Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (MA)
introduced S. 1774, to repeal the
sunset provisions of the Undetectable
Firearms Act of 1988, thus making
permanent the ban on so-called
plastic firearms, or guns that can’t be
detected by X-ray machines or metal
detectors. Referred to the Senate
Judiciary Committee. Original cosponsors
are Sens. Hillary Rodham
Clinton and Charles E. Schumer of
New York, Jon Corzine and Frank R.
Lautenberg of New Jersey, Dianne
Feinstein (CA), Carl Levin (MI),
and Jack Reed (RI). In the House,
Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner (WI)
introduced H.R. 3338, which would
extend the ban on the non-existent
guns, set to expire this month, for
10 years. It was approved by voice
vote last month in the House of Representatives.
A St. Louis, MO County judge
dismissed a lawsuit the city of St.
Louis brought against the gun industry
seeking reimbursement for costs
associated with gun-related injuries.
Judge Emmett O’Brien said he found
no basis for the claim, and dismissed
the lawsuit against gun manufacturers,
gun distributors and trade
organizations. He wrote that such
lawsuits would open “a floodgate
to additional litigation.” He said that
“issues of both logic and fairness”
favored dismissing the case. St.
Louis city counselor Patti Hageman
said it was too early to say whether
the city would appeal the decision.
It is one of two dozen similar lawsuits
seeking to recover law enforcement
and public health expenses that have
been filed nationwide by cities and
Gun grabber guru Josh Sugarmann,
executive director of the
Violence Policy Center (VPC), now
is all upset with the Justice Department’s
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives (BATFE).
He’s bent out of shape because
BATFE, according to VPC, “is allowing
the sale to the general public of a
small-caliber handgun disguised as
a pen.” Made by Stinger Manufacturing
Corporation in Sault Sainte Marie,
Michigan, states VPC, “the Stinger
Pengun is a single-shot pistol disguised
as a pen. It is 5.6 inches long,
weighs only five ounces when empty,
and retails for $250. It is currently
available in 17 and 22 caliber, and
the company’s web site (http://www. promises that
more calibers are ‘Coming Soon!’”
After Senate Minority Leader Tom
Daschle (SD) indicated he would
support S. 659, the proposed Protection
of Lawful Commerce in Arms
Act, The Wall Street Journal editorialized
that, “perhaps Mr. Daschle has
seen the light and concluded that
it’s wrong for Smith & Wesson to be
held responsible for high homicide
rates on the South Side of Chicago.
But our guess is that the explanation
is far more pragmatic. Mr. Daschle
has seen the writing on the wall: Gun
control, which was less about safety
than about scaring suburbanites into
voting for Democrats, is a political
loser. After the Gingrich revolution
in 1994, Bill Clinton said the assault
weapon ban angered gun owners
enough to cost his party more than
20 seats. In 2000, Al Gore lost his
home state of Tennessee, among
other traditionally rural Democratic
The Annapolis, MD City Council
reportedly wants to ban toy guns,
but following the onslaught of national
attention, according to The
Washington Times, the lawmaker
responsible for the proposed law
has made one change. “We are no
longer referring to them as toys,”
Alderwoman Cynthia A. Carter said.
“We are calling them replica guns.”
If the proposal is enacted into law,
Annapolis residents found possessing,
selling, or transporting toy guns
within the city will face a maximum
fine of $1,000. “Replica guns are
used by criminals, usually juveniles,
who cannot get the real thing,” said
Michael J. Keller, chapter coordinator
for Anne Arundel Police Action,
an organization that lobbies county
lawmakers. Annapolis is situated
within Anne Arundel County.
Serious crimes reported in the
United States, including murder,
forcible rape, robbery, aggravated
assault, burglary, larceny and auto
theft, rose slightly last year bur
remained well below the levels reported
a decade ago, according to
the FBI.