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Franklin Armory’s Reformation – Brilliant End-Run or Spotlight on NFA Absurdity

GunLink-SHOT18_001Franklin Armory mystified the shooting community in the days leading up to SHOT Show 2018. Right around two weeks ahead of the show, the company – most well known for their binary triggers – issued a press release with photos of a weapon that, for all intents and purposes, appeared to be an NFA-regulated short barreled rifle (SBR).  However, Franklin claimed that the item shown was not a rifle (so, not an SBR) nor were they playing sneaky semantics games with a shotgun (and, thus, not an SBS).  Readers were left scratching their heads and trying to figure out how it might fit into the generic “firearm” category that might escape the purview of NFA regulations

Rumors swept the internet, along with speculation on how Franklin Armory had achieved this feat, if they had achieved it at all – many thought that the company was just trolling to generate buzz and that the new firearm, dubbed the Reformation, was just their 11.5″ SBR and that the entire campaign was a hoax.  Everyone loves a good puzzle, and the only clues in the initial release were that the Reformation sported an 11.5″ barrel, a Magpul SL stock (not a brace), that it used patented “NRS” technology, and that it required no NFA tax stamp.

Guesses at how this was done included things like the stock being pinned to make it unusable as a stock (instead, being capable of functioning only as a cheek rest), having a smooth bore (no rifling, no short-barreled rifle) – with or without guesses at special ammunition like a rifled shotgun slug, firing only on release (to skirt the definition of one round per trigger pull), and other theories.

This is not the first time that the designers at Franklin Armory were able to dance around BATFE definitions of certain classes of firearms (see the XO-26, which sports a short barrel, pistol brace, and VFG, yet is not an AOW). The company played the Reformation release close to their vest, letting the shooting community continue to guess right up through their SHOT Show announcement.   Continue reading

U.S. House to Vote on Fix NICS Act and Concealed Carry Reciprocity

FBI_NICSThe House is expected to vote as early as this week on H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. Currently varying state-by-state concealed carry laws are making unwitting criminals out of law-abiding firearms owners for simply making a wrong traffic turn. There is no justification for individuals’ Constitutional rights to end at the border of their states. This bill would provide for reciprocity for the carrying of certain concealed firearms, allow certain off-duty law enforcement officers and retired law enforcement officers to conceal carry in a school zone, and interstate carrying of firearms by federal judges.

This bill, as amended, also includes the Fix NICS Act. There are currently several states and some federal agencies withholding applicable disqualifying records that if entered into the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) would help prevent prohibited persons from being able to purchase firearms from a federally licensed firearms retailer. The Fix NICS Act, which builds off of the successes of NSSF’s FixNICS campaign, would improve the current system and ensure background checks are accurate and reliable.

Lastly, this measure calls on the Department of Justice to report to Congress on the number of times a bump stock has been used in the commission of a crime.

Please take this opportunity to email or call today to urge your U.S. Representatives to vote for H.R.38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, as amended.

Email your Representative here

United States Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121

Look up your U.S. Representative, here

ATF Releases 2017 Report on Firearms Commerce in the U.S.

California Ranks No. 2 in the Most NFA Registered Weapons

BATFE LogoThe Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) recently released the Firearms Commerce in the United States – Annual Statistical Update 2017. The report provides comparative data from as far back as 1986 for context, analyses of firearms manufacturing trends over the years, and a broad picture of the state of firearms commerce in the United States today.

The data in the 2017 report shows an estimated 43 percent increase in firearms manufacturing in the U.S. within the last five years. In 2015, the number of firearms manufactured grew to more than 9.3 million, up from the approximate 6.5 million firearms manufactured in 2011. The most recent available firearm manufacturing statistics are through calendar year 2015.

Rifles made up the bulk of the firearms manufactured at 3.6 million in 2015. Pistols were a close second at 3.5 million. The number of rifles manufactured increased 9 percent from the previous year and the number of pistols decreased slightly by approximately 2 percent.

Updated firearms import and export data is included in the report. Import data is updated through 2016 and export data through 2015. In 2016, more than 5.1 million firearms were imported into the United States showing a 30 percent increase since 2015.

The most recent export statistics show more than 343,000 firearms (an 18 percent decrease from the previous year) were exported worldwide.

The commerce report includes a state-by-state breakdown of the National Firearm Act (NFA) tax revenue information. NFA is also referred to as Title II of the federal firearms laws and was first enacted in 1934.    Continue reading

Smith & Wesson Corp. to Acquire Gemini Technologies

Asset Acquisition Will Add Leading Suppressor Brand to Smith & Wesson Firearms Platform

GemTechSmithWessonAmerican Outdoor Brands Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: AOBC), a leading manufacturer of firearms and a provider of quality accessory products for the shooting, hunting, and rugged outdoor enthusiast, today announced that its firearms business, Smith & Wesson Corp., has agreed to acquire substantially all of the assets of Gemini Technologies, Incorporated (“Gemtech”), a provider of high quality suppressors and accessories for the consumer, law enforcement, and military markets.

James Debney, President and CEO of American Outdoor Brands, said, “Gemtech is widely recognized for producing some of the finest rifle and pistol suppressors in the market. Gemtech’s strong product development capabilities, combined with our experience in brand management and our manufacturing expertise, will help us to efficiently develop both firearms and suppressors, minimizing our time to market for both product categories. We view this acquisition as opportunistic, allowing us to enter the suppressor category, which resonates strongly with our core firearm consumer, at a time when the market is particularly soft. These elements combine to make Gemtech an excellent fit with our long term strategy.”

The company intends to complete the acquisition of Gemtech utilizing cash on hand and expects the transaction to close this summer. Ron Martinez, President of Gemtech, will continue in his leadership role as General Manager, heading up the company’s strong team located in Eagle, Idaho.

Sanctions Related to Ukraine Conflict Hit Firearms Manufacturer Molot and Their VEPR

vpo-205-00The US Treasury Department today released the latest round of sanctions going into effect surrounding the conflict in Ukraine.  These sanctions, which the department says underscore the U.S. commitment to a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Ukraine, are hitting close to home for fans of certain imported firearms.

The Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) reinforced existing sanctions on Russia by designating a range of individuals and entities involved in the ongoing conflict under four Executive orders (E.O.s) related to Russia and Ukraine.  The sanctions, according to the release, will remain in effect “until Russia fully honors its obligations under the Minsk Agreements.

Along with 37 other entities, the list names Molot-Oruzhie, manufacturer of the popular VEPR series of firearms, including the AK-47-style VEPR-12 semi-auto shotgun, similar in appearance and function to the Kalashnikov Concern’s Saiga.

Molot Oruzhie, OOO is designated by the Treasury Department’s sanction list under the section of Designations Related to Officials of the Russian Government and Sanctions Evasion, which also targets five other entities pursuant to the previous White House’s 2014 Executive Order 13661, which authorizes sanctions on any individual or entity that has provided material or other support to persons operating in the arms or related materiel sector in the Russian Federation.

Specifically, the release reads:    Continue reading

NSSF and Manufacturers Try to Help Inform Media of Suppressor Facts

Shockingly, news media remains willfully ignorant and sticks with agenda

A few weeks ago, the National Shooting Sports Foundation and representatives from Daniel Defense and Sig Sauer hosted Washington DC-based media for a suppressor demo day at a range in Manassas, Virginia.

Media members, including those from the Associated Press as shown in the video, had the opportunity to fire suppressed rifles and pistols for themselves and to get an education on suppressor (a.k.a. silencer) basics.  Company reps explained how suppressors are not assassin’s tools that enable gun-ninjas to perpetrate undetectable crime but, rather, reduce the report of a firearm from louder-than-a-jet-engine to about-like-a-jack-hammer – helping to get it closer to OSHA hearing-safe levels.

As the Hearing Protection Act gains support from both House and Senate lawmakers (148 in the House and 16 in the Senate), as well as from Second Amendment supporters, we won’t be holding our breath waiting for fact-based reporting from the mainstream media.

Keep pushing, keep writing your reps to support the bill, keep calling out the media and anti-gun politicians on their misunderstandings (or outright lies).

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