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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Escaped NY Prisoners Prompt Pistol Permit Spike

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that applications for pistol permits soared in the New York counties where the three-week manhunt for two dangerous escaped prisoners was centered. 

June applications in Franklin County jumped 156 percent over the average of the previous five months. In Clinton County, applications for June 6-29 were up 170 percent over the same time period last year.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s SAFE Act gun-control measures remain very unpopular in the northern parts of the state, where gun ownership is a way of life. The spike in applications shows that residents there are clearly capable of defining “safe” for themselves.

A postscript: New Yorkers must wait six months for approval of a pistol permit. While prompted to action by current events, those applying during this period were clearly making a decision for the long-term.


No Charges For Armed Domino’s Driver

A pizza delivery driver in Albuquerque, N.M., will not be facing charges for exercising his right to armed self-defense. The driver was parked outside the Domino’s where he worked when Gerardo Alvarado allegedly held up the restaurant. But on his way out, Alvarado spotted the driver and decided to shake him down for money as well. The driver produced a firearm and shot Alvarado. 

Alvarado was hospitalized and has been moved from critical to stable condition. Once he is released, he will be charged with armed robbery and attempted armed robbery. “No charges are expected to be filed against the delivery driver,” said Albuquerque Police Department spokesman Tanner Tixier.


P.S.: Leave Your Gun At Home

Last Friday, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dealt a heavy blow to concealed-carry rights when it ruled 2-1 in Bonidy et al v. U.S. Postal Service et al that the forced disarmament of post office patrons—both inside the lobby and in the post office parking lot—is constitutional. The decision reversed a 2013 district court ruling allowing people to stow firearms in their vehicles before entering the buildings.

Circuit Judge David Ebel wrote for the majority, “The security of the postal building itself is integrally related to the security of the parking lot adjacent to it.”

The court is mistaken in asserting that banning concealed carry on post office property will provide that security, as opposed to allowing law-abiding citizens the right to defend themselves and others. Why create a huge inconvenience—especially in places that don’t offer home mail delivery—just to give criminals another gun-free zone to ignore?


Connecticut: More Guns, Less Crime

Analysis by the Ridgefield Press suggests that in Connecticut towns and cities, higher gun ownership rates correlate with lower crime rates, and vice versa. 

For example, Ridgefield, which is Connecticut’s safest town in terms of crime, has one registered gun for each three people. On the other hand, Bridgeport, which is one of Connecticut’s more violent cities, has only one registered gun for each five people. Whereas Ridgefield’s registered gun owners own an average of about six registered firearms each, Bridgeport’s registered gun owners own only about 2.5 registered firearms each.

Although it’s risky to draw conclusions from small samples over short periods, larger samples over longer time frames tell a compelling story. Of the 41 states that had Right-to-Carry laws in 2012, 34 of them experienced declines in violent crime from 1991 to 2012, and 37 of them experienced declines in murder.


Racing Stripes On A Mustang Doesn’t Make An Indy 500 Car

Oh, Canada. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s recent classification of a Mossberg rifle as prohibited has gun enthusiasts up in arms. The RCMP declared Mossberg’s Blaze .22-caliber rifle as legal, yet its counterpart, the Blaze-47, was deemed prohibited. The difference between the two: The Blaze-47 has a wood stock vs. the Blaze’s black plastic stock. 

Tony Bernardo, executive director of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association, says the classification was made because the Blaze-47 resembles an AK-47 rifle. Judgments based on cosmetic appearance are all too familiar to American gun owners. As Bernardo notes, “They’re not remotely the same. Racing stripes on a Mustang doesn’t make an Indy 500 car.”

The uproar over the rifle classification has led to the federal public safety minister’s office requesting the RCMP review its decision, and that review is now underway. Here’s hoping that common sense rules the day.


D.C. Appeals Court Ruling Extends District’s “May-Issue” Status

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has ruled that the District can continue requiring a “good reason” from those seeking concealed-carry permits. On Monday, the three-judge panel issued a full stay on a previous decision by federal District Court Judge Frederick Scullin, who ruled in May that the District’s draconian requirements deprived citizens of their Second Amendment rights. 

Scullin’s ruling had ushered in a brief era of “shall-issue” concealed carry. But on June 12, an emergency administrative stay was issued, halting the issuance of further permits. Monday’s decision expands on this temporary stay, ensuring that “good reason” requirements remain in place until the appeals process concludes.

While disappointing, the ruling did include a small bit of good news: The court has ordered an expedited appeal, which should eliminate any chance that District officials will try to prolong the appeals process in order to continue enforcing these wrong-headed restrictions.


Bowne Tragedy Spurs Christie Action … Sort of

Carol Bowne knew she had to be responsible for her own safety: A restraining order, security cameras and an alarm were all in place when the ex-boyfriend she feared stabbed her to death in her own driveway. What wasn’t in place was the only expedient likely to matter against her violent, vastly larger and stronger assailant—a personally owned firearm.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie—now a presidential candidate—has created a commission to study the ponderous process that failed Carol Bowne: Her application for a permit had been pending nearly seven weeks when she was killed. The three-person New Jersey Firearm Purchase and Permitting Study Commission will review changes to New Jersey’s gun laws, including a 14-day expedited cycle for applicants like Bowne.

We applaud the governor’s action, though with modern background checks a 14-day wait still seems absurd. The study commission has been instructed to report its recommendations to Christie within 90 days.


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