Tuesday, September 16, 2014

VA-ALERT: VCDL Update 9/17/14

Not yet a VCDL member? Join VCDL at: http://www.vcdl.org/join
VCDL's meeting schedule: http://www.vcdl.org/meetings
Abbreviations used in VA-ALERT: http://www.vcdl.org/help/abbr.html

Thanks to EM Brandy Polanowski for compiling this update.

1. Reminder: VCDL membership meeting in Richmond tonight (Wed, Sept. 17)
2. Yes! Spotsylvania proposes arming teachers
3. NBC News: carry wasp spray and treat home invaders like royalty! Huh? [VIDEO]
4. Pigs flying! New York Times admits to "assault weapon" lie
5. Don Beyer promises to push gun control if elected
6. Sorely needed: Journalist Guide to Guns
7. Who needs a gun at Starbucks in Richmond?
8. Who needs a gun at a U-Haul center?
9. Who needs a gun at a light-rail station?
10. Who needs a gun at a kickball game?
11. Obama talks tough about gun control, but prosecutions plummet
12. ATF, U.S. Attorneys blame sequestration, staffing woes on drop in gun prosecutions
13. Further proof of the need to be armed, always
14. Demand a plan [EXPLICIT VIDEO]
15. [MA] Boston residents do not 'need' to own shotguns, rifles
16. [NJ] Shaneen Allen, race and gun control
17. [MO] Four detained in Craigslist robbery, shooting
18. [IA] CHP holder helps police apprehend 5 bad-guys
19. [CO] APNewsBreak: Gun law based on flawed estimate
20. [CO] Brave officer with handgun stops criminal with rifle [Video]
21. What Russian guns can legally be imported
22. AK-47 sales soar after US sanctions Kalashnikov Imports

1. Reminder: VCDL membership meeting in Richmond tonight (Wed, Sept. 17)

VCDL will have a membership meeting in the Richmond area from 7:00 - 8:30 pm on Wednesday, September 17th. Fellowship begins at 6:30 pm. The meeting is being held at:

The Community Center
10250 Staples Mill Road
Glen Allen, VA 23060

The meeting is open to the public, so be sure to bring friends and family!

Thanks to member Philip Hamilton for making the arrangements.

2. Yes! Spotsylvania proposes arming teachers

VCDL will definitely work hard to get such a bill passed into law! I plan on contacting Supervisor Cebula to offer our support. The second link also has a poll question that you might want to answer on the subject.

From freelancestar.com: http://tinyurl.com/m8kho6p

Armed teachers part of Spotsy request

Teachers would be able to carry guns in the classroom if Spotsylvania County Supervisor Greg Cebula had his way.

Cebula recently brought up the divisive topic as supervisors discussed their "legislative priorities," or action they'd like the General Assembly to take during next year's session.

"I'll raise a subject that I know everybody will gasp at, but I'm a firm believer that teachers and people who are in the school administration who have concealed carry [permits] have the right to carry on the job," Cebula said at a meeting. "And this would provide a much greater security venue than we currently have."

No supervisors raised objections to Cebula's legislative priority, which asks the General Assembly to study the issue of carrying concealed guns in public places. It is among the county's 13 legislative priorities for 2015.

Jim Campbell, executive director of the Virginia Association of Counties, says he's not aware of any other localities that have asked the General Assembly to broach the topic of arming teachers. VACo lobbies on behalf of counties.

Currently, only law enforcement officers are allowed to carry guns in secondary schools in Virginia.

Lawmakers across the country have debated arming teachers.

Last year, a National Rifle Association task force recommended letting designated school staff carry guns if they received training. That group was formed after the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that killed 20 children and six adults.

Others argue that more guns isn't the solution.

Spotsylvania Education Association President Peter Pfotenhauer, a teacher at Spotsylvania's Ni River Middle School, agrees that schools need to look at security. But he says he opposes allowing teachers to carry guns on school property, partly because of liability issues.

"It's a fundamentally different approach to what most teachers see as how they want to relate to students and parents," Pfotenhauer said. "We are there to nurture and support and educate and encourage. It's very difficult to do that if you are also there as the primary means of defense."

He said he does support having armed school resource officers "wherever possible."

All of Spotsylvania's middle and high schools have SROs, and Sheriff Roger Harris has said he wants to eventually assign deputies to all 17 elementary schools.

Currently, Courtland Elementary is the only primary school in the county that has its own resource officer. That position was added this year with help from a state grant.

Meanwhile, the supervisors recently voted not to accept grants for two unarmed security guards at elementary schools. Cebula dismissed those positions as nothing more than "glorified hall monitors."

Arming teachers also makes financial sense, he said, because not all localities can afford school resource officers. "I just believe this is a cost-effective answer," Cebula said.

Spotsylvania Supervisors Chairman David Ross says he is in support of the "overarching concept" of letting teachers carry concealed guns, but only if they receive annual training. That training, he said, should focus on defending against a shooter in public spaces.

Ross noted that, shortly after the Sandy Hook shooting, he arrived at a private school to pick up his children from swim practice, only to find several sheriff's cruisers parked out front. The school was under lockdown after a threat from a student, he said.

Ross said it struck him at the time that one of his children's swim coaches is a retired SWAT officer and another spent nine years as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps.

"I would have felt better for the safety of my children if the law would have allowed both of these men to carry concealed in the school," he wrote in an email.

In fact, Del. Mark Cole, R–Spotsylvania, last year introduced a bill to let private or religious schools decide whether guns can be carried on their property. Cole, who is also Spotsylvania's deputy county administrator, said at the time that he didn't think the state should regulate weapons policies for private schools.

The bill failed.

Al Durante, vice chair of the Spotsylvania Democratic Committee, falls in the camp of those who believe more guns cause more problems. "I think that the more guns you bring into school, the more chance there is of something happening unexpectedly or accidentally," said Durante, who used to teach at the secondary level.

Just this past Thursday, an elementary school teacher in Utah suffered a leg wound after a gun she was carrying accidentally discharged. The teacher was in a school restroom, though no children were in the school at the time, according to news reports.

Utah is among a small number of states that allow teachers with concealed weapons permits to carry guns in public schools.

Also recently, an Idaho State University professor shot himself in the foot in front of students.

Supervisor Paul Trampe noted in an email that Cebula's legislative priority merely asks for a study of concealed carry laws. The exact wording doesn't mention arming teachers, though Cebula said that was one of his main reasons for requesting the study.

"I have no objection to conducting the study," Trampe said in an email.

Cebula said he thinks concealed carry laws need to be loosened not just in schools but in other public places.

"There are still a lot of restrictions on concealed carry, which in my opinion violate an individual's rights when you're telling him what he can do and what he can't do," he said.


Here is more coverage. This one also has a poll below the article.

From wtvr.com: http://tinyurl.com/k78p8nv

3. NBC News: carry wasp spray and treat home invaders like royalty! Huh? [VIDEO]

The Today show has an "expert" on talking about how to survive a home invasion.

One suggestion is to put wasp spray by your bed. I mean, after all, the police carry wasp spray instead of guns, right? Of course it would be a federal crime to spray someone with that wasp spray (not using the product as it was intended and per the instructions), but what the heck.

Another suggestion is to treat the home invaders "like royalty," be cooperative, and never, ever lie to a home invader.

Think I am pulling your leg? Watch the video below:

http://www.today.com/video/today/56009045#56009045 [VIDEO]

4. Pigs flying! New York Times admits to "assault weapon" lie

Semi-automatic rifles are very rarely used to commit crimes in the U.S. Those that are military lookalikes, but not function-alikes, are a subset of that tiny number. Yet, they just had to be banned for political reasons. The truth about the bill of goods sold to the American public continues to come out.

Thanks to James Durso for the link:

From bearingarms.com: http://tinyurl.com/q3ascet

The original article from nytimes.com: http://tinyurl.com/qc85vog

5. Don Beyer promises to push gun control if elected

Don Beyer, a Democrat running in the 8th Congressional District in NoVA, saying he'll be pushing all of the latest harebrained gun-control schemes if elected to Congress. Things like taking away gun rights for violent MISDEMEANORS, universal background checks, and "gun restraining orders" to be handed out like candy from judges if someone thinks you shouldn't have access to guns.

Elections have consequences and so does where you buy your car, apparently (Beyer has several automobile dealerships in Northern Virginia).

Thanks to member Kelly Yarnall for the link:

From the washingtonpost.com: http://tinyurl.com/nnfsa4j

6. Sorely needed: Journalist Guide to Guns

This should be required reading for the mainstream media:


7. Who needs a gun at Starbucks in Richmond?

Member Doug Alexander emailed me this:


From nbc12.com: http://tinyurl.com/pchw992

Family: West End Starbucks victim remembers horrific attack
by Ashley Monfort
Jyly 17, 2014

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - For the first time, NBC12 is talking with the family of a grandmother who was just starting her shift at a Short Pump Starbucks when she was brutally attacked.

Kathy Vinson was badly beaten and is still in the hospital.

After surviving a horrific beating, Vinson is in a neck brace, her face is swollen and there are bruises from getting kicked in the head multiple times. Her alleged attacker Worku Asfaw Woldermariam is in jail.

Vinson's family believe this crime was random. "A completely innocent victim," Vinson's sister-in-law Melissa Christian said. "All she did was say 'Good morning! Aren't you up early?'"

Christian says Vinson and a manager saw Woldermariam outside the Starbucks on West Broad Street just as their shift started at 5 a.m. on Monday. She says Vinson felt uncomfortable and called Henrico Police's non-emergency number. When the women opened up the Starbucks, that's when they say Woldermariam attacked.

"As soon as [the manager] unlocked the door, the man came in, walked past the manager and he began beating on my sister-in-law," Christian said. Police said Woldermariam also injured the manager and kicked a police officer.

Family members say they don't yet know the extent of Vinson's injuries. They say she's in and out of consciousness and can say a few words, but she does remember parts of the attack.

"All she says is, 'Why did he have to kick me in the head over and over? Why did he have to hurt me?'" Christian said.

The family says Starbucks and the community have reached out to them about helping Vinson during this terrible time. Christian hopes this is a lesson for other people who work and shop in the area.

"It only takes one time so yeah I think security needs to be stepped up, I think they need to have a presence," she said.

Now this family wonders how this mother of three and grandmother of two will recover after something this terrifying.

If you would like to help you can make a contribution at any BB&T bank through the Kathy J. Vinson Recovery Account.

The sheriff says Woldemariam is being kept in a cell where deputies are monitoring his behavior. He's due back in court next month.

8. Who needs a gun at a U-Haul center?

Member Ruslan Ketenchiev emailed me this:


From wvec.com: http://tinyurl.com/q2vy9qb

Person stabbed multiple times at business in Norfolk
by 13News Now
July 19, 2014

NORFOLK -- One person was hurt, but expected to survive, after a stabbing at U-Haul Moving & Storage at Downtown Saturday.

The Emergency Operations Center got a call at 4:10 p.m. that someone had a weapon at the business, located at 1301 Monticello Avenue.

While police were on their way there, they found out someone had been stabbed. They got to U-Haul where they found the person stabbed multiple times.

A Norfolk Fire-Rescue crew took the victim to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital with what looked to be non life-threatening injuries.

9. Who needs a gun at a light-rail station?

How about a professor for Norfolk State University?

Member Ruslan Ketenchiev emailed me this:


From wvec.com: http://tinyurl.com/kx6zfc3

Teens charged with robbing NSU professor at light rail stop
by 13News Now
July 25, 2014

8/1 UPDATE: Norfolk Police say they've arrested two teens -- ages 14 and 15 -- and charged them with robbery.

NSU issued the following statement:

Dr. Carol Pretlow is one of many of our beloved faculty at Norfolk State University who is respected by students, her colleagues and many of our alumni.

We were saddened to learn about the reported events that took place at the light rail station in the 1600 block of Brambleton Avenue the afternoon of July 24, 2014. We are grateful that Dr. Pretlow, or any other citizen near the station, was not injured.

We would like to thank the Hampton Roads Transit and the Norfolk Police Department for their handling of the investigation and swift response that resulted in the arrest of two suspects. Now it is time for the legal process to take its course.

More importantly, we look forward to having Dr. Pretlow back on campus when classes resume later this month. She is an outstanding educator who is dedicated to helping her students become productive citizens and critical thinkers.

--Norfolk State University


NORFOLK-- Norfolk police are looking for the suspects who robbed at Norfolk State University professor at a Tide Station Thursday.

Dr. Carol Pretlow, a tenured political professor at NSU, tells 13News Now she was approached by two teens at the Brambleton Avenue Tide station late Thursday afternoon.

"I was sitting there kind of making notes, and this young man came up to me and asked if he could use my cell phone," explained Pretlow. "And I said 'Sorry I don't have it.' He says 'so what can you do for me?'"

Pretlow offered the teens her purse but then asked if she could grab her ID, ATM card and Passport. The teens, Pretlow says, allowed her to take her belongings before one of them grew impatient.

"He said 'But you're too slow,' and he said to somebody, 'We might have to smoke her.' And at that point, I said 'Oh my God, he's going to kill me over a purse?'" said Pretlow.

The teens took off with her purse, before tossing her flip phone she had forgotten was inside, said Pretlow. "I think he was disappointed because it wasn't a smartphone," Pretlow joked.

The train came and Pretlow reported the incident to an officer on-board. Pretlow says she'll continue to ride the Tide everyday, but says she'd feel safer with a more visible security presence.

"I think we need to have more security around there because there's all kind of people around there, there's elderly people like me, there are professional people, there are students and children. And I think it would do a lot to feel more secure," Pretlow said.

Hampton Roads Transportation is investigating and reviewing surveillance video of the incident, according to HRT spokesman Tom Holden. Tide trains and stations are routinely patrolled by both Norfolk police officers and security guards, Holden told 13News Now.

Pretlow says a woman contacted her after finding the purse thrown away in a dumpster near NSU.

Police say the suspects were unarmed.

10. Who needs a gun at a kickball game?

Who needs a gun at a kickball game?

From nbc12.com: http://tinyurl.com/k8v636x

Hopewell police stop Petersburg man with gun at kickball game
by Marshall Norton
July 21, 2014

HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) - Hopewell police have charged a Petersburg man in connection to a shooting Sunday night during a kickball game.

According to police, when the officers arrived, they saw the man, identified as Kayjaun Walker, 20, of the 2200 Block of N. Whitehall Drive, firing his weapon while the park was filled with people for a kickball game. Nobody was hurt, but authorities said rounds from the gun Walker was firing damaged three cars and a nearby church.

Police have charged Walker with reckless use of a firearm, two counts of misdemeanor vandalism and two counts of felony vandalism. Police took Walker to Riverside regional jail, where he was held without bond.

11. Obama talks tough about gun control, but prosecutions plummet

From washingtontimes.com: http://tinyurl.com/oxnruv3

Obama talks tough about gun control, but prosecutions plummet on his watch
Policy shift drives decline in ATF cases since Newtown tragedy
by Kelly Riddell - The Washington Times
July 23, 2014

While President Obama decries gun violence and presses for more laws to restrict ownership, his Justice Department has prosecuted 25 percent fewer cases referred by the main law enforcement agency charged with reducing firearms violence across the country, a computer analysis of U.S. prosecution data shows.

Federal prosecutors brought a total of 5,082 gun violation cases in 2013 recommended by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, compared with 6,791 during the last year of George W. Bush's presidency in 2008, according to data obtained from the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys.

The 2013 totals represent a 42 percent decline from the record number of 8,752 prosecutions of ATF cases brought by the Justice Department in 2004 under Mr. Bush, according to the data.

Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, regarded as one of the premier researchers on federal prosecution performances and trends, analyzed the data at the request of The Washington Times.

U.S. attorneys have been slowing gun prosecutions even further, with 2,598 brought in the first seven months of this fiscal year. The pace of activity puts the Justice Department on track to prosecute the fewest ATF cases since 2000, well before the drug gang wars in Mexico sharply increased violence on both sides of the border.

"We have this irony. The Obama administration, which is asking for more in the way of gun regulations — in terms of increased background checks for private sales and at gun shows — is actually prosecuting less of the gun laws already on the books," said Robert Cottrol, a gun control historian at George Washington University. "For a lot of people, there's more ideological cache harassing Bubba at the gun show than getting a handle on gun crime."

The data contrast with Mr. Obama's proclamations after the deadly shooting sprees at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school and an Aurora, Colo., movie theater that he would take every step possible to stem firearms violence.

"We should get tougher on people who buy guns with the express purpose of turning around and selling them to criminals. And we should severely punish anybody who helps them do this," the president declared in the immediate aftermath of the Newtown tragedy.

Though the ATF has been the primary agency to combat illegal gun trafficking, the data directly from the 94 federal judicial district offices across the country show that the number of prosecutions of cases from ATF has gone down since Mr. Obama made his promise in January 2013. ATF-related prosecutions fell from 5,935 in 2012 to 5,082 in 2013, and are on track to finish around 4,500 this year, the data show.

The number of cases developed by the ATF also is plummeting. The agency became the focus of widespread criticism in 2011 when it admitted that agents knowingly allowed hundreds of semi-automatic weapons to slip across the border and into the hands of drug gangs in Mexico in a bungled investigation known as Operation Fast and Furious.

Cases recommended for prosecution by the ATF have declined from a high of 17,877 in 2004 under Mr. Bush to 12,066 last year, according to the data compiled by Syracuse University and reviewed by The Times.

Federal prosecutors, current and former ATF agents and gun law researchers told The Times that the downward trend in ATF-related prosecutions primarily reflects a Justice Department shift away from tracking down one-off violent offenders and toward prosecuting more complicated regulatory-type cases, which take longer to develop.

"Within the later part of the Bush years, case selections within the ATF have gone from mostly violent crime cases — which is their forte — toward the regulatory, where they look at dealers, manufacturers and trafficking cases," said Robert Sanders, a former ATF assistant director. "The agency's philosophy has shifted to guns are the problem and access to guns are the problem, rather than the criminal being the direct indicator of crime."

Current ATF agents, who spoke to The Times only on the condition of anonymity because of fears of retaliation, said the Justice Department has become risk-averse under Mr. Obama, especially after the Fast and Furious scandal.

"The current climate within ATF is: 'Let's take a step back and not go after too many hard-hitting violent crime cases that use informants or undercover agents," one ATF agent said. "We can't just go it alone anymore, or even lead a case. We need buy-in from everybody: local law enforcement, other agencies. Then, and only then, are we able to sell it internally and will the U.S. attorney come onboard."

Obama administration officials defend their record of gun law enforcement. An ATF official referred The Times to a recent Government Accountability Office report that stated: "ATF is focusing more on the most violent criminal threats and on using criminal intelligence data to better target violent crime than it did in fiscal year 2003."

The agency also cited staffing shortages brought on by sequestration. According to internal statistics, though, the agency has as many employees now as it did in 2004, when the surge in cases began.

Justice officials said they prefer to use internal gun statistics rather than the Syracuse University analysis, even though the data were provided by the office of U.S. attorneys.

But even Justice Department statistics show a marked decline in prosecutions originating from ATF cases — about 28 percent since 2004. Even when smaller gun cases against drug dealers are added, the Obama administration's figures show a 20 percent decline in Justice Department prosecutions as referred by the ATF since 2008.

David Burnham, a co-director and co-founder of Syracuse's clearinghouse, said whatever statistics administrations prefer, data from the executive office of U.S. attorneys historically have provided the fairest measures of performance.

"Accurate, complete information about the performance of the government is an essential part of democratic government," Mr. Burnham said. "Unfortunately, the record shows that in case after case the official claims and press release and congressional testimony of many agencies — whether from the IRS, the FBI, the [Drug Enforcement Administration] or the ATF — often fail to provide such information. And in almost all administrations, Republican or Democratic, the official records that have been presented don't help the public understand whether the agencies are achieving their stated goals."

Shift to white-collar crime

Legal analysts say U.S. prosecutors have simply shifted their attention from gun crimes — which were priorities under the Clinton and Bush administrations — to more complicated federal issues such as white-collar crime, immigration, and corporate and government fraud under Mr. Obama. In many cases, federal prosecutors now leave gun crimes to local authorities, where states have the same prosecutorial rights.

"In a lot of jurisdictions, U.S. attorney offices don't want very much to do with these [gun] cases," said David Kennedy, director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. "In the eyes of a lot of federal prosecutors, they're mundane and declasse. They would much prefer to work other kinds of cases — non-street-crime kinds of issues that are longer-term and more complicated, involved cases. They're more than happy to go after a mafia organization rather than one person for carrying an illegal pistol."

U.S. attorney's offices also are influenced on case selection by their boss, currently Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who has taken a different approach than his Republican predecessors.

In 2001, Mr. Bush established Project Safe Neighborhoods within the Department of Justice. The program provided funding to help local law enforcement, U.S. attorneys and ATF agents crack down on street crime and prosecute gun offenders. In 2004, they recorded the highest level of federal gun prosecutions in 20 years.

Since Mr. Obama took office, violent crime rates have abated, which may have led the administration to redirect resources to problems such as white-collar crime. Some of the biggest headlines out of Mr. Holder's department have been a $7 billion settlement with Citigroup Inc. over its handling of mortgage-backed securities and a $13 billion settlement with JPMorgan Chase & Co. — the biggest U.S. bank. Other high-profile cases have included hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors over insider trading and the indictments of Chinese hackers, which gleaned intellectual property from U.S.-based companies.

"You have to think of U.S. attorney's offices as being the hub and all the other various agencies are the spokes," said Bob Driscoll, a deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights during the Bush administration. "Everyone is pitching cases to them, saying, 'Take my case.' They're sorting through them, and they're not necessarily anti-gun prosecution.

"Priorities show up in these statistics because everyone wants to please their boss. You're going to take the cases that the president and the attorney general emphasize."

Mr. Holder historically has gone against aggressive prosecutions of gun cases at the federal level.

Mr. Bush's Project Safe Neighborhoods was based partly on Project Exile, which began in Richmond, Virginia, in the late 1990s. It was partly the brainchild of U.S. Attorney James B. Comey, who has since become director of the FBI.

The idea behind Project Exile was to federally prosecute people caught with illegal guns and to send them, if convicted, to prison for five years without plea bargaining or parole. Local officials credited the program for changing criminal behavior and reducing homicides by one-half in just one year.

At the time of Project Exile, Mr. Holder was deputy attorney general. He called the program a "cookie-cutter" approach to fighting crime and said it was "fundamentally wrong" to earmark funds for enforcing federal gun laws.

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, raised the issue during Mr. Holder's confirmation hearing in 2009.

"I'm concerned about Mr. Holder's reluctance to expand programs that enforce current gun laws, such as Project Exile," Mr. Grassley said. "I don't understand why Mr. Holder is willing to consider the need for new gun laws and regulations, when we could be embracing a nationwide expansion of a proven, successful program enforcing existing gun laws."

Although, Mr. Bush's Project Safe Neighborhoods continues at the Department of Justice, it hasn't been a priority on Mr. Holder's watch.

Culture shift

The ATF also has undergone a cultural shift since merging its regulatory division, which mostly included government bureaucrats focused on gun registries and dealer approvals, with its law enforcement division, which included active police officers focused on violent street crime, Mr. Sanders said.

Over time, the law enforcement guys would leave the agency. They typically have a 20-year career span, whereas the regulatory bureaucrats would stay and often make it to the top levels of leadership, with the ability to influence resources and caseloads toward their favored work. Of the past six ATF directors, including current director B. Todd Jones, only two — Ronnie Carter and Edgar Domenech — have had law enforcement experience at the street level.

"The culture within the ATF — the dominant force — the driver of policy within the agency is for more regulation," Mr. Sanders said. "Rewards and punishments are geared toward it, leadership is onboard with it, so now it's more or less become a regulatory agency."

Indeed, among the fastest-growing ATF charges in terms of Justice Department prosecutions is Title 26, U.S. Code Section 5845, which involves taxes on making firearms, according to Syracuse University data. Prosecutions are up 243 percent over the past five years and 129 percent this year alone.

Another statute gaining traction is prosecuting gun charges under the Hobbs Act, which takes aim at the interstate commerce of firearms. It is on track this year to becoming the third most prosecuted gun statute, compared with the fifth most frequently invoked five years ago, seventh a decade ago, and 13th two decades ago.

Although an unlawful act with a firearm and carrying an illegal firearm remain the most frequent cases brought by the ATF, they are getting harder to make internally, said agents who wanted to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation.

"This is not a violent crime administration — not by any stretch of the imagination," said an ATF field officer based in the West. "Internal management and U.S. attorneys seem to be risk-averse. They're worried about ATF making mistakes, especially when it comes to undercover agents and informants. Unfortunately, that's where we're most effective."

After the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal, agents have found it more difficult to sell their cases to U.S. attorneys and have had to abide by more internal rules and regulations, the agent said, and their own supervisors are turning down field cases more than ever before.

There is also bad press. USA Today published a series that exposed ATF home invasion techniques in which undercover agents and informants work to entice suspects to rob fake drug stash houses. Once the suspect agrees to the offer, the report said, law enforcement officers go in for the sting.

A number of federal judges have dismissed the operation, making it harder for agents to persuade U.S. prosecutors to take their cases.

A federal appeals court in Chicago called the stings tawdry and said the operation "seems to be directed at unsophisticated, and perhaps desperate defendants who easily snap at the bait." This year, a U.S. District Court judge in Los Angeles said in a ruling that an ATF sting went too far, "ensnaring chronically unemployed individuals from poverty-ridden areas."

The agency has taken note.

"The cases that are being adopted are the ones that include the littlest amount of risk," said the current ATF agent. "So it's disheartening. But I keep telling my line agents not to be discouraged. We need to continue to build the best cases and go after the most violent offenders because eventually, things will change. Yes, we've made mistakes, and we've taken those on the chin. But we're still the best when it comes to violent crimes."

12. ATF, U.S. Attorneys blame sequestration, staffing woes on drop in gun prosecutions

From washingtontimes.com: http://tinyurl.com/mpzfe75

ATF, U.S. Attorneys blame sequestration, staffing woes for drop in gun prosecutions
By Kelly Riddell - The Washington Times
July 23, 2014

As fewer U.S. attorney's take on cases from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and ATF itself refers less cases to the district attorney's than in years past, official spokespeople blame sequestration and staffing woes for some of the drop-off.

Federal prosecutors brought 25 percent fewer cases in 2013 recommended by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, than in 2008, the last year of George W. Bush presidency, according to data obtained from the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys. In addition, cases recommended for prosecution by ATF have declined 33 percent since 2004.

"ATF faces key resources challenges in staff attrition and system modernization," Ginger Colbrun, an ATF spokeswoman said in an e-mailed statement. "As such, ATF's "Frontline" business model now prioritizes our mission responsibilities, consistent with priority public safety concerns, particularly when resources are limited and difficult choices must be made with regard to priorities. Firearms violence, arson and explosives consistently and significantly impact public safety and therefore must be ATF's first priority, consistent with the Department's strategic goals.

"ATF staffing has decreased between 2010 and 2013, representing the lowest number of onboard staff since fiscal year 2004. Despite having the lowest number of agents in eight years, ATF initiated more than 21,000 criminal firearms investigations and more than 2,600 other investigations last year."

The official spokesman from the U.S. attorney's office in the Norther District of Illinois, had similar complaints when asked why his office hasn't prosecuted as many ATF referrals as they have in years past, despite Chicago's recent headline-making gun violence.

"We've suffered an attrition of 20 attorneys since 2012, and we've only gotten over the budget hurdle this year and have been beginning to hire them back," said Randy Samborn, an assistant U.S. attorney and spokesperson for the Northern District of Illinois, which includes Chicago. "Some say you can do more with less, then it's the same with less, but after a point in time, you simply can't do as much with less."

13. Further proof of the need to be armed, always

From janmorganmedia.com: http://tinyurl.com/nvfw9sw

Further Proof of the Need to be Armed, Always
July 18, 2014

I am often asked by women why I think I need to carry a gun.

My answer is, why do YOU think you DON'T NEED TO CARRY A GUN?

Guns in the hands of law abiding citizens, SAVES LIVES.

This story is a perfect example of why good folks in this country should be armed at all times.

In this case, a 78 year old California man on his way to work at 4:30am (yes, he still works to provide for his family at 78!) when he was viciously attacked by two armed robbers.

According to KTLA TV:

John Faust had stopped at a San Bernardino gas station in the early morning hours of June 24 when he was suddenly approached by two male robbers armed with guns.

One of the robbers said, "Give me your wallet," according to Faust, and then punched the 78-year-old great-grandfather in the face.

"The next thing I knew, I was lying on the ground," Faust said.

I don't have to tell those of you that work in the medical field that a blow like that to a person nearing 80 years old could have serious, and possibly even fatal, consequences.

If Mr. Faust had been more cognizant of his surroundings (situational awareness) and had a gun, even a pocket pistol, he might have prevented the situation altogether.

I open carry because most criminals who see an armed citizen, prefer UNARMED defenseless victims.

There is no safe place in America today. Walking around unarmed is playing Russian Roulette with your life. Sooner or later, according to the stats, your time will come…

The outcome will be dependent on your preparedness and determination to survive.

I hope Mr. Faust makes a swift and recovery and will decide from this point forward to be armed and prepared.

14. Demand a plan

Here is a clean version of a video that shows the massive hypocrisy of Hollywood as they sanctimoniously push for gun control:


15. [MA] Boston residents do not 'need' to own shotguns, rifles

More tyranny in Massachusetts. The Police Commissioner doesn't think Bostonians need to own long guns. He also bemoans that he doesn't have the discretion to take them away from the citizens.

Now for the usual hypocrisy that goes with gun control: the Boston PD wanted to get some AR-15s in December 2013, and was stymied by the Mayor. Predictably, the PD wasn't happy about not getting those long guns. Hey, Commissioner, the Mayor was just showing some "discretion" as to who gets to have a long gun. How did it feel?

Member Matthew Cuddy emailed me this:


From breitbart.com: http://tinyurl.com/ljyykcw

July 25, 2014

On July 23, Boston Police Commissioner William Evans told Boston Public Radio (WGBH) that residents of Boston do not need shotguns or rifles.

He said these things in response to Massachusetts state senator Stan Rosenberg's (D) position that there are already "sufficient controls" on long guns at the federal level and, therefore, no need for new state laws giving police additional powers to deny ownership to citizens.

According to WGBH, Evans responded:

I don't agree with that. Having long guns--rifles and shotguns--especially here in the city of Boston. I think we should have, as the local authority, some say in the matter. [And] the federal [government] doesn't really allow us to have the discretion that we want in these particular cases.

...For the most part, nobody in the city needs a shotgun. Nobody needs a rifle.

Evans went on to restate his position that he ultimately wants to have "discretion" over who is allowed to have a shotgun or rifle.

16. [NJ] Shaneen Allen, race and gun control

Member Matt Cuddy emailed me this:


From washingtonpost.com: http://tinyurl.com/jvzuhnx

Shaneen Allen, race and gun control
By Radley Balko
July 22, 2014

Last October, Shaneen Allen, 27, was pulled over in Atlantic County, N.J. The officer who pulled her over says she made an unsafe lane change. During the stop, Allen informed the officer that she was a resident of Pennsylvania and had a conceal carry permit in her home state. She also had a handgun in her car. Had she been in Pennsylvania, having the gun in the car would have been perfectly legal. But Allen was pulled over in New Jersey, home to some of the strictest gun control laws in the United States.

Allen is a black single mother. She has two kids. She has no prior criminal record. Before her arrest, she worked as a phlebobotomist. After she was robbed two times in the span of about a year, she purchased the gun to protect herself and her family. There is zero evidence that Allen intended to use the gun for any other purpose. Yet Allen was arrested. She spent 40 days in jail before she was released on bail. She's now facing a felony charge that, if convicted, would bring a three-year mandatory minimum prison term.

At first blush, much about Allen's case seems counterintuitive. When we think about the gun control debate, we typically picture progressive pundits, politicians and activists arguing with white, conservative activists and politicians representing rural interests. When I first posted her story to Twitter, a couple of progressive responders predicted that because Allen is a black single mother, the gun rights community would all but ignore her. But that hasn't been true at all. In fact, Allen has become something of a rallying point for gun rights activists. She is being represented by Evan Nappen, an attorney who specializes in gun cases and is a gun rights activist himself. Some conservatives have similarly accused progressives of ignoring Allen's case because she stands accused of a gun crime. It's certainly true that her case has received much more attention from the right than the left. But Nappen says he has seen plenty of support for her from racial justice groups, too.

As it turns out, Allen's case isn't unusual at all. Although white people occasionally do become the victims of overly broad gun laws (for example, see the outrageous prosecution of Brian Aitken, also in New Jersey), the typical person arrested for gun crimes is more likely to have the complexion of Shaneen Allen than, say, Sarah Palin. Last year, 47.3 percent of those convicted for federal gun crimes were black — a racial disparity larger than any other class of federal crimes, including drug crimes. In a 2011 report on mandatory minimum sentencing for gun crimes, the U.S. Sentencing Commission found that blacks were far more likely to be charged and convicted of federal gun crimes that carry mandatory minimum sentences. They were also more likely to be hit with "enhancement" penalties that added to their sentences. In fact, the racial discrepancy for mandatory minimums was even higher than the aforementioned disparity for federal gun crimes in general:

Some on the law-and-order right will argue here that the disproportionate number of arrests, convictions and mandatory minimum sentences for black offenders is merely a reflection of the fact that black people are disproportionately likely to commit these sorts of crimes. Progressives will argue that the disparity reflects institutional racism in the criminal justice system. There's some truth to both. But there's no disputing the figures.

Much of this boils down to professional discretion. When a person victimizes another person with a gun, the offending person has already committed a crime. And in nearly every state and under federal law, it is already an additional crime to use or possess a gun while doing something that is already a crime. So when gun control advocates say we need to crack down on gun offenders, or when they propose that we create new gun crimes, they aren't suggesting we crack down on people who use guns to rob banks or to commit murders. We already go after those people. What they're proposing is that we target people who possess, sell or transport guns not because they want to hurt people with them, but for reasons ranging from what most reasonable people would believe to be justifiable (like Shaneen Allen) to what gun control proponents would likely consider objectionable (the gun shop owners and gun manufacturers who make money selling weapons).

If you're an advocate for gun control, you could certainly argue that the tradeoff here is worth it. There's an argument to be made that we still need to target irresponsible gun owners and gun merchants, even if they aren't using guns to victimize people, because their guns could end up in the hands of people who do. But if you're going to make that argument, you also need to understand that prosecuting people under these circumstances means that we'll be putting more people in prison. And who those people are will reflect all of the biases, prejudices and predispositions present in the laws we already have.

It will also mean giving a lot more discretion to law enforcement officials and prosecutors. When someone robs a bank with a gun or kills someone with a gun, there's no debate about who needs to be investigated and prosecuted. When a police agency is charged to seek out and prosecute people who are illegally possessing or transferring guns, they're required to use their own discretion when it comes to what communities to target and what methods they'll use to target them.

Inevitably, this will manifest as sting operations against communities with little political clout. (Or, just as troubling, deliberately targeting people for political reasons.) Just this week, an incredible investigation by USA Today reporter Brad Heath demonstrated just how this plays out in the real world:

The nation's top gun-enforcement agency overwhelmingly targeted racial and ethnic minorities as it expanded its use of controversial drug sting operations, a USA TODAY investigation shows.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has more than quadrupled its use of those stings during the past decade, quietly making them a central part of its attempts to combat gun crime. The operations are designed to produce long prison sentences for suspects enticed by the promise of pocketing as much as $100,000 for robbing a drug stash house that does not actually exist.

At least 91% of the people agents have locked up using those stings were racial or ethnic minorities, USA TODAY found after reviewing court files and prison records from across the United States. Nearly all were either black or Hispanic. That rate is far higher than among people arrested for big-city violent crimes, or for other federal robbery, drug and gun offenses.

The ATF operations raise particular concerns because they seek to enlist suspected criminals in new crimes rather than merely solving old ones, giving agents and their underworld informants unusually wide latitude to select who will be targeted. In some cases, informants said they identified targets for the stings after simply meeting them on the street.

Heath points out that a federal judge recently accused the agency of "trolling poor neighborhoods" in search of patsies. In some cases, the ATF — the federal agency that exists to fight gun crime — actually supplied its targets with the guns the agents would then arrest them for using to rob stash houses — which were also set up by the ATF.

In April of last year, the Milwuakee Journal Sentinel reported that ATF agents in Milwaukee had set up a fake store front, then convinced a black man with brain damage to set up illegal gun and drug sales. They later arrested him for those crimes. At the time, the ATF told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that the sting was an isolated incident. It wasn't. The paper later discovered similar sting operations targeting minorities and mentally disabled people all over the country.

In the 1990s, gun rights activists accused the ATF of explicitly targeting people for their advocacy (with plenty of evidence to back their claims), often with violent and destructive raids on their homes. You needn't be a Second Amendment purist to understand the implications of using the discretion that comes with enforcing victimless crimes to target people for their political views, any more than you need to be a racial justice activist to understand the injustice of using the same discretion and the same laws to primarily target people of color, people whose mental capacity makes them particularly susceptible to persuasion, or people who lack the clout or resources to defend themselves.

One could argue that the gun laws don't need to be enforced in a racially discriminatory manner or in the catastrophically inept manner we've seen at the ATF. But you enforce the gun laws with the institutions you have, not the institutions you want. If we're going to enforce gun laws that require discretion on the part of investigators and prosecutors — and add new laws to boot — we can only consider the demonstrated history of how investigators and prosecutors have used that discretion, not some idealized prosecutor or ATF investigator that we'd want to be in charge.

Discretion is a a big factor in the Allen case, too. According to Nappen, Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain could have put Allen in a diversionary program for first-time offenders of victimless crimes that would have allowed her to avoid jail time. He didn't. "Let's remember, Shaneen Allen volunteered to the police officer that she had a gun and a permit," Nappen says. "This isn't something she was trying to hide. She didn't think she'd done anything wrong. This was a victimless crime, and it's just unconscionable that they're putting her and her family through all of this. It could all be avoided." Nappen says McClain has yet to give a reason for refusing to allow Allen into the diversionary program. McClain's office did not respond to a request for comment.

The ATF is of course a federal agency. Shaneen Allen was arrested under New Jersey law. Nappen says he doesn't know of any demographic data on gun arrests and prosecutions in New Jersey, but it's an area of law in which he specializes, and he says by his estimate, the state figures probably mirror the federal data. "The institutional racism in our gun control laws is rampant. It goes back to the post Civil War era, when the laws were passed to keep black people and American Indians from arming themselves." Nappen adds that the national gun control laws passed in the late 1960s were in response to racial riots taking place across the country. It's a sentiment echoed by the progressive author and investigative reporter Robert Sherrill, who conceded in his book "The Saturday Night Special" that the laws were more about "black control" than gun control, and more recently in Nicholas Johnson's just-published book, "Negroes and the Gun." It's also worth noting that the crime control policy most well-known, widely loathed and roundly condemned by racial justice activists — the New York Police Department's stop-and-frisk policy — is at heart a gun control initiative. Its most high-profile champion is former mayor Michael Bloomberg, also a high-profile proponent of gun control laws like those in New Jersey.

Of course, none of this necessarily means that gun control advocates are wrong. It's certainly possible that despite these flaws, a more robust system of gun control in the United States could net more good than harm. But make no mistake, more gun laws and more enforcement of victimless gun crimes will mean more people in prison. Those new prisoners will be disproportionately black and Hispanic. These realities need to be part of the discussion.

As for Shaneen Allen, Nappen says he is still hoping that McClain has a change of heart and allows her to enter the diversion program. If not, they will go to trial. Nappen says Allen is also protected by an amnesty period passed into law that allowed gun owners to surrender their weapons from August 2013 to February 2014 without fear of punishment. Whether Allen technically "surrendered" her weapon is a legal question. But if she is denied that defense, she will almost certainly go to trial, and under New Jersey's gun law, she will have no real defense. Unless her jury engages in a defiant act of nullification, she will be convicted, and her trial judge will have no choice but to sentence her to the three-year minimum. At that point, her only hope will be to appeal to the New Jersey governor for clemency or a pardon. Current New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie commuted the sentence for Brian Aitken, whom Nappen also represented. Aitken's case inspired a lot of outrage, but it didn't result in any change in the law. So we're back to discretion.

Discretion is a double-edged sword. Used properly, it can help avoid the unjust outcomes that will fall through the cracks when applying a uniform criminal code to a large population. But when enforcing victimless crimes, police and prosecutorial discretion can quickly become a tool of injustice, even of systematic oppression. Unless the laws like those in New Jersey are changed, people like Brian Aitken and Shaneen Allen will continue to be wholly at the mercy and discretion of police, prosecutors and governors —and thus subject to all the biases and prejudices of the people who hold those positions.

CORRECTION: This post originally identified Allen as a phlebologist. She is actually a phlebotomist.

17. [MO] Four detained in Craigslist robbery, shooting

Member Walter Jackson emailed me this:


From kctv5.com: http://tinyurl.com/l53p24e

Four detained in Craigslist robbery, shooting
by Laura McCallister, Dave Eckert, Chris Oberholtz, Jamie Oberg, DeAnn Smith
July 16, 2014

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) - Detectives are questioning four people about the shooting of a couple who were robbed while trying to buy their teenage son's first vehicle.

A father valiantly tried to shield his wife and teenage son from gunfire as they were robbed while responding to a car ad on Craigslist.

The Liberty couple was shot, robbed and had their vehicle stolen Wednesday night, and were left bleeding on the ground, police said. Empty shell casings were found near where they collapsed.

The 16-year-old boy was badly shaken up but he was not hit by the barrage of bullets thanks in part to his father's actions. The family was trying to purchase the teen's first vehicle.

The 53-year-old man was shot four times in the chest, stomach and legs and underwent surgery overnight. The 55-year-old woman's right upper arm shattered when she was struck by a single bullet.

Detectives released little about the four including when the four were taken into custody. Police do say the four are persons of interest in the crimes.

A couple who live in the Stone Haven Apartments in southeast Kansas City came to the couple's aid.

"I heard screaming so I ran up the hill to see what was going on and that's when I found the kid on his cell phone," said "J," who asked not to be identified since the suspects are still on the loose.

J turned to his girlfriend, Amber, who is a lifeguard.

"She told me to grab her rubber gloves," he said.

For what seemed like an eternity, they pressed down on the couple's wounds as they waited for police to arrive.

"It was scary but they needed help," Amber said. "I'm sure they showed up as fast as they could. The woman kept saying, 'I wish they would get here.'"

J tried to keep the man conscious but his injuries were devastating.

"I would talk to him and ask him questions then he would open his eyes and answer me and once again start to fade," J said.

Unfortunately, they said some people stood around watching but didn't provide any assistance.

"I was hoping someone else would join in but I'm just glad she (his girlfriend) was there telling me what to do," J said.

According to police, the family came to look at a white 2007 four-door Hyundai Sonesta they had spotted online. The father and teen test drove the vehicle with a suspect who called himself "AJ," according to a Kansas City Police Department report.

After completing the test drive, the victims and the suspect returned to the apartment complex. As the victims discussed purchasing the vehicle, the suspect said he needed to call his wife. He walked away from the family while on the phone.

Two men then approached armed with black handguns.

"The suspect stated, 'Give me the money!' When the victims stated they did not have any money, the suspects stated, 'I know you have the money, now, give me the money,'" according to the police report.

The teen told police that when the suspects pointed their weapons at his mother that his father stepped in front of her. The suspects then opened fire.

The second suspect reached into the vehicle and grabbed the woman's purse, which contained $3,000. As he turned to leave, the suspect pointed his gun at the father's chest "and fired one last time," according to the Kansas City Police Department report.

The suspects fled in the Hyundai.

The incident was reported about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the area of East 84th Terrace and Drury Circle, located west of Interstate 435.

Police recovered the Hyundai in the 4200 block of East 68th Street, which is nearby the original crime scene.

The three suspects remain at large. The police report only identifies the suspects as three black men who were in their late 20s or early 30s, but does not provide additional details.

Police have not released a detailed description of the suspects or said why four were detained rather than three.

Police advise when meeting someone for an online sale to use caution and trust your instincts. You shouldn't go to unknown places but should go to a crowded area, a business or a police station. Don't bring cash. Instead, use money orders or cashiers checks.

Anyone with information is urged to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.

The normal $2,000 reward for tips has been increased to $7,000. Liberty-based Ferrellgas has made a $5,000 donation to Crime Stoppers. The injured man works for the company.

Ferrellgas' Scott Brockelmeyer said the company already worked with Crime Stoppers, but wanted to do more to help catch those responsible for the horrific crimes.

"You see those type of reports on the news and it's like that never happens to a friend," he said. "And it did in this case. It opened our eyes, and like I said, it prompted us to do something that I'm very proud that we did."

Brockelmeyer said his co-worker is a kind and considerate man and a great father.

"You start to think about people like that and you hear people describe people like that as somebody who'll take a bullet for you and I'll be darned if he didn't do that. He's a hero. He's an absolute hero," he said.

18. [IA] CHP holder helps police apprehend 5 bad-guys

From theblaze.com: http://tinyurl.com/kxp8wba

The Incredible Story of How a Concealed Carry Permit Holder Gift-Wrapped Five Potentially Armed Suspects Who Eluded Cops
by Jason Howerton
July 24, 2014

A concealed carry permit holder helped police nab five men who led officers in Iowa on a wild police chase that ended with the suspects crashing into someone's yard in a residential neighborhood.

The Linn County Sheriff's office says the incident began when officers responded to reports of shots fired in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. When police later tried to pull over a vehicle that matched the description of the car involved in the shooting incident, the suspects led police on a chase all the way to Solon, Iowa.

The suspects ended up crashing into a resident's front yard, running over a child's play house in the process. Police say five men then exited the vehicle and took off on foot.

Responding to the commotion were neighbors Tim Moore and Scott Eastwood. Moore says they witnessed the men tossing drugs and a firearm in his yard at one point.

It wasn't until after they saw a deputy fall as he pursued the five suspects that Moore and Eastwood — a concealed carry permit holder — decided to assist the authorities. The deputy who fell injured his shoulder and was taken to St. Luke's hospital.

According to KFXA-TV, Eastwood and Moore got into a truck and went after the five suspects. When they caught up to them, the men claimed the "real suspects" went past them. Moore told the news station they played along and told them to get in the truck and help them — but as soon as they were inside the vehicle, the suspects knew they were in trouble.

Eastwood drew his concealed firearm and held the five men at gunpoint until police arrived to arrest them.

"As soon as they got in the truck, Scott pulled his gun out — he has a permit to carry," Moore explained. "And we backed out in front of the next officer and held them there."

With the help of Moore and Eastwood, police had the suspects in custody a mere 10 minutes after they crashed.

KFXA-TV identifies the suspects as:

20 yr. old Kaven Willie Parks of Cedar Rapids
23 yr. old Aaron Michael Scott of Cedar Rapids
18 yr. old Marcus Dejohn Wallace of Cedar Rapids
27 yr. old Marcus Lamont Long of Cedar Rapids
15 yr. old male juvenile.

All of the men are charged with interference with official acts with injury on a peace officer. The man who was driving the vehicle, Parks, is also charged with traffic violations.

It wasn't immediately clear if they would also face charges in the shots fired incident that started the chase.

19. [CO] APNewsBreak: Gun law based on flawed estimate

Whoopsie! Another gun-control law fails miserably.

Member Bill Albritton emailed me this:


From news.msn.com: http://tinyurl.com/lmq7wl9

APNewsBreak: Gun law based on flawed estimate
by Ivan Moreno of Associated Press
July 25, 2014

DENVER (AP) — A law expanding background check requirements on Colorado gun sales has been in effect for about a year, and an Associated Press analysis of state data compiled during that span shows the projected impact was vastly overstated in a key budget report.

The discovery has prompted a prominent Democratic lawmaker to question whether the Legislature misallocated millions of taxpayer dollars based on the flawed estimate, which has provided an opportunity for Republicans to resume attacks over regulation that already has come at great political cost to Colorado liberals.

Democrats pushed the proposal into law last year as part of a package of gun restrictions meant to improve safety after devastating mass shootings. Lawmakers drafting the background check requirement, aimed at keeping firearms away from those with a criminal history, relied on information from a non-partisan research arm of the Legislature that predicted about 420,000 new reviews over the first two years. Accordingly, they budgeted about $3 million to the agency that conducts the checks to handle the anticipated surge of work.

But after a year of operating under the new system, Colorado Bureau of Investigations officials have performed only about 13,600 reviews considered a result of the new law — about 7 percent of the estimated first year total.

"I'm not discouraged by the lower number," said Democratic Rep. Rhonda Fields, who sponsored the legislation in response to the Aurora movie theater rampage that killed 12 and wounded dozens of others in her district and the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 28 people dead, including 20 first-graders.

"I think that it's a good number, because it shows me that people are complying with the law," she said.

Still, Fields acknowledged, "I'm going to be asking some questions because I want to be a good steward of our tax dollars."

For Republicans, it provides evidence that a plan they opposed from the start was an unnecessary attack on the rights of gun owners and bolsters the conservative efforts that recalled two Democratic state senators and prompted a third to resign.

"Nothing good came of the passage of the law, except we found out just how anti-gun Democrats in Colorado are," said GOP state Sen. Greg Brophy.

The funding increase, CBI officials say, has gone to hiring and operating expenses. Spokeswoman Susan Medina told the AP that about a dozen full-time employee positions have been filled since the increase, but that "the full authorized staff was not implemented."

Medina says the agency has funding for about 14 more full-time employee positions that have gone unfilled. It wasn't clear how much of the $3 million allocation has gone unspent.

The 420,000 estimate was provided by a standard Colorado Legislative Council review. The council regularly assesses costs or other impacts of legislation. Officials with the panel aren't allowed to speak publicly but provided AP with an explanation of how they reached the figure.

Gun-control advocates have long asserted that 40 percent of gun sales nationwide are made by private sellers and thus not subject to background checks. President Barack Obama cited the number last year, unsuccessfully urging Congress to pass a law mandating "universal background checks."

But that figure, which Colorado legislative analysts and CBI officials say was the best available for the basis of their estimation calculus, comes from a 1997 National Institute of Justice report that gun-right's activists criticize as inaccurate.

Catherine Mortensen, a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association, said that using the 40 percent figure as a basis for Colorado's projection "calls into question lawmakers' access to accurate information on not only this, but all firearms-related legislation."

In total, there were about 311,000 background checks done during the first year of the expansion in Colorado, meaning the 13,600 checks between private sellers made up about 4 percent of the state total.

Further, the private review figure includes the number of checks done at gun shows, which have been required for years in Colorado. The law also requires checks for online sales, which is new for transactions within Colorado. But such vetting was already required on interstate sales. Still, interstate activity is tallied in the private background check total.

Taken together, this indicates that the number of newly mandated background checks that have been performed is even lower than 13,600.

Of the 13,600, there were 260 denials the first year under the expanded system. But because of how state data is compiled, however, it's unclear how many of those denials are tied to the new law, and how many happened under existing rules such as the gun-show requirement.

Still, Brian Malte, senior national policy director for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said his group applauds Colorado for passing the law.

"The bottom line," he said, "is even if one, or five, or 10, or 10,000 or 20,000 people are being blocked, that's less dangerous people walking around with guns."

20. [CO] Brave officer with handgun stops criminal with rifle [Video]

Watch as this brave Colorado police officer with a handgun takes on a criminal armed with a rifle. No waiting for SWAT teams or even back up. Hats off to that officer for a job extremely well done!

From theblaze.com: http://tinyurl.com/kfezqjq

News Helicopter Captures the Incredible Moment a Veteran Deputy Draws on Armed Carjacking Suspect From Moving Motorcycle Like a Pro
by Jason Howerton
July 23, 2014

An armed carjacking suspect led police in Jefferson County, Colorado, on a wild car chase on Wednesday that ended in dramatic fashion in the middle of Interstate 70.

A veteran Jefferson County deputy, identified as Deputy Fred Haggett, is seen on video drawing his firearm on the suspect from his moving motorcycle. The officer appears to have taken action after the man stopped traffic and pointed his rifle in the direction of innocent motorists.

It's not clear if Haggett fired any shots, but the armed suspect put down his gun almost immediately after the deputy drew his gun.

He is seen putting his gun down on the pavement and raising his hands. However, he doesn't surrender to police. Haggett chased down the suspect, grabbed him by the shirt, and threw him forcibly to the ground, according to the Denver Post.

A bystander is then seen getting out of his car to help restrain the suspect until more police arrived.

Police are reportedly investigating four crime scenes after the suspect went on a spree Wednesday. A second female suspect was arrested without incident.

21. What Russian guns can legally be imported

Member Walter Jackson emailed me this:


From thefirearmblog.com: http://tinyurl.com/pmemnkc

What Russian Guns Can Legally Be Imported?
by Steve Johnson
July 18, 2014

As I am sure you are aware, the latest round of US sanctions targeting the Russian defense industry included Concern Kalashnikov and any companies Concern Kalashnikov has business interests in. In 2010 civilian exports to the USA accounted for approximately 30% of Kalashnikov's sales. I would not be surprised if, as of last week, the number was above 50% of total sales. These sanctions are going to hurt the already struggling company.

Before the sanctions, back in November 1997, Russia and the USA had come to a trade agreement where Soviet-era defense-related sanctions were lifted but only certain civilians firearms were allowed to be imported.

The allowed firearm list (part of the amendments to 27 CFR 47.52) included historic weapons, such as the Mosin Nagant, and guns manufactured by Izhmash, Molot, Tula (Tulsky Oruzheiny Zavod / TOZ) and Baikal (Izhevsky Mekhanichesky Zavod / IZH). Since then Izhmash took control of Molot through legal action and later merged with Baikal/IZH and became Concern Kalashnikov.

Here is the list, excluding historical firearms, showing which are still allowed into the USA and which are not …

Firearm Legal to import Manufacturer
(I) TOZ 35, .22 caliber Target Pistol. Yes ✔ Tulsky Oruzheiny Zavod
(X) TOZ 18, .22 caliber Bolt Action Rifle. Yes ✔ Tulsky Oruzheiny Zavod
(Y) TOZ 55. Yes ✔ Tulsky Oruzheiny Zavod
(Z) TOZ 78. Yes ✔ Tulsky Oruzheiny Zavod
(C) IZH 35M, .22 caliber Target Pistol. No ✗ Concern Kalashnikov (Through IZH)
(A) BARS-4 Bolt Action Carbine. No ✗ Concern Kalashnikov
(B) Biathlon Target Rifle, .22LR caliber. No ✗ Concern Kalashnikov
(D) CM2/SM2, .22 caliber Target Rifle No ✗ Concern Kalashnikov
(H) IZH-94. No ✗ Concern Kalashnikov (through IZH)
(I) LOS-7 Bolt Action Rifle. No ✗ Concern Kalashnikov (Through IZH)
(AA) Ural Target Rifle, .22LR caliber. No ✗ Concern Kalashnikov
(BB) VEPR rifles No ✗ Concern Kalashnikov (Through Molot)
(T) Saiga rifles No ✗ Concern Kalashnikov

Parts kits or other creative ways around the ban will not be legal. If Concern Kalashnikov manufactured the part it cannot legally be imported.

I do not expect these sanctions to be lifted anytime soon. There will be no political pressure from the NRA or NSSF. Decades after the Chinese import-ban, Norinco products are still not allowed into the USA.

22. AK-47 sales soar after US sanctions Kalashnikov Imports

From zerohedge.com: http://tinyurl.com/oe932bb

AK-47 Sales Soar After US Sanctions Kalashnikov Imports
by Tyler Durden
July 21, 2014

Who could have seen this coming? Following the US imposition of further sanctions on Russia last week, specifically the import of Kalashnikov firearms, CNN reports gun stores across the US are experiencing a run on AK-47s.

As CNN reports,

Here's a surprising effect of the latest U.S. sanctions against Russia: a run on AK-47s.

Among the companies sanctioned this week was Kalashnikov Concern, the maker of the automatic weapon.

"We sell some of the Kalashnikov Concern stuff and that has been selling fast," said Robert Keller, manager of K-Var Corp., a Las Vegas-based online gun distributor.

Keller said his company has been sold out of the guns since the sanctions went into effect. On K-Var's web site, AK-47s are listed as "out of stock."


According to the Treasury Department, Kalashnikov Concern is banned from importing its guns -- including the AK-47 and more advanced AK-74 -- into the United States. But, in a statement posted on its Web site, Treasury said Americans are allowed to own, buy and sell the guns, so long as they were already in the U.S. prior to the sanctions.

Keller said he is scrambling to acquire more Kalashnikov guns from U.S. distributors. He also said he still selling many weapons similar to the AK-47, such as the SAM7 brand of Bulgarian-made rifles.

* * *

Yet another unintended consequence of US foreign policy...

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