Archive for Friday, September 13, 2013

Kansas attorney general joins NRA, 21 other states in challenge of federal handgun restriction

September 13, 2013


— Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has joined 21 other states in a legal brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a challenge by the National Rifle Association against a federal law that restricts the sale of handguns to people between 18 and 20 years old.

"Under current Kansas law, 18- to 20-year-olds may lawfully purchase and possess handguns," said Don Brown, a spokesman for Schmidt.

"There is no rational basis for federal law to prohibit a person of that age, who can lawfully buy a handgun at a garage sale, from purchasing one from a federally licensed firearms dealer where the sale would be subject to a background check," he said.

In dispute is a federal law that bans licensed gun dealers from selling handguns to people under 21.

The law was upheld in 2012 by the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which said Congress was within its authority to limit gun sales to a specific group.

"Congress found that persons under 21 tend to be relatively irresponsible and can be prone to violent crime, especially when they have easy access to handguns," the court said. The court cited statistics that said of gun homicides, where an offender was identified, 24 percent were committed by 18- to 20-year-olds.

The NRA has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and has been joined by 22 states.

The legal brief on behalf of the states, written by Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, says, "adults who are 18, 19, and 20 honorably defend our country when it is at war. These same Americans should be able to defend themselves and their families when they are at home. Yet Congress has chosen to preclude the States from fostering their citizens’ freedom in this way."


jayhawklawrence 7 months ago

Another example that we have a bunch of cartoon characters ruining our state chasing some kind of ludicrous political agenda.

All of this has a cost to it and we cannot afford to keep paying for politicians to play out their fantasies.

I sometimes get so sick of politicians. I just want to hire a good manager for these jobs.


SilenceDogood 7 months ago

The right is opposed to universal background checks, licensing, any sort of age or location restriction, limits to the type and quantity of weapons a person can own, and limits on concealed carry. The left holds the exact opposite view.

Here is the thing that frustrates me. Neither side in this debate is willing to negotiate. Why not? It would seem to me that there is a nice middle ground that everyone could come to if the sides spent as much time and effort talking as they did fighting.

Why not something like this:

  1. Every purchase, regardless of the venue, seller or buyer requires a background check. Instead of doing this each time a purchase is made, people could simply get a 'universal check' that was good for a couple of years. Like a driver's license. Maybe even create four level of check... basic, handgun/assault weapon, concealed carry, and 'anything but a tank'. and develop checks appropriate to each level. The last two might even require a class.

  2. Let people buy what they want. Handgun? Cool. Assault weapon? Ok. Full auto? If that get's you going, sure. Tank? Too far. Waiting periods go away as do limits on numbers.

  3. Gun registration in three groups. Hunting weapons, etc: none. Handguns: Yes, but do it in a way that only allows it to be used to trace an unknown gun. Assault weapons and up: Yes.

  4. Local governments and private businesses get to create very narrow laws/rules to limit guns. Keeping them out schools is probably valid. Keeping them out of the city is way out of bounds.

  5. Create laws that hold gun owners responsible for securing their guns. Let owners decide how to do it themselves. Hold them accountable when they mess up.

The hard part in all this would be the registry. The fear would be that the government would abuse it (since they seem to abuse every other data source that exists)..


Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 7 months ago

If you can die in battle in some third world hellhole pretending to defend our "national interest", you should also have the right to vote, drink, purchase a weapon, or do anything else any other adult can do.


Armored_One 7 months ago

Old enough to die for your country but not old enough to defend your house? This is the argument that comes to mind?

High school doesn't really have a class designed to teach responsibility, maturity, or even just plain old common sense. The military, however, not only insists that you have those things, they beat it into you through all of basic training. There is a massive world of difference between someone fresh out of high school and someone fresh out of basic training. If you don't believe that, and grasp it at an intrinsic, primal level, then you have never had much interaction with the military.

I know quite a few teenagers that I wouldn't trust to operate toilet paper correctly, let alone a firearm responsibly. Just having a gun does not instill an automatic amount of patience, responsibility, or anything else needed to own, maintain, store and operate a firearm correctly.

Somehow I am not all that surprised. Disheartened, but not surprised. Let's arm the same group of people that are prone to binge drinking, hot-rodding (if that term is even used these days), and other displays of less than mature, responsible activity. I'm glad so many think binge drinking and a semi-automatic firearm is a good combination. Replace the firearm in that equation with a vehicle. Are you still comfortable with that combination?

I'm all for a mandatory two year enlistment for all citizens in the military. But then again, I'm just a warmonger.


MrSpudboy 7 months, 1 week ago

I am for saying that folks in that age group are too young for combat. As soon as you stop that though, the right will attempt to rase the voting age, as the combat thing was the biggest reason it was lowered. 26th amendment...back in the Vietnam days.

So, thats the deal: you can't have it both ways. If they are old enough for combat, they should enjoy all the benefit of adulthood. On the other hand, the drinking age was raised to 21. I am not sure gun ownership is any different from legal drink. Busy, busy, busy!


Larry Moss 7 months, 1 week ago

Funny, 10 days after turning 19 I landed in Vietnam. Couldn't vote, couldn't drink except for 3.2 beer. But, could fight and die. Yeah, plenty old enough for that. Well, that finally changed and if you can fight for your country and vote in elections, you're old enough to responsibly own a gun.


Enlightenment 7 months, 1 week ago

I believe that 18, 19, and 20 year-old should not be sent to war, nor should the be allowed to drink alcohol or purchase handguns. The maturity level is simply not there for the majority of them. Take a look at the link below regarding the parents of "children" in this age group that actually go to job interviews with their children.


Michael LoBurgio 7 months, 1 week ago

Boston University study finds link between gun ownership and homicide

Researchers in the United States claim to have established a convincing statistical link between gun ownership and homicide, according to a new study.

The study, which appears in the American Journal of Public Health, challenges the National Rifle Association’s claim that increased gun ownership does not lead to higher levels of gun violence.

Covering 30 years from 1981 and all 50 US states, it determined that for every one percentage point in the prevalence of gun ownership in a given state, the firearm homicide rate increased by 0.9 percent.

In the absence of state-level data on household gun ownership, the study used a proxy variable — the percentage of a state’s suicides committed with a firearm — that has been validated in previous research.

The study, led by Boston University community health sciences professor Michael Siegel, is the first of its kind since the December 2012 mass shooting of 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

“In the wake of the tragic shooting in Newtown … many states are considering legislation to control firearm-related deaths,” said Siegel in a statement.

“This research is the strongest to date to document that states with higher levels of gun ownership have disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides,” he said.

“It suggests that measures which succeed in decreasing the overall prevalence of guns will lower firearm homicide rates.”

The study found that, over three decades, the mean estimated percentage of gun ownership ranged from a low of 25.8 percent in Hawaii to a high of 76.8 percent in Mississippi, with a national average of 57.7 percent.

The mean age-adjusted firearm homicide rate stretched from 0.9 percent per 100,000 in New Hampshire to 1.8 percent in Louisiana, with an average for all states of four per 100,000.

The study also acknowledged a long-term decline in firearm homicide for all states, from 5.2 per 100,000 in 1981 to 3.5 per 100,000 in 2010.

Firearms were involved in 11,078 homicides of the 16,259 homicides in the United States in 2010, the latest year for which data is available, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


anotherview 7 months, 1 week ago

I have trying to make up my mind if people between 18 and 20 years old should be able to purcahse a hand gun. Kansas say yes. Congress say no because "persons under 21 tend to be relatively inrresponsible and can be prone to violent crime". Then I read the article about the turkey that was abused and killed at a fraternity house party and it was much easier for me to make up my mind.


jayhawklawrence 7 months, 1 week ago

I am not in favor of this nor am I in favor of open carry unless there is a specific purpose for it.

There have to be reasonable limits which do not create the perception of a threat to other people.

What limits do the NRA leaders believe in? Perhaps it is time to re-evaluate that leadership.


nwtransplant 7 months, 1 week ago

This has nothing to do with people who are irresponsible and everything to do with chipping away at our right to keep and bear arms. I had a gun when I was 16 and took hunter safety course when I was 12. Could not outlaw guns considered as assault weapons or high capacity magazines, so lets go after our young citizens. It will only stop them from purchasing a hand gun and an older friend or relative will buy one for them to use anyway. I can hardly wait to see what the liberals will try to get a way with next. I'm sure it will be grand.


verity 7 months, 1 week ago

Send all our congress people to fight the wars they vote for. That'd end all U.S. wars immediately.

Bring back the draft and put the age at 30. No, we should not be sending our young people to fight in wars that are not about freedom for anybody, but about more money for those in the military industry---and/or oil.


catfishturkeyhunter 7 months, 1 week ago

Old enough to take a bullet in the back for weapons of mass destruction that were never found. Old enough to throw live hand grenades, shoot machine guns, snipe enemy soldiers from a 1000 yards away, drive tanks, and so on. But your not old enough to drink or legally purchase a handgun.


Joe Hyde 7 months, 1 week ago

Hey: gotta fight for the "right" all 18, 19 and 20 year olds must have in a free society: You know, the right to pack concealed handguns and other lethal weapons into university classrooms and public office buildings. (Unless, of course, all our universities and every public building in the state spends a cumulative king's ransom -- (tax dollars of middle and lower income citizens) -- to install security checkpoints at every entry. Gotta make money turning those universities and public buildings into paranoid fortresses!

Predictable, this tactic. Look for a string of such hot button legislative bills and lawsuits to be launched by Republican "conservatives" in the following months. For their lawmaking sway to persist as a means of enriching the already rich, it is critical they divert the attention of middle and lower income Kansans, more of whom every day are angrily realizing that they're getting financially screwed by our Koch-directed legislature and administration.


George_Braziller 7 months, 1 week ago

So Schmidt jumps in on a legal challenge by the NRA but won't issue a legal opinion on the current Kansas voter registration requirements. Hmmmmmmm. Interesting.


Liberty275 7 months, 1 week ago

So the federal government will give an 18 year old an M16, full auto, and tell him/her to go shoot at some people, but the same person can't go buy a handgun.


For the record, I owned a 20 gauge shotgun at 12 and a wicked .357 at 20.


chootspa 7 months, 1 week ago

Maybe we could work on making sure 18-20 year olds aren't kept out of the voting booth because of faulty software at the DMV first?


coebam 7 months, 1 week ago

Maybe Kansas should align their law with the federal law, then we wouldn't have a problem.


cookup 7 months, 1 week ago

18 is old enough to defend and die for our country but not old enough to responsibly consume alcohol or purchase a side arm? Hmmm, sounds like unjust paradox to me.


Scott Bonnet 7 months, 1 week ago

Once again our state leads the nation in our race to the bottom.


Karl_Hungus 7 months, 1 week ago

18-20 years of age is not old enough to drink because the powers that be believe at that age, young adults are not mature or responsible enough to handle it....but they can buy all the hand guns in the world....



mags_and_k 7 months, 1 week ago

Well let’s just revert back to the days of the wild wild west where everyone is packin and the average life expectancy is around 35 years!


ljwhirled 7 months, 1 week ago

Oh and I am a responsible gun owner. I own a SKS, Glock 23, Mossberg 500, Ruger 10-22 and Ruger Mark III. None of these are meant for hunting.

All of these were purchased legally (with a quick and easy background check) and are kept safely locked away from children, curious guests, babysitters and thieves. The Glock is in a SpeedVault where it is readily available if needed. The rest are safely locked in an upright gun safe.

I don't deny anyone's right to own a gun, but a little common sense would go a long way toward reducing the number of gun deaths in here in the U.S.


ljwhirled 7 months, 1 week ago

So instead of closing the gun show loophole, the gun lobby's (and their bought and paid for lackyes) want to make it legal for 18 to 20 year olds to purchase handguns?

Under their argument, they also want to legalize alcohol for this group as well as (in states where it is legal) marijuana?

What the hell is wrong with people? Can't we have some common sense gun control:

  1. Everyone purchasing a gun is required to have a background check.
  2. Gun owners should be held accountable for crimes or "accidents" that hurt people when their guns are left unattended, unlocked and/or loaded.
  3. Only allow transfers at federally licensed gun dealers or police stations. Want to sell your neighbor a gun? Go to the police station and fill out the paperwork.

We require cars to be registered, why not guns? And before you bring up the 2nd Amendment, put on your reading glasses it says "WELL REGULATED" right in the constitution.

I don't deny your right to own a weapon if you are not a felon or mentally unstable. I do deny your right to sell it willy-nilly to the first felon that responds to your Craigslist post.


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