Saturday, April 25, 2009

Gun Rights News Roundup

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

[Texas] Gun, ammo sales booming:
HOUSTON - Gun stores in Texas and across the country are experiencing a high demand for guns and ammunition fueled by fears of stricter gun-control laws under President Barack Obama and crime related to the recession.

The number of applications for concealed handguns jumped to 12,587 in February, up from 7,626 in the same month last year, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

``They're worried about their security. The day after the election, gun sales exploded. We ran out of everything,'' said Rob Corson, managing partner at Memorial Shooting Center, in an online story Thursday in the Houston Chronicle.

He said traffic has increased four times compared to last year and more staff has been hired since November. They have also asked customers looking for pistols to call ahead to make sure they're in stock. The 9mm Glock, which retails for more than $500, is the most popular at the gun store.

Corson said sales of ammunition are more than double what they were last year. ...

[Washington] Op-ed: U.S. more armed, more polite:
The folks who believe guns are evil aren’t having a very good time lately. Though the Democrats are back in power, there’s no appetite in Washington, D.C., for new gun control laws.

Too many Democrats remember 1994, when pro-gun voters helped vote in a Republican Congress, a long-lasting majority that held on until 2006. Twelve years out of power is a long time.
Another interesting statistic to add to this mix is that earlier this month the FBI announced it had completed its 100 millionth instant background check on people who buy firearms. Since a substantial portion of those sales no doubt involved used rifles, pistols and shotguns, not all of those were for additional firearms held by our nation’s residents.

I couldn’t find a statistic from the shooting sports industry or the Department of Justice that offered a breakdown between new and used firearms. But this much is clear: In the time since the national background checks became law, millions of new firearms have been sold in the U.S.

And yet the crime rate has fallen steadily.

Seems like the anti-gun folks are, pardon the pun, out of ammo. ...

[New York] Lawmaker proposes bill requiring possession permit renewals:
When Jiverly Wong walked into a Binghamton immigrant services center this month and killed 13 people, he was legally permitted to have the 9 mm and .45-caliber handguns used in the rampage.

But that might not have been the case if state law had required him to periodically renew his gun license, contends two legislators proposing an end to what they call "New York's dangerous lifetime permit system."

"That tragedy serves as a somber illustration of how critically important it is that our state licensing system be thorough, that the records be accurate and up-to-date and that handguns be accounted for," said Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, D-Scarsdale, who is sponsoring the legislation with Manhattan state Sen. Eric Schneiderman.

The legislation would require license renewals every five years, allowing law enforcement agencies to better consider criminal convictions, changes in mental-health status or other causes for concern that occur once a permit has been issued. ...

Comment: This story is from the Peoples Republic of New York, so we're not talking about carry permits here, but permits to merely possess a gun.

[New York] Op-ed: proposed gun-control laws off target:
Many local residents have yet another reason to be upset with state lawmakers -- and it has nothing to do with higher taxes or secret budget negotiations.

Area gun owners are decrying a series of proposed laws and regulations that they say would ban or severely limit the purchase of firearms or ammunition within New York. The proposals, being pushed by downstate Democrats, would -- among other things -- establish new regulations for purchasing bullets, set up an ammunition coding system on all handgun and assault weapon ammunition, require the renewal of firearms licenses after five years, impose more stringent rules for weapon storage, and ban the sale, use or possession of 50 caliber or larger caliber weapons. [emphasis added]

Gun owners are also concerned about talk on the federal level of implementing a registration system for firearms, which some see as a first step toward enacting an outright ban on weapons in the U.S. ...

[Massachusetts] Marine charged with "infernal machine" possession:
Standing ramrod straight in his Marine Corps service uniform, Corporal Justin W. Reed pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges he illegally smuggled a semiautomatic handgun and a raft of bomb-making materials onto a Boston-bound plane Sunday.

A judge in East Boston District Court set 2,500 cash bail for the 22-year-old, who was traveling from a military base in California where he taught an urban-warfare course to his home in Jacksonville, N.C.

During Reed's layover at Logan International Airport on Sunday morning, federal baggage screeners going through his military-style backpack found the handgun, a fully loaded gun magazine, a grenade fuse and detonator, model-rocket engines containing explosive mixtures, matches, and a disposable lighter. The bag had been checked without incident at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. His baggage also contained several boxes of 9mm and 7.62mm ammunition. [emphasis added]

Reed was arrested on charges of possessing an infernal machine and attempting to put an explosive device on an aircraft.
In court, Reed's attorney, Jeffrey Miller, said his client has no criminal record and has an "excellent record" as a Marine. He added that Reed had cooperated with authorities.
Prosecutors called Reed very cooperative, but they said they had no plans to drop the charges.
Reed declared the firearm in Las Vegas, as required. Investigators initially reported that he did not declare the gun, which was secured in a locked box, but later determined he had after locating the paperwork, she said.

Still, Reed was carrying items that are prohibited. "These were items that should have not been on the airplane, but they never posed an imminent threat to aviation," [TSA Spokeswoman] Davis said. [emphasis added] ...

Comment: For those unfamiliar with Massachusetts law, such devices are actually referred to as "infernal machines" in the statutes. Quaint, in a Salem witch burning kind of way, huh? And since when do model rocket engines contain "explosive mixtures"? Don't they contain propellant mixtures? At any rate, this seems like a ridiculous prosecution. The young Marine properly declared his firearm, and the TSA says the other items didn't pose a threat to the aircraft. Of course, he is from the military, which according to the Department of Homeland Security obviously means he's a "right-wing extremist". And, well, this is the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts we're talking about here.

[D.C.] DHS official: plan to stop flow of guns into Mexico will respect Second Amendment:
John Leech, the man who oversees U.S. efforts to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the United States, said the government also plans to stop the flow of guns into Mexico – while respecting the Second Amendment.
“We’ve actually produced an arms chapter, and I think you will be very proud of what the United States of America has put in this document in terms of trying to get control of the arms problem,” Leech said of the new strategy report, which is scheduled to be released in the next few weeks.
Leech could not, however, answer the question posed by the subcommittee chairman, Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), as to whether the guns getting to Mexico were obtained legally or illegally.

“I’m not an expert on that,” Leech said, adding that he would try to find the answer to the question and get back to the subcommittee. ...

Comment: If you believe that the DHS plan will respect the Second Amendment, I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale that you might be interested in. And isn't it curious that the government can write a document to control a supposed "arms problem" without knowing and being able to say where, and in what quantities, those arms that they are trying to control are coming from?

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