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Gun Policy News, 16 October 2002

Italy

16 October 2002

Telegraph (UK)

A man with a passion for guns killed seven people in a northern Italian suburb yesterday before turning one of his three firearms on himself. When police arrived at a villa outside Chieri, near Turin, they found eight corpses — four men and four women, including the killer's estranged wife, Carla. Mauro Antonello, 40, a builder, took two handguns and a sub-machinegun to his wife's house at 8.45am and shot her as she sat in her car. Decio and Laura Guerra, a retired... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Telegraph (UK)

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Italy

16 October 2002

Scotsman (Edinburgh)

A security guard armed with several guns shot dead his former wife and six other relatives and neighbours before killing himself in a northern Italian town, police said. The bodies of three men and five women were found in adjacent apartments in Chieri, a suburb of Turin, said Col Filippo Ricciarelli, of the Carabinieri paramilitary police in Turin. Reports identified the gunman as Mauro Antonello, 40, a gun collector. Col Ricciarelli said police found a number of... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Scotsman (Edinburgh)

98

United States

16 October 2002

Washington Post

As a deadly sniper continued to terrorize the Washington region, both candidates in Maryland's intensely competitive 8th District congressional race yesterday moved to burnish their gun control credentials. Republican Rep. Constance A. Morella continued her push on Capitol Hill for a law improving the system of background checks to keep guns out of the hands of felons, domestic abusers and the mentally ill. The bill, which passed the House yesterday and heads to the... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Washington Post

99

United States

16 October 2002

Richmond Times Dispatch (Virginia), Editorial

It is almost pointless to speculate about the sniper who has killed nine and wounded two (as of this writing) in Maryland and Northern Virginia. So little information is available, at least to the general public, that one has scant reason to believe — or to discount — any particular theory. No one can say for sure even whether the killings are the work of a solitary individual. Certain things seem rock-solid (the killer has at least moderate marksmanship skills) or... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Richmond Times Dispatch (Virginia)

100

South Africa

16 October 2002

South African Press Assocation, SAPA

The issuing of firearm licences from police stations is to be scrapped in Soweto when the government opens two firearm centres in Diepkloof and Eldorado Park on Friday. According to Superintendent Richard Luvhengo, the South African Police Service hopes to eliminate problems associated with allowing members of the public to register firearms at any police station. These included corruption and the issuing of licences to unqualified people. "With trained officials,... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: South African Press Assocation, SAPA

101

United States

16 October 2002

Palm Beach Post (Florida)

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida — An attorney said Tuesday he is seeking a $75 million civil judgment against the distributor of a handgun used to kill popular teacher Barry Grunow. Attorney Bob Montgomery told prospective jurors that Grunow's widow, Pam, and her two young children each deserve $25 million in their product liability suit against Valor Corp., which sold the.25-caliber Raven gun used in the May 2000 shooting. Pam Grunow entered the courtroom briefly Tuesday... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Palm Beach Post (Florida)

102

United States

16 October 2002

Boston Globe, Editorial

Ballistic fingerprints — the distinctive gun barrel markings on bullets from every firearm — might be enormously helpful in tracking down the Washington-area sniper, but there is no national registry that might identify the gun's owner. The National Rifle Association has successfully lobbied against a registry in the past, and yesterday the Bush administration refused to support such a move. In the Massachusetts governor's race, Democrat Shannon O'Brien favors a... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Boston Globe

163

United States

16 October 2002

Union (California)

In a case watched by both sides of the gun control debate, the organizer of last winter's gun show at the Nevada County Fairgrounds was fined $135 Tuesday after pleading no contest. Larry Urrutia entered the plea in Nevada County Superior Court on an infraction of permitting illegal gun sales. Infractions are less serious than misdemeanors and don't call for jail or probation. A trial had been scheduled for Thursday. Urrutia, a 54-year-old Colusa County rice farmer,... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Union (California)

164

United States

16 October 2002

Washington Post

President Bush put himself at odds with many law enforcement groups yesterday by questioning the reliability and propriety of databases that help track bullets and shells from crime scenes by recording unique markings when guns are sold. The skeptical statements about ballistic fingerprinting by White House press secretary Ari Fleischer put the administration on the side of the gun industry at a time when national news is dominated by a Washington area sniper who has... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Washington Post

165

United States

16 October 2002

Legal Times (USA)

The nation and its capital were rudely introduced two weeks ago to the mass terror of a sniper dealing random death at long range. The natural order of things stands on its head when innocent victims are struck down with no apparent rhyme or reason. But the horror doesn't end there. The Washington-area killer is not alone in his deadly specialized skill. A large and growing civilian subculture in the United States is devoted precisely to promoting the sniper's terrible... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Legal Times (USA)

166

United States

16 October 2002

Toledo Blade (Ohio)

WASHINGTON — Reacting to a deadly series of sniper killings in the Washington area, the White House asked federal law enforcement officials yesterday to determine whether "ballistic fingerprinting" technology would be an effective crime-fighting tool. The White House appeared to have a change of heart about the issue after earlier expressing doubts about the reliability of such technology and saying it could undermine rights of law-abiding gun owners. The system... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Toledo Blade (Ohio)

167

United States

16 October 2002

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration, which has supported the right of gun ownership, nonetheless told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that a Texas gun dealer — convicted only in Mexico — should not have his license restored. A lawyer for former dealer Thomas Lamar Bean countered that a lower court properly ruled in favor of giving Bean his license back. Bean, with a clean record in the United States, was convicted after associates left 200 rounds of ammunition in... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Associated Press

168

United States

16 October 2002

BBC News

Investigators in the Washington area have struggled for more than a week with a lack of clues. This has revived a debate over proposals to create a national system for linking bullets recovered at a crime scene to specific firearms. As Americans focus on every twist and turn of the investigation into the sniper attacks that have left nine dead, the debate over gun control has been reignited. Gun control advocates are calling for the setting up of national databases... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: BBC News

179

United States

16 October 2002

Wall Street Journal

SPRINGFIELD, Massachusetts — For a brief time, one of the most fabled names in the gun business looked set to play the role of peacemaker. In March 2000, Smith & Wesson, a unit of British conglomerate Tomkins PLC, agreed to settle a raft of government lawsuits by promising to restrict the marketing of its handguns. For gun-control advocates, it was a stunning victory. President Clinton hailed the pact as historic, asserting it would sharply reduce the flow of... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Wall Street Journal

180

United States

16 October 2002

Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh), Editorial

The sniper who has brought domestic terror to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area thinks he is as untouchable as God, and it won't be before he proves himself human that the larger lessons of these terrible killings can come into complete focus. Is the shooter another deranged person who has crawled up from America's gun culture or is he (or she) doing the work of al-Qaida? Nobody knows. We do know that the authorities have been working on sketchy information.... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh)

181

United States

16 October 2002

Fox News (USA)

WASHINGTON — Gov. Parris Glendening ordered a ban on outdoor shooting in four counties Tuesday in an effort to cut down on reports of gunshots that could distract police from their investigation of sniper killings in the area. The 30-day ban in Montgomery, Prince George's, Anne Arundel and Howard counties comes during the small-game hunting season, and on the eve of the muzzleloader deer season that was scheduled to begin Thursday. The governor issued the executive... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Fox News (USA)

182

Canada

16 October 2002

Associated Press

KAMLOOPS, British Columbia — A provincial government worker who lost his job returned to his office with a gun, taking hostages in a standoff that left three men dead, police said Wednesday. The identities of the dead men were being withheld, and Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superintendent Andy Murray would not say whether the 56-year-old armed man was among them. At least a dozen workers in a Ministry of Environment building in Kamloops, British Columbia fled to... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Associated Press

233

United States

16 October 2002

CNN

WASHINGTON — The White House has asked firearms officials to conduct a review of a proposed national tracking system to trace bullets, a senior administration official told CNN Wednesday — one day after President Bush's spokesman strongly suggested the administration was opposed to such a system. Ari Fleischer, White House press secretary, said the president wanted the issue to be explored. White House aides conveyed the request to officials from the Bureau of... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: CNN

234

United States

16 October 2002

New York Times

WASHINGTON — With the Washington region reeling from the sniper shootings, the White House said tonight that it had asked federal law enforcement experts to study whether creating a national computerized system for tracing bullets and shell casings to the guns that fired them would be an effective crime-fighting tool. Scott McClellan, deputy press secretary to President Bush, said White House aides met with officials from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: New York Times

235

United States

16 October 2002

Washington Post

Hundreds of people with criminal records in Maryland may have been allowed to purchase guns illegally this year because the state temporarily stopped conducting background checks for the FBI, state and federal officials disclosed yesterday. Maryland's state archivists notified the FBI in March that they would no longer perform criminal background checks of people who had applied to buy firearms because budget cuts had left the agency shorthanded, documents show. The... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Washington Post

301

Canada

16 October 2002

Edmonton Journal (Alberta)

There's little chance the Edmonton gun shop owner who was wounded during a botched robbery — or any other gun shop worker — could get a licence to carry a concealed weapon, a spokesman for Edmonton's Canadian Firearms Officer said Tuesday. Phil Harnois said if he had been carrying a handgun last Thursday when two masked men entered his store, things would have turned out differently. During Monday's press conference at the University of Alberta Hospital, where he... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Edmonton Journal (Alberta)

302

United States

16 October 2002

Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON — With deadly sniper bullets whistling around Washington, the House approved a bill Tuesday to improve the database used to check gun buyers — the first gun-regulation measure to come before Congress in more than a year. But critics said the measure, which was supported by the National Rifle Assn., would do little to control the availability of guns. And few politicians are calling for any tougher measures in response to the spate of area shootings —... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Los Angeles Times

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