Tag Archives: NRA

Arizona Attorney General tests state preemption law against the City of Tucson

Last week, Attorney General Mark Brnovich asked the Arizona Supreme Court to cut off the City of Tucson’s $170 million a year in state aid, claiming Tucson is violating Arizona ridiculous state preemption law prohibiting local governments from destroying seized handguns. Brnovich sues Tucson over firearms destruction:

False IdolsIn his legal filing, Brnovich contends the 2005 city ordinance runs afoul of a series of state laws that sharply restrict the right of local governments to make their own gun laws. And he told the justices that a newly enacted state statute specifically gives him the right to intercede and ask the high court to punish offenders.

Officially, the lawsuit asks the high court to give Tucson a deadline by which they have to repeal the ordinance. That is unlikely to occur: Just hours earlier, council members voted unanimously to fight Brnovich in court, though they did agree to voluntarily stop the gun destruction until the Supreme Court rules.

The 2016 law that gives Brnovich the right to take cities to court spells out that any community that wants to fight him must first post a bond equal to half of its annual state aid. Attorneys for the city are expected to ask the justices to declare that requirement illegal or, at the very least, waive it.

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Doug MacEachern is being icky again

Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com and retweeted by Mr. MacEachern himself.

maceachernSeriously, just eww!

So the other day I hauled out a Costco-sized jug of brain bleach and proceeded to read this Doug MacEachern column.

In terms of fundraising tactics, there is not a wit [sic] of difference between the National Rifle Association and, say, America’s premier abortion industry complex, Planned Parenthood.

Now, MacEachern would like everyone to think he’s a world-weary scribe, merely pursuing objective truth on the subject of abortion. He recently sniffed that people shouldn’t describe him as “anti-choice” since he hasn’t stated his position on abortion. However (and protip to Doug), using the phrase “America’s premier abortion industry complex” about Planned Parenthood without even sparing, say, a concomitant “America’s top gun shilling edifice” about the NRA, kind of gives his game away. Continue reading

How many gun shows is too many?


AZ-pl-2-nolayers-sm72by Pamela Powers Hannley

Gun Show Trader boasts the "largest gun show list" in the US. According to this website, there are 1137 gun shows currently scheduled. 

Given the recent Tucson City Council decision to require background checks of any gun show conducted on city property, I looked up the number of gun shows coming up in Arizona. As of today, February 6, 2013, Gun Show Trader shows 30 gun shows scheduled for Arizona in 2013 and 2 so far for 2014.

For 2013, there are 7 gun shows scheduled for Tucson, 6 for Mesa, 5 for Phoenix, 3 for Glendale, and the other 9 are everywhere else in Arizona. To put this into perspective, one must compare the number of gun shows scheduled for Arizona with other states. Which state has the most upcoming gun shows? Texas, of course, with 103. (That was too easy.) The spread of scheduled gun shows nationwide is 0 to 103. Check out the data by state after the jump.

The data (below) are quite surprising. There doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason to the number of shows scheduled. Five states have no gun shows scheduled at all. You'd expect pantywaist East Coast states like Connecticut and Delaware not to have any gun shows, but no gun shows in New Jersey, South Dakota, and North Dakota? On the other end of the spectrum, 6 states have 60 or more gun shows scheduled– more than one per week. Of course, Texas would have the most at 103, but #2 is Florida with 86, followed by Indiana (71), Pennsylvania (70), Washington (65), and California (60). 

Common sense would tell you that that population, politics, and/or existing regulations could be factors in the number of gun shows per state. In order, California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Illinois are the 5 most populace states in the US; respectively they have 60, 103, 18, 86, and 29 scheduled gun shows. Indiana has less than 100,000 fewer citizens than Arizona and has more than twice as many gun shows that Arizona (71 vs 32). 

Thinking stereotypically, red neck states in the South and the Plains should have more gun shows than other states, but Alaska (think: Sarah Palin), Hawaii (think: public pot smoking), Idaho, Maine, Minnisota, Nebraska, and New Hampshire (think: "live free or die") all have 2-4 shows. Except for Florida, Southern states have a modest number of gun shows– fewer shows over all than hippie dippy states like California (60), Oregon (40) or Washington (65). States like Mississippi, Kentucky, and West Virginia, which are often the brunt of red neck jokes, have 6, 18, and 17 shows scheduled respectively. (Mississippi has fewer scheduled shows than Massachusetts– or Tucson!)

So, if population and red/blue mix don't help predict the number of gun shows, existing regulations are a likely reason for the differences. At the Tucson City Council meeting regarding background checks at gun shows, a gun show promoter said she conducts shows in California and that state requires background checks on all show sales. With 60 shows scheduled for that state in 2013 alone, the background checks don't seem to be much of a deterrent to gun commerce. The National Rifle Association tracks gun laws at the state and federal level, but the patchwork of current and proposed legislation is a quagmire. 

With 1122 gun shows scheduled (to date) for 2013 and 15 already scheduled for 2014, I wonder how many guns will be sold at shows this year, what percentage will be sold without background checks, and how much money will be exchanged at gun shows. Don't kid yourself. This issue isn't about the second amendment; it's about unfettered arms and ammunition commerce.

I also wonder how many more people will die from gun shots in the coming year. In the month and a half since the Sandy Hook school massacre, 1280 Americans have been killed by guns— a little more than 26 mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters per day. You can read some of their stories here. When will Americans stop this senseless violence?

Related articles:

Tucson Cracks Down On Gun Shows, Requires Background Checks

Tucson City Council advances gun background check resolution: Voice your opinion at Feb 5 meeting (video)  

Gun Appreciation Day: Did it backfire? (video)

Ward 6 Roast: From immigration reform to potholes, politicians answer voter questions (videos)

Image credit: Pamela Powers Hannley. Gun show data compiled from Gun Show Trader nationwide show list on Feb. 6, 2013. This is descriptive data and most likely not all inclusive.

Gun shows

Tucson City Council advances gun background check resolution: Voice your opinion at Feb 5 meeting (video)

Gun-buttonby Pamela Powers Hannley

During today's study session, Tucson's City Council voted unanimously to advance a resolution which would require background checks on every gun purchase that occurs on city-owned or city-managed property. The resolution further states that there will be "no permits for gun shows on City owned or managed property until the provisions of the above are enacted." 

City attornies said that since this is a resolution and not an ordinance it does not conflict with state law.

Today's vote paves the way for a council vote on the resolution on February 20, but citizens can use the February 5 (tonight) City Council meeting call to the audience to voice their opinions on this matter. Here is the link to the proposal brought forward by Council members Steve Kozachik and Karin Uhlich. More background and a video of local leaders talking about gun control after the jump.

Since the Sandy Hook massacre, Kozachik has been a vocal proponent for gun reform. He suffered immense criticism from fellow Republicans for talking about the need for sensible gun control reforms and for spearheading a gun buy-back program earlier this month. In fact, the Republicans' over-the-top negative response to his actions were a factor in Kozachik's high-profile defection from the Republican Party a few weeks ago. Some background from Kozachik's CNN Op-Ed…

In defiance of Newton's law that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, any discussion of legitimate controls on the use, handling and sale of firearms routinely yields an explosive overreaction of opposition. I learned that firsthand when I organized a voluntary gun buyback program for January 8 in Tucson, Arizona.

It was the tipping point for me to change my party affiliation from Republican to Democratic.

On January 8 in 2011, a seriously deranged young man murdered six people, including a 9-year-old girl, and wounded 13, including Rep. Gabby Giffords, during a 45-second shooting rampage in Tucson. He was finally subdued when he stopped to change clips in his semiautomatic weapon, after firing 31 rounds.

In the immediate aftermath, our community came together as one in our grieving over the deaths and in our resolve to do what we could to prevent a repeat of the tragedy.

But the irrational fears of the gun lobby succeeded in shouting down the debate, and in the intervening two years not a single piece of meaningful legislation has been adopted that would even begin to solve the problem.

I was the target of some of that violent overreaction in the two weeks leading up to the buyback. Thinly veiled threats were leveled at me. I was referred to as "Hitler." The response made it clear the event I was planning hit a nerve among a group who evidently believe the proper disposal of a firearm is tantamount to the desecration of a holy icon.

Guns are not fetish objects. The buyback was simply an offer to people who were uncomfortable with having a weapon in their homes to trade those weapons into the Tucson Police Department in exchange for a $50 grocery gift card. More than $10,000 in gift cards were distributed during the event.

The money I used to buy those cards was donated in just under two weeks by Tucson residents, who still cling to the hope we will re-engage on the topic of rational gun control. They showed that the loud voices are not going to shout down the discussion this time around.

But on the periphery of my buyback, and on the periphery of rational discourse, was a group of gun and NRA enthusiasts holding a "cash for guns" firearms flea market. They held it on the boundary of the police department parking lot in which my buyback was taking place.

In Arizona, it is legal for a person to walk up to another on a street corner, hand him cash for a firearm and simply walk off with it, with no need for a background check into his psychological or criminal history. That was exactly what happened with those who came to my buyback to "score some deals" on weapons by outbidding the gift cards I was offering.

I was a Republican at the time, but less than one week after the buyback, I chose to switch parties. I believe there is a centrist element among the rank and file in the GOP, but the leadership is led by the far right and openly beholden to the NRA and the gun lobby. It is that rigid ideology that is driving the party into irrelevancy. The overreaction to the gun buyback made it clear that, in Tucson at least, the Republican Party is out of touch with the values of the community. [Emphasis added. Go here for the rest of the story.]

Related Stories:

Tucson Cracks Down On Gun Shows, Requires Background Checks

How many gun shows is too many?

Tucson Ward 6 Political Forum & Roast: Gun Violence

Gun Appreciation Day: Did it backfire? (video)





Gun Appreciation Day: Did it backfire? (video)

AZ-pl-2-nolayers-sm72by Pamela Powers Hannley

Gun Appreciation Day was observed nationally on Saturday, January 19. Gun owners were encouraged to hold rallies, go to gun shows, go to shooting ranges, or participate in other activities in support of lax gun regulation … er… unfettered gun ownership.

In Phoenix, a motley crew of gun nuts …er… group of patriots rallied at the state capitol. I can't think of a better place for the rally, since Arizona Republicans are proposing a bill that would make any federal laws aimed at curbing gun violence… er… limiting 2nd Amendment freedoms unenforceable in Arizona. 

Here in Tucson, there was no Gun Appreciation Day rally, but KGUN managed to find a few guys on the shooting range. 

For me, the biggest news coming out of Gun Appreciation Day are the stories of shootings at gun shows held that day. Five people shot themselves or someone else at three different gun shows (accidently, of course). And they think guns make them safer?

Did Gun Appreciation Day backfire? (Videos after the jump.)



Evil twins ALEC & the NRA: Working to keep America safe for capitalism

AZ-pl-2-nolayers-sm72by Pamela Powers Hannley

While many Americans are clamoring for gun control legislation on multiple levels, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the National Rifle Association (NRA) are working hard to maintain the status quo– which ensures the safety of gun manufactures and sellers– to the detriment of the American public. Tea Party minions– like former Legislator Frank Antenori [So, doesn't Raytheon find this employee's antics a bit embarrassing?] and the nuts behind this event— are marching in lockstep behind their corporate masters. 

For another look at the evil twins– ALEC and the NRA– check out this story from ColorOfChange.org…

Pressed hard for a response to the tragic shooting deaths of 20 young children and 7 adults in Newtown, the National Rifle Association (NRA) finally broke its silence to announce that the solution to gun violence is more guns. It just doesn't make any sense — unless you're in the gun business.

As a long-time funder of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) — and co-chair of its Public Safety and Elections Task Force — the NRA has directly authored dozens of "model" gun access laws that fly in the face of commonsense efforts to reduce gun violence.1

And now, despite the wave of bad publicity ALEC's received for pushing Florida's NRA-drafted "Shoot First" law out to 25 other states, it's clear the NRA isn't prepared to clean up its act. 

More commentary and lots of links after the jump.

By doubling down on its callous and irresponsible rhetoric in the wake of the Newtown shooting, the NRA is presenting ALEC's other corporate funders with a stark choice: they can join the 42 major corporations that have already done the right thing and cut their ties with ALEC and the NRA, or they can align themselves with an organization that brazenly values profits over human lives.

It's time to draw the line. Please join us today and tell ALEC's corporate funders to stop sanctioning profit-driven gun violence.

The NRA's leadership keeps pushing the dangerous fiction that "[t]he only way to stop a 'bad guy' with a gun is a 'good guy' with a gun."2 In reality, the extreme stress experienced in the chaos of an unanticipated shooting makes it incredibly difficult to properly handle a gun — and avoid being shot yourself.3 Making guns easily accessible to everyone does not make our communities safer: the evidence is clear that more guns mean more homicide.4

Last spring, in the wake of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin’s shooting death, we highlighted the role of the NRA/ALEC in the reckless proliferation of deadly “Shoot First” laws across the country.5 ALEC acts as a corporate bill mill, developing, promoting and disseminating corporate-sponsored "model" legislation to statehouses across the country6 — and at the federal level through its extensive alumni network of former state legislators now serving in higher office.7 Working hand in glove with the NRA, ALEC is also behind our national race to the bottom in the expansion of concealed carry laws8 — and the push for unrestricted access to assault weapons and high-capacity magazines9 — because the known cost in human lives of unrestricted gun access10 takes a backseat to the opportunity for massive corporate profiteering.11

Amidst growing national concern over the role that the gun industry lobby played in Trayvon's entirely preventable death, the NRA has attempted to deflect attention from itself by asking "Where's [the] outrage?" for the legions of young Black men killing each other every day in our nation's cities.12 It's true that the statistics are horrific: 49% of Black teens in a national survey reported personally knowing someone who has been shot, and 47% said they could get their hands on a gun if they really wanted to.13 Thanks to the NRA and ALEC — who pushed the no-paperwork-required private reseller loophole that accounts for 40% of all gun sales.14 States with weak gun laws — predominantly rural, red and southern — do big business trafficking guns into cities trying desperately to keep them out.15

Enough is enough. Tell ALEC's corporate funders: it's time to take a stand against profiting from tragedy.

Thanks and Peace,

–Rashad, Matt, Arisha, Kim, Johnny and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team
   January 7th, 2013


1. "Big Money, ALEC and the Gun Agenda," Truthout, 12-16-12

2. "NRA Blames Everything Except Guns: Outdated Video Games, Hurricanes, And Corporate Media Led To Newtown," ThinkProgress, 12-21-12

3. "'If I Only Had a Gun,'" ABC News 20/20, 04-10-09

4. "Firearms Research: Homicide," Harvard School of Public Health, accessed 01-03-13

5. "ColorOfChange demands justice for Trayvon, exposes ALEC," ColorOfChange.org blog, 04-04-12

6. "Running Scared: ALEC Anticipating an IRS Audit?" Center for Media and Democracy, 12-14-12

7. "ALEC legislators are up for election in your state," ColorOfChange.org, accessed 01-04-13

8. "The NRA Surge: 99 Laws Rolling Back Gun Restrictions," Mother Jones, 09-26-12

9. See reference 1.

10. "The Geography of Gun Deaths," The Atlantic, 01-13-11

11. "Does the NRA Represent Gun Manufacturers or Gun Owners?" The Nation, 12-14-12

12. "NRA's LaPierre Responds To Trayvon Martin Killing By Attacking The Media," Media Matters for America, 04-14-12

13. "Teen Gun Survey 2012," Uhlich Children's Advantage Network, 04-17-12

14. "Private Gun Sale Loophole Creates Invisible Firearms Market, Prompts Calls For Reform," Huffington Post, 12-21-12

15. "Follow the Movement of Crime Guns in America," Mayors Against Illegal Guns, accessed 01-04-13

On this the second anniversary of the Tucson massacre, let's dump these evil twins and their legislative and Congressional lackeys and move forward as a nation toward meaningful gun control. Remember today is Tucson's gun-buy back. Let's do our part to reduce the estimated 300 million firearms in the hands of private citizens.

Image credit: Pamela Powers Hannley