Billionaire Contributions To Gun Control Force Opponents To Admit, "We’re Going To Be Outspent.”
They and other supporters have given about $3.4 million to the effort to impose criminal background checks on those who buy firearms online or at gun shows. A competing gun-rights initiative has garnered about $1.1 million to require buyer background checks only when the seller is a firearms dealer, the current federal standard.
“Maybe technology-oriented people are a little more comfortable with being disruptive,” said Rich Barton, who founded travel website Expedia Inc. while working at Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft and donated $42,500 to the gun-control measure. “We can’t get our legislatures to reflect the will of the people, and so if we need to take our case directly to the people via a ballot initiative, so be it.”
In Washington state, they are taking on the National Rifle Association, the largest U.S. gun lobby, which has seen few defeats in its effort to beat back gun restrictions in legislatures and the courts.
Washington’s dueling initiatives represent the only electoral clash over gun purchases in November.
Gates and his wife Melinda donated $50,000, Ballmer and his wife Connie gave $580,000, and Shirley gave $50,000, according to state Public Disclosure Commission data. Gates and Ballmer also donated to a campaign in Washington state to fend off an attempt to repeal a same-sex marriage law in 2012.
Eighteen other donors who identified themselves as Microsoft employees gave a combined $6,510, according to the data. Christina Pearson, a company spokeswoman, declined to comment.
Other contributors to the gun-control measure include Nicolas Hanauer, co-founder of Second Avenue Partners, a Seattle-based venture capital firm, who gave $385,000; Brian McAndrews, CEO of Pandora Media Inc., the Oakland, California-based Internet radio service, $10,000; Hadi Partovi, a former Microsoft employee and CEO of Seattle-based Code.org, a nonprofit education group, $12,500; Lloyd Frink, co-founder of Zillow Inc., the Seattle-based real-estate website, $15,000; and Tom Alberg, co-founder of Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group LLC, a venture-capital firm, $5,000.
CAMERA FINDER III
President Barack Obama in June said the failure to enact tougher gun-control laws was his greatest disappointment in more than five years as president. Congress should be ashamed for not standing up to the NRA’s political clout, he said after a shooting at a high school in Troutdale, Oregon.
The Washington gun-control initiative drew support from 70 percent of 506 state voters surveyed in a poll released July 15 by Seattle-based Elway Research Inc. The gun-rights measure garnered support from 46 percent, according to the survey, which had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.
CONCEALED WEAPONS AND STATE OFFICES
Your Second Amendment Rights Aren't Welcomed Here, Thank You!
Questions and Answers
Q: Hasn’t it been against the law to bring weapons into state offices?
A: Yes it has been. Section 571.030, RSMo made it a crime to carry a firearm or any other weapon into any building owned or occupied by any agency of state government.
Q: Why is carrying guns an issue now?
A: The General Assembly passed legislation (SS HS HCS HB 349, 120, 136, and 328) allowing concealed firearms. Under the new law that went into effect October 11, 2004, qualified individuals would be allowed to carry weapons.
Q: What is being done to keep state offices safe?
A: Amendments to the Office of Administration, Division of Facilities Management’s Code of State Regulations (1CSR 35-1.050, and 1CSR 35-2.030) prohibit concealed weapons in state owned and leased buildings.
Q: What will these new rules do?
A: The emergency rules preserve the prohibition against carrying firearms or any other weapon into state facilities. Weapons are not allowed in state owned or leased facilities.
Q: Will these rules apply to all state buildings?
A: They will apply to all state owned buildings titled in the name of the Governor and all facilities leased through the Office of Administration for state agencies throughout the state. The Department of Conservation, and the Department of Transportation have been encouraged to consider similar prohibitions.
Q: Do these rules apply to everyone?
A: Exceptions are provided for law enforcement officers and other specific public officials acting in their official capacities, e.g., probation and parole officers, wardens and superintendents of prisons, members of the national guard, persons with judicial authority, members of the General Assembly, etc.
Q: If I work in a state owned or leased building and I have a concealed carry endorsement, can I carry a concealed weapon while on the job?
A: Unless you are a law enforcement officer or other specified public official acting in official capacity, you are prohibited from carrying a weapon into a state owned or leased building even if you have a concealed carry endorsement. Doing so would subject you to disciplinary action.
Q: The general public comes into a lot of state offices. How will they know about this rule that weapons are prohibited?
A: In addition to press announcements, signs saying that weapons are prohibited will be posted in state owned and leased facilities that have public access. The Division of Facilities Management is coordinating the signage.
Q: What will people who have a concealed carry endorsement under the new concealed carry law be able to do with their firearm when they come to state buildings?
A: They can keep it in a vehicle in the parking area of state owned or leased premises so long as the firearm is not removed from the vehicle or brandished while the vehicle is on the premises.
Q: What do we do if we notice a person carrying a weapon in a place where it is prohibited?
A: If there is no immediate risk of harm or threat to safety, the person can be asked to leave the premises. If the person refuses to leave the premises or if there is immediate risk of harm or threat to safety, a peace officer should be summoned.
Liberal billionaire helps push campaign to rein in Second Amendment.
Five U.S. gun control groups have received almost $7 million combined from liberal billionaire George Soros, including the most prominent one, the Brady Campaign.
The Soros contributions to these five groups total an astounding $6,727,966 between 2000 and 2011.
The most renowned gun control group, The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the legal arm of the better know Brady Campaign, received $50,000 in Soros funding. The Brady Center helps those involved in legal matters through their separate 501c(3) organization, as opposed to The Brady Campaign that deals at the grassroots level.
The Children’s Defense Fund, whose mission is “to ensure every child a Health Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start, and a Moral Start,” received $550,000 from Soros. In their “Protect Children, Not Guns” campaign, CDF links back to gun control partners, including The Brady Campaign.”
The League of Women Voters received a staggering $2,028,020. LWV is not concerned solely with gun control. On their website, they also show to be against the XL Pipeline, Voter ID laws, and encourage their members to “tell your Senators to pass sensible gun laws.”
And finally, Physicians for Social Responsibility received $5,000 from Soros. PSR is the “medical and public health voice” against nuclear power and weapons and for supposed “safe” energy. They push for “the strongest possible legislative and regulatory approaches” in regards to firearms.
Since the Newtown massacre in Dec. 2012, there have been a few new gun control groups formed. Most notably, former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords formed the new PAC Americans for Responsible Solutions. Another group, Moms Demand Action, was also formed for “gun sense” in America. It’s too soon to know whether these new groups are getting Soros funding, as well.
Soros has made his support of gun control clear. In “The Bubble of American Supremacy: The Costs of Bush’s War in Iraq,” Soros complained about the Bush presidency hindering gun control. “He has aggressively infringed the rights of states to legislate and enforce provisions on issues such as gun control and medical marijuana,” Soros wrote.
Soros's donations go to fund an extensive network of liberal media outlets, which have received more than $52 million. Those operations include a wide range of liberal news operations as well as the infrastructure of news - journalism schools, investigative journalism and even industry organizations. Since 2000, Soros has given away more than $550 million to liberal organizations in the United States through his Open Society Foundations.
Can Colt Firearms Survive?
I recently had occasion to read through the S.E.C. 10Q filing for the newly formed Colt Defense, which is a limited liability corporation comprised of New Colt Holding, Colt Manufacturing, Colt Defense Technical Services, Colt Canada, Colt Finance, And Colt International among others.
The merged company has brought the manufacture of Colt long guns and Colt hand guns together into a single enterprise, however the company reported a loss in the most recent quarter and the sale of long guns was reported down more than 50% from a year ago (~24million in Q1 2014 vs ~52million Q1 2013).
Some of this decline may be attributed to the wind down of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as greater competition for US military contracts.
Colt signed a 12 year lease deal with Osceola County Florida in 2011 for space which was intended to bring manufacturing jobs to central Florida. That property remains vacant and undeveloped and it is unclear whether the merged company plans to move there once the lease on its manufacturing plant in Connecticut is over in 2015.
Colt reported a net loss of $7.8 million, down from a profit of $5.1 million in the first three months of 2013 — prior to its July merger with handgun maker New Colt.
Net sales fell from $63.8 million to $50.1 million. Much of the decline came from the company's long-gun segment, which saw sales fall by more than 50 percent, to $24.7 million. Colt said international sales were down from the prior-year quarter, which included a large, non-recurring rifle sale. The company said the sporting rifle market was also soft during the quarter.
Colt Defense has become highly leveraged as a result of its acquisition of New Colt Holding and is given a negative CCC+ rating by Moodys. Its revenue is down significantly from the same period a year ago, and there are covenant restrictions on how much new spending it can do. They do have increased sales on back order ($222 million Q1 2014 vs. $207 million Q4 2013), but much of that is government orders for spares.
The question really is whether Colt Defense and its iconic American brand can survive in this economic environment, or will they get purchased by a competitor with deeper pockets, or be forced to file for bankruptcy?
Sales At Gun Maker Smith And Wesson Down
Smith And Wesson Holding Corp. reported lower sales for the most recent quarter, due to falling demand. The gun maker’s sales totaled $131.9 million, a decrease of $39.2 million from the same quarter last year. Long guns, including modern sporting rifles, drove 87 percent of the decline. Net income was $14.56 million, down nearly 45 percent from $26.47 million a year earlier. Gun sales rose in 2012 and early 2013 after high-profile shootings raised fears of tougher gun laws, which mostly never materialized.
The gun industry has experienced an intense run-up in demand over the last couple years, fueled by concerns of more rigorous gun restrictions in the wake of President Obama's reelection and a series of mass shootings including the Sandy Hook massacre in Newtown, Conn.
Gun enthusiasts stockpiled the military-style semiautomatic assault rifles, exhausting the supply and driving up the prices. But Obama failed to get a bill through Congress that would have placed restrictions on these guns, alleviating concerns that they would be hard to come by. As a result, rifle sales are suffering.
The problem was attributed to soft demand for "modern sporting rifles" -- industry parlance for semiautomatic rifles.
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