Tag Archive: Gun politics

December 27, 2013

Long guns
A new gun law coming in 2014 has gun owners stocking up on long guns before a new registry begins.

Even though the law is at least temporarily boosting his bottom line, Just Guns owner John Deaser isn’t a fan. He says requiring people to register their rifles and shotguns is an unnecessary invasion of privacy.

In the last week of 2013, he says sales of long guns are up 30 to 50 percent.

The registry goes into effect on Jan. 1, and would require long gun owners to register their weapons like handgun owners already do. It would track the make, model and serial number of the gun, as well as the person who owns it.

Previously dealers would destroy personal information on long gun owners after a background check had been completed. Now they’ll register those purchases with the state.

Supporters of the new law say it will improve public safety and helpkeep guns out of the wrong hands.

Deaser says many of his customers are stocking up on long guns now rather than waiting until 2014 when they would have to register.

“These are law-abiding citizens,” he said. “They’re not trying to beat the system or anything like that. They just don’t want to be tracked.”

Avid hunter Jason Gudgel bought a shotgun for his son on Thursday, but he says it has nothing to do with the new law. He says the timing is because of the holidays.

“I teach my son hunter safety,” he said. “We do it as a sport. We hunt pheasant and deer, and that’s what they’re supposed to be meant for.”

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Published December 15, 2013gun-control-giffords-kelly.jpg

FILE: Oct. 13, 2013: former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords and husband Mark Kelly, center, and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, at the New EastCoast Arms Collectors Associates arms fair in Saratoga Springs.

Gun control advocates acknowledged Sunday that they were disappointed with efforts this year to tighten firearm laws across the country but vowed to continue their fight, including spending millions on their candidates in next year’s elections.

Their comments came one year after the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre in which 20 students and six adults were fatally shot in Newtown, Conn. However, Congress failed to pass no major gun-control legislation in the aftermath.

“We get disappointed,” said Mark Kelly, who co-founded the gun-control group Americans for Responsible Solutions with wife Gabrielle Giffords, the former congresswoman who was shot on the campaign trail in 2011.

The retired astronaut and Navy captain told “Fox News Sunday” the defeat of the so-called, bipartisan Manchin-Toomey Senate gun bill was “not a good day” but that his group plans to spend $25 million in the next election cycle.

Though the focus of America’s gun debate appears to be shifting from weapons bans to keeping firearms away from criminals and the mentally ill, gun-rights advocates seem steadfast in their efforts to limit background checks and repeal laws that prevent people from defending themselves against attackers.

“There’s no victory until we get guns in school and elsewhere to protect ourselves,” Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, told Fox News. “The legislation that is on the books is lethal … and we simply have to get rid of them.”

Kelly said that anti-gun groups were able to spend about as much as pro-gun groups in the recent Virginia gubernatorial race in which Democrat Terry McAuliffe defeated Republican Ken Cuccinelli — a sign that the balance of power is shifting after his side got outspent in the Capitol Hill gun debates.

Carlee Soto, whose sister was killed in the Dec. 14, 2012, attack at Sandy Hook elementary, in Newtown, Conn., also acknowledged the effort to tighten gun laws has been difficult, but she remains optimistic.

“Some days I don’t want to speak in front of the camera … but my sister can’t do that,” she told Fox News. “I believe we will have sensible gun laws in the future.”

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Published December 14, 2013

Residents in the small Rhode Island town of Exeter are voting on whether to recall four town council members who proposed changing the way gun permits are issued.

Saturday’s recall election was sought by gun rights supporters who say the council ignored their objections to a failed proposal that would have allowed the attorney general to oversee Exeter’s concealed weapons permits.

Under current law, those seeking a permit may apply to either the attorney general or their local police. The town of 6,000 has no police department so permits are now handled by the town clerk. The council recently voted 4-1 for a resolution asking the Rhode Island legislature to take the responsibility for the permitting process away from the town, The Wall Street Journal reported. The members said the clerk lacks the resources to conduct proper background checks.

“My personal belief is those four are antigun, plain and simple,” Letita Davis, a resident who helped organize the effort told The Wall Street Journal.

“Our rights are at issue here – our Second Amendment rights as well as our rights to be listened to by our elected leaders,” she told the newspaper.

The council members say gun rights supporters are trying to make them an example for other officeholders considering changes to gun laws. The members say they were trying to beef up background checks for public safety in the interest of public safety.

“Gun-rights groups are pushing harder and harder to get lawmakers to stay away from guns altogether, and we’re seeing them give payback to those that don’t,” Joshua Spivak, a recall elections expert told The Wall Street Journal.

In September, two Democratic Colorado state senators were recalled over their support for changes to gun laws following the theater massacre outside Denver in 2012.

The four officials being targeted by the recall effort are Council President Arlene Hicks and Councilmen Cal Ellis, Robert Johnson and William Monahan. All are Democrats. A fifth member is not up for recall: independent Councilman Raymond Morrissey Jr., who voted against the resolution.

Should one or more of the council members be recalled, their council seats will go to the losing candidates from the last election. Daniel W. Patterson would get the first seat, Edward F. Nataly the second and Lincoln P. Picillo the third.

The fourth seat would be filled by a council appointment.

Polls opened at 7 a.m. and will close at 8 p.m. Both sides were concerned about a low-turnout with snow in the forecast.

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When it comes to keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, 63 percent of Americans remain unconvinced that tighter restrictions on buying and owning guns will be effective, according to the latest Reason-upe poll. About a third (32 percent), said stricter regulations would be effective in preventing criminals from obtaining guns.

Seven in ten Republicans say stricter gun regulations would not be effective while just 26 percent say they would be effective.  Democrats are more divided on the issue. While typically supportive of increased gun control, more than half (53 percent) say tighter restrictions on buying and owning guns would not prevent criminals from obtaining the weapons while 44 percent say they would prevent criminals from getting guns. Two-thirds of independents don’t expect tighter restrictions to be effective while 30 percent think they will.

As education increases, so do expectations that tighter gun regulations will effectively keep guns from criminals. For instance, 29% of those with high school degrees or less believe such policies would be effect compared to 41 percent of those with post-graduate degrees. Nevertheless, majorities of all educational groups don’t expect tougher gun laws to prevent criminals from obtaining guns.

Women are slightly more likely than men to believe tighter gun regulations would be effective (35 to 29 percent). However, considering race and gender finds that white women are no different than white and nonwhite men. However, half of nonwhite women think tighter gun rules would be effective compared to 44 would think they would not.

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By JACK ELLIOTT JR., Associated Press

December 5, 2013

Certain gun owners can carry concealed weapons even in areas where a local government has posted signs banning them, the attorney general’s office said Thursday in an opinion aimed at clarifying Mississippi’s gun laws.

Gun owners who hold “enhanced permits” can take their weapons to places like churches, voting precincts and even inside passenger terminals of airports, even if there are signs posted to expressly prohibit guns, Assistant Attorney General Ricky G. Luke said in an opinion originally crafted in response to a request from the city of Corinth.

U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said in a statement that he is a gun owner and avid hunter, but is “deeply disturbed” by attorney general’s opinion.

“Allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons into polling places, government meeting spaces, airports and schools is a clear risk to the safety of Mississippians,” Thompson said. “In light of the recent gun violence at the Los Anegeles International Airport, the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown and even the Washington Navy Yard, we must begin to carefully analyze and fine-tune our gun laws to prohibit the carrying of firearms in sensitive locations.”

He said the governor and legislature should review the laws and make adjustments.

Luke said that how far a local government can go on limiting weapons varies, depending on whether it is addressing the standard permit for carrying a concealed weapon or the “enhanced” permit, which requires firearms training.

Under Mississippi law, a person with a standard permit may not carry a concealed weapon in certain places, including schools, colleges or professional athletic events “not related to firearms.” The state also has a new law that says adults do not need permits to carry a gun that is not concealed.

Luke said regardless of whether a sign is posted, people with enhanced permits can take their weapons into 13 types of places, including voting precincts, government meetings, churches, college athletic events, parades and inside the passenger terminal of an airport.

He said cities can post signs to prohibit standard permit holders from entering property owned or controlled by the city, such as a public park or municipal building, with a gun. He said similar prohibitions can be applied to people openly carrying weapons. The restrictions won’t apply to enhanced permit holders, although state law generally bans most guns from school and college campuses.

Corinth attorney Wendell Trapp Jr. said he wrote to the attorney general’s office to seek clarification after the city adopted an ordinance prohibiting the possession of firearms in certain areas that made no distinction between whether firearms are being openly carried or concealed. The city also asked Hood if it could post signs at places it wanted to bar firearms.

“We want to be as sure we can be. I think there are lots of cities, counties and law enforcement that have similar questions,” Trapp said in a phone interview.

Although legal opinions from the attorney general’s office are not binding, they provide guidance to public officials as they do their jobs.

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A contingent of black lawmakers blocked a vote on Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s watered-down proposal to impose tougher penalties for illegal gun possession, the latest example of a rift between the mayor and the African-American community.

The reversal came after the stage appeared to be set Thursday to approve one of Emanuel’s top legislative priorities of the fall session. Sponsoring Rep. Mike Zalewski, D-Riverside, held a news conference where he predicted the latest incarnation of the bill involving mandatory minimum prison sentences would pass.

As the Illinois House came to order, the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. gave the morning invocation and lawmakers dealt with a few routine matters. When the gun bill came up, Rep. Ken Dunkin, leader of the House Black Caucus, had used a surprise procedural maneuver requesting information on how much the measure would cost taxpayers. Read more . . .

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Sunnyvale Mayor Tony Spitaleri paid no attention to gun laws until last Dec. 14 — the day 26 people died in the Newtown, Conn., mass shooting.

“We need to do something,” said Spitaleri, 69, a retired Palo Alto fire captain who was born in the South Bronx. “And I got angry, and I said, that’s enough. When do we stop?”

Enter Measure C, a proposal that will go before Sunnyvale voters on Nov. 5. The measure has attracted support from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose major metropolis is nearly 3,000 miles away from the heart of this Silicon Valley city known for its plethora of engineers and uninspired tract housing. Read more . . .

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U.S. Remains Divided Over Passing Stricter Gun Laws

Opposition to banning handgun ownership remains at record-high 74%

PRINCETON, NJ — Nearly a year after the Newtown, Conn., school shootings spawned considerable U.S. debate about passing stricter gun control laws, almost half of Americans believe the laws covering the sale of firearms should be strengthened and half say they should stay the same or be less strict.


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Starbucks’ Progressive Ways Draw Fire on Guns

Starbucks has always set itself apart by taking strong positions on progressive political issues. Now that reputation has landed the company in the middle of the heated national debate over gun laws.

On Thursday, the Seattle-based company will run full-page ads in major newspapers, telling customers that guns are no longer welcome in its cafes. But Starbucks is stopping short of an outright ban, exposing the fine line it needs to walk on a highly divisive issue. Read more . . .

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City Council Committee Approves Rewrite Of Gun Laws

City Council Committee Approves Rewrite Of Gun Laws

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago City Council Committee has approved a rewrite of the City’s gun laws that has both gun control and gun rights advocates claiming victory, reports WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore. Read more . . .

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