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PA: Schuylkill County officer charged with faking attack
Submitted by: jac

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A police officer who claimed she was thrown down an embankment following a traffic stop made the whole thing up, authorities said Wednesday.

West Penn Township, Schuylkill County, police Ofc. Melissa Ruch faces misdemeanor charges of making false reports surrounding the attack she said occurred in September on Route 309 in the township, according to Pennsylvania State Police.

Ruch denies the charges. She told The Associated Press that "the truth will come out."

West Penn Township police said Ruch has been suspended without pay, pending the outcome of the investigation.

Pennsylvania State Police said inconsistencies in Ruch's story began to emerge as investigators reviewed the incident.
 

WA: Seattle 'gun violence tax' upheld despite challenge from NRA, gun rights groups
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Seattle officials have ruled that a so-called “gun violence tax” – a surcharge added to legally purchased guns – does not exceed the city’s lawful taxing authority, and is not an attempt at gun control. The King County Superior Court heard arguments presented by owners of two gun shops, as well as the National Rifle Association, the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation.
 

OK: Sheriffs across Oklahoma urge citizens to get handgun license
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Following the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, sheriffs across the country and in Oklahoma have been announcing their support for the second amendment.

From Cater, to Garvin to Logan County sheriffs have been sending letters encouraging people in their communities to get a license to carry.

"We're not saying just pick up a firearm and carry it," said Sgt. Greg Valencia with the Logan County Sheriff's Office. "We are saying that, if you're wanting to do so, you need to do so legally and properly and receive the necessary training."
 

FL: Open carry makes no sense
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Openly carrying a firearm makes no sense, will endanger rather than protect the public and will cause unique problems to law enforcement officers.

For example, an officer observing a person carrying a firearm would have an obligation to have that person produce the permit. One dilemma that would come about is when a second officer observes the same person without the knowledge of the previous inquiry.
 

Can doctors ask patients about guns?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Should the First Amendment protect what doctors can say to their patients in the privacy of the examining room? Weighing state prohibitions on gay conversion therapy, liberals have tended to think the state should be able to regulate medical treatment without worrying about free speech.

Now the shoe’s on the other foot: Florida’s ban on physicians asking patients about gun ownership puts liberals in the position of wanting to protect the doctor-patient relationship. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit upheld the Florida “docs vs. Glocks” law this week on the ground that the state’s interest in protecting gun ownership outweighs physicians’ free-speech interests.
 

TX: Texas universities have no choice but to implement the campus carry law
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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With its recommendations for how to implement the state’s newly passed campus carry law, a task force at the University of Texas at Austin showed a modicum of good sense, an attribute that long ago deserted the Second Amendment absolutists in the Texas Legislature who are intent on making a lethal weapon the ideal fashion accessory for every man, woman and child in the Lone Star State.
 

TX: 2016 brings open carry
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A minute after midnight on Jan. 1, the open carry law goes into effect.

As the effective date approaches, the new law seems holstered with questions from all sides of state, county and local law enforcement and government officials.

Many officials say they will be feeling their way, starting out, in interpreting and enforcing the law.

The number of Texans with licenses to carry handguns reportedly continues to grow, this year reaching nearly 914,000, or nearly 4 percent of Texas’ 27 million residents, according to Texas Department of Public Safety records.
 

If Mental Illness Is the Problem, America Is Mentally Ill
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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2015 was a year of exceptionally overt police violence against black folk and tragic mass shootings. A common response to these events has been that they are the result of “sick” individuals. Many conservatives have suggested that the shooters were mentally ill: that the problem was a proliferation of bad people, not a proliferation of guns. When, however, the murderers happen to be people “of color,” the narrative often changes to one of terrorism and extremism (though the NRA position remains consistently pro-gun, even defending the rights of the San Bernadino terrorists to acquire their weaponry).
 

TX: Number of women buying guns up sharply
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Instructors at the Athena Gun Club in Houston have noticed a trend lately: More women seem to be buying guns and signing up for training classes.

Maddison Stone was at the gun range with her family on Christmas Eve. She said she got her concealed handgun license (CHL) and a gun for her 21st birthday.
 

FL: 'Stand your ground' rejected in father-and-son fight
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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"We see nothing in the father's testimony to support a finding that Rudin was at risk of imminent death or great bodily harm when he stabbed his father,' said the ruling, written by Judge Simone Marstiller and joined by judges Brad Thomas and Ross Bilbrey. "Indeed, the force with which the father wielded the 2-inch wide, 4-foot long stick was such that it only caused minor injuries to Rudin's hand and wrist. … Moreover, Rudin did not testify at the motion hearing, and thus, there is no evidence he thought he was in danger of imminent death or great bodily harm."
 

WA: Gun violence needs to stop
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Regarding your excellent editorial on gun violence: Indeed it must stop! We are an insanely wounded nation. These wounds were self-inflicted by home-grown terrorists and ISIS sympathizers who found easy access to our immense supply of guns and ammunition.

The insanity is that although we know what to do to significantly reduce this carnage, a Republican-led Congress is unwilling to do so.

In 1789, those who wrote the Second Amendment intended that citizens bear arms (muskets) for military purposes, a collective right for common defense. There was no consideration of an individual right to a gun for self-defense, an interpretation the NRA pushes now like it's a sacred right.
 

OH: Gun control plan doesn’t make sense
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The American government’s course of action for gun control in the United States is to make it more challenging for the average taxpayer to obtain a firearm.

The government states that it will put a ban on all military-style assault weapons and limit magazine capacity to only 10 rounds of ammunition. I have to wonder how are they going to outlaw them when they can’t even keep the forbidden firearms out of the country in the first place.
 

TX: H-E-B not allowing openly carried guns in stores
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The largest private company in Texas is posting signs on the entrances to their stores that customers will not be allowed to openly carry firearms when the state’s open carry law goes into effect.

H-E-B said Thursday it has been the company’s policy for years, but the company will allow concealed carry for licensed gun owners.
 

MI: Registration open for shooting camps
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Hillsdale College recently announced dates for its 2016 Ladies for Liberty and Couples for Liberty shooting camps and seminars.

Ladies for Liberty camps will take place June 5-9, the cost is $1,200. The fee includes lodging, meals, lessons and a reception at the Dow Conference Center on the campus of Hillsdale College.
 

Touting Australia And UK: Obama And Clinton Give Away The Gun Control Endgame
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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After a high-profile misuse of a firearm, the new “normal” for anti-gun elites is to tout Australia and the United Kingdom as exemplars of what gun control should look like in the United States. They contend that if Americans would only embrace the restrictions adopted by more “enlightened” countries, violence would largely be a thing of the past. Never mind the United States’ unique history, culture, demographics or our all-too-uncommon respect for the human right of self-defense.
 

ME: Rockland landlord asks court to throw out tenant’s gun rights lawsuit
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The owner of a Rockland apartment complex and the company that manages it have asked a state judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a 67-year-old tenant who claims his right to own a gun is being violated.

Park Place Associates of Rockland and Stanford Management LLC of Portland acknowledge in their motion to dismiss that they notified tenant Harvey Lembo he was in violation of house rules by having a gun on the premises and that they would initiate the eviction process if he did not comply.
 

Company to make $1 million guns from meteorite
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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High-end handgun maker Cabot Guns is turning a meteorite into a pair of fancy sidearms.

Cabot Guns announced that its extraterrestrial pistols will be forged from a meteorite as old as the earth itself. The gun set could sell for as much as $1 million at auction next year.
 

TX: Christmas gift for gun-loving Texas students: Attorney general says guns allowed in dorms
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The strongest statement by Paxton regards proposals to ban guns from dorms. The law gives presidents the authority to set “reasonable requirements” on the “location and manner” of handguns stored in dorms:

If an institution placed a prohibition on handguns in the institution’s residential facilities, however, it would effectively prohibit license holders in those facilities from carrying concealed handguns on campus, in violation of S.B. 11. This is because “rules, regulations, or other provisions concerning the storage of handguns in dormitories” presupposes their presence in dormitories.
 

SC: Armed Americans the largest threat
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Terrorists don't have to kill us. Americans are doing the job for them, at an incomprehensible rate.

An American is 20 times more likely to die by a firearm than a citizen in any other Western country. Between 2001 and 2013, there were 406,496 U.S. firearm deaths, in contrast to 3,380 American deaths attributed to terrorism.

Our firearm death rate (most killed by handguns) over that period is equal to 1,000 747s crashing and killing all 400 passengers. That's seven planes per month, nearly two per week.
 

Gun groups expect Obama to tighten rules on background checks
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Gun control advocates want President Barack Obama to tighten rules for background checks on firearms purchases, which they argue give criminals easy access to weapons.
But if Obama acts in the coming weeks, as expected by those on both sides of the gun debate, gun-rights supporters are already poised to sue.

“What we’re expecting is for Obama to try doing something illegal,” said Michael Hammonds, legal counsel for the Gun Owners of America. “I don’t think he cares any more if what he does is legal.”
 

VA: Va. GOP hopes to capitalize on gun permit changes
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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When Attorney General Mark R. Herring, a Democrat, incensed the gun rights community Tuesday by announcing that Virginia will no longer recognize many out-of-state concealed-handgun permits, the state Republican Party moved fast.

It sent out a fundraising blast, remade the party home page and tagged social media with #HerringHates2A. Nearly 1,200 people signed an online petition declaring, “Tell Democrats like Mark Herring, Terry McAuliffe and Hillary Clinton that we won't let them take away our constitutional rights!”
 

Gun maker pleads guilty to violation of firearms laws
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A maker of military-style rifles pleaded guilty Tuesday to violating federal firearms laws, and the owner has agreed to sell the company.

The company, with Malkowski serving as its representative, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Hartford to a single felony count of possession of a machine gun not registered to the company. As a part of the plea deal Stag will pay a $500,000 fine.

Neither the company nor prosecutors gave details on Malkowski's resignation, other than that it was part of the plea.

He is expected to plead guilty personally in federal court Wednesday to failure to maintain proper rearm records, which is a misdemeanor.
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened. — Billy Graham

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