Guess Which Country Just Helped Illustrate the Absurdity of US Suppressor Laws?

TN Man Convicted of Smuggling Suppressors into US Thanks to Lighter Regulation in… England(!?)

NRA16_7486Well, this is embarrassing, as far as firearm freedoms go.  It’s like having to admit that your Bugatti Veyron got beat around the track by the neighbor kid’s 1989 Honda CRX.  Isn’t America supposed to be the bastion of gun rights (or, as anti-gun groups would have you believe, a violent wild west frontier straight from the bloodiest shoot-em-up flick you can find)?

Most proponents of an originalist (or any other common sense) interpretation of the United States Constitution and Bill of rights probably already feel that firearms are too heavily regulated in the US, and none are more highly regulated than Title II weapons that fall under the purview of the National Firearms Act, such as machine guns, silencers, short barreled firearms, and destructive devices.  Such items are flat out illegal in a number of states and, where they are legal, ownership involves a number of hurdles, including high prices, payment of a $200 transfer tax, being finger-printed, wait times lasting the better part of a year, and federal registration of the item.  “But hey, at least we don’t have European-style gun control, right?

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) recently released details of the conviction of a Tennessee man who traveled to England, where some may be surprised to find less restrictive laws, to purchase firearm silencers and smuggle them back into the US, presumably because the draconian laws in place here made them too difficult to obtain.   Continue reading

Massive Increase in Thefts from Gun Dealers in 2016, More than Double in Colorado

ATF “Very Concerned” About Gun Theft Increase

BATFE LogoFollowing a year in which gun theft from vehicles, homes, and dealers were on the rise, including several high profile car-through-the-building smash-and-grab gun store burglaries not far from us, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) has released some big numbers out of Colorado.

The numbers show a 126% increase in gun thefts from licensed dealers over 2015 numbers and a 389% increase over 2014 numbers in the state that passed several new (utterly useless) gun control laws in 2013, further illustrating what everyone already knew:  criminals get guns through illegal means and gun control measures don’t stop them (even in New York).

The number of firearms stolen from Colorado gun dealers more than doubled in 2016, reaching a 10-year high of 273 guns.

In comparison, 121 guns were stolen from Colorado gun dealers in 2015 and 56 guns in 2014.

Colorado mirrors a national uptick in guns stolen from dealers. In 2016, 7,858 guns were stolen in robberies and burglaries across the country, the highest number on record.

“We are very concerned about the rise in gun thefts. These guns will not be used for hunting or sport; they are destined for future crimes and are a threat to public and officer safety,” ATF Denver Field Division Special Agent in Charge Debora Livingston said. “ATF is working closely with all the affected police departments in the Denver Metro Area to identify and arrest suspects, recover guns and prevent future thefts. We are also frequently communicating with gun dealers in the Metro Area to inform them of the rise in break-ins and help them better protect their store and inventory.”   Continue reading

Brownells Seeks a Few Good Gunsmiths for Cover of Big Book #70

BrownellsBigBook70ReleaseBrownells is issuing an open casting call to gunsmiths for the cover of the next “Big Book” catalog to celebrate the 70th year of its publication.

Long regarded as the unofficial “Bible” of the gun industry, the Big Book is famous for its amazing selection of thousands of the best gunsmithing tools and products, and its large, horizontal format.

Some lucky gunsmith will see a photograph of himself and his shop splashed across the 12″ x 9″ cover of Big Book #70, which will be distributed to gunsmiths and dedicated hobbyists across the United States and around the world.

Contestants can enter for their chance to grace the cover of Big Book #70 two different ways. They can email their best photos of their gunsmith shop or work area to Contests@Brownells.com, or post the photos on social media and use the hashtag #BB70.

The photo contest begins immediately and Brownells will accept submissions through March 31. In addition to being on the cover of Big Book #70, the winner will also receive a Brownells gift card worth $500.

“We’re proud of supporting gunsmiths for 78 years,” said Brownells Chairman of the Board Frank Brownell. “We wanted to do something special for Big Book #70, and thought this would be a fun way to show how much we appreciate all the fine folks out there working in such an honorable profession. We hope that these dedicated pros show the same passion and creativity in their photos that they do in their gunsmithing work.”

Contestants who submit photos via email will need to include the following information with the picture:

  • Name
  • Name of shop or business
  • Location
  • Contact phone number

Brownells will individually contact those who post cover-worthy photos via social media.

PDN, CrossBreed, Springfield, Crimson Trace and More Team Up in $9,500 Giveaway

PDNgiveawayPersonal Defense Network (PDN) has teamed up with CrossBreed Holsters, Springfield Armory, Cannon Safes, Gun Talk Media, Crimson Trace, Action Target, Propper International, Recoil Magazine, and Hexmag to give away $9,500 worth of merchandise to one lucky winner.

The contest, which started February 17 and runs through March 26, can be entered through CrossBreed’s website: www.CrossBreedholsters.com. Each entry has a chance to enter up to 53 times by liking and sharing on social media. See CrossBreed Holsters’ website for complete details.

The winning package includes:

  1. Cannon Safe – 5940 64 Gun Safe
  2. Springfield Armory – EMP with Concealed Carry Contour Grip⠀
  3. Propper – Apparel and Gear Pack⠀
  4. CrossBreed Holsters, LLC – Holsters Crossover Belt, Reversible Nylon Belt, SuperTuck Holster, Bedside Backup, Gideon Mag Carrier Pack, and ARK Bag 5 Pack
  5. Crimson Trace – Rail Master Universal Light
  6. Freedom Munitions (Official) – 1,000 Rounds of 9mm 135gr ProMatch Ammo⠀
  7. Hexmag – 12 Pack AR15 Mags with All Accessories Range Pack⠀
  8. Springfield Armory – Saint Rifle Sponsored By Hexmag
  9. American Trigger Corp – AR Gold Adjustable Flat Trigger
  10. Freedom Munitions (Official) – 1,000 Rounds of 223 55gr FMJ Ammo
  11. Crimson Trace – LiNQ System
  12. Action Target – 45 Degree Static Target⠀
  13. Action Target – PT Dueling Tree HD
  14. PACT Inc. – Club Timer III⠀
  15. Gun Talk – Knowledge Vault Prize Pack
  16. Personal Defense Network – One Year Gold Membership & 11 DVD Bundle

 

Female Participation in Shooting Sports Higher than Ever

GirlPower

Female participation in the shooting sports is on the rise and that is a good thing!  Having a bigger tent with more people involved and enjoying firearms can open eyes (and minds) to the reality of how safe, practical, and fun firearm ownership can be.

According to both the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and the National Rifle Association (NRA), women are one of the fastest growing demographics in the shooting sports.  From 2001 to 2013, the number of female hunters increased 85% to 3.3 million and the number of target shooters increased 60% to 5.4 million.  When polled on why they wanted to own a firearm, the top three answers were: self-defense, learning to hunt, and to enjoy shooting with friends and family.  Another point from the NSSF study that I found interesting is that nearly 75% of all women gun owners have attended at least one training class with either a professional or a family/friend.

Roughly half of all women gun owners will visit a shooting range an average of one or more times each month for practice or training.  You may have noticed an increase in the number of first time women shooters at your local range; I know that I have.  Unfortunately, not all of that range time is necessarily productive.  During my range visits, I have seen some really terrible “training” sessions at nearby shooting tables.  I watched one guy hand his girlfriend a .410 revolver, show her how to hold it, and then – with his hand over top of hers, reach in and pull the trigger for her from across the bench.  He seemed to find it amusing that she was frightened of the large, heavy recoiling handgun and did not want to keep shooting with it.  On a different trip, I saw someone hand another female shooter a semi-auto pistol to shoot before standing by to watch as she gripped it in her left hand and supported it with her right hand… directly on top of the slide.  Once was enough for that new shooter, who stopped shooting for the day and waited while her partner finished his range day.

Since many women receive training from someone close to them, and many women feel encouraged by family and friends to go shooting, it is a disservice to the new female shooter to not offer proper instruction, especially if it is their first time shooting.  As Olympic shooter Kim Rhode said in a recent interview, shooting is a family sport.  Everyone should actively participate in the entire shooting process for everyone else in the family to help build relationships based on this common interest and to ensure that everyone in the family is familiar with the firearms in the house.  This becomes even more important because a NSSF study showed that more than 40% of women prefer having male present when purchasing a firearm and a similar number feel that they need more training.  This is an enormous opportunity to promote the shooting sports and the Second Amendment within a family.

I am fortunate that my significant other has been my primary instructor and he takes it seriously.  It is one of our many hobbies that we both enjoy and enjoy together.  While the actual activity is an equal playing field between the genders, the firearms industry has been slow to catch up to the growing number of women shooters.  As a female shooter, I have had to learn to adapt to a sport that is largely designed by and for men.

Despite the push for a bizarre progressive agenda, men and women are different.  Let’s start with the obvious differences.  The average American man is ~5’10” and weighs 196 lbs whereas the average American woman is ~5’4” and weighs 166 lbs.  Men are typically taller, weigh more and have less body fat, larger hands, different muscle mass, different lung capacity, and so on.  Women are generally shaped differently than men, especially in the hips and chest – a product of being built to produce and care for offspring.  All of this should sound like common sense right now, but what does it mean?

Women, on average, are smaller in every aspect of the body.  Many full-sized pistols are too large (sometimes too heavy) to hold comfortably and consistently for extended shooting periods.  However, smaller compact and sub-compact handguns – which may fit better in the hands – tend to have stiffer springs to counter the low mass of the slide, which can prove problematic when manipulating the slide.  Fortunately, many manufacturers are designing both new firearms and ammunition offerings that address this recoil issue.  Some manufacturers have designed pistols that are balanced differently to help women manage the recoil.

Staying with the smaller theme, women have shorter arms and proportionally longer necks than men, placing the shoulder-pocket slightly higher than the average man.  This means many rifles and shotguns are uncomfortable to handle and could explain why your lady may bruise more easily and have problems getting a consistent cheek weld (the answer is not a youth stock).  While a child-sized stock may work for some women, the fact remains that most women are larger than children and the smaller, shorter stock will make a weapon front-heavy which could prove burdensome, especially when walking in the field (speaking from experience).  Being smaller also means being shorter.  This can make shooting from a kneeling/sitting position feel like a battle to find the happy medium between comfort, stability and getting the appropriate elevation to hit the target.  As I have consistently found at SHOT Show Range Day and various shooting ranges, many shooting benches are not designed for a short person.  A few companies have been tackling the issue of women shooters in rifles and shotguns with success.  At least two companies have rifles designed by women, for women and two more companies make pricey shotguns that are balanced and proportioned with a woman in mind.   Continue reading

Belt-tightening in Connecticut: the Cost of Gun Control

NSSF_FirearmIndustryJobsA recent study released by the Connecticut-based National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) examined the economic impact of the gun industry and gun control laws on state jobs and revenue in the Constitution State.

The firearms industry has a long history in Connecticut, including companies with roots that date back to before the Civil War. According to the NSSF, though, in 2016 Connecticut had 4,900 people employed in the firearms industry and related fields, a drop of almost 40% from 2013.

Tax revenues paid by the industry also dropped substantially, from $134 million to $85 million during the period. Similarly, the industry’s total impact on the state’s economy was down by nearly $700 million. One firearm manufacturer, PTR Industries of Bristol, Connecticut, in announcing its move out of the state, pointed to new gun laws, adding that “we feel that our industry as a whole will continue to be threatened so long as it remains in a state where its elected leaders have no regard for the rights of those who produce and manufacture its wealth.”

These are jobs and revenues that the state can ill-afford to lose. As noted in an earlier alert, Connecticut is in the midst of a fiscal crisis, facing a two-year, $3.6 billion budget deficit. The state is already treading water on jobs: one commentator estimates that the employment level in Connecticut in 2016 was below the level of jobs that existed 27 years earlier, in 1989. Employment in Connecticut’s manufacturing sector, in particular, has decreased drastically over the last 25 years.    Continue reading

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