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MI: Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell plans to pitch law to help police prevent mass shootings nationwide
Submitted by: Corey Salo

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Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell said helping police prevent mass shootings will be at the top of her list when she returns to Washington in the new year.

Right now, each state determines what, if any, red flag laws are in effect to allow law enforcement officials to step in when they find someone might be planning an attack.

Last month, the Local 4 Defenders told viewers about a Michigan man stockpiling guns while praising mass shooters online. Police didn't know how to charge the man and didn't have the manpower to watch him 24/7.

Dingell received letters about the man, asking her to do something to protect the public. She said she intends to do that when she returns to Washington.
 

FL: Cops and schools had no duty to shield students in Parkland shooting, says judge who tossed lawsuit
Submitted by: jac

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Federal judge says Broward schools and the Sheriff’s Office had no legal duty to protect students during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom dismissed a suit filed by 15 students who claimed they were traumatized by the crisis in February. The suit named six defendants, including the Broward school district and the Broward Sheriff’s Office, as well as school deputy Scot Peterson and campus monitor Andrew Medina.

Bloom ruled that the two agencies had no constitutional duty to protect students who were not in custody.
 

Planning Our Way to Safer Schools and Churches
Submitted by: Robert Morse
Website: http://slowfacts.wordpress.com

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Protecting innocent people is serious business. Smart men and women gave it a lot of thought. Here are two stories about protecting our schools and churches..
..or not.
 

AR: Rep. Aaron Pilkington files "stand your ground" bill
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Rep. Aaron Pilkington today filed a bill to enact a so-called "stand your ground" law, which would expand the circumstances under which a person could use deadly force in defense of self or others, even if there was an option to exit the situation without resorting to violence.

Under current law in Arkansas, a person may not use deadly force in self defense "if the person knows that he or she can avoid the necessity of using deadly physical force" by safely retreating from the situation.
 

TX: Why Joe Moody Filed A Bill To End The Prohibition On Carrying Brass Knuckles
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Joe Moody is an El Paso Democrat, representing the 78th district. He says it’s the furthest west of any Texas House district. He filled House Bill 446 to repeal a law that prohibits the carrying of brass knuckles.

On why he filed the bill:

We recently also lifted the prohibition on switchblades, and so switchblades, brass knuckles… we’re not living in “West Side Story,'” In a couple of instances, someone has a legitimate self-defense tool. A young woman who has a keychain for self-defense, certainly fits the statute of knuckles. And she was arrested for that. That is… certainly antithetical to our rights to self-defense.
 

NY: New York Hits 10 More Insurers With Millions in Fines for Underwriting NRA Policies
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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New York regulators have fined 10 insurance companies a total of $5 million for underwriting the National Rifle Association’s troubled Carry Guard insurance program in violation of state law, The Trace has learned.

The fines were part of a consent agreement that New York’s Department of Financial Services imposed today on insurance companies that did business with the NRA through the Lloyd’s of London insurance market. It is the third such agreement that DFS has reached with Carry Guard insurers this year: In May, the brokerage Lockton Affinity and underwriter Chubb were hit with $7 million and $1.3 million fines, respectively.
 

KY: No criminal charges for Barren woman accused in death of son-in-law
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A Barren County grand jury declined to return criminal charges against a woman who was investigated in connection with the death of her son-in-law.

Tracy Wyatt shot and killed Mark Adam Bellamy, 29, of Park City, on Nov. 30 at Wyatt's home during a family dispute, according to the Barren County Sheriff's Office.

Information was presented Tuesday to a grand jury that was advised of the state's homicide laws and the laws regarding self-defense, defense of others and defense of a residence, according to a news release from Barren County Commonwealth's Attorney John Gardner.

The grand jury returned a no true bill of indictment.
 

VA: Sen. Black introduces bill to allow guns in places of worship
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Virginia lawmakers are set to decide whether firearms will be permitted in places of worship during the 2019 General Assembly session.

State Sen. Dick Black (R-13th) of Loudoun has filed a bill to repeal Virginia Code 18.2-283, carrying a dangerous weapon at a place of religious worship, after the same proposal was passed over in the 2018 session.

“Existing Virginia law is ambiguous about the use of firearms on church property," Black said in an email. “I would like to clarify that.”
 

FL: 'Stand your ground' laws are common sense
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Florida’s SYG laws, passed in 2005, are a legal justification for self-defense, the use of force in response to reasonable fear of imminent bodily harm or death. SYG laws clarify that there is no duty to flee from an attacker or assailant before one can invoke self-defense.

A “duty to retreat” is a legal concept devoid of common sense: what happens if an assailant is faster or stronger than you? Furthermore, what good is running away if your attacker has a gun? The “duty to retreat” does little more than to embolden criminals and to harm victims, legally and physically. “Stand your ground” laws are common sense, and put victims and potential victims, not criminals, first — the way it should be.
 

MD: Baltimore reaches 300 homicides for the fourth straight year
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Baltimore reached 300 homicides for the fourth straight year after a 30-year-old man was fatally shot in the face and upper body late Wednesday night.

The man was fatally shot in Sandtown-Winchester just before midnight, following three other non-fatal shootings in city.

Though the city has again hit the 300 mark, homicides are down 10 percent from last year and other crime categories are trending down as well, interim police Commissioner Gary Tuggle said in an interview this week with The Baltimore Sun.
 

CA: Federal Lawsuit Seeks to Restore Individuals’ Firearms Rights in State of California
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Attorneys for two individual California residents and five constitutional rights advocacy groups filed a federal lawsuit challenging the State’s laws and policies that, they claim, prevent people from exercising their Second Amendment rights. Named defendants in the lawsuit include Attorney General Xavier Becerra, DOJ Bureau of Firearms Chief Martin Horan, and Deputy Attorney General Robert Wilson. A copy of the case filings can be found at www.firearmspolicy.org/linton.
 

OK: Walgreens employee fatally shoots man after photos dispute
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Pierce said the Tulsa County district attorney will decide whether to charge the clerk, but said the reason he wasn't arrested was because "he was legally armed and that the evidence that we had at the scene supports a self-defense type of situation."

Walgreens said in a statement it's cooperating with the investigation into the shooting , but a spokesman for the company did not return telephone and email messages seeking comment about its policy on armed employees.

In 2011, Walgreens fired a pharmacist at a store in Benton Harbor, Michigan, after he fired his gun at thieves in a store, saying at the time his gun use violated company policy.
 

Automatic Weapons Are Legal, But It Takes A Lot To Get One Of The 630,000 In The U.S.
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), as of 2017, there were 630,000 machine guns in the U.S. That, however, is a fraction of the roughly 400 million guns in America.

So how does anyone come to own one of these guns?

Automatic weapons are governed by legislation from a bygone era, unfamiliar to many, one of the last vestiges of stringent federal gun control.

Specifically, the 1934 National Firearms Act (NFA), which was prompted by rampant gangland violence often perpetrated by the likes of Al Capone with the Thompson submachine gun. You may know the Thompson by its nickname, the “Tommy gun”, known for its distinctive round drum magazine.
 

CA: Gun Groups Sue California Over Human Rights Restoration Refusal
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The Second Amendment Foundation and four other rights groups have joined in a lawsuit against the State of California for preventing individuals from exercising their Second Amendment rights.

Joining SAF are the Firearms Policy Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition, the Madison Society Foundation and the Calguns Foundation. They are supporting individual plaintiffs Paul McKinley Stewart and Chad Linton, who contend that non-violent felony convictions years ago have been set aside or vacated, yet the State of California refuses to allow them to purchase firearms.
 

Germany: Comparing Gun Control: How do you get a firearm in Germany?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Mass shootings in the United States have caused polarizing opinions when it comes to gun reform in the U.S.

News 3’s Faith Jessie traveled to Berlin, Germany, a place with some of the strictest gun laws in the world, to learn about how their process works

Berlin has similarities to America, but the process of getting a gun is not one of them.
 

OK: Oklahoma gun owners not interested in turning bump stocks over to government
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Don’t look for a rush to the door of the Tulsa field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives following this week's announcement that bump stocks must be surrendered or destroyed.

The regulation, to be published in the Federal Register on Friday, gives owners of the devices until March 21, 2019, to act. A lawsuit challenging the regulation was immediately filed, and a lot of gun owners are simply not interested in turning over anything to the federal government.
 

UT: After Utah slaying, lawmaker wants to expand liability when borrowed guns kill or injure
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Following the death of a University of Utah student, a newly elected state lawmaker wants to make it easier to sue people who loan out guns that are then used in a crime.

No draft has been filed and he is still hashing out the details, but Rep.-elect Andrew Stoddard says the proposal would apply only to those who lend out a firearm on purpose, and not when a gun is stolen or used in self-defense.
 

NJ: Gun Owners Don't Seem Eager to Comply With New Jersey's New Magazine Ban
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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How many of New Jersey's 1 million or so gun owners have complied with the ban by turning LCMs in to law enforcement agencies? Approximately zero, judging from an investigation by Ammoland writer John Crump. Crump, an NRA instructor and gun rights activist, "reached out to several local police departments in New Jersey" and found that "none had a single report of magazines turned over." He also contacted the New Jersey State Police, which has not officially responded to his inquiry. But "two sources from within the State Police," speaking on condition of anonymity, said "they both do not know of any magazines turned over to their agency and doubted that any were turned in."
 

VT: A welcome shift on gun control
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The Trump administration's issuance of a new rule on Tuesday banning the possession of bump stocks is certainly welcome, but even more important is what such a decision signifies in terms of acknowledging a change in national attitude toward gun control. Bump stocks, devices that enable semiautomatic assault weapons to mimic fully automatic machine guns (like the one used in 2017 to kill 58 concertgoers in Las Vegas) have no rational justification to exist in public hands.
 

Every Election Matters
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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As one of the most openly pro-Second Amendment presidents in modern history, Trump has stood firm in his defense of our freedom. Not a single anti-Second Amendment measure has been adopted at the federal level in the last two years—despite fierce, even sometimes violent, protests and calls for restrictions on our rights.

Ed.: Except for the NRA's bumps-stock ban.
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
I now think the only way to control handgun use is to prohibit the guns. And the only way to do that is to change the Constitution. — M. Gartner, then President of NBC News, USA Today, January 16, 1992, pg. A9

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