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ScoutLook Hunting App upgrades features, adds ScoutTreX

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 12:00

The ScoutTreX feature allows hunters to track their movements on screen. (Photo: ScoutLook Weather)

As hunting season kicks off, the ScoutLook Hunting app looks to offer more features for shooters in the field with the launch of ScoutTreX technology.

ScoutTreX acts as a digital breadcrumb, using a smartphone’s GPS  to allow users to track their journey on screen. Hunters simply tap a small boot icon at the bottom of their smartphone screen while using the app and press “play” to see all movements appear on the map in their preferred color option. The technology tells shooters how far they’ve traveled, average speed as well as the duration of travels.

“More than 1,000 new users per day are logging in and using our mobile tools to hunt smarter,” Josh Dahlke, ScoutLook’s VP of Operations and Content, said in a press release. “We take pride in keeping our apps clean—no gaudy, fluffy updates to clutter the user experience. A new feature was just added to our Hunting app that users will really appreciate: ScoutTreX.”

The app is free and available for download in both Google Play and iTunes.

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Categories: Gun News

Milwaukee Mayor condemns constitutional carry proposal

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 11:30

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. (Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

A Wisconsin bill that would allow lawful gun owners to carry concealed firearms without a permit advanced out of a state Senate committee this week, but Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said he hoped that’s as far as the legislation gets.

Barrett said he strongly opposes the measure and worries about its potential impact on Milwaukee, arguing the bill would cause more guns to flood the streets in a city where police have already seized more than 2,000 firearms this year, WTMJ reported.

“Milwaukee disproportionally seizes more guns than even major cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles,” he said. “We don’t need more guns on the streets, we need fewer guns on the street but where we do need help from the legislature we need more revenue sources so we can continue funding our police department.”

Republican Sen. David Craig, one of the bill’s sponsors, argued it would do nothing to change the firearms purchasing process and so would not have an effect on the amount of guns in Milwaukee or the state as a whole. He also noted that the open carrying of firearms does not require a permit in the Badger State and argued the law should be the same for concealed carry as well.

“For whatever reason, we’ve had this law in existence where if you put a coat on, you’re now a felon, if you have your coat off and you’re not covering up a firearm, you’re not committing a crime,” Craig said.

On Tuesday, the bill was approved on a 3-2 vote in the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee. It now heads to the Senate floor for a full vote.

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Categories: Gun News

Man charged with murder at 12 years old released on 21st birthday

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 11:15

DeMarco Harris said he has changed in the last seven years. (Photo: Click on Detroit)

After spending nearly eight years in a juvenile detention facility, a man who was convicted of murder at the age of 12 was set to be freed on his 21st birthday, which was Monday.

DeMarco Harris shot and killed 24-year-old Trisha Babcock during an attempted robbery in Detroit in 2009. Harris was 12 years old at the time, 13 when he was convicted and sentenced to spend the rest of his youth in prison.

A slew of caseworkers and therapists spoke on Harris’ behalf in court Friday during a release hearing, and said he displayed exemplary behavior while incarnated, ABC 7 reported.

Jennifer Sloan, an associate clinical director, said Harris, “Not only demonstrated his growth on his own but he has over the years provided mentorship to other youth helping them grow through the process.”

Sloan also noted that Harris was assaulted multiple times while in prison and never once retaliated.

“He walked away, tried to put distance between him and the attacker,” she said.

Likewise, Harris, who could have faced life in prison, told Judge Virgil C. Smith while asking for his freedom he believes he has been rehabilitated in the last seven years.

“Since that day, I’ve grown mentally, spiritually and physically,” said Harris.

Harris said he never thought his time behind bars would have such an impact on his life. In fact, while incarcerated, Harris earned his GED and is currently enrolled in college. In addition, he has received a number of certificates for participating in various university workshops, including nine weeks of culinary arts training.

But not everyone in court Friday felt Harris should be released. In fact, Babcock’s father, Steven, spoke out against it. Babcock accused Harris of playing the system, doing what anyone else would have done for a chance at freedom.

“My daughter’s rights and her life were taken and given to Demarco Harris,” Babcock said.

“He left her there to die. She didn’t die instantly. She was still alive, bleeding profusely and gasping for air,” Babcock added.

Babcock said his daughter is the one who deserves justice, not Harris.

“No, I don’t think he’s rehabilitated,” Babcock said of Harris. “Nobody should be granted rehabilitation after they murder somebody.”

Furthermore, Harris is not required to have further contact with the court after his release.

“The public needs to know about this and be aware that there is a convicted murderer who is walking the streets of Detroit,” Babcock concluded. “And they need to know about the justice system and the flaws of the justice system.”

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Categories: Gun News

ShotSpotter gunfire detection service expands in 7 new cities

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 11:00

Shot Spotter helps pinpoint the location of gunshots through a series of acoustic sensors on buildings and lampposts, relaying information to officers in near real time. (Graphic: Shot Spotter)

The publicly-traded California-based gunshot location service announced this week they have expanded their reach to over 90 jurisdictions with the addition of several new contracts.

Among the new cities recently adopting the network of toaster-sized gunfire detectors are Cincinnati; Jacksonville; Louisville; Newburgh, New York; Pittsfield, Massachusettes; Syracuse; and St. Louis County.

“We are excited to be working with police departments in successfully implementing gunshot detection solutions as a critical component of their gun violence prevention efforts,” said Ralph Clark, the company’s CEO, in a statement. “Cities are seeing positive outcomes and improved community engagement as a result of their agency’s ShotSpotter adoption and integration with best practices execution.”

In Cincinnati, police officials said Thursday their newly installed system has alerted police to more than 60 incidents of gunfire in the past month alone, most of which had gone unnoticed or unreported.

While at least one city in recent years terminated their pricey contract with the company, citing ShotSpotter didn’t help them make arrests or identify crime victims, others have found it more successful.

In April, police in Fresno, California said the technology helped track a gunman on the move in that city, enabling his capture just under five minutes after his first shot was detected. The information, which is delayed less than 30 seconds from the time the shots are fired until an alert registers with the monitoring agency, was forwarded to officers in the field in near real time.

In addition to the cities announced by ShotSpotter, the Sacramento City Council voted Tuesday night for a $138,000 expansion of their existing system.

While the increasing use of gunfire detection systems has been cited by gun control advocates as part of their opposition to the partial deregulation of firearm suppressors, Clark told The Washington Post earlier this year his system has already detected suppressed gunfire and has plans to tweak their systems if needed.

“We believe we will have various options ranging from increasing our sensor array density to developing software/firmware to address the detection of suppressed gunfire if it were to become a widespread issue,” Clark said.

The system is already reportedly effective in distinguishing between fireworks and gunshots. In the company’s initial public offering in June, ShotSpotter sold $35.4 million worth of shares on the NASDAQ Capital Market.

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Categories: Gun News

Robber shot with own gun, which jammed when he tried to shoot back

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 10:45

Marnita Carter thanked the Lord for the malfunction. (Photo: Chicago Tribune)

Chicago resident Marnita Carter was targeted for an armed robbery while waiting at the bus stop early Saturday morning, but the suspect was the one who ended up getting shot.

Carter, 54, said she was waiting for the bus when the suspect, 23-year-old Dennis Evans, walked up to her, stuck a gun in her face, and demanded she hand over her valuables. Carter refused. Instead, she struggled with the suspect, eventually got the gun from him, and fired a shot, which struck Evans in the hand.

Carter later told police Evans reacted by saying, “(Expletive), you shot me with my own gun. Now I’m gonna shoot your (expletive).”

Evans got his gun back, but when he tried to shoot Carter, who had been knocked down on the sidewalk during the struggle, the gun jammed. Evans ran away, and Carter, who was so shaken by the incident she could barley speak, thanked God.

“I was shocked that it didn’t go off again,” Carter said. “It was the Lord — that’s what it was.”

A short time after the robbery gone wrong, police located Evans at his mother’s home, about four blocks away from the bus stop. He was arrested and is being held without bail.

[ Chicago Tribune ]

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Categories: Gun News

Detroit man pleads guilty to murdering teen over Air Jordans

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 10:45

Police say Dante Ford tried to rob two people of their sneakers on June 6. (Photo: Michigan Department of Corrections)

A Detroit man pleaded guilty Wednesday to murder charges in connection with the shooting death of a teenager over Air Jordan sneakers earlier this year.

Dante Tyrell Ford, 20, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and firearms charges for the June 6 shooting death of 17-year-old Corey Harris-Thomas, according to WDIV.

Police say Ford, Harris-Thomas, and a 24-year-old man met so that Harris-Thomas could sell Ford a pair of Air Jordans. Ford got into the backseat of Harris-Thomas’ SUV and the three drove around for a while before Ford pulled out a gun. That’s when the 24-year-old pulled out a gun of his own and the two men wrestled over the weapons.

Ford shot at the man and hit him in the arm. He returned fire at Ford, who then fired another round, which hit Harris-Thomas. He fell out of the SUV, which crashed into a fence. The 24-year-old man called police, and Harris-Thomas was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 24-year-old was taken to the hospital and treated.

Ford, who was also shot, fled the scene with the Nikes. He was arrested a few hours later after he showed up at a hospital with a graze wound to his stomach.

A convicted felon, Ford is also facing charges for another armed robbery earlier that day. Police say he robbed a 16-year-old at gunpoint after arranging to buy shoes from him.

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Categories: Gun News

ATF: We will stay in hurricane impacted regions until “things are stabilized”

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 10:30

Rubble atop a car in the Puerta de Tierra area of San Juan, Puerto Rico on Thursday. (Photo: Erika P. Rodriguez/The New York Times)

Government agencies entrenched in rescue and recovery efforts in hurricane-impacted areas said Thursday agents will remain in these regions “until things are stabilized.”

Some 3,200 workers were already on the ground in Puerto Rico Wednesday as Hurricane Maria — the second major storm to pass through the Caribbean this month and the strongest to hit the island in nearly a century — dumped three feet of rain and destroyed the power grid, leaving more than 3.4 million residents in the dark.

“We have a lot of flooding,” Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello told CNN Thursday, noting at least a dozen people had died there during the storm, so far. “There was a major disaster here in Puerto Rico.”

Maria comes two weeks after Hurricane Irma tore a similar path through the Caribbean, killing more than two dozen and leaving the island nation of Barbuda a pile of rubble. A week before Irma, Hurricane Harvey drenched Texas’s gulf coast in more than four feet of rain, causing unprecedented flooding in the Houston area.

The ATF and federal agencies have deployed approximately 500 workers to Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Florida, with another 500 on stand-by as needed — all part of ESF-13, an emergency response plan of action implemented by the Department of Justice.

“ATF, leading through ESF-13, continues to coordinate security functions for search and rescue and recovery efforts in all impacted areas affected by Hurricane Irma,” Joshua Jackson, an ATF spokesperson, told Thursday.  “These same efforts continue now with Hurricane Maria. ATF, and it’s many federal partners, will remain in the impacted areas until things are stabilized.”

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Categories: Gun News

Strip club hosts topless car wash to raise money for injured deputies (Sorry, no pics, video)

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 10:15

There was one lone protester at the topless carwash, which was held in the parking lot of the strip club. (Photo: Sacramento Bee)

A strip club near Marysville, California, showed a bit of community spirit Saturday by hosting a topless car wash, with all of the proceeds going to two deputies who were seriously wounded while on duty.

City Limits Showgirls collected a total of $2,565 in donations. There was a suggested donation of $15 per car, but the bigger the donation, the better the wash.

“It was excellent,” said manager Hal Meyer. “We were so busy.”

Meyer said the line of cars waiting for a wash stretched about a block. The wash took place under a large tent in the establishment’s parking lot, and Meyer confirmed that no lap dances or other extras were performed and no drivers or passengers ever got out of their vehicles.

Meyer did, however, hand out vouchers to drivers and passengers alike to come back to the club later that night with no cover charge. Meyer said of the 255 vouchers passed out, 41 were redeemed.

The donations collected from the car wash will go to Yuba County sheriff’s Deputies Phillip Bronson and Andrew Everhart, who were seriously injured in a shootout at a marijuana grow operation in August. Both deputies have been released from the hospital, but receive in-home medical care. It’s unknown when they will return to duty.

Dancers from the club said they were happy to have a chance to give back, noting that anytime there has been an issue at the club, deputies are swift to respond and act in a professional manner. Some say they feel safer knowing the deputies are just a phone call away.

The sheriff’s office said they did not endorse the event – although they didn’t publicly condone it either.

[ Sacramento Bee ]

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Categories: Gun News

STI International drops holsters for most popular STI model pistols

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 10:00

The NERD holster is designed to work alongside STI’s NERD Coffin Pistol in 3-gun competitions. (Photo: STI International)

STI International gives customers more ways to carry, introducing a premium line of kydex holsters designed around the company’s most popular model pistols.

The custom-molded holsters are crafted from tough, heavy kydex for durability. Available in two models, the NERD 3-Gun pistol configuration and RDR IWB, the holsters are designed to give STI fans more ways to tote their favorite guns.

The RDR STI IWB is an inside the waistband design that accommodates the STI DVC Carry, Guardian 2011, VIP and any other 3.75-inch or 3.9-inch STI 2011 without full dust cover or rail. The RDR boasts a modest price of $59.99.

Purpose built for the demands of 3-gun competitions, the NERD holster is designed specifically for the NERD Pistol Coffin pistol. The holster is designed to withstand the rigors of competition while also providing a draw stroke that is consistent and repeatable. The NERD holster is the pricier option, coming in at $164.99.

Both holsters are available through STI International’s web-based storefront.

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Categories: Gun News

Longtime Chicago anti-gun advocate explains why she now carries one

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 09:45

Camiella Williams. (Photo: Alyssa Schukar for The Trace)

A former gang member turned gun control champion has stepped down from many of the organizations she once supported and now legally carries a handgun.

Camiella Williams, 29, told WBEZ Chicago for NPR’s All Things Considered how her life has pivoted between poles when it comes to gun politics.

A former gang member, Williams says she bought her first gun when she was only 12 for $25 on the streets and lived a rough life until, at age 18 and pregnant with her son, she moved to a safer neighborhood in the suburbs. Along with getting her GED and starting college, Williams began to advocate for increased gun laws, citing the loss of more than 20 of her friends and relatives in fatal shootings as a driving force.

Besides appearing on local stations, she spoke in Washington and California and appeared nationally on MTV. U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill.,  held Williams up as an example of community activism. Essence, People, The Trace and Vice all profiled her work.

But following the death of her 21-year-old cousin in a homicide last summer, Williams began to distance herself from the groups.

“I don’t think people understand because they tell me, Camiella, keep fighting,” she says. “You’re doing a good job. Keep speaking. We hear you. But to me, in my heart, do you really hear me? I don’t think nobody hear me.”

Working on her master’s degree, Williams says it is hard to find empathy with gun violence survivors.

“These parents that I’m helping – their kids got killed. How do I know that your kid ain’t killed my people? How do I know,” she said.

She also obtained a concealed carry permit and a handgun.

When questioned about the curious balance between her past advocacy and her newfound move to concealed carry, Williams says, “The people that will probably say that live in safe communities, never experienced the losses that I’ve experienced. To me, it’s like, I’m not going to die.”

However, she also has pause.

In a recent incident in which her son, now 11, was shot with a BB gun by an 18-year-old while riding his bicycle, Williams addressed the teen’s mother who in turn threatened violence, but, instead of further escalating the situation, Williams walked away.

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Categories: Gun News

California governor reverses parole board decision to release convicted cop killer

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 09:00

Hau Chan was convicted of second-degree murder for his role in the 1984 heist. (Photo: California DOC)

California Gov. Jerry Brown stepped in and reversed a parole board decision to release a man convicted of murder for his role in a 1984 jewelry store heist that left a Los Angeles police officer dead.

Earlier this year, the board said Hau Chan, 61, could be released from prison after serving 32 years because he showed remorse and participated in a number of prison programs. But according to the Associated Press, Brown handed down a decision last week that will keep Chan behind bars.

Authorities said Chan was the mastermind behind the botched robbery on Dec. 19, 1984. Two of his accomplices walked into the Jin Hing Jewelry store and asked to see some coins. Upon entering a safe, they pulled out guns and let in a third suspect. The owner triggered a silent alarm, and two officers arrived.

When they got there, one of the suspects pretended to be a store employee. He shot one of the officers, Archie Nagao, in the neck. He survived. Officers returned fire, killing two of the suspects. Officer Duane Johnson was also killed during the gunfight.

Chan argued at trial that he had nothing to do with the gun battle, and was outside in the getaway car during the melee. He was ultimately convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

In a letter to the parole board opposing his release, police union President Craig Lally said Chan “should not receive the benefit of an early release, and be able to go home to his family, when Officer Johnson wasn’t even able to see the birth of his own daughter.”

In his decision, Brown conceded that Chan had worked to improve himself in prison. But, Brown said, he “continues to downplay the extent to which he led the planning of this armed robbery and has not confronted his actions.”

Brown called Chan dangerous and said he still poses an “unreasonable danger” to society.

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Categories: Gun News

Outrage as German weapon pops up on Kalashnikov’s new monument

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 08:45

That really kinda looks like a StG-44 exploded view (Photo: LiveJournal via Kalashnikov magazine)

In the latest installment in the 70-year running argument in the “AK was based on the StG” fracas, Mikhail Kalashnikov’s new monument may include a Sturmgewehr.

As reported earlier this week, a sprawling monument to the late firearms engineer was unveiled in Moscow. Besides a nearly 30-foot high statue of Kalashnikov, the base of a monument to St. Mikhail, the Orthodox patron of gunsmiths and warriors, contains a representation of several of the engineer’s designs including an AK42 sub gun, AK47, AKM and AK74 rifles, as well as RPK and PK machine guns.

However, as noted by some sharp-eyed firearms enthusiasts and reported by Russian-based Kalashnikov magazine, just under a Krinkov AKS-74U is what appears to be the parts diagram for a German StG-44 Sturmgewehr.

For those not familiar with the ongoing debate, German firearms wonk Hugo Schmeisser, responsible for inventing the MP18 Bergmann submachine gun and the StG44 among others, spent six years on a vacation he could not decline in the Soviet Union after the end of WWII. The fact that he was there while Kalashnikov was finishing his AK47 has produced any number of lingering arguments that Schmeisser may have had a hand it the famous rifle’s design.

That view is not widely subscribed in Russia, causing understandable heartburn in some firearms circles there over the apparent monumental gaffe.

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Categories: Gun News

Tactical Solutions launches Trail-Lite holster for Browning Buck Mark series

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 08:30

The Trail-Lite allows shooters to carry their optics and suppressor equipped Buck Mark .22LR pistol. (Photo: Tactical Solutions)

Tactical Solutions expands its series of firearm accessories, announcing the addition of the Trail-Lite holster for Browning’s Buck Mark series of pistols.

The Trail-Lite holster is designed to work alongside the Browning Buck Mark .22LR while also allowing users to tote the pistol with a suppressor equipped. Tactical Solutions says it’s the first holster designed for the Buck Mark that features an ambidextrous design with adjustable retention.

“We have been asked for years if we know of a holster that fits the Buck Mark pistol so we decided to manufacture a holster that fits most of the Buck Mark models,” Keith Feeley, Director of Brand and Product Services for TacSol, said in a press release. “It’s ambidextrous, and best of all it allows the pistol to be holstered with the suppressor attached.”

The holster features a carbon-fiber finish and is available in low-ride or high-ride. Designed to fit belts up to 2-inches, the rig’s design also accommodates most optics.

The Trail-Lite is available from Tactical Solutions, boasting a price of $60.

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Categories: Gun News

Cops think gun thief hid inside Bass Pro until it closed

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 08:15

ATF is offering the reward in the amount of up to $1,000, which will be matched by the NSSF for a total reward of up to $ 2,000, (Photo: ATF)

An after-hours firearm heist inside the landmark Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World in Memphis may have been pulled off by a man who outwaited store staff until closing time.

The ATF announced the burglary of the expansive 535,000-square-foot pyramidal-shaped outlet occurred Sept. 9, with an undisclosed number of guns stolen.

As reported by The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal, security footage showed the man inside the store between 3:30 and 3:50 a.m., holding firearms then leaving with a long backpack on his back with the stolen guns inside. Authorities believe he hid inside the store during business hours and emerged long after closing.

Among the firearms stolen were a Benelli 12-gauge shotgun, a Beretta rifle and a Savage MSR-15.

The ATF and the National Shooting Sports Foundation are offering a combined $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved. Those with information should contact the ATF at 800-283-4867 or Memphis Crime Stoppers at  901-528-2274.

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Categories: Gun News

Gas station clerk suspended after shooting robber

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 08:00

Jennifer Wertz said she’d rather find another job than work for a company who fails to protect their employees. (Photo: Tucson News Now)

A woman who shot an armed robber while working at a Circle K in Albuquerque on Monday has been suspended over the shooting, but she says she’s fed up with company’s lack of concern for employee safety and decided to quit.

“Robberies have been going on like this for the past few weeks. They have done nothing to protect me,” Jennifer Wertz told Tucson News Now the day after the robbery.

Wertz said she felt the need to protect herself, knowing that she was working a late-night shift and that another nearby convenience store had recently been robbed. So, Wertz carried a gun to work on Monday, and a few hours into her shift, she was standing near the door when a man entered the store with a gun. She said the man put the gun in her face, and she “reacted.”

“I grabbed my gun from my pocket, I cocked it, and I shot,” Wertz said.

The shot struck the suspect in the chest, and once officers responded to the robbery call, he was transported to the hospital for treatment. The suspect was identified as 23-year-old Ferron Mendez and is expected to survive. He will be charged once he’s released from the hospital, according to local media. No charges are expected to be filed against Wertz.

Wertz was uninjured, although she questions what could have happened if she wasn’t armed.

“What if he would have come in and just shot me just because I wasn’t behind the counter?” said Wertz, who noted the entire encounter lasted only about 30 seconds.

But Wertz’s take-charge attitude landed her a two-week suspension.

“We are not to chase. We are not to provoke. We are not to do anything. We just stand there and give them what they want and they leave,” Wertz noted of Circle K’s policy regarding robberies.

Nonetheless, she said she’s sick and tired of being a “sitting duck,” and would rather not work for a company with such policies. Wertz opted to quit rather than take the suspension and is now searching for another job.

Meanwhile, a Go Fund Me account has been set up for Wertz, who has three children and cares for her disabled mother.

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Categories: Gun News

Surveillance video released of suspects in high school teacher’s fatal shooting (VIDEO)

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 07:45

Authorities in San Francisco released surveillance video Wednesday in hopes of identifying three persons of interest in the June 18 shooting death of a popular Oakland high school teacher.

The shooting happened outside of a nightclub after one of the suspects began harassing women with the teacher’s group. The teacher, 31-year-old Carlo Tateo, asked the suspect to move along and leave the ladies alone.

San Francisco police Cmdr. Greg McEachern said, at that point, without any provocation, one of the suspects pulled out a gun and shot Tateo dead. The suspects then got into a vehicle and drove away.

“Every homicide is tragic. But this homicide is senseless,” McEachern said.

Likewise, Tateo’s mother, Sonja Tateo, said she wants the suspect caught so the community is safer.

“What I would like to ask the public is to take close looks at the photos and if you recognize someone please make a phone call. We don’t want this to happen to another family,” said Sonja Tateo.

[ KTVU ]

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Categories: Gun News

Utah lawmakers advance fee hikes on gun permits, background checks

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 07:30

The Utah Legislature’s Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee gave approval this week to a measure that would drive up renewal costs for concealed firearms permits and background checks.

Under the 25-page proposal, which adjusts a wide variety of public safety fees, the renewal fees for CFP permits would move from $15 to $24.75 for in-state residents, the same price as a new applicant. In addition, the $7.50 Brady fee assessed on firearms transfers would jump to $10.

State Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City, said the increase has been three years in the making and current revenue is not sufficient to cover program costs.

“I would really like to get this bill passed so that we can recover the tax dollars that are currently subsidizing what should be covered by fees,” Thatcher told the committee Wednesday.

Utah has seen a staggering increase in the numbers of CFPs in circulation in the past decade. Statistics by the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification show in 2006 there were 13,139 applications, whereas in 2016 there were 95,093.

Brian Judy, the National Rifle Association’s lobbyist in Utah, addressed the planned increase in CFP renewal fees, questioning why the move was needed when the state’s concealed permit fund has a $800,000 surplus. He pointed out that BCI increased the cost of firearms permits just last month, tacking on an extra $20 fee to process fingerprints through a state system.

On the Brady fee, Judy argued it is not something gun buyers asked for, saying “if it is being pushed by society at large, it should be funded by society at large. When the National Instant Check System was implemented, one of the policies was that there should be no fee.”

Clark Aposhian, president of the Utah Shooting Sports Council, told lawmakers he didn’t object to a needed increase to cover the costs of the permit system, but he, like Judy, questioned the need.

Joseph Brown, the finance director for DPS, explained that the current $800,000 surplus is in a restricted account that cannot be spent unless it is appropriated by the legislature, and he expects it to be drained in coming years.

Brown explained that, while the agency collected more revenue on permits than it took to run the program in 2015 and 2016 — which helped generate the surplus — current figures are flat and it is expected that moving forward it would cost more to issue permits than the state is collecting due to a declining number of applicants.

“It’s clear here that the fees are not covering the cost of the program,” Brown said, pointing out that on both new permit applicants and renewals, the same background vetting has to occur while the fees currently set for the latter are less.

Concerning the proposed Brady check fee bump, Brown noted that the growing pool of concealed carry permit holders is exempt from the check requirements, leading to a smaller segment of gun buyers paying the fee.

“Because the number of CFP holders have increased, we are doing more work with the same amount of money or less money,” Brown said.

As for Aposhain’s group, they feel that should the fee hike pass, it would set the stage for long stymied permitless carry legislation to be more popular.

“Our proposed Commonsense Carry legislation would make permits optional,” notes the group in an alert. “An optional permit system would put an automatic check valve on increasing fees. If the state decides to increase fees beyond what is reasonable or to use the fees as a piggy bank, gun owners can simply forgo permits.”

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Categories: Gun News

Using a Smith & Wesson .500 as a drill press on copper (VIDEO)

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 07:15

Edwin Sarkissian set up a pair of copper plates and then ran the pistol game on them to see how they held up, topping things off with a big S&W hogleg.

He starts small, with a sedate .22LR, and progresses up the food chain from there with the copper shrugging off various 9mm loads with ease.

Then comes the five hundo, including a nice 700-grain lead pill and a 350-grain Underwood Xtreme Penetrator, with impressive results…from the copper.

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Categories: Gun News

Dealers report 83 guns taken during Irma

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 07:00

Hurricane Irma made landfall and flooded streets in downtown Miami, Florida on Sunday, Sept. 10. (Photos: Wilfredo Lee/AP)

Dealers in Georgia and Florida reported 83 guns missing in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma earlier this month.

Joshua Jackson, an ATF spokesman, told Thursday the agency recovered 17 firearms stolen from one federally licensed dealer in Georgia during the storm. Agents are still tracking another 66 guns taken from three different stores in north and central Florida, he said.

“ATF and its local law enforcement partners continue to vigorously investigate these crimes and will hold persons responsible fully accountable,” Jackson said. “The core mission of ATF is public safety and reducing violent crime, ATF will have no tolerance for those who commit these crimes and take advantage during recovery efforts from natural disasters.”

Hurricane Irma, one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, whipped through the Caribbean Sept. 6 before making two landfalls in the United States five days later — once in the lower Florida Keys and again on Marco Island, 18 miles south of Naples. The massive storm packed 130 mile per hour winds, 10 foot storm surges and a rotation of winds more than 400 miles wide. More than 3 million residents lost power across the state, including up to 90 percent of Miami. At least 84 deaths have been blamed on the storm.

It’s the second of three major hurricanes to batter the southern U.S. and Caribbean in less than a month. Hurricane Harvey stalled over the Texas Gulf coast for five days in August, drenching Houston and surrounding areas in more than four feet of water. The ATF deployed SRT agents to the city to bolster security at federally licensed gun dealers vulnerable to looting. Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico Wednesday, with sustained winds of 155 miles per hour — strong enough to wipe out the island territory’s power grid and weather and communications systems.

As Irma barreled toward Florida, the agency wasted no time warning dealers and owners alike to move their inventory to safer, drier ground.

“In the storms, we’ll go back to (Hurricane) Harvey, where again, people are taking advantage of the fact that there’s no on in the home,” ATF Special Agent Daryl McCrary told the ABC affiliate in Orlando earlier this month. “They’re going out, sometimes in the midst of the storm, or very soon after the storm, and they’re looting.”

Nicole Strong, an ATF spokeswoman, told last month six Houston-area dealers were burglarized during the storm, but only four lost inventory for a total of 109 firearms taken — a success compared to the 1,102 guns stolen from more than 30 dealers in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina 12 years ago.

“ATF in Houston worked very hard on the front end of Harvey to minimize FFL losses,” she said.  “We did so by sending out media advisories reminding FFL’s to use best practices and to secure their inventory. We also sent out an ‘FFL alert’ with the same message both prior to and during the storm. ATF provided a list of all FFL’s to Houston Police Department and they proactively monitored as best they could, all the FFL’s during the storm. ATF also personally contacted all FFL’s as soon as the storm passed to ensure there were no additional losses.”

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Categories: Gun News

Colt teams up with VZ Grips for Colt Signature Series

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 07:00

The Colt Signature Series grips boast four color patterns to include black and blue, pictured above. (Photo: VZ Grips)

Colt and VZ Grips joined forces to create the Colt Signature Series, a genuine OEM G10 grips line designed for Colt’s prolific 1911 platform pistols.

The Signature Series G10 grips come in the Double Diamond pattern for Colt Government Model size 1911 pistols. Consumers have a few colors to choose from including black, black and blue, black and cherry or black and grey.

Colt says the association with VZ Grips was an obvious one as the company produces quality grips that offer a snazzy look for the 1911 platform.

“We couldn’t be prouder of our association with VZ Grips,” Justin Baldini, Product Director for Colt, said in a press release. “VZ Grips has established themselves and one of the premier G10 grips manufacturers in the industry, and their quality and toughness is a perfect fit for Colt. Some folks may have noticed that nearly all of our new-model pistols have come with Colt-branded G10 grips, including our Colt Competition Pistol and Colt Combat Unit Rail Gun, and many have asked for them on the aftermarket. We listened, and now we can anyone who’s looking for an excellent, duty-grade option for their Colt 1911 platform pistol, need look no further than VZ Grips’ Colt Signature Series.”

VZ Grips said that when Colt approached them to craft the next generation of Colt grips, the accessory maker jumped on the opportunity to work alongside the legendary gun manufacturer.

“All of our products are made right here in the USA, so working with Colt is a great fit for us,” John VanZyck, President of VZ Grips Custom Gun Grips, said in a statement. We share Colt’s commitment to quality and performance in the harshest environments, so to be able to incorporate our passion for making the best pistol grips into Colt’s legendary history is a great opportunity for us.”

The medium textured Colt Signature Series grips are available from VZ Grips with a price tag of $69.

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Categories: Gun News