Archive for the ‘Guns in America’ Category

Captain Rick: The Supreme Court dealt a rare blow to the gun lobby Monday by ruling that purchasers of guns must report when they are buying firearms for other people…called ‘straw purchases’.

This US Supreme Court decision does not revise any law. However, it establishes a very important interpretation of what the US Congress implied in gun laws it established in previous decades…that Congress sought to identify the ultimate gun purchaser. This Supreme Court ruling will have profound effect on future law cases that involve guns used for murder that were in hands of those that were not identified as the purchaser. It will ‘open the door’ for the listed purchaser to be prosecuted when the gun is gifted to another who uses it to commit murder.  

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Supreme Court Ruling Details

The 5-4 decision upheld two lower courts that had ruled against so-called straw purchasers, even though the justices acknowledged that Congress left loopholes in gun control laws passed in the 1960s and 1990s.

For gun purchasers to be allowed to buy from licensed dealers without reporting the actual final owners of the firearms, the justices said, would make little sense.

“Putting true numbskulls to one side, anyone purchasing a gun for criminal purposes would avoid leaving a paper trail by the simple expedient of hiring a straw,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the slim majority.

Kagan, a New Yorker who acknowledged during her 2010 confirmation hearings that she was not very familiar with guns, was opposed by four conservative justices, led by Justice Antonin Scalia — who famously has taken her hunting on several occasions.

“No piece of information is more important under federal firearms law than the identity of a gun’s purchaser — the person who acquires a gun as a result of a transaction with a licensed dealer,” Kagan said.

During oral arguments in the case in January, she had noted that without such a finding, “it does not matter whether the ultimate transferee was Al Capone or somebody else.”

Scalia’s dissent for the court’s conservatives — not including Justice Anthony Kennedy, who provided the swing vote — was scathing.

“The court makes it a federal crime for one lawful gun owner to buy a gun for another lawful gun owner,” he said. “Whether or not that is a sensible result, the statutes Congress enacted do not support it.”

The straw purchaser in the case was a former Virginia police officer who bought a Glock 19 handgun for his uncle in Pennsylvania. Both were legal gun owners. But the purchaser, Bruce James Abramski, filled out a federal form indicating that he was the “actual buyer” of the firearm.

His attorney, Richard Dietz, argued that a compromise reached in Congress decades ago was meant to focus only on the initial buyer. Even if it did intend to identify the ultimate purchaser, he said, Abramski didn’t violate the law because his uncle was licensed to own guns.

“Congress didn’t use terms like ‘true buyer’ or ‘true purchaser’ or ‘actual buyer’ because they are not concerned about the ultimate recipients of firearms or what happens to a gun after it leaves the gun store,” Dietz said.

The Justice Department, seeking to uphold the two lower court rulings against Abramski, argued that Congress always sought to identify the ultimate gun purchasers but did not want to intrude on private transactions.

But Scalia ridiculed the majority’s assertion that under federal firearms laws, the uncle — not Abramski — was the true purchaser of the gun. “If I give my son $10 and tell him to pick up milk and eggs at the store, no English speaker would say that the store ‘sells’ the milk and eggs to me,” he said.

Gun control advocates were delighted with the decision. “This is a very big and very positive decision that will save lives by keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people,” said Dan Gross, president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

It was the second ruling from the conservative court this term that went against the gun lobby. In March, the justices ruled unanimously that a federal law intended to keep guns away from domestic violence offenders can apply even if their crime was nothing more than “offensive touching.”

Credits

Report details: Richard Wolf, USA Today

Photo: Steve Helber, AP

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Captain Rick: Guns and ammo have sold out at major U.S. stores as the gun debate heats up on Capitol Hill. Expanded background checks and a ban on certain assault style weapons are likely. The World Think Tank shares its thinking on this ‘hot’ topic.

A guns and ammo shortage began soon after President Obama mentioned gun control after a gunman killed 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook school in Newtown Connecticut. President Obama might have become the worlds top guns and ammo salesman as a result.

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Reports suggest a massive civilian arsenal buildup has taken place as a result of fear of future gun control in America.

Wal-Mart reported rationing ammo since January.

Cabela’s, one of Americas largest sporting goods retailers, reported strong gun sales and inability to gain inventory.

Some gun and ammo companies have been reported to be running 24-7 to keep up with demand.

As a result prices for guns and ammo have escalated. A $12 box of 50 rounds has climbed to $25. Demand for .223 caliber ammo has quadrupled. Stock is difficult to find anywhere.

Shares of Sturm Ruger, Smith & Wesson, which make assault rifles have seen shares skyrocket. They added labor and shifts to keep up with demand. 2-year back logs have been reported for people wanting to purchase an AR-15.

The number of FBI background checks filed for gun permits, considered a leading indicator for sales, surged 94% in January and 58% in February to reach their highest level in 15 years.

The U.S. Legislature begins debate on gun control

It is expected to be an intense debate, with a possible outcome to include expanded background checks and a ban on certain assault weapons.

Captain Rick’s World Think Tank … Thinkers share their thinking on this ‘hot’ subject…

I ‘captain’ a think tank group on Facebook to collect the thoughts of ‘thinkers’ who have demonstrated journalism excellence. I share some of their great thoughts on this important subject:

Bret of Arizona:   Well, of all of the current administration’s accomplishments, is there anything positive that it has done for our country besides inflating (to an explosive amount) gun and ammo sales? I was looking for .22lr ammo the other day, can’t find it anywhere. 5 years ago, you could buy 500 rounds for 10 bucks…now, that same “brick” is selling for $35..if you can find it.

Spencer of Arizona: did you see the report today that says FBI has done 32 background checks every minute since Obama has been elected? I think there has been 70 million background checks since Feb 2009

Ken of California: We are witnessing the end of America. Those “Happy Days” are long gone.
As soon as we are disarmed, we are nothing but sheep ready for slaughter.

Lori of Colorado: I fear that you are right, Ken. It is difficult to be optimistic anymore. We are having a gun battle of our own in Colorado. I think the politics go beyond gun control to people control. Gun ownership is a huge responsibility and no one should take it lightly. However, these laws seem to infringe on the right to privacy. Then, there are new taxes for gun owners and a push to make gun owners buy insurance.

Spencer of Arizona: any law that requires complete background checks will only incovience the law abiding citizens or must also be passed with an accompanying gun registry. if no one knows what guns are owned then criminals or others might sell to criminals because there is no proof they had the gun. it will also create a large black market for guns. I get annoyed that so many people want to ignore Mexico and their crime rates and Gun laws. All the societies that liberals tout as being great because of gun restrictions are Islands. It does amaze me how many homes own guns in Mexico without having them registered and how many liberals like to ignore that and think that we would be different.

Bret of Arizona: Spencer, you are spot on…Even if you had registration, there are so many firearms in existance right now, you could never get them all registered and accounted for. Therefore, criminals would always have access to an abundance of firearms. Most of the time, right now, when people talk about gun deaths in the US, they are talking gun deaths, not homicides. Gun deaths include everything from suicide, rightfull use of deadly force, accidental deaths, etc. I believe the media and polititians are trying to skew the statistics by makeing all gun related deaths sound like murders, and that is simply not the case.The largest instance of gun related deaths in the US are suicides, not murders. My question still remains though…how could we reduce the violence without stomping all over the 2nd amendment and my right to protect myself and family?

Spencer of Arizona: one item to reduce the violence could be actually using the current laws and prosecuting those that fail a back ground check. I am amazed at how few are actually prosecuted. and just for statistics sake there are about 11,000 homicides each year and 20,000 suicides with guns. so 30,000 dealths total from guns each year, now compare that to 100,000 dealths related to alcohol. if it was really about saving the most lives I think more would be done to reduce dealths due to alcohol where you could get three times the reduction. these laws are about disarming citizens, trying to make us an utopia which will not happen instead we will become a dictatorship

Lori of Colorado: If current laws aren’t enforced, why will more laws help? That is a good question. This applies to a wide range of issues, from immigration to drug enforcement.

Spencer of Arizona: well they can make them stricter and stricter making it impossible to own a gun at all soon, and then they can enforce all the laws. its like cooking a frog, as the heat slowly rises everything is good and comfortable, or kind of like Obamacare, its going to destroy our current system paving a way for a full government take over. more of my point of that whole topic is why strengthen anything when we don’t even use what we have now. I am of the opinion the best way to make sure you aren’t a victim is to protect yourself. the police are going to take 5 minutes or more to get to my house and that is even if I can call them. the police usually come to take a report about a crime that has already been committed not in the middle to stop the crime.

Bret of Arizona: All animals are unpredictable…from the soft little kitten to a human. If an animal can think, it is unpredictable….period! So what if someone passes a background check? We can never be sure that person won’t “snap” and do something illegal. Secure my right to protect myself! Do background checks really keep criminals or “mentally ill” from obtaining and committing crimes with guns?

Rick of Arizona: Something else to think about…If things continue on tightening background checks…the U.S. government will eventually be able to stop all gun sales in the U.S. The FBI data base is heavily slanted in the negative direction in order to catch the really bad guy. That is good, but it also rejects lots of innocent, law abiding citizens with it, perhaps because of some tiny flick on the radar screen. My point is that if this inept system is allowed to be expanded, there will come a day soon when no one…not even a saint will pass the background check…which will in effect remove the ability for all law abiding citizens in the U.S. to legally own a gun. In effect, the U.S government will have gained the ability to disarm America while upholding the second amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This is something to think about! I agree, the best way is to protect yourself…but sadly, there are a great number of honest, law abiding citizens who would be rejected from purchasing a gun if they tried. Most applying are ‘delayed’, meaning they have to endure the 5 day waiting period as stipulated by the Brady Law. The problem is, most reputable gun dealers do not want to fool with it for fear of a law suit…so they simply deny the sale to anyone that is ‘delayed’. That in effect kills the sale to the majority of would-be gun buyers.

Stay tuned for more thoughts from the great minds in Captain Rick’s World Think Tank

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Previous reports:

Guns in America: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/guns-in-america/

World Think Tank: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/world-think-tank/

Captain Rick: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law America’s toughest gun control law. Could this be legislation that begins a sweep of America to control guns?

As a past resident of the state of New York, I recognize it as the toughest state of all when it comes to guns. I am beginning a new series on my blog called ‘Guns in America’. I expect it will be a hot topic on ‘Capitol Hill’ in the coming weeks in light of the recent massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut. This could very well be one of my most difficult reporting challenges to date. I will do my best to report the important facts from both sides of this important issue facing America. With your help via comments, perhaps we can guide America to an honorable solution.

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Details of the New York gun law

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law a package of tougher gun measures Tuesday.
The Democrat-dominated Assembly passed the bill Tuesday by a 104-43 vote after the state Senate approved it by a wide margin late Monday.

The gun-control package makes changes and additions to a broad swath of state law, ranging from requiring universal background checks for all gun and ammunition sales, boosting the state’s power to confiscate firearms from the mentally ill and increasing penalties for gun-related crime.

The new laws provide for an immediate ban on semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and pistols with a “military-style feature,” such as a flash suppressor or a bayonet mount. Guns that had been legal but are being banned would be grandfathered in, but their owners must register their firearms with the state or sell them out of state within one year.

Magazines are limited to a maximum capacity of seven bullets, down from the current 10.

The legislation includes a “Webster provision,” a life-without-parole sentence for anyone convicted of killing a first responder. The provision is a reference to the Christmas Eve shooting in a Rochester, N.Y., suburb where two firefighters were shot and killed.

Criticism from gun rights advocates and a number of Republicans in the state Legislature was swift.

The National Rifle Association, which had previously labeled Cuomo as “America’s most-anti-gun governor,” expressed “outrage” at the “draconian gun-control bill that was rushed through the process.” “Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature orchestrated a secretive end-run around the legislative and democratic process and passed sweeping anti-gun measures with no committee hearings and no public input,” the lobbying group wrote in a statement.

The new gun laws received praise from New York City Michael Bloomberg, a staunch gun-control advocate whose Mayors Against Illegal Guns initiative has aired television advertisements pushing for tougher laws. “The responsible and comprehensive gun reform bills the governor signed into law today will help keep guns away from criminals and others who are already prohibited from purchasing them,” Bloomberg said in a statement.

Captain Rick: Where does it go from here?  What is the answer?

This is a huge subject that involves U.S. Constitutional Second Amendment rights that protects the right of Americans to keep and bear arms … and consideration of the growing voice in America that is concerned about massacres of innocent people by a person with a gun or guns.

What is the answer? I welcome all reading this to voice your opinion in the comment form provided. Perhaps together, we can find the answer.

I welcome you to follow my blog as I probe deeper into the subject of ‘Guns in America’.

View my entire Guns in Ameria Series: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/guns-in-america/

Captain Rick: The Private equity firm Cerberus has put U.S. firearms maker Freedom Group up for sale, which includes Bushmaster, maker of the rifle used in the shooting at Sandy Hook school in Newtown Connecticut on Friday that killed 20 children and 6 adults.

Cerberus stated "It is apparent that the Sandy Hook tragedy was a watershed event that has raised the national debate on gun control to an unprecedented level." It is selling Freedom to protect the equity of its investors that includes the California State Teachers’ Retirement System and pension plans of other municipal workers, endowments, institutions and individuals.

Dick’s Sporting Goods, one of the world’s largest sporting retailers, said it has suspended the sale of certain semiautomatic rifles from its 511 stores in 44 states "out of respect for the victims and their families." Dick’s also said in a statement that it has removed all guns from its store near Newtown. Its webpage of modern sporting rifles was blank on Tuesday.

Wal-Mart took down a listing on its website Monday for a semiautomatic assault rifle from the same maker as the Bushmaster AR-15, that was used by Lanza. In July, James Holmes used a similar semiautomatic rifle at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, to kill 12 people and injure 58 others.

Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger stock shares have tumbled about 10% in recent days since the Sandy Hook massacre.

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The Connecticut State Police have identified the primary weapon in the attack that killed 20 children and six educators at a Newtown school on Friday as a Bushmaster AR-15 semiautomatic rifle with high capacity magazines. Police said that the shooter also used two semiautomatic pistols — a Glock and a Sig Sauer — before committing suicide.

The United States is the largest gun market in the world with an estimated 20 million firearms sold per year with an estimated worth of $3.5 billion.