In Washington, D.C., CCRKBA
announced its opposition to H.R.
3832, a proposed Gun Show Loophole
Closing Act of 2004. Referred to
the House Judiciary Committee, the
measure, designed obviously to curtail
severely if not downright eliminate
traditional American gun
shows, ostensibly would require
criminal background checks on all
firearm transactions occurring at
events that provide a venue for the
sale, offer for sale, transfer, or exchange
of firearms. Introduced by
Rep. Michael Castle of Delaware,
cosponsors include Reps. Nancy L.
Johnson of Connecticut, Mark S. Kirk
of Illinois, and Carolyn McCarthy of
New York.
In Annapolis, Maryland, a state
Senate committee last month narrowly
defeated a bill that would have
banned the sale of 19 semiautomatic
gun types in Maryland. The bill was
defeated 6-5 in the Judicial Proceedings
Committee, with the deciding
vote cast by State Sen. John A.
Giannetti, Jr. The bill was intended
to replace a federal ban on certain
semiautomatic firearms slated to expire
in September. “Gun control
advocates saw the bill as the last
opportunity this year to strengthen
Maryland’s gun laws,” reported Robert
Redding, Jr. in The Washington
Times. Obviously disappointed,
State Sen. Robert J. Garagiola, the
bill’s sponsor, said: “Hopefully, Congress
will do the right thing at this
point and reauthorize it.”
Alan M. Gottlieb, Chairman of
CCRKBA, called last month for the
impeachment of federal judge Jack
Weinstein of the Second Circuit
Court of Appeals in New York.
“Weinstein’s lack of judicial objectivity,”
says Gottlieb, “at least on the
firearms issue, combined with his
adamant reluctance to recuse himself
from hearing yet another antigun
lawsuit, can only lead to the
conclusion that he has lost sight of
the appearance of fairness doctrine,
a cornerstone of the American concept
of a fair trial. The Wall Street
Journal noted that he’s heard at least
11 gun litigation cases, and they suggested
that such cases are steered to
his courtroom because, to quote from
the newspaper, lawyers for the plaintiffs
know they ‘might not succeed
in any other courtroom in America.’
That’s atrocious.”
A New York criminal defense
attorney’s complaint that a District
Attorney’s conduct was “outrageous”
because he granted immunity
to a man who defended his
store with an unlicensed gun against
an armed robber is an even greater
outrage, stated Joe Waldron,
CCRKBA Executive Director. The
case involved the recent shooting of
Devon Keitt, who was shot in the
head by bodega clerk Edwin Marte.
Marte said he shot Keitt after the
armed suspect demanded money.
Marte used an unlicensed .38 caliber
revolver, but Queens DA Richard A.
Brown granted him immunity from
a potential gun charge in exchange
for grand jury testimony against
Keitt. Keitt’s attorney Scott
Brettschneider claimed in a letter to
New York State Attorney General
Eliot Spitzer that Brown’s conduct
was “outrageous.”
The United States Supreme Court
agreed to decide whether criminal
convictions obtained in the courts of
foreign countries count as convictions
that make it illegal for a convicted
felon to own a gun. The case
the justices accepted, Small v. United
States, No. 03-750, is an appeal by a
man who had been convicted of a
firearms offense in Japan in 1994.
Four years later, he bought a handgun
in Pennsylvania from a licensed
dealer and filled out a federal form
answering “no” to the question of
whether he had been “convicted in
any court” of a crime with more than
a one-year sentence. The man, Gary
S. Small, later was charged with
making a false statement along with
illegal gun possession. He argued
that the indictment should be dismissed
because “any court” did not
apply to the Japanese conviction. The
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third
Circuit, in Philadelphia, rejected that
In Illinois, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich
reportedly said he would sign a bill
allowing 18 year olds to obtain firearm
owner identification cards,
which allow a person to buy or possess
a gun without parental consent.
Current law requires such permission
until age 21.