View Full Version : Brady Campaign sounding reasonable?

04-12-2007, 7:00 AM
In the below article two gun control organizations find one area were they think additional regulation of guns is not required. What is this world coming to?


By ADAM GORLICK, Associated Press WriterWed Apr 11, 12:29 PM ET

The 35-year-old woman handled her 9 mm Glock with ease. For three straight days, she honed her aim and hit bull's-eye after bull's-eye from the firing line at the Boston Gun Range.

Then she put the gun to her head and killed herself.

Like countless others who have rented guns at ranges across the country, she did not have a firearm license. And as a convicted felon with a restraining order against her, she wouldn't have been able to get one.

Even in a state known for some of the nation's toughest gun control laws, unlicensed shooters in Massachusetts have to do little more than swear they are not criminals, drunk or mentally unstable to fire their choice of pistols or rifles.

While federal law requires background checks on anyone who wants to buy a gun, no such review is necessary for someone who wants to rent one at a shooting range.

"The rules are all up to the states," said Jim McNally, a spokesman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. "There is no federal regulation of ranges."

Many ranges have gun renters sign forms attesting to their clean backgrounds, but liars rarely face consequences. The ATF and local police chiefs may occasionally review the paperwork, but they are not required to. Some ranges shred the forms after a few days; others keep them for years.

A spokesman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said tighter shooting range regulations are not a high priority for the organization. And few people have brought as much attention to the issue as Worcester Police Chief Gary Gemme.

The chief is pushing for a city law requiring anyone who wants to rent a gun to have a firearm license. He said such a rule would weed out people with criminal backgrounds and mental illness, like the woman who committed suicide at the Boston Gun Range in Worcester last October. She was convicted in 1999 of passing a forged check. She also had a restraining order against her because of a domestic dispute, which also disqualified her from obtaining a firearm license.

"If you're going to shoot on a range with a rented gun, you should have your license," Gemme said. "That's the only way to know if a person has a clean background."

Gemme said the forms that unlicensed shooters fill out are useless because they are not routinely checked by state or federal authorities. Of the 367 customers who signed those forms at the Worcester range in January, 22 were felons, he said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Association of Shooting Ranges do not keep statistics on shooting deaths at ranges.

More than half of the country's 32,000 suicides were committed with guns in 2004, the most recent year such statistics were compiled by the CDC.

Rick Patterson, executive director of the National Association of Shooting Ranges, said shooting-range suicides are rare.

"Ranges are the places where Americans can learn and practice firearm safety," he said. And renting a gun gives people a chance to make sure they are comfortable handling a firearm before they decide to buy one, he said.

The National Rifle Association referred questions about shooting ranges to Patterson's organization.

Range owners call suicides an unavoidable business risk, and there have been reports of them in Florida, Arizona, California and Washington in the past few years.

"All gun ranges have suicides as a possibility," said Bob Irwin, owner of the Gun Store in Las Vegas. "If they haven't had one, they're going to have one."

He said the three suicides at his range over the past 25 years "don't mean anything statistically," and said his employees turn people away if they seem drunk or otherwise problematic.

Barbara O'Connell said she does the same thing at the Marksman Pistol Institute, the range she owns in Tucson, Ariz., where a man shot himself with a rented 9 mm a few days before last Christmas.

"I've been in this business for about two years, and they say this happens every three or four years," O'Connell said.

Irwin and O'Connell said they realize some customers lie when they sign forms swearing they have no criminal history or mental illness. "Short of running fingerprint checks on everyone, what can we do," Irwin said. "We have tourists from all over the world come in here."

As a safeguard, Irwin and O'Connell said, they have employees watch customers while they shoot.

Owner Mark Tashjian said he follows a similar policy at the Boston Gun Range but allows some customers to be on the range alone if they look like competent shooters.

That was how he described the woman who committed suicide at his range. Police will not identify her because of the way she died, but Tashjian said she was an occasional customer who seemed happy when she came in. She was being watched by an employee but was sometimes left alone.

"We knew she was being safe, persistent and accurate," Tashjian said. "With a person like that, we give them a feeling of privacy. We might step off the range for a bite to eat."

John Rosenthal, founder of the Boston-based Stop Handgun Violence, said people should have a safe place to learn how to shoot. And he said making sure a person has a clean background won't guarantee safety on a range.

"You're never going to stop all the horrific things that happen with guns," he said.

The Soup Nazi
04-12-2007, 7:03 AM
"All aspects of life have suicides as a possibility," said Bob Irwin, owner of the Gun Store in Las Vegas.


04-12-2007, 7:15 AM
Plenty of felons and disqualified people shoot at ranges. So much so that it is a significant part of the range's income. I doubt too many rental gats end up going out the emergency exit or down some hoods pants since you have to leave ID. That's basically secure...

The whole suicide by gunshop has just become popular for whatever reason. I only care because of the proprietors and their employees. The whole 'lives could be saved by banning guns' doesn't concern me when you are talking about suicide stats. Those stats like CA an Mass could eliminate the waiting period and range suicides would be eliminated.

04-12-2007, 7:16 AM
The 35-year-old woman handled her 9 mm Glock with ease. For three straight days, she honed her aim and hit bull's-eye after bull's-eye from the firing line at the Boston Gun Range.

Then she put the gun to her head and killed herself.

Does shooting yourself in the head really require accuracy and practice??

04-12-2007, 8:13 AM
Brady Campaign sounding reasonable?


It's because making shooting ranges more restricted is just not a high priority. They just want to make sure you don't have any guns to bring to the range in the first place and that the ranges don't have any to loan out.

04-12-2007, 8:44 AM
If it sounds reasonable its time to watch out for the knif in the back. Its a ploy to NIBBLE away at the fabric of freedom so its all suddenly comes unraveled and your rights are stripped wawy. i do not care what they are saying.. LIARS LIE... and smile to your face. "F" them and what they belive in!

Sorry to be rude but gun control advocates cannot be trusted. Remember.. al license is something that the sate ro a gov agency issues if they feel you are qualified. Theoritically we should all be able to apply for AW permits and CCWs and be given alicense but we all know how that works in this friggin state.

04-12-2007, 9:02 AM
Having a License to prevent Suicide - what a joke. People can be just fine to get a license (I don't believe in the License scheme) and the very next day have a finanical or other event push them over the ledge to want to take their life. Regulating humanity is not a solution to anything, just more GC.

04-12-2007, 9:11 AM
If people want to kill themselves, that's their business.

The real question should be "Who is responsible for the mess?"

04-12-2007, 9:18 AM
It's not a high priority for them because they are working on ammo bills now.

The Brady camp perceives ammo control today as what AW laws were in the 1990s.

Realistically, the Brady group and allied groups are small & understaffed and don't have 'people on the ground' like we do. So they are trying to be disciplined & focused and not dilute their efforts.

Besides, they wouldn't want yet another reason for Mary Leigh & Charles Blek to run around getting kicked out of Sacto legislative offices for starting undecorous screaming matches...

04-12-2007, 9:40 AM
I'm pretty tired of the anti-gun people using suicide prevention as an excuse for more gun control. If someone wants to kill themselves, fine; the government doesn't need to try and baby-sit them. There are plenty of other suicide methods anyway. The fact that there are some unstable people out there doesn't give anyone the right to limit one of my fundamental freedoms.

04-12-2007, 9:45 AM
That article is totally nonsensical. Like only felons and the documentably mentally ill commit suicide by gun at ranges with rental gun? The whole article is just an excuse to stuff "guns", "mentally ill", "felon", and "suicide" into the same article.

04-12-2007, 11:42 AM
It's clear the reporter is sympathetic to the views of the Police Chief which are way out front of even the Brady Campaign. Perhaps another example of media bias against guns.

The irony about the article is that this is the one time the Brady Campaign is NOT screaming at the top of their lungs for stricter gun control. How often does that happen in print?


04-12-2007, 5:08 PM
Brady Campaign reasonable...haha..oh man what a laugh..I thought you were serious there for a second.:p

M. Sage
04-12-2007, 6:10 PM
I guess this is the part you're calling "reasonable?"

"You're never going to stop all the horrific things that happen with guns," he said.

He's not being reasonable, he's stating his viewpoint on why all guns should be banned.

If the antis say something that seems to makes sense, watch out.. they're up to something.

04-12-2007, 7:20 PM
I have read other articles by this bag of douche. He always has the same slant.

04-12-2007, 7:21 PM
I have not been to an indoor range in years. I heard that most ranges had strict policies on rental guns to minimize suicides. If you want to rent a gun, the renter had to meet one of the following conditions:

1) The renter had to be accompanied by someone else. You are less likely to attempt suicide in front of someone you know.

2) The renter had to bring their own gun to the range. Why would one rent a gun to commit suicide when they already had their own firearm.

Dont Tread on Me
04-12-2007, 7:43 PM
Does shooting yourself in the head really require accuracy and practice??


04-12-2007, 8:15 PM
Does shooting yourself in the head really require accuracy and practice??

Probably driven to suicide by their severe obsessive compulsive disorder and impossibly high standards of personal performance.