Tag Archive: Firearm

Texas, California had the highest number of fatalities

Dec 30, 2013

Officers Killed by Guns Falls to Wild West Levels

 The number of law-enforcement officers killed by firearms in 2013 fell to levels not seen since the days of the Wild West, according to areport released Monday.

The annual report from the nonprofit National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund also found that deaths in the line of duty generally fell by 8 percent and were the fewest since 1959.

According to the report, 111 federal, state, local, tribal and territorial officers were killed in the line of duty nationwide this past year, compared to 121 in 2012. Forty-six officers were killed in traffic-related crashes, and 33 were killed by firearms. The number of firearms deaths fell 33 percent in 2013 and was the lowest since 1887.

The report credits an increased culture of safety among law-enforcement agencies, including increased use of bulletproof vests, that followed a spike in law-enforcement deaths in 2011.

Since 2011, officer fatalities across all categories have decreased by 34 percent, and firearms deaths have dropped by 54 percent. Fourteen officers died from heart attacks that occurred while performing their duties.

The report found that Texas and California had the highest number of fatalities, with 13 and 10, respectively.

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Guns & safety: The facts

Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013

For all the attempts by liberals to infringe on citizens’ Second Amendment rights, gun ownership soared from 192 million firearms to 310 million between 1994 and 2009 while the murder rate among Americans decreased by nearly half.

And those statistics are not from the National Rifle Association. They’re from the government’s own Congressional Research Service.

The “firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide rate” dropped from 6.6 per 100,000 Americans in 1993 to 3.6 per 100,000 in 2000, according to the CRS findings. Apart from a slight increase in 2006-07, the rate dropped again in 2008 — when the Supreme Court reaffirmed that firearm possession by individuals is constitutionally protected.

By 2011, the firearm-related murder rate was down to 3.2 per 100,000 citizens.

The leading category for firearm sales from 1994 to 2009 was handguns.

Is it coincidental that the overall murder rate declined as well, from 9 per 100,000 in 1994 to 4.7 per 100,000 in 2011? Not likely.

Not only did the gun-murder rate decline amid increased sales, the increase in Americans’ gun ownership — in large measure, concealable guns — corresponds to a reduction in crime.

Nevertheless, gun-grabbers will insist on attempting to regulate the types of guns, magazines and ammunition that Americans can buy. Yet for all their fact-fractured histrionics, they’re not protecting the well-being of anyone.

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A gun store owner and a national gun industry trade group have sued to block enforcement of parts of Sunnyvale’s new gun control ordinance, claiming that it clashes with state and federal laws and tramples on constitutional rights.

The National Rifle Association plans to file its own lawsuit early next week. But Sunnyvale announced Tuesday that the San Francisco law firm of Farella Braun + Martel will offer its services for free to defend the ordinance against all challenges.

“Our community spoke loud and clear that we want to do what we can to prevent gun violence,” said Mayor Tony Spitaleri. “The threats of lawsuits and defense costs didn’t stop them from doing what they felt was right, and now we have one of the best law firms in the country prepared to defend us.”

Sunnyvale’s Measure C, approved by 67 percent of voters last month, requires gun owners to notify police within 48 hours of the loss or theft of a firearm, as well as to keep firearms locked up when not in the owner’s immediate possession. It also requires ammunition sellers to log and keep buyers’ names for two years and prohibits possession of ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

A Santa Clara County Superior Court lawsuit filed Monday by U.S. Firearms; its owner, Eric Fisher; and the National Shooting Sports Foundation claims the ammo sales provision is pre-empted by state law and illegally shares customers’ data with police — and that the loss or theft reporting provision conflicts with state and federal laws.

Sunnyvale gun sellers already must comply with a wide range of state and federal laws and shouldn’t have to operate under a patchwork of conflicting local laws, said Lawrence Keane, the foundation’s senior vice president and general counsel.

“It is unjust to ask retailers within the Sunnyvale city limits to collect sensitive personal information from customers who easily can drive a few miles to a store in another city where such information is not required,” he said. “Surely, no demonstrable public safety benefit is achieved, and only law-abiding businesses are penalized.”

The NRA had threatened to sue even before Measure C was approved, and the group’s West Coast counsel, Chuck Michel, intends to file that federal lawsuit Monday, a spokesman for Michel said Tuesday. Michel last month filed an NRA-supported suit against San Francisco over a similar ban on high capacity magazines.

But Sunnyvale taxpayers won’t foot the bill because of the offer ofFarella Braun + Martel to defend the city against the gun-related lawsuits for free.

The city’s residents voted to set “reasonable and sensible restrictions,” said attorney Tony Schoenberg, who will lead the Measure C defense team. “We plan to vigorously defend the city in this important matter.”

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A Congressional Research Service (CRS) report shows that while gun ownership climbed from 192 million firearms in 1994 to 310 million firearms in 2009, crime fell—and fell sharply.

According to the report, the “firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide” rate was 6.6 per 100,000 Americans in 1993. Following the exponential growth in the number of guns, that rate fell to 3.6 per 100,000 in 2000.

This rate rose from 2004 to 2005 and got as high as 3.9 in 2006 and 2007, but it then resumed falling in 2008, the year the Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that individual firearm possession is Constitutionally protected—particularly for self-defense. This figure fell to 3.2 per 100,000 by 2011.

In other words, as the number of firearms almost doubled over a nearly 20-year period, the “firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide” rate was more than halved.

Additionally, the overall murder rate dropped from 9.0 per 100,000 in 1994 to 4.7 in 2011. The overall number of estimated murder victims fell from 23,326 in 1994 to 14,612 in 2011. For estimated firearms-related murder victims, those numbers are 16,333 in 1994 and 9,903 in 2011.

The firearm category that led the way from 1994 through 2009 was handguns. And these were “mostly pistols, revolvers, and derringers,” the most concealable types of guns.

So after after all the pro-gun control grandstanding and the relentless focus on how the so-called easy availability of guns drives up crime, the CRS report shows that more guns—especially more concealable guns—has actually correlated with less crime.

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The New Mexico store owner gets a new hearing because of errors made when he was sentenced. But prosecutors say they have new evidence that he knew firearms he sold were being smuggled into Mexico.

November 26, 2013, 8:08 p.m.

A firearms dealer convicted during the fallout from the government’s failed Fast and Furious gun-tracking program may soon be set free after winning a court battle for a new sentencing hearing.

A federal magistrate has ruled that Ian Garland deserves a new hearing because of errors made when a judge initially sent him to prison for five years.

Prosecutors, while acknowledging mistakes, plan to oppose early release for Garland. They hope to present new evidence at the Dec. 13 hearing that he knew many of the 190 firearms he sold to city officials in Columbus, N.M., were being smuggled into Mexico.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tabacco, Firearms and Explosives in Phoenix set up Operation Fast and Furious, in which agents allowed illegal sales in order to track firearms to drug cartel members in the U.S. The agency lost track of many weapons, and about 2,000 made it into Mexico, including two connected to the shooting death of a federal Border Patrol agent in Arizona.

The scandal cost top ATF officials in Phoenix and Washington their jobs and led to a contempt of Congress citation against U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr.

None of the gun dealers in the Phoenix area who were involved in the case were prosecuted. Many of the weapons, however, were ferried through New Mexico to El Paso, then smuggled into Mexico. And in New Mexico, city officials in Columbus were caught up in gun smuggling. The mayor, police chief and a town trustee were among those prosecuted for conspiring to smuggle weapons into Mexico, including the roughly 190 purchased from Garland at his Chaparral Guns store in Chaparral, N.M.

A federal grand jury indicted Garland in March 2011 on allegations that he knew the weapons were bound for Mexico. He pleaded guilty four months later to conspiracy and false statement charges. Court officials calculated his five-year sentence on the basis that many of the weapons were “machine guns.”

But Magistrate Gregory B. Wormuth in New Mexico ruled Oct. 7 that Garland deserved a new sentencing hearing because many of the firearms actually were pistols or nonautomatic weapons. Garland and his attorneys hope the new hearing will set him free because he already has served more than half of his sentence.

In emails, letters and phone calls to The Times, Garland said he was arrested so the government could justify Fast and Furious. He said he never knew the Columbus officials were actually smuggling weapons. Mexican government officials are eager to speak to him about Fast and Furious, he added, saying he will cooperate whenever he is released.

“I’m nothing more than a scapegoat,” he wrote Nov. 18 from prison in Yankton, S.D. “I’m here because the ATF let me sell for 18 months to people they knew were smuggling arms to Mexico…. It’s because of that stupid Fast and Furious operation.”

His attorney, Todd A. Coberly of Santa Fe, N.M., added in an interview: “After these guns surfaced in Mexico and a Border Patrol agent was shot dead, they kind of reversed course and started prosecuting this firearms dealer that they were allowing to sell. And I honestly don’t think Ian fully knew what was happening with these guns.”

But Steven R. Spitzer, a federal prosecutor in El Paso, said the government maintained that Garland “had reason to believe the firearms he sold were destined for Mexico.” Spitzer agreed, however, that the calculation used in giving Garland five years was flawed and that “a new sentencing hearing may be appropriate.”

Spitzer also told the court that prosecutors would present evidence at the hearing that Garland should remain in prison because of new information about weapons recovered from Mexico and Garland’s “criminal conduct.”

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National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is urging Congress to reauthorize the Undetectable Firearms Act before it expires on Dec. 9. NSSF has written the chairmen and ranking members of the appropriate committees in both houses to point out that “the current law has proven effective in preventing the illegal manufacture, importation, sale or possession of undetectable firearms.”

Recent news accounts of plastic firearms being made with 3D printing technology and calls for action by anti-gun activists has resulted in some members of Congress calling for new and more extensive legislation. It is doubtful that such guns pose much of a threat to the public. As NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel,Larry Keane told Business Week any plastic firearm “would be very unreliable and very unsafe.”

There have been no cases of an illegal undetectable firearm ever being used in a crime, even as security screening technology has advanced since passage of the original law in 1988. NSSF is concerned that new proposals that go well beyond current law could hamper federally licensed firearms manufacturers from developing prototypes using advanced or emerging technologies.

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James Owens walked into his classroom with a tough presence and a serious demeanor.

“Oh, you’ve heard stories about my class?” he asked sternly of one of the classmates, a middle-age man sitting at a table with others of various genders and ages. “Well, they’re all true.”

But Owens was unable to keep a straight face, and soon he had the whole classroom laughing riotously.

It’s a lighthearted moment needed as Owens prepares to teach for about 16 hours over two days to prepare the students to carry concealed firearms in public.

Owens is among the 24 certified concealed-carry instructors in Macon County and one of hundreds of instructors throughout the state designated to prepare Illinois residents to receive their concealed-carry permits when they become available early next year.

While he tries to keep his classes entertaining, Owens, a former 10-year veteran of the Decatur Police Department, said he tries his best to help prepare citizens to be responsible, humble and mentally prepared concealed-carry firearm holders. Read more . . .

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3d printed gun test fire.jpg

May 5, 2013: A 3D printed gun created by Defense Distributed is successfully test fired by creator Cody Wilson. Wilson plans to put the blueprints for the gun online shortly.DEFENSE DISTRIBUTED

Federal law enforcement authorities are raising concerns new, futuristic 3-D printed guns made entirely out of plastic could pose a myriad of security threats across the U.S., as a law banning undetectable firearms is set to expire.

3-D industrial printers that can create plastic models and prototypes can make workable guns that can’t be picked up by metal detectors, and officials say they could pose a threat to countless government institutions, schools and other buildings.

A longtime ban on undetectable firearms is scheduled to expire Dec. 9 and two Democratic senators, Chuck Schumer of New York and Bill Nelson of Florida, have called for a ban on plastic guns. Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., also has introduced legislation on the issue.

“The expiration of this law, combined with advances in 3-D printing, make what was once a hypothetical threat into a terrifying reality,” said Schumer. “We are actively exploring all options to pass legislation that will eliminate the problem.” Read more . . .

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Let’s Get the Facts Right and Concentrate on Criminals Who Use Guns

This week in our headquarters state’s largest newspaper, Ron Pinciaro, the leader of the anti-gun group Connecticut Against Gun Violence, authored an op-ed, “Stop In-State Gun Trafficking to Criminals,” Although the space that the Hartford Courant allowed us was short, we did respond to the inaccurate and misleading essay. Here’s what we would have said in much more detail if given the opportunity:

To begin with, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives reports that every state is its own leading source for guns used in crimes. Connecticut is not unusual. Mr. Pinciaro also fails to note that the average time between when a firearm was used in a crime in Connecticut and when it was sold at retail (with its mandated background check) is more than 12 and a quarter years, more than a year above the national average, according to the ATF. In other words, guns used in crimes tend to have been on the street for many years.

The overwhelming numbers of guns used in crime are stolen. Despite the author’s suggestion, straw purchasing of firearms for prohibited persons is rare in Connecticut, given our long standing pistol permit requirement. Still, the firearms industry takes the straw purchasing issue seriously and has operated the “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” public awareness and retailer education program in cooperation with ATF for more than a dozen years. This fall, we brought the campaign to several Southern New England metro areas, including Hartford. The electronic and traditional billboards were prominent. The effort at retail is ongoing.

Year in and year out, we run programs to help federally-licensed retailers stay in compliance with all reporting requirements. We work in cooperation with law enforcement to reduce illegal trafficking, including matching all ATF rewards for information used to solve thefts at retail. There have been a few bad actors and they deserve prosecution – but they are rare exceptions and to suggest otherwise is wrong and unsupportable. Both prosecutions and license revocations are rare, even as the number of ATF inspections has been increasing over the last decade.

To stop the criminal misuse of firearms the only truly effective tactic is to focus on the criminals. At last month’s International Association of Chiefs of Police annual conference, ATF agents with whom we spoke told us that the bureau’s new focus on targeting the small percentage of individuals committing most of the crimes involving guns is paying dividends. ATF has helped take several repeat offenders off the street and the agents tell us they are eager to use the bureau’s intelligence data in cooperation with regional agencies to do more of this targeted law enforcement.

“Focus law enforcement on the violent USE (their emphasis) of firearms vs. possession. Enforcement operations are more effective through targeting specific individuals (shooters) vs. general geographic areas,” reads an ATF fact sheet handed out at the IACP conference.

Mr. Pinciaro’s essay suggested that firearms retailers are a major cause behind the criminal misuse of firearms. Quite the opposite, we are playing an important role, if purposely ignored for political reasons, in helping to keep firearms out of the hands of those who should not have them.

P.S. to Mr. Pinciaro: In regard to the name of your organization, no sane person is FOR violence of any sort and we all want safer communities. Firearms retailers are on the front lines in that pursuit.

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American Tactical Imports – Moves

American Tactical Imports

American Tactical Imports a worldwide importer of firearms, ammunition and tactical equipment to the United States will be opening a warehousing and distribution location in Dorchester County.

The Eastport Industrial Park location in Summerville also will be the site for limited firearm assembly, as well as the company’s headquarters, its customer service center and its sales office. The $2.7 million investment is expected to generate 117 new jobs. Read more . . .

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Desert Eagle Technologies is proud to be a dealer of the top brand manufacturers of law enforcement, military & shooting enthusiasts products & equipment. We carry tactical gear, range bags, back packs, scopes, ammo, lasers, optics, guns & more. We are an FFL Dealer and perform firearm transfers.

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Parker Invincible Shotguns

Presented by the NRA National Firearms Museum

From 1866-1934, the Parker Brothers manufactured 200,000 shotguns in nine grades of quality. Only three were ever produced at the highest level, nine, and they bear the name “invincible.” Today, the Parker Invincibles — two 12-gauges and one 16-gauge — are the most valuable shotguns in the world, with an estimated worth of more than $5 million. The Parker Invincible shotgun set can be seen at the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Virginia. More . . .


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