ABA Opposes 2 Federal Conceal-Carry Bills

The American Bar Association says the the proposed legislation “offends deeply rooted principles of federalism where public safety is traditionally the concern of state and local government.”

The American Bar Association has opposed two federal bills that would require states to recognize concealed-carry permits from other jurisdictions, according to the ABA Journal.

The proposed legislation “offends deeply rooted principles of federalism where public safety is traditionally the concern of state and local government,” wrote ABA president Linda Klein yesterday in two letters addressed to the Department of Homeland Security and the Senate Subcommittee on the Judiciary.

“Unlike some efforts of Congress to create minimum safety standards, this bill could lead to no safety standards as more states enact laws to allow persons to carry concealed firearms without a permit,” she said.

Furthermore, she added, “The knowledge of local authorities, who best know the individual applicant, would also be rendered moot.”

The two bills are H.R. 38, “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017,” and S.446, “Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.”

from https://thecrimereport.org

Miami Murder Rate Plunges to Historic Lows, But Why?

The city once labeled “Paradise Lost” as drug-driven murder spiked to 300 a year in the 1980s had just 26 homicides in the first six months this year. Police and community leaders cite several reasons, including a citizenry fed-up with gun violence that has grown more willing to engage with law enforcers.

Is Miami, once labeled “Paradise Lost” by Time magazine because of a searing homicide rate fueled by a crippling drug trade, now one of the safest major cities in the U.S. when it comes to gunfire deaths? The Miami Herald reports that of the 26 homicides in the city through June 30, only 16 were due to gunfire. Both numbers represent historic lows for a city that often racked up close to 300 homicides during the 1980s and which has seen those numbers drop by about 75 percent over the past three years.

Police and some community leaders attribute the drop to a combination of factors: sharing of intelligence between policing agencies, more parental involvement, a persistent cry from the community to end gun violence, even new medical life-saving techniques used by surgeons who have learned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “We had to build bridges to open lines of trust and communication,” said Miami-Dade Homicide Maj. Calvin James. “Somewhere in the past these relationships were lost. So we made changes. And we’re starting to see the fruits of those changes.”

from https://thecrimereport.org

Why Did PA Killer of Four Have a Prohibited Shotgun?

Victim’s lawyer questions whether anyone negligently allowed Cosmo DiNardo access to guns that should have been denied to him. DiNardo has confessed to the gruesome killings of four young men.

Bensalem, Pa., police first encountered Cosmo DiNardo when he was about 14. In the six years since, officers in the township have made contact with DiNardo 40 times, Public Safety Director Fred Harran said yesterday, reports Philly.com. Details about past interactions with police paint a more vivid picture of the troubled 20-year-old who last week along with a cousin confessed to the gruesome killings of four young men whom he had lured to his parents’ sprawling property to sell them marijuana.

Police fielded calls about DiNardo riding his ATV around the neighborhood. They responded to reports of mental-health issues. Officers looked into whether DiNardo was a suspect in minor crimes, for which he never faced charges. DiNardo first faced criminal charges Feb. 9, when someone called police to a report a man getting into a vehicle carrying a shotgun. An officer pulled a driver over and found him to be DiNardo. He had a Savage Arms 20-gauge shotgun; under state law he was prohibited from possessing guns, because he had previously been involuntarily committed to a mental-health institution. The parents of one victim retained lawyer Robert Ross, who said he was looking to determine whether anyone recklessly or negligently allowed DiNardo and his cousin access to firearms or whether any guns were unlawfully sold to either confessed killer. “There’s a bigger issue involved here,” Ross said. “If these two accused men aren’t given access to these weapons, these crimes don’t happen.”

from https://thecrimereport.org

150 Kids Under 13 Hit By Stray Bullets This Year

Seventeen of the children died in the incidents documented by the Trace from data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive. The youngest victim was three days old, a boy injured in Detroit.

At least 150 children under 13 have been struck by stray bullets so far this year, according to an analysis by The Trace of data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive, a nonpartisan organization that tracks shootings in the U.S. Seventeen died. The youngest victim was just three days old, a boy injured in May when a house was shot up on Detroit’s east side.

Among other incidents, Jaheen Hunter was walking with his father in the Bronx last month on his fifth birthday when he was struck in the head by a bullet. It was his fifth birthday.

The gunman had been aiming for someone else. The 5-year-old still is in intensive care. In the following week, at least seven more children were unintended victims of gun violence. A 4-year-old boy in New Orleans was wounded when a gunman sprayed a group of family and friends sitting on a porch. In Memphis, a 2-year-old girl was fatally shot when someone opened fire on her mother’s car during a road-rage incident.

from https://thecrimereport.org

40% Owning Guns for Protection are Untrained

Researchers find that the percent of Americans owning guns for self-protection who have received training has been the same for more than two decades.

More Americans than ever own firearms for protection, but the percentage of them who undergo formal training on how to use their weapons has flatlined, says a new paper published in the the journal Injury Prevention, The Trace reports. The reserch by epidemiologists Ali Rowhani-Rahbar and Vivian Lyons of the University of Washington finds that 61 percent of all gun owners reported receiving formal firearms training. That is a statistically insignificant increase over the 56 to 58 percent of gun owners who reported receiving training in 1994, the last time a comparable survey was conducted.

Of gun owners who said they own a handgun for the sole purpose of protection, 57 percent said they had received formal training. Only 14 percent of those who live with a gun owner, but who do not own guns themselves, have received safety training, which the authors say is a troubling finding considering how often accidental shootings or suicides are committed with guns that belong to a parent, spouse, or roommate. “Despite the presence of training programs all around the country, it looks like they are not reaching a larger fraction of gun owners than they were 20 years ago,” said Rowhani-Rahbar. “I was surprised to see that.” The researchers based their analysis on data from the National Firearms Survey, considered the first nationally representative investigation in more than two decades into how and why Americans keep weapons.

from https://thecrimereport.org

NRA Takes on Washington Post in Video

The National Rifle Association took aim at the newspaper in an NRA TV video after the Post published a story about an NRA video that was criticized for inciting violence toward liberals.

The National Rifle Association targeted the Washington Post in an NRA TV video posted to social media yesterday, suggesting the paper should change its slogan from “Democracy dies in darkness” to “Journalism dies at The Washington Post,” reports USA Today. For years, the Post “has tarnished gun owners in an effort to take away our Second Amendment freedoms,” says the video, narrated by conservative radio personality Grant Stinchfield. The “fake news outlet” ran a “blatantly false” report tying the NRA to Russia, Stinchfield says.

Stinchfield accuses the Post of “refusing to cover the extremist beliefs and tactics” of activists like DeRay Mckesson and Carmen Perez.  “And liberal politicians like Chuck Schumer and Al Franken who refuse to condemn them,” Stinchfield continues, as ominous music plays. He went after the paper for its story looking at new NRA videos that focus on politics rather than firearms. A recent NRA video was seen by some as inciting violence toward liberals. That video was part of the inspiration for a protest last week in front of NRA headquarters in Fairfax, Va., which was organized by the Women’s March.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Airport Gun Seizures Climb Sharply Around U.S.

Agents seized 28 percent more guns last year than the year before, and the number is rising again this year. The Transportation Security Administration can’t explain why.

The number of guns seized at Baltimore’s BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport is climbing sharply, mirroring a years-long increase at airports across the country, the Baltimore Sun reports. Seizures in Baltimore rose 20 percent in 2016, and are on pace to climb another 33 percent this year. Nationwide, they increased last year by nearly 28 percent. The Transportation Security Administration doesn’t know why seizures are rising. “It’s a trend that’s very concerning,” TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said. “It’s a trend we’d like to see go in the opposite direction.”

The numbers remain small: TSA agents confiscated 24 guns at BWI in 2016. They have increased four straight years, outpacing the growth in air passengers through the region’s busiest airport. Nationwide, TSA agents confiscated 3,391 firearms — an average of more than nine per day — in 2016, more than double the number seized in 2012. Federal law allows air passengers to travel with unloaded firearms only in checked baggage. They must be packed, unloaded, into a locked, hard-sided container. Guns and ammunition must be declared at the ticket counter when the baggage is checked.Most of the firearms seized at BWI this year have been small handguns left in purses or other carry-on luggage. Farbstein said the reasons for the increases are unclear.  The most common excuses given for being found with a gun are that the passenger forgot he or she was carrying it, or that someone else — typically, a spouse or partner — packed the bag.

from https://thecrimereport.org

WA Will Tell Domestic Violence Victims About Gun Sales

Washington will become the fist state to notify domestic violence victims when someone convicted of domestic abuse or subject to a restraining order attempts to buy a firearm.

Thousands of times each year in the U.S., someone convicted of domestic abuse or subject to a restraining order seeks to purchase a gun illegally from a licensed dealer, usually without any consequences. On July 23, Washington will become the first state to require authorities to notify victims when such an attempted sale takes place, reports The Trace. The measure is part of a sweeping new law that seeks to crack down on all prohibited purchasers who attempt to buy firearms in the state, a practice known as “lie and try.” “Giving survivors of domestic violence the option to be notified if an abuser attempts to illegally purchase a gun allows them to more accurately plan for their own safety and the safety of those closest to them,” said Tamaso Johnson of the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

The law, which establishes a grant program to aid authorities in conducting investigations into failed attempts to purchase firearms, comes amid heightened attention to the danger posed by abusers armed with guns. The Center for American Progress, a left-leaning advocacy group, says that more than half of women killed as a result of domestic violence between 2001 and 2012 nationwide were killed with a gun. Other research had found that if a domestic-violence abuser has access to a gun, a victim is five times more likely to be killed. In Washington, 54 percent of the 678 domestic-violence homicides over a 17-year span were committed with firearms. More than half of those who shot intimate partners in domestic violence-related incidents in 2013 and 2014 were legally prohibited from possessing firearms at the time of the shooting.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Bloomberg Group Cites State Gun Control Wins

Everytown for Gun Safety says six states enacted new restrictions on firearms for domestic abusers. Five of those states have Republican governors.

Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety is claiming another round of success in new firearms restrictions passed on the state level, Politico reports. Much of that came with the support of Republicans and signatures of Republican governors. Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Tennessee and Utah all passed new restrictions on firearms for domestic abusers. Only Louisiana has a Democratic governor. According to a new “report card” from Everytown, that brings the total to 23 of states that have enhanced the laws around domestic abusers since 2013.

Everytown also declares victory in gun lobby losses, noting that 17 out of 18 states rejected bills to allow guns in schools and 14 of 16 states rejected bills to allow guns on college campuses. The report card tracks 20 of 22 states that didn’t pass bills that would have eliminated requirements for permits to carry guns, a top priority for the National Rifle Association. “The NRA counts as ‘wins’ bills that lower permitting fees for veterans, allow people to hunt on Sundays and create an official NRA license plate,” says the report card. “Don’t be misled into thinking these bills are losses for the gun safety movement; they aren’t.”

from https://thecrimereport.org

Silencers Aren’t Golden…But They Help!

Will the proposed Hearing Protection Act, which would make noise suppressors for firearms easier to obtain, contribute to more gun violence? In response to a recent TCR Viewpoint, a firearms expert dismisses the idea as “flawed.”

In a recent Crime Report article, titled “Why Silencers Aren’t Golden,” Robin L. Barton argues that silencers (a.k.a. suppressors) should not be made easier to get, as is the intention of the proposed “Hearing Protection Act.”

This bill, introduced last January and supported by the National Rifle Association, would amend the Internal Revenue Code to eliminate the $200 transfer tax on firearm silencers and “treat any person who acquires or possesses a firearm silencer as meeting any registration or licensing requirements of the National Firearms Act with respect to such silencer.” The bill also amends the federal criminal code to preempt state or local laws that tax or regulate firearm silencers.

While the author backs up her argument with some facts and numbers, her argument is flawed and misses the point.

Barton maintains that gun owners already have suitable hearing protection, which provides ample protection from the noise of a firearm being fired. She quotes several sources to explain why suppressors alone will not be sufficient to reduce noise of a firearm being fired to an acceptable level.

The article implies that folks firing a gun are too lazy to want to wear ear protection, and that they’d prefer to put a suppressor on their guns. Barton writes:

 Simply put, we shouldn’t make silencers easier to get just because gun owners can’t be bothered to use the hearing protection already available to them

She goes on to write that suppressors are a threat to overall public health and safety, claiming that the sound of a gun being fired is a good alarm for people to let them know there is danger and that they should call the police.

The article goes on to argue that criminals would want to use suppressors to avoid detection. She seems to imply that suppressors are bad because gun owners are lazy, and criminals want to use them for nefarious reasons.

Let me explain why this is wrong.

No one disagrees with the statement that guns are noisy. To give you an idea of just how noisy guns are: the typical 9mm pistol (one of the most common gun calibers in the U.S.) produces approximately 160 decibels of noise. That is even louder than a jet taking off, which produces 140 decibels!

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) states that when a person is repeatedly exposed to noise levels of 85 decibels or more, noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) can set in. This means that shooting a firearm can have a big impact on your hearing.

Earplugs and earmuffs do provide shooters with some protection from the excessive noise levels, but not enough. If you wear earplugs and earmuffs, the earplugs might reduce the noise level by 26 decibels and the earmuffs might reduce it by 34 decibels. If you wear earplugs and earmuffs together, it should then reduce the total noise level by 41 decibels.

That still does not reduce the noise level to below 85 decibels, which means more protection is needed to reduce the noise level.

The article seems to imply that suppressors are an alternative to other hearing protection solutions, namely earplugs and earmuffs. But that is not the case. Suppressors should be used in conjunction with earplugs and earmuffs. The principle is simple, the more you are able to reduce noise to your ears, the less impact there will be on your hearing.

So while a suppressor only reduces noise level by about 20 to 35 decibels, if it is used with earplugs and earmuffs, it will help to get the noise level closer to the 85 decibel mark.

I would suggest the following equation: Suppressor + Earplug + Earmuff = Better Hearing Health Protection

The second argument against suppressors is basically that criminals will use it for criminal activities and that loud gunshots act as an alarm.

If we were to ban everything that could be used for criminal activities, shouldn’t we then also ban the Internet? The Internet is after all where a lot of crimes seem to be committed these days!

If a criminal wants to use a suppressor, he or she can just search the Internet to find out how to make one themselves. There are literally thousands of videos on Youtube that will show you how to do it.

Here are some examples:

According to The Washington Free Beacon, records from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) indicate that there are approximately 1.3 million suppressors registered in the U.S..

The ATF confirms in effect that suppressors are rarely used in crime. They have recommended prosecution of suppressor-related crimes 44 times per year over the last decade (that means that only .003 percent of suppressors are used in crimes each year).

In fact, a white paper from the ATF argues that suppressors should be deregulated.

Several other countries allow gun owners to own suppressors. These include many European countries such as Denmark, Finland and Sweden. They certainly do not have a gun crime epidemic as a result of suppressors.

The article concludes its argument against suppressors with this little gem:

In short, I believe that unless you’re a spy, an assassin or the like, there’s no legitimate reason to have a silencer for a gun.

Joe Bradley

I strongly disagree with that statement. Any hunter or person who fires their firearm on a regular basis has a legitimate reason to have a suppressor on their firearm, which is to protect their hearing health, as well as the hearing health of folks around them.

Suppressors are a valuable aid in reducing folks’ exposure to too loud noises. Making it easier and quicker to obtain is a good thing.

Joe Bradley is the editor of smokingbarrelusa.com, a blog that promotes responsible gun ownership, as well as helps debunk myths about guns and gun owners. He welcomes comments from readers.

from https://thecrimereport.org