U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Ted Cruz is encouraging Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain to hold hearings on the U.S. military’s practice of barring soldiers with carry permits from carrying firearms on base.
For years, U.S. commanders have argued that only military police should carry a gun. However, recent murders on bases have exposed the harsh consequences of this “gun-free zone” policy. Data generated by the success of civilian carry is overwhelming: U.S. violent crime rates continue to drop, and crime rates among permit holders is far lower than among the general population.
Also, there is precedent for on-base carry. Former Army Ranger Chuck Holton, a frequent NRA American Warrior contributor, tells A1F that soldiers are armed on U.S. bases in Afghanistan, and the result is a respectful, polite and safe environment.
Why, then, should our soldiers be left defenseless in a potentially hostile environment on U.S. soil?
Department Of Injustice Strikes Again
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee chairman wants some answers from Attorney General Eric Holder. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, wants to know why, of all the names reported to the “mental defective” category on DOJ’s illegal gun-ban list, nearly all of them are veterans. He also wants to know why Veterans Affairs is reporting individuals who merely need financial assistance managing VA benefits, and he wants to know if NICS is effectively just a national gun-ban list.
“A veteran or dependent shouldn’t lose their constitutional rights because they need help with bookkeeping,” Grassley wrote in a letter to Holder. “Those veterans should not be required by the Department of Veterans Affairs ‘to prove that they have the ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights.’”
In his letter, Grassley demands that the outgoing attorney general respond by April 30. We, too, will be awaiting those answers.
Victory Down Under
Already hobbled by punitive gun laws that often leave them unable to defend themselves, Australian gun owners continue to beat back further restrictive proposals. According to reports from Down Under, law-abiding firearm owners there scored a resounding victory in response to a recent Senate inquiry that attempted to blame them for a perceived increase in violent crime.
Instead of supporting further bans, the majority of senators attending the inquiry actually recommended that state and territory governments investigate avenues to decrease regulation of the firearm industry to ease the economic burden on governments, industry and legal firearm users. We send kudos to Australian firearm owners and those public officials who stand up for them.
FIREARM Act Targets Race Question
Two Congressional Republicans have introduced a bill to address what many lawmakers see as the potential for discrimination in the form required for purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer. In 2012, Form 4473, which all perspective gun owners are required by law to fill out, was revised to include two questions about race and ethnicity. One asks whether a person is Hispanic or Latino, and another asks whether the applicant is White, Black, Asian, American Indian or Hawaiian.
The Freedom from Intrusive Regulatory Enforcement of Arbitrary Registration Mandates (FIREARM) Act, which was introduced by Reps. Diane Black and Ted Poe, would eliminate both questions from the form. Proponents of the bill claim that the questions are an unnecessary violation of privacy and could introduce a racial bias in who is allowed to purchase a firearm.
Massachusetts Gun-Control Bill Causes Spike In License Applications
Since the state legislature began debating a bill to tighten restrictions on firearm licenses, the state of Massachusetts has seen a significant rise in the number of applications for Class A carry licenses. The bill, which passed in August 2014, brings the requirements for the more basic Firearm Identification Card to the standards for Class A licenses and gives police chiefs discretion to request the denial of a license to applicants who are considered risky. Even before the new law went into effect, Massachusetts was considered to have some of the strictest gun laws in the country.
Whether citizens are upgrading their Firearm Identification Cards to Class A permits or securing a permit with the expectation of further restrictions, Massachusetts provides an illuminating case study of how punitive gun-control laws aimed at law-abiding gun owners only make them more desperate to secure their rights.
Chicago Cab Driver Stops Gunman Shooting At Pedestrians
When a gunman started shooting a handgun at pedestrians in front of his cab, a 47-year-old Uber taxi service driver—and right-to-carry permit holder—likely saved lives Friday night when he pulled out a shotgun and fired six shots, CBS Chicago reported. The gunman, 22-year-old Everardo Custodio, was hit in the shin, knee and lower back. No one else was hurt. While authorities charged Custodio with aggravated assault and unlawful use of a weapon, and denied bail, Prosecutor Barry Quinn said that the cab driver acted “in self-defense and in the defense of others,” and faced no charges.
Two ironies: Two years ago, before Chicago issued concealed-carry permits, that heroic cab driver would have likely been either unarmed in accordance with the law, or facing firearm charges of his own for having a gun. Even today, the cab driver’s job could be in jeopardy, depending on Uber’s response to the incident. Contact Uber to voice your opinion at firstname.lastname@example.org.