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Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate Michael Williams announced Tuesday his opposition to proposed bump stock bans and plans to hold a bump stock giveaway to show solidarity with gun owners.
Williams, a Georgia state Senator, argued in his announcement that regulating bump stocks, devices used by Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock that allow semi-automatic weapons to mimic full auto fire, is another way for gun control advocates to attack the Second Amendment.
To show his opposition to the various proposed bans on the devices that have been introduced since the Las Vegas shooting, Williams said he plans to give away a free bump stock to “one lucky winner.”
“The tragedy in Las Vegas broke my heart, but any talk of banning or regulating bump stocks is merely cheap political lip service from career politicians,” Williams said in a statement. “In reality, the bump stock is the new, shiny object politicians are using to deceive voters into believing they are taking action against gun violence.”
The state lawmaker noted that experts from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had approved bump stocks in 2015. He even went so far as to argue that the devices did not contribute to the high number of victims in Las Vegas, which totaled 58 dead and over 500 wounded.
“Many firearms experts determined the Las Vegas shooter’s use of a bump stock actually prevented more casualties and injures due to its inconsistency, inaccuracy, and lack of control,” he said. “There is zero evidence that banning bump stocks would prevent any gun violence deaths. Georgia’s gun owners deserve a governor who will stand with them when liberals and Hollywood elites attack our fundamental rights.”
In the announcement, Williams did not cite any specific experts to back up his claim, but his office referred CNN to a post by LegallyArmedAmerica.com, which points out that bump stocks can cause rifles to be less accurate.
Williams said that instead of bans and regulations, lawmakers should be discussing mental health issues and ways to reduce violent crime.
“If politicians wanted to have a real conversation on reducing gun violence, they would be discussing mental health awareness, and ways to reduce the weekly bloodbath in Chicago and other inner cities. You cannot regulate evil out of existence. Blaming guns or bump stocks for the actions of a lunatic, is the same as blaming McDonald’s for heart disease,” he said.
Williams’ opposition to regulating or banning bump stocks goes against the stance of many within the Republican party, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, who said the ATF needed to review the legality of the devices.
The National Rifle Association has echoed Ryan’s sentiments, also calling for a regulatory review. However, the organization said they would not support legislation that aimed to ban the devices.
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President Donald Trump said Monday that Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock, responsible for the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, had severe mental health issues that led him to commit the atrocity.
“I guess a lot of people think they understand what happened, but he was a demented, sick individual,” the president said during a cabinet meeting at the White House.
“The wires were crossed pretty badly in his brain,” Trump added. “Extremely badly in his brain. And it’s a very sad event.”
Investigators have so far been unable to determine exactly why 64-year-old Paddock carried out the Oct. 1 attack on a Las Vegas country music festival outside the Mandalay Bay Casino, killing 58 people and injuring over 500 others.
It also remains unclear what information Trump used as the basis for his remarks on the shooter.
The president added that the U.S. will continue to show support for the victims and their families and vowed the FBI and Department of Justice will continue moving forward with the investigation into the shooting.
“We also continue to pray for the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas,” Trump said. “We cannot erase the pain of those who lost their loved ones but we pledge to never leave their side.”
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Revolvers have their pros and cons, of course, but in the pro column are the unique aftermarket accessories available for changing up the grips or stocks.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday announced he’s looking to find a director to oversee the Justice Department’s asset forfeiture program.
The Director of Asset Forfeiture Accountability will “ensure compliance, review complaints, and advance the integrity, efficiency, and effectiveness of the program,” according to a press release from the Justice Department.
The controversial forfeiture program allows law enforcement to seize money, cars and other property from people — with or without criminal charges filed — as long as the property is suspected of being connected to a crime. A December 2016 Cato Institute poll found that 84 percent of Americans opposed civil asset forfeiture.
In July, Sessions rolled back an Obama era initiative that limited an element of the program. So-called “adoptive forfeiture” allows state and local agencies to bypass local restrictions on asset forfeiture by allowing the federal government to “adopt” the seized property, take a cut of the loot, and then give back the rest.
Sessions says a director will help keep the program accountable as the Department of Justice looks to fight crime under a law and order president.
“As our law enforcement partners will tell you and as President Trump knows well, asset forfeiture is a key tool that helps law enforcement defund organized crime, take back ill-gotten gains, and prevent new crimes from being committed, and it weakens the criminals and the cartels,” Sessions said. “Even more importantly, it helps return property to the victims of crime.”
In a memo to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Sessions instructed him to find a senior attorney with relevant experience. The right candidate, Sessions wrote, should be prepared to develop ways to restructure and streamline the asset forfeiture program.
“The American people and Congress must know this program is being administered professionally, lawfully, and in a manner consistent with sound public policy,” Sessions wrote in the memo.
“I make this decision today because I believe it is important to have senior-level accountability in the Department of the day-to-day workings of the asset forfeiture program, as well as authority to coordinate with relevant components to make the necessary changes to the program to ensure it continues to operate in an accountable and responsible way,” he said.
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Gun sales in Idaho increased by double digits last month despite continuing market softness nationally.
Dealers processed nearly 15,000 applications through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System in September — an 18 percent increase over 2016 and up 12 percent from August alone, according to federal data. Background checks serve as an industry-accepted proxy for gun sales, but the measurement isn’t precise. Guns.com calibrates the data to more accurately reflect gun transfers by removing permit applications from the total amount collected by the FBI.
The adjusted tally suggests Idaho dealers sold just under 9,000 guns last month — 15 percent above August and on par with 2016, the biggest on record for gun sales. Likewise, gun sales in August eclipsed last year by 15 percent.
The strong numbers follow Idaho’s implementation of permitless carry July 1. In the 30 days leading up to the bill’s enactment, dealers processed more than 20,000 background check applications through NICS, but only transferred an estimated 8,682 guns. Estimated sales in July tanked 25 percent until rebounding the following month.
Idaho was one of roughly 20 states to report increases in background checks — and potentially, sales — last month. Texas and West Virginia both reported double digit increases while Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, and Wyoming gained less than 1,000 checks over August. Oregon dealers processed an additional 2,500 checks last month — the strongest the state has seen since April.
Nationally, this year’s estimated sales trail 2016 by more than 11 percent. Background checks declined 13 percent across the board in September, despite hopes for a return to the historical norm: a slow summer followed by a gradual increase in the fall as hunting seasons open, eventually giving way to the booming holiday shopping season.
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Expanding on its series of firearm accessories, Pulsar announced the launch of a new Locking QD mount designed to better mount Pulsar scopes on MSR rifles.
The lightweight Locking QD mount features a compact design half the length of the original mount, tipping scales at only 3.5 ounces.
The locking latch on the updated and improved mount prevents the latch from accidentally opening during use on the range or in the field. The mount is able to return to zero and is user-friendly, according to Pulsar. Ideal for hog and predator hunters who prefer switching optics between multiple rifle platforms, the Locking QD features an aluminum Picatinny design with a matte black finish.
The new system ships with three mounting screws and works alongside a variety of Pulsar riflescopes to include the Trail, Apex, Digisight Ultra and Core optics. The QD mount is available from Pulsar, carrying a price tag of $119.99.
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Katie Pavlich makes the case that gun rights are women’s rights in a piece for Prager University, arguing that a firearm is more effective in balancing the odds in a male v. female encounter than other methods.
Pavlich, 29, who catapulted into the national spotlight following a book she penned on the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal, cites research from Second Amendment luminary David Kopel in making her case as well as anecdotes from defensive gun uses involving women.
In the end, Pavlich says good women need to equal the odds in a dangerous confrontation.
“Women owning guns shouldn’t be a partisan issue. In fact, it’s a women’s rights issue,” she says. “I’m all for equality between the sexes. And I practice what I preach. That’s why I own a gun.”
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California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a popular bill last week to strip gun rights from those convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes.
The Disarm Hate Act, which passed the California Legislature without a single “no” vote, adds to the state’s already existing list of misdemeanor crimes that result in an automatic 10-year prohibition on possessing a firearm.
The additions include those who are convicted of misdemeanor interference with another person’s civil rights or damage of property because of their perceived race, religion, national origin, disability, gender, or sexual orientation. Violations would be a felony and result in a lifetime gun ban, up to a year in jail, and fines of $1,000.
The bill’s sponsor Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles, argued the measure will save lives. “It is saddening to think that when people look back at this period in our history, it will be marred by incidents of hate, violence and turmoil,” said Jones-Sawyer in a statement on the measure’s passing last month. “Since we cannot undo the past, we can diffuse early signs of hate in people and disarm hate-motivated threats from becoming barbaric acts of violence and begin to write a more promising future.”
The law had the backing of several gun control organizations, including the Brady Campaign, the Violence Prevention Coalition, the Coalition Against Gun Violence, and Americans for Responsible Solutions.
“From the Pulse nightclub shooting to the sickening protest in Charlottesville, our nation has seen tragedy unfold when hatred and bigotry are emboldened,” said former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, co-founder of Americans for Responsible Solutions. “It gives me hope to see states, like California, not only recognize the realities of hatred in our society, but actively work to make it harder for dangerous people fueled by hate-filled intentions to access firearms and commit crimes.”
Other measures signed by Brown include bans on the last narrow allowances for campus carry and open carry in the state, and a bill ordering the California Department of Justice to funnel data to the state’s new gun violence research center. Brown rejected a proposal setting higher security standards for gun stores.
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A 21-year-old college student from North Carolina is facing two felony charges after he was found in possession of a stolen firearm Monday at the Craven Community College.
The incident led the school to go on lockdown for about 45 minutes. No one was injured and no shots were ever fired, but Brandon Grist, who is enrolled in the GED program at the college, was charged with felony possession of a stolen firearm and felony possession of a firearm on education property.
According to school officials, Grist was spotted with the gun in a stairwell of the Business Information and Technology Building, prompting a fellow student to alert authorities.
Police responded to the report and found the weapon, which had been hidden by Grist, who has prior convictions for larceny and possession of stolen goods. Grist was arrested, but released from jail after posting a $25,000 bond.
[ WITN ]
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Holy smokes! Moby's telling me to reject the NRA. I better listen to what he says. After all, no one knows more about the 2A and self-defense than an ambient dance music DJ.
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National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch said Sunday that she has been forced to move from her California home after receiving death threats from “gun control advocates.”
The conservative commentator explained her reasons for moving in a series of tweets, relaying a few of the many threats she received, some made recently in the wake of the mass shooting in Las Vegas.
Loesch also used the MeToo hashtag, which started on twitter as a result of allegations that movie producer Harvey Weinstein had for years sexually harassed and abused women. She said she included the hashtag to highlight the sexual harassment and threats she’s had to endure, particularly as a woman who supports the Second Amendment.
“Spent my weekend preparing to move due to repeated threats from gun control advocates,” she tweeted, attaching a picture of garbage bags filled with her belongings.
“One guy hunted down my private cell phone number, called when police were here, threatened to shoot me in my front yard,” she tweeted again.
“Another guy created a string of social media accounts, posted photos of my house, threatened to rape me to death,” she added in a third tweet.
Loesch continued on for several more messages, saying some people had even threatened her kids. She also took the opportunity express some of her thoughts related to sexual harassment and abuse when it comes to conservative women.
“I’ve only ever discussed these issues kinda vaguely,” Loesch tweeted. “More I can’t discuss. I and other 2A women are sexually threatened regularly.”
Loesch continued on to argue that some of the same people who had condemned Weinstein for his alleged sexual abuse were quick to mistreat women with opposing political views. “I see conservative women regularly abused on social media by some of the same people slamming Weinstein,” she said.
“The culture is only non-conservative women deserve respect,” Loesch continued. “It’s idiotic, demonstrated daily, and deserving of more than 140 characters.”
Loesch also went on Fox News to discuss the issue, confirming her family was still in the process of moving due to the threats. She also explained her use of the MeToo hashtag and said the experience had solidified her reasons for carrying a firearm.
“I don’t hate anyone that disagrees with me,” Loesch said. “My advocacy for Second Amendment rights isn’t designed to magically put a firearm in the hands of someone else. I just want people to have that choice. And all of this has really underscored why I carry. It makes me so grateful that I can protect myself.”
She also thanked Chelsea Clinton, a staunch gun control advocate, for condemning the threats she had received. “Dana — this is all awful and unacceptable,” Clinton tweeted. “Those of us who disagree with you the strongest have a particular responsible to strongly condemn.”
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A man who disappeared from an air force base in North Dakota more than four decades was recently found alive and well. In fact, the man wasn’t missing, but rather living a double life in Sanford, Florida, under an alias.
Jeffrey Michels, 64, who has more recently been known as Jeffrey Lantz, was arrested last week on charges of desertion.
Michels failed to report for duty at the Minot Air Force Base on July 6, 1977, and has not been seen or heard from since, resulting in the addition of his profile to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons database. Michels was found after his photo was posted to the Facebook group Veteran Doe.
Records show Michels – or rather Lantz – is the owner of the Seminole County-based construction company Atlantic Development Corporation, for which he obtained a business license in 1998 under the name Lantz.
[ Action Jax News ]
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A 61-year-old Illinois man is in jail on a $550,000 bond after the woman he kidnapped pulled a gun on him and escaped.
Authorities arrested Floyd Rick May on charges of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated battery with a weapon, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, and aggravated assault, the Moline Police Department said in a statement. If convicted, May could face up to 30 years in prison.
According to the statement, May, armed with a knife, forced his way into the woman’s vehicle sometime before 1 pm on Oct. 8. After a brief struggle in which the woman, who has not been identified, received a cut on her arm, May held her at knifepoint and forced her to drive to rural location. But the woman had a concealed weapon and drew her pistol on May, who fled at the sight of the gun.
The woman then drove to a nearby hospital where she received treatment for her cut and reported the incident to police. Police said she has a valid permit to carry a concealed weapon and will not face charges.
Authorities say May was released from prison in July after serving part of a nine-year stint for armed robbery. He carried out his sentence at the Dixon Correctional Center, the Illinois Department of Correction’s primary psychiatric facility, which houses a Special Treatment Center for mentally ill and developmentally disabled inmates.
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Australian gun rights advocates have raised $21,000 to help a farmer get back his firearms and gun license, which were taken after after he used an unloaded gun to protect his family against a knife-wielding trespasser.
David Dunstan encountered the trespasser, who was armed with a knife and wooden club, at the back door of his Riverine property in the eastern state of New South Wales last month, according to a GoFundMe page set up to raise money for the farmer. Dunstan then grabbed his unloaded .22-caliber rifle and was able to ward off the man and convince him to sit in his car as Dunstan’s wife called the police.
Officers then came to Dunstan’s property and arrested the man in the driveway. However, police also returned later that day to confiscate the farmer’s firearms and gun license.
So far no charges have been pressed against Dunstan, but his firearms and license have not been returned, the Herald Sun reported. To date, the GoFundMe page has raised $21,000 to help the farmer legally fight for the return of his guns and license.
“I am amazed by the support. So many people are concerned about what right they have got and self-defense,” Dunstan told the Herald Sun.
“I just look at it as a waste of taxpayers money because every case is different and this is a totally different situation to people not using their guns correctly,” he continued. “Sometimes you just need a bit of common sense.”
Combined Firearms Council Victoria chairman Bill Paterson said the gun rights community had rallied behind the farmer because many think he did nothing wrong. He noted that police have not told him exactly why his firearms and license were confiscated.
According to the New South Wales Firearms Legislation (Amendment) Act 1992, gun owners are required to cite a “genuine reason” for possessing firearms, and personal protection is not considered a “genuine reason” in the state.
Now with this incident, it appears even lawfully owned guns cannot be used in self-defense, as Dunstan was a licensed firearms owner. Such a slippery slope has Paterson and other gun rights advocates seriously concerned.
“When you understand the situation it seems over the top,” Paterson said. “From a civil liberties point of view it is pretty horrendous that a man who relies on his guns can have this happen.”
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Ammunition maker Eley announced a new partnership with the Civilian Marksmanship Program to offer a bulk pack of ammo to consumers.
The ELEY CMP standard bulk pack is an exclusive product aimed at aiding CMP’s efforts to encourage safe firearm practices in addition to offering competitions to beginner through experienced shooters. CMP is a 501(c)(3) corporation that, in addition to offering competitions and educational opportunities, donates over $100,000 each year in scholarships to junior athletes.
The bulk pack features a 40-grain bullet with an average velocity of 1,090 feet per second. The round includes a paraffin wax coating for easier feeding and cycling through all .22LR firearm platforms.
“Eley is excited to partner with the CMP to offer an accurate, affordable ammunition for shooters in a true bulk package. With the CMP working to encourage youth shooting, Eley finds this partnership a perfect fit,” Mike Corkish, Eley Americas Director of Sales, said in a press release. “As shooters continue to improve they have the opportunity to purchase other grades of Eley ammunition through the CMP. This will continue to help the CMP grow competition shooting and encourage safe firearm practices.”
CMP will feature the bulk pack on its webstore in addition to the rest of the ELEY product line. The bulk pack will ship with 500 rounds in 10 boxes and is priced at $354.95.
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The San Jose City Council approved a measure by a one-vote margin Tuesday that requires gun owners to secure their firearms when they are not at home.
The measure passed 6-5 and requires firearm owners to store their guns either in a locked container or disable them with a trigger lock before leaving their residence. Supporters contend that 286 firearms were reported stolen out of 9,270 residential burglaries reported in the city of one million in the past three years, making the ordinance a matter of public safety.
“We want to reduce the opportunities and possibilities of those who should not have access to guns and ensure that guns are properly stored at all times to prevent unnecessary and indefensible access and use,” said Councilmembers Raul Peralez and Chappie Jones in a memo to the Council.
The move, proposed last year, sets up those who have an unsecured gun stolen for fines of $1,000 and as much as six months in jail. Going past homeowners and renters, the requirements also apply to those in condos, hotels, time shares, and recreational vehicles inside the city.
In 51-pages of letters to the Council concerning the proposal, most who wrote in opposed the measure, contending it would have little impact on crime and would penalize victims of burglaries while putting residents at risk in a self-defense encounter. In contrast, local media described Tuesday’s meeting as emotional, with vocal advocates on both sides of the issue.
City Councilmember Lan Diep voiced his concerns, saying the Council was micromanaging the actions of law-abiding citizens and cautioned against a one-size-fits-all mandate for a municipality with varied gun owners.
“A person who lives in a single-family home is probably more susceptible to burglary than one who lives in a high-rise with onsite security,” said Diep, providing examples to place his argument in context. “Leaving a handgun in a bedside drawer may be acceptable in a house with an immobile newborn, but unacceptable in a house with teenagers. Yet if those teenagers are taught to respect and handle guns from a young age so that they view guns as a tool rather than a shiny toy, then perhaps less precaution is required in that specific household.”
The ordinance was opposed by the National Rifle Association and its state affiliate, the California Rifle and Pistol Association, but the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence argued that safe storage ordinances are a preventative measure that can save lives.
“Studies have demonstrated that the risk of suicide—particularly amongst children and teens—is significantly higher in homes where a firearm is kept loaded and/or unlocked,” said the gun control group. “Additionally, a study of mass shootings demonstrated that in over half of shootings perpetrated by minors in elementary or secondary schools, the shooter used guns obtained from home that were likely unsecured.”
Proponents of the measure also pointed to the fact that San Fransisco’s mandate to lock up firearms, enacted in 2007, has withstood legal challenges and at least seven other cities– to include Los Angeles— have adopted similar measures in the past decade.
Ditching the Americans for Responsible Solutions banner they have held for the past five years, former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords’ gun control group has a simpler name, but the same message.
Announced Tuesday in a video that included an introduction from President Obama, the organization founded by Giffords and her husband Capt. Mark Kelly is reimaging under a new umbrella. Founded in 2012 as Americans for Responsible Solutions, the group will simply be known as Giffords with its political action committee branded as the Giffords PAC. The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which the group merged with last year, is now the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
The founders of the organization said the rebranding is simply part of the next chapter in their advocacy for more gun regulation.
“When Gabby and I began this journey, we knew this wouldn’t be an easy fight,” said Kelly. “The gun lobby has been selling a message of fear to the American public for years. It’s used its money to scare lawmakers into following its extreme ideology—and it’s made talking about guns culturally divisive, despite the fact that the majority of gun owners support stronger gun laws.”
The group, with Giffords and Kelly both avowedly gun owners, say they have played a role in passing over 200 new, stronger gun laws in 45 states and Washington, DC. In recent months, the organization has set up a string of a half-dozen state-based coalitions with a broad general aim to expand background checks, increase reporting of mental health records by the state to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and removing guns from an expanded pool of domestic abusers.
Per the Center for Responsive Politics, the Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC spent $13.4 million in the 2016 election cycle, down from the $19.5 million invested backing gun control in 2014. Large individual donors to the PAC included Connie Ballmer, Dagmar Dolby— a California philanthropist who favors West Coast Democrats– TV writer Bill Prady, Google wonk Alan Eustace, and Tumblr founder David Karp.
One particular target in the last election cycle for Giffords was Republican Kelly Ayotte, the junior U.S. Senator from New Hampshire. The group financed a series of ad buys saying Ayotte “ignored her constituents and voted to protect the loopholes that let felons and domestic abusers get guns with no questions asked,” after the lawmaker’s vote against an expanded background check bill in the Senate. Ayotte narrowly lost her seat to New Hampshire’s Democrat Gov. Maggie Hassan in a tight race.
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