Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The State Of The Union Address As I Heard It

This is how I heard President Trump's first State of the Union address:

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the First Lady of the United States, and my fellow Americans:

blah, blah, blah...

Working with the Senate, we are appointing judges who will interpret the Constitution as written, including a great new Supreme Court Justice, and more circuit court judges than any new administration in the history of our country.

We are defending our Second Amendment, and have taken historic actions to protect religious liberty.

blah, blah, blah....

Thank you, and God bless America.

You may have heard it differently but that is what I remember hearing.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

SHOT Show 2018 - More Firearms Companies Leaving Illinois

I ran into Todd Vandermyde on the floor of the SHOT Show. For those outside of Illinois, Todd used to be the NRA's lobbyist for the Illinois General Assembly until late 2017 and has his finger on the pulse of all things gun-related in the Prairie State. He is now the lobbyist for the Federal Firearms Licensees of Illinois.

Todd told me that both LMT (formerly Lewis Machine & Tool) and Armalite were in the process of leaving Illinois. LMT is based in Milan which is part of the Quad Cities section of Illinois and Iowa. They are planning to do like Les Baer and move across the Mississippi River into Iowa. Speaking with LMT at their booth, they said their move should be completed by about October 2018.

Armalite, now part of Strategic Armory Corp., now has less than 10 employees left in Illinois. For many years they had been in Geneseo which is only about 20 miles east of the Quad Cities (Moline, East Moline, Davenport, and Rock Island). Most of their operations are now in the Phoenix area of Arizona.

Just as Springfield, Massachusetts and the Hartford, Connecticut area have long had a large concentration of gun makers and are even called "Gun Valley", so, too, the Quad Cities of Illinois. It is the home to the government's Rock Island Arsenal and is still home to companies like Rock River Arms and Springfield Armory along with the ancillary parts and treating companies. Unfortunately, the politics in Illinois like that in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and California are such that companies find that relocating is often their best option. Sadly, the ones most hurt by this are the workers and the local economies and not the politicians who live far away from these industrial centers.

Friday, January 26, 2018

SHOT Show 2018: A Truly International Event (Updated)

We started the day with the Law Enforcement and Tactical Section of the SHOT Show. It quickly became apparent that there were attendees from Everywhere!  So I began reading name tags and started a list of countries.

So far, in addition to the United States, I am at 28. It would be 29 if you consider Puerto Rico separate from the US as does the International Olympic Committee.

  1. Poland
  2. Switzerland
  3. Germany
  4. Australia
  5. El Salvador
  6. France
  7. Denmark
  8. Italy
  9. Spain
  10. Saudi Arabia
  11. Japan
  12. Philippines
  13. China
  14. Turkey
  15. Canada
  16. New Zealand
  17. Jordan
  18. Netherlands
  19. Israel
  20. Puerto Rico *
  21. Finland
  22. United Kingdom
  23. Thailand
  24. Belgium
  25. Ukraine
  26. Guatamala
  27. Taiwan
  28. Lithuania
  29. Sweden
I'll update this with more countries as I notice them.

UPDATE: I have more to add to the list!

30. Russia
31. Croatia
32. Norway
33. Pakistan
34. India
35. Kazakhstan
36. Mongolia
37. South Africa
38. Hong Kong (China but not China)
39. Wales (part of the UK but....)
40. Costa Rica
41. Chile
42. Argentina
43. Czech Republic
44. Brazil
45. Mexico
46. Hungary
47. Singapore
48. Egypt
49. Dominican Republic

I wonder what country will be the 50th?

UPDATE: Number 50 is....Belgium  Lebanon!!!

50. Belgium   (dupe)
50. Lebanon
51. Latvia

Firearms Policy Coalition Promises Cost Will Be High For BATFE If They Ban Bump Stocks

Last night at midnight EST, the comment period on the BATFE's Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking closed. My comment was submitted last Saturday so that I wouldn't forget it in all the hub-bub of the SHOT Show.

The Firearms Policy Coalition submitted their comment yesterday (on time). Their release below makes some very good points especially on the costs of implementing such a rule. It is important to bear in mind that if BATFE were to create a ruling banning bump fire or slide fire stocks, they would be making it up out of whole cloth. In other words, they would be assuming extra-constitutional powers that have no basis in either legislation or the rule of law.

Furthermore, there is the cost issue. There will be millions spent on enforcing an illegal law as well as untold millions on litigation. The Firearms Policy Coalition is upfront in saying that they will go to Federal court if the BATFE does create a regulation banning or regulating bump fire stocks. That said, I hope that cooler heads will prevail and any further moves towards a new regulation die in infancy.

From the FPC:
WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 25, 2018) — Today, civil rights advocacy organization Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) submitted formal comments to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) regarding a regulatory proposal that would apply the definition of ‘machinegun’ to so-called “bump fire stocks” and countless other devices. In a letter sent by FPC President Brandon Combs, the group called the proposal “troubling” and said that it “raises serious constitutional concerns, including the violation of the separation of powers.”

“The DOJ and BATFE clearly lack the statutory authority to re-define the targeted devices as ‘machineguns.’” But the gun rights group said that, if the government does re-classify so-called “bump stocks” and other devices to be “machineguns” under federal law, they would file a federal lawsuit that “would provide an excellent vehicle for the Supreme Court to re-visit and eliminate the made-up judicial construct of agency deference”—something many Supreme Court justices have signaled as an issue they may revisit soon.

FPC also said that the proposed ban would come at a high price. “These costs would necessarily include likely millions of dollars in BATFE implementation and enforcement costs, in addition to potentially millions of dollars in fending off the inevitable litigation arising from the serious constitutional and statutory violations engendered by this regulatory process,” FPC argued. “Moreover, American taxpayers would also likely be stuck with the bill for the plaintiffs’ attorneys fees and costs should the government fail in attempting to defend this illegal and unconstitutional action.”

After the October 1, 2017, mass shooting in Las Vegas, FPC released a statement ( ) saying that, even “in troubled and troubling times like these, we are honor-bound to stand united in defense of fundamental, individual liberties, in all cases, and in spite of the incalculable grief we feel for the victims of Las Vegas as fellow human beings.”

In a subsequent statement ( ) FPC repudiated proposed bans on semi-automatic firearms and accessories, including “bump fire” stocks. “All unconstitutional laws are unjust, illegitimate, and offensive to the rule of law—even if they are enacted in response to a very real tragedy. FPC opposes all restrictions on the acquisition, possession, carry, and use of common, semi-automatic firearms, ammunition, and accessories by law-abiding people.”

Later in October, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra issued a news release declaring “bump stock” devices to be “multiburst trigger activators” and “illegal in California.” But FPC responded days later ( ) and said that it was Becerra’s statements that were “disingenuous at best and probably illegal.” Said FPC President Brandon Combs at the time, “Not only is Attorney General Becerra’s so-called ‘news release’ inaccurate and misleading, it is almost certainly an illegal underground regulation.”

SHOT Show 2018: Rimfire Challenge World Championship Announced

Michael Bane announced the dates and the location of the Rimfire Challenge Shooting Association's World Championship today at the SHOT Show. The championship will be held October 3rd through 7th at the Lucas Cattle Company Ranch in Crossed Timbers, Missouri.  The ranch is owned by Forrest Lucas who is the founder of Lucas Oil Company.

Crossed Timbers is located in the Ozark Highlands of Missouri. The Crossed Timbers Region is where the prairies of the Great Plains meet the Eastern deciduous forests. It is about a two hour drive from Kansas City and a 3 1/2 drive from St. Louis.

More information on the event will be posted as it becomes available.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

SHOT Show 2018: Weatherby Says Goodbye California, Hello Wyoming

Weatherby, the epitome of the SoCal style of hunting rifles, announced on Tuesday that they will be relocating their operations from Paso Robles, California to Sheridan, Wyoming. The announcement was made by Adam Weatherby, the grandson of founder Roy Weatherby, who was accompanied in the event by his father Ed and Gov. Matt Mead of Wyoming. Gov. Mead was presented with a 70th Anniversary Mark V rifle by the Weatherbys in recognition of his efforts to bring their company to Wyoming.

Photo by John Richardson

The new headquarters and plant is expected to open in 2019. However, a quick glance at Weatherby's website shows that they are hiring some critical staff as of Summer 2018. These positions include VP of Sales and Marketing, Sales Manager, Marketing Manager, Director of Production Management, and Controller.

The Firearm Blog reports Adam Weatherby as saying the move was based on the incentives from the State of Wyoming and the desire for "more freedom to develop new products without onerous legal restrictions."

The Wyoming Business Council released this statement about the move:
Firearms manufacturer Weatherby, Inc., is relocating its manufacturing operations and corporate headquarters from California to Sheridan, Wyoming, company officials announced today from SHOT Show in Las Vegas, the world’s largest annual shooting, hunting and firearms industry trade show.

The move is expected to create 70 to 90 jobs and more than $5 million annually in payroll in the next five years.

Outdoor recreation is an economic driver in Wyoming, and manufacturing plays a vital role in any economy, according to Shawn Reese, chief executive officer of the Wyoming Business Council.

“So, to bring those two things together – an internationally-known manufacturer of outdoor equipment headquartered in Wyoming – it will pay dividends, not only to Sheridan and northeast Wyoming, but this is a project of which the entire state should be proud,” Reese said.

Wyoming wooed the renowned gunmaker with its expansive access to unrivaled big game hunting, low taxes, industry-friendly environment, Sheridan College’s workforce training program and a comprehensive incentives package.

“We wanted a place where we could retain a great workforce, and where our employees could live an outdoor lifestyle,” said Adam Weatherby, chief executive officer. “We wanted to move to a state where we can grow into our brand. Wyoming means new opportunities. We are not interested in maintaining; we are growing.”

Governor Matt Mead and the Wyoming Business Council, the state’s economic development agency, began recruiting Weatherby a year ago.

“Wyoming is a great place to do business and is excited to welcome Weatherby to Sheridan,” Mead said. “For over 70 years, Weatherby has been an innovator in firearms design and manufacturing. The company will add to our manufacturing base and fit well with our diversification objectives.

“I thank the Wyoming Business Council, the Sheridan Economic and Education Development Authority, and all who helped bring Weatherby, Inc. to Wyoming.”

Weatherby called Mead’s enthusiastic support and accessibility a major asset for a company operating in a highly-regulated industry.

“From the get go, when we met the governor, he said, ‘Here’s my number, shoot me a text any time,’” Weatherby said. “He responds to our needs quickly, and it shows a business like ours is important to Wyoming and that it’s a big deal here.”

Business Council staff took Weatherby officials on tours of potential sites for their facility around the state following the initial conversations.

Sheridan stood out to Weatherby executives because of its access to both the outdoors and a skilled workforce.

“There are a lot of great places in Wyoming, but Sheridan stood out as a New West community that’s progressive and growing, with a vibrant downtown in the shadow of the Bighorns and a mild climate,” Weatherby said. “Sheridan College, which is growing its manufacturing and machine tool program, was also a deciding factor.”

Sheridan College President Dr. Paul Young called Weatherby’s recruitment an example of the work it will take to diversify Wyoming’s economy.

“This is the direct result of years and years of visioning, planning and strategically investing in the things that matter for the future of our region,” Young said. “With the help of Whitney Benefits and others, we have been strengthening and growing our technical programs for this very reason, and we will continue to provide opportunities for students to learn valuable skills to secure a solid future.”

The Business Council worked with the Sheridan Economic and Education Development Authority (SEEDA) Joint Powers board to develop a $12.6 million grant package. SEEDA committed $2,283,074 in local match funds, of which $322,874 is cash. The other $1,960,200 is in-kind match for Lot 1 in the Sheridan High-Tech Business Park. The joint powers board will use the money to build a 100,000 square-foot building in the Sheridan High-Tech Business Park. SEEDA will own the facility and lease it to Weatherby.

Weatherby will invest an estimated $2 million in relocation expenses and cover all capital investment in the building and lot over the life of the 20-year lease, which is expected to be well over $4 million.

“We’re extremely excited to have this internationally recognized company choose Sheridan as their new corporate headquarters,” Sheridan Mayor Roger Miller said. “This relocation will translate to more skilled manufacturing jobs, an increased tax base and important economic diversification for our community and the region.”

Founded in 1945 by Adam Weatherby’s grandfather, Roy Weatherby, the family-owned and operated business has built a brand synonymous with quality craftmanship, a superior fit and finish and ballistic superiority.

The importance of family underlies much of Weatherby’s ethos.

“Our product is the main tool hunters use out in field. They may spend a lifetime trying to draw a tag or save for the hunt of their dreams, and we keep that foremost in our minds when we are building our guns,” Weatherby said. “This is an aspiration product; these are guns that are passed down from generation to generation.”
In my opinion the business climate in California for all businesses, not just those in the firearms industry, is getting more and more onerous. Currently, there is a proposal before the California Assembly to increase corporate taxes for all companies with more than $1 million in revenues. This is a move by California Democrats to capture the monies from the reduction in Federal corporate taxes passed by Congress and signed by President Trump. If you intend to encourage businesses to leave your state, this is how you do it.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

SHOT Show 2018: Day 1

While I'm still editing the video I took from Industry Day and Day 1 of the SHOT Show, here is a good look at what is coming out from Jeff Quinn at Gunblast.Com. It appears he went to a lot of booths that I have not been to yet.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Industry Day At The Range

This will be a short post as we are getting ready for the first day of the SHOT Show. Both the Complementary Spouse and I attended Industry Day at the Range. We were on the first bus leaving at 7:45 and got to the range about 8:30. Despite being on the first bus a lot of people beat us to the range.

I had planned to shoot video of everything I saw. I did get some video which I'm in the process of editing but I think the Apple slow battery problem struck early. Under 5 minutes of video zapped the battery and I had to recharge it twice over the course of the day. So the bottom line is I got some video but not a lot of video. I will be taking advantage of Apple's replacement battery offer sooner than later.

Some of what I shot:

  1.  Archon Type B in 9mm - very nice pistol coming from Germany with a very, very low bore axis.
  2. Ruger PC Carbine - loved it! Still, it was a bit heavier than I expected and not as light as the original M1 Carbine.
  3. Ruger Security-9 pistol. The trigger was very decent for a hammer fired double action pistol and was comparable to most striker-fired pistols at a lower price.
  4. Rock Island Armory Baby Rock - a downsized 1911 in .380 ACP. It still had a bit of a bark to it but was very slim.
  5. Rock Island Armory 1911 XT in .22 Magnum - this is a fixed barrel 1911. I found it very easy to shoot and very accurate. For someone who has trouble racking a slide due to arthritis or other malady, this could be a real winner.
  6. Tracking Point System - not cheap but very interesting. It does most of the work and decides when the optimal point is to actually fire.
  7. Mossberg Shockwave in 20 gauge - I didn't think firing from the hip would be as accurate or effective. Once you get the feel for it and realize that you have to aim lower, you start hitting the target with regularity.
  8. Inland Manufacturing M1 Carbine clone - they were better than I expected. Still love the M1 but will stick with my own IBM for now. In a head to head battle between this and the Ruger PC Carbine, I'd go with the Ruger. More modern, cheaper ammo, and about $500 cheaper.
  9. Brownells Retro AR's - Brownells has now manufactured their own period-correct retro ARs. This is a first for them in that they never manufactured their own firearms before. I shot the A1 version from the latter part of the Vietnam War. It was nice.
That concludes this for now. I'll have small updates throughout the day (I hope).

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Comment On Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Bump Fire Stocks

I submitted my comment to the BATFE today regarding Docket Number 2017R-22 which is the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding treating bump fire stocks as "machine guns". My full comment is below and you are free to cut and paste whatever you want from it.

I did try to answer the questions that they posed for consumers before I said the way the law is currently written does not allow them to classify bump fire stocks as machine guns.

Docket No. 2017R-22
RIN 1140–AA52
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
Comment on Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

First, to answer the questions posed by the ANPRM:

Q. 21: a) I have never seen bump fire stock devices for sale in gun stores. This may be a factor of the size or type of the gun store that I patronize. b) I have seen one bump fire stock device for sale at the two most recent gun shows that I attended. It was for sale by a private individual. c) The most common place for these devices to be sold is online directly from the manufacturer.

Q. 22: The price range of the bump fire stock devices online is between $150 and $300. I was told anecdotally by a vendor at the last gun show I attended that the one bump fire stock that I had seen for sale was being sold for $1,200.

Q. 23: The one person I know who does own a bump fire stock is a wheel-chair bound paraplegic who installed it on a semi-automatic shotgun for self-defense in the home. As to the claims of the manufacturers, that I cannot answer as I’m not aware of what they state is the intended purpose for a bump fire stock device.

Second, I would like to respond as to whether a bump fire stock device would fall into the statutory definition of a machine gun as defined by the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Gun Control Act of 1968.

Per the NFA Handbook, a machine gun is “Any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. The term shall also include the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machine gun, and any combination of parts from which a machine gun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.” This was the definition used by the Firearms Technology Division when it examined the Slide Fire bump stock. As Richard Vasquez, then the ATF’s Senior Technical Expert, who conducted the examination noted the Slide Fire stock was “not designed to shoot with a single function of the trigger.” Designed is the key word. He went on to say:

The Slide Fire does not fire automatically with a single pull/function of the trigger. It is designed to reciprocate back and forth from the inertia of the fired cartridge. When firing a weapon with a Slide Fire, the trigger finger sits on a shelf and the trigger is pulled into the trigger finger. Once the rifle fires the weapon, due to the push and pull action of the stock and rifle, the rifle will reciprocate sufficiently to recock and reset the trigger. It then reciprocates forward and the freshly cocked weapon fires again when the trigger strikes the finger on its forward travel.

ATF Ruling 2006-2 sought to expand the definition of what constitutes a “machine gun”. It equated one pull of the trigger with a single function of the trigger. This was based upon BATFE’s reading of the legislative history of the National Firearms Act. However, even that definition would not apply to bump fire stocks such as the one from Slide Fire Solutions. That is because it doesn’t rely on springs, blocks, rods, etc. which “result in a weapon that shoots more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single pull of the trigger” and thus is a machine gun.

Third, to base any new rule or law upon a single outlying event such as that which happened in the Mandelay Bay shootings in Las Vegas results in bad law and bad policy. This will also bring into existence the law of unintended consequences. If one reads the proposed laws before Congress that seek to outlaw bump fire stocks in a knee-jerk reaction to the shootings, it is clear that a broad reading would include any trigger job, lighter buffer spring, and all after-market triggers. A rough or heavy stock trigger is more likely to cause a shot to go astray and to cause serious bodily injury or death than a replacement.

Finally, it is not the job of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to use regulation to change the meaning of the law. If Congress wants to change the definition of a machine gun, they should pass such a law. They should not pass the buck to the BATFE due to their own inability to agree on new legislation. Any proposed or anticipated rulemaking should be ended until such time as Congress changes the law.

Reminder From GRNC - ATF Comment Period Closes Next Week

Grass Roots North Carolina sent out an alert reminding people that the comment period for the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking closes on January 25th. They also have a suggested comment. I have sent my comment in and will post it as a separately.

Just a reminder, all comments must reference Docket Number  2017R-22.


It seems our friends at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE, often referred to as the ATF) would like to impose “maximum firing rates” on American gun owners. Apparently, there is even talk that they may classify your semi-automatic rifle as a “machine gun.”

Reason and legalities tell us that a machine gun fires continuously and automatically with a single function of the trigger.  But the BATFE is no longer sure that definition suits them. This is because, since the definition was established, super high-tech items have been developed, such as rubber bands, belt loops, shoestrings and Jerry Miculek.  The truth is, even with these “high-tech” devices, nothing has really changed. So-called “bump firing” still requires one trigger action for each round fired. Yet, the BATFE is looking to “clarify” the NFA and whether certain devices, commonly known as bump fire stocks, fall within the definition of machine gun. Absurd.

With the flick of a bureaucrat’s wrist, your lowly non-NFA firearm (read: semi-automatic) may suddenly be elevated to the status of machine gun. It will be classified not by trigger action, but by arbitrary firing rate, which is something that can be altered by any number of things, including something as nebulous as the skill of its owner. The list of items that can affect rate of fire also includes innocuous, legal and unrelated things such as: optical sights, trigger jobs, muzzle compensators, and who knows what else?

Picture Andrew Cuomo screaming:
“No one needs a gun that can shoot more than once every 5 minutes to kill a deer!”

Surely, we can trust the government to not take advantage of a new-found power over the peoples’ guns, right?

Comment Against This Infringement
The BATFE’s comment period regarding this proposed rule is still open, and it is critical that you submit a comment against this proposed infringement on your gun rights.

If this is not stopped, who knows when all guns will be classified as “machine guns?” To comment, find a link below, and a copy/paste message you can use to comment.


  • SUBMIT A COMMENT AGAINST THIS SO-CALLED “BUMP FIRE” RULE. Click on the link provided, and use the copy/paste message provided below under ‘Deliver This Message.’ CLICK HERE (or go to:

    Comments MUST be submitted by Thursday, January 25th.


I'm writing to day to speak against the formation of a so-called “Bump Fire” rule.

Clearly, the proposed rule is designed to open a debate about semi-automatic firing rates, something that is not open to debate in a free country. This is dangerous territory where ambiguous language, established by unelected government employees, is sure to infringe on the Second Amendment rights of The People.

The proposed rule references “devices used with a semiautomatic firearm to increase the firearm's cyclic firing rate.” Clearly, that sort of open-ended language could be used to ban any device that increases the firearm's cyclic firing rate regardless of trigger action, e.g. trigger jobs, muzzle compensators, optical sights, shoestrings, rubber bands, and who knows what else?

Given that bump stocks do not alter trigger function, firearms remain semi-automatic, the BATFE has no legitimate authority to impose this infringement on the American people. Indeed, there is no statutory definition of “machinegun” in the National Firearms Act of 1934 nor the Gun Control Act of 1968 that would allow the BATFE to make this stretch.

Any “Bump Fire” rule would be unconstitutional, and any “rule” imposed by federal bureaucrats is really just a law established without the approval of the peoples’ representatives. Surely, those at the BATFE have no interest in circumventing the Constitution of the United States, nor would they want to disrespect the country’s law-abiding people in such a manner.

For these reasons, I must insist that the BATFE immediately discard any thoughts of imposing a “Bump Fire” rule.

ATF Or AEF? Trump Budget Proposes A Realignment Of Agency

"Senior administration officials" have told the New York Times that the Trump Administration plans to strip out the tobacco and alcohol enforcement roles from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. These functions would be returned to the Treasury Department as BATFE has ignored cigarette smuggling and bootlegging in favor "fighting violent crime".
Under the Trump administration’s plan, the Treasury Department would inherit the authority to investigate tobacco and alcohol smuggling. The A.T.F. would need a new name. One possibility: the Bureau of Arson, Explosives and Firearms, or A.E.F.

The move would resolve a bureaucratic split that has existed for years. Treasury collects the taxes on cigarettes and liquor, but A.T.F. investigates efforts to evade those taxes.

The change is included in a draft of President Trump’s coming budget proposal, according to two senior administration officials. The plan envisions hiring roughly two dozen Treasury agents, plus auditors and support staff, the officials said. Congress would have to pass a law to reorganize the agencies.

The officials who discussed the proposal did so on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it in draft form. Though budget plans can change, the officials said the A.T.F. language has remained in place through multiple revisions.
Spokespersons for BATFE and the Treasury Department did not respond to requests for comments.

A quick check of shows no comments on the proposed change.

I'm sure this proposal will be the source of some speculation at this coming week's SHOT Show. If I pick up anything juicy or earth-shattering, I'll share it here as an update.

H/T Stephen Wenger's DUF list

SHOT Show 2018

The Complementary Spouse and I leave in the morning for the 2018 SHOT Show. My coverage of the SHOT Show will be a bit different this year. I am (gasp!) going to try to put together a video for each day based upon what I've seen and who I've spoken with. I am a rank amateur at video but Adobe Premiere Elements seems easy enough for me to use. The videos will be posted here and on YouTube.

If there is something in particular that you would like either myself or the Complementary Spouse to check out, we'll try. It's a huge event and I know we can't see everything. The Complementary Spouse mentioned reading this morning that if one tried to hit each and every booth they would only have less than a minute to see it.

You can either leave a message here or alternatively at jpr9954 AT gmail DOT com. I'm thinking the latter may be better as I'll be checking it more often.

A guide to the exhibitors can be found here. Likewise, the list of exhibitors at Industry Day at the Range is found here. The SHOT Show has a free app available for both the IPhone and Android users which is quite helpful.

"The Enemy Within" Is Not Adam Kraut

In a recent commentary published at, former NRA President Marion Hammer released her list of endorsements. Missing from that list were people like Julie Golob, Tim Knight, and, her obvious target, Adam Kraut. She alleged that those who were nominated by petition, that is the real grassroots, were somehow tainted or less worthy than those nominated by the exalted Nominating Committee.
However, some of the candidates on this year’s ballot were not nominated by the Nominating Committee, but rather they placed themselves on the ballot by collecting petition signatures. Petition signers had no way of knowing the real motives or qualifications of these petitioners.
As someone who signed the petitions of both Adam Kraut and Tim Knight and as someone who actually got off my ass and gathered signatures for Adam Kraut, I take great offense at her comment. I have met both Tim and Adam, I knew their qualifications, and I support them. I am most definitely a fan of Adam's proposed bylaw changes regarding board attendance and the Nominating Committee.

Ms. Hammer also cast aspersions on those in 1997 who stood up and demanded accountability from hired staff of the NRA. Jeff Knox whom I greatly respect has a very good rebuttal to that rewriting of history.

Adam Kraut, who was the primary target of Ms. Hammer's screed, has made a video rebuttal that is worth your time watching.

I have made my feelings known in the past about the celebrities and old hacks on the Board of Directors of the NRA. The world has changed and so has the gun culture. Frankly, most of the Board wouldn't recognize Gun Culture v2.0 if it bit them on the ass. That is a recipe for disaster and it is one that people like Adam are challenging. He has my support. I'm unsure whether I'll "bullet vote" Adam or add a couple of more people to my list. You can be damn sure I'm not voting for anyone of Marion Hammer's list. While some are good, there are a lot of old hacks and celebs on it.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Nighthawk Custom Agent 2

Nighthawk Custom of Berryville, Arkansas released another new 1911 pistol in anticipation of the SHOT Show. They will have it on display at SHOT and will start taking orders in early February. The Agent 2 is not cheap. The MSRP is $4495.

Here is a view of the left side where you can see the sights are made by Heinie if you look closely.

You can find more details on the Agent 2 and read the specifications at this link.

The First Bloomberg Professor Is No Surprise

Daniel Webster is a professor of public health at Johns Hopkins University. He is also the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. Anyone who follows "gun violence" (sic) or "gun safety" research should have run across his research. It would not be an exaggeration to say his research is slanted against most of what my readers believe in.

Thus, it is not much of a shock to see he has been named the very first Bloomberg Professor of American Health. This is an endowed professorship funded by one of Michael Bloomberg's charities called the Bloomberg American Health Initiative. For those that aren't up on academia, an endowed professorship is considered an honor, it carries great prestige, and it comes with money in terms of salary, extra research monies, and often a dedicated assistant.

The following comment from his benefactor more or less sums up what to expect in the way of "research" from Webster.
“No other developed country in the world has even close to the rate of gun deaths we have in the U.S., and we can’t accept that,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term Mayor of New York City. “This new position will support the great work Dr. Webster is leading on gun violence and help build evidence for smart policies that can prevent more needless deaths.”
Johns Hopkins University's school of public health is also named after Mayor Bloomberg.

 You can read the full press release here.

After reading this and being aware of Webster's work, all I can think of is the title of the famous short story by Stephen Vincent Benet - The Devil and Daniel Webster. Unlike farmer Jebez Stone in the story, in this case it is Webster himself who has sold his soul or so it would seem.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

GRNC Reminds Us What Could Have Been

North Carolina is under a declared state of emergency due to snow, ice, and extreme cold. I know those living in the upper Midwest are probably scratching their heads over this but remember North Carolina doesn't have the infrastructure - plows, etc. - to deal with this as a regular occurrence.

I bring this up as a reminder that before McDonald v. Chicago brought Second Amendment rights to the states it was state law in NC that no one could be armed outside the home during a state of emergency. Moreover, firearm and alcohol sales were also suspended. The win in the case of Bateman v. Perdue changed this as the US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina found this to be unconstitutional. Thanks needs to go to Grass Roots North Carolina, the Second Amendment Foundation, and attorney Alan Gura for bringing the case. It was the first case filed after the win in the McDonald case. If you search this blog using "Bateman" or "emergency", you will find numerous blog posts about the case.

Grass Roots North Carolina sent out a reminder yesterday about the win in Bateman yesterday.


Thanks to GRNC: Your Gun Rights are Recognized and Protected During this Snowstorm. . . 

Due to winter weather, on Tuesday, Jaunary 16th, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper declared a “state of emergency.” What does that mean to you today, and what could it have meant? Find out below. 

As you may recall, Grass Roots North Carolina was a plaintiff in Bateman v. Perdue, when we sued Governor Beverly Perdue over the State of Emergency gun ban, a ban on law-abiding citizens carrying guns during a declared state of emergency.

GRNC argued that the ban constituted an unconstitutional violation of the Second Amendment. We did so after the town of King, NC posted the entire town against firearms in advance of a pending snowstorm, and after Gov. Perdue declared a statewide State of Emergency, in response to an advancing hurricane, on the opening day of dove season, making criminals of thousands of dove hunters. GRNC and other plaintiffs won the lawsuit, and the law was struck down as unconstitutional under the Second Amendment.

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Thanks to the GRNC, and gun owners like you who support GRNC, law-abiding North Carolina gun-carriers have not been rendered criminals today just because a little snow fell.

So . . . rest easy, and enjoy your hot chocolate! And if you care to contribute to our all-volunteer organization so we can continue to protect and expand gun laws in our state, please 
(or go to:

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Did They Really Have To Tell You This?

I'm reading over the list of items that are prohibited in your luggage when flying. I was trying to decide whether my camera batteries needed to be in my carry-on or checked luggage. In the category of things I learned while looking for something else come this from the TSA.

Can you believe that? Hand grenades are banned on planes even if they are in your checked luggage. They also listed dynamite as being banned. No word on C-4 or Claymore mines but I'm assuming they are a no go as well.

What Can I Bring?

Planning ahead and packing properly can facilitate the screening process and ease your travel experience at the airport. Know what you can pack in your carry-on and checked baggage before arriving at the airport by reviewing the lists below. Even if an item is generally permitted, it may be subject to additional screening or not allowed through the checkpoint if it triggers an alarm during the screening process, appears to have been tampered with, or poses other security concerns. Read about civil penalties for prohibited items.
For items not listed here, simply snap a picture or send a question to AskTSA on Facebook Messenger or Twitter. We look forward to answering your questions, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET weekdays and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends/holidays.

The final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint.


Hand Grenades

  • Carry On Bags: No
  • Checked Bags: No

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Queen Cutlery Closes Its Doors

Queen Cutlery, maker of fine pocket knives, announced last week that they would be closing their door and furloughing their employees.

From their Facebook page:
Kenneth Daniels CEO and President of Queen Cutlery has announced effective January 10, 2018, that due to issues with cash flow, Queen Cutlery Company has been forced to cease all production and close it's Titusville Pennsylvania facility, and furlough it's employees while it goes through a period of reorganization. wrote on the closure:
It is unclear whether or not the closing will be a permanent one. But either way, it marks the end of 507 Chestnut Street’s run as the longest continually operating knife factory in the United States. Schatt & Morgan first opened the plant in 1902. It was then purchased by Queen in 1933. In the early seventies, Queen itself was bought by the Servotronics corporation and subsequently acquired by Kenneth Daniels in 2012.

In recent years Queen has produced knives under its own label, as well as Tuna Valley Cutlery and Schatt & Morgan, and for Northwoods Knives. One of their most recent projects was a series of old-style automatic knives, which they kicked off with the John Henry model last year under the Schatt & Morgan label. Like other traditional slipjoint manufactures, Queen knives enjoyed an avid fan base. Ryan Daniels told us last year that about 80% of their business came from dedicated collectors.
Queen Cutlery had been in business for 90 years. They are not the first traditional pocket knife maker to close in recent years. Canal Street Cutlery closed its doors back in 2015.

As a collector and user of traditional slip-joint pocket knives, I find this very sad. I have a number of Queen, Canal Street, and Schatt and Morgan knives. I never really got into collecting Case knives though I have a few. Beside Case, this leaves Great Eastern Cutlery as the remaining major US manufacturer of traditional pocket knives.

I'd suggest now is the time to start scouring stores and online if you want any of the Queen or Schatt and Morgan line.

UPDATE: There is a long thread about the Queen Cutlery closure on The gist of it is that quality was down, prices were up, customer service was poor, and their best cutlers had left to go to Great Eastern Cutlery which is also in Titusville, PA. Read the thread and make up your own mind as to what was behind the demise of Queen.

Not The Noogie You Remember From The Playground

Everyone should remember giving or getting noogie in school or on the playground. DoubleStar, the Kentucky based maker of firearms and knives, has a different sort of noogie that they've just released. It is an "assisted bottle opener" and they call it the Noogie.

According to the press release, the Noogie is a light, comfortable and robust bottle opener with all the right ergonomics." They guarantee that it will make "quick work of even the toughest import bottle." DoubleStar suggests checking your local laws before purchasing. That is probably because there are some - not me, of course - who might think of an alternate use for the Noogie.

Here are the specs on the Noogie:
Made from ½" thick durable 6061-T6 aluminum, the Noogie is coated with Type III anodizing, providing it with extra strength around the cap contact location. The unique shape provides power and allows the thumb and index fingers to be free to hold objects while opening another bottle.
Noogie ABO Specificiations:
T6061 Aluminum
Overall Length:
3.6 oz.
Handle Opening:
Grey or Black Type III anodizing

Ruger Sponsors Shooting Team

Ruger has announced that they will be sponsoring a shooting team. The official announcement is below but their PR Manager, Paul Pluff, let the cat out of the bag on Sunday on Tom Gresham's Gun Talk radio show. One of the things he noted on the show was Ruger's interest in developing up and coming junior shooters. Given Pluff's service on the Board of Directors of the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation, he has seen many of these juniors in action.

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE-RGR) is proud to announce the launch of its professional shooting team. This move marks Ruger's formal debut in the competitive shooting sports arena. Leading this team is newly signed world champion shooter Doug Koenig and more shooters will be announced in the coming weeks.

"We are very excited to introduce Team Ruger, and particularly with a shooter of Doug Koenig's caliber at the helm," said Chris Killoy, Ruger's President and CEO. "Doug is an outstanding addition to the Ruger team, bringing both a winning attitude and a true passion for growing the shooting and outdoor sports to the team."

In addition to serving as Team Ruger's Captain, Doug will also represent the Company as an official Brand Ambassador. Highly regarded for his talents, Doug is an athlete, lifelong hunter and world champion professional shooter. Doug began shooting competitively at the age of 17, winning both regional and national competitions. Since turning Pro in 1990, he has shot a perfect score of 1920 an unprecedented 17 times at the NRA Bianchi Cup. As he approaches his 31st year competing, this 18-time Bianchi Cup Champion's wins include more than 70 National and 10 World titles.

"I am thrilled to join Team Ruger and partner with such an iconic brand in our industry," said Koenig. "Ruger's depth and breadth of products is a perfect fit for both my competitive shooting and hunting endeavors," he concluded.

Doug also hosts his own TV show, "Doug Koenig's Championship Season," where Ruger is now the Presenting Sponsor. Each week, the show features a gritty combination of fast-paced shooting competition and wild hunting adventure - all with rugged, reliable Ruger® firearms.

Media and team inquiries should be directed to Paul Pluff, Public Relations Manager and coordinator for the new shooting team.

Getting Doug Koenig from Smith & Wesson is a coup for Ruger. Not only is a coup but it indicates the seriousness with which they are embarking on this new endeavor. Someone with the stature of a Doug Koenig is not going to switch teams on a whim and he had to be assured Ruger was serious about it. I would not be surprised to see a "Doug Koenig Special" 1911 being released down the road.

From what I understand, the rest of the Ruger shooting team will be introduced at the SHOT Show. It will be interesting to see who all is on the team in addition to team captain Doug Koenig.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Brian Aitken Pardoned....Finally

In one of the last acts before he leaves office on Tuesday, Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) issued a long overdue pardon to Brian Aitken. The pardon issued on Friday pardoned Brian for possessing hollow-point bullets and simple assault. His earlier conviction for illegally carrying firearms was overturned by an appeals court who found that he was indeed, as he always claimed, moving to a new residence.

From the Courier Post:
Aitken, a businessman whose seven-year prison term previously was commuted by Christie, said he was "so happy to finally put this chapter behind me."

"Thank you to everyone who has stuck with me over the years," Aitken said in a Facebook post. "I can't thank Gov. Chris Christie enough."

Aitken was arrested in January 2009 when a Mount Laurel police officer found three unloaded guns in his car. Aitken had purchased the guns legally in Colorado, but lacked a permit to carry them in New Jersey.

Aitken served almost four months in a state prison for unlawful possession of a weapon and other offenses before Christie commuted his sentence in December 2010.
 We interviewed Brian on the Polite Society Podcast after the release of his book on the arrest, court battle, and sentencing to prison. His book, The Blue Tent Sky: How the Left's War on Guns Cost Me My Son and My Freedom, is available on Amazon. I've read the book and it would be $1.99 well spent for the Kindle version to fully comprehend the war on gun owners in New Jersey.

Brian issued this note of thanks on his Facebook page:
Thank you everyone who has stuck with me over the years. I'm so happy to finally put this chapter behind me. Tuesday will be a sad day for the State of New Jersey but today is an incredibly happy day at the Aitken household. I can't thank Governor Chris Christie enough. I'm sure there's more to say but it's all still a bit surreal. I just wanted to make sure you guys heard it from me first.
Since he had his sentence commuted by Gov. Christie, Brian wrote his book, got married, started a business, and had a daughter. However, unless I'm mistaken, I still don't think he has visitation rights with his son from his earlier marriage which is incredibly sad.

You can see more about the Brian Aitken miscarriage of justice in this video by NRA News and in his talk with the Cato Institute.

I'm glad that Brian has his full life back now and I've both happy and amazed that Chris Christie did the right thing in pardoning Brian.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Twitter Factoid Of The Day

John Tyler was born in 1790. He was both the 10th President and 10th Vice President of the United States. He served from 1841 until 1845 after assuming office on the death of President William Henry "Old Tippercanoe" Harrison.

Here's where it get incredibly interesting. His grandsons Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. and Harrison Ruffin Tyler, the children of his son Lyon, are still alive. Lyon was born in 1924 and Harrison was born in 1928. Their father Lyon was born in 1853 to Tyler's second wife Julia Gardiner (1820-1889).

As Matt Smethurst joked in a follow-on tweet:
Another way to think about this: There are people who could look at you today, in 2018, and say: “Yeah, my dad was 8 years old when the war started.”

“World War 2?”

“Ha, nope.”

“Oh wow, World War 1?”

“The Civil War.”
Think of it - you have three generations of one family spanning parts of four centuries. That is just incredible.

Which Is Faster - Old School Remington 870 Or New Remington 870 DM?

In an amusing - and incredibly well edited video - photographer Yamil Sued compares which Remington shotgun is faster in sending 10 rounds down range - the 870 or the new box mag-fed 870 DM.

Obviously, the Remington 870 DM is quicker to reload for the average person. However, if you look at the video, the old school Remington 870 is quicker to get off the first five shots. I wonder what the difference would have been if Yamil had used one of those loading devices for use in 3-gun competition.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

50 Female Gun Owners Set Sights on Washington DC

The DC Project started by retired police officer and 3-Gun champion shooter Dianna Muller will once again descend on Congress this June. Composed of women from each of the 50 states (or darn close to it), they visit Congressional offices promoting a pro-Second Amendment message.

While they have some sponsorships, they are seeking funding through a GoFundMe page. Their goal is to raise $25,000 and they could use your support in their efforts.

The Girl and A Gun Women's Shooting League is a presenting sponsor. Their announcement on the event is below:
AUSTIN, TX — Women from around the country are preparing to travel to the U.S. Capitol as part of the DC Project, a nonpartisan initiative that brings 50 women, one from each state, to Washington, DC, to meet with their legislators about issues addressing the Second Amendment. The women, who will be meeting with Congressional members and staff from June 20-23, 2018, have diverse professional experiences, ethnicity, and political beliefs, but share a common interest centered on the appreciation of America’s gun culture.

The DC Project was started by champion shooter Dianna Muller in 2016 to encourage female shooters to meet with legislators in order to give politicians a direct connection to the fastest growing demographic of gun owners. Females provide unique stories and perspectives on the attraction of the 2nd Amendment, including competition shooting sports, commerce, self-defense, hunting, and conservation. “The Second Amendment is part of the United States Constitution and does not belong to one party,” said Muller. “Female gun owners are diverse, and have individualized stories and accounts of why this Amendment is so important to them. These stories need to be shared as they are representative of many within legislators’ constituencies.”

A Girl & A Gun Women’s Shooting League (AG & AG) is the presenting sponsor of the DC Project. With a nationwide network of firearms instructors and female gun owners, AG & AG is a strong voice for the Second Amendment. Robyn Sandoval, Executive Director, is making her third trip with the DC Project to meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

“A Girl & A Gun is honored to be a part of this initiative. As a mother who was a supporter of gun control for decades, I now devote my life to empowering women with the safe use and storage of firearms,” said Sandoval. “It is important that our lawmakers learn our stories and have access to our resources for education on gun-related issues.”

The DC Project will host several events during the week as participants give speeches and meet with lawmakers to address the rising demographic of female gun ownership; the value of the 2nd Amendment in today’s society; and the importance of the preservation of America’s gun culture, from conservation and commerce to competitive sports, hunting, and self-defense.

For more information on the DC Project visit:

About A Girl & A Gun

A Girl & A Gun Women’s Shooting League (AG & AG) is a membership organization whose events have been successful stepping stones for thousands of women into the shooting community and fostered their love of shooting with caring and qualified instructors to coach them. AG & AG breaks barriers for women and girls in the area of self-defense and in pistol, rifle, and shotgun shooting sports by welcoming beginners to learn the basics of safe and accurate shooting and providing experienced shooters with advanced-level opportunities. The club has more than 5,000 members in 48 states, with chapters that host recurring Girl’s Nights Out at more than 150 ranges throughout the nation.