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New study finds vast online marketplace for guns without background checks

August 06, 2013 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Gun Culture, Military Industrial Complex, White Privilege

From WashingtonPost:

How the NRA Exerts Influence Over Congress

The marketplace for firearms on the Internet, where buyers are not required to undergo background checks, is so vast that advocates for stricter regulations now consider online sales a greater threat than the gun show loophole.

A new study by Third Way, a centrist think tank with close ties to the Obama administration, found that thousands of guns, including so-called assault weapons, are for sale online and that many prospective buyers were shopping online specifically to avoid background checks.

The study focused on Armslist.com — a popular classified site similar to Craigslist.org that facilitates private sales of firearms and ammunition based on location — and analyzed listings in 10 states where senators voted against a background checks compromise this spring.

At any given time, more than 15,000 guns were for sale in those states, according to the study, and more than 5,000 of them were semi-automatic weapons. Nearly 2,000 ads were from prospective buyers asking to buy specifically from private sellers, where no background checks are required.

“At this point, this is the biggest loophole in the background check system,” said Lanae Erickson Hatalsky, director of social policy and politics at Third Way.

Background checks — designed to keep guns out of the hands of convicted felons, domestic violence perpetrators or the severely mentally ill — are mandatory for gun sales at retail stores, but not at gun shows or for private sales, such as between neighbors and family members.

The National Rifle Association and other gun rights supporters have advocated against expanding the background check system because they believe doing so will not stop society’s most dangerous people from procuring weapons and eventually will lead to even stricter gun regulations, including a federal registry.

But gun-control advocates have long prioritized closing the gun show loophole, believing that is where people seeking to avoid background checks buy their firearms. Hatalsky noted that 17 states have closed the gun show loophole in their states, and that law enforcement officers have become savvy about scouring gun shows for people evading the law.

New plea for gun rights: NRA Petitions SCOTUS to Legalize Gun Sales to Minors

August 04, 2013 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Imperialism, Military Industrial Complex


(Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi)

The petition, with the lower court opinions attached, is now available, and can be read here. It is a large file.

From ScotusBlog:

The National Rifle Association and two individuals under the age of twenty-one have asked the Supreme Court to strike down a federal law that bans licensed gun dealers from selling handguns to minors. A federal appeals court upheld that law, ruling that Congress was justified in believing that easy commercial access to pistols for teenagers leads to violent crime.

The new case, NRA v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (docket 13-137), raises one of the broadest challenges to a gun control law to reach the Court in the five years since the Second Amendment was interpreted to protect a personal right to have a gun, at least for self-defense.

Under a law that dates to 1968, Congress imposed a series of limitations on access to guns for anyone under the age of twenty-one. The only restriction specifically at issue in the new case is a ban on purchasing a handgun from a federally licensed gun dealer, for anyone who is eighteen, nineteen, or twenty years old.

The law does not ban those in that age group from obtaining guns, or even from obtaining handguns. They may get such a weapon from their parents or a guardian, and may even buy a handgun in a private sale. They may also buy a rifle or shotgun from a licensed dealer. What is banned altogether is the purchase of a handgun from a dealer — the source that the NRA told the Court is “the most common” and “most logical.”

The NRA and two nineteen-year-olds who joined in the challenge filed their petition after the Fifth Circuit Court had split eight to seven in refusing to reconsider the ban that had been upheld by a unanimous three-judge Circuit panel. In upholding Congress’s power to single out a specific group in society for curbing its gun rights, the panel had raised doubts about whether young adults between the ages of eighteen to twenty are protected by the Second Amendment.

Gun Control Group Super Bowl Ad

February 03, 2013 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, White Privilege

Gallup: Americans Support President Obama’s Gun Reform Proposals

January 24, 2013 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Intersectionality, White Privilege

From TPM:

Given a choice to vote “for” or “against” nine of President Obama’s key proposals to reform the nation’s gun laws, Americans support all of them, a new Gallup poll released Wednesday found.

Notably, Americans back criminal background checks for gun sales 91% to 8%, more mental health programs 82% to 15%, reinstating a federal assault weapons ban 60% to 35% and limiting the sale of high-capacity magazines to 10 rounds per clip 54% to 43%, the poll finds.

The poll was conducted Jan. 19-20 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

“The question does not tell respondents that all nine proposals come from Obama’s recently released plan to reduce gun violence; however, the wordings used to describe them intentionally follow the White House’s “Now Is the Time” plan descriptions,” Gallup says.

85% of Americans Overwhelmingly Support Sensible Gun Control Measures

January 17, 2013 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Economic Terrorism, White Privilege

From Rachel Maddow’s Blog:

A Pew Research Center report released late yesterday found a majority of Americans support a wide variety of new measures, some by enormous margins. For example, 85% of Americans favor making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks, while 80% support laws to prevent mentally ill people from purchasing guns.

It’s worth emphasizing that in our current political climate, 80% of Americans don’t agree on much, but they at least agree on measures like these.

What’s more, two-thirds of Americans (67%) favor creating a federal database to track gun sales. In a bit of a surprise, nearly as many people (64%) support having more armed security in schools, boosted by large numbers of self-identified Republicans backing the idea.

Indeed, there are, not surprisingly, significant partisan divides on most of the proposals, with Democrats and Republicans more likely to back new measures than Republicans. That said, looking through the results, it’s hard not to notice that GOP voters are not reflexively opposed to new gun laws — among Republicans, 49% support a federal database, 49% support a ban on semi-automatic weapons, and 46% support a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips.

Obama Gun Control Proposals Unveiled, Marking Biggest Legislative Effort In A Generation

January 16, 2013 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Economic Terrorism, Intersectionality, White Privilege

From HuffPo:

The proposal, which comes at the end of a month-long review process spearheaded by Vice President Joe Biden, is broken down into four key subsections: law enforcement, the availability of dangerous firearms and ammunition, school safety and mental health.

In an effort to touch on all four of those elements, the president recommended requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales; reinstating the assault weapons ban; restoring a 10-round limit on ammunition magazines; eliminating armor-piercing bullets; providing mental health services in schools; allocating funds to hire more police officers; and instituting a federal gun trafficking statute, among other policies. The cost of the package, senior officials estimated, would be roughly $500 million, some of which could come from already budgeted funds.

The approach is so sweeping that what would have otherwise been a headline-grabbing announcement received second billing. The president on Wednesday will nominate Byron Todd Jones, the acting director for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, to take over the post permanently.

NY Passes First US Gun Control Bill Since Newton Massacre

January 15, 2013 By: seeta Category: Civil Rights

From AP:

New York’s Assembly on Tuesday easily passed the toughest gun control law in the nation and the first since the Newtown, Conn., school shooting, calling for a tougher assault weapons ban and provisions to try to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill who make threats.

Under current state law, assault weapons are defined by having two “military rifle” features such as folding stock, muzzle flash suppressor or bayonet mount. The proposal reduces that to one feature and includes the popular pistol grip.

Private sales of assault weapons to someone other than an immediate family will be subject to a background check through a dealer. New Yorkers also would be barred from buying assault weapons over the Internet, and failing to safely store a weapon could lead to a misdemeanor charge.

Ammunition magazines will be restricted to seven bullets, from the current 10, and current owners of higher-capacity magazines will have a year to sell them out of state. An owner caught at home with eight or more bullets in a magazine will face a misdemeanor charge.

Another provision places requirements on therapists, psychologists, registered nurses and licensed social workers who believe a mental health patient made a credible threat to use a gun illegally. They would be required to report such a threat to a mental health director, who would have to notify the state. Any registered handguns — or registered assault weapons purchased before the ban — could be taken from the patient.

The legislation also increases sentences for gun crimes including the shooting of a first responder that Cuomo called the “Webster provision.” Last month in the western New York town of Webster, two firefighters were killed after responding to a fire set by the shooter, who eventually killed himself.

Art, Life, and Andy Warhol: Guns

January 11, 2013 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Criminal Injustice Series, Education, Intersectionality

Diversity of Voice: Views on Guns in the United States

The Warhol: Resources and Lessons

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