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Surveillance video shows chaos as shooting erupts outside Apple store (VIDEO)

Thu, 06/29/2017 - 07:28

Recently released surveillance video from inside an Albany Apple Store shows the chaos that erupted as a gunman opened fire inside a crowded mall.

Tasheem Maeweather, 20, was found guilty in May of reckless endangerment, a class D felony, for the November 2016 shooting at the Crossgates Mall. The court on Friday sentenced him to serve up to seven-years in prison, yet, he is currently serving nine years for an unrelated drug conviction.

Maeweather, who was on probation and wearing an ankle monitor at the time of the shooting, originally faced three additional charges – attempted murder, attempted assault, and weapons possession – but was acquitted on those charges.

Blood was found at the scene, but there were no reported injuries. Likewise, a weapon was never recovered.

Maeweather was identified as the suspect in the shooting through both eyewitness accounts and the mall’s surveillance video. But Lee Kindlon, Maeweather’s attorney, believes his client’s conviction will be overturned.

“Justice is a process,” Kindlon said. “At trial, the people weren’t able to show my client possessed or fired a gun that day. … In time, through the appellate courts, I have confidence that the law is on our side.”

Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares noted in a press release announcing Maeweather’s sentence that thousands of patrons and employees were inside the mall at the time of the shooting, which occurred near “Santa Land” where numerous families were in line for holiday photos.

“Citizens of Albany County should always expect to be safe when visiting public spaces,” Soares added. “This defendant violated our sense of safety and has left a traumatic and indelible memory for those who were present that day.”

[ News 10 ]

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Categories: Gun News

NY Assembly passes gun violence restraining order bill

Thu, 06/29/2017 - 07:26

Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh, a Manhattan Democrat shown here at a rally, has seen more success with his gun confiscation bill this session than in years past. (Photo: Sabina Mollot/Town-village.com)

A measure to establish “extreme risk protection orders” in the Empire State was approved by the lower chamber of the legislature this month.

The Democrat-backed proposal, A.6994, would allow a family member, police officer, or district attorney to file a petition with the court for a judge to decide if a subject poses a threat to themselves or others. This could lead to an order prohibiting firearms possession for up to one year, which could be renewed. Proponents feel the move, already law in California and Washington, would save lives.

“Family and household members are often the first to notice when someone is in crisis or exhibiting dangerous behavior,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. “Preventing access to guns by individuals in crisis who are found to be a danger to themselves or others could prevent incidents of interpersonal gun violence and suicide involving a gun.”

Under the measure’s guidelines, if a protection order is granted it would prohibit the subject from purchasing guns while mandating they surrender any they already own to authorities. When the order expires the owner could get their guns back so long as they were not a prohibited possessor and then records of the proceedings would be sealed.

The bill is sponsored by Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, D-Manhattan, who proposed similar legislation in 2014 and later rolled the concept into a national gun control group he founded. His proposal was modeled on California’s AB1014, which established a framework to deny firearm possession by those believed to be dangerous in the wake of the killing of six individuals near the University of California, Santa Barbara, in Isla Vista. A similar program passed by ballot referendum last fall in Washington after a $3.5 million campaign by groups funded by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“It is time for New York to empower families, police officers, and courts to take this practical, evidence-based step to prevent gun violence and save lives,” said Kavanagh.

The bill is supported by gun control groups with New Yorkers Against Gun Violence calling it a “proactive tool to prevent
needless tragedies.”

Gun rights and civil liberties advocates have traditionally decried ERPO bills, citing due process concerns and the fact that they do not provide any health care for those deemed most in need.

Tom King, president of the New York Rifle and Pistol Association, went on record against Kavanagh’s initial proposed measure, arguing it was duplicative of laws already in place to address those with mental health issues.

The bill is now in the hands of the state Senate where a companion measure, S.5447, is in committee.

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Categories: Gun News

Wingshooting German potato masher grenades with a trench gun (VIDEO)

Thu, 06/29/2017 - 07:16

Fresh from No Man’s Land, C&Rsenal and Taofledermaus tackle the old WWI trope of being able to blast incoming grenades with a 12 gauge.

While the Kaiser’s field gray legions and the armies of the Allies began mixing it up on the Western Front in August of 1914, it wasn’t until almost three years later that the first U.S troops began going “over there” to fight in the War to End All Wars. One of the weapons the Doughboys brought with them from the states were 12 gauge trench guns, such as the Winchester 1897 which could be slam fired as fast as the pump could be worked, unloading 54 balls of 00 buckshot in about five seconds.

But was buckshot fired from a cylinder bore riot gun capable of blasting a flying Stielhandgranate out of the sky over the trenches?

Check out the above video to see the results.

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Categories: Gun News

FBI agent pleads not guilty to lying about shooting at Lavoy Finicum

Thu, 06/29/2017 - 06:01

Courtroom art of W. Joseph Astarita appearing before a judge in a Portland federal court on June 28, 2017. (Photo: KOIN)

An FBI agent pleaded not guilty in a Portland federal court Wednesday to charges he lied to his superiors and investigators about firing two shots at Robert “LaVoy” Finicum just before he was killed last January.

W. Joseph Astarita, 40, is charged with three counts of making a false statement and two counts of obstruction of justice, according to an indictment unsealed Wednesday.

Astarita appeared in a packed courtroom and said nothing as a lawyer entered his not guilty pleas for all five counts, according to the Associated Press.

On Jan. 26, 2016, Finicum, a spokesman for the group who took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, swerved his truck into a snowbank — nearly hitting an FBI Hostage Rescue Team member — to avoid a roadblock on U.S. 395 in Oregon. After the car stopped, Finicum got out. Video released last year shows a window shatter as Finicum raised his hands in the air.

“Go ahead and shoot me,” Finicum can be heard saying. The 54-year-old Arizona rancher was facing an Oregon State Police trooper and reached for a loaded 9mm handgun in his pocket when he was shot three times, with one bullet hitting him in the heart. Those shots were fired by state troopers. In the weeks after his death, the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General began investigating unreported shots that were fired before Finicum was hit by OSP trooper fire.

That investigation led to the charges against Astarita, a member of the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team. The indictment alleges he lied to three of his supervisors about firing his weapon during the incident. He also “did knowingly engage in misleading conduct toward…officers of the Oregon State Police, by failing to disclose that he had fired two rounds,” the indictment says.

“The actions of the FBI (Hostage Rescue Team) in this case damage the integrity of the entire law enforcement profession, which makes me both disappointed and angry,” said Deshutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson at a press conference on Wednesday.

An obstruction of justice conviction for Astarita could carry up to 20 years in prison, and a conviction for making false statements can mean a sentence of up to five years. A jury trial has been set for Aug. 29.

Oregon U.S. Attorney Bill Williams clarified Wednesday that the charges against Astarita did not “call into question the findings of the Major Incident Team’s investigation of OSP’s use of deadly force.”

“OSP’s actions were justified and necessary in protecting officer safety,” Williams said.

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