Saturday, July 31, 2010

Gun Control Advocates Make up Facts about Concealed Handgun Laws

From John Lott, writing at Big Government, on the lies of the anti-gunners:
People walking the streets armed with guns must be dangerous, right? The Brady Campaign and the Violence Policy Center keep claiming [1] that even those individuals who have legally obtained permits to carry concealed handguns are extremely dangerous. With millions of Americans already having been issued such permits from the various states, this is an important issue.

The gun control organizations have frequently made these claims in the press. The Associated Press articles by Erik Schelzig [2] and by Jim Abrams [3] have given extensive, uncritical coverage. Members of the gun control organizations have made these claims unchallenged on such places as Fox News [1] and on the Huffington Post [4]. But the gun control advocates inaccurately describe many shooting cases, choosing to ignore that the majority of incidents involve people properly defending themselves.

Over the past three years, the number of active permit holders in the United States has gone from about 5 million [5] to more than 6.2 million today. The numbers issued by the state regulatory agencies show time after time that these permit holders abide by the law.

Take Florida [6], which currently has the most concealed handgun permit holders in the country and is one of the two most populous states with right-to-carry laws. Between Oct. 1, 1987, and May 31 this year, permits had been issued to 1.8 million people. On average, the permits had been held for quite a long time, well over 10 years. For all those individuals across the more than 22 years of legal carry, there were only 167 cases where the permit was revoked for a firearms related violation, or about 0.01 percent of permit holders. While the state doesn’t provide a precise breakdown of the reason for those revocations, the vast majority were apparently for people who accidentally carried their concealed handgun into a gun-free zone, such as an airport or school.

Throughout the past 30 months, beginning January 2008, only three additional permit holders have had their permit revoked for a firearms-related violation. With more than 739,000 active permit holders, that is an annual revocation rate of 0.00017 percent. ...
Read the rest here.

Friday, July 30, 2010

[MI] When Gun Law Doesn’t Mean What It Says

From Michigan, on open carry:
One of the interesting things about teaching and practicing gun law is the fact that this area of law is not well-settled.

It is cutting-edge, developing law. For example, readers may be aware that only very recently did the US Supreme Court rule, in McDonald v Chicago, that the Second Amendment applies to the states.

Rather than being the end of the debate, that ruling led to Chicago adopting the most restrictive gun control regime in the United States, which was almost immediately challenged in court. The new case, and others like it, will help to define the outlines of our Second Amendment rights by forcing courts to rule on what restrictions are reasonable.

We have similar issues of Michigan law currently being played out in Michigan courts. One of them is the right of CPL (Concealed Pistol License) Holders to carry openly in places where others are prohibited from possessing firearms. ...
Read the rest here.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

[AZ] Permitless concealed carry, knife preemption laws take effect

Beginning July 29, 2010 Arizona no longer requires a permit to carry a concealed weapon (other than in an establishment that serves alcoholic beverages). Permits are still available for those who wish to carry in restaurants that serve alcohol, and for reciprocity purposes while traveling to other states.

In addition, Arizona's new knife preemption law also takes effect today. This law, similar to the firearms preemption law already in effect, prohibits local governments from regulating knife carry to any extent greater than state law. Any such local regulations and ordinances currently on the books are now null and void.

Read the text of the new Constitutional Carry (permitless concealed carry) law, Ariz. Rev. Stat. 13-3102, here.

From The Arizona Republic:
Today is the day gun-rights advocates have had in their sights for a long time.

Starting today, Arizona residents at least 21 years old can carry a concealed weapon without a permit.

The change is part of a broad weapons law by state Sen. Russell Pearce passed by the state Legislature in April that eases restrictions on concealed carry and stiffens penalties for committing a crime while carrying a concealed weapon.

The law is one of many passed by the state Legislature this past session that go into effect today.

Arizona joins Alaska and Vermont as the only states to allow concealed weapons without a permit. ...
Read the rest here.

[CA] Tehama sheriff leads gun rights suit

From California:
Tehama County Sheriff Clay Parker is passionate about citizens’ rights to bear arms.

So much so, he is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit recently filed in Sacramento by the National Rifle Association/California Rifle and Pistol Association Foundation Legal Action Project challenging state Assembly Bill 962.

When the bill was signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last year, the governor said it “requires vendors of handgun ammunition to keep a log of information on handgun ammunition sales, store ammunition in a safe and secure manner, and require the face-to-face transfer of ammunition sales.”

“The bill is too broad,” Parker said. “What is handgun ammunition? If you ask, no one could tell you. Some people may say a .357 shell is handgun ammunition, but I have a .357 rifle. This bill has to be defined better.”

This isn’t the first time Parker has taken action on the issue of firearms legislation. He took an active part in the lawsuit against Chicago’s long-standing ban on handguns, a case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The court struck down the ban in June.

“I will continue to fight laws infringing a citizen’s right to bear arms,” Parker stated. “If a law could really do some good, okay. But when they pass laws affecting law abiding citizen’s not the criminals, that is not okay.” ...
Read the rest here.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

[IL] Chicago gun lawsuit plaintiffs apply for permits

From the anti-gun hellhole known as Chicago:
Two years after filing a lawsuit that ultimately forced the city to dismantle its 28-year-old handgun ban, Otis McDonald walked into a police station Monday and applied for a permit allowing him to keep a gun at home.

The process took only 20 minutes, but McDonald said some of the requirements to obtain the permit seemed excessive. And though a gun permit was worth any price for him, he said he is concerned that the $100 fee could deter some law-abiding citizens from buying a handgun.

The city's new gun ordinance, enacted after the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the law that banned handguns, allows each eligible gun owner in a home to buy one handgun a month. Each handgun requires a $100 permit that must be renewed every three years. Gun owners also are required to register all their guns with the city, at a cost of $15 per gun every three years.

"The process itself was not bad," said McDonald, who initially plans to buy a .45-caliber handgun for his Morgan Park home. "But the unreasonable thing was the $100 many people will not be able to afford. And that's a shame because they will continue to be vulnerable to the drug dealers and gangbangers." ...
Read the rest here.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

[IA] Judge orders Iowa sheriff to complete course on Constitution after concealed-carry denial

From the Hawkeye State:
A federal judge has lambasted an Iowa sheriff for denying a gun permit to an outspoken government watchdog and anti-abortion advocate whom some in the area considered "weird."

It was wrong for Osceola County Sheriff Douglas Weber to deny Paul Dorr of Ocheyedan a permit to carry a concealed weapon three years ago, according to a court ruling issued Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett also ordered Weber to successfully complete a court-approved course on the U.S. Constitution within five months.

"In denying (Dorr) a concealed weapons permit, Sheriff Weber single-handedly hijacked the First Amendment and nullified its freedoms and protections," Bennett wrote in the ruling.

Anger over the sheriff's denial of the gun permit was a factor in inspiring some grass-roots activists to push for changes to Iowa's weapons law. Starting Jan. 1, a new law requires sheriffs to issue gun permits except under a narrow set of circumstances.

Bennett ruled that Weber's denial of Dorr's gun permit in 2007 trampled his free speech rights because the sheriff was retaliating against Dorr for publicly protesting, passing out leaflets and writing letters to newspaper editors on a variety of topics.

"The court finds a tsunami, a maelstrom, an avalanche, of direct uncontroverted evidence in Sheriff Weber's own testimony to conclude beyond all doubt that he unquestionably violated the First Amendment rights of ... Paul Dorr," Bennett wrote in the decision. ...
Read it here.

[via Hotair]

Monday, July 12, 2010

[GA] Georgia minister sues to take guns to church

From the Peach State:
A Thomaston minister and a gun rights advocacy group is filing lawsuit challenging Georgia’s prohibition against guns in church, a move that was predicted after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month the Second Amendment's guarantee of an individual right to bear arms applied to state and local gun control laws.

“They had indicated they would do that,” Alice Johnson, executive director of Georgians for Gun Safety, a group that supports more restrictions on weapons, said of the suit which is to be filed in Upson County.

The suit, mailed Friday to the Superior Court in Upson County, is brought by; the Baptist Tabernacle of Thomaston; Ed Stone, the president of and the Rev. Jonathan Wilkins. The suit lists Upson County and the state as defendants.

Those for less as well as more restrictions on guns had said last month places of worship would be the next battle over where permitted gun owners can take their weapons. Georgia law was changed this year to remove the prohibitions of guns at “public gatherings” but it banned firearms in certain places – places of worship, government buildings, schools, nuclear power plants and bars without the owner’s permission. ...
Read the rest here.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

[LA] Gun Control Advocates Decry Louisiana's New Law Allowing Churchgoers to Pack Heat

From the Pelican State:
Gun control supporters are up in arms over Louisiana's new law allowing churchgoers to pack heat along with their Bibles.

Gov. Bobby Jindal gave his blessing this week to churches, synagogues and mosques to allow concealed handguns on their premises, overturning a state ban.

"The governor's position on the Second Amendment is not new," Jindal spokesman Kyle Plotkin said in a written statement to "He sides with the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners."

Supporters of the measure say it can be a deterrent against criminal activity in church and will give an option to ministers and pastors to incorporate concealed handguns into their security plans.

Opponents argue it's inappropriate to have concealed handguns in church.

Places of worship that invite concealed guns will have to inform their members of the decision and anyone wishing to carry one will have to take an extra eight hours of tactical training each year – a requirement that doesn't mollify gun opponents. ...
Read the rest here.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Gun License Fees and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms for Self-Defense

From Prof. Eugene Volokh, opining on the constitutionality of taxes and fees on guns and gun owners:
After McDonald, and the newly enacted Chicago handgun ordinance, people are again turning to whether and when gun license fees are unconstitutional. I’ve heard some argue that under existing constitutional rules applicable to other rights — especially the First Amendment — any fee for the exercise of a constitutional right is per se unconstitutional. But rightly or wrongly, that turns out not to be the case. Here’s an excerpt from my Implementing the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Self-Defense article, with most of the citations omitted; see PDF pp. 100–102 to find all the citations.

Taxes on guns and ammunition ... would be substantial burdens [which I argue should be unconstitutional –EV] if they materially raised the cost of armed self-defense. A $600 tax proposed by Cook, Ludwig & Samaha, justified by an assertion that “keeping a handgun in the home is associated with at least $600 per year in externalities,” is one such example. “The poorly financed [self-defense] of little people,” like their “poorly financed causes,” deserves constitutional protection as much as the self-defense of those who can afford technologically sophisticated new devices or high new taxes. (See Martin v. City of Struthers, 319 U.S. 141, 146 (1943) (striking down ban on door-to-door solicitation, partly on the grounds that “[d]oor to door distribution of circulars is essential to the poorly financed causes of little people”); see also City of Ladue v. Gilleo, 512 U.S. 43, 56 (1994) (striking down ban on display of signs at one’s home, partly on the grounds that “[r]esidential signs are an unusually cheap and convenient form of communication. Especially for persons of modest means or limited mobility, a yard or window sign may have no practical substitute.”).) This is true whether the tax ... is imposed on gun owners directly, or on gun sellers or manufacturers, just as a restriction on abortion can be a substantial burden even if it’s imposed on doctors and not on the women who are getting the abortions. ...
Read the rest here.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Manhattan D.A. Busts Illegal Knives Ring

From anti-gun, anti-knife New York City:
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. announced Thursday a crackdown on the sale of illegal knives in the city.

Prosecutors say they confiscated 1,300 knives in an undercover investigation.

Many of the knives were purchased from national retailers like Home Depot, Paragon Sports and Eastern Mountain Sports.

He says the sale of everything from switchblades to so-called gravity knives which have side folding blades must stop.

Officials say the seven companies are cooperating with the crackdown.

"First, these companies have agreed to cease and desist the sale of these knives in New York State, forever. Second, they have agreed to turnover the stocks of their illegal knives, part of which are on this table here today -- more than 1,300 knives. Finally, they have agreed to relinquish the profits made from the sale of these illegal knives over the past four years -- two years beyond the criminal statute of limitations which will be largely split between the city, the state and district attorneys office who wish to partner with us in the fight against illegal knives," Vance Jr. said.

DA Vance says in exchange for their cooperation, the companies will not face charges. ...
Read the rest of this ridiculous story here (video available at the link). If you watch the video, the "illegal knives" appear to be mostly ordinary pocketknives.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

When in the course of human events ...

Wishing you all a happy Independence Day.  As we celebrate, let us take time to ponder our founding document:

The Declaration of Independence

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

[UT] Utah gun permits booming - in other states

From the Beehive State:
Never shot a gun? Never been to Utah? Got a "combat mindset"?

If yes to the above, you could qualify for a concealed gun permit from Utah, which is seeing record demand for permits from people all across the United States who never been to the state and have no intention of ever going.

Bedrock conservatism is enjoying a surge with the rise of the Tea Party movement, which advocates small government, individual rights and has made a strong showing in Utah. The debate may become only hotter after a Monday U.S. Supreme Court ruling extended gun rights to all cities and states. ...


A five-year permit good in 33 states has flooded Utah with applications, with the number rising to 74,000 last year. The fee is $65.25. Applicants must also clear a background check, be 21, and take a course.

Today, more out-of-state residents have Utah licenses than state residents, and out-of-state instructors outnumber those from Utah.
Read it here.