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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Boston Mayor Bans Realistic Toy Guns

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh signed an ordinance banning replica handguns in public spaces Monday. Under the ban, police can seize fake handguns that are not clearly marked with orange or red muzzles as replicas. The ban takes effect immediately. 

The new ordinance was announced at a press event held Monday at Roxbury’s Twelfth Baptist Church with members of the local clergy and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans in attendance. 

Residents might wish that, instead of staging press conferences trumpeting a ban on toy guns that took two months to pass, Boston’s mayor and police commissioner focused more of their time on real crimes. After all, Boston homicides spiked by 27 percent in 2014—even as the national homicide rate continued to fall—and WBUR reported in May that non-fatal shootings in Beantown had increased by 56 percent this year over 2014. Where’s the confetti?


Thriving Illegal Gun Market Feeds Australian Crime

As Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama tout Australian-style gun control (read: confiscation), Australia’s The New Daily reports that residents “are more at risk from gun crime than ever before with the country’s underground market for firearms ballooning in the past decade.” The paper studied state-level crime reports and concluded, “Taken together, the data suggests that despite our tough anti-gun laws, thousands of registered weapons are either being stolen or entering the country illegally.” 

So let’s get this straight: Guns are hard to acquire for law-abiding citizens, but criminals are getting them anyway? By criminalizing a category of guns, you’ve created a thriving black market? It’s probably not very helpful to chime in with a well-timed “We told you so” right at the moment.


Atlanta Fails To Comply With Gun Auction Requirement

The city of Atlanta is apparently failing to comply with state law S.B. 350, which requires local governments to return firearms to innocent owners. The law also requires local governments to auction off all confiscated but unclaimed firearms to a licensed dealer who can then sell the gun lawfully to a new owner. 

Even though Atlanta Police Chief George Turner is aware of his obligations to follow S.B. 350, he’s either refusing to do so or dragging his feet. “We have an obligation to resell that, rebid that, and get that to gun purchasers so they can resell those,” Turner told a CBS46 reporter this week. He then added, “The city of Atlanta has not done that.” 

With around 6,000 confiscated firearms accumulating in the Atlanta stockpile and no plans to return or auction them off, Chief Turner and Mayor Kasim Reed, who joined Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, are by definition breaking the law.


Maryland Dumps Cartridge “Fingerprint” Database

After gobbling up 15 years’ worth of taxpayer funding, a Maryland “ballistic fingerprinting” effort has been ended by state officials. It’s about time, we’d suggest, since the $5 million system never solved a single case.

Beginning in 2000, the state required a fired cartridge case from every new handgun sold in the state, hoping to later provide a forensic link between cases recovered at crime scenes and their archive. Imprecise images plagued the program from the outset, wasting investigative time and resources by returning multiple (even hundreds) of matches to a single sample.

“It could have been tweaked” a forensic scientist lamented to the Baltimore Sun, despite the ATF opinion that guns used in crimes have often been stolen and resold illegally, and perhaps repeatedly. So a link to the original, lawful owner adds what, precisely? 

Being 0-for-300,000 says all that needs to be said.


Obama Uses Mass Shootings As Fundraising Tool

Last weekend President Obama sent an email to Democratic supporters on the subject of mass shootings. 

In it was a claim that there have been over 300 mass shootings so far this year—a statistic from a crowdsourced site that was debunked here—followed by this plea: “Unless we do something—change our politics and change our laws—these painful tragedies will continue. … It’s up to us to speak up for the countless voices lost to gun violence. If you believe we can do this, together, then add your name today,” followed by a link to a petition at my.democrats.org. 

Instead of being shown a running total of signatures, those who sign the petition are taken to a donation page. In other words, Obama is now using his followers’ concern over gun violence to fundraise for the Democratic party. 

Apparently when you’re trying to ensure your gun-control legacy, there’s no such thing as “going too far.”


Kentucky Man Uses Gun To Stop Intruder

In a neighborhood described by residents as being “pretty quiet the biggest part of the time,” a Louisville man on Sunday used his firearm to fight off a home invader.

According to TV station WLKY, police officers said the intruder fled on foot and was later found at a nearby hospital.

Police did not say whether the intruder and the armed citizen knew each other. The extent of the intruder’s injuries is unknown at this time.


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