82 Weapons Seized From Interstate Gun Trafficking Ring, Officials Say

CIVIC CENTER — Investigators busted six people on Friday and seized more than 80 weapons after breaking up an interstate gun trafficking ring that brought weapons from the south into the city up the I-95 “Iron Pipeline,” officials announced Monday.

Abdul Davis, 52, sold 82 guns — including assault weapons and handguns — to an undercover NYPD detective posing as a Manhattan-based dealer in Washington Heights after first purchasing them from four dealers in Georgia and Virginia, according to the NYPD and Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

“And then each time, like clockwork, he headed back up I-95 and arranged to make sales to the undercover,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said during a press conference at One Police Plaza.

“And that’s where you get the name ‘Iron Pipeline’ on I-95.”

Officials said Davis worked with his girlfriend Shelita Funderberk, 50, out of their home in New Jersey to purchase the weapons from southern dealers Trenton Pointer, 45, Daemon Jenkins, 49, Malik Rainey, 44, and Milton Tillery, 37.

Officials said they were first tipped off to Davis through informants, and the New Jersey man may have been selling weapons for up to 10 years.

The undercover detective first started meeting with Davis on March 16, 2015, in his car at West 166th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue, right next to New York Presbyterian Hospital, according to the Manhattan DA.

Davis sold the detective the guns — including 67 pistols, eight revolvers, five assault weapons and two shotguns — during 26 separate transactions, the most recent of which happened on April 19, Vance said.

The New Jersey man usually arranged the sales with the southern dealers through phone calls and text messages and wired money to their accounts before driving to their homes to pick up the weapons, officials said.

“The reason we can charge out-of-state defendants for criminal sale of weapons in New York was from evidence that they knew they were selling weapons to come up to New York State,” Vance said.

All six people were charged with conspiracy and criminal sale of a firearm.

Read More

Gun Storage Presents Problem For Vermont Law Enforcement

Sgt. Jason Covey sits at a conference table in the Middlebury Police Department offices. Displayed out in front of him are three guns. Each one has a little tag attached by a string, looped around the trigger like a price tag, with information about how the department acquired the gun.

“This we’ve had since 2005,” Covey explains, lifting a pistol from the table. “It was a firearm used in a violent crime in Middlebury.”

Putting the first gun down, he picks up another.

“This one we’ve had since 2000 and it’s a firearm that the serial number was purposely defaced and cannot be restored and that gun can legally never be released. So the only thing that can be done with it is stored forever or destroyed.”

These are a couple of guns the department would rather not have. But there are plenty of others that the department would like to be rid of too.

“Off the top of my head, 17 that could be destroyed today,” Covey says with a sigh.

These guns have to be stored appropriately, tagged, sometimes kept in climate controlled areas and preserved in the same shape as when the department acquired them. But they serve no evidentiary purpose.

“They take up a significant amount of space in an already packed evidence room that holds evidence and property from all our cases,” according to Covey. “That is a storage issue.”

Why can’t the department just destroy these guns? Covey says it’s complicated.

“I’m not aware of a specific rule that says we cannot,” he explains. “But the difficulties in doing so would be complying with all … Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms regulations, and having the appropriate means to completely destroy the weapon.”

Read More

Arizona: Pro-Gun Bills Scheduled for Hearings Tomorrow

“This week, the Arizona State Legislature has scheduled hearings for several important pro-gun bills. Bills scheduled for hearings include:

Senate Bill 1266, sponsored by state Senator Steve Smith (R-11), would improve the state firearms preemption law to ensure consistency throughout the Grand Canyon State. This would be done by providing a mechanism to declare unlawful regulations null and void in addition to providing penalties for knowing and willful violations by localities. SB 1266 is a much-needed protection that will help law-abiding gun owners ensure they are in compliance with the law. SB 1266 is scheduled for two hearings on Wednesday, February 3. The first hearing is at 9:00am in the Senate Public Safety, Military and Technology Committee and the second at 2:00pm in the Senate Government Committee.

Senate Bill 1257, sponsored by state Senator John Kavanagh (R-23), makes changes to existing law and expands the list of places where law-abiding gun owners can exercise their fundamental right to self-defense to include some additional public areas where certain security measures are not in place. SB 1257 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Government Committee at 2:00pm on February 3.

House Bill 2446, sponsored by state Representative David Livingston (R-22), makes necessary revisions to Arizona’s current definition of a “prohibited weapon” to exclude all firearms or devices that are legally possessed in compliance with the National Firearms Act (NFA). The technical correction made by HB 2446 changes the registration of NFA items from the Treasury Department to the appropriate Federal Agency in order to be compliant with current federal law. HB 2446 is scheduled for a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee at 9:00am on Wednesday, February 3.

House Bill 2494, sponsored by state Representative Steve Montenegro (R-13), would offer a tax credit for the costs incurred during the taxable year for training courses taken by the taxpayer, a spouse or a dependent, in order to apply and qualify for a permit to carry a concealed weapon in Arizona. HB 2494 was scheduled for a hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee​ yesterday, and is now being held in committee for further consideration.”

View Source

Bill would allow private schools to allow guns on campus

Private K-12 schools and higher education institutions in Tennessee would have the ability to create policy that would permit qualified people to carry handguns in all buildings and on all campuses owned and operated by the private school, according to a newly filed bill by Sen. Mike Bell, R-Riceville.

The legislation, which was filed on Monday, would require the chief administrative officers of private K-12 schools and higher education institutions to set a policy on carrying handguns on the property and buildings of each school and institution.

According to the legislation, qualified persons include anyone not prohibited from possessing a handgun and who also has a valid Tennessee handgun carry permit.

Although Bell’s legislation would not require a private school to allow all qualified people the ability to bring their guns into a building, it would mandate the school’s chief officer to create a policy.

The private institutions are given the ability to decide who is allowed to carry a weapon on the premises.

Bell told The Tennessean the bill is not a direct reaction to state Attorney General Herbert Slatery’s opinion that was issued last September in which the attorney general said people can’t bring guns to a church, religious entity or private school if the property is being used for a school event.

Read More

RIT Public Safety will deploy specially trained officers

Rochester Institute of Technology Public Safety will soon deploy specially trained officers with access to firearms in an effort to protect individuals on campus. The objective of the armed response is to contain an active violent threat until local law enforcement arrives at the scene.

The enhanced level of security will begin in 2016.

“Violence on college campuses across the United States has tragically become all too frequent in recent years,” said RIT President Bill Destler. “Sadly, there have been 23 shootings on college campuses in 2015 leading to too many violent and senseless deaths.”

The specially trained RIT officers will be on patrol around the clock on Public Safety shifts throughout the year and have access to firearms. The highly trained officers will be in a position to respond immediately in a crisis. Firearms will not be visible to the public during daily routine patrols.

The decision was made by RIT leaders after thorough research and evaluation of the benefits and inherent risks. According to FBI data, there were 120 students, faculty and staff who were victims of gun violence on college campuses between 2000 and 2013. Of all the active shooter incidents in the U.S. during that time period, about 24 percent occurred at educational institutions.

“These are sobering statistics and a recognition that gun violence has become more frequent on college campuses during the past decade,” said Destler.

The FBI data also points out that once an active shooter is confronted by an armed response, no other innocent people were killed.

A national search will be held to hire a new Assistant Director of Public Safety, who will oversee policy, procedure and training for an armed response.

“RIT Public Safety has valuable relationship with our campus community,” added Destler. “This new measure will further enhance all of our safety.”

View Source

Which police, security at NJ colleges are actually armed?

If you’ve got a son or daughter attending college, how confident are you that they’re safe on campus?

Some New Jersey universities have armed police forces, including Rutgers, NJIT, Rowan, Stockton, Saint Peter’s and Monmouth, while others, including Seton Hall, Rider, Drew, Thomas Edison State College, Jersey
City University, Fairleigh Dickinson and most community colleges do not.

Princeton University recently announced their campus police will soon have access to guns — in their patrol cars — but they won’t normally be carrying weapons around campus.

“It’s based actually on the kind of issues the police face, in the general case, enforcing the law on campuses doesn’t require being armed,” says Todd Clear, a criminal justice professor at Rutgers University.
Clear said sworn officers on college campuses go through the same training at certified academies as any other police officer in the Garden State.

“They get trained on the law but they get trained on the most recent ideas about police practices and they get assessed in terms of their physical abilities,” he said.

The professor also says sworn university police usually only have jurisdiction on their campuses, but in cities like Newark, NJIT and Rutgers police will also work in areas off-campus and they can make arrests.

He said in most situations, campus and municipal police work together.

“There’s always close cooperation and there’s often-times quite close involvement operationally,” Clear said.

He also said most schools, in addition to having a regular police force, also have community safety officers

Read More

3D imaging helps Ga. lab solve firearm crimes

The resulting images and information are uploaded to a database which connects national law-enforcement agencies

The Valdosta-Lowndes County Regional Crime Lab recently made a high-tech upgrade to its ballistic imaging system to increase the ability to discover links between firearms cases.

The new Integrated Ballistics Imaging System (IBIS) shoots high-definition photos and creates 3D digital images of firearm evidence taken from crime scenes.

The system compares the photos to others entered into regional and national databases to determine if evidence analyzed by the crime lab matches evidence gathered elsewhere, said crime lab criminalist Shannon Floyd.

The system is not designed to match evidence to a firearm, however.

Actually matching a gun to a bullet or shell casing still requires human analysis from criminologists like Floyd who conduct microscopic examinations of evidence.

“If a crime happened today, and the investigators think this was the gun, they are going to submit the gun, submit the bullets and say, ‘Is this the gun?’ We don’t even have to have this system to do that. We do a comparison and do a result on our own,” Floyd said. “(IBIS) is an additional tool to not only say that this was the gun but to also say we put it in the database, and now it has hit on something from two years ago that we didn’t even realize was related.”

The process begins when an agency submits a firearm and evidence to the crime lab for analysis. Criminologists at the lab test fire the gun, collect and analyze the evidence and use the IBIS for digital imaging.

For imaging a bullet casing, it is secured in a specially designed cradle which is placed inside the imaging system. An array of automated cameras photograph the evidence at multiple angles and take digital measurements.

The resulting images and information are uploaded to a database which connects law-enforcement agencies across the country.

Read More

UPS Employee Charged in Connection With Theft of Guns from UPS Facility

A UPS employee has been charged in connection with the theft of handguns from a UPS facility in Sparks.

At 8:47 a.m. on October 20, Baltimore County Police responded to the UPS facility in the 14400 block of York Road 21152 for a theft report. Officers learned that a security guard at the facility had been told about something suspicious involving an employee. That security guard stopped the employee and found that he had a handgun taped to each leg. Those guns had been taken from a package at the facility.

Detectives also discovered that the employee had been in possession of two handguns stolen from the same facility on June 9.

The employee has been identified as 27-year-old Eric Michael Bruneau of the 10000 block of Magledt Road 21234. He is has been charged with four counts of possession of a stolen regulated firearm and has been released on $25,000 bail.

This incident remains under investigation by the Baltimore County Police Gun Squad.

View Source

Weapon-free zones not allowed at Oregon’s community colleges

Oregon community college administrators are striving to tighten security after the mass shootings at one of the two-year schools. But they can’t arm their own guards or remove someone who appears on campus with a gun.

Umpqua Community College, the Roseburg school where nine people and the gunman died and nine more were wounded Oct. 1, posts only one security guard armed with pepper spray on its 100-acre campus.

That’s typical of community colleges with similar enrollments across the state, said Abby Lee, a public information officer at Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario, near Oregon’s border with Idaho.

Lee said Treasure Valley has a full-time security director and six part-time campus officers, none of whom carries a gun.

Administrators have directed officers to patrol buildings and become more visible since the shootings at Umpqua. But Lee said her school has received conflicting legal advice on its weapons-free policy, which bans firearms including guns carried by students, faculty members and employees who have concealed-weapons permits.

“There’s not a community college that isn’t reviewing its policies and procedures,” she said. “We’re still very much reeling. We’re all looking for answers, trying to find that one answer that would have prevented this.”

State law does not allow the two-year colleges to form police departments staffed with armed, state-certified law enforcement officers. Weapons-free zones declared by many school administrators are riddled with exceptions that immobilize officers confronted by gun-toting strangers.

Legislators in key positions to change the law to permit two-year colleges to shift from stationing security guards to deploying certified police officers carrying firearms show no intention of forcing the issue. Sen. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, who chairs the interim Judiciary Committee, said he plans to bring community college leaders together to hear their opinions and discuss whether their schools should gain that authority, which public four-year universities already have.

“We have legislative days set for November and January, and this is one of those issues that we definitely want to look at in great detail,” said Prozanski, who survived a recall campaign this year after the Legislature expanded background checks on gun sales. “But we will not want to rush this process.”

Sen. Jeff Kruse, R-Roseburg, also doesn’t want to hurry through changes, but may favor a minor budget increase to boost community-college security staffing. Legislators raised Oregon community-college funding in their last session, but money remains tight. The $550 million appropriated for 2015-2017 remains about $20 million short of pre-recession support when adjusted for inflation.

Read More

Oregon shooting brings Florida’s “Guns on Campus” debate to forefront

SARASOTA, Fla. — Thursday’s mass shooting in Oregon rekindled concern for campus safety and conversations about Florida’s “guns on campus” debate.

We asked students on the campus of New College of Florida if they would want the right to carry a gun. The ones we spoke to said they feel safe already, and worry that allowing guns on campus would jeopardize safety.

“I do not think it’s a good idea. that would make me feel very unsafe if more people had guns on campus,” said one New College student.

“I wouldn’t be comfortable with students on this campus or any college campus having firearms,” said another. “Because I think there’s a really strong risk of people operating them or just messing around with them while not sober. I think it’s a huge safety risk.”

State Representative Greg Steube (R-Bradenton) argues that it’s a student’s right to have a weapon on campus, and he says that Second Amendment right is crucial in preventing school shootings.

“America’s based on the freedom to be able to defend yourself, to defend others, and the inherent right to self defense; and for some reason, we have stripped that right as you enter a college campus,” said Steube.

Steube says the incident in Oregon only “adds an exclamation point” to his argument, but Curt Lavarello of the School Safety Advocacy Council says the bill would only perpetuate the problem.

“We know one thing,” said Lavarello, “we’re not going to reduce school gun violence by bringing more guns.”

He says it’s instead important to focus our efforts on things like access to mental health treatment, as well as catching any red flags early on. He also says allowing guns on campuses may make it difficult for law enforcement to quickly identify the good guy and bad guy in the situation.

“The dynamics of a school shooting are very difficult already,” said Lavarello. “I can’t imagine being a police officer and having to respond to a school where the report is ‘there’s one bad armed person and 20 good armed people’ and then having to make a split second decision.”

But Steube argues that’s a daily aspect of law enforcement’s job.

“They do it everywhere else,” he said. “In our state malls, shopping plazas, restaurants, so if they’re trained to a handle a situation there, why can’t they handle it on a college campus?”\

View Source