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Tag: Guns

Governor: Connecticut to Ban People on No-Fly List from Buying Guns

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Connecticut is about to become the first state to ban people on the federal no-fly list from buying guns, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced today.

The New York Times reports that Mally plans to sign an executive order that would prevent people on federal terrorism watch lists from buying firearms.

“Like all Americans, I have been horrified by the recent terrorist attacks in San Bernardino and Paris,” Malloy said. “This should be a wake-up call to all of us. This is a moment to seize in America — and today I’m here to say that we in Connecticut are seizing it.”

Connecticut stiffened its gun laws after 20 children and six adults were killed in the 2013 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton.

President Obama said on Sunday that he supports a similar ban on the federal level.

“What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semiautomatic weapon?” Obama said. “This is a matter of national security.”

Two Men Convicted of Murdering Border Patrol Agent Were Sentenced to Life

Brian Terry

Brian Terry

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two men convicted of murdering Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry were sentenced to life in prison Wednesday, ABC News reports.

Terry’s death revealed the bungled gun-running operation known as Fast and Furious when weapons purchased during the probe ended up at the scene of the shooting that left him dead.

Jesus Leonel Sanchez-Meza, Ivan Soto-Barraza and three others planned to rob marijuana smugglers in southern Arizona when a shootout occurred, killing Terry.

“They knew someone could or would get hurt, but that did not stop them because their greed was much more powerful than having a conscience,” Terry’s sister, Kelly Willis, said.

Two members of the robbery crew are still fugitives, and another pleaded guilty to murder.

“Obviously, he’s very remorseful,” defense attorney Ramiro Flores said of Sanchez-Meza.

Ex-ATF Agent: Let’s Stop Pretending Lawmakers Are Regulating Lethal Firearms

gunsBy Former ATF Jay Wachtel
for Washington Post

When it comes to regulating firearms, we only pretend to legislate. And even when we do legislate, we only pretend to make them safer. Think that I’m exaggerating? Read on.

In 1994, the federal assault weapons ban outlawed a host of firearms by make and model, including the popular Colt AR-15 and several “AK” style rifles. More broadly, the law also prohibited the manufacture and sale of any semi-automatic rifle that could accept a detachable ammunition magazine (for quicker reloading), and had two or more external features such as a folding stock (to make a gun more compact), pistol grips and barrel shrouds (to help steady one’s aim) and a flash suppressor (to hide a shooter’s position). Caliber wasn’t affected but magazine capacities were limited to ten rounds. Existing weapons and magazines could continue to be possessed and transferred.

How did the gun industry respond? With cosmetic fixes. Colt renamed the AR-15 the “Sporter,” stripped off its flash suppressor and bayonet lug and modified the magazine. Other manufacturers and importers took similar measures, renaming guns and making minor tweaks.

Everyone was pleased. For liberals, the law’s passage was a victory. What got lost in the orgy of self-congratulation, though, was the purpose of the ban.

One assumes that assault rifles were picked on because they are particularly lethal. Key attributes that make them so include accuracy at range, rapid-fire capability and, most importantly, fearsome ballistics. In their most common calibers – 7.62 and .223 – these weapons discharge bullets whose extreme energy and velocity readily pierce protective garments commonly worn by police, opening cavities in flesh many times the diameter of the projectile and causing devastating wounds.

None of these real threats were addressed by the ban. Yet when the statute expired ten years later, Democrats in Congress voiced outrage and promised to secure its renewal.

Last week, a young Southern California couple armed with two pistols and two .223 caliber assault rifles viciously murdered 14 people and wounded 21, some critically. All four guns were purchased from licensed gun retailers in California, the state whose assault weapons law has been touted as the nation’s most restrictive. But as the officers who responded to the massacre in patrol cars and armored vehicles can attest, their state’s vaunted measures (its supposedly stiff provisions require, for example, that magazines be fixed in place, yet provide an easy workaround) proved hopelessly ineffective.

California, the state which gun enthusiasts love to hate, seems no more anxious to take real action against highly lethal firearms than the reticent Feds.

What makes this so? For a clue we can turn to District of Columbia v. Heller,the landmark 2008 Supreme Court case that slapped down a law prohibiting the possession of handguns. In its ruling, the Court held that the Second Amendment grants individuals the right to have firearms for “traditionally lawful purposes” such as self-protection. Going beyond handguns, the majority also endorsed the concept that the Second Amendment protects the right to possess firearms “in common use.”

What’s missing from Heller is a comparison of guns at the time the Second Amendment was written and now. Had the Framers time-traveled to a contemporary gun store, they probably would have been astonished at just how lethal firearms would become. They might have even graced the Second Amendment with an additional clause that placed limits on the madness.

But they didn’t. Neither did the Heller justices, who completely ignored the stark contrast between then and now. One wishes that a law clerk looked up Section 921(a)(16) of the Gun Control Act of 1968, which exempts weapons with antique ignition systems or that do not use fixed ammunition – in other words, the guns of the Framer’s era – from the definition of “firearm.”

To read more click here. 

North Carolina Official Proposes Ban on Gun Purchases for Suspected Terrorists

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Congressional Republicans blocked an effort to prevent suspected terrorists on the federal government’s database from buying guns.

But that isn’t stopping North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper from urging state lawmakers to support a similar ban in his state, the Citizen-Times reports. 

“Stopping terror suspects from getting weapons that could harm our state and its people makes common sense,” Cooper said in a news release. “Even if Washington won’t act, we can.”

But whether Cooper has enough support is another question. Some GOP leaders accused Cooper of gun control.

State GOP Chairman Hasan Harnett accused Cooper of “stripping our citizens of their constitutional rights and denying them due process” to score points with his like-minded supporters.

U.S. on Pace for Record Number of Background Checks for Firearms This Year

handgun-photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

So many Americans are buying guns that the FBI is on track for a record number of firearm background checks this year, CNN reports. 

Since the end of November, the FBI processed 19.8 million background checks this year – the highest number ever recorded through the first 11 months of a year.

The FBI began operating the National Instant Background Check System, or NICS, 17 years ago. Since then, the bureau has processed 222.4 million background checks and denied 1.3 million of them.

The background checks are the most reliable way to determine approximately how many guns are sold in the U.S.

CNN reported that the gun industry is doing well, with major gun makers seeing surging stock prices.

First Time Since 1920, New York Times Runs Editorial on Its Front Page

ATF photo

ATF file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The New York Times, which has long pushed for tougher restrictions on gun sales, used a major exclamation mark this time, putting a strongly worded editorial Saturday on its front page about tougher gun regulations.

The paper noted that the last time it ran an editorial on the front page was 1920 when it lamented the nomination of Warren G. Harding as the Republican presidential candidate.

Here’s part of the editorial Saturday:

All decent people feel sorrow and righteous fury about the latest slaughter of innocents, in California. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies are searching for motivations, including the vital question of how the murderers might have been connected to international terrorism. That is right and proper.

But motives do not matter to the dead in California, nor did they in Colorado, Oregon, South Carolina, Virginia, Connecticut and far too many other places. The attention and anger of Americans should also be directed at the elected leaders whose job is to keep us safe but who place a higher premium on the money and political power of an industry dedicated to profiting from the unfettered spread of ever more powerful firearms.

It is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency. These are weapons of war, barely modified and deliberately marketed as tools of macho vigilantism and even insurrection. America’s elected leaders offer prayers for gun victims and then, callously and without fear of consequence, reject the most basic restrictions on weapons of mass killing, as they did on Thursday. They distract us with arguments about the word terrorism. Let’s be clear: These spree killings are all, in their own ways, acts of terrorism.

Opponents of gun control are saying, as they do after every killing, that no law can unfailingly forestall a specific criminal. That is true. They are talking, many with sincerity, about the constitutional challenges to effective gun regulation. Those challenges exist. They point out that determined killers obtained weapons illegally in places like France, England and Norway that have strict gun laws. Yes, they did.

But at least those countries are trying. The United States is not. Worse, politicians abet would-be killers by creating gun markets for them, and voters allow those politicians to keep their jobs. It is past time to stop talking about halting the spread of firearms, and instead to reduce their number drastically — eliminating some large categories of weapons and ammunition.

But at least those countries are trying. The United States is not. Worse, politicians abet would-be killers by creating gun markets for them, and voters allow those politicians to keep their jobs. It is past time to stop talking about halting the spread of firearms, and instead to reduce their number drastically — eliminating some large categories of weapons and ammunition.

To read more click here.

 

Suspects in San Bernardino Shooting Were Armed with 4 guns, Explosive Device

atf_hat_lgBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The man and woman accused of opening fire at a holiday party in San Bernardino came prepared for a massacre.

The ATF said the suspects, who were killed in a shootout with police, were armed with four guns, an explosive device and several magazine of ammunition, NBC News reports. 

The suspects had two .223-caliber assault rifles and two semi-automatic handguns.

At least two of the four weapons were legally purchased, according to sources who spoke with NBC News.

“They were in tactical gear and had several mags full of ammunition fashioned to their body so they were ready for a gunfight should that occur,” ATF spokeswoman Meredith Davis said. “With my experiences with other mass shootings, there are indicators this was well-planned out and it was to be violent in nature.”

FBI Processed Record Number of Gun Background Checks on Black Friday

gun rugerBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI processed a whopping 185,345 firearm background checks on Black Friday, marking the highest single-day number since the bureau began conducting background checks in 1998, the Associated Press reports. 

The previous record was on Dec. 21, 2012, about a week after a deadly shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school.

The background checks for gun purchases rose about 5% over the past Black Friday.

The record-number background checks come after the Planned Parenthood shootings and the terrorist attacks in Paris.