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March is Women’s History Month and to celebrate I wanted to take some time to get to know a handful of ladies working at Guns.com.
In my final edition of this series, I hung out with Ecommerce Photographer April Robinson. Robinson, a recent hire to Guns.com, captures the beautiful images found in our Certified Used Guns section in addition to providing product imagery for content and social media. We nerded out over photography and talked about her experience as an MA in the U.S. Navy Reserves.
Guns.com: So let me kick this off by asking how long you have been a member of the Guns.com team and how’d you end up here?
Robinson: I was hired on in October but I couldn’t start until November because I am a military policeman in the United States Navy. I was activated in October to go over and assist Romania’s new base.
I’ve always had a soft spot for the Second Amendment — Freedom is cool — and I saw the job posting and thought it was a joke. I was like, Guns.com is not hiring in Minnesota. That’s not a real thing but I really wanted it to be true. Lo and Behold, it was! I applied, Melissa Kropelnicki called me in for an interview the next day and it’s been a smooth relationship ever since.
Guns.com: So kind of take me through an average day. What does that look like for you? I realize that, if it’s like mine, it probably shifts based on the needs of the site; but give me a bird’s eye view.
Robinson: The meat and potatoes of my position is essentially going through our inventory, our Certified Used Guns, cleaning them and then taking pictures of them for our site. I try to show customers why they should buy that gun. If it’s in great condition, I’m going to make it look as sexy as I can. If it’s been loved, I’m going to show why it’s priced that way.
Obviously, I get to do crazy photoshoots with like Sweet Tart hearts and the most random objects. Those photo shoots make my day! I love it. They are so fun! I’m a creative weirdo at heart so I need to have those fun photoshoots.
Guns.com: I feel you. I’m a creative weirdo too! On that creative note, I find that there’s a common misconception that photographers just raise a camera, point-and-shoot; but there’s a ton more that goes into getting a good shot, right? So what are some challenges of photography that people who don’t do it for a living might be surprised to learn?
Robinson: Oh my God, so many! Not every firearm is created equally. I’m not going to utilize the same (photography) techniques on a Baby Browning as I am a Remington 700. They’re different sizes, different finishes…they’re just different. I bring different lighting techniques to balance the shine and accent the features. With the nice lights we have, we can do a super low ISO, a nice shutter speed and get those crispy images which I really appreciate.
Another thing is you need to have a good eye for editing because not every silver finish looks silver.
Guns.com: Agreed. Finishes can often turn interesting shades. There’s a lot that goes into the post-processing of images to color correct and ensure whatever you’re capturing looks the same in the picture as it did when you took the photo.
Robinson: Yeah, if a listing says a gun is silver but the images look gold, that’s not cool. We don’t want you to buy something that’s not true. A lot of our inventory is used so I want the customer to see what they’re getting.
Guns.com: Let’s nerd out for a second. What’s your camera setup?
Robinson: My cameras are different depending on if I’m shooting products or lifestyles. For products, I use the camera we have here which is a Canon 6D. For lifestyles, I rock a Nikon D810 with a beautiful Tamron lens on it.
Guns.com: Where did your interest in photography start?
Robinson: Pretty young, I would say. This is a cheesy answer, but my dad took me hunting. I was too young to do the classes and hunt so he gave me a camera. We would walk the fields and I’d shoot with the camera. I haven’t been able to set it down since. This is just in my DNA. I have to be creative.
Guns.com: So you mentioned the Navy and I understand you’re in the Reserves. Does your military life ever cross into your photography world?
Robinson: When I was deployed, I was my unit’s photographer and I acted as the public affairs officer; but I am a military policeman and I don’t do photography with that. I’m okay with that. I get to pick and choose my adventures, you could say, and sometimes it’s good to take a break and do different stuff.
Guns.com: For sure. Is it helpful coming from that military background? I mean does it make it easier to step into the Guns.com Vault and know what to grab, what to photograph because you have a history with firearms?
Robinson: Yeah. I don’t know everything but it’s rare for someone to have to par it down for me. The environment here is if you don’t know something they are happy to teach you. There’s so much teamwork.
Guns.com: Finally, have there been any guns in the Vault that you have just drooled over?
Robinson: Yeah, there was a Ruger LC9 we gave away for a holiday party that was a raspberry color. I actually bought it off someone. It’s not too girly but it’s perfectly shaped for my hand. It’s fun to shoot.
I feel like almost any competitive handgun, the body style on them is so neat and cool in a way. I would never own one because I don’t competitively shoot but I appreciate the aesthetics and the unique look.
The post Women of Guns.com: April Robinson, Ecommerce Photographer appeared first on Guns.com.
Proposals to recognize that the Second Amendment is all that’s needed to legally carry a concealed handgun are on the move. In recent weeks, bills in Alabama, Tennessee, and Utah have been spooled up to codify permitless concealed carry.
The concept, law of the land in 16 states, retain statewide concealed carry permitting schemes for those looking to take advantage of their reciprocity benefits while traveling. The change is that said permits and licenses are not needed for lawful adult gun owners looking to carry in public within the state.Alabama
On Thursday, the Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee approved a permitless carry bill 6-4, moving it to the full Senate for further consideration. Sponsored by state Sen. Gerald Allen, R-Tuscaloosa, who has backed such measures in the past, the bill is opposed by county sheriffs who fear a drop in permit fees they currently use as a source of revenue.
Notably, the Yellowhammer State’s neighbor to the West, Mississippi, has recognized permitless carry of holstered or bagged handguns for the past several years. Likewise, Alabama already has open carry without a license.Tennessee
Just days after Republican Gov. Bill Lee, flanked by legislative leaders, signaled support of a constitutional carry measure, the state Senate Judiciary Committee passed such a measure on a party-line, 7-2 vote. Senate Bill 2671 is set for further hearings this month and has the support of national pro-gun groups.
The NRA says the bill “ensures that no honest, hard-working Tennessean is left defenseless while waiting for government permission to carry a firearm. This legislation fully recognizes the right of law-abiding gun owners to carry a firearm for self-defense, giving Tennesseans the freedom to choose the best method of carrying for themselves.”
Joining ranks with urban Democrats and anti-gun groups, the bill is opposed by some firearm instructors in the Volunteer State as it waives requirements for state-approved training before carrying, which is sometimes expensive.Utah
In the Beehive State, Utah state Rep. Walt Brooks, R-St. George, this week introduced H.B. 472 which provides that an individual who is 21 years or older and may lawfully possess a firearm, may carry concealed in a public area without a permit. However, it may not get far.
“Being this late in the session, the bill is not going to make it through. My purpose is to get the bill language together for next year’s session,” Brooks told the Deseret News.
Although the state legislature approved a permitless carry bill in 2013, Republican Gov. Gary Hebert scuttled the proposal when it reached his desk and has been reluctant to embrace one since. Critically, Herbert announced last year that he will not seek re-election in 2020, which means a rebooted constitutional carry measure has more luck with his successor, something Brooks seems to be banking on.
States with permitless carry laws include Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, West Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.
First, the A-TM, which is crafted from the original molds and walnut supplied from Ruger, is not a copy or reproduction of the gun company’s old-school “A-Team-era” folding stock. This means that Ruger has recently given it a nod as an Officially Licensed Ruger® Product.
As previously reported by Guns.com, Ruger stopped making the stocks in 1989, cutting off the supply for the past three decades. Now, with the public’s continued love for the classic Mini-14/30 platform, it’s not uncommon to see O.E. side-folding stocks in good condition selling for upwards of $1,000 on the secondary market. That makes Samson’s new and improved model a comparative bargain at $279.Wait, improved?
The A-TM stock for the Ruger Mini-14 looks, feels and operates exactly like the original, except for two small differences. Instead of a bakelite grip found on the original, Samson opted for a molded plastic grip. They also used Ruger’s current walnut wood instead of the gunmaker’s original 1980s-era birch, which was softer. According to Bryan Kay, a representative for Samson at SHOT Show in January, both materials are more durable than the original, and thus are improvements.
More on that conversation– and the fact they are coming for Ruger 10/22s– in the video below.
The post Ruger-licenced Samson A-TM Mini-14 Folding Stocks Now Shipping appeared first on Guns.com.
One scope to rule them all. From dark-timber whitetails, to executing precision long-range shots on an open-country mule deer, and everything in between - there’s the Razor HD LHT.
The post Vortex New Razor HD LHT: Go Lighter For Heavier Pack Outs! appeared first on GunsAmerica Digest.
At least two states are considering legislation that would ban local governments from sponsoring programs that would compensate gun owners for turning in their firearms.
The post Wyoming, Michigan Consider Bills Banning Local Governments from Sponsoring Gun ‘Buybacks’ appeared first on GunsAmerica Digest.
Connecticut Gun Owners came out recently to protest a new bill that would tax ammunition at 35 percent.
March is Women’s History Month and to celebrate I wanted to take some time to get to know a handful of ladies working at Guns.com.
Guns.com’s Accounting Manager Melissa Kropelnicki is the powerhouse at the helm of all things numbers. Kropelnicki chatted with me from Burnsville, Minnesota where Guns.com’s headquarters reside.
Guns.com: So, Melissa, when did you sign on to Guns.com and what brought you here?
Kropelnicki: I joined two and a half years ago and it was because of the great business plan. It was something out there that nobody else was doing. It was so innovative. I had the opportunity to start at the very bottom at the beginning and help work and create our process. I’ve been able to watch the company grow and develop. That was a really exciting opportunity for me…And guns.
Guns.com: Haha! Of course! Guns are a perk to any job. So elaborate a little on what you do day-to-day for the company.
Kropelnicki: To put it simply, if there’s money coming in or money going out, it goes through me. I’m in charge of all accounting processes and month-end reporting as well as financial reporting to the executive team. We record all sales and do other data tracking.
I also help out around the office, boosting morale and ordering supplies and snacks for everyone. We jokingly say my title is Mom because I take care of everyone.
Guns.com: Every office needs a mom! I think what is really cool about what you do is that you get to interact with everyone — from the marketing team in Richmond, Virginia to the editors and writers spread out across the States.
Kropelnicki: Not everyone at Guns.com gets to do that but I get to work with every department. I work with customer service, marketing, operations, business development, content — it’s great! I’m never stuck just doing accounting by myself in my own little world. I get to interact with everybody all the time to keep things running smoothly.
The whole team — from Virginia to the remote workers — is so great and I seriously enjoy working with everyone here.
Guns.com: The people are pretty fantastic and all willing to work together which, I think, has helped with the success of the site so far.
Kropelnicki: I’ve worked at companies before where it’s a challenge to get everybody on the same page or working towards the same goal. I think we do that really well here. We’re growing so quickly and our sales have been getting to the point where it’s hard to keep up. It’s a great problem to have.
Guns.com: So let’s switch gears a little bit and talk about you outside of work. Where did your relationship with guns begin?
Kropelnicki: I grew up in a hunting family. My dad hunts everything. My brothers and sister hunt but I never did. I never did hunter’s safety and never went hunting. My husband kind of talked me into going shooting at my sister’s farm. The first time I ever shot was with a 12-gauge shotgun. I was like, “This is really fun” and I caught the bug. I started shooting with my husband. We’d do range dates together. Eventually, I went shopping for my very first handgun. That was about six years ago.
After I bought my gun, I took a women’s only class with my sister. They taught me everything about the gun and having that knowledge behind me made me more comfortable. Now our family is part of a gun club. We take our kids shooting. The kids have learned gun safety and how to properly handle guns. My husband and both my daughters now hunt. I still don’t but they go out turkey and deer hunting.
Guns.com: That’s really awesome that it went from you learning to shoot to now it’s a whole family activity.
Kropelnicki: Yeah, we’ve been buying our guns through Guns.com and we just got our daughters a little Ruger 22 pistol.
Guns.com: Ruger has some nice little plinkers! That is the trouble with working for a gun company is the temptation to buy is always there, just dangling in front of your face. So kind of piggybacking off of working for a gun company, do you ever get people who are surprised or confused by the fact that you work for Guns.com?
Kropelnicki: Yes. So when I first started here, we really struggled to find a bank and credit card company that would take our business. When we moved into our current building, the business next door wanted us to move. They didn’t want us here.
Most recently, I was buying some flowers and candies for our photographer to do Valentine’s Day themed photos. The florist greeted me and asked what I was looking for. I told her I need a couple of dozen roses and she asked what the occasion was. I said a photoshoot and handed her my Guns.com credit card which has our logo and “Guns.com” on it. She looked at it and asked, “What kind of photoshoot is this?” I told her, “It’s going to sound strange but guns.” She said, “Yeah, that is strange.”
But I think occasions like that are a great way to educate people.
Guns.com: That’s one of my favorite things about the job and why I frequently sport our merch. I love talking to people about what we do and why guns are cool.
Kropelnicki: I feel the same way. We, of course, have that grey logo shirt with “Guns” across the front and my kids and I wear that out and about. Some people might have a problem with that, but I welcome the opportunity to have a conversation about guns.
Guns.com: Absolutely! We’ve come to the end of this interview but is there anything you want our readers to know about you or Guns.com that we haven’t covered?
Kropelnicki: I think one of the most important things about Guns.com, and what really attracted me to this place, is the culture. It seems like every day we are changing our technology and making improvements to make the site better, to make gun purchasing easier for everyone and to make selling easier. I think that is something we do best — updating and making things easier and more affordable for people.
Our We Buy Guns program is through the roof right now! I just signed 49 checks this morning. I signed so many my hand hurt. When we first started it, we were getting maybe one gun a week from customers. Now we’re getting hundreds of guns a week.
Guns.com: That is awesome — both for the people wanting to offload guns without the hassle and also for those of us shopping on the site looking for cool or rare items as well as affordable used models.
Kropelnicki: Yeah, it is so awesome. I love it!
The post Women of Guns.com: Melissa Kropelnicki, Accounting Manager appeared first on Guns.com.
This isn’t even a question worth asking because we’ll never know the answer. It’s a counterfactual.
The post LA Times: These Gun Laws Would Have Stopped All But One Mass Shooting Over the Last Five Years appeared first on GunsAmerica Digest.
Kansas-based CZ USA this week announced their latest entry to their Shadow 2 line of competition-ready pistols, a single-action model.
On the outside, the CZ Shadow 2 SA looks like a standard Shadow 2, finished in black nitride with a set of striking blue aluminum grips and a blue trigger. However, it is a single-action billed as having one of the best factory pistol triggers on the market.
“While not legal for USPSA Production Division like the standard Shadow version, the CZ Shadow 2 SA and its lighter, crisper SA trigger gives the target-shooting enthusiast the ability to punch paper with precision!” says CZ in a statement.
With checkered front and back straps, and a 17+1 capacity, the Shadow 2 SA has a steel frame and comes standard with a fiber optic front sight and HAJO rear. Barrel length is 4.89-inches, which produces an overall length of 8.53-inches. Weight is 46.5-ounces. Other features include front and rear slide serrations and an extended beavertail.
MSRP on the CZ Shadow 2 SA $1,349
The post CZ Introduces New Single-Action Shadow 2 SA 9mm Pistol appeared first on Guns.com.
In 2017, Julie Hereford and Mary Rooney started a group called NevadansCan. It’s a non-profit grassroots “citizen action network” that has been on the front lines fighting for conservative rights in the legislative process in Nevada.
The most pressing issue currently on their plate is AB291. It forfeits the rights of Nevada gun owners to due process, the presumption of innocence, trial by jury, and allows for unreasonable search and seizure of their property with no probable cause under the guise of a “red flag” law.
The measure, backed by national anti-gun groups, was scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2020, but NevadansCan successfully filed for an injunction. “Our injunction bought us some time,” said Rooney. “It’s currently in the Nevada court system. The basis of the lawsuit is that AB291 is unconstitutional. It violates essential rights guaranteed under the U.S. and Nevada Constitutions,” she said.
After filing the injunction, Hereford and Rooney met Las Vegas gun shop owner Greg Wohler. He’s appeared numerous times on Guns.com and is a vocal gun rights advocate. Like many Nevadans, Wohler was unaware of the injunction. He thought AB291 was a done deal. When he learned there was still a chance to beat it, he immediately got involved.
In January 2020, he sponsored a rally to raise awareness and money for NevadansCan. The event was a success. “Hundreds of people showed up and we got in contact with lots of businesses and people who wanted to help,” Wohler said.
The injunction is gaining momentum. One rural county sheriff has joined and three more are in the process of doing so. The ladies are grateful for all of the support they’ve received but need more.
Wohler is now sponsoring another event for March 22, 2020. This time, he enlisted the help of social media guru Tracy Lee. She’s taking the event to a whole new level. She organized a photo shoot for the ladies at Battlefield Vegas with Wohler providing patriotic props and attire. The resulting images are fantastic. They inspired a new nickname for the ladies: The Second Amendment Gun Grannies.
The March 22 event is gathering a ton of momentum. Eric Blandford of Iraqveteran8888 has agreed to attend as a special guest. If you live in or near Las Vegas, check it out. If you can’t make it and want to donate, you can do so here.
“We’ll take this fight all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary,” said Rooney.
History is littered with the contributions women have made to the shooting sports and guns in general. To celebrate Women’s History Month, we’re going to take a look at five impressive ladies and their shooting skills.1. Mary Fields
Dubbed “Stagecoach Mary,” Mary Fields was a star route mail carrier and the first African-American woman to earn that position. Born into slavery in 1832, she was freed after the Civil War. Migrating to the midwest, she was well-known for her drinking, smoking and gun-toting ways.
She eventually went to work delivering the mail as a star route mail carrier and earned her nickname due to her speedy delivery of parcel and mail. She was a tough, fierce woman rumored to have bravely faced off against stagecoach thieves and even a pack of wolves with her trusty rifle in hand. Fields passed away in 1914.2.Martha “Calamity Jane” Canary
Born as Martha Jane Canary in 1852, “Calamity Jane” proved to be an adventurous woman in the Old West. A frontierswoman and scout, she was a friend of Wild Bill Hickok and toured around the globe with Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show.
Earning her name fighting against Native Americans, she was known as one of the most daring riders and best shots in the West. She was long-rumored to have been a uniformed army scout for Gen. George Crook and others, though no official records exist to support the claim. Often pictured with a rifle by her side and a six-shooter on her hip, she was a notorious story-teller and performer entrancing audiences with her tales. Canary died in 1903 as a result of alcoholism.3. Annie Oakley
Known as “The Little Sure Shot of the Wild West,” Phoebe Ann Moses, or Annie Oakley as she’s most commonly known, was one of the best sharpshooters of her time. Born in 1860, Oakley rose to prominence around the age of 15 competing and winning a shooting contest against Irish trap shooter Frank Butler. She eventually married Butler and the two joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Touring the country, and even performing for Queen Victoria, Oakley impressed crowds with her trick shots and sharpshooting well into her 60s despite being partially paralyzed due to an accident. Oakley died in 1926.
Born in 1916, Lyudmila Pavlichenko was known simply as “Lady Death.” Credited with 309 confirmed kills as a Soviet sniper in World War II, she earned the title of the most successful female sniper in history. Pavlichenko ’s rifle of choice was a Mosin-Nagant 7.62mm rifle with a PE 4x scope– although she was often photographed for propaganda purposes with a seemingly more modern SVT rifle.
Serving in the Red Army she fought during the early stages of the Axis invasion but was injured by a mortar shell during battle. After recovering, she began training other Red Army snipers.
A well-known spokesperson for the Red Army, she traveled to the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain, with U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor taking her on a tour of the States. Pavlichenko died in 1974 due to a stroke.5. Margaret Murdock
Margaret Murdock, born in 1942, was a former U.S. Army officer and renowned for her shooting success in the competition field. Murdock was the first woman to be included on the U.S. Olympic shooting team for the 1976 Summer Olympics. There, she earned a silver medal — tying with U.S. Team Captain Lanny Bassham. Olympic rules would not allow a shoot-off, though Bassham requested it.
Aside from her Olympic achievements, she also became the first woman to win an individual open World Shooting Championship. A four-time World Champion, she was an expert at prone rifle and three-position rifle. She was inducted into five halls of fame including the USA Shooting Hall of Fame and Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.
Former Navy SEAL Trevor Thompson appeared on the Joe Rogan podcast this past week. He talked about teaching combat shooting.