While our spirits were buoyed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s costly and embarrassing defeat in Virginia—where voters angrily rejected his attempt to buy his way into state politics—the approximately $3 million that he lost only constitutes a fraction of his recent political spending. According to the New York Post, the ex-mayor has spent $72 million on political causes over the past four years.
Bloomberg’s seemingly bottomless coffers have propelled a number of anti-gun candidates to victory, despite setbacks like the one in Virginia. If gun owners are to defeat the influence of a billionaire whose one overriding goal is to undermine the Second Amendment, it is critical that we be able to match his spending.
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The Real Epidemic: Extreme Anti-Gun Groups
The National Gun Victims Action Council (NGVAC) is petitioning President Obama to declare the “gun violence epidemic” a national state of emergency. The group’s suggested solution includes, among other things, looking at requirements for concealed carry, holding parents accountable as accomplices when their children cause harm with the parents’ guns, and appointing a commission to address this “man-made public health epidemic” … all while excluding members of the “gun lobbies” from participation in the commission.
It’s unclear whether NGVAC is aware that a state of national emergency cannot suspend any part of the Constitution (the sole exception being the habeas corpus clause). This Congressional Research Service report (Aug. 30, 2007) provides a definition of national emergency powers and states that such powers must be “permissible constitutionally.” But then, NGVAC also knows it has a president who is all too willing to disregard the Constitution and the rights guaranteed within.
The Houston Zoo has reversed its earlier position and re-posted the “no guns” signs that it had removed earlier this year in compliance with a new Texas law. That law, which took effect in September, prohibits authorities from barring firearms on most government-owned facilities.
One exception to the law is for schools and educational institutions. The Houston Zoo is now claiming—just as the Dallas Zoo has done—that it is exempt and immune from the law, in the words of Houston Zoo spokesperson Jackie Wallace, “because HZI is—at its core—an educational institution.”
Told of the Houston Zoo’s latest reversal, attorney Edwin Walker with Texas Law Shield, who sent demand letters to the zoo to have its “no guns” signs removed in September, told the Houston Chronicle that he plans to take his complaint to the Texas Attorney General.
New Michigan Law Streamlines, Strengthens Concealed Carry Process
A new law went into effect today that brings Michigan one step closer to becoming a true shall-issue concealed-carry state. Most notably, the law does away with county gun boards—whose authority to deny permits based on their own discretion created inconsistencies between counties in how permits were issued—as well as the requirement that an applicant submit to an in-person interview. The new process transfers responsibility for issuing licenses to county clerks, and gives state police 45 days to notify the clerks of denials based on factors such as age, criminal history or mental illness. If they fail to do so, the clerks are required to approve the application.
The law also decreases the maximum wait time for renewals from 60 days to 30 days, and requires temporary emergency permits be granted to applicants who have obtained a protection order or are determined by county sheriffs to be in danger.
A concealed-carry permit holder in Tulsa, Okla., used his firearm to save his life when accosted outside a fast food restaurant on Sunday evening.
According to police reports, the man was leaving a Burger King restaurant when another man, armed with a crowbar, attempted to rob him. Realizing the dire threat, the permit holder pulled his handgun and shot his assailant through the shoulder.
The man with the crowbar fled the scene, and was later located by police at a local hospital, where he was seeking treatment for the gunshot wound. At the time of this writing, charges against the attempted armed robber had not yet been filed.