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Springfield Armory, Rock River Arms Still Aiming for Damage Control After Gun Control Bill Exposure

Both Companies Claim to have Severed Ties with… Themselves?

RRA_SpringfieldAs covered in our earlier article on Springfield and RRA’s massive misstep on Illinois SB1657, both companies were trying to effect some measure of damage control following the harsh, and deservedly so, backlash – including negative reviews, a social media pounding, and distributors unloading existing SA and RRA inventory at cost until it’s gone with no plans to restock.  Now both companies have issued a second round of statements indicating that they have “severed all ties with the Illinois Firearm Manufacturers Association (IFMA).  And then the story got even weirder…

In earlier statements, the companies claimed that they did not know what activities the Illinois Firearm Manufacturers Association (IFMA) was participating in and expressed shock that the lobbying group had reversed course and pulled their opposition to the bill.  However, as we pointed out in the earlier post, the bulk of IFMA’s funding came from these two companies in the form of recurring payments of $50,000 each per year starting in 2014 and continuing through 2016, with another payment slated for the end of this month if the pattern continued.  In fact, these two entities appear to be the sole source of IMFA’s funding.

Ok, so these companies funneled money into a lobbying organization that was ostensibly looking out for their best interest, but how involved were they really with IFMA operations?  They claim that they didn’t know about the exemption that would protect them while leaving IL gun stores to close their doors and they claim that they didn’t know that IFMA had changed their stance from “oppose” to “no position” after securing that exemption.  Who’s running the IFMA anyway?    Continue reading

Pete Brownell Elected NRA President Following NRAAM 2017

PeteBrownellThe NRA Board of Directors elected the next generation of leadership for the nation’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen’s group, electing lifelong NRA Life Member Pete Brownell as President May 1, capping off the 146th NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Atlanta.

Brownell, whose entire life has been dedicated to the outdoors and shooting traditions, is the CEO of his family’s namesake business and firearms industry leader, Brownells, Inc. Under his leadership, Brownells experienced a ten-fold growth from a “niche-specific supplier” of gunsmithing tools to an international company offering firearms, parts, ammo and accessories to shooters, hunters, gunsmiths and retailers worldwide.

His Iowa roots rich with shooting and hunting heritage combined with his family’s commitment to serve and uphold those traditions set the stage for Brownell to seek election to the NRA Board of Directors in 2010. Since then, he has served as chairman of the Membership Committee, and as a member of the Finance, Law Enforcement Assistance, Publications Policies, and Sport Shooting Committees. He was elected as the NRA’s Second Vice President in 2013, and elected as First Vice President in 2015. He succeeds Allan D. Cors to become the 64th President of the NRA.

It’s an honor and privilege to serve the 5 million members of the National Rifle Association of America. I am humbled to serve alongside Wayne LaPierre – the true heart and soul of this Association and to walk in the footsteps of my predecessors,” said Brownell. “I’m a proud NRA member from day one who grew up with a passion for guns, our rich hunting heritage, and a passion to strengthen our Second Amendment.

In addition to Brownell’s election, the NRA Board of Directors re-elected Wayne LaPierre as the NRA Executive Vice President. Under his trusted leadership, the NRA has grown to unprecedented levels, becoming the preeminent force in American politics and strengthening its position as the nation’s foremost defender of the Second Amendment. Upon his re-election, LaPierre reappointed Josh Powell to the position of Executive Director of NRA General Operations and Chris W. Cox to the position of Executive Director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action.   Continue reading

IL Gun Manufacturers Respond to Trade Group’s Reversal on Gun Bill

Springfield Armory, Rock River Arms:  “100% against this bill” – We didn’t know we would be exempt from burdensome regulation initially opposed by manufacturers association

IllinoisAfter helping fund a trade group who traded opposition to a proposed piece of state legislation that NRA-ILA sayscreates an onerous gun dealer licensing scheme within the state” whose “intention is to close as many federally licensed firearm dealers (FFLs) as possible” for special exemptions, two Illinois firearm manufacturers are claiming ignorance of their trade association’s actions on the bill.

Illinois SB1657, passed through the Senate by a one-vote margin, would require already licensed firearms dealers to participate in a separate state licensing scheme on top of the strictly regulated licensing system in place through the Federal government.  The bill exempts individuals who are involved in transfers of nine or fewer firearms per year, beyond which they would be subject to the requirements.  In addition to a pre-licensing inspection by Illinois’s Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), the bill also opens licensees to unannounced visits and inspections by the state entity.   Continue reading

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

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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