January marked a record-breaking month for carry in the state of Minnesota. The run on permits last month is Minnesota’s second-largest surge since the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012. According to a monthly data report from the state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), there have been at least 221,712 active permit holders since the beginning of 2016—an increase of 6,189 from December 2015. Because permits are only valid for five years, the reported number is a mix of new and renewal permits.
Minnesota’s biggest jump in permits occurred in March of 2013, just a few months after the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., with an increase of 7,213 active permit holders. Spikes in applications for permits often occur after well-publicized tragedies, such as the Paris terror attacks in November or the San Bernardino shootings in December, and the calls for national gun-control measures that usually follow.
San Bernardino Official: “This Is A Call For Self-Defense”
Robert A. Lovingood, vice chair of the San Bernardino, Calif., County Board of Supervisors, recently penned an editorial for the Victorville Daily Press. His opening statement: “What does it take to stop a bad guy with a gun? A good guy with a gun.”
Following the December terrorist attack in his town, Lovingood has concluded that it’s time to make a strategic shift, and “empowering the people to protect themselves is a good place to start.” He encourages law-abiding residents to consider applying for concealed-carry permits: “This is a call for self-defense under the law.”
Lovingood’s other proposals include allowing county volunteers to carry concealed and strategically placing firearms at county facilities.
He shouldn’t have any trouble selling the first initiative to residents—the county has reported a ninefold increase in carry applications in the months after the attack, with more than 1,000 new applications pouring in since Dec. 2.
White House Threatens To Veto Bill Shutting Down Operation Choke Point
Congress passed legislation Thursday to end the Obama administration’s Operation Choke Point, a scheme of harassment against banks that work with firearm and ammunition retailers, TheBlaze reports. And the White House has already threatened to veto the bill.
H.R. 766, introduced by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., bars federal regulators from pressuring banks to cut off credit and financial services to legitimate businesses, such as gun stores, that the Obama administration considers “high risk.” Although the bill passed the House by a wide bipartisan margin of 250 to 169, the White House Office of Management and Budget vowed, “the president’s senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.”
Calling Operation Choke Point “an outrage,” U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, said, “Fortunately, a number of Democrats ... have actually joined with our side to say that the rule of law must prevail.”
A critical self-defense bill under consideration in South Carolina was unanimously approved by the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
H. 4703 was favorably reported out of the House Judiciary Committee by a 20-to-0 vote. The measure will now move to the House floor for consideration by the full House of Representatives.
The measure, introduced by Republican House Judiciary Chairman Greg Delleney and strongly supported by the National Rifle Association, seeks to clarify the Protection of Persons and Property Act (South Carolina’s “Castle Doctrine”) to ensure that a defendant who is denied protection from prosecution under this Act is able to immediately appeal such a denial.
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OK School District Gives Employees Opportunity To Carry Firearms
After its town’s police department disbanded in 2014 and Oklahoma House Bill 2014 was passed in May 2015, the school board in one rural Oklahoma town approved a policy allowing staff members to carry a concealed firearm on campus. This week, there are signs that the administration is moving forward with the plans—four of them, in fact.
These notices, posted at schools in the Okay, Okla., district, read, “Please be aware that certain staff members at Okay Public Schools can be legally armed and may use whatever force is necessary to protect our students.” With one employee currently approved to carry, Okay is one of the first school systems in Oklahoma with such protections. “Hopefully [a school shooting] will never take place,” Superintendent Charles McMahan said. “But if it saves a life, it saves a life.”
Parent feedback has been mostly positive, but the most encouraging response has been from other superintendents—several of which have contacted McMahan for guidance on implementing similar policies in their own districts.
Armed Man Saves Neighbor From Dog Attack
When a Dauphin County, Pa., man and his puppy were attacked by a dog last Saturday, a neighbor used his firearm to end the attack and save both victims.
According to WHTM in Harrisburg, the man was outside playing with his puppy when he was attacked by a pit bull. Hearing the melee, the neighbor grabbed his gun, ran to the scene and killed the dog, ending the attack.
At this writing, police had not identified the man who was attacked, nor reported on his condition or the condition of his puppy.