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Gun Policy News, 27 February 2004

United States

27 February 2004

National Review (USA)

The omnibus appropriations bill passed by the Senate on Thursday contains several important reforms in federal gun laws, to protect the privacy of people who lawfully exercise their constitutional rights. Most of the reforms undo abuses of federal power introduced in the Clinton era. First, the bill — which passed the House in 2003 — requires that federal records on lawful gun purchasers who are approved by the National Instant Check System be destroyed within 24... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: National Review (USA)

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United States

27 February 2004

Philadelphia Inquirer, Editorial

Senators could earn their keep this week by facing up to difficult choices on firearms safety — not by shielding gun makers from civil lawsuits, as Senate leaders propose. The House-approved measure on legal immunity for firearms manufacturers and dealers, expected to come up for a Senate vote, would do nothing to make streets safer. Quite the opposite: The bill would relieve most pressure on gun makers to develop safer weapons, or to weed out rogue gun dealers who... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Philadelphia Inquirer

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United States

27 February 2004

Associated Press

A gun store owned by a former Sharkey County judge was raided Wednesday and more than 100 weapons were confiscated. Ellis Willard was arrested on federal weapons charges after the raid by agents of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the state Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks; and other agencies, WLBT-Channel 3 of Jackson reported. The charges include possession of an illegal machine gun, the TV station reported. Officers also... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Associated Press

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United States,New Zealand

27 February 2004

Associated Press

ATHENS, Georgia — A New Zealander has been indicted on federal firearms charges for posing as a Georgia resident to purchase hundreds of guns from a Bogart gun dealer. David Matthew Tipple has been charged in a 10-count indictment with illegally buying 363 rifles, shotguns and pistols from Franklins of Athens, beginning Feb. 14, 2000. Maxwell Woods, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, said he did not immediately know why Tipple had made the gun... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Associated Press

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United States

27 February 2004

Los Angeles Times

GOLDEN, Colorado — A staggering array of weapons, remnants of America's deadliest school shooting, were laid bare Thursday for the public to see. Hundreds of bullets, bloody scraps of carpet and sawed-off shotguns sat beneath harsh fluorescent lights at the county fairgrounds. The Jefferson County sheriff's office's unusual decision to display all the physical evidence in the Columbine massacre case was meant to quell lingering doubts about the investigation. But it... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Los Angeles Times

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United States

27 February 2004

Washington Post

The Senate voted overwhelmingly yesterday to require child safety devices for all handguns sold in the United States and to add the proposal to legislation shielding gun manufacturers and dealers from lawsuits involving firearms violence. The 70 to 27 vote gave gun-control advocates a rare legislative victory, although it was far from clear that the proposal — similar to one passed by the Senate and rejected by the House in 1999 — would clear all hurdles needed... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Washington Post

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United States

27 February 2004

BBC News

A newly-appointed chairman of a US gun company resigned after details of his convictions for armed robbery came to light, according to reports. James Joseph Minder was chosen to head the parent company of Massachusetts firearms maker Smith & Wesson. But he resigned after The Arizona Republic reported that he spent more than 10 years in Michigan prisons for a string of armed robberies. "I felt it was the best thing for the company," he said. Reformed character... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: BBC News

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United States

27 February 2004

Scotsman (Edinburgh)

NEW YORK — The new chairman of the legendary gunmaker Smith & Wesson has resigned after it was revealed he had served ten years in prison for armed robbery. James Joseph Minder cannot even legally buy one of Smith & Wesson's products because he is under a lifetime ban on the ownership of firearms. Mr Minder, 74, spent more than ten years in prisons in Michigan in the Fifties and Sixties for a string of armed robberies, in which he brandished a 16-gauge sawn-off... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Scotsman (Edinburgh)

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United States

27 February 2004

Springfield News-Leader (Missouri)

JEFFERSON CITY — Missourians will now be allowed to carry concealed weapons after the Missouri Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the state's conceal-carry law Thursday. But four counties — including Greene — don't have to issue concealed weapons permits because their application fees wouldn't cover related costs, the court ruled. That amounts to an unfunded mandate, which the state constitution prohibits, the court said in its 5-2 decision. Greene... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Springfield News-Leader (Missouri)

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United States

27 February 2004

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Democrats who succeeded in adding a handgun safety lock measure to a GOP-championed gunmaker lawsuit immunity bill are trying to drum up support for requiring background checks on gun show sales and for renewing the assault weapons ban. They will determine this weekend whether they have enough votes to add the amendments to the legislation. "We are so close," said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., who started counting votes on the assault weapons ban... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Associated Press

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United States

27 February 2004

Baltimore Sun, Editorial

There is no compelling reason why military-style assault weapons need to be widely sold. These types of guns are designed to allow the user to fire many bullets in a short period of time in a spray-like fire. They're hardly ideal for hunting or even defending your home. As a society, we figured this out a decade ago when Congress first approved a ban on them. It's as true today as it was then. The argument for the law is, in fact, so well established that a Republican... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Baltimore Sun

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United States

27 February 2004

New York Times, Opinion

President Bush has long been on record supporting two crucial gun-control measures: the renewal of the assault weapons ban, which has been the law for 10 years, and a new law to close the loophole that shady dealers can use to slip weapons to buyers at gun shows. For an equally long time, he did nothing to back up his words. Now, in the early days of his re-election campaign, Mr. Bush has finally acted. He has stepped in at a critical hour in an attempt to kill both of... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: New York Times

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United States

27 February 2004

Southeast Missourian

JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri — Although the Missouri Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the constitutionality of a state law allowing concealed weapons, the state was prohibited from enforcing the act in four counties, including Cape Girardeau. Residents of those counties at least temporarily won't be eligible for permits to carry hidden guns. Cape Girardeau, Camden, Greene and Jackson counties were exempted from being required to issue permits because the court found the... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Southeast Missourian

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United States

27 February 2004

Chicago Tribune

Chicago officials voiced fears Thursday that politicians in Washington might soon cut short the city's efforts to hold the gun industry responsible for illegal weapons ending up in the hands of violent criminals. A bill being debated on the floor of Senate this week would grant gun manufacturers and dealers immunity from lawsuits like the one Chicago filed in 1998. "In other industries, the way we ensure safety is the threat of tort liability," said Lawrence... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Chicago Tribune

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United Kingdom

27 February 2004

Mirror (UK)

Armed police are refusing to take jobs as sky marshals, claiming the job is "too boring". Scotland Yard is struggling to recruit undercover gun guards for transatlantic and other high risk flights. Officers are reluctant to spend hours on a plane doing nothing. Only 32 officers from the Metropolitan Police specialist S019 firearms unit have agreed to be trained. Up to six armed guards will be deployed on each flight. The large number threatens to leave the new police... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Mirror (UK)

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Central Asia,Kyrgyzstan,Afghanistan,Uzbekistan,Kazakhstan,Tajikistan

27 February 2004

Radio Free Europe (Czech Republic)

PRAGUE — A new report counters preconceptions that Central Asia is a "hotbed of gun proliferation and misuse." The study uses Kyrgyzstan as a case study and finds that, despite suffering from socio-economic problems and ethnic tensions, there is little evidence that this has led to increasing violence and gun proliferation. "Some states are better than others at controlling small arms. But they are nonetheless vulnerable in key issues such as border control. The... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Radio Free Europe (Czech Republic)

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United States

27 February 2004

Detroit Free Press, Editorial

The U.S. House has rolled over for the powerful gun lobby in passing a bill that would shield firearms dealers and manufacturers from lawsuits. U.S. senators should reject the bill, as many big city police chiefs and mayors who deal with gun violence have urged. If they're unwilling to do that, senators should at least tack on measures that would renew the 1994 assault weapons ban and require instant background checks for gun show customers. Such checks at gun stores... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Detroit Free Press

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South Africa

27 February 2004

Sunday Tribune (South Africa)

Heads are set to roll with the discovery that 128 Metro Police firearms are missing. eThekwini Municipality has reported that since 2000, 91 weapons have been lost or stolen and a further 37 have simply "disappeared". However, no official investigation is launched if a firearm goes missing. Only a case number is needed to prove the loss has been reported. A firearms audit was ordered last year when members of the council's executive committee (Exco) were told that... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Sunday Tribune (South Africa)

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