Rand Paul Calls for Elimination of Gun Free Zones in Military Installations

Photo Credit: Breitbart In the wake of a recent domestic terror spree in Chattanooga, Tennessee that left four Marines dead, criticism of “gun free zones,” especially in military installations, has increased.

Debate over changing this policy has followed similar incidents in recent years where unarmed military personnel were murdered, both at Fort Hood, Texas in 2009, and the U.S. Naval Yard shooting in Washington, D.C. in 2013. However, trained military personnel remain disarmed, even in the wake of ISIS calling for “homegrown jihad” against U.S. service members.

The policy that led to “gun free zones” was enacted via a Department of Defense directive in 1992 by George H.W. Bush’s Deputy Secretary of Defense, and was renewed in 2011.

Now, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is presently calling for a change to this policy, telling reporters that he previously introduced a bill to arm military bases and seeks to do so again.

The Washington Post’s Dave Weigel reported,“Paul, who was elected to the Senate a year after Hasan’s 2009 killing spree on the Texas military base, has long favored a policy shift that would allow guns on bases.” (Read more about Rand Paul Fighting Military Post Gun Free Zones HERE.

EPA Can't Regulate Lead Bullets, Says Federal Court

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan

Hunters, hold your fire — the Environmental Protection Agency won’t regulate your bullets.

A federal appeals court denied a lawsuit Tuesday by environmental groups that the EPA must use the Toxic Substances Control Act regulate lead used in shells and cartridges.

“We agree with EPA that it lacks statutory authority to regulate the type of spent bullets and shot identified in the environmental groups’ petition,” Judge David Tatel wrote for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Environmental groups had sued the agency to do so, saying spent lead ammunition posed an “unreasonable risk of injury” to wildlife and humans who would eat the animals they kill. The groups rejected the EPA’s assertion that it lacked the authority to do so.

Read more from this story HERE.

Senators Uncertain how Vote on Gun Bill Will Swing; Co-Sponsors Look for GOP Support

Photo Credit: AP

Lawmakers on both sides of a proposal to expand gun-purchase background checks to sales online and at gun shows said Sunday that they don’t know whether it will pass — a hurdle that, if not cleared, likely would kill the prospects of significant gun control legislation on Capitol Hill.

The circumspect posturing underscores the sensitivity of negotiations on the issue and flies in the face of a long tradition of predetermined outcomes on Capitol Hill, even on high-profile legislation.

“I think it’s an open question as to whether or not we have the votes,” Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, Pennsylvania Republican and co-sponsor of the amendment, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I think it’s going to be close.”

Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, said his party hasn’t started formally counting votes on the measure, which was crafted by Mr. Toomey and Sen. Joe Manchin III, West Virginia Democrat.

“We haven’t whipped it,” Mr. Durbin said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I can tell you this: When it gets down to it, we’ve got to ask the basic question, ‘Should we try to keep guns out of the hands of felons and people so mentally unstable they shouldn’t own a firearm?’ If the answer is ‘yes,’ Manchin-Toomey is a step in that direction.”

Read more from this story HERE.

Strap On a Gun for Dinner, Get 10% Off at this Restaurant

Photo Credit: leesburgtoday

Walk into the Cajun Experience on Loudoun Street in downtown Leesburg on a Wednesday night, you are sure to be greeted with a smile and the smell of authentic food from the Mississippi Delta.

Glance down around the customers’ waists, and you will likely see a firearm. This is Open Carry Wednesday, the day at the New Orleans-style eatery when patrons are encouraged to bring their licensed firearms, and they’ll get a 10 percent discount on their meals.

This was the brainchild of owner Bryan Crosswhite, who started the special four weeks ago. Crosswhite is a native of Lafayette, LA, and said he has worked internationally as an economist, including in the Middle East.

“I’ve seen what the restricting of freedom is all about,” Crosswhite said. “It’s our legal right to carry. I want it to be [my customers’] right to carry in our restaurant.”

Crosswhite encourages his customers to carry licensed firearms every day, but the discount is only offered on Wednesdays. Many of those who come in are law enforcement and former military, he said, but others come in to enjoy the atmosphere among like-minded individuals.

Read more from this story HERE.

Last Minute Reversal: U.S. will "Vote Yes" on UN Arms Treaty

Photo Credit: Daily Caller

The National Shooting Sports Foundation today strongly objected to the last-minute reversal of the U.S. government position regarding the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty. In the closing hours of negotiations on Thursday, March 28, the government abandoned its previous insistence that the treaty be approved only through achieving “consensus” of all the member states. Requiring consensus had been the United States position going back to earlier administrations.

At the end of the session, a U.S. government spokesperson told reporters “It’s important to the United States and the defense of our interests to insist on consensus. But every state in this process has always been conscious of the fact that if consensus is not reached in this process, that there are other ways to adopt this treaty, including via a vote of the General Assembly.” The spokesperson went on to say that the United States would vote “yes” on the treaty in the General Assembly, regardless of the positions of other member states. By abandoning the requirement for consensus the United States is assuring passage of the treaty by the United Nations.

“This abrupt about-face on the long-standing United States requirement for ‘consensus’ illustrates that the Obama Administration wants a sweeping U.N. arms control treaty,” said Lawrence Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “We are troubled by the timing of the Obama Administration’s decision to abandon consensus on the eve of the Senate debate on pending gun control measures. The United Nations treaty would have a broad impact on the U.S. firearms industry and its base of consumers in the U.S.”

Read more from this story HERE.

‘I Cling To My Bible, Guns,’ Says Black Female Senate Hopeful

Photo Credit: Human Events

Tennesee’s outspoken African American female Senate candidate in 2014 spoke to Guns & Patriots about gun rights, racism, and the Bill of Rights. “Gun control historically begins with blacks who were forbidden from owning guns,” said Brenda S. Lenard, a 2013 political science PhD candidate from the University of Tennessee and a resident of Kingston.

“It was very easy for slave owners to keep and control blacks with gun control,” she said. The same thing is happening today, she said. “It is a slow process of gun confiscation.”

It starts with certain groups of people, or certain types of rifles, and turns into an outright ban of firearms, said the two-year NRA member. Lenard said the term racism is over-used. “I think that diminishes real issues of racism.”

“The government should not infringe on anyone’s rights,” she said. Although blacks were one of the first groups to be targeted, today’s gun grab is not just about race, but about fundamentally altering civil rights for all Americans, she said.

The Bill of Rights does not matter anymore, she said. “This is about power and control.”

Read more from this story HERE.

U.N. Threatens to Override Second Amendment

While President Obama lost a round this week on his gun-control agenda in Congress, he’s making up for lost ground by pursuing a broader gun grab at the United Nations.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said there was not enough support to give Sen. Dianne Feinstein the stand-alone vote she demands on the “assault weapon” ban, but the upper chamber may soon be the deciding factor in whether the United States ratifies an international treaty that could strip Americans of their Second Amendment rights.

On Monday, the United States joined in the nine day conference in New York to finalize negotiations of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The treaty is intended to regulate the global trade of conventional weapons, but depending how the final document is worded, it could put at risk Americans’ right to keep and bear arms.

The countries were negotiating the draft last July, but stopped when the U.S. asked for a delay. Many believe Mr. Obama pushed the issue past Election Day in order not to further alienate gun owners. Now that he has more “flexibility” in his second term, the U.S. is back at the table.

Secretary of State John Kerry has encouraged reaching consensus by March 28. “The United States is steadfast in its commitment to achieve a strong and effective Arms Trade Treaty that helps address the adverse effects of the international arms trade on global peace and stability,” he wrote in a statement Friday.

Read more from this story HERE.

Round Two Of Gun Control Battle: Extension Of Federal Background Checks

Photo Credit: Christian Gooden/AP

In the early hours of Monday morning, James Seevakumaran pulled the fire alarm in his dorm at a Florida university, at the start of what he intended to be the latest mass shooting to horrify the nation. The plan was to force his fellow students out of their rooms, so he could “give them hell” with a military-style assault rifle equipped with a high-capacity magazine and plenty of back-up ammunition.

It was only the sharp wits of Seevakumaran’s room-mate that spared the US another massacre. He locked himself in the bathroom and called 911; as the SWAT team arrived minutes later the would-be gunman turned his rifle on himself and, before he had the chance to take anyone else’s life, ended his own.

A few hours later, Harry Reid, the majority leader in the US Senate, called his fellow Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein into his office and gave her some disappointing news. He told her that the chances of success of the bill she had sponsored – a ban on the sale of the type of assault rifle that Seevakumaran had just come so close to using – were so remote that he had decided to drop it from the gun control legislation that he will be bringing to the Senate floor next month.

Reid’s dumping of Feinstein’s assault weapons ban marks the first stage in the epic political struggle over guns prompted by the Newtown school tragedy in December, in which 20 children and six teachers were killed. Round one goes to the pro-gun lobby and its cheerleader, the National Rifle Association.

Now, almost exactly 100 days after the Sandy Hook massacre, round two begins. The stakes are even higher. On Thursday night, Reid indicated that unlike the assault weapons ban, he would be including in his bill a provision to extend federal background checks to all gun sales.

Read more from this story HERE.

NY SAFE Act Nabs Its First Gun Owner: An Iraq War Vet

Photo Credit: Buffalo News

A Western New York man now faces seven years in prison for violating Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new gun control-law, the NY Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act (or SAFE Act).

Benjamin M. Wassell, an Iraq War veteran, was charged with twice selling newly banned military-style ‘assault’ weapons and standard-capacity magazines to an undercover police officer as part of a sting operation conducted by State Police and the New York Attorney General’s Office, the Buffalo News reported.

Altogether, the 32-year-old Silver Creek resident was slapped with three felony charges and one misdemeanor, which as noted could end up putting Wassell, who has no prior convictions, behind bars for as many as seven years.

“By selling these illegal firearms, Mr. Wassell’s actions had potentially dangerous consequences for New Yorkers,” said state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “We have seen far too much gun violence in our state in recent months, and the sale of illegal semiautomatic weapons will not go unpunished.”

On Jan. 24 Wassell sold a Del-Ton AR-15 to an undercover agent along with six standard-capacity magazines and 299 rounds of ammunition for $1,900.

Read more from this story HERE.

Senate Gun Bill Would Expand Background Checks

Gun control legislation the Senate debates next month will include an expansion of federal background checks for firearms buyers, Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday in a victory for advocates of gun restrictions.

The announcement underscores that Democrats intend to take an aggressive approach in the effort to broaden the checks, currently required for transactions involving federally licensed firearms dealers but not private sales at gun shows or online.

President Barack Obama and many supporters of curbing guns consider an expansion of the system to private gun sales to be the most effective response lawmakers could take in the wake of December’s elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn. The system is designed to keep guns from criminals, people with serious mental problems and others considered potentially dangerous.

The overall gun measure will also include legislation boosting penalties for illegal gun trafficking and modestly expanding a grant program for school security, said Reid, D-Nev. Its fate remains uncertain, and it will all but certainly need Republican support to survive.

Reid said that during Congress’ upcoming two-week break, he hopes senators will strike a bipartisan compromise on broadening background checks. Without a deal, he indicated the gun bill would include a stricter version approved this month by the Senate Judiciary Committee and authored by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., expanding the system to virtually all private gun transactions with few exceptions.

Read more from this story HERE.