Apr 17, 2014 fbook icon twitter icon rss icon

Gun Ownership

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11Florida Gun Owner Has Unpleasant Run-In With Maryland Police

A Florida licensed gun owner had an unpleasant run-in with a Maryland police officer while traveling through the state on a family vacation.

John Filippidis, a business owner and employer, is licensed to carry a concealed firearm. He and his family drove from Florida to New Jersey in December for Christmas and a wedding. Not looking for trouble, Filippidis decided to leave his palm-sized Kel-Tec .38 semiautomatic at home.

But that wasn’t enough. While passing Interstate 95, he and his wife, Kally, soon realized they were being followed by a Maryland police officer.

“Ten minutes he’s behind us,” FIlippidis told The Tampa Tribune. “We weren’t speeding. In fact, lots of other cars were whizzing past.”

The officer, from the Transportation Authority Police, asked Filippidis for his license and registration. Ten minutes later, he asked John to exit his vehicle.

He asked where Filippidis’ gun was, to which John replied was at his home in his safe.

The cop proceeded to ask Filippidis’ wife, Kally.

“Your husband owns a gun. Where is it?” the cop asked.

“I don’t know,” Kally said. “And that’s all I should have said.”

But in an attempt to be helpful she suggested the gun might have been in the glove compartment or in the console.

“I’m scared of it. I don’t want to have anything to do with it,” she recalls saying. “I might shoot right through my foot.”

The unidentified officer returned to John.

“You’re a liar. You’re lying to me. Your family says you have it. Where is the gun? Tell me where it is and we can resolve this right now,” the cop told him.

The search for the gun and interrogation continued for what seemed “forever,” Kally told The Tampa Tribune. At the end, the officer wrote out a warning to John.

“All that time, he’s humiliating me in front of my family, making me feel like a criminal,” John said. “I’ve never been to prison, never declared bankruptcy, I pay my taxes, support my 20 employees’ families; I’ve never been in any kind of trouble.”

Since the ordeal, John has received apologies from the officer’s captain as well as from a Maryland Transportation Authority Police internal affairs captain. Now John is considering canceling his license, but is hesitant.

“Things aren’t like they used to be. The break-ins, the burglaries, all the crime,” John said. “And I carry cash a lot of the time. I’m constantly going to the bank. I wanted to defend my family, my household and the ground I’m standing on. But I’m not looking for any trouble.”

It has not been known how the officer knew that Filippidis owns a gun. The MTAP is conducting an investigation, according to Joe For America.

Sources: The Tampa Tribune, Joe For America

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11Study Links Racism In American Whites To Gun Ownership And Resistance To Gun Control

White households in the U.S. are more likely to own guns and resist new gun control laws if they exhibit a higher level of racism towards black people, according to a new study published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.

The study found that for each point a person scored in symbolic racism (anti-black sentiment), there was a 50 percent increase in the odd that they had a gun at home. For every one point in symbol racism, the odds that the person supported permits to carry concealed handguns went up 28 percent.

Researchers at Australia’s Monash University and Britain’s Manchester University say they weren’t surprised by the results.

“There had already been research showing that ... blacks are more likely to be shot, so we thought there must be something happening between the concept of being black and some whites wanting guns,” Monash researcher Kerry O’Brien said in an email to the New York Daily News.

The study defined “racism”: “Racism is related to policies preferences and behaviors that adversely affect blacks and appear related to a fear of blacks (e.g., increased policing, death penalty).”

Because judging another person as racist is subjective, researchers asked a series of questions and used an implicit association test to see if participants black or white people with positive or negative words.

The study found that people who scored high in symbolic racism also favored policies they viewed as punitive to blacks, like stop-and-frisk and longer prison terms.

“According to a Pew Research Center report the majority of white Americans support stricter gun control,” said O’Brien, “but the results of our study suggest that those who oppose gun reform tend to have a stronger racial bias, tend to be politically and ideologically conservative and from southern states, and have higher anti-government sentiment.”

The majority of the participants did own a gun.

“Just over half, 52 percent, of the sample had a gun in the home, 66 percent opposed bans on handguns in the home, and 52 percent reported support for permits to carry a concealed handgun,” the study said. “Participants reported being slightly more conservative than liberal, and more Republican than Democratic leaning.”

“Conservative ideology was also significantly related to stronger support for permits to carry concealed handguns after adjusting for other explanatory variables,” the study said. “Similarly, stronger Republican identification, being from a southern state, and anti-government sentiment were associated with opposition to gun-control policies, but not with having a gun in the home.”

Higher education levels were associated with lower odds of having a gun in the home, but had no bearing on whether they support gun control legislation.

“We were initially surprised that no one had studied this issue before,” said co-author Dr. Dermot Lynott of Lancaster University, “however, the US government cut research funding for gun-related research over decade and a half ago, so research in this area has been somewhat suppressed.”

Sources: New York Daily News, Raw Story

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11Irish Farmers Live in Fear, Want Right to Own Guns

An overwhelming 80 percent of Irish farmers want the right to bear arms to protect themselves, their families, and their property.

In a survey conducted by the Irish Examiner and the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA), Irish farmers expressed their fear of crime on the rise and fewer police on the beat, IrishCentral.com reports.

The majority of farmers polled said they either slightly agreed or strongly agreed they should be allowed to own a gun. Only eight percent said they slightly disagreed, while only four percent answered with “strongly disagreed.”

Other statistics show support for gun ownership among farmers polled is lowest among those aged 35 to 44 and is highest amongst those over 65. Eighty-one percent of farmers under 35 said they should be allowed to own a gun for protection, according to the Irish Examiner.

Gun ownership and the right to defend property made national headlines in Ireland when a traveler, John “Frog” Ward was shot dead by Mayo farmer Padraig Nally.

Nally argued he acted in self-defense. He was convicted of manslaughter in 2005 but was later acquitted in a 2006 retrial.

At the root of the debate is the fact that the Irish farming community is looking to protect their property and families.

John Comer, president of ICMSA told RTE’s Morning Ireland he does not own a gun, but respected people’s right to own one. But he also believes that gun ownership was not the “remedy” farmers and people living in rural communities should opt for.

“The survey says 81 percent say they need a gun to protect themselves and their property,” he said. “It encapsulates the way people feel in the country in terms of vulnerability… you feel you have the right to protect your property—that is one side of the coin – but it is not the answer.”

John Bryan, president of the Irish Farmer’s Association said people are worried about criminal gangs, but more roaming police patrols could be the answer.

Sources: IrishCentral.com, TheJournal.ie

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11Citizens Might Have to Choose Between Pot and Guns

The people of Illinois are waiting on two new law changes: the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program, which will legalize medical marijuana, and the enactment of a concealed carry law. Somewhat ironically, citizens might have to choose between benefiting from just one of the laws.

People looking to purchase either product will have to go through the Illinois State Police – marijuana users will need a medical card and gun owners will need a FOID card.

Kurt Hoffman of Examiner speculates that Illinois State Police will inevitably cross reference one database against the other when they go over applications. It is a fairly reasonable assessment considering that the organization will have control of both databases and one of the questions under the gun permit application is, “Are you addicted to narcotics?”

It is unclear whether marijuana will still count as a narcotic legally in Illinois once the marijuana law comes into effect. Of course, some might argue it is impossible to become addicted to pot, regardless of whether or not it is considered a narcotic.

To make matters more complicated, federal form 4473 asks would-be gun owners, "Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?"

It is entirely possible that regulators will allow gun owners to smoke away, but with two potential road bumps on the road to gun ownership it would not be surprising if Illinois citizens will have to choose between pot and marijuana.

One possible loophole might be to simply buy a gun as soon as possible, and then purchase pot. There is currently no indication that cannabis distributors will need to ask questions about gun ownership.

With the legalization of marijuana, do you think that the state and federal governments should stop asking questions about pot usage? Or do you think that it’s wise that they’re trying to keep guns out of the hands of drug users?

Source: Examiner

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11TX to Introduce Gun Storage and Safety Devices for All Firearms Act of 2013

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D) of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force and the House Judiciary Committee announced that she would introduce the Gun Storage and Safety Devices for All Firearms Act of 2013.

The bill would “make it unlawful for any licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer to sell, transfer, or deliver any firearm to any person (other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer) unless the transferee is provided with a secure gun storage or safety device.”

People who violate the law could have their gun license suspended or revoked and could face up to $10,000 in charges.

What is peculiar about this bill is that (based on Lee’s description) gun owners would not be legally required to actually use the storage device. Gun owners will have to wait to see what for the official language of the bill, but Lee’s announcement leaves gun owners with important questions.

Would the gun and the gun storage device need to be in the same building at all times? Would the gun owner need to bring the gun storage device to the gun dealership? Will gun owners be penalized for not locking up a weapon? Can a gun owner purchase a single gun lock despite the fact that he has dozens of guns?

This bill is likely to meet opposition from the gun rights crowd. The bill would be somewhat difficult to enforce because the government has no way of knowing where a gun owner keeps his gun storage device and how frequently he uses it. More importantly, the bill would effectively act as a tax on gun owners.

Congresswoman Lee writes, “We must work tirelessly to create an environment in this country that lifts the psychological burden of violence off the shoulders of our kids.”

Lee's bill could theoretically reduce the number of accidental gun deaths involving children, but the big question is whether the government can reasonably enforce something that is so difficult to monitor. What good is requiring a gun safe when there is no way of telling whether or no it is being used?

Source: Your Houston News

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11Illinois Community Could Drop Ordinance Requiring Gun Ownership

Officials in the small community of Goreville in southern Illinois are thinking about ditching an old village ordinance that requires residents to own a firearm.

According to local news source, Carbondale Southern Illinoisan, Goreville officials accepted the measure back in 1980 after a community near Chicago voted to ban firearms in homes. Illinois has had a shaky relationship with firearms over the years, but the small community of Goreville was more than willing at the time to stand apart from their pro-gun control neighbors.

That sentiment has faded over time. Somewhat ironically, Goreville residents might have been breaking the law without even realizing it. Town officials believed that the law had been removed years ago, but the village attorney shocked the community when he stumbled across the decades-old ordinance.

In response to the unexpected discovery, trustees have announced they will hold a special meeting to repeal the measure. Apparently, attitudes about guns have shifted dramatically in Goreville, Ill., over the past three decades.

This move stands in stark contrast to other small communities across America. The small town of Nucla, Colo., for example, recently passed an ordinance that mandates gun ownership for all citizens.

The constitutionality of these laws – both the ones that ban firearms in homes and the ones that mandate firearm ownership – is highly questionable. Banning firearms outright fundamentally goes against the Second Amendment, and a government requiring people to own certain products is a serious infringement on personal liberty.

These small communities can get away with passing such strict laws because they are too small to earn the ire of state and federal legislators. Local legislators should know not to pass these ordinances – all-or-nothing gun laws would get shot down at the state and federal levels, so why should local laws be any different? 

Source: CBS St. Louis

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11Nelson, Georgia, May Require Each Resident to Own Gun (Video)

Officials in Nelson, Georgia, have proposed an ordinance that would require “the head of household” in every home to own a gun and ammunition (video below).

According to WSB-TV, town leaders drafted the ordinance because they only have one police officer on duty for eight hours a day in the tiny city of 1,300 residents.

They are worried about the lack of protection during the 16 hours when no police officer is patrolling.

“When he’s not here, we rely on county sheriffs; however, it takes a while for them to get here,” said Nelson City Councilman Duane Cronic.

Cronic’s proposed ordinance reads: “In order to provide for the emergency management of the city, and further in order to provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants, every head of household residing in city limits is required to maintain a firearm, together with ammunition.”

However, anyone with a “physical or mental disability,” felons, “paupers” and those “who conscientiously oppose maintaining firearms as a result of beliefs or religious doctrine” would not have to own a gun.

“It’s a deterrent ordinance,” Cronic said. “It tells the potential intruder you better think twice.”

Cronic failed to mention that most gun murders are actually committed by family members and friends, per the FBI.

Source: WSB-TV and FBI.gov

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