Friday, May 29, 2009

Gun Rights News Roundup

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

[Ohio] Police layoffs lead to surge in gun purchases (hat tip to reader Jim P.):
The first round of Toledo police layoffs, in which 75 officers were let go, may already be having an affect on gun ownership.

"I just don't feel safe with the amount they're laying off," says Jonna Ewing. "I think it's going to be a longer respond time."

She is spending the day at a conceal carry class. She's been thinking of getting a gun for awhile, but feels now's the time due to the recent layoffs. ...

[Ohio] Concealed carry licenses surge:
The Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray (D) has released the concealed handgun license (CHL) statistics for the first quarter of 2009. The demand for concealed carry licenses has been torrid. It appears that a lot of new gun owners are not content to leave their weapon locked up at home; they want to carry it for self defense.

The first quarter in 2009 continued the trend of increasing demand at an increasing rate. The 16,323 regular licenses issues was a whopping 139% increase over the same period a year earlier and was the second quarter in a row that demand more than doubled compared with the prior year. There were an additional 4,906 licenses renewed during the quarter, which is approximately 75% of the licenses expiring during the period. Add in another 41 Temporary Emergency Licenses (TELs), and Ohio Sheriffs issued a whopping 21,248 licenses in the first three months of 2009. That is more licenses than were issued for the entire year in 2006!

Demand for licenses is nearing the record set during the initial surge of applications when Ohio's concealed carry law took effect in 2004, and 2009 is on pace to become the busiest year ever for licenses issued. Over 326 people per work-day picked up a CHL. (And many sheriffs' offices only process applications three days per week.) ...

[Wisconsin] Handgun purchase fees likely to increase:
Background-check fees on handgun purchases would increase less than Gov. Jim Doyle wanted, under a proposal approved by the Legislature's budget committee.

The Joint Finance Committee voted 12-4 Tuesday to increase the fee from $8 to $13. Doyle had wanted to raise it to $30.

The Democratic-controlled Legislature must approve the $5 fee increase before it takes effect.

Republicans criticized it as unfairly taxing people who are legally buying guns. ...

[Texas] Senate passes gun rights resolution:
AUSTIN - The Texas Senate passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 54 by State Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) to express opposition to federal legislation infringing on the individual right to keep and bear arms.

“I filed this resolution to reassert our constitutional right to keep and bear arms,” said Estes. “The Second Amendment is fundamental to the founding of our republic and a cornerstone to our personal freedoms.”

The resolution reasserts our “right to keep and bear arms to protect oneself, one’s family, and one’s possessions from either the lawlessness of other persons or the tyranny of the government.” ...

[New York] Bullet bill drawing heavy fire:
ALBANY — Some 200 people jammed into the County Legislature chambers Tuesday night, nearly all to send a message to legislators that a proposed law requiring gun shops to register ammunition sales won't stop crime but could halt re-election bids.

"The people of your towns, villages and cities are fed up with politics as usual, taxes and politicians who don't listen ...," said Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association and an NRA board member, to thunderous applause. "Thank you for pushing a ludicrous gun control issue that has finally helped me rally gun owners."

King estimated there are "35,000 voters in this county who are motivated gun owners."

Local Law A is one of the most controversial pieces of legislation to come before the 39-member legislature in some time. All but a handful of the nearly 50 speakers at the public hearing turned a thumbs down on the measure. ...

[Massachusetts] More crime control, not gun control, needed:
If the intent of the Gun Control Act of 1998 was to discourage the sport of hunting and competitive target shooting and to disarm Massachusetts citizens, it must be considered a howling success. In 10 years since its passage, the number of licensed gun owners has decreased from 1,500,000 to 220,000, an 85 percent drop, according to figures provided by the by the House Post Audit and Oversight Committee. Well done!

If the intent was to reduce crime, then that law must be considered a miserable failure. Based on incidents per 100,000, gun-related homicides are up 68 percent, assault related gun injuries up 72 percent, assault related hospital discharges up 160 percent, gun assault Emergency Dept visits up 222 percent and gun assault outpatient observations up 538 percent. Keep in mind that these increases occurred when there were 1,280,000 fewer licensed gun owners in the state.

In addition to not curbing gun crime, the legal gun owners have had to bear the brunt of additional costs and inconvenience, not to mention the constant character assignation that licensed gun owners receive. There appears to be a misconception that has been instilled into the public that everyone who owns a gun is suspect and is one to be feared. ...

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