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Newslinks for 2/14/2005

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Social Isolation, Guns and a 'Culture of Suicide'
Submitted by: News Admin

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"Death by gunfire is typically thought of as an urban plague, fueled by crime, poverty and drugs."

"But rural America also has such an affliction. 'Americans in small towns and rural areas are just as likely to die from gunfire as Americans in major cities,' said Charles Branas, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. 'The difference is in who does the shooting.' " ...

"Researchers have long known the statistics, but new research illuminates the substantial role of firearms in suicide."

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Question: Is there any evidence that making firearms less available will reduce the rate of suicide?

In 2001, statistics show that Finland had the highest rate of suicide male youth, followed by Japan, France, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Norway, Sweden and Germany - all nations where guns are tightly controlled and where guns are much less readily available than in the United States.
 

Second Amendment turns out to be easier to understand than some people hoped
Submitted by: News Admin

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"Debate over gun ownership rights may never end in this country, but the argument certainly has quieted down."

"That's the conclusion we draw from the fact that people have paid relatively little attention to an extraordinary legal memorandum written by top lawyers in the U.S. Justice Department and made public at the end of December." ...

"The lack of controversy springing from publication of this document is interesting. When then-Attorney General John Ashcroft acknowledged the private ownership right in a 2001 letter to the National Rifle Association, headline writers had to work overtime. Even more controversy erupted over a later Justice Department document that included two mere footnotes supporting the individual-right interpretation. This most recent document, however, may not be something the anti-gun crowd wants to call much attention to."
 

Take heart despite student ignorance of First Amendment
Submitted by: News Admin

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"...As a longtime gun owner, I strongly support the right of citizens to own weapons. But nothing matters more to a representative democracy than its citizens having the right to speak freely; to worship or not as they wish; to have a press unfettered by government restrictions; or to peaceably protest."

"Unfortunately, most high school students don't understand how important the First Amendment is to their freedom. ..." ...

"Such a dim view of the First Amendment would hardly have surprised the Framers of the Constitution. They intended for the First Amendment to protect the minority, not the majority for the simple reason that those who subscribe to the majority viewpoint rarely need protection."
 

Massad Ayoob: Firearms: tools of rural living
Submitted by: News Admin

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"...For most of us, though, they are tools."

"And, very definitely, power tools. Remote control drills, with the width and depth of the hole adjusted by the choice of bore size and ammunition. Tools of survival, in many ways."

"Countless working ranchers have used guns to save their lives from stock animals gone rogue. The legendary Elmer Keith was an early 20th century cattleman when a bronc went wild, and Keith would have been dragged to death with his foot caught in the stirrup if he hadn’t been able to unholster the single action Colt revolver he carried and fire upward, killing the animal and saving his life. On another day, a fast draw with his ranch revolver saved him from being bitten by a rattlesnake."
 

.50-caliber rifles called a threat
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"From the headquarters of the Fifty Caliber Shooters Association in the central Utah town of Monroe, John Robertson publishes a magazine for the group's worldwide members extolling the virtues of the most powerful gun available to the public."

"With a .50-caliber rifle, an experienced marksman can hit a rock the size of a Volkswagen Beetle from a distance of two miles. The gun can drop a bull moose dead in its tracks even after the bullet passes through a 5-inch-diameter tree branch. And a shot from the gun will pierce anything from a 3 1/2 -inch-thick manhole cover to a 600-pound safe or a stack of cinder blocks."

"While enthusiasts revel in the gun's next-zip-code range and staggering impact velocity, those same features have some members of Congress declaring it a menace to national security."
 

CA: Weapon turned out to be a Swiss Army knife
Submitted by: News Admin

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"A Burton Middle School student learned the hard way that Swiss Army knives are not allowed on campus."

"The 13-year-old boy was cited into Tulare County's Thunderbolt Program for juvenile offenders after police were notified Wednesday afternoon that he had the small knife on campus." ...

"The boy 'had a small Swiss Army knife that he was showing off to his friends,' Haynes said. 'The knife was never opened, there were no injuries, no threats; it was kind of just a show-and-tell' situation."
 

CA: Drake Cop On Campus Program: "Please Leave The Gun Somewhere Else"
Submitted by: News Admin

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"Some 20-25 parents met at Drake High School on short notice January 11 at 8:30 a.m. to discuss a federal grant of $125,000 that has been approved by the US Department of Justice under the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) to hire a uniformed and armed police officer to be assigned to the Drake campus." ...

"Seemingly all parents with the exception of two, had reservations about the need for an armed police officer and the atmosphere of distrust, unease and fear that this might create. The need for an officer to be armed and in uniform was also questioned."

"Principal Don Drake said that the uniform and firearm were conditions for accepting the grant. ..."
 

FL: National Debate on Tasers Hits Home
Submitted by: News Admin

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"Police Officer Michael Branch had pushed, pulled, shouted and shoved his way through the throng of more than 100 screaming Lakeland High students encircling a fight at the school." ...

"With only two high school boys standing between him and the teachers, Branch pulled out his Taser, broke it down to stun gun mode and shocked the two boys with one-second bursts of electricity." ...

" 'You just shocked me! Why did you do that?' was what Oyelowo said he yelled at Branch."

"Branch replied: 'You were in the way,' according to Oyelowo." ...

"Thomas said Branch used "reasonable force" by using his Taser to separate the crowd of students so he could reach the teachers."
 

MN: St. Paul police officer pleads guilty to felony
Submitted by: News Admin

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"A St. Paul police officer pleaded guilty Monday to loaning out his department-issued pistol for two drive-by shootings in the Hmong community and agreed to serve 30 days in the county workhouse and immediately resign from the St. Paul force."

"Tou Mo Cha, 36, pleaded guilty to one felony count of aiding and abetting terroristic threats in Ramsey County District Court. In exchange for his plea, Ramsey County prosecutors agreed to stay, or halt, any prison sentence and drop charges of aiding and abetting second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and criminal property damage."

"Shell casings collected from an April 20, 2004, drive-by shooting at a Hmong official's home in Maplewood were traced back to Tou Mo Cha's pistol."
 

CA: L.A. County judge kills self after molestation allegation
Submitted by: News Admin

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"A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge shot and killed himself after becoming distraught when detectives contacted him about an allegation that he had molested a child, authorities said."

"Lloyd Jeffrey Wiatt, a former prosecutor, was the subject of a preliminary child sex abuse investigation before killing himself Thursday, according to sheriff's Lt. Dan Rosenberg. ..."
 

NH: State trooper reassigned after arrest in Rochester
Submitted by: News Admin

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"A State Trooper arrested for threatening his wife in a YMCA parking lot Thursday night has been assigned to 'administrative duty' and could be 'terminated,' police command said Friday." ...

“ 'He allegedly pushed his wife in the lot, banged on the window and called her vulgar names, which led to the disorderly and criminal threatening charges,' Rochester Police Capt. Paul Callaghan said Friday morning."

"McCabe was put on administrative duty Friday afternoon, State Police Commander Col. Frederick Booth said Friday evening. He will be assigned to a desk and wear civilian clothes."
 

NM: Jurors order former police officer accused of raping a woman to pay $1 million
Submitted by: Wildfire

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"A former Albuquerque police officer accused of raping a woman was ordered to pay nearly $1 million in damages to his alleged victim."

"The lawsuit is the first of six sexual assault cases against Christopher Chase to go to trial."

"...Chase was ordered to pay nearly $69,889 for damages and $873,500 for punitive damages."

"In this case, a 37-year-old woman says Chase offered her a ride to a friend’s house, but instead took her to a parking lot and raped her."
 

PA: Another reminder that the police are not there to protect you, but rather to enforce the law after it has been broken
Submitted by: News Admin

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"Police are investigating whether officers acted appropriately when they failed to break into an apartment where a 24-year-old woman was later found strangled." ...

"Police had gone to the building earlier after someone using King's cell phone sent text messages to her friend, saying that King was in trouble. The friend alerted police and officers were dispatched to the apartment ..."

"King's father, Eugene King, who also had been alerted of the text messages by King's friend, headed to the apartment and asked police for help in forcing open the apartment door. He was told by police that they could not do that because his daughter was an adult..." ...

"The case is drawing parallels to the murder of 23-year-old Wharton student Shannon Schieber in 1998. In that case, two officers called to investigate screaming coming from Schieber's apartment decided not to break down her door. Schieber's body was discovered inside the apartment the next morning."
 

NY: Chief Apologizes for Pulling Over Pastor
Submitted by: Anonymous

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Submitter's Note: Since when do robberies involve family and children?

Apparently police cannot figure this out.
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"The Rev. Troy Hopkins called for an apology after he and his family were stopped by police who thought he was a bank robbery suspect Thursday night, and Friday he received the apology. ..." ...

"The apology came about 48 hours after Hopkins and his wife were ordered out of their car at gunpoint along Route 30 in York."

"Police pulled over the pastor's car after believing the pastor was the serial bank robber who has recently hit area banks. The pastor's children were in the back seat of the car and were crying." ...

"Police said that was based on the suspect's description, the bank location the pastor had just been seen leaving, and the time of day."
 

New Zealand: Security guard robbed
Submitted by: News Admin

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"Police in Auckland want to speak to anyone who witnessed the robbery of a Chubb security guard outside the Pakuranga ASB bank on Friday afternoon."

"A bag of money was taken from the guard by a Maori or Pacific Island man brandishing a gun."
 

UK: Why did Howard release two dangerous gangsters?
Submitted by: News Admin

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"As the Tory leader calls for criminals to be kept behind bars, police are investigating his role in a royal pardon for two men facing 18 years in prison." ...

"It is difficult to imagine a more dangerous criminal to let out on to the streets than Haase, although Bennett, his nephew and a member of a notorious Liverpool criminal family, comes close. Haase and his associates have often been held responsible for bringing gun culture to the streets of Liverpool."

 

MO: Certain Gun Storage Practices Can Reduce Risk of Youth Firearm Injuries, Suicide
Submitted by: News Admin

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"According to background information in an article that appears in the February 9 issue of JAMA, the presence of a household firearm is associated with an increased risk of suicide among adults and adolescents. In a study of suicide attempters and completers, investigators found that 75 percent of the guns were stored in the residence of the victim, friend, or relative. Another study found that 35 percent of homes in the United States with children younger than 18 years reported at least 1 firearm, and that 43 percent of these homes had at least 1 unlocked firearm. Many organizations and health authorities advocate locking firearms and ammunition to prevent access to guns by children and adolescents. The association of these firearm storage practices with the reduction of firearm injury risk has been unclear."
 

Australia: Granny, 96, held at gunpoint
Submitted by: News Admin

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"A 96-year-old woman and her grandson were held at gunpoint while their home was ransacked by thieves in Sydney's west."

"Two armed men broke into the house in Young Street, Parramatta, at 9.30pm (AEDT) yesterday while the 25-year-old man was showering and his grandmother was asleep."

"The robbers confronted the man in the bathroom and bound his hands and feet before kicking him and demanding cash, police said."
 

India: Another teenager raped at gun-point
Submitted by: News Admin

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A teenage girl was raped at gun-point in Kalyani University premises in Kalyani last night by her neighbours. The incident comes barely 24 hours of the rape-and-kill incident of a 13-year-old girl at Goalbari in Kotwali PS area in Nadia." ...

"The Statesman reported in its Sunday edition how crimes against women have increased in the last five months in Nadia district. The crime graph now stands at eight rapes in five months."

"The victim, a 14-year-old of class V studying in Saraswati Trust Vidyamandir in Kalyani was on her way to a local shop when she was intercepted at a gun point by two the youths. ..."
 

Australia: Gunman raids petrol station
Submitted by: News Admin

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"A GUN-welding robber demanded two backpacks be filled with cigarettes and cash before fleeing a petrol station in Sydney's southwest."

"The man also dragged a 21-year-old customer outside the Blacktown station and across Sunnyholt Road before punching him, police said today."

"A 21-year-old employee and a 19-year-old customer were unhurt in the robbery, which happened about 9pm (AEST) last night."
 

IL: Homeowner Kills One Intruder, Injures Another
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://home.comcast.net/~bruce.krafft

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"A would-be burglar is dead and another is hospitalized tonight after the homeowner fought back."

"It happened Friday night around 10:30 during an attempted home invasion in Genoa on the 700 block of John Court."

"Genoa police say two men forced their way into the home and pulled a gun on the homeowner. The homeowner wrestled the gun away from the burglars and shot both men."

"One suspect died at the scene. The other was found at a nearby McDonald’s with a gunshot wound to the suspect." ...

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Submitter's Note: SEE?!? They'll take the gun away from you and use it aginst you!
 

UK: Man 'under guard' after shooting
Submitted by: News Admin

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"Police are guarding the hospital bed of an 18-year-old man who was shot in what police believe was a targeted attack outside a Bradford nightclub.
The victim was shot in the arm during a fracas involving several men near the Functions club in Manningham in the early hours of Friday."

"On Saturday his condition was described as 'stable' after he had surgery."
 

UK: Six-fold rise in stun gun smuggling
Submitted by: News Admin

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"Homeowners are buying illegal stun guns abroad and smuggling them into Britain to protect themselves from criminals, according to police and customs officers."

"New figures show there has been nearly a six-fold increase in the number of these weapons being seized at ports and airports."

"Last year, customs officers intercepted 672 stun guns, which can paralyse people with a 50,000-volt shock, compared with 120 eight years ago."
 

Australia: 16 guns stolen in single day
Submitted by: News Admin

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"POLICE are appealing for information from the public after 16 firearms were stolen from homes in New South Wales in one day."

"A handgun was taken from a safe inside a home at Sylvania Waters, in Sydney's south, on Friday, Detective Superintendent John Kerlatec from the NSW police Firearms Squad said today."

"On the same day, ten firearms and several hunting knives were stolen from three homes in Kimbeth Street, Albion Park, south of Sydney."

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KABA Note: So while the police are busy disarming victims via confiscation, criminals are busy arming themselves at the victims' expense.
 

Poland: Wolves fear no one after hunting ban
Submitted by: News Admin

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"SINCE wolf hunting was banned in Poland more than six years ago, the lives of many livestock rearers in this southeastern town have 'turned into a nightmare'."

" 'Last year, wolves took 26 of our sheep,' Grazyna and Antoni Dydak told AFP at their farm in the Bieszczady hills, tucked away in an unspoilt corner of the central European country."

"In the summer, when Grazyna takes her 150-head herd of sheep out to pasture, she carries with her fireworks, binoculars and whistles, along with the traditional shepherd's staff and two sheepdogs. But even that is not enough to deter the wolves from attacking."
 

OH: ODOW seeks to liberalize deer-hunting regulations
Submitted by: News Admin

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"Ohio deer hunters set an all-time record this year and will have a chance to do it again in 2005."

"The Ohio Division of Wildlife proposed even more liberal deer hunting regulations for next fall and winter to the Ohio Wildlife Council on Wednesday night in Columbus. Twelve counties were added to the list allowing hunters to kill as many as three deer in 38 counties in central, south, southeastern and southwestern Ohio."
 

ME: Guns readily available to youths
Submitted by: News Admin

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"Each year, an average of 23 young people in Maine kill themselves."

"Half of them do it with guns."

"In a state where hunting and gun ownership are longstanding traditions, firearms are readily available to Maine teenagers."

"And that accessability [sic] puts teens at a greater risk for suicide, two prominent national studies show."
 

UK: Thieves get away with weapons haul
Submitted by: News Admin

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"A Nightmare on Elm Street-style three-bladed glove and several replica guns were among a large haul of weapons stolen from a unit in Yarmouth Market Place."

"Two paintball guns, seven replica gas-powered guns, a crossbow, a ball-bearing gun, two air pistols, a sword, five sling-shot catapults, a dagger and curved knives were also taken." ...

"If someone is caught in possession with a weapon such as this in public, it will be dealt with as a real firearm until we can prove it is a replica or BB gun. This means that the armed response team will challenge them, with all the trauma that will entail."
 

UK: What Is an Anarchist Who Has Been Mugged? (Blog)
Submitted by: motoboy

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"The next thing I knew, I felt a tremendous blow to the side of my head. One of them had kicked me there! I fell over onto the grass, and both of them began kicking me as I lay there. I struggled to my feet, and was kicked in the head again." ...

"A little while later, two cops arrived and interviewed me. They were quite pleasant and sympathetic, and I believe that they really would have liked to catch my assailants, but they held out little hope that they could do so. ..." ...

"So, what is an anarchist after he's been mugged? Still an anarchist, it seems. Other then sending around two pleasant blokes to chat with me for a bit, the state did nothing to either prevent or redress the attack. And, by severely restricting the right of British citizens to defend themselves, the UK government has doubtlessly given people like my park friends a great deal more confidence that they can pull off such assaults without, say, being shot in the head."
 

LA: Local law enforcement agencies distributing free gun locks to area residents
Submitted by: News Admin

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"The DeRidder Police Department urges local firearm owners to come into the department and get a free gun lock, compliments of the National Shooting Sports Foundation's Project ChildSafe program."

"According to Detective Christopher Rudy, there are enough free locks to distribute to every local family that needs one, but few people have taken advantage of the opportunity."

"Firearm accidents in the home can be reduced when owners know and understand the responsibility of owning a gun and safely handling and storing it."
 

Australia: 40,000 guns seized in crackdown
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://home.comcast.net/~bruce.krafft

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"Mr Moroney said NSW police carried out a big audit and compliance check of all firearms in NSW last year."

"He said the audit, combined with the NSW Government's gun buyback, had seized 43,000 weapons, most of which were firearms."

"In total, 185,000 licensed firearm holders were identified, holding about 600,000 registered firearms between them, he said."

"Mr Moroney said that, as part of the blitz, thousands of weapons were destroyed because police were not satisfied that the firearms were being kept securely, or that 'possession of that firearm was necessarily further warranted'." [emphasis added]

"'Some 43,000 weapons were seized and subsequently destroyed by NSW police during (20)03-04,' he said." ...
 

IL: Coins, cosmetics, pickles ... and guns
Submitted by: News Admin

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"Coins, candles, herbal cosmetics, antique guns, semi-automatic rifles and handmade knives were just a sample of items displayed Saturday at the Egyptian Collectors Association's Hunting and Trade Show."

"But vendors and patrons agreed the best part of the show is the people." ...

"This year is the Egyptian Collectors Association's fourth show at the fairgrounds. The association has 19 outdoor sports trade shows scheduled for this year, including locations in Effingham, Collinsville, Bloomington and Belleville, Leckrone said."

"Among the show's biggest draws are its selections of both rare antique and newest model guns, he said."
 

Whatever Happened to States' Rights?
Submitted by: News Admin

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"Look for Democrats to soften the anti-gun image that cost them several House seats in recent elections. Howard Dean _ pro-gun-rights advocate and former presidential candidate _ is the incoming chairman of the Democratic National Committee. The National Rifle Association endorsed him repeatedly during his time as Vermont governor."

"Meanwhile, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada is vowing to defend the rights of hunters and fishermen with legislation overturning a recent court decision imperiling the rights of states to set different hunting limits for in-state and out-of-state hunters."
 

ME: Mother campaigns for stricter gun law
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"Laurier J. Belanger Jr. waited 20 minutes to buy the shotgun that he used to kill himself a day and a half later."

"His mother, Catherine Crowley, wishes her 18-year-old son had had a little more time to consider whether he wanted to live or die." ...

"Belanger, a Maine Army National Guard soldier, shot himself in his Lewiston apartment in the early hours of May 23, 2004. After his death, his mother learned her son and anyone 18 years or older could buy a shotgun or rifle in Maine without a waiting period."
 

Ron Paul: A National ID Bill Masquerading as Immigration Reform
Submitted by: motoboy

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"This bill establishes a massive, centrally-coordinated database of highly personal information about American citizens: at a minimum their name, date of birth, place of residence, Social Security number, and physical and possibly other characteristics. What is even more disturbing is that, by mandating that states participate in the 'Drivers License Agreement,' this bill creates a massive database of sensitive information on American citizens that will be shared with Canada and Mexico!"

"This bill could have a chilling effect on the exercise of our constitutionally guaranteed rights. It re-defines "terrorism" in broad new terms that could well include members of firearms rights and anti-abortion groups, or other such groups as determined by whoever is in power at the time. There are no prohibitions against including such information in the database as information about a person’s exercise of First Amendment rights or about a person’s appearance on a registry of firearms owners."
 

NH: Police chiefs: 'Live Free' but live safely
Submitted by: News Admin

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"One of the big issues this year is mandatory seat belts, the chief said."

"This is one of the issues the association feels strongly on... It is strongly needed in the state. Seat belts save lives. New Hampshire is the only state in the United States that doesn’t have a mandatory seat-belt law. It’s time."

"The bill, HB 705, would require motor-vehicle drivers and passengers 18 or older to wear 'passenger restraints' or seat belts."

"Bills regarding firearm use are also of interest to the chiefs."

" 'We are part of a coalition in support of legislation to keep guns out of our schools,' he said."

"HB 208 would prohibit possession of a firearm in a safe school zone, making it a Class A misdemeanor. Under the Safe Schools Act, Wrenn said, there is an exception allowing people with a permit to carry concealed weapons on school property without being in violation of the law."
 

AK: Top guns smash NRA record
Submitted by: News Admin

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"The University of Alaska Fairbanks rifle team turned in a record-setting performance in defeating the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Saturday's National Rifle Association Collegiate Sectional match at the E.F. Horton Range at the Patty Center."

"In defeating the Cornhuskers by a 4,712-4,660 margin, the Nanooks broke the NRA record in air rifle, and tied the smallbore score."

"Also, UAF junior Jamie Beyerle posted a scored of 590 in smallbore competition to tie the NRA women's record held by Nebraska coach Launi Meili."
 

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