Argyle ISD "Marshals" Will Soon Carry Guns on Campus

Like air marshals', the identities of Argyle ISD's "marshals" will remain secret. This anonymous contingent of staff members, known only to school administration, the local police, and the Texas Department of Public Safety, has been authorized to possess handguns on campus to respond to the threat of an "active shooter." The school board approved the policy Tuesday in response to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.

The marshals have been chosen from a volunteer pool, all of whom possess concealed carry permits and have "passed a rigorous interview process, a complete psychological evaluation and a comprehensive firearms and emergency response training course," according to a press release.

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Texas AG Candidate Barry Smitherman Can Shoot All the Guns

Categories: Guns, Politics

One of the prerequisites for holding statewide office in Texas nowadays is the gun-toting photo op. Governor Rick Perry's done plenty. So has Attorney General Greg Abbott and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson. Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst is the rare exception -- just more proof that he can't be trusted.

Attorney general hopeful Barry Smitherman outdoes them all in his new campaign ad, which features gratuitous shots of the Railroad Commission chairman pledging to vigorously defend the Second Amendment while lovingly cradling and firing a hunting rifle, an assault rifle and a handgun. The ad unfortunately ends before Smitherman takes the rocket launcher for a spin.

Fort Worth Law Professor's Proposal to Repeal the Second Amendment Panned by the Internet

Categories: Guns

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Via Facebook
Meg Penrose
On Friday, fed up with the ineffectual legislative and judicial responses to rampant gun violence and in the spirit of open and honest academic debate, Texas A&M University law Professor Meg Penrose offered the not-so-modest suggestion that the United States do away with the Second Amendment.

"Unfortunately, drastic times require drastic measures," she said during a forum on constitutional gun rights at the University of Connecticut's law school. "I think the Second Amendment is misunderstood, and I think it's time today, in our drastic [times], to repeal and replace that Second Amendment."

The audience, mostly lawyers and law school students, reacted mildly to the proposal. The Internet did not.

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Open Carry Advocates Marched with Rifles in Arlington, Scared a Moms-against-Guns Group

Categories: Guns

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Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
The view from Arlington's Blue Mesa Grill on Friday afternoon.
Open Carry Texas has two main reasons for existing. One is to advocate for the open carry of firearms, which it does primarily by marching around in public wielding rifles and shotguns. The other is to troll liberals, which it does by marching around in public wielding rifles and shotguns. They have done this at the Alamo, at Dealey Plaza, at the courthouse in Southlake, among other locations.

On Friday, they were in Arlington, pausing with their guns to take pictures in front of Cowboys Stadium, Hooters, and the parking lot of the Blue Mesa Grill.

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There's a Gun-Range Arms Race in North Texas, and North Richland Hills is Winning

Categories: Guns

Caliber Shooting Center
When it was first announced, all the way back in January, the Frisco Gun Club billed itself as the nation's largest indoor shooting range. Nine months later, as club prepares to open this month, it has dropped that claim, focusing instead on its luxurious VIP lounge and culinary offerings.

There's a reason. In July, it became clear that the Frisco facility, at 43,000 square feet, would be dwarfed by a 100,000-square-foot shooting range and gun shop planned for Colorado. Turns out, it won't even be the biggest in Dallas-Fort Worth.

That claim is being staked by the Caliber Shooting Center, a 147,000-square-foot behemoth set to open in the summer of 2014 in the vacant Home Depot Expo shell in North Richland Hills. The City Council unanimously approved the project last month, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

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Tanks, Bazookas and Fighter Jets -- Pseudo-Historian David Barton's Interpretation of the Second Amendment

Categories: Guns

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David Barton
The Founding Fathers were farsighted men. They were wise enough to write iron-clad protections of individual liberty into the Bill of Rights and wise enough to craft those protections with just enough wiggle room that, three centuries on, they would still be relevant.

Take the Second Amendment:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Note that they didn't say "muskets," which were eventually rendered obsolete by rifles and handguns, among other weapons; they say "arms." Exactly what this means in modern times has been and continues to be a subject of debate among constitutional scholars, but the prevailing view, laid out in the Supreme Court's 2008 decision in District of Columbia vs. Heller, is that it applies to weapons "in common use at the time" for individual protection.

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Texas v. Obama, Part XXX: Greg Abbott Pledges Lawsuit Over U.N. Arms Trade Treaty

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What happens to creatures that try to take Greg Abbott's guns.
The goal of the U.N.'s Arms Trade Treaty -- of fostering international peace and cooperation and "reducing human suffering" -- is laudable. Its methods, which basically consist of asking countries to monitor gun exports so they don't wind up in the hands of terrorists and other malevolent actors, are commonsense. In a rational world, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry adding his signature on Wednesday would be a benign and unobjectionable piece of diplomatic theater.

But this is not a rational world. The NRA immediately bristled at the mention of "small arms and light weapons" and predicted that the treaty will be used as a pretext for a gun registry, which are "blatant attacks on the constitutional rights and liberties of every law-abiding American." Glenn Beck also sounded the alarm.

In Texas, there was a similar refrain.

"I'd like the see the UN try to send inspectors to the Texas State Rifle Association's annual gathering," Senator John Cornyn said in a statement to the Texas Tribune. "Secretary Kerry's signature on the UN Arms Trade Treaty is the latest in a long line of the Obama administration's attempts to trounce on the constitutional rights of law-abiding Texans and Americans across the country."

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UT Student's Printable Gun On Display This Month at Prestigious British Design Museum

Categories: Guns

Wikimedia Commons
Cody Wilson
Just in time for next week's London Design Festival, the Victoria and Albert Museum -- the world's largest repository of post-classical sculpture and East Asian and Islamic ceramics -- will feature the work of a Texan that just might stand out: University of Texas law student Cody Wilson's printable gun.

Seated in the Royal Burrough of Kensington and Chelsea, the museum, founded in 1852 and named for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, had this to say about its latest acquisition: "The invention of this so called 'wiki weapon' sparked intense debate and upended discussions about the benefits of new manufacturing technologies and the unregulated sharing of designs online. The V&A has acquired two Liberator prototypes, one disassembled gun and a number of archive items to enhance its collection of 3D printed objects and represent a turning point in debates around digital manufacturing."

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Feds: A Texas Man Waltzed Through the Gun Show Loophole and Bought Dozens of Mexico-Bound Assault Rifles

Categories: Guns

The Original Fort Worth Gun Show
Allegedly one of Luis Romano's favorite stomping grounds
Talk of closing the so-called "gun show loophole," like talk of gun control in general, has died down in recent months. Partly, this is the inevitable ebb of the rage that followed Sandy Hook; partly, it's because it seems futile to talk about something Congress has made clear it has no interest in doing. The loophole, meanwhile, which basically allows anyone who's not a licensed firearm dealer to buy or sell guns without a waiting period or background check, remains as gaping as ever.

It may or may not comfort you to know that the federal government is keeping an eye on these gun shows. They kept a particularly close eye on a man named Luis Pina Romano from Corpus Christi.

According to documents filed Thursday in federal court, Romano has spent the past four years crisscrossing the state of Texas, paying frequent visits to gun shows in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and elsewhere in Texas.

At each stop, his routine was the same: He would seek out the individual sellers, to whom reporting requirements and rules on background checks don't apply, produce a large amount of cash, and buy all the assault weapons he could find. His May 4 trip to the Original Fort Worth Gun Show at the Will Rogers Center was typical. There, he spent $10,000 and came away 16 guns and a decent cache of ammunition.

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Robert Lewis III May Be the Saddest Illegal Gun Dealer You'll Ever Meet

Categories: Guns

A modest, single-family home on Cromwell Drive in Dallas. Also, an unlicensed gun factory.
Robert Lewis III never meant for any of the assault rifles he assembles in his Northwest Dallas home to wind up hidden in a pickup truck bound for Mexico. He considers his gun-making more hobby than profession, though he did reportedly sell some to a guy down in Houston from time to time for a little extra spending money.

Yet, despite Lewis' best intentions, customs agents in Hidalgo in January 2011 discovered a cache of 15 assault rifles stashed in the fuel tank of a southbound truck belonging to 37-year-old Edwardo Ibarra. Components from two of the weapons were traced back to Lewis, who, records showed, had purchased them from JP-TEN Sports in Farmers Branch.

The discovery intrigued the ATF, which two months later began investigating Lewis for trafficking firearms. They probably suspected that they were on the trail of some sophisticated cartel-connected gunrunner who had finally slipped up. What they found instead was a guileless Army vet running a very small-scale, very homespun gun operation out of a house belonging to his parents.

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