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MI: 'Firearm epidemic?' Grand Rapids sees sharp rise in illegal-gun seizures
Submitted by: Corey Salo

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The Rev. Jerry Bishop tries not to keep track of the number of gunshot victims he has buried in 20 years as a Grand Rapids pastor.

His church on the city's southeast side has hosted its fair share over the years.

Three days after presiding over the funeral of a 46-year-old tow truck driver who was gunned down on Nov. 13, Bishop called the city's gun violence and illegal gun ownership an epidemic that has only escalated in recent years.

"I've buried three people through very heinous incidents this year, and I'm burying about the same or more every year," he said. "The vast majority of young men I've buried are victims of gunshot wounds. And I have not seen this problem getting any better in 20 years."
 

MI: 7 weeks, 122 guns: Rash of break-ins puts more firearms on the streets
Submitted by: Corey Salo

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Five attempted gun-shop larcenies over the course of seven weeks this fall resulted in 122 stolen guns being dumped onto the streets of Kent County.

That’s five shy of the total illegally used or possessed guns taken into evidence by the Grand Rapids Police Department in the entirety of 2013.

Though 24 stolen firearms have since been recovered, and at least 13 arrests made, the rash of break-ins has sparked concern, frustration and added workload for local police.

“This goes well beyond stolen guns,” said Grand Rapids Police Lt. Kristen Rogers. “This goes into future homicides and robberies and future people getting injured. This isn’t just guns getting stolen, people are going to use them.”
 

Why the gun industry should support net neutrality
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Although a host of hypothetical scenarios can describe the potential impact repealing net neutrality could have on the Internet as we know it, Ryan Singel, a media and strategy fellow at Stanford Law, made the case for why the gun industry and activists should be concerned.

He said his main concern is that repealing the federal rules would allow Internet service providers to limit the reach of or even block content creators — websites like Guns.com or The Firearm Blog, for example. He argued the rules protect the spirit of the Internet because no matter which ISP is used, the user has access to the whole world wide web.
 

NY: Hawley to Pistol Owners: 'Preserve The 2nd Amendment By Keeping Your Pistol Certified'
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In his ongoing efforts to preserve our Second Amendment rights, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today reminded pistol permit holders to recertify their permits by January 31, 2018 in order to prevent them from becoming invalid. If your pistol permit was issued before January 15, 2013, you must recertify your permit before January 31, 2018. If your permit was issued on or prior January 15, 2013, the deadline is five years after the date the permit was issued.
 

MO: Local Resident Hopes to Take Guns Off the Street Through Gun Buyback Event
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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”Man up, gun down.”

That’s how Cory Crosby is marketing his movement against gun violence.

Crosby, 30, a community organizer, is raising money for an event on Saturday, in which people can exchange their guns for cash or gift cards. The event, Columbia Gift 4 Gun Exchange, intends to offer $100 or gift cards of the same worth to whoever turns in their guns.
 

Five years after my sister died at Sandy Hook, the gun lobby is working to make us less safe
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The other weekend, my family went Christmas tree shopping. We picked out the perfect tree, laughed as we played in the tree farm and posed for pictures together as a family. It was the perfect late fall afternoon and we all enjoyed spending this yearly tradition together. It’s a day my siblings have always looked forward to. These days, however, my sister Victoria is no longer part of this annual tradition.

That’s because, five years ago this month, Victoria was one of six educators shot and killed at Sandy Hook School — along with 20 first graders — in Newtown, Connecticut.
 

NY: Pistol recertification town hall set for Falls
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Niagara County Clerk Joseph A. Jastrzemski knows an unpopular gun control law is raising lots of concerns for area residents, so Saturday he will be in Niagara Falls to help residents navigate new state-imposed legal requirements to keep their legally owned handguns.

Jastrzemski's renewed recertification push comes after receiving updated figures from the New York State Police that show, as of Monday, just 8,080 pistol permit holders in Niagara County have recertified. More than 28,000 of the county's pistol permit holders have permits issued more than five years ago, meaning they must recertify by Jan. 31, 2018, or they will no longer be able to legally own handguns in New York state.
 

Honoring Concealed Carry Permits State to State Up for Debate in Washington
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A republican quest for gun reform is underway on Capitol Hill. The efforts center around honoring concealed carry permits in every state.

The National Rifle Association said they’ve pushed for reciprocity legislation for years and now is the perfect time to get it done.

A spokesperson tells our Washington Bureau’s Peter Zampa law-abiding gun owners need their rights recognized.

Republicans in congress are gearing up to pass gun reform.

Their version of reform is manifested in expanding gun-owners’ rights.
 

House passes bill to end ‘Operation Choke Point’
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The House overwhelmingly voted to terminate a fraud prevention initiative that’s caught flak for its list of “high risk” merchants, to include those in the gun industry.

The bill, H.R.2706, saw an almost unanimous approval on Monday, sending it to the Senate. Just two lawmakers, both Democrats, voted against the measure, Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota and Rep. Grace Napolitano of California. Backers argue the Obama-era program denied deny financial services to businesses they labeled “high risk,” including firearms-related vendors.
 

NJ: Shaneen Allen’s Judge Only Person to get CCW Permit in County
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Politicians like Loretta Weinberg have fought hard to keep permit holder information exempt from public records requests, probably to protect the identity of her friends, and maybe herself? Though we do not know who exactly the 1,274 that have received a conceal carry permit are, the admission of a prosecutor that Judge Michael Donio was the only non-police officer in Atlantic City to receive a conceal carry permit (ccw) is further evidence that we are, in fact, not paranoid nor wrong.
 

Nancy Pelosi’s False Assumptions About Gun Law
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Nancy Pelosi is ignorant about the state of gun laws. It is not surprising. Many people base their decisions about guns and laws on ignorance. It is possible that she is lying.

I suspect ignorance. Most Progressive decisions about guns are made from false assumptions about reality.

Once those assumptions have been internalized, there is no need for further thought or learning about guns and gun laws.
 

Why is Lloyd's of London insuring American guns?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Over the years, Lloyd's of London has insured everything from celebrity body parts to Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic spaceship. Less well known, however, is that in the United States, Lloyd's underwriters have taken on policies associated with a more common, yet arguably more dangerous risk: guns.

As gun violence continues to exact a steep price in the United States, leaving 26 dead in one shooting in Sutherland Spring, Texas, last month, the insurance industry's role is drawing criticism from gun control advocates who claim that some policies may be providing what critics call "murder insurance."
 

An Astronaut Reaching For The Stars … And Grasping At Straws
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Gun grabber Mark Kelly is an astronaut, as the mainstream media so sympathetic to his efforts loves to remind us each time they run a story about him. I get it. It’s cool that he’s been in space four times, but it doesn’t mean he’s right in his crusade to strip his fellow Americans of their essential freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. It doesn’t make it OK that he works relentlessly every day to render me and other good people defenseless against the evil that he sadly knows all too well exists in the world.
 

Traveling with a Gun Is Harder than it Should Be
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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My wife and I drove a Harley Davidson cross country from D.C. to L.A. for our honeymoon with a gun the entire way. This might not seem like a remarkable statement, unless you understand the need for national reciprocity.

Planning to drive cross country on a motorcycle with a GPS is certainly easier today than it was for the old grizzled bikers of yesteryear. That said, the GPS does not know which streets to avoid for safety, so I decided to get my concealed carry permit to make sure I could protect my wife in the event we ended up in a bad situation. I scheduled classes to apply for enough permits for D.C., Utah, and Virginia. This was not a cheap or fast process. In fact, I was only approved for my Utah permit by the time we left.
 

MD: Harford sheriff backs legislation to allow guns in churches
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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People attending services in a house of worship in Maryland will have the option to carry a firearm for self defense, should bills sponsored by two Harford County legislators pass in Annapolis next year.

The legislation, which was announced Tuesday during a press conference at the Harford County Sheriff's Office Southern Precinct in Edgewood, is called the Parishioner Protection Act of 2018.

"Can you think of anything more egregious than being in the house of the Lord and someone coming in with ill intent?" asked Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler, who said he asked local legislators to pursue a legislative fix in Annapolis.
 

KS: Third suspect in Shawnee gun store murder pleads guilty
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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On the third day of his jury trial, a suspect in the murder of a Shawnee gun store owner pleaded guilty instead of continuing the trial.

Nicquan Ke-Aaron Midgyett, 22, pleaded guilty to first degree murder, attempted aggravated robbery, and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery.

Ed.: The 4th is yet to be retried after his mistrial.
 

Would You Buy Your Child This Bulletproof Backpack?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The image is arresting: a row of smiling, backpack-wearing children, under the words "Back to School Protection," in an advertisement for a bulletproof backpack.

"It does potentially start controversy, but it has become a reality," says Yasir Sheikh, the 32-year-old president and CEO of Guard Dog Security, a Sanford, Florida-based manufacturer and distributor of self-defense products.

The advertisement was one of two created for a retail client. In the other version, the children are seen from the back, and running in the opposite direction, under the phrase: "The Smart Kids Are Protected."
 

CA: FPC Publishes Guide to New California Gun Laws, Upcoming Changes
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Today, civil rights advocacy organization Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) published a valuable new guide to California’s many new and changing gun laws.

The article, entitled “California's new gun laws: What every gun owner should know before Jan 1,” can be found at FPC’s Web site at FPCnews.org.

“We want to help gun owners understand what they’re really up against,” explained FPC California Legislative Advocate and Spokesperson Craig DeLuz.

“We don’t want law-abiding gun owners getting arrested or going to jail because they didn’t have a decent resource to help dig into California’s insane number of gun control laws.”
 

NC: How Congress got a gun advocate to agree with a gun control activist for once
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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As U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson’s H.R. 38 (“national concealed handgun reciprocity”) lurches through Congress, gun control advocates wail it will severely threaten public safety and put law enforcement at risk.

Hand-wringing is unwarranted. “Shall issue” concealed handgun laws – wherein law-abiding applicants cannot be denied permits – swept through 41 states over three decades, all without the mayhem predicted by opponents. Moreover, because North Carolina already honors all out-of-state permits, the only impact here will be enhancing North Carolinians’ self-protection elsewhere.
 

AL: 2nd amendment language is pretty clear
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The Second Amendment is clear: the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. Despite what some may try to argue, the Second Amendment makes clear that the federal government cannot prevent individuals from owning firearms.

The vast majority of gun owners point out that their reason for owning a firearm is self defense. Studies have shown that violent crime has decreased as gun ownership has increased. Individuals should be trained and prepared to defend themselves should they find themselves in a dangerous situation.
 

Compromise
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” It’s one of the best lines in the classic movie “The Princess Bride,” but it’s also what immediately comes to mind every time I read an anti-gun opinion piece that attempts to mask its gun control agenda under the banner of “compromise.” Rarely do these pieces ever offer any sort of real compromise on the part of the anti-gun activists. Instead, their “compromise” seems to be along the lines of “we’ll let you own a gun or two, maybe. You might be able to use it in your home for self-defense, but forget about carrying it. Oh, and we don’t want gun stores in our communities. No gun ranges, either. But we’re not anti-Second Amendment.”
 

CA: Gun Rights v. Gun Control
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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One relatively easy step to make some improvement would be to require universal background checks on all gun sales and aggressively find and prosecute straw sales. We should also greatly improve the link between what mental health professionals diagnose as the potential for violent aggression and the database background checks monitor. Likewise, when restraining orders are issued due to domestic violence or when police document serious domestic violence, that information should rapidly go into the background check database.

I’d really like to see a permit process similar to what it takes to drive a car, or to be allowed to fly a small plane.
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them... — Richard Henry Lee

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