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Gear Review: Three bits of kit at Rio Run & Gun 2017 (VIDEO)

3 hours 26 min ago

I’m fortunate to live in a corner of the world where “run and gun” competitions are cropping up in increasing numbers.  Although I can only do a couple per year, these five-to-seven mile, rifle/pistol biathlons have become a major motivator for me to stay fit and to stay on top of my carbine game.

These events, and the miles and time logged in preparation, are also a superb venue for putting gear to the test.  There’s no sedate bench shooting at a run and gun.  There is challenging terrain, either dust or mud, sweat, and sometimes, blood.  Equipment is battered by the strain of miles of jogging and the inevitable banging of rig-on-gun that happens over these miles. It’s a rare competitor who’s not taken a spill on the rocks, lost their footing on a steep hill, or been caught by an unseen piece of fence left from a long-past generation of ranchers.

Post-race, relieved and pleased to have finished. (Photo: Team HB)

March 2017 marked my second outing at the run and gun hosted by Rio Bonito Ranch in Junction, Texas (check out my first here). My preparation, in my estimation, had been inadequate. Cold temps in February kept my battered knees creaky, so much that I’d mostly foregone running for tamer living-room exercise.  High winds, day after day, challenged my confidence about whether it was the windage dial of my scope or the Kentucky windage of my hold that was correct—but thankfully, more hits were on target than not.  I began to question the wisdom of signing up for an early spring event. The pre-event excitement that’s usually part of the fun started to feel more like dread.

Of course, the calendar cares not for my disdain of chilly temps.  The weekend rolled around, and Sunday morning, my run day, dawned with a heavy mist and 42 degrees on the thermometer.

I was thankful to hear the starter say “go,” knowing as I took off with my carbine and gear that my teeth would soon stop chattering.  My mesh-top shoes were already damp from the grass.

At what felt like just half a mile into the five-mile course, Station 1 presented itself. The challenge entailed making sure some part of my rifle rested inside a tire, suspended from chains, and low, requiring a lowered shooting position.

It turns out, a hanging tire is not a stable platform.  I’d get on a roll, hit a few targets, and then begin missing when a change of orientation was required. The tire seemed to mock my efforts with rubbery vibrations. I was a few hits short of completing the exercise when the range officer said “time out,” meaning I’d hit the three-minute limit.

Pistol ammo

LAX Factory New FMJ 9mm ammunition sells for about $10.50 per bag of 50. (Photo: Team HB)

Off to Station 2 I jogged, using the time to convince myself to concentrate and do my best to salvage the rest of the course.  Station 2 was an all-pistol exercise, around and under barricades, strong-hand, support-hand. No problem. In my worn Canik TP9 SA was a new brand of fuel, LAX Ammunition. No surprise, it’s manufactured in Los Angeles.  This new company provided samples of their 380, 9mm, and 45 ACP to test out.

The Canik cycled this factory new, brass cased, 115 grain full metal jacket 9mm in fine fashion.  In fact, at a later station, the range officer was advising 9mm shooters to aim high on the plate rack, as some were failing to knock down the plates.  I chose to aim center, and the LAX knocked down those, and all other moving steel targets, throughout the competition. This new brand is competitively priced for high-quality FMJ at $10.25 per 50 on the LAX website.

LAX ammo performed well in the Canik. (Photo: Team HB)

Following Station 2 was some rough going across country. The course followed a creek bed, lined with small boulders that made walking feel like the only safe option.

Relief from that footing was a steep uphill climb on a hill covered by small trees, rocks, and deep, loose dirt.  The angle of the climb was so acute that I moved the carbine from its usual travel position across my chest, shouldering it muzzle-up so as to prevent clogging the barrel with dirt.

Damp dirt began sifting its way into my shoes through the mesh tops. Someday I’ll do a run and gun in boots—someday. My hat’s off to military personnel who hike in them every day.


Hi-Tecs rolled down. An unfashionable but oh-so-functional choice. (Photo: Team HB)

The unpleasant thought of shoes full of dirt was offset by the welcome sensation of wearing really good, cushioned socks.  The adventure footwear specialists Hi-Tec supplied a pair of their over-the-ankle performance hiking socks, made of a thick merino/acrylic blend.  They have all the features of upscale athletic socks, like arch support, breathability, reinforced heel and toe, and a snug cuff. This little bit of luxury kept me from feeling sorry for myself as I heaved up the grade.

Now, it should be noted that these socks weren’t really made for running.  They’re labeled for “performance hiking,” and their charcoal grey, over-the-ankle, floral-trimmed design was definitely not a fashionable choice with running shoes, shorts, and winter-white skin.  I’d compromised by cuffing them to hide most of the problem, and in the process made a discovery that brought a smile to my face.

Hi-Tec: Are these the world’s first inspirational socks? (Photo: Team HB)

Hi-Tec has apparently decided we womenfolk need some encouragement.  Inside the cuff, so discreet I’d have missed it had I not committed the fashion crime of rolling my socks down, two words are embroidered: BE INCREDIBLE. Being one of very few people running in shorts in 42 degrees, my credibility may well be in question, but the little discovery had lent my heart a little warmth as I got ready for the run. As I finally topped the hill, the saying came back to mind.  It occurred to me that even if my performance was less than incredible, the experience of doing any run and gun really embodies the word.

Good socks are a shortcut to better quality of life, especially when they’re reasonably priced at around $14 for a two-pair pack. The specific ones I wore won’t be on the market until fall 2017.


Despite the struggles I had with that shaky tire, I managed to pleasantly surprise myself at a later rifle station that had given me trouble last fall, ringing all the steel and being back afoot and on the trail with time to spare.  After years of struggle to find a magnifying optic that wasn’t too bulky yet has sufficient magnification for my less-than-perfect vision the Lucid L7 rifle scope came into my life. This 20-ounce, second focal plane scope has 1-6x zoom and a trim 24mm objective lens.  The reticle is simple and makes targets both far and near easy to acquire, using holdovers or not. Its locking turrets allow me to set zero at actual “0” on the windage and elevation dials, making it easy to tell if I’ve forgotten to return to home base after an adjustment.

The high performing Lucid L7 scope had a little token blood in it before the finish. (Photo: Team HB)

Rio marks my second run and gun with the Lucid optic.  In the approximately ten months it’s been mine, this scope has traveled countless hours in 4WD vehicles over all kinds of roads, and it’s been on at least 30 miles of practice and competitive running.  It’s often repeatedly banged against the mags in my chest rig in rhythm with my strides—though that’s not my intent, it’s inevitable at times. It’s been exposed to freezing and 100-plus degree temps.  Although it’d be no shame to require re-zeroing after such use, the thing is still holding zero! For a $449 scope, it’s performing like one costing three times the price.  I can’t recommend the L7 highly enough. It truly is a luxury scope at a working person’s price.

By the end of the run, much as I enjoyed it, most of the LAX ammunition was gone.  I was glad to take the weight of my rifle, scope, and chest rig off and stretch.  And it felt really good to peel off the damp, but still cushy Hi-Tec socks in exchange for a dry pair.

The fun

The enthusiastic event organizers did far more than treat competitors to a great shooting experience.  They provided explosive fun in the form of literally blowing up a Chevy Suburban, with help from industry sponsors.’s media guy, Ben Phillipi, made a video of that very entertaining distraction, posted on this blog’s YouTube channel.

My middle-of-the-pack placing among nearly 100 competitors is definitely not incredible, but in comparison to past performances, and considering the lower degree of prep going in, I’m thrilled.  The satisfaction of having finished the event, regardless of the outcome, is always the best reward.

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Categories: Gun News

Kentucky poll: 12 percent of homes with kids keep guns loaded and unlocked

3 hours 39 min ago

A new poll has returned some interesting results regarding firearms ownership and storage in the state of Kentucky.

According to the poll released Tuesday by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, approximately 55 percent of Kentuckians surveyed said they had a gun in their home.

Approximately 25 percent indicated they kept at least one gun loaded in the house, and some 15 percent of all adults in Kentucky said they kept the guns unlocked and loaded in their homes.

The poll also found that 6 of every 10 Kentucky households with children reported having a gun in the home. Of those households with children, 24 percent reported they kept a loaded gun in the home and 12 percent said they kept an unlocked and loaded gun in the home.

The above results came from a survey conducted Sept. 11 through Oct. 19 of 2016, in which 1,580 randomly selected people in Kentucky were asked about a number of different health issues. The margin of error statewide was reported to be plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

The poll also cites statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control that found nearly 1,500 children died in the U.S. in 2015 from firearms related injuries.

As reported by the Lexington Herald-Leader, Democratic State Sen. Gerald Neal proposed a bill in January to try and address the issue of children finding and sometimes hurting or killing themselves and others with unlocked guns.

Neal’s proposal, Senate Bill 28, would make it a misdemeanor if people leave guns unsecured and minors gain access to them. Neal admits it would be hard for law enforcement officers to know of unlocked guns before another tragic accident happens, but says something must be done.

“That was very low-hanging fruit, given what’s at stake in these cases, and I deliberately constructed it to be that way,” Neal said. “It’s not a gun control bill; it’s a gun safety bill. Nothing in that bill should have spooked anybody.”

Neal’s bill has so far seen no movement during the 30-day legislative session in Kentucky, which ends Thursday.

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Categories: Gun News

Gun Review: Taurus PT140 G2 semi-auto handgun in .40 S&W

4 hours 38 min ago

Recoils is stout on the compact Taurus PT140 G2 in .40 S&W (Photo: Mike Garman)

Everyday carry (EDC) is a hot topic. It covers things like a phone, wallet, knife and of course a handgun. For quite a number of years my everyday carry weapon has been the Kahr CW40, in .40 S&W — compact, easy to conceal and limited to seven rounds. But more is always better, at least when it comes to capacity, which is why I took an interest in the Taurus PT140 G2. With the help of Eric at Arizona House of Guns, I was able to get the latest version to test.

Taurus PT140 G2 semi-auto handgun in .40 S&W makes for a powerful EDC gun. (Photo: Mike Garman)

The second generation of the PT140 is undoubtedly an improvement upon the first version. It’s more ergonomic and the fit and finish is outstanding. With a full 10 round double stack magazine and one in the chamber, the gun weighs in at just 27 ounces and a little over six inches in length with a 3.2 inch barrel. This makes it just as easy to conceal as my Kahr — I’ve carried it every day for the past few weeks and found it very comfortable to carry in a belt slide holster.

Like a lot of guns the PT140 has a polymer frame with a steel upper.  Other features include a fully adjustable rear sight, manual safety and a rail for a light or laser. The grips are nicely textured and have a spot on the grip and frame that marks a natural place to rest your thumb and trigger finger. It also has a loaded chamber indicator which I really like — located on the top of the slide it is both a visual and tactile indication that there is a round in the chamber. The PT140 comes with two magazines that have an extension rest for your finger. I find the magazine release to be very easy to reach with my thumb and that the empty magazine practically flies out when released making combat reloads very easy.

The compact size of the Taurus PT140 makes it suitable for concealed carry. (Photo: Mike Garman)

Take down of the PT140 is much like a Glock: pull down two small levers to release the slide (if you own a Glock you’ll understand what I mean). Once disassembled you’ll find that the frame weighs practically nothing and all of the weight is in the barrel and slide. Internally it’s a lot like a Glock. In my experience this means that it will probably run forever without a lot of problems.

Shooting the PT140 is pretty much what you’d expect for a small frame handgun in .40 S&W meaning recoil is pretty stout. I found it manageable, but a female friend didn’t like it. Her chief complaint was that the stippling on the grip hurt her hand. The trigger has a lot of slack. It seems to take forever before the trigger break, but when it does it’s nice and clean. I’ve noticed that the trigger seems to tighten up just before it breaks and reset is very short. Fred Mastison of Force Options recommended disassembling the PT140 and looking for any burs on the trigger group then using a jeweler’s polish to remove them.

Overall the Taurus PT140 G2 makes an excellent everyday carry gun that is easily concealable. While chambered in the potent S&W it’s not going to be for everyone. The PT140 comes in all blue like our test gun or with a stainless upper. It boasts an MSRP of $301 or $316 for the stainless version.

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Categories: Gun News

North Carolina House passes bill allowing guns in school church services

4 hours 50 min ago

The North Carolina House of Representatives has passed a bill that would allow concealed firearms to be carried at schools that hold religious services.

As reported by WRAL, House Bill 174 passed on a 82-34 vote Monday night after an amendment was added to exempt public schools from the measure.

Under the new legislation, guns would be allowed on school property if the school also has a building that is used as a place of worship. Gun owners with concealed carry permits would be able to carry guns into religious services as long as those services are held after school hours.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Rena Turner, said she wanted church-goers and security to be able to protect themselves and the rest of the congregation, especially after the 2015 massacre in a Charleston church.

Some fellow lawmakers noted the original bill might cause issues for public schools that host church services on weekends, so Turner added the amendment to exempt public schools.

The measure now heads to the Senate for consideration.

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Categories: Gun News

Cleveland Mayor: ‘Availability of guns’ to blame for recent shootings (VIDEO)

4 hours 54 min ago

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said Monday the “availability of guns” has played a key role in the recent rash of shootings across the city.

“I will tell you that from our point of view, mine in particular, that it is about the availability of guns,” Jackson said at a Monday press conference, held to address a weekend of violence that left five people killed, three of them juveniles.

“Availability of guns in the hands of those who are not legally, do not legally have the right to have them,” Jackson said. “And in this case particularly juveniles, children, who have guns and the access they have to those guns and the type of guns that they have results in death.”

According to Fox 8 Cleveland, the weekend shootings in the city left five people dead in three separate incidents. Three of the victims were juveniles, an issue Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said could be prevented if people in the community were more willing to divulge information regarding teenagers with guns.

“We need folks to step up. This has to be a community effort,” Williams said. “We need the public’s help because we don’t want further retaliation or anything else that goes along with these incidents. We want to stop this right now.”

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Categories: Gun News

Family says ICE agent had no reason to shoot man during Chicago raid

5 hours 18 min ago

Chicago police were at the home on West Grand Avenue and North Melvina Avenue as many as ten hours after the shooting Monday, according to local reports. (Photo: Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune)

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent shot a man in the arm during an early morning raid at a Chicago home Monday.

ICE said an agent shot 53-year-old Felix Torres after he pointed a gun at agents while they tried to serve a warrant for someone else, DNA Info reported. But family members tell a different story.

“It’s a lie when they say he was holding a gun. He doesn’t even own a gun,” the man’s daughter, Carmen Torres said. “They shot my dad. They shot him, and I don’t know why.”

At least eight family members were in the home during the raid, which happened around 6:20 a.m. on the city’s Northwest Side. Carmen Torres said none of them are undocumented. ICE removed at least one man from the home during the raid — the wounded man’s 23-year-old son. He’s due in court Wednesday for a felony gun charge, but was released by ICE later Monday.

Felix Torres was taken to a local hospital in serious condition.

“I don’t know if there was some sort of mistake here or what,” said the family’s attorney, Thomas Hallock, the Chicago Tribune reported.

“He opened the door and, without cause, they shot him,” he said.

Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa had harsh words for ICE on Monday.

“ICE’s guns blazing raid on a northwest side home filled with sleeping kids is exactly why the City of Chicago should refuse to collaborate with ICE, said Ramirez-Rosa in a statement. “ICE routinely violates the American people’s constitutional rights.”

“Is this our future in Chicago with Donald Trump as president?” asked Ald. Gilbert Villegas.

The raid comes on the same day U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reiterated a Trump administration commitment to withhold funds from sanctuary cities. Such cities limit cooperation with federal agencies, and help protect undocumented immigrants. Last week, a City Council committee in Chicago voted unanimously to approve a resolution reaffirming the Windy City’s sanctuary status. There are an estimated 183,000 undocumented immigrants living in Chicago.

“I’m conflicted because I haven’t got all the details [of the incident] yet, but from the way this has started to play out, it looks like an overstep by an overzealous ICE agent who’s just trying to follow Trump’s orders,” said Villegas.

In a statement, ICE said its Office of Professional Responsibility will be reviewing the shooting.

“Due to this ongoing review, no further details will be released at this time,” read the statement.

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Categories: Gun News

Border patrol nabs suspect wanted for 16 Boston-area bank robberies

5 hours 34 min ago

Based on witness descriptions, authorities created this sketch of the suspect, dubbed the “Incognito Bandit.” (Photo: Federal Bureau of Investigation)

The suspect in more than a dozen Boston-area bank robberies was apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers Friday evening as he attempted to board a flight bound for South Africa.

Albert Taderera, 36, was arrested at about 5 p.m. at Dulles International Airport in Virginia, the Department of Justice announced in a statement.

According to court documents, Taderera, who was dubbed the “Incognito Bandit,” robbed 16 banks in the Metro-West and Greater Boston areas from February 2015 to March 2017. Details gathered from each case led authorities to believe the same suspect was responsible for all 16 robberies.

In about half of the robberies, witnesses reported that Taderera was armed with a black semi-automatic handgun. Additionally, in the majority of the robberies, the suspect was described as wearing a dark-colored hoodie and his face covered with a mask or dark sunglasses. The suspect also wore dark gloves and clothing during the commission of the crimes.

All 16 banks were located in similar settings consisting of a suburban area and freestanding building located near a wooded area or other heavy foliage. In each of the robberies, witnesses reported seeing the suspect flee into the wooded area. In a number of the robberies, witnesses also reported seeing a black BMW leaving the vicinity of the wooded area after the suspect fled, a detail which later proved instrumental in identifying and eventually apprehending Taderera.

On March 16, 2017, officers with the Concord Police Department noticed a black BMW parked outside of a local bank and observed that the driver, Taderera, matched the description of the suspect wanted for the prior bank robberies. Authorities were able to determine the vehicle registration for the BMW was revoked, so the vehicle was towed and impounded.

About a week later, Taderera called the tow company and inquired about the status of the BMW, and he was informed that the police department was in possession of the vehicle.

The next day, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was alerted when Taderera booked a flight for the following day from Dulles to Addis Ababe, Ethiopia. However, on the morning of the flight, authorities learned Taderera rerouted his flight to instead go to Johannesburg, South Africa, later that same day. Authorities acted quickly and apprehended Taderera before he boarded the flight.

Taderera was due to appear in court Monday and, if convicted, could face up to 25 years in prison, as well as a fine of up to $250,000.

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Categories: Gun News

Virginia Gov. McAuliffe vetoes 5 pro-gun bills, calls for return to handgun rationing

5 hours 40 min ago

“Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, seen here in a conference on March 27, wants to limit handgun sales in the state to one in each 30-day period. (Photo: Michaele White/Governor’s office)

After rejecting a sheaf of legislation expanding gun rights, McAuliffe sent a proposed amendment to lawmakers to restore the state’s one-handgun-a-month law.

The move this week followed in the wake of the Democrat’s veto of five bills he argued would weaken the Commonwealth’s gun safety laws on Friday. The measure proposed by McAuliffe is meant to address the claim by his administration that Virginia was fast becoming an outlet for easy gun sales at the risk of public safety.

“One-Handgun-a-Month was enacted almost a quarter century ago to counter Virginia’s shameful reputation as the gun-running capital of the East Coast,” said McAuliffe in a statement. “Five years ago, the General Assembly took the ill-advised step of repealing this common-sense limitation. As a result, Virginia is once again becoming the go-to state for criminals to purchase weapons in bulk.”

The Commonwealth’s gun laws became a talking point earlier this month when New York police and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office announced 22 Virginia residents had been arrested as part of a gun trafficking ring moving guns to the city. In all, undercover officers bought 217 firearms transported from the Richmond, Hampton and Newport News areas to New York City in a complicated scheme.

Virginia had a gun rationing law in effect for two decades, but it was repealed by state lawmakers in 2012 under a bill signed by then-Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, who ran on an election platform that included ending the practice.

McAuliffe’s proposal to the legislature would make it a Class 1 misdemeanor for anyone other than a licensed firearms dealer to purchase more than one handgun within a 30-day period. Those found guilty could face as much as a year in prison and a fine of not more than $2,500.

Vetoed legislation

On March 24 McAuliffe scuttled several measures that involved guns including a number that would arm those at risk in a domestic violence situation.

Senate Bill 1299/HB 1852 would allow someone protected by a restraining order to carry a concealed handgun without a permit for 45 days after the order was issued. McAuliffe vetoed the proposal and argued, “The bill perpetuates the dangerous fiction that the victims of domestic violence will be safer by arming themselves. It would inject firearms into a volatile domestic violence situation, making that situation less safe, not more.”

Two other bills aimed at domestic violence by requiring courts to give those seeking protective orders lists of state-approve firearms classes were zapped by McAuliffe for much the same reason.

Finally, Senate Bill 1362 would have allowed those on military duty in the state either in federal service or in the Virginia National Guard to carry a concealed handgun without a permit. The Governor argued that military service, “does not automatically qualify them for the responsibilities involved in carrying a concealed handgun, any more than it automatically qualifies them for a driver’s license.”

Republican legislative leaders called McAuliffe’s office, which has seen more vetoed bills than any previous Virginia governor, “the most disengaged administration we have ever worked with.”

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Categories: Gun News

South Dakota lawmakers fail to revive vetoed pro-gun bills

5 hours 41 min ago

Lawmakers in the South Dakota House of Representatives failed to revive two pro-guns bills that Gov. Dennis Daugaard vetoed earlier this month.

Monday, the final day of the 2017 South Dakota legislative session, lawmakers tried to override Daugaard’s vetoes of two bills that would have allowed capitol carry and constitutional carry in the state, according to the Daily Progress.

A two-thirds majority would have been required to override the vetoes, and the House failed to get there for both bills. The constitutional carry bill, House Bill 1072, saw a 36-33 vote.

Republican Rep. Dan Kaiser, supporter of the bill, spoke about the burden of applying for a concealed carry permit. “Free people don’t ask permission to do what’s right,” he said.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Lynne DiSanto, said she will introduce the bill again in the next session and that it is a “fight that is not going away in South Dakota.”

The Capitol carry bill, House Bill 1156, also failed on a 42-27 vote.

Republican Julie Frye-Mueller, a supporter of the measure, said the bill should have passed to better protect lawmakers while on the floor of the House of Representatives.

“We are in a fishbowl down here,” she said. “This would be like shooting fish in a barrel.”

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Categories: Gun News

FL homeowner told to take down thin blue line flag

7 hours 15 min ago

A Florida homeowner is at odds with her homeowner’s association after she was told to take down a flag she flies outside of her home to show support for law enforcement.

“If you drive by and see that flag, it kind of makes you feel a little bit better, that there’s a family that supports what I’m doing,” said Jeff Gaddie, the woman’s father who also works in law enforcement.

The woman, who did not want to be identified out of fear of backlash, said she has displayed the flag for years. But apparently, someone in the neighborhood recently complained, citing the flag as racist, offensive and opposing Black Lives Matter. Although they did not comment on those comparisons, the homeowner’s association said the flag needed to be removed.

The woman said she was told she could submit a formal request to display the flag, which she did, and it was promptly denied. The association told reporters only U.S. and military-themed flags are allowed, but the woman plans to appeal the decision at a meeting next month.

[ Fox 30 ]

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Categories: Gun News

Bomb scare sparks evacuation at Dallas VA hospital

8 hours 19 min ago

A suspicious device found Monday afternoon in the radiology lab of the VA Hospital in Dallas led to an evacuation and lockdown that lasted more than two hours.

All of the staff and patients from outpatient services were evacuated and almost all of the patients from the hospital were escorted out of the building, while the patients with the most critical conditions remained in their rooms with the doors closed and locked.

The bomb squad, as well as a HAZMAT team, responded to the scene to investigate. The device, however, turned out to be an oxygen tank with some attached wires leading to a box. Police say the manner in which the device was placed indicated it was done to “cause alarm.”

The incident unfolded around 2 p.m. and by 4:30 p.m., authorities had given the “all clear.”

There were no reported injuries and it’s unclear who left the device inside the hospital.

[ CBS ]

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Categories: Gun News

‘Senior Skip Day’ ends in gunfight at Alabama park

9 hours 21 min ago

Police gather evidence at the park where the shooting took place. (Photo:

What was supposed to be a fun-filled Friday for Birmingham high school seniors ended with two teen girls getting shot after a water balloon fight escalated into violence.

“Unfortunately, what started off pleasant turned into shots being fired and a couple of people being grazed by bullets,” said Birmingham police spokesman Lt. Sean Edwards.

Students who partook in Senior Skip Day were engaged in a water balloon fight at a local park when apparently someone started throwing eggs instead of balloons. When the eggs hit a vehicle owned by one of the suspects, things turned physical. Police say the initial call they received was about a fight, but while en route, the scuffle turned into a gunfight.

The owner of the vehicle hit with the egg opened fire, then someone else in the park returned fire. Two girls were caught in the crossfire, but neither injury was considered life-threatening. A third person was also injured by broken glass.

On the scene, officers gathered 15 spent shell casings and at least two vehicles were hit by bullets.

Chanda Temple, spokeswoman for the Birmingham City Schools, confirmed in a statement that the school district does not recognize “Senior Skip Day,” does not condone skipping school, and was in no way connected to the events that unfolded at the park.

[ ]

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Categories: Gun News

Dems delay Gorsuch vote as both sides on gun argument rally troops

9 hours 50 min ago

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch during the third day of his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 22. (Photo: Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

The Senate Judiciary Committee met Monday to consider Gorsuch’s nomination but Democrats, spearheaded by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, asked for a delay on his vote until next Monday.

Gorsuch, following a week of hearings, was scheduled for debate by the committee to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court along with Rod Rosenstein to be the Deputy Attorney General and Rachel Brand to be the Associate Attorney General, which now won’t take place until at least April 3.

Feinstein addressed the short meeting of the committee and railed against Senate inaction last session on Judge Merrick Garland — President Obama’s nomination to fill the seat vacated by the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016. The California Democrat pointed out that 14 justices were nominated and confirmed to the high court in election years. Feinstein then turned to the topic of “dark money” in the confirmation process, contending $7 million was spent to “sully Judge Garland and that $10 million in dark money was spent to promote Neil Gorsuch.”

“We don’t know whether one individual put in all $10 million. The only thing I know is that the NRA put in a million dollars,” said Feinstein. “Now that sends a loud signal to me.”

Fellow committee Dems Al Franken of Minnesota and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii issued statements Monday echoing Feinstein’s remarks on Garland’s failed nomination and announcing they would vote against confirmation of Gorsuch.

Committee Chairman, U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, agreed to hold over the three nominations and issued a statement through his office vouching for how qualified he felt Gorsuch was for the bench.

“His resume speaks for itself,” said Grassley. “But last week we got to see up-close how thoughtful, articulate, and humble he is. He is clearly deeply committed to being a fair and impartial Judge. And he isn’t willing to compromise that independence to win votes in the Senate.”

Meanwhile, the NRA advised they would be scoring the vote on Gorsuch for future reference by its members and is spending seven-figure sums aimed at four Senate Democrats facing tough reelections in areas that went to President Trump last November. These include Sens. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Donnelly of Indiana.

“Both sides understood that the November presidential election was largely a referendum on the future direction of the U.S. Supreme Court,” said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox in a message last week in all the organization’s publications. “Our opponents, unfortunately, don’t seem to realize that their side lost.”

Gun control groups are likewise ramping up the pressure on lawmakers to oppose Gorsuch.

Americans for Responsible Solutions, the PAC established by former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, has penned opinion pieces in the past week and, in posting them to social media, made much of the NRA’s support for the jurist.

“The gun lobby is spending one million dollars to support Neil Gorsuch because they want an ally on the bench,” said the group. “If Gorsuch indeed shares the gun lobby’s views -and votes in favor of their agenda, Americans should be very concerned.”

Others are following the same path with the Newtown Action Alliance going so far as to say, “Neil Gorsuch has been bought by the NRA.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised that Gorsuch would be approved by the chamber before it breaks for Easter.

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Man armed with AR-15 fatally shoots three intruders

9 hours 55 min ago

Responding officers found two dead suspects in the kitchen and a third lying on the driveway outside. (Photo: Burt Mummolo/Twitter)

Authorities in Oklahoma are investigating after a man armed with an AR-15 opened fire on three intruders who forced their way into his mother’s Broken Arrow home Monday afternoon.

According to the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office, the three suspects were pronounced dead at the scene and a fourth suspect, who acted as the getaway driver, is now in police custody.

The resident, whose name has not been made public, said he was asleep just after noon when he heard two loud bangs, which was later determined to be the glass in the back door being broken. The man said he grabbed a rifle and moments later met the intruders in the hallway. Wagoner County sheriff’s deputy Nick Mahoney said there was a brief verbal exchange between the resident and the intruders before he opened fire.

When police arrived on the scene, they found two of the suspects lying on the kitchen floor and the third lying on the driveway outside. All three were pronounced dead at the scene. None of the suspects’ names have been released as of early Tuesday morning, but authorities confirmed they were 15- to 18-years-old.

Elizabeth Marie Rodriguez now faces murder charges after her three accomplices were killed in a botched burglary. (Photo: Wagoner County Jail)

Mahoney said the three suspects were dressed in all black and wearing gloves as well as masks. A knife and a pair of brass knuckles were also recovered. Mahoney said the suspects were obviously there to commit a burglary and the preliminary investigation indicates the resident acted in self-defense when he opened fire on the intruders.

Several hours after the break-in and subsequent shooting, a woman who was later identified as 21-year-old Elizabeth Marie Rodriguez turned herself into the police, who determined she acted as the trio’s getaway driver.

Rodriguez now faces three counts of first-degree murder and first-degree burglary. As in many states, Oklahoma law dictates that a person who is in the commission of a felony when the death of an accomplice occurs can be charged with felony murder.

Mahoney said both the resident and his mother are fully cooperating with the investigation and there’s no indication that the resident was previously acquainted with the suspects.

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Sanctuary city leaders remain defiant as DOJ announces crackdown (VIDEO)

9 hours 57 min ago

At a White House press briefing Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said sanctuary jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with federal law enforcement efforts will not be eligible for certain federal grants.

In his statement, Sessions described sanctuary cities as making America less safe by putting dangerous criminals back on the streets. He said jurisdictions will have to prove compliance with 8 U.S.C. Section 1373 as a condition for receiving Department of Justice grants.

“Failure to deport aliens who are convicted for criminal offenses puts whole communities at risk – especially immigrant communities in the very sanctuary jurisdictions that seek to protect the perpetrators,” said Sessions. “Countless Americans would be alive today – and countless loved ones would not be grieving today – if the policies of these sanctuary jurisdictions were ended.”

The attorney general pointed to the case of Kate Steinle as evidence for his office’s efforts. Steinle was shot and  killed by a Mexican national in San Francisco, a sanctuary city, in July 2015.

“The shooter, Francisco Sanchez, was an illegal immigrant who had already been deported five times and had seven felony convictions,” said Sessions. “Just eleven weeks before the shooting, San Francisco had released Sanchez from its custody, even though ICE had filed a detainer requesting that he be kept in custody until immigration authorities could pick him up for removal.”

Sessions’ announcement comes a week after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released a report detailing which counties refused to transfer custody of undocumented immigrants to the feds. From Jan. 28 to Feb. 3, more than 200 detainers requested by ICE were declined by jurisdictions in 16 states.

If these cities don’t start complying, Sessions said the Justice Department is prepared to withhold portions of the more than $4.1 billion in grant money it’s slated to dole out to local governments this fiscal year.

“Failure to remedy violations could result in withholding of grants, termination of grants, and disbarment or ineligibility for future grants,” Sessions said. “The Department of Justice will also take all lawful steps to claw-back any funds awarded to a jurisdiction that willfully violates Section 1373.”

Still, some sanctuary city leaders remained defiant Monday. “In the absence of a criminal warrant we do not detain anyone after a judge determines that he or she should be released,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s spokesman told the Chicago Sun Times.

The office of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel echoed that sentiment. “Chicago is proud to stand with 34 cities and counties across the country in asking a federal court to prevent the federal government from illegally withholding federal funds,” said Mark McGrath, an Emanuel spokesman.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler also questioned Sessions’ legal ability to withhold funds, and criticized efforts by ICE in his community.

“This weekend, ICE arrested Francisco J. Rodriguez Dominguez, a 25-year-old who has lived in the United States since he was five,” wrote Wheeler in a statement. “Far from being a violent criminal, Francisco is a respected member of the community, a student and a volunteer. This arrest does nothing to promote public safety. Instead, actions like this only serve to tear apart our community and needlessly alter the lives of our residents.”

“Instead of making us safer, the Trump administration is spreading fear and promoting race-based scapegoating,” said California Senate leader Kevin de León in a statement. “Their gun-to-the-head method to force resistant cities and counties to participate in Trump’s inhumane and counterproductive mass-deportation is unconstitutional and will fail.”


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Market analyst advises buying in the ‘Trump slump’

10 hours 10 min ago

Financial writer and market analyst Rich Duprey argues the rumored “Trump slump” should be no reason to avoid investing in gun manufacturers — rather, it’s a perfect time to buy, he said Monday.

“If people aren’t buying guns, manufacturers can’t profit, and their stocks will tank,” he wrote in an article published by the Motley Fool, an international investor service. “While there is indeed a slowdown under way and the stocks of gunmakers have borne the brunt of it, the industry is inherently cyclical and the current downtrend is nowhere near as apocalyptic as has been portrayed.”

Duprey said the three top publicly traded gun companies — American Outdoor Brands, Sturm Ruger, and Olin — are still worth the investment due to “strong management teams and otherwise great operations.”

His sentiment was echoed earlier this month by the National Rifle Association and reinforces a long-term trend identified by the National Shooting Sports Foundation that despite last year’s record breaking gun sales, the industry isn’t falling apart.

“Comparing current data to the record high points doesn’t prove that sales have plummeted,” the NRA said. “It does indicate that the number of background checks performed – and so the number of permit applications and/or firearms purchases – is still at near-record levels.”

Checks processed through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check system serve as a proxy for gun sales nationwide — though not every application correlates to one firearm sold.

Some applicants buy more than one gun at a time and others may just be applying for a concealed carry permit. For these reasons, and some industry analysts — including the NSSF — calculate an “adjusted” figure, which subtracts non-sales related checks from the total monthly number.

Firearms dealers processed just shy of 1.3 million adjusted background checks through NICS in February, a 25 percent increase over January, but still 12 percent behind the same month last year — the system’s biggest ever.

A review of adjusted NICS totals shows last month was the third busiest February on record, though 2016 didn’t land at number one, either.

In February 2013, NICS processed more than 1.6 million adjusted background checks — 147,000 more than in the same month last year. The data correlates with a five-month spike in background checks in 2013 that spanned from January through May.

While it’s impossible to pinpoint an exact cause for the spike, an increase in sales is sometimes linked to mass shootings and the political climate. Both may have factored into the 2013 boom, which followed the December 2012 Sandy Hook shooting and the re-election of Barack Obama.

NICS data shows background checks overall have been increasing steadily over the last two decades and don’t appear tied directly to any presidential administration or political party.

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Purple Heart found in dumpster returned to recipient’s family

10 hours 24 min ago

Twenty years after a Purple Heart was found in a dumpster in Memphis, the medal was reunited with Kate Wilder, the niece of World War II veteran Robert “Bobby” Wilder.

Bobby Wilder served in the Navy and died in 1944. His Purple Heart initially went to the Kate Wilder’s grandmother, and it was eventually handed down to Kate’s son, who also served in the Navy.

Kate said her son kept the medal for awhile, but it was eventually lost. As best she can figure, the Purple Heart ended up in a storage unit, and when the unit was cleaned out, the medal mistakenly ended up in the trash, where it was eventually found by Steve Stefanoff two decades ago.

Stefanoff held onto the medal and tried to find its rightful owner, to no avail. But thanks, in part, to Major Zachariah Fike, who runs Purple Hearts Reunited, a non-profit aimed at, as the name implies, reuniting lost Purple Hearts and other military medals with their rightful heirs, Wilder’s Purple Heart is now in the hands of his niece, Kate.

Kate called the reunion “remarkable.”

[ WJRH ]

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Relic hunter x-rays Civil War musket, finds stacks of Minie balls (VIDEO)

13 hours 42 min ago

Beau Ouimette, who chronicles his metal detecting hobby on his Aquachigger channel on YouTube, dug a musket that turned out to contain more than mud and rust.

After he found a barrel obstruction while trying to preserve the piece, he knew he was on to something. Sending the barrel with his wife to be x-rayed, it turned out there were at least six bullets in one part and potentially several more down towards the chamber. He then offers up possibilities as to why this often happened (see Paddy Griffith’ Battle Tactics of the Civil War or Lt. Col. Dave Grossman’s On Killing for more analysis).

The ‘Chigg also touches on the oft-repeated martial lore of the masses of muskets collected off the battlefield at Gettysburg which comes from Major T.S. Laidley’s assertion of the period (See: “Breech-loading Musket,” United States Service Magazine 5, January 1865; pg. 69) that of 27,574 muskets collected after Gettysburg, 24,000 were loaded, and that several had multiple loads including one that somehow had 23 bullets inside its barrel.

Check out that account below:

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Taking a practical look at the non-NFA 14-inch barrel Mossberg Shockwave (VIDEO)

14 hours 24 min ago

The ever erudite Clint Smith from Thunder Ranch gives his feedback in an in-depth review of Mossberg’s trendy new take on their M590 with a shorty barrel sans tax stamp.

The Shockwave, with a 14-inch barrel and shaped Raptor bird’s head style pistol grip, is a five-shot 12-gauge that is the same overall length as the Mossberg’s 500 Cruiser set up (26-inches) but functions a bit differently.

Clint spends a good amount of time talking about actually employing the Shockwave in a home defense scenario and gives few tips as to what you should keep in mind about the applicability of the gun.

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Gould brothers go head to head in shotgun practice (VIDEO)

14 hours 47 min ago

From 70-yard shots on turkey targets to waxing a flock of helium balloons before they can float away, the exhibition shooters warm up for spring hunting season.

The remote control turkey decoy Rube Goldberg contraption is great. Get it? Con-trap-tion? Anyway, kudos for trimming back on the “extreme” soundtrack.

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