Thursday, July 26, 2007

Gun Control Is Bursting Out All Over

San Francisco (h/t Sondra K)
'Frisco (they hate it when you call their poxed Bagdad-on-the-Bay that) has enacted new gun laws.

The laws -- which gained final approval from the Board of Supervisors -- would restrict both the sale and possession of firearms.

Specifically, they would prohibit the possession or sale of firearms on city property, require firearms in residences to be in a locked container or have trigger locks and require firearm dealers to submit an inventory to the chief of police every six months.

The last provision is intended to allow city officials to know how many guns are sold, though there is only one gun shop in the city.

"We're pleased that, as soon as the mayor signs this, San Francisco has the strongest anti-gun laws in the nation," said Nathan Ballard, spokesman for Mayor Gavin Newsom. The mayor sponsored the legislation, along with Supervisors Sophie Maxwell and Ross Mirkarimi

(emphasis added)

Sounds like just another 'feel-good' law, doesn't it?

"It is silly feel-good legislation with no teeth," (Supervisor Aaron) Peskin said.

This comes on the heels of an especially Draconian proposition from a couple of years ago:

While the mayor has praised these new restrictions, he only expressed tepid support for Proposition H in 2005, which would have required gun owners to surrender their weapons to police and would have made it illegal to buy and sell firearms and ammunition in the city.

Voters passed the proposition with 58 percent in favor, but it is tied up in court after the National Rifle Association challenged its constitutionality. Newsom said the vote amounted to a "public opinion poll."

Cheers for the NRA!


BOSTON (Reuters) - A planned Republican fundraiser in New Hampshire aims to promote gun ownership in America by letting supporters fire powerful military-style weapons -- from Uzi submachine guns to M-16 rifles.

There is some local resistance to the effort:

Local Democrats say the event is in poor taste amid a spike in violent crime in Manchester and seeks to glorify the use of machine guns for political gain. The right to own guns has come under heightened scrutiny since the April shooting at Virginia Tech where a gunman killed 32 people.

"It is downright offensive," Chris Pappas, the Manchester Democratic party chairman, told the Union Leader newspaper.

"Local Democrats". Yeah, right. Since when have they supported the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.


In the continuing story of Red's Gun Shop vs BATF, the BatMen (and women!) have been videotaped while 'auditing' the paperwork of firearms transfers.

<>They scrammed, but fast! Then they filed a notice in district court that " ... (t)he inspection was suspended due to the threat to the inspectors' safety."

The threat was that their audit was being filmed by a customer of the store.
<>According to Red's Gun Shop manager Ryan Horsley:
"The person in question who photographed them was a 70-year-old man in a Hawaiian shirt who is balding (Sorry, Al) and has a broken foot. Yet three inspectors felt that they were in danger," he [said].

The Hampton Beach (Va) "Pilot Online had a store about a man who wore a .45 pistol in 'open carry' to a concert, was arrested by the police, and was subsequently released when the judge determined that he was entirely within his rights to 'open carry' because Virginia State Law declared that local jurisdictions were not allowed to enact gun-control laws in contravention to State law. However, the story link (10 hours later) was "not found". One wonders why the story was quashed.

A more diligent search found the story here:

We won't post the whole story, in the hopes that THIS link won't disappear. However, in the interest of preserving the news, we'll post the main text of the story:


Chester Szymecki Jr. was waiting for some music to start at Harborfest when a sheriff's deputy approached.

It was a warm June afternoon, and thousands of people wandered on and off the tall ships moored around Town Point Park. Szymecki had come from Yorktown with his wife, their three children and two children from their neighborhood.

Szymecki had brought along something else, too - a .45-caliber handgun in a holster on his belt.

The deputy asked Szymecki whether he was a police officer. He said no. And then, he said, uniformed city police began closing in. They gave him a choice, he said: Leave the event or face arrest. When he tried to say that there must be a mistake, he was disarmed and led away, handcuffed, he recalled.

Szymecki was charged with violating a local ordinance that the City Council had passed in May, which set up rules to govern Harborfest. Among them was a provision banning handguns and other weapons.

There's just one problem: A few years ago, the General Assembly barred localities from enforcing laws governing the carrying of firearms. That meant state law prevailed. And in Virginia, "open carry" is legal.

Localities today generally do not have the authority to restrict guns, said Mark Flynn, director of legal services for the Virginia Municipal League. A state law last amended in 2004 says localities cannot adopt or enforce laws regarding the purchase, carrying, possession, storage, or sale of firearms.

Szymecki was given a summons and released. When he showed up for court June 22, the case was withdrawn at the request of an assistant city attorney.

The case has enraged the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a gun rights group that has successfully challenged local gun restrictions around the commonwealth. Szymecki is a member. In the past the group has protested Norfolk's attempts to prevent the carrying of weapons in city parks.

Philip Van Cleave, the president of the league, says members plan to crowd the City Council chambers in protest at a future date.

The ordinance, he said, was "a huge mistake."

City Attorney Bernard Pishko said the city is not attempting to challenge the state law by imposing restrictions on handguns.

Pishko described the gun ban in the Harborfest ordinance as an oversight, a "housekeeping" issue. "This is one that we missed," he said. An ordinance governing Afr'Am Fest in May contained the same restrictions on weapons. Both ordinances were in effect only for the few days the events ran.

Pishko said his office has since advised police that "the only gun laws in effect for Norfolk are those in effect for Virginia."

Szymecki said the incident has changed the way he views the police. He said he plans to file a lawsuit and have a "neutral court" decide whether police violated his rights.

IF the link above still works, it's worth your while to click on it. The comments (59 as of this writing) are a fascinating commentary on the public opinions concerning 'Open Carry' vs "Concealed Carry' in Virginia.

They are especially poignant in the context of the April Virginia Tech shootings.

Here's one example of the comments ... just the latest one:

When some idiot decides to take the life of you or a family member that you can always call the police. I'm sure you will still be alive by the time they get there. The law states you can carry a firearm in public as long as it's displayed. Get over it.

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