Attorney General Loretta Lynch testified before a Senate appropriations subcommittee that funds Justice Department activities Wednesday, calling for millions of dollars to fund President Obama’s recent anti-gun executive orders to combat “an epidemic of gun violence”—despite the fact that violent crimes in general, and firearm-related crimes in particular, are at their lowest levels in decades.
Consider us unconvinced. Indeed, maybe the best summary came from subcommittee chairman U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., who said during the hearing, “I believe that (President Obama) is more interested in grandstanding and engaging in anti-gun theatrics than actually doing the work necessary to protect this country.”
Will Fast And Furious Documents Implicate Holder?
On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that President Barack Obama could not use executive privilege to deny Congress access to records pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious, the gunrunning operation that allowed thousands of guns to cross the border into Mexico. U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, an Obama nominee to the bench, ordered the administration to release the documents.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., in response to the ruling, declared that the documents in question could implicate former Attorney General Eric Holder and his staff. “The biggest question is that Eric Holder swore he didn’t know about this a number of times,” Issa said in an exclusive interview with Breitbart. “And some of that has been proved wrong.”
Issa also weighed in on the .50-caliber rifle discovered at the hideout of Mexican drug cartel leader El Chapo, confirming that it was powerful enough to “bring down a helicopter.”
Senator Asks To Avoid “Constitutional Arguments” When Discussing Gun Control
U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., expressed distaste for examining the Constitution when it comes to the question of President Obama’s recent executive actions on guns. “So let’s solve the problem,” Mikulski said in her opening remarks ahead of a Senate Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing. “Let’s not get involved in constitutional arguments, and let’s help our American people be safe and secure in their home, their neighborhood, their school and their house of worship.”
Republican senators at Wednesday’s hearing were unmoved by Mikulski’s request to avoid the constitutionality of Obama’s action. “The department is on notice,” Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., told Attorney General Loretta Lynch. “This subcommittee will have no part in undermining the Constitution and the rights that it protects.”
Chicago Alderman Waylays Plans For Opening Of City’s First Gun Store
Former Border Patrol Agent Christopher O’Conner had planned to open the Firearms Defense Training Center, which would have been Chicago’s first gun shop, in a River West warehouse. The center was to include a full-service gun range and shop in a 25,000-square-foot facility modeled after the Apple store. But now, after previously giving O’Conner the go-ahead, Alderman Walter Burnett Jr. has now said he won’t permit the business to open in his ward.
Burnett said last week he was in favor of giving gun owners a safe venue for learning to shoot, but now says he was unaware the proposal included a gun store. Citing concerns about illegal gun sales, he told DNAinfo Chicago, “If that trend is going to start, it’s not going to be in my ward. I don’t feel comfortable with that.”
O’Conner, who claims the range couldn’t survive or attract new customers without the store, is now looking for an alternate location.
Virginia Panel Nixes Anti-Gun Bills, Approves “Permitless” Carry
Several bills intended to advance the gun-control agenda dear to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe failed to make it to the Senate floor. The Senate Courts of Justice Committee rejected a number of anti-gun bills, including one that would have required background checks for all sales taking place at gun shows. Gov. McAuliffe has previously campaigned in favor of such legislation.
The panel did move forward a bill that would deregulate concealed carry by taking away the requirement for a license, frequently referred to as “permitless” or “constitutional” carry. While the governor has been a vocal proponent of gun control, he faces a General Assembly with a strong pro-gun presence in both houses.
Would-Be Robber Shot In Austin Convenience Store
A man on the south side of Austin, Texas, was wounded while allegedly trying to rob a convenience store. Police told KEYE that someone in the store opened fire on the suspect, hitting him in the arm and causing him to flee the scene. He was apprehended by police and transported to a nearby hospital for the treatment of a non-life-threatening injury.
A second suspect in the incident was also arrested on the same day. It was not clear from initial reports whether the armed citizen was an employee or a customer.