Nebraska: Pro-Gun Candidate Defeats Bloomberg Mayor in Omaha
The NRA Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) congratulates City Councilman Jean Stothert for winning the highly contested Omaha mayoral race on Tuesday.
This election represents a great victory for the Second Amendment. NRA-PVF endorsed Jean Stothert defeated incumbent Mayor Jim Suttle, earning 57% of the popular vote compared to Suttle’s 42%.
As a proud member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG), Suttle has been leading the charge to violate your Right to Keep and Bear Arms. MAIG is founded and funded by billionaire anti-gun New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In addition, Suttle ran reelection campaign ads calling for restrictions on your gun rights. By contrast, Jean Stothert has pledged to defend and protect your firearms freedom in Omaha. We are proud that a strong supporter of the Second Amendment will officially become Omaha's 51st mayor on June 10.
Thank you to all NRA members and Second Amendment supporters who went to the polls on Tuesday to vote for a candidate who will stand up for the rights of responsible gun owners and sportsmen in Omaha. The defeat of anti-gun incumbent Mayor Suttle could not have been possible without your efforts.
Indiana: Governor Pence Signs Pro-Hunting and School Security Bills into Law
Last month, the Indiana General Assembly adjourned after passing two bills of importance to gun owners and sportsmen. The following bills were recently signed into law by Governor Mike Pence (R):
- Senate Bill 1, now Public Law 172, specifies how a School Resource Officer (SRO) program may be established in schools and sets forth their duties and responsibilities. This law has already taken effect and provides schools an effective asset in protecting our children and increasing school security.
- House Bill 1563, now Public Law 289, repeals Indiana’s current prohibition on the use of a suppressor while hunting and also strengthens Indiana’s shooting range protection law. Effective on July 1, this law now provides hunters in Indiana the same opportunities available to sportsmen in more than half of the country. For more information on hunting with suppressors, please clickhere.
Unfortunately, a critical pro-gun reform, House Bill 1473, was not taken up by the state legislature this session. Sponsored by state Representative Jim Lucas (R-69), HB 1473 would have allowed a person who legally possesses a firearm to keep that firearm stored in a locked trunk of their vehicle, a glove box or stored out of plain sight in the vehicle while on school property. This would allow parents to park on school property for a meeting with a teacher or principal to do so without the fear of breaking the law. The NRA is committed to passing this measure next legislative session.
The NRA thanks state lawmakers who voted for these important reforms, the bill sponsors for fostering their passage, Governor Pence for signing the bills into law and all NRA members who contacted their legislators in support of these bills.
Guns on campus bill heads to full Texas Senate
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A bill to allow concealed handgun license holders to carry their weapons into Texas college buildings and classrooms got a significant boost in the state Senate on Tuesday, but it remains unclear if it has enough momentum to become law.
Even if it does, the bill has been scaled back to the point that even key supporters question whether most campuses will move to keep guns out.
The issue has failed in previous sessions and appeared destined for a similar fate until just a few weeks ago. But the House passed a version that lifts the statewide ban on guns at school while still allowing individual campuses to ban weapons. A Senate panel endorsed the same bill on Tuesday sending it to the full Senate for consideration.
The change to give schools more control over their campuses was designed to soften opposition from higher education officials, notably the University of Texas System, and law enforcement agencies that worry allowing guns will lead to more campus violence and suicide.
Supporters of the bill say the compromise measure, while not what they wanted, is one they can live with and hope the bill will break through the Senate before the session ends May 27.
"I will take what I can get," said Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels. "Swing for the fences, but be happy with first base."
The House voted to approve the bill on May 6, prompting Sen. John Whitmire, chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, to schedule Tuesday's public hearing just a couple of weeks after he declared the issue dead this session. The committee passed the bill on to the entire Senate with a 4-2 vote.
The bill's fate in the full chamber remains unknown and supporters were cautious about predicting it will pass.
Republicans hold a 19-12 majority and approved a broader version of the bill in 2011. But Senate rules still require at least 21 members to vote to bring a bill up for debate. Sen. Kirk Watson of Austin, leader of the Senate Democratic Caucus, said the bill may not have the support to pass the Senate.
Texas has more than 500,000 concealed handgun license holders who must be 21 years old and pass a training course. They can carry their weapons in most public places, including the state Capitol, but state law also carves out several "no gun" zones, including campuses of higher education.
Several instances of shootings at college campuses, such as the one at Virginia Tech in 2007, prompted a wave of efforts in Texas and nationwide to allow guns. Supporters, including the Texas Rifle Association, call it a gun rights issue and say they should be allowed to defend themselves and others in case of a campus shooter. They also note Texas Department of Public Safety statistics that show concealed handgun license holders in 2011 had a drastically lower rate of committing crimes than the general population.
In March, University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa wrote a letter to Gov. Rick Perry saying students, parents and faculty worry letting guns into classrooms will make campus less safe. Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, chief author of the bill in the Senate, said it's likely many campuses will continue to ban weapons.
The bill would require public universities to renew their gun policies every year after taking input from faculty, staff and students. Private universities would be allowed to opt in to allowing weapons on campus.
By: Jim Vertuno, Associated Press