Tennessee Gun Report

[UPDATE]:

Big news from SCOTUS today:

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.

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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.

17 Comments

Filed under gun control, Tennessee

17 responses to “Tennessee Gun Report

  1. Jim in Memphis

    ” due to an illegal gun range at the 86-acre Firemen and Policemen Outing Club.” What is illegal about them shooting guns at the site? I did not see anything in the article that says they are breaking any laws by shooting guns there.

    • “Duggins says that the Pan Gap site, which is located in an R-1 residential area, is an illegal range and a nuisance, according to the city’s zoning laws, and damages the value of the surrounding property.”

      “”We haven’t heard anything from anybody,” Zink said. “There is no ordinance against shooting in an R-1. The law says that if the shooting is a nuisance, basically you can call the police and they can come tell you to quit. We’re not doing anything illegal.” ” [As the membership is made up entirely of police officers and firefighters, I can’t imagine why complaints to police have been ignored. /sarcasm. Also, while there may not be an ordinance against shooting in an R-1, that doesn’t mean a gun range can legally operate in an R-1.]

      “The Firemen and Policemen Outing Club, founded in 1905, includes a lake and campground among its amenities and isn’t designed as a shooting range, Zink said. But he acknowledged that the volume of gunfire, including loud caliber rounds that sound like cannons to some residents, increased after members built a shooting pavilion on one side of the property.”

  2. Jim in Memphis

    But it is not a “gun range.” It sounds like this is private property that only members are allowed to access. Zink also said the City of Chattanooga wanted to open their official gun range on the site but they declined. What would the neighbors have done then? It sounds like there may be a noise ordinance that the members will have to comply with, but I would expect that only is effective for certain hours of the day and will not keep them from firing guns on the property.

    • FYWP eated my comment. Good lord.

      “But it is not a “gun range.” It sounds like this is private property that only members are allowed to access.”

      It’s not a “gun range”? How so? What difference does it make if only members are allowed to access it or if it’s open to the general public? There are plenty of private shooting clubs. Hell, this week I read about a gun club that wanted to restrict its membership to only NRA members.

      It’s not one dude shooting squirrels in his backyard. It’s a club where people come to do a lot of stuff, including shooting. They built a shooting pavilion for this purpose three years ago not thinking about zoning or neighbors or what’s allowed, now people are complaining and the complaints are being ignored because the very people you’re supposed to complain to are the people who operate and use the thing in the first place.

      Jesus this shit ain’t hard, James.

      “Zink also said the City of Chattanooga wanted to open their official gun range on the site but they declined.”

      That sounds like a load of BS to me. I’ve fought many zoning battles and that’s the kind of BS someone tells the press when they’re trying to bolster their argument, knowing full well no reporter will bother to follow up. Seeing as how the place is used by and operated by city police officers, I’d say it’s far more likely someone once said “hey why don’t we put our gun range up here,” but I highly doubt any official with the city ever actually proposed such a thing. If they did there’d be documentation they could produce in court, a memo or minutes from a meeting where it was formally proposed. It’s obviously BS.

      The story also says they’re going to have a board meeting Monday night where they’re going to vote on banning shooting on the property, which sounds like they know they’d lose their lawsuit.

  3. It’s not a “gun range”? How so? What difference does it make if only members are allowed to access it or it’s open to the general public?

    It’s not one dude shooting squirrels in his backyard. It’s a club where people come to do a lot of stuff including shooting. They built a shooting pavilion for this purpose 3 years ago not thinking about zoning or neighbors or what’s allowed, now people are complaining and the complaints are being ignored because the very people you’re supposed to complain to are the people who operate and use the thing in the first place.

    “Zink also said the City of Chattanooga wanted to open their official gun range on the site but they declined.”

    Which sounds like utter BS to me. Seeing as how the place is used by and operated by city police officers, I’d say it’s far more likely someone once said “hey why don’t we put our gun range up here.” I highly doubt any official with the city ever actually proposed such a thing. If they did there’d be documentation they could produce in court, a memo or minutes from a meeting where it was formally proposed. It’s obviously BS.

    The story also says they’re going to have a board meeting Monday night where they’re going to vote on banning shooting on the property, which sounds like they know they’d lose their lawsuit.

  4. WHY IS WORDPRESS NOT LETTING ME COMMENT ON MY OWN GODDAMM BLOG

    • Cooteez!? (democommie ducks & covers):

      I’m guessin’ that Jimbo might take a slightly different position if somebody was shooting (machineguns, really?*) guns close to HIS house. Especially if it was at an unlicensed (therefor uninspected) shooting range. From the article you linked to I can’t determine whether anyone at the “Fishin’, drinkin’ and shootin’ the fuck outta targets and ol’ junk cars, frigerators and the like club” ever applied for or received any sort of permission to operate a shooting range.

      If they already HAVE a license to operate (or permission or variance or some other bit of officialises paperwork) the range then the homeowners would be shit-outta-luck, per this:

      “c) To the extent that any sport shooting range has been issued permission, whether by special exception, variance, or otherwise, by any entity having zoning or zoning appeal authority to operate as a range, the right to operate as a range shall not be amended, restricted, or terminated due to a change of circumstances regarding the use of adjacent or surrounding properties. Further, with respect to any sport shooting range that is open to the public and was in continuous operation for at least thirty (30) years immediately preceding December 16, 2008, the right to operate as a shooting range shall not be amended, restricted or terminated due to any land use planning or zoning applicable to the shooting range’s location if: {more follows}” (source: http://www.shooting.org/gun_laws/Tennessee)

      Jimbo**

      My guess about when the club will be able to produce that sort of paperwork? when pigs fly out of their asses.

      * It is illegal and strictly prohibited to possess, sell, repair, transport, manufacture or use any machine gun in the state of Tennessee. (source: http://www.shooting.org/gun_laws/Tennessee)

      ** This is the sort of thing, research, that you apparently think is unnecessary to bother with. I will admit that it’s onerous to do at times, especially those times when I’m using one hand to point at you, while laughing at your marrow deep indignorance.

      • Jim in Memphis

        you left out some information on the machine guns…

        “It is illegal and strictly prohibited to possess, sell, repair, transport, manufacture or use any machine gun in the state of Tennessee. These regulations do not include machine guns used for law enforcement, public display in a museum or at an exhibition, produced by a company licensed by the State of Tennessee to manufacture machine guns, possessed by citizens registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Records, used in a dramatic performance, or employed in scientific research.”

  5. The story about the 15 yo shooting himself with his Colt .45 doesn’t make clear whether the gun was revolver or a model 1911/variant. Either way, the young feller was prolly breaking the law as he was only 15/16 at the time of the incident (source: http://www.tn.gov/safety/handgun/qualifications.shtml).. I’m sure, though, that since it was only a handgun and not something that really destroys young lives, like a marijoowanna joint, that he’ll get a nudge and a wink from the local prosecutor; boys will, after all, be boys.

    I have to admit that I was hoping that the decedent in the story about the bar parking lot shooting was Curry Todd.

  6. I live in Nashville and I am not for or against people owning guns. But personally, I am tired of reading weekly stories of a young child accidentally shooting another child or themselves. I don’t know what the answers are. Or how we should regulate gun sales. But there has to be a better way than how we are doing it now. We need to save some lives from senseless tragedies that may could be prevented by educating people around guns, and keeping them far, far out of the reach of our precious children. Appreciate your post.

    • I think a good place to start is requiring gun owners to carry liability insurance, the same way we do for cars. This is especially important as contact with firearms is no longer a personal choice. The state legislature is making sure people who want nothing to do with guns are put into daily contact with firearms by passing guns-in-bars, guns-in-trunks, guns-in-schools, and — coming soon — guns-in-parks. It’s getting more difficult for people who wish to stay away from guns in their daily lives to do so. Mandatory liability insurance would at least compensate people who are injured or suffer property damage due to others’ gun negligence. And, as we’ve seen with car insurance, there will be free market incentives for responsible gun behavior: lower premiums for those who have trigger locks, gun safes, etc. Higher premiums or even cancelled policies for those who have gun negligence claims.

  7. Oh, gosharoonies, Jimbo got me! Boy, do I have egg all over my fa–wait, wuzzat? Oh, yeah, right.

    Jimbo, I left this bit:

    “These regulations do not include machine guns used for law enforcement, public display in a museum or at an exhibition, produced by a company licensed by the State of Tennessee to manufacture machine guns, possessed by citizens registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Records, used in a dramatic performance, or employed in scientific research.”

    out for two reasons.

    The primary reason is that the news story quotes a club spokesweasel, Tim Zink, who said, for the record:

    ” As proof of the club’s good intentions, Zink said the club had rejected a bid from the city of Chattanooga to locate its official range on 35 acres of the site.”

    So, no official police or other public safety purpose for firing fully automatic weapons on the site (and, for the record, I didn’t say that they had–one of the people in the article who LIVES close enough to the range to hear the gunfire did, though.)

    That was the primary reason.

    Secondarily (or maybe it’s turpitudinally I have a hard time amembrin’ some of this stuff) I KNEW that you would find that if you went lookin’ at the link.

    So, the good news is that you’re learning a new skill, “Lookin’ shit up”; the bad news is you still have the analytical and critical thinking skilz of my roommate (Buddy the Wonderdog IS telepathic, though, and he just me THAT look.). Something to work on there.

    • Jim in Memphis

      You seem to ignore that anyone registered with the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Records is also allowed to possess a machine gun. Also, any machine gun manufactured in TN by a licensed facility is legal in TN. Why did you leave these out? You seem to imply that the machine guns being fired were illegal weapons, and tried to throw out a half-assed citation to “prove” your point when several exceptions to your argument were in the next sentence. I would say your logic skills need improving, but your an old fart who probably doesn’t have much of a chance to get any better.

      • Thanks, Jimbo. I like it when you conservabots finally decide to get down to my level of insults and mudslinging.

        Tell ya what, slugger, call up the TN firearms folks and ask them if they’re good with people firing machine gunz, regardless of where they came from or whose doing the shooting–on a shooting range that’s surrounded by people who live close enough to be endangered by that sort of thing–a shooting range that appears to not have ever been granted a license by the town or the county.

        Go ahead, Bubba, you’re a lot closer to the action than I am. Oh, btw, get names and phone numbers to provide to us, so’s we can check it out, because , well, your word just won’t cut it, sorry. So, get to it, son.

      • Jim in Memphis

        I’m sorry – did any of your response explain why you feel the machine guns being fired were illegal? You make a claim and then want me to prove even further that you are wrong? Nothing in the article even claimed that the machine guns were illegal. The people are complaining because of the noise. I didn’t see anything about bullets flying off the property in the complaints, just that it was a nuisance. People are allowed to shoot guns on their property in this zoning according to the article. If the neighbors don’t like that then they can try to get the zoning laws changed or move somewhere that does not allow guns to be fired.

      • There’s a difference between one homeowner firing guns in his backyard and a fucking SPORTSMEN’S CLUB where a dozen people are doing it at the same time. And pay dues for the privilege. Idiot.

        Dumbass doesn’t know the difference between a BUSINESS and a private home. Figures.

  8. “I didn’t see anything about bullets flying off the property in the complaints, just that it was a nuisance. People are allowed to shoot guns on their property in this zoning according to the article. If the neighbors don’t like that then they can try to get the zoning laws changed or move somewhere that does not allow guns to be fired.”

    Not exactly what I requested, Jimbo. So, obviously you’re too busy to actually make a phone call and verify that the “shooting range” was actually legal, but not too busy to bloviate about it.

    “”I didn’t see anything about bullets flying off the property in the complaints,’

    Apparently nobody’s been wounded as yet. Do you seriously think that a pistol round, never mind something out of a rifle isn’t going to leave the property if it doesn’t hit the target’s backstop. Go back and do some reading on ballistics, moron. A handgun round, .38, .357, 9 mm., .45ACP aer all capable of traveling upwards of a half mile; a .30-06, 5.56 or .223 (to name but a few of the popular rounds out there can all travel well over a mile and still have lethal impact. A .50BMG round fired from the Barrett or one the other ,50 rifles of that type? according to this:

    http://www.inetres.com/gp/military/infantry/rifle/M107.html

    upwards of a mile for aimed fire lethality with a maximum range of over 6 miles.

    “If the neighbors don’t like that then they can try to get the zoning laws changed or move somewhere that does not allow guns to be fired.”

    Wow, this coming from a guy who bristles at the idea of paying for other people’s ER visits? You think it’s okay for a group of gunzloonz to bother or scare the neighbors to the extent that they have to sell out and move? How about if the neighbors set up targets in their back yards that are sited so that any rounds missing the target will continue on in the direction of the gunners at the club? You good with that? Howzabout if they fire machine gunz in their backyards?