Gun Control

U.S. Attorney Announces New Grant to Expand Efforts to Combat Gun Violence

Additional Resources to Share Gun Intelligence and get Trigger Pullers Off the Streets

BATFEU.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes announced today the expansion of the Project Safe Neighborhood program in the Puget Sound region, with additional focus on crime gun intelligence in South King and Pierce Counties. The U.S. Department of Justice awarded $500,000 to the program which will enhance intelligence sharing between law enforcement agencies so that guns used in crimes can be linked, helping law enforcement build cases for prosecution.

“Forensic tools from ATF, and intelligence sharing between law enforcement agencies have been key to identifying felons with guns who need to be off the street,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “In three of the cases we are highlighting today, the guns recovered have been tied to multiple shootings – in one case as many as 9 shots fired incidents in a short period of time. Combating gun violence is a top priority of the Justice Department and my office.”

The Project Safe Neighborhood grant provides funding for a Special Assistant United States Attorney to review every firearms case in King County to see if it is appropriate for federal prosecution. Grant money in 2017-2018 will provide for additional personnel to leverage the Gun Crime Intelligence Center to make connections between shooting incidents in south King and Pierce Counties. This information helps law enforcement identify, arrest and prosecute high-impact offenders.

“ATF is proud to partner with local law enforcement and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to bring the most advanced forensic science to the battle against gun crime,” said Darek Pleasants, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Seattle. “The National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms. Since the program’s inception in 1999 through 2016, NIBIN partners have captured approximately 2.8 million images of ballistic evidence and confirmed more than 74,000 NIBIN hits.”

Unveiled in May 2001, Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a comprehensive and strategic approach to gun law enforcement. PSN is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in America by networking both new and existing local programs that target gun crime and then providing them with the resources and tools they need to succeed. Implementation at the local level has fostered close partnerships between federal, state and local prosecutors and law enforcement.

Bad News For “Universal” Background Check Supporters

kennedylewisterrorwatchlistHave you noticed that all the hot takes about the supposed need for more gun control have something in common? Whether it’s a call to limit gun ownership to two firearms or a desire to ban firearms completely, America’s anti-gun pundits have no shortage of different “solutions” they’d like to see turned into laws. But not many of them seem particularly eager to talk about what it would take to actually enforce those laws, or maybe they haven’t even considered that aspect of legislation. All we have to do is a pass a law, apparently. Enforcement is optional.

In the real world, of course, it doesn’t work that way. Now, even some gun control advocates are having to reluctantly accept the fact that passing a gun control law doesn’t automatically lead to less crime. Recently, anti-gun researcher Garen Wintemute took a look at “universal” background check laws in Washington, Colorado and Delaware. All three states passed similar laws in 2013, and Wintemute wanted to see if the laws had led to an increase in the number of background checks. As it turns out, the answer was “no,” at least for Washington and Colorado. Universal background check laws clearly don’t lead to universal background checks for every transfer of a firearm. Gun owners know this, and we’ve tried to point this out to anti-gun activists on many occasions, but they needed to see the science. Now they have.

Wintemute and others are now trying to claim that the problem with the “universal” background check laws can be fixed with “more assertive enforcement.” Yet the study’s authors can’t really point to more assertive enforcement in Delaware, even though it did see an increase in background checks for both handguns and long guns. What would “more assertive enforcement” look like, anyway? It’s a pretty imprecise phrase for a man of science like Wintemute to throw around without offering up specific examples.   Continue reading

NRA Applauds Introduction of Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) applauds the introduction of H.R. 3668, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act. Introduced by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), the bill will reduce burdensome regulations on America’s sportsmen, enhance access to public lands and simplify the purchasing process for firearm suppressors.

“The SHARE Act is critical legislation that will protect America’s hunters and recreational shooters and help preserve our outdoor heritage,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA. “This bill contains many important reforms to federal law that will remove unnecessary restrictions on our Second Amendment freedoms and hunting heritage.”

A key aspect of the bill is the Hearing Protection Act (HPA), which would eliminate burdensome and expensive regulations on suppressors. In addition, the bill would ensure greater protections for carrying lawfully-possessed firearms on land managed by the Army Corps of Engineers; require public lands management plans to facilitate hunting, fishing and recreational shooting; reform the outdated “sporting purposes test” that currently muddies federal gun control law regarding the importation of rifles and shotguns; and make critical reforms to the interstate transportation provisions of the Firearm Owner’s Protection Act (FOPA).

“On behalf of America’s gun owners and sportsmen, I would like to thank Rep. Duncan for introducing this important legislation. All Americans deserve access to our rich outdoor heritage and the tools that help making hunting and shooting safer,” concluded Cox.

Springfield Armory, Rock River Arms Still Aiming for Damage Control After Gun Control Bill Exposure

Both Companies Claim to have Severed Ties with… Themselves?

RRA_SpringfieldAs covered in our earlier article on Springfield and RRA’s massive misstep on Illinois SB1657, both companies were trying to effect some measure of damage control following the harsh, and deservedly so, backlash – including negative reviews, a social media pounding, and distributors unloading existing SA and RRA inventory at cost until it’s gone with no plans to restock.  Now both companies have issued a second round of statements indicating that they have “severed all ties with the Illinois Firearm Manufacturers Association (IFMA).  And then the story got even weirder…

In earlier statements, the companies claimed that they did not know what activities the Illinois Firearm Manufacturers Association (IFMA) was participating in and expressed shock that the lobbying group had reversed course and pulled their opposition to the bill.  However, as we pointed out in the earlier post, the bulk of IFMA’s funding came from these two companies in the form of recurring payments of $50,000 each per year starting in 2014 and continuing through 2016, with another payment slated for the end of this month if the pattern continued.  In fact, these two entities appear to be the sole source of IMFA’s funding.

Ok, so these companies funneled money into a lobbying organization that was ostensibly looking out for their best interest, but how involved were they really with IFMA operations?  They claim that they didn’t know about the exemption that would protect them while leaving IL gun stores to close their doors and they claim that they didn’t know that IFMA had changed their stance from “oppose” to “no position” after securing that exemption.  Who’s running the IFMA anyway?    Continue reading

IL Gun Manufacturers Respond to Trade Group’s Reversal on Gun Bill

Springfield Armory, Rock River Arms:  “100% against this bill” – We didn’t know we would be exempt from burdensome regulation initially opposed by manufacturers association

IllinoisAfter helping fund a trade group who traded opposition to a proposed piece of state legislation that NRA-ILA sayscreates an onerous gun dealer licensing scheme within the state” whose “intention is to close as many federally licensed firearm dealers (FFLs) as possible” for special exemptions, two Illinois firearm manufacturers are claiming ignorance of their trade association’s actions on the bill.

Illinois SB1657, passed through the Senate by a one-vote margin, would require already licensed firearms dealers to participate in a separate state licensing scheme on top of the strictly regulated licensing system in place through the Federal government.  The bill exempts individuals who are involved in transfers of nine or fewer firearms per year, beyond which they would be subject to the requirements.  In addition to a pre-licensing inspection by Illinois’s Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), the bill also opens licensees to unannounced visits and inspections by the state entity.   Continue reading

Guess Which Country Just Helped Illustrate the Absurdity of US Suppressor Laws?

TN Man Convicted of Smuggling Suppressors into US Thanks to Lighter Regulation in… England(!?)

NRA16_7486Well, this is embarrassing, as far as firearm freedoms go.  It’s like having to admit that your Bugatti Veyron got beat around the track by the neighbor kid’s 1989 Honda CRX.  Isn’t America supposed to be the bastion of gun rights (or, as anti-gun groups would have you believe, a violent wild west frontier straight from the bloodiest shoot-em-up flick you can find)?

Most proponents of an originalist (or any other common sense) interpretation of the United States Constitution and Bill of rights probably already feel that firearms are too heavily regulated in the US, and none are more highly regulated than Title II weapons that fall under the purview of the National Firearms Act, such as machine guns, silencers, short barreled firearms, and destructive devices.  Such items are flat out illegal in a number of states and, where they are legal, ownership involves a number of hurdles, including high prices, payment of a $200 transfer tax, being finger-printed, wait times lasting the better part of a year, and federal registration of the item.  “But hey, at least we don’t have European-style gun control, right?

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) recently released details of the conviction of a Tennessee man who traveled to England, where some may be surprised to find less restrictive laws, to purchase firearm silencers and smuggle them back into the US, presumably because the draconian laws in place here made them too difficult to obtain.   Continue reading

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