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Illinois governor vetoes gun waiting period bill, seeks to restart death penalty in amendment (VIDEO)
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner on Monday reworked a gun control bill to include a number of proposals including one to reinstate the death penalty for some crimes.
The bill that was vetoed, HB-1468, would mandate a 72-hour waiting period for some semi-autos as well as .50 BMG caliber rifles. Current state regulations have a 24-hour wait on longarms with sponsors of the move arguing more time is needed for guns classified as “assault weapons.” Not only did Rauner reject the proposal as not going far enough, but recast it to include a host of additional measures.
“Gun violence has rocked the nation and our state,” Rauner said. “This is a responsible, bipartisan approach to the problem that will help ensure the safety and security of our children, our peacekeepers, our families, and our communities in Illinois.”
Rauner’s counter-proposal would expand the 72-hour wait to all guns in the state, ban bump stocks and trigger crank devices, and institute a Gun Violence Restraining Order system to take guns temporarily from those thought to be at risk to themselves or others. Going further, it would require judges and prosecutors to explain when plea agreements are negotiated with violent offenders in gun crimes and move to fund additional school resource officers and mental health professionals to tackle violence on campus.
The most controversial measure, especially for pro-gun control urban Democrats in the state legislature who may consider the otherwise sweeping gun regulation package as proposed by Rauner a big political victory, would institute a “death penalty murder” statute under Illinois law that would apply to cop killers and those who kill two or more people. In 2003, Republican Gov. George Ryan blanket commuted the sentences of all 167 inmates on the state’s death row, an act that Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn followed up on with in 2011 by abolishing the practice altogether.
The rewrite, which some question the legality of under the state constitution, could carry enough poison pills on each side of the aisle to bar any consideration, especially with lawmakers set to wrap up the current session at the end of the month. Sponsors of the bill called it grandstanding by Rauner.
“The governor has prioritized his own politics over saving lives,” said state Rep. Jonathan Carroll, D-Buffalo Grove. “My legislation to create a 72-hour waiting period when purchasing an assault weapon received bipartisan support in the House and Senate. And without any word from the governor, he decided to veto it and change the language putting politics ahead of good policy.”
Second Amendment advocates welcomed the move by the Governor. “While not everything we had hoped for, we applaud the Governor for taking a thoughtful first step in tackling the issue of violence that torments our state,” said Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association in a press release. “The Governor understands it’s not law-abiding gun owners that terrorize our state with violence, criminals and those that should not have guns are the root of gun violence problems.”
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The U.S. Marine Corps is trimming the size of their squads by one Marine but they argue the new program provides much more firepower as well as increased situational awareness.
The building block of every infantry platoon in the Marines is the squad, currently a 13-strong unit. Under the new format, it will shrink by one to 12 and constrict the size of each fire team from four to three members, but the number of M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle systems will swell as every member will carry one, effectively tripling the current volume of fire available to the unit, according to officials. Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller said the development will make the squad “more lethal, agile and capable.”
While the unit has given up their M249 Squad Automatic Weapons — the U.S. version of the FN Minimi — the M27 has taken the place of that belt-fed weapon and will by 2020 phase out the M4 rifles in the squad, upping the number of the modified select-fire variant of the HK416 5.56mm gas piston rifle per squad from three to 12.
“Testing has also conclusively shown that the M249 is a ~12 MOA weapon; far less reliable, responsive, and has a slower rate of fire than our Automatic Rifle,” said then-CW5 Christian P. Wade, the 2nd Marine Division’s Gunner in speaking about the difference between the old SAW and the new IAR.
Gone are the three riflemen and three assistant automatic rifleman billets in each squad, replaced with three Grenadiers armed with their own 40mm grenade launcher in addition to their M27. In the above video, the bloop tube operator is depicted with the new side-loading M320 grenade launcher module.
In addition, the updated squad format includes two new positions– an assistant squad leader and a squad systems operator. The latter is part of Neller’s “Quads for Squads” program to equip every infantry squad with a small backpack-capable quadcopter capable of looking over the next hill or block to provide the unit its own organic airborne recon capability.
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Concerned with financial institutes implementing new gun control policies, the gun industry’s trade association, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, retained the services of a banking lobbyist firm. The NSSF hired lobbyist Will Hollier, of Hollier & Associates, to encourage Congress to act on “discriminatory banking actions against [the] firearms industry,” according to a federal lobbying disclosure form filed May 1.
Larry Keane, NSSF senior vice president for government and public affairs and the organization’s general counsel, declined to comment on the lobbying strategy, but told Guns.com that gun owners and the industry should be concerned “about the troubling reports that banks and credit card companies are collecting information about their purchases and the potential for the misuse of that data including blocking or denying transactions.”
News surfaced last month that banks and credit card companies had informal discussions about monitoring gun sales as a means to reduce gun violence. In meetings, they floated using specific transaction codes and keeping data on gun buyers so they could identify possible criminality. Gun rights advocates have long resisted those types of policies, arguing such activity could lead to limiting legal gun sales or preventing them entirely. The federal government is already barred from monitoring legal firearm transactions once they’re transferred from a licensed dealer to a buyer.
After February’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, major banks and financial companies opted to change policies limiting their involvement with gun makers and sellers. Bank of America said it would no longer finance gun companies that make military-style guns for civilians, Citibank now requires businesses seeking financing to restrict gun sales to buyers under 21 years of age, and BlackRock Investment created investment products that exclude gun stocks.
Citing NSSF literature, publicly traded gun companies defended industry standards in addressing questions about risks associated with selling firearms. Also, the industry’s response to preventing further shooting massacres as led by the NSSF includes supporting current policies like background checks as well as enforcing current gun laws.
With business leaders siding with victims and activists calling for gun control action, the gun industry has suffered several blows, but retaliation is beginning to take shape. Republican ally Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo penned letters to BoA and Citibank accusing them of using their “market power to manage social policy.”
The NSSF’s new hired gun has deep ties to Crapo. For 11 years Hollier had various roles on the Idaho senator’s staff, with positions like chief of staff, legislative director, and campaign manager, according to the Hollier & Associate’s website. During his tenure, he was also the “primary liaison” for Crapo’s banking committee. Last month, Hollier, led a successful effort on behalf of a small group of banks to pass Crapo’s bill to cut down some Dodd-Frank Act provisions, The Daily Caller reported.
The NSSF has also successful efforts using banking lobbyists before. During the Obama Administration, the NSSF urged lawmakers to confront the Department of Justice about an initiative to cut off illicit markets from banking systems. Although “Operation Chokepoint” intended to target fraudulent businesses like predatory loan operations, the Justice Department included a broad list of categories to target that included legitimate businesses like gun and ammo sellers. Crapo joined a list of critics saying the operation allowed the Justice Department to bypass due process and the department under Trump officially ended the program in August 2017.
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Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner unveiled his “comprehensive safety plan” Monday than includes several unsavory anti-gun measures.
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“Again, I believe the firearms laws we currently have in place are effective, appropriate and minimal, and serve to reassure our citizens that people who are carrying handguns in this state are qualified to do so,” said Fallin.
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Do you love talking about guns on the Internet, jumping from conversation to conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube? Are you constantly posting pics of guns that are tactful and discreet and then some so NSFW? You might be the type of guy or gal we’re looking for! Guns.com is hiring a Social Media Manager.
With more than 2 million visitors a month in-site and 1 million followers signed on through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, Guns.com has built a dedicated audience with sustained traffic performances that continues to grow. With new undertakings afoot at Guns.com, we are looking for an experienced, highly motivated and creative Social Media Manager for our Richmond, Virginia location.
The ideal candidate will be someone who can develop our brand and build strong online communities through our various social media platforms. The position will be responsible for content creation and curation, constant growth of our social media presence, and daily administration of our social media accounts with the goal of engaging users and creating interactive relationships between consumers and the company.
Longmont, Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Tactical Coatings recently finished a Phoenix Weaponry .45-70 AR rifle that is sure to turn heads.
The deluxe edition semi-auto, posted to RMTC’s social media account, is ready to ship and includes what they bill is a hammered brass style finish and natural wood furniture.
If you are curious about the caliber, Phoenix Weaponry’s .45-70 Auto is a rebated-rimmed version of the classic .45-70 Government cartridge that has been around since the 1870s and has shown sub-MOA results from their rifles.
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RCBS just released a die set for the 224 Valkyrie, which is a huge step forward for this fledgling cartridge. And I got my grubby paws on them, just in time for prairie dog season in the Potato State.
"Fuck the NRA," says congressional candidate Pat Davis in a new ad. "Their pro-gun policies have resulted in dead children, dead mothers and dead fathers," he continues.
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This 4th grader loves shooting steel targets as well as feeling the rush of hitting them and has just finished her first competition.
Competing at the NSSF’s World Rimfire Championships, NRA TV caught up with renowned competition shooter Julie Golob and her daughter Madeleine, who described her time on the range as “one percent nervous and 99 percent excited.”
Using a modded Smith & Wesson Victory .22LR, the braces-clad Madeleine said the only thing that kept her experience from being a perfect “10” was the waiting involved.
And for those curious about what the more senior Golob is competing with these days, she details her 57-ounce NRA Action Pistol Open Division Bianchi Gun below.
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As I ambled around the NRA Annual’s Meeting, held May 4-6 in Dallas, the amount of women both on the show floor and in booths caught my eye.
While women have always been welcome at NRA-AM, this year they weren’t simply spectators. Lining booths, it seemed as if more vendors featured women representatives espousing their products benefits. Advertisements set along the paths for various companies now showed women wielding gun wares, not just men.
It seems the tides are turning in the gun industry and women are stepping out of the shadows and into the limelight. As I weaved my way through a long line at Sig Sauer’s booth of fans looking to snatch an autograph from competition shooter Lena Miculek — a line that was as long as her father Jerry Miculek’s — it seemed evident that women are no longer complacent to just exist in the industry. They are taking a prominent position and role in the house of firearms.
“It’s been busy,” said a representative at Can Can Concealment. “We’ve seen a steady flux of interest from women.” Can Can Concealment is one of a handful of holster companies birthed to provide holsters designed for women. Though the company has branched out since its inception — with employees showing us their Sport Belt holster for men — the mission of the company is firmly rooted in providing holsters to women.
At the show, their booth, like many other female-centric options, was inundated with female gun owners looking for creative ways to tote their pistols. Can Can Concealment said as I strolled by late Sunday afternoon that there seemed to be more women invested in the idea of carrying with a Can Can holster than previous years.
The most recent data provided by the National Shooting Sports Foundation suggests that women have been steadily growing in numbers in the past few years. Touted as “the fastest growing segment” of the industry, the female market has been one many manufacturers have looked to sink their hooks into. Starting off by offering pink and bling in a vain attempt to garner women’s affections, it seems as if the industry finally understands that representation matters as much if not more than glittery guns.
As I paused to take in the atmosphere of the show on its last day, I noticed that female gun owners flocked towards female reps situated at Sig Sauer, Kimber and Springfield Armory. As if looking for an ally in the sea of men, these female reps became beacons of light for female consumers.
At Manticore Arms Kristen Jonsson was at the forefront of the parts maker’s booth. Greeting loyal customers and potential new customers with a burst of energy and enthusiasm she became the face of the company, welcoming men and women gun owners with her infectious smile. Women, who seemed curious of the company’s products, stopped by to talk to Jonsson who cheerfully filled them in. Next door, Pantheon Arms showcased their Dolos design with a female rep who repeatedly assembled and disassembled the rifle system.
Outside the show floor, the NRA itself aimed to include more women in its seminars. Nestled between “Sniping in World War II” and “Sheepdogs! The Bulletproof Mind for the Armed Citizen” was “Women and the Gun Buying Experience.” According to the NRA’s summary of the event, the class was designed to help arm women with the information on how to buy guns.
“Were you turned off by your last gun-buying experience? Patronized or ignored? Were you talked into a handgun you dislike — and now it sits idle in your nightstand? This mother/daughter team — gun store owners — will arm you with the valuable information and questions you need to ask so you can walk out having purchased the right gun,” the description from the NRA said.
An interesting addition to the course load, I headed to the basement of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas to get the scoop. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it far. Though the seminar’s summary clearly stated that the class welcomed “anyone who wants to learn about women and firearms” that description apparently did not extend to members of the press. After a few minutes of sitting in on the seminar, and just when it was getting good, I was approached by a NRA rep and informed that I was not welcome.
After a disappointing and abrupt end to the women’s seminar, I trudged back up to the NRA-AM floor. Standing on a stairwell overlooking the show floor I took a beat to watch the teeming crowds push their way into Daniel Defense for a rifle drawing. Searching the faces of excited gun owners, I took note of the women. Excitedly clutching their entries and hoping their winning number would be called, women stole the show at NRA-AM. A theme, I expect, will continue into future shows.
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The Army has announced that Sig Sauer’s 1-6x24mm Tango6 optic has been selected to equip the service’s new Squad Designated Marksman Rifle.
The Tango6 series scope, as selected for a 6,069-unit SDMR requirement, will include a flat dark earth aluminum main tube, 762 extended range bullet drop compensation illuminated front reticle and a red horseshoe dot for daylight target acquisition.
“It’s truly an honor to be selected as the official optic for the Squad Designated Marksman Rifle, and it is very humbling to once again earn the trust of the US Army through this selection,” said Ron Cohen, Sig’s president and CEO, with the news coming a year after the company’s big win in the Army’s Modular Handgun System competition.
“Sig Sauer is committed to providing the highest quality equipment for the military that surpasses expectations in durability, accuracy, and performance, so they have tools they can rely on for every mission requirement in the defense of freedom,” Cohen said.
Other features of the optic include a locking illumination dial, Power Selector Ring throw lever, and a laser-marked scope level indicator for mount installation that Sig bills as being six times more accurate than a typical bubble level.
The Army is moving to adopt some 6,000 Heckler & Koch G28E rifles as the service’s new SDMR platform, replacing modified M14 rifles used for the purpose over the past decade, Military.com reported. While the same 7.62x51mm-caliber rifle, when classified as the M110A1 Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System uses a Schmidt & Bender 3-20 power variable scope, Army officials said the SDMR variant, meant for use at the squad-level, would use an optic geared more towards close-quarters battle.
“What we are looking at would be in the realm of a 1-6, variable-power illuminated reticle,” Daryl Easlick, the small arms deputy for the Lethality Branch at Fort Benning’s Maneuver Center of Excellence told Military.com in March. “The concept would be if I am doing anything under 50 meters or even 100 meters, I am on one power and I can execute those tasks that I would normally do with a [close combat optic] very well.”
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Firefield introduces a new set of forgrips, the Firefield Rival Foregrips, with models designed for both Picatinny and Keymod rails.
Using a skeletonized design, the Rival Foregrips shave off weight, tipping scales at a mere 4 ounces. Adding stability and control to AR-15 style firearms, Firefield said the attachments’ aluminum build results in foregrips that are shockproof and work alongside a variety of caliber rifles. The Rival series is finished with a textured surface for added grip and perfect for tactical style shooting, says Firefield.
“Ideal for quick target acquisition, tactical shooting, and combat simulation, the Rival series ergonomic design was intended to make shooting as comfortable and natural as possible,” Firefield commented in a news release. “A textured surface finish delivers added grip to shooters who don’t have the time for slip-ups when it matters most.
Available for KeyMod and Picatinny, the Rival Foregrips are available from Firefield boasting a price tag of $24.
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