Colorado Congressman Pushes Gun Control Agenda on Students

Plus: Firearms industry continues sales and employment slump

TOP STORY

Rather Than Eat Crow, Congressman Files Bill To Block 'Colorado Loophole'

After spurring a walk-out by students angered that gun-control zealots had hijacked a vigil to honor a fallen classmate and those injured in a school shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch near Denver, Colorado first-year Democratic Congressman Jason Crow offered no apologies.

In fact, to add legislative activism to tone-deaf insult, the very next day Crow introduced a federal bill to close what he called an “obvious loophole” that allowed a woman to buy a shotgun in Colorado days before the 20th anniversary of the Columbine shooting.

Crow introduced H.R. 2634 on May 9th. It would extend restrictions already applied on handgun purchases to prohibit a licensed firearms dealer from selling a long gun to anyone the dealer knows, or “reasonably believes,” does not reside in the same state. It has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee where it is likely to be received warmly.

As justification for the bill, Crow cited an April incident in which an 18-year-old Florida woman, Sol Pais—allegedly “fascinated” with the Columbine shooting—flew to Denver and purchased a firearm, launching a manhunt and prompting Denver-area schools to close. She was later found dead with a self-inflicted gun wound.

On May 8th, Crow and U.S. Senator Michael Bennett—Colorado’s senior senator and a recently announced 2020 Democratic presidential candidate—attended a vigil one day after two gunmen opened fire at STEM School Highlands Ranch, wounding eight students and killing Kendrick Castillo, an 18-year-old senior, who heroically led a group of his fellow students to subdue the gunmen.

During the vigil, which was later revealed to be orchestrated by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Crow chastised the students about not vocally demanding gun control immediately, saying they "should demand more."

Bennett told the 2,000 in attendance at the vigil that Congress had failed to fix "America's broken gun laws" so students like Castillo were forced to "give up their own life to save their classmates' lives."

At the this point, a large portion of the students began to file out, some shouting, "Don't use Kendrick’s name for political reasons!" and others chanting “Mental Health!" and "It's not about guns!”

In a statement that accompanied his statement announcing he was filing H.R. 2634 Crow, in essence, refused to eat crow, choosing to crow about his commitment to duty.

"The last few days I have been asked the same question over and over again: what are you doing to stop this from happening?" Crow said. "It is my job to take tough questions and offer real solutions.“

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NO FEAR, NO SALES

Gunmakers' First-Quarter Earnings Reaffirm Reality Of Post-Obama 'Trump Slump'

By now, it’s an old story that reaffirms how fear sells: Firearms sales have slumped industry-wide since pro-gun President Donald Trump assumed office in January 2017, ending eight years of brisk sales under the Obama administration and fears of a successive Hillary Clinton presidency.

According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation [NSSF], between 2008, when Obama was elected, and 2017, gun industry employment grew by 87 percent, wages grew 142 percent and the industry’s “total economic impact” grew by 169 percent with the National Instant Criminal Background Check [NICS] system recording record numbers of background checks nearly every month over a two-year span.

But those boom days are as over as the Obama presidency. Since Trump has been in office, the NSSF reports a 1.3 percent increase in the industry’s job growth, less than one-third of 1 percent growth in wages, and just a 1.4 percent increase in “total economic impact.”

The trend continues through the first quarter of 2019 with NICS reporting background checks declined by 8 percent in the first quarter, reflecting overall decreased consumer demand for firearms.

Gun stocks also continued to cycle down as the post-Obama “Trump slump” continues to plague the firearms industry.

Since election day 2016, Sturm, Ruger & Co. stock has fallen by 13 percent while American Outdoor Brands Corp. has plunged by 65 percent.

Since Jan. 1, 2017, Ruger has eliminated 700 jobs, or about 28 percent of its workforce.

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STATE ROUNDUP

'Second Amendment Sanctuary' Movement Spreads To Seventh State

The West Greenwich Town Council declared itself a “Second Amendment sanctuary" on May 8, becoming the third Rhode Island town to caution local law enforcement to "exercise sound discretion" in enforcing gun-related laws and stating the town will not pay to store weapons seized as a result of gun control legislation.

Republican State Senator Elaine Morgan is leading the “Second Amendment sanctuary” movement in Rhode Island, convincing all the towns she represents to pass the resolution. West Greenwich joins Burrillville and Hopkinton in approving similar resolutions.

"We're law-abiding citizens and we need to take a stand," Morgan said.

The three Rhode Island towns join a growing sprawl of “Second Amendment sanctuaries” that are independently and spontaneously being enacted by local governments across the country.

According to Bob Adelmann in The New American, in mid-April “Second Amendment sanctuaries” had been declared in six states—Washington, Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, New York and Illinois, where the movement began in Effingham County in the winter of 2018—before Rhode Island joined the list as number seven.

Now, Adelmann writes, 64 of Illinois’ 102 counties have now declared themselves to be “sanctuary counties” for law-abiding gun owners, while another 26 are entertaining such resolutions.

Meanwhile, more than half of Washington’s 39 counties have pledged not to enforce the state’s new gun restrictions, while in Oregon, Adelmann reports, eight counties have passed “Second Amendment Preservation Ordinances” confirming the sheriff’s power to determine which of the state’s laws to enforce, or not to enforce.

Half of Colorado's 64 counties oppose the state’s new “red flag” law with Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams vowing he will go to jail if necessary before he’ll impose it on any of his county’s citizens.

In New Mexico, nearly every county sheriff opposed new infringements of the Second Amendment, and 24 of the state’s 33 counties have already passed sanctuary city ordinances.

In New York, 52 out of the state’s 62 counties officially oppose the state’s SAFE Act (Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013).

Missouri lawmakers will again try to become a “sanctuary state,” now with a Republican governor more amendable to passing the Legislature’s proposed “Second Amendment Protection Act,” which would nullify most federal gun-control legislation.

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— [Delaware gun bills stall in committee] (https://delawarestatenews.net/government/delaware-gun-bills-stall-in-committee/)

IN THE COURTS

New York Ruling: Ohio FFL Not Liable For Selling Gun Used In New York Shooting

The New York State Court of Appeals ruled 4-3 on May 9 that a New York man cannot sue the Ohio gun dealer who sold a weapon eventually used by a gang member to shoot him in 2003.

According to court documents, Charles Brown, a licensed firearms dealer, sold 182 handguns at a gun show in Dayton to another Ohio man and his associates over several months in 2000.

That man, James Bostic, then took some of the weapons to Buffalo, where he sold one to a gang member. The gang member, thinking then-16-year-old Daniel Williams was in a rival gang, used the 9mm Hi-Point handgun to shoot him as he played basketball in 2003.

Williams, who according to the Associated Press had aspirations of playing college basketball, survived but was left with a serious stomach wound.

Bostic later pleaded guilty to running an illegal gun trafficking ring in western New York, the AP reports.

The Court of Appeals ruling upheld a lower court's decision that dismissed the lawsuit because Williams failed to prove Brown should have known the guns would end up in New York judging by the conversations he had with Bostic.

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