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Tenn. demonstrates trend of looser guns laws
Shift in attitude, easing of restrictions attributed to powerful NRA lobby
The Associated Press
updated 6:49 p.m. ET, Fri., Dec . 11, 2009

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - It's been the year of the gun in Tennessee. In a flurry of legislative action, handgun owners won the right to take their weapons onto sports fields and playgrounds and, at least briefly, into bars.

A change in leadership at the state Capitol helped open the doors to the gun-related bills and put Tennessee at the forefront of a largely unnoticed trend: In much of the country, it is getting easier to carry guns.

A nationwide review by The Associated Press found that over the last two years, 24 states, mostly in the South and West, have passed 47 laws loosening gun restrictions.

Among other things, legislatures have allowed firearms to be carried in cars, made it illegal to ask job candidates whether they own a gun and expanded agreements that make permits to carry handguns in one state valid in another.

The trend is attributed in large part to a push by the National Rifle Association. The NRA, which for years has blocked attempts in Washington to tighten firearms laws, has ramped up its efforts at the state level to chip away at gun restrictions.

"This is all a coordinated approach to respect that human, God-given right of self defense by law-abiding Americans," says Chris W. Cox, the NRA's chief lobbyist. "We'll rest when all 50 states allow and respect the right of law-abiding people to defend themselves from criminal attack."

Among the recent gun-friendly laws:

Arizona, Florida, Louisiana and Utah have made it illegal for businesses to bar their employees from storing guns in cars parked on company lots.
Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, South Carolina and Virginia have made some or all handgun permit information confidential.
Montana, Arizona and Kansas have allowed handgun permits to be issued to people who have had their felony convictions expunged or their full civil rights restored.
Tennessee and Montana have passed laws that exempt weapons made and owned in-state from federal restrictions. Tennessee is the home to Barrett Firearms Manufacturing, the maker of a .50-caliber shoulder-fired rifle that the company says can shoot bullets up to five miles and is banned in California.
The AP compiled the data on new laws from groups ranging from the Legal Community Against Violence, which advocates gun control, to the NRA.

Changes in attitude
Public attitudes toward gun control have shifted strongly over the past 50 years, according to Gallup polling. In 1959, 60 percent of respondents said they favored a ban on handguns expect for "police and other authorized persons." By last year, Gallup's most recent crime survey found 69 percent opposed such a ban.

The NRA boasts that almost all states grant handgun permits to people with clean criminal and psychological records. In 1987, only 10 states did. Only Wisconsin, Illinois and the District of Columbia now prohibit the practice entirely.

"The NRA has a stranglehold on a lot of state legislatures," said Kristin Rand, legislative director the Violence Policy Center, a gun control group in Washington. "They basically have convinced lawmakers they can cost them their seats, even though there's no real evidence to back that up."


Tennessee's new laws came after the Republican takeover of the General Assembly this year, but most other states that loosened restrictions didn't experience major partisan shifts. Most of the states where the new laws were enacted have large rural populations, where support for gun rights tends to cross party lines.

Loosening of laws?
While some states have tightened gun laws during the same period, the list of new restrictive laws is much shorter. In 2009 alone, more than three times as many laws were passed to make it easier on gun owners.

New Jersey's 2009 law limiting people to one handgun purchase per month is the most notable of the more restrictive laws. Other examples this year include Maryland's ban on concealed weapons on public transit and Maine's vote to give public universities and colleges the power to regulate firearms on campus.

The most contentious of Tennessee's new gun laws was one allowing handguns in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. It took effect in July after lawmakers overrode a veto by the governor. Last month, a Nashville judge struck down the law as unconstitutionally vague, but supporters have vowed to pass it again.


Armed in places
A similar Arizona law that took effect in September allows people with concealed-weapons permits to bring their guns into bars and restaurants that haven't posted signs banning them.

While Tennessee's law was in place, many bars chose not to let customers bring guns in. Likewise, more than 70 communities have opted out of allowing guns in parks.

"People go in there and start drinking and then they want to start a fight. What are they going to do if they got a gun in their hand?" said Larry Speck, 69, who works at an auto repair shop in Memphis. "I've got a gun permit and I'm not carrying mine in there even if they have a law."

Chattanooga retiree Ken Hasse, 71, said he worries about the possible consequences of allowing people to carry their guns in places like parks. "It's going to tempt somebody to use one," he said.

Supporters of expanding handgun rights argue that people with state-issued permits are far less likely to commit crimes, and that more lawfully armed people cause a reduction in crime. Opponents fear that more guns could lead to more crime.

Flood of facts, acts
Academics are divided on the effects of liberalized handgun laws, and determining the impact is complicated by the move in several states to close handgun permit records.

A Violence Policy Center project has mined news reports to find that more than 100 people have been killed by holders of handgun-carry permits since 2007, including nine law enforcement officers. The project originally intended to list all gun crimes by permit holders, but there were too many to keep track of, Rand said.

"They shoot each other over parking spaces, at football games and at family events," Rand said. "The idea that you're making any place safer by injecting more guns is just completely contradicted by the facts."


The flood of legislative victories in Tennessee after many years of frustration now has some gun backers aiming for a whole new level of freedom: No permits at all.

The permit laws "are an extra burden on people to exercise essentially a constitutional right," said John Harris, executive director of the Tennessee Firearms Association.


URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34382626/ns/us_news-life/
 

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"...a largely unnoticed trend: In much of the country, it is getting easier to carry guns."

Not unnoticed around here!

I love the dig at the end from the VPC. You guys need to stop shooting people over parking spaces!:barf:
 

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Tenn. demonstrates trend of looser guns laws
Shift in attitude, easing of restrictions attributed to powerful NRA lobby
The Associated Press
updated 6:49 p.m. ET, Fri., Dec . 11, 2009

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - It's been the year of the gun in Tennessee. In a flurry of legislative action, handgun owners won the right to take their weapons onto sports fields and playgrounds and, at least briefly, into bars.
SNIP
A Violence Policy Center project has mined news reports to find that more than 100 people have been killed by holders of handgun-carry permits since 2007, including nine law enforcement officers. The project originally intended to list all gun crimes by permit holders, but there were too many to keep track of, Rand said.

"They shoot each other over parking spaces, at football games and at family events," Rand said. "The idea that you're making any place safer by injecting more guns is just completely contradicted by the facts."


The flood of legislative victories in Tennessee after many years of frustration now has some gun backers aiming for a whole new level of freedom: No permits at all.

The permit laws "are an extra burden on people to exercise essentially a constitutional right," said John Harris, executive director of the Tennessee Firearms Association.


URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34382626/ns/us_news-life/
Should say 100 criminals were killed, saving the life of at least 100 innocent citizens.

And the facts are that licensed citizens don't get into shoot-outs over parking spaces, but perhaps armed gang-bangers do, which leads to te need for honest people to be armed for defense.

VPC is just a propaganda mill the media loves to quote.
 

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Good article, even with the to-be-expected lies from the VPC. :barf:
 

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I could be wrong, but I'm starting to see a trend.

Consider that in February and March there was a big push in the media about the drugs wars/Mexico. Holder's comments about new AWB were shot down, and things died down on the gun control front. Now CNN is having drug war/Mexico specials, Anderson Cooper at the border with that hysterical Michael Ware, Nat Geo has a big Narco War special Sunday, and this article.

I believe the lull was only temporary. The Dems concentrated on stimulus, health, cap and tax. Now that most of that has passed, at least the House, guns could be next on Pelosi's radar.

Could be the Dems will use the issue as a distraction. Their strategy seems pretty clear. Overwhelm the public, congress, media, vetting process by throwing massive amounts of legislation, in the form of 2000 page bills, at the system. The idea is to get ahead of coverage and scrutiny. The media, in general, seems to accommodate them by being slow to cover anything negative about this administration, and concentrating on "infotainment", i.e. Tiger Woods, Casey Anthony, etc.

Hold on to your hats....I think it's coming soon.
 

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...more than 100 people have been killed by holders of handgun-carry permits since 2007, including nine law enforcement officers...."They shoot each other over parking spaces, at football games and at family events," Rand said. "The idea that you're making any place safer by injecting more guns is just completely contradicted by the facts."
Leave it to MSLSD to put such a slant on the article. No mention of [reported] crimes prevented by lawfully armed citizens.

And no breakdown of the "more than 100 people killed." If it's true that nine LEOs were killed by permit holders, that's a tragedy whose causes should be investigated (flawed background check, etc.) and the murderers should fry.

If the other 91 people were dirtbags who were shot and killed in the commission of crimes against armed citizens, that's a public service.
 

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A Violence Policy Center project has mined news reports to find that more than 100 people have been killed by holders of handgun-carry permits since 2007, including nine law enforcement officers. The project originally intended to list all gun crimes by permit holders, but there were too many to keep track of, Rand said.
How convenient that they left out the fact that the FBI reports there were over 16,000 murders in 2007, and only 100 due to CCW, or 0.62% :rolleyes:
 

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"They shoot each other over parking spaces, at football games and at family events," Rand said. "The idea that you're making any place safer by injecting more guns is just completely contradicted by the facts."
I think my brain is going to explode.

:rolleyes:
 

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"The NRA has a stranglehold on a lot of state legislatures," said Kristin Rand, legislative director the Violence Policy Center, a gun control group in Washington. "They basically have convinced lawmakers they can cost them their seats, even though there's no real evidence to back that up."

Perhaps it is time to make true believers out of them.
 

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"New Jersey's 2009 law limiting people to one handgun purchase per month is the most notable of the more restrictive laws. Other examples this year include Maryland's ban on concealed weapons on public transit and Maine's vote to give public universities and colleges the power to regulate firearms on campus.

The most contentious of Tennessee's new gun laws was one allowing handguns in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. It took effect in July after lawmakers overrode a veto by the governor. Last month, a Nashville judge struck down the law as unconstitutionally vague, but supporters have vowed to pass it again."

I really need to win the lottery, I am at least 240 months behind in my quota.:bawling:

I agree with this judge. The law was vague. The bar owner probably doesn't know more than quarterly what his profit margins are. To have a law that say you can carry lawfully IF the establishment makes more than 50% of its revenue from food sales is too vague. It means that every-time the police are involved, a forensic accountant will have to look at the books for the place to see if they sell 50% food.

Kansas changed the law back in the spring of 2007, within 1 year of original passage and 4 months from the date that carry licenses were issued. The bill, HB 2528 was passed because cities just passed laws making everywhere off limits by passing a rule that concealed carry was not allowed on any city owned property, including streets, sidewalks and parking lots. This angered the legislature and they came back and changed to law so that only buildings could be effectively posted off limits, no parking lots, no river banks, no streets. They even went further, those places that were listed in the law as off limits by statute, police stations, jails, hospitals, churches and bars [places that had been included because one or two legislators wanted that for their vote for passage] now are free to choose. If a church wanted to allow armed worshipers, they just didn't put a sign up. No sign, except for federal property, concealed carry is lawful. Wrong sign, concealed carry is lawful.

We are all happy about the SCOUS having the hearing on the states and Second Amendment this March. That might not have happened except for some judges making different decisions in different segions. The conflict is why the Court is hearing te Chicago case.
 

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That obvious lie from the VPC about 100 "innocent" persons (that's what they want the ignorant to believe) - including 9 police officers! - killed by CCW holders needs to be countered. I'm going to check with the NRA-ILA to see if they have the actual statistics.
 

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I'll take that bet!

Not before the 2010 election, I bet. Democrats haven't forgotten the bloodletting they suffered after Clinton pushed his AWB through.
After watching the Democraps push their healthcare reform and cap & trade, I don't think that they care.
 

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Should say 100 criminals were killed, saving the life of at least 100 innocent citizens.

And the facts are that licensed citizens don't get into shoot-outs over parking spaces, but perhaps armed gang-bangers do, which leads to te need for honest people to be armed for defense.

VPC is just a propaganda mill the media loves to quote.
Actually the VPC report, as baised as it is, details the 8 cops and (mostly) family members of the shooters that went nuts.. Several of the shooters were described as haveing feaars theat "they" were coming to take our guns. Also depressed, out of wok, what ever. Shockingly small percentage of CWP holders, but tragic none the less.
 
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