Sunday, March 18, 2018

Was Accidental Discharge by Illinois Judge a Dry-Fire Mistake?

Judge O'Shea's revolver

It happened on 15 September, 2017. An Illinois Judge, Patrick O'Shea, 67, accidentally fired a short barreled Smith & Wesson five shot in his apartment in Wheaton, Illinois. The bullet went through a mirror, the wall, and into the next apartment. No one was hit, and there was little property damage. He checked to see if anyone was in the apartment. There was not. He may have thought "No harm, no foul", and proceeded to attempt to lie his way out of the problem. Big mistake. It changed his life. From
On Sept. 24, the neighbors told police they found what appeared to be a spent bullet on their living room floor. They turned over the bullet to police, along with photographs they had taken of their damaged wall.

Police reports say O'Shea gave property managers at least three excuses for the hole, including that he accidentally put a screwdriver through the wall while hanging a mirror and that his son accidentally caused the hole while using a pneumatic nail gun.

Ekl previously called the shooting an "accidental discharge of a gun" that O'Shea believed to be unloaded.

As a condition of his bond, O'Shea was ordered to turn in all his weapons, ammunition, FOID card and concealed carry permit to Wheaton police.
I have a strong suspicion that this was a dry fire accident. They happen to people who take carrying a firearm seriously, and while rare, happen often enough to take precautions so they do not happen to you. The common situation goes something like this:

A person is dry firing a firearm (People who do dry firing tend to be serious about maintaining proficiency with their firearm).

They decide to stop dry firing and load their carry gun.

At this precise moment, they are distracted. Perhaps by a telephone or other item that demands immediate action without leaving the area.

The distraction stops. They consider - where was I?-

The memory of dry firing comes up.

They pick up the firearms, aim it, and ... blam!

If they are lucky, no one is injured. Many televisions have given their lives for the sake of dry firing.   In the Judge's case, he lost months of income, was lambasted in the media, and was criminally charged.  Five months later, another judge, in another county, dismissed the charge against him because it did not meet the legal requirements of the law. From
A DuPage County judge who fired a bullet through his apartment wall and into a unit next door was acquitted Friday of misdemeanor reckless conduct charges.

The case against Patrick O’Shea was tossed out at the midpoint of trial by Kane County Judge Keith Johnson. The judge agreed with O’Shea’s attorney, Terry Ekl, that prosecutors had failed to meet their legal burden of proof and filed a complaint against O’Shea that was legally deficient.

“There was no evidence that there was anyone even in the building when the gun went off, so it could not be reckless conduct, and he should have never been charged with reckless conduct,” Ekl said afterward.

The judge was alone in his Wheaton apartment in September when he fired the snub-nosed revolver and the round penetrated a mirror and went through the wall.
 It is the mirror that makes dry firing a likely culprit.

If you wish to avoid this type of life changing accident, here are things you should do when dry firing:

Unload and load in a separate location from where you will be dry firing.

Aim at something that will stop the bullets you normally carry. A fireplace, or a bullet resistant vest can work.

Create a simple ritual before dry firing: Say unloaded, unloaded, unloaded.

When you reload, say: Loaded, Loaded, Loaded.

These simple steps can prevent a tragedy or the sort of life changing accident Judge Patrick O'Shea experienced.

These incidents tend to happen to people who are serious about being proficient.

People who read this article tend to be serious. Follow the rules above, and avoid dry firing accidents.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Followup WA: No Charges in Motorcycle Defense Shooting on I-5

The prosecutor's office says that according to witnesses the incident began when Jones boxed Bowlin, who was riding a motorcycle, "into a location she could not drive away from. After exiting his (Jones) vehicle, he (Jones) aggressively approached her (Bowlin) on the shoulder of Interstate 5."

More Here

TN: Resident Fatally Shoots Home Invader

Deputies say 40-year-old Terry Lee Haynes of McKenzie was shot after he broke into the apartment by kicking in a sliding glass door and confronting the resident of the apartment in his bedroom.

Haynes died at the scene.
More Here

WI: Gun Beats Crowbar as Son Prevents Break-In

The intruder attempted to attack the man at which time the homeowner's son shot at the man, police said.

"He's got a crowbar in his hand, so he trying to hit my son with the crowbar, and my son take his gun out, and he shoots two times," homeowner Pedro Cruz said.

Milwaukee police are looking for the intruder who witnesses said was shot in the leg.
More Here

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Utah Police Officer Saved by Armed Citizen

Corporal Corey Waters Springville Police, UT

On February 2nd, 2018, just before 2 p.m., a man knocked down a Springville, Utah police officer and was viciously punching him.  The suspect had fractured the officers eye socket when an armed good Samaritan, Derek Myer, saw the situation, did a quick U-turn, pulled his gun and stopped the attack. From
SPRINGVILLE, Utah -- A man with a concealed handgun is credited with stopping a brutal attack on a Utah police officer on Friday, according to KSTU.
A Utah police officer approached the suspect, Paul Douglas Anderson, after he saw him stealing items from a charity's donation bin. When the officer approached Anderson, the suspect refused to take his hands out of his pockets. Moments later, Anderson attacked the officer and repeatedly punched him in the face.

Derek Meyer was driving on Main Street in Springville when he saw Anderson attacking the officer. Meyer, armed with a pistol and his concealed-carry permit, made a U-turn and stopped his vehicle behind the police car.

“I carry a gun to protect me and those around me, but primarily I carry a gun to protect my family first and foremost," Meyer said. "Outside of that, if I were to use my gun to protect anyone it would be law enforcement or military personnel."

Meyer got out of the car, pointed his pistol at Anderson and yelled at him to stop assaulting the officer.

When Anderson saw the gun, he stopped and ran off. After a brief lockdown at an area school, Anderson was arrested.
The video has some detail that is not in the text of the story. Corporal Corey Waters of the Springville Police Department credits Derek Meyer with preventing even worse injury. He says Meyers may have saved lives. Transcript from the video,  Corporal Corey Waters:
"He definitely stopped the attack from continuing and becoming much worse. He might have even saved either one of their lives. It could have gone very bad, even for the suspect."

Link to video

Paul Douglas Anderson
Derek Meyers armed intervention and protection of the police officer being attacked in Utah is the latest of numerous cases where good Samaritans who are legally armed have saved police lives.

There have been several cases in the last couple of years. In 2017, an armed woman in Georgia saved a sheriff's deputy and an Arizona armed citizen saved a State Trooper who was wounded and under assault.

In 2016, armed citizens saved police in Florida, Ohio, and in Pennsylvania. There has been an accelerating number of police saves by armed citizens as more and more citizens are carrying defensive firearms on a daily basis.
Dozens of instances of armed citizens saving police officers before 1996 are recounted in  the article published in 1999.

An armed people and local police are natural allies. When locally controlled police and a population who trust them work together, crime rates plummet to very low levels.

Officers on the street have generally had a positive attitude toward armed citizens.  As the number of people legally carrying weapons increased across the United States, most police administrators have become fans of legal concealed carry.

There are exceptions, of course. Police Chiefs are generally hired by politicians. When the politicians are against an armed population, the police administrators are as well, or they do not keep their job.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

CA: Store Owner Wounds Fleeing Shoplifter, is Charged

SAN JACINTO (CBSLA) — A business owner in San Jacinto grabbed his gun, when two burglars tried to get away from his store. Now he’s the one facing charges for shooting one of the men in the arm.

The owner of Soboba Smoke Shop bailed out of jail earlier today. He didn’t want to talk to CBSLA, but a lot of people are talking about this case and what business owners should be allowed to do.

Customers can’t believe the owner of Soboba Smoke Shop is facing charges of assault with a deadly weapon, after he tried to stop two burglars from leaving his store. Ed White was working across the street when he heard the gunshots.
More Here

GA: Gunfight, Father Fights 3 Armed Home Invaders, Shoots, Kills, 1

A father home with his two children wrestled with a masked intruder, grabbed a gun and shot him to death early Thursday, DeKalb County police said.

About 12:20 a.m., three people broke into the man’s Covington Glen apartment in the 1700 block of Thicket Way and fought with him.

“They had handguns,” Lt. Rod Bryant said. “They started shooting at him.”

The man retrieved his own gun and fired back at the intruders, according to police.

“They continued to exchange rounds,” and the shootout spilled outside, Bryant said.
More Here

NY: More on Off Duty Officer Shooting Loose, Agressive, Rottweiler

Animal owners often fail to realize that their dog acts much differently when it is loose and not under their conrol.

Police investigated and both sides say the shooting was deemed self-defense. McGrann did not get in any trouble. Now Apollo's family says they want justice.

"How do you do that to a family? That's like someone shooting a kid. That was my kid, that was my baby. It's just unacceptable and to just be getting away with it is even worse," said Fey. "He just got to go home with a gun that he just killed an animal with for no reason. At the least he should have had his weapon confiscated."

Meanwhile, McGrann says he's sorry for what happened.

"I'm heartbroken beyond words what happened and it was 100 percent last resort. He's their friendly little dog in their home. On the street it's a different story," said McGrann.

We checked with Jefferson County Dog Control, which says it did have a couple of complaints about Apollo running loose in the past.
More Here

Friday, March 16, 2018

Gun Carry Laws Don’t Invent a New Right by Charles C.W. Cooke

This is a very well done explanation of carry laws, and how they came to be in the United States. I have written about nearly everything stated in this article by Charles C.W. Cooke. The information is easily available on the Internet. 

Charles packages is very nicely into one easily digestible package with considerable skill. Well done!  

Unless you follow this stuff closely, you probably hadn’t heard this. And why would you have? Although it was breathlessly reported in some of the year-end roundups, the rule actually went into effect in September. And, as a result … nothing happened. Nothing at all.

This pattern—of a freak out, followed by silence—is a boringly familiar one, the product in part of a widespread misunderstanding as to how common and innocuous open carry laws are. When, in 2015, Texas repealed its prohibition on the open carry of handguns, critics cast the move as both an innovation and as a neat illustration of how “crazy” the Lone Star State had become. Naturally, neither accusation was correct. Texas was, in fact, the 45th American state to respect the right to bear arms, and, far from blazing trails, was joining liberal states such as Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Maryland and New Jersey. In so doing, it was not jumping on a bandwagon, but restoring an ancient and imperative right that pre-dates the United States by centuries.

And still the critics carped.

To understand just how misplaced was the reaction, consider that Texas’ open carry law was not only one of the last in the United States, but that it is also among the strictest. In Texas, as in 15 other states, citizens must apply for a permit before they can carry openly; in the remaining 30 states in which open carry is protected—including in decidedly non-Texas-like states such as Delaware, Vermont and Oregon—no such requirement exists. A quick review of the law confirms that this area of policy doesn’t break down easily along modern political lines. Among the five states that prohibit open carry completely, there are three that one would expect to see: California, Illinois and New York. But surprisingly enough, so does Florida, and so does South Carolina. Likewise, among the states that limit open carry to rural areas, we find Oregon, Nebraska and Missouri, but not Delaware, Connecticut or Hawaii. Even in states with anti-gun legislative majorities, open carry has been mostly left alone.

More Here

Guns of San Diego Sinaloa Money Laundering Suspects

For  a month, starting on February 9th, 2018, until March 8th, the FBI has been involved in an operation to arrest people and seize cash, drugs, and guns from a group of suspects who are alleged to have laundered tens of millions of dollars across the United States and Mexico for the Sinaloa Cartel.

Six million dollars were seized in cash, 22 lbs of fentanyl, 138 lbs of heroin 209 lbs of methampetamine, 202 lbs of cocaine, and 554 lbs of marijuana were seized.

70 people were indicted and 20 firearms were seized, including semiautomatic rifles and handguns. From
  • 20 firearms, including semiautomatic rifles and handguns were also seized
 A picture of seized firearms was released. It shows two 1911 style pistols and two other guns, which at first glance appear to be AR type rifles.

The lowest gun in the picture is not an AR15 clone. It is a Mossberg 715T, which is an inexpensive .22 blowback type rifle in a plastic clamshell, made to look "tactical". It is pased on the common Mossberg 702 action.

The top rifle appears to be a rifle assembled by someone from parts. The lower receiver has an integral trigger guard that is not very common. I see them on some 80% receivers, so it may be a cartel manufactured AR. The lack of logo or any identification numbers on the forward left flat is suggestive, but not conclusive.

A couple of 1911 clones, a cartel manufactured AR clone, and an inexpensive .22 rimfire made to look tacticool.  They do not make an impressive, scary photo-op.  It the people making the bust had scarier guns that had been confiscated, they would have used them.

I wonder about the other 16 firearms. I have not seen a picture of them. Probably a collection of single shot shotguns, a few revolvers, and some .22 rifles. It is what you commonly see South of the border.

70 people indicted, 20 firearms seized. About 30% of adults in the U.S. own firearms. These suspects were almost exactly average for American residents. 30% of 70 is 21. They missed the average by one gun. You would think, with supposed millions of dollars flowing through their fingers, enough would have stuck to upgrade to some nice firearms, if for no more reason than to show off.  Mexican cartels are known for splurging cash on showy guns. I expected engraved 1911 pistols, certainly Glocks, some AK47 clones, maybe something exotic such as a .50 caliber bolt gun or gold plated Browning Hi-Power pistols.

But there were no flashy guns that are more for show than effect, unless you count the Mossberg 715T .22 made to look sorta, kinda, like an AR15.

It is one reason I suspect that these were low level worker bees in the Sinaloa Cartel. Maybe they were independent contractors.  Another is the small amount of cash seized, only six million dollars. The Sinaloa cartel is credited with income of about three billion dollars. Six million dollars is less than one day's cash flow, if that figure is correct.

Several months work by high priced American law enforcement personnel, to grab one days cash flow from the Sinaloa cartel...

This does not look like a war we are winning.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch


LA: Gasser Sentenced to 30 years in McKnight Killing

Louisiana is one of two states that do not require a unanimous verdict in jury trials. Both Oregon and Louisiana only require 10-2 votes for conviction.

In January, a jury rejected Gasser’s claim that he had no other choice but to shoot McKnight after McKnight approached his passenger-side window following a dispute on the Crescent City Connection. The two men were seen cursing and yelling at one another as they drove erratically during the five-mile encounter that ended at Behrman Highway and Holmes Boulevard.

Witnesses testified that the dispute between the two men was a tit-for-tat affair in which Gasser at times chased McKnight and appeared to taunt him.

After deliberating for about eight hours, the jury voted 10-2 to convict Gasser of manslaughter, rejecting both his self-defense argument and the second-degree murder charge sought by the prosecution.
More Here

Followup WA: No Charges for Man who Killed Mother in Mistaken Identity Shooting

A man who believed he was shooting an intruder at his Tacoma home and instead killed his mother will not be charged, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The Prosecutor’s Office said a hysterical Jullian Anderson-Randle called 911 Sunday and reported that he had fatally shot his mother.
More Here

TN: Gunfight, Man Shoots at Car Thief who Pulled Gun

When he went to confront him, the suspect pulled a gun, which forced Johnson to pull his gun and start shooting.

He told police it was self-defense.

"He did what he thought best to do at that time," one woman told us.

Police say the suspect drove off in a white car.

Investigators found 16 shell casings when they got to the scene.
More Here

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Tasmanian Election in Australia Looks Good for Gun Law Reforms

The Tasmanian win of the Liberal party in Australia may lead to reforms in Tasmania's gun laws.

The extreme gun laws in effect in Australia were railroaded through at break-neck speed in 1996, on the heels of mass murder at Port Arthur in Tasmania. After 20 years of having little effect, except to criminalize many ordinary acts of rural Australians, regulatory reform consistent with democratic rule in a republic is taking place.

Taking the harsh edges off the law has been happening in several Australian states. Queensland has increased the term of class C and D licensees from 1 to 5 years. Class C allows for semi-automatic rimfire rifles of 10 shots or less, and semi-automatic and pump shotguns with a capacity of 5 rounds or less. Class D allows for  centerfire or rimfire semi-automatic rifles with a capacity of more than 10 rounds, or semi-automatic or pump shotguns with a capacity of more than 5 rounds.

In New South Wales, the police have been granted the discretion to charge a fine for minor breeches of the storage laws, or to simply require immediate compliance. The old law mandated criminal charges, termination of firearms license, and confiscation of the firearms involved.

Donald Eykamp may be the poster boy for the extreme harshness of the law. After being charged with relatively minor storage violations, he lost his gun license, paid over $10,000 in fines, and had $150,000 dollars of collectible super grade pre-1964 model 70 Winchester rifles and antique Colt muzzle loading revolvers confiscated. Donald had no prior criminal convictions. His firearms were at his farm, where he was living alone.

To most Americans, the laws appear insanely strict, repressive, and irrational. Many Australians think the same, and have been moving to reform the laws and make them more rational and reasonably administered.

Prior to 1996, Tasmania had the least repressive gun laws in Australia.

The Liberal  party in Tasmania is closer to American conservative philosophy than to the far left. Before the 2018 election, the party was working on commonsense reforms in response to concerns about absurdities in the state gun laws. The promised reforms were released to the public about a month before the election, on 9 February, by sending them to firearms owners.

In the months before the Tasmanian election, the leftists media in Australia was busy pushing for the ouster of the Australian Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce. Joyce was involved in a minor sexual scandal.  The media succeeded in ousting Joyce from the Deputy P.M position, but had not been demonizing the firearms reforms percolating in Tasmania.

The Liberals in Tasmania were poised to win another four years. The election would be held on 3 March. The Australian national media attempted to derail their election by proclaiming the gun reforms to be underhanded and dangerous, the day before the election. The ploy did not work, and the Liberals won a majority of the seats.

Rene Hidding, Minister for Police, Fire, and Emergency Management said the reforms were nearly identical to those proposed by the leftist Labor party. From the Liberal website:
The extraordinary hypocrisy of the Labor Party has been highlighted again today criticising our firearms policy despite Labor having a near-identical policy position.
Here is a summation of the reforms promised by the Liberals in Tasmania:

Establish the Tasmanian Firearms Owners Council
(made up of firearms owners and other stakeholders)

Improve the interaction between Firearms Services and firearms owners - and higher service levels

(includes a digital platform where every Tasmanian firearms owner can manage their license and registration requirements, and a promise to end delays and waiting times for licensing and permits)

Establishing a new Tasmanian competition shooting range

(to be available to all shooting clubs in Tasmania)

Broader firearms training and testing provisions

(ending the monopoly on training and testing that now exists. There are only 3 firearms testers for all of Tasmania, creating severe delays.)

Extend periods of licences

(doubling the term of A and B licenses to 10 years, and C licenses to two years)

Infringement notices for minor storage offenses

(this allows for an infringment notice, rather like a traffic ticket, instead of summons to court as a crime)

Finalize an MOU between the Government, Tasmania Police and the Tasmjanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA)

(Many reasonable reforms here, such as clarifying arrangements for target pistol events between jurisdictions, allowing more than one club to have members that use semi-auto shotguns for clay target shooting, reforming the definition of "manufacture" to allow for repair and assembly of firearms, allow for the practical reloading of ammunition, developing a protocol for militaria and re-enactment groups, and removing the requirement for trigger locks on inoperative antique pistols. Allow agricultural contractors to obtain the highly regulated class C licenses, and allow them to obtain suppressors for their work.)

The Shooters, Fishers, and Farmers party ran candidates in Tasmanian for the first time during this election.  The Liberal party ran on a push that only a majority government could deliver on its promises. From
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party Tasmania chairman, and election candidate, Wayne Turale said Firearms Services had been under-resourced and mismanaged for some time, delivering conflicting regulatory information to gun owners.

With only three firearms trainers in the state, Mr Turale said there were lengthy delays in allowing people to obtain licences.

Mr Turale said farmers had been charged by police for carrying unlocked weapons in their vehicles while crossing public roads which ran through their property.

Notably, he was pleased to see that prohibition of guns with a ‘‘military appearance’’ would be reviewed, saying competition shooters using custom-fitted firearms had been affected.

‘‘Firearms should be assessed on the action, not how they look,’’ Mr Turale said.

He said police officers needed better firearm training, beyond service pistol use, and there needed to be standard operations procedures implemented for future firearm inspections.
The reforms expected in Tasmania move the regulatory scheme away from one designed to punish legitimate firearms owners and shooters, and to reduce their numbers, to one where the regulations are administered fairly and competently for  legitimate activities.

It will be interesting to see if the Liberal party follows through with their promises. It is not easy to do in the face of intense opposition by the Australian national media.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

GA: Grandson Shoots man Threatening his Grandmother

"I started screaming so loud that my son who was inside at the time heard me and came out to help," the woman said.

Police said the woman's son fired shots at Delk, hitting him multiple times.

"He still managed to drive himself to a nearby fire station where he tried to play the victim," the woman said. "He told them that he was the victim of an interstate shooting."

More Here

FL: Armed Guard Shoots, Kills, two of Three Armed Robbery Suspects

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Two of three armed robbers who stormed into a Southside internet cafe late Sunday night were shot and killed by a security guard while a third robber and a getaway driver got away, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
More Here

IN: Neighbor Shoots Loose, Aggressive Pit Bull

Wynne Berry Sr., a chaplain with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, said his neighbor's dog has been approaching him aggressively and recently chased him into his garage at his house near Mitthoeffer Road and 46th Street.

"I carry my weapon outside to my mailbox now because of this dog," Berry said. "What if it had been my wife? My wife doesn't run like I do. She doesn't carry a weapon."
More Here

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Tasmania Liberal Party Considers Reform of Extreme Gun Restrictions, Media Attacks

The Liberal Party in the Australian state of Tasmania is planning to reform some of the state's extreme firearms laws. The modest reforms include doubling the term of Class A and B licenses terms from five to ten years and increasing the license term for class C firearms from one to two years. Class A licenses are roughly airguns, .22 rimfire, and break-open shotguns. Class B licenses are most single shot, double, and manually operated center-fire rifles. Class C license holders, can have semi-automatic rifles that hold no more than 10 rounds, and pump action shotguns. The reforms would allow Class C licenses to have silencers or suppressors.  From
The Liberals have promised changes to gun laws if elected which would allow greater to access to Category C firearms — such as self-loading rifles, pump-action shotguns — for farm workers and sporting shooters.

Licence holders in category C would also be allowed gun silencers.

The proposed changes would also:
Extend gun licence duration for Category A and B firearms from five years to 10 years; or in the case of Category C, from one year to two years
Relax penalties for minor gun storage law breaches

The proposal was sent to a firearms consultation group, including farmers and sporting shooters, about three weeks ago, but was not released publicly.

The Liberals' Rene Hidding wrote to firearms owners telling them the party also planned to establish a Tasmanian Firearms Owners Council.

The party released the changes several hours after media coverage, saying the policy was aimed at "helping agricultural producers, particularly farmers to protect crops".
The reaction in the Australian national media has been spectacular. Last night the media paraded survivors from the Port Arthur massacre that happened 20+ years ago, across the screen numerous times.

The Australian anti-gun group was given time on the screen. I recall seeing one person from an Australian shooting association, and perhaps one spokesman from a farmers group. The bias in favor of the anti-gun view was as large as we see in the United States.  I recall one argument that no Australian state could be allowed to reform its gun laws, because the laws gave the rest of the world "hope".  I estimate the anti-gun time compared to time given to those for reforming the law was easily 10 to 1.

The reforms in question are so mild and commonsense it is hard to argue with them. Queensland reformed the term of their class C license from 1 to 3 years  already, with no problems. New Zealand sells suppressors or silencers over the counter to anyone with cash, and has no problems.

The relaxation of penalties fro minor gun storage breaches is a direct response to the extreme harshness of the penalties.  In New South Wales, the police demand to destroy hundreds of thousands of dollars of valuable collector guns "because the law requires it". One collector lost over a hundred thousand dollars of super-grade pre-64 Winchester model 70s, topped with expensive European scopes. A Supreme Court judge said that the penalties were harsh, and were meant to be harsh.

This is a local election in Tasmania. It is not national. For some perspective, Tasmania is an island separated from the continent of Australia by the Bass Strait, about 150 miles of ocean. It is about the size of West Virginia, with 518,000 residents. Before the 1996 law, Tasmania had the most moderate of firearms laws in all Australia. It has felt the harsh penalties more than any other Australian state.

The Labor party (who championed the harsh firearms laws) were in power in Tasmania for 16 years before the Liberals. The Liberal party is closer to American conservatives in policies. The Liberal party in Tasmania has been in the Majority for the last four years, and is the odds on favorite to maintain power. The Shooters, Fishers, and Farmers party has a presence in Tasmania. The Liberal party appears to be appealing to those voters.

Australia has fairly complicated voting system, with multiple parties. Voting is mandatory, with a fine of about $20 for not voting.

We should start getting election results tomorrow, the 4th of March, in Australia.

Update: The Liberal party has won the election, but the results are not final, yet.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

WV: Second Amendment Protection in Parking Lots Goes to Governor

On 9 March, 2018, HB 4187 passed the West Virginia senate, 32-1, with 1 senator absent. The bill insures that busnesses may not ban privately owned firearms from vehicles in company parking lots. Summary From HB 4187:
The purpose of this bill is to create the “Business Liability Protection Act”. The bill includes the right to limit possession of firearms on certain premises and definitions. It also provides for misdemeanor criminal offense and penalty. It prohibits employers from certain specific actions against a person when that person possesses a firearm legally, including a condition of employment. The bill provides a duty of care of public and private employers and provides for immunity from liability. The bill authorizes the Attorney General to enforce this statute, including the right to sue or seek injunctive relief; and seek civil fines.
The bill had two amendments added in the senate. From
In the Senate, legislation that would stop private businesses and associations from prohibiting guns in vehicles parked on their property advanced to passage stage on Friday, after the Senate adopted two amendments Thursday (HB 4187).

One change requires that firearms in vehicles be hidden out of view of passers-by. The second clarifies that the right to have firearms in vehicles does not apply to vehicles owned or leased to a private business or association.

The amendments were adopted on a voice vote, without debate.
The only Senator to vote Nay was Corey Palumbo, (D- Kanawa, 17). Palumbo only has a 43% rating from the NRA. He voted against Constitutional Carry (HB 4145 in 2016). From vote on HB 4187, 32 Yea, 1 Nay, 1 Absent.

22 states now have similar bills that protect the right to bear arms inside of privately owned transportation. The point is clear. Most people move plaes in their privately owned vehicles. If they are banned from having arms in those vehicles, their exercise of Second Amendment rights is effectively chilled.

The bill is popular. There was little time to get it through the House, which had to concur with the Senate, because of the amendments. But the House concurred with the Senate on March 10th, the last day of the session. HB 4187 is now engrossed, and will be sent to Governor Jim Justice for signature. While HB 4187 passed with veto proof margins, the legislature is scheduled to adjourn.  Only a simple majority is sufficient to override a veto, but the legislature will not be in session to do so.

Governor Justice has an A rating from the NRA. It is likely he will sign the bill.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

CA: Homeowner Shoots Car Burglary Suspect During Confrontation

"He looked out his window and saw an individual standing by truck," said Lt. Miller. "Concerned it was bring broken into, he went to his bedroom, retrieved a firearm and went outside to confront whoever was outside by the truck."

On his way out, the homeowner told investigators he heard glass breaking.

"He confronted the suspect, a confrontation between the two of them ensued - we're not sure what that was," said Miller. "The homeowner fired at least three shots from handgun, at least one hit the suspect."
More Here

FL: Armed Resident Shoot 1 of 2 Home Invasion Suspects

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - One young robber was shot and a second got away after an apparent home invasion late Monday morning at a Westside home, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Police said that two people, at least one of them armed with a gun, knocked at the door of a home on Thumper Street, off Jammes Road, about 11:30 a.m. When the resident opened, the door, they pushed their way inside. The resident was able to retrieve his gun and fired at least one shot.
More Here

NC: Armed Victim Shoots two Armed Robbery Suspects

Police say two men who attempted an armed robbery have been shot by their targeted victim in a North Carolina hotel's parking lot.

The Fayetteville Observer reports 24-year-old Malike Akeem Newsam and 29-year-old Antwan Kavan Lawrence were hospitalized after Fayetteville police found them with gunshot wounds early Thursday.
More Here

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Open and Concealed Carry are Protected by the Second Amendment

The natural right to bear arms includes the right to carry them concealed as well as openly.   Both types of carry were practiced at the time of the ratification of the Bill of Rights. Flintlock "muff pistols" were widely available before 1791. Daggers, dirks and other assorted blades were commonly carried concealed. Sword canes conceal the blade inside of the cane, and are considered concealed weapons. They were commonly available.  They became popular, in part, to avoid any social reproach against the carry of swords, anticipating the condemnation of open carry today.

The Second Amendment does not differentiate between concealed and openly carried arms.  Such differentiation was not discussed during the debates about the Second Amendment.  It was decades after the Bill of Rights was ratified that concealed carry was questioned. Arms technology had not changed significantly.

Concealed weapons had and have military purposes. General Gage, the British Officer in charge of occupied Boston, had his officers conceal their sidearms when patrolling to prevent Paul Revere's ride. From William Diamond's Drum page 94:
And finally, unbeknown to him. Gage had that afternoon posted mounted officers, with their sidearms concealed as though they were on pleasure jaunts, along the Cambridge roads, just in case messengers should try to give out alarms that night.
There were no colonial statutes that separated the carrying of concealed weapons from the open carrying of weapons.

The Kentucky legislature passed a statute forbidding concealed arms in 1813. It was challenged in court.

The statute was found unconstitutional in Bliss v. Commonwealth of Kentucky, in the state Supreme Court. It was 1822, three decades after the Second Amendment was ratified.  Any restriction on bearing arms was contrary to "the right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state", and was therefore void.

The court reasoned that any diminution of the right that existed when the Constitutional protection was adopted, was an infringement of the right, and was therefore unconstitutional. The logic is impeccable.

In 1833, the Supreme Court ruled that the Bill of Rights, including the Second Amendment, did not apply to the states

In 1833, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that concealed carry could be banned for people who were not travelers.

Five other state courts, with different state constitutions,  (Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, and Louisiana), ruled their legislatures could ban concealed carry  from 1833 to 1850, to varying degrees.

In Kentucky, a Constitutional amendment was deemed necessary. The constitutional amendment to allow the legislature to regulate the concealed carry of weapons passed in 1849, as part of a constitutional convention. In 1850, the wording in bold was added:
  “That the rights of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned; but the General Assembly may pass laws to prevent persons from carrying concealed arms.”
All but Indiana were slave states.  Prohibiting the carry of concealed weapons is particularly important to keeping suspect minorities disarmed.  If the weapons are concealed, it is much harder to enforce legal or extralegal disarmament techniques, such as selective enforcement under color of law.

In 1859,  The Texas Supreme Court, in Cockrum v. state, held that "The right of a citizen to bear arms, in defense of himself or the State, is absolute."  The court cited both the Second Amendment and the then current Texas Constitution. The case held that if inexpensive weapons were prohibited, the right of self defense would be chilled for poor people.

In 1868 the Fourteenth Amendment was passed to assure, in part, that the Second Amendment would be enforced to insure that freed slaves could keep and bear arms. The former slave states found ways to evade the requirement. In 1873, the Fourteenth Amendment's enforcement of the Bill of Rights against state encroachment was nullified by the Supreme Court.

In 1903, the Vermont Supreme Court, in State v. Rosenthal, found that an ordinance requiring a permit to carry a concealed pistol "..repugnant to the Constitution and laws of the state,".

Federal laws have never been passed against the carry of concealed weapons.

In 2008 the Heller decision made clear what it meant to bear arms. Scalia quoted Justice Ginsburg's writing in a previous case.  From
Justice Ginsburg wrote that “[s]urely a most familiar meaning is, as the Constitution’s Second Amendment … indicate[s]: ‘wear, bear, or carry … upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose … of being armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person.’ ”
" the clothing or in a pocket" is carrying concealed.

Justice Scalia concluded that laws banning the concealed carry of arms were constitutional, solely because such laws were long standing in a number of states. Such laws were not upheld before the 1830's, 40 years after the Bill of Rights was ratified.

Laws against the concealed carry of weapons are vestiges of laws designed to keep slaves and free blacks disarmed.

In 2010, the Supreme Court held the Second Amendment is incorporated against the States by the Fourteenth Amendment, finally doing what the Court should have done in 1873.
Adam Winkler, an Constitutional scholar at UCLA, has written that allowing only open carry may be the best way to discourage bearing arms in general.  He made the case this might be the most effective way for the California legislature to chill the exercise of the Second Amendment.

Vermont has never required a permit for open or concealed carry. Twelve states have reformed their laws to allow the carrying of weapons, concealed or openly, without permission from the government, since 2003. They call it Constitutional Carry.

Both open carry and concealed carry are protected by the Second Amendment. Restricting the bearing of arms to either open carry or  concealed carry is a clear infringement of that right to bear arms.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Follouwup LA: Woman who Shot Neighbor found Not Guilty, Self Defense

A jury in St. John the Baptist Parish deliberated for 15 minutes before finding Tyranika Williams 27, not guilty on charges of aggravated battery in the shooting of Dwayne Cook on Oct. 8.

On the night of the shooting, Cooks - who survived the shooting - testified that his neighbor, Williams, came out of her house about 11 p.m. and shot him in the chest after he approached her and asked her for a ride to get cigarettes, according to a statement from Williams' attorney, Michael Smith.

Williams, then 24, told police that she had been walking out to her car to get her calculator to do her homework and was carrying a 9mm handgun because she was afraid of going out at night by herself. While she was looking in her trunk, Williams said she felt someone grab her on her side and say, “I been looking for you.”
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AR: Domestic Defense, Father Protects Children from Brother

According to the police report, Sheila said her husband shot two rounds in the air to get Washington to leave and he replied that he was going to come back and shoot up the home.

Washington left and returned a short time later with an unknown suspect and shots were fired. A neighbor told police he witnessed Travis possibly shooting back from the porch.

As the shooting was happening, three children, ages 11, 7, and 3, were inside the house, according to witness statements.

Police say they found spent shotgun shells in the street and casings for handgun ammunition on the ground. Authorities also found spent shell casings on the ground of the driveway and porch, which backed up the witness' statement.
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CA: Armed Homeowner Shoots Parolee, Under Investigation

As Hand blocked the doorway, Macleod picked up a .22 rifle which he told authorities he believed was unloaded. Macleod said he grabbed the rifle to persuade Hand to leave.

Hand left the doorway and went into Macleod's yard. Macleod followed Hand into the yard and while the argument continued, the rifle accidentally discharged, according to Macleod.

The bullet struck hand in the neck. Hand walked to another neighbor's house where a man gave him a ride the hospital.
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Monday, March 12, 2018

AR-15 Used to Defend Against Charging Polar Bear (2008)

 Zeb Cadzow and Paul Herbert are experienced hunters who live north of the Arctic Circle in Fort Yukon, Alaska. 

In late March of 2008, residents of Fort Yukon, Alaska become concerned because a bear was not exhibiting any fear of humans near their town. Peter John originally saw the bear eating lynx carcasses near a cabin on the edge of town.

People did not believe the white bear was a polar bear. Polar bears had never been seen in the area. They thought it was an albino grizzly or a grizzly bear covered with frost. 

The hunters, who depend for their lives on their rifles, did not carry .375 magnums or .30-06 model Winchester Model 70s. They carried AR-15s, or clones. 

Many hunters who depend on rifles for survival in the far north carry high-velocity, small caliber rifles. They can carry much more ammunition, they are easy to shoot, and are flat shooting. They offer excellent accuracy. The magazine capacity is a plus. 

The two experienced hunters, on tracking a large bear that showed no fear of people, choose the AR-15 in .223. From

“There’s usually grizzly around this time of year,” he said. “You want to get rid of it because it’s hungry.” 
The men tracked the bear three miles out of town to the Porcupine River, where it moved onto a river island. 
At that point, most of the hunters returned to Fort Yukon for a sled dog race, leaving Cadzow, 30, and Paul Herbert, 60, to continue the hunt.
“We assumed we were chasing a grizzly bear,” Herbert said.
Cadzow concurred, thinking the white description meant it was an albino bear or a grizzly covered in frost. 
While Herbert waited at one end of the island, Cadzow, on foot, went into the brush tracking the bear. 
Suddenly, the bear came out from under a brush pile about 10 yards away. It charged straight at Cadzow, who was carrying an AR-15, a rifle similar to the U.S. Army’s M-16.

National Geographic Wild included the incident in a 2015 video. Not surprisingly, they mis-characterized the rifle.  They said the rifle was an M-16. Then they dubbed in a shot of automatic rifle fire to make it seem the bear was stopped with a burst from the rifle.  The incident is recounted at about 19:00 to 21:30 in the video.

The .223 is more capable than many realize. One .223 round has more energy than most .44 magnum rounds.  From
According to a story in the Fairbanks News-Miner, the polar bear charged straight at Cadzow who didn't have time to lift and sight his rifle.

"I shot from the hip, seven or eight times," he said. "If I had gotten it to my shoulder, it (bear) would have been on top of me. It happened so quick, by the time it was down, it was about 10 feet from my feet," according to the News-Miner.
The bear was in good condition. It was not starving.

When facing dangerous opponents, be they men or bears, there is much to be said for rapid, controllable fire at close range. The AR-15 offers those characteristics and 30 round magazines.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

TX: Armed Good Samaritan Holds Arson Suspect for Police

Meanwhile, the suspect was attempting to set the salon on fire, police said.
A Good Samaritan with a concealed handgun license heard the disturbance inside the salon and intervened, holding the suspect at gunpoint until police arrived and took him into custody.

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IN: Gunfight, Employee Shoots Unhappy Customer

A man who walked into a suburban Indianapolis tax preparation shop with a gun in each hand was fatally shot by a company employee, police said.

Antonio Bertram, 25, of Indianapolis, said “What’s up?” before he was shot midday Tuesday at the Colbert/Ball Tax Service office in Lawrence, police said. The Indianapolis Star reported he fired a shot or two as he staggered into the parking lot and collapsed in his car

Bertram died of a gunshot to the chest, Lawrence police Deputy Chief Gary Woodruff said.
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Followup VA: Armed Off Duty Officer who Shot Teen Robber was Justified

After reviewing both cases, the Chesterfield Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office has ruled the Nov. 27 fatal shooting of Jacob L. Baumgart, 15, and the Oct. 11 wounding of Allen E. Piner, 25, to be justifiable shootings, said Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Ken Nickels.

Richmond officer Robert Misegades, while off duty, fatally shot Baumgart after the teen produced a pistol and tried to rob a man who was selling an Xbox video game system, authorities said. Misegades was also shot during an exchange of gunfire with the teen. He was treated at a hospital and released.

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Sunday, March 11, 2018

NRA Meetings Reduce Injuries with Guns: An Obvious Reason

A study written about in Scientific American found that during NRA conventions, injuries with guns drop.

I read the headline and thought, that makes perfect sense. With the NRA making national headlines, more people are thinking about the safe handling of firearms, people have become sensitized about guns and accidents, even briefly, and they are making less mistakes.

In addition, people who are considering crimes become sensitized to the danger of armed victims, and likely postpone or change their criminal behavior, if only momentarily.  Most gun injuries are intentional and related to criminal behavior. According to the study, 20% of all injuries involving guns are accidental.

The effect should be concentrated in areas where the meeting is held, because those areas receive the most publicity. In terms of crime, criminals would know there were likely to be more armed victims in town during an NRA annual meeting.

There are good reasons to believe highly publicized events change public behavior, at least for short periods.

The authors of the study used peculiar, strained, reasoning.  They made several assumptions.

First - If NRA members were in the NRA meeting, they were not handling guns. But NRA allows members to carry defensive firearms at the annual meetings.

Second - if the NRA members have very low rates of gun accidents, there would be no change in the number of gun injuries. NRA members who attend the annual meeting are only .1% of gun owners.

The authors speculated that less people would be going target shooting or hunting on days of the NRA meeting. From
If guns were perfectly safe in the hands of trained NRA members, Jena and Olenski reasoned, they should have found no differences between gun injury rates on convention days versus other days. Yet injury rates were, on average, 20 percent lower on meeting days. “We believe this is due to brief reductions in gun use during the dates of these meetings,” Jena says. “The main implication is that guns carry inherent risk even among individuals who we might consider to be skilled and experienced in the use of firearms.” Importantly, they did not find any corresponding drop in firearm crime rates on convention days, which suggests NRA meeting attendees are not responsible for a large proportion of U.S. gun crimes—just gun injuries, many of which may be accidental. In 2015 the U.S. logged nearly 85,000 firearm injuries, of which 17,000 were unintentional.

NRA members, who attend the NRA meeting, even a record levels of 80,000, are about .1% of gun owners.  Thus if attending the meeting reduced firearms use, it would be only a trivial amount of firearms owners. The 20% drop in injury rates point to a much larger phenomena, which would be consistent with a sensitization of the population to the importance of gun safety from the media attention given to the NRA annual meeting.

The authors postulate that a lowering of gun usage brought about the reduction in gun injuries. It is more likely the sensitization of people to gun safety brought about better gun handling and lower levels of crime because of the perceptions of possible armed victims.

I have heard anecdotal accounts of crime dropping in the cities where NRA annual meetings are held. A study of crime in NRA cities during their annual meeting would be interesting.  The authors noted an insignificant decrease in firearms crime nationally. The numbers might have been significant locally.

Because the authors used the pool of insured people for their study, it is unclear if the sample is representative of the national population.

The authors did not indicate how much of the reduction of injuries was from unintentional injuries or from intentional injuries, such as those from crime.

Everything in life has risk attached to it. Getting out of bed is risky. Staying in bed is risky.  Eating is risky. Not eating is risky. Exercising is risky. Not exercising is risky. The only time risk has ended, is when you are dead.

Everything that has utility carries a risk. If you separate out only the risk, and ignore the utility, nothing is safe. If you only look at injuries and deaths that occur in hospitals, we would outlaw hospitals.

This is the common flaw in medical studies that consider guns. They look only at risk, and not at utility.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

CA: More on 73-Year-Old Shooting of 22-Year-Old in Self Defense

Dyer said at some point, the 22-year-old picked up a large stick or wooden object and struck 73-year-old -- which may have resulted in his leg or ankle being broken.

That's when the 73-year-old pulled out a fire arm and shot the 22-year-old three times in the hip and wrist.

Both men were taken for medical treatment.

The 73-year-old has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, Dyer said, and although the investigation is ongoing, the preliminary information points to the shooting being in self defense.
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IL: Chicago Armed Off Duty Officer Shoots at, Disarms Carjacking Suspect

The armed man tried to steal the officer’s vehicle at 10:17 a.m. in the 7500 block of South Champlain, according to Chicago Police. The officer fired a shot at the suspect during a struggle, but did not hit the man.

The officer disarmed the man, who then ran away eastbound through an alley, police said. Investigators recovered the gun, but no one was in custody for the incident Thursday afternoon.
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FL: Armed Vicim Accesses Gun, Shoots 2 of 4 Home Invaders, 1 dead, 1 wounded

Pringle and two other women, Keosha Lewis, 20, and Selena Murray, 18, along with Jeremiah Davis, 21, broke into a home on Mandina Avenue around 11 a.m. and found two people inside. They tied up a woman, beat a man and proceeded to rob the home.

Davis threatened the victims with a gun, police said. At one point, the male victim was able to get his gun and began firing, striking Pringle and Davis. Uninjured, Lewis and Murray ran from the scene. For a time, the robbery caused local schools and the hospital to be put on lockdown.
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Saturday, March 10, 2018

Florida Mass Murder done with 10 rd Magazines

It seems the mass murderer in Florida did not use magazines of a capacity over 10 rounds. This presents a minor difficulty for those who want to ban magazines over 10 rounds.

The “weapon and bullets were not high quality and were breaking apart,” one of the legislators, state Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, told the Herald.

Cruz went in with only 10-round magazines because larger clips would not fit in his duffel bag, Book said.
Given the general ignorance of reporters on firearms technology, and of  Democrats in general, I would not rely on this information until we have collaboration.  Democrat Representative Lauren Book seems to have experience with child abuse and anorexia (she has written two books).

The only expertise she has exhibited about firearms is that she sponsored a bill to punish parents if a minor obtained a firearm that was not locked up. The bill would have applied the same rules to BB guns or air guns.

We should know soon if only 10 round magazines were used.  The use of 10 round magazines undercuts the drive to outlaw magazines of higher capacity.

Debaters are always able to manufacture hypothetical situations that support their position. Marco Rubio is supposed to have said that the use of 10 round magazines supported the need to ban magazines that hold more rounds.

The reason? Because the mass murder would have been even worse with magazines with greater capacity!  From
Rubio visited Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school and a few days later met with its teachers. He said he was told that several people were able to escape because 19-year-old suspect Nikolas Cruz stopped and reloaded the rifle he used during the Feb. 14 attack.

The Florida Republican, who was challenged by survivors and family members during a contentious meeting broadcast on CNN on Wednesday, said this is “evidence in this case that it saved the lives of some people.”
We have one of the highest casualty mass murder school shootings in our history, supposedly with 10 round magazines. That is taken to be evidence to ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. No matter how bad an event is, a hypothetical can always be made to say it could have been worse.

This is a typical debate tactic for infringements on the Second Amendment. The laws proposed seldom have much to do with the crime being used to push an emotional argument. It is an opportunity to pass legislation that would never pass with calm reflection.

Those who want the public disarmed control most of the national media. If a murderer uses  magazines of more than 10 rounds, the push is to ban magazines of more than 10 rounds. If the murderer uses magazines of 10 rounds or less, the push is to ban magazines of more than 10 rounds.

This is Goldilocks gun control. Guns are always too big (.50 cal) too small (concealable) too powerful, not powerful enough, too effective, not effective enough... guns are never "just right".

Recall the State of New York attempted to ban all magazines that held more than seven rounds, in their infamous "SAFE act".

People who want the public disarmed have one position. It is guns are bad, and you should not have them.  If you think that is incorrect, ask them what their limit on restrictions would be. 

Rifles are used in a tiny amount of murders in the United States. The number of murders with rifles have had an upward blip the last couple of years as the national media has made mass murderers who use semi-automatic rifles into instant celebrities.

Expect little change in the calls for a ban on magazines with a capacity over 10 rounds. Facts do not matter to those pushing for a disarmed population. Facts tend to be impediments to emotional arguments.

Nearly all infringements on the Second Amendment have passed legislatures with little regard for facts.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

TX: Armed Husband Holds Home Invader for Police

"I sat up and said, 'what the hell is going on,' and he goes, 'hey man . . . my wife is under the house and Chuck Norris is waiting for me and I'm having a hard time'," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez, a former sheriff's deputy, said that's when his law enforcement training kicked in. "I'm just slowly reaching for my weapon and he's talking and all of the sudden I grabbed my gun and trained it on him. I said 'drop the damn weapon,'" Rodriguez said.

The homeowner said with his gun in one hand, he used the other to dial 9-1-1 and warned Prieto if he made one wrong move he would shoot. "I had every right to kill him. I was ready and I swear I would have. Had he come at me I was ready. I had my gun fully loaded with 15 in the clip and one in the chamber, so it was ready to go," Rodriguez said.
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GA: Man Wounded Self in Gunfight with Robbers

A Macon man accidentally shot himself Wednesday while trying to fight off two would-be robbers.

A news release from the Bibb Sheriff’s Office says the shooting happened in the 1100-block of Sunnydale Drive.

It was reported to deputies that 32-year-old Derrick Collins was sweeping the back porch of his home when two men came up to him and demanded money.
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Followup OH: Grand Jury: No Charges for Neighbor who Shot Dog

ELYRIA — A Lorain County grand jury decided an Elyria man who shot and killed a neighbor’s dog in January should not face felony charges.

Lorain County prosecutors presented the case against Timothy Kilgore, 28, to a county grand jury to consider — a fifth-degree felony charge of cruelty to animals was up for consideration as well as discharging a firearm in the city limits — and the grand jury returned a no bill, meaning no charges are forthcoming.

Kilgore’s attorney, Kenneth Lieux, said additional evidence — in the form of photographs, witness testimony and the veterinarian records for Kilgore’s two dogs — was presented to the prosecutor’s office and grand jury.
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LA: Armed Resident Shoots, Wounds Home Invader

Tuesday around 5 a.m. authorities say a 34-year-old man kicked in the door and forced his way into an apartment that was occupied by three people.

One of the residents armed himself with a handgun and shot the suspect multiple times. According to a release, the suspect attempted to flee the scene on foot but collapsed outside the apartment.
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Friday, March 09, 2018

West Virginia Moves to Extend Second Amendment Rights to Parking Lots

In the trend to restore Second Amendment rights across the United States, 22 states have created statutes to protect the right to have arms inside personal means of transportation.  On 27 February, a bill in West Virginia passed the House by an overwhelming majority of 85-14. Here is the Summary From HB 4187:
The purpose of this bill is to create the “Business Liability Protection Act”. The bill includes the right to limit possession of firearms on certain premises and definitions. It also provides for misdemeanor criminal offense and penalty. It prohibits employers from certain specific actions against a person when that person possesses a firearm legally, including a condition of employment. The bill provides a duty of care of public and private employers and provides for immunity from liability. The bill authorizes the Attorney General to enforce this statute, including the right to sue or seek injunctive relief; and seek civil fines.
The purpose of this legislation is to find a trade off between the property rights of employers and the Second Amendment rights of employees. There are numerous restrictions on the property rights of employers already in place. The minor restrictions on employer rights seem small compared to the major restoration of Second Amendment rights. From
"We have many people in this state who decide to carry because they want to protect themselves, and many times that involves carrying to work," said Delegate Geoff Foster, a Winfield Republican and lead sponsor. "Many of the people in this state have been prevented from carrying to work, essentially being disarmed throughout the course of the day, because they can't have the gun locked in their vehicle."

Critics said it would make workplaces more dangerous and West Virginia less attractive to companies that want to control their premises.

"We will be less competitive if we don't allow those people to provide for a safe workplace and protect the public around them," said Delegate John Shott, a Bluefield Republican. He said 22 other states have some version of this law, but with some limits on where it applies, such as at chemical factories and oil and gas refineries in Texas.
Courts have found that state legislators have the power to make these tradeoffs. Others have said that the tradeoff is between the rights of the car owner to control what is in their car, and the right of the parking lot owner to control who parks in the lot.

This bill is popular. The West Virginia Senate has 22 Republicans and 12 Democrats. However, the West Virginia legislature has a short session by design. It is expected to adjourn on March 10th. That is little time to pass a bill in the West Virginia Senate and send it to the Governor.

It could happen, and Governor Jim Justice could sign it. Some legislatures are shying away from any bills that involve firearms law reform during the current media onslaught against gun ownership. Maybe the West Virginia Senate is made of stronger stuff. The House passed the bill by a large margin.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

NC: Retired Officer, Veteran, Disarms Robbery Suspect

"My first thought was to take the gun away from him," Hughes said.

Training from 24 years spent in law enforcement and eight years in the Army kicked in. Hughes wrestled the robber for the gun and even thought he may have to shoot the suspect with his own gun.

"Years in law enforcement kicked in and I was afraid if I had given him my money, he would've shot me anyway," Hughes said.

Once Hughes had the gun, the suspect ran off.
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PA: Man Fires "Warning Shot" to Hold Burglary Suspect for Police

Another man at the scene said the injured man had stolen a $300 nail gun from him following a monetary dispute. He told police he and his associates went to confront the alleged burglar, who lives in a makeshift shelter on Barbadoes Island, and one of them fired a warning shot into the ground when he approached them with a knife.
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LA: Armed Victim Shoots, Kills 1 of 3 Robbery Suspects

UPDATE: One person has died in the hospital and another two others have been arrested after a shooting in an East Baton Rouge neighborhood Monday.

Authorities believe the shooting stemmed from an attempted robbery. EBRSO says witnesses told them 31-year-old Michael Duchamp and two others had planned to rob his neighbor Monday afternoon. When the three confronted the intended victim, Duchamp struck the homeowner. The homeowner then shot Duchamp, prompting the other two to flee.

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NH: Tragic,Rare Mistaken Idendity, Man Faces Charges for Mistakenly Shooting Girlfriend

When Wilson interviewed Brow, the detective wrote, Brow said he and Teves had fallen asleep together around 10 p.m. Later that night, he said, he awoke when he heard footsteps, according to Wilson.

“Brow stated that he immediately grabbed his firearm, which he keeps by the side of the bed,” Wilson wrote, “and as he turned and looked in the hallway all he could see was a black silhouette.”

Brow said he yelled “Hey!” as he fired two shots from his handgun, according to the affidavit. He said he called 911 once he realized it was Teves.

Teves later told police that she went to the bathroom, got to the top of the stairs, heard Brow yell “Hey” and was shot twice, Wilson wrote.
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Thursday, March 08, 2018

NY: Off Duty Officer Shoots, Kills 1 of 2 Robbery Suspects

It happened around 10:35 p.m. at a gas station at 914 Remsen Ave.

Police said the off-duty officer was siting in his car getting gas pumped into his vehicle by the station attendant when two armed men approached.

One of the armed men entered the station attendant's booth and demanded money from a worker while the second man remained outside and told the off-duty officer and the gas station attendant not to move.

A loaded .44-caliber revolver was recovered at the scene.

"As the two suspects exited the gas station, the off-duty officer identified himself as a police officer and gave them verbal commands to stop. The two suspects turned around towards the officer with the guns in their hands," NYPD Chief of Patrol Rodney Harrison said.

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Parent Arrested for Handing Cardboard with the word "Gun" printed on it to Teacher, Staff


The Village of Shorewood Hills is an upscale bedroom community on the shore of lake Mendota, surrounded by Madison, Wisconsin, Lake Mendota, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. On 23 February, 2018, Jonathan M. Fitzgerald showed some parental concern.

Jonathan, who is a 35 year old graduate student in a Ph.D program of molecular and cellular pharmacology, was buzzed into the school and calmly walked to his child's classroom. There he handed a piece of cardboard with the word "Gun" written on it to the teacher. From
Shorewood Hills Police Chief Aaron Chapin said Jonathan M. Fitzgerald, 35, activated a front door buzzer at the school, 1105 Shorewood Blvd., around 10 a.m., requesting access to the building. When he was allowed in, he walked past the school office where visitors are required to check in, Chapin said.

A staff member followed Fitzgerald as he went down the hall to the classroom his child was in, Chapin said.

“Fitzgerald made statements to the teacher in the room about being an intruder who was allowed access to the school and gave the teacher a piece of cardboard with the word ‘gun’ on it,” Chapin said.

Chapin said Fitzgerald left the classroom and went to the administrative office where he made similar statements and handed staff another piece of cardboard with “gun” written on it, then left the school building.
The article at says the police understand that there was no threat to the school or public safety. The police arrested Fitzgerald on the "tentative charge of disorderly conduct".

Jonathan has been banned from the school district grounds.

It is obvious to most readers that Jonathan was demonstrating how easily an intruder could enter the school with a gun and access the children in a classroom. It was done in perhaps the least intrusive way possible to make a physical demonstration. Fitzgerald is cooperating with the police.

The authorities in the school district did not appreciate his demonstration showing the weakness of their security.

I hope the University of Wisconsin does not kick Mr. Fitzgerald out of the Ph.D program for showing such parental concern. The University is "gathering more information".

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

VA: Analysis of "Gun Control" lack of Argument by Delegate Freitas

So, over the last several days, Mr. Speaker, there’s been a lot of discussion about an open and honest debate with respect to school shootings, gun violence, gun control, etc...

and an open and honest debate as I understand it, is one that would rely on data, facts, evidence, analysis, reason, logic, etcetera, etcetera...

and I’m certainly willing to have that debate, I think if we were going to look seriously at school shootings and gun control, we would analyze things like: Why do all mass shootings seem to take place in gun free zones?

Wouldn’t it be reasonable to test whether or not the efficacy of gun-free zones have actually achieved what they’re intended intent is?

We would start to look at...most of the shooters come from broken homes. What sort of government policies have actually encouraged broken homes?

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VA: Arme Homeowner Shoots Woman Attempting to Break-in

Deputies responded to the home about 9:50 p.m. after the homeowner called 911 to report the shooting.

“The owner of the residence reported that one or two subjects were trying to break into his residence through his bedroom window,” the release states. “The suspect broke out the bedroom window and reached inside of the window. The homeowner reported that he fired one round from his 12-gauge shotgun through the window when he saw the suspect’s hands come through the window.”

When deputies arrived at the scene, they found the woman’s body outside of the residence by the bedroom window.
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CA: Armed Store Employee Shoots, Kills, Intruder

The employee, armed with a handgun, encountered the man in the back parking lot. The employee later told police the man became aggressive — the man approached him, trying to force him back into the business.

That’s when the employee fired his handgun, striking the man and killing him, police said. McNeil did not say how many shots were fired, but multiple news reports indicated he fired several shots.

McNeil did not say whether there were any words exchanged between the men. He said the security camera footage of the shooting backed up the employee’s version of events. He also said there were no weapons found on the dead man.
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WV: Armed Homeowner Shoots Burglary Suspect

BUNKER HILL, W.Va. — A Bunker Hill homeowner shot a burglary suspect in the leg Sunday morning after the alleged intruder failed to heed a warning shot, Berkeley County (W.Va.) Sheriff Curtis Keller said.

Nico Eugene Mason, 25, of Bluebird Drive in Stephens City, Va., was taken to Berkeley Medical Center, where he was treated and released Sunday into the custody of the sheriff's department, Keller said.
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Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Fl: County Restores Second Amendment Rights to Employees

Commissioner Josh Blake
The Lake County Commission in Florida unanimously voted to restore some Second Amendment rights to county employees. The vote took place on Tuesday, 27 February, 2018. Commissioner Josh Blake said the commission had been working on the measure for months. From
TAVARES — The Lake County Commission voted unanimously on Tuesday to allow county employees with concealed weapon permits to carry their guns while on the job.

Commissioner Josh Blake asked fellow commissioners to consider doing away with the county’s employee policy that prohibits the possession of weapons while on the job. Commissioner Wendy Breeden was hesitant but joined fellow commissioners in the unanimous decision to change the policy.

“I personally believe that the natural right to defend your life does not disappear into thin air when you leave your house in the morning when you go to work. I think that is something we have control over, which we do. It’s our employee handbook. I do think it’s a reasonable thing to allow employees to utilize that right and have the right to self-defense while they are on the job,” Blake said.

The change takes effect immediately and applies to those who have permits. It is illegal to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.
 The change removes the prohibition imposed on County employees by the county. County employees will now be able to carry in the same places the general public can. Commissioner Blake said that other Florida counties do not have a policy on their employees carrying defensive weapons. In the United States, anything that is not illegal, is allowed. This is the opposite of the totalitarian model, where everything that is not allowed is forbidden.

Lake County is following a growing trend around the United States. As the Progressive Project grew from the 1900's on, more and more government units started forbidding their employees from exercising their Second Amendment rights while at work, using work rules as the vehicle of enforcement.

As Second Amendment rights are being restored across the country, first with shall issue concealed carry permits, then with the enactment of Constitutional Carry laws, local governments have started to remove these repressive work rules.

Counties in Arkansas, Georgia, Virginia, Kansas, New Mexico, North Carolina, Michigan and Texas have lifted similar restrictions in the last four years.

Thirteen states now have laws where most residents do not require a permit to carry weapons, openly or concealed.

The trend shows that we are ready to move back to a nation of laws and limited government, and in the United States, the government is the servant of the people, instead of the other way around.

When governments do not trust the people with arms, they are sending the message that we have regressed to the tyrannical governments of the past, where people have no rights, other than those the rulers allow them to have.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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