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Newslinks for 6/24/2008

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DC: Supreme Court Expected To Rule On D.C. Gun Ban
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule this week on the District's strict handgun ban.

The controversial gun control case is being watched closely by lawyers on both sides.

Before a packed courtroom in March, justices heard arguments in the case that could overturn the city's 1977 handgun ban, which is the strictest in the nation. The city argues that the law is reasonable and that it curbs violent crime that would get worse with legal handguns in homes. Opponents say the law violates the Second Amendment right to defend the home and has had no impact on city violence.
 

DC: Justice Scalia writing gun-ban opinion?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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But on what grounds? And how sweeping will the ruling be? It's entirely possible, for instance, that Scalia may only be writing a plurality opinion and not a majority one. The difference? Justices concur and dissent from sections of opinions. And it's possible there are a majority of votes on the court to overturn the ban, but the reasons for doing so could differ, perhaps wildly. And a plurality opinion carries less weight than a clear, declarative opinion from a majority of the court.

Still, it is the law. And an opinion from Scalia will certainly contain enough Second Amendment jurisprudence to send shockwaves throughout both the gun-rights and gun-control communities, not to mention, perhaps, the presidential campaigns.
 

FL: Tallahassee Dem. Newspaper: Big Brother Should Track Guns With GPS
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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She thinks she has lit upon a "responsible idea" to regulate guns. The idea Megan Kristen Lewis of the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat thinks is "responsible" is to put global positioning tracking devices (GPS) in every gun. That way the government could track down your firearm if it is "stolen" or used in a crime.

Miss Lewis attempts to assure the reader that she really is a fan of guns before she unleashes this great idea, of course. She knows people with guns, she claims, and she doesn't "fear" them. Why, she grew up around them, she says. Of course, they were always locked up in a safe so no one could get to them. Still, she says her Father taught her about "weapon safety from a very young age."
 

TX: Grand jury back at work on Joe Horn case
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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***Complete Text***

A Harris County grand jury was back at work Monday, trying to decide if Joe Horn should face charges for shooting two suspected burglars.

Horn opened fire on the men in Pasadena in November, killing them after he saw them breaking into the home next door.

Horn claims the shooting was in self defense, but autopsy reports indicate the men were shot in the back.
 

Too good to check: Scalia writing the majority opinion in the upcoming Second Amendment case?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Indeed: Scalia and Thomas are evidently already on record as supporting an individual rights reading of the Amendment, and from what observers could tell from the oral argument back in March, Anthony Kennedy was himself leaning that way. The decision should drop tomorrow morning so take advantage of the slow news this afternoon and read Mike O’Shea’s primer at Concurring Opinions to prepare yourself. A big win on the threshold question of whether the right is individual or collective is already assumed;...
 

WA: Mayor Greg Nickels exploits gun-show loophole
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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By Alan Gottlieb & Joe Waldron

State lawmakers have requested an opinion on Nickels' ban from Attorney General Rob McKenna, because this attempt to skirt the law is an affront to legislative authority. Simply because Nickels believes the world, or at least this state, revolves around Seattle does not make it so.

...

If Nickels is allowed to get away with this -- and we promise, there will be a legal challenge -- what's next? Will he then issue a royal decree about parking on city streets, or riding bicycles in rush hour? Maybe he'll tell people how to vote, or where to attend church.
 

WV: Beijing Bound
Submitted by: Anonymous

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WVU rifle coach Jon Hammond sometimes finds himself staring at the pictures on the [WVU] Coliseum wall.

The photos of WVU’s 12 Olympic rifle shooters represent a who’s who of a proud program that has captured 13 NCAA national championships.

Hammond gazes at the faces of Olympians Ed Etzel, Mike Anti, Dave Johnson and Jean Foster, and he can hardly believe his picture will soon adorn this same wall.

Hammond, 27, a native of Banchory, Scotland, is Great Britain’s lone shooting representative in the Summer Olympics, in Beijing, China, which begin with the opening ceremonies on Aug. 8.



 

WV: Pressure scuttles gun ban
Submitted by: Anonymous

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The Ranson City Council is expected to abandon efforts to pass a proposed ordinance that would ban firearms from city-owned property due to pressure from gun rights groups.

Groups such as the National Rifle Association and the West Virginia Citizens Defense League have sent letters to city officials decrying the proposed ordinance and have threatened to take action should the council attempt to pass it.

“I think it’s enough to say that we’ve heard from the interested parties — without being specific about who the interested parties are — and we feel that it is probably in our best judgment to forgo any further action relative to this situation,” Ranson Mayor A. David Hamill said Monday.



 

OK: Dad's fun is fully automatic
Submitted by: Trapper

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Most fathers take their boys to play catch or fish or golf or hike. Mike Case takes his boys to fire machine guns.

"How many other boys their age get to shoot a machine gun?” he asked.

By day, Case is a sergeant with the Oklahoma City Police Department. By night, he is a self-admitted gun fanatic.


The Cases also have their own calling card of sorts — a slick, black dune buggy mounted with a Browning .30-caliber machine gun, a fully automatic rifle, and a semi-automatic rifle.

Case can do this legally because the guns were manufactured before 1986. Case enjoys the uniqueness notoriety of his family's unique toy.

We're not all right-wing gun fanatics. We're right wing, but we're not fan-atics.
 

TN: Newly crowned Miss Tennessee packs heat
Submitted by: Rick Schwartz
Website: http://hubpages.com/author/Jack+Burton/hot/

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She's a daddy's girl.

But don't think this year's Miss Tennessee is a pushover.

Ellen Carrington, 21, who was crowned Miss Tennessee on Saturday night, has a concealed weapons permit.

"I have a Smith & Wesson .40-caliber," Carrington told reporters on Sunday, "(with a) silver top and black body."

A Jackson native and senior at Union University, Carrington decided to get the permit because she was spending a lot of time traveling to and from Nashville at night. She said spending time at shooting ranges with her father, Pat, helped create an even deeper bond between the two.
 

TN: More packing licensed heat
Submitted by: Anonymous

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Sometime during the course of your day, someone with a loaded weapon probably is near you. And those are just the legal weapons.

Nearly 8,000 people in Hamilton County have valid concealed weapons permits, records show, allowing them to carry loaded firearms just about anywhere.

Applications for Tennessee carry permits statewide have skyrocketed over the last five years, increasing from 237 in 2003 to 195,251 in 2007. Applications more than tripled between 2006 and 2007, records show.

Tennessee requires a handgun safety course before approving an application. That course, along with fingerprinting, a thorough background check and $115, gives Tennessee residents the right to carry a loaded firearm in the Volunteer State.
 

Colt M4 Carbine's Future Uncertain: Dark Clouds Forming
Submitted by: RPA-PAC
Website: http://www.rpa-pac.org

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Perhaps the single most exciting thing that happened at NDIA International Infantry & Joint Services Small Arms Systems Symposium 2008--away from the firing range, of course--was a confrontation between Jim Battaglini of Colt Defense and U.S. Air Force Col. Robert Mattes, the director of the Comparative Test Office for the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Advanced Systems and Concepts, while Col. Mattes was giving a speech and promoting the idea of an open competition to determine the best infantry/assault carbine that can be supplied to U.S. military infantry warfighters. Specifically, the purpose of the competition would be to determine whether or not the Colt M4 Carbine is still the best carbine solution for our warfighters.
 

Tom Knapp, Team Benelli [video]
Submitted by: Transsylvania Phoenix
Website: http://transsylvaniaphoenix.blogspot.com/

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Not gun news, but gun related; Tom Knapp from Team Benelli doing pure shooting art with his Benelli scatterguns.

Enjoy!
 

Decision Time for Bob Barr
Submitted by: Concerned American
Website: http://westernrifleshooters.blogspot.com

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Will the real Bob Barr please stand up?

Second Amendment advocates truly want to support a Presidential candidate that believes, as did Ron Paul, that right to keep and bear arms is about preventing tyranny imposed by one's own government.

Is that the real Bob Barr?

If it is, why hasn't the candidate explained that position in clear and direct language?

And why won't he answer questions about his role in supporting the Lautenberg gun ban based on misdemeanor convictions?

Who is the real Bob Barr?

And does he deserve gunowners' votes in November?
 

Firearms Industry Applauds Introduction of Excise Tax Reform Bill
Submitted by: RPA-PAC
Website: http://www.rpa-pac.org

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Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), co-chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, has introduced legislation (HR 6310) seeking to rectify a longstanding inequity in the collection of the firearms and ammunition excise tax (FAET) -- a major source of wildlife conservation funding. Joining Rep. Kind in sponsoring the legislation are fellow Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus co-chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and both caucus vice-chairmen, Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK) and Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM).
 

DC: Wild Speculation on Heller
Submitted by: Anonymous

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It does look exceptionally likely that Justice Scalia is writing the principal opinion for the Court in Heller – the D.C. guns case. ... So, that’s a good sign for advocates of a strong individual rights conception of the Second Amendment and a bad sign for D.C.
 

TX: Thousands sign petition to make Texas an open-carry state
Submitted by: RPA-PAC
Website: http://www.rpa-pac.org

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If Duane Suddeth had his way, he could strap on a handgun and wear it — anytime, anywhere — without concealing it. That day has not come in Texas, but the 42-year-old Bedford man is among thousands hoping it is on its way. "This is the public’s right," Suddeth said. "Whether they choose to exercise that or not is up to them." Texas, despite its independence and frontier reputation, is one of only six states where handguns cannot — in some form — legally be worn in plain view.
 

GA: Cities will pay a heavy price if handgun ban is overturned
Submitted by: RPA-PAC
Website: http://www.rpa-pac.org

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The U.S. Supreme Court will soon rule on whether Washington, D.C.'s decades-old handgun ban is constitutional. It's been nearly 70 years since the high court has heard a firearms case that tests the scope of the Second Amendment. The outcome of this one, D.C. v. Heller, will have extraordinary implications —- not just for the District, but for the ability of cities to respond effectively to gun violence.

Ed note: Authored by "Shirley Franklin is mayor of Atlanta. Contributing to this column were: Tom Barrett, mayor of Milwaukee; Manuel A. Diaz, mayor of Miami; Gavin Newsom, mayor of San Francisco; Greg Nickels, mayor of Seattle; and Douglas H. Palmer, mayor of Trenton, N.J.'
 

TX: Texas Group Wants To Carry Handguns In Plain View
Submitted by: jac

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FORT WORTH, Texas -- Despite the Lone Star State's love affair with the gun, there's at least one firearms restriction that some Texans want lifted.

Texas is just one of six states in which handguns can't be worn in plain view. The other 44 states, in the parlance of gun advocates, are known as "open-carry" states.

More than 3,500 people have signed an online petition asking Gov. Rick Perry and the Legislature to permit Texans to wear their handguns without concealing them.

The Texas Citizens Defense League supports the petition, which requests that people who legally buy handguns be allowed to carry them openly, except in places prohibited by law.
 

NY: Legislation would extend rifle hunting
Submitted by: RPA-PAC
Website: http://www.rpa-pac.org

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Assemblyman Jim Bacalles, R-Corning, who sponsored legislation to extend rifle hunting in Chemung, Steuben and Yates counties, said Friday that the bill passed in the Assembly. The legislation authorizes rifle hunting throughout the two counties until 2011 after a successful trial year in 2007. The legislation was approved earlier by the Senate and will be sent to the governor for his signature.
 

TX: Freedom Reigns for All With Concealed Carry Law
Submitted by: RPA-PAC
Website: http://www.rpa-pac.org

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When I’m free, you’re free; When we’re free, they’re free. I live in the great state of Texas, the land of cowboys, guns, oil rigs, guns, pickup trucks, guns, recent U.S. Presidents, guns, the annual Houston Rodeo, guns, a NHL franchise, a couple of NFL franchises and, did I mention guns? Though gun ownership is a strong characteristic of American culture as a whole it is a predominant trait in Texas where it is rightly taken as a guarantee of freedom.
 

TN: Training for gun owners [video]
Submitted by: Anonymous

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The owner of a Hixson, TN firing range and gun shop says his classes are overflowing and handgun sales are up. Figures for 2007 show about 8,000 Hamilton County residents had permits to carry handguns. Police, gun owners and an instructor comment on the increased interest in firearms.
 

GOP frets Barr could play spoiler in prez race
Submitted by: motoboy

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ATLANTA (AP) - A fiery former GOP congressman who gained national prominence for doggedly pursuing impeachment of President Clinton has some Republicans worried he'll play spoiler in a tight presidential contest.

Bob Barr's Libertarian Party bid for the White House is the longest of long shots, but political experts say he may be able to exploit the unease some die-hard conservatives still feel about Sen. John McCain, the Republican nominee-in-waiting. Combined with the surge in turnout among Democrats during the primaries and a difficult political climate for Republicans, they see what could be a recipe for trouble for the GOP.

 

TX: Police Officer Accused Of Changing Price Tags At Store Arrested
Submitted by: jac

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DENTON, Texas -- Police arrested a Sanger Police Department officer Sunday night on charges of changing price tags on items at a Denton Wal-Mart.

A store security guard reportedly caught Lisa Kish and another woman changing prices on several pairs of jeans, police said.

Kish was arrested at 7:40 p.m. at the store in the 1500 block of S. Loop 288, Denton police spokesman Jim Bryan said.

She was charged with destruction of property/removal of writing and released on $500 bond from the Denton City Jail early Monday.
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
We'll take one step at a time, and the first is necessarily - given the political realities - very modest. We'll have to start working again to strengthen the law, and then again to strengthen the next law and again and again. Our ultimate goal, total control of handguns, is going to take time. The first problem is to slow down production and sales. Next is to get registration. The final problem is to make possession of all handguns and ammunition (with a few exceptions) totally illegal. — Pete Shields, founder of Handgun Control, Inc., New Yorker Magazine, June 26, 1976, pg. 53

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