Gun Related News Stories
Maryland Gun Application Process Goes Digital January First - December 27, 2016
Maryland State Police are promising more efficiency when it comes to the process people must go through to buy guns.
The gun application process is going digital, a new requirement borne out of Maryland's sweeping gun legislation it passed in 2013.
The state police website goes live Sunday. The website is a portal where prospective gun buyers will have to apply online.
Currently, those who have a handgun qualification license, and want to buy a regulated firearm have to submit a handwritten application to a gun dealer or state police, which then send it to the state police licensing division.
Starting in 2017, it's all digital and meant to improve customer service, state police said.
"It helps everybody in the process, particularly the buyer and the dealer, the firearms dealer, because there's no paperwork. There's no problem with maybe, illegible handwriting, and you can submit the application and pay that $10 application fee online," said Elena Russo, with Maryland State Police.
California Gun Shop Regulation Will Have Its Day In Court - December 27, 2016
A federal appeals court granted county officials a new hearing Tuesday on whether local governments in California can restrict the location of gun shops, setting aside a ruling that said such regulations may violate the right to bear arms.
By a majority vote of its 27 judges, the Court of Appeals in San Francisco ordered a rehearing in a case challenging an ordinance passed by Alameda County supervisors in 1998. The ordinance prohibits new gun stores in unincorporated areas within 500 feet of a residential neighborhood, a school, a day care center, a liquor store or another gun shop.
An appeals court panel voted 2-1 in May to reinstate a suit by gun shop applicants, which a federal judge had dismissed. The panel majority said the Constitution protects the right to buy and sell firearms as well as the right to own them, and that the county, to justify the restrictions, must at least provide evidence that gun stores are 'a magnet for crime.'
Tuesday's order referred the case to an 11 judge panel, consisting of Chief Judge Sidney Thomas and 10 randomly selected judges, for a hearing to be scheduled later.
New Jersey Man Sues After Spending 3 Years In Jail Over BB Gun - December 26, 2016
A Middlesex County man cleared of a conviction that landed him in prison for three years over a BB gun is suing the state for damages, which could pay out upwards of $150,000.
The wrongful conviction lawsuit was filed on Dec. 14 in Middlesex County Superior Court after the state appellate court ruled the case against 30 year old hinged on warrantless search.
Jason Patterson's suit stems from a traffic stop in Metuchen in 2008, when the then 22-year-old who had abruptly stopped at a yellow light and ended up "a little past the intersection," the court papers say.
Police ran Patterson's plates and pulled him over on Dec. 1 for driving his Jeep, which had a faulty driver's side window, with a suspended license from an unpaid municipal fine, records show.
According to court papers, Patterson told the officer about the broken window and that one of them would have to open the door. Once the officer did, he said he spotted a "few flakes" of what he thought was marijuana and a shoelace tied in a way that looked like it had been used to shoot up. Police said they saw another syringe when Patterson got out of the SUV.
Patterson was arrested and admitted there were additional syringes and drugs in the Jeep, according to records. The officers then searched the entire Jeep finding seven syringes and 12 folds of heroin, as well as a BB-gun in the rear cargo area, tucked below a mat where the spare tire was stored.
Two years later, Patterson was convicted on a weapons charge and sentenced to three years in prison, with another three years of probation, state records show. Just before the trial, the state dismissed all of the drug charges.
Delaware Judge Upholds Ban On Non-Hunting Firearms In State Parks And Forests - December 23, 2016
A Delaware judge has sided with state environmental officials in a lawsuit challenging a ban on non-hunting firearms in state parks and forests.
Members of the Bridgeville Rifle & Pistol Club and the Delaware State Sportsmen's Association who have concealed carry permits challenged the ban in a Chancery Court lawsuit last year, saying it violates their constitutional right to carry firearms.
The lawsuit was refiled in Superior Court earlier this year after the Chancery Court dismissed it for lack of jurisdiction.
On Friday, a Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the state, saying the regulations do not violate Delaware's Constitution.
"The regulations do not run afoul of the Delaware Constitution, defendants were not preempted by the General Assembly in enacting the regulations, and defendants did not exceed the scope of the authority granted to them by statute in promulgating the regulations" wrote Judge T. Henley Graves.
Ohio Governor Kasich Signs Bill Expanding Concealed Carry - December 19, 2016
Governor John Kasich today signed bills expanding where Ohioans may carry hidden handguns along with those prohibiting local governments from raising the minimum wage or enacting more restrictive rules than the state for pet stores.
Senate Bill 199 would lift the state's current ban on carrying concealed firearms in day-care centers, airport terminals, school safety zones, and certain government buildings and would give public colleges and universities the authority to allow weapons on campus.
Private businesses, including day-care centers, could continue to post themselves off limits, and guns would still be forbidden in courthouses, police stations, and the Statehouse.
The law, which will take effect in 90 days, would also allow those with concealed carry permits to legally store their weapons in their cars while parked in private business lots.
Pennsylvania Senator To Reintroduce Background Check Bill In 2017 - December 16, 2016
U.S. Senator Pat Toomey has released the following statement in honor and remembrance of the 26 children and school employees who were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School four years ago today:
"Four years ago, twenty young children and six school employees were shot and killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. It was a terrible day for our country, and meeting some of the families of the victims was one of the most moving moments in my Senate career. These senseless killings also inspired me to work across the aisle on common sense gun safety legislation that upholds the Second Amendment while also making it harder for criminals and the dangerously mentally ill to purchase a firearm. I remain committed to this cause and look forward to working with Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) again next Congress on our background check proposal."
9th Circuit Appeals Court Reinstates California 10 Day Waiting Period - December 14, 2016
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion on Wednesday to uphold a California law that requires a full 10-day 'cooling off' period for all lawful purchases of firearms, even for purchasers who have previously bought guns and passed background checks in less than 10 days.
U.S. District Court Judge Anthony Ishi struck down a portion of the law in 2014 after it was challenged by a pair of California residents and two non-profit Second Amendment advocacy groups, the Calguns Foundation, Inc. and the Second Amendment Foundation, Inc. In his ruling, Judge Ishi determined the '10-day waiting periods impermissibly violate the Second Amendment' for gun purchasers who previously passed background checks or had permits to carrying concealed weapons.
At the heart of the plaintiffs' challenge to the law is the claim that they have a right to possession of the firearm as soon as the required background check is completed. In other words, they are essentially saying there is no need to wait 10-days to take possession of the gun if the background check is completed beforehand.
The State of California appealed the ruling and a three-judge panel from the Ninth Circuit heard oral argument on the matter earlier this year. Nearly ten months later, the Ninth Circuit handed down its opinion on Wednesday, overturning Judge Ishi's ruling and reinstating the 10-day 'cooling off' period for all gun purchasers in the state.
Colorado School District Votes To Allow Teachers To Carry - December 14, 2016
The Hanover District 28 school board voted 3-2 to allow teachers and staff to conceal carry on campus on Wednesday night.
Because the measure passed, teachers and staff can now apply to have a concealed carry handgun in the classroom on a volunteer only basis.
This is the first school in eastern El Paso County to allow their staff to carry guns.
One board member was swayed in the position of approving this resolution on the spot.
Fear of another school shooting similar to Columbine or Sandy Hook is what sparked this vote, along with a lag in response times from the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, which on average, now sits at 35 minutes for a priority call.
Emotions ran high on Wednesday night from both school board members and parents. Some parents News5 spoke with say this change was necessary while others still believe guns do not belong in schools.
"It's a matter of let's be proactive, let's look at what our society has become, school shootings have become a norm, we hear about these school shootings everyday," Terry Siewiyumptewa, a Hanover parent said.
Indiana Lawmakers Propose Constitutional Carry - November 29, 2016
Despite gun violence across the country, some Indiana lawmakers are introducing a bill next year that would allow Hoosiers to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.
"The state has taken that right, and we're forcing innocent people to jump through hoops and pay a fee to the state to exercise their Constitutional right," said State Rep. Jim Lucas. "To me that's immoral and wrong."
Currently, It can cost gun owners around $150 to purchase a conceal permit. According to Indiana State Police, the state has more than 750,000 active handgun licenses.
"You basically go online," said John Pemberton. "Do the background check. You go to a local facility like Good Will, one of those places. Get your finger prints done digitally, and I think you pay a local fee to whatever be through the county or city police wherever you live at. That's essentially it, so basically you're doing a background check."
Pemberton, manager and class instructor at Kodiak Gun Range in South Bend, says the law would allow more honest people to carry guns without the added expenses. But he says any gun owner needs proper training.
Defense Department To Allow Private Firearms On Base - November 22, 2016
The Defense Department has released guidelines that effectively allows troops to carry privately owned and concealed firearms on military bases like Fort Hood, the scene of mass shootings in 2009 and 2014. The directive comes out in spite of public objections by Gen. Mark Milley, the Army Chief of Staff, who commanded Fort Hood during the 2014 killings.
"Arming and the Use of Force," which came into effect on November 18, states Department of Defense firearms policies for military personnel during official duties. But, the DOD document also lays out the procedures that will allow Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines to carry privately-owned weapons on military bases.
Georgia Supreme Court Rules Against Gun-Rights Group - October 31, 2016
A gun rights group has lost its attempt to make it legal to carry a firearm on school property in Georgia.
In a unanimous ruling Monday, the state Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit the group GeorgiaCarry.Org Inc. brought against Georgia's Code Revision Commission and its members, including Gov. Nathan Deal.
The case stemmed from the 2014 General Assembly session, when lawmakers passed two gun-related bills and Deal signed them into law.
The first measure legalized carrying a firearm in a "school safety zone," defined as any building owned or leased by a school, college or university. But the second bill limited guns on school campuses to people picking up or dropping off a student.
The Code Revision Commission determined that the two bills were in conflict. Because the governor signed the second bill one day later than the first, the commission declared that only the more restrictive gun bill would become state law.
Bloomberg Sponsored Gun Control and the Californication of Nevada - October 18, 2016
A gun control initiative that would expand background checks to all private gun sales in Nevada also portends something else: The 'Californication of Nevada.'
After all, the initiative is not Nevadan in its funding, the 'bulk' of which comes from Michael Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety. Nor is the initiative Nevadan in its conception. Rather, the Los Angles Times posits Nevada as a state chosen by external forces to be "the latest testing site for Michael R. Bloomberg's attempt to pass a law requiring background checks for gun sales between private parties, including those conducted over the Internet."
Washington state went Bloomberg's way in 2014, passing a comprehensive background checks initiative. Yet there have been two mass shootings and a high profile shooting in Washington state this year alone. On September 23, five innocent lives were gunned down in Cascades Mall in Burlington. On July 30, three innocents were shot and killed at a house party just north of Seattle. In late February, the AP reported a gunman killed four people then himself in Belfair, Washington.
The Washington story is the same story we saw in Colorado, which passed comprehensive background checks in 2013. Yet on Halloween day 2015, a gunman opened fire in the streets of Colorado Springs, killing three before being killed by police. CBS News reported that the Halloween gunman acquired all his guns legally. And just over a month later, Robert Lewis Dear opened fire outside a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood, killing three including a police officer. Comprehensive background checks failed to stop either of these high-profile shootings.
Arizona Attorney General Calls Concealed Carry On Private School Grounds Legal - October 1, 2016
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has decided people can carry concealed guns on private school campuses.
"State and federal law do not prohibit an individual that holds an Arizona Concealed Carry Weapons Permit from carrying a concealed handgun on private school grounds in Arizona," said in an opinion he wrote in response to questions he said he received about the issue.
The opinion notes, "Under Arizona law, a person commits 'misconduct involving weapons' by knowingly 'possessing a deadly weapon on school grounds.'"
However, the state recognizes that individuals with a state issued license already are allowed by law to carry concealed weapons.
The opinion suggests that Arizona law has technically always allowed this, but private school officials had not heard of the opinion, which was issued last month.
New Hampshire Senate Fails To Override Veto On Constitutional Carry - September 30, 2016
Gun owners in New Hampshire will still need a permit to carry concealed weapons after the state Senate failed to override Gov. Maggie Hassan's veto of a bill that would have removed the licensing requirement.
New Hampshire Public Radio reports Thursday's veto attempt fell short by three votes.
Sen. Jeb Bradley, the Republican majority leader, says he's disappointed in the failed override. He says the bill was an important step in protecting gun owners' constitutional rights.
DC To End Stun Gun Ban After Constitutional Challenge - September 27, 2016
The District government will not seek to enforce the city's stun-gun ban against three residents who challenged the law, and court records show city lawmakers are preparing legislation to lift the long standing prohibition.
In a two page order filed late Monday, the District agreed not to enforce a blanket city prohibition against importing, purchasing, possessing or using Taser-style weapons 'for lawful self-defense in their residences.' The suspension affects only three plaintiffs, a conservative blogger, a nurse and an armed robbery victim, and will halt litigation for 90 days.
The plaintiffs, attorney, George L. Lyon Jr., called the order 'a first step to greater Second Amendment rights for D.C. residents.' He added, 'I think they have effectively conceded that the ban is unconstitutional. They did not contest my showing that my clients were likely to prevail on the merits.'
Cops In Southern California Have Lost 329 Firearms - September 26, 2016
Law enforcement agencies in Southern California have lost or had stolen a total of 329 firearms, including AR-15 and M16 assault rifles, shotguns, and several handguns, over the past five years, according to a new report.
The 329 firearms that are unaccounted for among 134 state and local law enforcement agencies, located in Southern California as far north as Kern County, likely represent only a small portion of firearms the agencies have actually misplaced or had stolen over the span of the five years analyzed in an investigation conducted by the Orange County Register.
Law enforcement agencies in the US are not required by federal law to track missing firearms, nor are there any state laws that demand the agencies accurately account for guns in their possession, the Register reported.
Furthermore, both on and off-duty law enforcement officers in California are not held to the same standard as other citizens regarding how firearms must be stored or carried when not in use. The Register also found that none of the agencies it contacted for information on missing guns included details in its internal reports of any officer reprimands that occurred following such mishaps.
Adam Webber of HK Parts Convicted - September 23, 2016
It all started at a local Dallas pawnshop more than a decade ago. On the shelf was an HK53, a very short 5.56 rifle. Had it been registered with the NFA, this story may end here. The ATF seized the SBR in June of 2005. Tracking down the source of the rifle, the ATF eventually ended up on the doorsteps of Adam and Benjamin Webber.
As is often the case with law enforcement investigations, officers will start unraveling one case that turns into another. Just a couple months after that first pawn shop seizure in June, the ATF yolked up several machine guns and suppressors from the Webbers, alleging that they were purchased for resale. They took custody of multiple Fleming Hk auto sears, a number of automatic MAC-10's, and some suppressors and magazines. Eventually in 2007 the Department of Justice came to a civil settlement with the them. Per the conditions of the settlement, Adam and Benjamin would be allowed to consign the Fleming sears to a third party FFL for sale, and would renounce the rights to all other assets seized. Additionally they agreed to never apply for or act as an FFL, or even be whatâ€™s called a 'Responsible Party' for an FFL. The stipulated settlement did specifically state that the manufacture and sale of gun parts and components was authorized.
DC Concealed Carry Law In Front Of Appeals Court Today - September 20, 2016
It was just over eight years ago that the U.S. Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller ruled that D.C.'s outright ban on handgun ownership was unconstitutional, and declared for the first time that the Second Amendment protects an individual right, rather than a collective one, to keep and bear arms.
While the ruling forced D.C. to allow residents to purchase and keep handguns, it didn't really go very far by way of specifying what types of regulations, registration, ballistics tests, mandatory training classes, were permissible. Instead, the court's majority simply left it at this: "Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited."
That lack of clarity has spawned multiple lawsuits over D.C.'s handgun regulations. Some of the regulations, like mandatory registration, have been upheld. Others, like a one gun a month limit, have not.
But one significant post-Heller issue has yet to be settled: How far can cities like D.C. go in restricting and regulating who gets to carry a handgun outside of the home?
That's the question a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will face today. At stake is the city's restrictive two-year-old law that allows residents to apply for permits to carry concealed handguns in public â€” but sets a very high bar for what it takes to actually be eligible for one of the permits.
Breaking Missouri Becomes 11th Constitutional Carry State - September 15, 2016
Late on Wednesday night Sept 15th, the Missouri legislature voted to overturn Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of bill SB656 and allow Missourians to carry concealed weapons without a permit. This is known as "Constitutional carry." Missouri is now the 11th state to have a Constitutional carry law on the books.
Washington AG Proposes Assault Weapon Ban - September 7, 2016
Spurred by the recent killings of three teenagers in Mukilteo, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson will propose legislation next year to ban the sale of military style assault weapons and high capacity magazines in Washington.
Ferguson announced his proposal Wednesday, flanked by the parents of a fourth Mukilteo victim, who was seriously injured, as well as dozens of Democratic legislators and officials.
The legislation, which has not yet been written, would ban military style semi automatic weapons like the AR-15 rifle that police say was used by the 19 year old alleged gunman in Mukilteo as well any magazine that holds more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
"Military style weapons are designed for killing people," Ferguson said. "These weapons have no place in civilian use."