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Charlie T Waite

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Everything posted by Charlie T Waite

  1. FPC Brief in Support of Petitioners (PDF) FPC was joined on the brief by Firearms Policy Foundation, California Gun Rights Foundation, Second Amendment Foundation, and Madison Society Foundation Malpasso v. Pallozzi is a constitutional challenge to Maryland’s “good and substantial reason” requirement for a firearm carry permit
  2. Prosecutors dismissed about 68% of all firearms charges from 2014-2018 in Mecklenburg County, N.C., according to an investigation by The Charlotte Observer. According to the newspaper, the county’s largest city, Charlotte, has a murder rate about three times higher than New York City’s (about 10 murders per 100,000 residents in 2017). “The message that is received by a criminal mind is, ‘I shot this person with a gun, but they let me go. So I’ll just go out and get me another gun. Who feels safe in a city where people can break rules, commit crimes and nothing is done about it?” Judy Williams, co-founder of Mothers of Murdered Offspring, told the Observer. Police agreed. “We’re having criminals that aren’t being disciplined, and they’re turning into monsters,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Detective Matthew Freeman, who investigates violent crimes in southwest Charlotte, told the newspaper. The Observer investigation found: Of some 300 or so people charged with murder in the county since 2015, more than half had prior gun-related criminal charges. 28 murders could have been averted if the suspects’ prior charges had led to conviction, as the offenders would have been in jail at the time of the murders. Even very serious charges like armed robbery had a high dismissal rate of about 57%. Why? Per the investigation: “Prosecutors shoulder heavy caseloads and operate in a state-funded court system that is so overburdened that less than 1% of felony cases go to trial.” The newspaper stated Mecklenburg County has only 86 prosecutors—“fewer [prosecutors] than almost any county its size nationwide.” David Labahn, president of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, told the Observer a county that size should have at least 120 prosecutors, adding that dismissing lower-level gun charges means criminals are more likely to commit more serious crimes later. The reporters also found charges often are dismissed because under-resourced courts would be unable to cope with more cases. The high-dismissal rate has had a big impact on the community in terms of lives lost. The newspaper highlighted the death of a 26-year-old man shot and killed in 2015 by an offender with 13 consecutive gun-related criminal charges—all dismissed. One victim’s mother told reporters Mecklenburg County was sending a terrible message: “[Criminals believe] if they get off one time, they can continue to get off. They’re taking people from their families. And it doesn’t have to be that way.” Alan Lizotte, professor at the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Albany, told the Observer that criminal suspects in violent cities learn that a gun charge “gets you nothing.” “This is how homicides happen,” Lizotte declared. Prosecutors dismissed about 68% of all firearms charges from 2014-2018 in Mecklenburg County, N.C., according to an investigation by The Charlotte Observer. According to the newspaper, the county’s largest city, Charlotte, has a murder rate about three times higher than New York City’s (about 10 murders per 100,000 residents in 2017). “The message that is received by a criminal mind is, ‘I shot this person with a gun, but they let me go. So I’ll just go out and get me another gun. Who feels safe in a city where people can break rules, commit crimes and nothing is done about it?” Judy Williams, co-founder of Mothers of Murdered Offspring, told the Observer. Police agreed. “We’re having criminals that aren’t being disciplined, and they’re turning into monsters,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Detective Matthew Freeman, who investigates violent crimes in southwest Charlotte, told the newspaper. The Observer investigation found: Of some 300 or so people charged with murder in the county since 2015, more than half had prior gun-related criminal charges. 28 murders could have been averted if the suspects’ prior charges had led to conviction, as the offenders would have been in jail at the time of the murders. Even very serious charges like armed robbery had a high dismissal rate of about 57%. Why? Per the investigation: “Prosecutors shoulder heavy caseloads and operate in a state-funded court system that is so overburdened that less than 1% of felony cases go to trial.” The newspaper stated Mecklenburg County has only 86 prosecutors—“fewer [prosecutors] than almost any county its size nationwide.” David Labahn, president of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, told the Observer a county that size should have at least 120 prosecutors, adding that dismissing lower-level gun charges means criminals are more likely to commit more serious crimes later. The reporters also found charges often are dismissed because under-resourced courts would be unable to cope with more cases. The high-dismissal rate has had a big impact on the community in terms of lives lost. The newspaper highlighted the death of a 26-year-old man shot and killed in 2015 by an offender with 13 consecutive gun-related criminal charges—all dismissed. One victim’s mother told reporters Mecklenburg County was sending a terrible message: “[Criminals believe] if they get off one time, they can continue to get off. They’re taking people from their families. And it doesn’t have to be that way.” Alan Lizotte, professor at the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Albany, told the Observer that criminal suspects in violent cities learn that a gun charge “gets you nothing.” “This is how homicides happen,” Lizotte declared.
  3. Because of data-mining abilities in this digital age, you may want to be mindful of posting photos of your firearms online with visible serial numbers to deter the creation of a firearms database. Technology advances may enable your gun photos to be archived and aggregated online for searching. While it is unknown if anyone is doing such tracking, it may be wise to ensure your serial numbers don’t show up in your firearms photos. Recently, The Firearm Blog did an experiment on firearm photos after reading an article called “Google and Facebook Are Reading Your License Plates.” The premise was that optical-character recognition—a process used to allow pictures showing license plates to be read and sorted—could be applied as well to photos of guns, provided the serial number shows on the photo. The Blog writer extended the search to suppressors and got hits on those and firearms. According to the Blog, “It’s clear that the firearms community is not being singled out by this data mining operation. And no, you as an individual cannot readily lookup someone’s personal information with only firearm serial numbers. … Regardless…the knowledge of this publicly available data mine is unsettling.” That said, it is best to not have legible serial numbers on any firearms-related photos you post on the internet or in social media images. You may want to take the extra time to make sure that the serial numbers aren’t readable. This simple step could deter having your information compiled in a firearms database that could be used by anti-gunners.
  4. Parker County officials and residents shared their thoughts about a resolution designating the county as a second amendment sanctuary county at Monday’s commissioners court meeting, which was approved by the court. “I put this item on the agenda about this resolution because I feel that some of these socialist gun-takers that are getting elected or trying to be elected are trying to take some of our guns now and more later,” Precinct 1 Commissioner George Conley said. “They have already warned us that this is what they’ve planned on doing, so we have been warned. It seems to me that it’s OK to have sanctuary cities, but it’s not OK to have a sanctuary county, so that’s why I put this on here to see if we want to step out there and do that.” The resolution states that the commissioners court affirms its support for the duly-elected sheriff of Parker County, in the exercise of his sound discretion, and affirms its resolve to support decisions made by the sheriff to not enforce any unconstitutional firearms restrictions against any citizen. The commissioners court will not authorize or appropriate government funds, resources, employees, agencies, contractors, buildings, detention centers or offices for the purpose of enforcing a law that unconstitutionally infringes on the right of the people to keep and bear arms. “Honestly, I find it sad that we have to come up here and vote to protect our second amendment. This is the essence of America and it’s absolutely the essence of Texas — the right to protect and bear arms,” Parker County Republican Party Chair Scott Utley said. “This is how we protect ourselves, this is how we protect our families and this is how we protect our communities, and for anyone to think that they can infringe upon that is greatly mistaken. It’s not true Texas values, it’s not American values and I support that we need to affirm the second amendment in Parker County.” Parker County Democratic Party Chair Kay Parr said in passing the resolution, the commissioners will be declaring that the county does not believe in the law, is unwilling to enforce it and does not believe or support representative democracy or the Constitution. “When each of you took the oath of office, you swore on the Bible to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the laws of the state of Texas. If you vote for this resolution, you will have broken that oath,” Parr said. “The premise of this resolution, should the state of Texas or United States’ duly-elected government representatives enact any laws that govern gun ownership or access to guns, the government of Parker County will defy that law.” Parr said this will open the county up for lawsuits and since there are regulations in place for receiving or keeping an active driver’s license in the country, there should also continue to be the same safety precautions put in place regarding weapons. “Nobody has suggested taking away all the guns and anybody who believes that isn’t paying attention. Rhetoric that wrongfully makes uninformed gun owners fearful of losing all their guns is detrimental to us finding a solution to the horrific gun violence issues that we now face in our nation,” Parr said. “No one with a history of criminal activity or mental illness should have unlimited access to guns at any time.” But Utley said all the resolution will be doing is affirming the second amendment as stated today. “We’re not doing anything other than affirming the second amendment, we are supporting the law as it’s consistent today,” Utley said. “If we cannot do that in this county, I’m not sure where else we could ever do that.” There were 10 other officials and residents that spoke about the resolution — five for and five against. “I actually happened to be an elected official at one point myself and the first thing I did when I was sworn in as a local elected official was affirm that I would protect the Constitution, and that’s precisely what you folks are trying to do here today,” Chris Putnam said. “I applaud what you’re doing here and I hope more counties do it. I personally believe that I shouldn’t require a license to practice my second amendment.” Resident Harvey Arnold said he was appalled that they were voting on the resolution. “I moved here two years ago to retire and I'm a little bit appalled that we are even having to vote on this today. The second amendment of the Constitution is not under attack and being a sanctuary county I think is absurd to even consider,” Arnold said. “I think that we need to live in a country where we respect law and order and we don’t want to take a position that we are a sanctuary county and we don’t want to follow law and order.” Resident Johnny Dwire said it was important for the county to pass and lock down this resolution. “I am a believer in the second amendment and we’re talking about affirming what we have now, which is the right to carry and bear arms to protect ourselves. The fact is, progressives are multiplying and moving here — we’ve got a great place to be, so they’re coming — and they’re bringing their thinking with them and it doesn’t necessarily agree with those of us in Parker County that believe the way we do,” Dwire said. “So this is a reaffirmation of the second amendment, not asking to change anything. The fact is, we need to be able to lock down this Constitution from being changed.” Resident Judy Conklin said it’s not the job of the sheriff to determine whether something is constitutional or not. “I think all we’re really asking for is that we don’t do away with laws that keep those people who should not have guns from having guns,” Conklin said. “Also, it is not the job of a sheriff to determine if a law is constitutional or not. It’s the job of the courts to decide if something is constitutional. I know you men have a lot of power, I understand you are the governing body of our county and I respect you for that, but I think the law should be respected also. I don’t have a problem with guns, but I do have a problem with people who should not be gun owners and I think we should be protecting our children as much as we’re protecting our guns.” Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said he will always be opposed to any changes in the Constitution. “While this is largely symbolic, and I understand that, I will be opposed to any change in the Constitution of this country,” Fowler said. “If we would just enforce the laws currently on the books, we would be a whole lot better off because there’s plenty of laws out there right now without tampering with the Constitution of the United States.” The commissioners unanimously approved the resolution. “We don’t have the authority in commissioners court to oppose the law,” Precinct 4 Commissioner Steve Dugan said. “It certainly doesn’t create a law. I think our Constitution is well worth supporting and this is a good tool to send that message.”
  5. Fairfax, Va. - The National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today applauded a decision by the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners in Pennsylvania. In the NRA-backed case Anderson v. City of Pittsburgh, the court found that Pittsburgh's attempt to impose local gun control measures was a clear violation of state law. “This is a huge victory for law-abiding gun owners and everyone who values freedom in the Keystone state,” said Jason Ouimet, executive director, NRA-ILA. “Cases like this underscore the peoples’ need for judges who will faithfully interpret the law in defense of their rights and liberties.” At issue was a Pittsburgh restriction on so-called "high capacity" magazines. Pennsylvania, like 45 other states, has a preemption law restricting local governments from passing gun control measures that are more restrictive than state law. Preemption laws protect law-abiding gun owners from dealing with a confusing patchwork of laws in a single state. "We are grateful that the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas saw what is clear on the face of the statute, that the general assembly alone regulates firearms in Pennsylvania," said attorney Jonathan Goldstein, partner at McNelly and Goldstein. Earlier this month, NRA-backed firearm preemption cases in Washington and Montana voided similar unlawful local ordinances. "This is a great day for law-abiding Pennsylvania gun owners. The NRA applauds this ruling and will continue defending our constitutional rights everywhere,” Ouimet concluded.
  6. https://www.firearmspolicy.org/about I support them & they are a good group
  7. FPC Brief in Support of Petitioners (PDF) FPC was joined on the brief by Firearms Policy Foundation, Cato Institute, Firearms Policy Coalition, California Gun Rights Foundation, Second Amendment Foundation, Citizens Committee For The Right To Keep And Bear Arms, Jews For The Preservation Of Firearms Ownership, Madison Society Foundation, and Independence Institute Worman v. Healey is a constitutional challenge to Massachusetts' ban on "assault weapons" and "high capacity" firearm magazines
  8. On October 24th, NRA filed comments with the Oregon Secretary of State opposing a proposed ballot initiative that seeks to restrict the self-defense rights of Oregon’s law-abiding citizens. This egregious attack on our freedoms, known as Initiative Petition 40, rehashes the failed language from Initiative Petition 44 that was defeated in 2018. It is apparent that Oregon’s anti-gun activists think they can outlast you in their incremental war of attrition; it is their fervent hope that your family will be too busy or too tired to notice their continued efforts to erode your freedom. Pay attention: These ballot initiatives represent a direct attempt to coerce Oregon legislators to pass gun control during the 2020 short session. Oregon’s Attorney General will have 10 business days to certify a final ballot title for Initiative Petition 40 after receiving comments. The NRA’s opposing comments, submitted on behalf of our nearly 5 million members, are available for your review here. Here’s why it matters to you: Initiative Petition 40 would immediately undermine your rights and safety by requiring all (uncarried) firearms in Oregon to be locked away instead of available for self-defense. But it only gets worse for any citizen victimized by theft, because gun owners would face liability for what thieves do with their stolen firearm. Burdening citizens instead of criminals is a problem, not a solution. Ham-fisted efforts to impose gun control inside every Oregon home is dangerous, not safe. Proper gun safety and storage is a matter of personal responsibility, and every person’s situation is different. The latest version of the failed ballot initiative from 2018 would forever invade the private homes of law-abiding citizens with this dangerous consequence: rendering your firearms useless for self-defense. “Initiative Petition 40” won’t just lock away your firearms, it threatens Oregon’s individual gun owners. Rather than stiffening penalties against actual criminals, Initiative Petition 40 would punish every firearm owner who doesn’t manage to complete a bureaucratic “report” within 24 hours after being victimized by gun theft. Because gun control activists value criminals more than America’s gun owners, they took specific steps to increase the penalties for the gun owner: each stolen firearm could constitute a separate offense against the victim of gun theft, as opposed to the actual gun thief. Don’t be fooled: there is nothing within Initiative Petition 40, to actually increase gun safety. The sole purpose of the “initiative” is to discourage gun ownership by expanding the burdens and liabilities of gun owners instead of criminals. You owe it to yourself, your family—and your fellow law-abiding Oregonians—to stand and fight against this infringement upon your fundamental self-defense rights.
  9. Montana Supreme Court finds localities cannot go rogue and enact extreme gun control FAIRFAX, Va.– The National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today applauded a decision by the Montana state Supreme Court protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners in that state. In an NRA-backed case, the justices held, in a 5-0 decision, that the City of Missoula's attempt to impose extreme gun control measures was a clear violation of state law. "This is a huge victory for Montana gun owners and everyone who cherishes freedom in Big Sky Country," said Jason Ouimet, executive director, NRA-ILA. "The unanimous ruling from Montana’s Supreme Court confirms that politicians cannot usurp a constitutional framework by contemptuously enacting gun control at the local level.” Montana, like more than 40 other states, has a preemption law restricting local governments from passing gun control measures that are more restrictive than state law. Preemption laws protect law-abiding gun owners from dealing with a confusing patchwork of laws that can make it nearly impossible to carry a firearm for home and self-defense. The City of Missoula's gun control ordinance would have criminalized virtually all private firearms transfers in the city, even between relatives, friends, and co-workers. Earlier this month, in an NRA-backed case, a Washington court similarly ruled that the state preemption law prohibits local governments from regulating the storage of firearms. The NRA has led the fight to enact state preemption laws across the country to ensure uniformity in state gun laws. "These cases underscore the peoples’ need for judges who will faithfully interpret the law in defense of their freedom,” Ouimet concluded.
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