[Patriots] Indy Star front page: Gun-rights backers cast wary eye on safety

Discussion in 'Indiana Glockers' started by HK45Mark23, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. HK45Mark23

    HK45Mark23

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    I strongly advise all of you to read this thoroughly.

    Jim and Margie
    2nd Amendment Patriots
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    > http://www.indystar.com/article/201...-rights-backers-cast-wary-eye-on-safety-chief
    >
    > January 6, 2010
    >
    > Gun-rights backers cast wary eye on safety chief
    >
    > In 2004, Straub backed extension of ban on certain assault weapons.
    >
    > By Francesca Jarosz
    > francesca.jarosz@indystar.com
    >
    > Gun-rights advocates have a new target: Frank Straub, the city's new
    > public safety director from New York, whose recent comment that there
    > are "way too many guns on the streets" of Indianapolis has stirred
    > their concern.
    >
    > Straub, who was picked by Republican Mayor Greg Ballard, began the job
    > this week but still faces a confirmation vote by the City-County
    > Council on Feb. 1.
    >
    > Local gun-rights champions have begun lobbying Republicans on the
    > council, but the effort doesn't appear to be gaining much traction.
    > Council members point out that even if Straub were intent on curbing
    > gun ownership, there's not much he could do.
    >
    > But beyond that, Straub has since clarified his comment, stressing
    > that he is only interested in taking illegally owned and possessed
    > guns off the x streets.
    >
    > "The issue is the illegal possession of firearms by criminals -- those
    > are the guns that are killing people," Straub told The Indianapolis
    > Star on Tuesday. "If people follow the rules and regulations and get
    > guns through those, they can own as many guns as they would like to
    > own and have. I have no problem with that."
    >
    > Nonetheless, the angst among pro-gun forces exists, in part because of
    > his previous comment, in part because of his support in 2004 for
    > extending the ban on certain assault weapons, and in part because,
    > well, he hails from New York.
    >
    > "He comes from a New York culture that is definitely more anti-gun,"
    > said Liz Karlson, county chairwoman of the Republican Liberty Caucus,
    > who has contacted council members about the issue via Facebook. "I've
    > heard these things before: They say they don't go after the gun owner.
    > But I haven't heard him say anything pro-gun-owner, either."
    >
    > Bill Dowden, legislative director for the Indiana State Rifle and
    > Pistol Association, said he's received about 30 calls from members who
    > are concerned about the issue, though the association itself is
    > reserving judgment.
    >
    > "They're all law-abiding citizens," Dowden said. "They're concerned
    > that a new man from New York is going to come in and try to change the
    > culture."
    >
    > Fears about Straub's stance on gun-control matters were stoked last
    > month after a Star editorial board interview. In response to a
    > question about illegally owned guns, Straub said there is no clear
    > national policy on guns and that gun trafficking needs to be
    > controlled.
    >
    > "My own personal perspective," he said during that interview, "is we
    > have way too many guns on the street and way too many people that own
    > guns."
    >
    > The concerns were fueled further by Straub's support for the failed
    > attempt to extend the 1994 ban on certain semiautomatic rifles.
    > Straub, who was public safety commissioner in White Plains, N.Y., at
    > the time, was among a group of law enforcement officials who met with
    > individual members of Congress to express support for extending the
    > ban so that modifications could be made.
    >
    > Some also have pointed to his membership in the International
    > Association of Chiefs of Police, a group that, according to the
    > National Rifle Association, works closely with the federal gun control
    > lobby. A representative from the police chiefs group said its focus is
    > on curbing gun violence but not legal gun ownership.
    >
    > The NRA has taken no position on Straub's appointment.
    >
    > Even if Straub's prerogative were to restrict legal gun ownership,
    > some say the public safety director's ability to do that is limited
    > from a practical standpoint.
    >
    > Gun-carry permits, for example, are issued by the Indiana State
    > Police. And although local law enforcement agencies make
    > recommendations, Scott Newman, the city's former public safety
    > director, said officers follow a specific protocol in making those
    > recommendations.
    >
    > Newman, who headed up the selection committee that recommended Straub
    > to Ballard, said Straub could, however, work to improve the flow of
    > communication between the local and state agencies to ensure those who
    > shouldn't legally have guns don't fall through the cracks.
    >
    > Similarly, Newman said, Straub couldn't make it more difficult for
    > legal gun owners whose weapons were seized in police procedures to get
    > them back -- as long as owners go through the fingerprinting process
    > that already is part of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police
    > Department's policy.
    >
    > But he could have influence on decisions about gun control that are
    > made by other groups. For instance, Newman gave this hypothetical: If
    > a public housing agency wanted to ban guns on its property, the
    > likelihood of it doing so might depend greatly on whether Straub would
    > agree that the local police should enforce the measure.
    >
    > And Newman and others acknowledged another power: The public safety
    > director is in a spot to influence the mayor.
    >
    > "The public safety director," Newman said, "as an adviser to the
    > mayor, has a bully pulpit in the sense of being able to generate state
    > legislative initiatives."
    >
    > It's those less tangible powers that people such as Karlson say they fear.
    >
    > But Robert Vane, Ballard's spokesman, said the mayor, like Straub, is
    > simply focused on addressing the issue of illegally owned guns.
    >
    > "I'm aware of no effort by the administration to limit or restrict the
    > legal possession of firearms," Vane said.
    >
    > Straub said his plans to crack down include pushing law enforcement to
    > identify who owns guns illegally through intelligence efforts and
    > gaining cooperation from the community in order to get those guns off
    > the street.
    >
    > "The majority of homicides in this city and this country are related
    > to illegal firearms," Straub said. "If we can take illegal guns off
    > the street, we can reduce homicides."
    >
    > --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    >

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