Posts Tagged ‘guns’

NYPD gun-permit bribery scandal

Under New York City’s stiff gun control laws, it can be famously hard to obtain a carry permit from the NYPD’s license division — at least, famously hard if you’re an ordinary resident without cash or connections to spare. Now, scandal [DNAInfo, New York Daily News]:

A Brooklyn businessman has been charged by the feds with obtaining gun permits for friends and other businessmen by paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to NYPD officers in its License Division, authorities said on Monday….

In all, Lichtenstein boasted that he obtained 150 weapons for his friends and associates, charging them about $18,000 each time, and giving $6,000 of the payout to his police connections. If true, that means corrupt officers raked in as much as $900,000.

It’s yet another reminder, Ira Stoll points out, of the general rule that draconian regulation begets corruption — and a caution to those who propose to inflict NYC-style regulation on other parts of the country.

Banking and finance roundup

  • To keep your sex business free from the coils of federal regulation, your best bet might in fact be Ted Cruz, implacable opponent of Operation Choke Point [Elizabeth Nolan Brown; more from Snopes on rather silly attacks on Cruz for doing job lawyers are expected to do for clients in Texas case]
  • Snoopy, you’re not systematically important: judge frees MetLife from SIFI designation under Dodd-Frank [Thaya Brook Knight/Cato, John Cochrane]
  • What with Sen. Elizabeth Warren trying to put a lid on some companies’ criticism of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule, hope it’s still OK for the rest of us to talk about it [Thaya Brook Knight, Cato]
  • Sen. Warren isn’t only one using letters to SEC to browbeat businesses: New York City elected Public Advocate Letitia (“Tish”) James tries to hassle gunmaker Sturm Ruger to comply with various demands of gun control advocates [Manikandan Raman, Benzinga/Yahoo; more on Ms. James and her blames]
  • Next term Supreme Court will consider case on scope of insider trading law, Salman v. U.S. [Ira Stoll, more] “Returning to Common-Law Principles of Insider Trading After United States v. Newman” [Richard Epstein, Yale Law Journal on Second Circuit’s decision via Stoll]
  • DoJ cracks down on big-investor activism — at least when of a sort antitrust enforcers don’t like [Matt Levine]

April 13 roundup

March 30 roundup

Victor Schwartz on supposed gunmaker “immunity”

Leading tort law scholar Victor Schwartz describes as “pure fiction” Hillary Clinton’s claims, which I’ve discussed before, that the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) gave gun manufacturers a sweeping immunity from litigation. “Putting rhetoric aside, this much is clear: Traditional liability law still applies to gun manufacturers. The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act specifically states that makers of firearms are liable for any defect in their products, such as if a gun misfires and harms someone, or if it does not work at all and fails at the moment it is lawfully needed.”

February 3 roundup

  • To what extent should law schools pursue missions other than that of training lawyers to practice competently? [Ken at Popehat]
  • Survivors of woman slain in terror attack seek $200 million from county of San Bernardino [Courthouse News] A pertinent 2001 Elizabeth Cabraser quote about terrorism and litigation: “If we sue each other, the terrorists win. We need to be united.”
  • Self-driving car revolution is coming quickly, but there might still be time for feds to mess it up [Randal O’Toole]
  • “NYT throws hissy-fit, sues over use of thumbnails in critical book” [Rebecca Tushnet via Mike Masnick, TechDirt]
  • New laws from Brussels could endanger thousands of historic guns in British museums [Telegraph]
  • Drawing on the organization’s entire moral authority, i.e. none at all, United Nations panel calls for U.S. to pay slavery reparations [Independent, Vice]
  • Aviary Attorney: “The hottest bird lawyering game to come out of 1840s France!” [Steampowered via Lowering the Bar]

January 15 roundup

  • Malheur standoff: here come the self-styled “citizens’ grand jury” hobbyists [Oregonian, my two cents on this branch of folk law, earlier]
  • Your egg-flipping, coffee-guzzling grandma was right all along about nutrition, federal government now seems gradually to be conceding [Washington Post]
  • “Obama’s State of the Union pledge to push for bipartisan redistricting reform was a late add” [L.A. Times, Politico, American Prospect, Todd Eberly on Twitter, some earlier takes here and here]
  • More Charlie Hebdo retrospectives after a year [Anthony Fisher, Reason] Another bad year for blasphemers [Sarah McLaughlin, more] The magazine’s false friends [Andrew Stuttaford; hadn’t realized that departing NPR ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos, who so curiously compared the magazine’s contents to “hate speech unprotected by the Constitution,” has lately held “the James Madison Visiting Professorship on First Amendment Issues” at the Columbia School of Journalism]
  • “The Ten Most Significant Class Action Cases of 2015” [Andrew Trask]
  • More from Cato on Obama’s “mishmash” of executive orders on guns [Adam Bates, Tim Lynch, Emily Ekins]
  • The “worst and most counter-productive legal complaint that’s been filed in a long, long time” [Barry Rascovar, Maryland Reporter on move by ACLU of Maryland/NAACP Legal Defense Fund to challenge as racially discriminatory the decision to cancel construction of a new Baltimore subway line]

Gun safety, gun control, and the difference if any

“If you’re not for gun control, at least you should be for gun safety. That’s a line you hear a lot these days.” My response is at Ricochet, and touches on gun locks, the Obama idea of requiring more persons who sell firearms on an occasional or incidental basis to register as gun dealers, the notion of liability insurance mandates for gun owners, and, inevitably, the subject of gun control through litigation against manufacturers and dealers, a topic on which Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has been doing a little backsliding of late.

Related, Charles Cooke in the New York Times “Room for Debate” feature, on “smart gun” myths: “Eventually, all American gun control advocacy descends into science fiction.” “Ban under-25-year-olds from owning guns? Not so fast.” [Eugene Volokh] And this looks like a don’t-miss story from Brian Doherty in the new Reason: “You Know Less Than You Think About Guns” (via David Henderson, who excerpts highlights).

Free speech roundup

  • “Charlie Hebdo editor: Censorship must not win” [Charb/New York Post] Today, on anniversary of that attack, Cato hosts free speech attorney Robert Corn-Revere on “The Assassin’s Veto,” with comments from GWU lawprof Catherine Ross, moderated by John Samples [details, and watch live]
  • Florida lawmakers muzzle doctors’ comments to patients regarding guns. 11th Circuit says okay. No, not okay [Ken White, Eugene Volokh]
  • The ‘speech integral to criminal conduct’ exception, important in early free speech law, has come roaring back [Eugene Volokh; for the role of this doctrine in the Oregon cake case, see my post then and his]
  • Good news if you’re a Wisconsin conservative who forgot to archive your emails: that nice John Doe prosecutor secretly did it for you [Watchdog]
  • From Federalist Society national lawyers’ convention, Prof. Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz interviews Kirsten Powers on her new book The Silencing (wobbly audio in early minutes, which eventually clears);
  • “Ex-tenant barred from saying that ex-landlord had been in the Witness Protection Program, ‘[r]egardless of the truth or falsity of this information'” [Volokh]
  • Lawprof Eric Posner wants to roll back First Amendment to curb ISIS recruitment. Hell, no [ABA Journal, Anthony Fisher/Reason, Ken White/Popehat]

January 6 roundup

  • “In fact, none of the mass shootings that have grabbed headlines in the last few years would have been prevented by the gun controls proposed in response to them, and Obama’s new list of warmed-over ideas does not break any new ground in that respect.” [Jacob Sullum] More: Dave Kopel; Ken White at Popehat on the President’s rhetoric of rights; Jonathan Adler notes that ATF’s new guidance on who’s a gun dealer either restates existing law (yawn) or violates the Administrative Procedure Act (whee!); Eugene Kontorovich wonders whether that guidance is vague on purpose; and Josh Blackman writes that while most of the President’s orders don’t go much beyond “hortatory fluff” (no more letting attorneys set up gun trusts for MS-13 gang members!) they help lay the groundwork for more intrusive measures to come;
  • “Judge tosses consumer suit claiming SeaWorld falsely asserts its whales are well-treated” [ABA Journal]
  • In a single press release on Missouri mosque vandalism case, the U.S. Department of Justice misleads readers in two important ways [Eugene Volokh on legal significance of burned Koran, omission of ideological content in sprayed graffiti slogans]
  • New Greg Ip book “Foolproof: Why Safety Can Be Dangerous and How Danger Makes Us Safe” [Tyler Cowen and more, Arnold Kling]
  • Plaintiff’s lawyers “salivating at the prospects for big paydays” from self-driving car accidents [Bloomberg]
  • Do “arms trafficking” rules extend even to domestic sharing of data files containing information on three-dimensional printing of guns? [Ilya Shapiro and Randal John Meyer, Cato]
  • So the Graubard Miller/Alice Lawrence mega-fee saga, often covered in this space, turns out to have a Sheldon Silver connection [Wayne Barrett]