Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Lawsuit Filed Against Boulder, Colorado, Ban on Rifles, Magazines



On 15 May, 2018, the Boulder, Colorado city council unanimously passed an ordinance banning the possession of various firearms and accessories.  The ordinance is so new that it has not shown up in the municipal code yet. The ordinance is voluminous and detailed. The brief for the ordinance cites several biased and partisan "studies" to attempt to make the case to pass the ordinance. The ordinance likely violates Colorado's preemption statute and State and Federal Constitutional protections.  The ordinance casts a wide net.

Legal pushback, in the form of a lawsuit, followed shortly after passage, as opponents to the measure had promised. From the denverpost.com:
Radio and TV personality Jon Caldara, the Boulder Rifle Club and Bison Tactical have filed a federal lawsuit claiming the city of Boulder’s new ordinance banning assault weapons and increasing the age of legal gun ownership to 21 violates their constitutional rights.

Bison Tactical, a Boulder-based maker and seller of shooting gear, the rifle club and Caldara, who lives in Boulder, would continue possessing and selling assault weapons if not for the unanimous decision Tuesday to ban the weapons inside city limits.

“The right of self-defense is an unalienable, natural and fundamental right,” says the lawsuit filed Wednesday by Mountain States Legal Foundation attorneys Cody Wisniewski and Sean Smith. “The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution memorializes the right of self-defense.”
The Mountain States Legal Foundation sums up the legal challenges succinctly. From mountainstateslegal.org:
Legal Question:

Whether a municipality can undermine the exercise of fundamental and unalienable rights and ignore the U.S. Constitution and controlling Supreme Court precedent?
Whether a municipality can ignore its state constitution and state law by infringing upon and criminalizing an individual’s unalienable and natural right to self-defense, and the right to keep and bear arms?
The lawsuit filing is available on line. Obvious arguments against the ordinance under the Second Amendment are listed.  Here are a few in the filing.
From Caldera V. City of Boulder:
87. The Second Amendment protects firearms in “common use, ”which “could contribute to the common defense.” United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174, 178 – 179 (1939).

88. Detachable magazines are an integral part of “Arms,” and thus, are protected by the Second Amendment.

89. Detachable magazines are typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, such as self-defense.

I was surprised I did not find a reference to Caetano V. Massachusetts in the lawsuit. Caetano is a unanimous Supreme Court decision declaring all bearable arms in common use are protected by the Second Amendment. The rifles and magazines affected by ordinance 8245 are far more common than the stun guns Caetano was concerned with.

Ordinance 8245 shows an interesting set of exemptions. It exempts members of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) from the ordinance. To become a member of the ROTC, a university student need only sign up for a class.  Army, Navy, and Air Force ROTC programs are all available at Boulder, Colorado.  From proposed ordinance 8245: (edited to show proposed ordinance without stike-throughs and underlines)
5-8-25. – Exemptions from Chapter. 

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to forbid any officer of the
United States including but not limited to federal agents and United States Marshals, any sheriffs, constables and their deputies; any regular or ex-officio police officer; any other peace officers; or members of the United States Armed Forces, Colorado National Guard or Reserve Officer Training Corps from purchasing, having in their possession, displaying, concealing or discharging such weapons.
Colorado is in the jurisdiction of Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Tenth Circuit has not ruled on the Constitutionality of a ban on semi-automatic "assault weapons" (variously defined) or or magazines with a capacity of over a certain number of rounds. Such bans have been upheld in the Second Circuit, the Fourth Circuit, and the Seventh Circuit, under very dubious reasoning. The Circuit Courts are attempting to rewrite the Heller case in order to write semi-auto firearms as not protected by the Second Amendment. The Supreme Court has refused to review those cases. Some have claimed the court is looking for a clear split in the Circuits in order to accept a case.

That might happen in the Tenth Circuit. I consider it unlikely. The Boulder ordinance is likely to be found in violation of the State preemption law, thus rendering the Second Amendment challenge mute. From findlaw.com:
Colorado Revised Statutes Title 29 Government Local § 29-117-103
A local government may not enact an ordinance, regulation, or other law that prohibits the sale, purchase, or possession of a firearm that a person may lawfully sell, purchase, or possess under state or federal law.  Any such ordinance, regulation, or other law enacted by a local government prior to March 18, 2003, is void and unenforceable.
The Boulder ordinance is believed to be impotent by all sides. Its passage is political virtue signaling.  It will accomplish nothing but entangle the city in a lawsuit the citizens may not pay for. Deep pockets outside the City have already offered to aid its attempts to disarm its citizens. From the dailycamera.com:
City Attorney Tom Carr said Boulder has received offers of gratis help from "outside law firms" that will reduce the impact of both cost and time to city staff.
In any case, Boulder is a wealthy city. They can afford such extravagances.

It would be ironic if the Tenth circuit struck down the ordinance on Second Amendment grounds, creating a Circuit split, to take the case to the United States Supreme Court.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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FL: Armed Man hold Burglary Suspect for Police

GIFFORD — A man who said his home had been broken into used his video surveillance system and a handgun to find and apprehend the accused burglar Sunday.

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KY: Domestic Defense, Uncle Shoots Nephew who Attempted Break-in



KSP spokesperson Master Trooper Jody Sims said the two had been having problems for a couple of days and Henrickson was allegedly trying to get inside of Fugate’s residence to confront him. Sims said Fugate shot through the door, striking his nephew in the leg.
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TX: Legal Gun Carrier Shoots at Man who Assaulted, Killed Woman at School



As the woman was leaving the property, the man got into his Ford Focus and ran her over several times, authorities said. A witness with a concealed handgun license began firing at the driver and his car to get him to stop and blew out one of the man's tires.

Jose Sandoval, who lives behind the property, spoke to the woman just minutes before he witnessed her death.
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Monday, May 21, 2018

Encountering a Liberal Second Amendment Supporter in Deep Blue Madison, Wisconsin



I have been busy helping pick up the pieces after the death of a friend of 48 years. For the last few days, I ate breakfast at a McDonalds in Middleton, Wisconsin, part of the far left liberal environs centered around Dane County and Madison, Wisconsin.  My friend had lived most of his life in Madison and Middleton. He was a lifelong Second Amendment supporter, lifetime master pistol shooter, and a mentor.

At the McDonalds, I struck up conversation with a gentleman who I suspected to be a liberal. We had a connection because he was searching for information on friends who had recently died in Australia. I had recently been in Australia and have investigative experience.

I said I was a writer. On the second day, he asked what I wrote. I described Gun Watch. His demeanor softened a little. He described himself as a liberal gun owner.

The third day, he introduced his wife. They both had Wisconsin concealed carry permits. He showed a video of using tannerite to recreationally blow up targets in Northern Wisconsin. He introduced me to another member of his McDonalds breakfast group who was a retired Navy Captain.

Even in deep blue Madison, Wisconsin, there are significant numbers of Second Amendment supporters. Many of them are keeping their heads down because they believe they are surrounded by anti-Second Amendment leftists.

What they do in the polling booth may be different than what they admit to in public.

They may be part of the invisible Trump voters who helped put President Trump over the top in Wisconsin and other mid-west states.

Was my new found acquaintance one of them? It is hard to say. He sounded as though he had an open mind. He is bright. He is informed. Could he have voted against Hillary?

It seems likely to me.

It was obvious to both of us that he did not want his picture associated with this article. I said I expected he did not want his picture taken. He said I was exactly correct. He took mine, instead.

Second Amendment supporters in deep blue areas fear becoming known publicly. Social Justice Warriors often wish them harm. 

These people may support Second Amendment candidates.  Other Second Amendment supporters should encourage them to, at minimum, vote to protect the Bill of Rights.


©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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VA: Man Shoots Armed Robbery Suspect



When he asked for payment before giving Richardson the motorcycle's papers, the juvenile pulled out a gun and demanded the motorcycle.

Billett, who was armed, shot the juvenile in the neck.

Roanoke Fire-EMS took the juvenile to the hospital, where he is being treated for non-life threatening injuries.
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MO: Former Marine Shoots at Thieves



Surveillance cameras show what happened next. Luigi said he grabbed his pistol, ran outside and found one of the thieves standing by the fence.

Luigi said he fired first, but then claims the thief returned fire. The video doesn't clearly show the thief firing back.

"Right there behind the tree. Right when he was standing by the tree is when he fired. He shot real quick and then I shot back at them and he took off," Giovanni explains.

The episode didn't stop there. Later Monday night, Luigi discovered his 8x5 trailer, along with a motorized quad bike, was stolen from his driveway.

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NY: Rabid Fox Bites Three Before Neighbor Shoots it



"Scared the daylights out of me. I fell down at one point just trying to get my bearings about me. Then I'm just trying to defend myself and trying to get inside the house away from it," Stevens said.

Once he got back inside the fox made its way to his neighbor's house where it attacked another man. Those neighbors believe the fox was living under a nearby shed before it began to act strange.

Eventually, the fox attacked a third man who shot the animal.
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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Repeal of Louisiana Switchblade Knife Ban goes ot Governor Edwards



On April 13th, 2018, the Louisiana repeal of the switchblade ban (HB892) unanimously passed the House.  From legiscan.com:
(4)(a)
The manufacture, ownership, possession, custody or use intentional concealment on one's person of any switchblade knife, spring knife, or other knife or similar instrument having a blade which may be automatically unfolded or extended from a handle by the manipulation of a button, switch, latch, or similar contrivance located on the handle. Section 2. R.S. 14:95(J) is hereby repealed in its entirety.


CODING:
Words in struck through type are deletions from existing law; words underscored are additions.
 On May 10th, 2018 the repeal of the switchblade ban (HB892) passed the Senate. The vote was 21-yes, 11-no, and 7- absent.

Now the bill is going to Governor Edwards' desk.

The bill is part of the ongoing trend to restore the legal ownership and carry of knives in American society. The bans never made much sense. Why would a switchblade be more deadly than a fixed blade knife?  The bans were pushed as yellow journalism as part of the Progressive agenda. There was no serious data or study behind the bans - just prejudice and a push for publicity.  The federal ban on interstate sales of switchblade knives and the importation of them, was passed in 1958.

 It was fictional portrayals of youth gang violence that took the switchblade ban over the top, politically. "West Side Story" seems to have had a pivotal role. Consider the implications. It was not fact that drove the politics. It was fiction, promoted by the progressive media. It was a version of the "big lie" technique. The pro-genitive nature of the media coverage in promoting and eventually creating the ban on switchblades cannot be over emphasized.  From wikipedia:

During the 1950s, established U.S. newspapers as well as the sensationalist tabloid press joined forces in promoting the image of a young delinquent with a stiletto switchblade or flick knife. While the press focused on the switchblade as a symbol of youthful evil intent, the American public's attention was attracted by lurid stories of urban youth gang warfare and the fact that many gangs were composed of lower class youth and/or racial minorities.[4] The purported offensive nature of the stiletto switchblade combined with reports of knife fights, robberies, and stabbings by youth gangs and other criminal elements in urban areas of the United States generated continuing demands from newspaper editorial rooms and the public for new laws restricting the lawful possession and/or use of switchblade knives.[4] In 1954, the state of New York passed the first law banning the sale or distribution of switchblade knives in hopes of reducing gang violence. That same year, Democratic Rep. James J. Delaney of New York authored the first bill submitted to the U.S. Congress banning the manufacture and sale of switchblades.
West Side Story emphasized the role of the switchblade in juvenile delinquency.  It was nominated for six Tony awards in 1957 and ran for 732 performances in NYC before going on tour.  The switchblade ban, which did not make it out of committee in 1954, was passed in 1958.

The switchblade ban was a demonstration of the power of mass media to get laws passed with little or no facts behind them.

Much the same technique is being used to attempt to ban certain kinds of firearms. Reporters have little or no knowledge of the firearms in question. Facts about their uses in crime are ignored. The push is always for action, action, action, without serious debate.

Governor Edwards is likely to sign the knife law reform that has been passed unanimously in the House and by a two thirds margin in the Senate.

The ban on carrying the knives concealed is entangled in Louisiana's overall concealed carry law, so it was not addressed by this reform.

New Hampshire repealed their switchblade ban in 2010,  The Missouri switchblade ban was repealed in 2012, The Alaskan, Indiana, Kansas, and Texas switchblade bans were repealed in 2013. The Tennessee switchblade ban was relealed in 2014. Maine and Nevada switchblade bans were repealed in 2015.  Wisconsin repealed their switchblade ban in 2016. Colorado, Michigan, and Illinois switchblade bans were repealed in 2017.

If Governor Edwards signs the reform bill, 14 states will have repealed their switchblade bans. There were seven states that never passed a switchblade ban.

Laws among the states vary widely. If Governor Edwards signs the reform, it will still be illegal to intentionally carry a switchblade concealed on your person in Louisiana.


©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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DE: Gunfight,Attacker Shoots Mother, Daughter, Neighbor Stops Attack



An armed neighbor confronted Ballard as the shooting was happening and the two men exchanged gunfire. Officers were nearby heard the gunfire and responded.

Police say they were able to take Ballard into custody without incident. The neighbor was not injured and is being considered a witness in this case.

The two victims are currently being treated for life-threatening injuries.
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TX: Armed Intruder Shot by Apartment Resident



WACO, Texas (KWTX) An armed man who forced his way into an apartment early Friday in Waco was shot twice by a resident, police say.
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UT: Domestic Defense Father Wounds Son to Stop Assaults on Family


Derrick N. Christenson, who police say was intoxicated, was shot once with a handgun in his lower leg after he assaulted several family members, according to police. He was treated for the gunshot wound at an area hospital and then booked into the Summit County Jail.

Police say Christenson was booked for investigation of child abuse, aggravated assault and assault, domestic violence, domestic violence in the presence of a child, criminal mischief and intoxication.
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Stop Paying Mass Murderers to Kill Our Kids by Rob Morse

Mass murderers kill our kids for simple reasons. Mass murder of innocents gives the murderer a powerful reward. Yes, murder pays. In fact, the payoff is huge. The payoff is also extremely reliable. As shocking as it is when our innocent children are murdered in our schools, we are not coming anywhere close to best practice in our effort to stop these horrific events. The sad fact is that mass murderers are learning and reacting faster than we are. Murderers are learning faster than our politicians and our school officials. Murderers are certainly learning faster than our news media. It is time for parents and other concerned citizens to change that. We know how to stop these attacks. We know what to do and we’re not doing it. Here is what you can do to make our kids safer.

Where do we fall short?

The murderers learned their lessons well. Attacks follow a pattern and have a high probability of success. Some schools have a “full time” law enforcement officer at the school. That sounds good, but is a bad plan. Many schools don’t have that much protection and have to share an officer between several schools or between widely separated buildings. Stationing a law enforcement officer at the school may provide political cover for the sheriff and school board, but it is far from best practice. Are children gathered in a school location that is several minutes from the School Resource Officer? Are many children at school when there is not an armed adult protecting them? The answer is almost certainly ‘Yes!’ Are children off campus when with a school activity when they are unprotected? I’m sure they are.
Murderers learned to attack the school before staff are in place. The murderers learned to attack the School Resource Officer first, or to wait until the SRO is away from the scene. Armed volunteers who carry concealed are harder to spot. Best practice says that there should be several armed responders with children at all times. That usually means that volunteer staff carry concealed while wearing plain clothes.

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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Trump Era Guns Sales (NICS) hits Record Month in April, 2018




The Trump era National Instant background Check System (NICS) hit another record month in April, 2018. Background checks recorded by the FBI numbered 2,223,213 in April. The next highest April recorded was in 2016, with 2,145,565.

The total NICS checks for the first four months of 2018 numbered 9,354,635.  That is  6.8% higher than the first four months of 2017, which numbered 8,756,657. 2018 is on track to replace 2017 as the year with the second highest number of NICS checks. The record was set in 2016.

 In 2016, a presidential election year, it was fear of a Hillary Clinton victory. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton embraced numerous restrictions on gun ownership. Fear of her election drove NICS numbers to record levels.

In 2018, the political signals are not as clear. In April, President Trump seemed to waver, hinting that he might support some restrictions on gun sales. Those fears were dispelled when he spoke at the NRA annual meeting in Dallas on May 8th. Fears of a "blue wave" of Democrat victories in the House, with notable Democrats calling for a Trump impeachment, may have been a factor.

In times of uncertainty, people desire security. Possessing a firearm and ammunition offer a basic level of security.

NICS checks are performed for several reasons. The number of NICS checks is not the same as the number of new gun sales.

NICS checks are performed for the sale of used guns. Those guns are already in circulation. NICS are done for carry permit background checks. Those numbers are soaring. Many people with carry permits are not required to have another NICS check done for purchasing a firearm. One NICS check can be done for multiple guns.

Because of this, the number NICS checks for each private gun added to the stock in the United States has varied from about .48 guns per NICS check to .76 guns per NICS check. The average is about .6 guns per NICS check.

A good approximation of the number of guns added to the private stock in the United States in April, 2018, would be 1.3 million. About 5.6 million have been added in the first four months of 2018.

The number of privately owned guns in the United States is now about 421 million. The number will probably reach 430 million by the end of 2018.  Most estimates of private gun ownership in the United States stop at about 2006, before the Obama administration. Over 100 million guns have been added to the privately owned stock of guns in the last decade.

The estimate of privately owned guns in the United States was made using the techniques pioneered by  Newton and Zimring, which includes the calculation of the 1945 number of modern guns added to the stock from 1899 to 1945.  Firearms manufactured before 1899 are not included.

From 1945 to 1987, the data was taken from "Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America" by Gary Kleck, Table 2.1.   The methodology used by Kleck, which extended Newton and Zimring's work, was applied to  the figures obtained from the ATF for later years.

421 million is the cumulative addition of domestic manufacture plus imports minus exports.  This does not count guns shipped to the U.S. military.  It does not include privately made guns, illegal imports, illegal exports, guns destroyed, or guns sold surplus from the U.S. military. The figures are rounded to the nearest million.

The numbers added to the private stock for 2017 and 2018 were estimated from the NICS numbers.


©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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OR: Self Defense Shooting of Career Criminal under Investigation



A Medford man confronted by a transient armed with a knife Monday night outside a Bend fast-food restaurant said he feared for his safety and shot him with a handgun he is legally allowed to carry as a concealed weapon.

Bend Police say Robert Joseph Garris, 39, shot Christopher Michael Nolan, 39, “multiple times” outside the Jack in the Box at 805 NE Third St. Nolan had allegedly pulled out a knife at about 9:38 p.m. and approached Garris, who was staying at a nearby motel, police said.
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MS: "Peach Cobler" Shooter Tells His side of Story



Stanley Woodson says the alleged victim, Logan Novascone, didn't tell the whole story when he said Woodson was mad his cobbler didn't have more peaches in it.

"He put me in fear for my life. He came over with something behind his back."

Stanley Woodson says remarks and fear of the unknown object he claims was hidden behind Novascone's's back is what pushed him to draw his gun.

"He said, 'I told you I will kill you.' I said, 'Why do you want to kill me?' You don't even know me."
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MO: Off Duty, Reserve Deputy Shoots Man in Self Defense



Deputies said they learned that an off-duty New Madrid County Sheriff's Deputy Reserve shot the 42-year-old man.

New Madrid County Sheriff Terry Stevens requested the Missouri State Highway Patrol Division of Drug and Crime Control Unit to investigate.

Officials determined the off-duty New Madrid County Sheriff's Deputy Reserve acted in self-defense during an altercation and no charges will be filed.
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Friday, May 18, 2018

Oklahoma Governor Fallin Vetoes Constitutional Carry



Oklahoma Governor Fallin vetoed the Constitutional Carry SB 1212, on May 11 of 2018. Governor Fallin is term limited out. She is not allowed to run for another term as governor. From kfor.com:
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin has vetoed a bill that would have allowed for permit-less carry.

Senate Bill 1212, also referred to as the “Constitutional Carry” bill, was presented by Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow.

On 2 May, 2018, the Oklahoma Senate passed Constitutional Carry.  The popular bill passed both the House and the Senate by veto proof margins. It passed the Senate on a 33-8 vote. The Senate was able to vote for the bill because maneuvering in the Oklahoma legislature allowed it to bypass the Senate committee that was blocking it.

On 25 April, 2018, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed Constitutional Carry by a vote of 59-28.  The bill had already passed the Senate unanimously on March 6th, 2018, but as a bill removing wildlife refuges as gun free zones.

While SB1212 passed with strong, veto proof margins, the legislature has adjourned.  The legislature no longer has the power to override Governor Fallin's veto.
 
Second Amendment supporters and anti-carry groups engaged in heavy lobbying urging Governor Fallin to  sign the bill, or to veto the bill as a last ditch effort to stop the popular measure. From newsok.com:
Fallin has about two weeks to decide whether to sign Senate Bill 1212, which would allow Oklahoma residents who are at least 21 to carry a firearm without a permit or training.

Michael McNutt, the governor's spokesman, said Monday, "The governor's office is receiving heavy traffic in the form of emails and calls from both sides of the issue regarding SB 1212. The governor is discussing the measure with her staff as well as reviewing input from citizens, groups, agencies and others."
Most of the power of Second Amendment groups is in the votes they can mobilize. They have relatively little money. The strong suite of the anti-carry groups is lots of money to lobby with from former Mayor Bloomberg and other billionaires. Governor Fallin, as a term limited Governor, 

Constitutional Carry refers to the state of law when the Bill of Rights was passed in 1791. At that time, no permits were required to buy, possess, or carry firearms in the United States.  In states with Constitutional Carry, no permit is required for most adults to carry firearms openly or concealed.

A resurgence in Constitutional Carry has been happening since 2003.

In 2003, Alaska passed the reform to restore the exercise of Second Amendment rights. After seven more years, in 2010, Arizona passed Constitutional Carry. In 2011 Wyoming passed their version of the concept.

In 2013, Arkansas passed Act 746 into law. It is effectively Constitutional Carry, but is disputed by some county prosecutors. In 2015, Kansas, and Maine joined the Constitutional Carry club. In 2016, Idaho, Missouri, West Virginia, and Mississippi enacted Constitutional Carry. In 2017, New Hampshire, and North Dakota were added to the list. Vermont has always been a Constitutional Carry state.

Several other  Governors have vetoed Constitutional Carry bills. They include Governor Bullock (D) of Montana, Governor Tomblin (D) of West Virginia (overridden by the legislature), Governor Nixon of Missouri (D) (overridden by the legislature), Governor Hassan (D) of New Hampshire (since passed), Governor Daugaard of South Dakota (R) twice, and Governor Herbert (R) of Utah twice.

Montana, South Dakota, and Utah have all failed to pass Constitutional Carry to the present day.

There will be a serious push to pass Constitutional Carry in Texas in 2019 during the next legislative session.


 ©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

GA: Armed Father Shoots one of four Robbery Suspects



MPD said four men tried to rob a man leaving the McDonald's near the intersection of S. Trezevant Street and Lamar Avenue.

The man was carrying his daughter in his arms when the robbers approached him, according to a witness.

He pulled out a gun and opened fire on the robbers. One of them was shot.
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MO: Man Attempting Break-in Shot

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A man who was attempting to break into an apartment was shot overnight.

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GA: Guns Pointed, no shots



Ansley was accused of retrieving a shotgun from the trunk of a car, racking the gun and pointing it at another man and his 14-year-old daughter while they were sitting in a truck in front of Ansley’s house.

The 18-year-old man threatened to shoot the man and allegedly said, "don’t think I won’t blow your daughter away too,” according to the police report.

The father told a Coweta County Sheriff’s Deputy he grabbed his pistol to protect himself and his daughter from Ansley.
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NC: Clerk fires Shots, Stops Armed Robbery



LUMBERTON — A Pembroke store clerk thwarted a robbery when she grabbed her gun, pointed it at the suspect and fired shots at him as he ran away, the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office said.

It happened about 9 p.m. Monday at the Country Tobacco Oasis store at 2765 Prospect Road.

Witness said a man walked into the store wearing a black and camouflage mask over his face, pointed a gun at the clerk and demanded money, a Sheriff’s Office news release said.
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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Is Governor Fallin Failing Constitutional Carry?



On 2 May, 2018, the Oklahoma Senate passed Constitutional Carry. The bill, SB 1212 has been sent to Governor Fallin's desk. The popular bill passed both the House and the Senate by veto proof margins. It passed the Senate on a 33-8 vote.

On 25 April, 2018, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed Constitutional Carry by a vote of 59-28.  The bill had already passed the Senate unanimously on March 6th, 2018, but as a bill removing wildlife refuges as gun free zones. The amendment process allowed the bill to bypass Senate committees that had blocked Constitutional Carry in the past.


But the legislature no longer has the power to overrule a veto by Governor Fallin, or a "pocket veto" which will happen if she simply ignores the law and fails to sign it. The legislature has adjourned for the year. From nraila.org:
Currently sitting on Governor Fallin’s desk is constitutional carry legislation, Senate Bill 1212. With time running out for her to take action, it is important that you contact Governor Fallin immediately and urge her to sign this important self-defense legislation into law.

(snip

Again, please contact Governor Mary Fallin at 405-521-2342 and strongly urge her to sign Senate Bill 1212 into law.
Anti-carry groups are engaged in heavy lobbying as well, urging Governor Fallin to veto the bill as a last ditch effort to stop the popular measure. From newsok.com:
Fallin has about two weeks to decide whether to sign Senate Bill 1212, which would allow Oklahoma residents who are at least 21 to carry a firearm without a permit or training.

Michael McNutt, the governor's spokesman, said Monday, "The governor's office is receiving heavy traffic in the form of emails and calls from both sides of the issue regarding SB 1212. The governor is discussing the measure with her staff as well as reviewing input from citizens, groups, agencies and others."
Constitutional Carry refers to the state of law when the Bill of Rights was passed in 1791. At that time, no permits were required to buy, possess, or carry firearms in the United States.  In states with Constitutional Carry, no permit is required for most adults to carry firearms openly or concealed.

A resurgence in Constitutional Carry has been happening since 2003.

In 2003, Alaska passed the reform to restore the exercise of Second Amendment rights. After seven more years, in 2010, Arizona passed Constitutional Carry. In 2011 Wyoming passed their version of the concept.

In 2013, Arkansas passed Act 746 into law. It is effectively Constitutional Carry, but is disputed by some county prosecutors. In 2015, Kansas, and Maine joined the Constitutional Carry club. In 2016, Idaho, Missouri, West Virginia, and Mississippi enacted Constitutional Carry. In 2017, New Hampshire, and North Dakota were added to the list. Vermont has always been a Constitutional Carry state.

If Governor Fallin signs SB 1212 into law, Oklahoma will be the 14th Constitutional Carry state in the nation.

Several other states have come close to passing Constitutional Carry. Utah, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Montana and others all have legislation that has come close to passage. There will be a serious push to pass Constitutional Carry in Texas in 2019 during the next legislative session.


 ©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

TN: Robbery Stopped by Armed Victim



MEMPHIS, Tenn. - An attempted robbery was stopped by the victim after he pulled out his gun in defense.
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FL: Homeowner Shoots Intruder at 2:15 a.m.



LAKE WORTH, Fla. - A homeowner, who said he woke up to a flash of light, shot an unknown man last week inside his Lake Worth home, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office deputies say.

The man, later identified by deputies as Christopher Mouassite of suburban Boca Raton, is accused of breaking into the home near 1100 block of Vermilion Dr. on May 10 around 12:15 a.m.
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AR: Man who Broke into Apartment Shot, Killed



The person who initially called police about a burglary said he heard someone beating on the door of his apartment and didn't get an answer when he asked who was there. A male and female then kicked in the door and entered the home, prompting the resident to fire a handgun he was armed with, the release states.

The male collapsed on the sidewalk, while the female reportedly fled in a silver passenger car.
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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Disconnected Word Views at NRA Annual Meeting in Dallas 2018


At the NRA annual meeting in Dallas, Texas, in 2018, protests were held outside the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center on Saturday, 5 May, 2018.  By the time I arrived at the protest site, the main group of gun control supporters had left. I was told they numbered about 200-250 people.

Their numbers were dwarfed by the attendees at the NRA annual meeting. An estimate for  meeting attendance was not available at the time of this writing. The last NRA annual meeting, in Atlanta, was 81,836. In 2016, in Louisville it was 80,452. 87,154  has been reported for attendance at the 2018 meeting.

When I arrived at the protest site outside, the action was centered around a group of open carriers that were counter-protesting those protesting the NRA. The counter protesters numbered about a hundred. There were a few anti-NRA protesters left. About 5-10 of them gradually came over to the open carry counter-protest.


The two world views illustrated by the signs seemed completely disconnected.

Open carriers, and Second Amendment supporters, equate the possession of guns to safety.

Those who want more legal restrictions on guns equate the absence of guns with safety.

Both views make sense from the viewpoint of those putting them forward.

If you choose to be unarmed, anyone who possesses a gun holds a power advantage over you. It is understandable that unarmed people would want everyone else be unarmed.  It is not easy for people who are unarmed to disarm people who have weapons.

If you are armed, those who desire to disarm you are a threat. Police are taught to never surrender their weapons. 

Machiavelli put it succinctly, speaking of leaders, in the Prince:
Because there is nothing proportionate between the armed and the unarmed; and it is not reasonable that he who is armed should yield obedience willingly to him who is unarmed, or that the unarmed man should be secure among armed servants. Because, there being in the one disdain and in the other suspicion, it is not possible for them to work well together.
In the United States, police and the military are supposed to be servants of the people.

I talked to police assigned to the event. They said the two groups were peaceful, with no shouting or boisterous behavior.  The behavior I observed was peaceful and polite.

Choosing to be unarmed is closely correlated with choosing to be ignorant about arms. Learning about arms, their use, their history, their proper employment, tactics, and legislation all take time and energy. The willingness and desire to be armed requires a certain self-discipline. Those who have chosen to be unarmed do so, in part, because they are unwilling to expend the time and energy to be armed.

In the armed camp, the members have made the choice to be armed. They have already invested the time and energy to learn about arms, tactics, history, and the legal consequences. Military veterans and retired police both have extraordinary percentages of members who are armed.

The two world views are different approaches to the same reality. Both recognize that being armed makes an individual more powerful. Those who want others disarmed fear the power of armed people. Those who have chosen to be armed fear being disarmed and losing the power they have.

It is a false choice to choose between a disarmed society and an armed society. There are no disarmed societies. There are only societies in which more or less people are armed. In the United States, because of the Second Amendment, almost everyone who wishes to be armed can be.

In Australia, even though legal gun owners only represent a few percent of the population, the police and military are armed with the latest weaponry. Every police officer I saw there was armed with a Glock semi-automatic pistol. In Japan, police and the military are routinely armed. Similarly, violent criminals usually have access to arms through criminal channels.

If the access to firearms is tightly restricted, then criminals can rely on impact weapons, the power of muscle, size, numbers, and youth, against all smaller, weaker, older, and outnumbered victims.

The number of firearms in society has little to do with the number of criminal homicides, and suicides in that society. Societies with few and many firearms have both high and low suicides and criminal homicides.

Those who do not wish to be armed have removed themselves from any danger of suicide by firearm, and from almost all danger of firearm accidents.

In the U.S., they want to remove the choice of being armed from other people. It is a false choice. If you have chosen to be unarmed, if you are ignorant of arms, if you believe governments are always beneficent... it makes sense.

Or, if you are armed, and believe only other people will be disarmed, that the government would never disarm you... it also makes sense.

You see those core beliefs displayed by those who argue for a disarmed society.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

GA: Gunfight, Off Duty Officer shoots Attacker



Police say the initial shooting erupted after a man made an inappropriate comment toward a woman with two other men in the restaurant. An argument ensued outside as the suspect followed them before firing shots, police say.

Marbury says the officer went to confront the suspect, who fired at shot and missed. She says the officer then shot him.
More Here

FL: Robbery Suspect, Shot, Killed by Armed Victim



MIAMI (WSVN) - Police say a man who was shot by one of the people he had tried to rob died after he crashed his vehicle into a front yard in Miami, Saturday night.

City of Miami Police responded to the scene of the crash at Northwest 30th Street and 22nd Avenue, just before 11 p.m.

Police said the suspect, identified as 24-year-old Francisco Martinez Jr., was found with gunshot wounds to the chest.

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AL: Gun Beats Knife, Homeowner Shoots, Kills, Intruder



Officers with the Trinity Police Department rushed to the scene. However, Decatur Police detectives are handling the investigation. “The Decatur Police Department was asked to take over the investigation due to a family conflict,” according to Decatur Police spokeswoman Emily Long.

Police say the intruder got his hands on a knife once he made his way inside. He hurt two people.

Someone who lives there was able to shoot the man. Police say that happened during a struggle. At the crime scene, the coroner pronounced the intruder dead.
More Here

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Washington Post Article: Who are you Going to Believe? Us or Your Lyin' Eyes?

image from pagunblog.com

The Washington Post published an article meant to convince the American people that their perceptions of gun ownership in the United States are wrong. They attempt to convince people that surveys showing lower numbers are goodthink.

The article admits that gun ownership numbers are hotly disputed. They admit that ownership numbers are difficult to determine. Then they make the claim that ownership rates are falling and that  "In reality, only about 25 percent of Americans own a gun." From the Washington Post:
As some 70,000 people attended the NRA’s annual convention last week, nearly three months after the horrific school shooting in Parkland, Fla., the reignited national debate on guns seems to be at a stalemate.

But the discussion lacks some basic facts about guns in the United States. For example, how many people in the United States own a firearm? As with most gun issues, the answer is hotly disputed. Perhaps just as important, what do Americans believe to be the percentage of their fellow citizens who own guns — and will that increase or decrease in the coming years?

Our research finds that Americans substantially overestimate the gun-owner population — and that what they believe about gun ownership is related to what gun policies they support.
Notice the glaring error in the very first sentence?  "As some 70,000 people attended" (bold added) the NRA annual meeting in Dallas. Attendees have been over 80,000 for the last three meetings. The meeting in Dallas had 87,154 members attending.  The writers of the Washington Post article did not have the actual numbers, because the attendance numbers were only totaled and released yesterday, after their article was published. There was no reason to believe the numbers would drop lower than the last two years.

This shows a bias on the part of the authors, and a likely problem with their research. Everyone tends to see what they want to see. The authors of the Post article seem to want to see lower gun owner numbers because lower gun owner numbers translate into less support for the Second Amendment, and make it easier to pass more restrictive gun legislation.

Selection bias is difficult to overcome for all researchers. The authors of the Washington Post article are no exception.

As the authors point out, most people see the numbers of gun owners increasing. It is easy to see why. In the vast majority of states, infringements on the right to bear arms are being reduced or eliminated. The number of guns in the United States increased by over a hundred million in the last decade. School shooting teams are on the rise. People trust the government less and are concerned about social unrest. The number of women and minority gun owners is rising.

All of these things point toward increased gun ownership. What is the actual number of gun owners in the United States? No one knows for sure. Given the rising distrust of government and increased talk of gun bans, it is easy to understand how polling could substantially underestimate the numbers of gun owners.

As the authors of the Post article emphasize, more gun owners means less support for restrictive gun legislation.

Members of the public who see their friends and relatives buying guns in record numbers, who see more gun ranges being built, shooting clubs prospering, and carry permits soaring, may have a better understanding of the dynamics involved than the Authors of the article.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

TX: Altercation leads to possible Self Defense Shooting



According to Sgt. Martin Fahey with the San Antonio Police Department, the landlord and her son arrived at the home around 3 p.m. when an altercation occurred. The tenant, who police said was hit in the head with a metal bar during the altercation, pulled out a revolver and shot the woman and her son several times.

Police said the woman is in her 50s and her son is in his 20s. The tenant was taken to a hospital with head injuries.

Authorities said it's too early to tell whether the tenant will be charged in connection with the shooting.
More Here

OR: Investigation of Self Defense Shooting



TENMILE, Ore. - Detectives are looking into a claim that a man who shot his neighbor in the leg Tuesday did so in self-defense, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office said Friday.

Deputies responded to the 500 block of Degnath Gateway Lane in Tenmile just after 6:30 a.m. that day to a report of a shooting.
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MO: Warning Shot Scares off Intruder Attempting Break-In


Charges are pending against a man who police say was attempting to break into a home and then got into a fight at another residence.

Just before 10 p.m. Tuesday, May 8, police were called to the 300 block of CC Camp Road for a reported burglary in progress. Officers were advised shots had been fired.

The reporting party told the dispatcher he had fired a gun into the floor as a warning shot to scare away the burglar, police said.
More Here

Monday, May 14, 2018

Knife Check Greatly Appreciated on Rainy Day Trump Speech at NRA Annual Meeting


The open and concealed carry of guns and knives was generally legal and accepted at the NRA Annual Meeting of 2018. There was one obvious exception. The Leadership Forum had both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence speaking to a packed crowd.

The Secret Service took over jurisdiction and forbade the carrying of guns and knives into the forum.  Not just knives and guns, but a long list of items were forbidden. Items you might not consider as obvious. It was a rainy morning on May 4th in Dallas. Lots of people had umbrellas.  The Secret Service did not allow umbrellas into the forum.



Fortunately, Knife Rights has been providing a free public service for the last three NRA annual meetings. All of them featured presidential speeches at the Leadership Forum.  For no cost, Knife Rights will check your knife, and give you a stub to be redeemed at the check booth after the forum. They also accepted other items on the forbidden list (sorry, no guns). On Friday, May 4th, they did a booming business checking umbrellas.



There were, of course, knives checked as well.

Doug Ritter of Knife Rights came up with the brilliant idea three years ago. The need was obvious. Who wants to park their vehicle, or take a shuttle from their hotel room, spend 15 minutes getting to the Leadership Forum, and another 15 minutes waiting in line, only to be told you cannot bring your pocket knife, umbrella, or mini-flashlight into the venue?

You are faced with a set of poor options. Spend half an hour retracing your steps, or discard a valuable piece of gear.

Doug and Knife Rights solved the problem for a lot of people with their free Knife Check. If you turned in your ticket at their booth on the floor of the exhibit hall, you had a chance to win a very nice Bowie knife for your trouble.

Circle Ten Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Troop 312 of Royse City, Texas, volunteered to provide the manpower to man the knife check station. They did what Boy Scouts are very good at, offering courteous, polite, efficient service.

It appears that knife checks will be at NRA annual meetings for the future. I cannot guarantee anything. The smart money is on President Donald Trump addressing future NRA Leadership Forums.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch



SC: Ex-Boyfriend Kidnaps Woman, Carjacks Man, Gets Shot by Woman



A woman shot and killed her ex-boyfriend Friday morning after he allegedly kidnapped her, Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore said.

Rodney Nixon, 36, died of a gunshot wound at a Marathon gas station on U.S. 29 South near Starr in Anderson County, Shore said.

“The single shot went into his chest, struck his heart, and he died there on the scene,” Shore said.
More Here

NC: Man Shoots Bear that Broke into Home



But things turned dangerous when the bear discovered a way into the residential part of the house, the newspaper reports.

That's where it was shot by a man who only later learned he had killed a mama bear with cubs not far away, state officials say.
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CA: Business Owner Shoots at Masked Suspect



BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - An alleged burglar ran off after a business owner shot at him, according to the Kern County Sheriff's Office.

Peter Marquez, 48, was arrested Thursday in the 1800 block of South Chester Avenue in South Bakersfield. A deputy in the area for an unrelated reason heard a gunshot around 8:10 p.m., and investigated, finding Marquez, who was wearing a face mask, KCSO said.
More Here

NM: Homeowner Shoots Suspect in Security Guard Uniform, Breakin into Home



While officers were heading to the shooting, a homeowner called 911, indicating a person in a security guard uniform tried to break into his home. He says he fired at the intruder.

Officers say it appears the security guard was burglarizing a home, was shot, and drove back to the Movies 8 to report being shot while on duty.
More Here

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Arizona Governor Ducy Signs Bankruptcy and Guns Reform


Arizona has increased the bankruptcy exemption for firearms to two thousand dollars. Previously, only one gun was allowed as part of a basket of items that were limited to a total of one thousand dollars. From  12news.com:
But people filing for bankruptcy also have a choice to make. Under current Arizona law, they can keep only one shotgun, one rifle or one pistol.

The Republican-controlled Legislature wants to change that. The Senate is one step away from passing a bill allowing bankruptcy filers to keep up to $2,000 worth of weapons - any kind of weapon. The exemption expands to $4,000 for a couple.

"You could own four AR-15s in your household and still fall within that exemption amount," McGuire said.

Supporters says citizens must retain their ability to defend themselves.

"Keeping a cat in every room's not going to do it," Rick Dalton, of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, told a House hearing in February.

Advocates also argue a constitutional right is at stake.
HB 2211 passed the House 34-25, with one representative not voting, on February 20, 2018. It passed the Senate, 16 to 12, with two senators not voting on April 5th, 2018.

Arizona Governor Ducey signed HB 2211 into law on 12 April, 2018. The resulting reform exempts from bankruptcy, two thousand dollars worth of firearms.  From azleg.gov:
10. ALL FIREARMS OF NOT MORE THAN AN AGGREGATE FAIR MARKET VALUE OF TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS.

11. ALL DOMESTIC ANIMALS OR HOUSEHOLD PETS.
In case you are wondering if you could convert all your wealth into cattle, there are specific exemptions for cattle and horses in the Arizona law.

Every state and the United States have exemptions from bankruptcy that are listed in law. California has two lists. In general, you have to choose one list. You are not allowed to mix items from different lists.

As valuable property that is specifically mentioned in the Bill of Rights, firearms are listed under bankruptcy exemptions in a number of states. From jweller.com:
The Idaho State Exemption permits one Firearm valued at $750 or less. In Iowa, the State Exemption provides for one shotgun, and either one rifle or one musket. There is no dollar value limitation in Iowa.

In Louisiana, the State Exemption limits the Debtor to one firearm with a maximum value of $500. In Mississippi, firearms are included in its State Exemption for Household Goods, which entitles the Debtor to a cumulative total of $10,000, in a laundry list of Household Goods. Included in this list is Firearms, of which the Debtor may claim an Exemption in one Firearm. The State Exemption in Texas provides for two Firearms with no limitation on value.

The remaining States of Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Virginia, and Wisconsin, all have State Exemptions that address Firearms in different permutations. Generally, most State Exemptions for Firearms limit the number of Firearms protected by the Exemption or the aggregate value of the Firearms, or both.
The dollar amounts listed are frozen at the time the law passed. Arizona has no provision to advance the amounts with inflation. If the intent of the legislation is to be maintained, the amounts have to be updated as the value of money falls.

In 1968, 1,000 dollars, adjusted for inflation, would be 7,270 dollars in 2018.

It is not uncommon for a high quality rifle, shotgun or pistol to top $2,000.  That would have been $275 in 1968.

Lawmakers that create exemptions in bankruptcy law for firearms are showing support for the Second Amendment and the right to defense of self and others.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch







TN: Clerk Shoots Armed Robbery Suspect



According to police, 58-year-old Zane Friend was outside taking a break when the armed men reportedly started running at him.

Friend was armed with a pistol. He told police one of the suspects pointed a gun at him, so he shot the suspect in the stomach.

More Here

OK: No Charges for Police Captain the Shot Neighbor's Pit Bull



OKLAHOMA CITY – Officials say that an Oklahoma City police captain will not face charges for the shooting death of his neighbor’s dog.

Donnie Newton said a neighbor shot and killed his pit bull, Fat Boy, right in front of their home on February 22.

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AL: Employee Shoots Customer who Assaulted Him



A man was fatally shot at Walker County Recycling after he got into a dispute with an employee at the business this morning, according to the Sumiton Police Department.

Around 11:20 a.m., the victim, 34-year-old Jason Freeman, got into a dispute with someone at the business, which led to an assault on one of the employees, said Nick Key, Sumiton Police Corrections and Communications Supervisor.

At some point during the dispute and assault, one of the employees shot the Freeman, Key said.

More Here

Followup AL: Trisha Henry justified in Shooting of John Kalama, former Boss



FLORENCE — A woman who told authorities she was trying to protect herself from her former employee when he was killed has been cleared of any wrongdoing.

Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly said the Lauderdale County grand jury decided the actions of Trisha Henry, 41, of Florence, were “justified” in the death of John Kalama, her former boss. Henry used to work for Kalama at his landscaping business.

Kalama was shot and killed after he broke into Henry’s house the morning of Dec. 10, 2017. Once inside the house, he started a fire and then tried to attack Henry, according to reports.
More Here

Saturday, May 12, 2018

FL: Hernando County looking to Restore Exercise of Second Amendment Rights to County Workers



On May 8th, 2018, Hernando County Commissioners will consider restoring County workers ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights while on the job. A current County policy prevents them from carrying firearms without fear of disciplinary action. County Commission Chairman Steve Champion has indicated that county workers should not have to chose between their right to self defense and the potential loss of their job. From abcactionnews.com:
HERNANDO COUNTY Fla. — Starting next week, Hernando County workers who have a concealed carry permit may soon be allowed to carry their guns to work.

"They should have a right to defend," said Hernando County Commission Chairman Steve Champion.
Champion also owns American Gun and Pawn.

"Hernando County is a pro second amendment county and I’m pro second amendment," he said.

The county’s current policy prohibits county workers from carrying a weapon while on the job.

"I asked several weeks ago to add this to the agenda to change the policy and allow any concealed weapons holder to carry when appropriate," said Champion.
At the end of February, 2018, Lake County Florida voted to restore the right to bear arms to Lake County employees who had carry permits. From dailycommercial.com:

TAVARES — The Lake County Commission voted unanimously on Tuesday to allow county employees with concealed weapon permits to carry their guns while on the job.

Commissioner Josh Blake asked fellow commissioners to consider doing away with the county’s employee policy that prohibits the possession of weapons while on the job. Commissioner Wendy Breeden was hesitant but joined fellow commissioners in the unanimous decision to change the policy.

“I personally believe that the natural right to defend your life does not disappear into thin air when you leave your house in the morning when you go to work. I think that is something we have control over, which we do. It’s our employee handbook. I do think it’s a reasonable thing to allow employees to utilize that right and have the right to self-defense while they are on the job,” Blake said.

The change takes effect immediately and applies to those who have permits. It is illegal to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.
It is currently illegal to carry a firearm in Florida (there are a few exceptions) without a permit.  County workers will now be treated the same as other citizens, when it comes to the right to self defense.

This is the continuation of a trend moving across the U.S.A. to restore rights that were infringed with personnel policies in local and state governments. Just because you are a government worker, you should not be required to give up fundamental Constitutional rights. There are exceptions, of course. Prison guards are not allowed to carry guns among the prison population.

Bowling Green in Kentucky restored the right to be armed to public employees at work, in January of 2018. Virginia and Georgia counties restored the right in 2016.  Local government employees have regained their rights in Kansas, North Carolina, Michigan, and Texas.

Government workers should not have extra special rights. They should have the same rights everyone else has. Bureaucrats that have the same rights as ordinary citizens are more likely to uphold those rights. The will have "skin in the game".

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch



MO: Warning Shot ineffective, Second Shot to Suspect's Leg


He grabbed his gun and went to the garage, where he confronted a burglar, police say. He tried to hold the suspect at gunpoint until police arrived, but the burglar "advanced toward" the homeowner "in a threatening manner," police say.

The homeowner fired a shot into the air, but the burglar kept coming at him aggressively, police say.

The homeowner fired a second shot, this time at the burglar's leg.
More Here

Followup MT: James George Stiffler speaks to Republicans about his Shooting Trial in 2016


A little over two years ago, James George Stiffler of Helena was on trial for deliberate homicide after shooting and killing a burglar in his home on Canyon Ferry Road.


Earlier this week, Stiffler attended a gathering of the Lewis and Clark County Young Republicans to tell his side of the story and defend the right to use deadly force. Stiffler's 2016 homicide trial ended in a hung jury, which means jurors could not come to a consensus on whether the shooting was legally justified or not. Stiffler's defense attorney has said two jurors believed he was guilty and the other 10 believed he was innocent.
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WI: Dispute over Music. Man Attacks Neighbor, is Shot, Killed


Officials responded to reports of a shooting at Portage Court Apartments around 5 p.m. Monday. Police say Reynolds was playing loud music in his unit and wouldn’t turn it down at the request of 49-year-old Calvin Eldridge. Eldridge slammed his door and walked out of the apartment, prompting Reynolds to follow and engage him in a fist fight. Eldridge, police say, pulled a gun and shot Reynolds.


More Here

KY: 78-Year-Old Fires Shot at Men who Robbed him



Kentucky State Police say the two men jumped Osborne Tuesday morning, and they ran off with some of his money. Osborne says they didn't get away without fearing for their lives, as he was armed with a handgun.

"It was the same guys here a week ago," Osborne, who had a knot on his face, said.

He said the two men came to his property asking about a vehicle for sale on his lot, and they returned Tuesday.

"They weren't interested in getting no car to start with."

When conversations about the sale stalled they said they had a flat tire and asked for a jack to help replace it. That's when Osborne says he was attacked.
More Here

Open Carry at the NRA 2018 Annual Meeting in Dallas


There was a long line of media waiting to register at the Press Office at the NRA annual meeting in Dallas for 2018.

As I stood in line, watching the attendees walk by, there was a gentleman open carrying this five shot revolver in a cross draw rig. The thumb-break release, held in tight against the body, makes a casual snatch unlikely. In this type of carry, the left arm naturally guards the revolver.

I have seen open carry at the last two NRA annual meetings.

I snapped the picture shown and quickly dashed back to my place in line to register as media for the event.

The NRA policy for carry of firearms at the annual meeting from their website:
Firearms Policy for the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits

During the 2018 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits, lawfully carried firearms will be permitted in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center and the Omni Dallas Hotel in accordance with Texas law. When carrying your firearm remember to follow all federal, state, and local laws.


* PLEASE NOTE: Due to the attendance of the Vice President of the United States at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum on Friday, May 4, the U.S. Secret Service will be responsible for event security around the Arena at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. As a result, firearms and firearm accessories, knives or weapons of any kind will be prohibited in the forum prior to and during his attendance. Click here for additional information.

Texas has been the last state to do away with its Reconstruction era bans on the open carry of pistols in most public places. Legislative reform to restore open carry, but with a carry permit, went into effect in 2016

Only five states (10%) generally forbid the open carry of holstered handguns. It appears that Florida and South Carolina are in contention as the next states to restore legal open carry. That would leave only New York, Illinois, and California.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch


Followup MO: Charges Against Nathan Weter Dismissed in Ryan Howard Shooting



"The next thing on the video is you and Mr. Weter on the ground struggling and fighting," the letter said. "You are able to get up but then continue to attack Mr. Weter. After about a minute he pulls his gun out and shoots you."

The letter said it's not clear what prompted the fight.

"It is clear that one point you repeatedly attacked him and that there were other people present in close proximity," Selby wrote.

According to the letter, the evidence showed Weter was acting in self-defense and was justified in using deadly force.

"I believe that evidence at trial would show that you made statements prior to the shooting that you had a gun, that there was something in your pocket that could have been construed as appearing to be a weapon, that both before and after you were shot you made statements about killing somebody, and that you acted in an aggressive manner towards Mr. Weter and others," Selby wrote.
More Here

CA: Two Dogs Kill Four Goats and Eight Chickens Before being Shot by Neigh

On Thursday, John Bates had four more goats and eight more chickens than he has today. That's because two Malamute-mix dogs ran four miles form their home, ran onto Bates' property and killed the animals.
As the attack happened, his neighbor on Baxter County Road 511 in the Midway area grabbed a .30-.30 caliber rifle and shot the two dogs dead as they continued to attack the livestock.



(snip)

Bates was surprised when his neighbor called to tell him what happened. Perhaps the biggest surprise for Bates, who moved here from another state, was that his neighbor shot the dogs.

"I had no idea you could shoot a vicious dog out in the county," Bates said. "After this attack, you can bet I'll have a rifle handy every time I'm here."


More Here

Friday, May 11, 2018

AZ: Customer and Bandit Engage in Gunfight at Phone Shop



Monday the doors of the shop were boarded up because the glass was shot out them. That gives you an idea of how wild things got there. A man walked in, pulled a mask over his face, and pulled out a gun. A customer in the store had his own gun. He pulled it out and they got in a firefight.

Tucson Police say the two traded multiple shots. The robber ran away. It's not clear if he was hit.

It is possible the customer could be hit with charges if authorities decide he was not justified to shoot.
More Here

My Friend Donald Cowling is Dying, I am a little Busy (May 11, 2018)




My friend is dying in front of my eyes and I can do nothing but say a few words now and then. He exhibits no sign of awareness or understanding. I have been told that hearing is the last sense to go as the body shuts down. I have been praying for him for years. He has been an agnostic for 80 years. When I told him I would be praying for him when this started in January, He said he could use all the help he could get.

I have known Don for about 48 years. I met him when I was a young college student at the University of Wisconsin, probably in the spring of 1970.  We met when I joined the UW pistol team. The team shot against a local league of pistol shooters, to practice. Don was one of the very best shots in the league. He had been on the University pistol team in the early 1950's, but worked for the University full time when I met him.

Cancer (Lymphoma) has caught up with Don. He was vigorous and active until January of 2018. He turned 84 in April.

I have been witnessing to Don, but he has not told me he has asked God for help or has accepted Jesus as his savior.  He has not been an aggressive atheist. He has allowed for the existence of God. Now he is beyond communicating with me, dying next to me, an arms length away.

God can hear both Don and me.

I pray that God has opened his heart as he comes closer and closer to death. I told Don not to be the "stiff necked" person, but to ask for help.

Don is not dying impoverished. He had plenty of money that he did not spend. It is an object lesson in the transitory nature of this world. His example has sobered me and made me realize that I have much to do so as not to be a burden on my family. 

Please excuse this very personal vanity.

Death comes to all of us. No one gets out of this life alive.

It is difficult to see a friend die.

If my writing seems reduced, bear with me. Don will not be with us much longer.
I feel duty bound to spend time with him.  Don can probably hear me, and I know God does.

Any prayers would be appreciated.


Dean Weingarten


Post script:

At 4:20 p.m., I took Norski’s advice (from a private message). I took Don’s hand and witnessed to him. I told him God loved him, and I loved him, and that he only had to give up his pride.

I told him to trust Jesus as his savior. I said we all made mistakes and needed salvation. I told him to ask for God’s help and forgiveness through his Son, Jesus.

Then I had to visit the bathroom. When I came back, I sat down, and Don stopped breathing. It was 4:25 p.m.

I am a skeptic by nature, but the timing of Don’s death, right after I followed Norski’s advice, seems providential.

Don did not give me any signal that I could detect. He simply stopped breathing and died.

Thank you all for your concerns, prayers, and advice. Don is gone now. I told some of his friends, and I told them what happened at the last.

Dean






Many studies’ results cannot be reproduced, scholars warn


Don’t believe the latest study you read in the headlines, chances are, it could be wrong, according to a new report by the National Association of Scholars that delves into what it calls the “use and abuse of statistics in the sciences.”

The report broke down the issue of irreproducibility, or the problem that a lot of scientific research cannot be reproduced. The report took aim at unverifiable climate science, but also critiqued medical studies, behavioral research and other fields.

The 72-page report took the matter a step further in calling the issue a politicization of science.

“Not all irreproducible research is progressive advocacy; not all progressive advocacy is irreproducible; but the intersection between the two is very large. The intersection between the two is a map of much that is wrong with modern science,” the report states.

More Here

Thursday, May 10, 2018

VA: College Student Harrassed for Acquiring, Shooting, Rifle at Range



19-year-old student, Yonsong Zhao, came to the United States from China on a student visa.  As of January, 2018, he had been in the country for seven months.

As with many people, especially young men, he likes guns. In China, it is nearly impossible to access legal guns. Zhao set about learning what was necessary for him to acquire and legally fire guns in the United States. 

Given the complexity involved, I am amazed that Zhao appears to have found the various rules, and followed them rigorously.  It is well that he did. The authorities were watching him very closely.  They may have done so because of the notorious mass murder at Virginia Tech in 2007.

The warrant claims that on January 22, Zhao purchased a 30 rd magazine. It was legal for him to purchase the magazine.  At the time, he did not own a rifle. Much of the media case against Zhao seem to come from Internet searches he made. He looked up how much 5,000 rounds of ammo would cost. He looked up the availability of body armor. He looked up how much modifications to the bumpers of his car would cost.

He legally purchased a rifle on January 25. He says it came with 30 round magazines. He says he traded the 30 round magazines for a sling, because he knew that he could not use 30 round magazines in the rifle because of a weird quirk in Virgina law. The man who processed the sale backs up Zhao's account. From roanoke.com:
An investigator could look into Zhao’s purchase of the AR-15 on Jan. 25 at Pawn Plus in Christiansburg, Wolfrey wrote. The man who processed the sale has told police that the gun came with two 30-round magazines — but that Zhao did not take them, instead trading the magazines for a sling for the rifle, Wolfrey wrote.
It is perfectly legal for Zhao to own 30 round magazines, and perfectly legal for him to own an AR15 type rifle. It is not legal for him to use the 30 round magazines in the AR15 type rifle. What a process trap for an uniformed student!  From virginia.gov:
§ 18.2-308.2:01. Possession or transportation of certain firearms by certain persons.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person who is not a citizen of the United States or who is not a person lawfully admitted for permanent residence to knowingly and intentionally possess or transport any assault firearm or to knowingly and intentionally carry about his person, hidden from common observation, an assault firearm.

B. It shall be unlawful for any person who is not a citizen of the United States and who is not lawfully present in the United States to knowingly and intentionally possess or transport any firearm or to knowingly and intentionally carry about his person, hidden from common observation, any firearm. A violation of this section shall be punishable as a Class 6 felony.

C. For purposes of this section, "assault firearm" means any semi-automatic center-fire rifle or pistol that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material and is equipped at the time of the offense with a magazine which will hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition or designed by the manufacturer to accommodate a silencer or equipped with a folding stock.

On January 25, Zhao checked his rifle into the student gun locker at the police station. This is the same day that he purchased the rifle. Prosecutors have asked the judge to block Zhao's lawyer's access to the gunlocker's logs.

On January 26, Zhao checks the rifle out and goes to a local range. University police ask Blacksburg Police Department detectives to follow Zhao there.

One Blacksburg Police officer, Brian Wilson, claimed he saw Zhao with a 30 round magazine in the rifle. Wilson has no video or pictures of the magazine to back up his claim.

On January 29 Zhao is arrested.  The Virginia Tech police admit they had been investigating Zhao for six months prior to his arrest. That would be almost from his time of arrival.  From vt.edu: from 30 January
The arrest followed an investigation that spanned several weeks, and the suspect is now in custody.

At no time during this investigation did police believe there was any threat to our community, nor is there one now.
The Police had a warrant to search, but they found no 30 round magazine.

At the bond hearing, Zhoa's attorney shows video of Zhoa at the range, firing with 20 round magazines. From collegiatetimes.com:
Investigators have not been able to find a 30-round magazine, and Zhao has previously said on the witness stand that he knew he was not allowed to have a 30-round magazine and therefore felt the safest option was not to own one. According to Zhao, after buying the rifle from an out-of-state seller, he traded the two 30-round magazines that came with the gun at the Pawn Plus in Christiansburg for a sling, and he only owned three 20-round magazines he had purchased from local gun stores.

From collegiatetimes.com:March 5
Zhao was arrested in January and is charged with possession of an AR-15 rifle with a magazine over 20 rounds, which is not permitted for noncitizens. A police officer, who traveled to the firing range at the request of the Virginia Tech Police Department, said he saw Zhao with a AR-15 rifle and a 30-round magazine. The combination of a magazine with more than 20 rounds and an AR-15 rifle is not permitted for noncitizens, and is a felony charge that could lead to up to five years in prison.

In a preliminary hearing last week, a video of Zhao shooting a legal 20-round magazine at a firing range and wearing the same clothes as the day he had been arrested was shown. After presentation of this, Williams said the case would move to a grand jury due to the police officer’s word. However, he also stated that prosecutors would have a hard time winning the case and that Zhao would be let out on bond.
Zhao was expelled from Virginia Tech immediately upon being arrested. I am surprised at the speed of his expulsion. Such proceedings usually take months, with appeals and due process.

Zhao has access to assets. He is here from China. He is not impoverished. He purchased a car and a rifle. Zhao is fighting back against the accusations.

On 26 April he filed a complaint against the police and Virginia Tech.  From wtop.com
Yunsong Zhao filed a complaint Thursday saying police violated his rights in falsely arresting him, and school officials violated his due process rights in dismissing him.

Police claim they saw Zhao at a local range shooting a semi-automatic rifle with a 30-round magazine. Virginia prohibits non-citizens from having guns with magazines holding more than 20 rounds.

But police never found a 30-round magazine in searching Zhao’s room and vehicles. A judge has expressed doubt about a conviction.
Zhao's attorney has alleged that police interrogated him without counsel, while he was in custody. 

 From nydailynews.com:
“This case is about over-eager police trampling over a foreign student’s rights because he resembles a student who committed a mass shooting Virginia Tech’s campus in 2007,” Zhao’s lawyer wrote in the complaint filed Thursday.

Seung-Hui Cho, a South Korea native, killed 32 people on campus before fatally shooting himself in the head on April 16, 2007.

The suit names Blacksburg Police Officer Brian Wilson, who was asked by the school to follow Zhao at a shooting range where he fired an AR-15 rifle.

“He (Wilson) has no evidence, neither photos nor videos, to corroborate his account,” the suit says. 
Zhao was finally granted bond on the 26th of February. He had been in custody almost a month.

The case against Zhao looks weak. His assertions of inappropriate behavior on the part of school officials, the police, and federal immigration officials all  fit the evidence very well. The only assertion against him, that he inserted a legally owned 30 round magazine into his legally owned rifle, has no physical evidence to back it up. Video evidence, eye witness accounts, and search warrant results all support his version of events.

People may not like the idea that foreign students can legally acquire guns in Virgina.  If a student follows the rules, he should not be abused by the system.

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