The Missoula, Mont., City Council voted Wednesday to require background checks on all transfers of guns between private individuals, in violation of state pre-emption laws that bar such actions by local authorities.
Spurred by the local chapter of Michael Bloomberg’s Moms Demand Action, the council voted 8-4 to restrict gun transfers within city limits. A Missoula police spokesman said police would only enforce the ordinance upon receipt of a complaint initially, but sponsor Bryan von Lossberg predicted enforcement will escalate. “Enforcement will change over time as we learn and adapt,” von Lossberg said, citing updates to the city’s cellphone ordinance—which Police Sergeant Greg Amundsen said has resulted in fewer ways for drivers to escape tickets—as an example. Other city officials were in agreement, describing the ordinance as “just a starting point.”
However, House Speaker Austin Knudsen said Missoula is in direct violation of state law that bars local government from restricting or regulating firearm transfers. Knudsen has asked Attorney General Tim Fox for a legal opinion.
New Jersey Teen Suspended, Visited By Child Services For Video Questioning Gun Control
A high school senior was suspended and his home visited by social workers last week after he left a thumb drive in the school’s computer lab. The drive held a video he’d made arguing against so-called “gun-free” zones—a project he says he was assigned by his teacher, who gave him an “A” grade for the assignment, NJ.com reports.
Frank Harvey, 17, was suspended from Manville High School Tuesday for the “offense” of making the video. Police questioned the young man and cleared him of any wrongdoing. His teacher now says she doesn’t remember assigning him the project.
Nonetheless, the school is now demanding that Harvey undergo a five-hour psychological evaluation before he can return to class. Harvey has decided to withdraw from the school instead. “My son is at home studying for his GED,” said Frank’s mother, Mary Vervan. “There's no reason for this. They're just harassing us ... I'm not going to roll over. My son and his welfare come first.”
Florida Expedites 50,000 Carry Permits For Military Personnel
In a response to last year’s terrorist attacks at military recruiting centers, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) announced several new measures designed to help protect military personnel. One order called for National Guard members to move from storefront recruiting centers to armories. Another was to give preference to military members who applied for concealed-carry permits.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Safety one-upped Gov. Scott’s request. While state law allows for issuance of permits within 90 days, Adam Putnam, the department commissioner, aimed to issue all qualified active-duty military and veterans their permits within 30 days. During the first two months, their average turnaround time was just one week.
Putnam announced Tuesday that they had issued over 50,000 expedited permits to date. “The men and women who serve and have served our country deserve all of the support we can provide,” Putnam said.
Nevada Wildlife Commission Passes Regulations On Rifle Cartridges, Sighting Technology
On Saturday, the Nevada Department of Wildlife Commissioners voted 7-1 to outlaw certain common hunting cartridges and to place additional restrictions on the use of firearms utilizing computer sighting systems. The new rules would ban cartridges that are longer than 3” and/or of a caliber greater than .50—including .416 Barrett, .505 Gibbs, .50 BMG and .450 Nitro Express.
Further, the use of firearms equipped with sighting systems that utilize computer or electronically controlled firing mechanisms—such as the TrackingPoint Smart Rifles—would be outlawed for use in big-game hunting. In a statement provided to guns.com, TrackingPoint said it was “dismayed” by the Commission’s “uninformed decision” banning the “safest, most humane and most ethical rifle in the world” from use in hunting.
The Nevada Firearms Coalition was equally critical, calling the regulations unjustified based on their claimed purpose, and adding, “All these banned cartridges are currently being used in hunting big game around the world.”
The rule changes will require approval by a Nevada Legislature subcommittee before becoming law.
Alabama AG Continues Campaign To Eliminate Gun-Free Zones
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange continued his policy of eliminating gun-free zones this week by ordering 10 facilities in four counties to remove signs prohibiting firearms. The attorney general’s investigation determined each location—including two town halls, a library, a recreation center and public park—had failed to comply with state law by displaying illegal ‘no guns’ signs.
Late last year, Strange’s office sent a letter to officials in Selma and nearby Shelby county requesting they comply with the state’s open-carry law, which was passed in 2013. This resulted in 10 city-owned entities as well as three local government offices removing their gun-free signs.
Alabama’s open-carry debate began in earnest five years ago when Jason Tulley, a Jacksonville resident, carried a pistol into the First Educators Credit Union and was charged with open carry. The Alabama Supreme Court overturned Tulley’s conviction last year, as the right to carry was expanded after 2013’s sweeping gun referendum.
Oklahoma Family Fight Leads To Self-Defense Shooting
A family fight in Midwest City, Okla., early Sunday morning evidently escalated to the point where a father was in fear of his life from his son, News9.com reports.
Two people were injured—the son and a woman in the home—when the father fired shots in what police characterized as an act of self-defense.
The names of those involved have not been released.