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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Switzerland Rejects Plan For Universal Firearms Registration

The Swiss Parliament has blocked a government proposal to introduce mandatory registration for all firearms, including those obtained before 2008. Currently, there are an estimated 2 million firearms in Switzerland, but only those acquired by citizens after 2008 must be recorded in cantonal registries. 

Mandatory registration supporters argued for the measure to increase firearm safety. “In Switzerland we register cars. It is odd not to do it for guns whose primary aim is to kill. It would allow us to save lives and avoid family shootings,” said Green Party Sen. Luc Recordon.

The Swiss have rejected sweeping gun restrictions before, such as the 2011 proposal to ban automatic weapons and introduce a licensing system. Universal registration critics maintain that complete safety is impossible, that only law-abiding citizens would register their firearms and that the measure would introduce unnecessary bureaucratic red tape.


Ohio Armed Citizen Stops Rampaging Ex-Boyfriend

A Cleveland, Ohio, woman was in her apartment with a male guest around 10 p.m. Wednesday when her ex-boyfriend, 28-year-old Cedric Grier, banged on the door. After the resident refused to let him in, Grier reportedly kicked in the door and began destroying the resident’s property before grabbing the woman and strangling her until she lost consciousness. With the woman passed out, Grier turned his anger on the male guest, charging at him and hitting him. At this point, the man was able to retrieve his handgun and fire at Grier, hitting him in the chest. 

When police arrived, they found Grier dead of a single gunshot wound at the top of a stairway. The incident remains under investigation, but police say both victims are cooperating and no arrests have been made.


Armed Citizen Angry To Hear That Suspect Is On The Loose

Robert Hamm is upset, but not surprised. When the 75-year-old resident of Carter County, Ky., held an intruder at gunpoint until police arrived, he had a feeling the suspect would be free soon. “I’ve seen where they’ve turned people loose who’ve done it four or five times,” Hamm told WSAZ.

Still, he was frustrated to hear that the man he helped apprehend never even made it to jail: Larry Lee Thompson was supposed to turn himself in after checking out of the hospital, but he disappeared instead. The local sheriff’s department said that a lack of resources prevented them from keeping a deputy with Thompson at all times.

“I had him here for them, and they still turned him out,” said Hamm. “He could be down sitting at the foot of the hill waiting for me to come out or anything.” At least now he knows that Hamm has a gun.


Government May Be Researching Tech To Track, Destroy Guns

A tech blog post that has been making the rounds calls attention to new developments that could potentially allow tiny devices to be built into new guns—devices that would allow authorities to not only track firearms via GPS but also to disrupt their operations or even cause them to self-destruct. The post claims that the federal government is among the parties showing interest in developing this technology.

Bob Owens points out that if this technology becomes even close to viable, we will likely see anti-gun legislators trying to mandate its inclusion in all new firearms. We will also almost certainly see it hacked by those who would use it for nefarious purposes.


N.J. Anti-Gunners Fail In Gun Bill Veto Override

The New Jersey legislature has failed to override Gov. Chris Christie’s veto of a piece of anti-gun legislation that would have piled even more restrictions onto the state’s already overblown plethora of firearm laws.

In his veto message, Christie, a Republican presidential candidate, said he couldn’t support “a continued path of patchwork proposals and fragmented statutes that add further confusion to an already cumbersome area of law.” He has instead proposed a set of reforms to the state’s mental health laws “to better protect our citizens against mass violence.”

Of course, anti-gunners weren’t happy with the failed override attempt. “I am committing to you right now it is coming back until it gets passed,” said Democrat State Sen. Stephen Sweeney.


Strengthening “Stand Your Ground” In Florida

The Florida House and Senate have identical bills moving through their respective chambers to clarify the Sunshine State’s “Stand Your Ground” law (SYG).

If the measure reaches Gov. Rick Scott’s desk and becomes law, it will shift an important burden of proof onto the prosecution in self-defense cases. At present, a person claiming self-defense can still be brought to trial, with all the risks and expenses that implies, despite SYG’s supposed protections. With the clarification in place, the state would have to prove in a pre-trial hearing that a defendant acted wrongly before proceeding to convict on—presumably—an assault or more severe charge.

Another interesting turn of phrase is also in the bills: “The amendments … made by this act are intended to correct misinterpretations … made by the courts.” A welcome way to bring anti-gun prosecutors to heel, perhaps?


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