Gun Law Forum


News, discussion and analysis on US gun laws

Gun Law News – May 11, 2009

Gun law update


News report


Publication: Journal News
Location: White Plains, NY




Headline:  Minority youngsters dying weekly on Chicago’s streets
Location: Chicago, IL

Headline: Boy dies after Liberty County shooting
Publication: Houston Chronicle
Location: Libterty County, TX

Headline: 7-year-old Texas boy dies in off-road shooting
Publication: Associated Press
Location: Houston, TX

Headline: UW-La Crosse names eagle mascot ‘Colbert’
Publication: Associated Press
Location: La Crosse, WI

Headline: Prof. wanted in killings found dead in Ga. woods
Publication: Associated Press
Location: Athens, GA

Filed under: Arizona, Editorial, Legislation move, Massachussetts, News report

Gun Law News — May 8,2009

Gun Law update

NRA-sponsored ATF Reform Bill Introduced in Senate
It will further limit Agency’s license revocation power for gun dealers

US Senators push to allow guns in parks
from Jackson Hole Daily

Tennessee House passes “guns in bars” bill
From Chattanooga Times Free Press

Tennessee House approves guns-in-restaurants bill
From Memphis Commercial Appeal

Bill stopping confiscation of guns passes Tennessee Senate
Location: Nashville, TN

Lawsuit Seeks Stronger Gun Rights For California Citizens
From CBS News

Why the Legislature should keep concealed weapons off Texas campuses
From Austin American-Statesman

Face of gun crime
Location: Savannah, GA

News Report:

Obama picks fight on alien jail funds, dodges on gun tracing

Assault rifle for Sarah Palin? Won’t happen.

Teen arrested for having assault rifle at school

Filed under: Federal, Legislation move, News report, Tennessee

Assault Weapon Shooting March-April 2009

Marrero, Louisiana.  April 30, 2009. A 14 year old boy died after being shot in the head with an AK-47 assault rifle.

New Orleans, Louisiana.  April 27, 2009. A man with an AK-47 assault rifle shot into a car carrying a man and his two children, hitting the 10 year old boy in the arm, after the father stopped to ask for directions.

Liberty City, Florida.  April 26, 2009. Four teenagers and a 22 year old were wounded when someone shot at them from a car with an AK-47 assault rifle as they were standing outside a home.

Moultrie, Georgia.  April 26, 2009. An intoxicated convicted felon threatened his family and shot an assault rifle out the door of the family residence.

Oakland, California.  April 22, 2009. Someone sprayed bullets from an assault rifle at two people in a car, causing the driver to crash into a utility pole.  Several cars and homes nearby were also hit with bullets.

Youngstown, Ohio.  April 21, 2009. A gunman fired repeatedly on a home with an AK-47 assault rifle.

Warren, Ohio.  April 13, 2009. Someone armed with an assault weapon fired repeatedly into a home during a drive-by shooting, killing a child and an adult, and injuring another child.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  April 9, 2009. A man armed with an AK-47 assault rifle fired at a car full of people before fleeing from police.  Nobody in the car was hit.

Oak Creek, Wisconsin.  April 9, 2009. A man shot his mother with an AK-47 assault rifle and stabbed his brother’s girlfriend during a family argument.

Beaumont, Texas. April 8, 2009. An argument between a couple going through a divorce turned violent when the couple and their friends exchanged gunfire with SKS assault rifles.  A 19 year old man was shot during the incident.

SeaTac, Washington.  April 7, 2009. A man jumped out of a car and fired an AK-47 assault rifle into another car stopped at an intersection, hitting the two men in the front seats.  One of the men died from his injuries.  A woman and a two year old boy in the back seat were not injured.  Police believe the shooting was retaliation for another shooting.

St. Petersburg, Florida.  April 5, 2009.  Two gunman sprayed more than 50 rounds from two AR-15 assault rifles into a house overnight, killing an eight year old girl who was asleep inside.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  April 4, 2009. A man armed with multiple guns, including an assault rifle, ambushed police when they responded to a domestic disturbance call, shooting and killing three officers immediately.  The gunman and police exchanged fire for several hours after the initial ambush, with more than a hundred rounds being fired, before he surrendered.  The gunman was shot in the legs but not mortally wounded because he was wearing body armor, and a forth police officer was shot in the hand.  The gunman had lost his job recently and was afraid the Obama administration was going to ban guns.

Seattle, Washington.  April 2, 2009. A 22 year old man shot and killed a man with an assault rifle outside a home.  Police believe the shooting stemmed from an earlier argument.

Pine Township, Pennsylvania.  April 1, 2009. A man assaulted a woman and shot at her with an SKS assault rifle as she ran away.  When another man arrived at the scene, the gunman attacked him before fleeing in the woman’s car.  Police arrested the gunman later that night.

Indianapolis, Indiana.  March 25, 2009. Four men in a car, armed with an AK-47 assault rifle, shot two people as they were exiting a nightclub.  One victim died and the other was seriously wounded.

Seguin, Texas. March 25, 2009. A man with an assault rifle shot at a man in a car multiple times, causing him to crash.  The victim then fled on foot while the gunman continued to shoot at him.

Cincinnati, Ohio.  March 25, 2009. Three men armed with two guns, including an assault rifle, fired at least 25 rounds at a FBI agent in a car.  The agent was not injured, but the car he was sitting in, a nearby car, and two houses were struck many times.

Oakland, California.  March 21, 2009.  A man with an extensive criminal history shot five police officers, killing four of them.  The gunman shot and killed the first two police officers during a routine traffic stop, and then fled to a nearby apartment building where he shot another three police officers with an assault rifle.  The gunman died when police returned fire.

Scranton, Pennsylvania.  March 15, 2009. The same man implicated in the incident on March 14 in Altoona is suspected of shooting two people with an AK-47 assault rifle.  When police arrested the man, they found two AK-47s, 500 rounds of ammunition, and six homemade bombs in his possession.

Altoona, Pennsylvania.  March 14, 2009. A distraught man fired more than 20 rounds from an AK-47 assault rifle into the house of his ex-girlfriend.  The man had been convicted of assault and harassment previously and served time in jail.

Geneva County & Coffee County, Alabama.  March 10, 2009. A man killed 10 people, including his mother, grandmother, and other family members, as well as an 18 month old baby and her mother, and injured an additional three people.  The shooting spree spread through multiple towns, ending only when the gunman killed himself during a shootout with police.  The gunman, armed with an SKS assault rifle, an AR-15 assault rifle, a shotgun, and a handgun, taped together ammunition magazines to reload faster and fired over 200 rounds during the massacre.

Florida City, Florida.  March 10, 2009. A gunman shot two men, one fatally, from his car with an assault rifle.

Tyler, Texas.  March 9, 2009. A man on parole fired an AK-47 assault rifle repeatedly after arguing with his wife in their apartment.  Nobody was injured, but there were three children, ages five, six and 11, also present at the time of the shooting.

Indianapolis, Indiana.  March 9, 2009.  A 20 year old fired an assault rifle towards a car at least ten times, hitting and seriously injuring a seven year old boy who was climbing inside.  The gunman said the shooting stemmed from a prior incident and that he did not see the boy.

Myrtle Beach, Florida.  March 6, 2009. A man armed with an assault rifle shot at a police officer after being pulled over for erratic driving.  The gunman hit the police car multiple times with gunfire, but did not hit the officer.  The gunman was wounded when the officer returned fire.

Filed under: Assault weapon, News report, , ,

Massacres triggering gun legislation

Gun legislation was supposed to go on the back burner this year, with the economy on life support, the health-care system overloaded, and most folks more worried about swine flu than assault weapons.

But who could ignore the series of mass shootings that killed police in Oakland and Pittsburgh, nursing-home residents in North Carolina, and immigrants in Binghamton? Especially since the victims were buried around the 10-year anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School, two years after the tearful tragedy at Virginia Tech.

Suddenly, Gov. Rendell is back on TV, begging fellow politicians to get serious about commonsense gun laws or stop attending funerals for cops shot in the line of duty – because that’s “hypocritical.”

On his trip south of the border, President Obama acknowledged the uncomfortable fact that the vicious Mexican drug war is being fought with killing machines too easily obtained on U.S. soil.

Fed-up leaders of tiny towns are flocking to the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition, disproving the notion that the violence and lawlessness is just a big-city problem.

And while state legislators sleep, communities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey are boldly passing their own gun laws, refusing to be intimidated by the National Rifle Association’s legal threats.

Just last week, the Harrisburg City Council approved a proposal requiring the owner to alert police if a gun is lost or stolen.

The symbolic 7-0 vote took place two blocks from the statehouse. So much for changing the subject.

Closing in on the capital

Linda Thompson was done waiting. The Harrisburg Council president said she could “no longer sit by idly and hope and pray state officials stop playing it safe.”

“They’re not on the front lines,” she told me, where “gun pimps come into neighborhoods, pop the trunk, and negotiate deals in exchange for drugs or money.”

Thompson doesn’t believe a lost-and-stolen law will halt gun trafficking, but it’s a worthy first step.

Convincing colleagues wasn’t easy, she said, since they knew they’d be attacked for trying to protect their city.

“We’ve been sued by better,” Thompson said.

Harrisburg joins Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Reading, Pottsville, Allentown, and Jersey City in passing municipal gun laws.

“It’s their way of fighting back against the legislature and Congress, folks either refusing to act or telling them they can’t act,” said Paul Helmke of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Strength in numbers

A dozen Pennsylvania law enforcement officers have been shot and killed in the line of duty since 2005 – half of them in 2008 – prompting Reading Mayor Tom McMahon to ask Pennsylvania colleagues to join him in the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition.

Thirty-one mayors across the commonwealth signed on in the last month alone, many from hamlets like Oxford and Marietta.

“We haven’t had a big problem yet, but where there are drugs there are guns – and we have had issues with drugs,” Marietta’s longtime mayor, Oliver Overlander, said of his “bedroom community” of 2,300 on the Susquehanna River.

The city-by-city, mayor-by-mayor movement has the potential to encircle the state capital, forcing legislators’ hands.

Think I’m reaching? Helmke likened the effort to “the nonviolent protests of the ’60s.”

The other side, long accustomed to controlling the gun debate in this state, has clearly taken notice.

Last month, 1,000 gun owners rallied in Harrisburg against politicians calling for gun control after the Pittsburgh police slayings.

A few days later, the NRA sued to overturn Pittsburgh’s lost-and-stolen gun law.

The suit was filed as residents mourned officers murdered by a man wielding an AK-47.

Talk about poor taste and worse timing.

Filed under: News report, ,

NRA sues Pittsburgh mayor, council over gun law

PITTSBURGH, PA – The National Rifle Association has sued Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and the City Council over the legality of a city law requiring gun owners to report their lost or stolen guns.

The NRA says the law “severely restricts and/or infringes” on the constitutional right to keep firearms in homes. The NRA and four individuals also argue in the suit that the city does not have the authority to regulate the ownership of firearms.

The lawsuit was filed Friday in Allegheny County Court. The council approved the legislation in December, and it became law 10 days later without Ravenstahl’s signature.

The NRA also has challenged a series of gun-control measures passed by Philadelphia’s City Council.
Report from

Filed under: News report, NRA, Pennsylvania