On April 26, seven firearm manufacturers and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) filed a lawsuit in federal court against HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and government officials from 14 municipalities. The suit arises from the defendantsâ€™ stated intent to give preferential consideration when awarding contracts to purchase firearms for law enforcement agencies to those companies that agree to anti-gun terms of a â€œcode of conductâ€ established by the government officials.
NSSF, Beretta U.S.A. Corp., Browning Arms, Inc., Coltâ€™s Manufacturing Company, Inc., Glock, Inc., SIG Arms, Inc., Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc., and Taurus International Manufacturing, Inc. allege that Cuomo and the others are involved in an illegal conspiracy in restraint of trade and are in violation of the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
The plaintiffs are asking the court to permanently enjoin the defendants from any action to establish regulations on the design, manufacture, advertising and distribution of handguns beyond what has been established by Congress.
HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomoâ€™s chief bodyguard several times while on duty has forgotten his .38-caliber revolver, leaving it where others could easily find it, HUD employees reportedly say.
In the most recent incident, reports George Archibald in THE WASHINGTON TIMES, â€œClarence Day, a 68-year-old retired Metropolitan Police officer and close confidant of Mr. Cuomo, left the loaded pistol in the cafeteria of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and tried to retaliate against security officials who made a formal incident report, the employees said.
â€œThey said Mr. Day forgot his gun, which he carries in a small handbag, on at least two other occasions when he was traveling with the HUD secretary. The bag was found by federal motor pool employees and returned to him without an official incident report, the employees said.
â€œThe incident and existence of a formal report have embarrassed Mr. Cuomo, who has made a big issue of gun safety and recently joined President Clinton in efforts to restrict availability of firearms to the general public.
â€œOn February 9, the gun was found that day by another cafeteria patron and turned over to HUDâ€™s security office. The gun was found in a black canvas bag with the official U.S. government eagle surrounded by the words, â€˜U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Service,â€™ the report saidâ€¦
â€œMr. Cuomo and his assistant secretary for administrative services, Joseph Smith, personally interviewed three security and building services employees in an effort to pressure them to change it, an official saidâ€¦
â€œMr. Day â€˜explodedâ€™ after the gun incident report was placed in official files as an â€˜adversarial report,â€™ one agency employee said. â€˜He went ballistic. He threatened retaliation.â€™â€
In late April, â€œthanks to technology and detective work,â€ reports THE NEW YORK TIMES, â€œan antique rifle fired at Custerâ€™s last stand shattered the record for a historical American firearm.
â€œThe brass and wood Winchester Model 66, one of only 15 guns forensically proved to have actually been at General George A. Custerâ€™s crushing defeat on June 25, 1876, sold to an anonymous buyer for $684,500 at James D. Julia, Inc. in Fairfield, Maine. The price was more than double the previous record and 100 times what similar Winchesters usually garner.
Police in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania were on the lookout for two men who got more than they bargained for when they tried to break into two separate homes, reported WBRE-TV.
Charles Hill, 80, described the rude awakening he received. â€œI saw them banging against the door and I stepped over and hollered, â€˜what do you think you are doing out there â€“ you know I have a gun in here.â€™â€
When he heard the two men trying to break in he grabbed his .22-caliber rifle and defended his home .
After they fled in a small dark-colored car Hill didnâ€™t stop. He said, â€œwhen they went up the hill over there, I fired,â€ hoping to put telltale bullet holes in the pairâ€™s getaway car. But he was unsuccessful.
A short time later, state police believe the same two men sized up another home about 10 miles away near Cogan Station.
According to police, they broke in and fought 75-year-old John Umstead. He managed to fight off the attackers but not before suffering a blow to the head and a kick to the ribs.
Hill said, â€œthe cop asked me if the gun was loaded, and I said youâ€™re happy tootinâ€™ itâ€™s loaded.â€ He locks his doors, but added, â€œif they get inside and if I have a gun I wonâ€™t aim to kill, but I will aim to cripple.â€
Hill said he had no regrets about grabbing his rifle even before dialing 911. â€œI would do the same thing againâ€¦I wouldnâ€™t hesitate.â€