Saturday, July 4, 2015

Constitutional Carry in Puerto Rico

SAF as recommended by Kurt

A surprising victory for gun rights in Puerto Rico has eliminated the firearms registry and licensing requirements to purchase and carry in the Commonwealth, the Second Amendment Foundation has confirmed.

As of now, according to Sandra Barreras with Ladies of the Second Amendment (LSA), the group that brought the lawsuit, “there is no regulation to purchase or carry (and) all purchases will be handled in accordance with federal firearms regulations.” LSA is affiliated with SAF through the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR).

The class-action lawsuit challenged various articles in Puerto Rico’s gun law, which the court declared unconstitutional. Because of the ruling, Barreras said, Puerto Ricans may now carry openly or concealed without a permit, and they do not need to obtain a permit before purchasing a firearm.

This was a class action lawsuit involving more than 850 individual plaintiffs, she reported to SAF offices. The news was greeted with delight, especially because in reaching its decision, the court cited the Heller and McDonald Supreme Court cases, and the recent ruling in Palmer v. District of Columbia. Both the McDonald and Palmer cases were won by SAF.

“Cumbersome firearms regulations have never prevented criminals from getting their hands on guns,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “They have only inconvenienced law-abiding citizens, or deprived them outright from exercising their rights under the Second Amendment.”

Mass Killings Inspire Copycats, Study Finds

NBC News

Police have said so for years and now scientists have measured the effect: Mass shootings and school attacks do inspire copycats. 

As many as 20 to 30 percent of attacks are set off by other attacks, according to researchers at Arizona State University and Northeastern Illinois University. The effect lasts about 13 days, they write in the report published Thursday in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS ONE. 

And mass killings — such as the 2012 attack on small children at Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut, the 1999 Columbine massacre, and last month's shooting of nine people at a prayer meeting in Charleston — are becoming alarmingly common in the United States. 

"On average, mass killings involving firearms occur approximately every two weeks in the U.S., while school shootings occur on average monthly," wrote Sherry Towers, a research professor at ASU, and her colleagues. 

Such attacks are more common in states where more people own guns, they added in their report.
"Statistics are not readily available on the incidence of mass killings and school shootings in other industrialized countries, however studies have shown that the firearm homicide and suicide rates in the U.S. are several times higher than that of any other industrialized country and the patterns appear to be due to higher rates of firearm ownership in the U.S. compared with other industrialized countries," they wrote.

This Is What The Average Gun Owner Looks Like In America

He’s white, married or divorced, high income, and over 55 years old. Unsurprisingly, he’s also more than twice as likely to be a member of “social gun culture” than those who don't own firearms. In all, almost one in three Americans owns at least one gun, but gun ownership rates vary widely across states. At 61.7 percent, Alaska has the highest rate of gun ownership, while Delaware has the lowest, at 5.2 percent.
Huffington Post

Kalesan's study defined “social gun culture” as a phenomenon in which friends or family would think less of you if you didn’t own a gun, and if your social life with friends and family involved guns. Any survey participant who answered “yes” to any of these statements was categorized as being part of social gun culture. 

Figuring out the dynamics at play in social gun culture, according to Kalesan, will be key to sparking social change about the attitudes and practices that inform gun ownership in the first place. She said educating Americans about the health dangers of having a firearm in their homes will change the way people feel about gun ownership, which in turn could drive laws that make guns more difficult to obtain. 

"A public health approach, much like the anti-tobacco effort, is necessary, first to facilitate a social change and then political will to form effective policies,” Kalesan told HuffPost. "We also need research to understand the public health consequences in different communities and to identify effective social interventions in different populations."

For instance, past research has found a link between the rate of household gun ownership and elevated rates of firearm-suicide, despite the fact that gun owners do not have more mental health problems than non-gun owners, nor are they more prone to suicide than non-gun owners. Other studies have found that gun ownership leads to more violent crime in general, as guns tend fall into the wrong hands when stolen or sold on secondary markets.

Friday, July 3, 2015

2015 Police Killings at Record Pace

The Guardian

The number of people killed by police in the United States during 2015 reached 500 on Wednesday, according to a Guardian investigation, after two young black men were shot dead in New York City and Cincinnati.

Isiah Hampton, 19, was fatally shot by New York police department officers at an apartment building in the Bronx on Wednesday morning, according to police chiefs. His death followed that of Quandavier Hicks, 22, during a confrontation with Cincinnati officers at a house on Tuesday night.

Their names were added to The Counted, a project by the Guardian to report and crowd-source names and a series of other data on every death caused by law enforcement in the US this year. 

The federal government does not currently keep a comprehensive record of people killed by police. Instead the FBI runs a voluntary program to submit numbers of “justified homicides”.

The updated findings on fatalities so far this year means that the total is on track to exceed 1,000 by the end of 2015 – and that people are being killed by officers at more than twice the rate most recently detected by the much-criticised FBI system, which recorded 461 killed in 2013.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Accidental Shooting at Arizona Hunt Club Not Covered by Insurance

Scottsdale Insurance Co. is not obligated to indemnify a hunt club member who accidentally shot someone under terms of the club’s commercial general liability policy, an appeals court ruled.

While shooting at a deer from land leased by Northumberland Hunt Club, Timothy B. Johnson, a member of the club, unintentionally shot and injured Danny Ray Marks Jr., who was traveling on Route 642 adjacent to the land in Richmond County, Virginia, in January 2013, according to Monday’s ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, in Danny Ray Marks Jr. and Timothy B. Johnson v. Scottsdale Insurance Co.

Mr. Marks filed suit against Mr. Johnson in Virginia state court in December 2013. According to the complaint, Mr. Johnson, who had extensive firearm training and was familiar with the location, took a position about 75 yards from the highway, even though he knew or should have known his gun could shot further than 75 yards.

When Mr. Johnson shot in the direction of the highway, one of the pellets from his gun struck Mr. Marks in the head, according to the complaint.

In January 2014, Mr. Marks also filed suit against Scottsdale, Arizona-based Scottsdale Insurance, seeking a declaration it had a duty to indemnify Mr. Johnson.

Authorities Seize 3D Printed Assault Rifle From Two Oregon Felons

(image source: Gerry O'Brien H&N Editor)

Local news via Baldr

Today, we learn that two felons in Oregon were arrested and charged with illegally possessing firearms, one of which deputies believe was 3D printed. Nolan DeBell, 42, and Joshua Holloway, 27, were arrested three weeks ago on June 9 when deputies found a large number of illegally-modified and stolen firearms at their house in Chiloquin, Oregon. One of the weapons that was seized was an AR-15 assault rifle, which included a lower receiver that investigators now believe had been 3D printed. The lower receiver is of course a part of the gun that contains the firing mechanism, and is basically what makes the gun “work”.
“Being felons, they could not have purchased the lower receiver,” Detective Eric Shepherd of the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office explained.

While there continues to be significant talks about making the 3D printing of certain gun parts and other weapons illegal, at the current time it is not. However, there are laws that restrict the possession of, or manufacturing of a firearm that is not detectible by a metal detector or airport security system. Because most desktop 3D printers fabricate objects out of plastic, this lower receiver most definitely would not have been picked up by a metal detector.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Florida Man Shoots and Kills Sleeping Wife in Tamarac Home, Calls it Accidental

Authorities are investigating after they say a man claimed he accidentally shot and killed his sleeping wife in their Tamarac home early Tuesday.

Jason Browdy, 35, told deputies he accidentally shot his wife, Monique Browdy, in the head as she lay in their bed, Broward Sheriff's Office officials said.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Sen. Chuck Schumer Vows Major Push to Get Gun Control Legislation Through Congress

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer called for common-sense gun control laws after latest massacre in Charleston, S.C. 

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer called for common-sense gun control laws after latest massacre in Charleston, S.C. 

NY Daily News

Sen. Chuck Schumer vowed Sunday to make a major push to get new gun control legislation through Congress, connecting the Charleston massacre to other mass killings that have rocked the country.

“Everyone in the world scratches their heads and says what is wrong with America here,” Schumer (D-N.Y.) said, listing the Newtown, Conn.; Aurora, Colo., and Virginia Tech mass killings.

Schumer proposed three components of “common-sense” legislation: increasing the strength of gun background checks, particularly to weed out mentally ill individuals; requiring background checks at gun shows, and cracking down on the flow of guns from the South to cities in the Northeast.

Michigan 3-Year-old Dead - Lengthy Investigation Underway

Local news

A 3-year-old boy was killed when he accidentally shot himself in Franklin Township Sunday according to Michigan State Police.

Jonathan Kaufman was pronounced dead at the scene.

The accidental shooting happened around 1:30 p.m.

The child was alone inside the home and found a loaded .40 caliber handgun stored in a closet.  His father and older brother were outside.

The incident is under investigation by the Michigan State Police.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

In Japan, Even the Gun Enthusiasts Are In Favor of Gun Control

Washington Post

Here’s how it works in Japan.

If you want to apply for a permit to shoot and own a gun (there are no rentals), you must first attend a class on gun laws and gun safety, then pass a written test.

Next, submit all of the paperwork — including your family, work and educational background, and a medical certificate declaring that you’re not depressed or an alcoholic, among other things — to the police, who will also check out your criminal record and look into whether you’ve had any domestic or neighborhood disputes. A police officer will visit your home to see where and how you intend to store your equipment.

Then you must attend a full-day training course where instructors teach basics such as etiquette at shooting ranges, how to handle guns and how to hit a target.

If you pass the shooting test, you can apply for a permit. Once it is issued, you can go to buy a gun, then take it to a police station for inspection and registration. Only the registered person can fire that gun.

The permit is valid for three years. To renew it, a gun owner must enroll in a refresher course and pass a practical test.

Where would you keep your gun? In your gun locker, of course, which regulations stipulate must be affixed to the wall, have three locks on the outside and a metal chain on the inside to run through the trigger guard.

Your ammunition will of course be kept in a separate, locked safe, per regulations, and you will probably keep the bolt in a yet another safe. This last part is just an advisory to make sure the gun is fully disabled, but almost all Japanese comply.

“This is probably our national character, but people seriously follow the laws and keep their guns and bullets according to the regulations,” said Toshiaki Okazaki, an inspector in the community safety department of the Kanagawa Prefectural Police, which incorporates Isehara.

Okazaki said he had never found a gun owner who was storing his equipment incorrectly. “How they keep guns at home is actually one of the most strictly monitored parts of the process,” he said.
Think such rules sound excessive? Not here, they don’t. In Japan, even the gun enthusiasts are in favor of such restrictions.

Louis Farrakhan's Take

Louis Farrakhan. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The Blaze

“White folks march with you because they don’t want you upset in the city,” Farrakhan said during his speech, a portion which was published online by WMAL. “They don’t give a damn about them nine. When they arrested that skunk …. they took him to the Burger King.”

“Man just killed nine human beings, and you know what they were saying? ‘You did a good job. Kill all them n******!’” he added.

Farrakhan then took aim at the American flag.

“I don’t know what the hell the fight is about over the Confederate flag! We need to put the American flag down because we’ve caught as much hell under that as the Confederate flag!” he said.

“Who are we fighting today? It’s the people that carry the American flag,” Farrakhan continued. “What flag do the police have? What flag flies over the non-Justice Department? What flag flies over the White House?”

The Nation of Islam leader said that taking the Confederate flag is “easy,” but not enough.