The National Educational Association
(NEA) is calling for renewal
of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban,
which will expire in September 2004
if Congress does not take action.
NEA claims the ban has been “successful”
in decreasing the supply
of certain semiautomatic firearms,
claiming they are “not well suited for
hunting or self-defense, but they are
the weapons of choice for criminals.”
NEA says “our schools and communities
need sensible gun safety
legislation, not proposals like S. 659,
which would protect gun dealers
from lawsuits without any responsibility
or accountability from the gun
Two gun makers who challenged
Congress’ authority to ban the
manufacture, sale and possession
of certain semiautomatic firearms
and copies or duplicates in any
caliber recently lost a U.S. Supreme
Court appeal. The Court, without
comment, rejected an appeal that
said Congress exceeded its power
to regulate interstate commerce
when it outlawed such guns in 1994.
Florida-based Navegar, Inc., doing
business as Intratec, manufactures
two semiautomatic pistols, the TECDC9
and TEC-22, which are among
the specifically banned firearms.
Pennsylvania-based Penn Arms
makes the Strike 12, a 12-gauge
revolving cylinder shotgun, which
is also banned under the law. Last
year, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
for the District of Columbia upheld
the ban, calling the law permissible
“regulation of activities having a
substantial effect on interstate commerce.”
Wal-Mart announced that it would
not sell guns and ammunition at its
first store in St. Paul, MN, which is
slated to open in the spring of 2004.
Nationwide, all but a handful of the
nearly 1,500 Wal-Mart stores sell
guns. Wal-Mart does not sell handguns,
except in Alaska. Addressing
the Minnesota decision, Carlos Montoya,
a Wal-Mart spokesman, said,
“It’s just the right thing to do for that
area and community. We want to be
part of the community and a good
neighbor.” Apparently, the decision
was a reaction to anti-gun activity on
the part of Snelling Hamline Community
Council President Travis Snider
and St. Paul City Council members
Jay Bananav, Chris Coleman and
Kathy Lantry.
In Lansing, MI the State Supreme
Court last month refused to hear an
appeal of a lower court ruling that
communities can’t ban handguns
from public buildings. The decision is
a victory for the Michigan Coalition for
Responsible Gun Owners. The group
challenged the Ferndale, Michigan
ban on guns in city buildings. The
Michigan Court of Appeals threw out
the ban earlier this year when it ruled
in favor of three residents who has
sued to defeat the ban.
Following two years of multimillion
rand lawsuits about the issue,
it now is almost impossible for
a person to obtain a license for a
firearm, reports the Sunday Times
of the Republic of South Africa. “It
is like the police have introduced
a quota system for firearms,” said
legal expert Martin Hood. Gun
dealers say the government is taking
away the legal choice to own
a firearm for self-protection. They
have actual examples of the Central
Firearms Registry refusing people a
gun license because they “had not
been attacked yet,” according to the
report.” A Johannesburg woman was
refused a license because she had
a husband to protect her and others
because the “police will protect
Sappers from Lavarack Barracks
were responsible for destroying the
3,500 illegal weapons Solomon
Islanders handed in during a threeweek
gun amnesty in August. The
amnesty also netted hundreds of
thousands of rounds of ammunition,
much of it left buried by U.S. troops
during World War Two. Included in
the weapons haul, according to the
Townsville Bulletin, were 535 military
assault rifles, grenade launchers
and machine guns. Australian Federal
Police station sergeant Avu Avu
Geoff Clarson said villagers knew
where American soldiers had buried
weapons during World War Two.
“The ammunition just kept coming
in during the amnesty,” he said. “We
had a total of 120 homemade weapons
brought in.” Under tough new
laws, people caught with weapons
face up to 10 years in jail.