On the 12 million acres of land that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) oversees, possession of a firearm is prohibited unless it is being used for hunting or at a shooting range. But that may be changing.
In 2014, the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho ruled in Morris v. USACE that the ban was unconstitutional. At the time, Judge B. Lynn Winmill wrote that it “goes beyond merely burdening Second Amendment rights, but ‘destroys’ those rights for law-abiding citizens carrying operable firearms for the lawful purpose of self-defense.” The case was then appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Two weeks ago, with President Donald Trump now in office, USACE indicated that they were reconsidering their stance, and they filed an emergency motion to put the case into mediation. The Mountain States Legal Foundation, which represents Elizabeth Nesbitt (formerly Morris) in Nesbitt vs. U.S. Army Corps, feels confident. “We are pleased the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will at last comply with the Constitution,” said attorney William Perry Pendley.
DA: Homeowner Justified In Shooting, Killing Suspected Burglar
Just before 2 a.m. Wednesday, a Baton Rouge, La., homeowner was startled to find a man armed with a handgun standing in his house. The man, 40-year-old Anthony Gordon Jr., had forced his way inside the home, then confronted the elderly homeowner. A struggle ensued between the two and, fearing for his life, the homeowner fired a shot at Gordon.
Though the shot proved fatal, District Attorney Hillar Moore III said the incident would be considered a justified shooting protected under the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law, and that the homeowner would not be charged in conjunction with the incident.
“If someone is coming onto your property … whether it’s your yard or actually inside your home itself, and they’re armed, you absolutely have the right to defend yourself,” Moore told WAFB 9.
ATF Reports Dramatic Wave Of Gun Store Thefts
Speaking of gun trafficking: WJLA-Washington, D.C., reports that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) says 7,858 guns were stolen from licensed gun dealers in 2016, a rise of 76 percent in just 4 years.
In 2012, there were 377 gun store burglaries; in 2016, that number was 558. In addition, ATF reported 12 robberies of gun stores, versus 33 in 2016. A robbery differs from a burglary in that it involves threatening a human being, not simply breaking and entering with the intent to commit a crime.
Referring to the March 9 burglary of the United Gun Shop in Rockville, Md., ATF Special Agent Dave Cheplak said, “It’s obvious that the criminals in this particular case were not looking to simply add firearms to their own personal collections. These guns are destined to wind up on the streets of Baltimore and D.C. They’ll be traded for narcotics; they’ll be sold to anyone who’s willing to buy them." The burglars netted 31 firearms in less than 90 seconds.
Washington Post Uses A Gun Trafficker’s Boast To Blame Illegal Guns On Virginia
Rather than wait for gun-trace data, the Washington Post relied on a boast from a member of a gun-trafficking ring to blame Virginia for illegal guns in New York.
“So hats off to Virginia lawmakers for their success in making the commonwealth a place that illegal gun traffickers boast is the absolute best place for them to do business,” WaPo claimed in a March 10 op-ed.
WaPo relied on a wiretap that caught one of those arrested bragging, “I can go get 20 guns from the store tomorrow” in Virginia. The fact is that criminals steal guns or buy them on the streets, rather than try to purchase them at retailers or gun shows, where they must pass a background check. Buying a gun for a prohibited person (“straw purchasing”) is also illegal in Virginia.
The description of the HSUS on the Tito’s website is deceptive; it lauds its efforts to save and care for animals, but covers its efforts to end hunting by substituting “halt cruelty to wildlife” instead. HSUS spends millions on lobbying and political activities to end hunting, but less than one percent of its budget on animal shelters—less than it spends on its own pension plan. HSUS also opposed the amendment to the Texas Constitution protecting the right to hunt and fish, which passed by an extraordinary margin. HSUS exec and animal rights activist Wayne Pacelle has said, “If we could shut down all sport hunting in a moment, we would.”
In response, Lawrence Keane of the National Shooting Sports Foundation tweeted, “Hey @TitosVodka I am pouring my bottle down the drain bc of your support for anti-hunting HSUS Won’t buy u again.”