Two Northern California cities recently passed laws that ban gun magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds of ammunition. As the laws go into effect questions loom over the ability of the municipalities to enforce the laws according to an Associated Press story.
The ban became active in Sunnyvale, Calif., at midnight Thursday and so far no one has turned in a now-illegal magazine. In nearby San Francisco, owners of the magazines have until April 7 to turn in their magazines but police there admit that no system exists to track whether any have been turned in under the new law.
The laws were enacted as a response to the mass-shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012. The National Rifle Association filed lawsuits in both cities to overturn the bans, arguing that they violated a 2008 U.S. Supreme Court decision. That ruling said that every law-abiding citizen had a right to own a gun inside their home for self-defense.
U.S. District Judge Ron Whyte didn’t agree with the NRA and decided not to overturn Sunnyvale’s ban. The Associated Press reported last week that Whyte ruled the ban on high-capacity magazines did not violate any Second Amendment rights. The judge further cited an NRA study that showed Americans who use guns in self-defense rarely fire more than three shots.
“It is rare that anyone will need to fire more than 10 rounds in self-defense,” Whyte said.
San Francisco’s law was similarly upheld by another federal judge last month. Chuck Michel, a lawyer for the NRA, said he plans to appeal both decisions.
Several federal judges across the country have upheld high-capacity magazine bans. So far none of the laws have been struck down.
In the meantime, the laws in Sunnyvale and San Francisco remain in effect and police continue to wait for owners of the magazines to surrender them to authorities. Sunnyvale spokeswoman Jennifer Garnett said its not too late to do so. Owners of the magazines could bring them in without fear of being cited.
"Barring any unusual circumstances, we wouldn't cite people for voluntarily turning in their large-capacity magazines to public safety even though it is legally possible at this time to cite them," she said.
A Pennsylvania state trooper accidentally shot and killed his pregnant wife while cleaning his gun, which he did not realize was loaded.
The officer was taking apart his .45-caliber service weapon in the family’s home when he accidentally pulled the trigger, shooting his wife, JoAnne Miller, in the torso. Miller was rushed to the hospital, but neither she nor the fetus could be saved. At 22 weeks pregnant, her baby “never had its own breathing or heartbeat,” according to the coroner’s report.
The couple’s other two children were home at the time of the shooting. No one else was harmed.
Charges have not been filed against the officer, who reported the shooting himself.
"He's been distraught, cooperative," said Montgomery County first assistant district attorney Kevin Steele.
Miller worked as a civilian dispatcher for the Pennsylvania State Police until he was laid off last year, according to neighbors.
"They were always together," a friend of the couple’s, Patty Evanik, told NBC 10. "Always spending time with the family. Always doing things with their kids. I'm very upset because they are good people."
A joint investigation by the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office and East Norriton Police continues.
A Chicago-area McDonald’s manager allegedly told an employee, Carmen Navarrette, that he would shoot her in the head after she suffered a diabetic attack.
The allegations were made by the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago during a protest on Saturday at a local McDonald's (pictured), noted NBC Chicago.
The Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago is a union that is fighting for a $15-an-hour wage for fast food workers.
After Navarrette reportedly asked if she could leave the restaurant following a “diabetic episode," her manager told her that he would “put a bullet” in her head if she asked again, reports RawStory.com. Navarrette has been a McDonald's employee for more than nine years.
During the protest, several Chicago politicians wore stickers that stated, “respect” and “no more verbal abuse,” while the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago protesters held a sign that said: “You should just put a bullet in your head.”
Keenan Finkelstein is accused of shooting a deputy sheriff in the leg.
Finkelstein is using Florida's “Stand Your Ground” law as his defense, notes the Pensacola News-Journal.
Deputy Sgt. Shedrick Johnson and other officers were searching for a robbery suspect in Pensacola, Fla. on March 20, 2013.
Police saw Finkelstein walk out from the garage of a home where the suspect, Jonathan Chappell, was living.
Sgt. Johnson, who was hiding behind a tree, told Finkelstein that he was a sheriff’s deputy.
However, Finkelstein pulled a gun and shot Sgt. Johnson in the leg.
Finkelstein claims that he fired the gun after someone shined a light at him, told him to put his hands up, shot a weapon, but did not identify as law enforcement, noted WEAR-TV.
Judge Terry Terrell ruled today that Finkelstein could not use “Stand Your Ground” as his defense and the criminal trial would proceed.
An unidentified woman in Houston, Texas, claims she accidentally shot her boyfriend while she was moving out of their apartment after a verbal fight on Wednesday.
According to KHOU, the woman called 911, and police found the dead boyfriend at around 10 p.m. (video below).
The woman told police that she was moving boxes when her shotgun accidentally went off and shot her ex in the chest.
"When she contacted 911, she advised that the shooting was accidental," Brian Evans, of the Houston Police, told Click 2 Houston. "So far, upon our initial contact with her, that was her claim as well."
According to CW 39 NewsFix, a Harris County grand jury will decide if there will be any charges against the woman.
A South Carolina mom stopped a man in his tracks after he hooked up with her 15-year-old daughter, cornering him in the bathroom and pointing a BB gun at him until the authorities arrived.
"If he tried to escape, I would have shot him," the angry Fort Mill mother told WBTV.
Family members found Addison Pittman, 23, in one of the bathrooms. Thinking the strange man was a burglar, the mom grabbed her BB rifle and held it to his chest while waiting for sheriff’s deputies to arrive. That’s when her daughter told her the truth—Pittman was an acquaintance from social media that she had invited over to have sex.
Pittman told the girl’s mom he was 17 — one smart move on his part.
"If I knew he was 23 at the time, I probably would have pulled this BB gun and shot him," said the mother.
She warned parents about respecting their kids privacy “to an extent,” and said that she feared the worse had she not taken action.
"What's to say he wouldn't have choked her or had a weapon on him, killed her and I would have found her dead," she said.
Pittman has been charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, a felony. He faces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Released from jail Monday on $15,000 bond, Pittman told the Rockhill Herald his side of the story. He said that the girl had told him she was 18, and that she knew he was 23—he had only lied to her mother out of fear.
“I knew I was 23 years old,” he said. “The girl knew I was 23. When she told me (she was 15), it shook me up. I had never been in a situation like that. I never messed with a minor.”
“I would never try to be a criminal.”
Pittman said he was “really scared” when the girl’s mom shoved the gun in his face.
“I was in a state of shock the whole time. I just feel they’re making it seem like I was a predator. That’s not me at all,” he said.
Ironically, Pittman is in college studying criminal justice.
As for the 15-year-old, she is grounded.
During his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference today, National Rifle Association head Wayne LaPierre warned the audience about a dystopian world where criminals run rampant, Americans fear for their lives and the U.S. government won't protect anyone.
"We fear for the safety of our families," said LaPierre (video below). “I’ve never been worried about his country until now. We fear for the safety of our families. It’s why neighborhood streets that were once filled with bicycles and skateboards and laughter in the air now sit empty and silent.”
According to RightWingWatch.org, the stone-faced LaPierre warned, "There are terrorists, and there are home-invaders, drug cartels, car-jackers, knockout gamers, and rapers, and haters, and campus killers, airport killers, shopping mall killers, and killers who scheme to destroy our country with massive storms of violence against our power grids or vicious waves of chemicals or disease that could collapse our society that sustains us all."
LaPierre then asked the Obama-hating crowd, "Do you trust this government to protect you?"
The crowd replied, "No!"
"We are on our own," announced LaPierre. "That is a certainty. There is no greater freedom than the right to survive and protect our families with all the rifles, shotguns and handguns we want!”
The NRA has made numerous fear-mongering claims in the past in an effort to get gun owners to believe the federal government is after them, buy guns and support the NRA, which is financially backed by the $12-billion gun manufacturing industry, noted The Huffington Post in 2013.
Democracy Now! reported in 2013 that the NRA has gotten as much as $38 million in support from gun companies since 2005 (video below).
The Maryland legislature is considering a bill that could disqualify thousands of gun owners from legal ownership of their weapons. The legislation would allow police to use link their databases to identify gun owners with felonies or violent crimes on their records.
As it stands now, those convicted of felonies and violent crimes in the state are not allowed to own weapons. But the bill’s sponsor, Del. Luiz Simmons (D-Montgomery County) pointed out that State Police cannot adequately enforce this if they can’t run systematic checks.
Linking the registries would disqualify 10 percent of registered gun owners, or about 110,000 people, State Police estimate. That would increase by 1 percent each subsequent year. Simmons’ legislation dictates that police run the check twice annually.
The database wouldn’t be without its costs: it would require about $300,000 to create, along with $1 million to pay for seven new full-time troopers to investigate the findings.
Gun advocates object to the legislation.
“This smacks of a police state mentality," said a resident named Ronald Smit before a committee hearing Tuesday.
The Associated Press reports that when California linked its databases in 2007 it seized more than 10,000 guns and identified another 40,000 last year that need to be taken from gun owners convicted of violent crimes.
About 1.1 million gun owners are listed in Maryland’s gun registry, and 3 million in its criminal database, according to the Department of Legislative Services.
Sources: Associated Press
The National Rifle Association (NRA) opposes a ban on the commercial trade of elephant ivory by the Obama administration.
“This ban is the best way to help ensure that U.S. markets do not contribute to the further decline of African elephants in the wild,” the Obama White House said last month, noted AFP.
However, in an amazing twist of logic, the NRA recently claimed this effort to save elephants from extinction was actually an evil plot to "ban firearms."
The NRA stated on its website:
This is another attempt by this anti-gun Administration to ban firearms based on cosmetics and would render many collections/firearms valueless.
Any firearm, firearm accessory, or knife that contains ivory, no matter how big or small, would not be able to be sold in the United States, unless it is more than 100 years old.
This means if your shotgun has an ivory bead or inlay, your revolver or pistol has ivory grips, your knife has an ivory handle, or if your firearm accessories, such as cleaning tools that contain any ivory, the item would be illegal to sell.
The NRA fails to mention that conservationist Jane Goodall recently warned that African elephants could become extinct if the poaching continues, noted The Guardian.
EnoughProject.org has warned that elephant poaching ivory sales fund the the murderous Lord’s Resistance Army in the Congo.
According to The Washington Post, there were 17,000 elephants killed last year for the ivory market.
Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) is offering people a free assault rifle just for signing up on his U.S. Senate campaign email list.
PaulBroun2014.com states that folks can win either "A Colt Marine Corps 1911 Rail Pistol Model Number 01070QB" or "A Colt Magpul 6920 Flat Dark Earth with an Aim Point Optic and sure fire tactical flashlight."
According to The Huffington Post, Rep. Broun made several scary threats in an email about how President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama (who has no vote) and his Democrat opponent Michelle Nunn want to "take away our 2nd Amendment rights."
"Barack Obama is finally feeling the heat of his failed policies, and he is grabbing at straws to get more friends in Washington," Rep. Broun claimed. "That is why Barack & Michelle Obama, Harry Reid and the Washington Democrat machine are ferociously working to get my opponent elected to the Senate. They know Michelle Nunn will serve as a rubber stamp vote for the policies of the Obama Administration, and we cannot afford to let that happen. One of the first changes they will make is to take away our 2nd Amendment rights."
Rep. Broun gave away an assault rifle in Jan. using the same fear-mongering tactics, noted CBS News.