Sunday, March 26, 2017

Florida Senator Steube to Hold Hearing on Open Carry Decriminalization

Gun owners expected positive things when Greg Steube was elected to the state senate last year. Senator Steube introduced a number of gun law reform measures.  The measures have received large majority support in the House, but were stymied in the Senate. They were bottled up in the Judiciary Committee. The former Chair of that committee lost his primary last year.

Senator Steube is now the Chair of the Judiciary Committee. In a weird twist, Senator Anitere Flores (R) Miami, who has been a staunch Second Amendment supporter, reversed positions and is not the blocking the reform measures from passing the Committee. The Committee has 5 Republicans and 4 Democrats. One swing vote determines if a measure will pass, if Committee members vote on party lines.

Senator Steube hopes that he will be able to pass some reforms. From
Judiciary Chairman Greg Steube, a Sarasota Republican who has been among the leading proponents of Second Amendment rights since joining the Legislature in 2010, said he will eventually take up a major gun bill in his committee.

That could be a proposal (SB 644) that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to openly carry firearms; a proposal (SB 622) that would allow them to carry weapons on college or university campuses; or an even more wide-ranging measure by Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala.
SB-646 is scheduled to be heard in the Judiciary Committee on March 28th. The bill does not legalize open carry, but it removes criminal penalties and provides for the payment of a civil fine of $25 instead.  It allows for temporary open display of a firearm by people who are carrying concealed weapons. From the bill(pdf):
A bill to be entitled An act relating to weapons and firearms; amending s.790.053, F.S.; deleting a statement of applicability relating to violations of carrying a concealed weapon or firearm; reducing the penalty for a violation of specified provisions relating to openly carrying weapons; making a fine payable to the clerk of the court; amending s. 790.06, F.S.; providing that a person licensed to carry a concealed weapon or firearm who is lawfully carrying a firearm does not violate certain provisions if the firearm is temporarily and openly displayed; 
It is unclear how Senator Flores will vote on this mild reform. The NRA is urging members to contact their State Senator to vote in favor of SB-646.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Saturday, March 25, 2017

MI: Domestic Defense, Brother Shoots Sister's Ex

Police sources say a 21-year-old man broke into his ex-girlfriend's home by kicking in the door. He was armed. The 31-year-old woman's 32-year-old brother was at the apartment and shot the intruder multiple times in the chest.

More Here

FL: Man Returns Fire at Man armed with Rifle

"He was waving his rifle around, and saying something to my neighbors, who were over by the van and his children, and he started walking towards her and that's when I looked toward him and said, 'Not in this neighborhood. There ain't going to be no shootings in this neighborhood," Ballard told News4Jax.

According to Ballard, the man started shooting at him, and he fired back, hitting the man's vehicle as the man drove away.
More Here

Utah Expands Concealed Carry Permits to Adults 18-20 Years old

Governor Herbert has signed H.B. 198 into law. The bill provides for adults aged 18-20 to obtain a Utah concealed carry permit. The bill requires that permit holders meet minimum age requirements of other states when in those states. From
This bill:

▸ establishes a provisional permit to carry a concealed firearm;

▸ stipulates that individuals must be at least 18 years of age, but no more than 20 years of age, to obtain the permit;

▸ stipulates that the holder of a provisional permit issued by the state must meet eligibility requirements, including minimum age requirements, to carry a concealed firearm in another state; and

▸ prohibits a provisional permit holder from carrying a concealed firearm on or about an elementary or secondary school premises.
There are a number of states that provide for adults aged 18 to 20 to obtain concealed carry permit or who may legally carry firearms for self defense.

That number is likely to increase. It makes no sense to trust people aged 18-20 to vote, which is much more dangerous than carrying a defensive weapon, but not trust them with the full responsibilities of adulthood.

H.B. 198 passed the House 63-12, and the Senate 23-6. It was signed into law by Governor Gary Herbert on 23 March, 2017.
Herbert, in his monthly KUED press conference held before he signed the bill, said he had heard the arguments for and against the change.
"I understand the arguments again on both sides of that," he said. "Are you mature enough in fact to have a concealed weapon at 18 to 21? You juxtapose that over we have people we put in the military that carry M16s and other weapons with the intent of defending our freedoms and killing people. If they are old enough to do that, they are probably old enough to get some training and carry a weapon."
©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Nebraska Introduces Constitutional Carry

Col. (retired)  Tom Brewer, Nebraska State Senator

Nebraska has a Constitutional Carry bill that has been introduced in 2017. It is Legislative Bill 502(pdf). The bill was introduced by Senator Brewer, and was heard in committee on March 23rd. No action was taken at that time.  From
The committee took no action Thursday on Legislative Bill 502. Because the bill does not have a priority designation, it likely would not be scheduled for debate this year even if the committee decides to advance it to the floor.

State Sen. Tom Brewer of Gordon introduced the bill, saying he believes that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. He cited federal court decisions that recognized the rights of individuals to keep firearms for self-defense.

“How is it that the government thinks it can give permission to somebody for a right that’s already guaranteed under the Constitution?” Brewer asked.
Nebraska joins several other states have legislation introduced or in process.  Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, South Carolina,Texas, Virgina, Utah, and Wisconsin are all considering Constitutional carry. That list may increase as the year progresses. A bill in Kentucky appears to be dead for this year.

Montana passed a "permitless" carry bill for the third time this year. The bill would have extended "permitless" carry to the 1% of the state where a permit is required, but it was vetoed for a second time by Governor Bullock. A Constitutional Carry bill was vetoed for the second time by South Dakota Governor Daugaard.

New Hampshire and North Dakota have passed Constitutional Carry bills in 2017.

 The Nebraska legislature is unique in that it is unicameral and nonpartisan. Members do not run on party tickets.

The current governor of Nebraska is Pet Ricketts, a Republican. Governor Ricketts is on the record as strongly supporting the Second Amendment and the right to carry concealed guns.  Governor Ricketts criticized President Obama's gun control efforts in 2016.

It seems likely that Governor Ricketts would sign a Constitutional Carry bill if it passed Nebraska's unicameral legislature.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

North Dakota Joins the Constitutional Carry Club

North Dakota passed a resident's Constitutional Carry law on Thursday, 23 March, 2017.  The bill was passed in the House on 21 February, 83-9, then in the Senate on 21 March, 34 to 13. It was sent to Governor  Dick Burgum on 23 March, and signed into law the same day.

From HB 1169:
1. An individual , other than a law enforcement officer, may not carry any a firearm or dangerous weapon concealed unless the individual is licensed to do so or exempted under this chapter.

2. An individual who is not otherwise precluded from possessing a class 2 firearm and dangerous weapon license under this chapter and who has possessed for at least one year a valid driver's license or nondriver identification card issued by the department of transportation may carry a firearm concealed under this chapter.
The point is that you have to obtain a North Dakota Drivers license or non-driver identification card in order to carry without a concealed carry permit in North Dakota. If you have been a North Dakota resident for a year, you do not need a permit. North Dakota requires that a person be a resident for 90 consecutive days to obtain a non-driver identification card. The fee is $8.

There are now three states that limit Constitutional Carry to residents. Those are Idaho, Wyoming, and North Dakota. Most Courts have ruled that non-residents cannot be discriminated against under the equal protection clause.

I have not heard of any court cases involving Constitutional Carry. They are unlikely because open carry is legal without any permit in all three states; most people who want to carry concealed legally, and who are non-residents will have a concealed carry permit from another state; and all three states recognize permits from most other states. North Dakota recognizes permits from 39 states.  Wyoming recognizes permits from 35 states. Idaho recognizes permits from all other states that issue permits.

Finally, people who can legally posess firearms, but who wish to carry concealed without a permit are unlikely arrested and be charged in the courts. That would be required to make a test case.

I do not think we will be seeing a test case any time soon, unless one is deliberately created. It is not so easy to do.

Now that North Dakota has joined the Constitutional Carry Club, the members number 13.  The other twelve are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Vermont, Wyoming, and West Virginia.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Friday, March 24, 2017

Cheap Gun Opportunity? Romeoville IL April 8th at the PD

Two years ago, Romeoville Illinois held a gun "buy back. They took in 73 guns, pictured above. Some of those firearms are very nice indeed, and worth much more than the $60 that police were paying people for them. Third from the left of the middle row of long guns appears to be an M1 carbine and sling. Two over on the left is a classic .22 target rifle, two over to the right a classic hunting tool, a pump action .22 rifle, probably a Winchester 1906.  In the center of that row are two Stevens Crackshot .22 rifles, highly desired. There are numerous pump shotguns, probably a .22 levergun in the back row.  On the right of the middle row it looks like a Carcano in full military gear.

All the ammunition was turned in for free.

Most of the pistols were inexpensive, but there was a Ruger convertible single six with the extra cylinder, a P38, a Glock long slide and a number of older top break revolvers.  Several of the guns were worth several hundred dollars. There might be a couple not worth the $60 given for them.

Setting up to purchase the guns that will come in to the turn in would be a bit of a challenge. The "buy back" will be held at the Police Department. From
ROMEOVILLE, IL -- Romeoville police will host a Gun Buy Back program from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 8, at the police department, 1050 W. Romeo Road.

Residents can turn in weapons, no questions asked and without penalty -- even if they don't have a FOID card -- and get $60 in return. "Cash will be paid on the spot for each weapon turned in," police said. "Ammunition may be turned in as well; however, there will be no payment to individuals turning in ammunition only."
Illinois residents are not allowed to buy or sell guns without a Firearms Owners Identification Card (FOID), yet the police are giving people without cards amnesty. 

The amnesty is  only to transport the firearms to the drop off point. It is likely that some of the best and most collectible firearms will be turned in by widows and other inheritors who do not have a FOID card.

It would be illegal to purchase a .416 Rigby double rifle or a classic Colt Single Action from them. In addition, people with FOID cards are required to wait 24 hours to transfer a rifle or shotgun, and 72 hours to transfer a pistol.  During this period the seller is to contact the State Police and insure that the FOID card is valid.

It is easy to understand why so many valuable firearms are turned in to police at these events in Illinois. The bureaucracy required for private sales becomes extremely cumbersome and burdensome.

It is in the few states that have such burdensome requirements on private sales that gun "buybacks" continue to exist. In states with free market private sales, private sellers organize and purchase the desirable guns before they are turned in to police to be destroyed.

But private purchasers are not allowed to offer amnesty in Illinois. If a widow has her former husband's $30,000 dollar collection of hunting rifles, she cannot legally sell it, even to a dealer, until she obtains an FOID card.

It is a form of confiscation by bureaucratic regulation. A bill was filed in Illinois this year for police to actively track down people who had not renewed FOID cards, to confiscate their guns. Fortunately for widows and other inheritors, it did not pass.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Arkansas Passes Expanded Campus Carry Bill

Arkansas' campus carry bill HB 1249, has expanded into an enhanced carry permit bill. It has become law, and goes into full effect on 1 January, 2018.

Originally, the bill was to allow staff at institutes of higher learning, who had a concealed carry license, to carry on campus. Staff would have been required to notify the administration that they were carrying. 

The higher education lobby worked hard to stop this bill. One of the talking points was that people were not trained enough. It seemed as if Governor Hutchinson might veto the bill. It all backfired on the anti-Second Amendment lobbyists. A much expanded bill was approved in the Senate. Then it was re-approved in the House, and signed by Governor Hutchinson on 22 March.

The Senate amended the bill to require up to 8 hours of additional training to obtain an endorsement on existing concealed carry permits. The training will not need to be renewed. That endorsement allows concealed carry permit holders, and not just university staff, to carry on campus and a number of other former gun free zones. Here is a list from the NRA-ILA:
  • Public college and university campuses
  • Public buildings other than courtrooms, K-12 schools, and correction facilities
  • Any meeting place of the governing body of any governmental entity
  • Any meeting of the General Assembly or a committee of the General Assembly
  • Any state office
  • Any athletic event not related to firearms
  • Any portion of an establishment, except a restaurant as defined in § 3-5-1202, licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises
  • Any portion of an establishment, except a restaurant as defined in § 3-5-1202, where beer or light wine is consumed on the premises
  • Inside the passenger terminal of any airport
  • Any church or other place of worship
  • Any place where a parade or demonstration requiring a permit is being held, and the licensee is a participant in the parade or demonstration
Restaurants that serve alcohol, churches, and private institutes of higher learning may exercise their private property rights to prohibit armed people. They are allowed to do so with the placement of proper signage.  The signage must be clearly readable at a distance of 10 feet.

The enhanced carry endorsement will be available in 2018, and will require from four to eight hours of training.  The Arkansas State Police are charged with developing the training, which shall:
(i) Not be required to be renewed;

(ii) Consist of a course of up to eight (8) hours;

(iii) Be offered by all training instructors and at
all concealed carry training courses; and

(iv) Cost no more than a nominal amount.
 The training should be available as of 1 January, 2018. 

Chris Cox of the NRA lobbied hard for this bill. At the press conference, he said that the bill is a step in the right direction. From
"This is an effort to remove roadblocks between law abiding people and their ability to exercise a fundamental right," Cox said. "We believe that if you have a legal right to be somewhere, and you’re a law-abiding person, you ought to have a legal right to defend yourself. … This is a step in the right direction toward that recognition. Is it a full recognition? No, but it’s a step in the right direction."
The NRA has come a long way from the days when they merely tried to limit the damage done by bad bills. Many people fought hard for this bill, and the NRA did its part.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Thursday, March 23, 2017

MO: Homeowner Shoots Suspect who Confronted Him While Breaking into Car

ST. LOUIS COUNTY • Police believe a homeowner who saw a man who may have been trying to break into a car and acting suspiciously, fatally shot him after confronting him just before 4 a.m.

More Here

TX: Stabbing Victim Claims He shot Robber in Self Defense

GROVES - Police are still trying to piece together what led to a stabbing and shooting on south drive in Groves this morning.

One man was shot and one man was stabbed during the altercation. A driver in the 3100 block of East Street reported hearing shots fired just after 7:30 a.m. and when Groves Police officers arrived they found a man in his 40's who had been stabbed according to Groves City Marshall Norman Reynolds.
More Here

LA: Attempted Home Invasion Stopped by Armed Victim: 2 Wounded

BATON ROUGE – Deputies say two men wanted for a Monday night shooting in Baton Rouge are in critical condition after trying to rob another person in Breaux Bridge Tuesday morning.
More Here

Michigan Automatic Knife Ban up for Reform

Michigan is considering reform of its archaic ban on automatic knives. Michigan's ban was the first in the nation. It was passed into law in September, 1952.

The impetus for the ban is believed to have come from a November, 1950 article  by Jack Harrison Pollack. The Toy That Kills was published in  the Woman's Home Companion. Call it propaganda, yellow journalism, muckraking; it has little to do with fact, and everything to do with pushing legislation through emotion. Here is one of the passages.
“Designed for violence, deadly as a revolver — that’s the switchblade, the ‘toy’ youngsters all over the country are taking up as a fad. Press the button on this new version of the pocketknife and the blade darts out like a snake’s tongue. Action against this killer should be taken now. It’s only a short step from carrying a switchblade to gang warfare.”
There is a deeper message as well. It is the message that boys should not be encouraged to be responsible and self controlled. Rather, boys are to be discouraged from the public carry of knives entirely.
If your son has a pocketknife for scouting, or fishing, discourage his taking it to school, the movies, or other public places. Don't let him be smart-alecky about it. De-glamorize knife-carrying to him.
Pollack's political push was wildly successful. From Michigan, bans spread across the nation. The next state to fall was New York, in 1954. The propaganda was copied and multiplied in the media. From
What began with “The Toy That Kills” led to a raft of newspaper and tabloid stories, all vilifying the switchblade, then Hollywood got in on the act with Rebel Without A Cause, Crime In The Streets, 12 Angry Men, The Delinquents, High School Confidential, etc, of course culminating with the smash hit broadway musical, West Side Story. That debuted in 1957. It’s no coincidence that the federal Switchblade Knife Act was passed the next year. 
 60 years later, those ill-considered laws are being rolled back. SB 245 simply repeals the offending section. From SB 245:
Enacting section 1. Section 226a of the Michigan penal code, 26 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.226a, is repealed.
What is Section 226a? Here it is from the Michigan statutes:
Sec. 226a.
Any person who shall sell or offer to sell, or any person who shall have in his possession any knife having the appearance of a pocket knife, the blade or blades of which can be opened by the flick of a button, pressure on a handle or other mechanical contrivance shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not to exceed 1 year or by a fine of not to exceed $300.00, or both.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to any one-armed person carrying a knife on his person in connection with his living requirements.

History: Add. 1952, Act 233, Eff. Sept. 18, 1952
What was in the water in Michigan? Michigan is the same state where the ban on short barreled rifles and shotguns got started in 1927. That ban was reformed in 2014. Reforms that eliminate the needless and antique bans on automatic knives have been passed in New Hampshire, Maine, Missouri, Kansas, Alaska, Indiana, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee, Nevada, and Wisconsin. The organization, Knife Rights, has lobbied for these reforms.

The automatic knife reform is scheduled to come before the Judiciary committee in the Senate on 28 March, 2017.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

SC: Constitutional Carry Advances, Passes House Committee 15-7

H. 3930, a Constitutional Carry bill is on the move in South Carolina. On March 9th, it passed the Judiciary Constitutional Laws Subcommittee. On 21 March, it passed the full committee with a vote of 15 to 7.  Now it will advance to a vote before the full House. Last year a similar bill passed the House, but died in the Senate. From
The bill by state Rep. Mike Pitts, R-Laurens, calls for what is often referred to as “constitutional carry” by allowing people who are legally permitted to own a firearm to carry one – concealed or in the open – without having to obtain a permit from the government.

A House panel sent the proposed law to the floor on a 15-7 vote Tuesday, over the concerns of several legislators – including Richland Democratic Rep. James Smith – who argued the bill has too many gray areas.

“The right to carry is a constitutional amendment in the Bill of Rights,” Pitts said. “It is a constitutionally protected right, and that’s why I don’t think the government should (issue a) permit” for the carrying of a gun.

Pitts introduced a similar bill in 2016. But this year’s bill also would allow for “open carry,” which means a person can carry a firearm without having to conceal it.

The proposal does not change where firearm owners can carry their weapons. They would still be barred from carrying into schools and other already prohibited locations. And private businesses could still bar firearms from their establishments.

Here is a relevant section of the proposed legislation. The convention is that a strikethrough indicates text to be removed. Underlined text is text that is to be added.  From
SECTION 2. Section 16-23-20 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"Section 16-23-20. (A) It is unlawful for anyone to carry about the person any handgun, whether concealed or not, except as follows, unless otherwise specifically prohibited by law: with the intent to use the handgun unlawfully against another person. The intent to use a handgun unlawfully against another person must not be inferred from the mere possession, carrying, or concealment of the handgun, whether it is loaded or unloaded.
Here is how it looks when the strikethru and underlining purposes are put into effect:
SECTION 2. Section 16-23-20 of the 1976 Code is amended to read: 

"Section 16-23-20. (A) It is unlawful for anyone to carry about the person any handgun, whether concealed or not, , except as follows, with the intent to use the handgun unlawfully against another person. The intent to use a handgun unlawfully against another person must not be inferred from the mere possession, carrying, or concealment of the handgun, whether it is loaded or unloaded.
The requirement for an unlawful intent to prosecute the carry of a weapon is similar to Constitutional Carry law in Vermont and Arkansas. Self defense is lawful. Carrying a weapon for self defense would not be a violation of the law.

The bill has a chance of passage. If it becomes law, South Caroling would join the Constitutional Carry club, increasing the number of states with Constitutional Carry to 13. The law would simultaneously decrease the states that routinely ban the open carry of holstered handguns from five to four, leaving only Florida, California, New York, and Illinois in that group. Florida is currently considering an open carry law, but the bill is bottled up in committee.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Read more here:
SECTION    2.    Section 16-23-20 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 16-23-20.    (A)    It is unlawful for anyone to carry about the person any handgun, whether concealed or not, except as follows, unless otherwise specifically prohibited by law: with the intent to use the handgun unlawfully against another person. The intent to use a handgun unlawfully against another person must not be inferred from the mere possession, carrying, or concealment of the handgun, whether it is loaded or unloaded.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

KY: Teen Uses Shotgun to Wound 1 of 2 Intruders

An Edmonson County teenager confronted by two men who unlawfully entered his residence shot and critically wounded one of them early Sunday, according to police.

The Kentucky State Police Post 3 received a request for assistance from the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office around 4:16 a.m. Sunday regarding a man who had been shot after entering a home.
More Here

NM: Manager Shoots at "Tires", Wounds Woman Suspect

According to police, the 35-year-old Gonzales and a male accomplice walked into a Metro PCS near Broadway and Cesar Chavez about a week and a half ago and committed a robbery. The criminal complaint says the male suspect was "armed with a knife" as he led the store clerk to a safe while Gonzales took accessories off the wall.

As Gonzales and the man were getting away, the store's district manager arrived. He told police when the suspects started to flee and their "vehicle almost struck him, so he fired three shots at the tires, but missed."
More Here

AK: Burglar Disarms Woman, Flees, Caught in High Speed Chase

A man who threatened a woman with her own gun during a Wasilla home invasion early Monday was arrested after a high-speed pursuit in the area, troopers said.

Alaska State Troopers first received a report of the incident involving 28-year-old Jacob Gearing, who had forced his way into a home off Scatters Way, at about 2 a.m., according to an online dispatch.

"When the homeowner retrieved a firearm, (Gearing) disarmed her, then pointed the weapon at the homeowner and another occupant," troopers wrote.
More Here

CA: Off Duty CHP Officer Shoots Suspect Attempting Break-In at his Home

An off-duty California Highway Patrol officer shot and killed an intruder who was trying to break into his home early Sunday morning in Redding.

Just after 3 a.m. Sunday police went to a home in the 800 block of Country Oak Drive in north Redding after they received a call that someone tried to break into the home.
More Here

TX: Open Carriers Stop Armed Robbery?

There are two accounts recorded of the incident pictured above. It happened on 12 March, in Tyler, Texas.  One account is from the eye witness who captured the video.  Audio is included with the video. On the audio, someone joins the videographer. The videographer explains what has happened. From the audio in the video:
He tried to knife em, and rob em, and we had two open carrys, and the open carrys took him down.


And that is what an open carry state is all about.
Link to video

In Texas, one license is required for both concealed and open carry of modern handguns.  The Tyler Police Department had a somewhat different view of the event. From
According to a press release by the Tyler Police Department, 34-year-old Chad Boening approached a man and woman in the parking lot between FD's Grill House and Bed, Bath and Beyond. Police say he brought out a knife and threatened the woman saying "do you want to see her die."

Police say that a father and a son saw the incident from their vehicle and confronted the man. Both men brought out their concealed handguns to subdue Boening.
There is no mention of open carry in the police press release. Clearly, the handguns were out in the open when the police arrived.  If the Good Samaritans were in a vehicle when they witnessed the assault, their handguns would not have been visible.

I do not know what knowledge the videographer had of the participants. He considered them to be open carriers.

Unless we can identify the participants, it is unlikely that we can resolve the question of whether the good Samaritans were openly or concealed carrying their handguns.  Clearly, they had licenses to carry.  In Texas, that means that both open and concealed carry are legal.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

GA: Omnibus Gun Law Reform Moves Forward with Knife Law Reform

HB 292 is the Georgia omnibus gun law reform bill for 2017.  It is very similar to the reform bill HB 1060, that passed the legislature last year. That bill was vetoed by Governor Deal.

HB 292 has a couple of differences. Church carry is not addressed in the 2017 bill, and knife reform has been added as an amendment. 

Here are some of the features of HB 292, from
  • Will allow for a person moving into GA who has a valid firearms license or permit to carry on that permit for 90 days or upon person attaining a GWL;
  • Allow for certain law enforcement officers to carry when in performance of their official duties;
  • Provides for Probate Judge and the DNR to offer Gun Safety Information to applicants for GWL;
  • Gives law enforcement 10 days to report to the Probate Judge any findings that may bear upon the issuance of a GWL;
  • The judge of the probate court shall not suspend the processing of the application or extend, delay, or avoid any time requirements
  • Provides a path to repeal the GWL upon adjudication of a matter that would effect the maintenance of a GWL;
  • Provides for a name change due to marriage or divorce or an address change if the GWL’s expiration date is over 90 days out.  The fee for such replacement is determined by Code Section 15-9-60 (k)(13) and is currently $6.00
  • Makes changes to Code Section 16-11-130
  • Defines the term commercial service airport;
  • Defines the term major airline carrier;
  • Provides a path for a person who has been involuntarily hospitalized to apply for restoration of rights.
  • Provides that any instructor who lawfully instructs, educates, or trains a person in the safe, proper, or technical use of a firearm shall be immune from civil liability for any injuries caused by the failure of such person to use such firearm properly or lawfully.
The knife reform that has been added changes the definition of "knife" from those with a blade of more than five inches, to those with a blade of more than 12 inches. This means that knives with blades of less than 12 inches are not regulated by the law.  If the reform passes, there will be "Constitutional Carry" for blades of less than 12 inches.

A blade of more than 12 inches is encroaching on short sword status.

Another amendment has been to include language to prohibit financial institutions from discriminating against people or trade associations solely because of their engagement in the lawful commerce of firearms or ammunition.

HB 292 has passed the House with a vote of  127 to 48.  It has passed Senate committee, and should now go for a vote to the complete Senate. It has been amended, so if it passes the Senate, it will have to go back to the House for another vote before being sent to Governor Deal.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

NV: Domestic Defense Brother Shoots Brother

LAS VEGAS - An 18-year-old man is shot and killed by his older brother following a family fight in the northwest valley.

The deadly shooting happened around 3:00 p.m. on Friday, March 17th in the area of Hualapai Way and Farm Road.

The 18-year-old was armed with a large knife during a physical altercation with his father when his 22-year-old brother opened fire, hitting the young man in the chest, according to homicide detectives with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
More Here

MO: Robber with Fake Gun Shot for Real

According to police, he was shot in the stomach after attempting to rob Galaxy Balloon Store in the 4300 Block of W. Florissant, which is near O'Fallon Park in north St. Louis.

The 16-year-old pulled out what appeared to be a weapon, the store owner was armed and shot him.
More Here

UT: Theives Threaten to Call Police, Armed Man Already Called

“A homeowner was awakened by a noise in his driveway, walked out and saw two guys burglarizing his vehicle, confronted them with his weapon, and held them at bay," said Chief Robby Russo with Cottonwood Heights Police. "The bad guys threatened to call the police on him, and he said, 'That’s great, I already called them' and just then the officer is driving down the street--they take off running."
More Here

Followup AZ: Man that Saved Wounded Trooper is Former Felon, Christian

"I knew if he got my gun it'd be all over right then," he said.

Then, Andersson heard a voice. And gunshots.

It was over. The attacker lay dead in front of him; Andersson was alive.
But who saved him?

A former felon, he would later learn. A man who turned his life around and found God. A lifelong hunter who begged a judge to reinstate his rights, allowing him to carry a gun again -- the one he just fired.
More Here

Followup OH: Police ID Dead Burglary Suspect

A next-door neighbor said she heard a gunshot and looked out her window to see a man lying in the front yard.

“They started doing CPR on him and they did that all the way to the ambulance,” Marlene Smith said.

Police say Tyrone Frazier, 34, was killed after possibly attempting to break into the home.

More Here

TX: Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: Two 3-Year-Olds Wounded in Fort Worth

Image from

In one of those rare accidental discharges, where a young child shoots himself or another, a three year old boy, pictured above, found a loaded .380 pistol in the white SUV.  It happened about 5:30 p.m. on 17 March, 2017. A police officer stated that the pistol was apparently in the side pocket of the SUV, when the two boys, running ahead of the parents, accessed the vehicle before the parents arrived. One boy found the pistol and began manipulating it. He managed to fire it.

The bullet went through his left hand. The bandaged hand can be seen above. The projectile then hit his three-year-old friend in the back and exited the front of the abdomen.

One of the responding officers had a quick clot pad as part of his first aid kit, and applied it to the body wound. His action may have saved the boy's life.  Both children were transported to the hospital and are expected to survive.

It is unknown if any charges will be filed.

Three year old children would not normally be transported in the front seat. But children are very inquisitive and explore everywhere. It would have been better for the pistol owner to have taken the gun with them, keeping it under their control.  No 30.06 or 30.07 signs were visible in the images of the Chuck E. Cheese's where the family had been customers.

Everyone involved in this incident is wishing that they had altered their actions in some way to prevent the shooting.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

CT: Gun "Buy Back", Claims Classics, Antiques, Homemade, and Modern

On  March 18, 2017, Hartford, Connecticut held a gun "buy back". The guns are turned in for various premiums, usually gift cards. In Hartford, the amounts varied. The "buy back" had 26 guns turned in to the police. From the
Working firearms can be exchanged for Stop & Shop gift cards in varying denominations: $200 for assault rifles, $100 for pistols and revolvers; and $25 for shotguns or rifles.
The $100 for the homemade derringer may have been a good deal for the seller. $25 for the classic Marlin 39A lever action .22, or for the antique pump shotgun, is robbery, probably of an unsuspecting widow.

The photograph isn't as clear as I would like. The shotgun may be a rare Winchester model 93. The Model 39A is considered a classic and highly valued sporting rifle. They bring several hundred dollars in used condition.

This is the same police department that collected the rare STG 44 WWII trophy bringback in 2012. It was valued at about $30,000.

In the middle row, on the right, you can see the homemade derringer. It could be a .22 or a .25.  The circular plate looks like a handmade swinging breech-block.

Perhaps a sharp eyed reader can identify the antique revolver in the center of the image. The humpbacked grip and spur trigger are good clues. It reminds me of a Liberty pocket revolver, if they were made with a bird's head grip.  It is almost certainly a .22.

The "Assault rifle" or, more accurately, modern sporting rifle, is an interesting variant of the AK, with a dust cover mounted rear sight. It is worth several hundred dollars.

The Courant had this quote from David Shapiro, vice chairman of surgery for St . Francis Hospital and Medical Center, trying to justify this misuse of police resources.  The hospital contributed to the "buyback" scheme.
"The challenge with gun buybacks is that there's very little evidence that they reduce crimes. But, then again, there's little evidence that any gun violence program does what it's supposed to do," Shapiro said. "As public health providers, our job is to go to any avenue we can to reduce the risk of injury, and this is one that benefits everyone who's involved."
David, there is this conceptual concept called the cost to benefit ratio. When costs are high, and benefits are low, the activity is often counterproductive.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Monday, March 20, 2017

CO: Knife Law Reforn is on Governor Hickenlooper's Desk

Colorado is working hard to reform its antiquated knife bans.  In the late 1950's and early 1960's, a wave of bans on knives swept the nation. The were propelled by emotional tirades of a New York Congressman, and fueled by allegations of widespread use by gangs, in spite of a lack of data. There was no wave of knife violence. But the fake media of the day was able to sweep bans on "gravity" and "switchblade" knives through legislatures across the country.  A federal ban in the interstate shipping of automatic knives was enacted into law in 1958, and is still in effect. Colorado passed its ban on "gravity" and "switchblade" knives in 1963.  During the last 50 plus years, unknown numbers of people have had their property taken, their lives disrupted, and their reputations ruined through unknowing violation of these obscure and technical knife ban. As knives tend to be less expensive than firearms, knife bans tens to be enforced more strongly against less prosperous members of society.

According to Colorado law, an automatic knife with a three inch blade is a prohibited weapon; a bowie knife with a 12 inch blade is not. Either one may be  carried concealed. The three inch automatic knife would be illegal, the bowie would not, so long as it was carried without the intent to use it as a weapon.

Legislatures all across the country have been reforming these ill conceived laws and restoring the law to a more reasonable condition. It is practical for automatic knives to be treated the same as other knives, whether fixed blades or folding pocket knives. Reforms that eliminate the needless and antique bans on automatic knives and gravity knives have been passed in New Hampshire, Maine, Missouri, Kansas, Alaska, Indiana, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee, Nevada, and Wisconsin. Knives are arms protected by the Second Amendment of the Constitution. Knives have been carried in conflicts as long as humanity has existed.

The reform bill passed the House on March 9th with a vote of 56-6.  It passed the Senate on 1 February with a vote of 32-2.  SB 17-008 was sent to the governor on 15 March.

The reform is a bipartisan measure supported by both parties. The Democrats have a majority in the House and the Republicans have a majority in the Senate. The Governor, John Hickenlooper (D) is in his second term, and may not run for a third consecutive term. 

Once the bill has been sent to Governor Hickenlooper, he has three choices.  He can sign it, and it becomes law; he can ignore it, and it becomes law; or he can veto it. If he vetoes the bill, the legislature can override with two thirds votes in both the House and the Senate.  In the case of SB 17-008, the bill was sent to the Governor while the House is in session. Governor Hickenlooper has 10 days to veto it or it will become law.  By my count, that would be the 26th of March, 2017.

If you wish to ask the governor to sign or veto the law, Knife Rights explains the process at this link

 ©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Sunday, March 19, 2017

NV: Domestic Defense, Woman Shoots, Kills Ex

A woman who shot and killed her ex-boyfriend today at her northwest valley home told a 911 operator she was being attacked, according to Metro Police.
More Here

TX: Man Shoots at Shattered Door, Burglary Suspect Shows at Hospital

A Killeen resident opened fire on a burglar during a late-night burglary on Tuesday, police said.

More Here

CO: Son Shoots Man to Protect Mother

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - A 19-year-old may have shot and killed a man to protect his mother, a police spokesperson tells 11 News.

The shooting, which happened early Thursday morning at a townhouse in southeast Colorado Springs, remains under investigation, but Lt. Howard Black said they are looking at it as a possible case of self-defense.
More Here

SD: Governor Daugaard Vetoes Gun Law Reform

On Friday, March 17, 2017, Governor Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota vetoed HB 1072, known as the Constitutional Carry bill, and HB 1156, which would have allowed a small number of South Dakota holders of Enhanced Concealed Carry permits to carry inside of the state Capitol. His veto letters reproduced below, sans headers and signature block.

I herewith return to you House Bill 1072 with my VETO. 

House Bill 1072 is an Act to repeal and revise certain provisions relating to permits to carry a concealed pistol.

The proponents of House Bill 1072 did not testify about problems that exist with our current permitting laws in the bill’s hearings.  I am unaware of a single instance in which a person who could lawfully possess a gun was denied a permit to carry a concealed pistol.  Our permit laws are effective in screening people who are not eligible to carry a concealed weapon.  Over the last three years, Minnehaha and Pennington Counties have turned down nearly 600 permit applicants who were disqualified due to mental illness or due to violent or drug-related crimes.  It is for this reason the South Dakota Sheriffs Association, the South Dakota Police Chiefs Association, the South Dakota State’s Attorneys Association, and the South Dakota Fraternal Order of Police all opposed House Bill 1072.

Proponents of this bill argued that our state concealed carry laws infringe on the Second Amendment right to bear arms.  I respectfully disagree with that notion.  As Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in his majority opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller:  “There seems to us no doubt, on the basis of both text and history, that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to keep and bear arms. Of course the right was not unlimited, just as the First Amendment's right of free speech was not.”  As an example of a lawful limitation Justice Scalia states that “prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment….”

As a longtime member of the NRA, I support the right to bear arms.  South Dakota's current permit process is simple and straightforward, and permits can be obtained in a matter of minutes.  It is paramount that our state protect the rights of our citizens while at the same time protecting the lives of our citizens.  I believe our current laws appropriately protect both interests, and I ask that you sustain my veto.

I respectfully return to you House Bill 1156, with my VETO.

House Bill 1156 is an Act to allow a concealed pistol in the Capitol with an enhanced concealed pistol permit.

On any given day, the array of people found in our historic State Capitol building includes elected officials, tourists, state employees, and school children.  The protection we have in the building, from law enforcement officers in uniform or plain clothes, provides a secure environment.  I am satisfied that our Highway Patrol is doing its job, and their important work would be made more difficult if others are allowed to carry weapons into the Capitol.

The law enforcement officers who protect our Capitol building have specialized training which is repeated on a regular basis.  This ensures when called upon, they are ready to make split-second and life-saving decisions.  They prepare themselves mentally at the beginning of each shift, so they are ready to react appropriately should the need arise. 

In contrast, the 1,878 South Dakotans who hold an enhanced concealed pistol permit were required to undertake approximately eight hours of instruction, just once.  This training includes South Dakota law relating to the use of force, the safe and responsible use of handguns, self-defense principles, and live fire training.  There is no training requirement for renewal, even after five years have passed. 

During the legislative session, meaningful debates among the public and legislators are frequent and oftentimes passionate.  Where emotions can run high, it is important to be protected by people who are routinely trained to manage dangerous situations.  Law enforcement training focuses on knowing when to pull the trigger—and when not to.  Our law enforcement officers are uniquely able to protect the public, and I believe this bill would complicate that work.

For these reasons, I ask that you sustain my veto.
 Supporters of the two bills have said that they will work to override the Governor's vetoes. That possibility seems unlikely, because the necessary two thirds votes were not there when the bills were passed this year.

Governor Daugaard vetoed another Constitutional Carry bill in 2012.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Army Corps of Engineers Considers Reform of Second Amendment Rules

After President Trump won election in November of 2016, I explained how a Trump administration could eliminate gun free zones in the Army Corps of Engineers. One of the options to do this was with a court ordered settlement agreed to by both sides. 
Another method available to President Trump is a negotiated Court settlement. The ban on possession of weapons on land administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is being challenged in the Courts. Court cases in both the Ninth Circuit and in the Eleventh Circuit are active. A Trump administration could order the Corps of Engineers to negotiate a Court sanctioned settlement that would prohibit the Corps of Engineers from ever violating the Second Amendment again. Such Court sanctioned agreements have long been used to create law without congressional approval, law that is impossible to remove by regulatory means.
It appears that approach may be underway. From the
The 9th Circuit case was ready for oral argument on March 6. But on March 2, the Corps filed a request to remove the oral argument from the calendar and to put the case into mediation. The motion explained: “The Army Corps of Engineers is reconsidering the firearms policy challenged in this case, as well as plaintiffs’ requests for permission to carry firearms on Army Corps property. This reconsideration has the potential to fully resolve plaintiffs’ objections.”
This does not show the Trump administration is behind this change of heart on the part of the Corps. But it seems likely a reversal of policy that occurs a couple of months after a change of administration might be related to that change. Mediation at the Ninth would allow both parties to agree on a settlement. Then the Court would approve of the agreement.  Most mediation would be considered certain once both parties approve. But in a politically charged circuit such as the Ninth, such an approach may not be guaranteed.  From
For over twenty years, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has operated a court mediation and settlement program. During that time, experienced and skilled circuit mediators have worked cooperatively with attorneys and their clients to resolve a variety of disputes. The disputes mediated range from the most basic contract and tort actions to the most complex cases involving important issues of public policy. The mediators have even successfully resolved death penalty cases. No case is too big or too small for mediation in the court's program.

The court offers this service, at no cost, because it helps resolve disputes quickly and efficiently and can often provide a more satisfactory result than can be achieved through continued litigation. Each year the mediation program facilitates the resolution of hundreds of appeals.
The Ninth Circuit claims that what goes on in mediation is strictly confidential, and that mediators are shielded from the rest of the court. But what if the Court abhors the result of a mediation process? What if the Court finds the results of a mediation involves fulfilling a campaign promise of a President that the Court finds ideologically distasteful? Would the Court then approve of such a settlement?

We may find out. I do not believe the court is bound by law to approve of settlements reached during mediation. Courts might find a settlement violates law or the Constitution, though I am not aware of such a case. Legal experts, feel free to inform us.

Refusing to order a settlement agreed to by both parties would be unusual. But we live in unusual times. Who would have thought that a Ninth Circuit Court would order that a simple, temporary, executive order on vetting visitors from war torn lands, be halted pending judicial review? The lines between policy making and political review in the courts seem thin indeed.

In the case of Elizabeth Nesbitt, et al v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, et al,
we may find out if that line will be crossed when it comes to the Second Amendment and the Corps of Engineers.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

TX:Denny's and Gun Signs in Dallas

On a Saturday morning in Dallas, Texas, my daughter and I decided to eat breakfast out. My grandson mentioned pancakes, so my daughter decided on a Denny's that was reasonably close, at 4567 Frankford Road.

It took about five minutes to load up a one year old and a two year old into the car, in the proper car seats, and another five minutes to drive to the restaurant.

On the way in, I noticed the 30.07 sign that banned open carry in the restaurant. The 30.07 sign is required by Texas law, if a private property owner decides to restrict open carry on their property. Of course they may allow people to carry on an individual basis, with their explicit permission.

The 30.07 sign only restrict open carry.  In Texas, people who can legally open carry modern handguns also have the right to carry concealed handguns. The 30.07 sign is simply saying "please cover your handgun when on our premises".

I made sure that my vest was covering the Glock 17 in a Fobus retention holster when we entered. With a one and a two year old dining with you, a breakfast can be fairly busy.

Our waitress, Lois, was superb. She immediately brought a good quality high chair for my granddaughter and a coloring book for my grandson, She asked about and brought grapes for him, and volunteered and brought yogurt for my granddaughter. My daughter had mentioned my grandson's name, once, on entering the restaurant.  Lois remembered his name and used it when she referred to him.

She was, quick, polite, attentive, and accurate. I have eaten in a lot of places, and Lois' professionalism, familiarity with children, and attention to their needs, was of the highest order.  The food was very good, the prices reasonable, the atmosphere family friendly. I will be going back.

I found the 30.07 sign to be an interesting compromise, if mildly offensive. On the way out, I let Zahid, who was near the register, know that I found the sign to be offensive, even though the food and service were excellent. Zahid was courteous and very helpful with this review. I gave him my card for Gun Watch.

The positive part of using the 30.07 sign is that it strikes a compromise for all customers.  In Texas, an open carrier need only cover their legally carried handgun.  For the small number of Texans, or visitors from states that have numerous infringements on the Second Amendment, the sign may be of some reassurance. I doubt that many will read beyond the red circle and bar over the 1911 silhouette.

The wording on the sign is in English and Spanish, as required by law. The sign takes up valuable space that could be used for advertising.

I doubt if even the 30.07 signs will stay up for very long.  The number of customers who are offended by the open exercise of Second Amendment rights is dropping daily.

Lois only works at the Denny's on the weekends. She has another job she works during the week.  I am sure that she is very good at that job as well.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Friday, March 17, 2017

TX: "Warning Shot" Distracts Police

SAN ANTONIO - A late-night shooting scare got in the way of catching an armed robbery suspect on the city’s north side.

The incident happened in the 9400 block of San Pedro Avenue around midnight when police said a man shot an apartment owner in the leg while he was trying to rob him Wednesday night.
More Here

TN: Husband and Wife Hold Invader at Gunpoint for Police

HARRIMAN (WATE) – A Roane County husband and wife were able to hold a home invasion suspect at gunpoint early Tuesday morning.

Homer Fox, 41, is charged with aggravated burglary with home invasion, burglary, and theft.
More Here

TX: Two Home Invaders Shot, Killed by Residents

Two men were shot and killed Sunday near Athens after they invaded a home and attempted to rob two residents, according to Henderson County Sheriff's Office reports.

Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse said the deceased are Steven Kelley, 49, of Winona and Cecil Spain, 31, of Grand Saline.
More Here

SC: Homeowner Fatal Shoots Masked Intruder who has Gun and Rope

Police Chief Rick Ollic told reporters Wednesday afternoon their investigation revealed a man the Berkeley County Coroner identified as Elijah A. White, Jr., 30, forced his way into a home on Post Oak Court off Highway 52. White was armed with a handgun and wearing a mask and gloves, he said.

"We also retrieved from him rope, which I believe he was going to tie up the victims if he got into the residence, so there was no doubt he was there to do some serious harm to this family," Ollic said.

The homeowner fired his gun when White burst into the home, fatally striking him, Ollic said.
More Here

Thursday, March 16, 2017

ME: Son Protects 84-Year-Old Mother, Shoots Intruder

The intruder, Dreaquan Foster, 21, of Providence, Rhode Island, allegedly forced his way into the Lyons Road home of Audrey Hewett, 84, of Sidney, according to a news release Monday from Kennebec County Sheriff Ken Mason.

But Foster was thwarted by her son, 47-year-old Eric Hewett, who lives nearby and came to the home after receiving a phone call from his mother. Eric Hewett had a handgun and managed to shoot Foster in the chest, but he also suffered a serious head injury during the altercation, Mason said.
More Here

NM: "Universal Background Checks" Stopped in New Mexico Legislature

Michael Bloomberg has continued to pump money into state politics to find ways to infringe on the Second Amendment. His latest attempt was stopped in New Mexico on Monday, 13 March, 2017.  A key vote against the measure came form Representative Eliseo Alcon (D) Milan.

A legislative committee on Monday effectively killed a bill to expand background checks for gun purchases — an issue that drew large crowds to the Capitol as well as big campaign contributions and intense lobbying and advertising.

The House Judiciary Committee voted 7-6 to table House Bill 548 after a lengthy hearing. It marked the defeat of the most recent gun-control bill sponsored by Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, D-Los Alamos.

Democrat Eliseo Alcon of Milan joined the six Republicans on the panel to stop the measure, which would have required background checks on all sales of firearms at gun shows and from advertisements on the internet or print publications.
 Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund spent $250,000 in New Mexico elections in 2016. From
In total, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund spent more than $250,000 during the 2016 election in New Mexico.
The NRA only spent $10K in 2016, but spent $44,377 in 2017 opposing the current gun control scheme in New Mexico. The money went to buy Internet ads to oppose the "Universal Background Check" measures.

Representative Eliseo Alcon of Milan did not receive any money from Everytown or from the NRA in 2016. Eliseo, who is called "Lee" by friends and supporters, is a disabled Vietnam veteran. He was a judge before being elected to the legislature. Milan is a small town of 3,600 people that is located about half way between Albuquerque and the Arizona border.

32 or 33 New Mexico Sheriffs opposed the legislation. From
Opponents say the regulations wouldn’t actually deter criminals, who would just ignore them, and merely inconvenience law-abiding citizens. Sheriffs across New Mexico have turned out to oppose the legislation and say it wouldn’t have prevented Webster’s death because dangerous criminals will still find a way to get firearms.
 New Mexico is moderately gun friendly state that leans Democrat. It is also a mostly rural state that does not like to be pushed around by out of state interests. Democrats hold majorities in both houses. Second Amendment supporters count on rural Democrats like Representative Eliseo Alcon, to honor their oath to support the Constitution.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

NV: Two Home Invaders Shot, 1 killed

One man was killed and another was wounded after binding a couple with duct tape in their home on the 8000 block of Hesperides Avenue about 10:30 p.m., Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Dan McGrath said.

Police received calls of gunshots from neighbors and a call from the homeowner. When officers arrived, they formed a team and found a man and a woman inside the home near West Elkhorn and North Cimarron roads, McGrath said. Inside, police also found a man’s body lying in a rear entryway to the backyard.

More Here

TX: Two Open Carriers stop Armed Robbery

The video at the link says the men were open carriers. The Texas carry permit is for both open and concealed carry.

According to a press release by the Tyler Police Department, 34-year-old Chad Boening approached a man and woman in the parking lot between FD's Grill House and Bed, Bath and Beyond. Police say he brought out a knife and threatened the woman saying "do you want to see her die."

Police say that a father and a son saw the incident from their vehicle and confronted the man. Both men brought out their concealed handguns to subdue Boening.
More Here

NC: Good Samaritan situation goes bad, Judge Revokes Permit

Man sees two men struggling with a third who yells "they are trying to kill me". He intervenes. No one is shot, but he is charged, and loses his CCW permit and pistol.  The man was a mental patient who was escaping. His "minders" had no uniforms.

The jury ultimately convicted Brown of discharging a firearm within the city limits but not on the assault charge. Brown left the courthouse via a back staircase and declined to answer questions after the trial.

The verdict limited the punishment Judge Craig could mete out. Because it was only a misdemeanor conviction, Craig could not ban Brown from owning firearms. He fined Brown $100 but did have the foresight to revoke Brown’s concealed carry permit.

More Here

Followup IN: Civil Lawsuits Follow Homeowner and Burglar Convictions

Nearly three years after a Dunkirk homeowner opened fire on an intruder fleeing from his property, the reverberations of those gunshots are still being felt.

Both the homeowner — David McLaughlin, now 34 — and the burglar — David A. Bailey, 32 — were prosecuted over the pre-dawn events of April 21, 2014.

Last April, just before the second anniversary of his shooting, Bailey filed a Jay Circuit Court lawsuit against McLaughlin for shooting him.
More Here

Water Hazard and Murphy at Ranch in 2017

At the Ranch in Arizona, I keep water trickling for a water hole. It is the only reliable water for about three miles in any direction.  I have a game camera there, and sometimes obtain interesting photographs, like the bobcat and coyote interaction above from a couple of months ago.  The water hole is about 15 yards from the backstop of the pistol range.  Some of the water pipe was exposed over the last few years.

My bother and I were at the range, shooting 170 grain cast lead .40 caliber projectiles at a half silhouette steel target.   After watching me fire a few rounds, my brother heard a hissing noise.  Following the sound lead to finding water spurting out of cracks in the half inch, schedule 40 water pipe.

I expected to dig a lead fragment out of the schedule 40 PVC pipe, in the middle of the 2 inch long cracks.  Close examination revealed no projectile had penetrated the pipe. Instead, the fragment had hit the pipe and bounced off, leaving the lead smear shown, and cracking the pipe in the process.  The pipe was hit was about ten yards from the steel half silhouette target.

The repair was simple, once the parts and glue were retrieved.  I am convinced good shooting glasses would have stopped the fragment as well as the schedule 40 PVC did.

The fragment had to ricochet nearly 90 degrees from the line of fire.  After the repairs, I made sure the pipe was covered with dirt. That had been the original condition. Over the years, it had worked its way out of the shallow trench.

The incident reaffirmed my belief in wearing shooting glasses.  It reinforces the old saw that if anything can go wrong, it will. Murphy's wisdom was shown at the water hazard at the Ranch.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

TX: Victim Disarms Burglar During Struggle, Shoots Same

An affidavit for arrest warrant states the victim caught 26-year-old Pajee Rollings inside his home on February 10th, wearing some of the victim's clothing and rummaging through his dresser and taking items. Investigators say the two men then got into a fight, and Rollings pulled a gun and pointed it at the victim's face. The affidavit states the two struggled over the gun, and Rollings was shot.
More Here

MO: Gunfight at Gas Station, Victim Wounded, Attacker Killed

According to a police report, the victim told officers that the would-be robber approached him in his car, yelled at him, and fired several rounds, striking him in the leg. The victim returned fire, fatally shooting the suspect.

More Here

TX: Gunfight in Tobacco Store, Clerk Wounded, 1 of 2 Robbers Killed

A store clerk is in critical condition and a robbery suspect is dead after a shootout in a east side convenience store.

More Here

Tampa Bay Theater "Popcorn" Shooting: Don't Frighten an Old Man

Video of Theater Shooting link

On January 13, 2014, a retired police officer, Curtis Reeves, and his wife were preparing to watch "Lone Survivor" in a theater in the unincorporated area of Wesley Chapel, part of the Tampa Bay Florida metro complex.

Directly in front of the retired officer and his wife were another couple, Chad Oulson and his wife.

Reeves and Chad got into a dispute after Reeves asked Chad to stop using his cell phone during previews.

The case has been characterized as a retired police officer shooting someone who threw popcorn at him.  I was surprised to see the reality when surveillance video of the confrontation was released.  The violent confrontation took about 1.3 seconds.

During that period, Chad Oulson snatched the popcorn container from Reeves lap, flung it at his face from about a foot away, rapidly extended his hand toward Reeves face again, and pulls it back, fractions of a second before Reeves shoots.  In the video, you can only see Oulson's outstretched arm and hand. The rest of him is outside the surveillance video frame.

Correction: There were two thrusts at Reeves, but the above paragraph has the sequence wrong. The first thrust is to grab the popcorn, the second is to fling the popcorn.  The above paragraph states that the grabbing and flinging were in one motion, and then a second motion without the popcorn. That is not the case.

The outstretched Arm of Chad Oulson is under the red arrow.  The container of popcorn is just to left, in flight. Head of retired officer Reeves is just to left of cup in flight, barely visible.

The defense in the case has nothing to do with the "Stand Your Ground" law. The action happened so rapidly that there was no chance to retreat.  Reeves was confined in the theater chair, is elderly, and in no condition to fight a younger man.  Both men are large, but Oulson, at 43, was nearly 3 decades younger, in his prime. Clearly, this was an assault by Oulson.

The establishment news coverage has characterized this as a "Stand Your Ground" case, and the pre-trial hearing as a Stand Your Ground hearing.

In reality it is a completely separate part of the the law, a pre-trial immunity hearing. The immunity hearing just ended, with the judge finding a preponderance of the evidence did not prove self defense. From
A retired Florida police captain who shot and killed a man in a movie theater will face a second-degree murder charge after a judge ruled that the state’s "stand your ground" law does not apply in this case.
The hearing will be appealed. From
Dino Michaels, a member of Reeves' defense team, said they respect the judge's ruling but intend to file a challenge with the Second District Court of Appeals.
One of the strongest points of the defense is that Reeves, 71, was defending against an assault on the elderly. That makes Oulson's assault on Reeves a violent felony.  In Florida, deadly force is justified to stop a violent felony. From
“The claim of the defense is that Mr. Oulson was committing a felony against Mr. Reeves by abuse of the elderly when he threw his cell phone at Mr. Reeves,” Swartz said.
The judge in the immunity hearing never mentioned the violent felony justification in her ruling. She did not refute it or dispute it.

 This was a tragic case. It seems that either party could have de-escalated early on. Either party could have moved to other seats. It looked as though there were many empty seats. It did not get physical until Oulson snatched Reeves popcorn and flung it in his face at extremely close range.

This may be a classic case of the old canard: "Don't frighten an old man. He won't fight. He will just kill you."

 ©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Situational Awareness: Clerk has gun Ready When Robber Points Pistol (video)

In this interesting video of an attempted robbery, the clerk's situational awareness allows him to respond quickly. The shooting occurred on March 10, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. The clerk is suspicious of the customer coming in the door with his hand hidden. The clerk draws his semi-auto from his right side back pocket.  The lack of a holster is a good clue to a lack of training. Store personnel armed themselves after three armed robberies in a year.

Link to video:

In the video, I was only able to detect two shots.  One can be heard as the suspect drops down below the counter level. It is fired by the clerk. It appears to be a miss.

The second shot occurs as the suspect is at the shops doors. You can see the muzzle flash in the image.  It is possible that more shots were fired.

I was unable to detect any shots from the suspect's revolver.

The suspect was wounded in one of his hands. Which hand is not specified.
He was arrested at the hospital.  The clerk's pistol looks rather "Glockish" but many pistols today have that look.

After the suspect has fled the store, the clerk runs up to the doorway.  This is not a good tactic. The threat is gone, and may have set up an ambush.  Call the police.  If you must approach the door, consider a different approach.  It would be good to have a camera monitoring the entrance.

The robbery suspect is rather lucky he was not killed.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Monday, March 13, 2017

OH: Clerk Shoots Robbery Suspect in Hand

Surveillance video from the Sunoco on Norton Road in southwestern Franklin County shows the suspect walk in demanding cash when the clerk fires a shot at him.

The suspect, identified as 27-year-old Emanuel Hamm, took off but was later arrested by deputies.

Hamm was shot in the hand but is expected to recovery.

More Here

NH: Hooksett Homeowner Stops Home Invasion with Gunshot

According to a post on Facebook, Hooksett Police headed to the home after a man alleged that Noel attempted to enter his residence.

“An adult male inside the residence fired a handgun toward Noel in self-defense,” according to police. “No one was struck or injured. A physical altercation ensued between Noel and the homeowner, who is a relative of Noel’s. Noel left the residence and began causing damage to a vehicle and the home.”
More Here

FL: Domestic Defense, Sister Shoots Sister's Boyfriend as he Beat her Mother

Lee and the two women had another confrontation in a yard, west of the house, police said. According to the incident report, Debra Henries told police that Lee was "beating on her" and that's when Jordan Henries pulled out a handgun and shot Lee.

More Here

Kansas Supreme Court Upholds Separation of Powers at Self Defense Hearings

The Kansas Supreme Court held that courts are independent of the state's executive branch, when ruling on immunity from prosecution for self defense.

In the case before the court, the self defense claim was very strong. Immunity from prosecution was granted. The state appealed, arguing that the judge was required to look at the evidence in the way most favorable to the prosecutor's case. From
The state’s highest court rejected a tougher standard set by a lower court for determining when someone can avoid prosecution for wounding or killing another person. The state Court of Appeals had said trial judges must view evidence on self-defense claims in the light most favorable to prosecutors; the Supreme Court said the review must be impartial.

The 2006 law says a person who is attacked “has no duty to retreat” and can use force in response. People who are arrested or charged with a crime but assert self-defense can seek a court hearing to determine whether they are immune from prosecution.
"Stand Your Ground" and "Castle Doctrine" self defense law reforms are a response to the abuse of prosecutorial power in self defense cases. Defendants may be near certain of winning a jury trial with a claim of self defense.  But prosecutors know that undergoing prosecution, with the attendant legal costs, stress, and time consuming defense, is a significant punishment in itself. There is always a small but real chance of conviction. Threatening such proceedings and the highest level of punishment often results in plea bargaining, even if the evidence of self defense is very strong.

Similar to self defense reforms in Florida, the Kansas statute allows a defendant to have a judge review the evidence before prosecution is started. If the evidence is so one sided as to make a conviction very unlikely, the court can grant immunity from prosecution. The point of such immunity hearings is to prevent prosecutors from pursuing cases that are near certain to lose on self defense grounds.  The immunity hearing is a mild check on the almost unlimited power of prosecutors.

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that courts cannot take a side when determining the facts of such cases. The entire ruling can be viewed at the link. Here is the summation from
Defendant was charged with aggravated battery. After a preliminary hearing, Defendant moved for a grant of immunity pursuant to Kan. Stat. Ann. 21-5231. After weighing the evidence, the district court granted Defendant immunity and dismissed the charges. The Court of Appeals reversed and reinstated the complaint, concluding that the district court was required to view the evidence in a light favoring the State and, under the correct standard, there was probable cause to rebut Defendant’s claim of immunity and submit the case to a jury. The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals and affirmed the decision of the district court, holding (1) because the Court announced a new rule of law enunciated herein, the Court of Appeals must be reversed; and (2) the district court correctly granted Defendant statutory immunity pursuant to section 21-5231.
Some people want the court to side with the prosecutors against people who make self defense claims. From
Djuan Wash, a Wichita community activist, said states can’t ensure that minority defendants will enjoy the same self-defense protections as white defendants. Also, Wash said, a person can provoke an altercation and invoke self-defense when it turns violent.

“There’s so little accountability,” he said. “There’s no way to ensure that these laws are being applied fairly.”
There is no way to ensure that *any* law is absolutely being "applied fairly". The best we can hope for is the principle of equality under the law be understood and celebrated in society; that checks and balances be applied to those in power, from police officers and judges on up; and that a vigorous freedom of speech and the press, as enjoyed on the Internet, allows criticism and exposure of those who abuse their power under the law.

With this law, an independent party, the judge, who has no emotional interest in the case, and who has no self interest in piling up a record of convictions, may be appealed to.  Only those cases with significantly one-sided evidence are granted immunity.

In the similar Florida law, critics compiled a list of the results of all 119 immunity hearings that had occurred.  Black victims were twice as likely to use the law as white victims. John Lott, in the
Florida has the most detailed and by far the most accurate data on Stand Your Ground Laws, compiled by the Tampa Bay Times. Blacks make up 16.7 percent of Florida’s population, but they account for 34 percent of defendants who invoke this defense. Black defendants who invoke this statute are acquitted 4 percentage points more frequently than whites who do so.
The Kansas Supreme Court deserves credit for upholding the separation of powers in the Republic. The courts should not simply be an extension of the prosecutor's office.

 Kansas is known as the place where the "collective right" fiction about the Second Amendment was created in 1905, by another Kansas Supreme Court.  In 2017, the current Kansas Supreme Court made partial amends.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch