October 2005

Saturday, October 1st, 2005

A recent MSNBC report that
“more officers are being killed in traffic
accidents” than by guns leaves
CCRKBA wondering where Ted
Kennedy is on this threat to police.
Kennedy during Senate debate
earlier this year on gun legislation
argued for more restrictions on
firearms and so-called “cop-killer
bullets.” The legislation to protect
gun makers from frivolous junk lawsuits
passed despite Sen. Kennedy’s
hysteria-laden rhetoric. “As recently
as 2003,” noted CCRKBA Chairman
Alan M. Gottlieb, “more cops were
killed by cars than guns, according
to the MSNBC report. Where’s Ted
Kennedy and why isn’t he demanding
that auto makers be sued into
financial oblivion, the same way he
wants America’s gun industry to
be devastated? If anybody were
an authority on lethal car crashes,
it would be Ted Kennedy, whose
carelessness in 1969 cost the life
of Mary Jo Kopechne, a passenger
in the car that Kennedy drove off a
bridge on Chappaquiddick Island.
She drowned and Kennedy fled the
scene.”
In Raleigh, North Carolina, lawmakers
approved a measure that
would require courts to give battered
spouses information on how to apply
for a concealed weapon. The bill,
which passed overwhelmingly in
both houses of the state legislature,
also would add protective orders to
the evidence a sheriff can consider
when determining whether to issue
an emergency permit to carry a
concealed weapon. Normally, an
applicant must wait 90 days for such
a permit. Paul Valone, President
of the pro-gun Grass Roots North
Carolina, said the measure is about
helping victims of domestic violence
help themselves. “We’re not interested
in them shooting their abusers,”
he said. “We’re interested in
delivering a message: When police
can’t protect these people, they are
capable of protecting themselves.”
In Wisconsin, following reports
that police chiefs there are campaigning
already against legislation
that would allow concealed carry
by citizens of the state, CCRKBA is
challenging those lawmen to explain
why Wisconsin residents are less
trustworthy with licensed, concealed
handguns than residents in 46 other
states. According to WBAY-TV in
Green Bay, “police chiefs across
Wisconsin say they need to keep all
the guns they can in officers’ hands
only.” CCRKBA Executive Director
Joe Waldron observed, “this is astonishing.
Law-abiding private citizens
in nearly every other state have been
carrying guns legally for years, and
they pose a far less danger to police
officers than traffic accidents. It’s
the criminal with a gun, carrying
it illegally with complete disregard
for existing law, who poses the real
danger to both police and the public.
There is strong evidence that armed
citizens actually are a deterrent to
crime.”
In Austin, Texas, State Rep. Terry
Keel pointed out that “it is well established
in Texas that a person who
is traveling has a right to possess a
handgun for personal protection.
The practical problem with this right
has historically been that courts have
disagreed on the definition of ‘traveling.’
The legislature has likewise
never defined ‘traveling’ because a
definition invariably has the unintended
effect of unfairly limiting the term
to a narrow set of circumstances.”
His bill HB 823, which took effect
last month, shores up “the right of
citizens to carry a concealed handgun
while traveling…It provides for a
legal presumption in favor of citizens
that they are travelers if they are in
a private vehicle with a handgun
that is not in plain view, they are not
themselves engaged in unlawful
activity nor otherwise prohibited by
law from possessing a firearm, and
they are not a member of a criminal
street gang.”
In Columbus, Ohio, a City Council
candidate sued to challenge the city’s
recently approved ban on so-called
“assault weapons.” Republican Phil
Harmon, a lawyer, wants a court to
prevent the ban from taking effect.
He filed the lawsuit in late August
in Franklin County Probate Court.
The ban that Democrat-controlled
City Council adopted the previous
month and which CCRKBA and other
gun groups opposed, prohibits the
sale or possession of semiautomatic
rifles with pistol grips and detachable
magazines.