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A group of House Democrats on Wednesday urged the chamber’s leaders to end a longstanding ban through the Dickey Amendments on federal funding for gun research study as a health care issue.
The lawmakers sent a letter – signed by Rep. David Price, D-N.C., and others – addressed to Reps. Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi calling for an end to the defunding of the Centers for Disease Control on the issue.
“Although Members of Congress may disagree about how best to respond to the high incidence of gun violence, we should all be able to agree that our response should be informed by sound scientific evidence,” says the letter in part, urging House leaders to oppose traditional language in the final fiscal year 2018 appropriations package barring use federal funds for research directed at gun control.
Named for former U.S. House Rep. Jay Dickey, an Arkansas Republican who backed the measure in 1996, the amendment stripped the CDC of $2.6 million it had been using on its gun violence research and has been a contentious matter ever since.
“For decades, the Dickey Amendment has silenced lifesaving research and suppressed the policy dialogue around common sense laws that can save American lives,” said U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., who is sponsoring a measure to remove the teeth from the ban and clarify that funds may be used to study gun violence. “It’s time to let the science and research speak for itself so policymakers can enact the best policies to protect public safety and American families.”
Last year, Kelly signed a letter similar to the one sent this week, referring to the issue at the time as a public health epidemic. That call had 146 backers. Gun rights advocates argue Dickey’s legislation has been badly mischaracterized.
“There is nothing in the Dickey Amendment that prevents CDC from doing research. All the Dickey Amendment does is restrict CDC from engaging in advocacy,” Larry Keane, general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, told Guns.com previously. “However, some of what has been talked about over the years as ‘research’ has been pretty much undisguised up-front advocacy in search of supporting data.”
Yet, before his death earlier this year, Dickey had led a campaign to restore funding for the research, saying that he thought his measure had been used to discourage researchers from studying gun violence.
Kelly’s bill has 22 co-sponsors, all Democrat, and has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
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Black rifle expert Jim Zimba with Bigshooterist starts making clouds on an AR after he mounts a Trident Armory ML-15 conversion to it.
The ML-15 upper, made by Trident in Maine, uses 209 primers and features a stainless barrel that mates to standard AR lowers in just a few seconds. Zimba, a longtime writer for Small Arms Review and author of The Evolution of the Black Rifle, seems to really get a kick out of it in the above video while on a trip to “the grocery store.” It even has a possibles kit that fits inside the magazine well.
For those in the “would you like to know more” category, he takes the set-up back to the shop and explains the ML-15 in a bit more detail.
The post Turning an AR-15 into a smoke pole with a .50 cal muzzleloader upper (VIDEOS) appeared first on Guns.com.
The Pentagon announced this week that the Texas and Wyoming-based magazine company has landed a large contract to supply the Army, Air Force and Marine Corps with PMAGs.
Through an award notice posted by the Defense Logistics Agency on Tuesday, Magpul beat out two other respondents for a $12.8 million firm-fixed-price, definite-quantity contract for magazines in a one-time buy, paid for with fiscal year 2018 Defense Department working capital funds.
The original solicitation back in September was for 1.3 million “MAG556-MCT” magazines, which is Magpul’s PMAG M3 windowed 30-round magazine for AR/M4 platforms in Medium Coyote Tan. The Army at the same time authorized units to buy the MCT PMAG while keeping intact the official line that the new metal-body Enhanced Performance Magazine was the service’s go-to detachable 5.56mm mag despite reported teething problems.
Last December, Magpul announced the Marines had, after a four-year testing evolution, adopted their MCT PMAG for use in all of their 5.56mm platforms. In government-administered tests, the PMAG reportedly cycled 20,400 rounds of M855A1 ammo without any magazine-related stoppages. This, in turn, drew questions from lawmakers to Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley over why the country’s primary small arms user aren’t fielding polymer mags.
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Celebrating his 84th birthday this month, England was a long-range champion competitive shooter later known as “The Phantom Of Phu Bai” and is frank about marksmanship and combat.
Though he was credited with 98 confirmed kills, England paused at saying he was a sniper on camera in the above interview for personal reasons.
“I’m not a glory hound, never have been, never will be,” he says.
Joining the Marines in 1950, the Georgia native received his Distinguished Marksman Badge from Lt. Gen. Lewis “Chesty” Puller himself. Talking about sniping in Vietnam, England speaks about putting himself in “a little bubble” where he cut the world out and concentrated on getting a good shot off– “because if you don’t, you can be dead.”
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A lot of these guns are real charmers and would make great gifts leading into this shopping season for all types of shooters.
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A Texas state official said last week the federal background check system needs more resources to function properly — and congressional funding would be a good place to start.
David Slayton, administrative director of the Texas Office of State Court Administration, told the Senate Judiciary Committee last week federal grants in 2012 and 2013 helped the Lonestar State boost its criminal records reporting 69 percent. Two years later, Texas lawmakers codified time-sensitive reporting mandates for family violence and emergency protective orders, ensuring the databases feeding the National Instant Criminal Background Check System would populate the disqualifying records in time to prevent an illegal gun transfer.
“As you know, the NICS database is only as good as the records it contains, and we feel that Texas has made great strides in improving the reporting of mental health records and domestic violence disqualifiers to it,” Slayton said. “Without the federal funding for these projects, the significant improvements in Texas likely would not have occurred.”
Fixing NICS became a congressional priority after a former Airman gunned down 26 people at a Texas church last month with a rifle his domestic assault convictions barred him from owning.
The breakdown in the background check system illuminated lackadaisical reporting practices in the U.S. Air Force and Department of Defense — a longstanding issue dating back two decades. A review of Department of Justice records in 1997 and 2015 found roughly one third of service members’ criminal convictions were missing from federal databases.
Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn sponsored a measure two weeks after the shooting providing incentives to states and federal agencies that upload disqualifying criminal and mental health records to NICS — a practice an FBI spokesman told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Dec. 6 already exists, with positive results.
“At the end of 2007, federal agencies had submitted just over 4 million records to the NICS. By the end of 2016, that number had risen to nearly 8.5 million,” said Douglas Lindquist, assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Services Information Division. “While recent events have demonstrated that reporting is not perfect, the FBI is committed to working with all federal agencies to help them implement their existing record sharing plans – as it has since NICS’s inception.”
Likewise, he said, state agencies increased disqualifying record uploads by 600 percent over the last decade, with more than 7 million entries available as of 2016.
Despite this, dozens of states and federal agencies still don’t update the necessary databases feeding NICS — the Interstate Identification Index, the National Crime Information Center and the NICS Indices — punching gaping holes in the efficacy of the background check system and blinding dealers and the FBI as to the criminal history of potential buyers.
It’s exactly what happened, at least twice, when 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley bought guns from dealers in Texas and Colorado, despite 2012 convictions for attacking his wife and infant stepson while serving at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. Military officials court-martialed, jailed and discharged Kelley over the convictions, but never reported the information to the FBI.
Three years after his bad conduct discharge, Kelley murdered 26 people and wounded 20 others when he shot up the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Nov. 5. Among the victims were nine members of the same family and a pregnant woman.
Slayton said technical and financial challenges often hamstring state agencies trying to update NICS — from relying on cash-strapped counties and cities to fund improvement efforts to an insurmountable pile of paper records, states can’t keep up.
“Even when records are electronic, they often have to be converted into the accepted format that the NICS will recognize,” he said. “Information about adjudications and commitments is often not in an automated format in many jurisdictions. Some states, including Texas, do not have a single automated computer system that contains these records across jurisdictions. Some states may require automation upgrades and adoption of state legislation to fully comply with the NICS standards.”
Slayton encouraged lawmakers to “fully fund” both the NICS Record Improvement Program and the National Criminal History Improvement Program — up to $370 million — in the next budget cycle to fix the background check system. Congress has yet to appropriate more than $25 million to NCHIP since 2012.
Democratic senators on the committee, however, didn’t seem apt to throwing more money at NICS.
“The system is not perfect nor is it designed to be even close to perfect,” said Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin. “There are loopholes in the system. There are ways to buy a gun and avoid a background check. The only way to really fix NICS is to make sure it applies to every firearm sale.”
J. Thomas Manger, chief of police in Maryland’s Montgomery County, sided with Durbin and other committee members during last week’s hearing, insisting universal background checks and the ability to extensively prosecute attempted illegal gun purchases could prevent more firearms from falling into the wrong hands.
“The biggest gap we have is the gun show loophole,” Manger said. “If we can fix NICS … if we do not accompany that with universal background checks, then there is a huge gap in what we need to do.”
Stephen Halbrook, a prominent gun rights attorney based in Virginia, said more restrictions won’t help without stronger enforcement of existing laws.
“Normal personnel rules call for firing, demoting, or otherwise disciplining employees who fail to do their jobs,” he said in written testimony submitted to the committee last week. “Yet it has been standard practice during certain administrations not to exercise any oversight on subordinate entities of the executive branch to enforce the law, while advocating ever more onerous and intrusive laws against gun owners.”
“Hopefully the public disclosure of the failure to report records and the threat of cutting bonus pay will prompt department and agency heads to fulfill their duties that were imposed a decade ago,” he added. “If not, stiffer sanctions would be in order.”
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“Competition Breeds Excellence” is more than a fanciful quote. To the guys at in Mesa, Arizona, those three words fuel the fire of creativity and drive them to build better and better handguns. It also has the founder of the company, Angus Hobdell, traveling to IPSC matches the world over to prove it’s more than […]
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This week, by a vote 395 to 2, the House passed the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act (H.R. 2706). It would put an end to Choke Point shenanigans.
The post House Passes Bill to Kill Obama’s Operation Choke Point appeared first on GunsAmerica Digest.
Johnny Muller, of Kansas City, built his own rifle, an AR-10, by piecing together components and a little instruction from a friend.
To start, he got a builder kit from Aero Precision to use as a base and then pieced together his custom rifle using his favorite parts. This included Magpul furniture, a Geissele trigger and a VG6 7.62 muzzle brake.
Now that he’s built his first rifle, he said he’d do it again and would encourage others to do the same.”There are tons of videos on Youtube that show you how to do it,” Muller said. “It’s not that hard. And there’s nothing better than shooting your own rifle that you built with your own hands. It’s really rewarding.”
He’s proud of his rifle. On his first night out hunting with it, he shot two deer, both around 350 yards away.
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Unless Congress takes action, the Federal Communications Commission will hold a vote on Thursday to eliminate net neutrality rules, which activists say could negatively effect online speech and commerce.
Although a host of hypothetical scenarios can describe the potential impact repealing net neutrality could have on the Internet as we know it, Ryan Singel, a media and strategy fellow at Stanford Law, made the case for why the gun industry and activists should be concerned.
He said his main concern is that repealing the federal rules would allow Internet service providers to limit the reach of or even block content creators — websites like Guns.com or The Firearm Blog, for example. He argued the rules protect the spirit of the Internet because no matter which ISP is used, the user has access to the whole world wide web.
“The current rules protect ISPs from government pressure,” he said, adding that if they’re repealed “I think pretty quickly we’re going to see people figuring out, on both sides of or all across the ideological spectrum, that they could do to their opponents what they’ve done on Twitter and Facebook, which is figure out what the rules are and then get people blocked.”
He said the impact could be greater on those who express opinions that are unpopular or outside of the mainstream. Although social media giant Facebook has already placed restrictions on gun sales, for example, due to public outcry, other websites that host them were still accessible. But if the FCC repeals net neutrality, an ISP could decide to block those sites for similar reasons.
Singel argued repealing net neutrality could also lead to programs similar to Operation Choke Point, a Justice Department initiative that pressured banks to choke off relationships with gun and ammo sellers, payday lenders and other businesses deemed “high risk” for fraud. Pro-gun organizations raised concerns about the initiative and even lobbied Congress to pass legislation to protect firearm businesses from unfair treatment by financial institutions. Guns.com reached out to gun industry trade and political organizations about net neutrality, but they did not respond to requests for comment.
FCC chairman Ajit Pai, appointed to the committee by President Obama in 2012, has taken a largely libertarian attitude toward regulating the Internet, arguing rolling back the 2015 regulations would allow for more competition and in turn lead to economic growth. In a factsheet released last month, Pai addressed concerns that the repeal would allow for ISPs to block websites, saying they “didn’t block websites before the Obama Administration’s heavy-handed 2015 Internet regulations and won’t after they are repealed.” The basis for his argument, according to the factsheet, is that ISPs would have to disclose such a move, would face a public backlash and invite scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission for unfair practices.
Yet, Pai’s argument falls flat to net neutrality supporters like Singel, who say there need to be rules that explicitly prevent ISPs from blocking content creators because otherwise attempts could still be made and perhaps stick. Singel said ISPs are in incredibly powerful positions because there are so few of them and they operate with little to no competition in most areas, so people may only have one option when it comes to providers. “I think (the argument) just misses the fact that these guys are in such a position of power that commonsense rules that just don’t allow blocking make sense,” he said.
Singel argued that if it were cheaper and easier to start an ISP, there would be more competition and suggested net neutrality might be a different conversation, but that’s not the reality of it. “We have this incredibly great, free market that’s riding on top of a really broken market,” he said.
“I totally get (the argument) to keep the government out of the Internet and I agree with that, but what I also want is to make sure that we don’t allow entrenched companies that can defend their markets without competition from infringing on Americans’ rights to exercise their free speech and to engage in commerce,” he added.
More than two dozen Democrat and Independent senators and a bipartisan group of Congressmen have sent letters asking the FCC to delay its vote until they can understand and verify the 22 million comments submitted during a public commenting period last summer and hold hearings to better understand of the issue.
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A large casino and hotel near the famous Las Vegas Strip this week began testing a microwave radar device designed to identify weapons discreetly, Wired reported.
The Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino is now trying out the Patscan radar system. Billed as a “covert primary radar screening device and software solution for the detection of on-body concealed weapons at key access points of weapons-restricted buildings and facilities,” those at the Westgate like the fact that it is out of sight, and that it can give them tips on who is armed and not.
“I believe in people’s right to bear arms,” Mark Waltrip, Westgate Resort’s chief operating officer, says. “I have a concealed carry permit myself. But, you know, on our properties, we want to maintain a safe environment, and we don’t need guests bringing weapons on site. We really don’t want that kind of surprise.”
Produced by Patriot 1, a Canadian-based security company, the Patscan needs to be within about six feet of the weapon to image it, though they point out that multiple units can be arranged to blanket entry points, reservation desks and exits — areas where visitors are channeled through.
For now, the Westgate is trialing the Patscan at the resort’s employee entrance for the next several months before making a decision moving forward. The historic resort and casino, known for many years as the Las Vegas Hilton, has over 3,000 rooms and sits astride the Las Vegas Convention Center about a block from the Strip.
The Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show, an annual event for the firearms industry and mecca for all that is gun has been held in Las Vegas at the Sands Expo and Convention Center every January since 2010, and last year drew a crowd estimated to top 65,000.
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A state-run news organ released an interesting video this week showing Russian and Belarusian special operations members at a pool party that included a rather odd undersea gun.
In the above (subtitled) broadcast from Vesti News, reporting from Ryazan, which is home to the country’s airborne and commando schools, a really amped up reporter goes for a swim with a group of frogmen in training. Besides cruising around a pool designed to mimic a warship at anchor and leaping off a dive platform high enough to change your views on organized religion, the video shows off the loading and firing of an APS underwater rifle on a specially made submerged range.
The APS has been in the Soviet, now-Russian, arsenal since the 1970s and fires a special 5.66x120mm steel dart loaded in a 39mm long cartridge designed to perforate wetsuit-clad adversaries at close range. The gun is readily identified by the “АПС” receiver marking seen at about the 2:16 mark in the Vesti footage.
The interesting part about this is the Russians, evidently always looking for a better mousetrap when it comes to fighting 20,000 leagues under the sea, have been hard at work on at least two different designs to replace the APS in recent years– namely the more versatile ADS and ASM-DT. Guess the old tried-and-true dart guns still work just fine until then.
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The flying service is testing the new Modular Handgun System’s capability to resist damage during the demanding act of ejecting from a moving aircraft.
The Air Force released a number of images of the MHS contract winner, designated the M17 by the military, undergoing testing at a facility at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, earlier this month. The photos show a full-scale anthropomorphic dummy clad in a survival vest and flight gear strapped to a simulated stand-mounted ejection seat. On the dummy’s chest are a pair of M17 pistols, one oriented for a left-hand draw, another for a right, alternating flush-fit and extended magazines.
Additional imagery shows a senior NCO inspecting an empty shell casing for signs of the firing pin striking the primer as part of the test.
“This is the first time any service has conducted this type of demonstration to ensure a side arm is safe for aircrew to carry in ejection seat aircraft,” says the service.
The M17 is based on Sig Sauer’s P320 platform, which drew controversy over the summer after a series of drop tests that went viral leading to questions that the pistol is unsafe. To this, Sig announced they have “full confidence in the reliability, durability and safety of its striker-fired handgun platform,” clarified the M17 has different internals from the commercially available P320 and began a voluntary upgrade for the guns already in circulation.
The experiments were conducted by the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center. Known as AFOTEC, the unit’s 2nd Detachment, located at Eglin AFB, Florida, tests munitions ranging from missiles and bombs to small arms for their effectiveness and suitability.
The U.S. military since WWII has used a constantly evolving series of Martin-Baker ejection seats that have been credited with saving over 7,000 lives worldwide. Powered by an underseat rocket motor and catapult system, aircrew in a seat can experience what is described in a serious understatement as “a rapid acceleration” that generates a force up to 14g, capable of producing stress fractures in bone, but they are capable of safely ejecting individuals from an unmoving aircraft still on the ground as well as in flight.
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The bipartisan 2018 National Defense Authorization Act signed Tuesday includes a plan to transfer the U.S. Army’s remaining stock of .45 ACP M1911A1 pistols to the Civilian Marksmanship Program.
Added as an amendment from U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., while the NDAA was in debate in the House Armed Service Committee, it would speed up the transfer of potentially the largest remaining stock of military surplus World War II-era handguns in government hands to the public. The mammoth legislation, which outlines $700 billion in overall defense spending, passed the Senate by voice vote — not a single Democrat opposed it — and was signed by the President in a ceremony at the White House this week.
“I was proud to see the National Defense Authorization Act for FY18 become law today with President Trump’s signature,” Rogers said in a statement. “This critical piece of legislation funds the Pentagon, takes care of our brave men and women in uniform and helps the Anniston Army Depot. This legislation also includes the transfer of 1911s to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) so they can prepare and sell the firearms to law-abiding citizens.”
On the handguns headed to the CMP, the NDAA instructs the Secretary of the Army to conduct a two-year pilot program that will transfer “not less than 8,000 surplus caliber .45 M1911/M1911A1 pistols” in 2018 with a cap of no more than 10,000 transferred per fiscal year. The program would then be reviewed to ensure the guns were sold by CMP in accordance with applicable federal laws and evaluate its cost to the Army.
In 2015, President Obama signed the FY16 spending bill into law, which authorized the Army to send up to 10,000 of their estimated 100,000 surplus 1911s to the CMP during a one-year pilot program, though none were transferred.
The National Rifle Association welcomed the news from Washington that the vintage guns will soon be released rather than melted down.
“With President Trump’s signature, thousands of surplus 1911 pistols will become available for sale to the American public through the Civilian Marksmanship Program,” said Chris W. Cox, head of the NRA’s lobbying arm. “These firearms are currently sitting in storage awaiting destruction at taxpayer expense.”
The CMP, which has established a dedicated webpage for the new 1911 program, said Tuesday they aren’t out to rip anyone off on the guns.
“CMP has been selling M1 Garands, M1 Carbines, 1903s, .22s, etc. for 21+ years and we have never taken advantage of anyone,” said Mark Johnson, the chief operating officer of the federally-chartered non-profit. “CMP is not going to start price gouging people now with the 1911s. The 1911s will be priced at fair market value just like our M1 Garands. The CMP’s enabling legislation directs sales of items at fair market value.”
For comparison, “field grade” M1 Garands are currently listed for sale by the group for $630 with “service grade” examples for $730, which is generally a good bit less than the current asking prices on Gunbroker.
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Ditching the old school press releases for new school social media marketing, CZ-USA offered a couple more sneak peeks into the company’s 2018 product lineup.
Popping up in a new segment aptly titled #MondayMorningCZSneakPeek, the company dropped hints of new P-07 and P-09 pistols as well as another Scorpion variant. This isn’t the first time the gun maker has provided insight into new products. In late November, CZ took the gun industry by surprise, introducing a new suppressed Scorpion via Instagram.
This time around, CZ launched a shorty Scorpion with a four-inch barrel and HB industries Short Handguard. Measuring under 16-inches collapsed, this Scorpion model was originally developed while CZ was working alongside an undercover drug interdiction unit. The Scorpion touts a NoOsprey faux suppressor, but CZ says the faux unit is removable and an actual, legit can is capable of attaching to the firearm.
Topping off the features is a telescoping SB Tactical arm brace that provides better stabilization for shooters, according to the company. The simple blowback is billed as “pint-sized pistol” by CZ and will ship in Summer 2018 with a MSRP of $1,149.
Following the Scorpion, CZ announced P-07 and P-09 pistols in OD Green. Though the latest features on the new variants adhere to the lineup’s previous models, the OD Green P-07 an P-09 will now ship straight from the factory with 3-dot tritium night sights pre-installed. Though CZ hasn’t specified a price-point or drop date, consumers can be on the lookout for the new digs sometime in 2018.
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Axelson Tactical dives into the popular 300 AAC Blackout pool, unveiling its new AXE-CQB Complete Upper assembly.
The 10.5-inch 300 BLK barrel can be slapped on an existing AR-15 pistol lower or registered short barreled rifle. Available with or without Axelson’s bolt carrier group and charging handle, the AXE-CQB provides a 12-inch slim profile M-LOK Guntec USA handguard with KAK Industry Slimline Flash Can on the Axelson forged upper.
The pistol length gas system was created due to consumer demand for more 300 BLK goodies, says Axelson.
“Due to popular demand we’re offering a great 300 AAC blackout pistol upper assembly at an extremely affordable price with high quality components,” the company said in a press release. “Highly reliable, accurate and compact this makes an incredible personal/home defense upper.”
The AXE-CQB 10.5-inch Blackout Complete Upper is available now, boasting a base price of $424 for the non BCG/charging handle option. The Nitride BCG and Axelson charging handle variant, on the other hand, will run consumers $549.
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