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  • Remaining Anti-Gunners in U.S. Senate Renew Push for Gun Control

    Anti-gun U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.), have introduced their Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act (S. 407 and H.R. 752, respectively), in yet another attempt to ban magazines that accept more than 10 rounds.  Similar legislation has been introduced in previous Congresses, and has repeatedly failed since the expiration of the Clinton “large” magazine ban in 2004.

    Firearms designed to use magazines that hold more than ten rounds have been around for more than a hundred years.  Today they constitute a majority of all new firearms manufactured, imported and sold in the United States, for what the Supreme Court, inDistrict of Columbia v. Heller (2008), called the central purpose of the Second Amendment: self-defense.While gun control supporters claim that the magazines are unnecessary for self-defense, millions of Americans disagree, and the Supreme Court has ruled in Heller that laws are unconstitutional if they prohibit firearms that are in common use for defensive purposes. 

    Moreover, studies have shown that magazine bans don’t reduce crime.  The congressionally-mandated study of the 1994-2004 federal "large" magazine "ban" concluded that its10-round limit on new magazines wasn't a factor in multiple-victim or multiple-wound crimes.  A follow-up study concluded that "relatively few attacks involve more than 10 shots fired," and "the ban's effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement."2 And a majority of law enforcement in the United States acknowledges that banning standard-capacity magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds will not increase public safety.   

    A person attacked in a parking lot, or at home in the middle of the night, will probably have only the magazine within the firearm. No one should be arbitrarily limited in the number of rounds he or she can have for self-defense.

    The NRA opposes this legislation and will continue to fight attempts in Congress to limit magazine capacity. 

    Please contact your U.S. Senators and your U.S. Representative and ask them to OPPOSE S. 407 and H.R. 752. CLICK HERE TO WRITE YOUR LAWMAKERS.

    © 2015 National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action. This may be reproduced. This may not be reproduced for commercial purposes. 

  • 2014 Attorney General Summary on Concealed Carry: Program's second-busiest year ever
    by Jim Irvine

    Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) has released the Concealed Handgun License (CHL) statistics for the fourth quarter of 2014 and the annual report. 2014 was the second busiest year in the history of the concealed carry program, and ended with a record 438,000 Ohioans licensed to discretely carry firearms.

    Demand for CHLs finished the year strong, with demand increasing slightly over the prior quarter. This is a normal quarterly trend. It was the third-busiest fourth quarter for new licenses issued; only 5% lower than last year’s quarterly numbers. Renewals remained consistent, with 74% of expiring licenses renewed. The average renewal rate is 72%.

    Ohio sheriffs issued 13,912 regular CHLs, 10,097 renewals, and 17 Temporary Emergency Licenses (TELs), for 24,026 total licenses issued during the quarter. For the year, Ohio issued 58,066 initial CHLs, renewed 52,146 CHLs and issued 57 TELs for a total of 110,269 total licenses issued.

    Several media outlets have noted the decrease over the prior (record) year in their headlines, but failed to note the continued increase in demand over time. The 2014 numbers reflect demand 75% greater than average yearly totals over the life of the program.

    It is always difficult to assign specific reasons for behavior. The enormous spike in 2013 is largely attributed to President Obama winning re-election and other hostile factors. Governor Kasich also singed multiple pieces of legislation improving Ohio’s concealed carry laws. As we have seen many times in Ohio, when the law is improved, the demand for training and licenses increases. HB234 takes effect in March of 2015 and will likely increase demand for licenses through reduced mandatory training requirements. Though the bill contains many improvements to firearms law, it has little immediate effect for current license holders.

    In 2013 we year saw an all-out assault on our right to keep and bear arms. Secretary of State John Kerry signed a hostile U.N. treaty aimed at destroying our Second Amendment rights. President Obama has signed executive orders and the Democrat-controlled Senate did everything they could to ram gun control through in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. That pressure also spurs demand for people to buy guns, attend training, and become licensed to carry resulting in the incredible surge in demand during that year. 2014 returned to more normal levels, but remained significantly above any other year.

    As noted above, there were 17 TELs issued in the quarter, up two compared to the third quarter. TELs are only valid for 90 days and cannot be renewed. TELs are issued to persons who need to carry a firearm for protection, but don't have time to obtain the required training. Applicants must apply with their sheriff, pay a fee and pass a background check. The 90 days allows them time to obtain training and apply for a regular CHL. After issuance, a person must wait four years before they qualify for another TEL.

    Even with the record number of CHLs, there were only 71 licenses revoked during the quarter, below the average of the past several years and a decrease from the prior quarter. Less than one half of one percent of all CHLs have ever been revoked for any reason, including death or moving out of state. The establishment media love to make a big deal about the exceptional cases where a CHL breaks the law, but say almost nothing about the more than 99% of law-abiding license holders, many of whom have used their gun to protect life. About one in four revocations were because the training to obtain the license was deficient. Prospective CHL students are reminded that the application contains an affidavit where the student swears that he/she has received the appropriate training. Signing a false affidavit can subject persons to felony prosecutions and a permanent loss of firearms rights.

    During the fourth quarter last year, almost 11 people per hour, or 360 per work-day, received a new or renewed CHL from an Ohio sheriff. The popular program is a good facilitator of communication between sheriffs and citizens. Take time to get to know your sheriff/deputy while obtaining/renewing your CHL. Law enforcement is generally very supportive of citizens' rights to carry firearms for self-defense.

    We encourage you to talk with your sheriff about their support for our continued efforts to update Ohio's concealed carry laws to make them friendlier to citizens. Explain which current gun bills you support and get their thoughts on the bills. We welcome your feedback. Law enforcement and armed citizens are on the same side opposing criminals. We seem to be returning to a time when we can work together for the rights of the "good guys.

    License-holders, like gun owners in general, are not extremists as the anti-gun rights crowd claims. They are honorable citizens who want the means of protection from real dangers. They understand that police cannot, and are not obligated to protect individual citizens from rape or murder any more than they can prevent someone from running a red light. Responsible people wear a seat belt to protect themselves in a car accident. They also carry a gun to protect themselves from a criminal attack.

    With 438,000 Ohio citizens licensed to carry handguns, anytime you are in a group of 20 adults, odds are there is at least one licensee present. If you are with an older or more affluent group, the odds are even greater. Any school with 20 employees probably has one person with a CHL who could be authorized to carry a firearm in that school for the protection of the children. In short, there are few public locations you can travel in Ohio where there will not be a license-holder nearby. Unfortunately, because of the many places license-holders are still prohibited from carrying their guns, the license does not necessarily translate into having someone ready and armed to stop an attack. Victim zones remain a problem in Ohio law.

    In the first year of Ohio's concealed carry law, the anti-self-defense people bragged about the "small" demand for the new CHLs. They claimed that only a few fringe gun nuts wanted to carry "hidden" guns. It is clear that those who seek to deny others the right of self-defense are themselves the radical minority.

    Every time legislation is passed improving the law, anti-self-defense pundits predict mayhem and problems that will result without tight restrictions on gun owners. Last session it was HB 234 and the reduced training requirement, and they will surely attack good bills being introduced this session. They have been wrong every time, but some in the news media and anti-gun politicians keep repeating their nonsense.

    Other media outlets have done a good job with factual reports on firearms and gun owners. A record number of Ohioans are carrying guns in more places, yet we have not seen any dramatic increase in violent crime. This is yet another indication that more guns in the hands of good citizens do not cause any increase in crime, and is likely to deter criminals. It is time to fully “de-Taft” our CHL laws and bring Ohio in line with the majority of states. While no large group of people is perfect, the CHL-holder has proven to be considerably more law-abiding than the population at large.

    It always takes time for the feelings of society to have a real change and adopt new safety ideas. It was once normal for kids to ride in cars without seat belts or even car seats. Today such behavior can be considered criminally reckless. We rode bikes with no helmets. CPR was left to "the professionals."Thousands of lives are saved annually because our society realized how quickly a life could be lost and how a few simple changes make the difference between life and death. With the steadily increasing number of gun owners and concealed carry licenses, the day seems to be a little closer at hand when carrying a gun for safety will be seen as being as sensible as wearing seat belts.

    April 8, 2015 will mark eleven years since Ohio's concealed carry law took effect. It is clear that the law is working well and is popular with responsible, law-abiding adults who care about safety.

    Jim Irvine is the Buckeye Firearms Association President, and recipient of the NRA-ILA's 2011 "Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award" and the CCRKBA's 2012 "Gun Rights Defender of the Year Award."

    Further Information:

    Ohio Attorney General - 2014 Q4 Concealed Carry Stats Ohio CHL-holders acting in self-defense

  • Elderly homeowner defends life in daylight Columbus home invasion
    by Chad D. Baus

    The Columbus Dispatch reported recently that an elderly homeowner was able to defend his own life when a convicted burglar decided to strike again.

    From the article:

    The North Side homeowner dialed 911 just after noon yesterday and gave his address. When asked what his emergency was, he replied, “Some ... some guy broke into my house, and I shot him.”


    Officers arrived to find the homeowner inside and the intruder dead on the porch. The door showed signs of being kicked in. The intruder was pronounced dead at 12:12 p.m. Sgt. Rich Weiner, a Columbus police spokesman, said it appeared to be a case of self-defense.

    “Everyone has the right to protect their house,” Weiner said. At the same time, “it’s very tragic. It’s something he’ll have to live with.”

    Under Ohio's Castle Doctrine law, if someone unlawfully enters or attempts to enter an occupied home or temporary habitation, or occupied car, citizens have an initial presumption that they may act in self defense, and will not be second-guessed by the State.

    Police identified the deceased man as 31-year-old Michael Rinehart. Again, from the article:

    Rinehart served four years in prison after being convicted of burglary in 2010. He petitioned for judicial release in 2013, saying his drug addiction had led to his crimes, but it was denied.

    Police did not name the man who shot Rinehart, but Franklin County housing records showed that the homeowner is Joseph Miklich, 71.

    The Dispatch article goes on to note that this was the second time this month that a homeowner has shot and killed an intruder.

    On Feb. 19, a woman on N. Guilford Avenue in Franklinton shot Christopher Lee Willis after he smashed through her front window.

    In January, a man who told police he was being carjacked shot David A. Mullins in a Franklinton alley. Mullins died at the scene.

    According to the article, last year, of the city’s 89 homicides, five were in self-defense.

    Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.

  • HB 78: "Universal" Background Checks gun control bill reintroduced in Ohio
    by Chad D. Baus

    Judging by HB 78, one of his latest gun control bills introduced in the Ohio House, Rep. Bill Patmon (D) seems unable to grasp the idea that criminals do not typically submit themselves to background checks, and that even when a prohibited person is stopped by a background check procedure, no one prosecutes them for the crime they just committed.

    In the immediate aftermath of the terrible attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT some two years ago, President Obama claimed that as many as 40 percent of gun purchases take place without a background check (Remarks by the President, March 28, 2013). Using 20-year-old data, he suggested that requiring background checks for all gun purchases will reduce gun violence by keeping dangerous people from acquiring firearms.

    To determine if the 40 percent estimate was still accurate in 2013, Think22three, a Lebanon, OH- based gun, crime and public policy research organization, surveyed more than 300 individuals actively involved in the firearms market to determine where they purchased their two most recent firearms and whether or not a background check was conducted. The result? Most firearms are purchased from licensed dealers who conduct background checks. A much smaller percentage of firearms are purchased privately without a background check. This is particularly important when considering the types of firearms typically involved in crime.

    "Policy makers aren't looking at current data," stated Jeff Monroe, Ph.D. and president of Think22three.

    When asked about their most recent two firearms purchases, 89.7 percent of gun-owning survey respondents stated that they purchased their firearms from a dealer that conducted a background check.

    "Separating the data by the type of firearm purchased clarifies firearms purchases further. Shotguns, for example, are far less likely than revolvers, pistols and rifles to be purchased from a dealer conducting a background check," states Monroe. They are also less likely to be used in a crime.

    According to Monroe, nearly 26 percent of shotguns are acquired from family members, friends or private sellers a type of sale not currently subject to background checks.

    "When we look at purchases of semi-automatic pistols, a type of firearm used more often than a shotgun to commit a crime, we know that nearly 93 percent of respondents who purchased pistols used a background check," says Monroe. "This is consistent with prior research that shows that background checks do not decrease gun violence.”

    Jeff Monroe points out that, as a policy matter, it is interesting that shotguns are the most likely to be purchased without a background check and the least likely type of firearm to be used in a crime.

    Monroe states that "there is no evidence that requiring background checks for all gun purchases will reduce gun violence." A universal background check system may make it more difficult for potential offenders to acquire firearms because they would no longer be able to purchase from gun owners that wish to remain law-abiding. "There is every reason to believe" Monroe says, "if background checks are required on the secondary market, motivated offenders will find a tertiary market ready and able to supply them with their wares."

    Unfortunately, despite the facts noted above, and despite the fact that states where such laws were passed are now admitting they are not working, Rep. Patmon has chosen to reintroduce his "universal" background check bill, this time as HB 78. 

    Want to give a gun to your great-grandson under Patmon's bill? Ask the government's permission.

    Want to sell a gun to your brother? Ask the government's permission.

    What to invite a friend over to show her how a gun operates because she is considering buying one herself? Ask the government's permission.

    Want to sell a gun to a hunting buddy? Ask the government's permission.

    Want to loan a gun to a co-worker whose abusive ex-husband just found out where she works? Ask the government's permission.

    Want to clean a friend's slug gun in deer camp? Ask the government's permission.

    Want to teach a firearms safety class in a classroom space that is not located at a shooting range? Ask the government's permission.

    Want to purchase a gun in any way, shape or form? Prepare to have the transaction reported to the U.S. Attorney General.

    Want to purchase more than one handgun in a 5 day period? Prepare to have the transaction reported to the U.S. Attorney General.

    Want to pass something that will truly have an impact on preventing multiple victim public shootings and other crimes committed with firearms? Then don't have anything to do with Rep. Patmon's nonsense.

    Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.

  • Rep. Patmon's HB 79: Retread legislation aimed at the wrong target
    by Larry S. Moore

    Last year WKYC (NBC Cleveland) reporter Tom Meyer issued a very shoddy piece of investigative reporting. His headline blasted that felons are getting hunting licenses that allow them to use guns. The story was long on hype and even longer on misinformation. The most significant piece of bad information was the false assumption that purchasing a hunting license gives someone permission to use a gun. WRONG! A hunting license only gives someone the ability to legally hunt or trap in Ohio.

    Rather than investigating the facts, Rep. Bill Patmon (D) of Cleveland, who seems addicted to getting his name in the press with any legislation targeting firearm owners, jumped on the bandwagon. He quickly introduced legislation that sought to require the ODNR Division of Wildlife to ask a question and, if answered in the affirmative, require the hunting license to indicate it is firearms restricted. That legislation went no place in the last General Assembly. It's a new General Assembly this year, but Rep. Patmon, who clearly doesn't understand the issue, has simply re-introduced the same legislation, now known as HB 79. I suppose that plays well to the gun control advocates of his party, and back home with the power brokers of Cleveland. It is quite a bit more tiresome for gun owners who are at the other end of Patmon's legislative shotgun.

    Last year's story reported that nearly 1,200 felons are getting hunting licenses. I have no idea where they got the number, or even if it is accurate. For the sake of argument, I'll use their number. While 1,200 may seem large, it pales when compared to the number of deer hunters (the ODNR Division of Wildlife estimates there are approximately 420,000 deer hunters!) So, doing the math, that means felons comprise .00285 of the deer hunters. Not quite so alarming now.

    Let's get something straight - the purchase of a hunting license DOES NOT give anyone a license to use a gun. I have confirmed this with the ODNR Division of Wildlife law section. Apparently the WKYC "investigative reporter" and Rep. Patmon never thought about contacting the ODNR for information.

    There are any number of reasons, having nothing to do with firearms, that a felon might purchasing a hunting license. These include:

    • A hunting license is required to trap in Ohio.
    • A hunting license is required to hunt deer. Many deer hunters only hunt with archery equipment.

    This is but another piece of liberal legislation that sounds good in the liberal media and plays well to the ignorant. Some common sense analysis may reach a different conclusion:

    • The felon under firearms disability knows they are not allowed to own a firearm. Do they need a question on a computer screen or a piece of paper to remind them?
    • Even with a license in their pocket that says firearms restricted, will that stop them from breaking the law and hunting with a gun? If you really believe that is the case, just stop reading now because I'm not able to reason with you. The odds of a hunter getting stopped and checked by an Ohio Wildlife Officer are pretty slim. There are only 88 Ohio Wildlife Officers and 420,000 deer hunters. Even with supervisors and other staff working during the deer gun season, not many hunters will encounter an officer. So the odds are the felon who chooses to hunt with a gun will not get caught.
    • But what if he does get caught? Will the hunting license that says firearms restricted help? Maybe. It depends on the circumstances and whether the Wildlife Officer has any probable cause to verify the hunter through a system check. If they do, the person will show up as a felon - regardless of what the hunting license indicates. Since Rep. Patmon's bill carries no penalty it appears to be no harm/no foul for not having the proper hunting license.

    Here's the real kicker in the process. The felon, who isn't allowed to own a firearm but is hunting with one, had to get the gun someplace. Illegally! Someone knows that the felon is out there with a gun. Someone is aiding the felon in breaking the law. Is it really worth the risk to a felon to kill a deer with gun? Perhaps since poachers take that risk also. All the "someone who knows" has to do is call the TIP poacher hotline (1-800-POACHER) to anonymously report the illegal activity. They can help the ODNR bust the illegal hunter. Someone has to step up to stop felons under firearms disability from obtaining guns.

    Finally, there is no mention of who will pay to alter the Division of Wildlife customer service computer system software. Currently Rep. Patmon's legislation doesn't include funding from the General Assembly, or the general revenue fund, for the cost of these modifications. As a retired computer systems engineer from a major defense contractor, I understand that the specifications, design, review, coding, testing and implementation of software is costly. Even if there is only one question and one line of print involved. And I've not yet taken into consideration the overhead of state contracting. Who is going to pay for the system modifications? The same people that always pay the bills the law abiding. In this case, since the Division of Wildlife is largely supported by hunters/trappers/fishermen, it is the law abiding sportsman that will pay the bill.

    How will this work? Is the felon going to honestly answer the question "Are you under firearms disability?" in the process? Apparently Rep. Patmon thinks the felon will answer truthfully. Really? Rep. Patmon apparently thinks that the felon who will illegally get a gun to hunt will suddenly be honest when completing a form to make an online purchase. That's a mind boggling concept to me. This is not about felons with a hunting license but about felons with guns - something that is already illegal.

    Outdoor writer and hunter education instructor Larry S. Moore is a long-time volunteer leader for Buckeye Firearms Foundation and winner of the 2005 USSA Patriot Award, the 2007 League of Ohio Sportsmen/Ohio Wildlife Federation Hunter Educator of the Year, the 2010 National Wild Turkey Federation/ Women in the Outdoors Hunter Education Instructor of the Year and the 2014 Ohio NWTF Outdoor Writer of the Year.

  • Rep. Patmon's HB 75 (Mandatory "Safe" Storage of Firearms) is based on several anti-gun myths
    by Chad D. Baus

    Editor's Note: The following article was originally published in response to the introduction of Rep. Bill Patmon's HB 563 in the 129th General Assembly. That bill was never considered, and it died at the end of the session in 2012. Patmon reintroduced the bill as HB 31 in the 130th General Assembly. It again failed to be given serious consideration, and died at the end of 2014. Patmon has reintroduced the bill a third time, this time as HB 75.

    Rep. Bill Patmon (D-10) has introduced HB 563 HB31 HB 75, gun control legislation that would "prohibit any person from storing or leaving a firearm in the person's residence unless the firearm is secured in safe storage or rendered inoperable by a tamper-resistant lock or other safety device if the person knows or reasonably should know that a minor is able to gain access to the firearm and to provide criminal penalties if a minor gains unauthorized access to a firearm not so stored or rendered inoperable."

    Unfortunately, this bill is based on a number of myths, and would be impotent at solving the problems it seeks to address.

    From the publication Gun Facts:

    Myth: "Safe storage" laws protect people

    Fact: 15 states that passed "safe storage" laws saw 300 more murders, 3,860 more rapes, 24,650 more robberies, and over 25,000 more aggravated assaults in the first five years. On average, the annual costs borne by victims averaged over $2.6 billion as a result of lost productivity, out-of-pocket expenses, medical bills, and property losses. "The problem is, you see no decrease in either juvenile accidental gun deaths or suicides when such laws are enacted, but you do see an increase in crime rates." 271
    Fact: Only five American children under the age of 10 died of accidents involving handguns in 1997.272 Thus, the need for "safe storage" laws appears to be low.
    Fact: In Merced California, an intruder stabbed three children to death with a pitchfork. The oldest child had been trained by her father in firearms use, but could not save her siblings from the attacker because the gun was locked away to comply with the state's "safe storage" law.273

    Myth: Trigger locks will keep children from accidentally shooting themselves

    Fact: 31 of 32 models of gun locks tested by the government’s Consumer Product Safety Commission could be opened without the key. According to their spokesperson, "We found you could open locks with paper clips, a pair of scissors or tweezers, or you could whack them on the table and they would open."347
    Fact: 85% of all communities in America recorded no juvenile homicides in 1995, and 93.4% of communities recorded one or no juvenile arrests (not convictions) for murder.348
    Fact: In 1996, even though there were around 80 million people who owned a firearm, there were only 44 accidental gun deaths for children under age 10, or about 0.0001%.349
    Fact: California has a trigger lock law and saw a 12% increase in fatal firearm accidents in 1994. Texas doesn't have one and experienced a 28% decrease in the same year.350 Also: trigger-locks render a firearm inaccessible for timely self-defense.
    Fact: Children as young as seven (7) years old have demonstrated that they can pick or break a trigger lock; or that they can operate a gun with a trigger lock in place.351 Over half of non-criminal firearm deaths for children over age seven are suicides, so trigger locks are unlikely to reduce these deaths.
    Fact: If criminals are deterred from attacking victims because of the fear that people might be able to defend themselves, gunlocks may in turn reduce the danger to criminals committing crime, and thus increase crime. This problem is exacerbated because many mechanical locks (such as barrel or trigger locks) also require that the gun be stored unloaded.

    Myth: More children are hurt with guns than by any other means

    Fact: Barely more than 1% of all unintentional injury deaths for children in the U.S. between ages 0-14 are from firearms.362
    Fact: The Center for Disease Control, a federal agency, agrees. According to them, in 1998, children 0-14 years died from the following causes in the U.S. 363

    Myth: If it saves the life of one child, it is worth it

    Fact: Firearms in private hands are used an estimated 2.5 million times (or 6,849 times each day) each year to prevent crime;372 this includes rapes, aggravated assaults, and kidnapping. The number of innocent children protected by firearm owning parents far outweighs the number of children harmed.

    If Rep. Patmon truly wishes to make a difference in the lives of children, he should start by supporting efforts to educate children on what to do if they find a gun.

    "STOP! Don't Touch! Leave the area! Tell an adult!"

    These simple commands have been taught to over 24 25 26 million children via the the Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program. When children are taught what to do if they find a gun, accidents like these are much less likely to happen.

    While I believe this important material should be mandated to be taught in every classroom in Ohio, the ultimate responsibility for teaching children what to do if they find a gun rest with parents. Parents must teach this to their children whether or not they keep a firearm in their home, for the simple fact that the child will not always be in the home. As this latest example shows once again, the potential exists for children to come into unauthorized, unsupervised contact with a firearm, and only proactive education by their parents can prevent a negative outcome when they do.

    Teaching children what to do if they find a gun is no different than teaching a child that ovens should always be considered hot, that matches and lighters are not to be played with, or that they should not talk to strangers. Most of us do not make a habit of keeping strangers in our homes, yet no one would debate the importance of educating our children about potential predators.

    Believe it or not, there is actually a group of people involved in fighting against efforts to educate children on this important information: gun ban extremists.

    In 2001, a group of nurses evaluated more than 80 gun accident prevention programs designed to help kids learn what to do if they find a gun, and published the results of their study in the Journal of Emergency Nursing Online. The study named The Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program as one of the very best. Additionally, Eddie Eagle has been endorsed by the National Safety Council, the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Sheriff's Association. Yet because this program was devised by people involved with the National Rifle Association (NRA), gun ban extremists do everything they can to make certain that children are not taught the important lessons this curriculum contains.

    The Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program has no agenda other than accident prevention - ensuring that children stay safe should they encounter a gun. Despite the fact that the program prohibits the use of Eddie Eagle mascots anywhere that guns are present, gun ban extremists have taken to disparaging Eddie Eagle as "Joe Camel with feathers".

    Indeed, because of her hatred for the NRA, Toledo's Toby Hoover, who often appears to be a one-woman show at the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, either lied or betrayed her ignorance about gun safety (a topic about which journalists insist on presenting her as an expert) about the proven effectiveness of this program to The Columbus Dispatch in 2007, saying "There isn't a program out there that has proven effective."

    "There isn't a program out there that has proven effective." The nurses behind the Journal of Emergency Nursing Online study heartily disagree.

    Unfortunately, the myth created by the gun ban crowd, who claim to be proponents of safety ("if it saves the life of just one child..."), has taken root in many places.

    In 2003, when the Ohio legislature had the good wisdom to set aside funds for elementary schools to purchase curriculum materials for The Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program, the extremists were deeply critical:

    "Just like the alcohol and tobacco industries have worked to find ways to reach out to underage consumers, Eddie Eagle is one component of the NRA's efforts to reach out to underage gun consumers," [Violence Policy Center Executive Director Josh] Sugarmann said.

    Evidence that the lies told by gun ban extremists' had taken root was revealed when the funds the General Assembly set aside for schools were pulled after one budget cycle - too few schools took advantage of it.

    It is because of comments like Hoover's and Sugarmann's that I place a large share of the blame for accidents on gun ban extremists, who are putting their desire to weaken a political enemy ahead of children's lives.

    It is important to note that while voluntarily choosing to lock firearms should certainly be among the safe storage options parents consider, efforts by the state to mandate such a practice are dangerous and ineffective. According to analysis by Dr. John R. Lott Jr. and as published in his book The Bias Against Guns:

    Safe storage laws have no impact on accidental gun deaths...

    The impact of safe storage laws is consistent with existing research indicating that the guns most likely to be used in accidental shootings are owned by the least law-abiding citizens and thus are the guns least likely to be locked up after passage of the law. The safe storage laws thus increase crime, yet fail to produce any significant change in accidental deaths or suicides.

    The answer truly is education, and if Rep. Patmon is truly concerned about helping prevent accidents, he would drop gun control measures like HB 563  HB31 HB 75, and instead work to ensure that Ohio schools be required to teach all children what to do if they see a gun.

    Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website, and the proud father of two Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program graduates.

    Related Articles:
    Armed Ohio teenager stops home invader; Democrat bill would have rendered him defenseless

    Another accidental firearm fatality prompts question yet again: Who is to blame when children have accidents with guns?

  • Ohio Deer Hunting: Past success, but future is questionable
    by Larry S. Moore

    The 2014 Ohio deer hunting season is in the bag with 175,745 deer harvested. This compares to 191,455 total harvest for the 2013 season. The 2014 harvest was down overall 8.21%. The numbers are pretty much in line with the predictions of the ODNR Division of Wildlife. Their mission has been to reduce the overall size of Ohio's deer herd. No doubt that effort has been successful as reflected in the numbers but also with the reports hunters are seeing many fewer deer.

    While this may be in line with the management goals, hunters are increasingly unhappy. That point was driven home during the recent deer summit meetings across the state. Approximately 30 individuals attended the District 5 southwest Ohio summit with a statewide number of 160. Given over 175,000 successful deer hunters and approximately 400,000 total deer hunters in the state those attending were a pitifully small number. Hunters need to speak out and have their voices heard. Apathy may be the biggest threat facing the Ohio deer herd.

    Many hunters wonder how many deer an average hunter harvests in a year or how they compare to other hunters. It is a minority of hunters who actually consistently harvest deer each year. Approximately one third of Ohio’s deer hunters kill a deer in any year. During the 2011-2012 season with liberal bag limits, 157,726 people successfully killed one deer. Of the successful hunters, almost 73%, took just one deer. About 19% killed two deer, followed by 5.4% killing three, 1.8% taking four, 0.57% taking five, and a mere 0.29% harvesting six or more deer. It seems that liberal bags limits, certainly anything above a three deer limit, may not have much management impact.

    The ODNR Division of Wildlife is proposing a reduction in bag limits and antlerless permit use, as well as a shift in the youth season during the 2015-2016 hunting seasons. The proposals are as follows: reduced bag limits in the majority of counties; eliminate the early antlerless-only permits in all but 10 urban counties; reduce the total statewide bag limit from nine to six deer; eliminate the antlerless-only early muzzleloader weekend and move the special youth gun season to this weekend; and add two days of deer-gun hunting or a "Holiday Season" on Dec. 26-27, 2015.

    The proposals are not without some concerns.

    The "Holiday Season" presents something of a dilemma. Students are out of school and many plants are on shutdown, so this provides an additional opportunity for deer hunting. However, I am not convinced the deer herd can stand the additional hunting pressure. The dates come a mere five days before the statewide muzzleloading season of Jan 2 through 5, 2016. When deer are pressured they can go into hiding, become predominately nocturnal and certainly be very skittish to hunt. While the dates present an opportunity that may not be as good as it looks on paper. If the deer herd is to be rebuilt additional hunting pressure is not the answer.

    The deer regulations have been trending toward reduced bag limits and restricted use of antlerless permits in recent years. The intent of the Division proposals reducing the bag limits, removing the antlerless-only permits and adjusting hunting seasons is to take the pressure off the doe deer. The goal is to stabilize deer populations. Hunters are not be happy with a stabilized deer population as many are suggesting the Division needs to allow the herd to rebound significantly.

    There are other signs of problems with the Ohio deer herd. Coyote predation, especially on the fawns, is a problem. The Division has historically downplayed the coyote predation issue but some recent studies suggest it may be in the 25 to 50% range. If those studies are accurate, that is a huge number. Additionally, sampling of the buck harvest indicates some small reduction in antler size and mass. This may be an indication that there was some overpopulation and competition for available food. It may also be that that bucks with inferior genes are in the breeding pool. The buck breeding population is nearly impossible to control on a statewide basis. Certain areas may make an impact through aggressive management and controlled culling. If these trends continue Ohio could experience a decline in the number of hunters and lose out-of-state hunters who come to pursue the trophy white-tailed deer.

    The Division will revised the deer population goals this summer through a random survey of hunters and farmers. This is long overdue piece of management data as the last survey is almost fifteen years old. Participants in the survey will have the opportunity to provide input about the future of deer management in Ohio. It is important that those selected respond to the survey. Apathy will kill the effort and dim the future of Ohio's deer herd.

    Finally, the annual open house for public comments regarding hunting, trapping and fishing regulations will be held on Saturday, March 7 from 12:00 pm - 3:00. Open Houses are open and public participation is encouraged. Anyone interested in providing input and participating in Ohio’s professional wildlife management process is welcome. Fish and wildlife biologists along with law enforcement officers will be on hand to answer questions and receive comments.

    Open houses will be held at five locations throughout the state:

    Central Ohio: Wildlife District One Office
    1500 Dublin Road, Columbus

    Northwest Ohio: Wildlife District Two Office
    952 Lima Ave, Findlay

    Northeast Ohio: Wildlife District Three Office
    912 Portage Lakes Drive, Akron

    Southeast Ohio: Wildlife District Four Office
    360 E State St., Athens

    Southwest Ohio: Greene County Fish and Game Association Clubhouse
    1538 Union Road, Xenia

    Ohioans, who are unable to attend an open house, may enter online comments until March 8 at the ODNR website: http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/stay-informed/proposed-rule-changes-csi-review.

    Outdoor writer and hunter education instructor Larry S. Moore is a long-time volunteer leader for Buckeye Firearms Foundation and winner of the 2005 USSA Patriot Award, the 2007 League of Ohio Sportsmen/Ohio Wildlife Federation Hunter Educator of the Year, the 2010 National Wild Turkey Federation/ Women in the Outdoors Hunter Education Instructor of the Year and the 2014 Ohio NWTF Outdoor Writer of the Year.

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