Gun Stories of the Week: Strange Allies Call for Disbanding of ATF

TOP STORY
Strange bedfellows join chorus in calling for ATF to be disbanded

The liberal Center for American Progress (CAP) and the ultra-liberal editors of Bloomberg.com have joined Rep. Jim Sensebrenner (R-Wisc.) and other conservative Republicans in calling for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to be disbanded.

In a May 21 editorial, Bloomberg.com called the ATF an “agency [with] a record of poor management” that should be “put out of its misery,” noting it “has long been a political punching bag, maligned by gun-rights advocates as an unnecessary intrusion on the Second Amendment.”

For these reasons, Bloomberg.com editors favor eliminating the ATF and letting the FBI take over some aspects of what the ATF does.

According to AWR Hawkins of Breitbart.com, “This solution is similar to what Rep. Sensenbrenner proposed in March. He argued that the ATF is a ‘largely duplicative’ agency, the job of which can be performed by the FBI and the DEA.”

The CAP in an analysis posted May 19 recommends just that -- that the ATF be merged into the FBI. The CAP notes the ATF is “an accident of history” that has long out-lived its relevancy, citing crippling inefficiencies, including inadequate management, insufficient resources and burdensome restrictions

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CHARGE OF THE DIM LIGHT BRIGADE
Anti-gun bimbos, Babbitts and bigots attack businesses, promotions

An anti-gun hysteric is spearheading an anti-Constitutional campaign against a young Marine Corps veteran who has spurred dithering outrage among his suburban bimbo and Babbitt neighbors by planning to open a legally permitted gun shop in Arlington, Va.

According to Kelly Riddell of the Washington Times, Arlington resident Susan Newton has collected 1,741 signatures on a change.org petition protesting the store’s opening and demanding property owner Kostas Kapasouris to renege on his lease to James Gates, 28, who hopes to open his business in August.

“We, the citizens of Arlington County, oppose a gun shop at this location,” the petition at Change.org reads, citing the proposed venue is within two blocks of a city school and close to others.

“It is unconscionable, in an era where our children are forced to practice ‘lock down’ drills designed to train them how to protect themselves from armed intruders, to locate a gun shop anywhere in the vicinity of schools,” the neurotic petition continues. “The fear of armed intruders permeates their education, and placing a shop that sells guns and/or ammunition within immediate distance of schools is confusing to students at best, and sparks fears of access to them at school at worst,” the petition says.

Gates, a combat veteran, and others, including city officials, could only scratch their heads in bewilderment since it would be a legally permitted business that meets city zoning and land-use requirements and would cater mostly to federal employees, including many from the FBI, DEA, ATF and USFWS.

“We thought there [would] maybe [be] a little pushback, but nothing like this,” Gates told the Washington Times’ Riddell, noting many community members have been calling him voicing their concerns and support. “They really don’t know anything about the shop, what it’s going to be — or federal firearms laws for that matter. They’re really shooting first and then asking questions later.”

Meanwhile, in Cloquet, Minn., anti-gun bigots bombarded a car dealership with angry calls and threats, forcing the owner to pull an ad -- Buy a car and get a lawnmower or handgun for free – because he feared his employees were in danger.

Owner Al Birman told FOX 21’s Dan Hanger that he stands by the Second Amendment but was forced to pull the ad to protect his employees.

“First and foremost, whether it’s a dealership or a business, you don’t want to offend anybody. But you also don’t want to be so compliant that you give up your right to the Second Amendment,” Birman said.

“This has nothing to do with being anti-gun or anti Second Amendment. This is about being pro safety and to us. Giving away a deadly weapon — as gun — as a promotion to get people to come in to buy cars was the wrong message to send,” Joan Peterson with the Northland Brady Campaign and Protect Minnesota told FOX21’s Hanger.

“One has to wonder if Brady’s Peterson -- well know for being highly irrational -- had a hand in organizing the threats against the dealership,” write Bob Owens in Guns.com on May 22. “All buyers hoping to take advantage of the deal would have to follow state and federal gun laws, including a FBI NICS background check.”

Such facts are meaningless to anti-gun bigots, Owens notes – especially Peterson. “Peterson’s claim that she’s not “anti-gun” is an abject lie, as she is know as a gun prohibitionist,” he writes.

Hanger did not back down: He’s pulled the ad, but is still running the promotion at the dealership.

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STATE ROUNDUP
Texas on cusp of joining at least 20 other states in passing college campus carry

Texas took a step closer to allowing concealed handguns in college classrooms on May 26 when House lawmakers gave their preliminary approval to a proposed campus carry measure before the midnight deadline for House to pass bills that originated in the Senate.

The proposed campus carry bill was approved in a 101-47 vote after Democrats abruptly dropped a bevy of nuisance amendments that threatened to mire the measure in red tape about 25 minutes before the deadline.

"If Republicans wanted to celebrate Christmas in April, they have the votes," Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (D-San Antonio) told the Associated Press.

The last-minute approval sets up negotiations with the Senate with the expectation that it will ultimately be sent to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott by June 1 to be signed into law.

If adopted, Texas will join at least 20 other states that allow some form of college campus carry. According to Ashby Jones of the Wall Street Journal, the Texas college campus carry bill was one of 15 introduced this year in state legislatures. As of May 23, only two – Texas and Nevada – were still being discussed.

Nevada’s Assembly Bill 487, which would allow people with concealed weapons permits to carry their guns on Nevada college campuses, was given a brief hearing in the Assembly Judiciary Committee on May 26 and could soon move to the full Assembly for a vote.

Back in the Texas, House Republicans made two major concessions its college campus carry bill: Private schools, which the GOP has long sought to have exempted from campus carry, would be included, and campuses would be allowed to carve out "gun-free zones." Such zones have yet to be defined and would have to be passed by each school's board of regents.

Gun rights groups, including the National Rifle Association, say campus carry is critical for student and teacher self-defense in case of a campus shooter or assaults.
"Campuses are not crime-free zones," said Rep. Allen Fletcher, R-Tomball, who sponsored the bill in the House.

"We don't need guns on our campus to feel safe. We don't need kids carrying guns to feel safe," said Rep. Terry Canales (D-Edinburg), who told the AP that he owns a "boatload" of guns. "This still doesn't make any sense."
But McRaven's counterpart, Texas A&M University Chancellor John Sharp, told the AP that lawmakers that having licensed weapons on campus "does not raise safety concerns" for him.

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PINK IS THE NEW ORANGE
Wisconsin’s 'Hunt Pink' bill designed to encourage women to hunt

Wisconsin lawmakers introduced a bill on May 26 to allow blaze pink camo alongside the trademark orange during hunting season, with the goal of getting more women into the field.

Democratic Rep. Nick Milroy and Republican Reps Joel Kleefisch and David Steffen unveiled the bill during a news conference wearing fluorescent pink T-shirts emblazoned with the message, ‘Hunt Pink.’ They told the Associated Press that the new color could encourage apparel manufacturers to partner with nonprofit groups working to get more people, men and women, interested in hunting.

University of Wisconsin-Madison textiles expert Majid Sarmadi told reporters that blaze pink is just as visible in the woods as traditional blaze orange.

"I think it will help girls not say, 'That’s a boys sport,'" hunter Monica Kamal told the AP. "And they might want to do it more with their father, or their mother or their grandmother."

Not all woman hunters agree. "It was just definitely insulting," Valerie Hein Hamstra told channel3000.com. "I don’t think [women] need to wear pink to be a great hunter or an outdoor individual."

Sporting stores told channel3000.com that they’ve already amped up their marketing toward women, adding it’s just where the industry is growing. "You go back a few years, and we didn’t really stock a lot of clothing for women," said Tom Lochner, owner of Wilderness Fish and Game Store in Sauk City. "Now there’s a lot more manufactured, cut and produced for women."

The bill is being circulated for co-sponsors in the Legislature. Milroy, Kleefisch and Steffan said they plan to spend the next two weeks soliciting co-sponsors for the measure. It would still need to be taken up by a committee before being voted on.

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