Gun Related News Stories
Obama Administration Purged 500,000 Fugitives From NICS System - March 16, 2018
During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this week on Capitol Hill, FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich revealed the Obama Justice Department purged more than 500,000 fugitives from the federal gun background check system.
"It's my understanding that under federal law fugitives cannot legal purchase or possess guns. We heard from local law enforcement that the Justice Department has issued a memo that forced the FBI NICS background check data base to drop more than 500,000 names of fugitives with outstanding arrest warrants because it was uncertain whether those fugitives fled across state lines. Mr. Bowdich can you describe why this determination was made by the Justice Department?" Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein asked.
"That was a decision that was made under the previous administration. It was the Department of Justice's Legal Counsel that reviewed the law and believed that it needed to be interpreted so that if someone was a fugitive in a state, there had to be indications they had cross state lines. Otherwise they were not known to be a fugitive under the law in the way it was interpreted," Bowdich responded.
School Shootings Not A Growing Epidemic - March 15, 2018
The Parkland shooting last month has energized student activists, who are angry and frustrated over gun violence. But it's also contributed to the impression that school shootings are a growing epidemic in America.
In truth, they're not.
"Schools are safer today than they had been in previous decades," says James Alan Fox, a professor of criminology at Northeastern University who has studied the phenomenon of mass murder since the 1980s.
Fox and doctoral student Emma Fridel crunched the numbers, and the results should come as a relief to parents.
First, while multiple-victim shootings in general are on the rise, that's not the case in schools. There's an average of about one a year; in a country with more than 100,000 schools.
Justice Department Moves To Classify Ban Bump Stocks As Machine Guns - March 10, 2018
The U.S. Department of Justice formally submitted a regulation on Saturday to ban "bump stocks," a modification to high-capacity rifles that lets them fire like an automatic weapon.
President Donald Trump signed a memorandum in February directing the department to make the regulatory change, which must now be approved by the Office of Management and Budget before it is published and subject to a commentary period.
The move does not require congressional approval, allowing the administration to side step what could have been insurmountable pressure from pro-gun groups such as the National Rifle Association that have worked to erode changes in firearm laws in the wake of mass shootings in Florida and Nevada.
Liberal Democrats Ready To Roll Out Bill That Would Outlaw ALL Semi Auto Firearms - February 26, 2018
The Democrats are at it again, getting ready to roll out another so-called 'assault' weapon ban. Only problem is the released wording could very well outlaw all semi-auto rifles and handguns.
"The bill prohibits the 'sale, transfer, production, and importation' of semi-automatic rifles and pistols that can hold a detachable magazine, as well as semi-automatic rifles with a magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds. Additionally, the legislation bans the sale, transfer, production, and importation of semi-automatic shotguns with features such as a pistol grip or detachable stock, and ammunition feeding devices that can hold more than 10 rounds."
Read that quote over and over until it sinks in, this is what they really want, to outlaw 90% of modern firearms
Trump Sends Letter To AG Recommending Banning Bump Stocks - February 20, 2018
President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he has recommended that "bump stocks," or devices used to make semi-automatic weapons capable of firing hundreds of rounds per minute, be banned.
Trump said he has signed a memorandum recommending that Attorney General Jeff Sessions declare that bump stocks are illegal.
The gunman who killed 58 people and wounded hundreds of others in Las Vegas in October had at least 12 rifles fitted with bump stocks, authorities have said.
Semi-automatic weapons require a shooter to pull the trigger each time to fire a round.
But when those weapons are outfitted with a bump stock, the gun's recoil energy is used to "bump" the trigger into the shooter's finger, making it fire much faster.
Federal Lawsuit Filed Against New Jersey Over Carry Restrictions - February 10, 2018
A Wall man, a statewide association of gun clubs and the National Rifle Association are taking on New Jersey's gun laws, asking a federal court to throw out the state's restrictions on carrying handguns in a case they hope will reach the U.S. Supreme Court.
Thomas R. Rogers, described as a Wall businessman who services ATM machines in high crime areas, and the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs Inc. filed a federal lawsuit Monday seeking to have what they said were New Jersey's "draconian" gun restrictions declared unconstitutional.
The lawsuit, supported by the NRA, asserts that New Jersey's restrictions on carrying guns violate the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
New Jersey's law limits the right to carry firearms outside the home to those individuals who can show they have a "justifiable need" to do so, according to the lawsuit.
In order to do that, the individual "must establish specific or serious threats or previous attacks which put him in special and unavoidable danger to obtain a permit from the state to carry a firearm in public," the suit says.
The effect is "to make it wholly illegal for typical law-abiding citizens to carry handguns in public for by definition, these ordinary citizens cannot show that they face a serious or specific, unavoidable threat that poses a special danger to their safety," the suit said.
Weatherby Moving Its Operations From California To Wyoming - January 23, 2018
Firearms manufacturer Weatherby Inc. is relocating its manufacturing operations and corporate headquarters from California to Wyoming, marking another catch by Wyoming of a company abandoning a state that isn't as gun friendly.
Weatherby's move to Sheridan is expected to create 70 to 90 jobs and more than $5 million in annual payroll over the next five years.
Company and state officials, including Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead, announced the move Tuesday at a gun industry trade show in Las Vegas.
"We wanted a place where we could retain a great workforce, and where our employees could live an outdoor lifestyle," Adam Weatherby, chief executive officer of the company, said in a statement. "We wanted to move to a state where we can grow into our brand. Wyoming means new opportunities. We are not interested in maintaining; we are growing."
Virginia Senate Passes Bill Allowing Guns In Churches - January 23, 2018
The Virginia Senate has passed legislation aimed at allowing guns in church in the wake of a deadly church shooting in Texas.
The Republican controlled chamber voted along party lines Tuesday to approve the measure, which would repeal a state law prohibiting weapons in a place of worship during a religious service.
A state Attorney General's opinion from 2011 says current law already allows Virginians to carry guns in churches, subject to a church's permission. But GOP Sen. Ben Chafin, the bill's sponsor, said the legislature needed to clarify and cement the right to carry a gun in church into law if a church allows it.
Federal Appeals Court Uphold Interstate Handgun Purchase Ban - January 23, 2018
A three judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit last week ruled the federal law prohibiting handgun sales to out of state residents is in the public interest.
The legal challenge came from a couple from Washington, D.C. who tried to buy handguns from a federally licensed firearms dealer in Texas but could not due to federal law adopted in the 1960s.
Together with a Texas FFL holder, the couple joined with gun rights advocates in taking the government on, arguing that since the advent of the National Instant Check System it makes no sense to perpetuate a ban on interstate transfers of handguns. The court disagreed with that concept, holding that handguns often have additional regulatory pitfalls in many states, and that gun dealers can't be expected to be familiar with those in distant areas.
"There are more than 123,000 FFLs nationwide," wrote Circuit Judge Priscilla Owen for the majority. "It is unrealistic to expect that each of them can become and remain knowledgeable about the handgun laws of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, and the local laws within the 50 states."
Virginia Senate Committee Kill Most 2018 Anti-Gun Legislation - January 15, 2018
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) A Virginia state Senate panel has defeated a Democratic push for stricter gun laws.
A Republican-led panel voted Monday to block legislation that would allow cities and counties to ban firearms at certain public events. The bill came in response to a violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville last summer where several participants were heavily armed. Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe enacted similar rules on a temporary basis last November.
The panel also voted down a bill to expand mandatory background checks on gun buyers. The vote comes two days after newly sworn in Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, pushed for universal background checks during his inaugural address.
Chris Christie Signs Bumpfire Stock Ban before Leaving Office - January 15, 2018
With just a day left of his tenure, Gov. Chris Christie announced Monday that he has signed 109 new bills into law, including one that places additional restrictions on gun ownership.
Christie signed legislation sponsored by Democratic Sens. Raymond Lesniak and Richard Codey and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg to ban the sale and possession of "bump stocks" and "trigger cranks," accessories that dramatically increase the rate of fire for rifles, effectively converting guns into fully automatic weapons.
"These are simple, easy-to-use devices that increase the firepower and killing power of firearms," said Lesniak, a prime sponsor of the bill. "The Las Vegas gunman used one and the consequences were tragic. The rapid and indiscriminate rate of shooting can be deadly. There is no legitimate need for these devices."
PA Governor Gets Heat Over Disaster Declaration The Limits Gun Rights - January 13, 2018
Pennsylvania Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf is getting heat over the prospect that an emergency declaration on the state’s opioid epidemic may target firearms as a side effect.
Wolf signed a sweeping 90-day disaster declaration on Wednesday characterizing the state's heroin and opioid problem a public health emergency, saying he was using "every tool at my disposal to get those suffering from substance use disorders into treatment, save more lives, and improve response coordination."
However, both gun rights lawyers in the Commonwealth and Republican lawmakers soon pointed out that state law provides a wide range of firearms restrictions during a declared emergency including carry bans in certain public areas and the prospect of gun confiscation.
"There is no reason why addressing this crisis should come at the expense of our Second Amendment rights," said state Sen. Scott Wagner, R-York, who is mounting a campaign to challenge Wolf for his job in November. "The sloppiness of this declaration is another example of the incompetence of this administration, and calls into question whether this was a good faith effort from the Governor to help those suffering from addiction or just another thoughtless political ploy to silence the critics who've been saying hasn't done nearly enough on the issue."
Kimber To Open New Plant In Alabama Over Strict New York Gun Laws - January 12, 2018
Alabamians are celebrating and New Yorkers are left scratching their heads. No, it's not about the BCS championship game where the Crimson Tide pulled out an overtime win against Georgia. The most recent victory for the Yellowhammer state was luring Kimber Manufacturing, Inc., to build a $38-million facility in Troy instead of expanding production at its location in Yonkers, New York.
That's right. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced in her State of the State address that Kimber, maker of handguns and bolt-action rifles, would be putting a little drawl, y'all, into their products. Kimber’s going to build a $38 million automated design, engineering and manufacturing facility that will employ 366 people. The doors will open and customers can expect Troy, Alabama markings on their guns in 2019.
"Kimber's investment in Troy will create a significant number of high-paying design engineering and manufacturing jobs, and we are committed to helping the company find long-lasting success in Alabama," Gov. Ivey said.
Delaware Supreme Court Strikes Down Restrictions On Guns In State Parks And Forests - December 7, 2017
From Thursday's Bridgeville Rifle & Pistol Club v. Small, a decision applying the Delaware Constitution's right to bear arms:
We are asked whether unelected officials from the State's parks and forest departments, whose power is expressly limited, can ban (except for a narrow exception for hunting) the possession of guns in state parks and forests in contravention of Delawareans' rights under the State's constitution. Clearly they cannot. They lack such authority because they may not pass unconstitutional laws, and the regulations completely eviscerate a core right to keep and bear arms for defense of self and family outside the home - a right this Court has already recognized. As such, the regulations are unconstitutional on their face.
Article I, Section 20 of the Delaware Constitution ... provides: "A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and State, and for hunting and recreational use." Although federal courts are still grappling with whether there exists a Second Amendment right to carry a firearm outside the home, our Court settled the issue under our own constitution in our unanimous, en banc opinion in Doe v. Wilmington Housing Authority, by holding that, "[o]n its face, the Delaware provision is intentionally broader than the Second Amendment and protects the right to bear arms outside the home, including for hunting and recreation." We stated that, though not unlimited, Section 20 protects a core right of "defense of self and family in addition to the home" (as all parties here concede).
House Judiciary Committee Votes To Move National Reciprocity To Floor - November 29, 2017
A key House panel passed legislation Wednesday to expand the rights of concealed carry permit holder as part of the first congressional action on gun legislation since this fall's mass shootings.
The House Judiciary Committee voted 19-11 in favor of the 'Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act' Wednesday, after rejecting numerous attempts by Democrats to amend the bill. The members also approved a less controversial bill 17-6 to boost authorities' compliance with the federal background check system.
Michigan Senate OKs Legislation that Allows Concealed Weapons in Gun-Free Zones - November 10, 2017
The Michigan state Senate on Wednesday approved a bill that allows licensed gun owners to carry in places that do not allow weapons.
With eight extra hours of training, people with concealed weapons permits would be allowed to carry in churches, schools, stadiums, day cares, concert halls, bars, hospitals, and other places that under current law are designated gun free.
The series of bills were sent to the state House for consideration. While Republicans control both chambers, passage of the legislation is not certain as Republican Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed a similar plan in 2012.
The legislation would give privately-owned businesses the right to remain gun free, however. And current law still allows school districts to have a say over whether guns would be allowed in schools.
Ohio House Passes Duty To Inform Repeal Bill - October 24, 2017
With bipartisan support, the Ohio House on Tuesday voted to ease the penalties for drivers with concealed-carry permits who fail to promptly tell a police officer of the presence of a gun in the vehicle when pulled over.
"Ohio’' current concealed carry notification law is ambiguous, arbitrarily enforced, and carries the most draconian penalties in the nation, which harms otherwise law-abiding citizens," said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Scott Wiggam (R., Wooster).
House Bill 142 now goes to the Senate. It is opposed by the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police and the Ohio Chiefs of Police Association. The Buckeye Sheriffs Association has taken a neutral stance.
Gun rights advocates, however, are divided with some angry that lawmakers backed away from the original intent of the bill to do away with a driver’s duty to inform the officer altogether.
Rep. Nino Vitale (R., Urbana) planned to offer an amendment on the floor to revert back to the original bill's language, but House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R., Clarksville) called for a vote before he could.
"There is no other law in the state of Ohio that requires us to notify if we're giving a speech, if we’re going to church," Mr. Vitale said after session. "It's a burden on the best citizens of Ohio. Concealed carry holders are the absolutely most law abiding.
Gun Violence Researchers Discover Background Check Laws Having Little Effect - October 17, 2017
Strict gun laws passed in two states to require background checks for every firearm sale had virtually no effect, a new study has found.
Gun violence experts from the Center for Gun Policy and Research and the Violence Prevention Research Program conducted a study in Washington state, Colorado and Delaware to analyze whether state laws requiring more background checks actually resulted in more checks.
The results, published in medical journal Injury Prevention, suggest the laws had little impact.
Delaware was the only state that saw apparent results, with an increase ranging from 22 to 34 percent based on the type of firearm. But according to the study, "no overall changes were observed in Washington and Colorado."
The study said data "external to the study" suggested Washington saw a "modest, but consistent" increase in background checks for private party sales, and Colorado saw a similar increase in checks for non-gun show sales.
"These aren’t the results I hoped to see. I hoped to see an effect. But it's much more important to see what's actually happened," Garen Wintemute, one of the study’s authors, told The Guardian.
FBI Reports Over Four Times More People Stabbed to Death Than Killed with Rifles of Any Kind - October 16, 2017
The FBI Uniform Crime Report (UCR) for 2016 shows more than four times as many people were stabbed to death than were killed with rifles of any kind. And because the category of rifles covers every type of rifle, this means there would be an even greater divide between the number of people stabbed to death versus those shot to death with an AR-15 or similar rifle.
According to FBI: UCR Table 12, there were approximately 374 people shot and killed with rifles of any kind. There were 1,604 people killed with "knives or cutting instruments."
Table 12 also shows that more people were killed via the use of "hands, fists, feet, etc.," than were killed by rifles of any kind. In fact, the tally shows that the death numbers were not even close. While approximately 374 people were shot and killed with rifles, roughly 656 people were beaten to death with "hands, fists, feet, etc."
9th Circuit Court Rules There Is No Right To Sell Firearms - October 11, 2017
Does the Second Amendment protect an individual right to sell firearms to the public? No, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday in Teixeira v. County of Alameda, a landmark decision affirming the government's constitutional authority to strictly regulate gun shops. The 9 to 2 ruling is a victory for gun safety advocates who feared judicial aggrandizement of the right to bear arms could invalidate myriad laws governing firearm commerce. The decision may be imperiled, however, if the plaintiffs appeal to the Supreme Court, where conservative justices are increasingly eager to expand the scope of the Second Amendment.
Teixeira began as a challenge to a policy passed by Alameda County that imposed certain restrictions on gun sellers. Under the policy, all firearm retailers must obtain a permit, and none may operate near residential areas, schools, day care centers, other gun shops, or liquor stores. The three plaintiffs in the case wanted to open a gun shop but could not get a permit under county policy. They sued on behalf of themselves and their potential customers, alleging that the policy violated the Second Amendment in two ways; by preventing would-be customers from buying a gun, and by prohibiting them from selling firearms. A federal district court dismissed the claim, but a panel of judges for the 9th Circuit revived it by a 2 to 1 vote. The court then elected to rehear it en banc, ultimately deciding that the county policy passed constitutional muster.