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The Department of Justice quietly re-opened an investigation into the 1955 death of Emmett Till earlier this year, citing “new information in the case.”
While officials declined to elaborate further in a statement Thursday to USA Today, the department first revealed its decision in a February report to Congress detailing investigations of racially-motivated homicides prior to 1980.
Till’s savage murder in Money, Mississippi more than 60 years ago remains a turning point in the early Civil Rights movement. On the evening of Aug. 28, 1955, two white men abducted the 14-year-old black boy at gunpoint from his relative’s home after a local shopkeeper — Carolyn Donham, 21 — accused the teen of grabbing her and wolf-whistling at her three days earlier.
Donham’s husband and another man beat and shot Till to death before weighing his body down in the Tallahatchie River with a 75-pound cotton gin fan. An all-white jury acquitted the men four months later, though images of the teenager’s swollen and battered face — taken at his funeral in Chicago at the insistence of his mother, Mamie — rallied African Americans across the country.
“Mamie Till’s decision to allow African-American media outlets to display her son’s battered body was one of the critical events that galvanized African-Americans to fight to end America’s racial dictatorship through the Civil Rights movement,” said Alvin Tillery, a political science professor and director of the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy at Northwestern University, during an interview with USA Today.
The DOJ’s investigation comes one year after Timothy B. Tyson’s The Blood of Emmett Till detailed a decade-old conversation with Donham in which she admits lying about Till’s flirtations. It’s unclear if she will face any charges as a result of the book’s contents.
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A Massachusetts man could spend decades in prison after federal investigators allege he sold at least five firearms, including a sawed-off shotgun, throughout the state last year.
Rathsomnang Neth, 22, faces one count of dealing in firearms without a license and two counts of possessing and transferring an unregistered shotgun with a shortened barrel, according to a federal indictment unsealed Wednesday. The former carries a maximum sentence of five years and a $250,000 fine. Each latter possession charge, however, carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, according to the Department of Justice.
Investigators said Neth sold at least five guns between December 2016 and April 2017, including a Glock GMBH .40-caliber pistol, a Norinco SKS Sporter rifle, a Lorcin Engineering .380-caliber pistol, a Jimenez Arms .380-caliber pistol and a Mossberg .20 gauge pump-action shotgun with a sawed-off barrel.
Massachusetts limits private sellers to no more than four gun transfers a year, according to the Giffords Law Center. Federal law bans the possession of shotguns with barrels shorter than 18 inches, unless given special permission by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Neth, of Lowell, was taken into custody Wednesday, two weeks after the Department of Justice issued a warrant for his arrest. He pleaded not guilty to all three charges in a federal court in Boston later the same day. His detention hearing is scheduled for Friday, according to court records.
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An amendment to a House spending bill that would have paid for the Centers for Disease Control to study gun deaths and injuries as a health issue was turned away this week.
The Republican-controlled House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday rejected, in a 20-32 vote, an amendment by U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey, D-NY, to add $10 million to the 2019 CDC budget for grants to conduct research on gun violence. The 176-page bill that was reported out of the committee did, however, touch on gun policy — with Section 210 continuing with a general provision to prevent funds from being used to advocate for or promote gun control.
“It’s time that we give the scientists the tools to study the causes of firearm injury, in hopes that more Americans can be spared from violent suicide and firearm-related accidents,” said Lowey in arguing the 1996 Dickey Amendment had stymied such research.
Named for former U.S. House Rep. Jay Dickey, an Arkansas Republican who originally backed the measure in 1996 while President Bill Clinton was in office, the amendment stripped the CDC of $2.6 million it had been using on its gun violence research and has been a contentious matter ever since. While Dems and gun control advocates have repeatedly tried to scrap the practice and push forward with funding, Second Amendment groups have argued there is nothing in the Dickey Amendment preventing CDC from doing research, only in engaging in anti-gun advocacy. Still, some are hot that Lowey’s amendment tanked.
“It is nothing short of ludicrous for House Republicans to deny funding – even a request as conservative as $10 million out of what will be a budget of over $4 trillion – to study and understand gun violence as the public health crisis it is,” said Kris Brown, co-president of the Brady Campaign in a statement demanding the funding be restored.
Meanwhile, earlier this year the Senate approved an unfunded allowance that “CDC has the authority to conduct research on the causes of gun violence,” but cannot use “funding to advocate or promote gun control.”
The Committee rejected, on a 20-32 vote, the Lowey amendment to provide funding for firearm injury prevention research.
— House Appropriations Dems (@AppropsDems) July 11, 2018
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A growing phenomenon in the Land of Lincoln this year is the adoption of resolutions to protect local gun rights in the face of pending new state regulations.
Last week the Mercer County Board unanimously approved a measure to make the county the 30th gun sanctuary county in Illinois, The Dispatch-Argus reported. “We’re telling the state they cannot pass laws that impinge on our Second Amendment rights,” said Mercer County Board member Brian Anseeuw, R-New Windsor.
Described as largely symbolic, counties and cities across the state have moved since March to declare their local region a “sanctuary” for gun owners, starting with the Iroquois County Board. This came as a grassroots backlash against a package of gun control bills ranging from restricting those under age 21 from purchasing guns to bans on bump stocks and various licensing schemes for gun dealers that have seen success in the state legislature.
In addition, two other counties, Madison and Williamson, reportedly have plans to put the gun sanctuary question to voters in November. With almost a third of the state’s 102 counties doubling down on their support of gun rights, Second Amendment groups are encouraged.
“I love this kind of pro-gun rights pushback,” Alan Gottlieb, with the Second Amendment Foundation, told Guns.com. “It sends a message that the right to keep and bear arms must be protected not attacked.”
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"My employee yelled stop that man," Crouch said. "I turned and looked and saw Mr. White running from the gun bar toward the front of the store with a firearm in his hand. At the front door is where I stopped him. I tackled him to the ground. We apprehended him, um, and detained him. We secured the firearm."
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“We’re suing because California DOJ’s Firearms Application Reporting System (CFARS) broke down during the deadline week for people to register their firearms in accordance with new state laws,” said Second Amendment Foundation founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb.
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California gun owners couldn't meet registration deadline due to state computer crashes, suit claims
Jerry Miculek wears the paint off some steel targets with the new Thompson Center T/CR22 rifle then decides to up the speed a bit.
The T/CR22 was introduced in May and comes standard with a lightweight Magpul co-branded composite stock, oversized bolt handle and a reportedly crisp trigger pull– Jerry certainly doesn’t seem to have a problem with it in the above.
If you are curious about the record he refers to, Guns.com was there in Nevada the day it happened — as that is kind of our thing. It didn’t take long, though, as he succeeded in engaging three different targets at 15 feet, shooting each multiple times center mass in a grand total of 1.59 seconds.
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A new family of riflescopes is coming to Nikon’s firearms optics line, with the company announcing the Prostaff P3 series.
The Prostaff P3 features eight total models created for muzzleloaders, slug guns, predator hunting, crossbows and rimfire/air guns. Each version on the line boasts bright, fully multicoated optics with crisp hand-turn reticle adjustments.
Built with an all-aluminum one-inch main body tube, each Prostaff P3 scope utilizes a Nikon BDC reticle specifically crafted for each shooting activity to ensure optimum performance for the task at hand.
“Each of the BDC reticles can be optimized for many ballistic aiming possibilities using virtually any load. These can be calculated with the use of either the Spot On Ballistic Match Technology app or website software—both free from Nikon,” the company said in a news release.
Backed by Nikon’s Lifetime Repair/Replacement No Fault Policy, the Prostaff P3 riflescopes enter the optics market with prices ranging from $159.95 to $299.95.
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Instead of bringing Benson water, Mattox returned with an AR-15. Taking cover behind the stolen Mazda sedan, Mattox instructed the suspect to drop the gun. Benson refused and instead opened fire, at which time Mattox returned in kind.
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A Democratic candidate to represent New York in Congress was caught on camera shying away from a public call for a gun ban, saying it would hurt her chances at election.
Tedra Cobb, running to unseat incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik for the 21st Congressional District of New York, was secretly taped during a conversation on gun policy, The Washington Free Beacon reported.
Cobb said she thinks “assault rifles” should be banned but elaborates that she couldn’t share the opinion as part of her official platform. The candidate then says Moms Demand Action advised her not to call for such a ban as it would hurt her chances to win the district held by Stefanik for the past two terms.
The Bloomberg group is refuting the exchange to a degree with Kay Folmar, Everytown’s communication director, telling The Times-Union that their volunteer “spoke to Cobb about gun violence prevention, but did not encourage or direct her on how to discuss the specific gun safety policies she supports.”
While Cobb’s platform, published in April, includes a wide range of proposed increased gun regulations and a ban on bump stocks, it falls short of endorsing wider prohibition on some semi-automatic firearms.
Cobb recently took a “no lies” pledge with The Post Star, agreeing “not to lie when talking to the media or voters, airing television advertisements or when posting to their Facebook pages.” She formerly served in the St. Lawrence County Legislature for eight years and defeated four other candidates in the Democratic primary, garnering 57 percent of the vote.
Stefanik, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, has voted for a number of gun rights expansions while in Washington to include the National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act and has in the past been endorsed by the National Rifle Association.
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SureFire announced the launch of a new 1,000 lumen weaponlight, introducing consumers to the XH30.
Featuring a recoil-proof LED, the XH30 offers a Total Internal Reflection lens which delivers a high-intensity beam. Boasting two mode selector switches, one switch moves between 1,000 and 300 lumens while the second switch allows users to change between continuous light operation and strobe mode.
The light is activated using an ambidextrous switch placed at the rear of the light’s body. SureFire also provides optional DG grip switches for easier one-handed activation without altering the shooter’s grip.
“This powerful and versatile XH30 WeaponLight was created to interface with SureFire’s revolutionary Masterfire Rapid Deploy Holster,” SureFire said in a news release. “It features a unique bezel with cam slots, and pin slots on both sides of the body, which serve to lock the light into the holster and secure the weapon at an advantageous angle for quick deployment.”
Measuring 3.7-inches in length and weighing 4.8-ounces, the XH30 by SureFire retails for $299.
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Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law Monday that allows retired reserve officers in the state to keep magazines that are deemed “large capacity” and banned from civilian ownership.
The measure, AB 1192, passed the legislature last month by wide margins. The bill was sponsored by Republican Assemblyman Tom Lackey of Palmdale, a 28-year veteran of the California Highway Patrol, and Brown signed it without comment.
Under current state law, retired peace officers have a carve-out from California’s ban on detachable firearm magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. Since July 2017, even formerly grandfathered large capacity magazines were outlawed except for the carve-out, a move that generated a lawsuit from gun rights groups.
Lackey’s proposal stretched the exemption to include former part-time or volunteer deputies and police officers defined as a “Level I reserve peace officer” with at least 10 years of experience. The Los Angeles Police Department, which boasts the largest reserve force in the state, requires Level I officers to complete almost 400 hours of classroom training and contribute about 16 hours per month in addition to mandatory monthly meetings.
The bill was endorsed by the California Reserve Peace Officers Association, an organization with considerable political clout. According to the state’s officer standards commission, over 600 law enforcement agencies currently employ some 6,200 reserve officers across California.
Brandon Combs with the Firearms Policy Coalition told Guns.com that AB 1192 gives “extra-special gun rights” to a select few while stepping on law-abiding gun owners who are denied possession of similar magazines for self-defense. “The fact that the bill was brought by a Republican and passed by anti-gun Democrats says everything one needs to know about how deep the Sacramento swamp really goes,” said Combs.
Further, Combs has concerns that the carve-out fails to pass constitutional muster, holding that it likely violates equal protection rights under both the state and federal constitutions as well as making potentially illegal changes to Prop. 63 gun control laws approved by voters in 2016.
“There is no rational, let alone compelling, basis to treat retired government employees differently than law-abiding California gun owners,” said Combs. “Even if AB 1192 is constitutional, it’s still bad policy to pass elitist legislation that drives a wedge between law-abiding taxpayers and the ‘more-special’ people who work for them. AB 1192 is an awful bill tells the people of California that the only way to have any real Second Amendment rights is to be a government worker.”
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Leica released an all-new laser rangefinder, adding the Rangemaster CRF 2400-R to its inventory of shooting accessories.
Measuring up to 2,400-yards, the Rangemaster CRF 2400-R features a fast scan mode boasting measurements every 0.5 seconds. The Rangemaster CRF 2400-R delivers results in decimal figures up to 0.1-yards up to 200 yards in measuring distance, offering more precise measurements for hunters.
“Thanks to its compact design it fits easily into any pocket – weighing just 6.5 ounces (185 grams). The outstanding optics with a 7x magnification ensures the best image brightness and a wide field of view,” Leica said in a news release.
Equipped with an equivalent horizontal range, or EHR, the range finder offers the practical angle-compensated distance, allowing hunters to make accurate long-distance shots.
The new Leica Rangemaster CRF 2400-R will be available come September with a MSRP of $499.
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Lining up my sights, I tried to focus on the target ahead but the pounding in my head increased with each passing second and before long I was packing up my range wares and popping a couple of Tyenol while I rested in the waiting area of my local range. Five minutes of breathing time before I braved the pain once more and finished my day of shooting. I grabbed my Howard Leight Impact Sport earmuffs, winced as they made contact with my glasses and went back to my lane to shoot.
While I have always preferred the protection earmuff style ear protection affords me on the range, I have never been a fan of the headache inducing pressure it puts on my glasses. Relying on my every-day prescription glasses to adequately shoot, the never ending cycle of headaches after a range day seemed to be the purgatory of which I was assigned. Until a new Kickstarter product popped on my radar in late 2017.
SightLines by Noisefighters promised to alleviate range day headache woes by offering a unique gel insert that better accommodated glasses and eye protection. I leapt at the chance to give these accessories a try and lucky for me the crew at Noisefighters were happy to oblige.How SightLines work
SightLines are a set of gel earmuff pads that replaces stock pads in a variety of popular earmuff style headsets. SightLines easily pop into place, replacing the old pads. From there, users can slide glasses into the relief cuts positioned inside the pads. These relief cuts act like a shelf for glasses arms, securing them into place without pushing them into the wearer’s head.
Though the relief cuts offer a channel for glasses arms to slide into, they still deliver a tight seal around the ear area to protect ears from harmful noise. Sporting gel on the inside, the outside of the SightLines ear pads is constructed from polyurethane making them UV-resistant as well as waterproof.
There’s no fancy tools or extra grunt work required to fit them into the headset. In the case of my Howard Leight Impact Sport muffs, I simply removed the old ear pads and popped the new SightLines in. All in all it took just a couple of minutes to place both ear pads in each ear of the muff.First Impressions
Out of the box, I noticed that the SightLines seemed thinner than my Howard Leight stock ear pads. I was curious how that would ultimately hold up against gun fire, but more on that later. The gel design is an interesting one. The pads are squishy, with some obvious give, but firm all at the same time. I liken it to a memory foam mattress. Push in on certain areas and you’ll get a little give but lay across the whole thing and it offers support, the same is true for the SightLines. The gel construction gives it a comfortable feel against the head and definitely reduces hot spots around the ears. I found that, glasses aside, I could wear the SightLines longer than I could the stock Howard Leight ear pads.
The true test, however, came when I slipped my glasses on. Noisefighters recommends that users put the headset on first, then guide glasses into place using the relief channels. The first time I tried, my glasses ended up crooked. I had missed the relief cut on one side. The second time I slowed the process down and correctly seated each glasses arm onto the relief cut. Lo and behold, I was wearing my glasses but I wasn’t squinting in pain.
The Sightlines worked as promised. Despite eliminating the immediate hotspots I was accustomed to while wearing my glasses, the pass or fail of the SightLines would come later that day when I strolled into my local range.On the range
Steadying my sights on target, I slowly squeezed the trigger releasing another round down range. I had finished off one box of ammo and was now into my second. A full 45-minutes at my local indoor range – a perfect spot to test the validity of any hearing protection — had passed and my head was headache free. Again, the SightLines worked as intended.
When they first arrived on my doorstep, I had noted they were thinner than my stock ear muffs on the Impact Sports. I was afraid this would ultimately mean less sound muffling when met with gun fire; but to my surprise I was wrong. The gel used helps blocks sounds and the relief cuts that my glasses slip into allow a complete seal around my head – a factor my old ear muffs couldn’t achieve. Ultimately, I walked away from the range without any ringing and certainly without any soreness or headaches.Final thoughts
The SightLines came to me about six months ago and since then I have used them every time I visit the range. Affording me both adequate hearing protection and comfort, I don’t think I’ll be swapping the SightLines out any time soon. Available for a variety of shooting earmuff style hearing protection, the SightLines are well worth their $45 price tag.
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Instead of accolades, a Florida sporting good store manager was given his walking papers after he stopped a man from running out of the store with a stolen handgun.
Dean Crouch, 32, sprang into action last month to physically stop a man later identified as Jason White from leaving his store with a .40-caliber Glock he was looking at but did not pay for, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. White, 24, who had earlier that day stolen two other handguns from an area pawn shop, had also attempted to steal two magazines for the Glock and some ammunition while at Academy.
Although White was subsequently taken into custody by Tallahassee Police and is facing multiple felony charges, it was Crouch who was caught in the fallout over the incident and lost his job as an assistant manager.
“Academy has decided to, instead of treating him like the hero he is, they terminated his employment effective immediately because he put his hands on Mr. White,” said Crouch’s attorney, Ryan Hobbs.
“Our world is pretty much turned upside down after this,” said Crouch, who was let go in a conference call after a one-week suspension. “We had to put our house on the market because of this.”
Meanwhile, White — who reportedly told police that he took the guns because wanted to kill a person who had threatened him and still wanted to shoot “someone” — is currently at large on a $5,000 bond and an order to seek a mental evaluation.
Marion Hammer, former National Rifle Association president and current head its Florida state affiliate organization, said the move by the big box retailer was “insanity,” and that Crouch should be celebrated for stopping a criminal before he could commit more crimes.
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