Category Archives: Constitution

Federal Judge Issues Stay on D.C. Gun Ban Ruling

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Washington Informer: A federal judge granted a 90-day stay Tuesday in a recent ruling that declared D.C.’s ban on citizens carrying handguns in public as unconstitutional, a delay welcomed by city officials and law enforcement who had scrambled to comply with the ruling.

D.C. Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan requested Monday to delay implementation to give the city council time to draft proper legislation to reflect the decision, which was issued Saturday by U.S. District Court Judge Frederick Scullin. Nathan’s request was granted Tuesday afternoon by Scullin.

Meanwhile, police had began allowing people to carry registered handguns in public. D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier has told her officers not to bother residents with legally registered handguns and tourists with handguns who are complying with their states gun laws. However, she mandated that possession of an unregistered firearm in public is a crime and that her officers should take appropriate action.

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Handguns were prohibited in the District for more than three decades before the Supreme Court nixed the ban in 2008. The Council then implemented strict rules for ownership and possession of handguns.

City officials quickly admonished the federal ruling, including Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D), who said the city’s unique national security concerns calls for more restrictive gun laws than anywhere else in the nation.

“Four U.S. presidents have been assassinated by gunfire, at least five others have been shot at, including Ronald Reagan, who was seriously wounded in 1981,” Mendelson said. “Neither the Secret Service nor the Capitol Police will disclose all incidents where they have recovered firearms, but we do know that just two years ago someone hit the White House with gunfire, and there are frequent threats on the foreign diplomatic corps.”

carolFormer Council member Carol Schwartz, who is running for mayor as an independent, said strong gun laws are valued in the city. “Less than 25 years ago, we were called the ‘murder capital’ with 478 homicides in 1990,” Schwartz said. “We have come a long way in rectifying that situation. While our population has grown considerably since then, our homicides were reduced to 88 in 2012.”

Schwartz said that the stay gives the Council a chance to “write legislation that will pass constitutional standards while protecting D.C.’s sovereignty and our long-held desire and need to have strong gun control laws that protect our citizens and visitors.”

D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), the Democratic nominee for mayor, said that she will work with her council colleagues to comply with Scullin’s decision and protect the city’s gun laws. “Public safety remains a top priority and I will continue to fight for laws that protect our residents, reduce violent crime and keep our city safe,” Bowser said.

DCG

Iowa newspaper fires editor for writing about Gaystapo on his personal blog

persecution-of-christiansThe war against Christians and Christianity isn’t just in Islamic countries of the Middle East and North Africa, it is now in America.

A newspaper editor in Iowa was fired from his job because he wrote IN HIS PERSONAL BLOG about his Bible-based beliefs on homosexuality being a sin.

It is against federal law for employers to discriminate against their employees on the basis of religious beliefs and practices. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII, § 1605.1 says:

In most cases whether or not a practice or belief is religious is not at issue. However, in those cases in which the issue does exist, the [Equal Employment Opportunity] Commission will define religious practices to include moral or ethical beliefs as to what is right and wrong which are sincerely held with the strength of traditional religious views. This standard was developed in United States v. Seeger, 380 U.S. 163 (1965) and Welsh v. United States, 398 U.S. 333 (1970). The Commission has consistently applied this standard in its decisions. 1 The fact that no religious group espouses such beliefs or the fact that the religious group to which the individual professes to belong may not accept such belief will not determine whether the belief is a religious belief of the employee or prospective employee. The phrase “religious practice” as used in these Guidelines includes both religious observances and practices, as stated in section 701(j), 42 U.S.C. 2000e(j).

Robert Eschliman

Robert Eschliman

Daniel Finney and William Petroski report for The Des Moines Register, July 23, 2014, that Bob Eschliman, former editor of an Iowa newspaper, Newton Daily News, filed a complaint this week with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission office in Milwaukee claiming he is a victim of religious discrimination by his former employer because he was fired May 5 after publishing his views on homosexuals in his PERSONAL blog.

If the dispute isn’t resolved to Eschliman’s satisfaction, he could sue in federal court to seek financial damages.

In late April, Eschliman, 41, a member of Christian Reformed Church of Newton, Iowa, wrote a personal blog post criticizing the “Queen James Bible,” a website that rewrites sections of the Bible to make homosexuality acceptable. In his blog, Eschliman accused “the LGBTQXYZ crowd and the Gaystapo” of trying “to make their sinful nature right with God.”

Jim Romenesko

Jim Romenesko

Jim Romenesko, who hosts an eponymous widely-read online blog about the news media, reported on Eschliman’s post and questioned whether Eschliman, in light of his publicly stated views, would be able to fairly cover issues involving gays.

Romenesko claimed he had emailed Eschliman inquiring if he could report about homosexuality objectively because of his published views. Eschliman ignored Romenesko’s correspondence, but removed the post from his personal blog.

Shaw Media, a Dixon, Ill., company, suspended Eschliman with pay and eventually fired him. Eschliman’s attorneys claim that violated his constitutional rights of religious expression. Newton Daily News Publisher Dan Goetz declined to comment Wednesday.

John Rung

John Rung

After Eschliman’s dismissal, the Newton newspaper published an editorial by Shaw Media President John Rung, who wrote: “Last week, he expressed an opinion in his personal blog that in no way reflects the opinion of the Newton Daily News or Shaw Media. While he is entitled to his opinion, his public airing of it compromised the reputation of this newspaper and his ability to lead it.”

The Liberty Institute, a Dallas nonprofit legal firm that advocates for religious freedom, has taken up Eschliman’s case. Jeremiah Dys, a senior lawyer with the Liberty Institute, told reporters at a news conference Wednesday that he believes Eschliman has a strong case. He was joined by former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker, who now has a private law practice and will also be representing Eschliman. Whitaker said, “No one should be fired for simply expressing his religious beliefs. In America, it is against the law to fire an employee for expressing a religious belief in public. This kind of religious intolerance by an employer has no place in today’s welcoming workforce.”

Eschliman, a Boone native and U.S. Navy veteran who is married with two young children, has worked as a writer and editor for seven different companies, garnering almost 70 journalism awards. Seven awards came while he was editor in chief of the Newton newspaper, according to his attorneys.

But Eschliman said Wednesday that he has had difficulty finding employment since his dismissal, “particularly here in Iowa.” He said his writing, which some considered objectionable, was posted on a personal blog that was read mainly by family members and friends.

Mark Kende, a constitutional law professor at Drake University, said that at first glance, it appears that Eschliman has a potential case, “I am not saying the newspaper does not have an attempted defense, but federal laws generally prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion.” Kende described the case as untypical because the behavior in question occurred outside the workplace.

Eschliman “is arguing that they are firing him for his religious beliefs, and to the extent that the comments he made are based on his religion, that doesn’t seem frivolous,” Kende said. “But having said that, if I were the company, I would say that we are not firing him for his religious beliefs. We are firing him because his job is to be an impartial reporter, and as an impartial reporter he has lost his credibility, so it has nothing to do with his religion.”

Donna Red WingDonna Red Wing, executive director of One Iowa, the state’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization, said she takes religious liberties and the rights of journalists very seriously, noting she worked previously in Washington, D.C., as chief of staff of the Interfaith Alliance. But she also said Eschliman’s comments overstepped boundaries, describing his use of the term “Gaystapo”as horrific and suggesting he failed in his responsibility to be fair and objective.

“Certainly, his bosses at Shaw Media did what they felt they needed to do. I find his words disconcerting,” Red Wing said. “I am not a lawyer, but if he were working for me, I would fire him.”

H/t Christian News and FOTM’s Sig94

~Eowyn

Quiz time! Guess how many people were shot in Chicago over the weekend

Sun Times: A 13-year-old boy was killed and at least 20 others — including a 3-year-old boy — have been wounded in shootings across Chicago since Friday evening.

The toddler was critically wounded in the Brighton Park neighborhood on the Southwest Side about 10:10 p.m. Friday night. Jason Ares suffered a through and through gunshot wound to the abdomen about 10 p.m. Friday in front of his home in the 4400 block of South Sacramento Avenue, according to police and family members.

Sandra Steve, the boy’s aunt, said her sister and the boy’s father heard gunshots and peaked between two homes when someone fired shots from the front of the home, striking the toddler. A group of two females and a male walked past them, and when they reached the end of the block the male turned around and fired, striking the boy in the right hip and abdomen. The child was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, police said. He was listed in critical condition.

Family members told the Sun-Times that the boy was doing better after undergoing surgery early Saturday. Three people are in custody in connection with the shooting, and charges against them are pending, police said.

The weekend’s first shooting happened about 6 p.m., Friday when a 13-year-old boy was killed and six others were wounded in the East Garfield Park neighborhood.

Multiple people were standing in the 700 block of South California Avenue when they were shot, police said. Samuel Walker was shot in his head and pronounced dead at the scene at 6:22 p.m., a spokesman for the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said. He died about two blocks from his home in the 3000 block of West Flournoy Street.

A 15-year-old boy was shot in the right foot and three 14-year-old boys were each shot in the left leg, police said. A 21-year-old man was shot in the right leg and taken to Mount Sinai in serious condition, police said. A 25-year-old man suffered a graze wound to the abdomen and was treated at the scene, police said.

Loretta Young, 31, who lives near the site of the shooting, said she was watching a television newscast about 11-year-old shooting victim Shamiya Adams when she heard gunfire.

She said she immediately rushed to the shooting site because her 14-year-old daughter was outside her home. “I went looking for my daughter and walked past the dead boy on street and two other bodies on the street,” Young said. “When it is your child, you will walk through a war zone. I found my daughter, and she was OK. She ran on someone’s porch.”

The most recent non-fatal shooting happened about 12:25 p.m. Sunday in West Garfield Park. A 53-year-old man was shot in the left foot in the 4000 block of West Lexington Street, police said. He was taken to Mount Sinai in good condition. Details on the shooting’s circumstances weren’t immediately available.

At least 12 other people have been shot across the city since 6 p.m. Friday.

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See also:

DCG

Texas Gov. Perry deploys 1,000 National Guard troops to border

Months (actually years, since 2012) after illegal aliens began surging across the Mexico border into America’s southern states (at a rate of 35,000 a month into Texas), Governor Rick Perry is finally really doing something to stem the invasion.

Yesterday, July 21, 2014, stating that the federal government offers only “lip service” on border security, Perry announced that he is activating up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border  as a “force multiplier” to help the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) “combat the brutal Mexican drug cartels that are preying upon our communities.”

“I will not stand idly by while our citizens are under assault and little children from Central America are detained in squalor. We are too good of a country,” Perry said.

The National Guard troops could detain people if asked, Texas Adjutant General John Nichols said at the press conference with Perry, but they are planning to play a “referring and deterring” role by deterring cartels with their visible presence and referring any immigrants suspected of being illegally in the country to DPS.

Perry argued that the elevated response at the border by DPS personnel has already acted as a deterrent force and reduced apprehensions. That operation comes at a cost of $1.3 million per week. A state memo obtained by the McAllen Monitor, which first reported Perry’s plan to deploy the National Guard, indicates the new efforts will cost the state of Texas $12 million per month.

Perry said he expects the federal government to eventually reimburse the state of Texas for the costs it has incurred protecting the southern border.

CBS reports that White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said prior to Perry’s announcement that the Obama administration has not yet received the formal request from Perry to activate the troops, but he downplayed it as a merely a symbolic measure, “What we’re hopeful is that Governor Perry will not just take these kinds of steps that are generating the kind of headlines I suspect he intended, but will actually take the kinds of steps that will be constructive to solving the problem over the long term.”

Referring to the $3.7 billion in emergency appropriations the POS has requested from Congress, Earnest said, “To be specific that means that we hope that Governor Perry will support the supplemental appropriations request that this administration put forward a few weeks ago and that that Governor Perry will use his influence with congressional Republicans in Congress an urge them to stop blocking comprehensive bipartisan legislation in the House of Representatives.”

Blah. Blah. Blah.

Mouth of Sauron Joshua Earnest

To Joshua Earnest, the new Mouth of Sauron:

The United States Constitution recognizes America’s state National Guards or militias, and gives them vital roles to fill: “to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasion.” (Article I, Section 8, Clause 15).

State governors have the full authority to activate state National Guards, without having to issue a “formal request” to Washington, D.C.

In the end, however, Perry’s deployment of 1,000 Texan National Guard troops to the border is merely a symbolic act that will be entirely ineffectual in stemming the Invasion of the Illegals.

H/t FOTM’s swampygirl

~Eowyn

Wayne Allyn Root on the Murder of the Middle Class

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What is the Murder of the Middle Class?
By Wayne Allyn Root

My new book, “The Murder of the Middle Class” launches today Monday July 14th across America. It’s about how America, the greatest nation in world history, is being destroyed, plundered and looted by the premeditated “Murder of the Middle Class.” This is no accident, mistake, or coincidence. This is a purposeful plan. This is the boldest, grandest criminal conspiracy in world history.

Although the man at the center of this massive world-class fraud is Barack Obama, there are many moving parts and co-conspirators. These include famous billionaire businessmen, corporate CEOs, the Federal Reserve, Wall Street bankers, central bankers, government employee unions, the IRS, EPA, NSA, the Bar Association, assorted communists and America-haters, and even some well-known D.C. establishment Republicans. It’s quite a shocking list of conspirators.

Lies and fraud are at the center of this “murder of the middle class.” President Obama and various big government politicians need to distract the middle class from their real agenda. Lies are their WMD- weapon of mass distraction.

So they claim Obamacare is about “saving the sick and uninsured”…when the real objective is income redistribution (through higher taxes and higher premiums) to make the middle class poor and dependent on government.

They claim environmental regulations and green energy will save us from global warming…when the real objective is bankrupting the middle class by tripling utility bills, gas bills and grocery bills.

They claim immigration reform is about “protecting innocent children”…when the real objective is to create 12 million new low-wage employees in the labor force…depress middle class wages for generations to come…create 12 million future Democratic voters…and assign all of them lawyers at the expense of middle class taxpayers, to enrich the Bar Association, the biggest donor to the Democrat Party.

They claim higher taxes are to “create equality”… when the real objective is income redistribution and starving the biggest donors to conservative causes and candidates- small business and the middle class.

They claim higher education spending is “for the kids,” …when the real objective is enriching teachers unions so they can funnel hundreds of millions back to Democrat politicians.

They claim bailing out GM was to “save jobs”…when the real goal was saving bloated pensions for auto union members, whose unions kicked back hundreds of millions to Democrat politicians.

The Fed claims quantitative easing is “to save the economy”…when the real goal was making crony capitalist Warren Buffett $12.7 billion richer last year, while the children and unborn grandchildren of middle class taxpayers owe back $17 trillion in debt used to fund a fixed craps game on Wall Street.

It’s always about lying to cover-up the real agenda of murdering the middle class; redistributing wealth; making it impossible for small business to compete with big business; rewarding lobbyists, lawyers and crony capitalists; keeping politicians in office for life; and putting big government in control of our every move.

But the biggest lie of all is when politicians like Obama claim, “It’s all okay. Things are getting better. We’re in a recovery. Look away, there’s nothing to see here.”

It’s not okay. This author was just notified by his health insurance company that my family’s policy has been cancelled. When Obama was elected my bill was $500 per month. Today it’s $1700 per month. But now my family will have no insurance at all, because of Obamacare. Tens of millions of middle class Americans will soon receive the same notice. This is no mistake. This was premeditated fraud upon the middle class.

My grocery bills have skyrocketed. How about yours? My electric bills are at all-time highs. Gas prices have doubled since Obama became president. How can middle class people survive, without becoming dependent on government? Ah, that’s the point.

All this while the economy is in crisis and collapse. The GDP for the first quarter was NEGATIVE 2.9%, one of the worst showings in history, six years after Obama’s trillion dollar stimulus promised to “save” the economy. That stimulus went to Obama’s voters (the poor) and Obama’s donors (the super rich). But the bill (in the form of debt) goes to the middle class for decades to come.

No, things are not alright. Here are just a few of the facts from my new book, “The Murder of the Middle Class:”

China is set to pass America as the world’s #1 economy based on consumer spending. THIS YEAR. It will be the first time since 1872 that America has not been the #1 economy in the world.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2616806/American-dollar-hits-wall-China-prepares-leap-place-worlds-largest-economy-end-year.html

For the first time in history America’s middle class isn’t #1 in the world. Canada’s middle class has passed us.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/upshot/the-american-middle-class-is-no-longer-the-worlds-richest.html?hp&_r=1

For the first time in American history more businesses are closing each day than starting up.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/05/05/u-s-businesses-are-being-destroyed-faster-than-theyre-being-created/?hpid=z5

There are now 70% more Americans collecting entitlement checks than working in the private sector (148 million “takers” vs. 86 million “makers”)… a fact provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.

http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/terence-p-jeffrey/86m-full-time-private-sector-workers-sustain-148m-benefit-takers

The average full-time male employee now earns less (adjusted for inflation) than 40 years ago.

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/men-who-work-full-time-earn-less-40-years-ago

20% of U.S. families don’t have a single member who is employed:

http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/the-real-unemployment-rate-in-20-of-american-families-everyone-is-unemployed

Record numbers of Americans are not in the workforce (over 92 million):

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/ali-meyer/record-number-americans-not-labor-force-june

The number of working age Americans without a job has increased by about 10 million in Obama’s first 5 years as President. That means each and every year of Obama’s Presidency, 2 million more Americans disappeared from the workforce.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-01-13/number-working-age-americans-without-job-has-risen-almost-10-million-under-obama

America’s 2nd largest employer is a Temp Agency.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/recovery-woes-americas-second-largest-employer-is-a-temp-agency/article/2532778

70% of Americans believe we are still in the middle of the economic crisis, or that the worst is yet to come. And, they are correct.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-06-04/7-10-americans-believe-crisis-not-over-or-worst-yet-come-52-cant-afford-their-homes

There is no doubt the great American middle class is being murdered. I’ve spent the last year writing the “Murder of the Middle Class” to give all Americans the information, tools and courage to save the middle class and the American Dream. This fight is just getting started. Get informed and join the battle. God Bless America.

Target Says No to Guns: Store Assaults Begin Immediately

On July 2 of this year, Target issued a new policy asking customers not to bring guns to its stores. That same day, a Target shopper in Gainesville, Georgia was robbed at gunpoint in the parking lot, and on July 5, a woman shopper at a Target store in Atlanta was punched in the head in the store’s parking lot by a black male, who then stole her car and attempted to run her over.

Lest, you think Target is merely another well-meaning, but misguided company, take a look at these ads from one of their recent catalogues, targeted at children:

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For those who don’t understand the symbolism, the “OK” sign with three fingers spread out spells “6-6-6″, and covering one eye is a symbol of Lucifer just like the eye on the pyramid on our one dollar bills. I believe it was Franklin Roosevelt, the second worst president of all time, who put all-seeing eye of satan on our money.

Compare Target’s children with these photos featuring several well known satanists, and remember that another big company that is anti-gun and anti-Constitution, Starbucks, also has a history of satanic symbolism.

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Archie to be killed off saving gay best friend from gunman’s bullet

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Daily Mail: Archie Andrews will die taking a bullet for his gay homosexual best friend.

The famous freckle-faced comic book icon is meeting his demise in Wednesday’s installment of “Life with Archie” when he intervenes in an assassination attempt on Kevin Keller, Archie Comics’ first openly gay homosexual character.

Andrews’ death, which was first announced in April, will mark the conclusion of the series that focuses on grown-up renditions of Andrews and his Riverdale pals.

“The way in which Archie dies is everything that you would expect of Archie,” said Jon Goldwater, Archie Comics publisher and co-CEO. “He dies heroically. He dies selflessly. He dies in the manner that epitomizes not only the best of Riverdale but the best of all of us. It’s what Archie has come to represent over the past almost 75 years.”

Keller’s character first joined Veronica Lodge, Betty Cooper, Jughead Jones and Reggie Mantle in the Archie Comics spin-off “Veronica” in 2010. He later appeared in his own solo title.

In “Life with Archie,” Keller is a married military veteran and newly elected senator who’s pushing for more gun control in Riverdale after his husband was involved in a shooting.

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We wanted to do something that was impactful that would really resonate with the world and bring home just how important Archie gun control is to everyone,” said Goldwater. “That’s how we came up with the storyline of saving Kevin. He could have saved Betty. He could have saved Veronica. We get that, but metaphorically, by saving Kevin, a new Riverdale is born.”

Who shot Archie? Goldwater isn’t spoiling the killer, only teasing it’s a stalker who wanted to take Keller down (no doubt a crazy RWNJ, Tea-Party lovin, gun-toting crazy).

Archie’s final moments will be detailed in “Life with Archie” No. 36, while issue No. 37 will jump forward a year and focus on the Riverdale gang honoring the legacy of their red-headed pal, who first appeared in comics in 1941 and went on to become a colorful icon of wholesomeness. Other incarnations of Andrews will continue to live on in Archie Comics series.

Goldwater notes that Andrews’ passing isn’t just a publicity stunt but also a lesson about gun violence and a declaration of diversity in the new age of Archie Comics. “Archie is not a superhero like all the rest of the comic book characters,” said Goldwater. “He’s human. He’s a person. When you would him, he bleeds. He knows that. If anything, I think his death is more impactful because of that. We hope by showing how something so violent can happen to Archie, that we can – in some way – learn from him.”

If you want to show something violent and teach a lesson about gun violence, maybe Mr. Goldwater should have done a comic entitled, Chicago, Under the Gun.

Or maybe Archie should have invested in firearm training and obtained a conceal carry license. But that message would have the wrong “impact”.

DCG

Quiz time! How many people were shot in Chicago over the 4th?

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Chicago Tribune: For 10 minutes, it seemed like the shooting was everywhere in the South Chicago neighborhood.

It started when someone shot and wounded a couple, then two people fired at the shooter, then there was a chase and shots exchanged and a man sitting on a porch was hit. Responding officers kept cutting each other off on their radios as they reported other gunfire in the area late Sunday night and early Monday morning.

Then the heavy equipment rolled in: A helicopter and SUVs packed with lockers of rifles. SWAT teams in green coveralls patrolled the streets with uniformed officers.

It was just one of dozens of shooting scenes across Chicago over the long Fourth of July weekend. In all, at least 82 people were shot, 14 of them fatally, since Thursday afternoon when two woman were shot as they sat outside a two-flat within a block of Garfield Park.

Five of the people were shot by police over 36 hours on Friday and Saturday, including two boys 14 and 16 who were killed when they allegedly refused to drop their guns.

Many of the long weekend’s shootings were on the South Side, clustered in the Englewood, Roseland, Gresham and West Pullman neighborhoods that rank among the most violent in the city.

The victims ranged from the 14-year-boy shot by police in the Old Irving Park neighborhood to a 66-year-old woman grazed in the head as she walked up the steps of her porch on the Far South Side.  Most victims were in their late teens and 20s.

Each night of the long holiday weekend, at least a dozen people were shot in the greatest burst of gun violence Chicago has seen this year.

Read the rest of the gun violence incidents here.

See also:

DCG

States look to gun seizure law after mass killings

second amendmentYahoo: As state officials across the country grapple with how to prevent mass killings like the ones at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown and near the University of California, Santa Barbara, some are turning to a gun seizure law pioneered in Connecticut 15 years ago.

Connecticut’s law allows judges to order guns temporarily seized after police present evidence that a person is a danger to themselves or others. A court hearing must be held within 14 days to determine whether to return the guns or authorize the state to hold them for up to a year.

The 1999 law, the first of its kind in the country, was in response to the 1998 killings of four managers at the Connecticut Lottery headquarters by a disgruntled employee with a history of psychiatric problems.

Indiana is the only other state that has such a law, passed in 2005 after an Indianapolis police officer was shot to death by a mentally ill man. California and New Jersey lawmakers are now considering similar statutes, both proposed in the wake of the killings of six people and wounding of 13 others near the University of California, Santa Barbara by a mentally ill man who had posted threatening videos on YouTube.

Michael Lawlor, Connecticut’s undersecretary for criminal justice planning and policy, believes the state’s gun seizure law could have prevented the killings of 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, if police had been made aware that gunman Adam Lanza had mental health problems and access to his mother’s legally owned guns.

“That’s the kind of situation where you see the red flags and the warning signs are there, you do something about it,” Lawlor said. “In many shootings around the country, after the fact it’s clear that the warning signs were there.”

Gun rights advocates oppose gun seizure laws, saying they allow police to take people’s firearms based only on allegations and before the gun owners can present their side of the story to a judge. They say they’re concerned the laws violate constitutional rights.

“The government taking things away from people is never a good thing,” said Rich Burgess, president of the gun rights group Connecticut Carry. “They come take your stuff and give you 14 days for a hearing. Would anybody else be OK if they just came and took your car and gave you 14 days for a hearing?”

Rachel Baird, a Connecticut lawyer who has represented many gun owners, said one of the biggest problems with the state’s law is that police are abusing it. She said she has had eight clients who had their guns seized by police who obtained the required warrants after taking possession of the guns.

“It’s stretched and abused, and since it’s firearms, the courts go along with it,” Baird said of the law.

But backers of such laws say they can prevent shootings by getting guns out of the hands of mentally disturbed people.

“You want to make sure that when people are in crisis … there is a way to prevent them to get access to firearms,” said Josh Horwitz, executive director of the nonprofit Education Fund to Stop Gun Violence in Washington, D.C.

Connecticut authorities report a large increase in the use of gun seizure warrants involving people deemed dangerous by police over the past several years. Officials aren’t exactly sure what caused the increase but believe it’s related to numerous highly publicized mass shootings in recent years.

Police statewide filed an estimated 183 executed gun seizure warrants with court clerks last year, more than twice the number filed in 2010, according to Connecticut Judicial Branch data. Last year’s total also was nearly nine times higher than the annual average in the first five years of the gun seizure law.

Connecticut police have seized more than 2,000 guns using the warrants, according to the most recent estimate by state officials, in 2009.

Police in South Windsor, about 12 miles northeast of Hartford, say the law was invaluable last year when they seized several guns from the home of a man accused of spray painting graffiti referencing mass shootings in Newtown and Colorado on the outside of the town’s high school.

“With all that we see in the news day after day, particular after Newtown, I think departments are more aware of what authority they have … and they’re using the tool (gun seizure warrants) more frequently than in the past,” said South Windsor Police Chief Matthew Reed. “We always look at it from the other side. What if we don’t seize the guns?

DCG

At Colorado burger joint, waitresses pack heat

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Fox News: It’s called Shooters Grill and it is located in Rifle, Colo., so naturally, the waitresses pack heat.

The burger joint, about 180 miles west of Denver, embraces the firearms theme with menu items like the “M16 burrito,” “Smith & Wesson Grilled Cheese” and “Locked and Loaded Nachos.” The salt and pepper shakers are made from shotgun shells. But the biggest Second Amendment statement is in the guns waitresses carry, including the Rueger Blackhawk .357 Ashlee Saenz sports.

Owner Lauren Boebert, 27, started the trend when she began carrying a pistol shortly after opening the restaurant a year ago.

“I started open-carrying maybe a month after we opened just because I am a woman in business and I was there early hours and late nights,” Boebert said. “There was a man beaten to death in the alley behind my restaurant last year. It was very unfortunate.”

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The accessorizing caught on with the staff. But even though carrying a gun openly is legal in Colorado, Boebert nonetheless makes staffers who want to pack take an extra safety course.

Customers don’t feel threatened by their servers carrying guns, she said. “No one has ever turned around and walked out because they saw a gun,” Boebert said. “They might have left because it was too crowded, praise the Lord. But not over the guns.”

Chef Matt Archambault said word of the gun-toting wait staff has brought in new customers in recent months, but it is the half-pound burgers that keep people coming back.

“Burgers are a staple of the restaurant,” he told FoxNews.com. “It’s pretty much an all-American place. We love anyone who wants to come in.”

And Archambault does not carry a gun back in the kitchen. “We have knives and spatulas,” he laughed. “That’s how I roll.”

grill3

DCG