AMERICA’S HUNTERS Pretty Amazing!

For the sake of our freedom, don’t ever allow gun control or confiscation of guns.

WISCONSIN Outdoors

A blogger added up the deer license sales in just a handful of states and arrived at a striking conclusion:

There were over 600,000 hunters this season in the state of Wisconsin …. Allow me to restate that number: 600,000!

Over the last several months, Wisconsin’s hunters became the eighth largest army in the world.

(That’s more men under arms than in Iran .. More than France and Germany combined.)

These men, deployed to the woods of a single American state, Wisconsin, to hunt with firearms, And NO ONE WAS KILLED.

That number pales in comparison to the 750,000 who hunted the woods of Pennsylvania and Michigan’s 700,000 hunters, ALL OF WHOM HAVE RETURNED HOME SAFELY.

Toss in a quarter million hunters in West Virginia and it literally establishes the fact that the Hunters of those four states alone would comprise the largest army in the world.

And then add in the total number of hunters in the other 46 states. It’s millions more.

The point?

America will forever be safe from foreign invasion with that kind of home-grown firepower! Hunting… it’s not just a way to fill the freezer.

It’s a matter of national security.

That’s why all enemies, foreign and domestic, want to see us disarmed.

Food for thought, when next we consider gun control. Overall it’s true, so if we disregard some assumptions that hunters don’t possess the same skills as soldiers, the question would still remain… What army of 2 million would want to face 30 million, 40 million, or 50 million armed citizens???

For the sake of our freedom, don’t ever allow gun control or confiscation of guns.

Polk County, Florida – 2nd mass killing in 4 weeks

3rd victim dies after angry co-worker’s rampage

Workplace violence ends in 3 deaths

3 people are dead in a workplace violence incident in Polk County, Florida and not one shot was fired or one gun was used.

Deranged man beats and stabs co-workers in Davenport, Florida.

3rd victim dies after angry co-worker’s rampage

Sun, October 3, 2021

DAVENPORT, Fla. (AP) — Authorities said Sunday a third victim has died following a violent attack where an angry electrician wielding a knife and baseball bat killed three co-workers and injured another at the Florida home they shared.

Polk County Sheriff’s officials said electrician Shaun Runyon got into the argument with his supervisor Friday, punching the man and fleeing the job site. He returned to the Davenport home he where he was temporarily living with his co-workers Saturday and beat one man to death while he slept, killed another man on the front porch and chased another victim into the street, beating him badly with a bat, Sheriff Grady Judd said.

A fourth victim suffered critical injuries and later died at the hospital. Another man, his wife and their 7-year-old daughter escaped unharmed. Authorities did not release the identities of the victims.

Runyon and seven co-workers and their families were living at the home rented by a Pennsylvania company, J & B Electric, Inc.

It’s unclear what prompted the fight between 39-year-old Runyon and his supervisor Friday, but Sheriff Judd said he confessed.

He was charged with three counts of first degree murder and one count of aggravated battery. It was not immediately clear if he had retained a lawyer to comment on the charges.

Runyon fled the home, turning up hours later at the home of a random Lake Wales couple, wearing bloody clothes and telling them he’d been raped, according to the sheriff.

Judd said the man discarded his bloody clothes at the home as they urged him to go to the hospital where he was later taken into custody.

CHICAGO’S ANSWER TO SHOOTING DEATHS – Install ‘Bleeding Control Kits’ around the city

Yes, this is for real. It is not a joke.

Chicago installing ‘Bleeding Control Kits’ around city amid gun violence

THE HILL – BY REMA RAHMAN – 09/29/21

Chicago has begun installing “Bleeding Control Kits” across the city under the new Safe Chicago program amid an increase in gun violence.

The city will install 426 Bleeding Control Kits in 269 Chicago buildings, including City Hall and Chicago Public Library locations. Each kit can treat up to eight victims.

Every kit comes equipped with a tourniquet, gauze, shears, gloves, and an instruction manual on how to best use it in instances of “life threatening bleeding emergencies” that can result from falls, penetrating injuries (such as stabbings), gunshot wounds, and more.

Announced earlier this month to coincide with National Preparedness Month, the program was launched by the Office of Emergency Management and Communications and the Federal Emergency Management Agency in partnership with the Chicago Fire Department, Chicago Police Department, and Assets and Information Services.

However, it has received renewed attention addressing gun violence following the release Monday’s updated crime stats from the Chicago Police Department.

As of Monday, Chicago has reported 2,688 shootings, an 11 percent increase from this time last year, as well as 602 homicides, marking a 4 percent increase. The data does not specify the homicide causes of death.

Biden withdraws David Chipman’s nomination to head ATF

Chipman faced widespread opposition from Senate Republicans, with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell calling his gun policy views “extreme” and saying he is “unsuited enough” for the role.

https://www.axios.com/biden-withdraw-david-chipman-nomination-atf-guns-9605d8a6-318d-4ea4-8270-fca142c2f029.html

The Biden administration will withdraw the nomination of David Chipman to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after bipartisan pushback, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: President Biden nominated Chipman, a gun control advocate, in April to head the agency, which has not had a permanent director since 2015 and is considered a force within the federal government to combat gun violence.

  • Chipman has served as a senior policy adviser at Giffords, a group led by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) that advocates for stricter gun laws.
  • He previously worked for the ATF as a special agent for two decades.

State of play: Some Democratic senators, including Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.), have said they remain undecided on the nomination. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) told the Biden administration that he was not supportive.

  • Chipman faced widespread opposition from Senate Republicans, with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell calling his gun policy views “extreme” and saying he is “unsuited enough” for the role.
  • The White House did not immediately respond to Axios’ request for comment.

Biden Administration Bans Importation of Russian Ammunition

Biden Administration Bans Importation of Russian Ammunition

AUGUST 22, 2021 : NRA-ILA

The Biden Administration’s Department of State announced that it will soon prohibit the importation of Russian ammunition into the United States. According to a release on the Department of State’s website, “[n]ew and pending permit applications for the permanent importation of firearms and ammunition manufactured or located in Russia will be subject to a policy of denial.”

While the new policy appears to prohibit the importation of both firearms and ammunition, the importation of Russian origin firearms was already heavily restricted under past executive policies. The primary effect of this new policy will be on Russian origin ammunition.

The State Department claims that it is imposing these “sanctions on the Russian Federation over its use of a “Novichok” nerve agent in the August 2020 poisoning of Russian opposition figure Aleksey Navalny.” While that may be a viable reason for the United States government to sanction the Russian Federation, the ammunition import restriction seems more aimed at punishing American gun owners and businesses than as a foreign policy tool to influence the Russian Federation.

Ammunition exports to the United States are only a small percentage of the GDP of the Russian Federation, but Russian origin ammo makes up a large part of the American ammunition supply. American gun owners were already suffering from a market where demand was exceeding available supply. This new move by the Biden Administration will severely worsen the present supply problems.

The release goes on to note that the new policy:

will take effect upon the publication of a Federal Register notice expected on September 7, 2021, and they will remain in place for a minimum of 12 months. The sanctions can only be lifted after a 12-month period if the Executive Branch determines and certifies to Congress that Russia has met several conditions . . . including (1) providing reliable assurances that it will not use chemical weapons in violation of international law, (2) it is not making preparations to use chemical weapons in the future, (3) it is willing to allow international inspectors to verify those assurances, and (4) it is making restitution to Mr. Navalny.

While this delayed implementation date may seem to make a rush to approve new ammunition shipments possible, it’s not clear that ATF will provide any type of rush approval for the Form 6s necessary to lawfully import ammunition into the United States. These forms often take six or more weeks to get approved, so ATF delays may prevent any new shipments being approved for importation.

It appears that importers will be able to continue to import ammunition that was already approved prior to the publication of the notice in the Federal Register. That ammunition will likely be rapidly consumed due to present demand for ammunition in the United States.

The full effect of this new policy will likely not be realized for a few months, but it will certainly lead to more ammunition shortages, higher prices, and therefore fewer Americans excising their fundamental rights. It may also result in the shuttering of American small businesses that rely heavily on the importation of Russian ammunition. All of this is of course by design for the Biden Administration.

We will continue to keep all NRA members informed of this newest overreach by President Biden on his crusade against law-abiding American gun owners. NRA is reviewing all political, legislative, and legal options to fight this new policy.

2nd Amendment rights collide with law enforcement leaders desire to reduce crime

Police opposition doesn’t stop conservative gun law rollback

Associated Press – Lindsay Whithurst – August 9, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The latest push to loosen gun laws in states across the U.S. has put police officers at odds with Republican lawmakers who usually trumpet support for law enforcement.

In states like Texas, Tennessee and Louisiana, police opposed pushes to drop requirements for people to get background checks and training before carrying handguns in public, plans that came as gun sales continued to shatter records during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We feel it was just another opportunity to get our officers hurt,” said Fabian Blache Jr., executive director of the Louisiana Chiefs of Police Association. “It was a danger to law enforcement.”

There, a last-ditch public plea by dozens of Louisiana law enforcement officers helped narrowly avert a push to override the Democratic governor’s veto of legislation dropping concealed-carry permit requirements. But he expects the proposal to come back next year, and in several other conservative-leaning states police opposition didn’t stop laws dropping permit requirements.

Gun violence is on the rise across the country and law enforcement agencies are struggling with how to manage the spikes, especially in cities. The federal government has stepped in with strike forces and other measures help to stop the sale of illegal weapons. Cops are already working at a disadvantage in many cities over forces winnowed by retirements and difficulty attracting new officers following the massive police protests in 2020, and many see looser gun laws as one more challenge.

Not knowing who might be carrying a gun heightens the potential danger in any encounter, and less required training means more people who don’t know how to properly handle a weapon, Blanche said.

“Police officers are trained around the country, and they make mistakes,” he said. “So why are we going to give opportunity to people who are not trained to be able to carry a firearm and use it at will?”

In Tennessee this year, warnings from police chiefs and sheriffs didn’t stop a push to drop permit requirements in the GOP-controlled state Legislature. That law passed months after another measure cracking down on protesters camping out for police reform, a vote that was framed as a support for law enforcement.

Though several polls have found public support for gun permits, arguments that they undermine Second Amendment rights have gained favor in conservative-leaning state governments in recent years.

“There is something of a disjunction between repeating the political slogan of ‘back the blue’ versus supporting policies that rank-and-file police and leaders of police organizations actually support,” said Robert Spitzer, a professor at The State University of New York-Cortland and author of “The Politics of Gun Control.”

Police opposition hasn’t stopped a push to drop permitting requirements that’s passed in about 20 states, Spitzer said. While their positions carry authority, they don’t have the ad campaigns and lobbyists that overtly political interests often do.

“Their voices and opinions have been known, but they haven’t been a real megaphone in public political terms because that puts them in a real bad spot. They’re public servants and their job is to enforce the law, no matter what the law is,” he said.

And permitless carry has supporters in law enforcement, including sheriffs, many of whom are in elected positions and oversee more rural areas. In Utah and Iowa, police groups were more divided generally stayed out of the debate this year.

Discussions about police reform dominated the conversation in Iowa, as well as how to stem the rise in violent crime, said Sam Hargadine, the Iowa Police Chiefs Association executive director. He doesn’t see the permit question as a big piece of the violent-crime discussion, especially since chiefs already couldn’t deny people permits.

“I think there’s extremes on both sides. But there’s got to be some compromises made, because we’re having far too many shootings,” he said.

Not all police oppose the legislation, and gun-rights advocates don’t see a conflict between combating crime and making it easier for people to carry firearms. They argue that people generally don’t get permits for guns used in violent crimes, so the change will make it easier for those who do follow the law to get a gun and many measures also tougher penalties for some gun crimes.

For Texas Republican James White, his party’s differing with the chiefs of the state’s largest cities on permit-less carry was part of the give-and-take of the legislative process.

“There were some things this session … where we were consistent with where law enforcement would want to be, and there were sometimes that we just had to tell them we have to look a different direction,” said White, an outgoing state lawmaker now running for agriculture commissioner.

He also touted the stronger penalties contained in the law for felons who carry guns illegally. “It was a very strong on crime, tough on crime deal,” he said.

White argued the new law didn’t represent a massive shift in a state where guns were allowed in cars without permits and licenses weren’t required for long guns. Texas became the largest state to drop handgun licensing requirements this year, a move applauded by the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights advocates.

Alan Gottlieb with the Second Amendment Foundation argued that policing is already inherently dangerous and dropping permits won’t make a big dent but will enhance gun rights. “I shouldn’t need a permit to exercise my constitutional rights,” he said.

Police opposition had helped keep the idea from gaining traction even in firearm-friendly Texas, but with a change in legislative leadership support swelled over the span of a few weeks this year. It passed over objections from survivors of the mass shooting that killed 23 people at an El Paso Walmart two years ago.

“One thing I’ve learned in my many years of working with police is, you can rely on them to tell you what’s going to put the public at danger,” said Everytown For Gun Safety President John Feinblatt. “I think that what police know is that crime is rising around the country and this is the worst possible moment to pass laws like this.”

Nikki Fried suspends concealed weapons permits of suspected Capitol rioters

Florida Ag. Commissioner Nikki Fried suspends concealed weapons permits of 22 suspected Capitol rioters

Florida- FOX 13 News : 07-27-2021

https://www.fox13news.com/news/florida-ag-commissioner-nikki-fried-suspends-concealed-weapons-permits-of-22-suspected-capitol-rioters

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Hours after the first hearing investigating the US Capitol riot ended, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said she was suspending the concealed weapons permits of 22 Floridians involved in the insurrection.

“The deeply disturbing events that occurred at our nation’s Capitol on January 6th were sedition, treason, and domestic terrorism – and those individuals involved in the insurrection must be held accountable for attempting to subvert our democratic process,” Fried said in a statement.

The Florida Department of Agriculture’s Division of Licensing administers the state’s concealed weapon licensing program.

Fried, Florida’s only Democrat elected statewide, said Tuesday the suspensions were effective immediately for anyone who participated in the Jan. 6 insurrection who is charged with a felony or certain other offenses.

“Since charges began being filed, we are using our lawful authority to immediately suspend the licenses of 22 individuals involved in the storming of the U.S. Capitol. This is an ongoing effort, and as charges and sentences continue in the wake of this despicable attack, we will further suspend and revoke any additional licenses granted to insurrectionists,” Fried said.

Fried’s office said it has the ability to immediately suspend a license if the licensee is charged with a felony or certain other disqualifying offenses. Once a judgment is rendered, if their sentence disqualifies the person from carrying a concealed weapon, the state will then revoke their license.

Fried said more suspensions could come in the future. Public disclosure by her agency of individual concealed weapons permits is prohibited by law.

The move comes as a select U.S. House committee began hearings into the Capitol riot with testimony from police officers who confronted and battled the mob that was supporting then-President Donald Trump’s false claims of widespread election fraud in 2020.

Fried is seeking the Democratic nomination for Florida governor, along with former governor and current U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and others. The winner would face Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in the 2022 election.

More than 500 people have been arrested since the U.S. Capitol was violently breached six months ago. Fifty-five of those arrested were from Florida and approximately a dozen called the Bay Area home.

The U.S. Capitol Police say the majority of threats come from California and Florida and that’s why it is opening two field offices – one in Tampa and one in San Francisco

Joe Biden Admits He Wants 9mm Pistols Banned

‘I’m Continuing To Push To Eliminate The Sale Of’ Things Like ‘9mm Pistol,’

CNN Town Hall: Joe Biden Suggests a 9mm Pistol Ban

https://newsbinding.com/news/cnn-town-hall-joe-biden-suggests-a-9mm-pistol-ban/

07-21-2021
During his Wednesday night CNN town hall, President Joe Biden talked about a “push to eliminate” 9mm pistols that have an ammunition capacity beyond that of which the left approves.

Biden said, “The idea you need a weapon that can have the ability to fire 20, 30, 40, 50, 120 shots from that weapon, whether it’s a 9mm pistol or whether it’s a rifle, is ridiculous. I’m continuing to push to eliminate the sale of those things.”

Up until now, Biden has pushed “assault weapons” ban legislation and moved executively to have the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) take regulatory action against AR-pistols with stabilizer braces.

On June 7, 2021, Breitbart News reported the DOJ moved to place certain AR-pistols under the purview of the National Firearms Act. But those AR-pistols are chambered in 5.56 or .223, not 9mm. Biden’s mention of going after 9mm pistols opens the door to regulating wildly popular Glock, Heckler & Koch, Smith & Wesson, Sig Sauer, Kahr, Taurus, and Springfield Armory pistols, among many others.


Biden: ‘I’m Continuing To Push To Eliminate The Sale Of’ Things Like ‘9mm Pistol,’ ‘Rifle’

https://www.dailywire.com/news/breaking-biden-indicates-he-wants-to-ban-the-sale-of-handguns

Jul 22, 2021   DailyWire.com

President Joe Biden suggested during a CNN town hall on Wednesday night that he is pushing to eliminate the sale of high-capacity pistols and rifles.

“I’m the only guy that ever got — passed legislation when I was a senator to make sure we eliminated assault weapons,” Biden said. “The idea you need a weapon that can have the ability to fire 20, 30, 40, 50, 120 shots from that weapon, whether it’s a, whether it’s a 9mm pistol or whether it’s a rifle, is ridiculous.”

“I’m continuing to push to eliminate the sale of those things, but I’m not likely to get that done in the near term,” Biden added.

TRANSCRIPT:

QUESTION: So how will you address gun violence from a federal point of view to actually bring about change and make our local cities safer?

BIDEN: Now, I’m not being a wise guy, there’s no reason you [inaudible], have you seen my gun violence legislation I’ve introduced? As you know, because you’re so involved, actually, crime is down. Gun violence and murder rates are up. Guns. I’m the only guy that ever got passed, legislation when I was a senator, to make sure we eliminated assault weapons. The idea you need a weapon that can have the ability to fire 20, 30, 40, 50, 120 shots from that weapon, whether it’s a, whether it’s a 9mm pistol, or whether it’s a rifle, is ridiculous. I’m continuing to push to eliminate the sale of those things. But I’m not likely to get that done in the near term. So, here’s what I’ve done. The people who, in fact, are using those weapons are acquiring them illegally, illegally. And so what happens is, I’ve gotten ATF, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, I have them increase their budget and increase their capacity along with the Justice Department to go after the gun shops that are not abiding by the law of doing background checks. For real, that’s number one. Number two, number two, we are in a position where you, most of the cities, and I don’t know enough, I think you’ve had a lot of gun violence here in Cincinnati, I think it was up to what, how many, how many dead? 500 over a period? Don’t hold me to the number, whatever it was. But my point is all across the country. And it’s not because the gun shops in the cities are selling these guns. They are either shadow gun dealers and or gun shops that are not abiding by the law. So we’re going to do major investigations and shut those guys down and put some of them in jail and for what they’re doing, selling these weapons. There’s also a thing called ghost guns that are being sold now and being used. And so but in addition to that, what we have to do is we have to deal with a larger problem of the whole issue of law enforcement generally, we’re in a situation where as much as we need to pass the Floyd Act and all that, but here’s the deal. Cops are having real trouble. They’re not all bad guys, there are a lot of good guys. We need more policemen, not fewer policemen. But we need them involved in community policing, community policing. And when we did that, violent crime went down, all the criticism about the original crime, but guess what, crime went down until we stopped doing community policing. So it’s about getting, we have availability now, of over, billion, lots of money, for cops to be able to hire psychologists, psychiatrists, as well as social workers to be engaged in the process.

DailyWire.com – Jul 22, 2021

Federal Appellate Court Rules: Age Ban On Purchasing Handguns “Unconstitutional”

Judges say they won’t relegate ‘the Second Amendment or 18- to 20-year-olds to a second-class status’

By Todd Ruger – July 13, 2021

https://www.rollcall.com/2021/07/13/appeals-court-finds-aged-based-handgun-purchase-ban-unconstitutional/

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the long-standing federal ban on sales of handguns from licensed dealers to 18- to 20-year-olds is unconstitutional, because Congress in the 1960s did not demonstrate a good enough reason for the law.

In a 2-1 ruling, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, based in Richmond, Va., found that the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms is no different from other constitutional rights that start at age 18, so the government must have a justification to restrict that right.

“Despite the weighty interest in reducing crime and violence, we refuse to relegate either the Second Amendment or 18- to 20-year-olds to a second-class status,” Judge Julius Richardson wrote for the majority.

Richardson, a President Donald Trump appointee, was joined in the majority opinion by Judge G. Stephen Agee, a President George W. Bush appointee.

Judge James Wynn Jr., a President Barack Obama appointee, wrote a dissent that said the panel had overstepped its role as a court, and that “the majority’s decision to grant the gun lobby a victory in a fight it lost on Capitol Hill more than 50 years ago is not compelled by law.”

The Justice Department will almost certainly appeal the decision, which comes during an incendiary national debate over gun control laws prompted by everyday shootings as well as a series of mass shootings over the years at concerts, schools and other public spaces.

The Supreme Court, with a newly expanded 6-3 conservative majority, has teed up a major case about state concealed carry laws for the term that starts in October that will be a test of how far the justices might extend constitutional gun rights outside the home.

Meanwhile, Congress stands at a partisan deadlock over numerous gun control proposals backed mostly by Democrats, and President Joe Biden has issued executive orders and taken other actions to combat what he calls an “epidemic” of gun violence.

The decision recounts how in 1964, Congress, concerned about increasing gun violence, began a “field investigation and public hearings” and concluded among other things that juveniles getting handguns without consent of parents “is a significant factor in the prevalence of lawlessness and violent crime in the United States.”

In 1968, Congress passed the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act, which prohibited licensed dealers from selling handguns to anyone under age 21 but permitted the sale of shotguns and rifles to those individuals, the decision states.

Later that year, Congress changed that law through the Gun Control Act of 1968, which prohibited licensed dealers from selling any firearm to those under 18 and maintained the ban on the sale of handguns for 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds

The 4th Circuit majority found that Congress, when banning the sale of handguns and handgun ammunition to that age group, used “disproportionate crime rates to craft over-inclusive laws that restrict the rights of overwhelmingly law-abiding citizens.”

“And in doing so, Congress focused on purchases from licensed dealers without establishing those dealers as the source of the guns 18- to 20-year-olds use to commit crimes,” Richardson wrote for the majority.

The law restricts the rights of more than 99 percent of that age group because “a fraction of 1% commit a disproportionate amount of violent crime,” the majority wrote, and it is already illegal for felons, fugitives, drug users and immigrants who entered the country illegally to buy firearms from licensed dealers.

“So the laws at issue by their nature prevent a more law-abiding, less dangerous subset of 18- to 20-year-olds from purchasing from a more regulated market,” the majority wrote.

“The irony does not escape us that, under the government’s reasoning, the same 18- to 20-year-old men and women we depend on to protect us in the armed forces and who have since our Founding been trusted with the most sophisticated weaponry should nonetheless be prevented from purchasing a handgun from a federally licensed dealer for their own protection at home,” the majority wrote.

There is no ban against 18- to 20-year-olds owning, possessing or using a gun, the opinion states. Dealers can sell guns to parents or guardians who can gift them to minor children, but not when the children provide the money.

If it stands, the decision would mean 18- to 20-year-olds could buy a handgun from a licensed dealer but not cigarettes or alcohol.

The majority also wrote that it’s unclear whether the ban has been effective, something Wynn cautioned against in the dissent.

Wynn wrote that “doing so will place the nation and its lawmakers in a formidable catch-22: pass too onerous a regulation and see it struck down for violating the Second Amendment; pass too permissive a measure and suffer the same result.”

“This heads-I-win, tails-you-lose approach is a recipe for national inaction on gun violence,” Wynn wrote.

The plaintiff in the case is a 19-year-old woman who got a protective order against her abusive ex-boyfriend who, after that order, had been arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm and controlled substances, the decision states.

She also works as an equestrian trainer and often finds herself in remote rural areas where she interacts with unfamiliar people, and she considers a handgun as the most effective tool for protection from those risks, the decision states.

Pandemic gun violence surge was not linked to rise in gun sales, study finds

New Study Delivers a Kill Shot to Another Anti-Gun Narrative

Research suggests looking at role of job loss, economic change, closure of schools and community organizations and civil unrest

The Guardian – 2021-07-09

Gun homicides surged across the United States during the coronavirus pandemic, in the same year that Americans bought a record-breaking number of guns.

But some of America’s leading gun violence researchers have concluded that what might seem like an obvious cause-and-effect – a surge in gun buying leads to a surge in gun violence – is not supported by the data.

Through July of last year, there was no clear association between the increase in firearm purchases and the increase in most interpersonal gun violence at the state level, according to a new study published in Injury Epidemiology, a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

A peace march 6 March 2020 in Oakland to showcase the impact of Oakland’s lifesaving gun violence reduction programs.

The findings suggest that “we need to be looking at other factors, like job loss, economic change, the closure of schools and community organizations and nonprofits, and civil unrest,” in order to understand last year’s increase in gun violence, Julia Schleimer, the lead author of the new study, said.

There did appear to be some association between the increase in gun purchasing and an increase in domestic violence gun injuries in April and May, but that correlation might also be explained by other factors, including increased substance abuse or the decreased access to domestic violence support services during the early months of lockdown, Schleimer said.

The results of the new study are an unexpected addition to the fierce political battle over how to explain last year’s estimated 25% increase in homicides, which experts say they expect will be the worst single-year increase in killings since the 1960s. While official government data is not yet available, experts are projecting that the US saw an additional 4,000 to 5,000 homicides nationwide in 2020, and the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive recorded nearly 4,000 additional gun homicides last year compared with 2019.

Even though the homicide rate across big cities remains close to half of what it was in the 1990s, some politicians have used the single-year jump in killings to paint Democrats and the Biden administration as soft on crime, using an old political playbook of stoking anxiety over crime and violence in order to win elections.

Joe Biden has responded by focusing on firearms access and calling for new gun control laws, as well as supporting increased funding for police and community violence intervention programs.

The findings of the new study from the state-funded Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis, do not fit tidily into either of these partisan political narratives. While the new study raises doubts about a correlation between last year’s spike in gun purchases and the increases in shootings, it doesn’t address the underlying risk of easy access to guns in the US, Schleimer said.

While official government crime data is not yet available for 2020, roughly three-quarters of US homicides annually are committed with guns, and experts estimate nonfatal shootings injure 100,000 people a year, often leaving survivors with serious, life-altering injuries.

There is a large body of research demonstrating the correlation between gun access and increased risk of gun injury, Schleimer said, an association that is particularly clear when it comes to the risk of gun suicide. The increase in shootings during 2020 may have been driven by Americans who already owned guns before the pandemic, not by the people who bought guns for the first time last year – but that does not mean that gun access is irrelevant, she said.

At the same time, the lack of any clear correlation between what the researchers estimated as 4.3m additional firearm purchases nationally from March through July 2020, and a 27% increase in firearm injuries over that time, suggests that other factors besides gun access and gun control laws deserve more attention, and more research, Schleimer said.Advertisement

“There are a lot of strategies that can address some of the more social determinants of violence,” Schleimer said, including supporting violence interrupters and other community-based violence intervention programs, and focusing on economic policies that might help reduce gun violence, which is deeply correlated with poverty and concentrated disadvantage. “There’s some good evidence on youth summer job programs and young people’s risk for violence.”

It made sense that politicians and other public figures would point to the increase in gun buying in 2020 as a potential reason shootings had increased last year, Schleimer said.

But, she said, “Our findings, from this current study, in this particular context, are not supporting that.”

The new study has several limitations, including the complexity of factors that might have influenced gun violence during 2020, and the lack of official data on both gun sales and gun injuries. The researchers estimated gun sales using federal background check data, and relied on shooting incident data collected from media reports by the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive.

Daniel Webster, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Prevention and Policy, said the study followed “rigorous statistical methods,” and that it raised interesting questions about whether the increase in gun violence might be more closely connected to some Americans’ willingness to carry their previously purchased guns during the pandemic, rather than a spike in first-time gun purchases.

It was possible that in some states, many of the additional gun sales in 2020 went to people who had already owned multiple firearms – meaning that the surge in sales did not necessarily contribute to an increase in the overall prevalence of gun ownership, Webster said in an email.

“Data from Chicago and some other cities suggest that we have seen a sharp increase in illegal gun carrying,” he wrote. “The role that guns are playing in the increased levels of homicides may have more to do with increases in illegal gun carrying than with the number of incidents in which people buy guns legally, especially in the short-term.”

In general, Webster wrote, the relationship between gun ownership and the increased likelihood of a shooting depended a lot on who was acquiring the gun. “In places and among individuals who are particularly low risk, more guns may have little impact on rates of lethal violence, but in places and among individuals of high risk, gun ownership can greatly increase risks of lethal violence,” he wrote.

Schleimer also cautioned that it’s possible that there might be some connection between gun purchasing and gun violence in 2020 that was masked by other factors the researchers were not able to measure or control for.

“Last year was such a unique year in many ways, and the context was continually evolving, and there were a lot of factors changing all at once, both locally and at the state level and nationally in the context of the pandemic and social and civil unrest,” Schleimer said. “That really complicated what we were able to do analytically.”

To examine the possible link between gun sales and shootings, the UC Davis researchers looked at trends in gun purchasing, and gun injuries, across 48 states, and then examined whether there was a correlation between the number of additional guns purchased and the number of additional gun injuries during the spring and summer. They controlled for a range of state-level factors that might influence the number of gun injuries, including stay-at-home orders, coronavirus cases and deaths, unemployment, measures of racial tension and civil unrest and seasonal variations in rates of gun injury.

While an early analysis from the same researchers, looking only at March through May, had found a correlation between increased gun purchases and gun injuries, their final analysis did not find any clear pattern between how many additional guns were purchased in a state through July 2020 and how much of an increase the state saw in non-domestic violence firearms injuries. The study did not analyze gun suicides or suicide attempts.

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