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Posted: 1/29/2002 1:56:19 PM EDT
. . . Following through on his campaign pronouncements that the nation doesn't need more gun laws, just better enforcement of existing ones, President George W. Bush's administration has announced a comprehensive, new national effort to take gun- wielding violent criminals off American streets. Under the Administration's Project Safe Neighborhoods, the U.S. Dept. of Justice is committing $533 million over two years to beef up federal, state and local prosecutions of gun-related crimes. More than 580 new prosecutors will be hired to aggressively pursue gun cases in state and local courts, and the Justice Dept. will add 94 new Assistant U.S. Attorneys to the 113 hired last year to pursue federal cases. In addition to the new prosecutors, the anti-violence offensive will focus on providing additional support investigators, and provide training and develop community outreach programs to promote and improve public safety. "Project Safe Neighborhoods is a new national strategy that will get gun-wielding criminals off our streets and out of our neighborhoods," said Attorney General John Ashcroft. "These new federal, state and local prosecutors will ensure that our gun laws are vigorously enforced so that our citizens will be protected from gun violence."
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 3:02:12 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 3:49:58 PM EDT
This ought to be interesting. I wonder if that includes the Crime Bill/assault weapons legislation. DoubleFeed- Ever seen the text of these laws? Remember, they're all written by lawyers. Nuf said.
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 4:10:51 PM EDT
[i][b]Supreme Court agrees to consider to barring judges from restoring felon gun rights[/b] GINA HOLLAND (AP) 01/22/2002 The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to consider stopping federal judges from restoring gun rights to convicted felons. [b]The intervention comes at the request of the Bush administration, angry that a Vidor, Texas man convicted of a felony in Mexico convinced a court that he should be able to own a gun.[/b] Felons are barred from carrying guns after their release from prison, but can ask the government for an exception. Those requests have been stalled, however, for nearly a decade because Congress ordered the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms to stop spending money to process them. That logjam has prompted lawsuits, like the case won by a former gun dealer. The Supreme Court will consider whether to reverse Thomas Lamar Bean's victory. Bean, a well-known businessman, was arrested by Mexican authorities who found a box of ammunition in his sport utility vehicle after crossing the border to have dinner in Mexico. The box had been left there by one of his co-workers, court records show, and Bean was convicted after being ordered to sign a confession in Spanish, which he didn't know. Bean served about five months of a five-year prison sentence. A panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans said he was imprisoned for a "simple oversight." In 2000 when he petitioned to get his gun rights -and livelihood- back, the 60-year-old father of two was supported by two police chiefs, a sheriff, a judge, a prosecutor, and a Baptist preacher. Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson said the case was not about Bean, but other felons who will now expect courts to restore their gun privileges. "There is a significant risk that persons who pose a real danger to public safety might be rearmed," Olson wrote in court filings. Congress each year since 1992 has included in the ATF's budget a ban on using money for background checks, which cost an estimated $3,700 each. Still on the books is the law allowing people to petition for gun rights, and permitting them to appeal to federal court if they are dissatisfied with the outcome. Olson said the ATF, not judges, have the resources to handle requests. He said Texas could produce many such cases. In 1999, 80,000 people were convicted in Texas of felonies, he said. Bean's lawyer told the Supreme Court that Olson's argument "paints an eye-catching image of federal district judges dispensing gun permits like candy to tens of thousands of marauding Texas felons." Larry C. Hunter wrote in filings that the "hyperbolic claim is provably false." Judges can require witnesses and evidence, he said, and "the in-person adversarial format of a court hearing is ideally suited to credibility determinations." Since Bean's conviction, Mexico has reduced the charges for importing ammunition to a misdemeanor, Hunter said. The federal judge who ruled in his favor on the gun privileges also found that the Mexican conviction did not classify him as a U.S. felon. A Texas state court has determined that he is not considered a felon. Olson argued that someone who is denied gun privileges by the federal government can file suit, but that they cannot sue over inaction. Similar cases have had opposite outcomes in other courts, he said. .[/i]
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