Stephen Gutowski reports: More gun-related FBI background checks were done in 2016 than in any other year in history after November set yet another record for gun sales in the United States.
So far this year, the FBI has processed24,767,514 checks through its National Instant Criminal Background Check System, known as NICS, which puts 2016 more than 160,000 checks above the yearly record set in 2015. The record comes after November 2016 set its own monthly record with 2,561,281 checks, nearly 320,000 more than the previous record set last November. This gun sales spike has lasted for over a year and resulted in monthly records for 19 straight months.
November’s record comes as the firearms industry is beginning its seasonal upswing with millions of Americans purchasing firearms in the lead up to the holiday season. That upswing is likely to add to 2016’s record because December has traditionally seen the highest number of NICS checks for the year.
The number of checks processed through the FBI’s system is generally considered one of the strongest indicators of gun sales in the United States because nearly all sales made through federally licensed firearms dealers require a NICS check. However, the number of NICS checks made in a given period of time is not a perfect representation of the number of guns actually sold in that same period of time for a number of reasons. Read the rest of this entry »
Charge: sequence in film was ‘work of fiction’ that damaged reputation of commentators.
Gun rights advocates don’t enjoy being falsely depicted as dimwits who can’t answer the most basic of questions about their No. 1 public policy issue.
Erik Wemple reports: That’s the takeaway from a defamation lawsuit filed today against Katie Couric and the producers of “Under the Gun,” a documentary about gun violence in the United States. Having debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January, the documentary itself came under the gun in May, when members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) claimed that it slighted them by mal-editing an interview in which they’d participated. In response to a question from Couric, the film’s narrator, the gun rights advocates were depicted as sitting in baffled silence for nearly 10 seconds.
In fact, they had supplied an extensive response to Couric’s question.
Many onlookers, including the Erik Wemple Blog, blasted the film for this portrayal. Couric, the global anchor of Yahoo News, initially stood by the product but ultimately apologized for the “misleading” edit. The film’s director, Stephanie Soechtig, wasn’t so contrite. “I think it’s sad to say that these eight seconds didn’t give the VCDL a platform to speak. Their views are expressed repeatedly throughout the film; we know how they feel about background checks. They said it earlier in the film,” said Soechtig in an interview after the furor.
“The lies we told were thiiiiiiiiiiiis big”
Intransigence of that sort may bedevil Soechtig in a legal action filed by the VCDL and two gun rights defenders in the film — Daniel Hawes and Patricia Webb — against Couric, Soechtig, Atlas Films and Epix, the documentary’s distributor. Filed in a Virginia federal court by Elizabeth Locke of Clare Locke LLP, the complaint states, “The Defendants manipulated the footage in service of an agenda: they wanted to establish that there is no basis for opposing background checks, by fooling viewers into believing that even a panel of pro-Second Amendment advocates could not provide one.” It seeks compensatory damages of $12 million, and punitive damages of $350,000 per plaintiff.
The filmmakers gave this particular lawsuit a galloping start, with a dreadful sequence that comes less than a half-hour into the one-hour-and-45-minute documentary. Seated in a circle are members of the VCDL against a dark backdrop. Couric asks this question: “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?” In response, the VCDL members say precisely nothing. They stare into space, or at the floor. Brain-freeze appears to have enveloped them.
As the suit notes, this depiction is a “work of fiction.” The VCDL members actually filled Couric’s ear; Hawes, for example, said this:
The fact is we do have statutes, both at the federal and state level that prohibit classes of people from being in possession of firearms. If you’re under 18, in Virginia, you can’t walk around with a gun. If you’re an illegal immigrant, if you’re a convicted felon, if you’ve been adjudicated insane, these things are already illegal. So, what we’re really asking about is a question of prior restraint. How can we prevent future crime by identifying bad guys before they do anything bad? And, the simple answer is you can’t. And, particularly, under the legal system we have in the United States, there are a lot of Supreme Court opinions that say, “No, prior restraint is something that the government does not have the authority to do.” Until there is an overt act that allows us to say, “That’s a bad guy,” then you can’t punish him.
That argument, notes the complaint, is part of the six minutes that the gun rights advocates spent answering Couric’s question. Showing the VCDL as dumbfounded required some work on the part of the filmmakers. In coordinating the interview with the VCDL advocates, Couric and a cameraman from Atlas Films told them that they needed to sit in silence for 10 seconds so that the crew could calibrate the “recording equipment.” It was this passage that “Under the Gun” placed in the film instead of the actual answers supplied to the question about background checks. The suit alleges that this moment carried particular implications for each of the named plaintiffs in the case. Webb is a licensed firearms dealer (Gadsden Guns Inc.), and the edits indicate that “she lacks knowledge regarding background checks — a requirement for every gun sale she does,” argues the complaint. Hawes is an attorney who handles cases involving firearms, and the film suggests that “he lacks the legal expertise and oral advocacy skills required to perform his duties.” Read the rest of this entry »
After two decades of failed attempts to track such visitors, some officials call the visa program a critical national security weakness.
WASHINGTON — Ron Nixon writes: The question from the congressman to the Obama administration official was straightforward enough: How many foreign visitors overstay their visas every year?
The reply was simple too, but not in a satisfying way. “We don’t know,” the official said.
The testy exchange during a recent congressional hearing between Representative Mark Meadows, Republican of North Carolina, and Alan Bersin, the assistant secretary for international affairs at the Department of Homeland Security, highlights what some law enforcement officials call a critical weakness in the United States foreign visa program.
The issue has taken on added urgency as part of a broader examination of immigration policy following the mass shootings in San Bernardino, Calif., that left 14 people dead and 22 wounded. Tashfeen Malik, one of the attackers, was granted entry to the United States under a K-1 visa, also known as a fiancé visa. Her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, was an American-born citizen. Both died in a shootout with the police. While Ms. Malik did not overstay her visa, the attack added to fears that a terrorist could exploit gaps in the system.
Nearly 20 years ago, Congress passed a law requiring the federal government to develop a system to track people who overstayed their visas. After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, an entry and exit tracking system was seen as a vital national security and counterterrorism tool, and the 9/11 Commission recommended that the Department of Homeland Security complete a system “as soon as possible.” Two of the Sept. 11 hijackers, Satam al-Suqami and Nawaf al-Hazmi, had overstayed their visas.
Since then, the federal government has spent millions of dollars on the effort, yet officials can only roughly estimate the number of people in the United States illegally after overstaying visas.
Officials blame a lack of technology to conduct more advanced collection of data like iris scans, resistance from the airline and tourism industries because of cost, and questions about the usefulness of tracking people exiting the country as a counterterrorism measure.
Some experts also note that a sizable number of those who overstayed their visas are highly skilled workers who come under the H-1B program or are foreign students.
One widely cited statistic, from a 1997 report by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, puts the number of people who overstay their visas at 40 percent — which now would mean about 4.4 million of the estimated 11 million undocumented residents in the United States. Numerous lawmakers, including the Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, have used that figure when trying to describe the scope of the problem. But even that number has never been conclusively substantiated.
Federal agencies have not provided a new report to Congress on overstays since 1994, despite the congressional mandate. Read the rest of this entry »
Nick Penzenstadler reports: More Americans had their backgrounds checked purchasing guns on Black Friday than any day in the on record, according to data released by the FBI this week.
The National Instant Criminal Background Check System processed 185,345 requests on Nov. 27, one of the largest retail sales days in the country.
“This was an approximate 5% increase over the 175,754 received on Black Friday 2014,” wrote Stephen Fischer, the FBI’s chief of multimedia productions. “The previous high for receipts were the 177,170 received on 12/21/2012.”
Previous spikes for background checks, conducted before a gun buyer can obtain a firearm, occurred after prominent mass shootings, like in December 2012 in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Read the rest of this entry »
He could have acknowledged people’s qualms as legitimate and argued at greater length…But that would have meant not taking cheap shots against the political opposition at home — the people who really make him angry.
Michael Barone writes: Three days after the Islamic State terrorist attacks in Paris, Americans were primed to hear their president express heartfelt anger, which he did in his press conference in Antalya, Turkey, at the end of the G-20 Conference. And they did hear him describe the Islamic State as “this barbaric terrorist organization” and acknowledge that “the terrible events in Paris were a terrible and sickening setback.”
“What really got him angry, as the transcript and videotape make clear, were reporters’ repeated questions about the minimal success of his strategy against the Islamic State and Republicans’ proposals for more active engagement in Syria and Iraq.”
But what really got him angry, as the transcript and videotape make clear, were reporters’ repeated questions about the minimal success of his strategy against the Islamic State and Republicans’ proposals for more active engagement in Syria and Iraq. As well as critics of his decision to allow 10,000 Syrians into the United States.
“The reporters did not seem this time to be absorbing his patient instruction.”
The reporters did not seem this time to be absorbing his patient instruction. The Islamic State “controls less territory than it did before,” he stated — but not much less, and is still holding Iraq’s second largest city and a huge swath of Iraqi and Syrian desert. Our bombs did pulverize the British-born Islamic State beheader. “We’ve been coordinating internationally to reduce their financing capabilities.
“Most Americans want people who behead Americans destroyed considerably sooner than that. They wonder why the world’s greatest military can’t do that.”
Our military could dislodge them, he admitted, but explained that then we’d have to occupy and administer the places we capture. In other words, we’d be facing the kind of messy situations we faced, until the surge strategy he opposed, in Iraq.
But in his self-described goal, “to degrade and ultimately destroy,” the word “ultimately” looms uncomfortable large. Most Americans want people who behead Americans destroyed considerably sooner than that. They wonder why the world’s greatest military can’t do that.
Such action, Obama suggested, might be bad public relations. The Islamic State has “a twisted ideology,” and we play into its “narrative” by treating it as a state and using “routine military tactics.” Read the rest of this entry »
“Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton are the best gun salespeople on the planet. The more they scream for new gun control laws the more guns walk off the shelves at gun stores. To quote the lyrics of Peter, Paul and Mary, ‘When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn.’”
A Gallup poll released on October 20 shows that a majority of Americans believe more concealed carry equals less crime.
AWR Hawkins reports: According to Gallup, 56 percent of Americans answered in the affirmative when asked if the U.S. would be safer if “more Americans were allowed to carry concealed weapons if they passed a criminal background check and training course.” 41 percent of respondents said more concealed carry would make the country less safe.
In a pattern that has become very familiar, support for more concealed carry was driven by Republicans and independents. Eighty-two percent of Republicans believe more concealed carry would make the U.S. safer and 56 percent of independents agree. But the majority of Democrats—67 percent—believe more concealed carry would make the U.S. less safe.
On October 21, Breitbart News reported a very similar breakdown by party in a CNN/ORC that looked at Americans’ overarching position on gun control. In that poll, 52 percent of Americans opposed more gun control, while 46 percent support the passage of more gun laws….(read more)
Greg Sargent reports: Speaking at a rally in Iowa, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton recalled speaking with parents of victims of gun violence and condemned opposition to gun control laws. (Reuters)
But the Obama administration has already taken a long, internal look at the same executive-action proposal Clinton has promised to undertake, and has doubts over whether it can be made to work in practical terms, according to current and former senior administration officials.
The administration is still looking at this idea, in the wake of Obama’s announcement after the Oregon shooting that he has directed officials to “scrub” current laws for further actions the executive branch can take against gun violence, those officials say.
But the administration studied the same proposal in 2013 after the Newtown shooting, in the run-up to its release of a number of other executive actions on guns, and decided against including this particular idea out of concerns about its workability, the officials confirm.
The Clinton campaign has pointed to her vow to use executive action to begin closing the long-discussed private seller loophole — which allows for sales conducted by private sellers to proceed without a background check — as proof of her commitment to acting on gun violence. As a Clinton spokesperson put it: “Her willingness to pursue reforms by executive action if necessary is proof of how urgent a priority this is to her.”
The only problem with her gun show loophole proposal is that it would accomplish exactly nothing, because current law already covers her proposal.
Sean Davis writes: In the wake of a mass shooting at an Oregon community college last week, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced today that she would close the so-called “gun show loophole” with an executive order if she were elected president. The only problem with her gun show loophole proposal is that it would accomplish exactly nothing, because current law already covers her proposal.
“There is zero protection enshrined in law for transactions that happen to occur at a gun show or over the Internet. Zip. Zilch. Nada. The so-called ‘gun show loophole’ simply does not exist. Nor does any sort of Internet gun sale loophole.”
Here’s how Slatedescribed Hillary Clinton’s proposal:
What makes Clinton’s plan particularly noteworthy, though, is her suggestion that she’d be able to go it alone on at least one of the proposals if elected president: the gun show loophole.
And just how would she do that? According to her campaign, even if Congress were unwilling to act, Clinton would be able to use her executive authority to tweak the existing rules to reclassify anyone who sells a “significant number of guns” as someone “in the business of selling firearms”—a distinction that would make those high-volume private vendors who sell guns at gun shows
and over the Internet subject to the same rules as larger, licensed brick-and-mortar retailers. Clinton doesn’t appear to have settled on an answer to the question of just how many guns constitutes a “significant” number, but even if her chosen definition didn’t close the loophole completely, it would at least shrink it.
Such an effort could face legal challenges in the courts and, at the very least, a guaranteed NRA-led political freakout in Washington. And, even if the effort survived both, it wouldn’t come close to ending gun violence in the United States. But for gun safety advocates and like-minded voters who are desperate for action on a problem that can feel politically impossible, Clinton’s outside-the-box plan will be a welcome start.
Slate’s Josh Voorhees characterized Clinton’s plan as “clever,” which leads me to the inescapable conclusion that neither Voorhees nor Hillary Clinton is even remotely familiar with existing federal gun laws.
“Now, if Hillary thinks Congress should pass a law regulating private transactions between private individuals who reside in the same state, that’s her prerogative. But she should at least be honest about what she’s doing and about what authority the president has to do it. The president cannot by fiat eliminate the existing exemption. It can be done only by Congress.”
For starters, the federal government already has the statutory authority to define who does and does not qualify as an individual “in the business of selling firearms.” It derives that authority from 18 U.S. Code § 921. Here’s how the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) specifically defines whether an individual is engaged in the business of selling firearms and should therefore be subject to federal firearms licensee (FFL) requirements:
Dealer in firearms — a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business
with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms (18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(21)(C));
Here’s the federal statute from which the ATF derives its existing authority to define who is and isn’t engaged in the business of selling guns:
(21) The term “engaged in the business” means—
(A) as applied to a manufacturer of firearms, a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to manufacturing firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of the
(B) as applied to a manufacturer of ammunition, a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to manufacturing ammunition as
a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of the ammunition manufactured;
(C) as applied to a dealer in firearms, as defined in section 921(a)(11)(A), a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms;
(D) as applied to a dealer in firearms, as defined in section 921(a)(11)(B), a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to engaging in such activity as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional repairs of firearms, or who occasionally fits special barrels, stocks, or trigger mechanisms to firearms;
(E) as applied to an importer of firearms, a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to importing firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of the firearms imported;
(F) as applied to an importer of ammunition, a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to importing ammunition as a
regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of the ammunition imported.
Contra Hillary Clinton’s campaign, “high-volume private vendors” cannot legally exist under current law. Under the ATF’s existing definition, it is impossible to sell high volumes of firearms without triggering the definition of a dealer in firearms. The “repetitive purchase and resale of firearms” makes you a dealer, not a private individual. Anything other than “occasional sales” makes you a dealer, not a private individual. Unlicensed dealing is against the law. Refusing to conduct background checks as a dealer (licensed or not) is against the law. Read the rest of this entry »
Dean Weingarten writes: The number of fatal firearm accidents, or unintentional firearm fatalities, have been falling for more than 50 years. At the same time, the number of firearms in the United States has been steadily rising. The cause of fatal firearm accidents is not correlated to the number of firearms in society…
“All of these factors probably contributed, but the total drop is astonishing, a 95% reduction in the rate of fatal firearm accidents since 1904.”
The red line is the number of private firearms in the United States, in units of 100,000. At the end of 2013, the estimate was 363.3 million. The green line is the number of fatal firearm accidents, or unintentional firearm fatalities, in the United States. The number in 2013 was the lowest recorded, 505. The absolute numbers are important, but the rate of unintended firearm fatalities per 100,000 population is a better measure of safety.
“This occurred as the per capital number of firearms has increased from .35 in 1945, to 1.14 in 2013, a tripling of the number of guns per person in the United States. The per capita numbers are not available before 1945.”
Chart courtesy of Extranosalley.com. Since this chart was produced, we have a few more years of data. Here is a blow up of the last 15 years, including the tail end of the above chart.
A large number of factors have been proposed for the falling fatal firearm accident rates. Here are a few of the more prominent ones:
Training in basic firearms safety. The NRA has been pushing firearms safety training for decades.
Safer firearms. Modern firearms, which make up a majority of the private firearms in the United States (half the stock has been manufactured since 1984, three quarters since 1965), have more safety features. It is almost impossible for pistols manufactured after 1973 to fire when dropped, due to liability concerns. Safety triggers have become common on rifles in the last decade.
Blaze orange hunting gear. A significant drop in hunting fatalities occurred after many states required hunters to wear blaze orange during crowded hunting seasons, such as deer hunting in Wisconsin.
Requirements for hunter safety training to obtain a hunting license. Most states now require a hunter safety course for new hunters.
Better emergency medical response. People who might have died from a gunshot wound are saved by better emergency medical care.
Rise of concealed carry permits. Most concealed carry permits require some safety training.
The rise of the gun culture magazines from the 1960’s on, such as Guns and Ammo, Shooting Times, Garden and Gun, Special Weapons, Handguns, Guns, and numerous others. While the print versions are being supplanted by online versions and blogs, all preach gun safety, and have had significant impact on the gun culture for the last 50 years.
Substitution of pistols for home defense from shotguns and rifles. A wound from a pistol is less likely to be fatal than from a high powered rifle or a shotgun at close range.
Heightened awareness of gun safety due to the push for more legal restrictions on guns by the media and elite politicians. As the population has been inundated with “guns are bad” and “guns are dangerous” messages, one consequence may be a heightened concern for following the safety rules.
All of these factors probably contributed, but the total drop is astonishing, a 95% reduction in the rate of fatal firearm accidents since 1904. This occurred as the per capital number of firearms has increased from .35 in 1945, to 1.14 in 2013, a tripling of the number of guns per person in the United States. The per capita numbers are not available before 1945. Read the rest of this entry »
The U.S. government last week said that two cyberattacks on the agency compromised more than 21 million Social Security numbers, 1.1 million fingerprint records, and 19.7 million forms with data that could include a person’s mental-health history.
…Comey on Friday attributed the problem to incomplete and inaccurate paperwork related to an arrest of Dylann Roof weeks before the shooting.
He says an FBI examiner who looked into Roof’s background when he tried to purchase a gun never saw an arrest report in which police say he admitted to possessing drugs. The arresting agency was listed erroneously on the rap sheet that the examiner reviewed.Read the rest of this entry »
…According to Suffolk University, in addition to not wanting to hear about gun control in 2016, a majority of Americans do not believe increasing gun control via expanded background checks will curb mass violence. Fifty-six percent of respondents said it would not, while only 40 percent of respondents said it would.
This makes sense, when you consider that Roof allegedly purchased his gun via a background check at a Charleston gun store.
This poll comes nearly seven months after a PEW Research Poll showed that American attitudes toward gun control had shifted to a place where the majority of Americans wanted protection of gun rights rather than passage of more gun control. Released on December 10, the PEW Poll showed that 52 percent of Americans were concerned with protecting gun rights while 46 percent were concerned with passing more gun control.Read the rest of this entry »
When the Administration disclosed the OPM hack in early June, they said Chinese hackers had stolen the personal information of up to four million current and former federal employees. The suspicion was that this was another case of hackers (presumably sanctioned by China’s government) stealing data to use in identity theft and financial fraud. Which is bad enough.
Yet in recent days Obama officials have quietly acknowledged to Congress that the hack was far bigger, and far more devastating. It appears OPM was subject to two breaches of its system in mid-to-late 2014, and the hackers appear to have made off with millions of security-clearance background check files.
These include reports on Americans who work for, did work for, or attempted to work for the Administration, the military and intelligence agencies. They even include Congressional staffers who left government—since their files are also sent to OPM.
This means the Chinese now possess sensitive information on everyone from current cabinet officials to U.S. spies. Background checks are specifically done to report personal histories that might put federal employees at risk for blackmail. The Chinese now hold a blackmail instruction manual for millions of targets.
These background checks are also a treasure trove of names, containing sensitive information on an applicant’s spouse, children, extended family, friends, neighbors, employers, landlords. Each of those people is also now a target, and in ways they may not contemplate. In many instances the files contain reports on applicants compiled by federal investigators, and thus may contain information that the applicant isn’t aware of.
Of particular concern are federal contractors and subcontractors, who rarely get the same security training as federal employees, and in some scenarios don’t even know for what agency they are working. These employees are particularly ripe targets for highly sophisticated phishing emails that attempt to elicit sensitive corporate or government information. Read the rest of this entry »
AWR Hawkins. reports: While Oregon Democrats stood with Gabby Giffords and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence to push expanded background checks on April 1, Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer stood for the law-abiding citizens whom the checks will target by describing the gun control push as “borderline treasonous.”
Palmer also made clear that if the Democrats pass the measure there is zero chance of his office enforcing it.
Breitbart News previously reported that the push for expanded background checks in Oregon is being spearheaded by state (D-Eugene). His efforts are strongly supported by the Brady Campaign and Giffords.
Giffords, in particular, believes every potential gun purchaser should have to pass the same background check her attacker passed to acquire his firearm, which the same background check Jerad and Amanda Miller (Las Vegas), Aaron Ybarra (Seattle Pacific University), Elliot Rodger (Santa Barbara), Ivan Lopez (Fort Hood 2014), Darion Marcus Aguilar (Maryland mall), Karl Halverson Pierson (Arapahoe High School), James Holmes (Aurora theater), Nidal Hasan (Fort Hood 2009), and many, many others passed to get the guns they used in their crimes. Read the rest of this entry »
At Thursday morning’s rally, state legislators and other opponents of Initiative 594’s requirement of background checks on all gun sales and transfers voiced their belief the new law unfairly infringes on their Constitutional rights. Read the rest of this entry »
OLYMPIA, Wash. — Thousands of gun-rights advocates are rallying outside the Capitol to protest a new expanded gun background check law in Washington state.
Saturday’s protest is called the “I Will Not Comply” rally, and those attending say they will openly exchange firearms in opposition to the state’s new voter-approved universal background check law, Initiative 594.
The law, which took effect on Dec. 4, requires background checks on all sales and transfers, including private transactions and many loans and gifts…(AP)
New York’s similar registration law suffers such low compliance that state officials won’t even reveal how many people have abide by the measure—a desperate secrecy ploy that the New York State Committee on Open Government says thumbs its nose at the law itself.
Now Washington state residents pissed off about i594, a ballot measure inflicting background check requirements on even private transactions, plan an exercise in mass disobedience…
The fellow getting much of the credit for organizing the rally is Gavin Seim, a former (unsuccessful) congressional candidate and passionate conservative. Seim got a lot of buzz last month when he pulled over an unmarked police car and demanded that the officer show identification. Perhaps surprisingly, Seim not only wasn’t ventilated, but the officer complied.
Seim and his allies (the Facebook event page lists Kit Lange Carroll, Sondra Seim, and Anthony P. Bosworth as co-hosts) plan a rally for the Washington State Capitol, in Olympia, on December 13 at 11am PST. That’s nine days after the law goes into effect. So far, almost 6,000 people have indicated their intention to attend and “exchange guns” without going through a background check, in defiance of the new requirements. Read the rest of this entry »
November 20, 2014, Michelle Malkin writes:You will hear over and over again tonight from President Obama — and repeated ad nauseum by the gullible, open-borders media — that only illegal aliens who pass “background checks” will be eligible for the massive new administrative amnesty.
Two words: Bull. Crap.
For the past two decades, I’ve reported on the systematic sabotage and incorrigible incompetence of the federal government when it comes to immigration background checks. Instead of instituting a moratorium and fixing enforcement of the current system, both political parties have piled on and exacerbated the problem with endless new amnesties that overwhelm the homeland security infrastructure.
Acting on a tip from a whistleblower at a federal law enforcement agency, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request with DHS, for “all communications, memoranda, emails, policy guidance, directives, initiatives, and any other correspondence respecting the scope and extent of background checks to be performed (or not) on aliens applying to the Obama administration’s DACA program.” The FOIA was filed on October 26, 2012. The Immigration and National Security Act (INA) mandates a “coordinated, uniform, and efficient,” system of background checks. Instead, the FOIA documents reveal a costly, haphazard process, with only cursory review for the backgrounds of illegal aliens seeking “deferred status.” Document highlights include:
In a series of agency memos beginning in September 14, 2012, field offices were told to expect the National Benefits Center (which collects all DACA applications) to conduct only “lean & lite” background checks on illegal alien applicants, and that, henceforth, “NBC will not perform full TECS checks or any evidence review on these cases before we ship to the field.” An October 14 memo reiterated that under the new “lean and lite” policy, “Hits will be sent to the field without resolution.” On October 25, the St. Paul Field Director conceded to staffers that the new “lean & lite” procedures were for an indefinite period of time, saying, “I just can’t tell you when things will revert back to the way they used to be.”…(read more)
And here’s my 2008 refresher on the long pattern of throwing background checks out the window for bipartisan open-borders expedience. Washington never learns:
McClatchy reporter James Asher has a new piece out detailing how DHS is clearing massive application backlogs by skipping the background checks.Before we get into the meat of that story, let me refresh your memories about a few things.
During the shamnesty debacle, we were told to shut up about our national security concerns because McCain and company were going to guarantee that all illegal alien guest-workers would get thorough background checks. We were told to calm down about the proposal because there was nothing to worry about. But the background check process was a fraud.…(read more)
“Drafted under the guise of preventing crime and funded almost solely by elitist billionaires with a proud background of stifling the Second Amendment, I-594 is an 18-page document that does nothing but impose heavy legal burdens on law-abiding gun owners and serious penalties for violations. These anti-gun billionaires believe that they can buy your rights out from under you, and I-594 is their attempt at doing so. I-594 will do nothing to make the people of Washington any safer, but will instead create bureaucratic hurdles that could turn law-abiding gun owners into criminals simply for exercising their constitutional rights….”(read more)
THE WASHINGTON COUNCIL OF POLICE & SHERIFFS OPPOSES INITIATIVE 594
The Washington Council of Police & Sheriffs, the state’s oldest and largest law enforcement organization opposes Initiative 594. WACOPS represents more than 4500 active duty police and sheriffs deputies. Click here to read WACOPS position paper on Initiative 594 (read more)
The National Rifle Association (NRA) has released a one-minute digital video as part of it’s online campaign to defeat Washington State Ballot Initiative 594. The video, titled I-594 Will Not Make Washington Safer, features Seattle resident Anette Wachter, “The 30 Cal Gal” blogger and U.S. Long Range Rifle Team member.
In the video, Wachter explains, “I-594 wastes scarce law enforcement resources on something that will not make Washington safer. And it will turn many law-abiding citizens into criminals for simply exercising their constitutional rights.”
One way scam artists make money is by peddling mislabeled goods. The label on the can says “Wild Alaskan Salmon,” but what’s really inside is codfish from a filthy breeding pen in China, plus some food coloring.
Selling mislabeled goods is illegal, but there’s nothing illegal about mislabeled laws. Michael Bloomberg knows that difference, and he is exploiting it.
Right now in the state of Washington, Bloomberg is pushing a November ballot measure that is promoted as being about background checks for private sales. But it is really a law to criminalize most gun owners, including those who never sell guns. If passed, the deceptive Bloomberg ban for Washington state is then going to become the national model, to gradually be imposed on gun owners nationwide.
Bloomberg plans to run a similar ballot measure in Oregon in 2015 and in a dozen or more states in 2016. One of them is Nevada, where the 2016 campaign is already in progress. Bloomberg’s Nevada operation calls itself “Nevadans for Background Checks” and is operated by Melissa Warren, the managing partner at the Faiss Foley Warren Public Relations & Government Affairs lobbying firm.
Bloomberg and his minions claim they are just promoting background checks on private sales. But as usual, they are lying.
One way to tell that Bloomberg is selling a mislabeled law is to read the actual proposal. In this case, it is 18 pages long. It would only take a couple of pages to require background checks on private sales of firearms, if that were all the law did.
Instead, the law is a comprehensive scheme to criminalize the normal use of firearms, thus turning most gun owners into criminals, from whom firearms can be confiscated. Read the rest of this entry »
Examiner.comreports: The Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs (WACOPS), the state’s largest and oldest law enforcement group representing more than 4,500 active duty police officers and sheriff’s deputies, dealt a serious blow to Evergreen State gun prohibitionists this morning, confirming to Examiner via telephone that it will oppose Initiative 594 and support Initiative 591, making it the second statewide law enforcement group to take that position.
WACOPS Executive Director Jamie Daniels told this column that a position statement from the organization will be released shortly. Examiner will update when that statement is available.
“Under I-594, every time a handgun is transferred, the person receiving the handgun will have their name added to the government database being maintained by the state Department of Licensing.”
WACOPS joins the Washington State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association (WSLEFIA) in opposing I-594, the 18-page gun control measure sponsored by the Seattle-based Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility (WAGR). By also supporting I-591, it lends important credibility to the argument by backers of that measure that there is a right way to conduct checks and keep guns out of the wrong hands, and I-594 is not the answer.
This announcement could be a serious blow to gun control proponents who have already spent more than $1.5 million to push their measure, which mandates so-called “universal background checks.” At the same time, the WACOPS vote comes as a major morale boost to the financially-strapped grassroots supporters of I-591, which is a far simpler measure, covering a single page that requires background checks to comply with a uniform national standard….(read more)
The only thing that I-594 would accomplish is the creation of a government record of all lawfully transferred handguns in Washington, which would facilitate their future confiscation.”
MORE: WACOPS opposes Initiative 594: Initiative 594 is the latest and most comprehensive attempt to restrict the rights of law-abiding gun owners in the Evergreen State. Although proponents describe it as a “universal background check” measure, Initiative 594 is in reality a universal handgun registration scheme. Under I-594, every time a handgun is transferred, the person receiving the handgun will have their name added to the government database being maintained by the state Department of Licensing.
Under I-594, every time a handgun is transferred, the person receiving the handgun will have their name added to the government database being maintained by the state Department of Licensing. Read the rest of this entry »
Gerald Vernon believes conceal-and-carry laws and responsible firearm owners are crucial to keeping people safe—especially in the communities hit hardest by crime
Mick Dumke writes: The first lesson Gerald Vernon shared with his conceal-and-carry class is, to him, the most fundamental: “The only thing that stops bad people with guns is good people with guns.”
His ten students—eight men and two women, all African-Americans—were listening intently. They had gathered in a meeting room at a south-side social service center to learn about gun ownership and self-defense from Vernon, a veteran firearms instructor who was seated at the front of the room next to a table set with an array of revolvers and semiautomatic handguns from his collection.
The students didn’t appear to need any convincing. “I’m interested in protection,” explained Thomas Brandon, 57, when it was his turn to introduce himself. The others said they were there for the same reason.
UPI reports that this included “murder, non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, [and] aggravated assault and robbery.” Specifically, “murders declined by 6.9 percent, forcible rapes declined 10.6 percent, aggravated assaults decreased 6.6 percent and robbery offenses were down by 1.8 percent.”
The percentage of Americans who support expanding background checks sits at 40.
According to the NSSF, these numbers “stand in contrast to the vague claim often reported in the media that ’90 percent of Americans surveyed support [expanded background checks].'”
Support for these expanded checks has been in a slide since hitting a high in January of this year. And NSSF says the drop in support has largely been due to people learning that we already background checks in place. As Breitbart News reported on March 31, the 1993 Brady Bill mandated the start of background checks under Bill Clinton.
Gun sales may have leveled off after the spectacular surge early this year, but now we have a new holiday tradition.
AWR Hawkins writes: Although much of the gun control push under President Obama has failed to result in new laws, it has succeeded in creating a new tradition where shoppers scoop up guns on Black Friday so they can place them under the tree on Christmas Day.
Consider the numbers: in 2008, ABC News reported 97,848 background checks on Black Friday. In 2009, the numbers remained somewhat static but then began to grow exponentially as the Obama administration and Congressional Democrats began to flex their muscles. By 2011, there were 129,166 background checks on Black Friday alone.
Colion Noir writes: Somewhere between screaming for gun control and then being called out for actually wanting gun confiscation, the anti-gunners decided to change the phrase “gun control” to “gun safety.” I wonder why they would do that. I mean, whether you call it 2G, 4G, or 9G, you’re still screwing me with the same slow ass Internet speeds, the same way anti-gunners are trying to force feed us the “gun safety” placebo.
All trained gun users learn that there are four rules of gun safety that will prevent any and all unintentional death, injury, or damage caused by improper possession, storage, or handling of firearms. They are:
One: Treat all guns as if they are always loaded.
Two: Never let point the muzzle at anything you are not willing to destroy.
Three: Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target.
And finally, four: Know your target, and know what’s beyond it.
So, now that we’ve gone through the four Founding Fathers of gun safety, someone please tell me how a universal background check, assault weapons ban, or high capacity magazine ban has anything to do with the rules of gun safety?
Political trends come and go in response to events. Gun control was the rage during the Clinton administration, but over the past decade or so it became an obsolete cause. After the horrific crimes in Newtown and Aurora, though, it’s staging a comeback.
One thing hasn’t changed: The agenda includes mostly measures that will have little or no effect on the problems they are supposed to address. They are Potemkin remedies—presentable facades with empty space behind them.
This is something that supporters as well as opponents labor to conceal. Treating them as serious allows them both to posture for their own advantage.
So on Wednesday, President Barack Obama unveiled a raft of executive actions and proposed changes in federal law intended to prevent both mass shootings and chronic gun violence. A few are innocuous and reasonably promising, like improving databases for background checks and helping “ensure that young people get the mental health treatment they need.”
But the most notable ones fall into three categories. In the category of “useless” is the ban on “assault weapons,” which has been tried before with no evident effect. The administration is fond of demonizing a style of firearm that the gun industry likes to glamorize.
What they are talking about, though, are ordinary rifles tricked out and blinged up to resemble something else: military arms designed for the battlefield. The “weapons of war” Obama wants to ban do nothing that other legal weapons won’t do just as quickly and just as destructively.
Most criminals have no need of them. In 2011, reports The New York Times, 6,220 people were killed with handguns—compared to 323 by rifles of any kind, including “assault weapons.”
In the “probably useless” realm is a ban on ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds, which was part of the 1994 assault weapons ban. A mass shooter can overcome the restriction by carrying multiple magazines or multiple guns—as many of them do anyway. The notion that an attacker can be subdued when he stops to reload works better in movies than in real life, where it is virtually unknown…