Category Archives: Long guns/ assault rifles

Inquirer: “Finally, some good news on gun control”

We appreciate the Philadelphia Inquirer’s commitment to covering issues surrounding guns in our society.

Here is their March 6 editorial discussing the recent U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding Maryland’s ban on assault weapons: “Finally, some good news on gun control.”


Good News! Two Court Decisions Supporting “Gun Sense”

On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled that the Second Amendment doesn’t protect assault weapons. Tuesday’s decision reversed a previous ruling in which a panel of judges had struck down Maryland’s ban on assault weapons and detachable large capacity magazines. Maryland’s ban will stand. This ruling is a great victory for gun safety advocates. See details in the Reuters report here.

In another favorable ruling, the 11th Circuit Court recently over-ruled Florida law that had criminalized Florida doctors counseling patients about the potential danger of gun ownership. Now, the First Amendment rights of doctors have been upheld. They can provide gun-related counseling where and when appropriate. (See previous post)

Ban Assault Weapons Now

petition from MoveOn, 6/15/16


Orlando. Sandy Hook. Aurora. San Bernardino.

What do these horrific shootings have in common? Assault weapons.

Assault weapons were used to murder at least 49 people in Orlando, 26 people in Sandy Hook, 12 people in Aurora, and 14 people in San Bernardino.

Right now, these mass-killing weapons are available for purchase on-line, at trade shows, and at gun brokers across our nation. They have become the weapon of choice for mass shooters.

Assault weapons have no place in our cities and towns. No place on our streets.

We need to ban all assault weapons now, while moving quickly to enact common sense gun reform.

Don’t offer your ‘thoughts and prayers’

By Mike McGann, The Times of Chester County, 6/13/16

Accept the reality of mass shootings: this is what you wanted

Don’t bother sharing your “thoughts and prayers.”

The truth is, the slaughter of 49 innocent people in Orlando Sunday is exactly what you chose.

Just as you chose the slaughter in Charleston, Sandy Hook, Aurora and dozens more. You also choose the shootings in Coatesville which of late seem to be a monthly event.

Before you sputter in protest that you didn’t want anyone to get shot, you, a Republican majority in Chester County, have repeatedly voted for elected officials backed, cowed and funded by the National Rifle Association. They, in turn, have fought any limits on guns — Assault Weapons (oh, oops, in politically correct language, we must call them “long guns” rather than the more accurate “slaughter machines”), universal background checks and the like.

So, say what you want — but it’s just words. Your actions reveal your real opinion.

Don’t you dare mourn, offer prayers or condolences. You enabled this and need to own it. The blood is on your hands because this is the outcome you wanted.

And your sophisticated arguments such as “But, terrorism” are equally full of crap. The killer in Orlando was mentally disturbed, under FBI surveillance and expressed radical positions and had deep issues with gay people — but there was no way to stop him from stopping by his local shop and buying an AR-15 with an extended mag.

Before you spout off some laughable nonsense about Second Amendment Rights — just stop. It’s bad enough you’re lying to us, but, for God’s sake, stop lying to yourself.

The entire rights argument has been nothing but a big lie. Rights have never been threatened — never. …

read more at The Times of Chester County

Long guns and House Bill 1010

[N.b Thanks to the following Chesco legislators who cosponsor or support HB 1010: PA House 74 Harry Lewis, 156 Dan Truitt, 157 Warren Kampf, 158 Chris Ross; PA Senate 9 Dominic Pileggi, 19 Andy Dinniman, 26 Thomas McGarrigle]

by Nathaniel Smith, Politics: A View from West Chester, 12/14/15

A bill pending before the PA House of Representatives (HB 1010) and Senate (SB 1049) would require that purchasers of “long guns” from a seller who is not a dealer or manufacturer pass a background check before a registered dealer, importer, manufacturer or county sheriff’s office. (Transfers between certain family members are exempt.)

But we already have background checks, don’t we?

We do, but federal law does not cover private sales, and PA law has a big loophole.

State code (Title 18, sect. 6111.f2) says that background checks in private sales (thus, from non-dealers at a gun show, over the internet, or on the street) are required only for

pistols or revolvers with a barrel length of less than 15 inches, any shotgun with a barrel length of less than 18 inches, any rifle with a barrel length of less than 16 inches or any firearm with an overall length of less than 26 inches.

So a long gun purchase needs a background check if made from a licensed dealer (in a store, at a gun show, wherever), but not if from an unlicensed seller.

It’s hard to why this loophole exists if the General Assembly’s goal were to protect public safety. Someone planning a terrorist attack or wanting to kill an estranged spouse can go the “private” route and buy an armload of long guns in PA.

HB 1010 would end the exemption on background checks for private long gun sales. In return, as a convenience to people who feel they need to buy more than one gun at a go, it allows a single background check to count for the duration of a gun show, up to 48 hours….

Weapons San Bernadino

read more at Politics: A View from West Chester

How the San Bernardino Shooters’ AR-15s Broke California Laws

by Alex Yablon, The Trace, 12/3/15

The AR-15s used by Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik had been illegally modified.

The two AR-15 rifles used by Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik in Tuesday’s San Bernardino mass shooting were illegally modified, the ATF determined. The Trace reported yesterday afternoon that police descriptions of the scene suggested the shooting was carried out with weapons that skirted California firearms law. Then last night, The Wall Street Journal confirmed this hunch: one of the rifles had been altered to quickly release and accept magazines, which is illegal under California law. Investigators also found evidence that one of the rifles had been changed with the intent of making it fully automatic, a practice banned under federal law….

read more at The Trace