Nevada among states outlawing guns for domestic abusers

no-guns-729109LAS VEGAS — As convicted felons with criminal histories including violence against former domestic partners, neither Keith Junior Barlow nor Robert Brown Jr. should have had a gun.

But both did, according to criminal charges against them, and both are accused of shooting ex-girlfriends to death in Las Vegas in attacks that law enforcers and gun safety advocates say illustrate a terrifying pattern of repeat domestic violence.

“A history of abuse is highly suggestive of future abuse,” said Ted Alcorn, research chief for the advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety. He pointed to FBI data that found that more than half of women slain with guns in the U.S. in 2011 were killed by intimate partners or family members.

Other FBI data analyzed by The Associated Press shows that in Nevada, 94 people were shot to death by a spouse, ex-spouse or dating partner from 2006 to 2014, including 71 in the Las Vegas area.

Brown’s case dates to December 2012. He’s accused of fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend, Nichole Nick, and wounding Nick’s mother. Police also reported finding a bullet hole in the bed of Nick’s 3-year-old niece, who wasn’t wounded. Brown was arrested a little more than a year later in Los Angeles.

Barlow allegedly confronted his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend in February 2013 in an alley behind a convenience store and warned that he’d be back. Two hours later, he kicked in an apartment door and shot Danielle Woods and Donnie Cobb to death with a .40-caliber handgun he got from a friend, according to the criminal charges against him. The gun owner later reported the weapon had been stolen.

Repeat violence involving domestic partners is an issue that state lawmakers tried to address last year, passing a law banning anyone convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence in Nevada or any other state from possessing a gun.

The law went into effect with Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval’s signature in June. It also prohibits people from buying a gun if they’ve been ordered by a court to stay away from their estranged partner.

The new law made Nevada one of 13 states to tighten restrictions in the last two years to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, according to the AP survey. Such laws are a rare area of consensus in the nation’s highly polarized debate over guns.

In Carson City, Democrats lost a bid to go further. The GOP-controlled Legislature rejected a stricter measure that would have required people to turn over guns they already have if a restraining order is filed against them.

Nevada’s domestic violence gun ban was part of a wider law hailed by the National Rifle Association as a victory for law-abiding gun owners. It also eliminated a registration requirement for gun owners in Clark County, home to Las Vegas and some 2 million of the state’s 2.5 million residents. The law extended from homes to vehicles the reach of the so-called “castle doctrine” or stand-your-ground right to use lethal force for self-defense.

No permit is required to obtain most firearms in Nevada, and guns can generally be openly carried, although buying high-powered weapons may require a federal permit.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson, the top prosecutor in Las Vegas, said enforcing the domestic violence gun ban hasn’t been easy. But he said people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence are being informed in court — in writing and by a judge — that they can’t possess a gun.

Both Brown and Barlow have pleaded not guilty in their cases. Brown’s defense attorney didn’t respond to messages. Barlow’s lawyers declined to comment.

Prosecutor Richard Scow, who is handling both cases, said Barlow had prior convictions in Nevada in 1987 for shooting at a former girlfriend and her new boyfriend and in 1997 for shooting at Woods.

Brown was convicted in Los Angeles and sentenced to prison in 1998 for felony carjacking and corporal injury to a spouse in a case arising from allegations that he stabbed and slashed his then-wife. Attempted murder, kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon charges were dropped.

With his felony convictions, Brown wouldn’t have been able to purchase a gun under the new law or the old law, Scow said.

Nevada may expand gun background checks

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By Megan Messerly, Las Vegas Sun

Advocates of gun control raked in $3.6 million over the last two years to place an initiative to tighten background checks for gun purchases and transfers in Nevada on the November ballot and ensure it passes.

The initiative is part of a broader national push to establish universal background check laws state by state after an effort to do so on the federal level failed in 2013. Mostly recently, Washington passed an expanded background check law through the ballot initiative process in 2014, and Oregon’s legislature approved a similar law last year.

In total, 18 states have enacted background check laws that go beyond what federal law requires. Nevada is poised to become the 19th.

Read the whole story

BACKDOOR GUN CONTROL: DOCTORS – NOT PSYCHOLOGISTS – TO SCREEN ALL ADULTS FOR DEPRESSION State police already confiscated veteran’s guns over insomnia

gun THE-2ND-AMENDMENT-ISNT-ABOUTAll Doctors – not just psychiatrists – should screen adults for depression, according to a government task force, a recommendation which opens the door to backdoor gun control.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said that health workers should ask patients questions to determine if they have symptoms of depression, even if the patients don’t initially bring them up. “The USPSTF recommends screening in all adults regardless of risk factors,” the task force paper stated.

This sets a dangerous precedent in which primary care physicians – who are visited more frequently than psychologists – could diagnose patients with mental health issues, ultimately leading to the restriction of their Second Amendment rights.
Case in point, New York State Police confiscated a Navy veteran’s guns in 2014 after he received treatment for insomnia at a hospital due to anxiety.
The police used a mental health database enacted by N.Y.’s latest gun control law, the SAFE Act, to declare veteran Donald Montgomery, who is also a former detective, “mentally unfit” to own firearms due to his hospital visit.
“The Plaintiff [Montgomery] is a retired law enforcement officer with a distinguished career of more than 30 years, who retired with the rank of Detective Sergeant,” Montgomery’s lawsuit filed against the hospital stated. “The Plaintiff had a spotless record and was awarded the department’s Bravery Medal; [He] had been a Commanding Officer for 15 years.”
“At the time of his presentation at the Emergency Department of Eastern Long Island Hospital, the Plaintiff suffered from sleep deprivation, occasioned by his move from one location in the state to another, with his wife of many years, to live closer to their adult child and young grandchild.”
And despite the fact Montgomery checked himself into the ER, the hospital labeled him an “involuntary admission.”
“On or about May 30, 2014, the Plaintiff received a telephone call from an officer at the Suffolk Co. Sheriff’s Dept. informing him [they were] going to have to come overhand pick up his handguns because they were under repeated pressure from the N.Y. State Police to immediately do so,” the lawsuit stated. “The sheriff’s department arrived at the Plaintiff’s then-residence and took physical possession of the Plaintiff’s four firearms and provided him with an ‘inventory.’”
Additionally, the State Police cancelled his pistol permit without a hearing.
President Obama signed a Jan. 4 executive order to allow doctors to report patients with “mental health issues” to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System to prevent them from purchasing firearms.
“Obama is changing under such background checks a person prohibited from buying a gun from one formally adjudicated by a court of law to be mentally incompetent to anyone who – vaguely – has a mental health ‘issue,’” Freedom Watch founder Larry warned. “Thus, the due process protection of a court ruling is being lost. Obama ordered the Social Security Administration to report to the firearm background check database people on disability payments for reasons that may indicate ‘issues’ of mental health.
“Obama is working to require doctors to report those with (poorly defined) issues. Everyone living in same household may lose right to possess a gun.”
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