Category Archives: Law

Washington: Attorney General Introduces Additional Gun Ban Legislation

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It’s back in full-swing: Two bills filed Saturday in Washington state seek to ban commonly-owned semi-autos. READ IT ALL

washington attorney general

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Just months after pushing for the passage of Initiative 1639 to impose severe regulations on purchasing and possessing semi-automatic firearms, Attorney General Bob Ferguson has now introduced legislation that would outright ban commonly owned semi-automatic firearms with certain features.

Senate Bill 5340, sponsored by Senator Patty Kuderer (D-48), and companion House Bill 1286, sponsored by Representative Strom Petersen (D-21), were filed at the request of the Attorney General. They would ban possession of commonly owned semi-automatic firearms based on certain listed cosmetic features, along with specifically listed firearms and magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds. Those who own these firearms and magazines prior to the ban would only be allowed to possess them on their own property and in other limited instances such as at licensed shooting ranges if they are transported unloaded and locked. A violation of this firearm ban would result in a Class C Felony.

This comes in addition to Ferguson’s already introduced legislation to ban standard capacity magazines, Senate Bill 5062 and House Bill 1068, which have both been scheduled for committee hearings next week, along with other gun control bills.

 

Researchers Credit Right to Carry Law With Reduction in Chicago Property Crimes

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Less crime due to criminals weighing gains against the possibility of an armed victim? Sounds like the argument that gun-rights supporters have been making for a long time. READ IT ALL

governor quinn

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

In July 2013, the Illinois legislature overrode the veto of then-Governor Patrick Quinn to eliminate the state’s status as the last holdout in refusing to issue concealed-carry permits. In moving from “no-issue” to “shall issue,” law-abiding citizens of the Land of Lincoln were finally able to enjoy the Second Amendment rights affirmed in D.C. v. Heller, McDonald v. Chicago, and Moore v. Madigan. Yet, even while benefitting from armed protection at the expense of taxpayers, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel maintained that “gun control is essential,” and that the new concealed carry law would result in an increase in crime.

Recently, two researchers disproved at least some of Emanuel’s prognostications and added to the growing body of evidence that allowing citizens the right to defend themselves with guns outside their homes can lead to a decrease in crime (see, e.g., here, here, here, and here for examples). Publishing in Applied Economics Letters, Srikant Devaraj and Pankaj Patel (from Ball State University and Villanova University, respectively) used neighborhood-level crime reports from Chicago and Philadelphia during the period January 2006 to December 2015. Their goal was to ascertain the effect of the Illinois concealed carry law on property crimes in Chicago, with the Philadelphia data serving as a “control” comparison over the same term. (Philly was selected because of its similar population density, demographic characteristics, and property crime levels, and because Pennsylvania also is a shall-issue state.)

Using a variation of regression analysis (i.e., zero-inflated negative binomial regression, appropriate when data are counts of an event, occurrence, etc., and having high/frequent occurrence of zeros as values), Devaraj and Patel assessed property crime rates as a function of the availability of permits in Illinois, examining rates prior to the introduction of shall-issue and at three points following the law’s enactment: 0-6 months, 6-12 months, and 1 year or later. Other, potentially important variables for which the researchers controlled were the number of violent crimes; overall time trend; economic recession; whether a crime was reported on the first day of the year or first day of the month (to account for artifacts in record-keeping); and, the city in which the crime was reported.

“The results show[ed] that after the implementation of the ‘shall issue’ CCW law in Chicago, property crimes decreased,” and the reduction continued across all three time intervals. The authors offered several potential explanations for Chicago’s decrease in property crime, not least of which is that concealed carry “may influence the opportunity cost for committing … crimes, as criminals may weigh gains … against higher risk (with the possibility of a victim carrying a firearm)” (Devaraj and Patel, 2018, p. 1128, emphasis added).

Outback Steakhouse: ‘No Rights, Just Rules’

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G’Day? Not hardly! Outback Steakhouse manager ousts uniformed law enforcement officer and his wife because he refused to leave his gun in his vehicle. READ IT ALL…

outback

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

The word “Outback” used to conjure images of Australia’s tenacious frontier spirit; of hunters, ranchers, and other adventurers who carved out a harsh existence from an unforgiving land. Thanks to a decades-long campaign to distance the island nation from certain elements of its rugged heritage and the proliferation of an Australian-themed casual dining restaurant chain, today the word “Outback” is more likely to bring to mind a 3,000 calorie deep-fried onion.

Despite its namesake and decor, culinary critics have long questioned whether Outback Steakhouse offers an authentic Down Under dining experience. However, these detractors should know that in recent years the chain has gone to great lengths to replicate for their guests Australia’s culture of civilian disarmament by prohibiting diners from carrying firearms onto the premises. This commitment to reproducing Australia’s defenseless society is so profound that last month a uniformed law enforcement officer was asked to leave an Outback in Cleveland, Tenn. because he was armed.

The incident occurred when Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency Officer Andrew Ward and his wife went to the restaurant for dinner. In a Facebook post, Ward explained:

I was approached by the manager and asked if I would put my gun in my truck. I let her know that I couldn’t because I was in uniform. She then went and made a call and came back and we were asked to leave because Outback is a gun-free zone.

Rightfully disturbed by the encounter, Ward added:

What is this country coming to? A uniformed Law Enforcement Officer who is sworn to protect and serve the public, is refused service because they have a firearm! I am disgusted and have no other words!!!

In an update to his initial post, Ward noted that he was asked to leave after Outback management bent to the will of an unhinged customer. According to Ward, “There was another customer who was ‘scared for her life’… because ‘police are shooting people.’” Ward explained that “the customer went on to demand to be escorted to her vehicle out of fear of being shot.”

Given the decades of statistics showing the law-abiding character of Right-to-Carry permit holders, Outback’s gun free zone policy is foolish. However, that the company would cite their gun-free policy as justification to yield to the ravings of an unreasonable individual to the detriment of a uniformed law enforcement officer is radical.

There is a general consensus that uniformed and ununiformed current and former law enforcement officers should be allowed to carry a firearm for the public benefit. That is why in 2004 Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed the Law Enforcement Officer’s Safety Act (LEOSA). Under LEOSA, current and former law enforcement officers who meet certain basic criteria, such as carrying qualified identification, are permitted to carry a firearm throughout the country.

Showing the strong bipartisan support for this measure, the original legislation, H.R. 218, had 297 co-sponsors in the House of Representative and passed the Senate unanimously. Subsequent changes that have been made to increase the number of officers able to take advantage of this protection have been similarly popular.

Sensing a growing public outrage, Outback reached out to the Wards and offered them a $100 gift card and an apology. Outback’s parent-company, Bloomin’ Brands, Inc., issued a statement to Chattanooga’s WTVC that contended it is not company policy to prohibit law enforcement officers from carrying at their restaurants. The statement went on to blame the incident on the individual restaurant manager.

While the manager might have handled the situation better, Bloomin’ Brands shares some responsibility for creating the irrational gun free zone policy that the employee was forced to interpret. Outback Steakhouse ads have long carried the tagline “Outback: No Rules, Just Right.” In order to better reflect company values and bolster ongoing efforts at authenticity, we submit for consideration, “Outback: No Rights, Just Rules.”

Guns and Taxes

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David Hogg wants a federal tax on firearms and ammunition. Uh. David… That’s very old news! READ MORE

hogg

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

David Hogg has repeatedly broached the idea of taxing firearms and ammunition, including multiple times on Twitter, and only sometimes suggests a use for the tax revenue. Hogg’s tweets on a federal gun tax include references to implementing the same sort of licensing and permitting requirements as the government requires to drive a car or funding “gun violence” research.

We’ve previously addressed the problem with comparing “gun violence” and motor vehicle accidents or smoking, and the problem with anti-gun research, so we’ll focus exclusively on Hogg’s tax idea.

Except it isn’t Hogg’s idea. The idea of a tax on firearms and ammunition predates Hogg by about a hundred years. A moment on Google would have shown Mr. Hogg as much.

The Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax (FAET) was first imposed in 1919. In 1937, the Pittman-Robertson Act directed all revenue from FAET and related excise taxes to be used for hunting-related activities. The FAET includes a 10% tax on the sale price of pistols and revolvers and 11% of the sale price of other firearms and ammunition, and 11% tax on archery equipment. The tax is applied whether or not the equipment is likely to be used for hunting. The U.S. Department of the Treasury Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau provides an informative reference guide, and the Congressional Research Service compiled a report on the tax and relevant legislative proposals just this past March.

The Pittman-Robertson Act funds acquisition and improvement of wildlife habitat, introduction of wildlife into suitable habitat, research into wildlife problems, surveys and inventories of wildlife problems, acquisition and development of access facilities for public use, and hunter education programs, including construction and operation of public target ranges.

More than $12 billion has been collected under the Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937, including more than $761 million in fiscal year 2017 alone. Revenues from the tax are placed into the Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund and distributed to the states and U.S. territories.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association, put together an informative video about how the excise tax supports conservation efforts and an infographic showing how the money collected from under the Act has impacted species. Spoiler alert: the white-tailed deer population went from 500,000 in 1900 to 32 million today, and the waterfowl population grew from few to 44 million. There are similar success stories for other species, all made possible through the excise tax on firearms and ammunition.

The Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax is public information, as is the distribution of funds. Awareness of the tax may be low, but that doesn’t make the tax any less real. More than three-quarters of a billion dollars was collected last year; such an amount does not go unnoticed, particularly by the state wildlife agencies that depend on that funding for research and conservation efforts.

Mr. Hogg and others who want a federal tax on firearms and ammunition, would be well-served by spending a bit of time researching an idea before they start issuing demands.

How a Democratic House Will Affect Gun Rights

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How will a Democrat-controlled House affect your Second Amendment-protected freedom? HERE’S HOW!

gun rights

SOURCE: NSSF, by Larry Keane

Democrats voted overwhelmingly for U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to become Speaker of the House in the new Congress. She promises to make gun control a priority. The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Larry Keane told the Washington Times what we can expect.

Republicans do still hold the Senate by a slim margin and President Donald J. Trump could veto legislation, so gun-control bills passed by the House aren’t likely to become law. Instead, they are more likely to be passed to create political talking points for 2020.

“Expect hearings on taxpayer-funded gun violence research, magazine restrictions, ammunition bans, age-based gun bans, and attempts to outright ban entire classes of firearms,” says Larry Keane, senior vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for firearms manufacturers.

“Virginia Democratic Congresswoman-elect Jennifer Wexton defeated Rep. Barbara Comstock on a platform that included banning AR-15 modern sporting rifles and standard capacity magazines. She’s just one of several newly elected members of Congress who will be looking to make good on their campaign promises,” says Mr. Keane.

Pittsburgh Mayor Declares Intent to Ban Guns in Violation of State Law

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Under the proposed semi-automatic ban, it would be “unlawful to manufacture, sell, purchase, transport, carry, store, or otherwise hold in one’s possession” a firearm defined as an “assault weapon.” READ IT ALL

pittsburgh mayor

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Last week, we reported that it was likely that sweeping gun control measures would be proposed in Pittsburgh. On December 14 Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto held a press conference to propose a trio of anti-gun city ordinances that, if enacted, would constitute a direct violation of Pennsylvania’s state firearms preemption law and Pennsylvania Supreme Court precedent. At the event, Peduto was joined by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, who benefitted from $500,000 in spending from Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety during his 2018 re-election bid, and City Council members Corey O’Connor and Erika Strassburger.

Not content to spearhead his own city’s violation of state law, Peduto called for municipalities throughout the country to ignore state statutes duly enacted by their residents’ elected representatives. A press release from the mayor’s office chronicling the conference explained, “Mayor Peduto has asked cities around the country to support Pittsburgh’s measures and/or introduce similar legislation to create nationwide momentum behind the critically needed gun changes.”

Councilmember O’Connor, who purportedly authored the anti-gun proposals, took a similar tack, stating that Pittsburgh “must seize the opportunity to make a real difference by partnering with other municipalities in the Commonwealth and cities across America to enact” gun restrictions. Councilmember Strassburger also encouraged the municipal lawlessness, stating, “I hope more cities across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the entire nation will join Pittsburgh in this critical effort.”

The three legislative proposals are a total ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms, a total ban on several types of common firearms accessories and standard capacity magazines, and the development of a procedure to confiscate an individual’s firearms without due process of law.

The legislation defines “assault weapon” by listing several models of commonly owned semi-automatic firearms, including the Colt AR-15 and certain configurations of the Ruger Mini-14. Moreover, the legislation goes on to add to the definition of “assault weapon” semi-automatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns that meet a certain set of criteria.

The prohibition criteria for rifles is the following:

a. The firearm is a semiautomatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least two of the following:

i. A folding or telescoping stock;

ii. A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;

iii. A bayonet mount;

iv. A flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor; and

v. A grenade launcher;

Pistols would be judged under the following criteria:

b. The firearm is a semiautomatic pistol that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least two of the following:

i. An ammunition magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the pistol grip;

ii. A threaded barrel capable of accepting a barrel extender, flash suppressor, forward handgrip or silencer;

iii. A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the firearm with the non-trigger hand without being burned;

iv. A manufactured weight of 50 ounces or more when the pistol is unloaded; and

v. A semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm;

The following shotguns would banned:

c. The firearm is a semiautomatic shotgun that has at least two of the following:

i. A folding or telescoping stock;

ii. A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;

iii. A fixed magazine capacity in excess of five rounds; and

iv. An ability to accept a detachable magazine;

The legislation would also prohibit the possession of machine guns lawfully registered under the National Firearms Act.

The legislative proposal targeting common firearms accessories would ban the possession of firearms magazines “that [have] the capacity of, or can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition.” The ordinance would also ban any semi-automatic centerfire rifle that can accept a detachable magazine and is equipped with either a pistol grip, thumbhole stock, folding or telescoping stock, or a forward pistol grip (among other items).

Both pieces of legislation impose severe penalties on those who refuse to submit to the city’s unlawful mandates. Those who do not comply “shall be fined $1,000 and costs for each offense, and in default of payment thereof, may be imprisoned for not more than 90 days.” Moreover, the proposals provide that “[e]ach day of a continuing violation of or failure to comply … shall constitute and separate and distinct offense.” Meaning that otherwise law-abiding individuals who fail to comply with the ordinances would face potential financial ruin.

The final proposal would empower law enforcement to search for and confiscate an individual’s firearms without due process. Acting on merely a petition offered by a law enforcement official or family or household member a court could issue an order for an individual’s firearms to be seized. The individual would have no opportunity to speak or present evidence on their own behalf prior to confiscation.

The Pennsylvania General Assembly has made clear that firearms laws are a state matter and that it is unlawful for the state’s political subdivisions to regulate firearms. 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6120, concerning the “Limitation on the regulation of firearms and ammunition,” states:

No county, municipality or township may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth.

The language of the statute is crystal clear. Municipalities like Pittsburgh may not pass their own firearms regulations.

However, the simple statute wasn’t simple enough for the reading challenged lawmakers of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

In the 1996 case Ortiz v. Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania settled the question as to whether Pittsburgh and Philadelphia could restrict commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms. In finding that they could not, the court stated:

Because the ownership of firearms is constitutionally protected, its regulation is a matter of statewide concern. The constitution does not provide that the right to bear arms shall not be questioned in any part of the commonwealth except Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, where it may be abridged at will, but that it shall not be questioned in any part of the commonwealth. Thus, regulation of firearms is a matter of concern in all of Pennsylvania, not merely in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and the General Assembly, not city councils, is the proper forum for the imposition of such regulation.

Another portion of the opinion described Pittsburgh’s position as “frivolous.”

In the 2009 case National Rifle Association v. Philadelphia, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania came to the same conclusion after Philadelphia ignored the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania’s 1996 ruling and enacted a ban on commonly-owned firearms and a lost or stolen reporting ordinance. Citing Pennsylvania’s firearms preemption statute and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania’s decision in Ortiz, the Commonwealth Court struck down the local firearms ordinances. Philadelphia appealed the case to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and was denied.

In pursuing their local gun control ordinances, Peduto and his anti-gun allies have demonstrated an extraordinary indifference to state law, judicial precedents, and the taxpaying constituents who will foot the bill for this political grandstanding. NRA stands ready to use all available legal avenues to ensure that the residents of Pittsburgh are never subject to these unconstitutional and unlawful proposals.

 

White House School Safety Report Recommends Gun Confiscation Orders

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Seems that the Trump Administration is supporting “Red Flag Laws.” This is disconcerting stuff folks, confusing to say the very least. READ MORE

trump with report

SOURCE: Breitbart, others

On December 18, the White House released results of its School Safety Commission findings. Notable within the content of the 177-page report:

“The Commission endorses Extreme Risk Protection Order laws, which give authorities a temporary way to keep those who threaten society from possessing or purchasing firearms.”

Breitbart quoted Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s preview of the report: “Our report endorses states adoption of extreme risk protection orders, which temporarily restrict access to firearms to individuals found to be a danger to themselves or others.” DeVos stressed that the White House wants the confiscatory orders structured in a way that is “cognizant of due process protections and respectful of Second Amendment liberties.”

Such orders, often referred to as Red Flag Laws, already exist in California and Florida. A few months ago, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) noted the push for red flag laws post-Parkland, saying, “Anti-gun interest groups and politicians have used the Parkland shooting to launch what, until recently, they regarded as a distant dream — a wave of state legislation authorizing the confiscation of firearms.”

Looks like it’s upon us. Stay tuned. Closely.

Here’s NRA-ILA official statement:NRA statement

White House official report page:
CLICK HERE

Watch this one folks…
CLICK HERE

Uh… Remember this?
CLICK HERE

 

SKILLS: First Responder Realities

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Increasingly, Americans might find themselves faced with a crisis involving a “shooter.” Here are thoughts from Team Springfield Armory’s Kyle Schmidt on the citizen’s role. READ ON

first responder

SOURCE: Team Springfield, Kyle Schmidt

No doubt — there are more frequent reports of criminals attacking citizens. It has become more commonplace at big events or where large groups of people gather together. These environments make easy targets for the criminals.

Unfortunately, when there are no “good guys with guns,” the bad guys don’t really need to be very skilled at whatever attack method they use, and they are highly likely to injure someone.

#GOODGUYWITHAGUN
Likewise, there are more situations where a citizen thwarts the criminal attack before any or further injury occurs. The news reports though are hard to find most of the time — due to the lack of mainstream media reporting — but it happens more than you might think and the stories are out there if you know where to look.

And personally, as an American, I think this is awesome. Citizens helping protect each other…what says “United We Stand” more than that?

From the news sound bite, though, this may seem all too simple. Realistically any “active shooter scenario” or other type of attack is a very complex and continuously evolving process. And difficult to successfully get through because there are countless scenarios and variables.

DECISION MAKING 301
If an attack situation allows, it makes sense to 1) get away from the threat completely or 2) hide in a safe location until law enforcement arrives. Unfortunately, those options may not always be available.

What the situation requires at that point is advanced decision making; complex, chaotic decision making. Ideally, your decisions should be based on situations you have thought about, prepared and trained for (what ifs?) prior to becoming a responsible concealed carrying citizen.

How you handle the scenario starts with identifying what your priorities are or what you want to accomplish. Slight changes in the situation may change the priority or action you choose to take.

Everyone’s priorities are different… None are wrong, they are just different.

If I am out with my family, friends or acquaintances, their safety will be my number one priority.

If I am out by myself, the safety of the innocent people is my number one priority.

If it is just me and the criminal, my safety will be my number one priority.

To break it down, we all have a built-in priority hierarchy when it comes to saving lives and preventing the criminal from trying to injure or kill. As stated above, my priorities are:

Family
Friends / Acquaintances
All other people
Self
Criminal

I could further complicate this with the concept of life years saved, but I think you get the idea.

RAPID RESPONSE
Let’s skip a couple of steps and jump right to response; you decide to take action and use your concealed Springfield Armory XD-(M)® pistol to stop the criminal. The very first thing to remember / consider is SAFETY — all of the firearms rules that everyone works so hard to learn and apply. Drawing your gun to stop a criminal does not relieve you of your safety responsibilities. Now, more than ever, you will need to adhere to them. If you inadvertently injure someone, other than the criminal, it will be a serious problem.

SUSPECT DOWN — HEADS UP — GUN AWAY
Let’s jump ahead again. You have successfully stopped the suspect and saved some lives. #GoodSamaritan

But once the (only) suspect is down, the problems are not over.

At this point, another significant issue is of immediate concern: That others involved, citizens and law enforcement, do not recognize that you are the good guy. You and the suspect are the only ones that know for sure that you were the good guy who stopped the bad guy. You cannot assume that others recognize what transpired. There may also be more than one law-abiding concealed carrier on site.

In fact, this is still a very dangerous situation. If you can confirm the scene is safe, put your gun away. This is the best way to avoid another Good Samaritan or LE agent engaging YOU as if you were the suspect.

THE 411 ON 911
Since virtually everyone now has a cell phone, there will probably be multiple calls being placed to 9-1-1. If you can, call 9-1-1 yourself to inform the police of your situation. One of the most important things you can do is give the 9-1-1 operator YOUR physical description. It’s also critical to then follow their directions. Most fine details about the incident are unimportant at this point, but responding officers need a quick description of you; gender, race, hair color, height, clothing, etc. #JustTheBasics

If you are with someone, instruct them to do the same, remembering only pertinent information is required at this point. There will be plenty of time during the subsequent investigation for the fine details.

PREPARE FOR POLICE ARRIVAL
Most police officers are extremely good at evaluating what is going on, before they take action. However, realize that they likely have received numerous (possibly inaccurate) reports of a shooter and may have been given more than one description. They have probably also received a description of you (the good guy) by those who saw you shooting.

When the police are on scene, they will most likely treat everyone (especially those with a gun) like a suspect until they can get some investigating done and figure out what actually happened.

Remember their goal is to make the scene safe and get aid to any victims. But they need to locate and stop any threats before they can safely do that.

My advice for when the police arrive – just comply with what they tell you do. Nothing new, as that’s what you should always do. The responding officers don’t know who you are or anyone else for that matter. Trying to convince them that you are not the bad guy (especially while you are still holding the gun) will just make things more difficult.

DUTY CALLS
If you are going to be a responsible, armed citizen; make it your duty to be prepared both physically (by becoming a competent, skilled, safe shooter) and mentally (by knowing how and when to safely take action, and what to do when you have stopped the criminal). Discuss, prepare and plan for this type of situation with your loved ones (also) on a regular basis. Preparation before an attack happens, may just save the lives of your very important “priorities”, and that is absolutely worth the investment.

 

Surprise: Study Finds No Rise in Violent Crime Attributable to Adopting Right-to-Carry Laws

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Another try. Another fail. Recent study concludes there’s zero relationship between legal concealed carry laws and violence. READ MORE

ccw

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

As we’ve noted recently, much research purporting to demonstrate connections between access to guns or right-to-carry laws and increases in crime is seriously flawed. Often it’s an attempt to curtail or eliminate Americans’ rights under the Second Amendment rather than unbiased scientific research.

One recent study bucked that trend, however, finding no evidence of a link between access to firearms and increases in crime. “State Level Firearm Concealed-Carry Legislation and Rates of Homicide and Other Violent Crime,” (Hamill, Hernandez, Bailey, Zielinski, Matos, & Schiller, 2018), examined an expansive dataset, encompassing all 50 states and the District of Columbia — from 1986 to 2015 — to determine whether a relationship existed between liberalization of access to legal concealed carry of firearms and rates of both violent and nonviolent crime.

The 30 years’ worth of crime data comprised state-level crime rates for homicides, violent crime, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and burglary from the Department of Justice Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) system. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided partially redundant figures, including state-based rates of homicide overall and firearm-specific homicide. State-specific rates of unemployment were provided by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, and poverty rates were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Hamill et al. (2018) defined the ease with which state residents could obtain a carry permit in two ways:

On a four-point scale: (1) no carry; (2) may-issue; (3) shall-issue; or, (4) unrestricted (i.e., constitutional carry)

With a simpler, bipolar system which grouped the no-carry and may-issue schemes, versus the shall-issue and unrestricted arrangements
Using a form of linear regression modeling which allowed for multiple predictor and control variables as well as correlations among error terms (due to the time-based nature of the data), the authors estimated the various UCR and CDC crime statistics as a function of ease of obtaining carry permits, after controlling for state and year. No significant relationships were noted between ease of carry — whether measured on the four-point or bipolar scales — and rates of crime in any of the UCR or CDC categories. Repeating the analyses, but additionally controlling for level of poverty and unemployment, the Hamill team again found no statistical relationships between the ease with which carry permits could be obtained — regardless of measurement scheme — and crime rates in any category.

The authors concluded:

After adjusting for several population and demographic factors, we demonstrated that the rates of homicide and violent crime were not significantly increased after state laws were passed making access to concealed-carry permits less restricted. These important findings should inform further public policy research to help determine root causes and solutions to firearm-related homicide and violent crime in the future. (Hamill et al., 2018, p. 5)

As the authors noted, the study was correlational in nature and did not demonstrate causation (or lack thereof). Additionally, there were variables with potential explanatory power that were not included in the models, because the authors plan to do so “as a topic of future research” (Hamill et al., 2018, p. 7). Yet, however unlikely it may be that research such as this will convince many in the anti-gun crowd — whose minds seem closed to objective data which conflict with the “bad gun” narrative — it is refreshing to see objective minds investigate the association between guns and crime with the intent of letting the data write the story, rather than seeking evidence to buttress already-worn arguments.

Gun Control Fail: California Firearm Homicides Up 18 Percent

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California, a state with every gun control imaginable, witnessed an 18 percent rise in firearm homicides from 2014 to 2016. READ IT ALL

police line

SOURCE: Breitbart, AWR Hawkins

This rise in firearm homicides comes despite the fact that Democrats, gun control groups, and the establishment media constantly claim that states with the strictest gun controls see lower rates of violence and death.

California has universal background checks, gun registration requirements, red flag laws (i.e., Gun Violence Restraining Orders), a ten-day waiting period for gun purchases, an “assault weapons” ban, a one-gun-per-month limit on handgun purchases, a minimum firearm purchase age of 21, a ban on campus carry, a “good cause” restriction for concealed carry permit issuance, and controls on the purchase of ammunition. The ammunition controls limit law-abiding Californians to buying ammunition from state-approved vendors–all of whom are in-state sellers–and adds a fee to any ammunition bought online, also requiring that ammunition to be shipped to a state-approved vendor for pickup.

Additionally, the state mandates gun free zones in businesses where alcohol is sold for on-site consumption. Therefore, the few concealed carry permit holders in the state must enter myriad restaurants without any means of self-defense. This provides a target-rich environment for attackers who want to be sure no one can shoot back when they strike. We last saw this on November 7, 2018, when an attacker opened fire with a handgun in the gun-free Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California.

Despite all the stringent gun controls a bill filed by Assemblyman Marc Levine (CA-D-10) admits California firearm homicides were up between from 2014 to 2016. The bill says, “Although California has the toughest gun laws in the nation, more effort is necessary to curtail gun violence. The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation found that from 2014 to 2016 gun homicides increased 18 percent.” In light of this gun control failure the language of the bill goes on to suggest more gun control.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.