Tuesday, January 31, 2017

SCOTUS Pick To Be Announced Tonight

President Trump's nominee to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia will be announced tonight, in prime time, at 8pm EST. During the campaign, Mr. Trump released a list of 21 potential nominees. That list has been whittled down to the two or maybe three finalists.

The three reported to be on the final list are Judge Thomas Hardiman of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Neil Gorsuch of the 11th Circuit, and Judge William Pryor of the 5th Circuit. Of those three, Judge Pryor is considered to be the most contentious choice as he was barely confirmed when appointed to the Court of Appeals. He is also a protegee' of Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions.

According to CNN, Judges Hardiman and Gorsuch have been brought to Washington which would seem to indicate it is now down to those two.

The SCOTUS Blog has done a good job of summarizing the background of the three finalists.

All three are youngish, conservative, and have good credentials. However, only Judge Hardiman has ruled on Second Amendment issues directly. He had a 40-page dissent in Drake v. Filko which centered around the impediments that New Jersey puts on obtaining a carry permit. His dissent would make him appear to believe that the right of self-defense is guaranteed both inside and outside the home. Second Amendment attorneys David Jensen and Alan Gura were the attorneys of record for the plaintiff in the appeal. Jensen commented on a post I had on Facebook today that he thought it was a good dissent. That sounds good to me.

Of course, given President Trump, this could all be window-dressing and he nominates either Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) or Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). They would already be in DC and bringing Judges Hardiman and Gorsuch to town was to throw off the media.

UPDATE: Politico and Independent Journal Review are reporting that "Trump insiders" have confirmed that Judge Neil Gorsuch will get the nod. We'll see.

UPDATE II: Interesting trivia on Judge Gorsuch - his mother was Ronald Reagan's first head of the EPA, Anne Gorsuch, who was forced out of office over a House contempt citation pertaining to toxic waste clean-up records. She was never charged with a crime despite allegations.

North Carolina Offers Turkey Hunting Seminars

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission in conjunction with the National Wild Turkey Federation will be offering free turkey hunting seminars across the state in March. It is intended for both beginners and advanced hunters in advance of the spring turkey season.

As an aside, have you ever noticed how many turkeys you see within urban areas and in the city limits when turkey season starts?

More details and locations from the NCWRC below:
RALEIGH, N.C. (Jan. 30, 2017) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, along with the National Wild Turkey Federation, is offering 14 free turkey hunting seminars across the state in March.

The seminars, which will be held from 6 to 9 p.m., are open on a first-come, first-serve basis to all ages and skill levels, although participants 16 years and younger will need parental permission to register. Pre-registration is required and participants must register online.

Among the topics that will be covered during the seminars are biology, hunting methods, calls and decoys, firearms and ammo tips, camouflage clothing, and turkey processing and cooking techniques. A question-and-answer session, along with a brief overview of hunter recruitment, retention and re-activation (R3) initiatives, will conclude each seminar.

Dates and locations are:

March 1

Pitt County Extension Center, Pitt County
403 Government Circle, Suite 2, Greenville, NC 27834
GPS Coordinates: (35.638284, -77.360689)

March 2

N.C. State University Engineering Building II (EBII), Wake County
Classroom 1025
3114 Engineering Building II
890 Oval Drive, Raleigh, NC 27606
GPS coordinates: (35.772173, -78.674353)

March 7

Pasquotank County Extension Center, Pasquotank County
1209 McPherson Street, Elizabeth City, NC 27909
GPS Coordinates: (36.298477, -76.235738)

March 8

Onslow County Extension Center, Onslow County
4024 Richlands Hwy., Jacksonville, NC 28540
GPS Coordinates: (34.781641, -77.494023)

March 9

Craven County Extension Center, Craven County
300 Industrial Drive, New Bern, NC 28562
GPS Coordinates: (35.142969, -77.158907)

March 14

Mountain Horticulture Crops Research and Extension Center, Buncombe County
455 Research Drive, Mills River, NC 28759
GPS Coordinates: (35.424879, -82.560748)

March 15

Cumberland County Extension Center, Cumberland County
301 East Mountain Drive, Fayetteville, NC 28306
GPS Coordinates: (35.012639, -78.893928)

March 16

Bass Pro Shops, Cabarrus County
8181 Concord Mills Blvd., Concord, NC 28027
GPS Coordinates: (35.367147, -80.718964)

March 21

Brunswick County Extension Center, BLDG. N, Brunswick County
25 Referendum Drive, Bolivia, NC 28422
GPS Coordinates: (34.056713, -78.165797)

March 22

Haywood Community College, Haywood County
185 Freedlander Drive, Clyde, NC 28721
GPS Coordinates: (35.525949, -82.927936)

March 23

Caldwell County Extension Center, Caldwell County
120 Hospital Avenue NE/Suite 1, Lenoir NC 28645
GPS Coordinates: (35.922477, -81.523500)

March 28

Catawba County Extension Center, Catawba County
1175 South Brady Avenue, Newton NC 28658
GPS Coordinates: (35.647028, -81.223360)

March 29

Forsyth County Extension Center, Forsyth County
1450 Fairchild Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27105
GPS Coordinates: (36.128816, -80.225864)

March 30

Guilford County Extension Center, Guilford County
3309 Burlington Road, Greensboro, NC 27405
GPS coordinates: (36.084624, -79.738867)

“This is the third year the Wildlife Commission and the National Wild Turkey Federation have offered these expanded, statewide seminars prior to the start of the spring gobbler season and they have been very popular with both novice and experienced turkey hunters,” said Walter “Deet” James, the Wildlife Commission’s hunting heritage biologist. "New for 2017, we have combined both introduction and advanced segments into one seminar thereby eliminating redundancy and the need to attend multiple seminars. In short, we will continue to improve the cooperative seminar series based on conservation partner and attendee feedback."

The statewide season for male or bearded turkey only is April 8 through May 6, with a youth-only week from April 1-7. Regulations and restrictions on turkey hunting, including information on youth season, are available in the 2016-17 Inland Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest.

For additional information, contact James at 919-707-0059; mobile, 984-202-1387 or hunting.heritage@ncwildlife.org.

Visit www.ncwildlife.org/hunting and click on the “What to Hunt” link for information about wild turkeys in North Carolina.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Punching Back Twice As Hard

Everytown for Gun Safety (sic) likes to parachute their New York attorneys into states out West in order to push their gun control agenda. This is why you get initiatives in Nevada and Washington State and bills like in Colorado that read like New York law and not the laws of those respective states.

Another place Everytown has parachuted one of their carpetbagging attorneys is Missoula, Montana, They are successfully sought to have the City of Missoula adopt an ordinance that would force NICS checks on all private transfers even though this is in conflict with state law.  Attorney General Tim Fox issued an opinion on this matter which states, "the Montana Legislature has prohibited all forms of local government from exercising regulatory power over the purchase, sale or transfer of firearms."

The city is home to the University of Montana. That plus the school system and the two hospitals are the largest employers in the city. As you might guess, the city trends liberal and tends to be a blue spot in a sea of red. Clinton beat Trump here 53% to 37%. It was only one of six Montana counties that Clinton carried out of a total of 56 counties.

However, Everytown and their carpetbagging attorney did not count on Gary Marbut and the Montana Shooting Sports Association. Using freedom of information requests, they established that Everytown attorney Jonas Oransky provided certain council members what appears to be legal advice on the Missoula ordinance and its legality. Mr. Oransky, however, is not licensed to practice law in the state of Montana. It is illegal in Montana like in most states to practice law without a license.

Marbut and the MSSA have filed a formal complaint with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel with copies to the Montana State Bar Association and the Montana Attorney General's Office. Marbut had this to say:
“It is a criminal act in Montana for a person who is not licensed to practice law to hold himself out as an attorney and to provide legal advice or services. It would be disappointing if members of the Missoula City Council have relied on criminal acts of someone from New York City in formulating public policy deemed suitable for Montana people.”
The Office of Disciplinary Counsel is saying that they don't have jurisdiction over Mr. Oransky. However, both the State Bar and the Attorney General's Office say they are investigating the matter. Mr. Oransky declined to comment to local radio station KGVO on the issue. Missoula Councilman Bryan von Lossberg confirmed that he reached out to Mr. Oransky for advice but said he was not under any retainer.

Bar associations tend to be very protective of their local turf and do not take kindly to unlicensed, out of state attorneys practicing law in their state. This is a great move on the part of the Montana Shooting Sports Association. Other local and state gun rights organizations would be wise to emulate them and use their own state's FOIA to dig into communications between public officials and Everytown. Where it can be established that apparent legal advice was given, it's time to nail them if the attorney is not licensed in that state. Carpetbaggers who connive with local scallywags to limit enumerated civil rights should be dealt with harshly.

For Illinois Residents - A Tax Alert

The power to tax is the power to destroy is an abridged quote from the great orator, lawyer, and politician Daniel Webster. Illinois politicians know this all too well and now are seeking to add a 5% tax to club membership dues. So if your local rifle and pistol club charges you $200 a year in dues, your actual cost will now be $210 with that extra $10 going to the State of Illinois.

Illinois Carry has issued an alert on SB009 which, due to an amendment, would impose this very tax. Senate Amendment 2 specifically includes gun clubs, hunting clubs, and fishing clubs by name as "amusements".  I know that the Prairie State's finances are none too solid but I think a tax on the right of association as it were is going too far.

From Illinois Carry:
Call to Action - Oppose SB009 Revenue Various
(Tax on gun clubs, ranges, and hunting clubs)

Contact Your State Senators This Week!

In our first Call to Action of the newly seated 100th General Assembly, we bring to your attention SB009 Revenue Various.

SB009 started as a simple question of creating new taxes, a question too easily answered "yes" in this state.  It is now more than that.  Much more. 

Senate Amendment 2 seeks to impose 5% membership and service taxes:

> In addition to the amusement tax on ranges already imposed by several municipalities
> In addition to the Cook County tax on firearms and ammunition
> In addition to the proposed fees covering the cost of serializing ammunition under HB271
> In addition to the already costly training and license fees required to carry a concealed firearm in Illinois
> In addition to the cost of hunting licenses
> In addition to current local, state and federal sales taxes on products associated with membership and use of hunting and gun clubs, training, and competition.

These new taxes were not, of course, presented in a forthright way that would foster open debate.  Instead, they were hidden in amendments to SB009 among a plethora of other taxes, filed quickly and quietly on a bill positioned to move through the Senate at a moment's notice.

We must recognize that the more the state taxes our ability to train, compete, and hunt the more it discourages the very practices that foster safe firearm ownership.  The more it encourages people to purchase products and services elsewhere.​

The truth will be SB009's greatest obstacle.  Spread some truth, and spread our rights.

Beginning Monday, 1/30/2017, please contact your State Senators in their district offices. Politely explain that SB009 is no longer as it seems. Let them know that while we can debate the wisdom of burdening Illinois with additional taxes one thing is not debatable. The State does not have proper authority to tax our Second Amendment rights. Contact information for your State Senator can be found here.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

New SSA Regulation May Be Overturned

The recently adopted Social Security Administration regulation that would report some seniors and disability recipients as mentally deficient to the NICS system will come under review by Congress. That regulation deemed that anyone who required a trustee or custodian to manage their monies to be mentally deficient. The NRA reports that Congress will now review this regulation under the Congressional Review Act with the aim to overturn it.

This is good news and I would hope that they review the similar policy or regulation at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

From the NRA-ILA:
Fairfax, Va. – The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today scored a victory when Congress agreed to review, and likely revoke, a final rule by the Obama administration that would blindly strip law-abiding Americans of their Second Amendment rights.

“Congress's decision to review the Obama administration's back-door gun grab is a significant step forward in protecting a fundamental constitutional right for law-abiding gun owners,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA. "The NRA has been fighting this unconstitutional government overreach since it was first discussed and we look forward to swift congressional action."

Last year, the Social Security Administration finalized a proposed rule to ban certain recipients who use a representative payee from owning firearms. This ill-conceived action affected the most vulnerable in America and stripped them of their right to keep and bear arms without due process.

The NRA immediately opposed the Obama administration's efforts when the proposal was first announced in summer of 2015. The NRA has fought every step of the way to ensure that social security recipients are not stripped of their rights without due process of law.

Today, we learned that Congress will review the Obama administration's unconstitutional ban under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). CRA allows Congress to dispose of any actions an outgoing administration initiates in its last six months. This final rule falls under that time frame, and the review process is expected to move forward in the House and receive a vote as early as next week.

Imminent revocation of this egregious government action marks the culmination of the NRA's diligent efforts on behalf of its members and law-abiding gun owners.

"This is a new era for freedom-loving Americans and the NRA is excited to begin work with our pro-Second Amendment president and Congress to ensure that law-abiding Americans' constitutional rights are respected," concluded Cox.

The NRA thanks congressmen Sam Johnson (R-TX), Ralph Abraham (R-LA) and Steve Scalise (R-LA) for their work on this effort. It would also like to thank Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) for their leadership on this issue.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Something To Remember

Sometimes those of us who live in what I affectionately call free states forget that there still is a vibrant gun culture in states with draconian gun laws like New York, or Massachusetts or California. While it is all too easy to just say that gun owners should move out of those states, family or work obligations often make this impossible.

The vibrancy of the gun culture "behind enemy lines" can be shown in this report about a gun show held this past weekend at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, New York.

The Westchester County Council had voted to ban gun shows on county-owned property but County Executive Rob Astorino (R-Westchester) vetoed it. As such, the gun show went on.
At 8:30 a.m., the line to enter Saturday’s gun and knife show was already wrapped around the side of the Westchester County Center. By 3 p.m., the steady-moving line was just as long.

County Executive Rob Astorino said attendance numbers from the first day of the show were expected to break the anticipated two-day total. Astorino vetoed legislation Thursday that moved to ban gun shows on county-owned property.

“I tried to look at this issue not in the emotional way, as some people wanted me to do it,” he said. “There was no justification to ban a gun show based on the facts and based on the law.”
This was the first time in four years that a gun show had been held at the center. The last one was scheduled in early 2013 but was cancelled due to reaction to the Newtown school murders.

H/T Stephen Wenger

Olympic Arms To Close Its Doors

Olympic Arms, one of the earliest makers of AR-15 clones, has announced that it is closing its door at the end of February. Long before there was a Stag or Daniel Defense there was Olympic Arms. According to their website's serial number history, they began making their ARs in 1979.

I don't know if this a general trend or merely an older company that was eclipsed by the younger, more innovative companies. I would tend to think it is the latter and not the former.

I do remember my friend Milo being all excited when he got his Olympic Arms AR-15. I had an email from his describing how he and his son John carefully broke it in. I'm guessing this was during the early years of the Clinton assault weapon (sic) ban.

Here is the announcement from the Olympic Arms website:
After more than 40 years of business, it is with great sorrow that we announce that February 28th, 2017 will be the last day of operation for Olympic Arms, Inc.
The Schuetz family would like to express their heartfelt thanks to all their friends, associates, and partners that have been a part of the Olympic Arms experience. Most of all we would like to thank our loyal customers and patrons who have been with us all this time.
In the course of closing, we are announcing the following changes in policy effective immediately:
  1. All sales are final.
  2. No refunds or returns will be accepted after 1-25-2017.
  3. On-line Shopping Cart will be active and effective while supplies last.
  4. All Warranty service ceases 1-25-2017. Warranty work and repairs currently in-house will be serviced and returned.
  5. New orders will only be taken for inventory currently in stock, or that can be built from remaining inventory.
  6. All inventory will be liquidated.
  7. ALL SALES will cease at close of business 28 February, 2017
 Thank you for your patronage.

A Humorous Look At Etiquette For SHOT Show Attendees.

Shawn from We Like Shooting.com and Sara of Kitfox Design Group have collaborated to produce a humorous video on etiquette for attendees at the SHOT Show. It looks at stuff like spreading germs, producing noxious gases, those infernal rolling milk crates, slow walkers, and other stuff.

The only thing I might partially disagree with is "patch whores". The old Boy Scout in me loves patch collecting and I actually do have a couple of patch displays from past NRA and SHOT Shows. I would agree with them on those who are greedy about it and take piles of patches. They are just greedy.

It's fun to think of the SHOT Show as one big gun show where you get to handle all the new cool stuff and a fun time is had by all. However, the SHOT Show is about business. It is about selling product and getting orders that could range into the millions of dollars. Even media is there on business whether it is about getting a new sponsor for their podcast or a freelancer arranging the evaluation of a new product that will lead to multiple story placements.

So with that in mind, enjoy this video from Shawn and Sara.

H/T Ben Langlotz

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

I'm Amused

Jane Jetson haircut?

Not going to take fashion tips from some former Monsanto PR-hack?

I have no clue what the Demanding Mommy herself Shannon Watts had to say about Dana Loesch but it must have been catty. I know they go at each other on Twitter all the time.

Dana's response on NRA TV to Grant Stinchfield amused me no end.

Jane Jetson haircut, bwahahahahaha! I wonder if Watts has a dog named Astro...

UPDATE: Thanks to Todd Vandermyde, I now know the backstory. You can read about it here. I'm still laughing about the Jane Jetson haircut.

SHOT Show Through Foreign Eyes

Sometimes it is better to look at something familiar through different eyes. Polenar Tactical is a group of shooters from Slovenia who produce some pretty cool videos on YouTube and Full 30 which have  found a following here in the United States.

Zigo, Samo, and Manca (she's the cute one) are first time visitors to both the US and the SHOT Show. This video is a record of their journey from Slovenia to Las Vegas and their experiences at Industry Day at the Range. You will see some other familiar faces such as Ian and Karl from Forgotten Weapons as they traverse the range.

There are only two comments I would make. If you ever start to feel jaded and bored by the SHOT Show experience just watch this video to recapture some of that newbie enthusiasm. The other comment is that I think the first English adjective learned by young Europeans must be "fucking" as it is used a lot in this video. Tender ears be warned.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Quote Of The Day

The Quote of the Day comes from the White House website that has been revamped with the change of administrations. The Trump Administration explicitly considers citizen self-defense as part of law enforcement.

Supporting law enforcement means supporting our citizens’ ability to protect themselves. We will uphold Americans’ Second Amendment rights at every level of our judicial system.

What a change a few days make.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

#2A Selfies

Among the many things President Trump is known for include his use of social media and his use of his three oldest children as advisors. A number of weeks back I remember Mr. Trump telling 60 Minutes that he had 28 million followers of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

This got me to thinking about how we in the gun culture at the grassroots could use this to advance our Second Amendment rights. Mr. Trump owes us in the gun culture for our support throughout the general election campaign in return for his promises of supporting the Second Amendment. I'd wager, though I haven't seen any hard statistics, that Mr. Trump's pro-gun stance helped him eke out wins in the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

My idea is to use social media and in particular Twitter and Instagram to communicate our grassroots message to Mr. Trump and his kids. For it to be effective, it has to go viral.

Simplicity is the key. While I have a whole list of things I want, picking 2-3 is more effective. It is also more readable in a picture which I have found out by experimentation. See the difference below. The first is my laundry list and the second is the top things I want.

Large List
Highlighted List

Shadows or not, I think the second picture is more effective as it shows that a person is standing behind it and has a limited list.

All you need to participate is a phone with a camera, a Twitter account, and/or an Instagram account. I would urge you to do both. The photo doesn't need to look professional and indeed I think it is better if it didn't. Post the picture with this hashtag -  #2ASelfie.

Your post needs to include your selfie, the hashtag, and the following addresses:

For Twitter:

  • @potus
  • @whitehouse
  • @realdonaldtrump
  • @donaldjtrumpjr
  • @erictrump
  • @ivankatrump
  • @(fill in your Representative's Twitter handle)
For Instagram:
  • @whitehouse
  • @realdonaldtrump
  • @donaldjtrumpjr
  • @erictrump
  • @ivankatrump
  • @(fill in your Representative's Instagram name)
Remember that Twitter has an 140 character limit. Instagram, to the best of my knowledge, doesn't have a character limit.

Forward this post to your friends and family who support the Second Amendment. Unlike the stuff that comes out of Bloomberg's Everytown or the Brady Campaign, this really is a grassroots effort. Again, we need this to go viral. If it goes viral, it will have more of an impact than any Change.org petition.

SHOT Show Day Three - Gunblast.com

The highlights of Jeff Quinn's third day at the SHOT Show include the Sig Sauer P320 X version, Rob Pincus' Avidity P10, and a unique barreled rifle from the Italian firm Sabatti. I will say I learned something about rifling as I had never heard of multi-radial rifling which sounds quite intriguing as it helps increase velocity and reduce bullet drop at longer ranges.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Parting Shot At Shooters And Hunters From The Obama Administration

Yesterday was the last full day of the Obama Administration. It did not pass without a last parting shot by the anti-hunting, anti-shooting so-called environmentalists. US Fish and Wildlife Director Dan Ashe issued a Director's Order that will ban the use of traditional, lead-based ammunition on Federal lands within five years. Thus it gives groups like the Center for Biological Diversity and Project Gutpile a win that they could not achieve in the courts.

Here in western North Carolina, the few public outdoor ranges that we have are on National Forest land. Checking the prices of copper based .223 ammo versus traditional ammo, the cheapest I can find a box of 20 rounds is for about $17 for copper versus about $6 for Tula or $8,.50 for American Eagle. Forcing shooters to use non-lead ammunition will drive up the cost exponentially and drive people from the shooting sports for economic reasons.

The NSSF is crying foul on this move.
NEWTOWN, Conn. — The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industries, condemned the decision by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe banning the use of traditional ammunition on Service lands in just five years.

The parting shot, Director’s Order 219 , was issued on the final full day of President Obama’s administration. The last-minute action revives an effort the administration undertook eight years ago to ban the use of traditional ammunition.

“This directive is irresponsible and driven not out of sound science but unchecked politics,” said Lawrence Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “The timing alone is suspect. This directive was published without dialogue with industry, sportsmen and conservationists. The next director should immediately rescind this, and instead create policy based upon scientific evidence of population impacts with regard to the use of traditional ammunition.”

The order requires several initiatives to go into effect immediately. Regional Directors are to work with state agencies to ban the use of traditional ammunition. It also ends the use of traditional ammunition on Federal land, including National Parks, tribal lands and national wildlife refuges in order to mirror policies in states where traditional ammunition is already restricted. The order “expeditiously” bans traditional ammunition “when available information indicates” that lead is harmful to wildlife, without requirement of a scientific threshold on which to base that action.

It also requires creation of a timeline to restrict traditional ammunition for dove and upland bird hunting.
Notice that last bit. They want to ban traditional ammo for dove hunting as well.

I hope this is one order that is rescinded after noon today when the Trump Administration takes office. I certainly hope so.

UPDATE: The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies which represents the fish and wildlife departments throughout the 50 states issued a very strong statement disagreeing with Director's Order 219. They make the point that in the past any sort of move like this would have been a cooperative effort between state and federal wildlife agencies and that the states were caught by surprise by this order.
January 20, 2017

Statement from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Regarding U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director's Order 219

The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies expresses utter dismay with the release of Director’s Order 219, Use of Non-Toxic Ammo and Fishing Tackle, by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) on January 19, 2017. Association President Nick Wiley states that "this action flies squarely in the face of a long and constructive tradition of states working in partnership with the Service to effectively manage fish and wildlife resources." He adds, "the Association views this Order as a breach of trust and deeply disappointing given that it was a complete surprise and there was no current dialogue or input from state fish and wildlife agencies prior to issuance. It does a disservice to hunters and anglers, the firearms and angling industries, and the many professionals on staff with the USFWS who desire a trusting and transparent relationship with their state partners." This is unacceptable federal overreach into the states’ authority to regulate the methods of take for sport fish as well as complete disregard for the states’ concurrent jurisdiction with the Service for the management of migratory birds. Further, the economic impacts of this action, which likely will be felt most by rural Americans, is likely to be hundreds of millions of dollars." The Association looks forward to working with a new Administration in the redress of this poorly timed and executed decision
A point I didn't make yesterday with the original post is that this order also impacts anglers as it also includes the phase-out of fishing tackle that includes lead. 

I want to emphasize that Dan Ashe's Director's Order 219 seeks to accomplish what court battles and petitions to the Environmental Protection Agency from 2010 through 2013 did not - the elimination of traditional ammo and fishing tackle. I foresee that this order will be reversed when Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) is finally confirmed as the Secretary of the Interior.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Great News For Sig Sauer

Just a day before a new administration takes office the US Army has finally decided who will be making their Modular Handgun System. It will be Sig Sauer.

From a DoD contract announcement released today:
Sig Sauer Inc., Newington, New Hampshire, was awarded a $580,217,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the Modular Handgun System including handgun, accessories and ammunition to replace the current M9 handgun. Bids were solicited via the Internet with nine received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Jan. 19, 2027. Army Contracting Command, Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, is the contracting activity (W15QKN-17-D-0016).
 More on the contract win from Military.com:
Sig Sauer beat out Glock Inc., FN America and Beretta USA, the maker of the current M9 9mm service pistol, in the competition for the Modular Handgun System, or MHS, program.

"By maximizing full and open competition across our industry partners, we have optimized private sector advancements in handguns, ammunition and magazines, and the end result will ensure a decidedly superior weapon system for our warfighters," Army Acquisition Executive Steffanie Easter said said in a press release.

The Army launched its long-awaited XM17 MHS competition in late August 2015 to replace its Cold War-era M9 9mm pistol. One of the major goals of the effort is to adopt a pistol chambered for a more potent round than the current 9mm. The U.S. military replaced the .45 caliber 1911 pistol with the M9 in 1985 and began using the 9mm NATO round at that time.

In the press release, the service didn't offer any details about what caliber the new Sig Sauer pistol will be.
 The MHS pistol is reportedly based upon the Sig P320 and both .40 S&W and 9mm were submitted for consideration by the Army. ArmyTimes reports that the first pistols could be fielded by the Army sometime later this year.

The procurement of these new handguns has been plagued by some controversy for taking so long.

The Wall Street Journal notes:
Gen. Mark Milley, the Army chief of staff, last year criticized the protracted buying process and said he would prefer to take a check to an outdoor retailer to expedite the process of replacing the pistols used for more than 30 years.

“We’re not figuring out the next lunar landing,”” Gen. Milley said at a defense conference last year. “You give me $17 million on a credit card, and I’ll call Cabela’s tonight, and I’ll outfit every soldier, sailor, airman and Marine with a pistol for $17 million. And I’ll get a discount on a bulk buy.”

The contest included the elimination last year of Smith & Wesson owner American Outdoor Brands Corp. and partner General Dynamics Corp., and the hundreds of pages of requirements for the contract became a focus for critics of the Pentagon’s acquisition system.
The big loser in this is obviously Beretta which held the Army contract for 30 years. Now that they don't have the Army contract any longer, you have to wonder how soon they will be closing up things in Maryland and finishing the move of operations to Gallatin, TN.

The other loser is Glock but they will have their large law enforcement market to fall back upon. It was reported that the decision came down to Glock and Sig.

UPDATE: Sig released these pictures of the XM17 - the military's version of the P320 - on Facebook today.

The release from Sig Sauer that accompanied the photo:
SIG SAUER, Inc. announced today that the U.S. Army has selected the SIG SAUER Model P320 to replace the M9 service pistol currently in use since the mid-1980’s. Released in 2014, the P320 is a polymer striker-fired pistol that has proven itself in both the United States and worldwide markets. The P320 is the first modular pistol with interchangeable grip modules that can also be adjusted in frame size and caliber by the operator. All pistols will be produced at the SIG SAUER facilities in New Hampshire.

The MHS Program provides for the delivery of both full size and compact P320’s, over a period of ten (10) years. All pistols will be configurable to receive silencers and will also include both standard and extended capacity magazines.

“I am tremendously proud of the Modular Handgun System Team,” said Army Acquisition Executive, Steffanie Easter in the release. “By maximizing full and open competition across our industry partners, we truly have optimized the private sector advancements in handguns, ammunition and magazines and the end result will ensure a decidedly superior weapon system for our warfighters.”

Ron Cohen, President and CEO of SIG SAUER, said “We are both humbled and proud that the P320 was selected by the U.S. Army as its weapon of choice. Securing this contract is a testimony to SIG SAUER employees and their commitment to innovation, quality and manufacturing the most reliable firearms in the world.”

UPDATE II: Two more comments on the XM17 from Michael Bane and John Farnam.

First from Michael on the implications for the civilian market.
The implications are pretty obvious. As with the Beretta M9, the Big Army contract, the most coveted handgun contract in the world, will launch the already successful 320 into the stratosphere. Validation by the U.S. military makes the gun an easy chose for a potential flood of other agencies. Over the years I have seen estimates of at least the same amount of sales to other Federal agencies, law enforcement and civilians clamoring to own the same gun the military uses. While the caliber was not announced, let me go out on a limb here and suggest that it will be 9mm. Why? I would say logistics…the huge military pipeline is already set up to provide 9mm ammunition worldwide, and changing to a different caliber would be a nightmare. I once had a very long and fruitful conversation on military logistics by one of the most knowledgeable men in the industry — Ron Cohen, the head of Sig Sauer. Funny, that.

The military contract will also open the floodgates of aftermarket parts to support the gun. That aftermarket will be increasingly driven by civilian and LEO acceptance of the 320 as a platform. Obviously, this is already underway with the relationship between Sig and GrayGuns. Bruce Gray, one of the greatest minds in the firearms world, has hammered out the 320 trigger, working essentially as an in-house R&D guy, and has a huge head start on aftermarket 320 parts. There will be lots of others!
Make sure to read his full post on this as it contains other nuggets of wisdom.

John Farnam has more information on the military version of the P320 or the XM17 along with some commentary about the changes in his Farnam's Quips email.
Friends as (sic) SIG tell me these additional details about the pistol that will ultimately be delivered to the Army:

Our military’s version of SIG’s 320 pistol will have a manual safety lever. Of course, most troopers will never be allowed to even have a magazine inserted into the pistol, much less carry the weapon with a round chambered, so the manual safety lever will have little real function.

Two more “enhancements:”

The take-down lever will be “secured” in some way on the right side, so that it cannot be removed at the field level which would allow complete removal of the fire-control unit from the plastic frame.

The slide cover-plate at the back will be “secured” in a similar fashion, and for the same reasons.

Army procurement people obviously do not want “end-users” (the ones who may actually have to shoot someone) taking the gun apart any further than field stripping.

I carried a SIG320 for most of last year. My copy has no manual safety, as I have no interest in one and consider it a mostly useless and unnecessary addition. If I were carrying a 320 with a manual safety, I’d leave it in the “off” position. However, a manual safety that does not exist cannot be inadvertently left in the “on” position, and that is why I like it gone!

Not everyone agrees, however.

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently what need not be done at all”


SHOT Show Day Two - Gunblast.com

On the second day of the SHOT Show, Jeff Quinn of Gunblast.com interviews folks from Smith & Wesson, KelTec, Ruger, and a number of purveyors of cowboy action revolvers.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

SHOT SHOT Day One - Gunblast.Com

Jeff Quinn in this report on Day One of the SHOT Show starts off with a great interview of Ruger CEO Mike Fifer. The other highlights were a Colt representative talking about the reintroduced Colt Cobra and a discussion by Linda Powell of Mossberg's new 590 Shockwave shotgun. This latter product is quite interesting in that it is a pistol-gripped 14" shotgun that does not require a NFA tax stamp.

To read more about the Mossberg 590 Shockwave, go here.  Ammoland.com does report that the shotgun is sold with this disclaimer:
Disclaimer: Although the Mossberg 590 Shockwave is classified as a “firearm” under the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), and is not subject to the provisions of the National Firearms Act (NFA), state and local laws may be more restrictive. Even though, it is legal federally, the 590 Shockwave may be considered a “short-barreled” shotgun or “assault weapon” by certain state and local laws; and therefore illegal to possess. Please check with your local authorities concerning the legality of possessing a firearm of this configuration.
Checking North Carolina law, 14 NCGS § 14-288.8.(c)(3) classifies a shotgun as a "weapon of mass death and destruction" if it has "a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length or an overall length of less than 26 inches." If you have a Federal tax stamp then possession of such a shotgun is permitted. As I read this - and I'm not a lawyer - the shotgun must be both greater than 26 inches overall in length and must have a barrel of 18 inches in length or greater. By using "or" instead of "and" in the description of such a prohibited shotgun the legislative intent is that both conditions must be met. This leads me to say that this is a law that needs changing as I'd like one of those shotguns!

UPDATE: Regarding North Carolina law and the legality of possessing the Mossberg Shockwave, I received this message on Facebook from fellow blogger Chris Maynard.
It is not a shotgun because it never had a stock, rather a pistol grip from the factory... If it was under 26" in length, it would be an AOW... But over 26" makes it a "firearm"... Per federal law...

So that should mean that it is not restricted by NC law supposing they follow the federal definition of "shotgun"

But the same statute also restricts " Any type of weapon (other than a shotgun or a shotgun shell of a type particularly suitable for sporting purposes) which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, and which has any barrel with a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter" so this gun should qualify under that.

Ruger GP-100 In .44 Special

One of the firearms that I had hoped to shoot at Industry Day at the Range was the new Ruger GP-100 in .44 Special. As events conspired to keep me from the SHOT Show, I am relying on my friend Rob Reed's post about it at AllOutdoor.com.

His impression:
I was able to put a few rounds through the gun and my initial impressions were favorable. The trigger was good in double-action and very good in single-action and the rubber grips absorbed the recoil of the standard pressure .44 Special rounds very well. Since it is based on the tank-like GP 100 I’m sure it will handle the hotter .44 Special loads that approach Magnum territory as well.
He also included this video of the Ruger representative going over the specs of the revolver.

You can read more about the specifications of this new revolver at Ruger's website here.

If you subscribe to Guns Magazine, Massad Ayoob has a very complimentary review of this new revolver in this month's issue (March 2017).

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Is This The Best They Can Do?

Now that the Hearing Protection Act has been introduced in both the House and the Senate the wailing and gnashing of teeth is beginning to be heard from the gun prohibitionists. Just today I received the following in my email from the Space Cowboy aka Mr. Gabby Giffords aka Mark Kelly of the Americans for Responsible Solutions.

John -
With Donald Trump set to take office in just three days, the gun lobby and their allies in Congress have set their sights on a pair of bills that will make our communities far less safe from gun violence.
One of those bills would lift restrictions on the sale of firearm silencers.
Now, I don’t want to give the impression that firearm silencers work like you see them in the movies — where someone fires a gun and it wouldn’t wake a person sleeping in the same room.
But silencers do suppress sound and light when a weapon is discharged, and that makes them attractive accessories for criminals who want to conceal their crimes.
Before Trump takes office, it’s important we lay down a marker on this issue.
The gun lobby will tell you that this legislation is designed to protect people’s hearing, but the truth is that it’s a massive financial giveaway to the corporations who manufacture and sell firearm silencers. The safety of our communities is more important than the manufacturers' bottom lines.
Thank you for adding your name.
Mark Kelly
Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC

You want to say, "Really, Mark? Is this the best you can come up with?" A suppressor suppresses sound and light and thus make them attractive accessories for criminals. Flash suppressors for rifles are legal in most states and do not require any license, permit, fee, or registration.

The same could be said for common items like bed pillows, oil filters, 2-liter Coke bottles, and potatoes. All of these common items could be used by thugs, murderers, and criminals to muffle the sound of the firearm and possibly reduce its flash.

Having reported on hundreds of defensive gun uses on the Polite Society Podcast I have yet to come across mention of a criminal having a suppressor in his or her possession while committing an assault, robbery, home invasion, or murder. Indeed, more often than not, these miscreants use the loud sound of a firearm discharge to attempt to cow their victims. They aren't worried about the police because most times they anticipate being gone by the time the police arrive.

What Kelly is not saying is that treating silencers and suppressors like ordinary firearms still requires a NICS check as they are going to be transferred by FFLs. You would still have to fill out a Form 4473 and felons, drug abusers, those convicted of domestic violence, etc. would still be prohibited from purchasing and possessing a suppressor. While I might want a suppressor to be sold like replacement mufflers for a lawnmower at Ace Hardware, these bills are a good first step in an effort to reduce noise pollution and protect the hearing of hunters and shooters.

Smart Move On The Part Of NSSF Regarding Suicide

30 to 33,000 deaths a year by firearms is the number that the gun prohibitionists love to throw around. This is intentionally misleading as the uneducated presume that all of these deaths are the result of criminal homicides. In reality, the large majority of these deaths are the result of a person taking his or her own life and using a firearm as the tool of their demise. Any check of CDC reports of vital statistics makes this clear.

This being said, regardless of what instrument someone chooses to use to take their own life, suicide is a serious issue and finding common ground on ways to reduce the numbers of deaths by suicide is important. The Second Amendment Foundation (and the NRA) found this to be true in Washington State where they joined with health professionals on a bill aimed at suicide prevention. Now the National Shooting Sports Foundation is joining with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to go nationwide with suicide prevention efforts.

This is a very smart move by the gun industry and one that should be applauded. A reduction in the number of suicides and treatment of the depression that might have engendered the suicide is good for all of society. Moreover, it helps to remove the focus from the instrument used to commit suicide and put it where it belongs:  on the root causes of the suicide itself. Finally, it shows that the gun culture is serious about working to alleviate this mental health issue unlike the gun prohibitionists who are content to clamor "guns, guns, guns, it's the gun".

A quick Google search indicates that news of the partnership is being picked up by the AP and a number of local news outlets. However, sad to say, I can't find any mention of it by ABC, NBC, CNN, FoxNews, or CBS. The only suicide related news I can find there relates to Chelsea/Bradley Manning.

Here is the joint press release put out by NSSF and AFSP:

LAS VEGAS -- Of all firearms-related deaths in the U.S. in 2015, almost two-thirds were suicide deaths, according to the 2015 Fatal Injury Report, Center for Disease Control and Prevention. To help stem this tragic loss of life, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) today announced at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas a partnership to launch a new firearms and suicide prevention education program nationwide in 2017.

The program brings together AFSP community-based Chapters and NSSF-member organizations, including firearms retailers and range owners across the country, to educate the gun-owning community about suicide, warning signs, risk factors and the importance of securely storing firearms to help prevent access in times of distress. A pilot of this program has been ongoing in four states since August 2016.

"Of all suicide deaths in our nation, nearly 50 percent are by firearm. By increasing public education of firearms and suicide prevention, and by encouraging the use of safe storage options and thus reducing access to lethal means, we give suicidal individuals something they desperately need: time. Time for the intense suicidal risk to diminish and time for someone to intervene with mental health support and resources," said Dr. Christine Moutier, AFSP's Chief Medical Officer at a press conference today at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas, the largest trade show in the world for professionals involved with the shooting sports, hunting and law enforcement industries. "Research has shown that separating suicidal individuals from a variety of lethal means can prevent suicide."

Firearms retailers and range owners are in a unique position to help disseminate mental health and suicide prevention education materials, and safe storage options to those who frequent their stores. With these public education resources, the firearms-owning community can help spread the word to those who may be concerned about a friend or family member who may be at risk, and who may have access to a firearm.

"Our partnership with AFSP allows us to expand our decades-long firearms safety efforts to include suicide prevention education," said Steve Sanetti, NSSF's President and CEO. "As the industry's trade association with more than 12,000 members, we want to help. By making gun owners and the public more aware of suicide and responsible firearm storage, we are confident that we will help save lives."

The firearms and suicide prevention program is an expansion of a pilot that began last August, in four states including Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, and New Mexico. In these four states, relationships between AFSP Chapter volunteers and local shooting range owners, firearms retail stores and gun show vendors shared resources on recognizing the risks and warning signs of suicide and ways of reaching out to those who may be struggling, including:
  • Talk Saves Lives: Firearms and Suicide Prevention, a community-based presentation that provides an overview and understanding of mental health and suicide, and the benefits of connecting with those who may be struggling.
  • Firearms and Suicide Prevention, a new brochure which includes sections on safe storage options, statistics about suicide, how to recognize the risks and warning signs of suicide, how to reach out to someone when you're worried about them, and where to go for further resources.
  • Firearms and Suicide Prevention: Facilitator's Guide for AFSP volunteers involved in the program who need instructional information on leading community-based programs.
  • A new webpage which will showcase an overview of the firearms and suicide prevention program and the latest news. The organizations are currently creating a short training video on how to have a caring conversation with someone who may be suicidal, which will be featured on the webpage, and is due to be released in spring 2017.
"When I first heard about this partnership I was really encouraged. Working with experts in the field, we have been trying to teach gun owners about suicide prevention on a local level for a while - and so far it's been a bootstrap effort, recruiting one firearms retailer at a time. But by expanding the education and suicide prevention program nationally, we will have a much easier time convincing retailers to get involved because NSSF is a name they trust," said Dick Abramson, President and CEO of the Centennial Gun Club in Colorado. "At a weekly ladies' night we hold at the Centennial Gun Club, we have already brought in a suicide prevention expert to speak on this topic. The questions asked were insightful and the audience was extremely interested. So we know there is a real thirst in the community for this kind of education."

About Project 2025
Launched in October 2015, Project 2025 is a high-impact, collaborative initiative developed by AFSP, aimed at achieving the organization's bold goal of reducing the annual suicide rate 20 percent by 2025. Using a dynamic systems model approach based on what the evidence tells us about suicide, AFSP has determined a series of actions and critical areas to help us reach our goal. With this approach we reach across all demographic and sociological groups to have the greatest impact for suicide prevention and the potential to save thousands of lives within the next 10 years. If we work collectively to expand the above interventions in key area (Firearms, Emergency Departments, and in Large Healthcare Systems) - cumulatively, we can expect to save nearly 20,000 lives through 2025.

About NSSF
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen's organizations and publishers. Through its Project ChildSafe program, "Own It? Respect It. Secure It." campaign and other initiatives, NSSF promotes the safe and responsible use and storage of firearms and makes available many firearm safety resources at ProjectChildSafe.org.

About AFSP
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that's smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, and with a public policy office in Washington, D.C., AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide. AFSP celebrates 30 years of service to the suicide prevention movement. Learn more about AFSP in its latest Annual Report, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube

Roadkill - It's Not Just For Tacky Cookbooks Anymore

Normally when you think of roadkill (if you do at all), you might think of those tacky cookbooks found in some outdoor stores or gift shops with recipes for "found critters". They have names like Gourmet Style Road Kill Cooking and Other Fine Recipes, Road Kill Cooking Redneck Style and More Tails From the Fast Lane (Vol II), or Quick-Fix Cooking with Roadkill. You may even live in a state where it is totally legal to collect roadkill for these dining adventures.

However, roadkill and collecting it does have some serious scientific purposes. An article in today's Wall Street Journal discussed roadkill and how wildlife and conservation biologists use it for a variety of purposes from deciding where to put warning signs to avoid car-deer collisions to using it as bait to attract scavengers so as to test their DNA.

From the Wall Street Journal:
If “it’s not road pizza…it has lots of potential future use,” said Greg Pauly, assistant curator of herpetology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, who often carries ethanol-filled test tubes to preserve tissue samples, Ziploc bags and a cooler in case he comes across a meaty roadside specimen. A rattlesnake he found is now part of a Los Angeles biodiversity exhibit at the museum, and some finds are powering his research on how gopher-snake diets have changed thanks to urbanization.

At the Field Museum in Chicago, scientists are using tissues from car-trodden barred owls to study genetics and evolution. These birds have expanded rapidly across the Great Plains and into the Pacific Northwest. They can’t always beat traffic, but they’re out-competing the spotted owl, which is endangered in the region.

“It’s a major conservation issue,” said John Bates, the Field Museum’s associate curator of birds. “What makes barred owls so successful? We’re still looking…15, 20 years ago when salvage work started going, nobody was thinking about the fact we might get genetic data from these samples.”
Dr. Pete Bloom, a biologist in Santa Ana, California, uses it to study turkey vultures. The video below shows his set-up to trap these vultures so he can take blood samples.

Industry Day At The Range - Gunblast.com

The SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range (former Media Day) was held yesterday. It is the opportunity for the media and dealers to actually try out the new guns that are being introduced at the SHOT Show.

Jeff Quinn of Gunblast.com always does a great job of covering a wide range of guns. I've used his videos over the year's to show the new firearms. Jeff doesn't just cover the big names but also devotes some time to smaller manufacturers. This year he seemed to give a good deal of time to Standard Manufacturing of Connecticut. They introduced a number of firearms including an engraved, color case-hardened Single Action Army as well as a 1911 with similar engraving and a charcoal and bone case color-hardening.

Among the other firearms covered include the Ruger Precision Rifle in 6mm Creedmoor, the Cobalt Kinetics AR-15, the Mossberg 500 short-barreled any other weapon, and, of course, the Colt Cobra. The Cobalt Kinetics, by the way, uses their double forward assist to also drop the bolt. That is innovative.

Monday, January 16, 2017

SHOT Show Begins

SHOT Show begins! While for reasons covered elsewhere we had to cancel our trip to Las Vegas, I hope to bring you a daily compilation of reports from the show. Keep checking back as I will be adding new stories throughout the day.

Starting off is Jeff Quinn's pre-SHOT Show video.

Soldier Systems Daily has three reports on SIG Media Range Day:

On new SIG pistols.

On a new SIG suppressor for .22 LR.

On camo from TYR.

Michael Bane has his SHOT Show preview in his latest podcast. You can listen to it here.

Mas Ayoob has his report from the SIG Media Range Day here. He discusses the new SIG pistols and the Razor XV BT active hearing protection from Walker.

Mike Rowe responds to a critic who is aghast that he will be at the SHOT Show. Priceless!

The Shooting Illustrated staff reports on the SIG Media Range Day and includes info on SIG's new thermal sight.

Mark Keefe of the American Rifleman has a look at the SIG Sauer P320 X-Five from SIG Media Range Day.

Meanwhile, also from SIG Media Range Day, Tam gives her impression of the US-made SIG P210 in this report.

Richard Johnson of the Gun Holsters and Gear blog has his report on SHOT and the Industry Day at the range here. He is impressed by the crispness of the trigger of the Hudson H9 which is the striker-fired 1911 clone.

Courtesy of GunHolstersandGear.com
More detail on the Hudson H9 in this video from Patrick R. at The Firearm Blog.

Just a little bit more on the Hudson H9 including its designer talking about the differences between the prototype and the production models. My friend Rob Reed has the story here and in the video below:

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Life Causes A Change In Plans

The Complementary Spouse and I had plans to attend the SHOT Show and the Media Day at the Range. We had our plane tickets and our hotel reservation. We had received our badges that would allow us into the SHOT Show and to Media Day. We have been getting dozens of press releases by email daily. I was excited to get my hands on the Colt Cobra and see how it differed from the older Colt revolvers. We had started to map out who we planned to visit and on what day.

Then real life interrupted.

Sunday a week ago the nursing home where my mother-in-law Grace resided called to let us know she had what they suspected was a stroke of some sort. She wasn't able to hold her head up and had some weakness on one side. From there, her health started to rapidly decline. After a consultation with her care team, it was decided that she should be transferred into hospice care. Hospice care doesn't mean that death is imminent but rather that the person's life expectancy is six months or less. That said, there are many elderly in hospice care who live over a year. This was not to be our case.

On Wednesday we were told that she was declining even more rapidly than we expected. My sister-in-law Cindy who was with her said we needed to get there sooner than later. We used Thursday to make work arrangements for being gone and left for St. Louis on Friday. Though we tried to get ahead of the snow storm that swept across the Southeast, we still had to slog our way through slick roads and snowy conditions a good part of the way there. Fortunately, we missed some of the big wrecks that virtually closed down Interstate 40 in places.

We arrived in the late afternoon. It was obvious to all that Grace was in the end stage of her life and that it was good that we arrived when we did. Soon after we arrived, we were joined by some of Grace's grandkids who had driven over from Kentucky to say their goodbyes. We spent the evening in the room reminiscing about Grace's life and how she enjoyed her children and grandchildren. Eventually, all of us except Cindy and the Complementary Spouse went to where we were staying. The two daughters had decided that they would keep watch over Grace throughout the night.

Grace died on Saturday just after noon. She was surrounded by many of her family as she took her last breath. It was a quiet, peaceful, and dignified passing.

I am one of those lucky people in that I got as good a mother-in-law as one could ever hope to have. Grace treated me as much like a son as a son-in-law. I remember her saying to the Complementary Spouse that if we didn't hurry up and get married, she would just have to adopt me. She loved me and I loved her.

As to the SHOT Show, it will be there next year. Family will always come first.

The obituary for Grace is here. She was a wonderful and kind woman and I will miss her terribly.

May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

NRA And NSSF Praise Introduction Of HR 38

The National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation have issued releases praising the introduction of HR 38 - Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.

From the NRA.
Fairfax, Va. – On behalf of its five-million members, the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) applauded the introduction of H.R. 38, The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, authored by Congressman Richard Hudson (NC-8). This legislation would eliminate the confusing patchwork of state carry laws by allowing individuals who possess concealed carry permits from their home state or who are not prohibited from carrying concealed in their home state to exercise those rights in any other state that does not prohibit concealed carry.

“The current patchwork of state and local laws is confusing for even the most conscientious and well-informed concealed carry permit holders. This confusion often leads to law-abiding gun owners running afoul of the law when they exercise their right to self-protection while traveling or temporarily living away from home,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA-ILA. “Congressman Hudson’s legislation provides a much needed solution to a real problem for law-abiding gun owners.”

This legislation would not override state laws governing the time, place or manner of carriage or establish national standards for concealed carry. Individual state gun laws would still be respected. If under federal law a person is prohibited from carrying a firearm, they will continue to be prohibited from doing so under this bill.

“Law-abiding citizens should be able to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense while traveling across state lines,” continued Cox. “This is an extremely important issue to our members and we thank Congressman Hudson for leading the fight to protect our rights,” concluded Cox.

From the NSSF:
U.S. Rep. Hudson Introduces NSSF-Backed
National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill

NEWTOWN, Conn.-U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) introduced the NSSF-supported Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (H.R. 38) on the first day of the 115th Congress. The proposed legislation, with 63 co-sponsors, would compel states to recognize concealed carry permits issued from other states that have concealed carry laws within their own borders - much in the same way a driver's license is recognized. The bill aims to eliminate the confusion of varying state-by-state laws and provide protection for Second Amendment rights for permit holders.

"Our Second Amendment right doesn't disappear when we cross state lines, and this legislation guarantees that," Hudson said. "The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 is a common sense solution to a problem too many Americans face. It will provide law-abiding citizens the right to conceal carry and travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state codes or onerous civil suits."

In addition to interstate recognition of concealed carry permits, the bill would also allow concealed carry in the National Park System, National Wildlife Refuge System, and on lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation, as well as provide greater legal protections in both civil and criminal cases for permit holders.

"This legislation provides an answer to the confusing patchwork of concealed carry permits, particularly with regard to states where laws make unwitting criminals out of legal permit holders for a simple mistake of a wrong traffic turn," said Lawrence Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. "It safeguards a state's right to determine their own laws while protecting the Second Amendment rights of all Americans. We thank Rep. Hudson for his leadership on behalf of America's hunters and recreational shooters."

In 2015, Rep. Hudson sponsored similar legislation with 216 co-sponsors.