New footage has been released by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office which reveals the horrific scenes inside the Orlando gay night club where a mass shooting took place.
A police bodycam captured the moment officers entered Pulse and worked to secure the area.
The massacre’s perpetrator, Omar Mateen, 29, from Port St. Lucie in Florida, opened fire in the early hours of Sunday, June 12, killing 49 people and injuring 53 others.
He entered the nightclub wielding an AR-15 assault rifle and a handgun and at around 2 am he exchanged gunfire with an officer working at the club before heading back inside and taking hostages. Read the rest of this entry »
Inside Job: ‘Hate Crime’ Narrative Interrupted; Man Charged with Setting Houston Mosque Afire Turns Out To Be a Devout AttendeePosted: December 30, 2015
Carol Christian and Leah Binkovitz report: A Houston man has been arrested in connection with a suspected arson at a mosque on Christmas Day, but the motive for the crime remains a mystery, with the suspect maintaining he was a regular at the mosque.
“Moore told investigators at the scene that he has attended the storefront mosque for five years, coming five times.”
A spokeswoman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives confirmed that the suspect, 37-year-old Gary Nathaniel Moore of Houston, was arrested early Wednesday. Moore appeared in court at 7 a.m., spokeswoman Nicole Strong said, and bond was set at $100,000.
According to a charging instrument released by the Harris County District Clerk, Moore told investigators at the scene that he has attended the storefront mosque for five years, coming five times per day to pray seven days per week.
“Using surveillance video from multiple businesses nearby, investigators were able to identify Moore, according to records.”
Moore said he had been at the mosque earlier on Dec. 25 to pray, and had left at about 2 p.m. to go home, according to authorities and court papers. Moore said he was the last person to leave the mosque and saw no smoke or other signs of fire when he departed, authorities said. He maintained he had returned to the scene after hearing about the fire from a friend.
“A search warrant of his home was conducted, and investigators recovered a backpack and clothing similar to that which was seen in surveillance footage, as well as half of a two-pack of charcoal lighter-fluid bottles that seemed to match another lighter fluid bottle found inside the mosque.”
MJ Khan, president of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston, which operates the mosque, said he was unfamiliar with Moore. “We are just looking into it ourselves,” he said Wednesday morning after learning of the arrest.
“We are really very surprised and saddened by this whole thing,” said Khan.
Using surveillance video from multiple businesses nearby, investigators were able to identify Moore, according to records. A search warrant of his home was conducted, and investigators recovered a backpack and clothing similar to that which was seen in surveillance footage, as well as half of a two-pack of charcoal lighter-fluid bottles that seemed to match another lighter fluid bottle found inside the mosque.
A team of 30 investigators worked around the clock investigating the cause of the fire, which was found to have multiple points of origin. Moore was even interviewed by investigators at the mosque the day of the fire. He had attended services there earlier that day, according to Ruben Hernandez, chief arson investigator with the city’s fire department. Read the rest of this entry »
Long-withheld document provides insight into secretive system in which people can be placed on terrorism databases with astounding ease, and without any way to get off.
Spencer Ackerman reports: Placement on a terrorism watchlist is a life-changing event. Your travel is monitored and in many cases restricted. If overseas, you could be stranded, costing your employment or reunion with your family. You could be detained and, certain lawsuits allege, tortured by foreign governments.
Yet the ease with which someone can be placed on US watchlists and terrorism databases contrasts markedly with the impact placement has. A long-withheld document published on Wednesday by the Intercept detailing the guidelines for placement shows that the standards for inclusion are far lower than probable cause, and the ability for someone caught in the datasets to challenge their placement do not exist. In 2013, the government made 468,749 nominations for inclusion to the Terrorist Screening Database, up from 227,932 nominations in 2009; few are rejected.
The rise – and the low standards the Intercept documented – is partially explained by the near-miss airliner bombing in Christmas 2009, by a man connected to a Yemeni branch of al-Qaida. Partially it is explained by the overwhelming secrecy surrounding the process: attorney general Eric Holder has called it a state secret (although the guidance document itself is unclassified), preventing meaningful outside challenges that would recalibrate a balance between reasonable expectations of security and liberty.
That secrecy, as the Intercept’s publication indicates, is starting to erode – slowly. Recent court cases have given the beginnings of insight into how the US government’s apparatus of terrorism databases and watchlists works in practice. Here is a guide.
They’re reading your tweets
The watchlisting guidance says that “first amendment protected activity alone shall not be the basis” for nominating someone to the lists. The key word: alone. What you say, write and publish can and will be used against you. Particularly if you tweet it, pin it or share it.
The guidelines recognize that looking at “postings on social media sites” is constitutionally problematic. But those posts “should not automatically be discounted”, the guidelines state. Instead, the agency seeking to watchlist someone should evaluate the “credibility of the source, as well as the nature and specificity of the information”. If they’re concerned about a tweet, in other words, they’re likely to go through a user’s timeline. That joke about that band blowing up could come back to haunt you at the airport.
Where you go might get you placed on the list – and then stranded
Contained within the guidance is a potential reason why many US Muslims find themselves abruptly unable to return from trips abroad without explanation. An example given of “potential behavioral indicators” of terrorism is “travel for no known lawful or legitimate purpose to a locus of TERRORISM ACTIVITY”. Not defined: “lawful”, “legitimate” or “locus”. That could mean specific training camps, travel to which few would dispute the merits of watchlisting. Or it could mean entire countries where terrorists are known or suspected of operating – and where millions of Americans travel every year.
The guidelines themselves, in that very section, warn that such behavioral indicators include “activity that may have innocent explanations wholly unrelated to terrorism”. It warns analysts not to judge any circumstance “in isolation”.
What happens on the no-fly list does not stay on the no-fly list. A federal judge, writing in June, noted that the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center shares information on banned passengers with 22 foreign governments as well as “ship captains”, resulting in potential “interference with an individual’s ability to travel by means other than commercial airlines”.
Many people who have sued the US government over the watchlists have reported being unable to return from travel abroad. Ali Ahmed, a US citizen in San Diego, attempted in 2012 to fly to Kenya to meet his fiancee for their arranged marriage. But first he flew to Saudi Arabia to make the religiously encouraged pilgrimage to Mecca; he found himself stranded in Bahrain after he was unable to enter Kenya. Ayman Latif, a disabled US marine originally from Miami who now lives in Egypt, was prevented from flying to the US for a disability evaluation from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
There’s room for the family (and perhaps your friends)
A precursor data set that feeds the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB or, “the watchlist”) is the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, or TIDE, maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center. TIDE contains records of known or suspected international terrorists. It also contains information on their families and perhaps their friends.
“Alien spouses and children” of people NCTC labels terrorists get put into TIDE. They “may be inadmissible to the United States”, presumed to be dangerous. TIDE also contains “non-terrorist” records of people who have a “close relationship with KNOWN or SUSPECTED terrorists”, the guidance reads. Examples listed are fathers or brothers, although the guidance does not specify a blood or marital relationship as necessary for inclusion. Those people can be American citizens or noncitizens inside the United States. While those “close relation[s]” are not supposed to be passed on for watchlisting absent other “derogatory information”, their data may be retained within TIDE for unspecified “analytic purposes”.
Just because a jury finds you innocent doesn’t mean watchlists agree
The guidelines explicitly state that someone “acquitted or against whom charges are dismissed for a crime related to terrorism” can still be watchlisted. A federal official nominating such a person for inclusion on the list just needs “reasonable suspicion” of a danger – something defined as more than “mere guesses or hunches”, based on articulable information or “rational inferences” from it, but far less than probable cause. A judge or jury’s decision is not controlling.
Watch how you walk
In keeping with a general enthusiasm exhibited by law enforcement and the military for identifying someone based on their seemingly unique physical attributes, biometric information is eligible as a criteria to watchlist someone. Several of those biometric identifiers are traditional law enforcement ones, like fingerprints; others are exceptionally targeted, like DNA. Then there are others that reflect emerging or immature analytic subjects: “digital images”, iris scans, and “gait” – that is, the way you walk.
Gait and other biometric identifiers do not appear sufficient to watchlist someone. But they are sufficient to nominate someone to the watchlist or TIDE, provided they rise to the “minimum substantive derogatory standards” – articulable reasons for suspecting someone of involvement of terrorism, a far lower standard than probable cause – unless they come accompanied with evidence that the manner of walk in question includes “an individual with a defined relationship with the KNOWN or SUSPECTED terrorist”. It does not appear that a particular swagger by itself can be watchlisted.
Lisa says …
Lisa Monaco is a former US attorney who holds one of the most powerful and least accountable positions in the US security apparatus: assistant to the president for homeland security and counter-terrorism. She has enormous influence over the watchlisting system. Read the rest of this entry »
Over the weekend, San Francisco will lose its last gun store: High Bridge Arms.
Why? The city has mandated that gun shops hand over information about its customers to the cops.
“Just the idea of giving that information willingly to the police department, for no real reason, seemed very unreasonable to me.” says Steven Alcairo, the general manager of High Bridge Arms. Alcairo notes that the store already complies with all federal and state reporting requirements.
Mark Farrell, a member of San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors, was behind the local ordinance. The ordinance places new requirements on gun shops like High Bridge Arms, such as videotaping everything that happens in their stores and providing the San Francisco Police Department with weekly updates on customers and purchases.
“I would never introduce legislation to hurt a small business in our city,” Farrell told the local NBC affiliate. “However, if a gun store in particular wants to close as a result of it, so be it.”
High Bridge Arms’ website says the shop was opened in 1952 by the renowned Olympic shooter Bob Chow. It was later bought by Andy Takahashi in the late 1980s. It was Takahashi who made the decision to close the doors.
“You know, I think I would like it if San Franciscans would just kinda take a look at this,” says Alcario. “We decriminalized medical marijuana, we pioneered equal rights. But in the same town you’re gearing laws specifically to make it hard on me,”
About 3 minutes. Produced by Alex Manning. Filmed by Paul Detrick. Music by Podington Bear.
It is unlikely the 63-year-old will face charges for the shooting.
Bob Owens writes: A 43-year-old bank robber thought that he’s knock-off the Citizen’s Bank in Warren, Michigan yesterday, and he might have gotten away with it… if he hadn’t pointed his gun at a 63-year-old concealed carrier who didn’t care for his behavior.
A thief walked into a Warren bank expecting to rob it at about 4 p.m. Monday.
But a concealed pistol license holder shot the bank robber three times once in the leg and once in each arm. He is recovering in serious condition at St. John Providence Hospital.
A passer-by recorded a phone video of the bad guy’s very bad day at Citizen’s Bank at Van Dyke north of Nine Mile in Warren.
“It’s not every day you see a bad guy get shot and get taken down,” said witness Gary Guyette.
The 43-year-old suspect turned his gun on the wrong customer, a 63-year-old CPL holder who was packing heat, himself.
“The 63-year-old responded in kind by defending himself,” said Mayor Jim Fouts. “It’s his Second Amendment right.”
“The one guy’s arm was full of blood,” said Guyette.
Guyette pulled up in front of the bank to see police apprehending a wounded and whimpering robber. Read the rest of this entry »
ST. LOUIS — An 11-year-old left at home to defend himself and his 4-year-old sister staved off several home invasion attempts before finally shooting and killing a 16-year-old intruder, police say.
Police officers arrived after 2 p.m. Thursday to the home on Hallwood Drive in north St. Louis County to discover the body of a 16-year-old lying in the front foyer.
The boy, whose name has not been released, had been shot in the head while breaking into the home, according to police. He was shot by the 11-year-old boy who lived inside, and who — along with his 4-year-old sister — had been left there alone.
Sgt. Brian Schellman said it was third time that the 16-year-old had attempted to break into that house that day. Neither sibling was hurt in the incident. Read the rest of this entry »
On August 28, the NRA presented ATF and FBI data showing Americans have purchased “170 million new guns” since 1991, and violent crime has fallen “51 percent.”
“The overarching message is simple—more guns, less crime. Americans have purchased “170 million new guns” since 1991, and violent crime has decreased as gun ownership has increased.”
This information squares with the findings of a Congressional Research Service (CRS) study covering the slightly shorter period of time from 1994 to 2009.
For those years, CRS found that Americans purchased approximately 118 million firearms, and the 1993 “firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide” rate of 6.6 per 100,000 fell to 3.6 per 100,000 by the year 2000. It eventually fell all the way to 3.2 per 100,000 in 2011.
That is more than a 50 percent reduction in “firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide.”
Then, in 2009—the year the CRS study ended…(read more)
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at email@example.com.
It’s not like this hasn’t been documented multiple times. Here are just a few examples of our coverage of the gun rights/gun control debate, civil rights, and crime statistics, followed by external links.
This week, the NRA, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), firearms retailers, and private gun owners filed a lawsuit against the City of Seattle, alleging that its new firearms and ammunition sales tax ordinance is illegal and unenforceable.
“Overdose and non-gun suicide hospitalizations each occurred at a rate more than five times that of those involving a gun; hospitalizations for ‘injuries due to accidents’ had a rate almost seventy-five times greater. With stats like these, it’s clear that anti-gun sentiment is the only thing driving the new taxes, not any real desire to address public health concerns of city residents.”
Earlier this month, Seattle passed the Firearm Tax and Ammunition Tax ordinance which imposes a new $25 sales tax on the retail sales of firearms, plus a per-round sales tax of two to five cents on ammunition. The ordinance is slated to go into effect on January 1, 2016. A failure to pay the tax is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000, imprisonment of up to 364 days, or both.
A city report describes this as a “gun violence tax” that is estimated to generate revenues of $300,000 to $500,000 per year. The report adds, “[e]very effort funded by the revenues of this tax that reduces the probability of gun violence from taking place will save lives and money… Efforts funded by the gun violence tax that mitigate the public health, welfare, and safety impacts of gun violence will benefit this population.”
“In 2011, the Court of Appeals of Washington looked no further than the ‘plain language’ of the preemption statute before concluding that Seattle’s attempt to regulate the possession of firearms was unlawful. The complaint in the new lawsuit refers to this decision and states the City of Seattle is ‘not permitted to pass laws that target the sale of firearms and ammunition through any means.’”
The report fails to disclose any clear relationship between expected new tax receipts and a reduction in violence of any kind. The report asserts only that efforts funded by the tax which “reduce the probability of gun violence from taking place” will benefit Seattle residents, without identifying the nature of the “research, prevention and youth education and employment programs” or how these programs will work to reduce the “probability” of gun violence. (The report does confirm, though, that the City will be able “to track how much revenue is raised each year and analyze the programs to which that revenue is dedicated.”)
“Citizens testifying before the City Council meeting on the new tax included a recent victim of a violent felony who was ‘appalled’ that the City was enacting an illegal tax that would force law-abiding citizens to pay for the impact of gun violence committed by criminals.”
The ordinance itself cites a 2014 study funded by the City of Seattle which reported, among other things, King County hospitalization rates due to a firearm-related injury (“of any intent,” presumably including self-inflicted and accidental injuries in addition to persons who were injured as victims of crime), and hospitalizations for other reasons.
Hospitalizations due to overdoses, non-gun suicides, and non-gun assaults were far more prevalent than gun-related hospitalizations. Overdose and non-gun suicide hospitalizations each occurred at a rate more than five times that of those involving a gun; hospitalizations for “injuries due to accidents” had a rate almost seventy-five times greater. With stats like these, it’s clear that anti-gun sentiment is the only thing driving the new taxes, not any real desire to address public health concerns of city residents. Read the rest of this entry »
Seattle’s tax, which would take effect in January, would add $25 to the price of each firearm sold in the city.
SEATTLE (AP) — Gene Johnson reports: Three gun rights groups, including the National Rifle Association, sued the city of Seattle on Monday over its adoption of a so-called “gun violence tax,” a tax on firearms and ammunition designed to help offset
the financial toll of gun violence.
The complaint was filed Monday in King County Superior Court by the NRA, the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, along with two gun owners and two gun shops. It called the tax legally unenforceable because Washington state prohibits local governments from adopting laws related to firearms unless those local ordinances are specifically authorized by the state.
“The ordinance serves only as a piece of propaganda, because the ordinance’s mandates are legally unenforceable. The state of Washington has the exclusive right to regulate the sale of firearms in Washington, and cities may not enact local laws or regulations related to the sale of firearms.”
“The ordinance serves only as a piece of propaganda, because the ordinance’s mandates are legally unenforceable,” the lawsuit said. “The state of Washington has the exclusive right to regulate the sale of firearms in Washington, and cities may not enact local laws or regulations related to the sale of firearms.”
The Seattle City Council unanimously approved the tax this month, along with a companion measure requiring gun owners to file reports if their weapons are stolen or lost. The lawsuit does not challenge the reporting requirements. City Attorney Pete Holmes has argued that the gun-violence tax falls squarely under Seattle’s taxing authority. Read the rest of this entry »
In this News Minute from the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, Jennifer Zahrn addresses the false claim that 40 percent of gun sales do not go through background checks.
AWR Hawkins writes:
…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 »
Just 22% of Likely U.S. Voters would feel safer living in a neighborhood where nobody was allowed to own a gun over one where they could have a gun for their own protection
The question Rasmussen asked was, ”Would you feel safer moving to a neighborhood where nobody was allowed to own a gun or a neighborhood where you could have a gun for your own protection?” From this, outfit drew the conclusion that ”Americans prefer living in neighborhoods with guns. This seems fair to me. After all, if you have the right to own a gun, everyone else does too. At the very least, though, one can take from this inquiry that the vast majority of Americans want the capacity to own a firearm for their protection, and that they would not want to move somewhere where it was prohibited….(read more)
Source: A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 22% of Likely U.S. Voters would feel safer living in a neighborhood where nobody was allowed to own a gun over one where they could have a gun for their own protection.
Sixty-eight percent (68%) would feel safer in a neighborhood where guns are allowed, while 10% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.
— Bill (@DefendWallSt) June 9, 2015
Professor Jessica Smartt Gullion Exposes REAL Agenda of College Gun Rights Activists: ‘Campus Carry Would Force Scholars to Give A Grades So They Don’t Get Shot!’Posted: June 5, 2015
Jennifer Kabbany writes: Jessica Smartt Gullion, an assistant professor of sociology at Texas Woman’s University, is actually arguing that scholars will be intimidated into giving students with concealed carry permits As so they don’t get shot.
“In nearly every state that has a Right-to-Carry law, as the measure was being debated, gun control advocates frantically predicted scenarios of Wild West-type shootouts in the streets.”
Suggesting students often get emotionally distraught over bad grades, scholars are at risk from gun-toting students…
“This, of course, has not come to pass. Instead, modern America’s proliferation of firearms and lawful public carry have coincided with historically low rates of violent crime.”
Texas college professors may soon face a dilemma between upholding professional ethics and protecting their lives. …
With this proposed law, a question coming up for many academics is whether they would be forced to give A grades to undeserving students, just so they can avoid being shot.
This is not as far-fetched as it sounds. In my five years as a college professor, I have had experiences with a number of emotionally distressed students who resort to intimidation when they receive a lesser grade than what they feel they deserve. …
Allowing students to carry weapons to class strips off a layer of safety. Students are often emotional and can be volatile when it comes to their GPAs. Who would want to give a student a low grade and then get shot for it?
“Gullion’s arguments about heated exchanges escalating into gun-fueled carnage are similarly divorced from reality and logic.”
“In nearly every state that has a Right-to-Carry law, as the measure was being debated, gun control advocates frantically predicted scenarios of Wild West-type shootouts in the streets. Read the rest of this entry »
Bills hampered by university leaders’ resistance, even in gun-friendly states
Of the 15 “campus carry” bills introduced earlier this year, none has passed.
“Nathan Scott, a former student at Florida State University who was shot in the leg in the school’s library by a gunman last November, said that having a gun would have helped him defend himself.”
Measures in 11 states have already effectively died, including in Florida, where gun-rights supporters had high hopes before two bills stalled before reaching floor votes.
And on Thursday, the Nevada senate defeated an 11th-hour move to tuck campus carry into a broader firearms measure, likely dooming the effort this year. Bills in at least two other states are expected to fail soon as well.
“If I had been armed, I would have shot the killer before he shot me, absolutely. It’s ridiculous that students aren’t able to carry.”
— Nathan Scott
Attention is now focused on lawmakers in Texas, who could vote to expand campus carry soon, in the waning days of the legislative session. A win in Texas, which could come as early as next week, could help keep the effort alive and provide momentum heading into 2016.
“Permit holders are more law-abiding than the general public, and there’s just no reason their constitutional rights should stop at the borders of a college or university.”
— Jennifer Baker, a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association
The push to allow those with concealed-carry permits to carry firearms on campus picked up following the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech University, in which 33 people, including the gunman, were killed.
The National Rifle Association and other gun-rights groups say students should have had the ability to defend themselves with firearms.
“Advocates of looser laws concerning guns on college campuses say that students trained with a gun would be better positioned to fend off a host of potential crimes, from sexual assaults to a Virginia Tech-style mass shooting.”
The U.S. Supreme Court, in its seminal 2008 ruling called District of Columbia v. Heller, found that the Second Amendment protects one’s right to possess a gun inside the home for self-defense. But the court didn’t say precisely when that right can be exercised in public. Since then, lower courts have wrestled with how to apply the Heller ruling to gun bans in public places, and legal experts think the Supreme Court will likely take up the question in another case before too long. Read the rest of this entry »
Ben Kamisar reports: Capitol Police officers misplaced their loaded guns in plain sight on at least three separate occasions, including once when a small child found the weapon, according to a Roll Call analysis of a Capitol Police Board report.
“The Department takes very seriously all breaches of Department rules and has established policies that address such matters.”
— Lt. Kimberly Schneider, a Capitol Police spokeswoman
One officer assigned to protect Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) left his gun in a toilet seat cover holder in a bathroom stall in the Capitol Visitor Center in January, according to the paper.
Another assigned to the detail of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) left a firearm in the bathroom of the Speaker’s suite, where a 7- or 8-year-old visiting child discovered the gun. The Glock pistol left by Boehner’s detail does not have a traditional locking mechanism and could still be fired when left out, Roll Call reported.
“Each disciplinary matter is thoroughly investigated and reviewed, employees are held accountable for their conduct, and they are provided due process in adjudicating these matters. Depending on the nature and seriousness of the violation, an employee’s record, and other required considerations, an appropriate penalty is applied, up to and including termination of employment.”
A janitor found the third pistol out in the Capitol Police headquarters, according to the paper.
The report on the January incident reportedly shows that police brass recommended a six-day suspension without pay for the officer from McConnell’s detail as punishment, but Roll Call reports that the other two incidents are still under investigation.
“As a matter of policy, the Department does not routinely discuss internal personnel matters, in order to maintain the integrity of the Department.”
Boehner spokesman Michael Steel declined to comment on the incidents, referring questions to Capitol Police. Read the rest of this entry »
New Glock Commercial Shows Everyday People Carrying Everywhere
The wait is over. The G43 is our new single stack 9mm pistol. The G43 is the most highly desired and anticipated release in GLOCK history. Designed to be the favored back up or last resort option for both civilian and law enforcement use, this subcompact slimline design is the perfectly balanced answer to your everyday concealed carry needs. It is ultra-concealable, accurate and comfortable for all shooters regardless of hand size.
Rani Molla reports:
“Concealed carry—you don’t know who’s doing it and it doesn’t cause as much concern as open carry. One is a danger you know, and one is a danger you don’t know.”
— Laura Cutilletta, senior staff attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Gun-rights advocates see the practice as a way to normalize gun ownership and deter crime, while gun-control activists believe carrying guns in stores and restaurants is disruptive to the public and encourages violence.
Recently, Target, Starbucks and Chipotle have asked their patrons not to bring their guns. After petitions by gun-control groups such as Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Kroger said it would uphold local and state laws in the 34 states it operates.
Carrying a firearm in a concealed manner is legal in all states, but open carry has more restrictions, especially for handguns.
(Open Carry is way more normal than most people think: http://t.co/cFFC2p2ukK)
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) January 29, 2015
Though federal law doesn’t restrict the open carrying of handguns in public, several states—including California, Florida, Illinois, New York, South Carolina and Texas—ban the practice, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Thirteen states require a special permit or license to open carry. Read the rest of this entry »
Approves 8 Applications, Denies 11
Stephen Gutowski reports; The District of Columbia has issued its first concealed handgun carry permits. As of January 26, there are eight civilians who can legally carry a firearm in the nation’s capital. Currently, more permit applicants have been denied than approved.
“The City Council adopted a ‘may issue’ law which featured a myriad of restrictions, imposed 18 hours of training requirements, cost $110 in application fees, and required applicants prove to city officials their need to carry a firearm. It has been widely criticized by gun rights activists.”
“We’ve had 69 applications, of which 3 were canceled at the request of the applicant,” Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said. “So far eight licenses have been approved and issued.”
The District was forced to adopt a legal framework allowing civilians to carry firearms after a federal judge declared the city’s previous ban unconstitutional last July. The City Council adopted a “may issue” law which featured a myriad of restrictions, imposed 18 hours of training requirements, cost $110 in application fees, and required applicants prove to city officials their need to carry a firearm.
“So far eight licenses have been approved and issued.”
It has been widely criticized by gun rights activists. The city began accepting applications several months later on October 23rd but established a 90 day review period.
The eight people legally allowed to carry a gun within city limits represent about .00001 percent of the 646,449 people the Census Bureau estimates reside in the city.
The MPD did not provide any information about where the eight permittees reside, but there are non-residents represented among the 69 people who have applied for a permit. Read the rest of this entry »
“There’s a reason I’m admitting to all of this. It’s a kind of public service.”
I received fair warning that this would happen. Even before we were married, my husband announced his general intention to own a gun. A year or so back he started researching the topic more earnestly, and then one afternoon there was a gun sitting on my kitchen table. It was unloaded, of course.
“The thing is, I don’t come from a gun-happy culture. Apart from my husband, I doubt any of my near relations have experience with firearms.”
We had extensive conversations about trigger locks and all the other safety measures. I know that the kids can’t get it, and are in fact far more likely to be injured by stairs or cleaning solutions or sporting equipment. Intuitively it still feels like a menace.
“Gun violence is not some mysterious malady that simply befalls us against our will, like a cancer or a natural disaster.”
The thing is, I don’t come from a gun-happy culture. Apart from my husband, I doubt any of my near relations have experience with firearms. Mind you, I was raised by conservatives, but Mormons trend towards a communitarian, good-government brand of conservatism. They’re rarely drawn to the more suspicious and individualistic culture of the N.R.A. If my parents had any gun-owning friends when I was growing up, I wasn’t aware.
For WIRED, Andy Greenberg writes: A burgeoning subculture of 3-D printed gun enthusiasts dreams of the day when a lethal firearm can be downloaded or copied by anyone, anywhere, as easily as a pirated episode of Game of Thrones. But the 27-year-old Japanese man arrested last week for allegedly owning illegal 3-D printed firearms did more than simply download and print other enthusiasts’ designs. He appears to have created some of his own.
“With the Liberator we were trying to communicate a kind of singularity, to create a moment…”
Among the half-dozen plastic guns seized from Yoshitomo Imura’s home in Kawasaki was a revolver designed to fire six .38-caliber bullets–five more than the Liberator printed pistol that inspired Imura’s experiments. He called it the ZigZag, after its ratcheted barrel modeled on the German Mauser Zig-Zag. In a video he posted online six months ago, Imura assembles the handgun from plastic 3-D printed pieces, a few metal pins, screws and rubber bands, then test fires it with blanks.
“…The broad recognition of this idea seemed to flip a switch in peoples’ minds…We knew that people would make this their own.”
— Cody Wilson
It’s been a full year since I watched the radical libertarian group Defense Distributed test fire the Liberator, the first fully printable gun, for the first time. Imura is one of a growing number of digital gunsmiths who saw the potential of that controversial breakthrough and have strived to improve upon the Liberator’s clunky, single-shot design. Motivated by a mix of libertarianism, gun rights advocacy and open-source experimentation, their innovations include rifles, derringers, multi-round handguns and the components needed to assemble semi-automatic weapons. Dozens of other designs are waiting to be tested.
The result of all this tinkering may be the first advancements that significantly move 3-D printed firearms from the realm of science fiction to practical weapons. Read the rest of this entry »
YOKOHAMA – A 27-year-old man who allegedly made handguns with a 3-D printer was arrested Thursday on suspicion of illegal weapons possession, the first time Japan’s firearms control law has been applied to the possession of guns made by this method.
“I can’t complain about the arrest if the police regard them as real guns.”
The suspect, Yoshitomo Imura, an employee of Shonan Institute of Technology in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, had the plastic guns at his home in Kawasaki in mid-April, the police said. No bullets for the guns have been found.
The police launched an investigation earlier this year after Imura posted video footage online of the guns, which he claimed to have produced himself, along with blueprints for them, according to investigative sources.
One of Imura’s postings carried a comment: “The right to bear firearms is part of basic human rights.”
Police searched Imura’s home last month and seized five guns, two which can fire real bullets, the sources said.
Imura, who purchased a 3-D printer for around ¥60,000 through the Internet, was quoted as telling investigators during the search, “I produced the guns, but I didn’t think it was illegal.” 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.
Yesterday, Governor Jan Brewer (R) signed House Bill 2103 into law. Introduced by state Representative Kelly Townsend (R-16), HB 2103 would allow an individual of at least nineteen years of age to obtain a concealed weapon permit if the person is currently in military service or has been honorably discharged. This legislation is a good way to thank our military for their service and will benefit law-abiding gun owners in Arizona. HB 2103 passed in the state Senate by a 20 to 10 vote on Wednesday and in the House by a 39 to 18 vote on March 10.
Also yesterday, House Bill 2535 was reported in the Senate by the Committee of the Whole as “Do Pass.” Introduced by state Representative John Kavanagh (R-23), HB 2535 requires that certification by a chief law enforcement officer (CLEO), when a signoff is required for the transfer of a firearm or other item regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA), be provided within sixty days as long as the applicant is not prohibited by law from receiving the firearm or other item. HB 2535 would prevent an arbitrary personal bias from determining Arizona firearm policy and ensure that qualified, law-abiding Arizonans would not be denied their ability to legally possess NFA items. The reforms in HB 2535 would benefit law-abiding Arizona Second Amendment supporters by ensuring that the process to obtain NFA items already legal in Arizona remains consistent, fact-based and objective. Additionally, HB 2535 would provide an individual who has been denied certification by a CLEO with a written explanation for the denial. HB 2535 now goes to the Senate floor where it will be considered as early as next week.
Defending the right to sell and trade arms
David B. Kopel writes: The First Amendment protects both book buyers and booksellers. Does the Second Amendment protect only people who buy guns, or does it also protect people who sell guns? Though this question has divided the federal courts, the answer is quite clear: operating a business that provides Second Amendment services is protected by the Second Amendment. District of Columbia v. Heller1 teaches that regulation of how firearms are commercially sold enjoys a presumption of constitutionality, which does not extend to prohibitions of firearms sales.
[Related: Find John Lott’s essential book: More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition (Studies in Law and Economics) at Amazon]
In the lower federal courts, there is a developing split about whether firearms sellers have Second Amendment rights which the courts are bound to respect. Seventh Circuit courts view firearms sellers like booksellers — as holders of constitutional rights. While gun sellers are subject to much stricter regulation than are booksellers, they are both protected by the Bill of Rights. Conversely, in the courts of the Fourth Circuit, gun sellers have no Second Amendment rights.
Brown v. Board of Education was not exactly a popular decision among some state and local governments, and among some lower court judges. The same is true of Heller. One form of resistance to Heller has been to read the opinion in the narrowest possible way, excluding from Second Amendment protection many normal activities involving firearms. One such form of resistance is the claim that the Second Amendment does not apply to gun sales.
So holds Tuesday’s Delaware Supreme Court decision, says the Washington Post‘s Eugene Volokh, in Doe v. Wilmington Housing Authority) (Del. Mar. 18, 2014). The court applied the Delaware Constitution’s right to bear arms provision — “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” — and the court noted that this language may justify broader protection than that given by the Second Amendment. Still, the precedent is likely to prove influential in other states as well, since the case deals with having guns for self-defense, which D.C. v. Heller has held is covered by the Second Amendment. (If the case had dealt with hunting and recreational use, for instance, the matter might well have been different.) An excerpt:
WHA argues that an accidental discharge of a firearm may have serious fatal consequences and that dangers inhere in the increased presence of firearms. But these same concerns would also apply to the area within any apartment — interior locations where the WHA concedes it cannot restrict the possession of firearms for self-defense. The Revised Policy does more than proscribe the unsafe use of a firearm. It also prohibits possession in the public housing common areas except where the firearm is being transported to or from an apartment. In this context, WHA must show more than a general safety concern and it has not done so….
[A]n individual’s interest in the right to keep and bear arms is strongest when “the weapon is in one’s home or business and is being used for security.” Residents have a possessory interest in both their apartments and the common areas. And although Residents cannot exclude other residents or the public from the common areas, their need for security in those areas is just as high for purposes of Section 20 as it would be inside their apartment or business. The common areas are effectively part of the residences. The laundry rooms and TV rooms are similar to those typically found in private residences; and the Residents, their families, and their guests will occupy them as part of their living space.
Federal agents on Saturday executed a search warrant on a gun parts store in California, despite the store owner filing a temporary restraining order against their agency.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had demanded thatDimitri Karras, the CEO of Ares Armor in National City, Calif., turn over the names of nearly 5,000 customers who had purchased an 80 percent lower receiver that reportedly failed to meet ATF specifications.
“Searching is fun! Paper work sucks.”
— ATF Agent
Karras, a former U.S. Marine, agreed to turn over the receivers, but refused to reveal the names of his customers. He then filed the restraining order.
Federal agents responded by obtaining an ex parte order, meaning they did it without Ares being present, giving them permission to execute a “lawful search.”
The ATF “is conducting a lawful criminal investigation of the illegal manufacture, distribution, sale, and possession of AR-15 variant lower receivers, which are considered firearms under the Firearms Control Act,” the federal agency said in its ex parte application, dated Friday.
Here’s more amateur video of the search:
It’s worth noting that the ATF application refers to the receivers in question as “firearms,” which would seem to be an incorrect application of the term. Outgoing Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) introduced a bill last August that would define 80 percent lower receivers as “firearms,” but the legislation has not passed.
“Most of what Americans know about guns they learned from TV and the movies, and 99 percent of it is wrong.”
— Gerald Vernon
Katie Pavlich writes: In December 2012 the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Illinois’ ban on concealed carry as unconstitutional, finally opening the door for residents in crime ridden areas of Chicago to protect themselves and their communities. Although permits must be approved by local police and a state licensing board, it’s a start. People who have applied for permits are expected to get approvals and permits in the mail by the middle of March 2014.
As more people carry concealed in Chicago, the crime rate will decrease. Guaranteed.
Now that Illinois residents have finally been given their rights back, they’re flocking to concealed carry classes to learn more about how to safely carry a firearm. The Reader just did a feature story Gerald Vernon [see Dismantling the Stigma of Guns] a long time Second Amendment advocate and firearms instructor living in Chicago’s south side.
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.
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.
Speaking of guns…
When the opponents of “assault weapon” bans argue that it is preposterous for the state to ban firearms based on the way they look, they really mean it. It is. The rifle in the photograph above is no more or less powerful than the one that has been banned; it just looks different. And, because the SAFE Act was, typically, interested only in cosmetic questions, a simple change to its aesthetic rendered the rifle legal once more. As Clash Daily’s Jonathan S. explains:
Prototypes for the newly designed AR-15 are hitting gun shops across New York, as gun shops and machinists have designed a rifle that complies with the anti-gun law. At least one gun shop has received a letter from state police saying that the new AR-15 style rifles should be legal in the state as long as they don’t have some of the features that the law prohibits.
New copper bullet EXPLODES on impact
Anything with a name like “Radically Invasive Projectile” will undoubtedly interest loyal punditfromanotherplanet readers. Including firearms enthusiasts, pyrotechnics hobbyists, law enforcement officials, reformed home-invasion hobbyists, concerned part-time burglars, probation officers, ballistics video aficionados, women sharpshooters, men sharpshooters, gun-haters, gun-lovers, anxious Mother Jones readers, NRA members, Huffington Post crybabies, gun grabbers, gun store clerks, retired military personal, security guards, teachers, and elected officials. And, well, folks who enjoy watching stuff blow up. In concrete. Or gelatin. In slow motion.
G2 Research’s Radically Invasive Projectile (R.I.P.) copper-tipped bullet makes a stunning explosive mess in the company’s new promotional video, and it’s hard to image the effect on people being much prettier.
This technology turns even a neophyte into a marksman, at least within a 500-yard range. The user simply “tags” the target, and the gun and ammo do the rest, all for a mere $9,950—the starting price for the new series.
In fact, the system is so accurate that a user will have up to five times the accuracy of an experienced shooter, said Oren Schauble, the company’s marketing director.
The gun can track a target moving at up to 10 mph and allows for rapid engagement, meaning a person can shoot multiple targets quickly.
According to TrackingPoint, the company’s unique rifles are meant to “dramatically enhance the hunting and shooting sports experience while delivering a powerful tactical advantage to military and law enforcement organizations.”
Julie Golob: Recent IDPA Nationals could be the catalyst for getting women involved in shooting sportsPosted: December 19, 2013
The International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) is on to something big and they might not even realize it.
Julie Golob writes: A few weekends ago I shot my first match in over a year — the inaugural IDPA Back Up Gun (BUG) Nationals. In a sport that has been known for intricate target engagement sequences and specific rules regarding reloads and the use of cover, those who signed up to compete in the match weren’t sure what to expect for the first national championship featuring small, concealable carry guns.
The BUG Nationals presented shooters with short and simple shooting problems, uncomplicated equipment rules and quite possibly one of the easiest ways to get the female demographic into the shooting sports. With the increasing number of women purchasing firearms for both target shooting and self-defense, women represent a huge market for the gun industry.
Think of the many women who own a Smith & Wesson J-frame revolver or a pocket size .380 or 9mm for personal protection. How many of these women carry such firearms in purses or non-traditional holsters designed specifically for women? It’s a number that could easily be in the many thousands. Read the rest of this entry »
Raquel Okyay writes: Women seeking to arm themselves and their daughters are figuring out that guns are not ‘taboo’ but a powerful means of protection.
The Second Amendment will stand or fall depending on the way women vote, he said. “Women make-up about 52% of the population and they vote with a mind of their own.”
Women and particularly women with children have been raised with an idea that guns are dangerous. Yet once women get over their initial fear of the firearm, they feel empowered by it, he said. “Women want to be armed and capable.”
It has been his experience that women who receive instruction quickly become comfortable with using firearms, he said. “They come into my class afraid of the gun, but 4 or 5 hours later they are on the line like a kid in a candy shop, blazing away, having a ball.”
If women are not encouraged to support firearms and instead rely on the stigma that guns are bad, they will vote against the Second Amendment and they will not be protected, said Coryell who is the owner and president of White Feather Press.
The push to “do something, anything,” has nothing to do with preventing deaths.
Charles C. W. Cooke writes: Earlier in the year, as the gun-control movement tried clumsily to transform an abomination into a cudgel, the Washington Post’s Kathleen Parker distilled its problem into a single sentence. “Nothing proposed in the gun-control debates would have prevented the mass killing of children at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” Parker contended plainly, “and everybody knows it.”
This was abundantly clear at the time, and it is even more so in retrospect. And yet I must nitpick ever so slightly with Parker’s excellent contention, for it is missing the crucial word “almost.” Almost everybody knows it. The public seems to know it. Legislators seem to know it. But, judging by the abundance of vexed anniversary columns, a significant cabal of journalists and activists have never got the message. A year later, their cry is as it was at the outset: Why won’t we act?
Yesterday, Michael Bloomberg delivered a speech in which he utilized what I have come to regard as the Newtown Template. Having established the tragedy in the audience’s mind — December 14 “will mark a very somber anniversary,” Bloomberg noted, correctly — he went on to claim that “unlicensed sellers of firearms” were “illegally flooding the Internet with weapons,” causing “a massive online, unregulated, second-hand firearms market that threatens public safety.” Then, for good measure, he took a swipe at the government for “doing nothing.”
The NFL’s Advertising Policy addresses several Prohibited Advertising Categories, including guidelines for ads featuring alcohol, video games, movies, prescription drugs, and, of course, firearms.
The firearms portion of the NFL’s Prohibited Advertising Categories states:
“5. Firearms, ammunition or other weapons are prohibited; however, stores that sell firearms and ammunitions (e.g., outdoor stores and camping stores) will be permitted, provided they sell other products and the ads do not mention firearms, ammunition or other weapons.”
According to these guidelines, Daniel Defense’s Super Bowl commercial does not violate NFL policy for two reasons:
- Daniel Defense has a brick-and-mortar store, where they sell products other than firearms such as apparel.
- The commercial itself does not mention firearms, ammunition or weaponry.
While Daniel Defense’s commercial does not mention firearms, it does include a logo of their DDM4 rifle at the very end.
When the NFL denied the ad, Daniel Defense immediately offered to replace the DDM4 logo with an American flag and/or the words “Shall not be infringed.”
The NFL replied with another non-negotiable denial.