Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Gun Rights News Roundup

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

[Nevada] Supreme Court weighs permit confidentiality issue:
A lawyer for the Reno Gazette-Journal urged the Nevada Supreme Court on Tuesday to allow public scrutiny of concealed weapons permits, arguing that a district judge’s ruling saying the permitting process should be confidential was in error.

“Nothing in the statute mentions confidentiality for the permit itself,” Scott Glogovac said during arguments on the appeal of Judge Janet Berry’s ruling last year against the newspaper’s request for information about Gov. Jim Gibbons’ permit application.

Deputy District Attorney Nathan Edwards told the justices the statute prohibits public access to applications for concealed weapons and to investigations pertaining to those applications. Once a person is identified on an application, everything that follows must be sealed, he said.

“The statute does not say that information in the application becomes publicly accessible once the applicant becomes a permittee,” Edwards said.

Chief Justice James Hardesty said the court would take the case under advisement and rule later. ...

[D.C.] Gun rights groups prepare to weigh in on Sotomayor nomination:
With congressional Democrats divided on gun issues and the Obama administration steering clear of the topic, gun rights advocates have bagged new legislative trophies this year and are taking aim at additional targets.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) and Gun Owners of America have an ambitious to-do list. They are preparing to:

•Weigh in on Obama’s nomination of federal appellate court Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.

•Advance a proposal by Sen. Richard M. Burr , R-N.C., to ensure that veterans are not wrongfully denied the right to bear arms.

•Stave off attempts to close the so-called gun show loophole.

•Beat back efforts to renew the federal ban on some assault weapons, which lapsed in 2004.

Conversely, Democrats eager for tighter restrictions are facing the harsh political reality that, at least for now, they can’t match the gun lobby’s firepower.

Sen. Barbara Boxer , D-Calif., who favors gun control, predicted that gun rights advocates “would win the vast majority” of the upcoming legislative fights, though Sotomayor’s confirmation does not now look endangered. ...

ABC News: Are Dems weakening on gun control?:
Democrats are looking down the barrel of a gun as they vie to keep their power in Washington.

Poised after last year's election to push back against the National Rifle Association's heavy firepower, the Democrats have in rapid order conceded ground on the gun issue. They've allowed concealed-carry weapons in national parks, considered easing gun restrictions in the District of Columbia, and turned back a campaign pledge on gun-record transparency.

The moves, which tended to be riders to other bills, have given Republicans a rare sense of success as a minority. They also have the potential to force some Democrats in rural states "into the cross hairs" for the next election cycle by daring them to clarify their views on gun control.

For Democrats, reluctance to take on the gun lobby is tied to a desire to hold onto their majority in Washington as they pursue a progressive agenda on issues ranging from the economy to healthcare. ...

[New York] No "smart" guns for NYPD:

The NYPD really jumped the gun today in announcing the potential for "smart" guns that could prevent friendly-fire shootings.

Police announced this morning that Pacific Northwestern Laboratory was in the early stages of developing weapons with radio transmitters that would alert cops to the presence of a friendly guns.

The problem is that research is not being conducted -- and the lab had planned to break the bad news to the NYPD at a meeting next week.

"Even if we had the funding to try to develop this, we wouldn't," lab spokesman Geoff Harvey.

"There are so many limitations, it's not a good use of technology dollars."

Police brass had hoped the guns -- which would use a radio waves so friendly guns would identify one another -- could help avoid a repeat of the tragic death of Officer Omar Edwards, who was shot by fellow cop Andrew Dunton.

"This is something that is being explored," NYPD spokesman Paul Browne told reporters this morning.

But Harvey said the technology would not have prevented the killing -- as the best such a system could do was say if a friendly gun was somewhere within 600 feet.

And it would take up to two seconds for the radio waves to be picked up - making it useless if a decision to shoot has to be made in a split second.

"We're meeting with the NYPD next week and we'll have to tell them [] it just isn't applicable," he said. ...

[Virginia] Permit applications up:
Erin King squeezed into a packed classroom at Bob's Gun Shop with a new pistol and a mission.

She sat through two hours of instruction and fired off several dozen rounds at the range with her Guardian .32-caliber. The 26-year-old from Suffolk bought her first gun a few weeks ago and plans to get a concealed-carry permit next month.

She'll slip her pistol into a hidden holster and protect herself commuting to her part-time job cleaning offices at night. "I'm responsible for myself," King said.

As the classroom shows, she's not alone.

Driven by safety concerns or political angst, gun sales and applications for concealed-carry permits are booming. ...

[D.C.] District's post-Heller infringements continue, but for how long?:
The District’s permanent handgun regulations that took effect Friday could be obliterated by Congress or the federal courts in less time than it took to write them.

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the city’s 30-year-old handgun ban as unconstitutional last June. The city has been operating under emergency and proposed gun rules since Jan. 16., but those rules became permanent Friday.

Despite strong opposition from gun rights advocates, the Metropolitan Police Department reported in Friday’s D.C. Register that no comments were received since January.

District leaders believe they have met the Supreme Court’s directive, that the Second Amendment guarantees D.C. residents the right to keep a handgun in the home for self-defense. But the city’s fledgling laws are being challenged on two fronts. ...

[New York] Proposed gun controls opposed:
Gov. David A. Paterson's proposal requiring criminal background checks every five years for lifetime pistol permit holders unfairly targets gun owners and places an undue burden on counties, some north country officials say.

"I'm too thinly staffed to keep up with the workload that will come with it," St. Lawrence County Clerk Patricia A. Ritchie said. "We're never going to be able to keep up with it with the system we have. It's going to require more staff, which will result in higher local costs. It's going to be a big burden on the county."

The governor on May 28 announced proposed legislation requiring criminal background checks for gunsmith and gun dealer employees who handle firearms, and background checks every five years for lifetime pistol permit holders as well as whenever a gun owner, gunsmith or gun dealer license is renewed.

It also requires that misdemeanor domestic violence crimes be reported to the national criminal database so that no one convicted of such a crime can have a gun license.

The legislation, according to the governor's press release, "will close gaps in New York law that may allow persons to obtain or retain firearms licenses even though they are barred by federal law from possessing those weapons."

But Jefferson County Undersheriff Timothy M. Dowe said there already are procedures to prevent permit holders from keeping their licenses if they commit crimes. ...

No comments: