Thursday, May 14, 2009

Gun Rights News Roundup

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

[D.C.] Amendment to legalize National Park carry passes Senate:
The Senate on Tuesday night easily passed an amendment to credit card reform legislation that would allow concealed weapons in national parks. The vote was 67 to 29.

The question now is this: Will a controversial gun proposal attached to popular underlying legislation be the poison pill that sinks that larger bill? That’s been the case with legislation allowing the District of Columbia a voting representative in Congress, to which the Senate attached language scrapping many of Washington’s strict gun control laws. As a result of that gun amendment, the DC-vote bill remains stalled in the House months after it passed the upper chamber. ...

Comment: Expect to see the National Parks carry amendment's language stripped out in conference committee.

[Michigan] Group plans Second Amendment marches:
In January 2009, Michigan based author and Second Amendment advocate, Skip Coryell received an email from a woman in Belgium describing the helplessness she and coworkers felt when a knife-wielding attacker terrorized the daycare facility where she worked. As in many European countries, victims at the facility were disarmed and at the mercy of their attacker thanks to that country's draconian gun control laws. Determined to not let things progress that far here, Coryell decided to do something about it.

"This is the beginning of a period of historic change in our nation's history and it is no time for the timid," said Coryell. "This is a time for brave men and women to stand up and be counted. We want our children to inherit the same freedom our forefathers knew. Freedom has to be protected or it will fail. We are at a crossroads. The time to act is now."

With that, Coryell began laying the groundwork for the Second Amendment March (S.A.M.), tentatively scheduled for April 19, 2010, which included networking with other gun rights groups and activists. The Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners, of which Coryell is a member, was one of his earliest supporters. Soon after work began, rock personality and Second Amendment champion Ted Nugent promised a "firebreathing Star Spangled Banner eruption" in support of the event. ...

[Illinois] Gun, ammo sales booming:
As the owner of Midwestern Firearms Company in East Peoria, John Meek aims each business day to sell as much ammunition as he can to responsible owners of handguns.

Lately there's been one big hitch in his business model.

He has no ammunition to sell.

"I've been out for about two weeks," Meek said. "I get spare cases in now and then, but people are keeping an eye on what's coming in, and those don't last long."

Those familiar with the firearm industry say it is no coincidence that there has been a run on the nation's gun stores since the election of Barack Obama last November.
"Demand for ammunition, across caliber lines, is outpacing supply. In order to keep up with demand, manufacturers are working at full capacity, 24 hours a day, seven days a week," said Ted Novin, the director of public affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. ...

[Illinois] Another article on the surge in guns and ammo sales:
GALESBURG — Gil Hebard — owner of a gun store in Knoxville — can’t buy enough ammunition to keep up with demand.

“It started when Obama was elected,” Hebard said about the surge in demand for firearms and ammunition. Gun fans are worried the president will clamp down on their rights and are stockpiling supplies in case that happens.

“Nationwide, people are worried about Obama,” Hebard said. He is convinced the new administration will move to tighten gun controls. “It’s not if it will happen it’s when they will start gun legislation,” he said.
Some supporters of Second Amendment rights who have never owned a gun are now rushing to buy firearms because they fear their rights will be curtailed by the Obama administration, according to one local in the business.

“Americans that have never even had guns but support the Second Amendment are now going out to buy,” Al Hayden, of Al’s Sporting Goods in Galesburg, said.

Hayden’s supplies of ammunition have been drained by eager gun-owners motivated by worry over the new administration’s plans.

“My ammo shelves are pretty empty right now,” Hayden said. “People have been buying ammo faster than they can make it.” ...

[Pennsylvania] Pittsburgh gets help from anti-gunners in legal battle with NRA over gun controls:
Two opposing national groups will duke it out in court over Pittsburgh's new ordinance on lost and stolen guns, with the announcement that the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence will join the city's Law Department in fighting a National Rifle Association lawsuit.

Pittsburgh Council President Doug Shields said he will propose legislation enabling the city to receive help from two lawyers with extensive experience tussling with the high-powered NRA.

"It will be a team effort," Mr. Shields said.

Council passed an ordinance in December that compels gun owners to contact the police within 24 hours of the loss or theft of a firearm, or face fines and, for repeat offenders, imprisonment.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said the ordinance was unenforceable and let it go into law without his signature, but the city will defend it against the NRA in court. ...

[Louisiana] Campus carry bill passes committee, moves to House floor:
BATON ROUGE – Over the objections of university officials, including campus police, a House committee has approved allowing the carrying of concealed weapons on college campuses.

The House Criminal Justice Committee voted 9-6 to approve HB27 by its chairman, Rep. Ernest Wooton, R-Belle Chasse. He got the committee’s approval last year but widespread opposition led him to withdraw the bill before it was voted on by the House.

Armed with the backing of Gov. Bobby Jindal and the National Rifle Association, Wooton is moving forward this year.

“I am a strong believer in the Second Amendment rights,” Jindal said. “If the bill gets to my desk, I will sign it.” [emphasis added] ...

[Louisiana] New "assault weapons" ban proposed:
Louisiana House Health and Welfare Committee members are scheduled to consider a statewide ban on assault weapons today.

New Orleans Representative Cedric Richmond sponsors the measure. Similar bills have failed each of the past two years.

This year, Richmond says, his bill is more specific.

"I went in this year and listed 11 weapons that my police chief has talked about as being the most serious threat to public safety," Richmond told the WWL State Capitol Bureau. "I hunt and I fish. I have a rifle and I have a handgun, but I don't need an AK-47. I can't go buy a bazooka, so why should I be able to go buy and AK-47. I think we are just taking it too far."

Richmond says his bill this year contains language to outlaw specific models of semiautomatic weapons that he says are designed only to kill human beings. ...

Comment: The Second Amendment isn't about hunting, or target shooting, or sport shooting. The Second Amendment was designed to ensure that America would always have a heavily armed populace, capable of defending itself against thugs, and tyrants. That requires weaponry that's designed "to kill human beings." Indeed, that's what makes such weaponry useful for protecting ourselves from thugs and tyrants.

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