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Posted by Jeff Soyer on 25 Feb 2015 05:48 am

There’s an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal:

The Supreme Court appeared ready Tuesday to allow a felon to sell his firearms collection, with justices across the ideological spectrum skeptical of government arguments that such transfers should be strictly limited.

[ . . . ]

Several justices said the government had conflated the concepts of possession and ownership—the former prohibited by federal law, the latter untouched by it. “If I leave my car with a garage for a month, the garage has possession, but they can’t sell the car. I don’t have possession, but I can sell the car,” Chief Justice John Roberts said.

More at the link.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 25 Feb 2015 05:42 am

From Seven Days Vermont:

Gun Sense Vermont cofounder Ann Braden conceded Tuesday that her group is unlikely to achieve its goal this year of requiring near-universal background checks for gun buyers. But she expressed hope that two other provisions in a controversial gun control bill may still move forward before the end of the legislative session.

“We have a very long view on this,” Braden said. “Two years ago, there wasn’t any way any gun provision would be debated. This is a long-term campaign to really change the conversation, so we can pass legislation to keep guns out of the wrong hands.”

There are a couple of minor clauses attached to the bill that might pass. One would make “felony in possession of a gun” a state felony (as it already is a federal felony) to give local cops the ability to charge someone. The second would add Vermont’s state list of people declared to be mentally unfit to own a gun (as determined by a court) to the national NICS database.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 24 Feb 2015 06:46 am

In moves that must have Bloomberg’s flunkies turning green:

1. In West Virginia:

West Virginia would become the fifth state not to require concealed handgun permits under a legislative proposal that started moving Monday.

A state Senate panel cast a unanimous voice vote to drop the need to get concealed carry permits. Only Alaska, Arizona, Vermont and Wyoming don’t have the requirement.

It’s the first major pro-gun push under newly minted Republican majorities in the 60-day legislative session, which ends in mid-March. Gun-friendly Democrats likewise loosened firearms restrictions in the eight-plus decades they ran the state Legislature.

2. In Kansas:

The Kansas Senate is expected to debate this week a bill to allow residents who are 21 or older to carry concealed guns without a state permit.

Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce’s office says the debate should be Wednesday or Thursday. Bruce is a Nickerson Republican, and he’s the measure’s leading sponsor.

The Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee approved the bill last week. It ends a requirement for people wanting to carry concealed to get a state permit.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 19 Feb 2015 05:10 am

And it wasn’t that long ago, either. From the BBC:

An alien star passed through our Solar System just 70,000 years ago, astronomers have discovered.

No other star is known to have approached this close to us.

An international team of researchers says it came five times closer than our current nearest neighbour - Proxima Centauri.

The object, a red dwarf known as Scholz’s star, cruised through the outer reaches of the Solar System - a region known as the Oort Cloud.

Scholz’s star was not alone; it was accompanied on its travels by an object known as a brown dwarf. These are essentially failed stars that lacked the necessary mass to get fusion going in their cores.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 19 Feb 2015 04:34 am

Because defensive gun use is not a myth.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 14 Feb 2015 03:57 am

This comes from the NRA:

In a move clearly intended by the Obama Administration to suppress the acquisition, ownership and use of AR-15s and other .223 caliber general purpose rifles, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives unexpectedly announced today that it intends to ban commonplace M855 ball ammunition as “armor piercing ammunition.” The decision continues Obama’s use of his executive authority to impose gun control restrictions and bypass Congress.

It isn’t even the third week of February, and the BATFE has already taken three major executive actions on gun control. First, it was a major change to what activities constitute regulated “manufacturing” of firearms. Next, BATFE reversed a less than year old position on firing a shouldered “pistol.” Now, BATFE has released a “Framework for Determining Whether Certain Projectiles are ‘Primarily Intended for Sporting Purposes’ Within the Meaning of 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(17)(c)”, which would eliminate M855’s exemption to the armor piercing ammunition prohibition and make future exemptions nearly impossible.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 11 Feb 2015 05:26 am

I like a town with spunk:

A rural township in south-central Pennsylvania is warning motorists that its residents pack heat in an effort to deter crime.

A dozen signs that declare “THIS IS NOT A GUN FREE ZONE” have been erected on just about every major road leading into Conoy Township, population 3,067. Three more signs are slated to go up soon, Fox News reported.

“I think even those who have bad intentions can read,” Stephen Mohr, one of the township supervisors, told Fox News. He said the town’s five supervisors unanimously decided to put up the signs.

“The first word on there is ‘Welcome’ … we have a lot here that we take pride in. What we’re telling people is that when they do come here, they should feel safer knowing that everyone in the township is watching out for them,” Mr. Mohr said. “And the criminal — he should realize that going into this township, he could have a bad day.”

Alas, Mohr might be presuming too much in assuming that the bad guys can read.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 11 Feb 2015 05:20 am

The proposed legislation to bring “universal background checks” for all firearms transactions drew lots of comments from both sides of the aisle at the state house last night. Most interesting bit, as reported by the Burlington Free Press:

Of 108 people signed up to address the Senate committees, 65 were opposed to the bill and 43 were in favor. Organizers alternated between the two lists to encourage a balanced debate.

Timothy Bombardier, police chief for the city of Barre, spoke on behalf of the Vermont Association of Chiefs of Police.

“We do not support S.31,” Bombardier said. He said the association would consider a stand-alone bill requiring the state to report people found mentally incompetent at court to a national database, one of the pieces of the proposal.

That’s in marked contrast to the position of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, who are in support of more gun control.

As I’ve noted before, Governor Shumlin is opposed to any new gun control laws. He’s a Democrat, by the way.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 10 Feb 2015 05:14 am

From KING TV:

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Police officers, military service members and armed security guards would not have to go through background checks to purchase guns in Washington state, under a series of bills debated in Olympia Monday.

The bills would give those employees exemptions to Initiative 594, passed by voters last November.

Opponents say the new law infringes on firearm rights guaranteed in the state and federal constitutions. It is the subject of a lawsuit in federal court.

“There are many flaws in I-594, many,” said Sen. Don Benton, R-Clark County.

The exemption-granting bills have the support of the National Rifle Association and police and sheriff’s organizations.

Because cops, service members, and security guards never break the law using a firearm? Why the hell should they be exempt from “universal” background checks for private gun sales?

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 10 Feb 2015 05:11 am

Now, it’s making national news:

One of the most liberal states in the country also is one of the most passionate about defending the right to bear arms, a fact that is coming to the fore following proposed legislation to expand background checks and add other gun regulations.

Hundreds of Vermont residents are expected to pack the state House chamber for a public hearing Tuesday night on Senate Bill 31, which would expand background checks from retail to private gun sales, step up reporting about people deemed psychologically unfit to have a gun and add state jurisdiction to what is now just federal enforcement of the ban on convicted felons possessing guns.

The bill has drawn strong opposition from powerful gun-rights groups and from Gov. Peter Shumlin, a Democrat and lifelong hunter.

The Governor has repeatedly said (of late) that he opposes any new gun control legislation. But can a Democratically controlled statehouse produce a veto-proof bill?

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 07 Feb 2015 07:23 am

From People Magazine (!):

Police say the 67-year-old victim, who has not been named, was walking on a path in a local park when he was approached by 18-year-old Tyler Williams, who tried to rob him, WPVI reports.

“He hears somebody running behind him. As he turns around, he sees a masked man with a gun pointed at him saying, ‘Give it up, give me all you got,’ ” Superintendent Michael Chitwood told the TV station.

Instead of handing over his wallet, the victim pulled out his own .38-caliber handgun and fired at Williams, shooting him in the head, according to NBC. He died at the scene.

Police say that the victim acted properly and no charges are being filed.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 03 Feb 2015 05:30 am

A new device on the market lets pig farmers know exactly when it’s the perfect time to slaughter a pig. From the Irish Mirror:

The ray gun fires light particles into a porker’s skin – allowing the weapon-wielder to measure iodine levels.

This in turn predicts the perfect balance of muscle and fat – ensuring farmers get the chop at exactly the right time for the tastiest and crispiest rashers .

The gun - which its inventors Carometec call the NitFom - can save slaughterhouses and pig farmers a fortune by ensuring they only produce the best quality meat.

More at the link, and now I know what I must have for breakfast… Here’s a picture of it:


Posted by Jeff Soyer on 03 Feb 2015 05:16 am

From Fox News:

Lapeer County, MI — An 11-year-old used a shotgun to scare an intruder away from their home.

The 11-year-old was home alone when a vehicle entered the driveway. The individual knocked on all the doors and then forced entry into the residence, the Lapeer County Sheriff’s Department said.

The child hid in a bathroom closet with a shotgun, police said. The bathroom and the bathroom closet were eventually forced open by the suspect.

The 11-year-old aimed the gun at the suspect and the suspect fled from the residence, police said, adding the child was not harmed during the incident.

Kudos not only to the child, but to the parents who taught that child well.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 02 Feb 2015 08:03 pm

And someone who likes living an isolationist existence, I’m sort of drawn to this story. Too bad it’s in Russia. The pictures are compelling.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 31 Jan 2015 04:39 am

Honestly, you couldn’t pay me enough money to live there. From Techdirt:

The data parameters listed in CARB’s proposal are extensive (p. 42). And it starts with this statement:

Track MPG/CO2 in the real-world

Not just enable easier data logging but actually provide historical data

In practical terms, this means logging of miles driven, fuel used, stops and starts, engine run time, and air conditioner usage. Certainly this data will help manufacturers build more efficient vehicles, but it really has no business being in the government’s hands.

If it does, the abuse of this data is almost guaranteed. If this was being tracked solely by manufacturers for use in development, it would be one thing. But if it’s being used to track down drivers who aren’t driving quite as efficiently as the local government believes they should be, that’s quite another. Say goodbye for aggregate data about classes of vehicles and hello to onboard surveillance.

Welcome to 1984 and THX-1138.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 31 Jan 2015 04:26 am

From the Burlington Free Press:

A Rutland County gun dealer said he has retained a Connecticut lawyer to pursue possible claims against a national gun safety group that conducted a recent sting operation for illegal gun purchases in Vermont.

Bobby Richards, who operates Crossfire Arms in Mount Holly, about 20 miles south of Rutland, said in a news release he is unhappy with Everytown for Gun Safety and its recent report about easy access to firearms in Vermont.

Richards said he believes Everytown misappropriated his firm’s logo for its report and defamed him as the company’s owner. The pictures of guns with watermarks showing the Mount Holly business could not be found on the website report late this week.

Punch back twice as hard.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 31 Jan 2015 04:23 am

I think that this article is a good example.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 30 Jan 2015 06:52 am

From the Blaze:

The Michael Bloomberg-financed Everytown for Gun Safety issued a correction to one of its reports after a Vermont gun dealer said he was considering suing over the allegation that he was selling guns online without conducting background checks, and a pro-gun website found faulty information.

Last week’s report originally asserted that more than 1,000 online gun ads in Vermont were from unlicensed dealers, and thus not conducting criminal background checks. But on Thursday, Everytown for Gun Safety acknowledged it had incorrectly identified 49 licensed gun dealers in Vermont as unlicensed.

More at the link.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 29 Jan 2015 04:18 am

Headline: Can smart gun technology be trusted? No. Next question.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 29 Jan 2015 04:16 am

I think that I posted about this when it first made news, but I’ll do so again since it’s back in the news:

In the five months since Jan Morgan banned Muslims from her gun range in Hot Springs, Ark., business has boomed and predictions of a lawsuit brought by federal civil rights enforcers have so far proved inaccurate.

Morgan, who claims keeping Muslims out of her Gun Cave Indoor Firing Range is a matter of public safety and not a constitutional issue, says she made the decision in September after two customers she deemed suspicious visited. She said their furtive behavior and cellphone ringtones of “Allahu Akhbar” prompted her to revise her range’s policies.

“We are dealing in lethal firearms,” Morgan told FoxNews.com. “I’m not going to let a Nazi shoot in here, or a Ku Klux Klan member in here, either.”

Morgan said she excludes those she believes to be Muslim based on their names. She says business is up, but she has gotten threats, which she brushed off.

Morgan is an ass. You know, every time there’s a mass shooting, we in the pro-gun community are quick to point out that 70 million law abiding gun owners in America did not use their firearms criminally. Well, there are millions of Muslims in America and around the world who are not committing acts of terror. In fact, 99.99% of those who do live in the U.S. do so voluntarily because they want to pursue the same American dream — and that includes enjoying the same constitutional rights — as everyone else. Discrimination is wrong. Period.

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