June 2006

Thursday, June 1st, 2006

It appears a national anti-gun
group is exchanging a washed-up
former congressman as its president
for a washed-up former mayor.
Paul Helmke, a former mayor of Fort
Wayne, Indiana, is replacing Michael
Barnes, a former U.S. Representative
from Maryland, as President of
the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun
Violence. Phyllis Segal, Chair of the
Campaign Board of Trustees, says
Barnes will continue as President
Emeritus and Senior Advisor. The
organization is working to strengthen
law enforcement tools relating to
gun dealers, to extend NCIC checks
to all gun sales, and to stop what it
calls “large volume gun sales.” The
group was very upset recently when
the House Judiciary Subcommittee
on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland
Security approved H.R. 5092 which,
if enacted into law, would require
BATFE to prove that a gun dealer
specifically intended to violate federal
law in order to sanction or prosecute
the dealer.
CCRKBA Executive Director Joe
Waldron says that the gun control
agenda of a current mayor, Seattle
WA Mayor Greg Nickels, could have
been written by an extremist gun
control organization known as Washington
CeaseFire, and “probably
was.” The Nickles proposals are
nearly identical to a wish list detailed
by CeaseFire President Ralph Fascitelli
in a recent Seattle Times Op-Ed
piece. Waldron states that “Mayor
Nickles wants to close a mythical
gun show loophole even though the
Justice Department data has shown
that less than one percent of armed
felons obtained their guns from
gun shows. He complained that
our laws are designed to punish
criminals after they commit crimes.
Does he want to punish law-abiding
citizens before crimes are committed?
That’s prior restraint and it is
unconscionable.”
For the fourth time, a federal
judge has enabled New York City’s
lawsuit against several gun manufacturers
to survive congressional
actions that were expected to terminate
it. Judge Jack B. Weinstein
ruled in late April that the city may
have access to gun tracing information
gathered by BATFE even
though a recently enacted measure
expressly forbids such data from being
used in civil suits. He said the
new rule does not apply to information
already in the city’s possession.
The city intends to rely heavily on
firearms tracing information to prove
its claim that gun manufacturers create
a public nuisance by recklessly
distributing firearms. Lawrence
Greenwald, an attorney for Beretta
U.S.S., said the gun companies
were likely to appeal. “BATFE and
Congress have taken a position that
this is essentially law enforcement
information, intended for use in law
enforcement,” he stated. “It is quite
another thing to open it up to the
whole world in a civil case.”
“During states of emergency,”
stated Oklahoma State Rep. Mike
Shelton, “I think police need to take
control. They don’t need to worry
who has guns and who doesn’t.
If the governor of Oklahoma calls
for Oklahomans to relinquish their
guns, the public needs to do so.”
CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb
said in reaction, “Shelton’s attitude is
outrageous, especially for someone
who holds public office and is supposed
to serve the people, not violate
their civil rights. In an emergency,
the police really shouldn’t worry who
has guns and who doesn’t, but only
because it should be the least of
their concerns. Armed citizens, as
has been proven in many cases, are
often times the only semblance of
neighborhood and personal security.
How dare Shelton suggest that lawabiding
citizens blindly give up their
only means of personal defense at
the whim of a governor or anyone
else.”
In New Hampshire, the Manchester
Union Leader called on Gov.
John Lynch to sign into law Senate
Bill 18, by State Sen. Peter Bragdon
of Amherst. Passed by the state
legislature in April, it would allow
citizens not on their own property,
but in a place they have a right to
be, to use deadly force against an
aggressor without first trying to flee
or surrender property. “No citizen
should face prison for standing up
to an attacker,” editorialized the
newspaper.