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Posted: 5/6/2002 8:06:28 AM EDT
The original story was posted on AR15.Com by SCR1 04/20/2002 21:55:44 [url]http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?id=110608[/url]. Our friends at Pravda West(aka L.A. Times) finally picked up/discovered it. FYI - Pravda newspaper was the mouth piece of the old communist Soviet Union. ============================================================== Los Angeles Times: Free Guns Tweak City's Ban [url]http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-050602givegun.story?coll=la%2Dhome%2Dtodays%2Dtimes[/url] Free Guns Tweak City's Ban Protest: A conservative activist gives away firearms to circumvent Chicago's concealed weapon law. Low costs mean "I can keep doing this forever," he says. By ERIC SLATER Times Staff Writer May 6 2002 CHICAGO -- As anti-gun groups across the nation offer everything from cash to free pizzas to people willing to turn in their firearms, a joyfully antagonistic pro-gun rights group is giving away handguns to residents in Chicago, where merely possessing one is a felony. The first winner is expected to pick up his Kel-Tec .32-caliber semiautomatic this week. A Hasidic Jew who says his traditional black hat and long black coat make him feel like a target for anti-Semites, the man plans to pick up the gun, worth $300, out in the suburbs and break the law when he crosses back into the city. Chicago, which beat New York last year as the murder capital of the U.S. with 666 homicides, has, along with Washington, D.C., the nation's strictest gun control laws. And the city's most powerful and vocal gun control proponent is Mayor Richard M. Daley. All of which makes the goal of Concealed Carry Inc. and its president and chief provocateur, John Birch, all the more delicious. "I'm trying to pick people who Mayor Daley will have a lot of fun going up against," Birch said. "I'm going to all his support groups: gays, women, blacks, Jews, the disabled." The winner of the first contest--who, since he plans to commit a felony in the very near future, asked that his name not be used--was not the group's first choice. The first man who was set to take the gun, until the media started poking around, according to Birch: another Jew, who suffered three bullet wounds in 1999 when white supremacist Benjamin Smith drove through Illinois and Indiana, shooting blacks, Asians and Jews, killing two and wounding nine. The front-runner for the second giveaway: an HIV-positive gay man who lives in a neighborhood not known for its acceptance of alternative lifestyles. -- continued --
Link Posted: 5/6/2002 8:17:18 AM EDT
The handout program, the latest in a series of attempts by Birch to poke holes in Chicago and Illinois gun laws, began in April with a posting on Concealed Carry's Web site inviting residents of the nation's third-largest city to write an essay explaining why they need handguns to protect themselves. They had to be 21 or older, able to pass a federal background check and had to possess an Illinois Firearm Owners Identification Card--a requirement for all state gun owners and yet another law that irks gun rights groups. Extra points were given to women, the disabled and applicants deemed by the group likely to face a physical threat, being it working the night shift at a convenience store, having a restraining order against a former spouse or wearing Hasidic clothing. Birch, a 48-year-old retired Army reservist, lives in the suburb of Oak Brook, where possessing a registered handgun is legal, but carrying it concealed beneath a jacket or in a pocket is not. He spends much of his time trying to overturn the state's law against concealed-carry--Illinois being one of just six states to have such a law--as well as Chicago's ordinance forbidding handgun possession. Since founding Concealed Carry in 1998, Birch has done much to keep both topics on the political table. "I can't say I'm surprised that Mr. Birch has come up with another stunt to draw attention to himself and this issue," said Thomas Mannard, executive director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence. "Basically, what Mr. Birch is doing here is hoping that one of these individuals brings the gun into Chicago, gets arrested and brings the city's gun ban to court. If he wants that, why doesn't he do it himself?" While in no hurry to get arrested, the soon-to-be owner of the new Kel-Tec says he's thrilled to be joining Birch in his efforts, since he shares Birch's views. "I don't feel like I'm being used at all," the man said. "I feel like maybe I'm using him. I get a free gun. And I definitely feel like a target." The winner and Birch agree, however, that they are itching to see Chicago's ordinance tested in court. Another of Concealed Carry's 1,200 members filed suit last month, asking that some Illinois and Chicago gun laws be overturned on the grounds that they are unconstitutional and conflict with each other. Christopher Morley, who is disabled and walks with a cane, says he decided to sue after being mugged for the fourth time in the last few years. Birch, whose sensational methods do not always earn him the support of other state gun-rights groups, made his public debut in 1999, during a growing debate in the Illinois Legislature over the concealed-carry law. Realizing lawmakers were not likely to reduce the charge for carrying a concealed weapon from a felony to a misdemeanor, he proposed that they at least exempt from prosecution anyone who completed a 40-hour firearm training course and passed a criminal background check. -- continued --
Link Posted: 5/6/2002 8:20:04 AM EDT
That idea sank, but Birch soon rose with a new one. Under state law, to legally transport a handgun, the gun must be unloaded and in a closed gun case or other container. Many holster manufacturers produce fanny packs specifically for carrying handguns, and Birch suggested such packs were legitimate firearm containers. In May 2001, Birch urged gun owners to take their fanny packs to one of the city's most crowded events, the annual Taste of Chicago, where about 3 million people converge on downtown's Grant Park over a week and a half to sample local food and hear music. The mayor was outraged. The police chief promised to arrest anyone who tried such a thing. The Cook County state's attorney promised to prosecute. Local newspapers lambasted the idea as silly and potentially disastrous. Birch, and five other gun groups that had joined the call, backed down. Instead, they encouraged like-minded gun owners to carry a water pistol in the fanny pack, or an unloaded magazine--something to demonstrate that the owners felt their 2nd Amendment right to bear arms was being violated. Now the gun giveaway. A federally licensed gun dealer, Birch can buy the small Kel-Tec--often used by police officers as a backup weapon--from a distributor for just $189. "At that price, I can keep doing this forever," Birch said. "This should be fun." If you want other stories on this topic, search the Archives at latimes.com/archives. For information about reprinting this article, go to www.lats.com/rights.
Link Posted: 5/6/2002 8:56:08 AM EDT
Quite a guy. More power to him. We need more people like this that aren't afraid to put thier all into overturning not only these stupid gun laws, but also other stupid laws created by liberal politicians. Right on Mr. Birch [:D]
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