WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court says a federal law barring people convicted of minor domestic violence offenses from possessing guns can be enforced even in states where no proof of physical force is required to support the domestic violence charge.
The justices on Wednesday reinstated charges against a Tennessee man who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic assault in 2001. He was then charged in 2009 with illegal possession of a firearm. Lower courts threw out the gun charge because Tennessee law doesn’t require physical, or violent, force to have been used in misdemeanor domestic assault.
The Supreme Court reversed that decision in an opinion by Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
The Obama administration argued that the lower courts’ reading of the law would render it unenforceable in many states.
Three accidental shootings make this week’s report, one law-enforcement related, plus a sad update on last week’s accidental shooting in Nashville. But nothing tops this story out of Utah: an 8-year-old, showing his 9-year-old cousin how to handle a .45, while riding in the backseat of a pickup truck. What could possibly go wrong? Listen, folks, just ’cause you don’t believe in Darwin doesn’t mean he doesn’t believe in you. Culling the herd, indeed.
Without further ado, I bring you your weekly wrap up of #GunFAIL from across the state.
• March 26, 2014:
A Nashville-area man accidentally shot himself in the hand when he grabbed his gun:
The man told police that he was woken up by a noise at his home on Wellington Court around 4 a.m. While trying to grab his gun, he dropped it and it discharged. He was struck in the hand by a bullet.
That sounds about right.
• March 25, 2014:
1- Two teenagers were arrested for trespassing on the campus of Manassas High School in Shelby County, one carrying a handgun and one carrying a box cutter. They were not students. Seems way too many teenagers have access to guns in this state.
2- Residents of Elder Mountain outside of Chattanooga seek peace from the “Fourth of July every day” they experience due to an illegal gun range at the 86-acre Firemen and Policemen Outing Club.
• March 24, 2014:
A 15-year-old Sevierville teenager accidentally shot himself in the leg with a Colt .45 while putting on his gun belt:
Galloway told Allen they had completed their ride and were feeding their horses when a male in their party, who was 15 at the time but turned 16 on Monday, said he was going to check his “game cameras.”
“He went outside and put his gun belt on,” Allen stated in his report. “A few minutes later they heard him screaming as he came out onto the porch. He told them he had dropped his Colt .45 out of the holster, and when it hit the floor it went off.”
The bullet reportedly traveled through the front side of his lower right leg and exited just above it, Allen added.
Respect the culture, etc. etc.
• March 23, 2014:
1- A man fired shots into the air after an argument at his cousin’s house and was promptly arrested.
2- Update: the Nashville teenager accidentally shot in the neck last week by his friend has died.
3- Lots of gun violence this week, which I don’t normally report here, but I wanted to call attention to this story: One person died and three others were injured when an argument inside a Johnson City nightclub escalated and someone began shooting in the club parking lot. You know, things don’t “escalate” to deadly levels if people don’t have guns with them everywhere. Just sayin’.
But yeah, there’s that one chance in five thousand that you might get to use your gun to play Sir Galahad and live out your wingnut hero fantasies, so by all means, take that chance.
• March 19, 2014:
A Bartlett police investigation into a shooting that occurred while suspects were being served warrants states that the shooting was accidental:
Marcus Allen was shot in the hip as Bartlett officers tried to service a warrant for drugs.
Rikard says Lontrelle Green accidentally shot Allen during the raid.
Bartlett police officers said Green pointed a gun at them so they fired ten shots but did not his either man
All officers involved has been returned to duty.
Also love that the police officers fired 10 shots but didn’t hit anyone.