training

USCCA Sponsors “National Train A Teacher Day” This Saturday

50-State Training and Education Campaign Aims to Help Teachers Better Protect Schools and Students Ahead of the New School Year

This Saturday, July 20th is the second annual National Train a Teacher Day (NTATD) in which thousands of school teachers and administrators across the country will be offered free self-defense training by Certified Instructors and Training Counselors. The United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA), which provides education, training and self-defense protection to more than 300,000 responsible American gun owners across the country, is the official sponsor of this national event which aims to empower educators across the country with the training and tools they need to defend themselves in the case of a criminal attack.

To learn more about National Train a Teacher Day, please visit: http://nationaltrainateacherday.com

National Train a Teacher Day comes as more states and school districts are allowing teachers and administrators to go through training and carry firearms on school campuses to better protect the students in their charge. In Florida, for example, expansion of the armed teacher program was one of several recommendations made by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, which was commissioned after the tragic mass shooting in Parkland in February 2018.   Continue reading

NSSF Praises U.S. House Bipartisan Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act

Legislation Frees Funds for State Range Construction

The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the firearms industry trade association, praised the introduction of H.R. 1222, the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act of 2019 in the U.S House of Representatives. The bipartisan bill was authored by Reps. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Rob Bishop (R-Utah).

“This is crucial legislation that would provide state fish and game agencies more flexibility to use Pittman-Robertson excise taxes dollars raised from the sale of firearms and ammunition to enhance existing public shooting ranges and to build new ones to meet the growing need for additional places for target shooters to participate in their sport,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “Public shooting ranges provide hunters a place to sight in rifles and shotguns before hunting seasons, for people to take firearm safety and hunter education courses and, for recreational target shooters to enjoy their sport. NSSF thanks Congressmen Kind and Bishop for recognizing the critical need and providing solutions to benefit recreational shooters and conservation.”

This legislation has been introduced in previous Congressional sessions, where it received overwhelming bipartisan support, but was never advanced to the president. The funds are derived from an existing excise taxes paid by firearms and ammunition manufacturers since 1937, with almost $12.1 billion raised for wildlife conservation supported by the sale of these products.

States are permitted to use some of those funds for hunter education courses and for public shooting ranges under a restrictive formula that has largely discouraged state agencies from building and enhancing public shooting ranges. The legislation would provide states greater flexibility on their ability to use Pittman-Robertson excise tax funds by increasing the cap of federal funds accrued for the creation and maintenance of shooting ranges from 75 to 90 percent. This means states could begin work on range facilities with 10 percent matching funds, instead of the current 25 percent. It would also enable excise funds to be made available and accrue for five years for land acquisition or range construction.

Target shooters are largely responsible for the funds derived through excise taxes from the sale of firearms and ammunition products. That money is directly responsible for habitat conservation, recreational shooting and wildlife management, making gun owners, hunters and manufacturers largest financial supporters of wildlife conservation throughout the United States. The development of new ranges will help encourage participation in hunting and the shooting sports, ensuring wildlife conservation funding through the Pittman-Robertson Act will continue for generations to come.

Legally Armed In Detroit Offering Free Shooting Class For Women in Detroit

Legally Armed In Detroit, a gun rights advocacy group, has announced that it will provide a free firearm shooting lesson at a southeast Michigan target range for 800 women interested in learning more about firearms and personal protection.

There will be no charge for the Firearm Instructor’s safety briefing, the usage of a firearm, ammunition, and range time. Participation is 100 percent free for all attendees. No prior firearms training or experience is required of the women who desire to take advantage of the lesson. Further, experienced women merely desiring to improve their marksmanship skills are also welcome to attend.

The free shooting lesson offer was the brainchild of Rick Ector, an NRA Approved Firearms Trainer, after seeing a local television newscast of a young woman’s body being discovered on an east-side Detroit street seven years ago.

This year’s event will be the seventh consecutive year it has been conducted. In the first year only 50 women were trained. However, last year the event grew sufficiently to teach almost 600 how to safely operate a pistol.

This year’s goal is 800 trained women over the day-long event. It is only with the cooperation of Ector’s fellow Firearm Instructor colleagues and supporters across social media that this event could even be attempted and safely conducted.

Ector believes that there are many women in the state of Michigan who are curious about firearms and their role in self-defense but are reluctant to investigate due to fears. He said, “If giving women a free lesson by a credentialed professional translates into women just trying it, it’ll be a productive use of my time.”

The ladies FREE shooting event will be held on Sunday, May 20, 2018 at the Top Gun Shooting Sports Gun Range at 22050 Pennsylvania in Taylor, Michigan. FREE Advance Pre-registration is required for participation. Interested ladies should visit the Facebook event page for more info.

MantisX System Gives Real-Time Shooting Feedback

GunLink-MantisX_1333Recently, Casey from MantisX reached out to GunLink to tell us about their system, which they describe as “a firearms training system that mounts on the rail of your gun and gives you real time feedback via an app on your smart phone,” going so far as calling it “most innovative development in personal firearms training in years.”  Bold claims, to be sure, but Casey was confident enough in the system to send one over for us to try out.

First of all – what exactly is a MantisX?  You are probably familiar with the ubiquitous Pistol Correction Targets.  Our Pistol Correction Target posts have seen hundreds of thousands of pageviews the GunLink Forums and the GunLink Blog, and have been shared far and wide on other sites, gun stores, and ranges.

When Casey first contacted us, the MantisX system was essentially a feature-packed, electronic, “smart” 21st century version of the targets that have been around decades (it has since gotten even better).  It works by attaching the MantisX device – packed with sensors, gyros, and other electronic wizardry – to your pistol and connecting it wirelessly via bluetooth to your Android or iOS smart device using their free app.

With the device attached and connected, the sensors inside of the MantisX unit track movement of the firearm before, during, and after your shots, analyzes them, and presents them in a variety of formats through the app.   Continue reading

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

Airguns Make Big Noise at SHOT Show

Wind-Powered Projectiles Garnering Much Attention in Shooting Industry

Airguns_1477With the hustle and bustle of racing around four days of SHOT Show 2017 and an extra day of range time behind us the GunLink team is now working to organize it all and bring our readers info on the latest developments from the shooting industry.  While it seems like many companies were conservative with their R&D last year, likely due to the unknown outcome of the election, there were a few themes that I noticed; one of which was air guns.

It may have just been me, but it seems like a lot more companies than usual were displaying air guns and it got me thinking about what could be driving all of the interest behind this segment of the shooting sports.  The answers to this question are likely as varied and diverse as they are to the question of why anyone is interested in any kind of shooting activities.  Airguns can be quieter, less expensive, and, in some regards, safer than shooting traditional firearms.  Another reason for their popularity is likely that there are fewer regulations on air guns since they are not considered firearms – making them more readily available to a wider audience.  It may also be the case that positive role models from last summer’s Olympic Games shooting sports events may have sparked more interest in air guns.   Continue reading

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