West Virginia Residents Who Seek to Challenge Current Gun Laws Must Start in the State Courts

An interesting article on how challenges to existing firearms laws must be done in West Virginia. The death of the gun rights advocate who was pursuing these challenges has complicated the process.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginians who want to carry guns on city property and challenge other municipal firearms ordinances as unconstitutional must first bring their cases to state court, federal judges have ruled, but the future of these legal challenges appeared unclear Thursday following the death of the gun rights advocate and lawyer who helped file them.

U.S. District Judge John T. Copenhaver Jr. has redirected a lawsuit against Charleston, Dunbar and South Charleston, as a number of its allegations invoke the West Virginia Constitution and state law. His Sept. 20 ruling follows one by U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey that similarly referred claims against Martinsburg to state court last year.

Each judge concluded that the lawsuits could return to federal court with any issues left unresolved. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Bailey’s approach to that case in June.

Copenhaver’s ruling also dismissed a dozen of the arguments against Charleston’s ordinances. Three sought to allow firearms at the Sternwheel Regatta festival, which no longer exists. The others challenged the capital city’s ban on handgun sales involving people who have received voluntary mental health treatment or have any criminal charges pending. . . .

Read more here.

Gun Control vs. Gun Rights – Choice of Words Impact the Debate

The words we use to argue for or against gun rights vs. gun control affect how the debate is understood.

Terms like ‘assault weapon’ and ‘assault rifle’ are some of those words.

The following is the last paragraph in an excellent article on how to speak about gun rights. The author states:

. . . In this debate, words matter! Those supporting gun ownership and personal self-defense must be willing to repeatedly correct even the most popular misconceptions about firearms, including the way firearms are characterized, if they want to maintain our constitutional right to bear arms.

Please read the rest of his excellent articlehere.

Colorado – Gun Rights vs. Gun Control on University Campus

In March, Colorado’s Supreme Court ruled that students with concealed carry permits were allowed to carry concealed on campus. But since July’s mass shooting in Aurora, CO, some university officials, faculty, and students are troubled.

I quote a few paragraphs from the NYT’s article that seems to capture some of the debate:

. . . Some teachers have spoken out publicly against extending the concealed gun policy to campus, fearful that an unstable student — who now, ostensibly, could be legally armed in their classrooms — might hurt them or a fellow student.

Last month, the chairman of the Faculty Assembly at the campus in Boulder, Jerry Peterson, told The Boulder Daily Camera that he would cancel class if he discovered one of his students was carrying a gun. And on Friday, faculty members gathered to discuss how to overturn the policy through legislative channels.

Gun rights proponents, conversely, have argued that lawful gun owners should not be precluded from protecting themselves on college campuses, and they contend that gun bans make those campuses less safe.

Besides, they say, anyone disturbed enough to open fire is not going to heed university policy.

“This gives us the right to protect ourselves, where currently, many colleges suspend that right,” said David Burnett, a spokesman for Students for Concealed Carry, a national group that advocates for the right to carry legally permitted guns on public college and university campuses. . . .

So, what do you think? A disturbed student has access to a gun and might be a threat to his fellow classmates and teachers. So, change the policy and prohibit all students from carrying concealed on campus. Now, what will a disturbed student do? Of course, the disturbed student will follow the university policy and not carry. Are you sure? And, how do those who are not disturbed defend themselves against such a possibility?

I will take my chances with a law-abiding student who is legally carrying concealed.

Read more here.

Gun Rights Policy Conference – Key Gun Rights Advocates to Speak – John Lott

Dave Workman reports on the upcoming Gun Rights Policy Conference to be held in Orlando. The slate of speakers and topics to be discussed are impressive.

The 27th annual Gun Rights Policy Conference convenes one week from today at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport hotel, and this year’s event will underscore the rising interest in gun ownership, and how that may affect the November election.

Sponsored by the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, the GRPC theme this year is “Elect Liberty.” As noted by this column here and here, the conference will feature appearances by researcher John Lott and gun rights hero Otis McDonald. . . .

Read more about the Gun Rights Policy Conference here

Coming Presidential Election Impacts Current Gun Sales

Gun sales growth reflect the concern of gun rights advocates and gun owners that gun control could be a major problem if President Obama is re-elected in November.

One of my friends recently posted his Tip of the Day on Facebook.


Should you be concerned?

The looming 2012 presidential election has thus far hinged issues such as health care, jobs and the economy. But one issue — gun control — is of special interest to some Abilene residents.

Some apparently are worried that if President Barack Obama is re-elected, his administration will take steps to curtail Second Amendement rights. Jerry Stayton, owner of Jerry’s Gun Shop in Abilene, confirmed the sentiment.

“It’s been steady, but I think in the next few months, it’ll pick up significantly,” Stayton said of firearm sales.

Stayton isn’t just talking about hunting rifles and shotguns. He also expects sales of handguns and assault rifles such as AR15s, Mini 14s and AK47s to pick up as the country draws nearer to Election Day.

“They’re buying up AR15s because they might be the first ones to go,” he said.

Firearms sales jumped about 17 percent nationally from 2010 to 2011, according to data provided by the National Shooting Sports Federation.

“People are worried that he’ll make it harder to get semi-automatic firearms,” said an employee at Wild Bill’s Pawn, who asked to be identified only as Mike. The pawnshop buys and sells semi-automatic firearms, defined as guns that eject shells after each round is fired and require a trigger pull for each shot. . . .

Read more about gun sales growth here.

Mother and Daughter Defend Themselves With a GUN – Excellent Video

Glad to know this mother and daughter were prepared to defend themselves with a gun. An armed burglar entered the home and they were ready.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) –
A St. Paul mother and daughter pinned a burglar to the floor of their home and called police, while keeping a pink-stocked gun pointed at their intruder until officers arrived.

“What the hell are you doing in my home?” said 56-year-old Rebecca Larson, when she found suspected burglar Marty Childs inside of her Fremont Street house on the afternoon of Sept. 16.

Minneapolis News and Weather KMSP FOX 9

Read more here Mother and daughter defend themselves with a gun.

Fast and Furious – Inspector General Report is Released

Who is to blame for Fast and Furious? Lots of responses to the Inspector General’s report.

By Sari Horwitz, Published: September 19

Federal agents and prosecutors in Phoenix ignored risks to the public and were primarily responsible for the botched effort to infiltrate weapons-smuggling rings in the operation dubbed “Fast and Furious,” according to a report released Wednesday by the Justice Department’s inspector general.

The long-awaited report also criticized senior officials at the Justice Department and its Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Washington for lax oversight of the attempt to block the flow of weapons to Mexico’s violent drug cartels. Many of the weapons later turned up at crime scenes in Mexico and the United States, including one where a U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed.

The inspector general’s report recommended that the Justice Department review the actions of 14 officials and consider whether disciplinary action is warranted. Among them are former acting deputy attorney general Gary Grindler, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, former acting ATF director Kenneth Melson, former ATF special agent in charge William Newell and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein. . . .

Read more here