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Saturday, September 3, 2016

Gun-Rights Advocates Protest Virginia’s State Building Gun Ban

Last year, Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued an emergency executive order banning concealed handguns from state offices. On Wednesday, a public hearing on the matter was held as part of the regulatory process necessary to enact that order, and gun-rights advocates had a chance to speak out. 

“It’s political overreach,” said Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League. “This does not make the public safer.” Van Cleave pointed out that public opinion is overwhelmingly opposed to the proposal. 

“The criminal element doesn’t pay attention to signs. They don’t pay attention to laws,” argued Cory Brown of Chesterfield County. “That’s why they’re criminals. They don’t care.” 

The handful of gun-control advocates who attended were outnumbered by pro-gun speakers, many of whom had empty holsters on their hips in protest. And while several speakers asked officials to halt the ban completely, McAuliffe is unlikely to change his mind.


California Sheriffs Call Prop 63 “Bad For California”; Facts Prove It Useless In Colorado

Three sheriffs from the California State Sheriffs Association spoke out this week in opposition to Proposition 63, which would ban possession of previously legal magazines and require a background check for ammunition purchases.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea, Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko and Modoc County Sheriff Mike Poindexter told Action News Now that Prop 63 is made of pieces of failed legislation and would do nothing to stop crime. Honea also said it would turn law-abiding citizens into criminals. 

The facts back the sheriffs. For example, a 2013 Colorado statute banning the sale of those same magazines has had zero impact. A 2014 investigation by Denver’s CBS4 found that the law was easily circumvented and had resulted in zero arrests. “People are going to find a way around it,” said then-Weld County Sheriff (now state Senator) John Cooke.


Mizzou Football Coach Under Fire For Team Gun Ban

Some Missouri state legislators are speaking out against a policy instituted by the new University of Missouri football coach that guts the Second Amendment rights of his players. Reports this week revealed that Coach Barry Odom introduced a team policy that no player can own a handgun if they play for him.

“It seems to me that the university and the MU Athletic Department believe these student citizens may be just football players,” state Republican Sen. Brian Munzlinger told The Missouri Times. “But in Missouri and in the United States of America, these students are still citizens, and no publicly funded institution should have a policy that overrides our Missouri laws, our state constitution or the U.S. Constitution.”

Republican state Rep. Joe Don McGaugh was also outraged. “I am concerned these players’ rights and all student citizens’ constitutional rights are under attack by a publicly funded state university which has pending lawsuits against it regarding self-defense on campus from both a law professor and the attorney general,” McGaugh said. “Not only do we have a university that clearly ignores state law, now we have the football coach wants to deny a legal age citizen their constitutional rights regardless of where they live?”


Hoosiers Seek Concealed-Carry Permits In Record Numbers

The number of concealed-carry permits issued to Indiana residents has risen nearly 50 percent since 2012, according to IndyStar. In the first three months of this year, Indiana issued over 50,000 permits—more than half the total number issued in all of 2015. The state now has the highest percentage of carry permit-holders in the nation, the Crime Prevention Research Center reported in July, a number bolstered by a 90-percent increase in female permit-holders between 2012 and 2016. 

Stark differences appear when examining permit rates by county. Urban areas and college towns tend to have the fewest permit-holders—Monroe County, home of Indiana University, ranks last, with only 7 percent licensed to carry. Brown County, the state’s least-densely populated, has the most permit-holders per capita, at 20 percent. 

The runner-up, with 19 percent, is Morgan County, where Sheriff Robert Downey says his constituents are conservative and increasingly willing to take responsibility for their own safety. As law-enforcement officers in a sparsely populated county, “We may be 15 to 20 minutes away in the worst-case scenario,” he said.


Switzerland Resists European Union’s Gun Control Plans

The Swiss are resisting efforts by the European Union to impose further restrictions on firearm ownership, warning that such moves could disarm thousands of law-abiding citizens, Business Insider reports.

The European Union’s proposals, which include bans on semi-automatic rifles and online firearm sales—and which would apply to Switzerland despite its non-membership in the EU due to its Schengen system of open borders—is meeting heavy resistance in the country where the tradition of former soldiers retaining their service weapons has a long history and record of success at keeping crime low and invaders at bay. 

The Swiss gun rights group ProTELL warned that if the EU’s directives, which are expected to be finalized this year, are imposed in Switzerland, then they will take the matter to voters through a referendum. Christoph Blocker, vice president of the nation’s largest party, said, “When conflicts arise, Switzerland must put its sovereignty first.”


Albuquerque P.D. Reports Fatal Shooting Was Self-Defense

Albuquerque, N.M., police report the recent fatal shooting of 42-year-old Tony Fuentes was in self-defense, and they won’t bring charges against the shooter.

Public Information Officer Tanner Tixier told KOB4 the bizarre story of the Fuentes confrontation. According to him, Fuentes was staying at a friend’s house last month, but one evening Fuentes began beating his friend unconscious as he slept. “The beating continued for a lengthy amount of time,” Tixier said. 

Once the victimized homeowner regained consciousness, he reached for his gun and fired a single shot at Fuentes, who then fled the house. The APD found the suspect in the backyard with a fatal gunshot wound. “All evidence thus far indicates the shooting of Tony Fuentes was in self-defense,” Tixier added. The district attorney’s office is currently reviewing the case. 


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