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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Off-Duty Mississippi Officer Stops Home Invasion

A criminal who kicked in the door of a Southaven, Miss., home on Monday was met with enough force to put him in the hospital.

Off-duty police officer Brian Falatko was visiting his children at the residence when an intruder kicked in the back door and tried to enter the home. According to police reports, Falatko pulled his gun and shot the man in the shoulder, ending the home invasion. 

The suspect was taken to a local hospital and is expected to survive. Meanwhile, police continue to investigate the incident.


Your Tax Dollars At Work: Obama’s 2017 Budget Includes Over $1 Billion For Gun Control

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama sent his proposed 2017 budget to Congress. Included in the $4.1 trillion plan is some $1.3 billion dedicated to gun control—most of it earmarked for the administration of his executive orders. 

While the allocation of 230 additional FBI employees to handle NICS checks seems like it could be a positive thing, the list goes downhill quickly from there. A proposed $35 million would provide 200 additional ATF agents to “help enforce gun laws”—which, given Obama’s emphasis thus far on increasing prosecution of violent criminals, will most likely amount to ensnaring law-abiding gun owners in red tape. Funding for so-called “smart gun” research is also included, despite numerous and inherent issues with the technology. Finally, certain Social Security beneficiaries would be added to NICS as prohibited, some of whom simply need help with finances. 

Republicans have voiced their opposition, and House Speaker Paul Ryan is expected to fight the proposed gun-control funding.


Another State Seeks To Close Non-Existent “Loophole”

Politicians in yet another state—this time Delaware—are introducing legislation designed to close the so-called “Charleston Loophole.”

Delaware’s Democrat House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst, pointing to 18 other states that have “addressed” the issue, intends to file the legislation targeting the provision of federal law that allows a firearm sale to go forward if the FBI hasn’t completed the background check in three days.

Regardless of how many states “address” this nonissue, fact is no such “loophole” even exists. As we’ve explained before, the federal law was intentionally written to stipulate that if an investigation into a sale by the FBI has not been definitively concluded within three days, the dealer may proceed with the transfer. This provision was not some kind of “error” leading to a “loophole”: Congress inserted the safeguard to ensure that an anti-gun Department of Justice could not indefinitely deny Americans the ability to exercise their fundamental right to arms by simply never concluding a background check.


Judge Dismisses Suit To Stop Niles, Ill., Gun Shop—Again

The Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday that a Cook County judge has dismissed for a second time a lawsuit seeking to bar a gun store from opening in Niles, Ill.

The lawsuits were filed by the Skokie-based People for a Safer Society. Member Ticia Ashcroft, who attended the hearing, told the Tribune, “I’m a resident of Niles and I don’t want this in my town. It’s disgusting.” Jim Argionis, an attorney for the firm that plans to open a Sportsman’s Club and Firearms Training on the site, characterized the harms claimed by the suit as being “hypothetical and potential.”

Circuit Court Judge Franklin Ulyses Valderrama granted a motion to dismiss without issuing a ruling in the case, saying that People for a Safer Society did not own property adjacent to the site, and therefore did not have standing. Denyse Stoneback, founder of PFASS, vowed to file an appeal. Presumably, the appeal will require hypothesizing new and improved potential harm.


Iowa College Faces Backlash Over Shooting Sports Program

In its short five-year history, the shooting sports program at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, has been a success. So much so that the program is looking to hire a full-time coach. That move, however, has some alumni up in arms. 

Rev. Rebecca Bentzinger, a 1977 graduate of the liberal arts college, created a “Petition for a Weapons-Free Simpson.” In it, she decried a $10,000 grant from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, stated that “gun-related activities have no place in our curriculum,” and called for the “immediate dissolution” of the program altogether. The petition has received fewer than 200 signatures. 

In response, a petition of support was created. It currently has 2,324 signatures.  

Last Friday, the school’s board of trustees voted to move forward with the hiring. “We’re hopeful this might be one factor that makes Simpson a more attractive option in the future,” said Simpson College President Jay Simmons.


Germans Turn To Guns For Self-Defense

Germany has some of the strictest gun-control laws in the world. Gun ownership in the country is considered a privilege—not a right—and it is granted based upon the user having a credible need. Self-defense is not considered one of those credible needs. 

Yet with threats to citizens on the rise from migrants seeking asylum in the country, Germans are now rushing to protect themselves. The German Interior Ministry reports the number of licenses for “small weapons” rose by 21,000 between November and January—putting the total at 301,000. 

The small-arms licenses being issued currently, however, only cover non-lethal items such as blank-firing pistols and pepper spray. “We think that most of these articles … will never be used,” said Ingo Meinhard, head of the German association for weapons dealers, but he added that they served a “psychological effect” of making people feel safer.


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