Petition to Texas State Senate, Texas State House, Joan Huffman, Don Huffines, Lois Kolkhorst, Mike Schofield, Dwayne Bohac, Joe Straus, Larry Phillips, Texas Governor, Ted Cruz, Barack Obama, John Cornyn, Michael T. McCaul
ALLOW TEXAS 1ST RESPONDERS, WHO MEET MINIMUM CRITERIA, TO CARRY A CONCEALED WEAPON ON DUTY
Fire and EMS first responders routinely respond to the same violent incidents that police officers do. While they typically endeavor to await the arrival of law enforcement prior to entering a known dangerous scene, they operate in an extremely dynamic field and even the most innocuous sounding "sick call" can rapidly turn into a violent incident. Evidence of this can be found in two studies (McGuire et al, 2009)* which showed that pre-hospital emergency medical services providers are 7 times more likely to be murdered on duty than all other healthcare providers. It also showed that Fire and EMS first responders are 22 times more likely, than the working public at large, to sustain injuries in a violent assault that leave them unable to return to work for their next shift. There are many other studies that support these findings, as well. I do not see this as only a problem for EMS providers around the nation, it is also a very real problem for me personally. While responding to a night club shooting where law enforcement was inaccurately reported to be on scene, my crew walked into an incident that turned violent in seconds. We were lead to believe that the scene was secure, yet suddenly I found myself face to face with an armed man who stood behind the kneeling members of my crew and individually held a pistol to the back of each of their heads. Had he decided to kill us, we would have had no recourse except to await our turn to be shot. These scenes have played out hundreds of times around the both Texas and the country. Every day that our first responders lives are placed in the hands of agencies who yield to political correctness and financial liability over their right to defend themselves, quite literally brings us one day closer to the next severely injured first responder. Or even worse, the next flag draped coffin. Currently The great State of Texas allows first responders to carry on duty but it also allows for an employer to restrict or prohibit their employees from exercising their right to carry. Most employing agencies prohibit their employees from carrying on the job for fear of liability. This concern is addressed in the language of the proposed bill. A simplified explanation is included below** as well as a link to an informational YouTube video***. *McGuire et al. "Occupational Fatalities in EMS: A Hidden Crisis." & "The Epidemiology of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Among EMS Personnel" **On Duty Concealed Handgun License (ODCHL) Proposal I. I would like to propose that on duty first responders (FRs) be permitted to exercise their right to carry a concealed weapon for self defense. A. Currently Texas law grants FRs the right to carry but their employers can restrict or prohibit them from exercising that right. II. I propose increased training requirements, at the candidate’s expense. This curriculum would include the prerequisite of obtaining a standard Texas license to carry and then additional training in the following subjects (est. 40 hrs), to be permitted to carry on duty: A. De-escalation techniques B. Cover and concealment of both person and weapon (tactical thinking) C. Consequences of improper use D. Small arms training: i. Instinctive shooting ii. Tactical shooting iii. Shooting & moving iv. Low light shooting v. Shoot/don't shoot drills "Hogan's Alley" III. Current Texas laws prohibit the carrying of a concealed weapon in several specific locations. A. These exceptions to CHL rights should not be affected by the ODCHL endorsement if the card carrier is off duty. B. While on duty, and functioning under exigent circumstances, the ODCHL endorsement should supersede location restrictions. i. The Supreme Court ruling in 'US vs. Lopez' showed that the states have the right to set where, and by whom, those restrictions can be set or abandoned ii. The exceptions to that rule would be federal installations where 'US vs. Lopez' is not applicable iii. For these rare possibilities, as well as for fire incidents, a secure location should be provided for storage of a firearm. (Approx. $40 per unit retail) iv. The on duty exception for First Responders with an ODCHL would be similar in Tex30.06 to the FR exemption provided in Tex30.05 IV. Agency indemnification/Municipal limitations of liability A. Language should grant first responder employing agencies immunity from civil liability B. Exceptions to this rule include: Negligently failing to reasonably provide for first responder protection. Examples include: i. Failure to send law enforcement on a known dangerous situation ii. Failure to send law enforcement assistance in a timely manner when on scene units request help iii. Failure to provide accurate available information to responding units (ie. Dispatching a fire/EMS unit to a known shooting but sending it as a "Medical Problem". ***Informational YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/hLQqZly3gsc
Petition to Kate Harper, Todd Stephens, Robert Casey, Pat Toomey
Prohibit Firearms in Places of Worship.
Religious freedom is very much considered and respected as a privilege in the United States of America but the protection to practice willfully and safely has been seen unjust ever since April 24, 2016. At 11 AM, on Sunday, April 24, 2016, Robert Braxton III was shot and killed inside of a Montgomery County, PA church. In the presence of over 200 worshipers, including young children, a fellow churchgoer lawfully entered the sanctuary with a loaded semi-automatic handgun due to his "License to Carry Firearm" (LTCF) permit. Such a permit mandates Pennsylvanians to openly carry a firearm in as sacred a place as a church. He shot him twice in the chest, killing him before he could be treated by a hospital. The shooter was cited by the Montgomery County DA's office as using his firearm for unlawful reasons and with the intent to kill. He was only 27 years old. Committed to Christ. A Temple University graduate. A young homeowner. A natural leader in the workplace. A star basketball athlete. A well respected and loved man in his community. Most importantly, he was my dear friend who yearned to explore and never settled for anything short of success. He went to church to seek solitude and guidance but instead was confronted with violence, legally. On behalf of the Braxton family, we are seeking support to amend the carrying laws that allow guns in Pennsylvania sanctuaries; calling this amendment Braxton Law. Currently allowed under PA law 6106, if you hold a LTCF you are not allowed to carry in the following zones: 1. Court Facilities - PA Title 18, Chapter 9, Subsection 913 2a.Grounds and buildings of Elementary and Secondary schools(K-12 grades), whether the school is private or public. Affirmed under J-S22025-16 PA Commonwealth v. Goslin, 2016. - PA Title 18, Chapter 9, Subchapter 912 . 2b. Within 1000ft of a school unless you have a license/permit issued by the state in which the school is located - US Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44, Subsection 922(q) 3. Certain Department of State buildings - by regulation 4. Places off-limits by Federal Law or regulation, IE: military installations(exceptions for hunting at some bases), Federal Government buildings, after the security check point in airports,etc. 5. Any private property where a landowner, tenant or person so authorized to maintain property has asked you to leave because you are carrying, or where the property owner or tenant has placed signs or placards denoting that guns are forbidden - Title 18, Chapter 35, Subsection 3503 6. Detention facilities, correctional institutes, or mental hospitals - Title 18, Chapter 51, Subsection 5122 A young leaders life was taken. An entire community was terrorized. Children's lives were put at risk. Why are sanctuaries a permitted zone for gun carriers? Especially when all it takes is an age requirement, residency, and a background check for approval? We propose, if guns are a necessity in church, it should only be authorized personnel allowed to carry on the grounds, not civilians. Please help us enforce our democratic rights by passing Braxton Law. In pursuit of this change, we hope to influence other communities and states to follow similar suit in gun laws. To further support the family, please donate here.
Petition to Tom Graves, Johnny Isakson, David Perdue, Nathan Deal, Chuck Payne, Kasey Carpenter
Create & mandate mental health safety labels for guns, their accessories & carry permits.
Everyone who encounters a gun is at risk of harming themselves and other people. Though many people who have access to a gun may not be mentally ill, it is hard to predict when someone may experience a mental health crisis. For those who have access to a gun when distressed, impaired judgement and thinking can result in unnecessary loss of life through gun violence. Those people need to know they can choose help instead of harm. Creating and mandating mental health safety labels for conceal carry applications, guns and gun accessories will save lives. Similar to cigarette warning labels, mental health safety labels will be eye-catching, short and comprehensive while promoting the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. An example label may include: "Are you thinking about hurting yourself or someone else with a weapon? You're not alone. Confidential help is available for free 24/7 through the National Lifeline. 1-800-273-8255." This label will be put in a variety of locations: inside gun cases, on gun magazines, ammo boxes, etc. Prompting someone to pause and recognize their motivation for a purchase or use of a gun and its accessories can save lives. As a mental health professional, I understand how difficult it can be reach out for help. I also understand that the risk for suicide and homicide increase after the purchase of a gun. Often people who perpetrate gun violence or complete a suicide haven't been given opportunities to pause or think about their impulsive actions. Creating and mandating a mental health safety label doesn't stigmatize someone for their thoughts, but it does give them a choice in a difficult moment.
Petition to Phil Murphy
Put an end to unconstitutional firearm carry restrictions in New Jersey
Governor Murphy: Stop infringing on our Second Amendment right to bear arms; Revise N.J.S.2C:58-4(c) to remove the requirement of “justifiable need” There is no doubt that we live in a dangerous world, and it seems to be getting worse day by day. We are constantly bombarded with new reports of violent crime, be it assault, robbery, rape, murder, or even large-scale terrorist attacks. These crimes often occur at the hands of armed criminals, leading many to believe that banning or severely restricting guns will prevent them from happening. That’s simply not the case. -- If New Jersey’s gun legislation really worked, we wouldn't have two of the “Murder Capitals of America”. Criminals largely tend to circumvent the strict regulations imposed on them by simply buying guns illegally. Just look at the story of Anderson Baker, who speaks of his own experience using illegally obtained firearms to carry out his gang activities in Camden. He says: “Gun laws to people in Camden are like saying you’ll get a ticket if you jaywalk [...] It means nothing.” But those same regulations do prohibit honest, lawful people from protecting themselves against deadly harm. Right now, New Jerseyans can’t protect themselves until it’s too late. NJ state law currently dictates the following regarding applications for permits to carry handguns: "Each application form shall be accompanied by a written certification of justifiable need to carry a handgun, which shall be under oath and, in the case of a private citizen, shall specify in detail the urgent necessity for self-protection, as evidenced by specific threats or previous attacks which demonstrate a special danger to the applicant's life that cannot be avoided by means other than by issuance of a permit to carry a handgun." [N.J.S.2C:58-4(c)] That means we can’t decide to protect ourselves until after receiving a deadly threat or even an actual attack. Imagine not being allowed to have airbags in your car until after you get in an accident, or a fire extinguisher until your house has already burned down. That’s the position the people of New Jersey are in right now when it comes to self-defense. And that’s exactly what happened to Carol Bowne, who in 2015 was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend while waiting for a permit. Even having received the permit on time, "If Bowne had obtained a gun, state law would not have allowed her to carry it loaded outside her Patton Avenue home." She could have been saved had it not been for an overly restrictive system that does little to stop unlawful gun use and everything to limit law-abiding citizens. As citizens of a free nation, we deserve the legal right to protect ourselves before our lives are threatened. Nobody should need a specific reason to protect their life. Let's make sure that the good people of the State of New Jersey are empowered to protect themselves at all times.
Petition to Broward County School Board, Robert Runcie, Ann Murray
Get Nathaniel Strowbridge his position back and pension reinstated
On Wednesday, August 15th, 2018, The first official day back for students in Broward County, a HUGE injustice was served. Nathaniel Strowbridge, a staff member from Olsen Middle School was arrested for carrying his concealed weapon in his car away from the staff and students. Mr.Strowbridge has served our public school system for over twenty years. HE DOES NOT DESERVE THIS UNFAIR FIRING. He has committed his life to helping protect our children and teachers. In this day and age when we're dealing with unsafe schools, the last thing we should do is PUNISH our brave staff members who would throw their lives on the line for the students. The reports that he is "mentally unfit" are completely based on accusations and without any reasonable facts. This man has done everything for Olsen Middle School. Now he's without a job and his pension. Please think of Nathaniel Strowbridge and all he has done and please consider reducing his charges and offering him some type of employment opportunity.
Petition to Governor Rick Snyder
Ask Gov. Snyder (MI) for Justice for Siwatu-Salama Ra
Last summer in Michigan, Siwatu-Salama Ra got into a verbal dispute with a neighbor. The neighbor escalated it by ramming her car multiple times into Ra’s vehicle, while her mother and two-year old daughter were nearby. Fearing for her life and that of her family, Ra, pulled out a lawfully owned – but unloaded – firearm and brandished it to scare the neighbor away. Ra was concealed-carry permit holder, in an “open carry” state with a “stand your ground” law on the books. Now, Mrs. Ra is serving a two-year mandatory minimum sentence for felonious assault and felony firearm convictions. She’s seven months pregnant, and according to her attorneys, she’s receiving insufficient medical care— including being shackled and restrained to her bed during a vaginal exam — even though her pregnancy is considered high-risk. The case is under appeal, but the judge deciding Ra’s fate, Thomas Hathaway, has already denied a request to postpone Ra’s sentence until she gives birth. This is a nothing short of a miscarriage of justice. In what should be one of the happiest moments of her life, a mother will now tragically be forced to give birth to her child while shackled to a bed while hundreds of miles away from friends and family. And once Ra gives birth, the child will be taken away from her while she completes her sentence. The American criminal justice system needs to do better. Not only is this a ridiculous outcome for Siwatu-Salama Ra, it will likely have a significant impact for her family. Women tend to be primary caregivers of young children. With 80% of women incarcerated being mothers, keeping children close makes perfect sense. There is no stronger bond than a mother’s love for her child. According to the Bureau of Statistics, children are 6-7 times more likely to offend as a teenager or adult if they don't have a relationship or bond with their parent. Removing a newborn child from their mother immediately after birth is cruel and will likely have a negative impact down the line. Research also shows that 2,000 pregnant women are incarcerated each year. Many of whom will be shackled to the bed while giving birth. According the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, shackling pregnant women endangers not only the mothers, but also can have severe detrimental effects on the health of the child. Siwatu-Salama Ra should not be in prison. She should be with her family, preparing for one of them most memorable days of her life. Instead, she will be in a concrete cell, shackled by her wrists and ankles, under the watch of a corrections officer – as she welcomes new life into this world. Please sign our petition asking Governor Snyder to pardon Siwatu-Salama Ra, or at the very least, grant her clemency so that she can return to her family.