Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Montana Medical Examiner: German Teen Moved Away from Door When Shot

Posted By on Tue, Dec 9, 2014 at 9:53 AM

A German exchange student was moving away from a door leading into Markus Kaarma's kitchen when the student was fatally shot by Kaarma, the Missoulian reports

Kaarma, 30, of Grant's Creek, Mont., has been charged with deliberate homicide after he shot German national Diren Dede in April 2014. Kaarma fired his shotgun four times into his garage without warning. It's unclear why Dede was in Kaarma's garage, though Kaarma's lawyers have contended that he had been targeted by a ring of teenage burglars.

Prosecutors have alleged that Kaarma and his partner, Janelle Pflager, left their garage door ajar and a purse out in the open to ensnare intruders. 

Dr. Gary Dale, the state medical examiner, testified that the killing was a homicide—that after Dede had been struck by shotgun pellets in the arm, he was moving toward the garage door when a second shotgun blast struck him in the head.

"He would have been brain dead upon sustaining these wounds," Dale told members of the jury.

Dede's killing received national media attention when the teen's father, Celal Dede, arrived in Montana to take his son's body back to Germany. At the time, he railed on America's gun culture, telling the press, "America cannot continue to play cowboy."
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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Toy Gun Triggers School Lockdowns in Middleton, Student Suspended

Posted By on Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 10:59 AM

  • Canyon County Sheriff's Office
A Canyon County elementary school student has been suspended from school for two days in the shadow of an incident earlier this week where he brought a toy gun to school.

The Canyon County Sheriff's Office says the toy revolver was convincing enough to pass for the real thing at first glance, and "even a toy gun can be dangerous when an officer has to make a split-second, life-or-death decision."

The principal at the child's school says a full interview will be conducted with the parents of the child to determine if a longer suspension is necessary.

This morning's Idaho Press-Tribune reports that the incident began when authorities were alerted to the possibility that someone had a gun on a Middleton school bus, on its way to Middleton Heights Elementary School. Two schools were put into so-called "soft lockdowns" as officers searched for the weapon. 

"We treat the toy gun just like a regular gun as far as threat of violence," Middleton School Superintendent Richard Bauscher told the Tribune. "Our policy still addresses it."

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Coeur d'Alene Stands by Gun Ban, But It May Get Sued for Doing So

Posted By on Mon, Sep 8, 2014 at 2:01 PM

The Idaho Second Amendment Alliance is urging members on its Facebook page to attend several upcoming city council meetings in Emmett, Fruitland, Lewiston and Mountain Home, as part of what it calls the "Preemption Project." The post said city councils and mayors are expected to overturn ordinances that are "outdated and out of compliance with Idaho's preemption law"—a law that prohibits cities from regulating firearms.

The post continues, listing cities and counties that have overturned ordinances or where "full support is expected," which include Meridian, Gem County and Twin Falls County. The organization is also chipping away at others, like Star and Nampa, but it recently had its sights set on another city: Coeur d'Alene.

When the Coeur d'Alene City Council refused to overturn laws prohibiting firearms at parades and public assemblies, the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance threatened to sue, according to KTVB. A report from the Coeur d'Alene Press said the organization lacks the legal standing to file suit on its own, but members are working with an attorney to build a case.

The organization is celebrating a recent victory in Twin Falls County, where commissioners unanimously voted to overturn their firearms ordinance—allowing guns to be carried into county parks.
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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Remington Settlement Pending Over Controversial Model 700 Rifles

Posted By on Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Remington, makers of America's most popular hunting rifles, has reached a nationwide settlement involving claims that many of its Model 700 bolt-action hunting rifles had defective trigger mechanisms. The settlement, which is expected to recall millions of weapons, is one of three class-action suits filed against Remington involving the Model 700.

One of the claimants, Loren Korpi, an Oregon resident, filed suit in a Boise courtroom in September 2013, when he said a Remington 700 fired without touching the trigger when he was hunting in Elmore County in October 2012. The bullet reportedly traveled through Korpi's leg, ankle and foot, causing permanent injury.

The recent settlement also involved numerous hunting incidents throughout the country, including a 9-year-old boy who was killed when his mother released a safety on Model 700 Remington as she prepared to unload her weapon.

Attorneys for Remington have yet to comment officially on the formal "notice of settlement" that was filed last year in a Missouri federal court.

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Idaho State Board of Education Approves Campus Firearms Update

Posted By on Thu, Jun 19, 2014 at 9:13 AM

While much of the Treasure Valley media focused on the Idaho State Board of Education's review of Albertson paying $12.5 million to Boise State University for the naming rights of Bronco Stadium, the State Board also approved a new firearms-on-campus policy.

Meeting in Idaho Falls Wednesday and again today, the ISBE approved an amendment to its campus safety policy for four-year public institutions. The updated policy makes it clear that firearms are allowed on campus only as described in section 18-3309(2), or as allowed by the institution as part of an event or program approved by the institution president.

Idaho Code is about to be updated Tuesday, July 1, when the guns-on-campus law goes into full effect. Idaho universities will continue to ban openly carried weapons, but concealed weapons in and around campuses will become the new normal. Boise State officials are quick to point out that all weapons will be banned in student housing, as well as in entertainment venues, including the Student Union Building, Bronco Stadium, Taco Bell Arena and Morrison Center.

But most of Idaho's public university campuses are relatively quiet during the summer months, and beginning Aug. 13, university officials are expected to stand before the board and update the panel on their new security plans in the shadow of the law, which by then will be more than one month old.

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Monday, June 2, 2014

Two More Restaurant Chains Ask Customers to Leave Guns at Home

Posted By on Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 3:30 PM

A gun control advocacy group is lauding national business chains' request to customers that they leave their guns at home.

In a press release, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America commended Sonic Drive-In and Chili's Grill & Bar for responding to its petition asking customers not to bring guns into restaurants, cafes and other commercial ventures. Sonic and Chili's are the two latest such businesses that have changed their policies on guns in response to a MDA petition; others include Chipotle  Starbucks and Jack in the Box. Facebook and Instagram have also pledged to combat gun sales on their online forums. 

"Moms are grateful to Sonic and Brinker International, which includes Chili’s Grill & Bar, for taking action and standing up for the safety and security of our families—we are heartened that we can take our children to these family-oriented restaurants and not worry about being confronted by customers with semiautomatic rifles,” said MDAGSA founder Shannon Watts.

In a statement released by Chipotle, the Tex-Mex chain changed its policy toward openly carried firearms after a demonstration in Texas during which open carry advocates brought guns, including assault rifles, into a Chipotle location, "causing many of our customers anxiety and discomfort."

"We are respectfully asking that customers not bring guns into our restaurants, unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel," the statement read.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Chipotle: Please Leave the Guns at Home

Posted By on Tue, May 20, 2014 at 8:58 AM


Chipotle, which recently swung the doors open to its newest location in Boise's downtown core, is asking that its customers please leave their firearms at home ... or at least in the car.

Officials with the Denver-based chain said Monday evening that they have abided by local and state laws regarding firearms, but things got a bit out of hand this past weekend when members of Open Carry Texas made a point of hauling their guns into several Chipotle restaurants in the Lone Star State.

"We had all different types of long-guns, some people had shot guns," Alex Clark of Open Carry Texas told KRLD-TV. "I personally carry an AK-47. There were a few AR-15's there. The rifles were loaded. There's no reason to carry an unloaded weapon—it wouldn't do any good."

A social media campaign, launched by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, praised Chipotle Monday night, tweeting out a photograph of a child holding a bag full of Chipotle goodies and a button reading "Moms Demand Action." The Chipotle bag also includes one of the company's brands: "Never Underestimate the Power of the Burrito."

"Because the display of firearms in our restaurants has now created an environment that is potentially intimidating or uncomfortable for many of our customers, we think it is time to make this request," wrote Chipotle communications director Chris Arnold. "We are respectfully asking that customers not bring guns into our restaurants, unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel."

Here's more of the company's statement:

"We acknowledge that there are strong arguments on both sides of this issue. We have seen those differing positions expressed in the wake of this event in Texas, where pro-gun customers have contacted us to applaud our support of the Second Amendment, and anti-gun customers have expressed concern over the visible display of military-style assault rifles in restaurants where families are eating. The vast majority of gun owners are responsible citizens and we appreciate them honoring this request. And we hope that our customers who oppose the carrying of guns in public agree with us that it is the role of elected officials and the legislative process to set policy in this area, not the role of businesses like Chipotle."

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

UPDATE: Two Men Seen Carrying Rifle on Montana State University Campus Still at Large, Lockdown Lifted

Posted By on Wed, May 7, 2014 at 3:57 PM

UPDATE 4:00 p.m.:

A campus lockdown at Montana State University that began when two men were spotted on campus with a rifle has been lifted, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports.

The two men were sighted at about 8:20 a.m., and an alert was sent to students and faculty at approximately 9 a.m. A campus-wide search by police turned up no suspects, and a traffic stop of a vehicle with passengers matching the descriptions of the suspects turned up no evidence. The lockdown ended at about 10 a.m.

MSU spokesman Tracy Ellig said the university hopes to alert campus more quickly in the future.

"Always, always there will be a desire for these alerts to go out more quickly," Ellig said.

ORIGINAL POST 11:26 a.m.:

Two men seen carrying a rifle on the campus of Montana State University this morning have the campus on high alert, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports.

Montana State University Police received a report at 9 a.m. that two men, one wearing an orange hunter's hoodie, the other wearing a green or gray jacket and a baseball hat, carried a black rifle onto the MSU campus heading toward an arch near the Centennial Mall.

Officers are searching buildings and have advised students, faculty and staff on campus to stay inside and lock their doors. 

Currently, firearms are allowed on the Montana State campus, though under the conditions that the firearms be used for hunting or sporting purposes, that guns be locked in designated storage areas—they're not allowed in residence halls—and that they never appear on campus or in academic and common areas. In 2013, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock vetoed a bill that would have allowed guns on all Montana's public college and university campuses.

In 2014, the Idaho Legislature passed legislation, later signed into law by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, that allowed weapons onto Idaho's public college and university campuses, provided the carrier held an enhanced concealed carry weapons permit or was a retired police officer. The so-called "guns on campus" bill was opposed by university presidents, law enforcement officers responsible for campus security, and many students and faculty.  Its passage may mean dramatic security changes at Idaho colleges and universities.
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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Enhanced Concealed-Carry Course Offered by Cassia County Sheriff For Free

Posted By on Tue, Apr 1, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Cassia County Sheriff Jay Heward is offering enhanced concealed-carry permit training for free, the Times-News reports. The course normally costs $150, but Heward told the press his office will offer three such courses for free, capped at 18-20 participants, in 2014.

"It's a lot of fun, and it helps a lot of first-timers get familiarized with their weapon," he said.

Trainees are required to fire 98 rounds under the supervision of a law enforcement official, as well as extend their knowledge of their Second Amendment rights beyond what is required in a basic concealed-carry class. The permits allows holders to concealed carry in five other states: Nevada, New Mexico, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington.

Enhanced concealed-carry permits are required for carriers of concealed weapons on Idaho's public college and university campuses. In March, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter signed into law the so-called guns-on-campus bill, which allows enhanced conceal-carry permit holders and retired law enforcement to bring concealed weapons onto campuses. The controversial law sailed through the state Legislature  but not without drawing hours of testimony for and against the law, and prompting the universal opprobrium of college and university presidents, their legal counsel, and campus police and security services.   

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Today Show Airs Idaho Campus Guns Law Segment

Posted By on Thu, Mar 13, 2014 at 3:05 PM

This week's issue of Boise Weekly explores what would happen in the event that Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter signed SB 1254—the so-called guns-on-campus bill—into law. Yesterday, we reported that Otter did indeed sign the bill into law, and national media has begun to notice.

The flood of media attention began when Boise State University Professor Greg Hampikian wrote an op-ed in The New York Times, titled "When May I Shoot a Student?" This morning, hours after Otter signed the bill into law, NBC's morning program, the Today Show, aired a 3-minute segment exploring the subject further. 

SB 1254 allows holders of enhanced concealed carry weapons permits and retired police officers to carry their weapons on Idaho's public college and university campuses. It was opposed by the State Board of Education and university officials, but supported by the Fraternal Order of Police and some students.

You can watch the Today Show segment below.

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