As CCRKBA Executive Director Mark Taff criticized President Bush’s nomination of Michael Sullivan to be permanent director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE), Idaho’s two U.S. Senators, Larry Craig and Mike Crapo, both CCRKBA Congressional Advisors, placed separate holds on the nomination. Under Senate rules, even a single Senator can put a hold on legislative action for months. Bush nominated Sullivan, who is a U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts and Acting Director of BATFE, in March, and the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination in November. The only way gun owners can support Sullivan’s nomination, said Taff, is if he clearly and publicly details the steps he will take to stop the abuses at BATFE and begins to implement said policies immediately. “Until that happens,” Taff stated, “we fully support the indefinite hold on his nomination and encourage President Bush to revisit his decision to nominate Mr. Sullivan.”

In his first policy speech as the newly-confirmed Attorney General of the United States, Michael B. Mukasey said that a federal list of mentally ill people prevented from buying guns has doubled in size since the Virginia Tech shootings last April. He encouraged more states to add information to the database. Mukasey said stepped-up reporting by states had added information about 393,957 mentally ill people to the federal database used to screen potential purchasers of firearms, reported

The New York Times. In July, the data base had 174,863 names. Currently, 32 states submit names to the mental health database. “It’d be nice to have 50,” said Mukasey. In a recent column on firearms safety, pistol-packing author Rick Perry of analyzed statistics published by the National Safety Council and the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “Firearm related accidents have steadily decreased since such record keeping began in 1903,” he reported. “Far more important and dramatic is that for the past 10 years this drop was extra dramatic.” He notes that, “in the past 10 years, firearm related accidents in the home have dropped by more than 44 percent!” He notes also that, over the past nine years, the number of unintentional firearm related fatalities for children and under has decreased by 69 percent, firearms are involved in fewer than 1.2 percent of accidental fatalities among children 14 and under, and the number of unintentional firearm related deaths has decreased by 40 percent – from 1,225 accidental deaths in 1995 to 730 in 2005.

A two-year surge in violent crime has slowed significantly, with a number of large cities reporting dramatic drops in murders and other violent offences for the first six months of 2007, concludes

“The Bill of Rights details individual rights that government cannot take away,” writes columnist Ken Blackwell on in discussing the potential impact of gun rights issues during this year’s presidential campaign. “When the framers referred to the people, they meant the individual, not the government. Most Americans get it. Even liberal legal scholars like Alan Dershowitz and Lawrence Tribe get it when it comes to the individual rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment. They believe the clear wording of the document favors the individual’s gun rights…With nearly 100 million American gun owners and a fluid nominating process in both primaries, Second Amendment voters matter. In fact, their votes could be the deciding factor in the volatile Iowa and New Hampshire contests propelling the winner into the pivotal South Carolina and Florida primaries.”

The Washington Post in an analysis of a report from the Police Executive Research Forum. The report examines several years of statistics for homicides, robberies and aggravated assaults from 56 of the nation’s largest jurisdictions. It also includes crime data from more than 100 other cities, suburbs and towns. For the main jurisdictions, the report shows an overall decline in the number of homicides, robberies and aggravated assaults in the first six months of 2007, when compared