Cook County, Ill., State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez wrote an opinion piece in the Chicago Tribune Friday warning that “the most menacing felony offenders who are shooting up the streets of Chicago killing innocent men, women and children are spending fewer and fewer days behind bars for their violent and repeat felony gun offenses.”
As Alvarez pointed out, “a felon who is convicted of carrying a firearm in public serves less than half of the sentence imposed by a judge or jury” in Chicago—and ”63 percent of these gun offenders will reoffend within 12 months of release, and they are four times as likely to commit a homicide.”
Although Alvarez uses the statistics to push more laws, what good are more laws if authorities won’t enforce them? As we’ve pointed out before, only about 1 percent of the thousands of criminals caught with illegal guns in Chicago are prosecuted under existing federal laws.
Pro-Gun Lawmakers Respond To Obama’s “Gunsmiths As Manufacturers” Scheme
In July, President Obama announced an anti-gun executive order that would use the State Department to reclassify many small gunsmiths who do fairly simple, unsophisticated jobs as “manufacturers” under the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). Because gunsmiths who do such work even once would now be required to pay $2,250 per year to register with the U.S. State Department, this directive could drive most small gunsmiths out of business.
Pro-gun lawmakers are taking the threat posed by this edict very seriously. On Aug. 29, well over 100 senators and representatives signed onto several strongly worded letters addressed to the State Department expressing their concerns and stating, “The last thing [these businesses] need is an edict from the federal government imposing crippling fees and requirements which are wholly unnecessary and nonsensical.” Meanwhile, NRA is working with industry representatives on corrective legislation in case the State Department proves unresponsive.
We’ll keep you updated as this situation continues to develop.
Missouri Lawmakers Reconvene To Override Constitutional Carry Veto
Next week, Missouri state legislators will return to the State Capitol and vote to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of Senate Bill 656. Despite the “permitless” carry bill unanimously passing the legislature with overwhelming support earlier this year, a coalition of anti-gun organizations led by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is attempting to prevent the override. Bloomberg has invested millions in the state, aggressively targeting Republican legislators in an attempt to flip the votes necessary to sustain the veto.
The NRA is urging residents to contact their representatives—tell them you don’t want to bring Bloomberg’s big-city gun control to the Midwest, and ask them to demand an overriding vote. The fate of the bill will be decided one week from today in Jefferson City.
Use Your Power!
To contact your representative and urge him or her to override Gov. Nixon’s veto,click here.
California Sheriffs Oppose More Anti-Gun Laws
The sheriffs of three southern California counties—Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino—are voicing their opposition to the Golden State’s relentless barrage of new anti-gun laws, the Press Enterprisereports.
As Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff wrote, “Many proposed firearms control bills are very poorly thought out, hastily drafted without appropriate expert input, and incorrectly proffered to the public as ‘making things safer’ in our communities. In some cases, these proposed bills actually make our communities less safe, and remove inherent rights of our citizens to self-defense, or worse, allow only the wealthy, elite or the well-off to protect themselves.”
Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown signed six new anti-gun bills into law this year, at least two of which were formally opposed by the California State Sheriff’s Association. As Sheriff Sniff put it, law enforcement officers “are more endangered these days in California by a criminal justice system that no longer penalizes those violating our laws.”
Arizona AG Rules Guns Aren’t Banned On Private School Campuses
A new ruling by Arizona’s attorney general specifies that the state’s private elementary, middle and high schools can allow guns on campus.
The ruling by Attorney General Mark Brnovich came at the request of Republican state Sen. Steve Yarbrough, and states that not only do state and federal laws not prevent an individual with an Arizona carry permit from carrying a concealed gun on private school grounds, they also don’t prevent schools from having guns secured on campus for use by trained employees.
“If an Arizona private school were to initiate a program enrolling trained firearm handling persons in a program through which these persons would be allowed to carry concealed in the school zone, the GFSZA's (Gun Free School Zones Act) prohibition would not apply to those enrolled individuals,” Brnovich wrote. “The analysis is much the same under Arizona law.”
Sen. Yarbrough told The Arizona Republic that he requested the opinion several months ago after being asked about it by officials from several private schools concerned about student safety.
Armed Home Invader Shot In Florida
After three men broke into her home Wednesday night and one of them pointed a gun at her husband, a Port Richey, Fla., woman used her firearm to save her husband and put an end to the robbery, the Tampa Bay Timesreports.
According to Pasco County sheriff’s deputies, one of the invaders had forced the male homeowner to lie on the floor at gunpoint. While the three men stood over the woman’s husband and searched his pocket for a wallet, the woman ran to her room and retrieved a firearm. When she returned to the living room she told the men to freeze, which sent them fleeing toward the door. But, when one of them turned toward her, she fired, hitting him in the shoulder.
Michael Jay Shackelford, 46, who deputies said was in possession of a stolen firearm at the time, was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and charged with home invasion robbery with a deadly weapon.