Following a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton indicated that if elected in 2016, she would use executive action to enforce stricter gun control laws, which marked a notable difference from her stance in her 2008 campaign in which she cautioned against federal “blanket rules.”
At town hall meetings in New Hampshire on Monday, Clinton vowed to enact a new set of rules to increase background checks, to hold gun sellers “fully accountable if they endanger Americans,” and to tighten a “loophole” found in selling guns online and at gun shows, noting that executive action may be necessary.
Clinton’s website states that if Congress refused to act, she would “take administrative action to require that any person attempting to sell a significant number of guns be deemed ‘in the business’ of selling firearms.”
During a debate in April 2008 between Clinton and Barack Obama, Clinton spoke out against the federal government imposing “blanket rules” on gun rights when the debate focused on discussion of a possible handgun ban in Washington D.C.
“You know, we have a set of rules in New York City and we have a totally different set of rules in the rest of the state. What might work in New York City is certainly not going to work in Montana,” Clinton said. “So, for the federal government to be having any kind of, you know, blanket rules that they’re going to try to impose, I think doesn’t make sense.”
The Washington Times reported that also in April 2008, Clinton tried to set herself apart from Obama by criticizing comments he made about people in small towns clinging to religion and guns “as a way to explain their frustrations.”
“I grew up in a church-going family, a family that believed in the importance of living out and expressing our faith,” Clinton said during a 2008 campaign rally in Indianapolis. “The people of faith I know don’t ‘cling to’ religion because they’re bitter. People embrace faith not because they are materially poor, but because they are spiritually rich.”
Clinton reminisced about her father teaching her how to shoot when she was young, and said that she believes parents teaching their children how to shoot is “part of culture.”
“You know, some people now continue to teach their children and their grandchildren. It’s part of culture. It’s part of a way of life,” Clinton said. “People enjoy hunting and shooting because it’s an important part of who they are. Not because they are bitter.”
Clinton also said she believes that Americans “who believe in the Second Amendment believe it’s a constitutional right,” and that Americans “who believe in God believe it’s a matter of personal faith.”
The Seattle City Council voted unanimously on Monday to levy what lawmakers are calling a “gun violence tax” on ammunition and firearms sales. Seattle, Wash. lawmakers also approved a bill that would penalize individuals who fail to report lost or stolen firearms with up to a $500 fine. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray reportedly supports both bills.
According to The Seattle Times, the measure, which was introduced by City Council President Tim Burgess, would apply a $25 tax on firearms sales, a 5 cents-per-round tax on most types of ammunition, and a 2 cents-per-round tax on ammunition at or below .22 caliber.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said in a statement on the tax proposal, “The unanimous Council vote on this ordinance demonstrates the commitment of this City and this community to lead on the ongoing national epidemic of gun violence. While action at the federal level and in many other jurisdictions remains gridlocked, we are moving ahead to address an issue so damaging to the young people of Seattle, especially young people of color.”
KOMO-TV notes that city officials estimate that the tax will bring in between $300,000 to $500,000, which would be spent on gun safety and gun violence prevention programs. Lawmakers plan to implement the program on January 1, 2016.
However, Washington state law bans municipalities from regulating firearms, and gun rights groups are expected to sue to block the legislation. A Seattle law banning guns in parks was overturned in 2010 after pro-gun organizations filed suit. Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes has argued that the tax is authorized under the city’s taxing authority.
Second Amendment Foundation co-founder Alan Gottlieb called the proposal “dead on arrival” and said, “The courts aren’t going to buy it. This is not authorized by state law, and therefore it’s not going to hold up.”
Some gun shop owners believe the tax is a covert attempt at driving them out of the city. Sergey Solyanik, who owns the Seattle-area gun shop Precise Shooter, said, “I would have almost no margins, so I would pass the tax on to my customers and most people would simply not buy from me. They would go to any of the stores around Seattle — there are a large number — and I would have to close.” He also pointed out the facts that guns and ammunition would still be available tax-free just outside of the city and that city officials’ tax revenue estimates are not factoring in the possibility that buyers will shift their purchases away from stores within city limits to evade the tax.
City Council President Tim Burgess said that he has been inundated with emails about the proposal. “The reaction has been mixed. We’re getting a ton of emails arriving from outside Seattle and across the country in opposition. But we’re getting emails of support, as well,” he said.
Senator Bernie Sanders, who represents vehemently pro-gun Vermont, has built a fairly firearms friendly voting record during his time in the U.S. Senate. After he recently emerged as the 2016 presidential race’s standard-bearer for the Democratic Party’s progressive wing, progressive politicos who oppose gun rights began to complain about Sanders’ record on guns. In an apparent primary-season about-face on Sunday’s episode of NBC’s Meet the Press, Sanders radically adjusted his position on guns and advocated for a sweeping gun ban that would outlaw most firearms designed for home and self defense.
In the above-embedded clip from Meet the Press, which is featured on Bernie Sanders’ YouTube channel, he said, “Nobody should have a gun who has a criminal background, who’s involved in domestic abuse situations. People should not have guns who are going to hurt other people, who are unstable. And second of all I believe that we need to make sure that certain types of guns used to kill people, exclusively, not for hunting, they should not be sold in the United States of America, and we have a huge loophole now with gun shows that should be eliminated.”
While most of the positions that he advocated for on guns on Meet the Press fall within the mainstream of the Democratic Party, Media Research Center points out the fact that calling for a ban on all firearms “used to kill people” and “not for hunting” implies a ban on all weapons that are impractical for hunting but used primarily for self defense, including handguns, shotguns, and specific classes of rifles.
“Coming from a rural state, I think I can communicate with folks coming from urban states where guns mean different things than they do in Vermont where it’s used for hunting,” said Sanders, clarifying that he would continue to defend his home state’s hunting tradition but would oppose gun rights for people living in an urban area.
The Washington Post notes that the previously pro-gun Sanders won his first House seat with the help of an endorsement from the National Rifle Association.
In a May op-ed criticizing Sanders’ votes in favor of gun rights, Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern wrote, “Sanders, an economic populist and middle-class pugilist, doesn’t talk much about guns on the campaign trail. But his voting record paints the picture of a legislator who is both skeptical of gun control and invested in the interests of gun owners—and manufacturers. In 1993, then-Rep. Sanders voted against the Brady Act, which mandated federal background checks for gun purchasers and restricted felons’ access to firearms. As a senator, Sanders supported bills to allow firearms in checked bags on Amtrak trains and block funding to any foreign aid organization that registered or taxed Americans’ guns. Sanders is dubious that gun control could help prevent gun violence, telling one interviewer after Sandy Hook that ‘if you passed the strongest gun control legislation tomorrow, I don’t think it will have a profound effect on the tragedies we have seen.’”
A previous report stated .223 ammunition rounds were to be considered armor piercing by the ATF, however, this was not totally true. Rather, .223 rounds would not be considered armor piercing rounds, but the 5.56mm green tip bullets used in both SS109 and M855 cartridges could be placed in the category of armor piercing rounds.
Upon further reading on the subject, these 5.56mm rounds were exempt from classification in the amendment to the GCA made in 1986, because handguns which could handle this type of ammunition were not commercially available. These rounds are commonly used in AR-style rifles as well as AR-style handguns, of which the handguns have become more widely available in recent years.
The ATF recognizes this ammo type can be used for “sporting purposes” such as for target shooting or hunting, as it is generally more accurate. The main concern lies with handguns which can consecutively fire more than one round without reloading, such as revolvers and semi-automatic handguns. The ATF concludes the types of handguns which use this type of ammunition are not primarily used for sporting purposes, and the ban would be on ammunition which would be able to be fired from these types of handguns.
However, any cartridges, 5.56mm or not, which are meant to be fired from a single-shot handgun, a handgun which can “break-open” or is a “bolt action handgun,” will continue to be exempt from armor piercing status as they are recognized as being used for sporting purposes. Handguns which do not accept a single cartridge manually and accept in its place a magazine or other ammunition feeding device will not be recognized as for use in sporting purposes either.
Finally, the ATF writes, “ammunition that was previously exempted as ‘primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes,’ specifically 5.56mm constituent projectiles of SS109 and M855 cartridges, will again be regulated as “‘armor piercing ammunition.'”
As a writer for Truth in Media, I apologize for the previous article on this subject where I stated AR-style rifles would be “rendered obsolete.” This in incorrect and I take full responsibility for my mistake. I will continue to strive for the truth behind stories from around the world. Again, I apologize for my mistake.
Police brutality has been in the majority of headlines over the past few months, but an organization in Dallas, Texas is responding with their own citizen patrols.
The Huey P. Newton Gun Club is a group which has united five Dallas paramilitary groups, all of which consist of black and Hispanic members, and their goal is to speak out on issues of police brutality in minority communities.
Charles Goodson, a 31-year-old Dallas local, and Darren X, a 48-year-old national field marshal for the New Black Panther Party, founded the group together after they performed an armed rally in the Texas town of Hemphill, where they protested what they believed to be a failed police investigation into the murder of Alfred Wright, a black man in the community.
“We accept all oppressed people of color with weapons,” said Darren X, according to VICE. “The complete agenda involves going into our communities and educating our people on federal, state, and local gun laws. We want to stop fratricide, genocide—all the ‘cides.”
Two weeks after the death of Michael Brown in August, the gun club held a demonstration in Dixon Circle, a predominantly black neighborhood.
Dozens of gun club members stood at attention, holding AR-15’s and other rifles, while one of their leading members shouted, “No longer will we let the pigs slaughter our brothers and sisters and not say a damn thing about it.” The members of the club then responded with shouts of, “Black power!”
Russell Wilson, the Dallas County District Attorney’s Bureau Chief, has said, according to the Free Thought Project, he supports what the club is doing. “They have an absolute right to do what they do,” said Wilson. He also said he believes the club is restoring some people’s confidence in their communities by saying they won’t be pushed around any longer.
Goodson, according to Reason, has stated he hopes the gun club can grow to become a “black alternative to the NRA.”
WASHINGTON, November 12, 2014–Decorated 20-year Air Force veteran and former firearms instructor at the Sig Sauer Academy, Timothy Arnold, woke up this Veterans Day in federal prison. Arnold was convicted earlier this year in a civilian court in Brunswick, Georgia, of manufacturing firearms and embezzlement—charges Arnold and many of his colleagues openly dispute. Active duty Office of Special Investigations (OSI) agents filed numerous complaints with the Inspector General (IG) regarding lead investigator Wendell Palmer’s “unethical” practices while building the case against Arnold. The information about the affidavits and the pending IG investigation was withheld from the court, in direct violation of the Supreme Court’s Brady doctrine requiring prosecutor Fred Kramer to disclose it. Additionally, the testimony of the defense’s star witness was prevented by unsubstantiated allegations of his contempt of court—testimony the would-be witness claims would have exonerated Arnold.
Thanks to exclusive reports filed earlier on BenSwann, Arnold’s case is receiving national attention and is the subject of an official Congressional Inquiry into its handling. Those with knowledge about the case continue to come forward, outraged that this prosecutorial tragedy happened at all, much less to a man they consistently describe as “honest to a fault” and “full of integrity.”
Before Arnold self-surrendered to the United States Penitentiary that currently holds him, he addressed several mischaracterizations made during the trial. Assistant United States Attorney Kramer accused Arnold of purchasing “stenciled golf balls” and other items “he and his friends thought were cool” using the government-issued credit card. “Yes, I bought golf balls! I also bought custom pins, pens, lighters, coffee cups, and shot glasses with the OSI insignia on them,” Arnold says, “That is what is known as swag. It is customary to give small tokens like these to visiting dignitaries, foreign agents attending training, and those you need to thank while on out-of-country assignments. In keeping with OSI regulations, I turned the swag over to the Commodities Custodian and would then ‘sign it out’ as needed.” Arnold said he was the recipient of such swag from the White Houses of both President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush. He says small gestures like these are traditional throughout the military.
Kramer accused Arnold of impersonating a law enforcement officer. Arnold says he used the AFOSI-issued badge and credentials provided to him, as he had done for years. He also willingly surrendered the badges to investigators for examination. The prosecution claimed Arnold wore various patches and pretended to be in different branches of the military. “I did wear different shirts depending upon what scenario I set up for my firearms and tactics classes,” Arnold said after the trial. “I never ran around town claiming to be an Army Ranger, a Marine sniper, or anything else.” Another detail not revealed in the trial was that during Arnold’s Air Force career, he was actually part of an elite Air Mobility Command. The jury heard a different story, however. “He’s a poser. He’s a fraud,” Kramer told them. “This is a man with no honor in him.”
Arnold refused to plead guilty to any of the charges during pre-trial negotiations and proceeded with a costly trial in order to clear his name. OSI agents who testified for the defense were shocked that a case with falsified evidence at the hands of who they believe to be an unethical fellow investigator sailed all the way through the legal system. Those who signed affidavits complaining about Palmer’s tactics are currently following up on them via every channel available. The Congressional inquiry is active. Arnold himself expects his record to be expunged once the truth is revealed. His last words before entering prison were, “I have only begun to fight.”
WASHINGTON, October 10, 2014–Former firearms instructor and decorated Air Force veteran Timothy Arnold stood for sentencing before Chief Judge Lisa Godbey Wood on October 9, 2014 at the United States District Court of Southern Georgia. Arnold received a sentence of 22 months behind bars and a fine of $168,000 for what many people close to the case believe is the result of a highly unethical investigation without merit.
Advised to not speak in his own defense at the trial, Arnold gave this statement at his Thursday morning sentencing, “I think it is very obvious how much I love this country. During my 20 years in the military, I was given missions and tasks that I did not agree with, but I did them. I do not agree with this guilty verdict, but I believe in this country. I will continue to do the same thing I have always done, and that is live with integrity. Preserving my reputation and my honor means more to me than it probably does to the average person. Now that I have lost my cherished Second Amendment rights, I have also lost the way I make my living. I must focus on protecting and providing for my wife and our little daughter…” Arnold choked up, unable to finish his statement.
As previously reported on BenSwann.com, Arnold’s charges included conversion (embezzlement,) manufacturing firearms, and illegally dealing firearms. According to multiple affidavits by other agents and witnesses, lead investigator Special Agent Wendell Palmer assembled no true elements of crime but broke multiple Air Force Policy Directives. Most damaging to Arnold’s case were the gross misrepresentations the witnesses say Palmer applied to their unsigned statements used during the trial. Palmer also confiscated personal firearms, records, and other property without providing a receipt. When his superior, Colonel Kristine Blackwell, was asked to intervene, she reportedly turned her back and laughed.
Alarmed by this “less than professional” investigation, many fellow agents and members of law enforcement interviewed by Palmer registered official complaints with the Air Force Inspector General (IG) before Arnold’s case went to trial. This information was not disclosed to the judge or the jury. It is unclear whether or not the IG has responded to the complaints of its OSI agents by opening an investigation of its own. One complaint stated, “I am extremely concerned for what I believe to be a misstatement of facts, improper evidence accounting procedures, and unsubstantiated allegations.”
Palmer declared to multiple witnesses during interviews that he believed Arnold was manufacturing fully automatic and silenced weapons and abusing the government credit card to do so. “I did not feel this information was correct, and felt it was inappropriate for Palmer to make such a statement during an ongoing investigation,” said a fellow agent. Another complainant said, “Upon reading Palmer’s documentation of my interview, I wish I had insisted on doing so (providing a written statement) as he took significant liberty with information I provided and did not account for important details I made sure to convey.” In simple terms, it appears Arnold was framed—but for a crime that didn’t exist.
A Congressional inquiry into this matter was originally requested through Rep. Jack Kingston’s (R-GA) office in 2011, but it was Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH) who actually opened one this year.
Arnold has 30 days to report to the Bureau of Prisons and begin his sentence. Congress has 30 days to get something done about it.
WASHINGTON, October 6, 2014–Decorated Air Force veteran and firearms expert Timothy Arnold was convicted in the United States District Court of Southern Georgia on January 21 of manufacturing and dealing in firearms without a license, transporting illegally-acquired firearms to a state in which he did not reside, dealing firearms across state lines without a license, and theft of government property by conversion. The prosecution, led by Assistant United States Attorney Fred Kramer, claimed Arnold was running a “black market operation” while he was a well-known firearms instructor with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Brunswick, Georgia. FLETC is part of the Department of Homeland Security and trains law enforcement officers for 91 federal agencies, including the U.S. Park Police and U.S. Marshals Service.
Arnold was employed as Chief of Firearms and Tactics for AFOSI while serving the last few years of his twenty-year career in the Air Force. Upon his retirement in 2009, the Air Force requested that he remain in his position in a civilian capacity and continue to perform all of his duties—tactical instruction, course development, equipment purchasing, and an extensive travel schedule. His activities and purchases were overseen and approved by his direct superiors on a monthly basis, as they had been for years. One thing that did change frequently, however, was the identity of his bosses. Turnover was routine and each department head arrived with very different ideas regarding the nature of their position. Arnold was known for having high expectations for his FLETC students and high standards for his training curriculum. Many witnesses in his trial testified that his training certainly saved lives during operations overseas. They said he was one of the best firearms instructors in the Air Force. Arnold prided himself on creating realistic scenes using costumes and props to simulate real-life scenarios that protective services agents might face in the field. His job required him to buy civilian equipment for those classes—and his superiors pressured him at the end of every fiscal year to spend all remaining funds of his operating budget, that sometimes totaled $120,000. This is common practice in federal agencies whose directors fear a surplus will cut their Congressional funding for future years.
Firearms were not just Arnold’s profession, they were also his lifelong hobby. His expertise garnered countless unsolicited requests from co-workers, members of law enforcement, friends, and family to assemble guns for them. Most of the time, he would advise them as to what parts they should order and then Arnold would assemble them into a working firearm—as a favor or for a trade. “The investigators were not able to find a trail of money from me profiting from my supposed firearms business,” Tim Arnold says, “Because I never made any money off of it. I never claimed to be a business or advertise. I did it for fun and as a favor to people in my life.” However, a jury in a civilian court found Arnold guilty of illegally manufacturing and dealing firearms. Of note, the legal definition of manufacturing implies objects are created from raw material. What Arnold did, and what many other gun enthusiasts in this country do, is actually firearms assembly, a legal endeavor. A few months before the AFOSI investigation into Arnold’s activities began, he was busy working on customizing an AR-15 platform rifle to replace the outdated MP-5 sub-machine guns that protective service officers currently use in the field. “Obtaining new parts to service those military weapons is nearly impossible,” Arnold says, “And a weapon with more maneuverability in tight quarters would reduce training time, as well as cost of replacement parts, saving the Air Force money.” Arnold’s prototype made its way to a training in New Jersey where it was mistaken for an illegal weapon. A review of the investigation itself reads like a comedy of errors, which makes Arnold’s conviction all the more surprising. Lead investigator Special Agent Wendell Palmer directly violated countless Air Force Policy Directives, including the interrogation of a subordinate as part of a criminal investigation, which is a conflict of interests; failing to read Arnold his rights during any of the interrogation sessions; ghostwriting statements from Arnold and all other witnesses; and failure to provide receipts for property, firearms, and records seized from Arnold, other witnesses, and even the Sig Sauer Academy in New Hampshire where Arnold worked as an adjunct instructor while on administrative leave.
Sig Sauer Academy Executive Director Adam Painchaud, also an AFOSI Special Agent, initiated a complaint against Palmer to the Air Force Office of Inspector General. Six witnesses signed separate affidavits detailing accounts of Palmer’s unethical conduct, including the Witness Statements riddled with errors, omissions, and misrepresentations that Palmer wrote himself. Several active OSI Agents offered to provide verbal testimony, afraid of the retaliation that a paper trail might bring. During the trial, Painchaud was slated to be the star witness for the defense. “I had the ability based on my firsthand, expert knowledge of the matters involved to dispute the charges against Arnold,” says Painchaud. Instead, he was prevented from testifying and Judge Lisa Godbey Wood threatened to charge him with contempt of court due to allegations from the prosecution that he inappropriately questioned another witness in the hallway outside the courtroom. “My testimony would have been instrumental,” Painchaud says, “The jury never got to hear it because I never got to testify. This is not how our system is supposed to work.” Painchaud was later cleared of the contempt allegations, as well as conduct unbecoming of an agent, after a separate investigation by AFOSI revealed his innocence.
On Thursday afternoon, a psychiatric patient with a long rap sheet and history of suicide attempts began shooting at healthcare providers at the Sister Marie Lenahan Wellness Center at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, PA, a suburb just south of Philadelphia. The gunman, who, according to Philly.com, was identified as Richard Plotts, fatally shot 53-year-old caseworker Theresa Hunt and wounded 52-year-old psychiatrist Dr. Lee Silverman. However, Plotts’ shooting rampage was cut short when Dr. Silverman produced his own personal firearm and shot Plotts three times.
The incident began when Plotts opened fire on Theresa Hunt, hitting her twice in the face and leading Silverman to reach for his own weapon. Dr. Silverman suffered a glancing bullet wound to the head but was able to recover and fire back at Plotts before anyone else was killed or wounded. After Silverman shot him three times, the gunman fled to the hallway where another doctor and caseworker tackled and restrained him. Richard Plotts is now in custody and in critical condition at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania with two wounds to the torso and another to the arm.
Yeadon Police Department chief David Molineaux was quoted by Philly.com as saying that Lee Silverman’s defensive use of his firearm “without a doubt saved lives.” However, Dr. Silverman’s possession of a firearm on the hospital’s campus was technically against the facility’s policies. Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital spokesperson Bernice Ho indicated that hospital rules only allow security guards to carry weapons.
The gunman had complained in prior visits about the hospital’s policy disallowing him from bringing in firearms. An ultrasound technician working in the building was quoted by Philly.com as saying, “There’s a sign on the door that says you have to check your weapons at the front. But you can’t expect every crazy person to do that.”
According to The Delaware County Daily Times, Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood described Plotts’ background as follows, “His criminal record goes back to the early 1990s for three arrests for illegal possession of firearms and arrests for narcotics violations and assaults in Philadelphia. In Upper Darby, he has been 302’d [involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital] on at least three occasions. The last one of the three was in January 2013… He’s got a long history of guns and mental illness.” Neighbors described Plotts as large and intimidating and indicated that he often seemed heavily medicated. Philly.com noted that a Delaware County man by the same name was sentenced to six years in prison in 1996 for a bank robbery.
Though his motive is currently unknown, ABC affiliate WPVI-TV is reporting that Plotts had 39 bullets in his possession, meaning he may have intended to shoot more victims. Plotts’ ex-wife told WPVI-TV, “He was always very controlling and very violent. He was physically abusive, mentally abusive, and I just never thought, the many times he was in and out of jail, he had changed from any of that. I’m not surprised.”
Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan said “I did receive information that there were incidents involving Mr. Plotts and hospital personnel including the doctor’s staff in the past.” Plotts will be charged with first degree murder if he survives his wounds. Whelan, who indicated that investigators believe that Dr. Silverman shot Plotts in self-defense, also said, “This could be a much different situation if the perpetrator was allowed to continue with his actions, so I give credit for the staff for intervening.”
The highly controversial Albuquerque Police Department has drawn more criticism over their recent purchase of 350 AR-15’s with $350,000 of taxpayer dollars, amidst fears of the growing trend of police militarization.
Executive Director of the New Mexico chapter of the ACLU, Peter Simonson, said according to the Inquisitir, in relation to the mass purchase, “[They] are asking for trouble, in my opinion.”
The investigative team at KOB found the APD would be purchasing the assault rifles from a local vendor in Albuquerque, and would be receiving the firearms over a period of two years in batches of 50. During the second year, the APD would have the option to buy more assault rifles if they felt more were needed.
APD Police Chief Gordon Eden said in May, officers could no longer carry personally owned weapons while on duty. However, the APD Union President Stephanie Lopez said, according to the Republic, the officers should have these weapons since 320 officers are trained in the use of such rifles.
“There is a need to have these weapons on the street and within the department,” said Lopez.
The APD has made headlines in the past for what has been deemed excessive use of force, including the shooting and subsequent death of James Boyd, a homeless man, in the desert.
Boyd was deemed to be camping illegally in the desert when he was killed.
A video shows police firing a flash-bang grenade at Boyd, which was noticeably effective as Boyd seemed confused while police shouted orders at him. When Boyd did not comply to police orders, officers fired several rounds into Boyd’s back.
The DOJ also wrote a report saying the APD officers have a “pattern and practice” of using excessive and deadly force.
Simonson said, with further concern to the assault rifle purchase, “I think it sends a contradictory message to the public, and I think it should raise concerns about how seriously they’re actually taking the DOJ reforms.”
The NRA, in a statement following open carry protests at restaurants and other public places, has called such protests “weird and certainly not a practical way to go normally about your business while preparing to defend yourself.”
Open carry protests have gained media attention recently as the Mexican fast-food chain Chipotle asked customers in Dallas, Texas not to bring their assault-style weapons into their restaurants. This is not the first time restaurants have asked customers not to bring their weapons into their stores. Last year, Starbucks also asked gun-owners to leave their weapons at home when they want to enjoy their coffee.
Chipotle’s communications director Chris Arnold made a statement last month, according to CNN, saying, “We are respectfully asking that customers not bring guns into our restaurants, unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel.”
The gun rights group Open Carry Texas was upset by the statements made by the NRA, and the group has threatened to withdraw support of the NRA if they do not redact their comments according to Al-Jazeera America.
OCT also made a post on their Facebook page showing a picture of a destroyed NRA membership card with statements calling for the NRA to stop dividing their members and for the group to support gun rights everywhere.
A poll by the Pew Research Center has claimed people now own guns for personal protection rather than hunting or any other reason. With this poll in mind, the Week makes the claim individuals carrying guns openly into restaurants are making “people feel unsafe.”
In their statement, the NRA concludes by saying when “people act without thinking, or without consideration for others- especially when it comes to firearms- they set the stage for further restrictions on our rights.”