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Friday, August 14, 2015

BATFE Claims It Is Exempt From Freedom Of Information Act Requests

In answer to a civil suit filed in federal court in June, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) has issued a three-page “response” that amounts to a non-response.

Plaintiffs filed the civil suit because BATFE did not respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request—which asked for policies, opinions, rulings, instructions and procedures covering a wide range of BATFE regulatory activities—within the legal time limit. BATFE now claims that it is not an “agency” as defined by the FOIA law, so doesn’t need to obey the Freedom of Information Act’s statutory requirements. 

Although it doesn’t say much else, the agency’s (or should we say “entity’s”?) tersely-worded three-page “response” does claim that “no response is required” a total of five times—a non-response that reminds us of a famous line from “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.”


Australia To Allow Import Of “Controversial” Shotgun

Undeterred by outcry over a shotgun that despite utilizing 165-year-old technology that gun-grabbers were calling “rapid-fire” and “too dangerous,” the Australian government has decided to allow importation.

The Adler Lever Action shotgun had been proposed for import, but many Australians wanted the gun banned, claiming the lever-action gun with seven-shot capacity was just “too dangerous.” Sen. Penny Wright decried how “dangerous” the gun was, stating: “If this rapid-fire gun got into the wrong hands, there is a real concern that we could see a repetition of the tragic events we’ve seen in the past.”

On the other side of the issue, Sen. David Leyonhjelm told it like it really is. “These firearms are not dangerous, they aren’t used in crime, there’s nothing about them that warrants any special action,” Leyonhjelm said. “Nonetheless, there are some people who don’t like guns, and they see this as the next area in which they can encroach.”


Kahr Moves Operations To Gun-Friendly Pennsylvania

Firearms manufacturers need not apply when it comes to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic initiatives to attract business to stay and grow in New York state. With millions behind New York’s “START-UP NY” and “Open For Business” campaign, the so-called incentives and friendly economic environment apparently does not extend to the gun industry.

Heavy restrictions derived from the NY SAFE Act have driven Kahr Firearms out of New York to Pike County, Pa., where half the county residents are NRA members and local officials offered a five-year tax break. “We had to look for a more gun-friendly state in the Northeast,” said Justin Moon, owner of Kahr Firearms. “Pennsylvania as a large state is the most gun-friendly northeastern state.” 

The new Kahr headquarters will bring about 200 jobs to the area by next year. As Kahr employee Doug Williams put it, “When somebody else is stupid, somebody who’s smart is going to come out on top.”


Courts Weigh Whether Stun Guns Are Covered By Second Amendment

Many people rely on implements like stun guns and Tasers for their daily self-defense needs, either as an alternative or a complement to firearms. It is strange to consider that such tools could be subject to bans when guns are not, but some jurisdictions in the United States have ruled that they are not protected by the Second Amendment.

Law professor Eugene Volokh recently wrote an amicus brief to support a writ of certiorari for the Massachusetts Supreme Court, which ruled in March that stun guns are “dangerous and unusual weapons” and thus not covered.

Frequent A1F contributor Frank Miniter provides a good summary on this issue in a new Forbes piece, but the upshot is that the fight over “non-lethal” or “less-lethal” defenses is heating up nationwide. Volokh posits that the U.S. Supreme Court may hear the Massachusetts case, Commonwealth v. Caetano, this fall.


Charlotte Homeowner Shoots Intruder

A man in Charlotte, N.C., came home to find two unknown men in his house, apparently in the process of burglarizing the property. The homeowner fired his gun at the suspects, who then fled—one on foot and one in a vehicle.

Police were soon notified of a traffic accident in which a driver was found suffering from a gunshot wound. The second suspect was also apprehended after a neighbor’s tip helped police locate him.


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