Winning: More Lithuanians Are Purchasing Guns for Self-Defense

You might be thinking, Why should I care about people in Eastern Europe buying more guns for self-defense? Let me tell you why: These people, with whom I share a similar heritage, realize that gun control will lead their country into disarray and tyranny that once befell the nation during Soviet times.

Here’s more about the trend from Lithuanian Tribune:

Audrius Čiupaila, the head of the licensing division of the Public Police Board under the Police Department, said the number of weapons bought between March and October went up by 7 percent year-on-year.

In his words, the gun arsenal owned by Lithuanian citizens increases by 3,000-4,000 various weapons every year.

People in the country currently own over 100,000 various pistols, revolvers and different shotguns. Some of them are highly spectacular guns that can be used for more than just self-defence, sports or hunting, but also for a guerrilla war.

Compared to the United States, most of Europe has strict laws against gun ownership or boasts laws that prohibit concealed carry. Lithuanian gun laws are quite restrictive as they’re regulated by the Ministry of National Defence, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economy, the Police Department under the Ministry of the Interior, the Customs Department under the Ministry of Finance, and the Weaponry Fund of the Republic of Lithuania, and the European Commission. (Yikes!) However, Lithuanians may privately own semi-automatic firearms and handguns with a permit.

Compared to the U.S., Lithuanians must present a reason to purchase a gun as ordained by the Holder’s Right to Acquire and Possess Weapons and Ammunition Law of 2002. Its provisions are outlined below:

1. Permanent residents of the Republic of Lithuania and legal persons registered in the Republic of Lithuania may acquire and keep weapons, ammunition for the following purposes:
1) hunting;
2) sports;
3) self-defence;
4) professional activities;
5) collection;
6) training;
7) scientific research;
8) other purposes, if they are in conformity with laws and international agreements and treaties.

2. Permanent residents of the Republic of Lithuania and legal persons registered in the Republic of Lithuania shall have the right to acquire ammunition for weapons which they are entitled to possess.

Unlike the U.S., Lithuania doesn’t permit open carry or conceal carry in public. Their age requirements are different, as well. Under ‘Requirements for Permanent Residents of the Republic of Lithuania, Legal Persons Registered in the Republic of Lithuania in Order to Acquire and Possess Arms and Ammunition of Certain Categories or Types’, these requirements must be met in order for citizens to acquire a handgun or semi-automatic firearm:

2. Long firearms with rifled barrels classified in Categories B and C, and cartridges for them may be acquired and possessed by permanent residents of the Republic of Lithuania who are at least 21 years of age, have a valid hunter’s licence and at least 3 years of hunting experience, as well as by legal persons, having a licence to hire weapons, upon having obtained a permit.

3. Long firearms with smooth-bore barrels, pneumatic weapons, archery weapons classified in Categories B and C, their ammunition may be acquired and possessed by permanent residents of the Republic of Lithuania who are at least 18 years of age, have a valid hunter’s licence, as well as by legal persons, having a licence to hire weapons, upon having obtained a permit.

4. Weapons classified in Categories B and C, and their ammunition may be acquired and possessed by permanent residents of the Republic of Lithuania who are at least 16 years of age – members of shooting sports organisations, as well as by legal persons, upon having obtained a permit.

5. Short firearms classified in Categories B and C for self-defence, cartridges for them may be acquired and possessed by permanent residents of the Republic of Lithuania who are at least 23 years of age, upon having passed an examination and obtained a permit.

6. Long firearms with smooth-bore barrels classified in Categories B and C, cartridges for them for self-defence may be acquired and possessed by permanent residents of the Republic of Lithuania who are at least 18 years of age, upon having passed an examination and obtained a permit.

7. Weapons classified in Categories B and C, their cartridges for the purpose of professional activities may be acquired and possessed by natural persons and legal persons registered in the Republic of Lithuania, upon having obtained a permit. The said weapons may be carried by permanent residents of the Republic of Lithuania who are at least 21 years of age – employees of legal persons registered in the Republic of Lithuania, upon having passed an examination and obtained a permit. Automatic firearms, ammunition for them may, upon having obtained a permit, be acquired and possessed by the Bank of Lithuania; the said weapons may, in the course of official duties, be carried by employees of the Bank of Lithuania – permanent residents of the Republic of Lithuania who are at least 21 years of age, upon having passed an examination and obtained a permit.

Though gun laws in my ancestral homeland are quite restrictive compared to American gun laws, particularly that of my adopted home state Virginia, it’s encouraging to see more Lithuanians keep and bear arms. The Soviet tried to put a muzzle on Lithuanians with gun control before. Let’s hope Lithuanians and others in Eastern Europe take matters into their own hands to prevent tyranny from rearing its ugly head again in the region.

 

Catch Me in Las Vegas for #SHOTShow2015

shotshow ig

Credit: Instagram – @shotshow

I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be attending my very first SHOTShow® in Las Vegas, NV from January 20-23, 2015! I’ll be there on behalf of Counter Cultured to cover guns. (Thank you, Michelle S., for the recommendation and encouragement to apply!)

What’s SHOTShow®? Here’s more from the event page:

SHOT Show® is the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade ShowSM and Conference for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting accessories industry.

In addition, the show offers a uniquely diverse Law Enforcement and Armed Forces section for agency and department purchasing agents.

The largest trade show of its kind in the world and the fifth largest trade show in Las Vegas, the SHOT Show features more than 1,600 exhibitors filling booth space covering 630,000 net square feet. The show, which is a trade-only event, attracts more than 65,000 industry professionals from all 50 states and 100 countries.

Attendance at the SHOT Show is RESTRICTED to the shooting, hunting and outdoor trade; and commercial buyers and sellers of military, law enforcement, and tactical products and services ONLY. The show is not open to the public and NO one under age 16 shall be admitted (including infants).

Admission to the show requires government-issued photo identification plus documentation demonstrating direct, professional affiliation to the trade. Show exhibitors and media are subject to different credentialing requirements.

I haven’t been back to the West since I moved away from Southern California permanently in September 2012, so I’m excited to venture out there again. (Don’t worry–Sin City won’t get the best of me. Vegas has more to offer than crazy partying!) Excited to see cool guns, network with others, and go hotel hopping once again. (Bellagio fountain show, to-die for Paris Hotel crepes, Venetian shoppes? Count me in!)

I’ll be chronicling the event here and at Counter Cultured. Stay tuned!

Who else plans to attend? Hope to see you there!

Gun Control is Not the Solution After Navy Yard Shooting

Today marks the one year anniversary of the tragic Washington Navy Yard shooting. This event left our metro area down and distressed. The unspeakable horror surrounding this event brought so much pain to those personally afflicted by it. Anyone who commits a senseless act like a killing rampage should be condemned and properly brought to justice.

How did this president commemorate this day? By calling for more expanded background checks, a revival of the “assault weapons” ban, and more restrictions on magazines. Same old, same old.

One, universal background checks NEVER work. In order to purchase a gun in your respective state, you have to undergo a background check. There are already laws in the books. Stop creating more government oversight on our Second Amendment rights. The Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis got government clearance, had a history of weird behavior, and could have been stopped. This administration did NOTHING to stop him. No redundant background check would have prevented him from committing his awful actions.

Two, “assault weapons” don’t exist. Banning guns like the AR-15 because you find them scary when all they have are certain unique features is unnecessary and foolish. Hell, even the New York Times recently published an article admitting that “assault weapons” are in themselves a myth. Semi-automatic firearms are NOT the same as fully-automatic firearms. Drop this imaginary crusade once and for all.

Third, restricting magazine capacity puts one in more danger than you think. If you’re met with a moment where your life is on the line and you don’t have enough bullets to defend yourself as a last resort-key word is last resort-you are making yourself more vulnerable to attack or worse–death. 10-round or 15-round magazines offer extra cushion for range time and, inevitably, for self-defense.

Gun control measures never reduce or eliminate the threat of violence. Instead, they bolster and enable tyranny. What’s the solution? Gun-free zones should be eliminated so tragedies like the Navy Yard Shooting never happen again.

NRA News Appearance: Richmond Times-Dispatch Article on DC Gun Ban Repeal

I appeared on NRA News’ Cam and Company Show with my friend Cameron Edwards this past Monday. Here’s the link to the segment.

Virginia Shooting Sports Association’s blog wrote about my appearance below:

Over the weekend, Leadership Institute Northeast Regional Field Coordinator Gabby Hoffman had an Op/Ed in the Richmond Times Dispatch making the case for repealing the ban on carrying handguns in Washington D.C.  In the opinion piece, Hoffman wrote about how Virginia’s concealed handgun law has made the Commonwealth a safer place, and how crime has dropped at the same time gun sales have increased exponentially in the last six years:

If D.C. adopts gun laws similar to those of Virginia, the nation’s capital will witness a reduction in crime when law-abiding residents are permitted to conceal-carry.

Hoffman spoke with NRANewsCam Edwards on Monday and talked in more detail about how D.C.’s residents would benefit if the City Council adopted a carry ordinance similar to Virginia.

 

 

RTD Column: DC Area Residents Should Applaud Ruling Overturning Handgun Ban

An article of mine appeared in Richmond Times-Dispatch yesterday. Below is an excerpt:

 

The “murder capital of the U.S.” may not be for much longer.

 

On July 26, a federal judge overturned a ban on carrying concealed handguns in the nation’s capital. Judge Frederick Scullin of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York issued the decision in Palmer v. D.C. that read, “the Court finds that the District of Columbia’s complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public is unconstitutional.”

Two days after the ban was overturned, the same judge issued a 90-day stay on Palmer v. D.C. This gives authorities 90 days — until Oct. 22 — to rewrite the law to accommodate concealed carry or appeal the decision. It allows the city council time to clarify statutes as a result of the decision and set permit-issuing protocols for law-abiding citizens. Despite reluctance to embrace the ruling, local politicians expect the city’s strict gun laws to be eased.

Although some aspects of the ban would remain in effect — including the city’s 10-round magazine limit and ban on so-called “assault weapons” — D.C. area residents should applaud this landmark decision, despite the 90-day stay, in favor of Second Amendment rights.

 

Continue reading at Richmond-Times Dispatch.

Update: Mentioned in a Virginia Shooting Sports Association blog post.

Winning: Concealed Carry Ban in D.C. Has Been Ruled Unconstitutional

Fellow residents of the DMV (DC-Maryland-Virginia metro area) have something to celebrate: a ban on concealed carry has been ruled unconstitutional in D.C.!  The plaintiffs’ lead attorney, Alan Gura, first reported this and provided  the opinion from the U.S. District Court of Appeals on Palmer v. D.C.:

In light of Heller, McDonald, and their progeny, there is no longer any basis on which this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia’s total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny. Therefore, the Court finds that the District of Columbia’s complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public is unconstitutional. Accordingly, the Court grants Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and enjoins Defendants from enforcing the home limitations of D.C. Code § 7-2502.02(a)(4) and enforcing D.C. Code § 22-4504(a) unless and until such time as the District of Columbia adopts a licensing mechanism consistent with constitutional standards enabling people to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms.4 Furthermore, this injunction prohibits the District from completely banning the carrying of handguns in public for self-defense by otherwise qualified non-residents based solely on the fact that they are not residents of the District.

 Since I live near D.C., I’m absolutely thrilled to learn about this ruling. If you’ve ventured to certain parts of D.C.–namely Northeast or Southeast D.C.–you’ve read about, heard about, or witnessed violence in the nation’s capital. Many incidents in D.C. could have been prevented had this ban on concealed carry not been in effect. Many instances point to this.

For example, a D.C. resident named Dario Flammer was attacked by a group of guys near Logan Circle in June 2013. Following the incident, Flammer said he refused to become a victim again. NBC Washington reported:

Flammer says the attackers shouted homophobic slurs in Spanish.

Flammer plans to take steps to avoid becoming a victim again.

“I’m going to get a license and get a 9mm,” he said. “That’s the truth.”

Last September, Washington Navy Yard was subjected to a horrible shooting  when unhinged military contractor Aaron Alexis killed 12 military personnel. A July 11th report on the Navy Yard shooting noted that a directive issued by President George H.W. Bush making military bases “gun-free zones” left those at Navy Yard defenseless:

“Police departments may hold the mistaken belief that the personnel working within gated military installations in the United States, such as the Navy Yard, are heavily armed and capable of defending against threats. The truth, however, is that the majority of the individuals working on military bases are not armed,” the report said.

Hope D.C. residents can enjoy the same luxury of gun rights as we do here in the Commonwealth:

I will have further commentary on this ruling later this week, so stay tuned!

Good News: More Females Are Purchasing Firearms

19-year-old huntress Kendall Jones posted this interesting graphic on the rise of female gun owners:

girls--guns--the-rise-of-women-carrying-concealed-weapons_502917c2111e4_w1500Source: http://www.nyasianoutcall.com/girls-guns-rise-women-carrying-concealed-weapons/

Here are some interesting stats based off of a 2011 Gallup poll on the rise of female gun ownership:

  • 73% of gun owners noticed a spike in female gun ownership
  • 43% of women reported household gun ownership
  • 41% of Republicans, 27% Independents, 23% of Democrats identified as gun owners
  • 16.4% of hunters are female

Even leftist rag Rolling Stone printed an article today detailing this very encouraging trend. Here’s an excerpt:

Over the last decade, the percentage of armed women in America has risen quietly: according to Gallup, the numbers went from 13% in 2005 to 23% in 2011. By last year, that rise wasn’t so quiet anymore. Women’s interest sites declared “The Rise Of The Female Gun Nut.” A Girl and a Gun-type shooting clubs, like Babes with Bullets and The Well Armed Woman, bloomed. And a staunchly, proudly masculine industry at least attempted to keep pace. Walk around a gun show these days, and you’re more likely than not to find at least one table piled wide with .223-caliber AR-15 assault rifles rendered in hot pink.

Strong, independent women don’t rely on the government for empowerment or security. We take it upon ourselves to prevent and deter harm unto ourselves by arming ourselves with facts and firearms. Complacency need not apply, unless you take your cues from the female establishment.

This news is very promising. Here’s to hoping more females take up self-defense and firearm safety!