Sunday, August 20, 2017

Trump Justice Deparment Stops Obama Era "Operation Choke Point" Abuse

Operation Choke Point was an extra-legal attempt by the Obama administration to economically attack businesses that it disliked. It circumvented the rule of law by giving banks incentive to discriminate against a list of businesses. The list of busineseses were those it disagreed with on philosophical and political grounds. Those businesses included firearms and ammunition dealers. 

A small business could find its credit suddenly and inexplicit gone. It could find it no longer had the ability to process credit card payments. For many small businessess, this could be a death sentence. From
The Trump Justice Department is ending an Obama-era program that had attempted to cut off credit to shady businesses but came under fire from Republicans for unfairly targeting gun dealers and other legitimate operations. Just days after top House Republicans had pressed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to shutter Operation Choke Point, the department confirmed in a response letter that the program is dead.
The repudiation of Operation Choke Point is a welcome development, says Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute.

"It should serve as a warning that the government doesn't get to flag for banks—or businesses generally—which legal-but-suspect domestic customers it would like them to ostracize," Olson told Reason on Friday. "Those in power must refrain from signaling that they'd be pleased if certain categories of otherwise legal customer get cut off from their access to economic life." Operation Choke Point began as an extension of the Obama administration's Financial Fraud Task Force, but the dragnet investigation was never given proper statutory authority by either the administration or Congress. In fact, details about Operation Choke Point were deliberately withheld from Congress at first, a fact The Wall Street Journal uncovered in 2013.h
The process circumvented the entire check and balance system on government power designed into the Constitution.  It should have been grounds for serious action by the Republican Congress. It is gone now.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch 

Oklahoma Sheriff Auctions 300 Guns

On Saturday, 19 August, 2017, the Wagoner County Sheriff auctioned off 300 firearms, a number of vehicles, and other items that have been taking up space in their property room.  You can view images of the vehicles and the gun on line at the website.

A list of the available firearms is available here, but the information is not completely accurate.  For example, the make of an RG10 pistol is listed as "Bohm", a simple misreading of Rohm.

There a numerous plain Jane hunting rifles and shotguns, some more desirable than others. The list shows 15 Marlin .22 rifles and two Marlin lever action 30-30 rifles. There are many shotguns, a couple of .30 caliber WWII carbines, and eight SKS rifles. A compliment of Remington rifles and shotguns are listed. There are about 120 handguns on the list, varying from nice Smith & Wesson revolvers to the ubiquitous Glocks, to inexpensive Davis, Rohm, and Raven pocket pistols.

A Winchester model 24 shotgun stands out on the list. I did not see a picture of it. Of the  From
On Saturday, a sheriff’s auction is planned at the Wagoner Civic Center to dispose of things that have been stored for upward of three decades.

The auction will be conducted by Rockin M Auction Service and feature the sale of rifles, shotguns, pistols, vehicles, an enclosed trailer, tools and more. Approximately 300 weapons will be available.

Organizers say anyone who purchases a gun at the sale must pass a background check for a $20 charge. Buyers will be able to run one check for multiple guns.
Friday was listed as a day to preview the auction items. Sheriff's auctions for firearms are unpredictable. Sometimes bargains can be found.  Firearms usually average $100 to $200 at these auctions. The auction was announced late in July, so buyers have had a couple of weeks to get ready.

It will be interesting to see what the average price will be for these 300 firearms. The Sheriff's office hopes to raise $60,000 from the auction. I would not be surprised if they raise close to that from firearms sales alone.

More and more states are requiring that firearms be placed into the normal channels of commerce. This puts valuable resources into the public coffers, and likely lowers the demand for new firearms.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Arizona Supreme Court Upholds Statute Forbidding Destruction of Valuable Guns

Colt Python Turned in to be Destroyed by the City of Tucson, valued at about $3,000

On August 17, 2017, the Arizona Supreme Court decided that the City of Tucson violated State law regarding the disposal of firearms.

In 2005, the Tucson City Council had passed an ordinance requiring that unclaimed or forfeited firearms, that were not used by the Tucson Police Department, or transferred to other police agencies, be destroyed.  Such firearms are routinely sold by other police agencies throughout the United States, bringing valuable assets to government coffers.

Destruction of firearms is an act of political theater designed to delegitimize firearms and treat them as contraband. This political propaganda strikes at the heart of the Second Amendment.

In 2013, the State of Arizona passed banned the practice of destroying valuable property, particularly firearms. The firearms were to be returned to ordinary channels of legal commerce. The proceeds from the sale benefits the political entity selling the firearms. Academics have routinely found that the "buy   back" events do not produce useful results, and are a waste of police resources.  From the "Freakonomics" web site:

When it comes to gun buybacks, both the theory and the data could not be clearer in showing that they don’t work. The only guns that get turned in are ones that people put little value on anyway. There is no impact on crime. On the positive side, the “cash for clunkers” program is more attractive than the gun buyback program because, as long as they are being driven, old cars pollute, whereas old guns just sit there.

The Tucson City Council ignored the State of Arizona statute and destroyed about 4,800 legal firearms between 2013 and October, 2016.  Firearms sold at auction by police routinely bring between $100 and $200. The value of the firearms destroyed was likely between $500,000 and $1,000,000.  The process cost of destruction is approximately the same as the cost of legal sale.

The State of Arizona Legislature was not pleased with the scofflaw actions of the Tucson City Council. In 2016, the legislature passed amendments to put teeth into the 2013 statute. It provided a procedure to gain compliance. Penalties are available if a political subunit of the State continued to defy the legislature by destroying valuable property.

The Tucson City Council continued to defy the law. The procedure for compliance was initiated.  The City of Tucson agreed to stop destroying firearms until the City's claims of being exempt from State law were settled by the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court unanimously demolished the City of Tucson's claims. Ironically, the City had argued that there was no evidence that the destruction of firearms created a gun shortage in Tucson.  This illustrated the destruction of firearms was for symbolic purpose, not as a way to reduce crime. From
The primary issue we address here is whether the state may constitutionally prohibit a city’s practice, prescribed by local ordinance, of destroying firearms that the city obtains through forfeiture or as unclaimed property. We conclude that a generally applicable state statute on this subject controls over a conflicting municipal ordinance, that the legislature may require the Attorney General to investigate and file a special action in this Court regarding alleged violations of the state law, and that this Court has mandatory jurisdiction to resolve whether the allegedly conflicting ordinance violates state law. Applying those principles here, we accept jurisdiction of the State’s special action and hold, in accordance with article 13, section 2 of the Arizona Constitution, that A.R.S. §§ 12-945(B) and 13-3108(F) supersede Tucson Code §2142

The Arizona State Supreme Court required the City of Tucson to pay the reasonable legal fees of the State of Arizona in this case.

Several states have enacted similar statutes to prevent the wastage of valuable assets by political entities. Cities are allowed to hold or fund gun turn-in events if they wish; but the guns collected are required to be returned to legal channels of commerce for the benefit of the public.

When the Arizona statute was passed in 2013, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton was committed to destroying nearly 2,000 firearms that had been turned in to police. The program had been deceptively labeled a "buy back". Governments cannot "buy back" items that they never owned. Mayor Stanton committed 10 thousand dollars of police overtime money to insure the firearms were destroyed.

It is unclear how the destruction of guns turned in to police benefits anyone other than gun manufacturers. Except for sentimental value, historical and collectible appeal, the guns are easily replaced by newly manufactured guns. The demand for guns is not lowered by destroying turned in guns. They are merely replaced by newly guns, with the profits benefiting gun manufacturers.

The Arizona Supreme Court decision was as expected. Cities may not set themselves up as independent city-states, able and willing to defy state law.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

WI: Neighbors Support Man who Fired Shots at Suspected Car Thieves

The car owner, a 24-year-old man, fired shots at the suspects. They then drove away in the same car they came in. Their white car was found abandoned nearby at 86th Street and Lisbon Avenue.

The suspects are a 16-year-old boy, 17-year-old boy and 22-year-old man. They were all taken into custody.

It doesn't appear that anyone was hit by gunfire.
More Here

MN: Gunfight, Clerk in Verizon Store Wounds 1 of 2 Robbers

A Verizon Wireless store clerk in Inver Grove Heights exchanged gunfire and wounded one of two robbers in a daylight holdup, authorities said.

One of the men suspected in the late-morning stickup ran from the store off Hwy. 52 in the 9000 block of Cahill Avenue and got away in a minivan, according to police dispatch audio.
More Here

IL:Armed Homeowner Holds Suspect at Gunpoint for Police

The Ogle County Sheriff's Office says a homeowner held a suspect at gunpoint until police arrived during a burglary Tuesday afternoon.

 Elijah Greer, 25, of Rockford, has been charged with residential burglary

More Here

Followup TX: Accomplice in Home Invasion Charged with Felony Murder


A 21-year-old man fatally shot Wednesday afternoon at a Fairmount home had been trying to rob the home’s occupants when he was shot and killed, police officials said Thursday.

Now, his alleged accomplice faces a felony murder charge, police say, even though he didn’t fire a shot.

Read more here:

More Here

CO: Witness Fired Shot at Suspected Burglar

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — No one was injured when a witness fired a shot during a suspected burglary in western Colorado Springs Wednesday night, according to police.

Police said it happened around 11 p.m. at a property on Arch Street, which is just south of Broadway Street in western Colorado Springs. Police said a witness saw a suspect on the property, felt threatened, and fired a shot at the suspect.
More Here

GA: Man Breaks into Home, is Shot at, then Beat

After 57-year-old Gerard Walter Montour of Covington allegedly kicked in the door, the homeowner, whose name has not been released, grabbed a handgun and fired off a few rounds, Morrison said.

It was not clear if Montour was hit by the bullets, but there was an intense fistfight, Channel 2 Action News reported.

“When deputies came out there was so much blood they were unable to ascertain whether he was shot or not,” Morrison told Channel 2.

More Here

Saturday, August 19, 2017

AZ: Security Guard Shoots Man Armed with Rock

A security guard fatally shot a man Tuesday night after an altercation during which the guard said the man "picked up a large rock," police said.

The man killed was identified as Thomas Allen Dickinson, 35, said Sgt. Pete Dugan, a Tucson Police Department spokesman, on Aug. 16.
More Here

TX: Retired Officer Shoots at Suspects, Wounds One

CONROE, Texas (KTRK) -- A retired Harris County Sheriff's Office deputy fired shots at two fleeing suspects, hitting the driver Tuesday morning in Conroe.

According to Conroe police, officers were responding to a possible stolen vehicle in the Lowe's parking lot on 1920 Westview Boulevard. As the two suspects attempted to get away, they intentionally rammed four parked vehicles. Investigators said a Conroe police officer fired his gun to protect himself.
More Here

FL: More on Burglary Suspect Shot with AK type Rifle

WCSO reported a homeowner in the 1800 block of Pettis Road was awakened by his wife about 2:45 a.m. Sunday after she heard a loud noise outside their home. The man reported finding three males burglarizing a vehicle in his front yard that contained a firearm.

The man confronted the suspects with an AK-47, at which point they began to flee, WCSO reported. However, one suspect, later identified as Tristen Wilson, 19, of Panama City Beach, turned back toward the homeowner in a manner that made him fear he was about to be shot, so the homeowner opened fire.
More Here

FL: Homeowner uses AK Type Rifle against Car Burglary Suspects

The homeowner advised they heard a loud noise and as he investigated where it originated from he observed 3 white males in their vehicles, and one of those vehicles contained a firearm. The suspects were confronted by the homeowner, who was armed with an AK-47, and began to flee to their vehicle. During this time, a suspect, later identified as Tristen Wilson, 19, of Panama City Beach, turned toward the homeowner in a manner that made him fear he was about to be shot and the homeowner began to fire his rifle.
More Here

FL: Wounded Robbery Victim Returns Fire

During the course of the attempted robbery the suspect shot the victim once in the leg. Police say the victim was also carrying a gun and returned fire at the suspect. But it’s not clear whether the suspect was hit.
More Here

Friday, August 18, 2017

San Antonio Drops ShotSpotter, System not Cost Effective

Shot Spotter Sensor in Omaha, Nebraska

One of the technological fixes that has been attempted is the use of sensors to pinpoint gunshots inside of cities. The theory of the technology is fairly simple. Spread audio sensors throughout the city. Feed the input into a computer system, looking for gunshots. With sophisticated programs, isolate the gunshots from the other noise, and pinpoint their location and time. Ideally, this happens in near real time, to allow police response to gunshots. From
San Antonio - A program intended to help police officers identify where a shooting happens, get there quicker and ultimately cut down on crime has been stripped from the proposed city budget because city leaders said it's not effective.
It cost the city $270,000 to put ShotSpotters on the city's crime-ridden east and west sides, but police Chief William McManus said the program's results don't match up with its hefty price tag.
The experience in San Antonio shows the limitations of such a system.  The system has been in place for more than a year. That is the time the system should be most effective. The sensors are fresh and new and have not had time to corroded or broken.

In the period the the system was in place, the police obtained four arrests because of information received from the system. That does not necessarily translate to four convictions.  Another article says that the total cost of the system was $378,000 plus $168,000 for officer overtime associated with the program. So the city spent about $136,000 per each arrest.

The four suspects were arrested on charges of discharging a firearm, a Class A misdemeanor, the SAPD’s Sgt. Jesse Salame said. One of the suspects also was charged with possession of narcotics.
There was no known shooting victim in any of those four cases, Salame said.
It is easy to see why the Police Chief McManus had questions about the usefulness of the system. While some costs would be spread out over years, the overtime and maintenance costs could conservatively be $75,000 a year per arrest. That would be most of the cost of a full time police officer, to make one misdemeanor arrest where no shooting victim was involved.

The technological costs of systems such as ShotSpotters are likely to go down; but the personnel costs are likely to increase. While the system sounds plausible in theory, in San  Antonio it has not been cost effective in practice.

In Connecticut, another Shot Spotter system was reported to have limited effectiveness. From in 2013:

Violent criminals are small in number in all communities. Spend the resources on monitoring and apprehending those known individuals, and violent crime will decrease.

Can systems such as ShotSpotters be effective? Technological solutions to crime can be helpful, but there are always countermeasures. Criminals wear gloves to stop leaving fingerprints, or masks to foil cameras. Shots fired inside buildings are difficult to detect; sensors can be destroyed. Wind muffles and distorts sound based systems.

A major problem is the systems are reactive. They only show where an outside gun shot may have occurred.  If they report many false positives, the cost of investigating the false positives adds up quickly. They may be helpful in locating crime hot spots; it is likely that those locations are already well known.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch


GA: Homeowner Wounded in Gunfight with Revolvers

“The homeowner woke up instantly because he had a cabinet in front of the door and it made a lot of noise,” Willingham said. “He met whoever it was in the hallway and exchanged gunfire.”

The resident was wounded in his upper chest area and just below his shoulder blade, Willingham said.

Police don’t know how many shots were fired in the exchange. Willingham said the guns involved were likely revolvers, because they could not find any shell casings at the scene.
More Here

CA: Intruder Shot by Homeowner, Arrested by Deputies

A homeowner shot an intruder who then barricaded himself in a bedroom at the San Pasqual Valley home early Wednesday, sheriff’s officials said.

The wounded 28-year-old man followed deputies orders to come out, and he was taken by ambulance to a trauma center. No one in the house was reported injured.
More Here

Followup AK: Gunfight at Home, 1 Intruder Killed, 1 fled

"Two adult males broke in through the front door, and one of those men exchanged gunfire with a male resident of the home," police spokesperson MJ Thim said. The only two residents home at the time, the man who fired at the intruder and an adult woman, were not injured during the incident.

However, the suspect intruder who fired shots was struck by the resident's shots and later died from his injury.
More Here

GA: Armed Man Shot while Attempting Break-in

An armed man was fatally shot early Sunday when he allegedly broke into an apartment in Warner Robins.

According to Jennifer Parson with Warner Robins Police, officers responded to a home invasion with shots fired call around 4 a.m. Sunday in the 200-block of Northlake Drive.

She says their initial investigation shows that 24-year-old Cartrell Brooks was armed with a handgun and tried to break into the apartment.
More Here

Thursday, August 17, 2017

AL: Domestic Dispute, Male Shot, Self Defense Claimed

Investigators believe the shooting was the result of an on-going domestic dispute between Nave and the female resident. At some point Nave threatened the other male subject with a weapon, which led to the shooting.

More Here

NY: Gunfight, 70-Year-Old Employee hit, fires back

Police said the two suspects armed with handguns forced two employees into the station’s service area, where the a third employee, a 70-year-old man, tried to get away from them.

As the employee ran out, police said the suspects fired several shots at him. That’s when police said the employee pulled out his own gun and returned fire. The 70-year-old man was hit in the leg as the suspects fled.
More Here

FL: Teen Held at Gunpoint by Armed Victim


A Cape Coral teen, fueled by drugs, is accused of terrorizing his neighborhood, landing him on the wrong end of a gun and a Taser.

Cape Coral Police said Tuan Nguyen broke into two homes near Diplomat Parkway Sunday evening.NBC2 spoke with a victim who caught the teen in the act and held him at gunpoint until police came.
More Here

TX: Fight Outside Bar ended in Claimed Self Defense Shooting

Crowson said officers talked with the shooter and witnesses who said a fight in the bar continued in the parking lot of strip-mall establishment whose website bills itself as "a true Texas icehouse."

The shooter said he fired in self-defense, the lieutenant said, adding that police would confer with prosecutors before deciding what, if any, charges should be filed.
More Here

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Australian Gun Culture (part 15): Prohibited Weapons in Australia

In Australia, I became aware of an administrative procedure where the state police can find a person unfit to possess either firearms, firearms parts, or prohibited weapons. What exactly were prohibited weapons under Australian law? This website lists prohibited weapons.

The list is extensive and, from an American perspective, bizarre. Some of the weapons are antiquated. Others are modern, while some may be simple mistakes or misunderstandings.  I have studied weapons law of many American states. It appears that someone in Australia (probably the George Soros funded group that was headed by Rebecca Peters) looked up all the prohibited weapons they could find in law, anywhere, and lumped them all together on the prohibited list. I have edited the list to take out duplication.

 Here is the list of prohibited weapons, in italics. My comments are in standard print.  From
Miscellaneous Weapons:
*Missile launchers:

any device that is designed to propel or launch a bomb, grenade, rocket or missile by any means other than an explosive.
No air propelled rockets or water balloon launchers. No potato launchers. No hobby rockets or model rockets.  It appears that a simple sling is prohibited. No biblical era missile launchers allowed. If the term "missile" below excludes simple rocks or solid objects, the above may be allowed.  I hope that is the interpretation the police would use. Bows seem to be commonly available and unregulated except for crossbows.
Bomb, grenade, rocket, missile or mine:

or any similar device which expels or contains an explosive, incendiary, irritant or gas. 
Flame thrower:

that is of military design or any other device that is capable of projecting ignited incendiary fuel.

or any similar device consisting of a bow fitted transversely on a stock that has a groove or barrel designed to direct an arrow or bolt. 
Sling shot

a device consisting of an elasticised band secured to the forks of a Y shaped frame other than a home made sling shot for use by a child in the course of play.
Cross bows prohibited? Not just forbidden to use in urban areas, as in many American cities. Outright prohibited. Slingshots prohibited? I suspect this came from the American 19th century prohibition on slung shot, which is a totally different weapon, favored by 19th century criminals. To be fair, some Australian states prohibit commercial slingshots, but allow homemade ones for use "by children".  Very weird.

or any other similar article that consists of a club or staff fitted with a flanged or spiked head, other than a ceremonial mace made for and used solely as a symbol of authority on ceremonial occasions.
So, a club or staff without a flanged or spiked head is not prohibited? Perhaps they did not want to outlaw sticks, baseball bats, or cricket bats.


or any other similar article that consists of a staff or handle that has fitted to one end, by any means, a freely swinging striking part that is armed with spikes or studded with any protruding matter.

that has a lash which is comprised wholly or partly of any form of metal.
Cat-o’-nine tails:

or any other whip that consists of a handle to which there is attached any number of knotted lashes.
King fu sticks or ‘nunchaku’:

or any other article consisting of two or more sticks or bars made of any material that are joined together by any means that allows the sticks or bars to swing independently of each other.
The actual slung shot does not seem to fit any of these descriptions. Perhaps it is not prohibited.
Side-handled baton:

or any other article consisting of a baton, staff or rod that is made of any hard substance and has fitted to one side a handle, whether or not that handle is permanently fixed. 

or any other similar article that is made of any hard substance and that can be fitted over the knuckles of the hand of the user to protect.

Taser Self-Defence Weapon:

Any hand-held device that is designed to administer an electric shock on contact, such as the Taser Self-Defence Weapon or an electrified brief-case, but do not include any such hand-held device that may lawfully be used on an animal in accordance with the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979. 
*Extendable or Telescopic Baton:

or any article consisting of a baton, staff or rod that is made of any hard substance and has fitted to one side a handle, whether or not that handle is permanently fixed.
I will ask people at the Shot Show in Brisbane about this. Walking sticks or canes are not prohibited. Why the obsession with side handles? Probably from all the publicity given to PR-24 batons.
*Devices designed to stun or disorient people by emitting noise and light:
(known as sound & flash grenades)

any acoustic or light emitting anti-personal device that is designed to cause permanent or temporary incapacity or to otherwise disorientate persons.
 Are camera flashes included? I hope not. It is interesting that the emphasis seems to be on anything that may be used as a weapon, but which logically extends to nearly everything. Personal noise alarms are right out.
Miscellaneous articles:
Body armour vests:

or other similar articles designed for anti-ballistic purposes and to be worn on any part of the body (other than helmets or anti-ballistic articles used for eye or hearing protection).

(other than antique handcuffs, or children’s toy handcuffs that are of an approved type).

or any other device designed for attachment to a firearm for the purpose of muffling, reducing or stopping the noise created by firing the firearm.
Flex ties are not regulated, nor are rope, chains, or locks, as far as I can determine.
Replicas, imitations, concealed blades: 
Walking stick or cane:

that contains a sword or any other single-edged or multi-edged blade or spike of any length or of any material.
Riding crop:

that contains a knife, stiletto or any other single-edged or multi-edged blade or spike of any length or material.
Bowen Knife Belt:

or any other similar article consisting of a belt or buckle that conceals or disguises within the article a knife or a single-edged or multi-edged blade or spike of any length or of any material.
Concealed knives:

any article or device that:a) due to its appearance is capable of being mistaken for something else that is not a weapon, and

b) disguises and conceals within it a single-edged or multi-edged blade or spike of any length or of any material.
So concealed or disguised knives are not allowed. There are similar regulations in many states.
Replica or imitation firearms:

an imitation of any firearm which requires a licence or permit under the Firearms Act, unless approved by the Commissioner of Police.
Imitation or replica of a bomb, grenade, rocket, missile or mine:

unless approved by the Commissioner of Police.
At least one person has been prosecuted for having a replica gun. I do not see this sort of statute in many places. Even England allows replica and non-firing guns. A model of a bomb or pistol is illegal unless allowed by the Commissioner of Police. The inverse of the idea of English and American law, where everything is allowed, except what is prohibited. Here, everything is prohibited, except what is allowed. All the prohibited weapons are allowed if you can wrangle a permission slip from the police.
Flick knife:(or other similar device)

a blade which opens automatically by gravity or centrifugal force or by any pressure applied to a button, spring or device in or attached to the handle of the knife.
*Ballistic knife:

a knife that propels a knife-like blade of any material by any means other than an explosive.
Sheath knife:

a knife which has a sheath which withdraws into its handle by gravity or centrifugal force or if pressure is applied to a button, spring or device attached to or forming part of the sheath, handle or blade of the knife.
Urban Skinner push dagger:

or any other device that consists of a single-edged or multi-edged blade or spike that has a handle fitted transversely to the blade or spike and allows the blade or spike to be supported by the palm of the hand so that stabbing blows or slashes can be inflicted by a punching or pushing action.
Trench knife:

or any other device that consists of a single-edged or multi-edged blade or spike that is fitted with a handle made of any hard substance that can be fitted over the knuckles of the hand of the user to protect the knuckles and increase the effect of a punch or blow, or that is adapted for such use.
Butterfly knife or ‘balisong’:

or any other device that consists of a single-edged or multi-edged blade or spike that fits within two handles attached to the blade or spike by transverse pivot pins and is capable of being opened by gravity or centrifugal force.
Star knife:

or any other device that consists of a number of angular points, blades or spikes disposed outwardly about a central axis point and that are designed to spin around the central axis point in flight when thrown at a target.
What did they miss? No prohibition on blow guns. That may be covered elsewhere.  Sap gloves? They do not appear to fit any of the definitions. Australia has a very mild climate. I expect that gloves would tend to stand out. Most knives, axes, machetes, swords, and walking sticks are not prohibited in Australia, though swords owners are required to have a license in Victoria. The classic atl-atl or woomera spear throwing stick is not mentioned.

A person can walk around with a machete in hand, a knife on their belt or a sword in a sheath if they can give a police officer a reasonable reason for having the article. Self defense is not considered a reasonable reason.

Prohibited weapons vary somewhat by Australian state. A form of sling shot that does not use a Y fork is acceptable in New South Wales. It is the Pocket Shot. Some states appear to have only limited restrictions on sling shots, such as forbidding a wrist brace.

These sort of overbroad laws are often ignored. The discretion of the police officer or officers becomes extremely important. The rule of law becomes the rule of man. Fortunately, Australian police have been very polite and reasonable people, at least those that I had interaction with.

It seems that Alexis de Tocqueville's prediction in "Democracy in America" from 1835 is fulfilled in Australia:
After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the government then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small, complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence: it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.
It seems strange for a nation of such vast frontiers, such tremendous resources, to be so bound up in small laws and restrictions. It is happening all over Western civilization. Try buying an incandescent bulb in the United States, or to design and build your own house.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

SC: Man Shot in Self Defense, Carjacks Truck

LEXINGTON, S.C. (AP) — Authorities say a South Carolina man got shot for threatening people with a pressure washer, then punched a woman in the face while stealing a truck he later crashed.

Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said 27-year-old Mark Day of Summerville is charged with four counts of assault and battery and two counts of carjacking.
More Here

FL: Man Shoots 1 of 4 Home Invaders

According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were called to the home in connection with an armed home invasion.

The victim said that he was about to go to bed when four masked people entered his home and injured his dog.

More Here

VA: Burglary Suspect Shot by Homeowner

HAMPTON, Va. (WVEC) -- Police say a man is recovering in the hospital after he allegedly broke into a Hampton residence and was subsequently shot by the homeowner.

Police were called to the 1st block of Kilverstone Way shortly before 4:30 a.m. Tuesday. Upon arrival, officers found a 22-year-old Newport News man suffering from a single gunshot wound. He was taken to a local hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.
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IL: Homeowner Who Shot, Killed Three Under Investigation

The homeowner initially told officers he shot three people who had broken into his home, but police said there are “inconsistencies” in the man’s statements. A police source said a witness told investigators the three people who were killed had been at the house all day.

Investigators have confirmed the homeowner has a valid Firearm Owners Identification card. They also said he was being held for questioning Monday morning, but police have not said if he will face murder charges.
More Here

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Australia Gun Culture (part 14): Shooters, Fishers, and Farmers Party Having an Impact

Extremely restrictive firearms laws were imposed on the Australian population in 1996, after the Port Arthur Massacre. The Australian gun culture is fighting to restore some sanity to firearm law down under. One of the clampdowns put in place in 1996, was to make ownership of .22 rimfire semi-auto rifles so restricted as to be an effective ban.

The combined firearms council of Victoria is calling for the return of their bunny guns.  From

The state’s peak political body for Victoria’s shooting organisations is calling on the state government to allow shooters to use 22 self-loading rifles after a 20 year ban.

The Combined Firearms Council of Victoria says it has written to the Premier urging him to reconsider the state’s position in light of shooters’ concerns.

Council President, Bill Paterson, said the move would be entirely reasonable, arguing 22 rifles are in reality, “bunny guns”, and bore no resemblance to military style rifles of the type which led to the ban in 1996.

“For a start the 22 rifle has significantly less firepower than what you find with larger calibres, and it has a very practical use,” he said.

“22s are used for rabbit vermin pest control and allowing the self-loading rifles back, even if limited to 10 shots, would be a great help in controlling vermin numbers without posing any public danger”

He said the ban on self-loading rifles occurred after the shootings in Port Arthur in 1996, in a state which had very few controls over firearms when other states already had effective licensing and limitations.

“The problem is the political response back in 1996 did not take any of these factors into account when it should have. The loss of the 22 self-loading rifle was at the top of shooters’ concerns in a recent survey we conducted and their return would go a long way to providing a better balance in firearm regulation”.

He said the issue of 22 self-loading firearms will remain high on the Council’s list of priorities for the 2018 Victorian State Election.
Because Australia has proportional voting system, small parties can elect members of parliament.

Australian shooters have shown an ability  to reform some of the more extreme parts of Australian gun law. A new gun amnesty was discussed for 2017. The Shooters, Fishers, and Farmers party was able to include a couple of reasonable policies.

One was that people who found themselves in possession of unregistered guns that were otherwise legal, had the option of registering the guns. Nearly everyone recognizes that as a reasonable position. Most people believe that legal gun owners should be able to register an old, otherwise legal, gun, at any time. It only brings an unregistered gun into the gun registry.

Only the extreme anti-gun people believe that it is acceptable for someone to register a new gun from a factory, but not an old gun found in an attic.

The other policy was for people to arrange for a gun store to sell a gun that had not been registered. Remember, that the only acceptable gun registration for existing guns was that one time allowance 20 years ago.  If a family member finds great-grandpa's classic double rifle worth $30,000, she should be able to sell it rather than be forced to turn it over to the police to be destroyed.

About twice as many firearms are being registered in the new amnesty as those that are being turned in for destruction.

Another far reaching regulation is that parents are not allowed to teach their children how to use guns without a permit individually issued for each child. That permit is only allowed for children 12 or over in NSW.   The limit in Queensland is 11 years.  In Western Australia, there is no age limit.

In NSW, the Shooters, Fishers, and Farmers party is advocating a reform to lower the age limit to 10 years old, to allow parents to start teaching their children gun safety at the younger age. A minor's permit would still be required for a child to handle a gun.

To people in America, this level of bureaucracy may be difficult to understand. For a parent to teach their child to handle guns in Australia, the parent is required to apply for permission from the government, for that particular child.

If the government approves, a permit will be granted for the child to handle guns under the supervision of the parent or other approved adult.  The reform being put forward in New South Wales is to allow parents, after receiving a permit, to teach 10 year old children to shoot. The current minimum age is 12. The child will not be allowed to handle guns without the parent, or other qualified adult, being present. From
But Mr Donato's party would be "happy" for 10-year-olds to handle guns, and introduce shooting as an elective school subject.

"It's a healthy family activity," Mr Donato said. "It's not gender specific. Going out, spending some time with your family in the outdoors, bonding with your kids, is a fantastic opportunity.

"It's far better they learn how to use firearms appropriately in that sort of manner as opposed to watching movies and playing video games."
These sort of reforms seem obvious to American readers. They make an important point in Australia. The point is that firearms are useful objects, and the use of firearms is a positive thing for children to learn. Under the extreme 1996 gun laws, even BB guns are considered firearms. They are classed with double barreled shotguns in the law.

While shooters are a minority in Australia, they are doing what small parties do best: advocating for reasonable reforms that have solid, logical reasons. A little bit here, a little bit there, and over time, the most stupid parts of the extreme laws from 1996 are reformed. Australia has a small population for a large land mass. Firearms have enormous utility for hunting, pest control and sport shooting.

Perhaps, with time, the most basic use of firearms will be considered. That is self defense. A cornerstone of the 1996 law is that self defense with firearms is not a legitimate purpose for owning a firearm.

The delegitimization of self defense is the cornerstone of the gun control movement in England and Wales, as well as in Canada and Australia. It was a complete break with the Englishman's right to arms that existed in English common law until after WWI.

Once self defense is recognized as a legitimate purpose for owning firearms, the unstated basis of the 1996 law self-demolishes. That basis is explained in a 1984 type slogan: Less guns good, more guns bad. The anti-gun groups baldly state that they believe more people owning guns is a bad thing.

If there were one reform I would recommend Australians to push, it would be: recognize defense of self and others as a legitimate reason to own firearms.

Australia has been and is a very safe country. Australia has a crime rate similar to Vermont or New Hampshire. Most Australians fall prey to the "need" argument, as very few "need" to have a firearm for self defense at any one time. Australians have no problem with their police carrying Glock pistols. The common man is forbidden to carry, or even to own those pistols in most cases.  What the police are carrying pistols for, if not for defense of self and others? The question becomes, is the common man capable of carrying pistols responsibly?

In the United States, the answer is clear. Yes, a person with a clean record is at least as responsible as police officers. In the United States, people with carry permits commit less crimes per person, and have less accidents, than police do.

Fortunately, in the United States, self defense is enshrined in Constitutional law as a primary reason for owning weapons.

America reformed their firearms carry law so that most Americans with clean records can carry firearms for self defense. Over the next 20 years the murder rate dropped in half.

Australia tightened their firearms laws so that ownership required specific reasons, licensing, and many types of firearms were nearly legislated out of legal ownership for most people. The murder rate dropped about the same as in the United States.

New Zealand dropped their firearms registration requirement, the murder rate dropped by about half over the same 20 year period.

Canada imposed universal firearms registration over the same period, then abolished it. Their murder rate fell about the same as the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.

Firearms law has little to do with crime. It has a lot to do with individual freedom, individual responsibility, and the growth of the state.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

TX: Armed Homeowner Captures Carjacking Suspect for Police


An armed homeowner helped the Bexar County Sheriff's Office and Hollywood Park police apprehend a man for allegedly stealing a vehicle Saturday afternoon in Northern Bexar County.
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KS: Man Shot Attempting to Steal a Gun at Pawnshop

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) -` A man was shot by a pawn shop employee in Wichita on Saturday while he was trying to steal a gun

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MI: Armed Victim Stops Assault on Woman, Wounds Suspect

Police say trouble on Pasadena Street began when approximately four people pulled up and began to assault a woman outside of a house.

A man inside the house came out to help her and that's when police say he was assaulted.

During that assault we're told the male victim was able to pull out a firearm and shoot one of the suspects in the leg.
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Monday, August 14, 2017

FL: Armed Good Samaritans Capture Knifeman who Attacked Woman

If it weren't for the actions of three strangers — an auto mechanic, a maintenance technician and a laser operator for a metal fabrication plant — it could have gone much worse.

Instead, three good Samaritans put their lives at risk, running toward an unknown danger to help a stranger. None knew their Sunday afternoon would include getting stabbed, wrestling a criminal to the ground after a wild foot chase or holding the man at gunpoint until police arrived.
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Followup NE: Domestic Defense, Ex-Boyfriend Shot

Evans looks as if he were beat rather severely, in the picture.

A prosecutor said Friday that Anthony Evans had shown up at the house of his ex-girlfriend and his three children several times before the night of Aug. 2, when officers found him lying in the backyard, a gunshot wound to his abdomen.

The shot was fired in self-defense, said Eric Fabian of the Douglas County Attorney’s Office.

It came, Fabian said, moments after Evans attacked his girlfriend, throwing her to the ground and choking her, then hitting her with a metal pipe as she tried to flee.

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PA: Shot Fired at Burglary Suspect

Upon forcing his way through a laundry room window at a home on Queneshaque Road about 6 a.m. Wednesday, alleged burglar Jason Robert Yahn was met by the homeowner, who was armed with a handgun, state Trooper James Doane said.
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LA: Knifeman Shot and Killed


Investigators said a man, who reportedly refused to leave someone’s property and allegedly was threatening residents with a knife, was shot and killed Thursday evening.

The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office reported Ronald Morgan, 53, was found dead outside of a Ponchatoula home around 6:30 p.m.
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WI: Tenant Shoots Home Invader

The tenant at 417 S. Eighth St. shot Clifton Traywick with a pistol after Traywick entered the duplex about 6:55 a.m. with at least one other man.

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AZ: Dramatic Description of Domestic Defense Gunfight in Peoria

At this time, the victim’s brother happened to be returning home and saw her running, with Vandever chasing her. When he saw Vandever with a gun, he retrieved his handgun, from his truck. Vandever fired at him, and he returned fire striking, Vandever in the leg.

Police say a 14-year-old girl was hit in the cross fire. The girl was shot in the chest, the bullet clipping her lung, but missing her heart. She is on a breathing machine but is expected to survive.
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Sunday, August 13, 2017

President Roosevelt Liked Silenced Rifles

President Teddy Roosevelt was a big fan of silencers. The only silencers available to him were Maxim silencers. A silencer for his take-down model 94 Winchester 30-30, above, cost $9.70 in 1909.  He used the rifle frequently on his Sagamore Hill estate on Long Island, New York.  It was the classic use of a suppressed rifle. He used it to cull pests without disturbing his neighbors, the Duponts and the Tiffanys .

Whenever Winchester introduced a new model, Roosevelt was quick to put it through its paces. He acquired an 1894 similar to all his other rifles in extras and embellishments and used it on an antelope hunt. His "little .30" as he called it, was able to knock down a good sized antelope at a distance of more than 180 yds. After witnessing the fantastic shot and the irrefutable and immediate results, his guide said that the gun was just "aces" in his book. He also used a Model 94 outfitted with a Maxim silencer at his Long Island home "Sagamore Hill" so as not to disturb neighbors when varmints were in need of culling.
 The Sagamore take down 30-30 model 94 Winchester was not President Roosevelt's only silenced firearm. When he traveled to Africa for his specimen collecting Safari, he took two other silenced rifles.

The last case to be added to his Winchester cases to be loaded for the trip was case number 15. The contents of the case are shown below.

The ship left port in 1910. Notice that two rifles fitted with silencers were in crate number 15.  They were a "U.S. magazine rifle, M' 1908 chambered in .30 Govt.  It was fitted with illuminated sights. The other, a M'95 would be a lever gun chambered in 405 W.C.F.  The 405 Winchester is a powerful cartridge, as made clear by President Roosevelt's use of it to collect the rhinoceros pictured below. It is unknown if the rifle pictured was the M'95 that was fitted for a Maxim silencer.

From Theodore Roosevelt Hunter-Conservationist, published by Boone and Crocket, 2009, page 253, Loeb informed Winchester in 1910:
"And so on the 27th of February Loeb let Winchester know they would be receiving "from General Crozier [US. Army Ordnance] a Springfield rifle and a 405 Winchester rifle, both fitted with Maxim's silencers, and one of them with an arrangement for shooting at night, together with 200 Springfield cartridges. Please add t these 100 cartridges for the 405 Winchester and the cleaning apparatus, with oil, and have them put in a case that will enable the President to use them on the steamer..."
TR knew full well that he could hardly spend some three weeks at sea and resist the temptation to open his tin-lined cases and shoot. The two rifles with silencers would solve that problem nicely.
President Roosevelt understood and appreciated Maxim silencers. He used them for their intended purpose, to prevent annoyance of his neighbors and fellow travelers.

Silencers have the same purposes today, and today, we know how important they are to protect hearing when hunting or target shooting. When the Franklin Roosevelt administration made silencers prohibitively expensive and absurdly regulated for the common man, no one could explain why. No reason was given in the legislative history.

The regulation of silencers are likely to be reformed with the Hearing Protection Act, H.R. 367.

I suspect that if T.R. knew of the proposed legislation, he would say "Bully!", and heartily approve.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

IL: Chicago Homicide Self Defense by Woman against Man who Beat her

CHICAGO — A woman shot and killed a man after he beat her in Clearing early Sunday, police said.

At 5:18 a.m., the two were in the 6900 block of West 65th Street when the man, 33, hit the woman, 30, police said. The woman took out out a gun and shot the man, hitting him three times.
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NC: Domestic Defense, Gun Beats Bat and Gasoline


A man ignored an order of protection, went to his ex-girlfriend’s house with a container of gasoline and a baseball bat and attacked a man who shot him in self-defense, deputies say.

Joshua Cuthbertson went to his girlfriend’s home Monday, despite being aware of the order of protection prohibiting contact with her, Polk County deputies said.
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OH: Concealed Carry Permit Holder Holds Car Burglar for Police

The man — a CCW holder — reported that he spotted two suspects going through his neighbor’s car on Devonshire Drive just before 2 a.m. Thursday. He then grabbed his gun and ordered them to get on the ground until officers arrived.

According to a police report, one of the suspects managed to run away when the man yelled for his girlfriend to call the police.
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Followup MO: No CHarges in Death of Adam J. Harness

The 20-year-old man who resides at the apartment warned Harness that he would shoot him if he did not leave, Parks said. That’s when Harness attempted to assault the resident.

The resident shot Harness three to four times with a small-caliber handgun, authorities said.

Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Bob Parks said the shooting was justifiable.
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Followup MI: Shooter Pleads Guilty to "Warning Shot" that Hit Police Officers

Juwan Plummer, 20, pleaded guilty on Monday before Judge Michael Hathaway to two counts of intentional discharge of a firearm in a building causing serious injury and two counts of felony firearm.

In an agreement with prosecutors, two counts of felonious assault were dismissed.

Plummer has said he had no intention of hurting police officers; that he thought they were burglars standing on the front porch of his home in the 20500 block of Lesure, near 8 Mile Rd. and Schaefer, last April. Believing his family was in danger, Plummer said he fired a warning shot to try to scare the strangers away before dialing 911.
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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Ammo Prices Drop: Vista Outdoors Looks to Direct Brand to Consumer Internet Sales

Vista Outdoors is one of the major players in ammunition production in the United States and the world. It owns CCI and Federal. With the decrease in demand for ammunition and for sporting goods, its stock price has dropped. A year a go it was over $50 per share. This spring it fell below $20 for a brief period. Most of the drop is likely due to a decreased demand for ammunition. Vista has a strategy to increase ammunition sales, or at least to keep market share and increase profits. From
Independent retailers and e-commerce will play a key role in helping Vista Outdoor regain momentum as it faces sluggish markets for ammunition and the products it sells for shooting, camping and other recreation.

That approach was unveiled Thursday in a conference call for stock market analysts after Vista Outdoor reported a dramatic drop in net income for April, May and June.

Net income was $16.6 million for the three months ending July 2, compared with $29.1 million for the same time last year at the company that employs about 1,375 people in its Lewiston ammunition operations, which have been shrinking through attrition.

Vista Outdoor's per-share stock price was $21.86 after the close of the market Thursday.Data indicate "consumers are buying, but just not to the extent they normally would this time of year," said Interim Chairman and CEO Michael Callahan.
What does this mean to the consumer? Will Vista enter the direct Internet to sales market that now includes many distributors such as AmmoMen, Outdoor Limited, Lucky Gunner, Target Sports, and many others? The plan is for the brands, such as Federal and CCI to have their own websites.

With the Internet, direct to consumer sales from the factory becomes possible. Is the interest of Federal or CCI served with a bypass of traditional wholesalers, distributors, and local gun shops?  Vista Outdoors would like both old and new methods to prosper.

The Internet is changing commerce in new and radical ways.  No doubt the local gun store will continue. It offers convenience, expertise, and a hands-on direct inspection of merchandise.

In July, the new CEO of Vista Outdoors said this. From
"The market, as you know, is really evolving right now," Callahan said. "I'm not sure I'd call it an apocalypse, but certainly the retail market is in a turmoil. What we're seeing and what a lot of companies have to do is adapt now to how consumers want to shop and where they want to shop."
A box of a well known brand of ammunition is expected to be the same if you buy it at the local gun store or in a case delivered to your doorstep.

May both means thrive in the future. The owners of industrial concerns retain only a small portion of increased productivity. Historically, most of the increase has gone to workers and consumers. It is why the standard of living has soared in the last two centuries.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

CCI opens new .22 Rimfire Production Facility in Idaho

.22 Rimfire case block being filled and checked at old CCI plant in Lewiston, Idaho
Vista Outdoors opened their new rimfire production facility in Lewiston, Idaho on 10 August, 2017. The new facility covers 37,000 square feet.

Vista Oudoors owns the CCI and Federal ammunition brands. They are major suppliers of .22 rimfire ammunition for the United States. The CCI facility in Lewiston, Idaho has been running almost non-stop to attempt to meet demand in the United States for the last four years. It produces about 4 million .22 rimfire rounds a day.

To meed the increased structural demand for .22 rimfire, Vista Outdoors made the decision to increase rimfire production, years ago. The plan has been in process. The new plant automates the production to modern standards. Much of the new machinery was designed by CCI engineers. From the Lewiston Tribune:
The latest addition provides room for a variety of proprietary equipment used to make .22-caliber rimfire ammunition.

Much of the equipment was designed by company engineers, in cooperation with outside vendors. The focus, Mackleit said, is on "continuous flow" - starting out with raw material and moving through to the finished product in a sequence of steps without building any pockets of inventory along the way.

The result, he said, has been a substantial and "very satisfying" reduction in the time needed to complete an order.

This 10 minute video of how .22 ammunition is made at CCI was made a few years ago by 22Plinkster. It shows how the old process produced .22 ammunition. I recommend it to see how high quality .22 rimfire ammunition is made on an industrial scale. The priming segment particularly interesting. It was still done partly by hand, likely for safety reasons.

Link to video

Perhaps a new video will be made of the plant that opened on 10 August, 2017.

.22 rimfire ammunition has been slowly increasing in availability and dropping in price for months. Production is gradually meeting pent up demand. The new CCI plant will speed up that process. 

The lowest priced .22 ammunition consistently available is the Aguila brand. On the Internet, prices have been about 4.2 cents per round. Aguila quality control is said to have been increased significantly in recent years. Aguila nearly doubled its ammunition production over the last four years.  Aguila uses an Ely priming process. They are striving to get and keep a significant market share of North American demand.

The CCI plant can be seen as work by Vista Outdoors to keep its share of the market. It has brand recognition, an excellent reputation, and is the major player in the market. To keep that position, CCI .22 rimfire prices will need to be competitive.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Followup AL: Woman Suspected of Home Invasion Charged with Felony Murder

A Guntersville woman has been indicted on a murder charge after authorities allege she solicited a man to assault a Baileyton homeowner who then shot and killed his attacker in April.

A Cullman County grand jury found probable cause to charge Kelly Joan Young Bryan, 41, with two counts of criminal solicitation for burglary and assault in addition to felony murder.
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AL: Armed Driver Stops Robbery Attempt

Lieutenant Brian Smith says a passenger tried to force the driver out of a vehicle while traveling through the parking lot of the LaQuinta Inn.

Both men got out of the car and the driver fired a shot into the air.

The passenger ran away but was arrested a short time later. He's charged with robbery.
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SC: Homeowner Shoots Delusional Man who Threatened him

A man is facing charges after authorities say he was shot in the leg by a homeowner he threatened.

Cody Brandon Driver, 29, of 727 Bulls Horne Road, Abbeville, was arrested Tuesday and charged with third-degree assault and battery.
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SC: Deranged Man Loads AR-15, Flees Pawnshop Under Fire

"While inspecting the rifle, the subject took out a loaded magazine for an AR-15 that he had on his person and inserted it into the (rifle)," he said. "He then began to shoot into the store and at two of the employees inside of the store."

A store employee returned fire and the suspect, later identified as Westfall, fled the store, Cochran said.

Deputies found him in a wooded area behind the pawnshop, he said. He still had the AR-15 rifle in his possession and was taken into custody without further incident.
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AZ: Overdosing Drug User Shot after Invading Home

The homeowner reported to police that a stranger entered his home and his bedroom. He said the man was "grunting and yelling incoherently," as he advanced toward him.

The victim fired from his handgun, striking Soto in the shoulder and upper arm.

Soto has been charged with criminal trespassing.

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Friday, August 11, 2017

Australian Gun Culture (part 13): Maxim Memorital, Ben Hall Wall

Driving south from Quirindi in the Gunnedah Shire in New South Wales, Australia, there is a war memorial. It started as a war memorial for the Great War of 1914 to 1918,  World War II and Vietnam were added later. The names of the dead and those who served are reverently listed.

On top is a Maxim machine gun. A few parts are missing. I could not determine if it was a captured gun or one used on the side of the British and Australians. It struck me as being remarkably complete, though there were layers of thick paint and I could not see the internals.

I seldom see machine guns in memorials in the United States, though artillery pieces and tanks are common.  There were several variants of the Maxim. It was a very successful machine gun, used for many wars, with improved versions in the Vickers and the German MG08. 

The Australians are a patriotic folk who admire their servicemen and women. 

The memorial likely contains a number of useful Maxim parts. The Australians have a very low crime rate, especially in the country. It is nice to see this memorial remain unmolested.

On the same road, next to the war memorial is a memorial to one of Australia's great bush rangers, Ben Hall. An Australian bush ranger is rather like an American Jesse James, without the Civil War. In Australia, Jesse James is considered an American bush ranger.

There is not much pistol play in Australian folk lore. Ben Hall is one of the few examples. Australians have been a pretty law abiding folk, the aborigines were completely outclassed by the European weapons organization, and agriculture. There was no great power threatening Australia with a land border. England ruled the seas, so Australia was protected until World War II.

It is hard to see what pistols Ben is using for his wealth redistribution efforts in the mural. It was too early for cartridge revolvers. Ben Halls actions happened from about 1862 to 1865. In 1865, he was shot and killed from ambush by police. Ben is not known to have killed anyone.

He is reported to have used a Colt .31 caliber pocket revolver, a Colt 1851 Navy, a Tranter 1856 .38 percussion revolver, and a double barreled percussion pistol.

The revolvers were state of the art weaponry at the time. The Colt revolvers were reported as stolen from the NSW police.

The Australian gun laws were gradually being tightened before 1996. There was also a growing and popular gun culture.

Now, after enacting some of the most repressive and strict gun laws in the developed world, slow reforms are being made. The numbers of gun owners are increasing, and some sanity is being applied to the law.

Original percussion revolvers are supposed to be considered non-guns. That is subject to much interpretation. Donald Eykamp paid a heavy price for having some original Colt percussion revolvers at his house. The revolvers were not locked up in a safe.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

TX: Woman Uses .357 Magnum to Deter Burglary Suspect

Police say a man broke into a home on the 400 block of Millwood around 9:35 a.m. Tuesday. Police say the suspect got into the garage of the home and then entered the kitchen. A woman inside heard a noise in the garage and grabbed her .357 handgun. A police report states the woman and the man then spotted one another, and the suspect ran out of the house. Investigators say the woman followed the suspect to see where he was going and fired one round in his direction "out of fear that he may return."
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FL: Armed VIctim Shoots Robber, Unarmed Victim is Shot

JSO said two men tried to rob two different victims near 4200 University Blvd N.

In the first situation, a male victim was shot by two black males in front of the Prime Time Food Store (4275 University Blvd N, Jacksonville, FL 32277).

A second shooting took place on Polo Court, which is the street behind the Prime Time Food Store. The suspect was shot by the victim that he was trying to rob. The other suspect fled.

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GA: Howmowner Shoots, Kills, Intruder

A homeowner shot and killed an intruder in self-defense late Monday on Kingsberry Street, according to Columbus police.

Read more here:

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TX: Gunfight, Robber Shoots Armed Victim, Runs Off

The robber, who was armed with a handgun, approached the victim at around 12:50 a.m. Tuesday near the Glen Oaks apartments in the 5100 block of Sanger and demanded money.

“The victim pulled his gun and began shooting at the suspect,” Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said.

“The suspect then shot the victim striking him in the right leg.”
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FL: Three Stabbed Before Good Samaritan with Gun Stops Attack

SEMINOLE, FL — Two good Samaritans suffered stab wounds on Sunday when they tried to come to a woman’s aid in a Publix parking lot in Seminole. That’s when Pinellas County deputies say a third good Samaritan with a gun stepped in and put an end to the struggle without firing a shot.
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Thursday, August 10, 2017

TX: Armed Homeownner Captures Teen Burglar at Gunpoint

Notice the positive comment by Sherman Police.

When he got home, Debord said he heard someone upstairs, so he grabbed his gun and went to confront the intruder.

He found the culprit, a teenage boy, hiding in the corner of a bedroom.

"Obeying every command that I had for him,” Debord said. “You know, hands up. Stay there. Don't move."

Sherman Police arrived and took the boy into juvenile custody.
(snip) (from police Sgt. Hampton)

"It's just not worth it. Don't break into people's homes." Hampton said. “They work hard for what they have. They have the right to defend themselves.”

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IL: Chicago CCW Holder Fires Back

The concealed carry holder, 39, was driving a white 2015 Dodge Charger south in the 9500 block of South Stony Island Avenue just before 1:25 a.m. when someone in a 2007 Chevy Equinox fired at him, police said.

The man returned fire, causing the Equinox to crash. The suspect ran from the scene, police said.

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WA: Intruder Shot While Breaking into Apartment

A man broke into a Puyallup apartment late Sunday and got a bullet for his trouble.

The 33-year-old man who lived in the home welcomed the intruder with a pistol and quickly fired two shots when the he burst through the door.

Read more here:

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Followup OH: Domestic Defense, 64-Year-Old Son Shot by 85-Year-Old Father, Defending 84-Year-Old Mother

Guernsey County Sheriff's Deputy Sam Williams said Carl Jeffery King was fatally wounded by a small caliber rifle after initiating a violent altercation with his parents.

Williams said victim's mother called 911 at approximately 7:45 p.m. stating that her son had come home intoxicated and threatened to kill her.

While the 84-year-old woman was on the phone with a dispatcher, her son emerged from a bedroom with a handgun and began firing at her.

The woman's 85-year-old husband, was able to retrieve a small caliber rifle from the kitchen and returned fire. Williams said about a dozen rounds were fired between the two men before King was mortally wounded.
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Followup TX: Police Seek Suspect in Home Invasion Shooting

Police said Jalen Cole, 18, and another man broke in wearing masks and attempted to rob the home. People inside the apartment started shooting back and Cole was shot. He later died in the street. His accomplice ran away.

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AR: Gunfight, Firearm Beats BB Gun, Robber Shot, Killed

"An employee of the restaurant reported that Price entered the store," police wrote. "Price asked to see the manager, then brandished and cycled a handgun. At this point the employee, who was armed with a handgun, shot and killed Price."

The statement said "indisputable evidence" shows Price enter the store armed with a handgun and later brandishing it. It did not specify whether that evidence was surveillance footage.

The weapon Price held was later determined to be a BB gun "that functioned like a semi-automatic handgun," police wrote.
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AZ: Armed Victim Stops Robbery, Accidentaly Shots Self in Leg

A spokesperson for Mesa police tells 12 News that a man showing up for work at Cindy’s CafĂ© was confronted outside the business by an armed assailant. The victim then pulled out his own handgun in order to defend himself.

Police believe that gun went off accidently striking the man in the leg. The armed robber ran off.
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Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Slight, 61-Year-Old Musician with Carry Permit, Stops Big Teen Robber video

 On July 30, 2017, a 61-Year-Old, mild mannered musician, Darius Summers, walked down to the local gas station for a cup of coffee. He had recently obtained a concealed carry permit. Darius is not a large man. A local miscreant "made" Darius, and saw that Darius was armed. He decided that he would rob Darius of his gun.  The store video shows what happened.

Link to video

It did not turn out well for the large, armed, thuggish teenager. Darius lulled the suspect into a false sense of security. Then he accessed his pistol and shot the would be armed robber. It was a nicely executed bit of misdirection.  It illustrates the old saw: "Old age and treachery beat youth and skill." From
He said a 16-year-old boy armed with a gun saw that Summers was also armed, and the teen tried to take his weapon. He stuck his gun in Summers' back, thinking he was an older, easier target.

"I said, 'All I want to do is leave,'" Summers said. "He said, 'You can't leave.' I said, 'OK. What do you want to do?'"

Summers said the teen was controlling him, but then the 61-year-old man pulled out his own gun and shot the boy in the stomach. The teen picked up the gun that he dropped and limped out of the store.
 The size, strength, and agility advantages were all on the side of the armed robbery suspect. He even knew that Darius was armed. Darius' handgun and tactics more than evened the odds, allowing him to prevail and likely prevent untold future crimes.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig has championed the right of residents to have concealed carry permits and to fight back. Homicides in Detroit have bucked the trend in cities where the police have been disparaged by the Obama Justice department, cities like Baltimore, MD, and Chicago, Ill. In Detroit, murders leveled off from 2014, and dropped 10% from the levels of 2013.  In 2013, there were 332 murders; in 2016, 302. In Detroit, Chief Craig is very popular.

In the Ferguson Effect, homicides rose after police pulled back from inner cities, murders rose as much as 90%. Cities where the administrations claim that armed citizens are part of the problem, not part of the solution.  From
2015 closed with a 17 percent increase in homicides in the 56 largest cities, a nearly unprecedented one-year spike. Twelve cities with large black populations saw murders rise anywhere from 54 percent in the case of the District to 90 percent in Cleveland. Baltimore’s per capita murder rate was the highest in its history in 2015.
Baltimore's high murder rate stayed high in 2016.

Armed citizens may not make a large difference in the numbers of murders. The decline in the Detroit murder rate is not huge. But having a gun gives an average older man a good chance against a large, young one.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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MI: Teen Tries to Steal Gun, Gets Shot by 61-Year-Old Musician

He said a 16-year-old boy armed with a gun saw that Summers was also armed, and the teen tried to take his weapon. He stuck his gun in Summers' back, thinking he was an older, easier target.

"I said, 'All I want to do is leave,'" Summers said. "He said, 'You can't leave.' I said, 'OK. What do you want to do?'"

Summers said the teen was controlling him, but then the 61-year-old man pulled out his own gun and shot the boy in the stomach. The teen picked up the gun that he dropped and limped out of the store.
More Here

FL: Rape Survivor Says Campus Carry Would have Made a Difference

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Pro-campus carry legislators have promised to bring back the issue next session. Florida is one of 20 states that ban any form of campus carry.

Some students say they would feel unsafe if guns were allowed on university campuses, but a survivor of sexual assault said her attack changed her mind on the issue.
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FL: Elderly Homeowner Shoots, Kills Home Invader

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputies are conducting a death investigation in Lakeland.

Investigators say it appears elderly homeowners on Deeson Road were woken up by an unknown intruder in their home.

The male homeowner shot the intruder, according to detectives, and the intruder died at the scene.
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SC: Man Kills 1 of 2 Pitt Bulls that Invaded Porch, Attacked Yorkie

The man told officers two pit bulls approached his home and tore through a screened-in porch that housed his Yorkie. One of the pit bulls grabbed the smaller dog and started biting it, the man said in the report, so he "attempted every avenue possible" to remove the dogs from the Yorkie.


His wife then retrieved a 12-gauge Remington shotgun. He told officers "he had no other choice" but to shoot at the dogs. He said he shot one dog at point blank range on the porch, instantly killing it, according to the report. Police said they found spent shotgun shells on the porch.
More Here

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Australian Gun Culture (part 12): Amnesty of 2017 Halfway Through

.44 Magnum S&W and Browning Auto-5 turned in at 2017 Australian Amnesty

Australia is undergoing a gun "amnesty", the first general one since 1996, when some of the most restrictive gun laws in the world were imposed on Australia. The federal guidelines were fast tracked by the hoplophobic Prime Minister, John Howard, with substantial aid by the anti-gun Australian media, during the emotional effect of the Port Arthur massacre.

Since being declared a month ago, 1700 rifles, 460 shotguns and nearly 200 handguns have been surrendered and thousands more firearms submitted for registration.

Surrendered items include four SKS assault rifles, a 9mm homemade sub-machine gun, a Colt AR-15 rifle, M1 carbine, a .44 calibre Magnum revolver, and a Leader Dynamics T2 MK5 assault rifle.

Police have also received more than 110 prohibited weapons including samurai swords, knives, knuckle-dusters and other edged weapons, Forensic Services detective chief inspector Wayne Hoffman told media on Tuesday.
This firearms amnesty differs in significant ways from the mandatory turn-in during 1996. In that turn-in, people were required to turn in the guns, and were paid for them.  In this amnesty, there is no government compensation for turned in guns. People can have the guns sent to a gun dealer to be sold, or they can register them if they already have the appropriate license. The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party can be thanked for that bit of sanity.

A week ago, I talked to an employee of Tamworth Firearms, one of the biggest gun stores in Australia. I asked about the amnesty, and how it was going.  He said that under a hundred guns had been turned in at the store.  Most had been registered with someone who already had a license.  All were common rifles and shotguns. There were no high dollar items. The shop charges 20 dollars to register the guns. If the person registering them already has a license, they can leave with their newly registered gun in a few minutes.

I ran into this American Family at the Tamworth Firearms shop

On the 9th of August, I stopped at the Tamworth shop. A policeman was there delivering a shotgun to be registered.  It was a very nice high grade French 16 gauge.

One of shop personel allowed me to look. Double triggers, internal hammers, solid rib. Simply lovely. It was made by Henri Gaymu in Paris, probably about 1900. Scroll engraving covered the receiver. Many French records were destroyed in WWII. Gaymu was a well known manufacturer of quality guns. Any other information on Gaymu shotguns would be appreciated.

About 6400 guns have been turned in or registered in New South Wales so far. The article from AAP says that almost 2,360 firearms were turned in. That means that over 4 thousand unregistered guns have been registered under this amnesty.

Samurai swords are listed as prohibited weapons. There are many replicas on the market. Australia was heavily involved in the Pacific island fighting. It  is likely that one of the swords turned is a WWII bringback. Some of them are worth tens of thousands of dollars.

I hope that someone with a sense of history is looking at the items turned in.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch