Tag Archives: Gun rights

“Black Guns Matter” – Group Focuses on Educating Inner City Residents About Guns and Conflict Resolution

When you look into the history of gun control laws and restrictions on gun ownership, the origins of gun bans are extremely racist. By and large their original motivation can be traced back to attempts to prevent disadvantaged people and minorities, especially black people from possessing firearms.

Modern gun bans were spurred by fears from southerners of slave revolts and later that newly freed slaves would seek revenge if they had access to firearms. This carried over into (and beyond) the Civil Rights Era when groups, such as the Nation of Islam and the Deacons for Defense and Justice, began advocating for black people to arm themselves in order to defend against racially motivated crimes and government repression of minorities.

One of the more well known examples of this “cause and effect” is the extremely strict gun restrictions within the State of California. Those restrictions were implemented by the state legislature and supported by then Governor Ronald Reagan in response to the Black Panthers’ practice of exercising their Second Amendment right to be armed and in some instances even directly challenging the police while openly carrying those weapons.

In more recent years, the efforts to consolidate gun ownership to only those employed by the government and the further expansions of gun control has, like most state policies, become draped in the PR of safety. As a result of that and the knee jerk reaction of the general population to blame legal gun ownership for violent actions that more often than not involve illegal weapons, somewhat of a self-contradictory mindset in which people living in poor, inner city communities support the government’s efforts to limit their ability to defend themselves has arisen.

That and the general lack of knowledge about firearms safety and Second Amendment rights within urban communities that he says he observed while traveling around the country prompted Maj Toure to start a group called “Black Guns Matter.” Toure’s intention with the group is to educate those living within urban communities on the proper handling of firearms and create a sense of respect for gun ownership. In the process, he also trains them in methods of peaceful conflict resolution in order to discourage the use of guns for anything outside of self-defense.

Currently, Toure and Black Guns Matter have raised over $20,000 toward funding a 13 city educational tour. In discussing his mission and goals on the National Rifle Association’s blog Toure cites his own past as a reason he especially wants to reach out to young people.

Toure has seen plenty of his own challenges, as well as successes. Growing up in Philly, he has experienced first-hand tough neighborhoods, and carrying a gun around with no idea how to use it.

“I was 15, walking around with a gun I had no idea how to use and no real respect for,” Toure said in an interview with Bearing Arms, “In hindsight, I wish there [was] someone to say hey, this is a firearm, it’s not a game.”

He has lived the life of misunderstanding, the life that he continually seeks to change.

Also, according to Toure, the ultimate goal of the Black Guns Matter movement isn’t to expand, but rather the opposite.

“The ultimate goal of Black Guns Matter is to make it obsolete” – Maj Toure

Wait, what? Why would someone who put so much time and energy into a movement that has taken the country by storm want it to disappear?

Well, as Toure puts it, “There shouldn’t really be a need for this information to be spread in the hood. The goal is to inform as much of the urban population as possible so this conversation does not have to happen again.”

Making their way across major cities in the United States, Toure hopes to be able to reach every young person with his message – a firearm is a tool for their protection and for the shooting sports. He hopes to provide enough information and inform enough of the urban demographic that together, we, can make this obsolete, and this is no longer a topic of conversation.

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Ninth Circuit Court Rules Concealed Carrying of Firearms Not Protected by Second Amendment

Earlier today, a California appeals court upheld the state’s law that imposes permits and restrictions on the carrying of a concealed weapon in public. The Ninth Circuit Court, located in San Francisco, overruled a previous decision in “Peruta v. County of San Diego” by three members of the court that California’s requirement for citizens to show “good cause” in order to qualify for a concealed-carry permit violates the right to bear arms protected under the Second Amendment of the US Constitution.

Via the New York Times:

The 7-to-4 ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, overturned a decision by a three-judge panel of the same court and was a setback for gun advocates. The California law requires applicants to demonstrate “good cause” for carrying a weapon, like working in a job with a security threat — a restriction sharply attacked by gun advocates as violating the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

“Based on the overwhelming consensus of historical sources, we conclude that the protection of the Second Amendment — whatever the scope of that protection may be — simply does not extend to the carrying of concealed firearms in public by members of the general public,” the court said in a ruling written by Judge William A. Fletcher.

The case was brought by gun owners who were denied permits in Yolo and San Diego Counties. The plaintiffs did not immediately say whether they planned to appeal to the United States Supreme Court.

“This is a huge decision,” said Adam Winkler, a professor of constitutional law at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law. “This is a major victory for gun control advocates. “

Gun control advocates are hailing this as a giant win, while gun rights advocates and strict Constitutionalists are calling it a major infringement on the rights of citizens to defend themselves. In fact, this is even being characterized as one battle in the next war over the potential regulation of gun ownership and use.

Jonathan E. Lowy of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence said, “Probably the most important battleground of the Second Amendment has been whether there is a right to carry guns outside the home, and if there is, to what extent can states and localities regulate that right.”

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Detective’s Gun Found by Nine Year Old in Movie Theater Bathroom

Sheriff’s Detective Luke Hussey realized he was missing his Glock, and realized he had left it in a bathroom at a movie theater. The loaded gun was found by a 9-year-old boy. Det. Hussey was eventually demoted, but will not face criminal charges, Tampa police said Tuesday. That’s in spite of statements made by Laura McElroy, a Tampa Police Spokewoman, when the police had not yet determined who the owner of the gun was.

Via the Tampa Bay Times:

Hussey, 38, who has been with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for 13 years, was off duty that day. He had gone to Muvico Centro Ybor 20, according to the Sheriff’s Office, about 3 p.m. and stopped in the bathroom before the movie. He put his Glock 26, a personal weapon, on top of a toilet paper dispenser — then forgot it and left.

Minutes later, Temple Terrace 9-year-old Zane Noland entered the same stall and saw the gun. He exited the stall and told his father, Wesley Noland, 48, who had taken Zane and his older brother, Ryan, to the theater to see Man of Steel on Father’s Day.

Wesley Noland, a Marine veteran, went into the stall, disarmed the Glock and called 911.

By the time Hussey realized he’d lost his gun, Tampa police had taken it. He called Sunday and asked for it back, police said, but was told only a detective in the firearms unit could release it.

The Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday that Hussey is the subject of an administrative investigation that could result in suspension or termination.

“It’s obviously a serious mistake,” said sheriff’s spokesman Larry McKinnon. “We’re glad no one was hurt, that the gun didn’t end up in the wrong hands.”

He was unsure if Hussey had prior disciplinary issues and his personnel file was unavailable for review Tuesday night. He remains on active duty.

Hussey will not face criminal charges, Tampa police said Tuesday. A day earlier, when news of the boy’s discovery broke, police spokeswoman Laura McElroy mentioned possible charges of reckless endangerment or culpable negligence against the gun’s owner, whom she said police were still looking for at the time.

“It was always our goal to ensure the person who left the gun face consequences,” McElroy said Tuesday. “There is no doubt that will happen within his organization.”

Yes, honest mistakes are inevitable from time to time, and it’s fortunate no one was hurt. However, chances are if this had happened to an ordinary person, criminal charges would swiftly follow. In fact, the police statement said as much prior to them realizing that the “forgetful owner” was a cop.

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Sheriff Claims Open Carry of Guns is Illegal in Reno, Nevada (Anonymous Submission)

Open Carry Gun Rights Nevada Second Amendment Restrictions Laws

This was recently received, via the submission form, from an open carry advocate in Reno who wishes to remain anonymous. It recounts his encounter with a member of the Washoe County Sheriff’s Department during a traffic stop in Reno, NV. More importantly, it addresses some questions that arose due to the fact that this particular police officer was under the impression that openly carrying a gun in Reno is illegal (spoiler: it’s very legal). Additional comments and reaction is included below.

I’ve made some spelling, grammar, and punctuation corrections, as well as adding links throughout for informational purposes, but in terms of content, this is the story in its entirety as received:

I moved here about a year ago and have been open carrying in Reno, Nevada since I arrived, never had much trouble had a lot of people come up to me and ask about it.So, today I decided to register and post (on NVCopBlock.org) because on the way home from moving stuff out of storage we got pulled over by a sheriff on a motorcycle. He gave us a ticket for my derpy friend not having his registration on him, but otherwise everything went fine.

We immediately told him we were both armed and open carrying. He didn’t even draw or look to worried, just told us to put our hands on the dash. Then three seconds later, told us to get out and switch the license plates around because he had the registration sticker on the front plates not the back so we did that while he was issuing the ticket.

Open Carry is Completely Legal and Unrestricted in Nevada

Afterwards, he gave us the ticket and asked us why we were open carrying and then proceeded to laugh when we told him it was our right and its for our own protection etc., etc…He mocked us and said we should just relax and enjoy life sometimes…(Whatever that means?) I then replied, ”well we can’t exactly carry you around with us 24 hours a day and 7 days a week sir.”

We bantered back-n-forth a bit and then, when we were about to leave, he said ”If I really wanted to be an ass, I could cite you for open carrying in Reno, because the Reno city ordinance overrides the state law about open carrying in the state of Nevada.” He then went on to tell us we should look it up and probably not open carry anymore and kept saying ”he was pretty sure it overrides the state ordinance.”

When he said that it came off VERY threatening and I wanted to start an argument right then and there, but that probably wouldn’t of been the best idea…

Artist Rendering of the Person who Submitted this Story

I got his name and badge id…if I can do anything with it…So I started googling….and I’ve researched the laws here A LOT before I even started open carrying…every time I hear something I always look it up…but for a sheriff to bring some BS city of Reno code that overrides the constitution and state law made me research some more…and that’s how I found this thread and I’ve since printed up 10 of your excellent pamphlets! Thanks!

I’m 99.99% certain that he is incorrect…and please correct me if I’m wrong…but how do police, cops, sheriffs, whatever not know the law? This is mind boggling….

ALSO what should I do with a officer who DOESN’T know the law and tries to do something about me legally carrying ?

I wish I would of recorded the whole ordeal…isn’t there like a hotline I can call and it records my stuff? and then I can download the call on my computer?

As stated earlier, it is very much legal to open carry in Nevada, which of course includes Reno. I regards to Reno law taking precedence over state laws, nothing could be further from the truth. The first problem with that idea is that there aren’t any Reno statutes prohibiting open carrying of firearms. The second flaw (and the reason for the first one) is that the State of Nevada specifically restricts local jurisdictions from passing gun laws that impose more severe restrictions on gun rights than those imposed by state law.

NRS 244.364, NRS 268.418, and NRS 269.222 state that the legislature reserves to itself the right to regulate the transfer, sale, purchase, possession, ownership, transportation, registration and licensing of firearms and ammunition in Nevada, and that no county, city or town respectively may infringe upon these rights. (emphasis added)

In relation to the Constitution, we’re unfortunately at the mercy of whoever is interpreting it and in the case of gun laws the Supreme Court interpreted it to mean that states have a right to restrict how and where citizens may exercise the Second Amendment . Which is why there are varying degrees of legality for openly carrying firearms throughout the different states.

Fortunately for those of us living in Nevada though, our state has one of the most liberal (in the literal sense) applications of gun laws. In fact, with the exception of the requirement to register guns in Clark County (which has been eliminated since this incident happened and never applied to Reno, regardless) there are no restrictions on open carry within Nevada.

However, less fortunate for us is the reality that it really isn’t that unusual for “police, cops, sherriffs, whatever” to not know the laws that they are planning to enforce and often there’s little or nothing we can do about it. In answer to the question of what you should do when confronted with a heavily armed government employee that doesn’t understand gun laws, my advice would be to assert your rights, while attempting to avoid a confrontation that could go very wrong. When in doubt, the safest bet is to wait it out and then file a complaint after the fact (that’s where that name and badge number come into play). Sometimes it can actually make a difference.

And of course, we advocate always recording any interaction that you have for police to create a unbiased record of exactly what happened and why. I’m not personally aware of any service that records  downloadable audio, but Bambuser.com has put out a great app that allows you to record and stream live video from your cell phone that is instantly posted to the internets and therefore can’t be erased or tampered with if the phone is confiscated.

Then get that video to us

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Erik Scott’s Murder: What Happens in the LVMPD, Stays in the LVMPD

erik-b-scott-slain-by-lvmpd-employees-zerogov-copblock

On July 10, Erik Scott, a West Point and Duke graduate, went shopping at Costco in Summerlin, Nevada. He was carrying a concealed firearm, as permitted by Nevada state law. Witness and officer reports differ on what happened next. Allegedly, Scott began acting bizarrely, and would not leave the store. Some accounts indicate Xanax and pain killers were in his system after subsequent testing.

It is not disputed that police were called to Costco, and upon seeing Scott, demanded that he drop his weapon (this was recorded on the 911 call, as well as confirmed by a witness). As Mr. Scott reached for his holstered gun (which never left the holster) to drop his weapon, police shot him 2 times in the chest, 5 times in the back, killing him (more here).

The officers involved in the shooting were subsequently found to be “justified,” and of course were not charged with anything. No doubt this case raises many issues; the first one is that of the right to concealed carry. If you can be shot for “acting bizarrely” while posing no threat to anyone, then effectively, there really is no right to concealed carry. The right does not in fact exist if you have the “right to carry” but can be shot arbitrarily.

Of course, there are always the typical apologists who justify police violence with the fact that the victim was non-compliant and thus deserved to be forced into submission. One would think these apologists have nothing to say here; Mr. Scott was shot precisely because he was obeying commands to “drop the firearm.” How can one drop a firearm without touching it? A lot of police justifications center around the fact that several witnesses saw Mr. Scott reaching for a weapon. There is no doubt the 911 recording reflects officer commands for Scott to drop the weapon; in essence, he was shot precisely for obeying police commands. But what are facts to zombie-like police apologists, rushing rabidly to defend tyrants? Lynn S (who is either totally uninformed or an idiot) had this to say in response to a news article on the matter:

If only Mr. Scott would of obeyed the policemans commands this would not be a issue. I hold a ccw card and that is the 1st thing they teach you OBEY a cop if confronted.Maybe a few too many pain pills ??? Sorry to the family , but quit trying to place the blame on the police and take a good look at your son. –Lynn S

Victim-blaming. Tell the dead guy with 7 bulletholes and a heartbroken family and fiancee that it’s their fault. Classic. And classy, I might add (sarcasm). I used to think people were nuts for demanding blind obedience to cops. Now I see it’s not just blind obedience to cops; it’s just a very general, obsequious love -fest for cops. This unfounded deference borders on the obscene; even when you do obey them, when they shoot you it’s still your fault, not theirs.

The story continues to get sketchier from there. Costco, a major wholesaler operating on the international scale, claims its surveillance camera was broken for days leading up to this incident. As such, no footage was available.

Shai Lierley, a Costco security guard now alleges he knew at the time the video was not working, and had arranged for repairs. Yet, initial news articles did not mention any alleged malfunction. It seems strange for Costco to turn (blank) security tapes over to police without mentioning any malfunction if they knew the camera was broken. This article indicates Costco and police refused to comment on the video initially. It is again odd Costco wouldn’t just say such footage didn’t exist if they were aware the surveillance system was broken.

Further, it appears police sent the hard drive to a forensic analyst, allegedly to recover footage. Since when can you recover footage that doesn’t exist? If you knew your camera was broken and failed to record something, it doesn’t make sense to send it to a forensic analyst for retrieval. You can’t retrieve something that never existed in the first place.

Admittedly, this is all speculative. However, even assuming there was no foul play with the convenient lack of surveillance, it is unquestionably ridiculous that a man can be shot for reaching for his gun when armed officers specifically commanded him to drop his gun.

When the story first broke in July, witness accounts differed from the police accounts. With a few minor discrepancies, 4 witnesses interviewed immediately afterward did not know why Scott was shot. None of them saw Scott brandish a weapon. One witness said, “There wasn’t even time for someone to react…The guy didn’t pull a gun. There was no gun in his hand, there was no gun on the ground.” Another witness similarly did not see Mr. Scott threaten anyone. A July 28 update indicated there were floods of witnesses calling the station offering to give accounts.

Another eyewitness referenced in this article who was right next to Scott claims he didn’t have a gun in his hand or appear to be hostile in any way. The witness further said that once Scott was down and clearly not a threat, police treated his lifeless body “like a sack of potatoes.”

Metro Police Officer William Mosher testifying at the coroner’s inquest

More recently, witnesses at the coroner’s inquest have largely backed police accounts of Scott brandishing a weapon, holding a gun, reaching for a gun, or something to that effect. In the eyes of the jury involved in the coroner’s inquest, this appears to have justified the murder. It is unclear why this is the case. Even assuming the witnesses claiming Scott made no threatening move were all lying, witnesses supporting the police’s account of events actually make this murder even more ridiculous. If Scott was reaching for a weapon, he was doing so under police orders.

The level of incompetence required for a team of allegedly trained police to scream for a suspect to drop his weapon, but then to shoot him when he attempts to do so is almost incomprehensible.

Well, police have succeeded at their job. No one was made safer. A man is dead because of their incompetence and shameless use of violence, but their approval ratings are doing just fine.

his was originally posted at CopBlock.org

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