Gun Violence, Hate Crimes

Gun-related and/or hate-related killings or concerns

California judge overturns gun ban

A U.S. federal judge has overturned California’s 32-year-old ban on assault weapons, calling it a “failed experiment” and fundamentally unconstitutional. Immediately criticized by the state government, the ruling was on a 2019 lawsuit file by a California resident and a political action committee. “Government is not free to impose its own new policy choices on American citizens where Constitutional rights are concerned,” Judge Roger Benitez wrote. [node:read-more:link]

Quebec mosque shooter’s sentence appealed

The Supreme Court of Canada agreed today to review the sentencing of a man who shot six persons to death at a Quebec City mosque in 2017. Alexandre Bissonnette, who pled guilty to six counts each of first-degree murder and attempted murder in 2018, was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 40 years. Quebec’s appeal court ruled last November that he would be eligible to apply for parole after 25 years, saying that a Criminal Code provision for consecutive life sentences is unconstitutional. [node:read-more:link]

Texas relaxing firearms laws

The Republican governor of Texas is preparing to sign off on a bill that will enable most residents to carry concealed handguns without a license, training or background checks. Texas already permits long-guns to be carried openly without a license. [node:read-more:link]

“Ghost guns” decision at issue

The District of Columbia and 20 states are challenging what they see as the easing of federal controls on “ghost guns”, untraceable firearms manufactured with 3D printing. President Donald Trump’s administration says that effective in March, the requisite software controlled by the Department of State’s through the U.S. Munitions List will become a Department of Commerce jurisdiction. [node:read-more:link]

Guns in baggage an issue

No fewer than 161 firearms, 145 of which were loaded, including 62 with a round chambered, were found in passengers’ baggage at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina in one two-week period last month. Also confiscated were at least two 3D-printed guns, which 20 states are trying to outlaw despite a proposed federal policy shift which could increase online availability of designs. [node:read-more:link]

Montreal “boogaloo” site shut down

A website promoting armed protests in the U.S. ahead of next week’s presidential inauguration in Washington has been shut down by the Montreal company hosting its cloud servers. The site billed itself as the “press platform” for the so-called Boogaloo movement of often violent gun advocates who embrace the idea of a second Civil War. [node:read-more:link]

Firearms lobby “morally bankrupt”

Facing a corruption investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James, the National Rifle Association is declaring bankruptcy and plans to reincorporate in Texas. James, who says she will continue her efforts to have it dissolved, commented Jan 15 that “the NRA’s claimed financial status has finally met its moral status: bankrupt.” [node:read-more:link]

Vancouver airport shooting

Much of the Vancouver International Airport precinct and adjacent suburbs were essentially shut down for a while May 9 as police handled what was believed to be a gang-related killing outside the main terminal. The suspects in the shooting managed to evade police pursuit and their getaway vehicle was later found burned 28km from the crime scene. [node:read-more:link]

Gun control timeframe vague

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says a “very clearly articulated list” of military-style long guns the government plans to ban will be published “as quickly as possible.” He says he doesn’t want “individuals going out and acquiring those weapons before the publishing of that list.” [node:read-more:link]

Domestic unrest frightens veteran reporter

Carmen Gentile, a longtime conflict reporter who was severely injured while embedded with U.S. troops in Afghanistan in 2010, writes that the angry protests against the COVID-19 lockdowns in some U.S. states frighten him more than his experiences overseas. [node:read-more:link]

Stricter gun controls announced

Effective immediately, the sale, transport, importation and use of some 1,500 types of “assault style” firearms are now prohibited in Canada. There will be a two-year amnesty for current owners to comply with the prohibition, and Prime Minister Trudeau says that “fair compensation” will be forthcoming. [node:read-more:link]

Firearms activists march in Ottawa

Protesting the “injustice and ineffectiveness” of the federal government's prohibition on civil ownership of “assault” rifles, an estimated crowd of 800 marchers descended on Parliament Hill 12 September even though most MPs had gone home to their ridings when the previous was prorogued. The event was coordinated by the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights. [node:read-more:link]

More firearms registered in Canada

The latest report from the federal Commissioner of Firearms, for 2018, shows there was an increase of nearly 24 per cent in the number of restricted firearms registered in the first three years of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's administration. The total was 1.16 million compared with 978,347 in 2015 after tighter controls were signaled by the Liberals in that year’s election campaign. There also was a slight drop in the number of prohibited weapons registered nationally. [node:read-more:link]

Another test for gun controls

A New York limit on carrying firearms in public is set to be tested in the U.S. Supreme Court. The court, now with a conservative majority, has refused several similar challenges since 2008 when it established individuals’ rights to keep guns at home for self-defence in the District of Columbia. [node:read-more:link]


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