Repealing Part of DC's Gun Ban

The current rules that allow you to keep a registered rifle or shotgun in your home if the are disassembled and locked makes them worth little more than a club for self-defense. While it would be even better if handguns were covered in the same way, it will be educational to have all the horror stories of gun control advocates disproved once again if this is passed.

The vote of 259 to 161 marked the third time since 1999 that the House has targeted the city's gun laws, which are among the most stringent in the nation. . . . Gun rights groups said this measure's chances of clearing the Senate are greater because it is attached to a spending bill that Congress must pass to avoid a government shutdown. . . .

Rep. Mark Edward Souder (R-Ind.), the measure's sponsor, said it marked "an extremely simple, common-sense . . . first step" toward freer gun ownership, allowing residents to keep loaded, assembled and unlocked weapons in their homes, just as D.C. business owners are allowed to do at workplaces.

Under D.C. law, residents can keep rifles and shotguns in their homes, as well as handguns owned and registered by Feb. 22, 1977, but only if they are stored in a nonoperating condition. The House amendment would prevent the city from enforcing that restriction. Unlike the bill passed by the House last year, it would not alter the city's ban on handguns, Souder said.

"This amendment does not legalize anything that can't be legally owned now. No machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, AK-47s or Uzis," he said. "All it does is . . . [it] gives D.C. citizens the same rights at home that they have at work."


New op-ed on Firework Safety


Sometimes the police can not protect people

How can "Kelo" be fixed?

There is apparently an online petition to ask Congress to overturn the Kelo vs. New London case that was decided on June 23, 2005. It was the case that allowed governments to take people's property for the private use of others.
Here is my question. If they were to pass a constitutional amendment, what language could they use that was clearer than the language that was already in the constitution? If the court is going to determine that the word "use" in the term "public use" means any possible benefits include those from private parties using the lan, how can an amendment fix things? My guess that a new constitutional amendment will only "fix" things because it will show the court how upset people are.

Crime in Oklahoma rising before RTC and then falling consistently afterwards

Could "Kelo vs. City of New London" mean Justice Souter loses his house?

Could a hotel be built on the land owned by Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter? A new ruling by the Supreme Court which was supported by Justice Souter himself itself might allow it. A private developer is seeking to use this very law to build a hotel on Souter's land.

Justice Souter's vote in the "Kelo vs. City of New London" decision allows city governments to take land from one private owner and give it to another if the government will generate greater tax revenue or other economic benefits when the land is developed by the new owner.

On Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements, faxed a request to Chip Meany the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Mr. Souter's home.

Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out that the City of Weare will certainly gain greater tax revenue and economic benefits with a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road than allowing Mr. Souter to own the land. . . .

Possibly he will realize that laws are not always used for things that he thinks are good.

Sonya was nice enough to pass this on to me.


The National Association of Chiefs of Police just released its 17th Annual Survey

Bookie odds on who will leave the Supreme Court

Some of these numbers are pretty hard for me to believe and indicate a possible profit opportunity. For example, are the odds only 15 to 1 that Stevens will be the next Chief Justice? 17 to 1 for Breyer?

Retirement odds ($1 will get you at 4:30 on 6/29)
William Rehnquist 1.36
Sandra Day O Connor 3.20
John Paul Stevens 5.00
Field (Any Judge Not Listed) 7.00
Ruth Bader Ginsburg 11.00


Antonin Scalia 2.10
Clarence Thomas 2.62
Field (Anyone Else Not Listed) 3.50
David Hackett Souter 7.00
Anthony M. Kennedy 9.00
Sandra Day O Connor 11.00
John Paul Stevens 15.00
Stephen G. Breyer 17.00
Ruth Bader Ginsburg 19.00

Michael J Luttig 6.00
Samuel A Alito Jr 7.00
John Roberts 7.00
Emilio M Garza 7.00
Alberto Gonzalez 8.00
James Harvie Wilkinson III 8.50
Michael McConnell 9.00
Miguel Estrada 11.00
Theodore B Olsen 13.00
William Pryor 15.00
Edith Hollan Jones 17.00
Frank Hoover Easterbrook 21.00

What constitutes the media

The campaign finance laws are a mess, but if you do a search on this site, you will see that I have made that point in many different pieces.

Carol Darr of the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet warned that the so-called media exception would be abused. If the FEC veered in that direction, Darr said, you'd see "the campaign finance laws that we've operated under for 50 years just crumble." Larry Noble of the Center for Responsive Politics added: "I don't think you can just make everybody the press." . . .

In a conversation with CNET News.com, Republican Commissioner Bradley Smith indicated that a hybrid approach might work. "I think the press exemption may be more helpful than people think," Smith said. "Republicans clearly believe in a broader press exemption than Democrats do."

Statistics Canada says that they can't find any impact of Canada's Gun Laws on Really Anything

This is a real surprise.

Mr. Garry Breitkreuz [Member of the Canadian Parliament]:

Since 1995, what have been the actual public safety improvements achieved as a direct result of the Canadian Firearms Program and Firearms Registry including: (a) the number of violent crimes solved; (b) the number and type of violent and non-violent charges laid; (c) the number and type of convictions obtained; (d) the number and type of firearms seized from criminals; (e) the reduction in the total number of homicides; (f) the reduction in the total number of domestic homicides; (g) the reduction in the total number of suicides; (h) the number of lives saved; (i) the respective reduction in violent crime; and (j) the number of firearms returned to their rightful owners?

BREITKREUZ NOTE: The following was only available in hard copy and had to be re-typed from the original.


Statistics Canada’s Uniform Crime Reporting Survey and Homicide Survey collect data from administrative records of police-reported criminal incidents. The Youth and Adult Court surveys collect data from administrative records of cases appearing before criminal courts. Trends in crime statistics can be influenced by many factors including socio-demographic and economic changes, legislative and program changes and changes in police practices. The specific impact of the firearms program or the firearms registry cannot be isolated from that of other factors. [Statistics Canada emphasis]

New Op-ed in the LA Times

I think that people will find this piece interesting:

This wasn't supposed to happen. When the federal assault weapons ban ended on Sept. 13, 2004, gun crimes and police killings were predicted to surge. Instead, they have declined.

For a decade, the ban was a cornerstone of the gun control movement. Sarah Brady, one of the nation's leading gun control advocates, warned that "our streets are going to be filled with AK-47s and Uzis." Life without the ban would mean rampant murder and bloodshed.

Well, more than nine months have passed and the first crime numbers are in. Last week, the FBI announced that the number of murders nationwide fell by 3.6% last year, the first drop since 1999. The trend was consistent; murders kept on declining after the assault weapons ban ended. . . .

Sorry, with the testimony yesterday, I didn't have time to put this up.

More on yesterday's testimony before U.S. House

Well, at least it was nice that the Washington Post mentioned my testimony yesterday:
Gun rights groups cited testimony of John R. Lott, a resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, who said the District's murder rate is 30 percent higher than before the ban.

The article gives a reasonable idea what yesterday was like.

Penn & Teller's show on guns available for download

Penn & Teller's show can be downloaded here.

I was somewhat disappointed with the show, though I am still glad that they did it. I thought that SUZANNA HUPP did a truly excellent job as usual.


Great T-shirt idea

The Institute for Justice is selling T-shirts with a sentence from Thomas' dissent in the Kelo property case:
"Something has gone seriously awry with this Court's interpretation of the Constitution."

Congressional Testimony Today

I testified this afternoon before the US House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform. The topic was the DC gun ban, and it was a fairly long winded affair. Robert Levy from Cato and I pretty much held down the fort, but much of the discussion concerned tragic examples of lost lives or almost lost lives from guns. The notion of costs versus benefits was not a central feature in much of the discussion, but given that I was the only one that really had any data, I think that it made some difference.


Appearance on Penn & Teller's show on Showtime TONIGHT


"22% of federal gun laws now authorize arming staff"

Alan Korwin has found something pretty surprising: "22% of federal gun laws now authorize arming staff"

"The laws themselves are silent on the issue, but the thinking is that this granted power overrides state laws and geographic boundaries," he said. People in law enforcement are inured to the fact that federal agents carry almost anything almost anywhere, and local laws don't apply. "There is usually no limitation on open or concealed carry either, and training is rarely specified in statute," Korwin notes. The total number of federal employees with these special powers is unknown.
. . .

Three federal agencies have unrestricted "may carry" language in statute: the Secret Service, the FBI, and the U.S. Marshals. Some of the more unusual federal "police" forces are the egg inspector police, the print shop police, the EPA police, and one of the newest, the Federal Reserve Board police. The latter is supposed to protect the Board, and is granted power to carry guns wherever the Reserve does business. "That would be anywhere there's money, which struck me as a rather ingenious way to grant power broadly," said Alan Korwin, author of Gun Laws of America. He can be reached at gunlaws.com. . . .

Chart of Government Exemptions from the Gun Laws

(Note: Tab delimited, statute number precedes exempt group or exempt condition)

5-App. Inspectors General and specified staff
7-2270 Dept. of Agriculture Office of Inspector General
7-2274 Certain workers at the Dept. of Agriculture
10-1585 Dept. of Defense civilians
12-248 Federal Reserve Board law enforcement agents
14-95 Coast Guard agents
16-1a-6 National Parks employees; any federal employee selected by the Secretary of the Interior, with that employee's agency approval
16-559c Forest Service law enforcement officers and agents
16-670j Dept. of Interior, Dept. of Agriculture, and state employees by agreement
16-3375 Anyone in federal or state government, or an Indian tribe, to enforce hunting and fishing laws
18-922 Federally licensed manufacturers, importers, dealers, museums, researchers and others are exempt for firearms testing and evaluation, per subsection (b); all government authorities are exempt from the assault-weapons descriptions in subsections (v) and (w).
18-925 Federal and state governments are exempt from Title 18 Chapter 44 (the main gun laws)
18-930 Restrictions at federal facilities and federal courts do not apply to proper authorities
18-1715 Authorities exempt from mailing restrictions
18-2277 Possession of firearms on a vessel are at the control of the ship's master or owner; proper authorities are exempt
18-3050 Bureau of Prisons officers and employees
18-3051 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
18-3052 Federal Bureau of Investigation
18-3053 U.S. marshals and their deputies
18-3056 Secret Service
18-3061 United States Postal Service
18-3063 Environmental Protection Agency
19-2072 Customs officials
20-60 Smithsonian Institution curators (for display)
21-372 Health and Human Services Dept.
21-878 Drug Enforcement Administration; local law enforcement officer authorized by Atty. General
22-277d-3 International Boundary and Water Commission
22-2709 Dept. of State and the Foreign Service
22-2778 Government people who are not restricted by the U.S. Munitions List
25-2803 Bureau of Indian Affairs
26-4182 Armed forces are exempt from firearms taxes
26-5844 NFA weapons can only be imported for proper authorities or research and testing
26-5851 People working with proper authorities may be exempt from certain taxes and requirements
26-5852 Certain taxes are waived for proper authorities and the military
26-5853 Certain taxes are waived for proper authorities and the military
26-5872 Proper authorities can get confiscated firearms
26-7608 Internal Revenue Service agents
28-566 U.S. Marshals, deputies and officials of the Marshal's Svc.
31-321 Treasury Dept.
38-902 Dept. of Veterans Affairs
39-3001 Proper authorities are exempt from nonmailable firearms provisions
40-13n Supreme Court Marshal and Police
40-193t Smithsonian Institution police
40-210 Capitol Police
40-318d General Services Admin. officers and employees
40-490 GSA protection force
40-1315 Dept. of Homeland Security; Federal Protective Service
42-2201 Atomic Energy Commission and contractors
42-2456 National Aeronautics and Space Administration and contractors
42-7270a Dept. of Energy
43-1733 Dept. of the Interior
44-317 Government Printing Office employees
49-114 Transportation Security Administration
49-44903 Air transportation security personnel
49-44921 Federal Flight Deck Officers (deputized pilots)
49-46303 Proper authorities may have firearms on aircraft
49-46505 Proper authorities may have firearms on aircraft
49 App 2404 Dept. of Transportation employees at Washington National Airport
49 App 2428 Dept. of Transportation employees at Dulles International Airport
50-403f Central Intelligence Agency
50 App 2411 Dept. of Commerce Office of Export Enforcement

Minnesotan making up for lost time on getting concealed handgun permits

Belgiums ban Police from taking guns home

The battered reputation of Belgium's security forces suffered a fresh blow yesterday when it emerged that police officers have been banned from taking guns home after a spate of suicides involving service pistols.

The ban is part of a pattern. Belgium's internal security service, the "Sûreté de l'État", disarmed almost all its field agents in April after one drunkenly tried to shoot a colleague in the head.

This time, uniformed police officers have been told to leave their guns in police stations at the end of their shifts, a spokesman for the interior minister confirmed.

The minister, Patrick Dewael, acted after learning that the suicide rate among policemen was twice the national average. So far this year 11 local policemen and two federal officers have killed themselves.

In a parliamentary reply, Mr Dewael said a temporary order had been issued on June 21, banning federal police from taking guns home. He said a similar order would follow for local police. Police forces in Belgium lost the confidence of the public after their bungling and rivalry allowed Marc Dutroux, a murderer and paedophile, to imprison young girls. He killed four before being caught in 1996. . . .

It is interesting how gun laws get enacted because of one bad act. Belgium has a relatively high murder rate despite these various bans. I doubt that this ban will have any effect on suicides by police.