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Newslinks for 11/21/2015

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FL: Open carry seems too open-ended
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A Florida House committee earlier this week moved our state one step closer to allowing people to openly display firearms in public. The House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee, by its 7-6 vote Wednesday, became the second legislative panel to approve a so-called “open carry” bill, which was authored by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, and is co-sponsored by Rep. Neil Combee, R-Polk City.

Thus Florida, according to Marion Hammer, the renowned long-time lobbyist for the National Rifle Association in Tallahassee, soon could no longer be among the five states to prohibit the practice.
 

FL: Campus carry is about freedom to defend oneself
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The campus carry bill would allow licensed, of-age individuals to protect themselves on campus, much as they do in every other area of town. These responsible individuals have passed a background check, do not have a mental health concern, have completed the required training, and understand the laws and safety requirements of concealed carry. These people are sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, teachers, students and veterans. They are just like you, and they are asking for the right to defend themselves.
 

WA: Jury accepts self-defense argument in shooting outside Kennewick tavern
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A Benton County jury decided Tyree Q. Houfmuse was acting in self defense when he fired six shots at his girlfriend’s ex last Thanksgiving eve.

Jurors deliberated for a little more than 3 1/2 hours Thursday before returning the verdict against Houfmuse for the shooting that left Anthony L. Asselin paralyzed.

If convicted, Houfmuse, 33, could have faced more than 30 years in prison for first-degree assault with a gun.

Jurors, however, found him guilty of second-degree unlawful possession of a gun by a felon.

Houfmuse had been in custody on $200,000 bail since December. Since he’s facing a sentence of time served, Judge Robert Swisher released him without bail.
 

FL: Changes Proposed to Florida’s Infamous “10-20-Life” Sentencing Law
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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One of Florida’s more interesting laws is the so-called “10-20-Life” statute, properly cited as §775.087 Possession or use of weapon; aggravated battery; felony reclassification; minimum sentence. In a nutshell, §775.087 provides, among other things, for mandatory minimum sentences for the possession or use of a firearm while committing one of several enumerated violent crimes. It appears likely now that some substantial changes will be made to §775.087, particularly in the context of self-defense, on the basis of a bill moving through the Florida Senate. (The PDF of the proposed revised bill, currently named SB 228, is embedded at the bottom of this post.)
 

Gun Owners of America Challenging Federal Machine Gun Ban
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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On November 2 2015, Gun Owners of America (and its foundation) joined forces with Dick Heller — the very one who beat DC’s gun ban before the Supreme Court in 2008.

Working in tandem, Gun Owners filed a [friend of the court] brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in support of a challenge to the federal machine gun ban, which was stuck on at the last minute to an otherwise pro-gun bill in 1986.
 

Dems push to end ban on gun violence research
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Dozens of House Democrats are pushing to end the federal ban on gun violence research.

In a Friday letter to Reps. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), the Democrats urged the two senior appropriators to remove the decades-old prohibition as part of a year-end government spending package.

Led by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), the Democrats said the so-called Dickey Amendment — a long-standing provision that has effectively blocked federal research on gun violence — leaves lawmakers in the dark when it comes to crafting policies aimed at tackling the problem.
 

WI: UW alumni tells parents how to lobby on campus carry
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The University of Wisconsin-Madison alumni group has sent an email to parents of current students telling them how to lobby on a bill that would allow concealed weapons in campus building.

The UW Alumni Association sent the message Friday morning. The email tells parents about the bill and how UW System leaders oppose it. The message doesn't explicitly ask parents to lobby against the measure but encourages families to discuss campus safety and the impact the legislation might have on learning.

The message then points parents to a page on the association's website that says the university needs support. The page helps users contact legislators.
 

FL: ‘Campus carry’ gun bill doesn’t go far enough
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Florida’s “campus carry” bill, approved by the state’s House Judiciary Committee on Nov. 19, would allow students who are 21 or older, and who possess special government permission slips (concealed carry “licenses”), to go armed on the state’s public college and university campuses. Pretty weak tea, but better than nothing.

The Legislature should pass the bill as soon as it hits the floor in January, then come back to improve it (by eliminating the age limit and the “license” requirement) as soon as humanly possible.
 

DC: Appeals Court Hears Arguments in DC Gun Law Case
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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During Friday's oral arguments, which lasted about 20 minutes, the city's lawyer, Loren AliKhan, told the three-judge panel that Scullin had been specifically assigned 10 District of Columbia cases. Those cases included the one in which Scullin ruled that the city's ban on carrying handguns outside the home was unconstitutional. But the list did not include the latest case in which Scullin halted the rewritten gun law's enforcement, AliKhan said.

A lawyer for the group challenging the rewritten law, Alan Gura, argued that because the second case was related to the first one it was Scullin's duty to take the case and appropriate for him to rule.
 

FL: Carrollwood case, stand your ground or cold blooded murder?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Was it a case of stand your ground, or cold blooded murder? This week the state attorney’s office sent a letter to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in regards to the death of Carlos Juan Garcia on September 19th. “The evidence is insufficient to rebut Nick Julian IV’s claim that his use of deadly force against Mr. Garcia was an act of self-defense,” wrote State Attorney Mark Ober. “No criminal charges shall be filed against Julian.”
 

FL: NRA targets GOP 'betrayers' on Florida Stand-Your-Ground bill
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Gun-rights advocates are targeting the chairman of a House committee and some of its Republican members, after a bill intended to broaden the state’s controversial “stand your ground” law was scuttled.

The National Rifle Association and Unified Sportsmen of Florida sent an email to their members on Thursday calling the actions by House Criminal Justice Chairman Carlos Trujillo an “orchestrated” betrayal of “law-abiding gun owners,” as the measure (HB 169) failed to pass in a 6-6 vote two days earlier.
 

DC: This DC Democrat Wants To Teach Rand Paul How To Be A Real Libertarian
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The District of Columbia’s non-voting delegate to Congress, Eleanor Holmes Norton, called Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul “shameless” Friday for introducing legislation to relax the city’s strict gun laws.

Norton says Paul’s bill is part of a trend by Republican presidential candidates to try and win political points by interfering with local D.C. laws.
 

IL: Concealed carry shootings now part of Chicago's gun reality
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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John Hendricks recalls a split second between impulse and action before he took aim and shot Everardo Custodio just before midnight on April 17 after Custodio opened fire on a group in Logan Square.

Hendricks was not charged for shooting the 23-year-old because he had a concealed carry gun license and was determined to have acted in self-defense. But he said he was questioned for hours by detectives after the shooting and, seven months later, hasn't gotten his Springfield Armory .45 back from authorities.

Still, the 48-year-old South Sider said he doesn't begrudge police for the glacial movement.

"This is all new," Hendricks said, "because of the concealed carry."
 

CO: Adams County prosecutors won't charge Thornton man who killed intruder
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Prosecutors in Adams County will not file charges against a Thornton man who shot and killed an intruder earlier this month.

Servando Flores, 33, was initially arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder in the Nov. 1 fatal shooting of 23-year-old Edward Tanner Jr.

Chief Trial Deputy Trevor Moritzky said Flores was acting legally — either in self defense or to stop a burglar — when he killed Tanner at the Madison Park Apartments in the 3300 block of East 120th Avenue.
 

Hillary Clinton Locks Up The Gun-Grabber Vote
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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On Thursday night, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence honored Hillary Clinton with the first ever Cuomo Visionary Award, named after the late New York Governor Mario Cuomo. The Brady Center gave her the award because “she has demonstrated a clear commitment in support of our efforts to ‘finish the job’” for the gun control and, “there is nobody who has done more to lead us there than Hillary Clinton.”

Clinton has surely fought for this recognition, making gun control a central issue of her 2016 presidential campaign. She has named the NRA as one of her biggest enemies. But the regulations she is pushing will disarm millions of Americans and primarily take guns away from poor blacks.
 

FL: No charges in Grand Island shooting
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Prosecutors announced Friday they will not charge a retired Detroit police officer for shooting a teenager who burglarized a Grand Island home.

Emmett Latimer shot 16-year-old Aramis Newsome in the left shoulder on Aug. 4 after he confronted the teen bolting out of the home. Latimer claimed the suspect charged at him.

Walter Forgie, supervisor of the State Attorney’s Office in Lake County, said self-defense played a role in the prosecutors’ decision.

"A person is justified in using deadly force when he or she reasonably believes such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to him or herself or another," said Forgie in a memo, citing a state statue.
 

FL: NRA: Republican Reps Killing Stand Your Ground Bill 'Betrayal' to Florida Gun Owners
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In an email sent to members, longtime lobbyist and former NRA president Marion Hammer singled out House Criminal Justice Committee chair Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami, for orchestrating a betrayal to gun owners, Rep. Baxley, and the legislative process itself.

During the meeting, two amendments were offered by Rep. Dave Kerner, D-Lake Worth, filed at the last minute in an effort to send the bill to a swift death.

Kerner’s amendments would have eliminated the financial penalties for prosecutors should a defendant successfully have their case dismissed by a judge and defendants would also have to show a “preponderance of evidence” supporting their claim to Stand Your Ground.
 

Should Doctors Be Allowed to Carry Concealed at Work?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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To some, this might sound counterproductive to my chosen profession. I got into the business to help save lives, not destroy them right? You got it. We in the medical profession feel called to help those in physical need. But me standing there, unarmed, with an armed madman in the room, means that there is a decent chance everyone inside could end up pushing up daisies. In fact, in a study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, it was noted that there were 154 shootings in U.S. hospitals between 2000 and 2011 with 253 dead or injured.

How many of these attacks could have been stopped or deterred in the first place if doctors and hospital staff to be allowed to concealed carry?
 

Ireland: Europe And Firearms
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In the wake of the horrific events in Paris last week, the European Commission has this week announced that it will be amending the Firearms Directive to make it more difficult to acquire firearms, including deactivated firearms, with the aim of improving traceability and stronger co-operation between member states.

The Countryside Alliance is concerned that at least some of the proposals seem to have little to do with addressing the deplorable acts of terrorism in Paris and will simply create additional unnecessary burdens for national police forces and legal firearm holders.
 

Change the Second Amendment, then
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Time and again lately, I see letters to The Tribune deploring the criminal use of guns and vilifying the National Rifle Association and legitimate gun owners for insisting on exercising their constitutional rights.

I’m left wondering — maybe Americans have changed to where they no longer respect the Second Amendment and its right to keep and bear arms.

Very well. This nation is a nation of laws. If the American people now truly abhor the right to privately owned guns, then let them change it according to the law. Let them nullify the right to keep and bear arms with a new constitutional amendment repealing the Second Amendment, much like prohibition was repealed in the last century.

 

Rand Paul Plans to Introduce Bill That Would Take a Knife to D.C. Gun Laws
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R) announced Thursday his intention to introduce new legislation that would curtail the “restrictive” gun control laws in Washington, D.C.

“For too long the Americans who live in and visit their nation’s capital have been prevented from defending themselves and their loved ones,” Paul said in a statement. “No longer should our citizens have to choose between safety or visiting Washington, D.C.”
 

NY: Dismantling The Gun ‘Pipeline’ To New York
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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New York has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, but in other states like Georgia, you don’t even have to pass a background check in some cases to buy a handgun, shotgun or even a rifle.

This has helped create the “Iron Pipeline,” a gun-smuggling route along Interstate 95 that stretches from Florida to the Eastern Seaboard and cuts right through the New York City area. Law enforcement officials say nearly 90 percent of firearms seized in connection to New York City crimes came via this route.
 

PA: Gun Owner Fights for Gun Control
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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We often hear about gun owners fighting against gun control, but one gun owner from Wyoming County is doing just the opposite. He's petitioning for more control and stricter guidelines for those looking to get a gun permit.

Markus Robinson from Wyoming County is a gun owner and avid hunter, but he believes something needs to be done when it comes to guns being put in the wrong hands. His passion to get more control on guns took him all the way to the White House earlier this week.

Robinson lives near Tunkhannock and is a gun owner. He went to Washington, D.C. this week to talk about guns with federal officials, to voice his concern on the need for more gun control.
 

Is The NRA The Only Civil Rights Group In America That Still Matters?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Criminals, domestic violence suspects, substance abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill lose their gun rights after being either arrested and tried and convicted in a court of law, or from being examined by mental health professionals and then having their right to own arms suspended in a court of law. They have their civil rights protected throughout thanks to due process.

There is no due process that places people on the terror watch list.

Government employees may arbitrarily place anyone on the terrorist watch list, for any reason, or no reason whatsoever.
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
The limitation of tyrants is the endurance of those they oppose. — Frederick Douglass

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