Sunday, June 21, 2009

Gun Rights News Roundup

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

[Montana] On guns in national parks bill:
... I view the passage of HR 627, a credit card reform bill with the highly publicized national park gun amendment attached, as valuable testimony for my past claims that the war to preserve the sanctity of the Second Amendment has been won. Clearly, most politicians are so gunshy about any recordable vote casting them as anti-gun and lowering their NRA grade – and therefore making them vulnerable to defeat in the next election – they go to untold lengths to avoid it.

Gun rights advocates must – and surely will – remain vigilant, but the victory in the Battle of the National Parks should give them confidence tthat hey have the political force with them. ...

[Florida] Concealed carry permits on the rise:
TAMPA - About a month ago, Audry Sauceda was carjacked and fought back.

He stuck a gun in my side and told me to get out of the car," Sauceda said while sharing her story with FOX 13 on May 15. "And I pulled out my gun and stuck it in his face, and told him, he needed to get out. He screamed and jumped out of the car."
It's been almost a year now since the June 26, 2008 landmark ruling in which the Supreme Court overturned the strictest gun-control law in the country, a ban on handguns.

And since then, Florida has been dealing with a rush of requests for concealed weapons permits.

Back at the Shooting Sports Gun Range on Dale Mabry in Tampa, Range Officer Fritz Caspers has seen the number of people signing up for his concealed weapons class double. ...

[Tennessee] Beale Street bans guns:
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - When Performa Entertainment Real Estate and the Beale Street Merchants Association failed to convince state lawmakers Beale Street should be exempt as a historical district, they came up with another plan in order to keep guns far away from its restaurants and bars.

"Our paramount concern is to provide for the safety and enjoyment of our guests and we're going to take any and all measures necessary to do that," said Onzie Horne Jr., Executive Director of the Beale Street Merchants Association.

Now weapons are banned on Beale starting the first weekend after a new state law allowing guns in bars takes effect.

"While we are certainly for second amendment rights and the rights that go with them we thought it was a bad bill," said John Elkington with CEO of Performa.

Beginning July 17th visitors to Beale Street can expect to be screened with metal detector wands at all entry points. Those enforcing the new ban liken it to the kind of security you experience at the airport.

Merchants say it shouldn't take long to get into the party area and once inside signs will remind everyone, "no guns allowed." ...

[Tennessee] Permit privacy bill fails in Senate:
NASHVILLE — The bill to close public access to records identifying Tennessee’s 220,000-plus handgun-carry permit holders fell three votes short of winning approval in the state Senate on Wednesday night.

It was a reversal for the gun lobby, which has been successful this year in winning approval of several bills to expand the places where permit holders are legally allowed to carry their sidearms, including parks and places where alcohol is served. The bill had passed the House 83-12 in May. ...

[D.C.] Smile, you're on gun cam - bill would put cameras on cop guns:
A D.C. Council member has reintroduced legislation to equip guns used by the District's police forces with cameras after a man was fatally shot by police in Northeast.

Council member Harry Thomas Jr. on Tuesday introduced a bill requiring Mayor Adrian M. Fenty to come up with a "plan for the installation of video and audio recording devices on service firearms of all police and special police officers."

Similar legislation died in the council's public safety committee last year after opposition from police, who say the cameras are bulky and fail to capture crucial evidence because they only begin recording once the officer draws the weapon. ...

[Pennsylvania] Appeals court invalidates Philadelphia "assault weapon" ban and straw purchase ordinances:
Two key provisions of Philadelphia's latest attempt to impose local gun controls - banning assault weapons and "straw purchases" of handguns - were invalidated yesterday by a state appeals court.

Following judicial precedent that doomed previous Philadelphia gun-control laws, Commonwealth Court held that the state Supreme Court ruled in 1996 that only the legislature has the authority to enact gun laws. Counties and municipal governments are out of luck.

But the 6-1 majority in Commonwealth Court affirmed part of the 2008 decision of then-Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Jane Cutler Greenspan and allowed three other provisions. They require reporting lost or stolen handguns, allow temporary seizure of guns by police after probable cause is demonstrated, and bar gun ownership by people subject to protection-from-abuse orders.

Greenspan, now on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, had ruled that the National Rifle Association and other challengers were not affected seriously enough to have legal standing to sue over those provisions.

The reporting provision is in effect, but the other two have not yet been implemented because they are legally complex and require the city to draft and adopt regulations, said Richard Feder, chief of appeals in the city Law Department

Feder said his office was "seriously considering" appealing the assault-weapon and straw-purchase provisions to the state Supreme Court. ...

[Louisiana] Gun dealers can't keep ammo in stock:
HOUMA — In 15 years of selling guns and ammunition, he’s never seen anything like it.

Shotgun shells, rifle cartridges and pistol rounds have been flying off the shelves with such speed at Houma Auto Parts, Calvin Prevost’s gun store on Honduras Street, that the owner has taken to hiding what ammunition he can in the back so customers who buy a gun can leave at least with a single box of rounds. Wednesday afternoon, there were wide gaps between the boxes of ammunition for sale at the shop, formerly an auto-parts and gun store but now strictly a firearms business.

“That shelf is usually packed,” Prevost said. “If we don’t hide ammo, they’ll buy it all.” ...

[Tennessee] Guns in parks debate moves to cities, counties:
FRANKLIN — State lawmakers have put local officials on the hot seat with the recent passage of a law allowing guns to be carried in public parks.

The legislation, which was signed into law last week by the governor, immediately opens state-owned parks to people who have handgun carry permits. Municipalities have until Sept. 1 to opt out of the new provision and ban guns from their own parks. ...

[D.C.] City expands approved gun roster in response to lawsuit:
The D.C. government released emergency regulations yesterday that greatly expand the models of handguns that District residents can own, a shift designed to stave off another lawsuit over its compliance with the Second Amendment.

The new regulations, which come as the District continues to grapple with last year's Supreme Court decision that threw out the city's gun ban, will allow residents to legally obtain at least 1,000 additional types and models of handguns.

City leaders sought to play down the effects of the new regulations, but gun rights advocates said they were another boost to their efforts to undo the District's long-held restrictions on personal possession of weapons. ...

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