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If the Trump administration softened sanctions against Russia — like an official said the president has been considering — that could increase the supply of popular AK rifles commercially available in the U.S., but it could also bolster the rapidly developing narrative that the president’s campaign colluded with Russian officials before the election.
An administration official this week sent mixed messages as President Trump met with NATO leaders during his trip abroad. His director of National Economic Council, Gary Cohn, said during Wednesday’s meeting with reporters on Air Force One the president had the sanctions on his mind.
“I think the president is looking at it. Right now, we don’t have a position,” Cohn said.
But he walked back the statement on Friday, saying the administration will not be lifting sanctions on Russia and “If anything, we would probably look to get tougher on Russia.”
The issue returns four months after the Treasury Department eased some sanctions on FSB, the Kremlin’s intelligence agency, enacted by a 2015 executive order signed by former President Obama to punish Russia for “engaging in significant malicious cyber-enabled activities.” The sanction adjustments allow for the import of U.S.-made information technology products into Russia.
Further easing could benefit Russian gun manufacturers as well as give American gun buyers more choice. According to International Trade Commission data, the U.S. imported some 204,788 firearms of all kinds from Russia in 2013, but that number has been reduced to just 9,556 in 2015 because of sanctions.
While the president now maintains he would not lift sanctions on Russia, particularly those imposed for the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine in March 2014, he had floated the idea before and at least one member of his cabinet had actively pursued it.
Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, had at least one conversation with a Russian official regarding the lifting of sanctions during the Trump team’s transition into the White House — something Flynn lied about and was forced to resign over. At the time of the meeting, Flynn, who had been working with the Trump campaign before the election, was being vetted for a cabinet position.
Flynn was recently subpoenaed by the Senate Intelligence Committee as part of its investigation into Russian collusion. He pleaded the Fifth, keeping the committee from viewing documents it sought and protecting him from self-incrimination. The retired Army lieutenant general in March requested immunity from prosecution in return for his sworn testimony on the matter.
Still, some lawmakers see more value in admonishing Russia for its misbehavior — including the invasion of Ukraine and the Kremlin’s alleged meddling in U.S. elections — and holding the Trump administration accountable for undoing sanctions earlier this year.
Shortly after the Treasury Department’s February action, lawmakers introduced a bill to ensure checks and balances were maintained between the branches of government. Since the “Russia Sanctions Review Act” was introduced, 27 Democrats and 15 Republicans have signed on to ensure that the lifting of any sanctions on Russia is first approved by Congress.
The move came amid fears of collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election. Some believe that secretive relationship persists into the president’s fifth month in office, to the tune of several investigations into the matter.
One investigation, being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was stymied when Trump fired its director, James Comey. Before the firing, Trump reportedly asked Comey for his loyalty and for him to drop the Russia investigation. Comey offered his truthfulness, but not his fealty. Trump then tried to recruit top officials in the intelligence community to publicly attack Comey. The heads of both the National Security Agency and National Intelligence both turned down the president’s request.
Some have called Trump’s move unprecedented, dubbing the scandal “Kremlingate” and comparing it to President Richard Nixon’s own troubled administration. The NSA chief in an address to his subordinates revealed what the president had asked of him and went even further.
“There is no question that we have evidence of election involvement and questionable contacts with the Russians,” Admiral Mike Rogers reportedly said early this week.
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I have witnessed the birth of several categories of guns over the years. The latest trend of this nature is a class of guns described as pump-action firearms. Guns that fit into this category are pump firearms with a 14-inch barrel and no stock or pistol grip, firing 12 gauge shotgun rounds, and with an overall length of more than 26 inches. The Remington Tac-14 is one of the newest additions.
The post A Non-NFA 14” Remington 870? The New TAC-14 – Full Review! appeared first on GunsAmerica Digest.
Todd Strange, mayor of Montgomery, Alabama, said Thursday he plans to use a loophole in state law to hold a gun buyback this summer.
The city’s original plan was to pair the gun buyback program with another program, announced on Wednesday, in which cash would be traded for tips on juveniles illegally possessing firearms, the Montgomery Advertiser reported. However, a state law prevented the city from moving forward on its gun buyback plans.
The relevant section of Alabama law states that “nothing in this section authorizes or permits a political subdivision to offer remuneration for the surrender or transfer of a privately owned firearm to the political subdivision or another party as a method of reducing the number of privately owned firearms within the political subdivision.”
“The companion piece we were going to put was an overall gun buyback program. Late Tuesday we found out that under state law … a political subdivision, aka city or county, cannot use a buyback program to get illegal guns off the street,” Strange said.
Now Montgomery is looking to examples set by Selma and Birmingham, which have held gun buyback programs by using private entities to run them, such as the Macedonia Apostolic Church in Selma and the Birmingham Housing Authority. By using these private entities, the cities were able to circumvent the “political subdivision” language of the law.
Strange said there have already been volunteers to hold the gun buyback program, which he anticipates will take place in June.
“I won’t tell you today who and how, but I will tell you that in June, there will be a gun buyback program run by a private sector group,” Strange said. “We have churches, Good Shepherd programs, Crimestoppers coming forward to say, ‘We want to be a part of that.’ The Community Foundation and many others are giving funds to be able to buy back these illegal guns.”
Details of the buyback program, such as type of guns accepted and how much money will be offered for each, have yet to be given.
So far in 2017, Montgomery has seen three major shootings that involved juveniles. Many of the crime guns used in Montgomery have been stolen during vehicle break-ins, one of the most common crimes in the city.
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An armed career criminal from Grandview, Missouri, was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
According to a Justice Department news release, 29-year-old Anthony B. Hutton had four prior felony convictions and so was sentenced as an armed career criminal without parole. Hutton pleaded guilty to possessing a loaded Glock .40-caliber pistol in February.
On Jan. 31, 2016, police officers spotted the pistol in Hutton’s waistband while arresting him for stealing a Toyota Corolla. Serial numbers on the gun later revealed it had been stolen.
During a search of the vehicle, officers found bags containing 44 grams of marijuana, 5 grams of cocaine and other unknown pills.
Hutton’s four prior felony convictions include three for drug dealing and one for unlawful use of a weapon when he tried to shoot someone. Hutton was also on probation at the time of his most recent arrest.
The Kansas City Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case.
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The Federal Bureau of Investigation will host its annual “NICS Retailer Day” in July, the agency announced last week.
The one-day event, held at the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division’s facility in Clarksburg, West Virginia, will connect federally licensed firearm dealers with federal experts on the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
“Experts who will provide you with informative presentations on various aspects of the NICS process, the NICS E-Check, upcoming NICS improvements, and much more,” the FBI said in a May 16 press release. “If you are not yet a NICS E-Check user but are interested, we can facilitate the NICS E-Check enrollment on-site.”
Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will also be available at the event.
FFLs can register for the event, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on July 25, by visiting the NICS FFL website.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson urged lawmakers Thursday to pass a bill that would lengthen prison sentences for repeat gun offenders in Illinois.
The Chicago Tribune reported the legislation, Senate Bill 1722, would increase sentencing guidelines for Illinois judges deciding on punishments for repeat gun felons, raising the sentencing range from 3-14 years to 7 -14 years. If judges opt out of those guidelines, they would have to provide an explanation.
Johnson said the new guidelines are needed to hold repeat gun offenders accountable.
“It’s the repeat offenders that consistently come back in our neighborhoods and shoot and kill, and if we don’t send a message that we are serious about holding them accountable, then what are we doing?” Johnson said. “When I talk to my neighbors they are asking me, they are begging me to do something about this violence.”
The measure, which was worked on by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and House Republican leader Jim Durkin, ultimately passed out of committee on a 10-3 vote. Bruce Rauner also supports the bill, a rare moment of agreement between he and Emanuel.
“Tougher, more certain sentencing for repeat gun offenders is a critical component of strengthening public safety here in Chicago and across Illinois,” Emanuel said on Twitter. “I am grateful that state lawmakers took action today to hold repeat gun offenders accountable for their crimes, and Superintendent Johnson and I will continue to work with legislators in Springfield to ensure a truly just criminal justice system.”
While the bill passed out of committee, some Democrats voiced concerns the legislation would lead to more minorities being incarcerated and said Chicago police need to do a better job of catching criminals in the first place.
“I guess my concern is that the thought in creating this culture of accountability, wouldn’t that be more so related to people believing that they are going to get caught versus just looking at the punishment,” said Rep. Juliana Stratton, D-Chicago. “Because right now, isn’t that the sense, that people feel they can just get away?”
Johnson strongly disagreed with that viewpoint, noting “the police are not the ones picking up the guns and killing these people.”
In an effort to reach out to those concerned, Durkin added a provision to the measure that would establish a program to rehabilitate non-violent, first-time offenders charged with certain weapons crimes. Johnson expressed concern over the program, worried it would go too easy on those carrying guns without a license, but Durkin noted state’s attorneys would have a role in determining the participants.
Other new additions to the bill call for the Illinois State Police to create a task force to fight gun violence and for a review of the bill in five years.
The bill now heads to the House floor for a full vote. A different version of the legislation was already passed in the Senate.
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The North Dakota Supreme Court invalidated a restraining order last week filed against a gun owner in a dispute with her husband’s ex-wife.
The five-member panel unanimously agreed in a ruling issued May 16, a state district court erred when it extended the disorderly conduct restraining order against Karen Keller for exercising her constitutionally-protected right to carry a gun on her property.
The lower court upheld the restraining order last year after her husband’s ex-wife, Nichole Keller, said she felt threatened by the handgun Karen Keller held behind her back during a visit with her children in August 2016.
According to court documents, Nichole Keller and a friend, Rachel Parker, arrived at the rural McHenry County property Karen shared with her husband and his three children from his previous marriage to Nichole on Aug. 14, 2016. The two women waited in Parker’s vehicle at the edge of Karen’s property line until Karen came out of the front door, hands tucked behind her back. Parker asked Karen to send out Nichole’s youngest daughter and said she saw the gun in Karen’s hand as she turned around to get the child.
Both women questioned Karen about why she had the gun, to which she replied she didn’t immediately recognize Parker or her vehicle.
Nichole Keller left after speaking with her daughter. She immediately called police, who interviewed all three women. Nichole later filed for a temporary restraining order against Karen, insisting she feared for her life and the lives of her children. A district court extended the order for one year.
Both Nichole Keller and Rachel Parker testified Karen never pointed the gun in their direction “or make any threatening or violent statements,” according to court documents. The women remained about 200 feet apart during the entire exchange, Nichole Keller said.
Karen appealed the decision, arguing her actions didn’t meet the definition of “disorderly conduct” under state law.
Justice Daniel J. Crothers, who authored the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision last week, agreed her behavior didn’t qualify as “intrusive or unwanted acts, words, or gestures that are intended to adversely affect the safety, security, or privacy of another person.”
“The district court’s sole basis for finding reasonable grounds supporting the disorderly conduct restraining order was the presence of the gun,” he said. “Because possessing a firearm on private property is a constitutionally protected activity, reasonable grounds supporting the disorderly conduct restraining order did not exist.”
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Lawmakers in the Louisiana House have killed a bill that would have prohibited supplying children 12 years old and younger with a fully automatic firearm.
The legislation would have made it unlawful for adults to in any way provide children with fully-automatic guns, even in a supervised setting such as a gun range. Under the bill, those who did so could have been fined and possibly given prison time.
Norton was inspired to propose the bill by the story of a 9-year-old Arizona girl who lost control of an Uzi submachine gun at a shooting range and killed her instructor in 2014. Originally, the bill only prohibited providing Uzis to children, but it was amended to cover all fully-automatic firearms.
Rep. Stuart Bishop, R-Lafayette, was one of many opponents of the measure, the Associated Press reported. Bishop argued he worried he could be fined for letting his child handle a paintball gun, which he said may have been considered a fully-automatic weapon under the bill.
Rep. Sherman Mack, R-Livingston, also an opponent of the legislation, argued the bill was not necessary due to current child endangerment laws.
This was the third time Norton has proposed the bill and the third time it has failed.
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Winchester Repeating Arms expands the Super Pump X Shotgun series, adding the SXP Shadow Defender and SXP Shadow Marine Defender to the lineup.
Both models feature synthetic pistol grip stocks with textured gripping surfaces for a better hold. Each gun is accompanied with two length of pull spacers to adjust the shotgun, fitting shooters perfectly. Additionally, two interchangeable comb pieces enable them to dial in eye to optic alignment.
Offered in 12-gauge and 20-gauge with 3-inch chambers, the guns alloy receivers are drilled and tapped for bases and rings. Both models are equipped with an 18-inch barrel and come with a cylinder choke tube.
The SXP Shadow Defender in 12-gauge retails for $449.99 while its 20-gauge sibling is priced at $469.99. The SXP Shadow Marine Defender touts a $499.99 price tag on the 12-gauge and $519.99 on the 20-gauge.
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A man who attempted to elude authorities in Nashville, Tennessee, last month by ramming into a patrol car during a traffic stop now faces gun charges.
An indictment filed May 18 charged Joe Lewis Williams, Jr. with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, namely a Sarsilmaz 9mm semi-automatic pistol. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
According to a criminal complaint, on April 12, an officer with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department was driving out of the parking lot of an apartment complex as Williams was turning into the parking lot. The officer noticed the vehicle matched the description of a vehicle involved in an earlier hit-and-run. The officer also recognized the driver as Williams, who he knew had an outstanding warrant for a probation violation.
The officer initiated the stop, and while Williams stopped his car, he kept his foot on the brake and repeatedly refused to place the vehicle in park. In an attempt to elude authorities, Williams then pulled away and rammed the officer’s patrol car, pushing it with his own car so that he could exit the parking lot.
Williams drove away but was located at a nearby hotel a short time later by another officer. As the officer attempted to apprehend Williams, he resisted arrest. During the struggle, the officer, who had already pulled out his stun gun but not yet deployed it, observed a handgun sticking out of Williams’ pocket.
The officer then dropped the stun gun in an effort to gain control of Williams and his weapon. However, Williams then tried to get the stun gun and it wasn’t until another officer arrived on the scene to assist that Williams was successfully subdued.
A subsequent search of Williams uncovered drug paraphernalia, including a digital scale and a glass pipe, commonly used to smoke methamphetamine, crack or PCP. In addition, Williams was in possession of a firearm which was previously reported stolen out of Davidson County.
Due to his prior criminal history, which includes multiple felonies, Williams is prohibited from legally possessing a firearm.
During the April incident, Williams was arrested on the warrant and also charged with a number of other offenses, including felon in possession of a handgun, assault on an officer, resisting arrest, evading arrest, possession of drug paraphernalia, and vandalism.
Acting U.S. Attorney Jack Smith called Williams’ case another example of an individual facing federal charges following the assault of a police officer.
“I want this message to be heard loud and clear,” Smith said. “There will be zero tolerance for acts of violence against law enforcement officers in this district.”
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Wilson Combat, renowned for its high-quality high-end 1911s, introduced the Carry Comp Professional, chambered in 9mm/.39 Super and .45 ACP.
The Carry Comp model was developed to offer shooters improved weapon control without the added bulk or weight. Wilson Combat says the design is based on the similar technology used in the company’s ACCU-COMP competition pistol model created in the 1980s to reduce muzzle flip and minimize recoil.
The new Carry Comp Professional boasts a 4-inch length match-grade barrel, including a 1/2-inch muzzle extension that houses the compensation port. Overall length measures at just over 8 inches. The gun weighs 40.5 ounces empty, but ships with a magazine capacity of 8 rounds. Built on the professional-sized carbon steel frame, the 1911 touts 30LPI front strap checkering.
Wilson says the gun is accuracy-guaranteed to shoot 1.5-inch groups at 25 yards.
Base price on the 9mm/.38 Super model totals $3,310 while the .45 ACP version is priced at $3,200.
The head of a national gun rights group contends the city’s controversial gun tax has done little to curb shootings in Seattle.
The 2015 measure, which placed a $25 assessment on each modern firearm and up to 5 cents on each round of ammunition sold by retailers in the city, was billed as a “gun violence tax” but Alan Gottlieb, executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, says it hasn’t done anything to stem the rising tide of criminal gun use in the city after looking at police statistics.
“That ‘gun violence tax’ is been a monumental failure, and we are challenging Mayor Ed Murray and the Seattle City Council to publicly admit it,” said Gottlieb in a statement. “You simply cannot provide better evidence than the Seattle Police Department’s crime statistics of such a colossally stupid idea that has not worked.”
This week authorities released a 15-page report that showed the number of gun incidents in the city is at a recent high, with 155 reports of gunshots fired in 2017 already compared to 132 in all of 2016. The figure is the highest for the past five years of data released while the number of shootings — 35 including three deaths — have already surpassed last year’s benchmark of 27.
In response to a spate of five separate shooting incidents in one 24 hour period earlier this month that left one person dead and four injured, Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole issued a statement saying the agency and their partners would redouble their efforts.
“We are outraged by the gun violence, and neither our department nor our community will tolerate it,” said O’Toole.
As for the tax itself, which was billed as the city’s solution to the $17 million in medical costs from gunshot victims at the city-underwritten Harborview Medical Center in 2014, it has failed to generate the revenue forecast by its supporters. The measure was expected to garner as much as $500,000 and while the city has sandbagged efforts from Gottlieb’s group to find out just how much it produced, Seattle City Councilman Tim Burgess said earlier this year the tax generated less than half of that figure.
“The Council and Mayor Murray should be ashamed now that the dismal failure of their gun control scheme has been exposed,” said Gottlieb. “They deceived Seattle citizens about how much their tax would raise and what it would accomplish, and they should be held accountable.”
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