Saturday, March 21, 2009

Gun Rights News Roundup

Articles, news stories, and op-eds of interest to gun owners:

[Ohio] Gun shops report ammo shortage:
... "That's it. This is basically what I've got for the month," said Todd Garland of Rattlesnake Hill Sporting Goods in Newton Falls as he gestured to a shelf of shells.

"I've got people from Canton calling, 'You have that? Hold it, we're on our way.' That's 60 miles away."

Local owners of gun and hunting shops say they are waiting longer and paying more for boxes of ammunition from their suppliers.

Whether the culprit is the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or increased demand over fears the new presidential administration will seek stricter gun laws, the drought seems to have touched most gun owners indiscriminately.

Collectors, hunters, those buying firearms for their own protection and even police officials - who point out that they have enough to go about their day-to-day business - have noticed a pinch.

These worried shop owners are going to lengths to keep their customers happy but said they sometimes have to limit sales or create a waiting list.

"We're limiting it to one box per customer until we get some more," said Nancy Hagmaier, the owner of Slugmaster's in Braceville.

Big box stores are being hit, too. ...

[Utah] The Salt Lake Tribune editorializes against guns in National Parks:
Ken Salazar, secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, will review the eleventh-hour decision of the Bush administration to allow loaded guns to be carried in national parks and wildlife refuges.

But, in a bow to gun-rights activists, Salazar says it's not a top priority, or a matter of great urgency. "It is one of those issues that ... distracts the Department of Interior from the more important agendas."

If the protection of wildlife, the value of the visitors' experience and the safety of park patrons and employees are not important to Salazar, he needs to re-examine his priorities.

For 70 years, loaded guns were banned on National Park Service property. While it was legal to transport firearms through parks, weapons had to be safely stored in vehicles or campers in a place that was not readily accessible. It was a sound policy that has helped make the parks among the safest places in America. Your chance of being a victim of a violent crime in a park is about 1 in 700,000.

But Bush, to the chagrin of the National Parks Conservation Association and groups representing retired and acting parks service employees, overturned the ban. Loaded guns are now permitted in parks in states that permit firearms in their own state parks, including Utah.

Poaching is already prevalent in our parks and wildlife refuges. More than 400 incidents were reported in 2006. Allowing loaded and accessible weapons will only make things easier for poachers, and more difficult for undermanned park service staffs.

Plus, some armed visitors will be emboldened around wildlife, resulting in unnecessary confrontations and needless destruction of wildlife. Public safety is an even greater concern. Roadside and campground altercations are common, and could easily escalate now that guests are allowed to carry loaded guns. ...

Comment: This is basically the shop-worn (and demonstrably false) "there will be blood in the streets" argument, updated to "there will be blood in the campgrounds". According to the op-ed, poaching, i.e., breaking the law, is "already prevalent", but allowing law-abiding citizens to carry will somehow make things worse. Sigh.

[Tennessee] Newspaper editorializes against pro-gun bills:
Alcohol and guns make a dangerous cocktail past 11 p.m., but they're OK at 10:59. Evidently that's the thinking behind one of four firearms-related bills put on a fast track by the Tennessee General Assembly's Hand Gun Study Committee Thursday.

The panel wants to amend the law prohibiting people from carrying guns into establishments where alcohol is served to make it legal until 11.

Committee members would also maintain a ban on people who carry handguns from drinking alcohol and a ban on handguns at establishments that have age limits for entry -- mostly bars where smoking is allowed.

In the rush to expand the territory in which people with permits may carry their handguns, the committee also recommended passage of a bill allowing guns in state, county and municipal parks -- the ballfields, golf courses, picnic areas and other spots typically enjoyed by families with children.

It would also be OK, under a committee recommendation, to pack firearms in what have been protected wildlife areas. ...

[Missouri] Firearms Coalition says state police report profiles "modern militia movement":
A document from the Missouri Information Analysis Center, a division of the state police, conflates privately organized militia groups with libertarians, Ron Paul supporters, Constitutionalists, race separatists, and even some collectivists, who distrust the Federal Reserve. The document, which we obtained last week, is marked "Unclassified, Law Enforcement Sensitive," indicating that the Missouri state patrol guys don't want to talk about it. We can confirm that last bit as they failed to return phone calls or email. Before running the document I wanted to verify it. The Associated Press has since picked the story up, so we're running it now.

You can see the document here.

The AP story quotes Lt. John Hotz of the Missouri State Highway Patrol who called the report "an educational thing."

"Troopers have been shot by members of groups, so it's our job to let law enforcement officers know what the trends are in the modern militia movement."

The most encouraging thing I see in this story is that it leaked.

[Montana] State Senate debates gun bills:
Two bills regarding gun rights were presented to the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday as lawmakers approach the last 30 days of Montana's 61st legislative session.

The first bill was a resolution in support of the United States Interior Department's regulation update to provide guidance and controls for possession and transportation of firearms in national parks.

MT State Representative Wendy Warburton (R-Havre) said, "Some people may not believe resolutions accomplish much, but I really believe this resolution will help the Department of the Interior in their case. When we resolve that the people of Montana stand behind them, our NRA-endorsed Governor stands behind them and that we've asked our Attorney General to stand ready to support them - it makes a powerful statement that won't be lost."

The other measure, House Bill 228, addresses several gun issues, including the "Castle Doctrine" theory, which states that people have the right to self-defense without first retreating. The bill passed fairly quickly through the House. ...

No comments: