October 2001

Monday, October 1st, 2001

“Do you have a loaded gun in
your car?”
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
in Denver last month said
police may ask that question, even
if the officer has no reason to suspect
the driver has a firearm with
him. In 1999, an officer stopped a
pickup truck at a seatbelt checkpoint
and asked the driver if he had
a gun with him. The driver said
yes. The officer found illegal
drugs. A trial judge threw out the
drug evidence as the result of an
illegal search. Prosecutors appealed.
A three-judge panel
agreed that the search and gun
question were unconstitutional.
The full court reversed.
In Utah, State Attorney General
Mark Shurtleff said that a Virgin,
Utah ordinance requiring every
town resident to have a gun “is
against a state law” providing that
only the state legislature may control
the use of guns in Utah. Virgin
Mayor Jay Lee, a CCRKBA Gun
Rights Defender of the Month
Awardee, said “we’ll do something
but I’m not sure what it is yet.
There’s no enforcement to our ordinance.”
Lee said the gun ordinance
is part of a comprehensive
civil-defense ordinance. “Some on
the council say we need to repeal it
and some say we need to fight for
it. We think the Second Amendment
is important.”
“There are so many laws concerning
the purchase and use of
guns, including background
checks, that it is hard to understand
why any more are
needed,” writes nationally syndicated
columnist Dick Boland.
“Guns will always fall into the
wrong hands, and criminals are
not going to be governed by
any of the gun laws. The gun
laws have but one purpose: to
discourage honest citizens from
purchasing and owning firearms.
No amount of laws will
ever prevent someone intent on
getting a gun from doing so.”
Police officers don’t like trigger
locks, according to a study
conducted by researchers at the
University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill. The study, featured
last month in a professional
journal called Injury Prevention,
found that 56 percent of the officers
surveyed did not think trigger
locks should be required.
It’s like “putting an anchor on a
life jacket,” one officer told researchers.
A majority of officers
said trigger locks would impede
their ability to use their guns
quickly in emergencies.
“Ask a criminal, and he’ll tell
you he doesn’t fear getting arrested,”
states Ross Dykman,
executive director of the Michigan
Coalition of Responsible
Gun Owners. “He’ll tell you he
fears running into someone with
a gun and getting shot because
there’s no coming back from that,”
he added in a comment on the
state’s new CCW law providing that
anyone except those with felony
convictions or recent misdemeanor
convictions, those diagnosed as
mentally ill or those with dishonorable
discharges from the military
can get a concealed carry permit.
U.S. Attorney General John
Ashcroft said that the Justice Department
would allocate more
money to help arrest and prosecute
armed criminals as part of a broad
Bush Administration crackdown on
illegal firearms. Ashcroft said in a
Philadelphia speech to 1,500 law
enforcement and community leaders
that he wants the Justice Department
“to have an increased focus
on arresting and prosecuting to the
fullest extent those who commit
crimes using illegal firearms.”
In Rock Springs, Wyoming, junior
and senior high school students are
carrying transparent mesh bags to
school rather than traditional backpacks
under a new rule supposedly
developed to allow school officials
to detect weapons more easily.
Metal detectors that were installed
last year have been put aside while
the new backpack policy is tested.