Tuesday News: Protecting the gun?


REPUBLICANS BLOCK AMENDMENT GIVING JUDGES MORE DISCRETION TO REMOVE GUNS IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASES: Morey, a former judge, wanted to add a fifth factor that would allow a judge to consider all evidence presented in court in determining whether the continued access to firearms would pose a threat in a domestic violence case. "We're trying to protect families. We're trying to protect victims," she said, adding that the surrender of firearms is temporary and that defendants can petition to reclaim their firearms. But Rep. Sarah Stevens, R-Surry, said Morey's proposal was too broad and would allow judges to "take someone's guns away" for practically any reason. Rep. Allen McNeill, R-Randolph, agreed the amendment would give judges "carte blanche to seize" firearms. Rep. Robert Reives, D-Chatham, noted that judges have discretion to remove children from a home if a domestic violence situation poses a threat, and it would be ridiculous not to give them the same discretion when it comes to removing firearms.

FAA NO HELP IN EFFORT TO STOP RDU ROCK QUARRY: The Federal Aviation Administration has determined that it doesn’t need to review and approve Raleigh-Durham International Airport’s lease of 105 acres of airport property for a stone quarry. Opponents of the quarry have argued that the Airport Authority was not authorized to lease the property to Wake Stone Corp. without permission of the FAA and the four local governments that appoint members to the authority — Raleigh, Durham and Wake and Durham counties. But the FAA’s regional director of airports, Steven Hicks, told RDU president Michael Landguth in a letter Monday that the federal agency won’t do a full-blown review of the lease because the planned quarry “does not appear to adversely affect the safe and efficient operation of aircraft or safety of people and property on the ground related to aircraft operations.” Hicks also noted that federal money was not used to buy the land, known as the Odd Fellows property, which the airport acquired in the 1970s for a runway that was never built.

CHRIS ANGLIN SUES NC GOP FOR EXCLUDING HIM FROM REPUBLICAN EVENTS AND RESOURCES: Candidate Chris Anglin of Raleigh said Monday that he wants a state court to force the state Republican Party to give him access to voter lists, calendars and other data already provided to nine others in the 9th Congressional District field. Anglin also has been barred from participating in Republican candidate forums or debates. Anglin's lawsuit acknowledges that the state Republican Party is a nonprofit organization, but he claims the GOP also has a public role as one of the two major political parties enshrined in law. Taxpayers also pay for the party's nominating primaries, Anglin said. The party also is violating its internal rules not to choose favored candidates in primary elections, Anglin said. "Chris Anglin's frivolous lawsuit to access a private organization's data and resources is nothing more than a publicity stunt," state GOP spokesman Jeff Hauser wrote in an email.

ROD ROSENSTEIN GAVE TRUMP HIS LETTER OF RESIGNATION: Rosenstein appointed Mueller in May 2017 following the recusal of then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions and oversaw much of his work. His exit leaves the department without the official most closely aligned with the probe as officials grapple with public and congressional scrutiny of the special counsel’s findings and the department’s handling of the report. He not only supervised Mueller’s work for much of the last two years but also defended the investigation against attacks from congressional Republicans and Trump, who has blasted the probe as a “witch hunt.” In so doing, Rosenstein sometimes found himself at odds with Trump. He was nonetheless spared the brunt of anger directed at Sessions, whose recusal from the Russia investigation infuriated the president, leading to his forced resignation last November. As deputy, Rosenstein was a central character in some of the most consequential, even chaotic, moments of the Trump administration. He wrote a memo criticizing James Comey that the White House used as justification for the firing of the FBI director, then a week later appointed Mueller to investigate the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. That investigation swiftly grew to include whether the firing of Comey constituted obstruction of justice.

TRUMP MOVES TO FORCE ASYLUM SEEKERS TO PAY A FEE FOR THEIR APPLICATION: “The purpose of this memorandum is to strengthen asylum procedures to safeguard our system against rampant abuse of our asylum process,” Mr. Trump said in the memo. The memo specifically called for the authorities to set a fee for asylum seekers filing their claims and for their work permit applications. Migrants who have entered or tried to enter the United States illegally would also be barred from receiving a work permit until their claims are adjudicated. Ms. Brané said the new restrictions would turn asylum on its head. “The entire idea of asylum is that it’s something that you need because you are fleeing some sort of violence or persecution,” she said, “and to then say that it’s only accessible to people who can pay a fee doesn’t make sense.” Speaking of the Trump administration’s broader approach to asylum, Ms. Brané said, “All of it has been aimed at reducing the number of people who can access the system as opposed to reducing the need for asylum by addressing root causes.”