Pennsylvania Legislators Turning Their Backs on Police Accountability

Following in the footsteps of North Carolina (on which Stonegait previously reported), the Pennsylvania General Assembly is considering a bill that impacts government transparency and police accountability. Per the Pittsburgh Post – Gazette, the bill before the Pennsylvania house has noticeable similarities with the law passed by the North Carolina legislature: “The bill would require anyone seeking access to data from body cameras to identify every person in the video before the video had b...
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Michigan State House Seeks to Ban Assault Weapons

By Taylor Hill With two months to go in Michigan’s legislative season, a new House Bill has been introduced with the intent of making “assault weapons” a felony to manufacture, sell, transfer or own. The fact that House Bill 5996, brought by Democratic state representatives Robert Wittenberg and Jim Townsend and known as the “Assault Weapon Regulation Act,” is even being considered should be a red flag to citizens of Michigan. While gun control advocates argue that removing guns from ...
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New Mexico Governor Fights to Reinstitute Death Penalty

By Taylor Hill Ever since winning her campaign in 2010, Governor Susana Martinez has been trying to reinstitute the death penalty in New Mexico. But after a police officer, Jose Chavez of Hatch, NM, was shot while conducting a routine traffic stop earlier this year, Governor Martinez has taken her efforts to new heights. New Mexico abandoned the death penalty under Governor Bill Richardson in 2009, substituting the ultimate penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parol...
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Why would Libertarians Compromise on Gun Control?

If there is one right Libertarians hold dear, it is the right to keep and bear arms, for this is the right that guarantees that the people will have recourse against a truly tyrannical government. There are, of course, plenty of reasons for owning firearms, be it for hunting, self-defense, sport, or even just collecting as a hobby. But, at the end of the day, the right to bear arms is about ensuring that the American people have the tools that they need to fend off oppression and tyranny. ...
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It is Illegal to Curse, Blaspheme, or Break the Sabbath in Oklahoma

We may live in a time where gay marriage is legal, anyone can order a drone off the internet, and America proved that the path to the presidency can include reality-TV stardom, but it is still illegal to curse, blaspheme, or break the Sabbath in Oklahoma. The text of the law reads: If any person shall utter or speak any obscene or lascivious language or word in any public place, or in the presence of females, or in the presence of children under ten (10) years of age, he shall be liable ...
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New North Carolina Law Blocks Police Accountability

As of this October, what police do in public is no longer public record in North Carolina. A new law in North Carolina allows police departments to keep body and dash camera footage secret, even from the people that were filmed, unless issued a court order. Police cameras become a topic of widespread discussion after a string of very public police brutality cases. Proponents of cameras think that the footage will increase police accountability, and will ultimately protect both the police o...
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Double Taxation: Texas Roads Edition

After fully funding a highway project with taxpayer dollars, a Texas agency is collecting tolls, effectively double-taxing local residents The Loop 375 Border West Highway toll project in El Paso, TX, is a unique arrangement between the state and the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority (RMA) that effectively double-taxes residents. Even though the RMA, an unelected toll authority, did not contribute financially to the project, it was given $500 million in Texas Mobility Funds out of the ...
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Bounty Hunter or Barber? A Look at State Laws

Do you live in Idaho and want to do something besides pick potatoes? Well, as it turns out, becoming a bounty hunter is one of the easiest professions to get into, so long as you are a legal resident and of legal age, you can feel free to go hunt for people skipping trial for a profit. While it is so easy to become a bounty hunter in the Gem State, how hard is it to become, say, become a barber? To become a barber in In Idaho, you need 900 hours of barber training from a barber college o...
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Tennessee Police Receive $126 Million Worth of Military Equipment to Fight “Terrorism”

Tennessee Police are receiving hundreds of millions of dollars of military equipment, for the purpose of “fighting terrorism.” Since 2006, the state’s police departments have accumulated more than 47,000 pieces of used military gear and weaponry valued at $126 million under a Pentagon program that transfers surplus equipment to local police. According to the Tennessean: “The Memphis Police Department, for example, got a mine-resistant vehicle valued at $658,000 and five 7.62-millimeter rif...
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Modern Privateering -er– Policing

Want a way to make thousands – maybe millions – of dollars fast? What about a new car? Property? Electronics? Well, according to Westmoreland County and the Pennsylvania state government, policing might be the quickest way to get all of that, plus some. When property is seized in a drug raid in Westmoreland county and many other counties across the nation, all of the property that the police can even remotely connect to a crime can be seized legally – a legal term known as Civil Asset Forfeitur...
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