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A new proposed regulation announced this week by the Department of State could alleviate the massive annual registration fee that has for years kept small gunsmiths and FFLs out of business.
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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday upheld an Alameda County law barring gun stores within 500 feet of residential properties in a blow to gun rights advocates.
The high court declined to take up the case of businessman John Teixeira and his partners who found the California county’s zoning ordinances made it impossible to find a commercial property where they could operate a gun store.
The challenge had been filed with the Supreme Court after the U.S. 9th Circuit ruled in October that local governments could regulate the sale of firearms so long as patrons could still buy them somewhere in the area. The ruling said the Second Amendment does not protect the ability to engage in gun sales.
The case was backed by a number of gun rights groups to include the California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees, the Calguns Foundation, and the Second Amendment Foundation, with attorneys Alan Gura and Don Kilmer at the helm. In the matter, the groups contended the zoning effectively put the entire county off-limits to new gun stores, threatening the constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms by making them unavailable.
The original challenge dates back to 2012 after the plaintiffs attempted for two years to comply with the county’s requirements, but had difficulty finding a location at least 500-feet away from a residential area, day care center, school or other “sensitive areas.” While the men were initially granted a variance from the 500-foot rule to lease a location 446 feet away from a residential area, county officials reversed the decision after a local homeowners’ association objected, leading the entrepreneurs to seek redress with the courts.
While a District Court initially upheld the rule, a split three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit in 2016 found Alameda County’s regulations unconstitutional. The majority noted that county officials should provide evidence showing, for instance, that gun stores increase crime to justify such regulations. That decision, in turn, was vacated and the case was sent for retrial before the larger en banc panel last year who held there were no such constitutional protections on gun sales.
Gun control advocates who stood with the county and filed a number of supporting briefs arguing on behalf of the ban applauded the news from the court. “The Ninth Circuit agreed with our position that Alameda County’s modest zoning law provides a safe distance between new gun dealers and sensitive areas such as schools, and is a lawful exercise of the County’s authority to regulate the commercial sale of guns,” said Hannah Shearer, who handles litigation for the Giffords Law Center. “The Ninth Circuit’s ruling, and the Supreme Court’s decision to let it stand, is an important victory for local governments seeking to keep the sale and spread of guns away from kids and residential areas.”
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Following a creepy break-in that left her unsettled, Tomi Ledford changed her lifestyle, got some training, and got a gun.
Guns.com caught up with Ledford at the 147th National Rifle Association’s Annual Meeting in Dallas earlier this month and she took the time to share her story with us.
“I was coming home late with my 2-year-old daughter from visiting my mother’s house and we pulled up to the front of the house with the front door wide open,” said Ledford, whose husband, deployed to Afghanistan, was on the phone with her at the time listening in horror.
Her neighbor, who by chance heard the 911 call over his scanner, retrieved his gun and waited with the young mother for the police to arrive and clear the house. It was in the immediate aftermath that Ledford came across a disturbing find. While the expensive items you would expect to targeted in a burglary were still there, more ominous signs of a potential planned return visit were discovered.
“I checked everything, doors, windows, and one of the weirdest things was the front windows in the house were unlocked which is something that I never did,” said Ledford. “And later on finding out that I had a few personal belongings that were missing as well that we knew it wasn’t just a regular break-in. It wasn’t something that I cared to think about having a 2-year-old little girl in the same house with me and it just being her and I there”
She was left her first handgun by the good samaritan neighbor who did not want her to be left defenseless, Ledford sought out firearms training, got her carry license, and eventually even became a firearms instructor to help others.
Does she feel more prepared now?
“Absolutely. We actually had another incident after we moved…where we had a stranger come knocking late at night and my daughter and I were in bed….And I was armed that night. I wasn’t half as scared as what I was the first night,” she said. “It’s not my desire to take anybody’s life but when it comes to my child and my home, I will defend it no matter what.”
In the end, Ledford cautioned against making excuses for not being prepared.
“You can think of reasons why not to go somewhere, why not to get the training, why not to do the educational research that you could do, but when you have another’s life and you have your own child there, you can’t make excuses for that. Because as much as you might be able to make excuses for yourself, you cannot make excuses for your child bein’ a victim. There’s no excuse for that. I have two daughters now and I want them to know that they don’t ever have to be a victim,” she said.
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The U.S. Marine Corps announced earlier this month their plans to drastically overhaul the composition of infantry rifle squads, cutting the total number of infantrymen from 13 to 12 but outfitting each member with a new M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR).
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I’ll admit, when I was asked to compare the Gen4 Glock 19 and the Canik TP9SF Elite in the context of “EDC” guns I didn’t expect any surprises. I mean the G19 seems to be the standard right? So I went into the test thinking “meh, a bad day at the range is better than a good day at work.” I ran 500 rounds through each of the pistols and used them as my EDC for three days each. Now 500 rounds is not a comprehensive review of reliability or long term function, but it is just enough to get a good feel for a pistol.
The ammunition for the test was Freedom Munitions 115 grain 9mm. For accuracy testing on the range I used standard b8 targets as well as Haley Strategic 4 dot zeroing targets, and finally I rounded it all out with some 5×8 TacStrike steels.Glock 19
First up the Glock 19. This particular model has been modified with a Haley Strategic Skimmer trigger kit, in addition to a Suarez International flat face trigger and magwell. Rounding out the customization to the gun is the addition of a Surefire XC1 and Trijicon HD night sights with a custom stippling job on the frame. In short a solid EDC pistol, no surprises in performance or accuracy. The trigger was a bit stiff but broke nicely and had a solid reset. The sights were easy to track and it shot through the 500 rounds without a single problem. As for carrying it, that was also no problem. It sat comfortably under a t-shirt and even in my very non-permissive work environment went unnoticed. In summary, just as expected no surprises. A solid EDC option backed up by Glock’s world famous reputation.Canik TP9SF Elite
While the Glock gave me no surprise at all the Canik gave me my first surprise. When I first picked it up it fit my hand very well. No need to change the backstrap — Canik includes two with each pistol — and the texturing of the frame provided a good grip. The grip is also a bit farther forward on the frame than most polymer guns and provides a higher feeling grip on the pistol as a result. The Warren fiber optic front sight was easy to pick up and the reversible magazine release easy to access. My favorite feature though, was the trigger. It has a bit of take up, but once you get through that, it’s a pleasure to shoot. The 4.5 pound trigger is crisp and clean with a good tactile reset. It also shot through 500 rounds with no issues. The Canik is a bit longer in the frame and slide than the Glock 19 but it was also easy and comfortable to conceal under a tee shirt. Other than being relatively new to the market and not having the G19’s proven history, it too seems like a solid EDC option, especially considering its less than $500 price point.Conclusion
So here’s my takeaways from this test. The Glock 19 I tested was modified but even stock it’s a standard EDC pistol for a reason. It’s reliable, has tons of aftermarket upgrades and holds its own next to larger “fighting size” pistols. Like I said earlier, no surprises. The Canik however was a surprise. The fit and finish of the gun was great, it functioned flawlessly and that trigger! To get a comparable trigger in most striker fired guns you would have to put in a decent amount of work and money. The more I shot it, the more I liked it. Honestly, I don’t really want to give it back. While it might not have the weight of history behind it that Glock enjoys I have the feeling its reputation is only going to grow.
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TangoDown announces the most recent addition to its inventory, debuting the Vickers Tactical Slide Racker for Gen 5 Glock handguns.
The GSR-04 Slide Racker boasts compatibility with all current Gen 5 Glock models, according to TangoDown. Featuring serrated wings, the Slide Racker gives shooters the ability to easily retract the slide in less than ideal shooting scenarios. TangoDown says such situations include wearing gloves or when gun owners must perform sudden tap/rack manipulations of the gun.
Created from stainless steel and featuring injected molded glass reinforced nylon, the GSR-04 Slide Racker installs quickly and easily without any modifications to the Glock itself. Available in the industry’s favorite color — black — the Slide Racker weighs a mere 1-ounce with a width measuring .620-inches.
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Sponsors call it a bipartisan measure to curb illegal gun trafficking. Gun stores say it is a move to drive them out of business. Either way, it’s back.
State Senator Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, saw his original gun dealer licensing act pass the legislature only to see it rejected two months ago by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner as “duplicative” of federal firearms licensing regulations. On Tuesday, buoyed by members of the GOP, Harmon saw a fresh attempt, SB 337, pass out of committee and head to the chamber’s floor for further consideration. Harmon says it addresses Rauner’s concerns with the scuttled bill.
“We took seriously concerns about the bureaucracy included in the Gun Dealer Licensing Act,” Harmon said. “This legislation provides much-needed oversight on gun purchases without creating a new bureaucracy.”
Whereas the first version would direct the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to draw up licensing guidelines for legal gun shops in the state, the new proposal would place a more streamlined responsibility in the hands of the Illinois State Police. It would mandate gun dealers create a safe storage plan for their firearm inventory both during buisness hours and when closed, institute new signage requirements and hold annual training for shop staff on legal requirements.
Additionally, the measure would require shops to make a copy of a gun buyer’s state firearms card and attach it to the sales paperwork, which would be open to inspection by local and state law enforcement.
Harmon’s latest drive also eliminates a carve-out for big box retailers such as Walmart that drew criticism that his original bill unfairly targeted small FFLs.
Moving past gun stores, it would also make it a Class A misdemeanor for private individuals who resell a gun who fail to keep a record including the name and address of the person they transferred ownership to. Subsequent violations would be a felony.
The new bill has at least some Republicans playing ball. “I’m pleased with the common ground and compromise we achieved on this issue, and I can honestly say that of the legislation proposed, I believe this measure will not impede an individual’s 2nd Amendment rights,” said state Sen. John Curran, R-Downers Grove, who did not vote on the bill Rauner vetoed. “The legislation announced today simply answers the call from our constituents to help ensure gun dealers and businesses are only selling firearms to those licensed to carry them.”
Federal Firearms Licensees of Illinois, the Illinois State Rifle Association and other industry and Second Amendment groups paint SB 337 as a rehash of the bill that Rauner already vetoed and are urging members to contact their lawmakers. The National Rifle Association said in an alert that the bill was designed to, “close as many federally licensed firearm dealers (FFLs) as possible.”
Some 2,800 witness slips have been submitted on the bill, split evenly between those who oppose and those who support the measure.
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Remington announced its Golden Saber Black Belt ammunition in .45 ACP is now officially shipping to consumers.
The 230-grain .45 ACP offering joins the company’s 9mm Luger and .40 S&W Golden Saber Black Belt calibers. The ammunition features Remington’s Black Belt bullet constructed of a brass jacket and hollow point cavity with spiral nose cuts. The design is topped off with a Mechani-Lockt belt and hourglass shape. The Mechani-Lokt prevents the core and jacket from separating and results in a more predictable penetration, according to Remington.
“In tests measuring terminal performance through ordnance gelatin as well as ordnance gelatin with additional barriers such as heavy clothing, steel, wall board, auto lass and plywood, Remington Golden Saber Black Belt ammunition is a top performer in head-to-head testing,” Remington said in a news release. “At the heart of the new line of ammunition is the ground-breaking Black Belt bullet—developed utilizing the stringent FBI Barrier Test Protocol for optimal performance.”
The 9mm comes in standard and +P while the .40 S&W and .45 ACP are offered in standard loads. Remington’s Golden Saber Black Belt ammunition is shipping to dealers now with a MSRP of $24.
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The Department of State released a draft proposal this week easing export restrictions on firearms and ammunition.
The Directorate of Defense Trade Controls finally unveiled the suggested amendments to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) on Monday, shifting oversight of commercial arms sales to the Commerce Department and its Export Administration Regulations (EAR).
The rule change could give American manufacturers more leeway to sell guns internationally, creating more jobs stateside and adhering to the president’s “Buy American” policy platform. Lawrence Keane, senior vice president for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, said in September relaxed restrictions would boost annual gun sales by as much as 20 percent.
“One of the guideposts we used in writing the proposed policy change was to look at what’s commercially available in sporting goods stores in the United States — products where the majority of the end users are not military,” a senior Commerce Department official told The Washington Times.
The proposal removes non-automatic and semi-automatic firearms from ITAR categories I and II. Corresponding parts and ammunition will no longer remain in category III. Firearms dealers large and small would no longer pay a $2,250 ITAR registration fee or a $250 licensing fee.
Instead, the products will transfer to the EAR — and undergo far less regulatory scrutiny, critics fear.
“Under the guise of reducing burdens to completing a sale, this Administration wants to make it easier for a dictator to use American firearms to oppress their people or for terrorists to build armories.”,” said Robin Lloyd, director of government affairs for the Giffords Law Center. “It’s clear the Administration will do anything to appease the gun lobby – even if it means putting profits over the safety of people around the world.”
The new rules will be published in the Federal Register later this month and be subject to a 45-day public comment period.
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Following the release of the M40A1 HTG Stock McMillan Fiberglass Stocks debuts a new modified version, launching the Tactical Hunter Stock.
The Tactical Hunter Stock takes note of the M40A1 design, blending a tactical style with a profile best suited for long range hunting. Featuring a wider, deeper and more rounded forearm the stock provides a larger grip surface with better stability when shooting off day packs, rocks or timber, McMillan said. The forearm also boats a more acute angle at the bottom, supplying a quick height adjustment with reduced fore and aft movement.
The company said this design ultimately makes for a comfortable shooting experience paired with preferred sight alignment in less than ideal hunting conditions. The Tactical hunter Stock comes with or without an integral, adjustable cheekpiece and touts a straight, ambidextrous profile.
Shipping with the Tactical Hunter Stock, McMillan includes 1-inch Pachmeyer Decelerator recoil pad, sling swivel studs and bipod mount stud. In addition, the stock offers installed aluminum pillars which allow the barreled action to be dropped in.
Pricing on the Tactical Hunter Stock starts around $300 and tops out at $562.
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The nation’s second largest pension fund will reconsider its relationship with wholesalers and retailers of modern sporting rifles.
The California State Teachers’ Retirement System voted unanimously last week to enact a plan of engagement with the outdoor retailers in its portfolio — including Walmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Academy Ltd., Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. and Kroger — on the heels of high-profile mass shootings in Las Vegas and Parkland, Florida.
“As trusted fiduciaries for California’s … educators, the Teachers’ Retirement Board is dedicated to securing our members’ financial future during their retirement years,” said Harry Keiley, Chair of CalSTRS Investment Committee. “We’re taking steps to protect the CalSTRS portfolio, avoid reputational risk and increase the long-term value of the companies in which we invest, while also expressing sensitivity and empathy for the heinous gun-related tragedies that have impacted our country over the last several years.”
The pension fund manages over $225.5 billion and serves just under 1 million public school educators in California. It describes itself as one of the most vocal on issues of gun violence, voluntarily divesting from Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger and Co. in the months after the Sandy Hook massacre.
Now, the system will hire two new staff for a combined $280,000 annually to engage with companies selling guns and bump stocks deemed illegal in California. If the efforts fail — though the board’s plan doesn’t specify exactly how — the system will consider severing ties completely.
State Treasurer John Chiang urged the board to divest now — just as he did back in October, a week after the Vegas shooting left 58 people dead and some 850 others injured. “It would be recklessly inconsistent for anyone who supports California’s assault weapons ban to believe that investing in companies making or selling these weapons or ancillary devices ensures teachers’ retirement security,” he said.
Many of the retailers within the system’s portfolio voluntarily implemented age restrictions on gun sales after the Parkland massacre. Only two companies, Sportsman’s Warehouse and Academy Ltd., still stock “assault rifles” and none offer bump stocks, according to the board’s plan.
“Unlike other CalSTRS engagements, where staff generally prefers a quiet engagement approach, this engagement may be more effective with a customized public engagement strategy,” the plan says. “To date, the element of social pressure has proven far more effective, as evidenced by the companies’ responses to the social attention.”
Not everyone agrees with cutting ties, however. Christopher Ailman, CalSTRS chief investment officer, told Bloomberg earlier this month “divestment hasn’t made the world a better place.”
“If we divest, we don’t have a place at the table and we don’t change behavior,” said Vicki Fuller, CIO of the New York fund. “We do need our companies to be thinking long term about how they are going to be able to continue to generate their earnings.”
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Insurance market Lloyd’s of London directed underwriters to end and withdraw from policies connected to the National Rifle Association.
The British company issued the directive last week after an investigation by New York state revealed the NRA’s business partners offering self-defense insurance policies had violated state law.
In a statement, Lloyd’s said after “very careful consideration” it opted to “direct underwriters in the market to terminate any existing programmes of this type and not to enter into any new ones.”
Lloyd’s cited regulatory activity by New York’s Department of Financial Services as reasoning for the changes. An investigation by the state’s DFS found that the companies involved in brokering and underwriting NRA Carry Guard insurance violated state law while selling policies.
As a result of the investigations, a subsidiary of Chubb Ltd agreed to pay a $1.3 million fine for operating without a license to sell insurance, and Lockton Affinity agreed to pay $7 million for failing to comply with state law and misrepresented its compliance record. Both companies also agreed to no longer sell Carry Guard or similar insurance in the state.
The NRA retaliated against the regulatory activity by filing suit against the state of New York and its governor, and another against Lockton. In both cases, the gun rights group alleges the investigatory findings were part of a conspiracy orchestrated by anti-gun groups.
Yet, both Chubb and Lockton previously announced they had cut ties with the NRA. Both companies said, following February’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that they would no longer be involved in the NRA’s insurance programs.
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A new report from the FBI has found that of the 50 “active shooter incidents” in 2016 and 2017, individuals with valid firearm permits successfully stopped four of them. Meaning, good guys with guns saved lives.
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So, what’s the right height for an autoloading pocket pistol? Based on my top five picks, anywhere from 3.7 to 4.25 inches.