Tuesday, August 25, 2015

MN: More Gun Permits Than Ever Before, Crime Stays Flat

When the state of Minnesota passed a permit-to-carry law in 2003, gun control advocates said it would lead to increased violence and mayhem.

Today, more people in Minnesota have permits than ever before – yet gun violence involving permit-holders remains virtually nonexistent.

The total number of active permits in Minnesota has gone up every year since the permit law passed in 2003, growing from less than 50,000 to more than 200,000 this year, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Since then, examples of violence involving permit-holders have been few and far between. There have been just five deadly incidents involving permit-holders in the past five years, none of which resulted in criminal charges. Overall, gun crimes involving permit owners fell by half between 2013 and 2014.

“Virtually every case has been a person defending themselves,” James Franklin, executive director of the Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association, told the newspaper. “And I can’t recall a single case where a person hurt themselves with a gun [used for self-defense].”

The surge in permits in Minnesota reflects a nationwide trend. In 2014, the US saw the largest jump in active permits ever, despite the fact that a number of states no longer require a permit to carry, gun rights expert John Lott to the Star-Tribune.

Andrew Rothman, the head of the Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, said, “Over they years, the idea of carrying a gun has become much more normalized in society.”

Monday, August 17, 2015

NRA And Sen. John Cornyn Propose Bill To Expand Background Checks

A new NRA-backed bill would encourage states to share information on the “mentally
ill” with the federal background check system for gun sales.

NRA A+ rated Sen. John Cornyn of Texas introduced the Mental Health and Safe
Communities Act two weeks ago, after several mass shootings that made news earlier this

The bill would increase federal law enforcement grants to states that choose to share “at
least 90 percent” of their records on people with serious mental problems with the federal
background check database. States that refuse to share such information could also face

While the NRA has praised the bill, pointing out provisions in the law to prevent the
government from labeling certain veterans as mentally ill, other gun groups have come
out against it.

NAGR issued an alert last week claiming the bill would increase gun control by “forcing
states to hand over your private medical records to the federal government.”
While most people agree that individuals with serious mental problems shouldn’t have
guns, governments have abused “mental illness” provisions in the past in an effort to
expand gun control. In the state of New York, for instance, one individual lost his pistol 
permit because he had once been prescribed anti-anxiety medication.

Sen. Cornyn’s proposal has been referred to the Senate judiciary committee.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Trump Widens Lead; Channels Tea Party Energy

Real estate mogul Donald Trump continues to take the Republican primaries by storm, with the latest poll showing him earning almost double the support (24%) of second place finisher Jeb Bush (13%).

Trump is even gaining ground in terms of overall favorability rating, with another recent poll showing him tied with Bush and trailing leader Marco Rubio by just two points (54%-52%) in the category.

One expert told Fox News recently Trump is succeeding by channeling the same energy that swept the Tea Party to victory in 2010.

“There’s going to be a candidate who says it’s time for us to change,” said Michael Needham of Heritage Action for America. “For a lot of Americans right now, they feel disconnected from Washington.”

This may be true for all Americans, but it is especially true for conservatives. More than any other candidate, Trump has connected with the millions of conservatives who are sick of being ignored and condescended to by the same old career politicians.

“People are sick of the establishment and hate their party,” Needham said. “And that’s what needs to be addressed. The reason Donald Trump is generating a lot of enthusiasm is that he's ticking off the right people."