Pawnshops in Decatur, Ga., have reported increased firearm sales after a crime spree that saw two men killed and multiple houses shot up. Decatur is located in a central portion of the Atlanta metropolitan area, and large cities across the country have seen rising violent crime rates in the wake of the Baltimore riots.
One encouraging aspect of this story is the narrative from public officials. Sheriff Ana Franklin of nearby Morgan County embraced armed citizens when she said, “For the folks who are purchasing their weapon legally and are responsible gun owners, I don’t see that as a problem.” Decatur Police Chief Ed Taylor dismissed a question about more guns leading to more crime: “I have a lot of confidence in our community and our residents. I don’t think that’s going to happen.” We applaud the residents of Decatur and surrounding areas for taking their safety into their own hands.
Will State Silence Speech On Firearms?
How many times have you turned to YouTube for gunsmithing, reloading or ballistics help? New regulations from the Obama administration now threaten to ban such videos and send their makers to prison.
According to the June 3 issue of the Federal Register, the State Department plans to reinterpret the International Traffic in Arms (ITAR) regulations. The new rules would classify posting firearms-related information on the Internet as “exporting,” and would require a permit from the State Department prior to posting. Penalties include up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million per violation.
This rule change would represent a huge prior restraint on free speech and a violation of the First Amendment. DIY info on websites such as Brownells.com and MidwayUSA.com, and public forums such as AR15.com and BrianEnos.com, could disappear, and their contributors would risk ruin.
Tell the State Department to stop the criminalization of firearms speech by posting at regulations.gov or e-mailing DDTCPublicComments@state.gov with the subject line, “ITAR Amendment—Revisions to Definitions; Data Transmission and Storage.”
You can also contact your U.S. senators and member of Congress to urge them to oppose the State Department's attempt to censor online speech concerning the technical aspects of firearms and ammunition. DON’T WAIT! Public comment closes August 3. Call the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 225-3121; or to find and email your legislators, clickhere.
Rare Truth From A Gun Prohibitionist
The case of Carol Bowne, the New Jersey woman stabbed to death while waiting for the state to approve her application for a handgun permit, is infuriating to those who respect the Second Amendment. But even one anti-gun advocate recently managed to speak the truth about the murder—however unintentional it might have been.
The Courier-Post recently reported that Jane Shivas, executive director for the New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women and an Everytown for Gun Safety supporter, said: “We will never know whether Carol would be alive today if she had received her gun permit and purchased a gun.”
Truer words were never spoken: We will never know because the state’s laws allowed Bowne to be murdered by not giving her the chance to even try to defend herself. To borrow an often-misused phrase from the gun haters, “If even one life could be saved, wouldn’t scrapping New Jersey’s restrictive gun laws be worth it?”
Oregon Reciprocity Bill Continues To Build Momentum
In an encouraging move, an important piece of concealed-carry reciprocity legislation is continuing to pick up steam in the Beaver State. Sponsored by Republican Rep. Bill Post, HB 3093, which would allow concealed-carry permit holders from other states to legally carry in Oregon, is now headed to the Senate floor.
State anti-gun groups are scrambling to gin up opposition, but it may prove difficult, as many residents seem to favor the measure. “I have heard from hundreds of Oregonians asking us, the legislature, to protect their Second Amendment rights,” Post said.
The bill has also received widespread support in the legislature: It passed the House 57-1, and last week passed the Senate Judiciary Committee with just a single “nay.”
We’ll keep you up-to-date as this important legislation makes its way toward Gov. Brown’s desk.
Chicken Little Meets The Federal Court
A tidbit of good news: The Brady Campaign got hammered flat in their lawsuit against Kansas Governor Sam Brownback over a 2013 measure.
The law made it a felony for federal officials to enforce federal regulations on Kansas firearms and ammunition. Unlike so many, the Kansas statute is abundantly clear: “A personal firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately and owned in Kansas and that remains within the borders of Kansas is not subject to any federal law, treaty, federal regulation or federal executive action.” The Brady folks tried to extrapolate this to an “unacceptable risk of future gun violence on the organization’s Kansas-based members.”
But in dismissing the suit, U.S. District Court Judge Julie Robinson described the Brady arguments as “wholly conjectural.” That’s court-speak, by the way, for made up—like virtually everything else the Brady Campaign claims.
Well done, Your Honor.
Tennessee Man Chases After Burglars
A Hermitage, Tenn., man returned home to his residence early Saturday morning to find one man standing next to his house and another climbing a fence out of his backyard. At the sight of the homeowner, the two suspects took off running.
The resident followed them in his vehicle and yelled at them to stop. At that point, one of the suspects turned and aimed a gun at the driver, who pulled out his own gun and fired in self-defense. One of the men stumbled, but they continued to flee.
The police were called out and searched the area along with K-9 units, but the suspects never turned up. Officers believe a vehicle and a shed were broken into.