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Tenn. demonstrates trend of looser guns laws

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by dragonfly, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++


    NASHVILLE, Tenn. - It's been the year of the gun in Tennessee. In a flurry of legislative action, handgun owners won the right to take their weapons onto sports fields and playgrounds and, at least briefly, into bars.
    A change in leadership at the state Capitol helped open the doors to the gun-related bills and put Tennessee at the forefront of a largely unnoticed trend: In much of the country, it is getting easier to carry guns.
    A nationwide review by The Associated <NOBR style="COLOR: darkgreen; FONT-SIZE: 100%; FONT-WEIGHT: normal" id=itxt_nobr_2_0>Press[​IMG]</NOBR> found that over the last two years, 24 states, mostly in the South and West, have passed 47 laws loosening gun restrictions.
    Story continues ...
    Among other things, legislatures have allowed firearms to be carried in cars, made it illegal to ask job candidates whether they own a gun and expanded agreements that make permits to carry handguns in one state valid in another.

    The trend is attributed in large part to a push by the National Rifle Association. The NRA, which for years has blocked attempts in Washington to tighten firearms laws, has ramped up its efforts at the state level to chip away at gun restrictions.
    "This is all a coordinated approach to respect that human, God-given right of self defense by law-abiding Americans," says Chris W. Cox, the NRA's chief lobbyist. "We'll rest when all 50 states allow and respect the right of law-abiding people to defend themselves from criminal attack."
    Among the recent gun-friendly laws:
    • <LI class=textBodyBlack itxtvisited="1">Arizona, Florida, Louisiana and Utah have made it illegal for businesses to bar their employees from storing guns in cars parked on company lots. <LI class=textBodyBlack itxtvisited="1">Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, South Carolina and Virginia have made some or all handgun permit information confidential. <LI class=textBodyBlack itxtvisited="1">Montana, Arizona and Kansas have allowed handgun permits to be issued to people who have had their felony convictions expunged or their full civil <NOBR style="COLOR: darkgreen; FONT-SIZE: 100%; FONT-WEIGHT: normal" id=itxt_nobr_9_0>rights[​IMG]</NOBR> restored.
    • Tennessee and Montana have passed laws that exempt weapons made and owned in-state from federal restrictions. Tennessee is the home to Barrett Firearms Manufacturing, the maker of a .50-caliber shoulder-fired rifle that the company says can shoot bullets up to five miles and is banned in California.
    The AP compiled the data on new laws from groups ranging from the Legal Community Against Violence, which advocates gun control, to the NRA.
    Changes in attitude
    Public attitudes toward gun control have shifted strongly over the past 50 years, according to Gallup polling. In 1959, 60 percent of respondents said they favored a ban on handguns expect for "police and other authorized persons." By last year, Gallup's most recent crime survey found 69 percent opposed such a ban.
    The NRA boasts that almost all states grant handgun permits to people with clean criminal and psychological records. In 1987, only 10 states did. Only Wisconsin, Illinois and the District of Columbia now prohibit the practice entirely.
    "The NRA has a stranglehold on a lot of state legislatures," said Kristin Rand, legislative director the Violence Policy Center, a gun control group in Washington. "They basically have convinced lawmakers they can cost them their seats, even though there's no real evidence to back that up."

    Tennessee's new laws came after the <NOBR style="COLOR: darkgreen; FONT-SIZE: 100%; FONT-WEIGHT: normal" id=itxt_nobr_15_0>Republican[​IMG]</NOBR> takeover of the General Assembly this year, but most other states that loosened restrictions didn't experience major partisan shifts. Most of the states where the new laws were enacted have large rural populations, where support for gun rights tends to cross party lines.
    Loosening of laws?
    While some states have tightened gun laws during the same period, the list of new restrictive laws is much shorter. In 2009 alone, more than three times as many laws were passed to make it easier on gun owners.
    New Jersey's 2009 law limiting people to one handgun purchase per month is the most notable of the more restrictive laws. Other examples this year include Maryland's ban on concealed weapons on public transit and Maine's vote to give public universities and colleges the power to regulate firearms on campus.
    The most contentious of Tennessee's new gun laws was one allowing handguns in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. It took effect in July after lawmakers overrode a veto by the governor. Last month, a Nashville judge struck down the law as unconstitutionally vague, but supporters have vowed to pass it again.
    CONTINUED : Guns in parks, public places, bars <HR SIZE=1 itxtvisited="1">

    Armed in places
    A similar Arizona law that took effect in September allows people with concealed-weapons permits to bring their guns into bars and restaurants that haven't posted signs banning them.
    While Tennessee's law was in place, many bars chose not to let customers bring guns in. Likewise, more than 70 communities have opted out of allowing guns in parks.
    "People go in there and start drinking and then they want to start a fight. What are they going to do if they got a gun in their hand?" said Larry Speck, 69, who works at an auto repair shop in Memphis. "I've got a gun permit and I'm not carrying mine in there even if they have a law."

    Chattanooga retiree Ken Hasse, 71, said he worries about the possible consequences of allowing people to carry their guns in places like parks. "It's going to tempt somebody to use one," he said.
    Supporters of expanding handgun rights argue that people with state-issued permits are far less likely to commit crimes, and that more lawfully armed people cause a reduction in crime. Opponents fear that more guns could lead to more crime.
    Flood of facts, acts
    Academics are divided on the effects of liberalized handgun laws, and determining the impact is complicated by the move in several states to close handgun permit records.
    A Violence Policy Center project has mined news reports to find that more than 100 people have been killed by holders of handgun-carry permits since 2007, including nine law <NOBR style="COLOR: darkgreen; FONT-SIZE: 100%; FONT-WEIGHT: normal" id=itxt_nobr_6_0>enforcement[​IMG]</NOBR> officers. The project originally intended to list all gun crimes by permit holders, but there were too many to keep track of, Rand said.
    "They shoot each other over parking spaces, at football games and at family events," Rand said. "The idea that you're making any place safer by injecting more guns is just completely contradicted by the facts."
  2. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    Vol. 16, No. 49 12/11/09

    </CENTER><TABLE cellPadding=5 width=215 align=left><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=top width="35%">[FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif][​IMG]
    Click here to vote in this week's poll.
    This week, anti-gun New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg's anti-gun group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, released the findings of a poll conducted by a political consulting firm called "The Word Doctors," whose slogan is "It's not what you say, it's what people hear." Word Doctors' president is a pollster who has been reprimanded by the American Association for Public Opinion Research and censured by the National Council on Public Polls, and who says that the key to polling is "to ask a question in the way that you get the right answer."
    At some other time in our nation's history, an organization like this would not have been commissioned to conduct a poll, and perhaps it would not even have existed. At a minimum, its poll would have been considered biased and rejected by every newspaper in the country.
    But today, as the distinction between editorials and news has become blurred, information is treated so superficially that a catchy word or two is enough to get someone elected to public office, and some in positions of authority cannot conceive of the concept of shame.
    U.S. House Approves Transporting Firearms In Checked Luggage On Amtrak: On December 10, the U.S. House of Representatives approved an NRA-backed amendment, introduced by U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), to allow Amtrak travelers to transport firearms in checked baggage where checked baggage service is available. The Wicker amendment was included along with several government agencies' appropriations bills in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010.
    Anti-Gun Lunacy Abounds On Colorado College Campuses: The carrying of firearms on college campuses remains hotly debated these days. Recently, that debate has centered on two prominent Colorado universities.
    Hunting Threatened In Mojave National Preserve: The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), in concert with the Sierra Club and other anti-hunting organizations, has filed a petition with the California Fish and Game Commission to ban most hunting in the Mojave National Preserve, including rabbit and varmit hunting. What hunting remains (resident game birds, deer, and bighorn sheep) would be restricted. The "Petition for Rulemaking Regarding Hunting in the Mojave National Preserve" blames hunters for the declining population of the desert tortoise, a threatened species under the state's Endangered Species Act. CBD filed a similar petition in 2003, but the Commission did not act on it. The Commission will likely consider the CBD's petition next week and could schedule a hearing on it early next year.
    The NRA Online Advisory Panel: A few weeks ago, we launched a brand new service -- the NRA Online Advisory Panel -- a community of our most active and loyal supporters.
    Help Defend Your Gun Rights One Click At A Time: We have a revolutionary yet simple tool that will allow you to stay connected to NRA-ILA and raise valuable contributions to defend our Second Amendment rights without spending a dime! It's the NRA-ILA Toolbar, and you can make a difference by downloading and using it.
    NRA-ILA Grassroots Minute 12/11/09

    STATE ROUNDUP (Please note the only items listed below are those that have had recent action. For other updates on state legislation, please go to the state legislation section at www.NRAILA.org, and check each week's issue of the Grassroots Alert.")
    CALIFORNIA: Hunting Threatened on Mojave National Preserve The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), in concert with the Sierra Club and other anti-hunting organizations, has filed a petition with the California Fish and Game Commission to ban most hunting in the Mojave National Preserve, including rabbit and varmint hunting. What hunting remains (resident game birds, deer, and bighorn sheep) would be restricted. The "Petition for Rulemaking Regarding Hunting in the Mojave National Preserve" blames hunters for the declining population of the desert tortoise, a threatened species under the state's Endangered Species Act. CBD filed a similar petition in 2003, but the commission did not act on it. The commission will likely consider the CBD's petition next week and could schedule a hearing on it early next year.
    The petition contains the flimsiest of evidence that hunting in the preserve is the cause or even a contributing factor of the decline in the tortoise population. In fact, statistics confirm that vehicular traffic and increased tourism within the designated critical habitat of the tortoise have increased substantially since 1994 when the preserve was established. Those activities are believed to be the leading causes of tortoise mortality. Further, there is sufficient research to suggest that predation by ravens and coyotes are also taking its toll on this protected species. The objective of the petition is not to protect and enhance the tortoise population. Rather, it is an attempt by this coalition of anti-hunting organizations to permanently end hunting in the Mojave National Preserve. CBD was also behind the ban on the use of lead ammunition for hunting big game within the range of the California condor, and earlier this year, CBD attempted unsuccessfully to extend that ban to all game species.
    Please take a few minutes to contact the commission and ask that they deny the petition. Please address and mail it to:
    John Carlson, Jr., Executive Director
    California Fish and Game Commission
    1416 Ninth Street, Room 1320
    Sacramento, CA 95814
    Hunters are continually being harassed with restrictions on hunting and access to hunting areas for reasons not based on science. Please do not let CBD impose their pseudo-science on those who hunt in the Mojave National Preserve!
    COLORADO: Support Needed to Re-Open Rampart Shooting Range! Following an accidental shooting last July, the Forest Service closed the very popular and heavily used Rampart Shooting Range on the Pike National Forest. In its nearly 20 year history, Rampart had never before experienced a shooting-related injury or fatality. Rampart is the only free public range in El Paso County and receives 40,000 visitors a year. The Service called the closure a "time-out" in order to assess whether the design of the range was a factor. An investigation determined that the range was not a factor in the accident. Safety experts have said that the accident could have happened at any range. But after it closed Rampart, the Forest Service devised a scheme to keep the range closed permanently.
    The Forest Service has listed requirements that must be met before it will reopen Rampart. There is no timetable for meeting these requirements and likely no money to cover costs. The most significant issue is the requirement of requiring full time supervision. Most ranges on federal lands operate without supervision and this requirement could place all such ranges in jeopardy. Rampart Range is in need of improvements which were identified more than two years ago. Such improvements can be addressed and implemented with the range reopened. The Forest Service has said that it could take up to five years before Rampart is reopened, but there is no guarantee that it would reopen Rampart in that timeframe or at any time in the future.
    NRA has been working to get Rampart Range reopened since the day it was closed, but we need the help of Colorado hunters and shooters to show the Forest Service and your elected officials that the federal government cannot continue to close public lands to recreational shooting, and certainly not without replacing those areas lost with other areas of the same or great value. Rampart Shooting Range is an important resource for the shooting community along the Front Range. There is no incentive for the Forest Service to reopen Rampart unless the shooting sports community demands it!
    Please send a letter of support for the immediate reopening of Rampart to: Tom Tidwell, Chief of the Forest Service, at ttidwell@fs.fed.us, and copy your letter to Senator Mark Udall at senator_mark_udall@markudall.senate.gov, Senator Michael Bennet at http://bennet.senate.gov/contact/, Congressman Doug Lamborn at CO05ima@mail.house.gov, and Governor Bill Ritter by clicking here. Please stress that keeping the range closed is not supportable by the investigative report; that the closure has robbed the shooting community of a valuable resource; and that needed improvements to the range can be planned and implemented without closure.
    INDIANA The Herald-Times Online Thinks Gun Owners are Stupid, Paranoid, and Easily Manipulated! The editors of the Bloomington Herald-Times apparently don't like the feedback they've received in response to their online gun database. Writing on December 7, Herald Times Editor BOB Zaltsberg feigns surprise and takes offense at being targeted in similar fashion as they chose to target lawful gun owners. They paint NRA as irrational and suggest we are erroneously attacking the press while they continue to misrepresent the facts regarding their online gun database, telling gun owners and concerned citizens they don't have their facts straight while attempting to absolve themselves of any responsibility for the public outrage they alone deserve. To learn more and to find how to contact the paper and their advertisers, please click here.
    MICHIGAN: Important Pro-Gun Bills Waiting to be Considered! On Wednesday, December 2, House Bill 5302 and House Bill 5303 were not brought up on the floor of the Michigan House of Representatives as previously expected. It is now expected that these bills will be brought up in the coming weeks and we need all the help we can get to get them passed. HB5302, introduced by State Representative Paul Opsommer (R-93), and HB5303, authored by State Representative Joel Sheltrown (D-103), would prohibit employers from firing employees who safely and lawfully store their firearms in locked vehicles. Please continue to contact your State Representative and politely urge them to vote in favor of HB5302 and HB5303 without any weakening amendments. Contact information for your State Representative can be found by clicking here.
    PENNSLYVANIA: Borough of West Mifflin to Consider "Lost or Stolen" Ordinance
    On Tuesday, December 15,<SUP> </SUP>at 6:30 p.m., the Borough Council of West Mifflin will consider a proposal that would require gunowners to report lost or stolen firearms within a 72-hour period or face fines and possible imprisonment. This law would not only violate Pennsylvania's state preemption laws, but would also turn law-abiding gun owners, who have already been victimized by theft, into criminals. The meeting will be held on the second floor of the West Mifflin Municipal Building located at 3000 Lebanon Church Road in West Mifflin. If you're planning on testifying, please contact the Borough Office at 412-466-8170. Please contact the members of the Borough Council of West Mifflin TODAY and respectfully urge them to oppose this unwarranted, unjust and illegal ordinance. Contact information can be found here. If you are able, please attend this meeting to show your support for the Second Amendment and, if possible, speak against this ill-conceived proposal.
  3. Fltsrgn

    Fltsrgn Monkey+

    If laws restricting gun ownership are needed, how come Vermont isnt one long shooting spree, and DC was the murder capital of the US until their near-total ban on handguns was lifted and their murder & crime rates decreased?
  4. SLugomist

    SLugomist Monkey++

    So what does this mean for class 3 weapons?
  5. gunbartender

    gunbartender Monkey+

    well TN is the patron state of shooting stuff.[applaud]
  6. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Moderator Moderator Founding Member

    Technically, it means if there was a class 3 manufacturer in TN (for Suppressors for example), then a TN resident can purchase one w/o having to go through all the federal paperwork, at least that's the way it was explained to me.

    To my knowledge, no one has tried it yet.
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