Firearms Industry

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

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

Atlanta to Host NRA’s 146th Annual Meetings and Exhibits

NRAAM_atlantaThe 146th National Rifle Association (NRA) Annual Meetings and Exhibits will be held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia from April 27-30, 2017.  This four-day event will be attended by tens of thousands of patriots and features more than 15 acres of the most spectacular displays of firearms, and shooting and hunting accessories in the world. For more information on the massive RKBA event, visit www.nraam.org.

The NRAAM features a powerhouse lineup of political speakers, a Saturday night celebration like no other, hundreds of exhibitors from around the firearms industry, fellowship with like-minded Second Amendment supporters at a variety of breakfasts, luncheons and dinners, and much more.  Learn about the progress made over the past year and what the upcoming year has in store at the annual Meeting of Members during the show and make your voice heard within the country’s preeminent gun rights organization.

Attendance to the 146th NRA Show is free for current members of the National Rifle Association.  If you are not yet a member, you can join the NRA at discounted rates here.

Exhibit hall hours are from 9AM to 6PM on Friday April 28 and Saturday April 29 and 10AM to 5PM on Sunday April 30.  Click here for a complete list of NRAAM exhibitors and here for a schedule of events.

Participate in workshops and seminars on everything from Methods of Concealed Carry to effective dog training to self defense talks from the Refuse to be a Victim program.  NRAAM also includes separate ticketed events like the Saturday night celebration with a concert by Hank Williams Jr with guest Lee Brice.  Tickets for those events are available here.

For open and concealed carry practitioners, the NRAAM website offers the following statement:  “During the 2017 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits, lawfully carried firearms will be permitted in the Georgia World Congress Center and the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center in accordance with Georgia law. However, firearms are not allowed in the remainder of the CNN Center, including the food court and shops. When carrying your firearm, remember to follow all federal, state and local laws.

If you are already an NRA member, you can preregister here to have your admission badges mailed directly to you for free.  Your badges give you full access to the exhibit hall for all three days.  NRA members can include their spouse and up to 5 children (under the age of 18).  If you still need to join NRA before the event, click here to join here for reduced dues.

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.

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

Micro-Handguns of SHOT Show 2017

Pocket-Sized Fire Power Makes it Easy to Always Have a Gun

Cowboy_DerringerDiminutive handguns are nothing new; Henry Deringer’s eponymous Philadelphia model was produced and sold from 1852 and tiny, eminently concealable firearms have been popular for at least as long.  Nihil novi sub sole; at SHOT Show 2017 a number of manufacturers showcased the continuation (and expansion) of this corner of the firearms market.

Bond Arms, the largest modern manufacturer of derringers, is probably the closest living cousin of the early models.  For just over 20 years, Bond Arms has been creating small(ish) non-repeating break-open handguns with caliber-swapable double barrels (available in everything from .22LR rimfire to .45 centerfire to .410 shotshells) reminiscent of early pocket guns like the ones that might be found in a frontier gambler’s vest pocket.  More recently, Bond added a more modern touch to their pocket gun lineup when they acquired Boberg Arms’s design for a semi-auto bullpup pistol that strips rounds rearward from the nose-down magazine before chambering them.  Although they are small and classified as derringers, neither Bond offering could realistically be called “tiny” or classified as a “micro gun,” much less a “mouse gun” when chambered in such heavy rounds as .45LC or .410.

A staple of the tiny-gun market is the lineup from well-known North American Arms (NAA) – founded in 1972 as Rocky Mountain Arm – probably best known for the mini-revolvers that they have been selling since 1990, when they acquired the design from Freedom Arms.  Available only in .22 rimfire chamberings, NAA mini revolvers are spur-triggered single action only revolvers with several models small enough that a pair of them could fit into the space occupied by a deck of cards.  Now sold in a variety of configurations (including ones that fold into their own grip, and ones that are carried in a belt buckle), if you’ve ever walked into a gun store and saw a revolver-shaped speck in the bottom of the case, chances are that it was an NAA.  In 1997, NAA entered the semi-auto market with their Guardian series to compete with Seecamp’s tiny offerings, although they don’t enjoy the same widespread recognition as the wheelguns do.

What’s New?

Now that we know some of the established players in the micro-gun game, let’s take a look at some of the new arrivals which were showcased at SHOT Show 2017.    Continue reading

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