Bearing Arms

  • If OR Legislature Doesn’t Pass Safe Storage Law, Expect Ballot Initiative
    The state of Oregon is one of those states that loves them some gun control. They’ve passed plenty when they could but there’s a limit to everything. A while back, an effort to push for a safe storage law called an end to their quest, though they did say they’d renew that effort. They still labored under the misguided belief that requiring people to lock up their guns regardless of their individual circumstances was somehow the right call, they just didn’t figure they could get it through. I’d hoped they’d be gone for a little longer. The reforms in question date back to 2018, when a group of state gun control advocates attempted to get a measure on that year’s ballot that would require all gun owners to secure their weapon with a trigger lock when not in use, and report lost or stolen weapons within 24 hours. The proposed measure also stipulated that if a gun owner fails to secure their gun and someone steals it, the owner can be held financially liable for any damage caused by their stolen weapon. That 2018 initiative, Initiative Petition 44 (IP 44), was legally challenged by Second Amendment activists. The Oregon Supreme Court declined to hear the case, giving the team behind IP 44 the go-ahead to get the measure on the ballot. But with just days left to gather enough signatures to get IP 44 onto the ballot, the team decided to wait. … But a ballot measure isn’t the only path to passing statewide gun storage legislation. State of Safety Action is also behind similar legislation introduced to the Oregon Legislature for the recently wrapped-up 2019 session. The main tenants of that legislation landed in Senate Bill 978, a comprehensive gun-control bill that state Democrats thought they had a strong chance of passing—until they were forced to sacrifice it so that state Republicans would come back from one of their two walkouts. State of Safety Action’s legislation will be reintroduced in the 35-day 2020 session, and Wessinger says he’s received assurance from top Democratic lawmakers that it will pass with bipartisan support this time around. But nothing’s sure in Salem, so State of Safety Action is also pursuing IP 40 as a stopgap to ensure the legislation passes in some form next year. “The sooner it becomes law,” Wessinger says, “the more lives will be saved.” Someone spells “lost” in an odd way. More lives will be lost. The truth is, criminals can access even secured guns if they’re so inclined and have the time. You know who can’t, though? Nervous citizens who are trying to fumble with a locking mechanism of almost any sort after hearing glass break at three in the morning. Those people are as good as dead because they can’t access their firearm when they need it. Which, undoubtedly, would lead to studies showing that people aren’t actually using guns to defend their homes or something like that. To be sure, this effort desperately needs to be opposed. This is nothing more than an ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Tuesday, July 23, 2019By Tom Knighton
    7 hours ago
  • Intruder Shot By Homeowner Claims He Was Just Thirsty
    Isaac Andujo just wanted a drink of water. At least, that’s what he says led him to try and break into a home in Albuquerque, New Mexico the other day. Too bad for Isaac that the home he chose happened to be occupied by an armed citizen willing and able to protect themselves. Andujo’s attorney argued that the prosecution failed to prove intent to commit a felony saying that Andujo was simply trying to get into the home to get a glass of water. The judge did not buy it. “While his words say one thing, his actions say another,” Judge Brittany Maldonado Malott said. “The fact that he broke through a window to get into the residence, I think a jury could determine that he had intent to commit a felony.” It’s good to see the judge isn’t buying Andujo’s story, at least. According to police, Andujo tried to break in to the home on Albuquerque’s east side early Friday morning. Using a spray can, the would-be intruder broke a window to gain entry to the home, but the armed homeowner stopped him with a shot to the hip. Neighbors alerted by the sound of gunshots called police, and when officers arrived the homeowner still had their firearm trained on Andujo in the back yard of the home. Andujo apparently didn’t spend much time in the hospital or behind bars, because he was released from custody just two days after the attempted break-in occurred. The judge in the case says prosecutors didn’t file a motion to keep the suspect behind bars, so he was back on the streets Sunday morning. He’s expected back in court on September 10th. We’ll see in a few weeks if he’s any better at keeping his court dates than he is at breaking into homes. The post Intruder Shot By Homeowner Claims He Was Just Thirsty appeared first on Bearing Arms. ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Tuesday, July 23, 2019By Cam Edwards
    8 hours ago
  • If Stolen Guns Require Gun Bans, Look To Canadian Mounties, Military
    In Canada, the don’t have a Second Amendment. They don’t have the protections on their gun rights we do. Think about that for a moment and just how much infringement on our gun rights we have despite the Second Amendment, now imagine how bad it would be if there was no Second Amendment to protect them. That’s the reality on the ground up in Canada. Further, their black market is no different than ours. They deal primarily in stolen guns. Yet that black market is also used to justify further restrictions on guns for the law-abiding Canadians. Well, if that’s the case, then maybe lawmakers ought to start looking at the military and the Mounties too. One of the arguments gun control advocates will make for calling for an outright ban on handguns or certain rifles is that if regular citizens don’t have these firearms in their homes, they can’t be lost or stolen to be used in a crime. Newly-released documents from the RCMP and other federal departments and agencies show that if the risk of lost and stolen guns is an issue, then we better think of taking guns from the Mounties, maybe even the military. Firearms researcher Dennis Young obtained a list of the number of guns lost or stolen by police or public agencies from 2005 through 2019 and the numbers might shock you. A total of 640 firearms were reported lost in that time frame, another 173 were reported stolen. That includes 469 handguns reported lost and another 117 handguns stolen. Well, isn’t that special. Now, to be fair, these guns represent only a fraction of guns that ended up in criminal hands. However, if we look at individual owners, they contribute an even smaller fraction of guns. Why on Earth should they be punished? The truth is, claims that guns can’t end up in criminal hands if private citizens aren’t allowed to have them are naive at best. Yes, guns on the black market tend to be stolen guns. Yes, most of those tend to have been stolen from private citizens. However, that’s only part of the story. For one thing, guns aren’t disposable goods. They don’t degrade readily over time. Once one enters the black market, the only way it leaves the market is if the police recover it somehow. While that sounds like a lot of guns, it’s still only a fraction of the total number of guns available. Meanwhile, a ban would disarm the law-abiding while doing nothing to the criminals. You’d likely see a surge in crime. For another thing, claims that criminals couldn’t get guns if there weren’t any guns to steal precludes the idea of smuggling. Drugs seem to find their way into Canada just fine, so why would anyone assume that guns couldn’t make their way into the country the same way? Of course they would. If people want guns, they’ll get guns. Especially since they’re also stealing them from the police and military. No one is talking about ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Tuesday, July 23, 2019By Tom Knighton
    9 hours ago
  • Virginia GOP Targets Gang Members, While Democrats Target Legal Gun Owners
    Virginia House Majority Leader Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) has introduced legislation that targets the most violent offenders in the state’s most violent gangs, and that’s great news for the communities most affected by gang violence. The bill is relatively simple, especially considering the impact it could have. It would bring two different programs to the state of Virginia, both of which seek to address gang violence at the individual level. Project Ceasefire incorporates federal, state, and local law enforcement to provide targeted enforcement against the most violent gangs in the community. Project Exit, meanwhile, utilizes existing social services programs to help individuals with an “exit ramp” out of a gang and into a more productive realm of society. Gilbert’s legislation would authorize grants to communities to bring the projects to their cities, as well as create a division in the state’s Department of Criminal Justice Services to administer the grant programs. Additionally, according to Gilbert: The legislation also creates the Group Violence Intervention Board to oversee the grants, and a Division of Group Violence Intervention under the Department of Criminal Justice Services to administer the grants, serve as a clearinghouse for best practices, and build relationships among the prosecutors, police, and local groups who will make these programs a success. Virginia Democrats, meanwhile, seem much more interested in emotionally-driven arguments in favor of gun control, hoping to turn out voters in reliably blue areas of the Commonwealth in this November’s elections. In the wake of the Virginia Beach murders on May 31st, Governor Ralph Northam called a special session to push for gun bans, one-gun-a-month laws, “universal background checks” and more, all directed at legal gun owners in Virginia (and none of which would have prevented the Virginia Beach attack). Republicans adjourned the special session without taking up any of the anti-2A bills, and Democrats pilloried them for it. Now the GOP House Majority leader has introduced substantive legislation aimed squarely at those most likely to be the perpetrators and victims of violent crime. We Will Help You If We Can, But We Will Stop You If We Must The two-pronged approach of Project Ceasefire and Project Exit, Gilbert says, has demonstrated proven results when effectively implemented. In Boston, for example, juvenile homicides dropped by almost 66%, while calls to police regarding “shots fired” dropped by 32%. Beyond the numbers, what this means is that neighborhoods become safe again. Kids can play on the sidewalks again. Backyard cookouts start up again. The new normal is actually normal. Violence is disrupted. Lives are changed for the better. The key to the program’s success is deceptively simple; authorities have to mean what they say. When they bring gang members in (typically through probation or parole officers) and tell them “You’re going to stop shooting, one way or the other. If you keep shooting, we’re going to nail you and every one of your associates with enough federal charges to lock you away until you’re old men,” it must be a promise, not an idle threat. And when authorities ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Tuesday, July 23, 2019By Cam Edwards
    10 hours ago
  • Indiana’s Not To Blame For This Chicago Crime, Mayor Lightfoot
    We recently discussed Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s attempt to blame Indiana for her city’s violence while ignoring the problems in Chicago’s criminal justice system, and the website CWB Chicago has a perfect example of the light punishment handed down to armed criminals each and every day in Cook County courtrooms. A Humboldt Park man was sentenced to one year in prison after he pleaded guilty to having a handgun near Montrose Beach in May. Several beachgoers called 911 on the evening of May 5th to report a man firing a pistol near the harbor. Witnesses directed officers toward two men who were walking away from the beach, one of whom was 26-year-old Sarong Gonzalez. A handgun was recovered, police said. Prosecutors allowed Gonzalez to plead guilty to a reduced charge of unlawful use of a weapon and dropped two counts of being a felon in possession of a weapon. Gonzalez’s sentence will be reduced by 66 days for time spent in jail awaiting a resolution to his case. The state will also reduce his sentence by 50% for good behavior. His anticipated parole date is Nov. 1st. Here we have a convicted felon illegally discharging his illegally possessed firearm in a city beset by violent crime, and prosecutors offer him a plea deal that will allow him to be back out on the streets before Thanksgiving. If Gonzalez had been found guilty in state court of being a felon in possession of a gun, he would have faced a mandatory two-year prison term. If the U.S. Attorney in Chicago had successfully prosecuted his case instead of Cook County prosecutors, Gonzalez would be looking at the possibility of ten years in prison.  Instead, he won’t even do ten months. But yeah, somehow this must be Indiana’s fault, or maybe the “gun lobby” is to blame. Sadly, I doubt we’ll hear anything from Mayor Lightfoot about this case. I’d love to be proven wrong, but she’s apparently more interested in calling for more federal gun control laws than addressing the lack of consequences in Chicago when criminals ignore existing state law. Or, to put it another way, Lightfoot’s priority seems to be turning legal gun owners into criminals, rather than taking violent criminals off the streets.       The post Indiana’s Not To Blame For This Chicago Crime, Mayor Lightfoot appeared first on Bearing Arms. ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Tuesday, July 23, 2019By Cam Edwards
    10 hours ago
  • Universal Background Check Proposal May Be Headed To Ohio Ballots
    Sometimes, I hate being right. I’d said that the group pushing for a ballot initiative on universal background checks in Ohio would keep pushing until they got it on the ballot. That’s the way activist groups do things, unfortunately. They just keep going until they get it on the ballot, then keep pushing that until they get what they want. They’ve now succeeded in the first step for getting their proposal on the ballot. Backers of a proposed citizen-initiated law to require background checks for most gun sales in Ohio have gotten the green light to start collecting petition signatures to, ultimately, place the measure on the statewide ballot. The bipartisan Ohio Ballot Board unanimously voted Monday that the proposal, titled “An Act to Close Loopholes in Background Checks on Gun Sales,” doesn’t contain more than a single subject. That certification means that Ohioans For Gun Safety, the group behind the proposal, can now start to gather the required 132,887 signatures from registered voters in at least 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties. If they do, state lawmakers would have four months to act on the proposed law, which would make Ohio the 12th state (as well as the District of Columbia) to require universal background checks for firearms sales. Federal law already requires licensed dealers to conduct background checks before selling firearms. The proposal, however, would allow a number of exemptions, such as gifts of firearms between family members, sales of antique guns, and temporarily giving someone a gun to use for hunting or at a shooting range. So, just what does “state lawmakers would have four months to act on the proposed law” actually mean? The way it works in Ohio, the measure first goes to the Ohio General Assembly where lawmakers there will vote on it. If they don’t pass the law, the group pushing this nonsense can then gather more signatures in an effort to drop it on the ballot where the people will vote on it. The group, Ohioans For Gun Safety, are already preparing for just that to happen. What they’re hoping is that they can get enough anti-gunners to come out for the election to ram this down the throats of the people of Ohio. This has to do with the belief that they’re actually the majority, a delusion that anti-gunners continue to labor under due to polling that says so. Of course, these are similar to the polls that had Hillary Clinton as a lock to win in 2016, so I wouldn’t put much stock in those. They’ll continue to push to get it on the ballot, wasting people’s time and money in fighting this battle. Meanwhile, there’s no reason to believe that universal background checks do anything except make life more difficult for law-abiding gun owners. We already know that criminals buy their guns illegally. If they’re buying via face-to-face transfers and will somehow be impacted, they’ll just shift gears and buy them on the black market. We already know this. ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Tuesday, July 23, 2019By Tom Knighton
    11 hours ago
  • New Program In Philadelphia Aims To Educate Women About Dangers Of “Straw Purchases”
    Buying a gun for someone else is a crime, and there’s a new program being rolled out in Philadelphia that is geared towards stopping those straw purchases through education.  Operation LIPSTICK (Ladies Involved in Putting a Stop to Inner-City Killing) will target the women who are most likely to engage in the illegal activity by informing them of the consequences. “We ensure that women know the truth,” said Tamia Rashima-Jordan, executive director of Operation LIPSTICK. “Buying, hiding or holding a gun for someone who can’t own guns legally is a serious crime that fuels neighborhood gun violence, mass incarceration, trauma, injury and death.” Operation LIPSTICK comes to Philadelphia for the first time thanks to a $123,000 grant from Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s Office. The coalition will partner with the violence prevention and intervention organization Mothers in Charge to educate women and share data with the attorney general’s office. Pennsylvania’s Attorney General is a big fan of all kinds of gun control proposals, but in this case it’s not about putting a new law on the books, it’s about making potential straw buyers aware of the consequences. Shapiro said his office opens an average of 25 straw purchasing cases every month. Those convicted of two straw purchases face with a five-year mandatory sentence. “Even if you are not the one who pulled the trigger, you will still be held criminally liable if you are the one who supplied the gun to someone who is not supposed to have it,” he said. Rashima-Jordan says gun-related crimes committed by women dropped by 33% when a similar program was introduced in Boston, which is a substantial reduction. I hope that AG Shapiro and the ladies behind Operation LIPSTICK will also reach out to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which runs its own anti-straw purchasing campaign called Don’t Lie For The Other Guy. There’s one more step the Pennsylvania Attorney General could take if he’s really serious about cracking down on straw purchases, one that also doesn’t involve putting a new law on the books. In Pennsylvania, a straw purchase conviction comes with a mandatory five-year prison sentence, but only after being convicted of at least two purchases. At the federal level, someone convicted of a straw purchase is looking at the possibility of ten years behind bars. Shapiro could and should take a hard line on cases where guns were supplied to the most violent criminals and gang members and refer those cases to the U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia for prosecution in federal court. Education is an important part of deterrence, but education backed up by targeted enforcement can have an even bigger impact on these crimes. The post New Program In Philadelphia Aims To Educate Women About Dangers Of “Straw Purchases” appeared first on Bearing Arms. ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Tuesday, July 23, 2019By Cam Edwards
    12 hours ago
  • Efforts To Block Gun Exports Not About Safety, But Hurting Manufacturers
    A while back, the Trump administration announced it was looking at loosening export restrictions on certain firearms. Nothing game-changing, just American versions of the kind of weapons available from numerous overseas manufacturers. After all, guns are going to be bought. There’s little reason American companies shouldn’t have a shot of being the ones selling it. However, it seems that Democrats are taking issue with that and are trying to stop it. Last year, the administration proposed a regulatory change to transfer the export licensing of guns to the much looser rules of the Commerce Department, which industry leaders expect will “significantly expand their opportunities,” while removing congressional oversight and severely reducing the capacity to control the end uses of exported weapons. The proposed rule would apply to sniper rifles, semi-automatic assault rifles, and other weapons used in warfare around the world. The change would also effectively deregulate the production of 3D-printed weapons, which are currently considered exports. But the proposed change was set back on July 11, when the House of Representatives approved an amendment sponsored by Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA) to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that prohibits taking gun exports off the State Department’s U.S. Munitions List. Now, let’s be clear here. Nothing classified or high-tech was changed. These are the kinds of weapons that are being sold one way or another. We’re far from the only game in town when it comes to semi-automatic rifles, so-called “sniper rifles” which are really nothing more than accurate hunting rifles, and even the “other weapons used in warfare.” We’re not the only country with companies that make these. However, critics are claiming that the United States has some kind of moral responsibility to stem the tide of guns flowing out of the country. That is, of course, bull. None of this really has anything to do with violence in other countries. Especially since the violence well pre-dated the regulatory change and will continue should the rule be reinstated. No, this has to do with trying to hurt American gun companies. Since President Trump took office, gun companies have seen a massive decrease in sales. They’re able to compensate for that to some degree over the last year by increasing exports. By selling guns overseas, these companies can remain solvent until the remaining stock is sold and the American gun market normalizes. This is a problem for anti-gun lawmakers. They see the amendment to the NDAA as being an opportunity to not just score some goodwill overseas but also to hurt American gun companies. I’ve argued before that if they can drive gun manufacturers out of business, they can sort of create gun control without actually passing gun control. It’s hard to buy guns if there are no guns for sale, right? With this effort, they’re trying to tighten the screws on the firearm industry. They want to hurt the industry to potentially damage the market. Yes, I do think that’s part of what’s driving this effort. The truth of the matter is ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Tuesday, July 23, 2019By Tom Knighton
    13 hours ago
  • NJ Governor Wants “Smart Guns” To Be The Only Guns For Sale
    New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is already one of the most unpopular governors in the country, and his latest comments about “smart guns” aren’t going to help his approval rating. While appearing on a local “Ask The Governor” TV program, Murphy was asked if he’d like to see a day when only “smart guns” are available for sale in the state. It’s “too early to tell” if New Jersey will limit firearms sales in the state to only include so-called smart guns, Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday. But if it was up to him, smart guns would be the only type of guns people here would be able to purchase. “Yes. I hope it does get to that,” Murphy said during his monthly “Ask the Governor” program hosted by News 12 New Jersey. Murphy recently signed a new version of New Jersey’s smart gun law, first passed in 2002, which mandates that once a smart gun becomes commercially available, gun stores in the state must stock the firearm and make it available for sale. Under the original law, after a so-called smart gun became available for sale, firearms retailers in the state had a three year grace period before they were mandated to only stock smart guns in their store. Since no smart guns have come on the market in the 17-years since the law first took effect, anti-gun politicians in the state have blamed the “gun lobby” for the failure of their legislation. Even New Jersey’s media have bought into that lie. The law Murphy signed will require gun retailers to put a smart gun on their shelves for customers once the technology is there to mass produce them. It replaced a 2002 state law that its sponsors conceded helped keep smart guns off the market since it mandated that dealers in the Garden State could sell only smart guns once they became marketable anywhere in the country. That prevented would-be manufacturers of them from producing smart guns because of backlash from opponents. There’s no nefarious reason why so-called “smart guns” haven’t come to market. The reason is much simpler: no one’s figured out a feasible way to make a gun “smart” without also reducing its effectiveness. There are two basic technologies that are being pursued in the development of smart guns. The first uses fingerprints to “unlock” the firearm so only designated users can fire the gun, while the other option uses RFID technology and a wearable device such as a ring or a watch that pairs with the firearm and allows it to be used. Both have significant drawbacks, particularly when it comes to using a smart gun for self defense. Fingerprint readers, for example, don’t work well if your fingers are damp. If you’re in a situation where you need to defend yourself with a firearm, it’s likely your hands might be a little sweaty. At least once or twice a week I’m forced to manually unlock my smartphone because it won’t read my fingerprint (this time of ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Tuesday, July 23, 2019By Cam Edwards
    14 hours ago
  • Firearm-Related Homicides Dropped, But Dems Don’t Tend To Think That
    We’re all going to die. Well, we are. Eventually. But if you listen to anti-gun activists, we’re all going to get shot dead because gun-related homicides are just plain getting out of hand. It’s an epidemic that can’t be contained unless we act now and pass gun control. We just have to! That’s what they tell us, at least. However, A.W.R. Hawkins over at Breitbart notes that it’s a pile of male bovine excrement. Washington Post analysis shows Democrats, followed closely by independents, are more apt to believe firearm murders have increased. And this feeds the Democrat psyche which is already more prone to support an expansion of gun control laws. But the reality is that the high water mark for firearm murders was 1994 while 2017, the most recent year with complete data on incidents, shows a sharp drop. There were “16,136 [firearm murders] in 1994” but only “10,982” in 2017. Hawkins also notes that if you look at just the murder rate–homicide rates also include justified homicides, among other things–the dip is even sharper. So why do people seem to honestly believe that we’re somehow more violent? Well, part of that may be an artifact of how news is reported. Most of you have heard the phrase “man bites dog.” Basically, it’s used to note that the news doesn’t cover the everyday and mundane, but the odd and unusual. The rarer an act is, the more likely it is to be reported in the media. A dog biting a guy happens all the time, so no one cares, but if a man bites a dog? That’s news. Conversely, when gun fatalities were more common, it was rare that the media could focus on them all that well. They were just something that happened.  A person would get murdered and there would be coverage, but before anyone could get into all the peripheral stuff about the homicide, like the weapons used or anything else, there would be another murder. Today, with fewer homicides, they can delve into these other topics. Because of that, these homicides burn their way into people’s brains on a deeper level. Humans remember things through repetition, so hearing about Jane Doe’s murder every day for three weeks means you’re more likely to be remembering Jane Doe’s murder when Joe Smith is killed. Hence, it becomes easier to believe that we’re plagued with murders when the rate is decreasing. It should also be noted that the decrease came during a time of expanding gun rights. Americans throughout the nation were taking back their constitutionally-protect right to keep and bear arms. There were more and more guns on American streets, yet the homicide rate decreased. I have it on supposedly good authority that more guns increase the likelihood for violence, so how does that compute? Well, that’s easy. When more of the bad guys started getting their butts shot, their buddies decided that violent crime was probably not a long-term career prospect after all. They stopped pulling that kind of stuff ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Tuesday, July 23, 2019By Tom Knighton
    15 hours ago
  • New York City Still Trying to Avoid A SCOTUS Fight Over Gun Law
    According to anti-gun gun activists, every law they propose is just “common sense”, “reasonable” and all about “gun safety”, not gun control.  This is true whether they’re talking about banning the most commonly sold rifle in the country, making it virtually impossible to get a concealed carry license, or banning magazines over ten rounds. In New York City, gun control advocates have spent years defending a city statute that forbids legal handgun owners in the city from transporting their firearm anywhere other than a few pre-approved ranges in the five boroughs. You can’t legally take your gun to your uncle’s in Utica, or to Connecticut for a shooting competition, which doesn’t seem reasonable (or Constitutional) to me. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a challenge to this law in just a few months, and now all of a sudden gun control advocates are scrambling. The very same gun control advocates who’ve been defending the law are now desperately trying to avoid the Supreme Court ruling on the legality of the statute. A few weeks ago a hearing was held to make some changes to the law, and the state legislature quickly followed suit, all in an attempt to get the lawsuit thrown out because it’s been mooted. The city’s now sent two letters to the high court asking that the case be dismissed, or at least returned to lower courts to decide if the case is now moot. Changes to the city’s rules, the city explained, will allow licensed gun owners to transport their guns to, among other places, second homes and shooting ranges outside New York City. Those rules went into effect on July 21. And on July 16, the city continued, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that changes state laws to allow licensed gun owners to transport their handguns to other places – again, such as second homes, shooting ranges and shooting competitions – where they are legally allowed to have them. Of course Governor Cuomo and lawmakers in Albany haven’t suddenly realized that this NYC statute violates the constitutional rights of residents.  Neither have any New York City council members or Mayor Bill de Blasio. They (along with their allies in national gun control groups like Brady, Giffords, and Everytown/Moms Demand Action) are simply terrified that the Supreme Court will rule against them, and in the process establish a precedent that could mean bad news for many other gun control laws around the country. Will the Supreme Court acquiesce and send the case back down to lower courts? Perhaps, but it’s not a certainty. As Paul Clement, the attorney representing the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association in its challenge to the NYC law, recently reminded justices, there’s no reason to believe New York City and lawmakers at the state level wouldn’t change the law once more if the case were thrown out. Moreover, a party asserting that its own actions have mooted a case has “the ‘heavy burden of persua[ding]’ the court that the ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Tuesday, July 23, 2019By Cam Edwards
    16 hours ago
  • Study Finds Police Shootings Anything But Racist
    Over the last few years, we’ve been inundated with claims that white police officers are gunning down black men in what they say can only be described as something akin to ethnic cleansing. “Cops are racist,” activists and their allies in the media proclaim. But are they? As someone raised around law enforcement, this bothered me. While I know better than to believe law enforcement officers are better than the average population–after all, they are the average population–I also saw no reason why they would be worse than the average population either. However, that wasn’t the picture being portrayed at all. A recent study took a look at the claims to find out if there was any validity to them. Reports of racially motivated, fatal shootings by police officers have garnered extensive public attention and sparked activism across the nation. New research from Michigan State University and University of Maryland reveals findings that flip many of these reports on their heads—white police officers are not more likely to shoot minorities citizens than non-white officers. “Until now, there’s never been a systematic, nationwide study to determine the characteristics of police involved in fatal officer-involved shootings,” said Joseph Cesario, co-author and professor of psychology at MSU. “There are so many examples of people saying that when black citizens are shot by police, it’s white officers shooting them. In fact, our findings show no support for the idea that white officers are biased in shooting black citizens.” The findings—published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, or PNAS – are based on an independent database Cesario and his team created that catalogued each police shooting from 2015. The team—led also by co-author David Johnson from University of Maryland—contacted every police department that had a fatal police shooting to get the race, sex and years of experience for every officer involved in each incident. The team also leveraged data from police databases by The Washington Post and The Guardian. “We found that the race of the officer doesn’t matter when it comes to predicting whether black or white citizens are shot,” Cesario said. “If anything, black officers are more likely to shoot black citizens, but this is because black officers are drawn from the same population that they police. So, the more black citizens in a community, the more black police officers there are.” In other words, the claims that white cops are gunning down black men all willy-nilly falls are absolute bollocks. Of course, don’t expect this study to actually silence the anti-law enforcement mob. They could look at the hard facts of who all were involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray in Baltimore–which was three white officers and three black officers–and still claim the death was racially motivated. If they can do that, then don’t expect this to change a single mind. After all, their minds are made up. Nevermind the facts involved. The question is, how much play will this study get when compared to the anti-gun study I wrote about last week? ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Tuesday, July 23, 2019By Tom Knighton
    17 hours ago
  • Charges Dropped For PA Woman Who Used Gun To Defend Herself
    AP Photo/Elaine Thompson Perhaps one of the worst injustices in this country is the tendency of good people who use a gun to defend themselves to find themselves facing criminal charges. It happens far too often. However, much of the time, law enforcement gets it right. If they don’t, the courts do, especially when there’s clear evidence of someone acting in self-defense, such as what happened to one Pennsylvania woman. A 22-year-old woman who fired multiple shots inside a Pa. Walmart got a big legal break after authorities saw surveillance video of the shooting. As WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh reports, a charge of attempted homicide against alleged shooter Rojaanai Alston, 22, of Penn Hills, Pa., have been withdrawn by the Allegheny County District Attorney. That’s because the surveillance video from the North Versailles Walmart clearly shows two other women attacking Alston in the electronics area of the store. Check out a clip of the video embedded in this tweet: ONLY ON 4 – video of the shooting inside Walmart in North Versailles – and the planned attack on the shooter that triggered her opening fire. Was it self-defense? #WTAE at 6 pic.twitter.com/WGsV9QjLuZ — Bob Mayo (@BMayo_WTAE) July 18, 2019 At Thursday’s hearing, Alston’s defense attorney argued passionately that Alston didn’t choose Walmart as the place she would have to defend herself with her legal 9 mm handgun – her attackers did. “She didn’t pick this location, she didn’t pick this place and she didn’t pick the fight, and she did nothing wrong,” Ken Haber, her defense attorney, was quoted by WTAE as saying during Thursday’s preliminary hearing. “She was cold-cocked in the head, not once, not twice, but at least three times, and then they attempted to drag her to the ground. And if she didn’t have a firearm on her to disperse her two assailants, I don’t know if my client would even be alive right now,” Haber said. The video backs that claim up. It’s clear that Alston was being attacked. It’s also clear that she had reason to be in fear of her life. If I’m facing multiple attackers who jump me out of the blue, I have no reason to think they’re going to stop anywhere short of me being dead. I’m going to react in a way to keep me and mine safe and sound. That’s my priority, and it always will be. An attack like this one seems quite brutal from watching it, but I can only imagine how it was from Alston’s side. She did what she had to do to walk away from that encounter. The fact that it ever got to a courtroom is an absolute tragedy. I’m glad Alston’s able to walk away from the aftermath of the incident as well. I won’t weigh in on whether Alston handled everything correctly or not. I have my opinions, but this post isn’t about that. It’s about the fact that Alston did the best she could under ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Monday, July 22, 2019By Tom Knighton
    1 day ago
  • Murder Proves You Should Never Assume ‘Too Old To Kill’
    “Oh, he’s harmless. After all, he’s too old to hurt anyone.” Have you ever heard that line of reasoning? I sure have. Truth be told, I’ve actually thought that way. The feeble old man walking is usually not someone you have to worry about day-to-day. The young guy who is clearly looking for trouble might be another matter, but not the old man. That line of thinking impacted a judge’s decision to parole a convicted murderer. He was old and, therefore, harmless. Unfortunately, he wasn’t. A man who served decades in prison for stabbing his wife 14 times in front of her daughter was convicted Wednesday in a nearly identical crime — stabbing a woman at least 11 times while her twin children watched. Albert Flick, 77, who was previously deemed too old to be a threat by a judge, was convicted in the 2018 death of Kimberly Dobbie. Jurors deliberated less than an hour before reaching its guilty verdict. Both the attack, which was in front of a laundromat in broad daylight, and Flick’s purchase two days earlier of two knives, were caught on surveillance video. Now, let’s be clear here. Flick is not your typical old man. He’s clearly someone with a clear tendency towards homicidal outbursts, something that the judge may not have had any way of recognizing. However, that doesn’t change a thing. Dobbie is still dead and her children will forever bear the pain of having watched their mother’s murder. To make matters worse, though, is that it wasn’t like Flick didn’t give off warning signs. There was reason to recognize that he was a violent man with violent tendencies besides his first murder. In 2010, he was sentenced again for assaulting another woman. The judge at the time ignored the recommendation of the prosecutor for a longer sentence, saying Flick would not be a threat because of his age and it didn’t make sense to keep him incarcerated. He was released and moved to Lewiston in 2014. How did that work out? Look, the punishment should fit the crime. If someone commits assault, then they should be sentenced for assaulting someone. Their age or status should be irrelevant. If they die while in prison, so be it. Don’t want to die in prison, don’t do crap that will get you locked up when you’re old. It’s just that simple. To be sure, though, this is also a reminder that age doesn’t negate a threat. While it may be easier to overpower an old man, that doesn’t mean an old man won’t kill you just as dead as a younger man. Don’t assume that age decreases the threat someone can pose. Especially when they have weapons like knives, something not likely to be restricted anytime soon here in the United States, unlike the UK where they’re checking IDs for children’s cutlery sets. Be wary of anyone giving off warning signs, regardless of their age. I somehow suspect Flick gave off some and no one ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Monday, July 22, 2019By Tom Knighton
    1 day ago
  • Moms Demand Action Leader Lies About Group’s Purpose
    Ah, what I would give for a noble adversary. I don’t mind people disagreeing with me. I mind them being jerks about it, but disagreement? Nope. Not at all. No one is going to agree with me on everything, so why bother getting worked up over it? Clearly, not everyone thinks this way, and I suppose that’s OK too. After all, isn’t that just another disagreement? What I don’t like, however, is when someone tries to use language to manipulate people into supporting them and their ideas. It’s dishonest in the extreme. Yet that’s precisely what one Moms Demand Action leader went on the record doing. It was no coincidence that the Lakeland chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America met precisely on the anniversary of the July 20, 2012, shooting at the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, where 12 people died and 70 others were injured. Group leader Leander Aulisio of Lakeland said he wanted to make one thing clear to the small group gathered around a large coffee table in the Mitchell’s Coffee House meeting room. “We never talk about gun control,” Aulisio said. “We talk about gun violence prevention. Gun control is for somebody that has a gun in their hand. That’s gun control. We talk about gun violence prevention … we are not a gun control group.” “It is whether you own a gun or not. Whether you handle guns or not is irrelevant,” he added. Moms Demand Action volunteer Yasmin Barnes said, “It’s about safety.” These are lies. The phrase “gun control” has a specific meaning. While many pro-gun people have bumper stickers saying things like “Gun Control Is Hitting What You Aim At” or something similar, if you bring up gun control around those same people, they know precisely what you’re talking about. They know you’re referring to laws designed to restrict our right to keep and bear arms. What Aulisio is trying to do here is manipulate the language to trick people into backing something they wouldn’t otherwise. If Moms Demand Action supported gun safety, they’d be willing to work with groups like the NRA on various forms of firearm safety education. That’s a big part of what the NRA has done over the years, after all. Yet Moms Demand Action continues to vilify the NRA and any other group that isn’t a gun control group. Aulisio knows this. No one can be part of a group and rise to even a local leadership position and be oblivious to the language coming out of the national-level leadership, so he knows damn good and well what he’s doing. The truth is that Moms Demand Action supports absolutely nothing but gun control efforts at federal and state levels. Claiming that the group is really about “gun safety” and not “gun control” is a disingenuous attempt to trick people into offering support for a group that seeks to curtail their own rights. Aulisio tries to hold up his status as ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Monday, July 22, 2019By Tom Knighton
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand Prime Minister: Gun Ownership Is A Privilege, Not A Right
    Yoan Valat/Pool Photo via AP New Zealand is in the midst of its compensated confiscation program, ordering legal gun owners in the country to hand over their semi-automatic rifles in exchange for a small bit of cash. It’s still an open question as to how many New Zealanders are complying with the new law, but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is moving ahead with more legislation blocking foreigners from legally purchasing firearms as well as establishing a gun registry. Ardern said the legislation further restricting guns in the country will enshrine in law that owning a firearm is a privilege” rather than a right. The new rules would mean any foreign visitors to the country, classified as anyone planning to stay in New Zealand for less than a year, would be barred from buying guns. Those wishing to hunt in New Zealand would be forced to rent guns or bring their own and register them with police. I guess they do things differently down under.  Here, we talk about registration leading to confiscation, but in New Zealand, the confiscation came first and registration second. After the Christchurch massacre and the subsequent gun ban in New Zealand, we saw American politicians embrace the ban and confiscation of legally owned firearms. “If New Zealand can do it, why can’t we?” they asked. As it turns out, there are several answers to that question, including: We won’t let you. Unlike New Zealand, in the U.S. gun ownership is a right, not a privilege. Gun owners are unlikely to comply with unconstitutional laws restricting their 2nd Amendment rights. I wonder how many of the American politicians who praised Ardern for her “bold” stance will be as quick to echo her statement that owning a gun should be a privilege, not a right? Will Bernie Sanders, who said “This is what real action to stop gun violence looks like. We must follow New Zealand’s lead, take on the NRA and ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons in the United States,” now follow Ardern’s lead and publicly state that he believes the right to keep and bear arms isn’t a right after all? What about Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, whose response to New Zealand’s gun ban was “See. It’s not that hard“? Is he going to admit that it’s not that hard to ban commonly-owned firearms when you treat gun ownership as a privilege? Or will he continue to offer up mealy-mouthed support for the 2nd Amendment while supporting every gun control bill under the sun? If these politicians (along with their anti-gun activist enablers) are going to embrace sweeping gun confiscation, why not just go all in and declare their belief that SCOTUS got it wrong in the Heller case, there they think there really is no individual right to keep and bear arms, and they’ll do everything in their power to turn our rights into something that requires pre-approval from the State? They’re almost there anyway. All they have to do is drop their lies like “I support the 2nd Amendment, but…” ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Monday, July 22, 2019By Cam Edwards
    2 days ago
  • Michigan Legislators Seek Reduced Penalties For Gun Permit Violations
    Carrying a gun legally can be fraught with obstacles. There are places you’re simply not allowed to go while armed, for example. Making a mistake or not knowing you can’t carry there can land someone in very deep water in certain places, enough so that not only does the individual lose their permit, but their ability to legally own firearms at all. In Michigan, it seems Republican lawmakers are seeking to reduce some of those penalties to a more manageable level. Gun rights supporters in the Michigan House are working to decriminalize certain firearm-related offenses as part of a larger effort to roll back regulations on gun ownership and use in the state. House Republicans named protecting second amendment rights as one of its top priorities this session. So far, many of the gun-related bills taken up for hearings focus on reducing existing penalties for violating Michigan’s current gun laws or removing restrictions on certain gun use. In the House, legislation that would decrease the punishment for carrying a concealed pistol with an expired license from a felony punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment, a $2,500 fine or both to a civil fine of $330 if the license had lapsed in the previous year passed on the floor with bipartisan support. Another bill that would let a person transport a loaded shotgun on private property in a car, all terrain vehicle or four wheeler also cleared the House floor. Another pair of bills recently passed out of the House Military, Veterans and Homeland Security Committee, House Bills 4200 and 4201, would reduce the penalty for carrying a concealed weapon in prohibited areas to a civil infraction for the first offense. Currently, state law mandates punishments based on the number of offenses of carrying concealed in prohibited areas like schools, churches, sports arenas and hospitals. A first offense is a civil infraction punishable by up to a $500 fine and a six-month license suspension, a second offense is a misdemeanor coupled with revocation of the person’s concealed pistol license and a third offense is a felony. As introduced, those bills would have made any violation a civil infraction punishable by up to a $100 fine, with no license suspensions. There’s actually a lot more going on there in Michigan, and I wish them well. Personally, I don’t think there should be anywhere considered “off-limits” for firearms except for someone else’s home. If I don’t want them doing certain things in my house, I have to respect their right to limit what I do in theirs. Beyond that, though, I have a serious issue with the idea of “off-limits” for constitutionally-protected rights. Unfortunately, I’m in the minority. If we’re going to restrict where people can exercise the right to keep and bear arms, the least we can do is minimize the impact of making a mistake, for example. There’s no reason to ruin someone’s life over a momentary lapse of judgment that doesn’t hurt a single living soul. While some anti-gunners may ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Monday, July 22, 2019By Tom Knighton
    2 days ago
  • Armed Citizen Stops Armed Carjacker in New Orleans
    A 35-year old man sitting in his car on a New Orleans street was the subject of an attempted carjacking Friday night. According to police, the intended victim was approached by an armed stranger who demanded the man get out of his car. Instead, he pulled a gun of his own and shot the suspect. The police were called to the scene and an investigation into the armed robbery with a gun was opened. The unidentified robber was still at large as of Saturday night. The identity of the would-be victim and whether or not his gun was properly registered was not immediately known, and no other information was immediately available. It appears to be a pretty simple case of self-defense, but leave it to the media (in this case WWL-TV) to botch their reporting of the incident. Notice the TV station says it’s not known whether the armed citizen’s firearm was “properly registered”. Do you think any reporter bothered to check to see if Louisiana requires firearm registration? Here’s a hint: it doesn’t. Nor does Louisiana require a license to own a firearm. If you can legally own a firearm you can also legally transport it in your vehicle, with no need for a concealed carry license. That makes sense; after all, #SelfDefenseIsAHumanRight. My friend Stephen Gutowski of the Washington Free Beacon has said he believes more press outlets need more reporters dedicated to the firearms beat, and he’s right, but even general assignment reporters should know the basic gun laws in the markets where they work. It doesn’t take much time to learn the facts, and it’s actually kind of a pre-requisite if your job is to, you know, report facts. This isn’t the worst case of ignorant reporters reporting on gun issues, but it does demonstrate the sheer unwillingness of many reporters to do even the most basic fact-checking before going on air or to print with their stories. Not only does it make them look lazy and biased when it comes to reporting on 2A issues, it makes you question how thoroughly they’re reporting non-2A stories as well.   The post Armed Citizen Stops Armed Carjacker in New Orleans appeared first on Bearing Arms. ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Monday, July 22, 2019By Cam Edwards
    2 days ago
  • Altoona, PA Looking To Arm Private Security Guards For Schools
    With all the talk about school safety and concern about mass shootings at schools, one would think lawmakers would be looking for any edge possible so as to combat this scourge. While the claims of this being some kind of an epidemic are grossly overstated, we can all agree that even one mass shooting is one too many, particularly at a school. Yet for all the talk of guns being bad and more guns on campus being a terrible idea, Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor recently signed a bill to allow private security guards to carry guns at Pennsylvania schools, so long as they undergo certain training. Altoona, Pennsylvania appears to be one of the first communities to take advantage of that law. Altoona Area is the only school district in Blair County moving to allow trained civilian security guards to carry guns in school. Other area districts won’t be arming civilian security guards, but they might employ school resource officers or contract with law enforcement agencies for personnel authorized to carry weapons. … This month, over the objections of some gun-control groups, Gov. Tom Wolf signed a law clarifying that civilian security guards with proper training can carry a weapon on school property. Last year, the Senate led the charge on advancing measures to increase school safety and security in public schools after the February 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Fla. Through Act 44 of 2018, security measures, including a new School Safety and Security Grant program were created. But a recent memorandum from the Department of Education had interpreted provisions related to school security guards in that legislation as not having the authority to carry a firearm. School police officers were interpreted as the only personnel to carry guns. To ensure that ability for security guards to carry guns, Senate Bill 621 was passed this year through both legislative chambers and signed by the governor on July 2. The Pennsylvania legislature is heavily Republican, which may suggest just why they would pass a bill like this, but Wolf is a Democrat. Based on his support of Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and his illegal efforts to pass gun control in his community, he’s an anti-gun Democrat, too. Yet he signed a bit that allows armed civilians. What gives? Well, first is the obvious fact that he’s creating a special class of civilian who will be allowed to carry provided they undergo some specific training. Anti-gunners often claim the problem with civilian carry is a lack of training, so it’s likely Wolf felt like he had no choice in the matter. Additionally, Wolf may have needed to sign the bill in order to get something he wanted. Good old-fashioned politics at its finest. Regardless, though, at least some students may find themselves being just a little bit safer going forward. While this doesn’t go nearly far enough in my opinion–security guards or school resource officers are obvious targets for a maniac to shoot first, in my opinion, thus we ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Monday, July 22, 2019By Tom Knighton
    2 days ago
  • Chicago Mayor Delusional About City’s Violence
    Chicago has become something of a joke among the gun rights crowd. After all, if gun control worked, Chicago would likely be some kind of Utopia. People would gather in the streets and spontaneously break into song and dance like they were in some kind of Broadway musical or something. It would be absolute Heaven on Earth. That’s not what happens in Chicago, though. Chicago is a rough, violent city that is held up as a hallmark of anti-gun policy failures. It seems the mayor of Chicago is a bit delusional about just why that’s the case, though. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot rejects claims gun control has failed her city and instead blames states without as many gun laws. In an interview posted by New This News only days removed from a weekend in which 41 were shot, nine fatally, in Chicago, Lightfoot blamed Chicago’s gun crime on Indiana. She described Indiana’s laws as too lax, and suggested the laws allow criminals to travel out of state, acquire guns, then return and use those guns criminally on the streets of Chicago. Lightfoot then suggested more federal gun control is the central solution for Chicago gun crime, that universal background checks must be enacted from the top down. Unfortunately for Lightfoot, she’s wrong. You see, federal law says you can buy a gun across state lines so long as everything is in accordance with your home state. In other words, if California bans AR-15s, you can’t go to Nevada and buy one. Not legally, anyway. In other words, people can’t cross the line to Indiana and buy guns to take to Chicago because of lax gun laws. Lightfoot is parroting an old chestnut among the anti-gun left, one that blames all their problems on someone else. However, she doesn’t understand that federal law holds Indiana gun dealers to Illinois laws for Illinois residents. Besides, we already know that the criminals get their guns through illegal means. We have a Department of Justice study that shows this. We also have the criminals’ own words on how they get their guns. They’re not driving to Indiana to buy them legally. Frankly, the idea that they are is delusional. Why go through all that, create a paper trail that could theoretically be followed, only to use the gun in a crime and land themselves in hot water? It wouldn’t take long before crooks realized that this was probably not a winning strategy. They may be bad guys, but that doesn’t mean they’re stupid. What Lightfoot is doing, though, is following in the footsteps of her predecessors who prefer to kick the blame onto another state, one where they have no pull but who also provides no votes for them. By blaming Indiana for Chicago’s woes, she can pretend she’s powerless to stop the mayhem in the Windy City, despite much of that stemming from a combination of factors she probably could do something about. Yes, that includes Illinois gun control laws. She doesn’t want to ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Monday, July 22, 2019By Tom Knighton
    2 days ago
  • Can Arkansas Cities Ban Bearing Arms On Public Streets And Sidewalks?
    Some officials in Arkansas are worried that a new law allowing the open carrying of alcohol in newly created “entertainment districts” around the state doesn’t ban the legal carrying of guns at the same time. The Texarkana Gazette breathlessly reports that the law creates a potentially dangerous mixture of guns and booze, and politicians across the state are speaking out. Texarkana City Attorney George Matteson referred to a state statute that prohibits cities, towns and counties from enacting any ordinance regulating “the ownership, transfer, transportation, carrying, or possession of firearms.” Fayetteville is also in the process of establishing an entertainment district. In an email, Fayetteville Assistant City Attorney Blake Pennington said the city has no options in the matter. “I don’t believe we would have any authority under state law to restrict either the open carry or concealed carry of firearms within an entertainment district. When the restrictions talk about ‘establishments’ that sell or serve alcohol we don’t believe that would extend beyond the selling establishment’s private property to public property outside. The state legislature has been clear that public property such as streets and sidewalks are intended to be free from such regulations,” Pennington said. That makes sense. It’s hard to claim that public streets and sidewalks are part of the bars and restaurants serving and selling alcohol, after all.  Yet Kerri Lauck, the legal counsel for the Arkansas Municipal League, says “no-carry” signs may be able to be legally posted around the newly created entertainment districts. Concealed carry licensees may not bring handguns into publicly owned buildings or facilities. Enhanced carry licensees may unless a sign prohibiting doing so is posted. In the opinion Lauck cited, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge states that these rules apply to buildings, parks or locations owned by cities, municipalities or counties and paid for with public funds. Because the law allows “the person or entity exercising control over” any place to post signs prohibiting carrying weapons, Rutledge concludes that cities, municipalities or counties may post such signs at the entryways of such buildings, parks or locations. The opinion does not specify, but “locations” could include public streets and sidewalks, as well as city-owned properties such as Texarkana’s Front Street Festival Plaza. If any cities in Arkansas want to get sued, I suggest they try banning the lawful carrying of firearms on public streets and sidewalks. Even with an Attorney General’s opinion suggesting that the practice wouldn’t run afoul of the law, I suspect banning concealed carry on public right of ways isn’t going to play well in the courts, or sit well with voters. If you’re going to interpret the law to mean entire blocks of a community can suddenly be declared a “gun-free zone”, then what’s to stop the city council in Little Rock or Fayetteville from posting “no guns allowed” signs at the city limits and turning the whole place into a victim disarmament zone? If it makes city officials around Arkansas feel any better, I don’t think there’s going to be an ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Monday, July 22, 2019By Cam Edwards
    2 days ago
  • Harvard Researcher Right About Reducing Violence, Wrong About Republicans
    Democrats are stuck talking about gun control when they should be promoting and expounding on proven strategies that actually reduce violence, or so says Harvard researcher Thomas Abt in an opinion piece for the Boston Globe. While I disagree with the partisan framing Abt brings to the issue, he’s absolutely right about one thing: the candidates are still failing to focus on what is simultaneously the most serious and most solvable form of such violence: shootings and killings on the streets of our cities. If you listen to any of the Democrats running for office, they’ll tell you we need gun licensing, registration, mandatory background checks, gun bans, red flag laws, one-gun-a-month laws, and more. What they won’t tell you, in fact what they can’t tell you, is how any of those laws would actually prevent criminals from illegally obtaining guns. These laws are all aimed at legal gun owners, and the goal is to reduce the number of legal gun owners in the hopes of some trickle-down effect taking place among criminals as well.  The gun control advocates and anti-gun politicians don’t like guns, so their first (and usually only) instinct is to consider a solution that’s dependent on reducing the supply of firearms. Abt notes that there’s a different way to go about it- reducing the demand for firearms instead. Not among the general population, not among law abiding Americans, but among the small number of young men in a few neighborhoods in any given city who are the drivers of violent crime (I mentioned this recently in a piece about Chicago’s mayor). In most medium to large cities, violent crime clusters among a few hundred individuals and a few dozen micro-locations known as “hot spots.” Less than 1 percent of a city’s population and less than 5 percent of its geography will generate the majority of its lethal or near-lethal encounters. Next, strategies that balance punishment with support work better than either approach in isolation. No city has reduced violence only with law enforcement, or reduced it without law enforcement entirely. In a comprehensive review of over 1,400 anti-crime evaluations, my colleague Christopher Winship and I discovered that the evidence does not favor either “tough” or “soft” approaches; there are numerous examples of both that have worked. In order to be truly effective at stopping these young men from shooting, you need both carrots and sticks.  As David Kennedy, one of the pioneers of the Ceasefire model, said in his book “Don’t Shoot: One Man, a Street Fellowship, and the End of Violence in Inner-City America, the message to these gang members is simple:  We’ll help you if you let us. We’ll stop you if you don’t. When cops and community activists can stand side by side with one another and present that message in a unified front to gang members, it generally causes some of them to listen. When it’s backed up by tough prosecutions, generally at the federal level, of gang members who don’t get the message, a lot more of them listen. ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Saturday, July 20, 2019By Cam Edwards
    3 days ago
  • Mother Of Serial Killer’s Victim Sues Sporting Goods Store Over Straw Purchase
    A South Carolina judge heard arguments on Friday in a case brought by the mother of a man murdered by a serial killer against the sporting goods store that sold several firearms, including the murder weapon, to a man convicted of illegally purchasing the guns for the killer. Cindie Coxie is suing that straw purchaser, Dustan Lawson, as well as Academy Sports, alleging that the store was negligent in selling the firearms to Lawson, who gave the firearms to Todd Kohlhepp.  Kohlhepp is currently serving seven life terms for the murders of seven people in South Carolina between 2003 and 2016.  Two of the seven victims were Johnny Coxie and his wife Meagan McGraw-Coxie. The couple were found buried on Kohlhepp’s 100 acre property shortly after one of his victims, Kala Brown, was found by police, locked in a storage container but still alive, after officers were able to track her last known cell phone signals. There’s no question that Dustan Lawson engaged in straw purchases by buying firearms intended for Kohlhepp, who was prohibited from legally owning firearms because of a rape conviction (and subsequent 14-year prison sentence) in 1987. Lawson pled guilty to 36 federal charges and is currently serving an 87-month prison term. The question is whether or not Academy Sports, and more specifically their employees, should have known that Lawson was buying guns for someone other than himself. Cindy Coxie’s attorney, David Standeffer, told the Greenville (S.C.) News that the store should’ve recognized the straw purchases at the time. The lawsuit claims the company should have had policies in place to flag signs of straw purchases and that employees should have been tipped off by Lawson’s actions, such as repeated purchases of the same or similar weapons, the purchase of multiple weapons in one day, and his use of cash in the sales. “His behavior was the behavior of someone who was up to something,” said David Standeffer, the attorney representing Cindy Coxie. “You just don’t go month after month after month paying cash for expensive firearms.” I’m not the judge or the jury in this case, but I do know plenty of law-abiding, legal gun owners who engage in exactly those behaviors, and they’re not engaging in a straw purchase. By themselves, theres’ nothing particularly noteworthy about buying a two different models of handguns from the same manufacturer, or buying the same model in a different caliber. It’s not out of the ordinary for someone to purchase more than one firearm at a time, nor is there anything particularly troubling about using cash to make a purchase.  And buying 5 firearms over a 10 month period isn’t going to raise eyebrows or red flags either. Attorneys for Academy told the Spartanburg County judge on Friday that Lawson had broken the law in buying the firearms and lying to store employees (and the federal government) about who was really going to own the guns that were sold.  After oral arguments from both sides, the judge took the matter under advisement and said he ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Saturday, July 20, 2019By Cam Edwards
    4 days ago
  • Chicago Mayor Blames Indiana For Her City’s Gang Problem
    Santiago Covarrubias/Sun Times via AP Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says she’s going to start treating violence as a public health crisis in Chicago, claiming that will help the city “dig down into the root causes of the violence”.  The mayor went on to say: “Previously we had a law enforcement first and only strategy and it wasn’t working. It’s not working when you talk about neighborhoods where the unemployment rate is 25% or higher. It’s not working when you think about the fact that in many communities, 90% or more of residents are depending on public assistance and where neighborhoods haven’t been invested in, where there’s no real legitimate economic activity.” It’s absolutely untrue to say that Chicago has had a “law enforcement first and only strategy” in place.  The Cure Violence program, for example, has operated in several Chicago neighborhoods since 2004 and claims to have seen reductions in shootings and homicides of 41% to 73% over the years.  The controversial program deploys former gang members as “violence interrupters” in high-crime neighborhoods.  The idea is that these individuals can talk to current gang members and get them to stop shooting one another without law enforcement’s involvement.  Unfortunately, there’ve been several high profile arrests of Cure Violence leaders over the last few years, including Francisco Sanches, who was actually arrested for running one of the most violent gangs in Chicago while working for the anti-violence program.  So, the mayor could say she’s not happy with the intervention strategies that have been put in place, but it’s just flat out wrong to say there haven’t been any non-law enforcement strategies in Chicago. The mayor talks about the high unemployment and lack of job opportunities as drivers of violent crime, but it seems to me just as likely that it’s the other way around; businesses don’t want to move in to high crime neighborhoods when they could locate in a safer place a few miles or even a few blocks away.  Do you reduce violent crime by bringing in jobs or do you bring in jobs by reducing violent crime? The mayor seems to think that reducing violence is predicated on fixing the broken communities first, telling Now This News: “We have to make sure that we are shoring up these neighborhoods by focusing on economic development, filling the wealth and opportunity gap, eliminating food, pharmacy, and health care deserts and all of those things that we take for granted as being important to a good quality of life. We need to make sure that those opportunities and resources are plentiful all across the city and not just in certain neighborhoods.” I hate to say it, but I think Mayor Lightfoot has it backwards.  Those communities that are plagued by violence can’t start to rebuild until the violence stops, and it’s not going to stop if a Starbucks or a Walgreens moves in to a corner location. Until the relatively few individuals driving the violence in these neighborhoods are dealt with, the violence they commit is going ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Friday, July 19, 2019By Cam Edwards
    4 days ago
  • Head Of Rhode Island State Police Thinks It’s Too Easy To Get a Concealed Carry License
    Pixabay Rhode Island State Police Colonel James Manni says he’s a 2nd Amendment supporter, but also believes it’s too easy in his state for residents to exercise their 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. Speaking with journalist Ed Achorn of the Providence Journal, Manni said he’d like to see changes made to the concealed carry process in the state. “A typical police officer in this state goes through well over 100 hours of training, physical training on a firearm. That’s a lot of training.  There’s no standard of training for someone who gets a concealed carry permit.  It’s really just a standard of qualification.  Punch some holes in a target with a qualification course.” Does that mean Col. Manni thinks every Rhode Island resident seeking to exercise his or her 2nd Amendment right to bear arms should go through 100 hours of training? Honestly, it’s kind of hard to tell. “There’s no scenario-based training, no low-light level training, no storage of firearms training, no, uh, so uh, I think there are holes in the concealed carry permitting system.” So, maybe not 100 hours of training, but apparently Manni does believe that every concealed carry applicant should go through scenario-based training, low-light level training, and other training mandates before obtaining their license to carry. Where to begin with this? First off, these Rhode Islanders aren’t applying for a job with the State Police. They’re applying to exercise their constitutional right (something that shouldn’t even require a license, quite frankly). The idea that gun owners should have to obtain 100 hours of training before bearing arms is ridiculous. What about the cost here? How much does it cost the state to run a state police cadet through all of the various training exercises? Will that same training be provided free of charge to anyone applying for their concealed carry license? Otherwise, it’s gonna get pretty expensive to pay for multiple training courses before you even obtain your license. I’ll take Col. Manni at his word when he says he’s a 2nd Amendment supporter. In his mind, I’m sure he thinks he is. But if his wish list were to become a mandate in Rhode Island, the number of individuals who could exercise their 2nd Amendment rights would plummet dramatically, and that doesn’t show support in my book. Manni’s stance turns the right to bear arms into a privilege, and one that requires not just permission from the State but a hefty bank account as well. Lower and middle income Rhode Islanders would be priced out of their right to keep and bear arms by being forced to pay for dozens of training hours, while criminals continue to pick up a gun through illicit means and carry it on the streets with no training whatsoever. That’s not commonsense, or gunsense, or anything other than nonsense. The post Head Of Rhode Island State Police Thinks It’s Too Easy To Get a Concealed Carry License appeared first on Bearing Arms. ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Friday, July 19, 2019By Cam Edwards
    4 days ago
  • Oregon Gun Control Group Is Aiming For The 2020 Ballot
    After trying and failing in 2018, an Oregon gun control group is hoping to put a so-called “safe storage law” to a vote of the people next year, and they’ve started collecting signatures in order to get on the ballot. State of Safety Action wants every gun owner in the state to keep their firearms locked up when not “in use,” and claim a majority of Oregon residents support the idea. State of Safety Action president Henry Wessinger said the group conducted a statewide poll and found that 65% of registered voters support a safe storage law. “I just completed an online NRA hunting course and it’s exactly the same type of information that they recommend,” Wessinger said. I can think of lots of things that are great recommendations, and yet would be terrible laws. It’s a good idea to eat at least five servings of vegetables a day. It’s a bad idea to charge someone with a crime if they pass on the broccoli and carrots. It’s a good idea to get half an hour of exercise every day. It’s a bad idea to send them to prison if they decide to sit on the couch instead. Besides, this really isn’t about “safe storage” at all. If that’s what this was really about, Henry Wessinger and his pals would be spending their time and money on educational campaigns, not collecting signatures for a new law. This is about making it as hard as possible to defend yourself in your own home with a firearm. Back in 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court in the Heller case struck down Washington, D.C.’s ban on handguns, but it also ruled that the city’s gun storage law was unconstitutional. D.C. required that all firearms be kept locked up, ammunition stored separately, at all times. That made it unlikely, if not impossible, that any D.C. resident who followed the law would be able to use their gun for self-defense in their own home. Defeated by the courts, anti-gun activists went back to the drawing board and came up with a slightly less stringent storage requirement.  Firearms would still have to be locked up at all times, unless the gun was “on your person or under your control.” Legally speaking, “on your person” is pretty easy to define, but what about “under your control?” Is a firearm under your control if it’s on a bathroom counter while you’re in the shower? Is a gun “under your control” if it’s in your bedside table while you’re sleeping? You don’t get to define “under your control.” Police and prosecutors do, and that’s just the way the gun-ban crowd wants it. Make the law as vague and ill-defined as possible, and you can ensnare more legal gun owners. It’s pretty simple, but I’m not convinced it makes anybody safer. It’s also a one-size-fits-all policy that doesn’t recognize the individual circumstances and needs of gun owners. How I safely store my firearms with three children in my home may very well be different than how ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Friday, July 19, 2019By Cam Edwards
    5 days ago
  • Yahoo Retracts Story Of Chris Pratt’s Gadsden Flag Shirt
    AP Photo/Ryan Kang Earlier this week, news broke about actor Chris Pratt supposedly wearing a racist-themed shirt. The image on his t-shirt featured an American flag with a coiled rattlesnake and the words “Don’t Tread On Me” emblazoned upon it. It was actually kind of a cool shirt. However, Yahoo kind of lost their mind over it, desperately trying to link the image to white supremacy. If you go looking for the link I included in this post, however, you won’t find the words “white supremacy” in it. Why? Because the backlash was so severe, in part due to the claims that not just Pratt but Second Amendment supporters were racist, that the website killed all mention of the term. Yahoo Movies UK on Wednesday updated the headline and text of a story about Chris Pratt after backlash over online claims that the “Avengers: Endgame” star wore a “white supremacist” t-shirt. “This article was updated on 17 July with the initial headline, ‘Chris Pratt criticised for ‘white supremacist’ T-shirt’ being amended to ‘Chris Pratt criticised for T-shirt choice.’ References to White Supremacism in this article have been removed,” an update on the story reads. The British division of the news site came under fire for the Tuesday article about Pratt’s decision to wear a shirt featuring a Gadsden flag, or an American flag accompanied by a rattlesnake and the words, “Don’t tread on me.” … L.A. Times columnist Jonah Goldberg weighed in: “Shame on ⁦@Yahoo⁩ for this trash. A handful of dumb twitter comments isn’t a news story you click-baiting parasites. There [sic] nothing white supremacist about that T-shirt. It’s like everyone wants to be stupid and make everything worse.” Goldberg’s comments really hit the nail on the head. However, what didn’t get mentioned is that they managed to insult a huge swath of the American public. Granted, It’s Yahoo Moves UK, so they probably didn’t really give a damn, but still… After infuriating large numbers of Americans, particularly the Tea Party and Second Amendment supporters, they got called on the horrible reporting and the tenuous link –at best–between the Gadsden Flag and anything approaching white supremacy. They pulled it out of their butts. They just knew the flag was racist because everything that’s remotely pro-American is racist in their demented minds. But, I’ll give them credit. They retracted the accusation of racism and white supremacy. What they didn’t do, however, was offer an apology. They called millions of honest, hardworking Americans racist because they too identify with the sentiment found on the Gadsden Flag. Many of us are a coiled rattlesnake warning others not to tread on us. A similar theme can be found on the Navy Jack, one our men and women of all ethnicities serving in the United States Navy wear on a regular basis. There’s nothing racist about that one either. Many of us, the very people who embrace that flag as an important part of not just American history but our modern cultural identity took great offense at ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Friday, July 19, 2019By Tom Knighton
    5 days ago
  • Booker Claims Licensing Saves Lives, Ignores Reality
    Sen. Cory Booker is a presidential candidate, so we shouldn’t actually expect him to speak truth. At all. However, it would be nice if he didn’t completely ignore reality. For example, take this tweet from a couple of days ago. Gun violence is the second-highest cause of death among young people, but it doesn’t need to be this way. We can save lives by implementing commonsense measures like my proposal for gun licensing—because if you need a license to drive a car, you should need one to own a gun. https://t.co/1EGVYrp4SR — Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) July 17, 2019 Well, first, this study has already been debunked. Second, let’s talk about his claim that licensing will somehow save lives. Over at Breitbart, A.W.R. Hawkins offers this thought: He did not mention Illinois requires all gun owners to be licensed, yet Chicago witnessed at least 41 people shot between July 12-14, 2019, 66 were shot over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, and at least 56 were shot during the last weekend in June 2019. Moreover, Booker consistently references gun crime in Newark, New Jersey, in hopes of proving more gun control is needed. He does not mention that New Jersey licenses gun owners. In other words, New Jersey does exactly what Booker claims will save lives, yet the violence continues. The man makes a point. Further, a study by the ATF found that 93 percent of all guns used in crime were obtained illegally. This meshes with a Department of Justice study that found that most criminals obtain their guns on the black market. Further, the DOJ study found that most who don’t get them off the black market obtained them through some other illegal means. So I would hope that Sen. Booker could explain to me just how in the hell licensing will stem the tide of gun violence when it hasn’t so far and when the criminals are buying from within an illegal system that by definition won’t adhere to new gun control laws. I’d love to hear that explanation. I won’t hold my breath, though. Booker isn’t talking about reality. No, he’s talking in the language of a candidate who will say anything to increase his share of the Democratic base at the expense of his opponents. I don’t blame him from trying to carve out a bigger chunk of the pie. I do blame him from completely ignoring reality in the process. Gun licensing don’t do anything except make life more difficult for the law-abiding citizen who is looking to purchase a gun. It won’t stop criminals from buying and selling stolen or other illicitly trained firearms with one another. Some think that’s Booker’s goal, though. They think that he wants to empower the criminals at the expense of the law-abiding citizens. I’m not willing to go that far, but I do think that Booker should take a long look in the mirror and determine whether he can understand why someone might think that. It would require a degree of self-honesty that I don’t ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Friday, July 19, 2019By Tom Knighton
    5 days ago
  • South Park Woman Shoots, Wounds Would-Be Burglar
    Okay, so we’re not talking about that South Park. This particular South Park is a neighborhood in Seattle, and while I’m sure it’s full of humble folks without temptation, it’s also developed a bit of a crime problem. Burglaries and other criminal activities have become so common that Seattle police started increased patrols in the neighborhood earlier this summer. As we all know, however, police can’t be everywhere all the time, and there were no officers around when a 41-year old man allegedly decided to break in to a woman’s home in South Park. He was armed with a gun. Fortunately, she had a gun of her own. A burglary suspect is in critical condition Thursday after a homeowner shot him in the shoulder from the roof of her house in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood, police said. The shooting happened before 1 a.m. Thursday in the 600 block of Riverside Drive. The homeowner called 911, reporting she had shot an armed man as he tried to break into her home. Police found the 41-year-old suspect behind the home with a gunshot wound in his shoulder, officials said. They also found a handgun beside him. Investigators believe he opened fire at he house at some point during the burglary. Two other suspects were caught fleeing the scene when police arrived, and while they haven’t yet been charged with burglary, police say those charges could soon be filed. Authorities also say the home had been burglarized just a few days earlier when the homeowner was away, but so far there’s no word on whether or not the three individuals arrested are suspects in that previous case. What is crystal clear, however is the fact that this homeowner would have been an easy target for at least one armed criminal had she not been able to protect and defend herself with a firearm. Increased police patrols didn’t stop the would-be intruder. Washington State’s recently enacted gun control referendum I-1639 didn’t stop the armed criminal from obtaining a gun, or from trying to break into a woman’s home. It took an armed citizen to do that. As anti-gun activists in the Seattle area continue to try and gut the 2nd Amendment rights of residents, local gun owners need to spread the word about self-defense stories like this one. After all, if the opponents of the right to keep and bear arms had their way, only one person in this attempted break-in would have been armed, and it wouldn’t have been the woman protecting herself.     The post South Park Woman Shoots, Wounds Would-Be Burglar appeared first on Bearing Arms. ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Friday, July 19, 2019By Cam Edwards
    5 days ago
  • Dozens Killed In Japanese Arson Fire, Proving Guns Don’t Cause Mass Murder
    “Mass murders just don’t happen in other countries,” they started saying, then Christchurch happened. At that point, the tune changed to them claiming that mass murders are just a whole lot more common in the United States. The reason, they claim, is our lax gun laws. After all, it’s far easier to get a gun in California, New York, or New Jersey than it is to get one in Paris or London. Anti-gun activists claim that’s why mass killings are so much more common here. However, I’ve long argued that guns aren’t required for mass murderers to commit their atrocities. For example, a 25-year old man in Toronto killed ten people with a van. Unfortunately, it seems no one counted that act. I wonder if they’ll count this one, then. A man screaming “You die!” burst into an animation studio in Kyoto, doused it with a flammable liquid and set it on fire Thursday, killing 33 people in an attack that shocked the country and brought an outpouring of grief from anime fans. Thirty-six others were injured, some of them critically, in a blaze that sent people scrambling up the stairs toward the roof in a desperate — and futile — attempt to escape what proved to be Japan’s deadliest fire in nearly two decades. Others emerged bleeding, blackened and barefoot. The suspect, identified only a 41-year-old man who did not work for the studio, was injured and taken to a hospital. Police gave no details on the motive, but a witness told Japanese TV that the attacker angrily complained that something of his had been stolen, possibly by the company. As of this writing, 33 people are dead. By the time you read this, more may have joined them. At least 36 others injured. My thoughts and yes, my prayers truly are with the families impacted by this horrible tragedy. What happened is absolutely horrific. It also proves that even if you have almost no civilian ownership of firearms, maniacs can still find ways to kill dozens of people and injure dozens more. What can Japan do to address this? Universal background checks on flammable liquids and matches? I think we all know that’s not likely to happen. So what then? One would hope that people would come to understand that maniacs exist in every culture, particularly in the developed world. They’re sitting there in the edge, waiting for some spark to ignite their inner rage. If no one provides it, they’ll figure out a spark of their own. There is nothing you can do to stop this kind of mass slaughter. The sooner you understand it, the better off everyone will be. Do you know what might have changed the outcome, though? A couple of modern-day Samurai armed with the sword of today–a handgun–and the will to act in defense of their fellow men and women. Just one of them might have been enough to put this maniac down for good before he could do anything more than ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Friday, July 19, 2019By Tom Knighton
    5 days ago