his lifestyle. "I don't want it to come across as cliche that I've been a lifetime hunter, but it's where to start," he said. "I own a bunch of guns myself. I'm grandfathered in because I'm old enough, but when my youngest son was going through gun safety a few years ago, I went with him."
It is difficult to pass legislation, by design.  Most bills never become law. HB 1169 in North Dakota has a good start. The state could join the Constitutional carry club in 2017.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Thursday, February 23, 2017

TN: Domestic Defense; Woman Shoots Boyfriend in Dispute over Son and Discipline

However, the woman's 19-year-old son told officers that his mom's boyfriend punched him in the face after he took his mother's car without permission. That's when the adults started arguing.

The woman told officers she grabbed a gun after her boyfriend shot at her son inside the home. She said she then pointed the gun at her boyfriend and opened fire.

More Here

NV: Gun Beats Brick as Neighbor Defends Woman

A man and a woman were arguing on the sidewalk outside a home near West Washington Avenue and North Jones Boulevard before the man began fighting her, Metropolitan Police Department Lt. CJ Jenkins said. The neighbor heard the fight, went outside, saw the man pick up a brick and raise it as if to hit the woman, he said.

The neighbor then took out his handgun and shot the man once.
More Here

IN: Armed Woman Hold 3 Suspects for Police

COLUMBUS, Ind. (WTHR) – Police received some assistance from a homeowner who held three people at gunpoint until officers arrived Friday.
Those three people are now jailed on burglary, theft and auto theft charges.

More Here

20+ years of FBI data – “Assault Rifles” pose little threat to public safety

Since 1995 (the year after the 1994-2004 Assault Weapons Ban), the FBI has maintained a very detailed list of how many people have died at the hands of assault weapons and/or rifles, which are merged into the same group. Therefore, we can make a solid comparison on what gun violence looks like.

In 2014, you are 67% less likely to be murdered by an assault weapon or rifle than you were in 1995.

More Here

4th Circuit Rules Common Rifles not Protected by Second Amendment

On 21 February, 2017, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that common semi-automatic rifles are not protected by the Second Amendment of the Constitution. The ban includes semi-automatic rifles that can take detachable magazines and have two of these three features: folding stock, grenade/flare launcher, or flash hider.  There is a long list of existing models that are explicitly banned, including all AR15s and variants, and all AK47s and variants. The list of banned guns includes some firearms that are not semi-automatic, such as a version of the Mossberg 500 pump shotgun. The law also bans all detachable magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

From the decision:
As explained below, we are satisfied to affirm the district court’s judgment, in large part adopting the Opinion’s cogent reasoning as to why the FSA contravenes neither the Second Amendment nor the Fourteenth. We diverge from the district court on one notable point: We conclude — contrary to the now-vacated decision of our prior panel — that the banned assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are not protected by the Second Amendment. That is, we are convinced that the banned assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are among those arms that are “like” “M-16 rifles” — “weapons that are most useful in military service” — which the Heller Court singled out as being beyond the Second Amendment’s reach. See 554 U.S. at 627 (rejecting the notion that the Second Amendment safeguards “M-16 rifles and the like”). Put simply, we have no power to extend Second Amendment protection to the weapons of war that the Heller decision explicitly excluded from such coverage.
The M-16 rifles mentioned in Heller were included in the category "Dangerous and unusual weapons.  From the Heller decision:
We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those "in common use at the time." 307 U. S., at 179. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of "dangerous and unusual weapons." See 4 Blackstone 148-149 (1769); 3 B. Wilson, Works of the Honourable James Wilson 79 (1804); J. Dunlap, The New-York Justice 8 (1815); C. Humphreys, A Compendium of the Common Law in Force in Kentucky 482 (1822); 1 W. Russell, A Treatise on Crimes and Indictable Misdemeanors 271-272 (1831); H. Stephen, Summary of the Criminal Law 48 (1840); E. Lewis, An Abridgment of the Criminal Law of the United States 64 (1847); F. Wharton, A Treatise on the Criminal Law of the United States 726 (1852). See also State v. Langford, 10 N. C. 381, 383-384 (1824); O'Neill v. State, 16 Ala. 65, 67 (1849); English v. State, 35 Tex. 473, 476 (1871); State v. Lanier, 71 N. C. 288, 289 (1874).

It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service--M-16 rifles and the like--may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause. But as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment's ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty. It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large. Indeed, it may be true that no amount of small arms could be useful against modern-day bombers and tanks. But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right.
The problem for the Fourth Circuit decision is that the semi-automatic and other firearms banned are not "dangerous and unusual". AR15 and similar semi-automatic rifles are the most popular rifles in the United States, numbering about 5-10 million.  There are likely a hundred million standard capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds in use in the United States.  The Supreme Court unanimously held, in the Caetano PER CURIAM decision (pdf), that:

The Court has held that “the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding,” District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U. S. 570, 582 (2008), and that this “Second Amendment right is fully applicable to the States,” McDonald v.Chicago, 561 U. S. 742, 750 (2010).
Rifles, as a group, are arms that are least likely to be used in homicides. The Fourth Circuit cleverly avoided considering that fact by pre-emptively excluding those rifles from the protection of the Second Amendment. Because they excluded the rifles from Second Amendment protection, the Court avoided the requirement to apply strict scrutiny to the law.

From the FBI statistics, Rifles are used to commit homicide far less often then hands and feet, knives, or blunt objects.   In 2014, 248 homicides, total, were committed with all rifles.  Hands and feet were used in 660 homicides. Knives were used in 1,490 homicides. Blunt objects were used in 428.  The numbers have been decreasing for several years.

Semi-automatic rifles are commonly in use, therefore they are not "unusual". They are far less often used in homicides than pistols, hands and feet, knives, or blunt objects. Therefore they are not "dangerous" in the context that they are more than usually dangerous.  All potential weapons are "dangerous". In context, dangerous has to mean "more than usually dangerous".

It is likely the case will be appealed to the Supreme Court.  It is far less likely that they will accept the case.  With an eight member Supreme Court, it is very uncertain that the Supreme Court would overturn this decision.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

NH: Governor Sununu Signs Constitutional Carry

Governor Chris Sununu has signed SB12, the "permitless" or Constitutional carry bill for New Hampshire in a signing ceremony.  The ceremony was held at 10:30 Eastern time, today, 22 February, 2017. From Governor Sununu's facebook page:
Signing #SB12 into law is a commitment I made to the people of New Hampshire. I am proud today to fulfill that commitment.
Similar bills were vetoed twice by former Democrat Governor Maggie Hassan.  Hassan left the Governor's mansion to become a U.S. Senator from New Hampshire.

The bill passed with solid margins in the Senate, 13-10, and in the House, 200-97. Here is the analysis of SB12 from the New Hampshire legislature:
I. Increases the length of time for which a license to carry a pistol or revolver is valid.
II. Allows a person to carry a loaded, concealed pistol or revolver without a license unless such person is otherwise prohibited by New Hampshire statute.

III. Requires the director of the division of state police to negotiate and enter into agreements with other jurisdictions to recognize in those jurisdictions the validity of the license to carry issued in this state.

IV. Repeals the requirement to obtain a license to carry a concealed pistol or revolver.
A campaign to push Governor Sununu to veto the bill was pushed by Michael Bloomberg organizations. Some New Hampshire police organizations joined the campaign.  From the eagletribune.com:
CONCORD, N.H. — Senate Bill 12, a bill ending the permit requirement to carry concealed guns in New Hampshire, will allow sex offenders and children to carry certain firearms concealed if signed by Gov. Chris Sununu, according to the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police.
Reading carefully, the police are worried that people under the age of 18 might legally carry rifles and shotguns concealed.  They are also worried that people who have committed some misdemeanors would be able to carry concealed.

Their efforts were blunted by the fact that both Vermont and Maine have similar rights to carry firearms. Vermont has been a "permitless" or Constitutional carry state for its entire existence; Maine joined the club last year. Neither has had any adverse experiences with Constitutional carry.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

IN: Armed Woman Rescues Officer, Fataly Shoots Attacker

During their interaction, police say Holland began to resist the officer and started a fight.

A woman at a nearby home came to assist the officer, who was reportedly being overtaken by Holland. The woman fired a single shot from her personal firearm, hitting Holland in the torso.

He was given first aid by witnesses and EMS transported him to the Dearborn County Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
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OR: Business Owner Shoots Man who Attacked Him

PORTLAND, Ore. – A man shot and wounded Monday afternoon during a confrontation with a Southeast Portland business owner has died, police said.

The business owner, 47-year-old Charlie Win Chan, called 911 to report the shooting, according to Sgt. Pete Simpson with Portland Police. He cooperated with the investigation and surrendered his handgun.

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TN: Domestic Defense, Estranged Husband Shot

HENRY COUNTY, Tenn. — Henry County deputies say one man died after being shot by a resident inside a home on Turkey Lane.

Investigators say Jon Goodlow went to the home Friday night after following a GPS tracking device placed on his estranged wife’s car.
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OH: Armed DQ Employee Shoots Armed Robber

MAYFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio - An employee of a Dairy Queen in Mayfield Heights shot a would-be armed robber Sunday evening.

Police report that the suspect came into the store at 5713 Mayfield Road at 10:20 p.m. and pointed a gun at employees. That was when the employee, who had a CCW permit, shot the suspect once.
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Prohibited Possessor Accepts 3 1/2 Years in Prison in 80% Receiver/Machine Shop Case

A machine shop/80% receiver case has resulted in a 3 1/2  year sentence for a California man, Daniel Crowninshield, of Sacramento. Crowninshield is 54 years old.

Crowninshield plead guilty. He did not insist on a jury trial. It is easy to see why.  Here is the plea agreement.  The agreement was signed on April 14, 2016.

Crowninshield is a prohibited possessor. He was convicted of domestic violence in 2000 and again in 2001.  The indictment shows that he possessed three pistols, two M-16 type receivers, and an AK type receiver.  The receivers were characterized as machine guns.

He was indicted on six counts.

1. Unlawful dealing in firearms - based on the manufacturing of receivers without a license, I would presume.

2.  Possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

3.  Possession of a machinegun.

4-6 Possession of an unregistered firearm ( U.S.C. Section 5861(d)). Probably 80% receivers that were completed and did not have serial numbers.

Those are the six crimes (counts) mentioned in the indictment.

Potential jail time was up to 55 years in federal prison.

All the charges against Crowninshield were federal charges.

Crowninshield advertised on firearms forums under the name of Dr. Death.  He operated in the "open" and did not attempt to conceal his operation. It was an undercover agent from the California Department of Justice that gave critical testimony about Crowninshield's operation: From justice.gov.com:
51. UC#1 then asked if CROWNINSHIELD had AR-15 blanks for sale. CROWNINSHIELD led UC#1 to the office where CROWNINSHIELD showed UC#1 AR-15 blanks and AR-10 blanks that were available. UC#1 asked CROWNINSHIELD how long it would take to mill the blanks into completed lower receivers. CROWNINSHIELD responded that the process could be completed in under 20 minutes. UC#1 told CROWNINSHIELD that UC#1 would buy two AR-15 blanks and one AR-10 blank. UC#1 paid $920, covering the cost of the AR-15 and AR-10 blanks, as well as the machine work on all three blanks to convert them into lower receivers.

52. CROWNINSHIELD directed UC#1 to a large table near one of the CNC machines 10.CROWNINSHIELD took the AR-15 blank purchased by UC#1 and placed it into a jig that fit around the AR-15 blank. UC#1 informed CROWNINSHIELD that UC#1 has not done this before. CROWNINSHIELD responded if he went too fast just tell him to start over. CROWNINSHIELD then guided UC#1 to load the AR-15 blank into the CNC machine, close the door, and hit a specific button to start the machine. UC#1 asked CROWNINSHIELD how much the CNC machines cost and CROWNINSHIELD said a couple hundred thousand. CROWNINSHIELD added that the CNC machines were paid off.

53. Once the CNC machine process was completed, CROWNINSHIELD then instructed UC#1 on how to drill the first AR-15 blank; UC#1 then completed some of the drilling on a drill press. With the assistance of CROWNINSHIELD, UC#1 completed the drilling on all three blanks. Upon completion of the drilling, UC#1 left C&G with two completed AR-15 lower receivers and oneAR-10 lower receiver.
A participant at calguns.net had a different experience.   From a discussion in 2014 on calguns.net:
I watched one happen at his facility. Dr. Death didn't touch the machine once. He pointed to things and explained what to do. That's it. Mind you... not the best done receiver... but regardless, he did none of the lifting himself. It's all programmed. I doubt he even wrote the program. You can download this stuff.
Another participant at calguns.net had a similar experience:
I saw the same thing, and he was very careful not to touch anything in the process. You positioned it, clamped it, he took a look and ok'ed it, and you hit the button.
I watched the process with a half dozen different customers, same way every time.
After reading the documents, I'm still trying to figure out "exactly" what the charges are, and what he did wrong, to be charged.
"He" wasn't manufacturing anything, and the lowers were machined to prevent any F/A parts from being used.
Here is yet a third participant from calguns.net:
I know someone that used his shop, hehe and it was on the up and up. The guy had to even clamp the lower in the CNC. No one touched it but the builder. Then it was on to the drill press to finish.
During the discussion above, on calguns.net, no one mentioned, or apparently knew, that Crowninshield was a prohibited possessor or that he illegally possessed firearms.

Crowninshield plead guilty to one count of unlawful manufacture of a firearm, and one count of dealing firearms. He got a 3 1/2 year sentence.  Two CNC machines and two drill presses, as well as all firearms and ammunition mentioned in the indictment were forfeited.  He also paid a $200 fee.

There has been much discussion of how machine shops might rent equipment, such as CNC machines to individuals to machine 80% receivers into completed receivers.  There has been discussion of what constitutes instruction, and what constitutes machining. Freedom of speech covers instruction on how to operate machines.

Obvious lessons from the Crowninshield case are:

1. Do not be a prohibited possessor of other firearms while running such an operation.

2. Be able to document that you never touched an 80% receiver that was machined at your shop. A simple way to do this would be to require that participants wear red gloves, and you wear no gloves, then video the machine operations showing the hands doing the operation.

3. Do not sell the 80% receivers yourself.

4. Assume that everything you say will be recorded. Perhaps a sign in the shop, to that effect, would be useful. Much was made of Crowninshield asking an agent about why he wanted to machine four receivers. Was he equipping a private army?, Crowninshield joked.  The agent replied "of course" "isn't that what this is all about".

5. Have a good lawyer on retainer.

Individual manufacture of guns has always been done.  It is even done in prison. But technology is making the process easier than ever before.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

AR: Campus Carry Compromise Considered

The campus carry bill being debated in the Arkansas legislature has undergone a considerable evolution.  It started as a bill to require campus administrators to allow staff with a concealed carry permit to carry on campus.  The staff would have been required to notify the administration. Graduate students were excluded from eligibility. The bill is HB 1249

An attempt was made to require 16 hours of additional training. That amendment was passed, then defeated.  Negotiations resulted in a compromise where additional training is required, but the pool of eligible people is increased to anyone age 25 or older, who have an Arkansas concealed carry permit. From arkansasmatters.com:
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The debate over guns on college campus's took another turn Monday as a compromise was reached between state Republican leaders.

The new proposal allows anyone age 25 and older to bring their guns on campus so long as they have a conceal carry permit and attend up to 16 hours of active shooter training.
 From the amendment, here are the requirements for the training:
(2)(A) A training program administered under this subsection may consist of up to sixteen (16) hours and may include:

(i) Active shooter training;
(ii) Defensive tactics;
(iii) Weapon retention; and
(iv) Handgun safety and maintenance.

(B) The costs of the training program under this subsection shall not exceed a nominal amount.

(C) The Department of Arkansas State Police shall maintain a list of licensees who have successfully completed a training program under this subsection.
HR 1249 has already passed the House.  This compromise  will have to pass the Senate Judiciary committee, then the full Senate, and then go back to the House.

If it clears those hurdles, it will be sent to Governor Hutchinson. Governor Hutchinson came out in favor of the earlier version of the bill that passed the House.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- A bill making it legal for people who work at state universities to bring guns onto campus passes the state house, and now Governor Asa Hutchinson is coming out as a supporter.

Hutchinson said he supports the provisions allowing universities to require active shooter training before staff members can bring their weapons on campus.
The higher education lobby is pulling out the stops to prevent this bill from passing. No significant problems have been found in the 150 plus campuses where the right to bear arms has been partly restored. From concealed campus.org:
Among the more than 150 college campuses that currently allow concealed carry, there have been three accidental/negligent discharges—two by faculty/staff and one by a student. Two of the negligent discharges were the result of the license holder carrying the gun in a pants pocket without a holster (both of these incidents resulted in non-life-threatening injuries to the license holder’s leg), and one was the result of the license holder showing a new gun—a gun with which she was not yet familiar—to her coworkers (this incident resulted in only minor abrasions that did not require medical attention). All three of these incidents could have been avoided through proper training and/or the implementation of appropriate policies (e.g., allowing colleges to require that licensed students, faculty, and staff keep handguns holstered or cased at all times) that do not restrict the ability of license holders to carry concealed handguns for personal protection.
Institutes of higher learning have become power centers of "progressives". It appears that the debate is not about safety, but about power. Passing campus carry shows college administrators that they are controlled by the legislature, not the other way around.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

WA: Home Invasion, 2 Juveniles Shot

YAKIMA, Wash. — A juvenile was shot in the chest during a west Yakima home invasion robbery early Sunday in which several masked suspects, who were armed, were confronted by one of the people living in the home.

The juvenile was taken to a local hospital in critical condition after the incident. Police arrived at the home in the 800 block of South 46th Avenue about 4:40 a.m. to find an armed homeowner who had detained one of the intruders.
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TX: Gunfight, Clerk Shoots Robbery Suspect

Swanton said officers learned at least one man walked into the store and brandished a handgun, which he fired one time into the ceiling.

The store clerk also had a handgun which he pulled out and began firing at the suspect, Swanton said.

The suspect was hit twice in the exchange of gunfire but the clerk and customers inside the store were able to escape injury.
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CO: Man Tells Police he Returned Fire after being Fired at

A man who said he thought he heard someone breaking into his apartment building early Friday told police he returned fire after being shot at twice when he went to investigate.

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Domestic Violence: More Guns, Less Injury

A new study shows that only 17 of 35,413 domestic violence incidents resulted in a gunshot wound. The study was based on police reports collected in Philadelphia in 2013.

From psychcentral.com:
A new study shows that when guns are part of domestic violence, women actually suffer fewer injuries, but experience greater fear.

According to a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, that’s because when a gun enters the situation, women are more likely to back down than fight back.
This is consistent with the use of guns in other crimes, and in self-defense. It is not limited to women. Men who are threatened with a gun are also more likely to back down than fight back.

People who commit robberies with guns instead of other weapons are less likely to physically harm their victims.

People who use guns for self defense are less likely to suffer injuries than people who use other weapons, hands and feet for defense, or who use other strategies.

While Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is characterized as violence by men against women, the results from the abstract show that there is a substantial amount of violence that is not man on woman.  From the study:
Results: Of the 35,413 incidents, 6,573 involved hands, fists, or feet, and 1,866 involved external weapons of which 576 were guns. Most incidents were male-on-female: 63.4% (no weapon), 77.4% (bodily weapon), 50.2% (nongun external weapon), and 79.5% (gun). Guns were used most often to threaten the partner (69.1%). When a gun (vs. bodily or nongun external weapon) was used, IPV victims were less likely to have visible injuries (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.64 and 0.23, respectively)—offenders were less likely to have pushed or shoved, grabbed, punched, or kicked the victim—but (victims) were more likely to be frightened (AOR = 3.13 and 1.49, respectively).
These are the incidents that were reported to the police, which may result in selection bias. Men are less likely to seek help for Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) than women are. Numerous studies have shown that women use IPV against men at a rate that is equal or higher than men use IPV against women.

35,413 incidents were studied from the Philadelphia Police Department. 576 of the events with weapons were alleged to involved guns (1.6%). 

The incidents and usage are "alleged" because they are based on accounts that were told to officers at the scene by the person described as the victim.
That form included information about what the responding officer saw and did at the scene, as well as a body map to indicate injuries and a place for what Sorenson described as the “narrative,” where officers write in their own words what the victim described happened.
These are not adjudicated cases; they are police reports.

While 576 cases were classified as  "Guns were used", the data shows 17 cases involved someone being shot. 40 cases involved guns being fired. The gun was used as a blunt instrument in 33 cases.  In 187 of the incidents, no gun was seen. 

Of 35,413 incidents over three quarters did not involve a weapon or physical attack.

I asked a retired officer if those numbers seemed reasonable. Without hesitation, he said most of the time officers go to domestic violence calls, they are responding to an argument, with no violence involved.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Followup AL: David Hutchins not Guilty in Murder Trial

David Hutchins was found not guilty of murder on Friday evening after deliberation found that he did act in self-defense when he shot and killed Chris Timberlake.

The state and defense gave their final arguments before the jury deliberated Friday afternoon in the murder trial against Hutchins.

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WA: Gunfight, Man Uses Gunfire to Drive off Masked Intruders

SEATTLE -- A Rainier Beach resident who met a masked intruder on the stairs of his house early Friday morning opened fire, police report.

The gunshot prompted the intruder and other suspects to run away, police said. Police later arrested one suspect.

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Followup OR: Case Against Bob Swan Dismissed

Today, the Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Fleming confirmed that her office had dismissed the case against Brian Swan, who was arrested for shooting a man last April he said was an intruder.

Fleming said that the man who had been shot could not be located to testify. “Unfortunately,” she said, “in spite of a lot of effort to try to locate the victim, we could not find him…We had to dismiss with the understanding we can refile if we locate the victim.”
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FL: Intruder Shot by Homeown Found Outside

JACKSONVILLE, FLa - A home intruder was shot Saturday night while inside a Westside home, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said.

A homeowner on Moses Street, in the Sweet Water neighborhood near the intersection of Wilson Street and Interstate 295, called police around 11:30 p.m. reporting that they shot at an intruder.
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MI: Armed Customer, Robbers in Gunfight at Store

A customer at a Roseville party store fights back against a couple of would-be robbers.

Two crooks came in covering their faces, one of them pointing a gun. One of them hopped on the counter when suddenly, he was confronted by someone else with a gun.

A customer was also armed and he started shooting. The masked men took off and police believe one of them may have been hit.

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

MO: Neighbor Shoots Robbery Suspect

CLAYTON, MO. (AP) - A north St. Louis County man is facing robbery charges, and is hospitalized with gunshot wounds, after allegedly trying to rob a man, only to be shot by the victim's neighbor.

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Saved by the Second: Interview with Martha Salomaa

Martha Salomaa is an inspiring, badass mother who saved herself and her two daughters by shooting an intruder. You can watch her amazing story in this just-released CarbonTV web-series pilot, “Saved by the Second.” For more about Martha, and how her life – and that of her children – has changed since that dangerous encounter, check out the exclusive Q&A and watch her story below.
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TX: Off Duty Officer Shoots Man who Attacked him

The man pulled out a heavy metal rod used in automotive repair work known as a "pickle fork" because of its resemblance to the smaller dining utensil. Acevado said it was clear the man intended to use it as a weapon against Johnson, who was in full Houston police uniform.

"It can lead to serious bodily injury or death," Acevado said.

HPD officials said Johnson fired "more than once" at the burglary suspect.

Acevado warned against using a dangerous weapon on a police officer in uniform. "You can almost be assured you're going to get shot," he said.

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CA: Man with Concealed Carry Permit involved in Self Defense Shooting

Initial dispatch calls at 9:13 p.m. Wednesday said the shooting was possibly related to road rage, though DiMatteo said that wasn’t the case. Michael Lake, 27, stopped at a red light when the man approached his vehicle while riding a bicycle.

It’s unknown why the two began fighting but the altercation ended with Lake shooting and killing the man, police said.

When they arrived, officers found a green car at the intersection with a broken window.

Authorities covered a nearby body with a tarp and a coroner arrived at 10:20 p.m.

Lake has a concealed weapons permit and provided police with a statement before they allowed him to leave, officers said.

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11th Circuit partially Reverses 3 Judge Panel on Interrogation and Record Keeping of Gun Ownership

The 11th Circuit has released their en banc ruling on Wollschlaeger v. Florida. They partly reversed the three judge panels ruling on whether doctors have the right to interrogate patients on gun ownership, and record the answers in medical records, outside of reasons concerning individual patient care. The three judge panel had asserted that the state had a compelling interest in protecting Second Amendment rights, and could regulate licensed doctors to do so. The legislation in question is the Firearms Owners' Privacy Act (FOPA).

The 11Circuit asserted that doctors were merely private actors. As private actors, they have no legal authority to take away patients firearms.  From uscourts.gov:
The first problem is that there was no evidence whatsoever before the Florida Legislature that any doctors or medical professionals have taken away patients’ firearms or otherwise infringed on patients’ Second Amendment rights. This evidentiary void is not surprising because doctors and medical professionals, as private actors, do not have any authority (legal or otherwise) to restrict the ownership or possession of firearms by patients (or by anyone else for that matter). The Second Amendment right to own and possess firearms does not preclude questions about, commentary on, or criticism for the exercise of that right.
The new ruling also stated that fears that electronic databases that contained private firearms information could be misused and subject to hacking were merely "hypothetical" and therefore not usable to support the FOPA legislation.
The state officials rely in part on the panel’s assertion that the challenged FOPA provisions are constitutional because there is a danger that information electronically stored by doctors and medical professionals about firearm ownership might be subject to hacking, theft, or some other intrusion. See Wollschlaeger IV, 814 F.3d at 1195 n.22 & 1197. Under heightened scrutiny, however, a court may not come up with hypothetical interests and rationales (or discover new evidence) that might support legislation that restricts speech.
The ruling upheld the right of patients to refuse to give information about private ownership of guns to doctors, and the provision of the law that forbids discrimination based on firearms ownership.

The record-keeping, inquiry, and anti-harassment provisions of FOPA violate the First Amendment, but the anti-discrimination provision, as construed, does not. The district court’s judgment is affirmed in part and reversed in part, and the case is remanded so that the judgment and permanent injunction can be amended in accordance with this opinion.
With the election of President Trump, and the potential of the repeal of Obamacare, concerns of federal abuse of medical records have been slightly reduced.  But the major reason for concern of the mix of doctors, medical records, and information about gun ownership, is that a data base of gun owners would be abused.

It is likely that gun owners will compare this ruling to the recent ruling in the Ninth Circuit, where a purely hypothetical rational was used to uphold a waiting period for gun purchases.  From uscourts.gov:
The district court's assumption is not warranted. An individual who already owns a hunting rifle, for example, may want to purchase a larger capacity weapon that will do more damage when fired into a crowd. A 10 day cooling-off period would serve to discourage such conduct and would impose no serious burden on the core Second Amendment right of defense of the home identified in Heller.
It seems a hypothetical reason is impermissible in the 11th circuit as a reason to protect Second Amendment rights, but is permissible in the 9th circuit to uphold infringements on the Second Amendment.

It is unknown if Wollschlaeger v. Florida will be appealed to the Supreme Court. Only a limited number of cases that are appealed to the Supreme Court are accepted.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Saturday, February 18, 2017

WA: Resident uses AR15 to Drive off Invaders

The resident grabbed an AR-15-style rifle. He showed it to the suspects, who ran when they saw the weapon and jumped into a green Honda, said Undersheriff Jeff Parks. One of the fleeing men ran through the neighborhood, instead of getting into the northbound car.

The resident fired two rounds from the rifle “in an attempt to disable the vehicle,” according to the sheriff’s office. Sheriff’s deputies found a green Honda car broken down about 2 miles northwest at Olson and Unick roads, with at least one bullet hole in the car, though Parks wasn’t sure if that’s why it broke down.

Read more here: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/news/local/crime/article133272739.html#storylink=cpy

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FL: Armed Woman Shoots Man attempting to Break into Home

When he still tried to get in, Shirley fired twice.

The intruder, later identified as 48-year-old Timothy Scott Tugman, was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound, where he underwent surgery. He is expected to survive and will be facing burglary charges.
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Followup AL: No Charges for Man who Shot Isaiah Johnson

The man who shot and killed a Wenonah High School student during a gun deal in downtown Birmingham won't be charged with any crime.

However, a friend of the teen who was killed is charged with his murder, authorities announced today.
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Followup MO: Shooting of Tyler Gebhard ruled Justified

ST. LOUIS COUNTY • County Prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch’s office has concluded that an off-duty St. Louis County police officer acted in self-defense last summer when he fatally shot an intruder at his home in Lakeshire, a small city in South County.

The document, provided to the Post-Dispatch on Wednesday, notes that Tyler Gebhard, 20, had violently broken in, was impaired by marijuana, was known to have mental illness and had spoken of killing police. It calls the shooting justified.
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Caetano Inspired Lawsuit for Massachusetts Stun Gun Ban

The last direct action by the United States Supreme Court on the Second Amendment was the decision of  Caetano v. Massachusetts.  The case was decided in 2016. The Court unanimously held, in the Caetano PER CURIAM decision (pdf), that:

The Court has held that “the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding,” District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U. S. 570, 582 (2008), and that this “Second Amendment right is fully applicable to the States,” McDonald v.Chicago, 561 U. S. 742, 750 (2010).
The case was about a Massachusetts State law that banned the possession of electric weapons, including stun guns. The Supreme Court did not directly invalidate the Massachusetts ban.  It held that the Massachusetts Supreme Court was wrong when it found that electric weapons were not protected by the Second Amendment.

After the U.S. Supreme Court decision, the defendant in the case, Jaime Caetano, was formally found not guilty. The judge agreed to allow her record to be sealed, so that it would not show on a record check by a potential employer or other person.  The Massachusetts ban remained on the books.

A federal lawsuit has been filed against  Massachusetts AG Maura Healy, challenging the constitutionality of the stun gun ban.  The lawsuit was filed on February 16, 2017. Here is the demand for judgment at the end of the complaint document
WHEREFORE Plaintiffs request this Court enter judgment in their favor and against Defendant as follows: 
1. A declaratory judgment, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2201, that Section 131J violates the United States Constitution and laws of the United States, specifically, the Second and Fourteenth Amendments and 42 U.S.C. §1983;

 2. An order permanently enjoining Defendant, her officers, agents, servants, employees, and all persons in active concert or participation with them, from enforcing Section 131J, and any custom, policy, or practice of prosecuting individuals for sale, possession, or lawful use of an electrical weapon; 

3. Attorneys’ fees and costs pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1988, 28 U.S.C. §1920, and any other appropriate authority; and 
4. Any other further relief as the Court deems just and appropriate.

The Caetano case was about electric weapons. There are a number of States and local governments that have universal bans on electric weapons. Howard County, Maryland, is one of them. A lawsuit has been filed against Howard County as well.The Howard County Council is scheduled to vote on the repeal of the ban on Tuesday, 21 February.  The Howard County Police Chief has stated the police department does not enforce the ban. 

The Maryland case is the latest in a string of lawsuits Second Amendment supporters have enjoyed using the Caetano decision.  Such lawsuits have had success in New Jersey, New Orleans, and the District of Columbia. Another lawsuit is being pursued in New York State.

It is difficult to argue that stun guns should be banned when the laws allow for possession of handguns.  AG Maura Healy has already taken extreme actions to ban certain guns in Massachusetts.  Gun owners in the state consider her to be hostile to the Second Amendment. 

Internet searches have not revealed legal challenges to similar bans in Hawaii and Rhode Island.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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MT: Constitutional Carry Sent to MT Governor for Third Time

Montana has "permitless" or Constitutional carry, for areas outside of city and town limits, which is more than 99% of the state.  Bills to extend Constitutional carry to the entire state have passed the legislature three times.

The first time was in 2011. Democrat Governor Brian Schweitzer vetoed HB 271, and the legislature was not able to override the veto.

The second time was in 2015. Democrat Governor Steve Bullock vetoed HB 298.

The third time happened on February 15, 2017. The Senate passed HB 262, which will now go to Governor Bullock again.

HB 262 passed the house 60 to 39.  There are 59 Republicans and 41 Democrats in the House.

The bill passed the Senate 31 to 18. There are 32 Republicans, 17 Democrats, and 1 vacancy in the Senate.

Governor Bullock was re-elected with 50.25% of the vote in 2016. The Republican candidate received  46.35% and the Libertarian candidate 3.4% of the vote. Here is Governor Bullock's statement on Second Amendment Rights:
As a lifelong gun owner and as Montana’s former top cop, Steve Bullock is a staunch supporter of our Second Amendment rights and fights for the right of all law-abiding citizens to own and responsibly use guns.
The absence of any mention of self defense, or the right to *bear* arms are obvious "tells" that this politician is not serious about protecting the right to keep and bear arms.

In Montana, a Governor has 10 days to sign a bill, veto it, recommend amendments, or take no action. If he does not veto the bill, it becomes law in 10 days.

If the Governor vetoes the bill, the legislature may override the veto with a two thirds vote in both chambers of the legislature.

A veto seems likely.  It does not appear that there are sufficient votes to override a veto.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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Friday, February 17, 2017

GA: Manager Survives Gunfight, Suspect does not

According to DeKalb County police, the manager of Happy's Package store on Rockbridge Road said a hooded suspect came into the store around 8 p.m. Tuesday and demanded money. The manager pulled out his gun and began firing at the suspect, who fired back.
More Here

MI: Rare Mistaken Identity Shooting

Upon their arrival, officers were told by the man he'd believed someone was breaking into his home and fired off a shot that struck a person coming through the front door.

The person behind the front door was the man's father, police said. He was taken to Hurley Medical Center for a gunshot wound to his side and listed in good condition.
More Here

AZ: Gun Beats Hammer, no Shots Fired

One of the men hit the homeowner on the head with a hammer before they took off on foot.

The homeowner told police that he may know one of the two men.

“I let him do some work around the house and I paid him for it in the past,” the homeowner said.

He said one of the burglars asked him for his gun.

“I realized it was right next to me,” the homeowner said. “I grabbed it, pointed it at him and started yelling at him. Should have shot him but he took off running.”
More Here

NRA Ballot: Tips and Recommendations

Every year,  there are elections for the NRA board members. There are 76 NRA board members. One third of them are elected each year, plus enough to fill existing vacancies.

I have been pleased with the direction the NRA has taken in the last decade. As an organization, they are more protective of our rights than they were in the 1980's and 1990's.  Before 1976, the NRA board was and exclusive club. The board members selected any new board members. The NRA revolt at Cinncinatti in 1976 changed that Board members could be selected by the membership. Those reforms have been eroded.  The membership now has much less power than it had in 1980.

This year, there is a separate ballot for the NRA bylaws, with 15 amendments.

The proposed amendment package of the bylaws is an attempt to weaken the power of the NRA membership even more.  It is effectively a coup to put all power of the organization in the board of directors.  As with any group of part time board members, this means that a small group of insiders will have total control. They will decide who gets on the board and who does not.

The meat of the bylaw amendments are inside the rather lengthy total package. Some reasonable administrative changes are included. You are only allowed to vote yes or no on the entire proposal.

The amendments would make it nearly impossible for the membership to nominate board members outside of the current power structure. Currently, 250 signatures of voting members are necessary for a membership nomination.  It is difficult to obtain that many signatures, but not impossible.  One of the problems with the suggested amendments is that it raises the number required to .5% of the votes cast in the previous election. That would be 500 or 750 signatures. Members with experience in the process know that this is a very difficult thing to do, unless the candidate is a national celebrity.

Item  12 takes away the possibility of a by law change at the annual meeting.  Item 13 makes it virtually impossible for the membership to petition for a change, by requiring the petition to have the signatures of a staggering 5% of the number that voted in the last election.  If such a Herculean feat were accomplished, item 14 allows the Board to unilaterally undo the change.

Not all NRA members have voting rights.  In order to vote in an NRA election, you have to be either a life member, or have been a member for five consecutive years.   Of voting members, about 5% voted in the 2015 elections, so your vote can have disproportionate weight.

Most voting members do not know the people they are voting for. As there are at least 25 slots to fill, (26 in 2017) people depend on the biographies printed in the NRA magazines to determine who to vote for.  Prominent in the biographies are whether or not the candidate has been nominated or renominated by the nominating committee.

If you wish to be an effective NRA voter, do not vote for 26 members. It is what most voters do, and it dilutes your vote.  The candidates who receive the most votes win election to the board.  If you know of only one candidate that you support, vote for that candidate. Just as importantly, do not vote for other candidates that you have little knowledge of.  That maximizes the impact of your vote.

The NRA magazines are controlled by the current NRA management. It is the nature of the beast. The NRA management controls who is on the nominating committee. If you want to change in the way the NRA is doing business, it is unlikely that you will obtain change by voting for the establishment candidates.

Jeff Knox of the Firearms Coalition, has watched the NRA board closely for decades. I have always found his recommendations to be well thought out. He is recommending votes for three nominees to the board.   From Jeff:
For the Board of Directors election, I am recommending you vote only for the following 3 candidates, and no others: Sean Maloney, Adam Kraut, and Graham Hill. There are others on the ballot who are good, but they don’t need our help.
The recommendation on the package of bylaw amendments is simpler. Just vote no.  If you do not know enough to vote for directors, the bylaw vote is a separate ballot.  It is easy to fill the circle by the word NO completely, put the ballot in the envelope, sign it, and drop it in the mail.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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