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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Maine Senate Passes “Harvey Lembo” Bill To Protect Public Housing Tenants’ Gun Rights

Maine’s Senate has passed legislation to protect the Second Amendment rights of some of the most vulnerable citizens in society by preventing landlords who accept public housing vouchers from barring tenants from owning firearms in their homes. The legislation was inspired in part by the injustice suffered by Harvey Lembo, whose story we told here.

Although L.D. 1572 had been voted down 8-to-4 by the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, it won approval in last Thursday’s preliminary vote in the Senate, thanks in part to two committee members who—likely fearing voter backlash in this election year—changed their positions to support the measure.

USE YOUR POWER!

Opponents of the legislation are now targeting the Democrat-controlled Maine House of Representatives to kill this important reform. Maine residents, contact your House member and urge them to support L.D. 1572; your right to defend yourself in your own home shouldn’t depend on your income! Find your representative here.

Failed Chicago Justice System Lets Parolee Shoot Cop

An off-duty Chicago cop was shot by a parolee who had been set free after serving only four years of a nine-year prison sentence for carjacking.

The 49-year-old cop was returning home Monday morning when he was beset by two armed men. Samuel Harviley, 24, opened the passenger door and discarded the officer’s keys; the pair forced the cop out of the car and onto the pavement at gunpoint. When he moved in an attempt to hide his firearm, Harviley shot him in the leg. The officer returned fire, hitting Harviley, who later showed up at an area hospital seeking treatment under a different name. 

John Escalante, interim police superintendent, said, “CPD officers risk their lives to uphold repeated gun offenders accountable … but more needs to happen to … increase accountability.” Patrol Chief Eddie Johnson agreed: “Until we get real criminal justice reform, the cycle will continue.”


Miss. Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Gun Rights

On May 31, 2013, Robert Swindol was informed that a human resources manager from Aurora Flight Sciences, his place of employment in Columbus, Miss., was photographing the inside of his truck. The reason: Swindol had an unloaded Makarov 9 mm pistol in plain sight. Immediately thereafter, he was called into a meeting where he was fired and labeled a security risk.

Swindol then retained Tupelo attorney David Butts, who filed a defamation and wrongful termination lawsuit against Aurora. “Understand, being labeled a security risk in the aerospace industry is a pretty serious thing,” Butts said. He brought the case before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, who ultimately submitted the case to the state Supreme Court.

Thursday, the Mississippi Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling in favor of Swindol. It’s the first new exemption to the state’s at-will employment policies in 20 years, and a big victory for gun-rights advocates.


Virginia Governor Vetoes Pro-Gun Legislation

Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia vetoed a bill he said would end “common-sense” gun restrictions, and which would reverse parts of the governor’s executive order banning firearms in and around Virginia’s executive branch office buildings. Currently, state workers who are not required to have a weapon for their job are barred from carrying one on state premises or when conducting state business.

The veto occurs a month after McAuliffe signed bipartisan gun legislation he said would make Virginia “safer” by restoring and expanding concealed-carry reciprocity with other states. The Roanoke Times quoted Matthew Moran, a spokesman for House Speaker Bill Howell, as saying, “The speaker is very pleased by the governor’s support for NRA-backed legislation to create universal concealed-carry reciprocity despite fierce opposition from anti-gun rights advocates.”

The earlier deal frustrated a Michael Bloomberg-backed campaign that had lavished millions on McAuliffe and Democratic candidates in an unsuccessful attempt to take control of the state Senate.


Texas DPS Growing, Working Overtime To Process Influx Of Carry Applications

Experts are citing causes as diverse as the San Bernardino tragedy, national security concerns following terrorist attacks in Europe, the fierce anti-gun rhetoric of some presidential hopefuls, and even the state’s new open carry law, but one thing is certain—permit requests in Texas are off the charts.

In the three-month period from December to February, 136,000 Texans submitted applications to obtain or renew their carry licenses—that’s almost 140 percent higher than the 57,000 applications submitted during the same time period the year before. This recent increase brings the number of Texans with an active carry license to 966,000, up exponentially from the 260,000 Texans with an active license recorded in 2006.

To deal with the logjam created by this influx of applications, the Texas Department of Public Safety says they’ll increase staffing and offer current employees increased opportunities for overtime. They’re also emphasizing the importance of filling out all applications correctly and completely, as incomplete applications can cause further delays.


Mother Reportedly Exchanges Gunfire With Home Invader In Baby's Room

An Indianapolis woman armed herself when she became aware that someone was breaking into the room in her house where her infant slept. “She heard the window get busted and she called her husband and said, 'I think somebody’s breaking in the house',” said the woman’s father to FOX 59. Her brother elaborated, “He broke in through the baby’s window, OK, and when he was coming out the door, my sister was coming out her bedroom door; he aimed and shot at her first, and then she shot him.”

The suspect was hospitalized after being shot multiple times. Dispatchers reported that he was in possession of zip ties and a walkie-talkie. The woman and her baby were both unharmed.


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