MN Nettled by NRA Push for Interstate Gun Rights

The NRA’s mission to create a federal gun law authorizing so-called concealed carry reciprocity between states worries law enforcers. Mike Freeman, president of the National District Attorneys Association, said the law would amount to “a dive to the bottom” in oversight of guns. “It simply doesn’t make any public-safety sense,” he said.

Minnesotans who hold permits to carry concealed guns could soon be able to carry their firearms in all 50 states, a move advocates said would preserve the right to self-defense wherever people travel in the country, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. But law enforcement leaders in Minnesota and around the country are raising concerns that the proposal, which passed the U.S. House this month, could harm public safety and mean looser regulation of guns in states like Minnesota, with stricter permit requirements than other places. The measure’s prospects are less certain in the U.S. Senate, where Republicans lack the 60 votes needed to prevent Democrats from blocking its progress. But so-called concealed carry reciprocity is the top legislative priority for the NRA.

The proposal has put Republicans at odds with prosecutors around the country. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, the president of the National District Attorneys Association, said most prosecutors — particularly those overseeing large urban areas — do not support conceal carry reciprocity “because it’s a dive to the bottom” in terms of oversight of guns. “It simply doesn’t make any public-safety sense,” Freeman said. The bill has divided Minnesota’s congressional delegation and put some members under political pressure. The issue hasn’t neatly divided along partisan lines. Some conservatives see the measure as an infringement on states’ rights.

from https://thecrimereport.org

DOJ Says Congress Needs to Act on Bump Stocks

Comments from Justice Department officials suggest there is little appetite within the agency to regulate bump stocks, which were used to kill 58 concertgoers in Las Vegas. Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the leading Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee and co-author of a bill to ban the devices, noted that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has said “that current law does not allow the agency to ban or regulate bump-fire stocks.” Those hoping to limit bump stocks are losing what little momentum they had in Congress.

Justice Department officials say they do not believe they can regulate the sale of gun bump stocks without congressional action, underscoring concern that an ongoing administrative review into that question is little more than an effort to slow-roll a politically divisive issue, says the New York Times. DOJ had announced this month that it would review whether bump stocks, a firearm accessory that can turn a semiautomatic rifle into a full-fledged machine gun, are prohibited under a federal statute that outlaws fully-automatic weapons. The review was prompted by the October mass shooting in Las Vegas, where Stephen Paddock outfitted semiautomatic weapons with bump stocks to kill 58 concertgoers.

Comments from Justice Department officials suggest there is little appetite within the agency to regulate bump stocks. Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the leading Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee and co-author of a bill to ban the devices, noted that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has said “that current law does not allow the agency to ban or regulate bump-fire stocks.” Those hoping to limit bump stocks are losing what little momentum they had in Congress. A once-narrow, bipartisan effort to limit the sale of the device has diffused into other gun control measures after the Nov. 5 mass shooting, in Sutherland Springs, Tx., which highlighted the gaps in the government’s background check system.

from https://thecrimereport.org

NRA Joins Gun Controllers on Background Checks

The National Rifle Association agrees with gun-control advocates on the need for a bill that aims to improve the background-check system by penalizing federal agencies that fail to report records to the system and increasing federal funding for reporting domestic violence records.

As Congress tries to fix the nation’s broken background-check system, the National Rifle Association is playing a new role: political pragmatist, McClatchy Newspapers reports. The gun lobby is supporting an effort backed by Democrats, Republicans and gun-control advocates to fix the system that allowed the shooter at a Sutherland Springs, Tx., church last month to obtain a gun. The NRA argues that the fix helps law-abiding citizens get guns more easily while keeping them out of the hands of criminals. A pending bill aims to improve the background-check system by penalizing federal agencies that fail to report records to the system and increasing federal funding for reporting domestic violence records. The South Texas shooter killed 26 people with a firearm he had purchased after passing a background check, despite multiple military and domestic violence complaints.

Support for the bill puts the NRA in the company of gun-control groups that call the move a modest step in keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. It pits the group against some members of the gun-rights community who want to use the Texas incident to attack the background-check system as a whole. Those groups have been urging allies in Congress to reject the fix, even when it’s combined with gun-rights expansion efforts. The NRA applauds the bill for giving people who were wrongly entered into the system a way to appeal more quickly. When the House approved its version of the bill this month, Gun Owners of America urged members to vote against it. “We’re very concerned that more law-abiding people are going to be thrown into the NICS system,” said Erich Pratt of Gun Owners of America. “It’s a broken system. We don’t want to fix it; [we] want to fix it for good by repealing it.”

from https://thecrimereport.org

About 6,500 Under 17 Shot to Death Since Newtown

About 6,500 children under 17 have been killed, and about 30,000 others have been wounded since the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Ct.. The numbers are crunched by averaging annual numbers of deaths and injuries recorded in recent years by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The numbers are unbelievably high,” says Dr. Michael Nance of Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia.

In the five years since 20 first-graders were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Ct., the number of children under the age of 17 killed or wounded by gunfire in the U.S. is astounding, the Boston Globe reports. About 6,500 have been killed, and about 30,000 others have been wounded. The numbers are crunched by averaging annual numbers of deaths and injuries recorded in recent years by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts like Dr. Michael Nance of the Pediatric Trauma Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who has closely researched childhood gun injuries, said they believe the figures to be a fair representation, as stunning as they may seem. “The numbers are unbelievably high,” Nance said. “While events like Sandy Hook and Aurora or Columbine grab the headlines, quite obviously the problem goes on every day, insidiously . . . drip . . . drip . . . drip. It isn’t the mass shootings that are the major issue, it is the daily repetition that leads to the numbers that are so unbelievable.”

The figures show that nationwide, between 2012 and 2015, the latest year of available data, about 1,300 children each year were killed by guns, and nearly 6,000 more were injured. “The numbers have been pretty consistent year after year,” said Dr. Eliot Nelson, a professor and pediatrician at the University of Vermont Children’s Hospital whose research has focused on injury prevention, including injuries from firearms. “As a cause of death in our country, firearm injuries are really second only to motor vehicle accident injuries for young people.” A study by CDC researchers published in the journal Pediatrics found that the vast majority of those shooting victims were older children. A total of 82 percent of children killed by guns in recent years were between 13 and 17 years old. The rest — about 230 children a year on average — were 12 or younger.

from https://thecrimereport.org

About 6,500 Youths Shot to Death Since Newtown

About 6,500 children under 17 have been killed, and about 30,000 others wounded by gunfire since the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Ct. in 2012, reports the Boston Globe. This estimate is based on an average of the annual numbers of deaths and injuries recorded in recent years by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The numbers are unbelievably high,” says Dr. Michael Nance of Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia.

In the five years since 20 first-graders were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Ct., the number of children under the age of 17 killed or wounded by gunfire in the U.S. is astounding, the Boston Globe reports. About 6,500 have been killed, and about 30,000 others have been wounded.

The numbers are crunched by averaging annual numbers of deaths and injuries recorded in recent years by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts like Dr. Michael Nance of the Pediatric Trauma Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who has closely researched childhood gun injuries, said they believe the figures to be a fair representation, as stunning as they may seem.

“The numbers are unbelievably high,” Nance said. “While events like Sandy Hook and Aurora or Columbine grab the headlines, quite obviously the problem goes on every day, insidiously . . . drip . . . drip . . . drip. It isn’t the mass shootings that are the major issue, it is the daily repetition that leads to the numbers that are so unbelievable.”

The figures show that nationwide, between 2012 and 2015, the latest year of available data, about 1,300 children each year were killed by guns, and nearly 6,000 more were injured. “The numbers have been pretty consistent year after year,” said Dr. Eliot Nelson, a professor and pediatrician at the University of Vermont Children’s Hospital whose research has focused on injury prevention, including injuries from firearms.

“As a cause of death in our country, firearm injuries are really second only to motor vehicle accident injuries for young people.” A study by CDC researchers published in the journal Pediatrics found that the vast majority of those shooting victims were older children. A total of 82 percent of children killed by guns in recent years were between 13 and 17 years old. The rest — about 230 children a year on average — were 12 or younger.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Prospects Are Dim for Gun Groups’ Top Priority

Gun rights activists spent record amounts last year to elect Republicans, but they are not  likely to get their biggest wish, nationwide concealed carry legislation, before the 2018 elections. Key members of Congress are giving priority to a measure to improve the background check system for gun purchases.

Gun rights activists spent record amounts last year to elect Republicans, but they are not  likely to get their biggest wish, nationwide concealed carry legislation, before the 2018 elections, McClatchy Newspapers reports. Activists blame the Republicans they help put in power — as well as Democrats — for the lack of action on the gun lobby’s number one legislative priority, the so-called reciprocity bill. “The gun rights community does not appreciate the fact that reciprocity languished for so long, and then following two tragic shootings, it seems the first initial response from some in the GOP was, ‘We need additional gun control,’ ” said Erich Pratt of Gun Owners of America, referring to a measure to improve gun-purchase background checks. That fix for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System was proposed after the system failed to stop the shooter from purchasing the gun used in the Texas church massacre last month.

The House passed the background fix, tied to concealed carry reciprocity, which gun rights advocates have been pushing for years. The Senate wants to take up the fix separately from concealed carry, causing some in the gun rights community to say GOP leaders are prioritizing a gun control measure over gun rights. The National Rifle Association endorsed the fix, saying it would actually help law-abiding people get through background checks more easily and with fewer false-positives. The NRA spent more than $50 million on 2016 campaigns. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), who has championed concealed carry, said that combining the background check and concealed carry measures, as the House did, could risk delaying the background check fix. John Feinblatt of the gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety called concealed carry reciprocity “the gun lobby’s most dangerous idea.”

from https://thecrimereport.org

Prospects Are Dim for Gun Groups’ Top Priority

Gun rights activists spent record amounts last year to elect Republicans, but they are not likely to get their biggest wish, nationwide concealed-carry legislation, before the 2018 elections. Key members of Congress are giving priority to a measure to improve the background check system for gun purchases.

Gun rights activists spent record amounts last year to elect Republicans, but they are not likely to get their biggest wish, nationwide concealed-carry legislation, before the 2018 elections, McClatchy Newspapers reports. Activists blame the Republicans they help put in power — as well as Democrats — for the lack of action on the gun lobby’s number one legislative priority, the so-called reciprocity bill. “The gun rights community does not appreciate the fact that reciprocity languished for so long, and then following two tragic shootings, it seems the first initial response from some in the GOP was, ‘We need additional gun control,’ ” said Erich Pratt of Gun Owners of America, referring to a measure to improve gun-purchase background checks. That fix for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System was proposed after the system failed to stop the shooter from purchasing the gun used in the Texas church massacre last month.

The House passed the background fix, tied to concealed carry reciprocity, which gun rights advocates have been pushing for years. The Senate wants to take up the fix separately from concealed carry, causing some in the gun rights community to say GOP leaders are prioritizing a gun control measure over gun rights. The National Rifle Association endorsed the fix, saying it would actually help law-abiding people get through background checks more easily and with fewer false-positives. The NRA spent more than $50 million on 2016 campaigns. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), who has championed concealed carry, said that combining the background check and concealed carry measures, as the House did, could risk delaying the background check fix. John Feinblatt of the gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety called concealed carry reciprocity “the gun lobby’s most dangerous idea.”

from https://thecrimereport.org

ATF’s Alleged Racial Bias in Stings on Trial in Chicago

Policing expert Jeffrey Fagan, who analyzed 94 defendants in 24 stings conducted between 2006 and 2013, found that 74 of the defendants were black and only a handful were white — a disparity so large that there was “a zero percent likelihood” it happened by chance. Federal prosecutors challenged the findings.

A national policing expert who concluded that controversial drug stash house stings by federal law enforcement in Chicago were racially biased faced tough questions about his methodology Thursday as a landmark federal court hearing got underway in Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reports. The findings by Jeffrey Fagan are at the center of an unprecedented effort to dismiss charges against 43 stash house defendants due to alleged racial profiling by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Fagan, who analyzed 94 defendants in 24 stings conducted between 2006 and 2013, found that 74 of the defendants were black and only a handful were white — a disparity so large that there was “a zero percent likelihood” it happened by chance.

Federal prosecutors have said that Fagan intentionally skewed his results by using an “absurdly overbroad” control group of more than 292,000 people from eight Chicago-area counties to compare with the stash house defendants. Fagan, who also examined the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policy, took the witness stand before a panel of nine federal judges who are holding an unprecedented joint hearing about the allegations of racial profiling in the stash house stings. The hearing could have national implications and drew a capacity crowd. Fagan said his statistical analysis showed “significant evidence of racial discrimination” that cannot be explained any other way, such as police targeting gang members or certain neighborhoods. “If it wasn’t those other things, then it’s race,” said Fagan, who was hired to do his analysis by the Federal Criminal Justice Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School, which is spearheading the effort to have the cases dismissed.

from https://thecrimereport.org

ATF’s Alleged Racial Bias in Stings on Trial in Chicago

Policing expert Jeffrey Fagan, who analyzed 94 defendants in 24 stings conducted between 2006 and 2013, found that 74 of the defendants were black and only a handful were white — a disparity so large that there was “a zero percent likelihood” it happened by chance. Federal prosecutors challenged the findings.

A national policing expert who concluded that controversial drug stash house stings by federal law enforcement in Chicago were racially biased faced tough questions about his methodology Thursday as a landmark federal court hearing got underway in Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reports. The findings by Jeffrey Fagan are at the center of an unprecedented effort to dismiss charges against 43 stash house defendants due to alleged racial profiling by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Fagan, who analyzed 94 defendants in 24 stings conducted between 2006 and 2013, found that 74 of the defendants were black and only a handful were white — a disparity so large that there was “a zero percent likelihood” it happened by chance.

Federal prosecutors have said that Fagan intentionally skewed his results by using an “absurdly overbroad” control group of more than 292,000 people from eight Chicago-area counties to compare with the stash house defendants. Fagan, who also examined the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policy, took the witness stand before a panel of nine federal judges who are holding an unprecedented joint hearing about the allegations of racial profiling in the stash house stings. The hearing could have national implications and drew a capacity crowd. Fagan said his statistical analysis showed “significant evidence of racial discrimination” that cannot be explained any other way, such as police targeting gang members or certain neighborhoods. “If it wasn’t those other things, then it’s race,” said Fagan, who was hired to do his analysis by the Federal Criminal Justice Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School, which is spearheading the effort to have the cases dismissed.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Cuomo Wants Guns Seized In All Domestic Violence Cases

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is seeking a law that would require the immediate removal of all firearms when someone is hit with a misdemeanor or felony domestic violence charge. Under current law, a person convicted on a felony domestic violence charge must surrender guns. Misdemeanor convictions are not covered.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed taking away firearms from anyone charged with domestic abuse, the New York Daily News reports. Under the bill he will propose as part of his Jan. 3 State of the State address, Cuomo would require the immediate removal of all firearms when someone is hit with a misdemeanor or felony domestic violence charge. Under current law, a person convicted on a felony domestic violence charge must surrender their guns. Misdemeanor convictions are not covered. The proposal would also for the first time require that all firearms, including rifles and shotguns, be surrendered to law enforcement when a judicial order of protection is issued or a firearm license is suspended or revoked due to a felony or “serious” offense charge or conviction. Currently, such action is at the discretion of the judges and lasts until the case is resolved.

“This year will be remembered as the year of reckoning, when both the tragedy of mass shootings and cultural and institutional harassment of women became impossible to ignore,” Cuomo said. “Building on the Women’s Equality Agenda, we are continuing our mission for progressive values and women’s rights with this legislation to target the unquestionable relationship between domestic violence and gun violence.” Cuomo said that in 2016, firearms were used in 25 domestic homicides in the state. He also said that in nine of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history, including recent ones in Las Vegas and Texas, the shooter had a record of attacking, threatening violence, or harassing women. The state Assembly has passed similar legislation with overwhelming Democratic and Republican support. But the measure has died in the GOP-controlled Senate.

from https://thecrimereport.org