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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Australian Official: Gun Control Protects Us From Terrorism

Apparently Australia doesn’t have to worry too much about the kind of terrorist attack that Paris recently experienced, according to Justice Minister Michael Keenan. Why, because you’re on the other side of the world? No: “The robust gun control that we’ve had in Australia for the past 20 years would mean that it would be very difficult to get your hands on those sort of high-powered weapons that we saw used in the Paris attacks,” he told ABC radio.

Wait, what? It’s been established that Australia is flooded with illegal firearms, as organized crime groups continue to freely traffic in guns. There’s no reason to think that terrorists would have any difficulty in finding their preferred armament in the country. What is doubtful is that the victims of a potential attack would have the ability to defend themselves.


Texas Governor: City Halls Can’t Ban Guns

Two months after a new Texas law barred authorities from prohibiting concealed carry on most government property, Governor Greg Abbott—who formerly served as attorney general—advised his successor that authorities cannot “completely bar (concealed-carry licensees) entry to a governmental building unless the entire building is” off-limits under the law.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton hasn’t issued a formal interpretation of the law yet. In the meantime, local officials interpret the law differently. Although San Antonio allows firearms in City Hall, Austin bars concealed-carry anywhere in City Hall because the building hosts court proceedings, where carry is prohibited.

Governor Abbott attempted to clarify the law in his memo to Paxton, writing, “When the ‘court’ is located inside a multi-purpose government building, however, Texas law allows a state agency or political subdivision to ban handgun licensees from only the portion of the building that qualifies as ‘premises’ of the ‘court.’”


How Many Permits Has D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier Issued?

Yesterday we reported that District of Columbia Police Chief Cathy Lanier advised civilians that it is often preferable to neutralize an active shooter rather than waiting for law enforcement. Lanier has taken a firm stance against gun rights in the past, making it hard to imagine how D.C. residents could effectively follow her tactical advice. 

Now figures have emerged showing that Lanier has only issued 48 concealed-carry licenses in the past year; she has rejected almost 80 percent of the applications that she received. While she understands that victims of violent crimes often must act without waiting for police, it appears that she is happy to send most residents into such situations unarmed.


State Senator Asks Texas AG To Keep Campus Carry Intact

Though SB11, Texas’ campus-carry law, doesn’t go into effect until August, last week faculty at University of Texas-Austin passed a measure against guns in classrooms, dorms and other buildings—prompting the senator who authored SB11 to contact Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for further clarification on the law.

In a letter, Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, wrote that while SB11 permits university presidents to enact “reasonable” rules prohibiting guns in certain areas, it doesn’t sufficiently define “reasonable.” He said SB11 does not grant university presidents authority to ban firearms in dormitories, and added that allowing professors to decide whether to ban guns in their classrooms would violate the spirit of the law, leading to a “hodgepodge of rules” that could ultimately amount to a campus-wide ban.

Birdwell requested clarification on whether concealed carry could be suspended temporarily, such as during finals week, and whether permit-holders could file suit against colleges and officials they believe have violated SB11.


Doctors’ Group Mounts New Push To Grill Patients Over Guns

A panel at the annual meeting for the American Public Health Association (APHA) renewed the call for doctors to take “a more concentrated approach across the country” to combat accidents involving children and firearms. “Physicians are not going to solve the problem of firearm violence, but we can be a part of trying to solve it,” Dr. Eric Fleegler told Medscape Medical News.

Good, so they’re going to focus on gun safety education? Not really. There was some talk about “counseling” and giving away trigger locks, but the main recommendations were those old standbys: Harassing patients about whether they have guns, and pushing for legislation that mandates particular storage procedures. All of the proposed measures focused on keeping guns out of the hands of children, not teaching children how to actually use them safely.


Illinois Homeowner Shoots Intruder Who Ignored Warning

A Madison County, Ill., man was awakened Thursday night when a stranger tried to enter his home. “When (the homeowner) saw him the first time, he realized he didn’t know who he was, so as the incident progressed and the individual didn’t leave, he continued to warn him that he had a firearm,” said Madison County Sheriff John Lakin to Fox 2 News. “In this particular case this individual continued to try to make his way into the home and the homeowner, in fact, fired one shot striking him.”

The homeowner then dialed 911. When sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene, they found the suspect lying in the yard with a gunshot wound in the upper chest. The suspected burglar is expected to recover and is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect has not yet been charged.


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