CCW News from across the nation
NRA supported House Bill 184 passed out of the Alaska Legislature on Saturday, May 7. HB184 is now waiting transmittal to Governor Frank H. Murkowski’s desk for signature. This important legislation will prevent local gun control laws and eliminate the potential for an unfair and inconsistent patchwork of local firearm ordinances across Alaska, while protecting law-abiding citizens from fines and prosecution under the current system.
Professional doomsayers are having something of a field day, fomenting hysteria over recent passage in Florida of a law that lets citizens defend themselves against criminal attack without first making an attempt to flee. The Sunshine State's "No Duty to Retreat," or "Stand Your Ground," law is not a novel concept, although it is hardly universal in the land of the free and home of the brave. In my home state of Washington -- where our state constitution explicitly guarantees "The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired" -- the state Supreme Court has twice affirmed in recent years that there is "no duty to retreat."
Legislation instigated by a cabal of gun-grabbing, Chicago area Democrats was recently kept from seizing the firearms owned by law-abiding citizens throughout the state. HB 2414 failed to garner popular support in the 94th General Assembly. It has been tabled, but can be recalled until 2007. The measure would have unnecessarily banned a variety of semi-automatic “assault weapons” and accessories. The ban is pointless because almost none of these legally-owned firearms are used in the commission of crimes in Illinois. Our legislators would be better off outlawing automobiles, fatty foods and bathtubs.
On an April afternoon seven years ago, Joseph Landers walked out of the M&M Food Shoppe on High Street with a sub sandwich in one hand, a pizza in another, and a stainless steel handgun holstered on his shoulder underneath his coat. To Landers, a then 49-year-old retired machinist, it was just a normal day in which he planned have lunch with his father at home. The gun was something he carried regularly for protection. But the trip to pick up lunch turned out to be his last as a licensed gun holder in Massachusetts. Landers' coat was not entirely zipped up that day, and when the wind blew it open, a Dedham Police officer across the street zoomed in and noticed the gun. Upon request by the officer, Landers produced a valid five-year license issued in 1995 to carry the gun. But the problem was, state law required that he keep the weapon concealed. While the officer let Landers go without an arrest, the Adams Street resident soon after received notice from Dedham Police Chief Dennis Teehan that his Class A license to carry firearms had been revoked due to the incident.
While experts debate the merits of concealed handguns, this much is known: a News & Record analysis of thousands of state records shows proponents made at least one accurate prediction -- those who receive permits follow the law. One-tenth of 1 percent of all permits issued since the law's inception have been revoked. Though the State Bureau of Investigation declined to release what led to revocations, local law enforcement officials say most weren't because of crime. And those who carry hidden handguns may surprise you. They're teachers and electricians, salon owners and factory workers, bus drivers and university accountants.
The nine-year effort to allow Nebraskans to carry concealed weapons returned to the Legislature Friday. Lawmakers began debate on a concealed-weapons measure (LB454) brought by Sen. Jeanne Combs of Friend - a card-carrying member of the National Rifle Association. She and other supporters of the idea say it is their constitutional right to carry a concealed weapon and that doing so will help thwart crime. Opponents of the measure argue that allowing concealed weapons would only lead to the potential for more violence. "I believe that it encourages what is already prevalent in our society - a more violent attitude," said Sen. DiAnna Schimek of Lincoln. "I don't think that it's healthy for our young people to grow up in an atmosphere where everybody feels like they have to have a gun in their pocket to protect themselves."