New Texas gun control law allows concealed guns on campus

New Texas gun control law allows concealed guns on campus

People stand at a monument bearing the names of those killed in the 1 August 1966 University of Texas tower shooting that left 16 people dead, during a memorial in Austin, Texas (01 August 2016)
Image captionThe new law comes into effect on the 50th anniversary of a University of Texas mass shooting which claimed 14 lives.

A new law has come into effect in the US state of Texas that allows students to carry concealed guns on campuses.

Students aged 21 or over who have a concealed handgun permit may take guns into classrooms, under the new law.

Texas has now become one of eight US states that allows students to carry guns into college buildings.

Many higher education officials and students are concerned the law may discourage students from attending universities in the state.

But supporters of the law argue it is “critical” to self-defence and upholding constitutional rights.

Texan Republicans say the “campus carry” law could prevent another mass shooting,

They argue that deranged gunmen often target “gun-free zones” such as university campuses and cinemas because they do not meet resistance when they commit their crimes.

Image captionSome student groups have rallied against the law since the legislation was passed last year

But critics of the new law – which came into effect on the 50th anniversary of a University of Texas mass shooting which claimed 14 lives – is an ill-conceived solution that could serve to trigger yet more violence.

The 1966 killings were carried out by former Marine Charles Whitman, 25, who brought a cache of weapons to the university’s main tower in Austin to shoot more than 40 people.

The shootings were one of the defining events of the time and were considered to be the first US mass shootings to be seen live on national TV. Whitman was killed by police after a 90-minute stand-off.

Some academics have argued that the law which took effect on Monday will also lead to a curtailment of free speech because students with guns could create an intimidating atmosphere which might suppress the open exchange of ideas.

The law allows students who have gun licences to take concealed weapons into college facilities, although some areas – including sports arenas and chemical labs – are off-limits.

Texan private schools and two-year community colleges are excluded from the new laws until next year.

Gun control groups blame NRA, Trump for Charlottesville violence

Gun control groups blame NRA, Trump for Charlottesville violence

The weekend clash left one dead and over 40 injured, mostly from a vehicular ramming (Photo: AP)

The weekend clash left one dead and over 40 injured, mostly from a vehicular ramming (Photo: AP)

Gun control advocates laid the blame for the violence in Charlottesville over the weekend on the nation’s largest gun rights group, citing the National Rifle Association’s provocative rhetoric against liberal demonstrators and support for open carry.

The violence, including a vehicular assault that killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injured 19 others, came as part of a standoff between protesters and counter-protesters gathered at Charlottesville’s Emancipation Park in anticipation of a rally by far-right groups over the removal of Confederate monuments from the park. Though the suspect in the ramming was taken into custody and charged with murder among a host of other crimes, gun control groups placed the blame on the NRA and the White House.

“The violence we saw today in Charlottesville is the result of the dangerous rhetoric and hate speech that the NRA and Trump have promoted,” said Lori Haas, a spokeswoman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, in a statement. “The symbiotic relationship between the NRA, Trump, and America’s far right hate groups cannot be ignored.”

While there was no gun violence reported, the group noted that the white nationalists protesting were legally carrying rifles. “This alone indicates their willingness to use intimidation and deadly force to advance their hateful agenda,” Haas said.

The condemnation was echoed by Moms Demand Action with founder Shannon Watts posting on Twitter, “You built this, America, by allowing @NRA lobbyists to write our nation’s gun laws. Open carry is legal in 45 states with little regulation.”

Virginia Gov. McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency to aid state response to the violence in Charlottesville, which included the deployment of state troopers, as well as the Virginia National Guard.

“I am disgusted by the hatred, bigotry and violence these protesters have brought to our state over the past 24 hours,” McAuliffe said. “The actions I have taken are intended to assist local government and restore public safety.”

In a statement after news of the incident broke, Trump stressed the importance of “swift restoration of law and order,” but it was his blame of “many sides” that was widely panned on both sides of the political aisle as he failed to condemn, specifically, the white nationalists at the center of the incident.

California struggles to implement new gun-control measures

California struggles to implement new gun-control measures

After passing laws that expand the definition of “assault weapon” and make it illegal to possess gun magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition, the state is facing myriad problems in trying to enforce the new laws. The first trouble came when the California Department of Justice (DOJ) attempted to draft their plan to register all of the rifles in California which have “bullet button” reloading devices and other rifles that would fall under the state’s expanded assault weapons ban. On June 26, the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) determined that the DOJ had improperly sought to avoid the public comment period on the plan. That caused the deadline for registration to be pushed back six months.

Then, on June 29, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking the enforcement of the state’s gun magazine confiscation plan.

“The regulation is neither presumptively legal nor longstanding,” U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez said in his ruling. “The statute hits close to the core of the Second Amendment and is more than a slight burden. When the simple test of Heller is applied, a test that persons of common intelligence can understand, the statute is adjudged an unconstitutional abridgment.”

Another troubled part of California’s new gun-control regime is a plan to require all ammunition sales be done through specially licensed dealers. By July 1 those who wanted to apply for the license to sell ammunition were supposed to be able to apply online, and the DOJ was supposed to have an online database of licensed dealers up and running. Neither the online license application portal nor the seller database were up and the regulations governing the licensing process were just made public on Monday. That means the process will likely take several more months to complete despite the fact that it will be illegal to purchase ammunition from anyone without the currently nonexistent ammunition dealer license on January 1, 2018.

How a gun-control group got the owner of Lock N Load to quit the business

How a gun-control group got the owner of Lock N Load to quit the business

A gun store in Aurora, Colo., in 2013 (Ed Andrieski/AP)

The first time Benjamin Bishop walked into Lock N Load and tried to buy a gun, employees at the Florida gun store turned him away — and rightly so.

Bishop had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and claimed he was attacked by assailants — who existed only in his imagination, court records say. He abused bath salts, which intensified the hallucinations, and he punched holes in walls with a hammer and claimed he was Osama bin Laden, the documents say. After his mother had him involuntarily committed, he tried to strangle her.

State and federal laws were designed to keep guns out of the hands of people like Bishop, but he wanted one anyway.

So the second time he went to Lock N Load in Oldsmar, Fla., he brought a neighborhood acquaintance. As Bishop stood nearby, the 18-year-old acquaintance bought a 12-gauge shotgun for $279 in cash, court documents say.

The transaction was a straw purchase, in which someone buys a gun for a person who is legally prohibited from possessing one. Straw purchases are illegal for both the buyer and the seller, though the Tampa Bay Times reported that the teen who bought the shotgun later cooperated with authorities and wasn’t charged with a crime.

Outside the store, the neighbor turned the 12-gauge over to Bishop, who said he wanted to use it to protect himself from gang members.

NoneBenjamin Bishop in 2014. (Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office)

But Bishop used the weapon on his mother instead: In 2012, he shot Imari Shibata and her boyfriend as they slept in their home in Pinellas County. She’d told him that he needed to get a job and that he had to take his schizophrenia medication. Bishop was furious.

“I was, like, in a rage,” he later told the Tampa Bay Times. “I was throwing doors down and stuff. I was cussing out my mom’s boyfriend. I was mad at my mom because she was forcing me on medication. She said either that or I was going to get kicked out of the house.”

He fired eight rounds at the couple, then called 911 to confess. Bishop’s mom and her boyfriend, Kelley Allen, were found dead at the scene.

Bishop, now in his early 20s, is serving two consecutive life sentences in prison. With the gunman off the streets, the families of the victims and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence focused their attention on Lock N Load, the store where Bishop got his gun.

A lawsuit filed in 2014 in a Florida circuit court by the families and the Brady Center claimed that the store’s owner, Gerald Tanso, didn’t do enough to keep a dangerous weapon out of the hands of a mentally ill man with a criminal record.

The parties settled. Most of the details of the settlement are confidential, but one part was made public: Tanso agreed to sell his gun store and never sell a firearm again.

Tanso has never been charged with a crime in Bishop’s case, nor were any of Lock N Load’s employees.

But if anyone “was personally and acutely aware of the risk associated with supplying firearms to mentally unstable individuals,” the lawsuit says, it should have been Tanso.

In 2011, his store sold a .38-caliber pistol to Julie Schenecker, who cleared all the appropriate checks, then used the gun to kill her two children. She’s serving two concurrent life sentences in prison.

Tanso initially called the legal action a “bogus lawsuit” filed by people who “are looking for money,” according to the Tampa Bay Times.

But on Friday, as part of a settlement, he released a statement via the Brady Center that encouraged gun owners to be cautious about whom they sell to.

“I have sold my gun shop and will no longer engage in the business of selling firearms,” Tanso said in the statement. “Our Second Amendment protects the rights of law abiding citizens and we must protect those rights. At the same time, we must exercise great caution and due diligence with great responsibility in preventing firearms from getting in the wrong hands of people who seek to harm us all.

“I support laws that protect our Second Amendment and the laws that protect our society from criminal elements who would abuse that right to the detriment of others. I encourage all gun dealers, including the new owner of my gun shop, to implement such measures.”

The statement listed several measures that go beyond what the law requires, including asking questions to ensure gun buyers aren’t purchasing them for prohibited people and maintaining and reviewing records of trace requests.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs told The Washington Post that other conditions of the settlement were confidential.

A man who answered the phone at a home phone number listed for Tanso said the former gun store owner was on vacation. Tanso did not return a message.

Jonathan Lowy, a Brady Center attorney involved in the case, said the organization has been going after the small percentage of gun stores that, he said, are responsible for 90 percent of the guns used in crimes.

“Most gun dealers are responsible business people who do what they can to prevent dangerous people from getting guns, but unfortunately there are some that don’t,” Lowy told The Post.

“For those gun dealers who just care about the bottom line and just care about the money they make from the next gun sale … lawsuits like this mean it’s no longer profitable. … We’re hoping we can change the calculus for those gun dealers.”

Last year, the Brady Center, a nonprofit that advocates for gun control and against gun violence, settled a $2.2 million wrongful-death lawsuit with a Missouri gun dealer who sold a gun to a mentally ill woman who then killed her father, according to the Kansas City Star.

Gun-control advocates had a number of other successes recently, according to The Post’s Amber Phillips: Twenty state legislatures rejected bills to allow guns in public without a permit. Seventeen states rejected bills to allow guns in schools. And Hawaii and Washington passed laws requiring that police be notified when a felon or domestic abuser tries to buy a gun and fails a background check.

But 60 bills supported by the National Rifle Association also became law this year, Phillips reported, and West Virginia, Tennessee and Arkansas reduced gun-free zones in public buildings and parks.

Marion Hammer, a former president of the NRA who is now a lobbyist for the organization, said it doesn’t comment specifically on lawsuits it is not involved in, but she criticized the Brady Center’s tactics in general.

The Brady Center “is determined to find any way it can to destroy Second Amendment rights of citizens,” she said, adding: “There don’t appear to be individuals they target — it’s a cause. And if they get an individual gun shop owner in their sights, they’re going to spend whatever it takes unless the courts step in and put a stop to this malicious behavior.”

The Brady Center was founded as the National Council to Control Handguns in 1974. In 1981, it was renamed after James Brady, President Ronald Reagan’s press secretary, who was permanently disabled during the 1981 assassination attempt on Reagan. Brady and his wife became strong voices for gun control, fighting for legislation that would require background checks to buy a gun from licensed firearms dealers. Brady died in 2014.

Despite the Brady Center’s victories in Florida and Kansas City, Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, said courts have been throwing out similar cases for years.

“It’s wrong to punish the seller of a legal product for doing what’s constitutionally protected,” he said in an interview. “The bad guy in this case is the murderer. You don’t go after Chrysler because a car that was sold by a dealer is used to run somebody over.”

But Lowy said the Brady Center goes after “bad-apple gun dealers” who skirt laws enacted to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.

Lock N Load still exists, but it has a new owner: Dominic Zingale, a federally licensed firearms dealer, who said in a written statement to the Tampa Bay Times that he “will continue to follow all of the applicable ATF, Florida, and local guns laws and procedures set forth by them to the letter.” He added that he has “no operational ties to the former owner nor have I worked with him when he was in the firearms business.”

“Honestly, I don’t think they should,” he told the Tampa Bay Times. “Guns are pretty fun to shoot.”

But the Times said Bishop also referenced the 2012 massacre in Newtown, Conn., in which Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

“I don’t know,” he said in 2013. “Just don’t give to somebody who’s going to end up killing a bunch of innocent 6-year-olds.”

The Senate voted on 4 popular gun control proposals Monday. Here’s why none of them passed.

The Senate voted on 4 popular gun control proposals Monday. Here’s why none of them passed.

Senate votes down gun measures
The Senate voted down four measures Monday evening relating to gun measures after hearing debate from both Republican and Democratic senators. The vote comes one week after a gunman opened fire in an Orlando nightclub, killing 49 people before being killed by police. (Reuters)

Update No. 2: All four measures, as expected, failed

Update: A new poll from CNN shows 92 percent of Americans support expanded background checks and 85 percent support preventing those on terror watch lists from buying guns. As we’ll explain in the post below, though, none of the below proposals aimed at these things are likely to pass.

One filibuster, two gun control proposals, four party-line votes, zero compromises, lots of finger pointing.

That’s what we can expect Monday evening as the U.S. Senate votes on four different gun control amendments — two offered by Republicans, two by Democrats — a week after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

We can confidently predict all four of these votes will go nowhere because the Senate took almost the exact same votes in December after the San Bernardino, Calif., attacks. Those votes largely fell — and failed — along party lines, with Republicans supporting looser versions of gun control proposals and Democrats supporting stricter versions.

We have no reason to expect different results Monday. Still, all is not lost: Both sides can and probably will use the results of Monday’s votes to rally their bases for November and try and apply pressure to the other side over the next few weeks and months.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on what Monday’s gun control votes mean and how to follow along.

The ground rules: The votes are expected to start at 5:30 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, and they’ll be proposed as amendments to a larger spending bill for the Commerce and Justice departments.

All four amendments will need 60 votes to be included in the package, which will also need to gain final approval. But given the partisan makeup of the Senate (54 Republican, 46 Democrat), and how the gun debate tends to fall neatly along partisan lines, we don’t expect any of the proposals to advance.

No. 1: Tighten up our background check system (Republican amendment)

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

What it proposes: Tries to open the lines of communication between the background check agency that Congress set up in the 1990s, the federal courts, the states and Congress to better carry out background checks. More specifically, defines what it means to be found “mentally incompetent” to buy a gun. Also requires the attorney general to conduct a study on “various sources and causes of mass shootings, including psychological factors, the impact of violent video games, and other factors.”

Sponsor: Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chair of the Judiciary Committee

Amendment name to follow along on C-SPANS. Amdt 4751

How this fared in previous votes: Not well. A version of this that Grassley introduced in December failed to clear the 60-vote hurdle, 53-46.

Our prediction: It will fail this time too. Democrats don’t think it does enough to expand background checks because, well, it doesn’t expand background checks. It simply tries to improve the system we have now.

No. 2: Expand background checks (Democratic amendment)

Will Sen. Chris Murphy’s gun control filibuster change anything?
The Fix’s Amber Phillips breaks down why Congress is unlikely to pass major gun control legislation, despite Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) filibustering for 15 hours on June 15. (Peter Stevenson/The Washington Post)

What it does: Requires that a federal background check be conducted before every gun sale in the U.S., period. (The background check system Congress set up in the ’90s only requires background checks by federally licensed firearm dealers, which means you can usually skip it if you try to buy a gun online from a private dealer, at a gun show or from your friend.)

SponsorSen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), the senator who talked on the floor for nearly 15 hours Wednesdayto demand these votes. (For what it’s worth, Senate Republicans say that even before Murphy seized the Senate floor, they expected Democrats to force votes on gun control amendments.)

Amendment name to follow along on C-SPANS. Amdt 4750

How this fared in previous votes: Not well, although it got some bipartisan support. It failed to get the 60 needed to move on, 48-50, although four Republicans voted for it: Mark Kirk of Illinois, Susan Collins of Maine, John McCain of Arizona and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

Our prediction: It will fail again. Most Republicans don’t support expanding background checks to gun shows and other purchases — or simply fear any additional gun laws are a slippery slope.

No. 3: Prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns (Republican version)

The FBI’s Terrorist Watchlist, explained
The FBI’s Terrorist Watchlist reportedly had over 800,000 names on it in 2014. Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people at an Orlando nightclub June 12, was once one of those names. Here’s what you need to know about the Watchlist. (Monica Akhtar/The Washington Post)

What it does: Right now, anyone on the FBI’s various terrorist watch lists — including the no-fly list that prevents you from getting on a plane — can legally buy a gun. Under this bill, if you’re on that list and try to buy a gun, you’d have to wait 72 hours. The idea is to give federal officials time to convince a judge there’s probable cause you have ties to terrorism while still protecting the 2nd Amendment rights of anyone who is mistakenly on a terrorist watch list — like the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) once was.

Sponsor: Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), Senate Republicans’ No. 2 leader

Amendment name to follow along on C-SPANS. Amdt 4749

How this fared in previous votes: Not well. (Sensing a trend here?) A similar version failed in December on a 55-44 vote. Democrats — and Attorney General Loretta Lynch — say it’s impossible to put together a case that a potential gun purchaser is a suspected terrorist in just three days, so they argue this bill would essentially allow anyone on the watch list to still be able to buy a gun.

Our prediction: It will fail again, for the reasons described above.

No. 4: Prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns (Democratic version)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

What it does: Lets the attorney general ban anyone on FBI’s various terrorist watch lists from being able to buy guns. If you feel like you’re mistakenly on the list and you get denied a gun, you can challenge the FBI’s decision in court.

Sponsor: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)

Amendment name to follow along on C-SPANS. Amdt. 4720

How this fared in previous votes: Not well, although it got some bipartisan support. A similar version of this failed in December, 45-54, with two senators voting on the other side: Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) voted with Republicans against this bill, and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) voted with Democrats for this bill.

Our prediction: It will fail again. Republicans think this bill takes away people’s constitutional rights for due process because it bans them from buying a gun first, then allows them to challenge it in court later. And even as some Republicans have expressed a willingness to look at the no-fly list proposal — up to and including Donald Trump — they are more likely to favor the GOP proposal over this one.

Some potential areas of compromise

Believe it or not, there are some opportunities — however small — for Congress to move forward on gun control legislation in the wake of Orlando.

For example, here’s one new idea that almost all of the four proposals above, have added: If a person who has been on one of the FBI’s terrorist watch lists at any point in the past five years tries to buy a gun, the federal government must immediately notify law enforcement about it. The Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, had been on and off the FBI’s watch list before he bought his weapons.

And there are negotiations going on behind the scenes to try to merge Democrats’ and Republicans’ terrorist watch list proposals. As The Washington Post’s Karoun Demirjian reports, Collins (R-Maine) is working on something that Democrats haven’t dismissed outright.

She wants to prevent people on two of the FBI’s terrorist watch lists (it’s unclear exactly many lists there are for perhaps obvious reasons) from buying guns: the no-fly list and the selectee list.

Both lists deal with a person’s rights at the airport. If you’re on the no-fly list, you can’t board an airplane. If you’re on the selectee list, you get extra security screening when you try to board a plane. Mateen was on the selectee list for a time. And under Collins’s proposal, if you are on these lists and are denied your right to buy a gun, you can challenge it, and if you win, the government has to pay your legal costs.

Again, her proposals are not exactly what Democrats want (they don’t like the idea of working with just these two terrorist watch lists) or what Republicans want (they don’t like the idea of banning a person from buying a gun first, then offering legal recourse later). But that’s the essence of a compromise, and right now it looks like the only one the Senate’s got.

Tellingly, Collins’s proposal isn’t up for a vote Monday, suggesting it might not yet have backing from Republican leaders.

Tucker Carlson uses facts to brutally shut down gun control advocate who favors gun confiscation

Tucker Carlson uses facts to brutally shut down gun control advocate who favors gun confiscation

Tucker Carlson uses facts to brutally shut down gun control advocate who favors gun confiscation

Tucker Carlson argues gun control with gun control advocate in light of Seattle’s gun tax backfiring. (Image source: YouTube)

Fox News host Tucker Carlson took on a gun control advocate on his show Friday over Seattle’s recent gun tax and its apparent failure to quell gun violence, and instead, backfire completely.

In 2015, Seattle implemented a “gun violence tax,” which aimed to reduce the amount of gun violence in its city limits. The tax imposed a $25 tax for every firearm purchased and a $.05 tax for every round of ammunition bought within the city limits. The tax has hurt small business owners in the city that own gun stores and has even forced many of them to lay off workers, move to the suburbs or completely shutdown altogether.

But new reports indicate the law hasn’t worked the way it was intended to. In fact, violence has increased in Seattle and murders have doubled this year. Carlson said it proves the law has backfired. Gun control advocate Mark Glaze disagreed.

Glaze said the purpose of the law was to help fund studies of gun control and not to end gun violence like Carlson allegedly claimed. However, Carlson said that isn’t what he claims.

“I’m merely noting the obvious, which is the gun tax didn’t make the city any safer,” Carlson said. “What’s the point of any of this…if it doesn’t make the city any safer? That’s the whole point. Right?”

Glaze responded by accusing the “gun lobby” of preventing the federal government from allocating funds to study gun violence, so Seattle created their tax in order to do it themselves. But Carlson wanted Glaze to address the real facts of the matter.

“Again, the whole point of all of this…is to reduce gun violence — and it doubled [in Seattle],” Carlson said. “So it’s hard to take you or people like you seriously if you don’t let the data drive your conclusions. And the date here are really clear, crystal clear. This didn’t work, so why would you still support it?”

Glaze again reiterated his claim that no person in Seattle thought the gun tax would drive down gun violence, but Carlson quickly called out him out.

“That’s not true,” the Fox host interrupted. “They didn’t say ‘we’re gonna end all gun violence,’ but they said it would make it a safer city — and the city got more dangerous.”

Glaze then tried to move the conversation along to discuss control measures that he alleged the public “wants.” He said that instead of a gun tax, Seattle should implement a ban on “semi-automatic” rifles with “high capacity” magazines, alleging that gang members “most often” use them to commit acts of gun violence while drawing a connection to the weapon used to nearly assassinate House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) earlier this month.

But once again, Carlson was quick to throw a time-out on the field.

“But your numbers are just wrong,” Carlson replied. “Actually, a relatively small percentage of murders in this country are committed with rifles of any kind. They’re almost all committed with handguns.”

“So I know these guns may look scary, and they send you guys into a frenzy because they’re terrified-looking, but they don’t actually drive the problems. So again, you’re wrong,” he explained.

Given the number of firearms in America — which is believable to be several hundred million — Carlson said the “truth” of the matter is the only way gun control advocates will get what they want is through gun confiscation.

Glaze suggested the federal government buyback Americans’ guns in order to dramatically reduce the number of firearms in the country similar to what Australia did. But Carlson noted that Australia’s gun “buyback” wasn’t voluntary and was actually gun confiscation.

“That’s not true, that’s not true,” Carlson said. “They didn’t buy them back. They confiscated them by force. You had no option. It wasn’t voluntary. If you tried that in this country, you would have a civil war in about 10 minutes.”

“Is that the plan? To take people’s guns by force?” Carlson questioned.

Glaze responded by alleging two-third of American gun owners would willingly give up their firearms in a government buyback.

“Good luck with that, Mark,” Carlson quipped.

Hunter Suing Glock After Pistol Exploded in His Hand

Hunter Suing Glock After Pistol Exploded in His Hand

A Massachusetts man is going after firearms manufacturer Glock Inc., among other companies, in federal court after he says a pistol exploded in his hands. He is now suing for $1 million.

Mass Live reports plaintiff Rodney MacDonald, back in 2012, was on a hunting trip when he fired the gun and it blew apart, sending shrapnel flying into his face and body.

“The Plaintiff fired two shots from the gun without incident. On the third shot, the gun exploded/blew apart while the Plaintiff was holding the gun and firing it,” the lawsuit reads.

The lawsuit was filed in 2015, but a handful of delays plus an already slow court system caused this case to slip through without one single hearing until just recently.

However, the fact that this incident occurred back in 2012, and Mr. MacDonald is just now taking legal action, smells awfully funny.

It’s also worth noting here, the list of companies that were originally stated in the complaint: in no particular order, Georgia-based Glock, Inc., which manufactured the 10 mm firearm referenced in this case; Guns and Gear, a firearm retailer in Agawam, where the pistol was purchased; Buffalo Bore Ammunition, Inc., manufacturer of the ammunition used in the gun at the time of the incident; and Cabela’s Wholesale Inc., which sold the ammo, according to court documents.

Guns and Gear was later axed from the lawsuit, according to court filings.

These claims are no stranger to Glock though, and they intend to defend the case in front of a federal court judge.

Cuomo promises battle against federal push to counter SAFE Act gun regulations

Cuomo promises battle against federal push to counter SAFE Act gun regulations

    The 2013 SAFE Act tightened assault weapon regulations and banned high-capacity magazines in the state.

    The 2013 SAFE Act tightened assault weapon regulations and banned high-capacity magazines in the state.

    ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo vowed Tuesday to fight any attempt by Congress to negate the gun control law New York lawmakers adopted after the Sandy Hook massacre.

    Cuomo, during a stop in upstate Hudson, N.Y., blasted Rep. Chris Collins (R-Erie County) for introducing The Second Amendment Guarantee Act, which would limit the authority of states to regulate rifles and shotguns.

    “If they try to overrule the State of New York we will sue because this state has rights too,” Cuomo said. “And especially with this federal government, it is very important that states represent their rights and assert their rights and I will assert my rights to the fullest extent of the law.”

    A spokeswoman for Collins defended the proposed legislation, saying it would remove restrictions “unfairly placed on New Yorkers” by the governor.

    Upstate Democrat Terry Gipson mulls 2018 run against Cuomo

    “Governor Cuomo took away the Constitutional rights of Americans when he signed the so-called SAFE Act into law,” said Collins spokeswoman Sarah Minkel.

    “If Governor Cuomo wants to criticize Congressman Collins for sticking up for his constituents by protecting their Second Amendment rights, or for working to reduce their property taxes, he can answer to them in 2018,” Minkel added.

    Erie County Rep. Chris Collins’ bill would undercut firearm restrictions put in place by New York’s SAFE Act.

    Erie County Rep. Chris Collins’ bill would undercut firearm restrictions put in place by New York’s SAFE Act.

    Known as the SAFE Act, the gun control measure adopted by Cuomo and the state Legislature in early 2013 banned high-capacity magazines and tightened the state’s existing ban on assault weapons. It also implemented new safeguards to prevent the dangerously mentally ill from possessing guns.

     Collins’ proposed bill would block states from imposing gun regulations that are stricter than federal law.

    Lawmaker uses Scalise shooting to tout anti-gun control stance

    Cuomo on Tuesday said Collins and fellow upstate Republican Rep. John Faso had “pledged allegiance to that ultra-conservative orthodoxy” that has taken over Washington.

    During the recent health care debate, Collins and Faso sponsored an amendment that would have shifted the local costs of Medicaid outside of New York City to the state.

    Cuomo blasted the amendment, warning it would cost the state $2.3 billion a year.

    Senator Joe Manchin Took ‘$87,000’ from Pro-Gun Control Law Firm

    Senator Joe Manchin Took ‘$87,000’ from Pro-Gun Control Law Firm

    Quarterly campaign filings indicate that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) took “$87,000” from individuals tied to gun control law firm Paul, Weiss.

    This news comes less than a month after Breitbart News reported that Manchin told The Young Turks‘ Cenk Uygur that he has no idea who gives him money.

    Uygur pointed out that Manchin supported removing a “stream protection rule,” then explained that Manchin’s No. 1 donor, First Energy, had previously gotten into “in some degree of trouble for putting arsenic in a pond.”

    Manchin responded, “I know it’s hard to believe and I know it’s hard for people too, [but] I don’t have any idea who gives me money. I don’t solicit from the standpoint of, ‘If you do this for me,’ quid quo pro, that’s never been me. That’s not my political mantra at all.”

    The same Sen. Manchin who said these things when asked about First Energy may want to explain the donations tied to Paul, Weiss. After all, Manchin was Barack Obama’s go-to-guy for gun control in the Senate–Manchin spearheaded the failed, post-Sandy Hook gun control push–and he pushed gun control again and again after high profile attacks since Sandy Hook.

    Now, the Washington Times reports that “Manchin received donations from [a] law firm pushing for gun control.”

    The Times reports that donations came from Martin Flumenbaum, an attorney at Paul, Weiss who “was once banned from Guantanamo after someone on his team was caught distributing anti-American propaganda to detainees back in 2006.”

    Paul, Weiss also “has longstanding connections” to Bill & Hillary Clinton and held a political fundraiser for Hillary when she was running on the pro-gun control presidential ticket.

    AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.

    Michael Bloomberg talks gun control, empowering cities and Trump: ‘I was a manager; he was not’


    Michael Bloomberg talks gun control, empowering cities and Trump: ‘I was a manager; he was not’

     To former New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the key to good governing is experience as a manager.

    One key to being a good manager, he says, is assembling a solid team. Another is knowing that running for office and governing require different skills.

    The billionaire businessman turned politician, who left office in 2013 after three terms, has a new lofty goal: Help cities nationwide run more efficiently.

    Last month, his foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, launched the $200-million American Cities Initiative, which aims to empower city governments and mayors to innovate and solve problems, such as gun violence, climate change and addiction.

    Bloomberg, 75, recently spoke with The Times about the effort, the differences between businesses and governments, and, of course, President Trump. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

    Let’s talk about your work on gun control. You’ve been a vocal proponent of stricter gun control laws for much of the past decade. This is an area where we haven’t seen movement from Congress. What does it take to get Congress to pass something like expanded background checks?

    We’ve tried to work to get background checks in at the state level because it seems not likely at the federal level at the moment — although, you never know.

    I would have told you gay marriage would have been a really tough thing to do and it turned out, in the end, it really wasn’t once enough people thought it was the right thing to do. …I think it is fair to say at a federal level, we don’t seem to be making progress and at the state level it’s a few [gun control laws] each year and, you know, that’s OK — we’re saving a lot of lives.

    This year there will be 31,000 people killed with illegal handguns, 12,000 murdered, 19,000 [will] commit suicide. And there have been more people killed with illegal handguns than soldiers that have died since the Revolutionary War through today in defense of our country.

    You’re a former mayor — you talk to a lot of mayors. So with this new initiative, what are two major problems you’re hearing from mayors at this moment?

    First thing is — president, governor and mayor — those three jobs are management jobs. They’re not policy jobs.

    You can’t have a policy on everything yourself, so you have to bring in policy people for some things, and if you brought in policy people for every one of them, that’s fine. I would want you — if you were my mayor, governor or president — to get other views before you implement policy.

    But management — “running the railroad,” the way I describe it — is the real job. And the skills to get elected are different from the skills to govern and you have a lot of smart people, honest people, who are elected to office, but they don’t have the experience and the skills and know where to go to get help.

    So if we can give them some basic management skills, but also build a network where they have people they can call and say, “Hey this is what I’m gonna do, just tell me, am I off base here? Do you think I’m doing it right and where else can I go to get help?” Those kinds of things — I think that more than anything else — are what mayors want, and there’s an enormous demand.

    The skills to get elected are different from the skills to govern

    — Michael R. Bloomberg

    What are some major issues you’re hearing from people — those mayors?

    Well, No. 1, I think it’s fair to say jobs. I would argue that the three biggest problems the world has are climate change, because it can kill everybody. Nuclear war, because it can kill an awful lot of people, and it’s become something to worry about with North Korea and Pakistan. And the third thing is the destruction of jobs.

    Now, maybe you want to add opioids and heroin to that. But that’s just growing at the beginning, it’s nowhere near as take-over-the-world the way the other three are. But for the cities point of view — jobs, climate change, drug addiction.

    Now that President Trump is in office, are there heightened concerns from mayors? … What about yourself?

    I think it’s fair to say there are heightened concerns, because cities depend on money from the federal government. Cities are where people can express themselves to government.

    You got to remember a mayor and the local city council are much closer to the public than the governor and the state legislature, or the president and the federal legislature. So if the public is in favor of something, the local officials know it and they get held responsible even if it really isn’t fair to hold them responsible.…

    When it comes to climate change, the public is in favor of doing something. They think there’s something going on. They think it’s man-made. They think we should do something about it, and they want their mayors to do it because they can’t get to their governor, or they can’t get to their president.

    You were critical of Trump during last year’s election, how would you evaluate his first six-months or so?

    [LAUGHTER] I’m shocked that you would say so. [LAUGHTER] … I was asked that at the 100 days, because I remember having that 100-day question back in 2002. I guess it would be April of 2002. I’d been in office 100 days and what I said to the press was, “I built a team.” … And the truth of the matter is, it was the best thing I could ever do.

    What Trump has not done, and I told him — the one conversation I’ve had with him — I think and I still think it’s the most important thing: he’s got to put together a team. And every day he doesn’t, it gets harder to do, because people say, “Well, he’s going to be in office less time. Every day he uses up is one less day towards four or eight years, and you know he gets more and more in trouble with some of the tweets and that sort of stuff, so it’s harder to attract people.”

    But it’s building a team, because he can’t run every agency. He doesn’t know anything about most of those agencies, and he doesn’t have to know. His job is to get the people and get them to work together and get the right people and to authorize them to do things — to give them authority, responsibility, which is very tough to get people to do in business and very tough to get people to do in government.

    You and Trump are both New Yorkers, billionaires and businessmen. You, like Trump, were elected with no prior political experience. What advice do you have for Trump about governing?

    I don’t think the comparison is accurate. … I was a manager. I started out working in business, and I managed a few people after a few years and I built up to managing 5,000 people when I ran for city hall.

    Today, my experience is having managed 300,000 people and today 20,000 people at my company. I don’t think Donald has had that management experience. His company — at best he maybe managed a 100 people — and I don’t even think that. So we came from very different backgrounds with very different experiences, and what I had said to him is there is nothing wrong with being elected and not having that experience. …

    I was a manager, he was not. We’re both New Yorkers, both wealthy. …I had a lot of experience in philanthropy, I don’t think he did. So when you say both businessmen, that’s not really quite fair. We’re different kinds of people.

    Chaos Erupts At City Hall Hearing For Proposed Gun Bill

    Chaos Erupts At City Hall Hearing For Proposed Gun Bill

    BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Chaos erupted Tuesday at a Baltimore City Hall hearing for a proposed mandatory one-year sentence for possession of an illegal handgun.

    It took just minutes for rising tensions to overflow.

    Council members had issued several warnings to unruly attendees, but police were called to move in as activists clashed with council members, and people pushed back.

    It ended with two arrests and a lot of upset people.

    The Baltimore Police Department says a 29-year-old and a 27-year-old were arrested and will face charges.

    At least one person was injured as police pulled people from the room, and an ambulance was called to the scene. Police say the 27-year-old who was arrested complained of chest pains after being arrested. He has been transported to a local hospital for treatment.

    After all of Tuesday’s events, council members voted through an amended gun bill by a 5-2 vote, moving it to the next round.

    City officials say they’re trying to end the slow motion massacre on the streets of Baltimore by putting a gun law back on the books that says those found guilty of carrying an illegal gun will be given a mandatory year-long sentence.

    “To say this is going to make a difference, I hope so,” says councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke. “I hope it will, because we have the votes here.”

    Council member Brandon Scott, of the 2nd district, says he’s against the bill in any form.

    “The amendments make the bill easier to stomach, it still doesn’t change the fact that I disagree with the bill in its entirety and its principles of mandatory minimums,” he says.

    One of the staunchest supporters of the bill says he’s not a fan of the amendments, but he was willing to compromise in order to get closer to the goal.

    “I have dozens and dozens of constituents who have reached out about this, and they are frankly sick and tired of people illegally carrying guns on the street and wreaking havoc on out communities,” says Eric Costello of the 11th district.

    Under the amended version of the bill, a mandatory minimum sentence would only apply to second offenses, except for first time offenders whose gun violation was committed along with another crime.

    The mayor did not specifically comment on Tuesday’s amendments, but she still strongly supports the bill she hopes will get illegal guns off Baltimore streets.

    “Over 600 shootings in less than a year in our city and something has to give,” Catherine Pugh says. “And so we are trying to protect the citizens of our city and make sure that we curb the violence in our city.”

    The city council will re-visit the bill in about three weeks.


    Alabama Republican uses Scalise shooting to tout anti-gun control stance

    Alabama Republican uses Scalise shooting to tout anti-gun control stance


    Rep. Mo Brooks used a clip of him responding to the Alexandria shooting in his Senate campaign ad.

    Rep. Mo Brooks used a clip of him responding to the Alexandria shooting in his Senate campaign ad.

    An Alabama Republican has invoked the memory of the congressional baseball shooting to tout his opposition to gun control.

    Rep. Mo Brooks, who represents for the northern part of his state, was in Alexandria, Va., last month when gunman James Hodgkinson opened fire and wounded five people, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

    “June 14: A Bernie Sanders supporter fires on Republican Congressman,” begins a Brooks ad for his current Senate run.

    The spot notes that Brooks, 63, gave his belt to be used as a tourniquet before faulting the “liberal media” for asking about gun control after yet another American rampage shooting.

    Caitlyn Jenner mulling over Senate run: ‘I have considered it’

    “The Second Amendment right to bear arms is to help ensure that we always have a republic,” the conservative said in a TV clip from after the shooting that he repurposed for his campaign.

    “So no, I’m not changing my opinion on any of the rights that we enjoy as Americans.”

    Internal polling reported by AL.com shows that though Brooks has gotten a boost from his presence at the failed assassination, he still is polling third among Republicans in the race for the Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

    Ahead of him are Luther Strange, appointed to the seat after Sessions’s departure, and former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who resigned to run for Senate after being suspended earlier this year for failing to follow the U.S. Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling.

    Rep. Steve Scalise out of ICU, still in serious condition

    Investigators gather at Eugene Simpson Field, the site where a gunman opened fire on June 14.

    Investigators gather at Eugene Simpson Field, the site where a gunman opened fire on June 14.

    The primary is set to be held on August 15.

    Brooks has made guns a focus of his campaign after the shooting, sponsoring a “Congressional Self-Defense Act” that would allow federal lawmakers to carry guns in the U.S. Capitol.

    Scalise, a fellow Republican from Louisiana, was the most seriously wounded in the June 14 attack on a practice for the annual Congressional baseball game, and is still in the hospital after suffering a deep tissue infection.

    Asked about Brooks’s ad, a spokesman for the wounded congressman said “some people have different ideas about what’s appropriate.”

    “The day of the shooting, while waiting at the hospital, I avoided the news/audio/video as much as possible. This makes my stomach turn,” Scalise’s chief of staff Brett Horton said on Twitter.

    Also wounded in the shooting were congressional staffer Zack Barth, lobbyist Matt Mika, and Capitol Police officers Crystal Griner and David Bailey.

    The NRA’s Spokeswoman Is Not Happy With Trump’s Latest Hire

    The NRA’s Spokeswoman Is Not Happy With Trump’s Latest Hire

    Anthony Scaramucci is pro-gun control and a “concerning” pick, Dana Loesch said in a now-deleted tweet.

    WASHINGTON ― Here’s something you may not know about President Donald Trump’s new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci: He’s an ardent supporter of gun control.

    Scaramucci, a businessman and longtime Trump ally, has tweeted for years about his support for tighter gun laws, stating in 2012, “I have always been for strong gun control laws.” He’s also made the point that keeping a gun in your house is more likely to harm you or your loved ones than a potential intruder (which is true).

    His views are not sitting well with Dana Loesch, the national spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association. On Friday, just as news was breaking about Scaramucci’s hiring, Loesch tweeted that Trump had made a “concerning” choice in Scaramucci since he has “a contrary position” to the president on gun rights. The tweet was later taken down.

    Here’s a screenshot of the now-deleted tweet, compliments of Wayback Machine, a digital archive of the web.


    Loesch is suggesting that Scaramucci’s presence in the White House could complicate the NRA’s effort to advance its No. 1 legislative priority: national concealed carry reciprocity, which would require states that issue permits for concealed weapons to also recognize such permits from other states. Trump has publicly supported this policy.

    Jennifer Baker, another NRA spokeswoman, told HuffPost that Loesch was only speaking for herself when she questioned Scaramucci’s views.

    “Dana Loesch was not speaking on behalf of the National Rifle Association when she commented on recent White House personnel decisions,” she said.

    Asked if the NRA does, then, have an official position on Trump hiring Scaramucci, Baker said only, “No.”

    A White House spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment on Trump’s and Scaramucci’s different views on gun safety.

    Though her original tweet is deleted, Loesch tweeted out a few more thoughts about her concerns with Scaramucci.

    Breaking: House Passes New Bill Mandating Transfer of ALL US Army M1911 Handguns to Civilian Marksmanship Program

    Breaking: House Passes New Bill Mandating Transfer of ALL US Army M1911 Handguns to Civilian Marksmanship Program

    The United States House of Representatives has passed along a new bill that will mandate the release of all M1911 handguns currently in the US Army’s inventory to the Civilian Marksmanship Program, to be redistributed to eligible US civilians.

    The text of this new bill can be read below, and you can find the entire bill right here:

    (a)Required Transfers.—In accordance with subsection (b) of this section, the Secretary of the Army shall transfer to the corporation all firearms and ammunition that, on February 9, 1996, were under the control of the director of civilian marksmanship (as that position existed under section 4307 of title 10 on February 9, 1996), including—


    all firearms on loan to affiliated clubs and State associations;


    all firearms in the possession of the Civilian Marksmanship Support Detachment; and


    all M–1 Garand and caliber .22 rimfire rifles stored at Defense Distribution Depot, Anniston, Anniston, Alabama.

    (b)Time for Transfers.—The Secretary shall transfer firearms and ammunition under subsection (a) of this section as and when necessary to enable the corporation—


    to issue or loan firearms or ammunition under section 40731 of this title; or


    to sell firearms or ammunition under section 40732 of this title.

    (c)Vesting of Title in Transferred Items.—Title to an item transferred to the corporation under this section shall vest in the corporation—


    on the issuance of the item to an eligible recipient under section 40731 of this title; or


    immediately before the corporation delivers the item to a purchaser in accordance with a contract for sale of the item that is authorized under section 40732 of this title.

    (d)Storage of Firearms.—

    Firearms stored at Defense Distribution Depot, Anniston, Anniston, Alabama, before February 10, 1996, and used for the Civilian Marksmanship Program (as that program existed under section 4308(e) of title 10 before February 10, 1996), shall remain at that facility or another storage facility designated by the Secretary, without cost to the corporation, until the firearms are issued, loaned, or sold by the corporation, or otherwise transferred to the corporation.

    (e)Discretionary Transfer of Parts.—

    The Secretary may transfer from the inventory of the Department of the Army to the corporation any part from a rifle designated to be demilitarized.

    (f)Limitation on Demilitarization of M–1 Rifles.—

    After February 10, 1996, the Secretary may not demilitarize an M–1 Garand rifle in the inventory of the Army unless the Defense Logistics Agency decides the rifle is unserviceable.

    (g)Cost of Transfers.—

    A transfer of firearms, ammunition, or parts to the corporation under this section shall be made without cost to the corporation, except that the corporation shall assume the cost of preparation and transportation of firearms and ammunition transferred under this section.

    (h)Authorized Transfers.—


    Subject to paragraph (2), the Secretary may transfer to the corporation, in accordance with the procedure prescribed in this subchapter, surplus caliber .45 M1911/M1911A1 pistols and spare parts and related accessories for those pistols that, on the date of the enactment of this subsection, are under the control of the Secretary and are surplus to the requirements of the Department of the Army, and such material as may be recovered by the Secretary pursuant to section 40728A(a) of this title. The Secretary shall determine a reasonable schedule for the transfer of such surplus pistols.


    The Secretary may not transfer more than 10,000 surplus caliber .45 M1911/M1911A1 pistols to the corporation during any year and may only transfer such pistols as long as pistols described in paragraph (1) remain available for transfer.
    (Pub. L. 105–225Aug. 12, 1998112 Stat. 1339Pub. L. 114–92, div. A, title X, § 1087(a)(1), Nov. 25, 2015129 Stat. 1012.)
    As of right now, it looks like this bill is heading toward the Senate with plenty of steam. Should it pass there, we could soon see the transfer of thousands of surplus M1911 handguns to the US civilian market thanks in large part to the Civilian Marksmanship Program.
    Now, expectations should be tempered as far as the condition of these handguns, but they will without a doubt make for a cool collection piece!



    Scott wrote yesterday about a tragic shooting incident in Minneapolis. At about 11:30 last Saturday night, a 40-year-old woman named Justine Damond, a native of Australia, thought she heard a sexual assault in progress in the alley behind her house. She called 911 and a Minneapolis Police Department squad car with two officers responded to her call. She left her house in her pajamas to talk to the officers. While she was standing next to the driver’s door and speaking with him, the officer in the passenger seat shot her, fatally.

    The officer who shot Ms. Damond was Mohamed Noor, a Somali-American who joined the force in 2015. Bizarrely, nearly three days after the incident, we don’t know whether Noor shot Damond accidentally or on purpose. My assumption is that it was an accident resulting from almost incredibly inept handling of his firearm by Officer Noor.

    If the races of the participants had been reversed, Black Lives Matter would be shutting down highways, politicians like Governor Mark Dayton would be denouncing racist police officers, and newspapers around the world would be writing about racial bias in policing. But those things are not happening. Governor Dayton, who issued incendiary denunciations of the police when the races were reversed, has declined to comment.

    And newspapers are forgoing any race angle. In fact, the Washington Post published a long article on the shooting that doesn’t identify the police officer or mention the fact that he is a Somali. Instead, the Post focuses on the fact that a gun was involved, headlining: “‘AMERICAN NIGHTMARE’: Australians react to fatal police shooting in ‘very risky’ United States.” With race out of the picture, it’s all about gun control:

    Nearly 9,000 miles away, in Australia — where lawmakers have passed some of the world’s most restrictive gun-control laws — people were struggling to make sense of Damond’s death.

    “Why on Earth did U.S. cops kill Aussie who called for help,” the Courier-Mail, an Australian tabloid, asked on its cover.

    “AMERICAN NIGHTMARE,” blared a headline on the front page of the Daily Telegraph, a Sydney newspaper.
    The Australian government passed strict gun control legislation in 1996, after a gunman opened fire in a Tasmania cafe, then hunted down more people in his car, killing a total of 35 and wounding 19 others. The National Firearms Agreement banned the possession, manufacture and sale of all semiautomatic firearms and pump-action shotguns other than in “exceptional circumstances,” notably military and police use.

    The article goes on and on about Australia’s gun control laws.

    But wait! This makes no sense. Police officers in Australia carry guns, too. So there is no relevant difference between the laws here and the laws in Australia.

    There is a hierarchy at work, obviously. If it can be about race, it’s about race. If it can’t be about race, it’s about guns. I’m not sure what comes next. How far down the line do you suppose the Post would have to go before the issue would be whether affirmative action is causing police departments to hire unqualified applicants?

    Gabby Giffords Praises GOP Rep for Introducing Gun Control Bill


    Gabby Giffords Praises GOP Rep for Introducing Gun Control Bill

    On Thursday gun control proponent Gabby Giffords praised Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY) for introducing a bill to expand the number of people prohibited from firearm possession.

    Donovan is sponsoring the gun control along with Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.).

    According to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Donovan’s gun control bill “seeks to close loopholes in gun laws to prevent people convicted of domestic violence or stalking from buying firearms.” It is called the “Zero Tolerance for Domestic Abusers Act.”

    Giffords praised the bill and endorsed it, but she hedged her bets by admitting the bill “won’t stop every act of violence.”  In truth, the bill will not stop any determined attacker–no amount of gun control does–and the success of this particular gun control bill is predicated on the belief that a ban on buying or possessing a gun will keep a determined attacker from buying or possessing gun. Felons in possession of guns prove the fallacy of such a predication daily.

    One thing bill will is expand gun control even further that its present reach, adding to the cumbersome set of hoops law-abiding citizens must already jump through to acquire a gun at retail.

    The viability of a particular gun control law has never hindered Giffords, who pushes background checks as a solution to crime even though her attacker passed a background check to acquire the gun with which he attacked her.

    AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.

    Why a Women’s March Cofounder Says Every Feminist Should Care About Gun Control

    Why a Women’s March Cofounder Says Every Feminist Should Care About Gun Control

    It has been a big year for Tamika Mallory.

    A lifelong social justice activist, she also happens to be one of the four women who created the Facebook event which would eventually become the epic Women’s March and later evolve into a movement in and of itself. In June, Mallory took the stage at the BET Awards to receive the Shine a Light Award for her fearlessness, and presenter Solange Knowles praised her for all the work that she’s done in drawing attention to essential causes and for raising the voices of women of color around the world.

    But Mallory is just getting started. Her next project, #NRA2DOJ, will take her to Washington on July 14 to protest the NRA. The effort is a direct response to a viral — and frankly, despicable — marketing campaign from the gun rights advocacy group, but gun control has been an issue close to Mallory’s heart for a long time. She’s been active in changing the policy and discussion around guns since the death of her son’s father by shooting in 2001, and this new project seeks to bring even more national attention to an issue which has reached a crisis point.

    Mallory took some time out of her busy schedule on July 7 to speak with POPSUGAR about the new initiative, her history with activism, and why it is that gun control should be front and center for all feminists.

    POPSUGAR: Let’s talk about #NRA2DOJ and the origins of that, what you see coming after the actual march and how it connects back to Women’s March generally.

    Tamika Mallory: I think the Women’s March has taken the position that we are going to — along with partners and many voices — ensure that in this time people feel that they have a place to go to get organized, to really push back against so many things that are concerning everyone. And we want to sort of be a hub, a space particularly for new activists, people who have not been engaged in the movement in the past and are looking for avenues, sort of ways to get involved. And then we saw the ad.

    We believe that we have a moral responsibility to speak out against any threat to people of color and protesters, people who are exercising their First Amendment right to protest. The NRA will be the first to say to cite the Second Amendment as a right of every citizen, but the First Amendment is alsoa right. They are touting themselves on their website as being one of the oldest civil rights organizations — in the spirit of what it means to be a civil rights organization, we ask the question “What are you doing to protect and defend black and brown lives?”

    With women of color really helping to lead and hear the efforts of Women’s March, what better group of people to really sound the alarm? We do not believe — and I think that this is really, really, really important — we are in no way claiming to be the group that has the answers or to be the most prominent organization. We are saying that we will add our voices and our resources to organizations that have existed before us, organizations that have come after us. Because we want to work in communities; we want to be unified with the movement in general and what this resistance looks like from a unified standpoint.

    There are many gun violence organizations that work to end gun violence and to address the issues of gun violence in urban communities in pockets across this country, and we want to support them. We want this fight that we have taken on with the NRA to be in support of those organizations. I say that because the NRA is directly in the way of getting things like a responsible and sensible gun legislation passed in this country. They have been blocking that.

    And therefore the blood of children in Chicago is on their hands, because those guns — that are not being made or manufactured in the Chicago area — are getting into the hands of young people. Because people are purchasing guns without having any necessary background checks in different states, traveling over state lines. And those guns are making it into the hands of people who are living in situations that many of us cannot even understand. This is not just about the advertisements. It is about the fact that the ad represents the war against people of color that exists in this country, and they basically have given license to people to continue to kill us and for us to continue to have the use of weapons to kill ourselves.

    “I think that young women need to know that gun violence is not, in any way, isolated to men.”

    PS: What would you say to the young women who read POPSUGAR to help them understand how important this issue is?

    TM: Well, I think what a young woman needs to understand is that our lives are in danger — everything from domestic violence to violence that may be happening in your community. When people have access to guns and they are receiving messaging from the organization that represents them as a gun owner telling them that [people] do not have the right to protest, they don’t have the right to speak against any particular views that they don’t necessarily agree with, your life will be in danger.

    The NRA’s rhetoric allows for more incidents to happen. And we cannot sit by and watch that happen. I think that young women need to know that gun violence is not, in any way, isolated to men. It can happen to you — and it has. We’ve seen domestic violence incidents over the years where people who are mentally troubled are allowed access to guns and have taken the lives of young women and children, families. This is an issue that concerns us all.

    PS: I know your parents were founding members of National Action Network and that you started there at an early age. I’d love to hear a little bit about what that was like.

    TM: Being a part of National Action Network when I was a small kid wasn’t necessarily something that I considered to be cool at the time. That’s the honest truth. You know, I was a young kid and going to protests and having to read all of the books and sort of being around the movement wasn’t necessarily bowling and hanging out. (laughter) I’m just laughing because I’m thinking about my mom. If she was on the phone she would say say, “Yeah, you hated it,” but you know, I was a young kid who really wanted to just do things that I was thought was sort of like a normal kid’s life, and for me growing up in the movement, we were always engaged in some type of community activity. So I was never a kid who didn’t have an understanding of how important it was to be a part of uplifting other people and working within my community.

    PS: So what led you to join and ultimately work your way up there?

    TM: As I got older and other young people were in the same situation that I was in, they had no choice but to be at rallies and to be involved and, you know, there were types of us activists — we found a way to make our work fun. We started to find ways to bring sort of youthfulness to the activism world, and we grew together as a family. But it was still me following in my parents’ footsteps, being a part of the movement because they wanted me to be there. And it wasn’t until my son’s father was killed — when my son was 2 years old and his father was shot and killed — that the movement sort of became my own. I began to own what it meant to be an activist and to be involved in the movement.

    PS: Correct me if I’m wrong on this — you left there to work for Joe Biden and Bill de Blasio?

    TM: I think it was immediately following the Newtown shooting. The vice president started a task force to look at the nationwide crisis of gun violence, and I served on the task force as a representative for the National Action Network in my role as executive director. Our position at the time, or the perspective that I was bringing at the time, is that gun violence isn’t just mass shootings — it is also shootings that are happening every day in communities, particularly in places like Chicago and Brooklyn and other urban markets across the country. So we wanted to bring that perspective to the task force and we did. It wasn’t something that we did for long, you know, it was a few meetings that took place to try and talk about all the different factors of the issue and how to address gun violence. Let me put it this way: they were a few meetings to discuss how we have to approach the issue of gun violence from many different perspectives, and that is definitely the part I was involved in.

    As it relates to Mayor de Blasio, I served on his transition team, specifically around criminal justice, looking at his appointees for criminal-justice-related departments in the city and also for different law enforcement agencies, the fire department — all of that was covered underneath the committee that I worked on. I have supported Mayor de Blasio — when he was running for office, I was a big supporter for him, raised money for him from young professionals, and had been a doorknocker for him.

    PS: I have to ask, on a different topic: is there anything you’d like to say about Linda Sarsour’s comments that the protests against Donald Trump should be a sort of jihad against the president?

    TM: The only thing I have to say is that if anyone listens to the full speech and reads everything that she said, they would know that there was nothing in her speech that she said that calls for violence or harm, physical harm, to be done to anyone. And that’s just the truth.

    I think that some people want to say that her words are being taken out of context. I wouldn’t say that her words are being taken out of context. I would say that she is purposely being demonized. It was happening before the Women’s March, but it really started after the Women’s March, that people have been trying to use her words against her. I hope that folks understand that just like the NRA, when the response is to create a new video and to put my face in a new video, these people are trying to expose us, and we could get hurt.

    Now, we have decided that we are prepared to lay our lives down for what we believe in. We have decided that. At the same time, the question has to be “Is it worth it to other people, that one of us may be harmed because you are so tied to the idea that the rest of us don’t have the right to disagree with you?” Our families also become targets when people expose us in that way. The NRA uses the language that we, as protesters, are violent, yet we are constantly dealing with the violence being inflicted upon us.

    Wisconsin Bill Would Allow Firearm Safety Courses in High Schools

    Firearm safety offered as a class in high school? Where do we sign up?

    Lawmakers in Wisconsin have been tossing around an idea that could eventually see public schools in the state offer gun safety training as an elective, the Journal Sentinelreports.

    Students would get hands on training and learn how to handle a wide range of guns – from handguns to rifles.

    The bill, which was introduced last week, would allow schools to offer on-site gun education classes, its purpose is simply to promote gun safety and and boost participation in trap shooting, Rep. Ken Skowronski said.

    The bill also comes with a list of requirements, such as a instructors who have proof of previous training in firearm safety. Also, to the concern of some folks, the bill would NOT change a current law that prohibits live ammunition and its use on school property – can’t leave that important note out.

    As of last week, the bill reportedly had 23 Assembly co-sponsors.

    How do you feel about your children being offered a gun safety class in high school?

    Stanford law prof gets it wrong on guns — right-to-carry reduces crime, not the other way around

    Stanford law prof gets it wrong on guns — right-to-carry reduces crime, not the other way around

    Would you rely almost exclusively on trends in Hawaii to predict violent crime rates in Idaho, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Utah?  Would you look at Illinois to predict changes in Louisiana and South Carolina?   Illinois has a drastically difference crime landscape, with half of its violent crime occurring in Chicago.

    Though it wouldn’t pass the laugh test for most people, an unpublished report making just these sorts of comparisons has been all the rage in the media.  Lead author John Donohue, a professor at Stanford Law School, makes a claim which goes against existing national research: that right-to-carry laws increase violent crime.

    The report has been covered in NewsweekThe AtlanticBloomberg, other national outlets and many newspapers from Newsday to the Salt Lake City Tribune.  Despite outlets such as Newsweek claiming that the report “debunks” my own research, not a single reporter has contacted me for my thoughts.  The only quotes were from gun control advocates. By contrast, those same outlets have consistently sought out critics when discussing my own research.  Apparently, politically correct results get a free pass on proper journalistic scrutiny.

    With 16 million permit holders across 50 states, it is telling that not one state has ever held a legislative hearing to consider rescinding right-to-carry laws.

    No other study by an economist, criminologist, or law professor has claimed that US violent crime rose after right-to-carry laws were adopted.

    So the game is to find states where murder rates fell relative to the states adopting right-to-carry laws, then use that as evidence of right-to-carry laws causing an increase in violent crime.  Before this researchers made an across-the-board comparison between states that changed their laws and states that haven’t changed them.

    This new study picks out just two to four states, and in many cases effectively just use Hawaii to compare with right-to-carry states.  In the cases of Idaho and Minnesota, over 96 percent of the comparison is just with Hawaii.  For Mississippi, Nebraska, and Utah, Hawaii counts for between 72 percent and 83 percent of the comparison.

    The study claims that police simply “underestimate criminality by permit holders.”  But Donohue’s only evidence is two news stories from 2000 and 2007 where permit holders committed crimes.  Neither story shows any failure by police to record the incidents.  The study never mentions how large the police error rate would have to be in order to for their results to hold.

    Take Michigan, where Donohue claims that right-to-carry laws increased the violent crime rate by 8.8 percent.  During 2015, 22 of Michigan’s roughly 600,000 permit holders were convicted of violent crimes, and many of those had nothing to do with guns. Permit holders accounted for 0.053 percent of violent crime in the state.  Therefore, Michigan experienced an increase in crime that was 166 times greater than permit holder’s share of violent crimes.  And all this assumes that permit holders didn’t stop or deter any crimes.

    For these results to be plausible, Michigan police departments would have to be missing 99.4 percent of cases where permit holders have committed violent crimes.

    Other states with detailed data show similar results: Louisiana police would have to miss 99.5 percent of crimes committed by permit holders, Oklahoma 99.93 percent, Tennessee 99.98 percent, and Texas 99.54 percent.

    But police certainly aren’t making these kinds of errors.

    Permit holders are simply incredibly law-abiding.  In Florida and Texas, about one in 42,000 are convicted of weapons violations.  Most of these violations are fairly trivial, such as carrying a gun without a permit or accidentally carrying a firearm into a gun-free zone.  By comparison, one out of every 6,000 police officers are convicted of weapons violations.

    The authors also rely on statistical tricks to come up with the claim that violent crime has gone up.  These are issues that have long been pointed out, but that the authors choose to ignore.

    There is a reason that over two-thirds of published, peer-reviewed studies find that right-to-carry laws reduce violent crime rates in the U.S.  All but one other paper, another by these authors, has claimed that right-to-carry laws exert no bad influence on any violent crime rates.

    With 16 million permit holders across 50 states, it is telling that not one state has ever held a legislative hearing to consider rescinding right-to-carry laws.  Surveys of police show that over 90 percent of officers consistently support such laws.

    People who go through the process of obtaining a concealed handgun permit tend to be extremely law-abiding.  If the authors can’t actually find the permit holder crimes needed to support their statistical tests, then perhaps the problem is with their tests.  But someone isn’t looking for the truth if he would rely almost exclusively on Hawaii to predict changes in Idaho’s violent crime rate.

    John R. Lott, Jr. is a columnist for FoxNews.com. He is an economist and was formerly chief economist at the United States Sentencing Commission. Lott is also a leading expert on guns and op-eds on that issue are done in conjunction with the Crime Prevention Research Center. He is the author of nine books including “More Guns, Less Crime.” His latest book is “The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies (August 1, 2016). Follow him on Twitter@johnrlottjr.

    After Scalise Shooting, a Twist: Lawmakers Want to Loosen Gun Laws

    WASHINGTON — After the nation’s worst mass shootings, in Newtown, Conn.; Aurora, Colo.; Orlando, Fla.; and Columbine High School in Colorado, gun control advocates rose to demand more rigorous laws: stricter background checks, limits on magazine capacities, bans on assault weapons and tougher controls on gun shows and online firearms markets — almost always to no avail.

    But in the weeks after the June 14 shooting of Republicans at a congressional baseball practice, the response has had a twist: Conservative lawmakers, some of whom were nearly the victims of gun violence, have pressed to loosen gun controls.

    Three bills introduced in the Republican-held House during the past two weeks would allow lawmakers to almost always carry a concealed weapon. A fourth would allow concealed carry permits obtained in other states to be recognized in the District of Columbia. Still another would eliminate federal controls on silencers.

    Most of the legislation has been in development for months, and in some cases, years. But the shooting in Alexandria, Va., which left Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the majority whip, grievously injured and three others less seriously wounded, served as motivation for Republicans on both sides of the Capitol to move.

    “Have they ever been shot at, multiple times, at close range, trying to save someone without any way to defend yourself?” Representative Barry Loudermilk, who was on the field during the shooting, said of gun control advocates.

    “When you’ve experienced that yourself, maybe then we can have this debate,” said Mr. Loudermilk, Republican of Georgia, evoking some of the emotion often conveyed by victims of gun violence who come to Washington seeking gun safety laws.

    The legislative push underlines a continuing partisan clash after highly publicized mass shootings, one in which national lawmakers tussle over gun regulation and rarely stray from party lines. Gun rights legislation after the baseball practice shooting received a lift: The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which would require each state to honor another state’s concealed carry permits, reached 200 co-sponsors.

    “I think what happened in Alexandria sharpened people’s resolve to make sure this right is protected,” said Representative Richard Hudson, Republican of North Carolina, who introduced the bill in January.


    What Happened at the Shooting at a Congressional Baseball Practice

    Five people were shot at a morning practice about five miles from the Capitol, the police said.

    Politicians in the District of Columbia have spent years trying to stave off congressional Republican efforts to weaken the city’s gun control laws, but never under these circumstances.

    “Washington, D.C., is the last place you want to condone or allow concealed-carry weapons,” said Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat and the District’s nonvoting House member. “They are certainly not going to be successful if I have anything to say about it.”

    She said she objected not only to the attempt to bypass the city’s strict gun laws, but also to the timing of the push.

    “It says everything about my colleagues that they would use the occasion of a tragedy on one of our members to come forward the day after with one of these bills,” Ms. Holmes Norton said.

    But those who were on the field during the shooting, such as Representative Mo Brooks, Republican of Alabama, are motivated. Mr. Brooks, who is in a heated primary campaign for a Senate seat, introduced a bill that would allow members to carry a concealed weapon anywhere except in the Capitol and in the presence of the president or the vice president.

    “Now seemed like an appropriate time to introduce it because of the obvious risk congressmen and senators face, as evidenced by the attack,” Mr. Brooks said.

    “It makes it very difficult to slide into second base when you have a pistol on your side,” Mr. Crowley said.

    When lawmakers return this week from their Fourth of July recess, the politics of guns could return with them. Just before they left, Senators Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, and Mike Crapo, Republican of Idaho, introduced a bill that would eliminate the federal regulation of silencers.


    A display at a National Rifle Association show in Harrisburg, Pa., in February. A proposed bill would eliminate federal controls on silencers. CreditDominick Reuter/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    Earlier that day, the National Rifle Association released an advertisement featuring incendiary charges that “they use their media to assassinate real news,” and images of violent protesters, concluding with a call to “fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth.”

    In contrast to the sit-in that followed the deadly Orlando nightclub shooting last year, Democrats have refrained from introducing new gun control legislation like the measure they pressed to bar gun sales to people on federal terrorism watch lists. Instead, they have focused on objecting to gun-rights legislation before congressional committees.

    “Congress right now is a difficult place for any progressive issue, and ours is no exception,” said Josh Horwitz, the executive director for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “I’m disgusted by the fact that we have to have mass shooting after mass shooting, and Congress isn’t doing anything about it.”

    Before the end of July, Representatives Peter King, Republican of New York, and Mike Thompson, Democrat of California, plan to reintroduce their bipartisan bill to expand federal background checks to cover all gun sales, including online purchases — legislation inspired by the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. But Mr. King admitted he was pessimistic.

    “Everything has been tried, and if Sandy Hook didn’t change people’s opinions, if Gabby Giffords’ case didn’t change people’s opinions, then it’s hard to see at this stage what would change,” said Mr. King, citing the shooting of a colleague, former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, Democrat of Arizona.

    States have steadily drifted away from once-strict prohibitions on carrying concealed guns since the 1980s, when 19 states refused to allow concealed carry, said Robert Spitzer, a State University of New York professor who specializes in gun control research. Now, he said, more than half of the states have laws that make it relatively easy to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon, a reversal heavily influenced by the N.R.A.’s state lobbying.

    Republican majorities in recent years have in the House shut down gun control legislation, and in the Senate stopped measures to block gun purchases by people on the federal terrorism watch list and to tighten background check rules.

    The debate in Washington is now shifting to federal legislation that would effectively block individual states from prohibiting the carrying of concealed guns.

    “We think it boils down to safety and people being able to protect themselves,” said Erich Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America, a gun rights group that is considered more conservative than the N.R.A. “The bad guys are always going to get guns.”

    Mr. Spitzer said such safety is probably illusory.

    “The weight of evidence suggests strongly that concealed carry does nothing to improve public safety,” Mr. Spitzer said. “That’s the most optimistic thing you can say statistically.”