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TX: Bastrop deputy arrested for DWI while on-duty
Submitted by: jac

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Bastrop County deputy Fred Ensinger was arrested for DWI while on-duty early Friday morning.

Sgt. Davenport conducted a search of the county owned Sheriff’s patrol vehicle and discovered an open quart sized bottle of vodka in an open backpack, belonging to Ensinger, in the front passenger seat. Also found with the alcohol was an empty bottle of prescription medication.

Deputy Ensinger was relieved of duty and transported to the Sheriff’s Office where a search warrant for a blood specimen was obtained and executed. Deputy Ensinger was subsequently booked into Bastrop County Jail for the charge of Driving While Intoxicated w/ Open Container.
 

IL: Wife of Illinois cop who staged suicide indicted
Submitted by: jac

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Police say the widow of the Illinois cop who shocked the world by staging his on the job suicide to look like murder was a partner in her late husband’s crime and now faces numerous felony charges.

An Illinois grand jury indicted Melodie Gliniewicz, 51, on four counts of misuse of charitable funds and two counts of money laundering. She’s free on $50,000 bail but faces over 20 years in prison, according to police.

Investigators say over the course of several years Melodie and her deceased husband, Fox Lake Police Lt., Joe Gliniewiecz, 52, embezzled tens of thousands of dollars from the Fox Lake Explorer Post—the young adult “police academy” the duo ran and were widely praised for.
 

Gun Free Zones: Who is liable?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Tennessee Senator Dolores Gresham recently introduced Senate Bill 1736 which would establish that “if the person or entity posts to prohibit the possession of firearms on the property, the posting entity, for purposes of liability, assumes custodial responsibility for the security and defense of any concealed handgun permit holder harmed while on the posted property.”

This is not a new concept. Arizona has had several bills introduced since 2002.

The Defenseless Victim Act of 2002 (HB 2456) was the first. Subsequent bills in Arizona (HB 2320), Georgia (HB 31), Kansas (HB 2353) and Illinois (SB 0048) have not yet made it into law.
 

CT: Democrat Senators Pressure Grocers to Ban Open Carry of Hanguns
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Senators Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)4%
and Chris Murphy (D-CT) are asking the Connecticut Food Association (CFA) to ban the open carry of handguns in its “300 retail food stores and pharmacies” in Connecticut.

Representative Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT)11%
(D-CT-5th) is pushing for a CFA ban on open carry as well.
 

WA: MLK Jr. and 2nd Amendment rights
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Black lives do matter, because all lives matter, because human rights and civil liberties matter, because equality under the law matters, because justice matters.

I would also like to include: not being judged by the guns you legally own or carry, because the Constitution matters, because the right to keep and bear arms matters, because the right to self-defense matters, because life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness matters.

“We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
 

How America’s Gun Manufacturers Are Quietly Getting Richer Off Taxpayers
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In January 2013, a month after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the state of New York passed gun control legislation that included a ban on the retail sale of assault weapons. Soon after, Remington Outdoor Company, the maker of the Bushmaster assault rifle used in the massacre, announced it would lay off workers at its 200-year-old factory in Ilion and move production to Huntsville, Alabama. Then CEO George Kollitides explained in a letter to New York officials that the move was brought on by “state policies affecting use of our products.”
 

TN: Police: Man's death result of self-defense
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Investigators say a Walker County man's death was the result of self-defense.

The sheriff's department says an autopsy shows that Torry Creek died, of, asphyxia, from a choke hold and compression.
 

NJ: Man Who Claimed Self-Defense Is Convicted of Killing 3 Bears
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A New Jersey man who said he shot a mother bear and her two cubs on his property to defend his family has been convicted of illegally killing them.

Robert Ehling, 76, of Sparta, was also found guilty Thursday of a weapons offense. Municipal Court Judge James Devine, who said Ehling committed "acts of a vigilante," ...

...

Defense attorney George Daggett said he's going to recommend that his client appeal the judge's decision. Ehling had maintained that he was trying to protect himself and his wife.

"If we had been talking about humans here, there wouldn't have been a case," Daggett said. "They were trying to get into the house. If it had been a man with his two sons trying to get in, no matter what, no case."
 

ND: Rob Port misrepresents the Second Amendment
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The first words of the Second Amendment are “A well regulated Militia.” It does not say “anyone who wants to use any type of firearm for whatever purpose.” Columnist Rob Port might want to consider that. He might also consider that a CNN poll showed 67 percent approval of President Barack Obama’s proposed modest improvements to our gun policies including 63 percent of those in gun-owning households. It seems that the “dividers” would be those opposed to sensible firearms rules.
 

Facebook bans private gun sales -- no, that doesn't violate your 2nd Amendment rights
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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While many people view Second Amendment defenders as gun nuts, the truth is, that isn't always the case. A good example? Me. While I am a life member of the NRA, firearms don't really thrill me. No, I get my jollies from computers and technology. My interest in Second Amendment protection is mostly constitutional -- I don't want to see any of my fellow Americans' rights get trampled.

Today, Facebook announces that it is banning private gun sales on its site (and Instagram). Of course, some folks will see this as an attack on the Second Amendment, and maybe even the First Amendment. The truth of the matter is, neither your freedom of speech nor your right to bear arms are impacted by Facebook's decision.
 

SC: On Stand-Up Sunday, pastors rally for gun control
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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“It was guns and racism,” Flowers said, “The two unconfessed, unrepentant sins of our country.”

Flowers is the pastor of Providence Baptist Church on Daniel Island, a place better known for its rolling golf courses, staggering home values and pristine aesthetic than its gun crime.

“We don’t kill people (on Daniel Island),” he said. “But we sit back and we say nothing and we allow it to happen.”
 

FL: Florida Mothers to Legislators: Don't Pass Open Carry
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Legislation to legalize open carry in Florida has gathered significant opposition from sheriffs groups and gun control groups statewide, but another group of Floridians -- concerned mothers -- are joining the chorus to oppose the bill.

The Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a national grassroots group of mothers advocating to protect citizens from gun violence and advocate for measures protecting the Second Amendment.

The group demands for stronger gun laws and closing loopholes they say will “endanger families” and children nationwide.
 

FL: Deputy charged with attempted manslaughter
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputy who said he was fighting for his life when he shot a handcuffed man at John's Pass Dec. 30, is now charged with attempted manslaughter.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri says Deputy Tim Verdin’s story just did not add up.

Dash-cam video released by the sheriff’s office shows two deputies arresting 26-year-old Dylan Tompkins-Holmes, moving him to the back seat of Verdin’s cruiser.
 

FL: Senate passes stand your ground expansion, gun bills
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Florida's "stand your ground" law would be expanded to give more protection to people using the self-defense claim under a bill passed by the Senate on Thursday despite objections from Democrats who argued it could allow killers to walk free.

The bill would place the burden of proof on prosecutors to prove people charged with assaulting or killing someone else wasn't acting in self-defense. It's a response to a state Supreme Court ruling that said the burden is now on the defendant.
 

GA: Law Enforcement Could Seize Semiautomatics Under Ga. Bill
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Georgia lawmakers have put forth several gun control bills this year, including a measure that would call on law enforcement to seize and destroy what the proposal deems “assault weapons” from gun owners.

A major purpose of HB 731 is “to designate certain weaponry and ammunition as contraband and to require seizure of such by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.”
 

Making a case against stricter gun control
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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“…few non-gun owning Americans understand the true reasons why our founding fathers included the right to bear arms in the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution. They did not include it to protect hunting rights or for self-protection against the bad guys who do own guns, or even for self-defense by individuals living on the frontier far from the protection of military forces against Indian attack…”
 

Fury, disagreement erupt over OSP shooting of LaVoy Finicum
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A furious debate has erupted across social media following yesterday’s release of a 26-minute video by the FBI of the pursuit and fatal shooting of LaVoy Finicum, one of the Malheur NWR protesters, on an Oregon highway Tuesday with many calling it murder and others arguing that he was killed while reaching for a concealed handgun.

Caught squarely in the middle of this fury is Lars Larson, the Portland-based veteran radio talk host who has been following the takeover at Oregon’s Malheur facility by a group variously described as “protesters” or “militia,” led by Ammon Bundy. Finicum was at the wheel of one of two vehicles intercepted by federal and state authorities Tuesday on the highway north of Burns.
 

OH: Adviser: Gun control can be tough topic at work
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The right to bear arms under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is sometimes in conflict with other rights and obligations, including specific requirements of state and federal law. This is especially true in the workplace, where employers are generally assumed to have the authority to control the conditions of access to their property.
 

GA: Lawmakers renew bid to allow guns on campus
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Debate over whether firearms should be allowed in colleges has been revived, as a group of lawmakers renews its bid to allow licensed gun-owners to carry on campus.

A bill filed this week allows permit holders, who must be 21 years old, to tote their weapon anywhere on the campus of a public college, university or technical school. They cannot carry them into sports venues or student housing, including fraternity and sorority houses.

Those restrictions will likely limit how many people actually start carrying on a campus.
 

WV: Law enforcement group concerned with concealed carry legislation
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A bill aimed at removing the requirement for having a permit to carry a concealed weapon in West Virginia is advancing in the legislature. Pro-second amendment groups, including the powerful National Rifle Association, have backed the legislation.

The West Virginia Sheriff’s Association is opposed to the legislation, but Executive Director Rodney Miller said realistically he believed it would win approval. Miller and his organizations have raised questions about the measure since it first appeared at the Capitol last year. He said since then changes have been made which make it at least more acceptable to law enforcement.
 

Would a President Cruz Get Rid of Background Checks?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Were Senator Ted Cruz of Texas elected President of the United States, Tim Macy, chairman of Gun Owners of America (GOA), says he would have a few urgent matters to address. Chief among these would be to work with Cruz on abolishing the federal background check system, which prevents dangerous people from purchasing firearms.

“I would hope we could do that together,” Macy tells The Trace. “We would like to get rid of the background check law” — known as the Brady Act — “because it clearly doesn’t work, and never has worked.”
 

IL: IllinoisCarry.com and Illinois State Rifle Association Join Forces!
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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When the General Assembly returned to session this week, there were two new faces joining the Illinois State Rifle Association team.

Valinda Rowe and husband Mike will serve as Springfield Coordinators and lobbyists for both the ISRA and IllinoisCarry.com.
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
To have no proud monarch driving over me with his gilt coaches; nor his host of excise-men and tax-gatherers insulting and robbing me; but to be my own master, my own prince and sovereign, gloriously preserving my national dignity, and pursuing my true happiness; planting my vineyards, and eating their luscious fruits; and sowing my fields, and reaping the golden grain: and seeing millions of brothers all around me, equally free and happy as myself. This, sir, is what I long for. -- General Francis Marion, American War of Independence, Georgetown, SC [Source: 'Marion, The Life of Gen. Francis Marion' by M. L. Weems, Ch.18]

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