New record: the most checks ever performed in any August since the creation of the National Instant Background Check System.
Stephen Gutowski reports: Gun sales were at an all-time high in June, July, and August, according to one metric.
This August saw 1.7 million background checks performed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives on new gun sales, the most checks ever performed in any August since the creation of the National Instant Background Check System.
“Whenever there is a call for gun control, sales increase. Unfortunately, this is a pattern that repeats itself.”
The agency performed 1.6 million checks in July, the high for that month. They did a further 1.5 million in June, another all-time high. Read the rest of this entry »
New York City Murders Are On The Rise
Rocco Parascandola, Kerry Burke, Larry McShane report: A dramatic drop in stop-and-frisk encounters has emboldened criminals and made cops more reluctant to take proactive police action, even as murders and shootings are on the rise in the city.
“Everyone is afraid to make stops. No one wants to get jammed up. They’re telling us the stops have to be quality stops. But if you make a stop, and you think it’s a good one, and the guy has nothing on him, is that a good stop?”
— Brooklyn police supervisor
The frightening message — echoed by police supervisors and union leaders — comes as stop-and-frisk encounters are on pace to plunge by 42% this year, with 20,000 fewer street stops.
“What you’re seeing now are the perps carrying their guns because they’re not afraid to carry them. We’ve created an atmosphere where we’ve handcuffed the police. We are sitting back, taking a less proactive approach.”
— Ed Mullins, head of the Sergeants Benevolent Association
There were 11,652 stops across the city through June 3 — projecting to roughly 28,000 for the year, records obtained by the Daily News show. As the number of stops fell, the number of murders spiked 19.5% during the first five months of the year, the number of people shot is up 9.2% and the number of shooting incidents jumped 9%.
“Based on this year’s drop…absent any other factor, you have to ask the question: Are the cops now reluctant to engage?”
“What you’re seeing now are the perps carrying their guns because they’re not afraid to carry them,” said Ed Mullins, head of the Sergeants Benevolent Association. “We’ve created an atmosphere where we’ve handcuffed the police. We are sitting back, taking a less proactive approach.”
Mullins said the city’s criminal element has been operating without fear while cops have been somewhat neutered in the last two years — and he wasn’t the only one to raise the issue.
“Based on this year’s drop . . . absent any other factor, you have to ask the question: Are the cops now reluctant to engage?” wondered one high-ranking police source.
Critics of the NYPD told The News there was no correlation between the two sets of numbers — while stop-and-frisk supporters said the lower frisk numbers led to the higher crime figures.
City cops, citing increased scrutiny from the NYPD’s inspector general, the state attorney general and City Hall, say the cutback on stops is about self-preservation. Read the rest of this entry »
The cause of the blaze was not yet known, but the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was on scene as well as an accelerant-sniffing dog to help arson investigators determine whether it was intentionally set.
The fire early today in downtown Los Angeles engulfed an area the size of a city block, closed freeways and roads, burst windows of nearby buildings and melted freeway signs.
“When they came out of the quarters they could see it was fully engulfed. It was a building under construction in the framing phase. Almost 1 million square feet and a city block.”
“It looked like a bomb had just exploded,” said L.A. fire Capt. Rick Godinez.
Flames could be seen for miles from the fire that broke out in the DaVinci apartment complex at about 1:20 a.m. The blaze closed roads and freeways, including the 110 North, which won’t open until at least 10 a.m., officials said.
The blaze damaged nearby buildings, including one that houses city agencies.
“There are windows blown out all the way up the side of our building,” said Building and Safety spokesman Luke Zamperini.
More than 250 firefighters battled the blaze at the apartment tower under construction in the 900 block of Fremont Avenue, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman David Ortiz said. The building had 1.3 million square feet of floor space, and officials said two-thirds of it was consumed by flames.
“First is shut down and Temple is shut down. Downtown is basically shut down.”
The bulk of the fire was put out in 90 minutes, but firefighters were continuing to deal with hot spots well into the morning, according to LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas.
There were no injuries reported. The cause of the blaze was not yet known, but the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was on scene as well as an accelerant-sniffing dog to help arson investigators determine whether it was intentionally set, said Fire Department spokeswoman Katherine Main. Read the rest of this entry »
Today, Governor Nathan Deal (R) signed into law House Bill 60 , the most comprehensive pro-gun legislation in state history. HB 60 passed in the Georgia Senate by a 37-18 vote on March 18 and in the state House of Representatives by a 112-58 vote on March 20. HB 60 will take effect on July 1, 2014.
HB 60 enacts the following pro-gun reforms for all law-abiding gun owners in Georgia:
- Removes fingerprinting for renewal of Weapons Carry Licenses (WCL).
- Prohibits the state from creating and maintaining a database of WCL holders.
- Creates an absolute defense for the legal use of deadly force in the face of a violent attack.
- Lowers the age to obtain a concealed WCL for self-defense from 21 to 18 for active duty military, with specific training.
- Allows for the use of firearm sound suppressors while hunting.
- Repeals the unnecessary and duplicative state-required license for a firearms dealer, instead requiring only a Federal Firearms License (FFL).
- Prohibits a ban on firearms in public housing, ensuring that the right to self-defense should not be infringed based on where one calls home.
- Codifies the ability to legally carry, with a WCL, in sterile/non-secure areas of airports.