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Newslinks for 11/30/2013

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VT: Burlington withholding gun ordinance documents from public scrutiny
Submitted by: David Codrea
Website: http://www.davidcodrea.com

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“'Are you comfortable with any form of government in Vermont refusing to let the public see how it makes and/or enforces laws?' the VFSC advisory asks."
 

GA: Alzheimer's patient's slaying tests 'stand your ground' self-defense law in Georgia
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The incident in Georgia adds a twist to the examination of the laws, focusing not on race, but on what kinds of actions qualify as a legitimate threat.

During a 2007 symposium by the National District Attorneys Association, concerns were raised that touch on what happened early Wednesday in Georgia: namely, that misinterpretation of clues by an armed person could lead to deadly force, even when there is no real danger.

For now, the state has not filed any charges against Joe Hendrix, who admits to shooting a 70-something man. The man was wearing a light coat and a straw hat in near-20-degree weather when he knocked on Hendrix's door at 4 a.m.
 

Carrying handgun poses practical problem
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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I’m taking a chance on stirring up a hornet’s nest here. It seems like anything anybody says about gun laws is controversial.

I have had a permit to carry a concealed handgun for a number of years, I have different handguns that I carry in different situations, sometimes concealed and sometimes in the open. Mostly when I’m out in the woods.

But even when I do carry a handgun, I almost never use it … unless I’m at a target range.
 

PA: Pa. school safety report includes position that teachers not be armed
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A state House committee's report recommends that only trained law enforcement officials, not teachers or other staff, should be armed in schools, among other suggestions for addressing safety.

In its report, the committee concluded that the only school personnel who should be armed are those acting as school police officers, resource officers or security officers, who have been properly trained. The report says the committee heard from law enforcement agencies, education organizations and district attorneys that other employees shouldn't be armed.
 

Lawmakers seek fix as law limiting plastic guns set to expire
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The Undetectable Firearms Act, which was first enacted in 1988 and reauthorized in 2003, makes it illegal to “manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer or receive” any firearm that’s undetectable by metal detectors and X-ray machines.

Three Democratic senators, Chuck Schumer of New York, Bill Nelson of Florida and Patrick Leahy of Vermont are pushing legislation that would extend the ban to all guns manufactured using so-called three-dimensional printing technology.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., who objected along with other senators, blocked Schumer's request for unanimous consent for a one-year extension to the law before the Senate adjourned last week, according to The Hill.
 

NC: Scorecard: The gun buyback proposal
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Scorecard looks at one event this week: The Winston-Salem City Council postpones a decision on a gun buyback program proposed by Police Chief Barry Rountree.

Councilwoman Vivian Burke, who requested the postponement, wants information about how the program has worked in other cities, and what the effect was in the 1990s when the city conducted a gun buyback.
 

Gun advocates appeal Firearms Freedom Act ruling
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Gun advocates asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a lower court’s ruling against state laws designed to buck federal gun rules.
Earlier this year, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district judge’s decision against the 2009 Montana Firearms Freedom Act. The law attempts to declare that federal firearms regulations don’t apply to guns kept in the state where they were manufactured.
Other pro-gun states have passed similar measures.
 

NY: NY SAFE Act still generates firestorm
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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It’s almost December and ammunition is still a hot commodity at Barrett’s Batavia Marine & Sporting Goods.

Like other area firearms dealers, the business experienced a rush on purchases earlier this year, as the state passed the highly-controversial N.Y. SAFE Act.

Demand for handguns has increased.

“They have gone up,” said Manager Mike Barrett Friday. “Usually we have highs and lows as sales go, but they’ve been consistent right along.”
 

Philippines: Taclobanons want weapons against looters
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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This is why the residents left here are taking matters into their own hands. Some patrol the area brandishing steel tubes for self-defense.

“We’ve banded together and placed barricades,” said Zaldy Villanobos, one of the volunteers. They will likely continue their rounds until Christmas Eve.

From 6 p.m. to 5 a.m., they do not allow people unfamiliar to the area to pass through the barricades made from wood and torn roofing.

“It’s just us guarding the place to ensure its security,” added Leopoldo Solis.

But according to Philippine National Police Director-General Allan Purisima, who is also here in Tacloban, the augmented police and military presence has helped prevent further looting.
 

New Beretta 692 leapfrogs to the top of mid-priced clays guns
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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If you’re a fan of disco, the shuttle ride from the airport in Seville, Spain to the historic Hotel Alfonso XIII in the heart of the city got an upbeat start as the gray-haired bus driver played the Pointer Sisters’ “I’m so Excited” on the radio.

The song’s title augured the impending enthusiasm by the cadre of international media flown in by Beretta for the official introduction of the 692 over/under competition shotgun.
 

Mexico: Mexican State Seeks to Regularize Local Militias
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Lawmakers in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero approved a measure to incorporate the various community self-defense groups that have popped up in the Pacific coastal region into a new force under authorities’ control.

“The rural police groups created in Guerrero communities will operate subordinate to the relevant authorities and institutions,” the state legislature said in a statement.
 

LA: Do criminals have gun rights, too? In Louisiana, maybe they do
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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"Amid the growing confusion over whether Louisiana’s litany of gun crimes violates its residents’ turbocharged right to bear arms, the state Supreme Court has decided it will try to settle one of the most consequential questions: Does it remain constitutional to charge a person with a high-grade felony for having a gun at the same time as illegal drugs, no matter what kind of drugs or how much?
 

KS: Kansas AG: Guns OK in some polling places
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Attorney General Derek Schmidt is advising state election officials that guns will have to be allowed in some polling places, but can be banned from others.

In an opinion issued Wednesday, Schmidt told Secretary of State Kris Kobach that election officers will have to allow concealed carry at polling places in municipal buildings under the terms of a state law that passed earlier this year.
 

AL: Guns for Christmas: After year-long buying frenzy, dealers unsure what market holds
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Mike Burdett's Christmas season may already have come and gone.

As the holiday approaches, Burdett typically sees more people coming into his Anniston pawn shop, Mike's Treasure Chest, looking for guns to purchase as gifts. But he doubts the Christmas season will match the rush of customers he saw earlier this year.

"Back then, people were buying assault rifles two or three at a time," Burdett said. "They didn't even care what the price was."
 

CT: Stamford exchanges gift cards for guns at buy back
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Stamford Police say they'll be handing out gift cards in exchange for guns at a buy back event next month.

The Hearst Connecticut Media Group reports ( ) that police also will accept other dangerous weapons and violent video games.

The department says it will exchange gift cards ranging from $50 to $150 on Dec. 14. The value of the gift card will vary depending on the type of firearm turned in.
 

CA: Captain’s Log: Santa Barbara Gets Service-Oriented Gun Store
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Shooting sports enthusiasts, hunters and people interested in self and home defense have a new option in Santa Barbara for purchasing firearms. Guns of Santa Barbara at 4010 Calle Real in Santa Barbara just opened as a service-oriented gun store where customers are welcome and treated fairly and respectfully.
 

NY: Watchdog: SAFE Act leads to data being sealed
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The SAFE Act has pitted gun-control groups against gun-rights advocates. Yet both sides agreed that the data should be released.

Assemblyman Bill Nojay, R-Pittsford, charged that Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration doesn't want to release the data because it would show little compliance with the new gun law.

The law expanded New York's ban on assault weapons and requires those who already owned the weapons before the law took effect to register them by April 15.

"Compliance numbers with any law should be a matter of public record," Nojay said.
 

WA: More people getting concealed pistol licenses
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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As gun rights remain a hot topic, thousands of people here in Yakima County continue to buy guns, and get permits to carry.

Yakima County has a higher percentage of people with those licenses than the state average. The increase in concealed pistol licenses follows an increase in gun crime in Yakima County.

Dianne Mabry owns Bestway Pawn shop in Yakima. She's been in the gun business for more than 20 years and has heard all kinds of reasons people buy them.

"Hunting, target practice, just wanting to add to the collection," Mabry said.

She is seeing more people buy guns than years past.

"You don't have to have a concealed license in the state of Washington to buy a gun," she said.
 

CA: Police: Gun buyback program aims to remover firearms from Oakland streets
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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After last year's successful gun buyback program that removed more than 600 firearms from city streets, police and two anti-violence organizations will hold a similar event on Dec. 14.

The event is part of a statewide gun buyback initiative and will be co-hosted by Youth UpRising in partnership with Gun by Gun, an organization founded this year to prevent gun violence by reducing the number of unwanted illegal guns in a community.
 

WY: DesJarlais supporting effort to impeach Holder
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Republican Rep. Scott DesJarlais doesn't mind that many political observers dismiss his effort to impeach Attorney General Eric Holder as a publicity stunt.

DesJarlais, of Jasper, contends his constituents are behind it, and that's all that matters.

"Right is right. The attorney general has violated the law and is not fit to serve the American people. I cannot control the actions of other members of the House and Senate, but I can and will represent the wishes of my district," the lawmaker said in a statement Wednesday.
 

MI: Handgun ammo shortages easing
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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If you’re a target shooter who has to buy ammunition frequently, you may have noticed that things are getting a little back to normal.

This summer, the deficit of target ammunition was at its worst. Today, customers are still limited to three to five boxes at Williams Gun Sight Co. in Davison Township, but Chief Operating Officer Dan Compeau said they can now get most of what they need.
 

WA: Curious reporting of Friday morning’s SPD shooting
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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“One officer returned fire with a patrol rifle,” the report noted in the first paragraph.

And, so? The “patrol rifle” has gradually replaced the shotgun in police and sheriff’s cars over the past several years. Typically, this is an AR-15 type rifle chambered for the .223 Remington/5.56mm cartridge, which is standard military issue. It’s not a “high-power” cartridge despite the penchant to use that term whenever reporters mention the AR as an “assault rifle.” It is especially well-suited for shooting prairie dogs and other small vermin, and coyotes at long range. Many old-timers still wonder why the military switched to it from the far more effective 7.62mm/.308 Winchester, other than the ability of soldiers to carry more ammunition.
 

PA: Mayors & guns
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Mayors Against Illegal Guns is a bipartisan coalition that includes more than 200 Pennsylvania mayors in 55 counties — all of whom recognize that support for the Second Amendment goes hand-in-hand with keeping guns away from criminals.

Salena Zito's column “Defending their way of life” (Nov. 17 and TribLIVE.com) misrepresents our coalition's aims and ignores our successes.
 

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