Friday, January 31, 2014

A Loss In Connecticut

Senior District Court Judge Alfred V. Covello ruled in favor of the State of Connecticut in upholding their assault weapons ban and other restrictions. The case, Shew et al v. Malloy et al, was brought by the Connecticut Citizens Defense League and others challenging the law enacted after the Newtown shootings.
Gun control advocates were buoyed Thursday by a federal court decision in Hartford that upholds Connecticut's toughest-in-the-nation assault weapons ban, calling it a constitutionally valid means of balancing gun rights and the government's interest in reducing gun violence.

"The court concludes that the legislation is constitutional," senior U.S. District Judge Alfred V. Covello wrote in a decision published late Thursday. "While the act burdens the plaintiffs' Second Amendment rights, it is substantially related to the important governmental interest of public safety and crime control."
Just quickly glancing over the opinion that can be found here, it appears that Judge Covello used intermediate scrutiny to decide in favor of Connecticut and relied upon the 2nd Circuit's ruling in Kachalsky v. Cacace.

From the article in the Hartford Courant, it appears that Judge Covello bought into much of the anti-gun nonsense that Connecticut used to defend the law.
Covello, agreeing with the plaintiffs, concluded that the weapons and magazines are commonly owned and legally used in Connecticut and elsewhere. But he parted company with the plaintiffs when he wrote that the state's ownership and sales ban is justified when the government's goal of reducing violence is measured against the ban's impingement on Second Amendment rights.

The Second Amendment rights of gun owners are adequately protected by the large number of alternate weapons that can be used for protection, hunting and sports events, he wrote.

On several occasions, Covello adopted the state's arguments that assault weapons are designed, not for cosmetic purposes, but for "lethality." And he referred to an affidavit by a state expert who asserted that "Connecticut's bans on assault weapons and large capacity magazines, and particularly its ban on (large capacity magazines), have the potential to prevent and limit shootings in the state over the long run."
Covello was appointed to the bench for the District of Connecticut by Pres. George H. W. Bush in 1992.

Stepping Up To The Plate In California

As I reported earlier this month, both Ruger and Smith & Wesson have taken a stand against the California Department of Justice Handgun Roster by letting numerous popular models of their handguns drop off the list. In other words, they refuse to make a California-only model that includes a microstamped firing pin.

Now Mike Fifer and James Debney, the CEOs of Ruger and Smith & Wesson respectively, have filed Declarations in support of the plaintiffs challenging the Handgun Roster in the long-running case of Pena v. Lindley. This is a case being brought by the CalGuns Foundation and the Second Amendment Foundation in US District Court for the Eastern District of California.

The Declaration of Ruger CEO Mike Fifer can be found here. In it he says that the microstamping requirement is unworkable and that no firearms manufacturer has been able to implement it.

The Declaration of S&W CEO James Debney says that the technology is unworkable and that "the state law requires the technology to perform at a level it cannot." Debney goes on to point out that many of their handguns also do not have mag disconnects and loaded chamber indicators.

These Declarations join the amicus curie brief of Glock, Inc. in arguing against the Handgun Roster and in favor of the plaintiffs' position.

The Second Amendment Foundation welcomed the support from all three firearms manufacturers in a release put out yesterday shown below.

BELLEVUE, WA - The Second Amendment Foundation is expressing heartfelt gratitude today to three major firearms companies - Ruger, Smith & Wesson and Glock - for their supporting documents in the on-going case of Pena v. Lindley, a lawsuit challenging the California handgun roster requirements that include microstamping and magazine disconnects.

Earlier this week, Ruger CEO Michael O. Fifer and Smith & Wesson President and CEO James Debney submitted declarations to the court, explaining their respective companies' positions on the California microstamping requirement. Late last year, attorneys representing Glock, Inc. filed an amicus curiae brief supporting the SAF case.

"SAF will be eternally grateful for the timely support from all three companies, which we believe strongly reinforces our case," said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. "The statements from Messrs. Debney and Fifer confirm what we have argued all along, that California's requirements place an undue burden on both consumers and manufacturers."

In his statement, Fifer bluntly observed, "There is no workable microstamping technology today, and Ruger believes that California's microstamping regulations make compliance impossible."

Debney concurs in his statement, noting, "Smith & Wesson does not believe it is possible currently to comply with California's microstamping regulations. Quite simply, the state law requires the technology to perform at a level that it cannot."

In its earlier brief, submitted by attorneys Erik S. Jaffe of Washington, D.C. and John C. Eastman of Orange, Calif., Glock maintained that neither its pistols nor any other handgun in common use can comply with California's microstamping mandate.

"You cannot regulate handguns out of existence or out of the marketplace by mandating technology that doesn't work," Gottlieb observed. "Now three major gun companies have weighed in and we're confident their opinions will carry a lot of weight."
The impact of the microstamping requirement on handguns available for sale in California can be seen in this infographic from the CalGuns Foundation.  It is not a pretty picture and not a Constitutional one in my opinion.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

If You Do Watch ABC's 20/20 Tomorrow Night

Diane Sawyer and David Muir will have a special edition of ABC News' 20/20 tomorrow night. The special is entitled Young Guns: A Diane Sawyer Special and will be, from everything I have seen, a hit piece on firearms. It is officially supposed about kids and guns as well as parental responsibility.

Before you watch this "report", I'd suggest you do two things. First, you should read David Codrea's column published today. As David reports, based upon one of their teaser episodes, Diane Sawyer and ABC News are attempting to cast doubt on the NRA's Eddie Eagle child gun safety program. In the set-up that they use to do so, they may be in violation of Florida Statute 790.174 which specifies requirements for the safe storage of firearms when there are minors present. Of course, they probably won't be charged with anything for this violation of Florida law.

The second thing I would suggest you do is to two interviews with an Armed Citizens Project participant from Texas named Amanda. She is a single mom with a special needs child. As she details on Episode 80 of the The Squirrel Report podcast (13:50-53:00), she and a number of other women who participate in the Armed Citizens Project were interviewed by ABC producers as well as David Muir. She reports that the ABC producers were disappointed in the answers that she and the other moms gave. She fully expected for much of what they said to be left on the cutting floor.

Amanda reported back in Episode 82 of The Squirrel Report podcast (39:40-51:00) that the ABC producers had contacted her to say that the group interview was being cut. They did invite Amanda and her son to be filmed in an individual segment. Amanda said she was willing to appear but not with her son. From her conversations with the other Armed Citizen Project mothers, they, too, had been approached.

So if you do watch the 20/20 Special, just remember that a lot was left on the cutting floor during editing. Moreover, remember it was filmed by people who had no hesitation at encouraging little kids to violate Col. Cooper's Rule No. 1 - All guns are always loaded.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Congratulations To Tennesse On Landing Beretta

After looking at seven states and 80 potential sites, Beretta chose Gallatin, Tennessee as the location to expand its US manufacturing operations. Gallatin is about 25 miles NE of Nashville giving it easy access to Interstates 24, 40, and 65 as well as a large airport in Nashville.
Beretta USA officials along with Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty announced today the company will expand its U.S. operations by building a new firearms manufacturing plant in the Gallatin Industrial Park. Beretta, a global manufacturer of high-quality sporting and military firearms, will invest $45 million in a state-of-the-art manufacturing and R&D facility. Beretta will create 300 new Tennessee jobs. The company is expected to complete construction on the facility this year.
As you might expect, officials in Tennessee are very happy.

Gov. Bill Haslam has this to say:
“Beretta is one of the world’s greatest companies, and their decision to expand into Tennessee speaks to the standards of craftsmanship and quality our state’s workforce embraces every day,” Haslam said. “Attracting a legendary company like Beretta reinforces our goal of becoming the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high-quality jobs. I want to thank the Beretta family for their substantial investment in Tennessee and the 300 jobs they’ll create in Sumner County.”
Gallatin Mayor Jo Ann Graves called it a "platinum project" and went on to add:
“It’s an international company. It’s well-known, it has an excellent reputation and we’re very excited that they’ve chosen (us) over eight other states.”
Earl Fischer, Chairman of the Gallatin Economic Development Agency Board of Directors, had this to say regarding the role of support for the Second Amendment in Beretta's choice:
”Tennessee’s track record of supporting Second Amendment rights definitely worked in our favor.”
The Tennessean reports that the state will be giving Beretta tax credits and infrastructure and job training grants. The City of Gallatin will be giving Beretta a "payment in lieu of taxes" grant.

Beretta will be buying a 100 acre parcel in the Gallatin Industrial Center to build its manufacturing and R&D facility. Construction is expected to begin in May and the first firearm is expected to come off the assembly line sometime in the first quarter of 2015.

I like what Bitter at Shall Not Be Questioned had to say on Beretta's announcement and how the company's concerns were dismissed by Maryland.
I find it amazing how quickly these blue, anti-gun states with leaders who claim to care about working class folks are so quick to dismiss the manufacturing jobs created by gun companies. The companies are clearly getting tired of it and moving.

UPDATE: The news above makes the fail noted here by Miguel even sweeter. Madison, by the way, is between Nashville and Gallatin.

Beretta's Jeff Reh On Why They Chose Tennessee

Jeff Reh is the general counsel and vice-GM of Beretta USA as well as a member of their Board of Directors. In addition, he is the President of their Stoeger subsidiary. In the speech below, he explains why Beretta chose Gallatin, Tennesse as the location for their expansion.

Beretta probably would have expanded at or near their Accokeek, Maryland plant if that state hadn't passed their onerous gun control laws in May 2013. Gov. Martin O'Malley and the gun prohibitionists in the Maryland legislature cost that state at least 300 jobs by passing the new gun control law. Moreover, I would not be surprised to see that more and more of the operations in Maryland will be transferred to Tennessee as time goes by.

As Reh notes in his speech, they only looked at states that had a consistent and strong support for the Second Amendment. While many in West Virginia are strong supporters of the Second Amendment, many of their politicians are lax in their support. It was specifically due to Joe Manchin and his push for gun control that West Virginia was crossed off the list of potential expansion locations.

The transcript of Jeff Reh's speech:
"The Beretta family has manufactured products and done business from the same town in northern Italy for almost 500 years. This means that when Beretta chooses a location for its business, we plan not just in terms of a return on investment within the next few years. We also start with the possibility that we will be in that location for decades, if not hundreds of years, to come.

Around March 2013 the Beretta family decided to expand its manufacturing and business operations outside Maryland, where Beretta U.S.A. is located. We started our search by looking only at States that have a consistent history of support for and likelihood of future support for Second Amendment rights.

We then reduced this list of States further by looking at traditional business-related factors such as tax rates, cost of living, cost of doing business, availability of white and blue collar workers, traditions of high-level manufacturing in the area, the quality of local educational institutions, availability of job recruitment, screening and training, and so forth.

From that analysis we reduced our list of States to seven. Working through the Governor’s Office in each of those states, we came up with a list of 80 sites within those seven States that we then visited over the past five months. Based on those visits we narrowed the list of 80 sites down to six. Then we made second and third visits to those locations and reduced that list to three.

We scored each of those three locations using 20 evaluation criteria and, based on those evaluations, we unanimously chose Gallatin, Tennessee as the best of all the candidate locations we saw. Our choice was then confirmed through a personal visit by Mr. Ugo Gussalli Beretta, Franco’s father, to Gallatin on December 30, 2013.

I can say, based on this very rigorous search methodology, that not only was Tennessee the best State we found within which to locate our business, but also that Gallatin provided the best location for us within Tennessee. We thus move forward with confidence knowing that Tennessee is a great place to do business. We look forward to our opportunities here and we look forward to working side-by-side with our new Tennessee neighbors."

A Way To Commemorate The War To End War

World War I was first called the war to end war in August 1914 by H. G. Wells. It was thought that defeating "German militarism" would bring about an end to war. How naive some were at the beginning of that brutal and horrible war which introduced tanks, planes, and chemical warfare to the arsenal of battlefield implements.

Also introduced to more widespread use in World War I was the 1911 pistol which first saw use in the latter stages of the Moro Rebellion in the Philippines. While originally only manufactured by Colt and the Army's Springfield Armory, the need for more pistols saw other manufacturers given contracts to make the 1911. Included in this list of manufacturers was Remington-UMC.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War One, Remington is teaming up with Turnbull Manufacturing to reintroduce a historically accurate Remington-UMC 1911. They will only be making 1,000 sets which include the 1911, the holster, 2 magazines, a lanyard, and mag pouch. I don't know how much this commemorative set will be but I guess it won't be cheap. According to the comments, you will be able to order this through your local Remington dealer.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Obligatory "Gun Violence" Reference In Obama's SOTU Speech

I guess it would be too much to ask to hope that President Obama might concentrate primarily on national security, economic growth, and jobs growth in tonight's State of the Union speech. The obligatory reference to so-called gun violence (sic) along with a pledge to keep pushing gun control with or without the aid of Congress.

From the speech:
Citizenship means standing up for the lives that gun violence steals from us each day. I have seen the courage of parents, students, pastors, and police officers all over this country who say “we are not afraid,” and I intend to keep trying, with or without Congress, to help stop more tragedies from visiting innocent Americans in our movie theaters, shopping malls, or schools like Sandy Hook.
The British paper The Guardian notes, however, that it seems the First Lady has somewhat shifted her focus from gun control issues. The point out that she had four invitees last year post-Newtown to push the issues. This year the sole invitee representing "gun violence" is the school bookkeeper from Atlanta who talked a school shooter into giving up the gun.
From four invitees in 2013, the number of guests of the first lady invited this year to spotlight the problem of gun violence in the US is one. She is Antoinette Tuff, a bookkeeper from Georgia credited with preventing a shooting at an elementary school in an Atlanta suburb by talking the would-be shooter out of it.

Otherwise, the makeup of Michelle Obama’s viewing box for Tuesday night’s speech is largely unchanged from a year ago. Among her 22 guests (Jill Biden and Valerie Jarrett aside) are small businesses' proprietors and employees, overachieving students, young immigrants, beneficiaries of the Affordable Care Act and a wounded veteran.

President Barack Obama ended his 2013 State of the Union speech with an emotional call for Congress to vote on new gun legislation. Underscoring the point was the presence in the first lady’s visitor box of the parents of a Chicago teenager killed in gun violence; a police lieutenant who was shot 15 times when he responded to the mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin; and a teacher at Sandy Hook elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.
Let's hope this is a harbinger of things to come.

UPDATE: Here is a link to a video clip of Obama and this part of his State of the Union address. I'm linking because it is an auto-play video.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

2014 SHOT Show - Magpul Industries

Duane Liptak of Magpul was interviewed by the folks over at Arfcom about the new products they were releasing at the SHOT Show. The one that immediately caught my eye was the PMag for the AK-47. If it is as reliable as the steel mags from the Eastern Bloc nations, they will have a winner on their hands.

Liptak said that they didn't release many no products this SHOT Show due to the relocation and he wouldn't be giving any sneak peaks. However, he did say that Magpul would be releasing a number of new products over the coming year even as they relocate to Wyoming and Texas.

2014 SHOT Show - Stag Arms

In this video from Arfcom, Stag Arms talks about their new Model 3T-M. Working with their 3-gun team, Stag Arms added features to this AR-15 which allows the shooter to make use of some of the shooting techniques of 3-gunners.

Now if they would only tell us if they have decided if they are moving to Myrtle Beach or Houston.

Off Topic But A Nice Story

I was sitting in bed this morning, drinking my first cup of coffee, and watching CBS Sunday Morning when a story by Steve Hartman came on. When they first flashed the preview of the story something about that school logo triggered something in my subconscious.

A few words into the story and I knew why that logo triggered something. It was the logo from my alma mater! One does not expect to see a story on TV about their old high school unless it is the scene of a tragedy. This is especially true when it is a small school located in the Piedmont of North Carolina located midway between Greensboro and Winston-Salem.

Hartman's story is about a cancer survivor who is playing the game in memory of a friend who also had cancer but didn't make it. The players on the boy's basketball team were asked to pick someone to dedicate the game to and junior Spencer Wilson picked Josh Reminger who had died nine months earlier.

I'll let Steve Hartman tell the rest of the story.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

2014 SHOT Show - EOTech

One of the new products released by EOTech is an add-on red and IR laser for their 512 and 552 holographic sights. As you can see in the video below, the laser add-on replaces the normal battery holder.

2014 SHOT Show - MagPod

The MagPod has been talked about for a long while but it is finally coming into production according to their Facebook page. I had a post about it over two years ago. It is supposed to be available come March of this year.

I still like the idea and will probably buy a pack to at least try it out when they are finally released.

2014 SHOT Show - Blue Force Gear

Blue Force Gear makes the Vickers Sling among other things. I have a few of them and think they are very well made slings for my AR-15.  The Vickers 221 shown in the video looks very handy if a bit spendy.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Whats More Dangerous Than Ghost Guns?

Despite what St. Sen. Kevin de Leon (R-LA) might think, ghost ships are more dangerous than ghost guns.

The Russian cruise ship Lyubov Orlova is now drifting around the North Atlantic crewed only by thousands of cannibal rats. It is thought to be heading towards the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The cruise ship was impounded in the Canadian province of Newfoundland back in 2010 over unpaid debts. Eventually the crew and passengers were sent home to Russia and the ship was to be towed to the Dominican Republic to be scrapped.

The Belfast Telegraph reports that after the tug towing the Lyubov Orlova broke its towing hawser, Transport Canada sent another boat to tow it out to sea and abandon it.
Sending the ship off into international waters, Transport Canada said it was satisfied the Lyubov Orlova “no longer poses a threat to the safety of [Canadian] offshore oil installations, their personnel or the marine environment”.
Since then the ship has been drifting and its location seems unknown despite satellite photos and search planes. Salvage hunters are anxious to find the ship for it as it has a scrap value of somewhere around $1 million. That said, the rats are a concern as is its eventual landfall. The Irish are calling it a biohazard and are angry at the Canadians for just letting it drift towards them.

From the National Post:
The chief of the Irish Coast Guard is expressing frustration with Canadian authorities for their February decision to send a derelict, rat-infested “biohazard” bobbing toward the Emerald Isle.

“It was over 10 days from when it went missing to when we were told about it,” Irish Coast Guard director Chris Reynolds told the Irish Independent this week. “We would have been much happier if they told us much earlier.”

“We could have sank it or towed it in for salvage.”...

That, and untold swarms of rats. Before its ill-advised tow into the North Atlantic, the Lyubov Orlova spent two years tied up in St. John’s harbour, virtually guaranteeing its status as a floating rat colony.

Or, as Mr. Reynolds called it, a “biohazard.”

“We don’t want rats from foreign ships coming onto Irish soil. If it came and broke up on shore, I’m sure local people wouldn’t be very happy about it,” Mr. Reynolds told the Irish Independent.

A much greater danger than Newfoundland rats, however, is the prospect of the Lyubov Orlova looming out of the fog and obliterating an Irish freighter or fishing vessel.

“For us, the big danger is something hitting it,” Mr. Reynolds told the BBC. “It can bump into something, or more likely, something can bump into it in the middle of the night in the Atlantic.”
 I don't know about you but I find a ghost ship filled with cannibal rats much more scary than an unserialized hunk of aluminum. Or as the Brits and Irish would say, aluminium.

2014 SHOT Show - Gov. Rick Perry

The 2014 SHOT Show brought a lot of people to Las Vegas including Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX). While he doesn't say so in the video below, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that he was doing some industrial recruiting while in Las Vegas.

I'm sorry that Perry blew up in the 2012 GOP race for president. While he might not have been able to name a third cabinet department he would cut, I think he does have a good understanding of what businesses need to succeed unlike the current occupant of the Oval Office.

Code Pink

Just like everything in Zombie Green, I think the whole "pink guns for girls" thing is getting a bit overdone. There is nothing wrong with a woman wanting a gun in pink...or emerald green or lavender or even in the Pantone color of the year, radiant orchid. But to automatically assume that a gun has to be in bubblegum pink to attract female buyers is just utter nonsense.

I realize that I'm not the only one who believes that. My views on pink guns was reinforced by a column in today's Shooting Wire written by Laurel Yashimoto. Laurel is a law enforcement officer in Southern California and was a first time attendee at this year's SHOT Show. Among her comments about being a first time SHOT Show visitor she said this:
The only thing that really gave me pause was constantly being handed something pink. My favorite color is green, but being female means that the one pink item in the booth will eventually end up in my hands. After a few of these surprising color-coded encounters, I concluded that if it goes, "bang!" fast and accurately, I don't really care what color it is. It was sweet that men tried to include women by making something in a color they hoped the ladies would like. Kind of like when the birds on the NatGeo do the crazy mating dances. It may not be sexy, but it's nice to know guys care. And no, much to my disappointment, I did not see a pink weapon mounted lighting system.
I love the comparison to bird's mating dances from the NatGeo channel. Just like some of those mating dances that look rather ridiculous, I think assuming that using pink is the only way to attract a woman to a firearm is equally ridiculous. 

I think a better way might be to take the example of Taurus and build your marketing efforts around a strong, confident woman shooter like Jessie Duff. Not only does she have Hollywood starlet good looks but she is also a USPSA Grand Master shooter. It just seems to me that this would have a better chance of success while really being a lot more respectful of women.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

S&W Joins Ruger In Leaving California Market

Smith & Wesson has officially announced today that they are letting their M&P series of semi-automatic pistols drop off the California Department of Justice Handgun Roster. For the time being, the M&P Shield and the SDVE pistols will remain on the roster as the company plans no changes to these pistols and they were added to the list prior to the beginning of 2014.

What I would like to see and, I think most would agree, is for S&W along with Ruger, Glock, and any other supplier of pistols to the law enforcement market in California take the Ronnie Barrett approach to this. That is, if it can't be sold to individuals in California then it won't be sold to law enforcement either. Barrett went further and stopped providing spare parts and repairs as well. 

The official statement from Smith & Wesson courtesy of the Outdoor Wire is below:
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (January 23, 2014) --- Smith & Wesson Corp. announced today that although it continually seeks ways to refine and improve its firearms so that consumers have access to the best possible products, the State of California is making that impossible when it comes to California residents.

Under California's "Unsafe Handgun Act," any new semi-automatic pistol introduced into that state must comply with microstamping laws. In addition, California asserts that anything other than a cosmetic change to a handgun already on the California Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale, including performance enhancements and other improvements, requires it to be removed from the roster and retested. For semi-automatic pistols, this means it must comply with the microstamping requirements, as well.

Smith & Wesson does not and will not include microstamping in its firearms. A number of studies have indicated that microstamping is unreliable, serves no safety purpose, is cost prohibitive and, most importantly, is not proven to aid in preventing or solving crimes. The microstamping mandate and the company's unwillingness to adopt this so-called technology will result in a diminishing number of Smith & Wesson semi-automatic pistols available for purchase by California residents.

This is not a problem unique to Smith & Wesson. The microstamping legislation and California's position regarding performance enhancements and other improvements creates the same challenge for all firearm manufacturers, since presumably all of them refine and improve their products over time.

Smith & Wesson currently produces a California-compliant version of its M&P® Shield and SDVE™ pistols. Both of these new products were launched last week at SHOT Show® in Las Vegas and are expected to begin shipping within 90 days. They are expected to more than offset the impact of those M&P pistol models that will not remain on the Roster. Both the M&P Shield and the SDVE pistols are expected to remain on the California Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale as long as no changes are made to those models and the company does not plan to make changes to them for this reason. All other Smith & Wesson handguns are at risk of eventually falling off the roster over time. The company expects that any current production revolvers that fall off will be re-tested and returned to the roster, since microstamping does not apply to revolvers. Without some change in position by California, however, any semi-automatic pistols (other than the California-compliant models referenced above) that are removed from the roster will not be returned and law-abiding citizens will not be permitted to buy them from a licensed dealer in California.

James Debney, Smith & Wesson President & CEO, said, "As our products fall off the roster due to California's interpretation of the Unsafe Handgun Act, we will continue to work with the NRA and the NSSF to oppose this poorly conceived law which mandates the unproven and unreliable concept of microstamping and makes it impossible for Californians to have access to the best products with the latest innovations. At the same time, we will do our best to support our customers in California with state-compliant products, enabling them access to at least a portion of the firearms to which we believe all citizens are entitled. In these challenging times, we hope you will support Smith & Wesson, and all gun manufacturers, in our fight to make the Unsafe Handgun Act about safety. We also encourage you to support the NSSF's lawsuit and other efforts to stop microstamping, before it impacts your Constitutional rights."

Unless California changes its position, all M&P pistols other than the M&P Shield, will fall off the roster by August, 2014, due to performance enhancements and other improvements we have made to those firearms. This includes the M&P9c, which has fallen off already and several other M&P models that will fall off by the end of this month. Other models already have fallen off and will continue to fall off for the same reason. Visit each week for a list published by the California Department of Justice of the handguns no longer on the roster.

California firearms dealers should check the official California Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale frequently, to determine which handguns are certified for sale in California. This list can be found at

In Honor Of John Moses Browning's Birthday

January 23, 2014 marks the 159th anniversary of the birth of John Moses Browning in Ogden, Utah Territory. The poster below illustrates the breadth of Browning's design genius as well as its prolific nature. No firearm designer in history has designed as many different firearms that have stood the test of time for so long.

Examining the list of guns he designed, variations of the 1911, the Auto-5 shotgun, the Winchester 1892, and the M-2 .50 BMG heavy machine gun are still in use on a regular basis.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Even More Proof That Prepping Is Going Mainstream

Despite the people who make you roll your eyes on Doomsday Preppers, I think it is becoming evident that more people and more companies are taking preparedness and prepping seriously.

A case in point is this release I received in my email this morning from Brownells announcing that they were expanding their product line to include emergency and survival gear.
Brownells, a trusted and widely-recognized name in the firearms industry for 75 years, has expanded its product offerings to include Emergency & Survival Gear. The more than 1,000 lifesaving and sustaining products range from those that can help people deal with the smallest of life’s unexpected events, like treating minor injuries, to surviving larger scale disasters including tornadoes, floods, wildfires and blackouts.

A few of the items in this new category include: freeze-dried food from Mountain House, Water Brick water storage supplies, NDUR water filtration equipment, Coleman sleeping bags and tents, Adventure medical kits, Midland weather radios, Streamlight lanterns and lights, Echo-Sigma survival bags, Gerber knives, Goal Zero solar power kits and much more.

“Customers have turned to Brownells for their personal protection needs for 75 years,” said Matt Buckingham, Brownells President/COO. “This new category builds on the protection theme, but provides customers and their families with all sorts of solutions for dealing with unforeseen situations. We hope these products provide nothing more than peace of mind, but if they’re ever needed, you’ll be glad you have them.”

Through February 4, 2014, select brands will be discounted by 10%, so customers are encouraged to check out the Emergency & Survival Gear tab on Brownells’ website.

As is true with every product sold by Brownells, all Emergency & Survival Gear items come with Brownells’ industry-exclusive 100% FOREVER satisfaction guarantee.

Founded in 1939, Brownells is an Iowa-based, family-owned company that supplies more than 75,000 firearms parts, accessories, reloading components, gunsmithing tools, survival gear and ammunition to armorers, gunsmiths, the military, and shooters worldwide. In addition to their industry-leading 100% lifetime guarantee - forever - on EVERY product sold, their staff of veteran Gun Techs is available to assist customers with technical help to fix any gun-related problem – free of charge. There are no minimum order sizes or return/exchange fees. To place an order, or for more information, call 800-741-0015 or visit

Slide Fire Bump Sled

Over the next couple of weeks I plan to highlight some of the products shown at the 2014 SHOT Show. Some will be practical and some will be like the Slide Fire Bump Sled which looks like a fun way to burn ammo.

Slide Fire is known for their stocks which allow semi-auto firearms to "bump fire" or simulate full automatic firing. The Bump Sled is a concept product much like concept cars at an auto show - cool looking but not necessarily practical or ready for the market. It mounts an AR with a Slide Fire stock upside down in a cradle which connects to Browning M-2 style spade grips.

As to why Slide Fire developed the Bump Sled, according to an interview with the KitUp blog, it was for fun and to provide an entertaining product to the consumer.

You can see it in action in the video below. I guess one could use it to provide suppressive fire when the Zombies invade. In the meantime, it looks like a fun way to plink if you don't care about the cost or availability of ammo.

A Missing Third Fast And Furious Rifle?

Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News reports that the Department of Justice's Inspector General is looking into the existence of a three firearm found at the scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry's murder.
In a new development in the Fast and Furious gunwalking case, the Justice Department's Inspector General (IG) is making inquiries into the possible existence of a missing third weapon in the 2010 murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, CBS News has learned. According to sources close to the investigation, the IG is questioning the Border Patrol’s evidence collection team this week in Tucson, Ariz.

The Justice Department, which oversees ATF and the FBI - and which is investigating Terry’s murder - has steadfastly denied the existence of a third gun. Court records have previously only mentioned two weapons: Romanian WASR AK-47 type rifles found at Terry’s southern Arizona murder scene on Dec. 14, 2010. Both weapons were sold to suspects who were under ATF's watch in the agency’s controversial gunwalking case. Also, a ballistics report only mentions the two WASR rifles and states that it's inconclusive as to whether either of them fired the bullet that killed Terry.
 The missing third rifle from the Fast and Furious murder scene is thought to be a SKS carbine which also shoots the 7.62x39 cartridge. Secret recordings made of meetings between ATF Agent Hope McAllister and Andre Howard, owner of Lone Wolf Trading Company, referenced such a rifle.
In the audiotapes, ATF’s lead agent on Fast and Furious, Hope MacAllister, tells Howard that a third weapon recovered at the Terry murder scene is an SKS rifle. It's unclear why a weapon would be absent from the evidence disclosed at the crime scene under FBI jurisdiction. If it’s proven to exist, sources familiar with the investigation say it would imply possible evidence-tampering for unknown reasons.
DOJ denied its existence back in 2011 and neither the DOJ or the Inspector General's Office is willing to answer questions about this possible third murder weapon.

I'm glad to see that Sharyl Attkisson is keeping on the case and not letting it fade away as many in Washington seem willing to do.

"When Did We Set Usage Requirements On Our Rights?"

In his latest commentary for NRA News, Billy Johnson takes apart the argument propagated by the New York Times and the gun prohibitionists that a so-called declining gun ownership rate in America is grounds for imposing more gun control. The New York Times is basing its argument that gun ownership has declined from 49% to 34% over the past 30 years on a survey conducted by the University of Chicago.

This decline in self-reported gun ownership comes in the face of all-time high gun sales. The University of Chicago's 2012 General Social Survey results are contradicted by other surveys. As Billy points out, many gun owners are not going to tell a survey taker that they own guns and will lie about it if asked.

Even if the survey results accurately reflect the level of gun ownership in America it is irrelevant: constitutional rights do not come with usage requirements.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Sad Day For North Carolinians - Amazon To Collect NC Sales Tax

It is a sad day for North Carolina consumers who patronize On Monday, announced that they will be collecting sales tax for purchases in North Carolina effective February 1st. will begin collecting sales tax in North Carolina beginning Feb. 1, a company official confirmed Monday.

The move will make North Carolina the 20th state in which the online retailer collects sales tax, according to Amazon’s website. It’s unclear why Amazon decided to make the change now. A spokesman didn’t respond to questions about the timing of the move and whether the Seattle-based company would begin collecting sales tax in other states besides North Carolina on Feb. 1.
The North Carolina Department of Revenue was slapped down in 2010 when they tried to force to give them the names of customers residing in North Carolina. This demand was found to violate the First Amendment.

The General Assembly passed a law in 2009 that said if a company had an affiliate program it has "nexus" in the state. When a company has nexus or a physical connection to a state, it can be forced to collect sales tax for that state according to the Supreme Court in Quill v. North Dakota. In response, closed their Amazon Associates program for North Carolinians and it remains closed to this day.

I did speak with a customer service representative with the Amazon Affiliates Program this morning. She said she didn't know when the Affiliates Program would be reopened to North Carolinians. I probably will apply when it does reopen.

To summarize, we in North Carolina are now going to have to pay sales tax on our Amazon purchases but we might get the opportunity to be Amazon Affiliates again. Frankly, I'd trade the Affiliates Program for not having to pay sales tax anyday.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Naming ATF Headquarters After Eliot Ness Might Actually Be Appropriate

There is a move to name the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives headquarters in Washington, DC after Eliot Ness of Untouchables fame. This move is supported by both Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL).

Jonathan Eig, author of Get Capone, thinks this is a lousy idea. In his article in today's Wall Street Journal, Eig lays out his reasoning.
Naming ATF headquarters after Ness is a lousy idea. It would be like naming Wrigley Field after the former Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano, a hot dog who never lived up to his hype.

Capone was actually brought down by President Herbert Hoover, U.S. Attorney George E.Q. Johnson and Internal Revenue investigators Frank Wilson and Elmer Irey, among others.
Want to name a building after one of them? Go for it. They did heroic work; it isn't their fault that their stories were never made into TV shows or movies. Most government employees (senators not included) do their best work quietly and without looking for attention—just ask any of the attorneys, scientists and investigators working today at the ATF's unnamed headquarters building.

Eliot Ness was little more than a nuisance to Capone. The lawman raided some of the gangster's breweries, helped disrupt his cash flow and built evidence that led to Capone's indictment for violating prohibition. But in the end, prosecutors decided they couldn't win with that evidence and dropped the charges. They wisely chose a more conservative approach: going after the gangster for income-tax evasion.
Moreover, Eig writes that Ness played around on his wife, tried to cover up an accident in which he was involved while driving drunk, he drank too much, and ended up selling frozen hamburger patties in the last years of his life because he was strapped for cash.

To summarize, Ness didn't get his man, he had questionable morals, he probably was an alcoholic, he covered up a crime, he couldn't manage his money, and he was prone to wild exaggeration about his accomplishments.

When you look at that summary of Ness' life and career, who better to represent the modern day ATF?

2014 SHOT Show - Day Three With

Jeff Quinn of starts off his overview of Day Three of the 2014 SHOT Show with the new S&W L-frame based .44 Magnum revolver and concludes with Ascendance International's rail systems made out of nTherm. These provide heat protection along with the Picatinny rails. In between these two are companies like Bond Arms, Winchester, and Lipseys.

2014 SHOT Show - Day Two With Gunblast.Com

In his overview of Day Two at the 2014 SHOT Show, Jeff Quinn starts out by interviewing Rob Leahy of Simply Rugged leather. I have one of his pancake holsters for my Colt Detective Special along with a belt pouch for a speed strip which is truly ingenious.

Among the others also shown is Caracal which has introduced a chassis-based rifle. Unfortunately, they didn't discuss the problems with the Caracal pistols which resulted in a total recall.

2014 SHOT Show - Day One With Gunblast.Com

As the 2014 SHOT Show came to a close yesterday, I realized that I still hadn't posted these overviews from Jeff and Boge Quinn of

In the video below, Jeff looks at a number of new firearms including a 3-Gun AR from Colt Competition which guarantees a MOA at 100 yards.

Friday, January 17, 2014

2014 SHOT Show - Two On Morakniv

I love Mora knives. I must have well over a dozen in various shapes, sizes, and blade steels. They range from an old Mora #1 with its carbon blade, to a few with the triflex laminated blades, to a Mora 2000 survival knife with a stainless blade. Morakniv makes great blades at a very reasonable cost.

What I don't have are any of the new Mora Bushcraft series with coated blades. These seemed to be a big hit with some at the the SHOT Show.

First up is this video from Dave Petzal of Field and Stream who is looking at the the Morakniv Bushcraft Black with the new molle sheath.

Next up are the folks from Going Gear who look at both the Morakniv Bushcraft that Petzal examined as well as one with a 6 inch blade along with some other gear from the new US distributor Industrial Revolution.

My favorite dealer for all things dealing with knives made in Scandinavia is Ragweed Forge. "Ragnar" has been carrying knives from Sweden like the Moras, from Finland like puukko knives, and the Helle knives from Norway for a long time. He knows their ins and outs as well as anyone on this side of the Atlantic. By the way, that Bushcraft Black without the molle sheath can be had for $39 from Ragweed Forge which is a lot less than the $80 that Dave Petzal quoted.

Ruger CEO Mike Fifer Clarifies Why They Are Leaving California Market

As I reported yesterday in the infographic on the California Handgun Roster, Ruger is reportedly going to let all their semi-automatic pistols drop off the approved Handgun Roster. Today, Ruger CEO Mike Fifer clarified this in an interview with
“We’re being forced out of the state by the California Department of Justice,” explained Fifer. “This insistence on microstamping, which doesn’t work, is denying you your rights to have access to these guns.”

“We’re not abandoning the [California] market at all, we are trying our hardest to stay in the market,” he continued. “We’re committed to California and we’re fighting this every inch of the way.”

In other words, they’re not abandoning their fans, enthusiasts and customers in California. They’re going to do whatever they can to see that this inane law gets struck down.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Infographic: Target Shooting In America

The National Shooting Sports Foundation released this infographic to accompany their new report on the economic impact of target shooting in the United States. I really applaud the last part of it where they encourage shooters to take new people shooting.

Target Shooting In America: Millions of Shooters, Billions of Dollars
Explore more infographics like this one on the web's largest information design community - Visually.

An Infographic That Illustrates The Anti's Endgame In California

The CalGuns Foundation has released the infographic below that show the end result of the Handgun Roster and the microstamping requirement in California. The end result is no handguns available which would please the gun prohibitionists no end. Moreover, they will say they didn't outlaw these guns but merely demanded that they be safe. It is the "fault" they will say of a firearms industry that didn't care about either their customer's safety or of being able to "assist" police supposedly solve crimes through microstamps.

CalGuns has put together an abbreviated history of the Handgun Roster as well as the microstamping requirement. For even more info on the Roster, go here.
1/1/2001: CA laws (SB 15 – 2000) creating a Roster of “not unsafe” handguns certified for sale are enforced.

1/1/2006: CA law (SB 489 – 2003) requiring loaded chamber indicator or magazine disconnect for all new semi-automatic centerfire handguns added to Roster is enforced; CA law (SB 489 – 2003) requiring magazine disconnect for all new rimfire semi-handguns added to Roster enforced.

1/1/2007: CA law (SB 489 – 2003) requiring both loaded chamber indicator and magazine disconnect for all new semi-automatic centerfire handguns added to Roster enforced.

4/30/2009: During a short period of time in which the United States Constitution’s Second Amendment applied to states and local governments within the federal Ninth Circuit through a case called Nordyke v. King, The Calguns Foundation and 5 other plaintiffs — including the Second Amendment Foundation — filed a federal civil rights lawsuit called Peña v. Cid (now Peña v. Lindley) against the California Department of Justice that challenged the constitutionality of the state’s “Handgun Roster” laws. The Peña case, helmed by civil rights attorneys Alan Gura, Donald Kilmer, and Jason Davis, was argued at the trial court on December 17, 2013, on cross motions for summary judgment and is currently pending decision.

5/17/2013: CA law (AB 1471 – 2008) requiring “microstamping” for all semi-automatic handguns to be added to Roster enforced by CA Attorney General Kamala Harris (CA DOJ).
It also appears that Ruger is sick and tired of kowtowing to the California rules and will let their semi-auto pistols drop off the California Handgun Roster. Given that a significant portion of Ruger's sales growth comes from new introductions and given that new pistols must be microstamped under California law, I frankly don't blame Ruger. I see it as a reasonable business decision on their part.

From C. D. Michel's CalGunLaws.Com:
In perhaps one of the more shocking discoveries at the 2014 SHOT Show, Ruger spokesperson Kevin Reid revealed that Ruger was going to let it’s entire California Semiautomatic pistol roster “…drop off…” the CA Department of Justice Approved Handgun List.

It seems that in Ruger’s slavish dedication to the concept of “continuous improvement”, and that California is milking some $ 200 per pistol per year to stay on the list AND that microstamping is now the rule, Ruger has already let some 60+ semiautomatic pistols drop off the approved handgun roster with the rest shortly to follow. (Note to the legal beagles out there: NSSF Governmental Relations/State Affairs Director Jake McGuigan did announce at an early morning seminar that NSSF had filed suit on or around January 9 regarding the microstamping issue in California.).

How this effects Ruger Sales of revolvers and rifles in the Fool’s Paradise of Kalifornia remains to be seen. While Ruger continues to produce excellent revolvers, California gun owners are notorious for voting with their feet against businesses that desert them when the chips are down. Hopefully this won’t too badly effect the roll-out of the latest GP-100.

Target Shooting Means 4,460 Jobs And $459 Million For North Carolina

The National Shooting Sports Foundation just released a study analyzing the economic impact of target shooting in the United States in terms of jobs and money put into the economy. This economic impact is distinct from the influence of hunting. The study found that target shooting created 185,000 jobs and injected $23 billion into the US economy.

NSSF has broken this down by state and the impact on North Carolina's economy is significant.
LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- The National Shooting Sports Foundation has released a major new report about the importance of target shooting activities to the economies of North Carolina and the nation. NSSF is the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry.

The report, Target Shooting in America: Millions of Shooters, Billions of Dollars, was released today in conjunction with a press conference at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show), the largest trade show of its kind in the world and a showcase for the firearms and ammunition industry.

The report provides a first-ever look at U.S. target shooting-related expenditures. Also included are state-by-state statistics for the number of target shooters, retail sales, taxes and jobs. The target-shooting report complements the Hunting in America report released by NSSF and the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies in March 2013.

In North Carolina, target shooting-related spending contributed $459,373,038 to the state's economy and supported 4,460 jobs.

Nationally, the money target shooters spent in 2011 resulted in $23 billion being added to the nation's economy and supported more than 185,000 jobs.

"More people target shooting is good news for the industry, and it is equally good news for America’s economy," said NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti.

Retail sales related to target shooting account for nearly $10 billion, with rifle and handgun shooting being the leading contributors, followed by shotgun and muzzleloader shooting. California and Texas are the top two states ranked by retail sales.

Combining data from Target Shooting in America and Hunting in America shows that target shooters and hunters together poured more than $110 billion into the nation’s economy, fueling more than 866,000 jobs. “Communities and businesses of all sizes benefit from these activities,” said Sanetti.

Target shooters ($8.2 billion) and hunters ($8.4 billion) spend nearly equal amounts on equipment common to both pursuits, such as firearms, ammunition and accessories. Hunters spend more overall than target shooters when factors such as fuel, food, lodging and transportation are included.

“The Target Shooting in America and Hunting in America reports give us a more complete understanding of the economic importance of the shooting sports to America,” said Sanetti. “We’ve long known about the recreational benefits of these activities, and now we know how much they contribute to our country’s financial well-being.”

2014 SHOT Show - Ed Head On Ruger 10/22 50th Anniversary Edition

As part of their Day Two roundup, Ed Head and Tommy Sanders of the Outdoor Channel examined the 50th Anniversary Edition of the Ruger 10/22 that was designed by customers. Instead of calling it the 50th Anniversary Edition, they could just as well name it the Appleseed Edition because it seems like a stainless and polymer-stocked version of the RWVA's Liberty Training Rifle.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

David Asks An Interesting Question

You may have seen a story recently that actress and model Charlize Theron convinced her new boyfriend Sean Penn to give up his guns. He had them melted down and made into a sculpture by Jeff Koons which generated $1.4 million in a charity auction.

What you didn't hear in the press or see on E! News are the questions that David Codrea raises today in his National Gun Rights Examiner column.
What Penn is even doing with guns in the first place is a mystery, if the reports are true that when partnered with Madonna, he tied her to a chair and beat her up with a baseball bat.

The Lautenberg amendment prohibition on gun ownership applies to those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, and according to the New York Daily News, “Penn was also charged with felony domestic assault during his marriage to Madonna. He pleaded to a misdemeanor.”

Was that report in a major metropolitan newspaper accurate, and if so, is Penn a prohibited person, or have his legally-recognized gun rights been restored? How? Those would seem to be fair questions to explore.
While I am not a fan of the denial of constitutional rights based upon a misdemeanor conviction, I am also not a fan of the high and mighty being treated differently than some poor schmuck living in a trailer park.

David asks even more questions and I think the public deserves some answers.

2014 SHOT Show - Media Day With Gunblast.Com - Part 2

In Part Two, Jeff Quinn of again previews a number of new firearms being released at SHOT Show.

Included are a number of revolvers from Smith and Wesson including the reintroduced Model 66, the Model 686-6 in .357 Mag, the 5-shot 460 S&W Magnum, and the Model 986 in 9mm. This last gun seems to have very minimal recoil with the 9mm.

Speaking of low recoil, Armalite has introduced the AR-31 .308 Target Rifle that has a muzzle break more like one would see on a Barrett .50 BMG rifle.

Sig Sauer held their portion of Media Day at a separate range from what I understand. Jeff shot the new Sig P320 which is their first striker fired pistol and the Sig MPX submachine gun. It is a damn shame that the Hughes Amendment prevents us from being able to buy one of those because it looks like a great gun.

CalGuns Wins On Carry Licensing In LA County

The CalGuns Foundation had sued Sheriff Lee Baca of Los Angeles County for his policy of forcing carry applicants to first be approved by their local town or city police chief. This acted as a de facto ban on carry licenses in LA County. On Tuesday, this policy was overturned in a decision by Judge Deirdre Hill.

From the CalGuns release on their win:
ROSEVILLE, CA — In a decision released today that forces the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to begin accepting and processing handgun carry license applications, Judge Deirdre Hill said that LASD must “consider the applications of all persons seeking a CCW permit in the first instance without requiring any applicant to first seek a CCW permit with his/her local police chief or city.”

The case, titled Lu v. Baca, was filed in 2012 by California-based gun rights organization The Calguns Foundation and a number of individual plaintiffs seeking to overturn an unlawful LASD policy that functioned as a de facto ban on handgun carry licenses for Los Angeles County residents.

“This decision means that all Californians need not jump through more hoops than those required under state law in order to apply for a handgun carry license and exercise their Second Amendment rights,” explained Gene Hoffman, the group’s Chairman.

According to the Foundation’s executive director, Brandon Combs, the victory represents an affirmation of its legal strategy and presents new opportunities to advance gun rights in the Golden State.

“It’s long past time for sheriffs and police chiefs to adhere to the same laws they swore an oath to enforce, starting with the Constitution,” said Combs. “Hopefully they’re getting the message that our fundamental rights are not open to debate. We’ll keep filing lawsuits if that’s what it takes to restore Second Amendment freedoms in California.”

“I’m very pleased by the outcome,” said Charles Hokanson, the plaintiffs’ Long Beach-based attorney. “It is always positive to see the rights of law-abiding people vindicated as they were today in this decision.”
The CalGuns Foundation will be filing more lawsuits as part of their Carry License Sunshine and Compliance Initiative to force state and local officials to comply with state law, legal precedents, and the US Constitution. Since they started their legal campaign in 2009, the number of carry permits in California has grown by almost 30,000. This may not seem like a lot but it is tremendous when you consider that there are California counties whose carry permits number in the single and double digits.

Enough Already With The Zombie Theme!

I think most reasonable people - even ones who love all things zombie - can agree that the zombie theme has jumped the shark a long time ago. We have zombie killing ammo from Hornady, we have zombie green ARs, and now, we have Trulock Zombie Slayer Choke tubes.

From the product description:
New for 2014, the Trulock Tactical Zombie Slayer Choke is available by special order as part of the Tactical Choke Tube line. Available in zombie hunter green, the Zombie Slayer Choke is designed to give optimum performance with breaching rounds, buckshot and rifled slugs to eliminate the need to change muzzle devices when alternating ammunition from breaching rounds to buckshot or rifled slugs.

The crenulated muzzle ensures positive grip when used as a standoff tool. More than just a breaching tool, this new design goes beyond single purpose. The Trulock Tactical Zombie Slayer produces improved downrange accuracy and performance for buckshot or rifled slug applications.

Like all Trulock Chokes, the Tactical Zombie Slayer is resistant to cracking, abrasion wear, corrosion and damage from common gun cleaning chemicals. The Tactical Zombie Slayer is backed by Trulock's lifetime warranty and its 60-day satisfaction guarantee.
I'm sure this choke would work just as well if finished in flat black or a blued finish. I don't see how neon green paint improves anything more than marketing performance. I guess you could make the argument that the neon green is easier to find in your range bag than something in black but even that is stretching it.

2014 SHOT Show - Day One With Ed Head And Tommy Sanders

The Outdoor Channel is streaming live interviews from the SHOT Show at different times during the day. The host of it is Tommy Sanders who used to host the outdoor block of programming for ESPN. In the recap of Day One of the SHOT Show, he talks with Ed Head of Gunsite and Downrange,tv.

Ed makes the point that he really hasn't seen anything that was new and revolutionary. Rather, it has been an evolution of existing product lines. Much of these evolutionary products are aimed at the new shooters and especially those that are younger and women. These are the growth areas of the gun culture and smart companies are the ones who have responded with new products for that segment. He mentions Ruger in particular as a company that has seen good growth from their new products.

The other thing in this interview that caught my ear was Ed's description of the mood of this year's SHOT Show. He said people seem upbeat and united. He contrasted that with last year when the SHOT Show came about a month after the shootings in Newtown and the mood was gloomy. We expected to be hit with both new gun control laws and Executive Orders aimed at firearms. As Ed notes, the community rallied and beat back much of this. He says the AR-15 was the firearm that provided the rallying point. I'm not sure if I totally agree on that but it is an interesting point.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Chicago Has Six Months To Develop Gun Sale Regulations

When Judge Chang granted the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment in Illinois Association of Firearms Retailers v. Chicago he stayed it so that the city could either appeal or file a motion to stay his decision. Today, he granted Chicago's motion to stay his motion for six months in order to give the city time to develop new regulations for gun sales and gun stores.

From the Chicago Tribune:
A federal judge today granted the City of Chicago a six-month delay in allowing gun stores to open in the city so that Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration can set up rules and regulations to restrict where the new firearms sellers can hang their shingles.

The extension was expected after Emanuel said last week that he wouldn't fight U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang's order in court because he wasn't interested in in "litigation for the purpose of litigation." The city has suffered a series of legal setbacks in recent years while fighting in court to reverse rulings favoring firearms advocates.

Chang today agreed to give the city time to put together the regulations. He issued his ruling from the bench today at the Dirksen Federal Building.
The devil will be in the details. I don't expect Chicago to either make it easy to open a gun store or to conduct a private sale of a firearm. I fully expect them to regulate private sales more stringently than do the State of Illinois or the Federal government. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has instructed the city's law department to work with community leaders and public safety experts to craft a "comprehensive set of restrictions on the sale of firearms to ensure that illegal guns don't find their way into the hands of criminals or straw purchasers." By public safety experts, I'm assuming he means gun control groups.

2014 SHOT Show - Media Day With Gunblast.Com

Jeff Quinn of Gunblast.Com shows a number of the firearms and optics that he tested at Media Day. Contrasting with last year, it doesn't seem quite a cold and windy.

Among the firearms shown in the video below include the Glock 41 and 42, the Ruger American Rimfire, the Double-Star Compact Constant Carry SBR, and Colt Competition 14.5RR. The optics shown include scopes from Burris, Trijicon, and MSE.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The R-51

Jeff Quinn of has an interesting mini-review of the Remington R-51 pistol. Remington brought a number of gun writers to Gunsite in Arizona for a preview of the pistol. While there have been a number of articles about this new pistol, I don't think any of them said where it was going to be made.

Look at the close-up at the 3:13 mark. I think a lot of people have assumed that this pistol was going to be made at the Ilion, New York plant. If this model is any indication, it is being manufactured in Charlotte, North Carolina. With Freedom Group's Para-USA located in Pineville which is a suburb of Charlotte, I'm wondering if they aren't actually being made there.

Morris V. Army Corps Of Engineers - Preliminary Injunction Issued

Morris et al v. US Army Corps of Engineers is a case brought in US District Court for the District of Idaho by the Mountain States Legal Foundation that sought to enjoin the Corps from prohibiting firearms on Corps-administered lands. The case was brought in August 2013 on behalf of Elizabeth Morris and Alan Baker who wanted to have functional firearms for self-defense while camping, hiking, and boating on Corps-administered lakes in Idaho. On Friday, Chief Judge B. Lynn Winmill issued a preliminary injunction against the Corps and in favor of the plaintiffs' request to have functional firearms on Corps-administered property.

The argument before the court was whether Corps regulations that prohibited a loaded, functional firearm unless hunting or at a target range violated the Second Amendment. To evaluate this, Judge Winmill used the two-step analysis established in the recent 9th Circuit decision in US v Chovan. First, the court had to determine whether "the challenged law burdens conduct protected by the Second Amendment." The second step was to determine the appropriate level of scrutiny.

The plaintiffs had argued that a tent is a temporary residence and should be entitled to the same protections one would have in a more permanent dwelling. Noting that the Supreme Court in Heller had held that the home is the place where the need for self-defense is most acute, Judge Winmill agreed with the plaintiffs that a tent is a temporary residence entitled to the same protections.
The same analysis applies to a tent. While often temporary, a tent is more importantly a place – just like a home – where a person withdraws from public view, and seeks privacy and security for himself and perhaps also for his family and/or his property. Indeed, a typical home at the time the Second Amendment was passed was cramped and drafty with a dirt floor – more akin to a large tent than a modern home. Americans in 1791 – the year the Second Amendment was ratified – were probably more apt to see a tent as a home than we are today. Heller, 554 U.S. at 605 (holding that “public understanding” at time of ratification is “critical tool of constitutional interpretation”). Moreover, under Fourth Amendment analysis, “tents are protected . . . like a more permanent structure,” and are deemed to be “more like a house than a car.” U.S. v. Gooch, 6 F.3d 673 (9th Cir. 1993). The privacy concerns of the Fourth Amendment carry over well into the Second Amendment’s security concerns.

The regulation at issue would ban firearms and ammunition in a tent on the Corps’ sites. This ban poses a substantial burden on a core Second Amendment right and is therefore subject to strict scrutiny.
 Judge Winmill then took up the issue of whether the ban on functional firearms in other places by the Corps violated the Second Amendment and, if so, what was the burden to the plaintiffs. He starts out by stating that the Supreme Court in Heller held that carry outside the home for self-defense was protected by the Second Amendment. Looking to see how other courts had dealt with this issue, he examined the 4th Circuit's decision in US v Masciandaro and the 7th Circuit's decision in Moore v. Madigan (and by inference, Shepard v. Madigan).

In Masciandaro, the 4th Circuit concluded that the National Park's regulation struck a balance between public safety and self-defense and thus was permitted. By contrast, in Moore, the 7th Circuit concluded that the Illinois law was so restrictive that a balance couldn't be struck and thus was unconstitutional.
The ban imposed by the Corps places this case closer to Moore than Masciandaro. The Corps’ regulation contains a flat ban on carrying a firearm for self-defense purposes. By completely ignoring the right of self-defense, the regulation cannot be saved by the line of cases, like Masciandaro, that upheld gun restrictions accommodating the right of self-defense.
 As to scrutiny, Judge Winmill said it was unnecessary for the court to decide because the regulation failed even at intermediate scrutiny. He said the regulation designed to protect both infrastructure and the public was just too broad and could not satisfy the "reasonable fit" test. The Corps had argued that its regulations should be evaluated under a rational basis test given the 9th Circuit's decision in Nordyke. The judge disagreed because Nordyke never discussed self-defense.

Finally, the court looked at the plaintiffs' request for an injunction and whether it was as the Corps argued a mandatory injunction. The judge said since the plaintiffs only request a non-enforcement of a ban and did not require an affirmative action on the part of the Corps, it was not a mandatory injunction and merely a prohibitory injunction. After examining whether the plaintiffs met the standards for granting a preliminary injunction, Judge Winmill wrote:
From the discussion above concerning the motion to dismiss, it is apparent that plaintiffs have shown a very strong likelihood of success on the merits. Moreover, irreparable harm is likely because the plaintiffs have made out a colorable claim that their Second Amendment rights have been threatened. See Sanders County Republican Cent. Committee v. Bullock, 698 F.3d 741, 744 (9th Cir. 2012) (holding that colorable claim of constitutional violation satisfies irreparable harm element). This threat tips the balance of equities in favor of plaintiffs because the harms complained of by the Corps could be “addressed by a more closely tailored regulatory measure[].” Ezell, 651 F.3d at 710. For the same reasons, an injunction would be in the public interest.

Accordingly, the Court will grant the injunction requested by plaintiffs enjoining the Corps from enforcing 36 C.F.R. § 327.13 as to law-abiding individuals possessing functional firearms on Corps-administered public lands for the purpose of self-defense.
Two things need to be noted here. First, this is an preliminary injunction and the Corps is entitled to an evidentiary hearing that could overturn the injunction. The second points out just how critical it is to get a body of earlier decisions affirming the Second Amendment. In this case, the judge looked at not only Heller but such cases as Ezell, Nordyke, and Moore v. Madigan to name just a few. Having this body of case law is critical for wins in future cases.

The full memorandum and order can be read here.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

On The Eve Of The SHOT Show

Media Day at the 2014 SHOT Show starts tomorrow and I won't be there. Sigh. One of these years I will get a chance to return to the SHOT Show.

The one and only SHOT Show I attended was the one in Dallas in 1996. I was working as the part-time bookkeeper for a knife company and I got to help man the booth. I did get to leave the booth occasionally and I was like a kid in a candy store. It was awesome. It is one of those things everyone needs to do if they ever get the chance.

I won't be at the show but Exurban Kevin will be and he is arranging a New Media Meetup. It is scheduled for Tuesday night at 9pm at The Bourbon Room in the Venetian. See the instructions at the link on how to RSVP.

In addition to helping organize the New Media Meetup, Kevin has kindly compiled a list of 12 things bloggers and new media types should do at the SHOT Show. Actually, it is a list everything you shouldn't do if you ever hope to establish any sort of relationship with a firearms company or any other vendor. Doing some of these things might even be hazardous to your health such as numbers 7, 8, or 10.

To those who will be attending the SHOT Show, I hope you have a great time and I look forward to reading and/or hearing your reports from this great event.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

One Of Our Own Is Running For Elective Office

One of our own, Pastor Kenn Blanchard posted on Facebook today that he is running for county council in Maryland. I'm presuming that it is in Prince George's County which has a district election system.

Kenn is a podcaster, blogger, author, former Marine, minister of the Gospel, fervent Second Amendment advocate, and an all-around decent human being. I'm proud to call him my friend and I think this might be the best thing that has happened to Maryland in a long time. While I can't do on the ground campaigning for Kenn, I most certainly will be making a contribution to his campaign. I would urge you to consider doing so as well.

Kenn's announcement is below:
Kenn Blanchard For Maryland.

I am not a career politician. In fact, this is my first go at this thing. I used to be wary of anybody that actually wanted to be a politician. But here I go. Why, because I care about the state of Maryland. I care about the state of my community. I am entering into the Maryland political race this year as a county councilman. It’s not a big position to some since most folks don't even vote for these lesser known spots like you but I going for it and will win if you help me. I want to be here for you for the long term. This is your investment in someone you know. Someone who would go to the gates of Hell to get you. Some one who will even run for a political office after being a grassroots activist for twenty years.

Even if you are not from or in the state or county but understand what I am trying to do; will you support me? This is about freedom, this is about rights. You could be helping a future “X”.

I have a campaign that just started. Just opened the bank account, filed the paperwork and started that process. I will need donations to buy stuff ranging from business cards to yard signs, food and swag I can give away and tell people about this unknown brother you have known for years.

Can you help? Will you help? Please send your check or money order to the “Kenn Blanchard Campaign”, PO Box 2, Upper Marlboro, MD 20773 or use this paypal link:
Working on a new website and details to come there too. Thank you.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

I'm Guessing They Won't Be Floppy Nylon Holsters

In my email this morning was a press release announcing that competitive shooter and USPSA Grand Master Jessie Duff will be collaborating with Uncle Mike's to develop new competition holsters and accessories. She will also represent Uncle Mike's in competition.
Uncle Mike’s, a leading provider of hunting and shooting accessories for more than 60 years, has announced a partnership agreement with world-renowned champion shooter Jessie Duff. In addition to working with product development to introduce new competitive and concealed carry holsters and accessories, Duff will represent Uncle Mike’s in competition.

Competing and excelling in five different shooting disciplines, Duff is recognized as one of the most accomplished competition shooters in the world. In 2013, she became the first woman ever to earn the title of Grand Master (GM), the highest ranking the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) awards a shooter.

“As a professional shooter, I hold my gear to the highest standards because I rely on it to perform at the highest level,” said Jessie Duff. “I’m excited to work with the team at Uncle Mike’s to develop field-tested competitive gear and concealed carry and shooting accessories,” added Duff
I look at this as a positive development. Uncle Mike's is a mass-market brand best known for their one size fits many nylon holsters. If they can bring better quality and better fitting holsters at a reasonable price to the mass market as a result of this collaboration with Jessie, it is a win-win situation.

It reminds me a bit of Jessie's deal with Taurus. Like Taurus, Uncle Mike's is much more mass market than top tier. By adding Jessie to the mix, Uncle Mike's gains more respectability by their affiliation with a top tier shooter and her input should help them improve their product.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Sha-Na-Na, Hey, Hey, Hey, Goodbye

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) announced today that she would not be seeking re-election after serving nine terms in the US House of Representatives.  McCarthy, who made her name by pushing gun control bills in Congress, has lung cancer and has been undergoing treatment for the last six months.

From Newsday:
For the past 17 years, McCarthy has built a public career on her gun-control work, but she said her legacy also is about strong bipartisan ties and the legislation she has passed on health, education, and finance.

She became an activist and then candidate for Congress after gunman Colin Ferguson killed six, including her husband Dennis, and wounded 19, including her son Kevin, on a Hicksville-bound Long Island Rail Road on Dec. 7, 1993. McCarthy acknowledged she has become a public face for the cause of gun control after every tragedy since.

But after the outpouring support for legislation to curb gun violence following the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults in a Newtown, Conn., school in December 2012, she said she was convinced that others can step up as the new faces of the gun-control movement.

"It's something that I have been thinking about really from the half past year," she said, "and after what happened at Newtown, so many voices came out ... and their voices were so strong."

She cited Gabrielle Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman critically wounded in a shooting two years ago Wednesday, and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg as two of her key successors in advocating gun control.
Also retiring at the same time as McCarthy is Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC) who is one of the few remaining pro-gun Blue Dog Democrats in the House. McIntyre has an A rating from the NRA-PVF and was endorsed by them in 2012. He won re-election by less than 1,000 votes. His seat will most likely go Republican in this year's Congressional elections.

The first time I was labeled a "gun extremist" by Ladd Everitt and CSGV was due to a post I made about McCarthy's efforts to pass her standard capacity mag ban (HR 308) back in 2011. I concluded that post with this comment and, what I said then, is still true today.
Like McCarthy, I was widowed in 1993. My wife died from breast cancer at the age of 42. Neither event was supposed to happen but they did. As harsh as it may sound, life goes on and we need to deal with it. To expect - and even demand - continued sympathy from an event that happened over 17 years ago like McCarthy seems to want to do is sad. It is sad that McCarthy hasn't really moved on with her life and sad because she is using the tragic death of her husband as a means of political gain.

And thus, on her retirement, I dedicate this to Rep. McCarthy. Some may call it cruel and classless but I still think it is quite appropriate.