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Investigators ruled the shooting death of a man during a road rage incident in Clayton County, Georgia, as self-defense. Authorities said they will not release the name of the driver, but they said he returned fire at 34-year-old Zachery Everett, of Rex, Georgia, after Everett opened fire on him.
According to a statement, witnesses told investigators they saw the two men arguing on March 10 around 2 pm while stopped at a red light. Everett got out of his car and approached the other vehicle. After arguing a bit more, Everett pulled a gun and started firing at the driver. The driver returned fire, striking Everett at least once.
After the shooting, the driver left the scene and called police to report the incident. The wounded Everett made it back to his car before losing consciousness. When officers arrived, they found Everett unresponsive inside his vehicle. They had him transported to the hospital where he later died.
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Using the rarely encountered Barnitzke gas system, the Steyr GB went down in history as the gun best remembered as the first that Glock beat out for a military contract.
Designed by Herrs Kepplinger and Schweighofer in the 1960s, the big gas-delayed blowback GB (an abbreviation earned from its curious “gas break” system) boasted an 18-round 9mm capacity, which is still impressive today.
As Austrian-based Steyr had long had a virtual lock on producing handguns for the country’s military, going back to the Roth–Steyr M1907 and Steyr-Hahn M1912s of the old Hapsburg Empire, it seems like the GB would be a shoe-in for Austria’s new army pistol competition.
However, this dream was not to be as the Bundesheer instead picked a new polymer-framed 17+1 capacity gun made by a fellow named Glock, which they adopted as the Pistole 80.
With the writing on the wall, Steyr continued to market the GB commercially until the company dropped the poorly-selling pistol from the line in 1988.
And Tim with the Military Arms Channel has the lowdown on the gun, inside and out, in the above video.
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National gun control organizations still use the former presidential candidate and secretary of state to garner attention for events and fundraisers.
This week, the umbrella organization backed by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg emailed invitations to attend some 800 Everytown-sponsored March for Our Lives gun control events signed by Clinton.
“I have always believed in our power to make change if we come together and demand it,” said Clinton. “I hope you’ve been as inspired by these students as I have — now, more than ever, is the time to speak out.”
Clinton, who ran on a platform that often embraced gun politics, has been vocal on social media in recent weeks praising the student-led activists who catapulted to the national scene after a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In one tweet, she placed MSD senior Emma Gonzalez in the same category as Giffords and Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts.
To all the students across our country who took part in #NationalWalkoutDay: Never let anybody tell you your voices don’t make a difference. You‘re an inspiration to millions of Americans who know commonsense gun reform is long overdue. We are with you, and we will not give up.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 15, 2018
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 8, 2018
For her continued efforts for gun control, the Giffords Law Center plans to bestow their 2018 Courageous Leadership Award to Clinton at a black-tie fundraiser to be held in San Francisco this summer. The dinner features opportunities at sponsorship ranging from $1,000 to $50,000.
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The Hi-Lux brands gains a new addition in the way of the MTD-30 Red Dot Turkey Scope, designed specifically for turkey hunters.
Offering a zero-magnification electronic reflex style sight, the MTD-30 is parallax free granting hunters the ability to quickly get on target and down birds. Featuring a brightness sensor that automatically adjusts brightness to ensure the 4 MOA red dot is visible, the sight looks to prevent starbursts in the sight picture while aiming. The sight’s Max Tac Red Dot boasts an anti-reflective flash-kill device. This feature shields the objective lens from direct sunlight, preventing birds from seeing lens flare.
The MTD-30 mounts to Weaver-style one-piece bases or Picatinny rails using a solid Picatinny rail machined into the housing itself.
“This is one of the toughest electronic red-dot sights built today, featuring ruggedly machined aluminum housing,” Hi-Lux said in a statement. “The MTD-30 is a zero-magnification (1x) electronic reflex type sight that is parallax free – allowing the shooter to quickly get on target and quickly take the shot. The 30mm lenses are fully multi-coated to insure the clearest and brightest sight picture possible with a sight of this design.”
The MTD-30 is available from Hi-Lux with a price tag of $120.
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An appeals court found last week that county officials didn’t have jurisdiction to sue a citizen who complained they had an unlawful gun free zone in their government building.
The 1st Texas Court of Appeals ruled that Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis erred when he filed a lawsuit against a local open carry advocate who had penned a letter to county officials asking that they comply with state law and get rid of a gun free zone. Mathis had taken the unusual step of suing Terry Holcomb, executive director of Texas Carry, who initially raised awareness of the issue, leaving the activist on the hook for as much as $100,000 triggering the intervention on Holcomb’s behalf of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
In this week’s ruling, the appeals court found Holcomb had a constitutional right to send the letter without fear of a retaliatory lawsuit.
Justice Harvey G. Brown, writing for the unanimous four-judge panel, said that Waller County’s beef was with Paxton, and not the concerned gun owner, saying, “Holcomb is not a proper party to any lawsuit concerning the County’s disagreement with the Attorney General.” As such, he overturned a lower court’s 2016 ruling in the case and remanded the issue to the lower court for the purpose of “awarding Holcomb his court costs, reasonable attorney’s fees, other expenses incurred.”
Holcomb welcomed the news of the case’s outcome and argued the matter had moved on from courthouse signage to one of a citizen’s right to participate in government without fear of retribution.
“We cannot express enough how pleased we are that the Court agreed with us,” said Holcomb in a statement. “The lawless actions of Waller County simply could not stand.”
For Paxton, whose office is handling the complaint against Waller County moving forward, called the ruling a “great day” for the First Amendment.
“Waller County should be embarrassed and ashamed of using litigation as a tool to silence someone who merely called on it to stop violating a state law,” said Paxton.
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Women are getting due props from Auto Ordnance who announced the new Victory Girls 1911 is officially out the door and shipping to consumers.
The World War II themed pistols celebrate and honor women “whose strength drove industry at home in support of our boys fighting overseas.”
Beginning with a base 1911A1 G1 Model, the Victory Girls is a .45ACP pistol with standard five-inch barrel and seven-round magazine. The handgun measures 8.5-inches overall with a weight hovering around 40 ounces. The Victory Girls touts an adjustable rear sight that can be tweaked for windage and a blade front sight.
Sporting US property wood logo grips, the 1911 has been further customized with deep cut laser engraving of a pin-up girl on the right side with a “Rosie the Riveter” design on the left.
The gun also offers the USAAC Star Roundel on both sides of its frame. Auto Ordnance tops the design off giving the pistol a worn look with a two color Cerakote finish of Armor Black and Gunmetal Gray.
The Victory Girls model 1911 is available now and features a MSRP of $990.
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A Tennessee man faces federal charges for a “lie and try”-style gun purchase at a Walmart near Nashville last month.
Khari Milak Whitehead, 26, of Antioch, allegedly failed two background checks while attempting to buy a semiautomatic rifle “that could hold a lot of bullets” at a Walmart in the Nashville suburb of La Vergne on Feb. 22.
A Rutherford County judicial official committed Whitehead for a mental health evaluation in December after a family member reported his disturbing behavior to the Metro Nashville Police Department, according to a complaint filed last week.
The unidentified family member told law enforcement in November Whitehead became radicalized after watching ISIS propaganda videos on the internet and often lamented “white people are going to get it.” County officials signed two separate court orders for Whitehead’s evaluation on Dec. 7 and Dec. 19, citing his research of mass shootings and attempts to buy ammunition and a sniper rifle.
He also received felony assault charges in July 2013 after brandishing an inert grenade in a “crowded downtown nightclub,” according to court documents. It’s unclear if he was convicted as a result of the incident.
Federal authorities arrested Whitehead Friday for “intentionally making a false statement in connection with the attempted purchase of a firearm.” He faces up to a decade behind bars and a possible $250,000 fine.
Whitehead’s arrest comes days after Attorney General Jeff Sessions promised a renewed focus on prosecuting “lie and try” cases involving disqualified buyers who lie on federal background check forms.
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CVA adds a new long gun to its lineup of Optima mid-level muzzleloaders, rolling out the new CVA Optima V2 LR.
The Optima V2 LR is a long range rifle CVA says is packed with features to help shooters take on distant shots. Sporting a 28-inch Nitride treated stainless steel barrel that is two-inches longer than the Optima’s other configurations, the V2 LR also comes equipped with a thumbhole stock for added stability. The thumbhole stock is ambidextrous and includes a CrushZone recoil pad for a more comfortable shooting experience.
The Optima line features a smilier build to the Accura V2 LR, offering the same trigger-guard with actuated breeching level, internal parts and neutral center-of-gravity trigger. The V2 also delivers CVA’s Quick Release Breech Plug which requires no tools to remove.
The V2 LR tops off its design with a DuraSight Dead-On one-piece scope mount, CVA aluminum PalmSaver Ramrod and reversible hammer spur.
“The Optima V2 LR is essentially a more affordable version of our Accura V2 LR, which after its introduction two years ago became our number one selling Accura model. We expect the Optima V2 LR to have similar appeal, as today’s shooters are looking for more long-range capability from their muzzleloaders,” Dudley McGarity, CVA’s brand manager, said in a press release.
The 43-inch Optima V2 LR with Realtree Xtra Green Camo retails for $371.
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New cartridges come and go, but several, like the .357 Magnum, have withstood the test of time as a beloved, controllable, and capable revolver round. While higher-end guns like Smith & Wesson, Dan Wesson, or Ruger may be out of the price range for many entry-level or lower budget shooters, Brazilian-based Taurus has hammered out a name for themselves in the reasonably priced revolver market—with not just one, but at least four viable .357/.38 SPL wheelguns.
Taurus Tracker 627
The ribbed and ported barrel of Taurus’ Tracker line of wheelguns has become its calling card. Combined with a buy-me-now price tag and a line of appealing calibers, the Tracker has been a stalwart of the company’s lineup for years. The .357/38 version is certainly one of the most popular. The seven-shot stainless 627 Trackers, with their $705 MSRP, are readily available brand spankin’ new around the $400 mark.
The Tracker is available in either a plain four-inch or ribbed 6.5-inch barrel version, with a fully shrouded ejector rod. It’s a viable blend of hunting revolver, sidearm, and range plinkster. With a stainless frame and empty weight of over 40 ounces, recoil is more than manageable, and the adjustable rear sight makes 50-yard accuracy a genuine article. Furthermore, the gun is plain enjoyable to shoot, whether practicing with high-octane hunting loads or introducing a newer shooter with the lighter-recoiling .38 Specials.
The 627 Tracker, along with its bigger brother Tracker 44, lead the way in lower-priced, medium-sized game hunting revolvers, while both the Tracker .17 HMR and Tracker 992 in .22LR are favorites of small game hunters.
The Taurus 605 line of snub-nosed .357/.38 revolvers are at top of the affordability-meets-concealablity list, making them instantly appealing as a combination carry gun, vehicle defense, and a hunter’s backup arm. The five-round DA/SA wheelgun with a two inch barrel is finished off with comfortable-enough, new style Taurus-logo rubber grips and fixed sights. MSRP on the standard, blued Model 605 is a scant $374, with real world prices often at or below three bills, something mostly unheard of anything other than a rimfire or .38.
While the trigger is nothing to write home about, you’d be hard-pressed to find that in a carry revolver. Though some larger-handed shooters may have issues getting all four digits wrapped around the smaller grips, the tradeoff is a deeply concealable and lightweight companion at 24 ounces and just under 6.5-inch long overall. Accuracy is no better or worse than one would expect from a gun this size, with home defense accuracy more than achievable. Though defense .357 Magnum loads are a handful in any small revolver, the big plus to the 605 is having the option to fire either .357 or .38SPL, from a revolver of this stature and cost.
The 605 variants include a matte stainless version as well as a pair of lighter weight, albeit spacey looking Polymer twins, all with a suggested retail price only slightly higher than the standard blued 605 at $390.
If five rounds and the short barrel of the 605 doesn’t trip your trigger, the Brazilian-based company also offers a lesser-known, but bigger-business Model 608. As we have realized now from the final digit of the model number, the 608 naturally holds eight rounds of either .357 or .38SPL. To pack the extra firepower, Taurus builds the 608 on a larger frame with adjustable rear sights, a beefier grip for the larger-pawed shooters, as well as hand-fit actions.
Both the four- and 6.5-inch barrel lengths come factory ported, and with the heftiest weight of the bunch at over 52 ounces empty, this is a wheelgun with more serious, less concealable intentions. Its $729 MSRP makes it the steepest of the Taurus bunch, putting it more into competition with the bigger manufacturer names and making it one of the lesser known, though no less capable options.
News of the Taurus 692 comes hot off the presses, as their first true multi-caliber revolver capable of firing .38SPL, .357 Magnum, and 9mm from the same gun. Though the Model 905 has been around for some time as a 9mm only snub-nosed revolver, the new 692 does it all in one clean package. The seven-shot, matte stainless is expected to ship later this year in both three- and 6.5-inch barrel lengths, complete with porting, ribber grips, and adjustable sights. The package including both cylinders, as well as the company’s “Stellar” moon clips for the 9mm round, is set to retail in the realm of $660. As we have not yet handled the 692, we are unable to speak about further details or accuracy.
Taurus may not be the name most folks recall when thinking of guns passed down through the generations. But at the price of these revolvers, the quality for the cash is a win, and one hunters and shooters won’t be afraid to take into the woods, stuff into the backpack, or tuck into the truck. With Taurus’ Unlimited Lifetime Repair Policy on all Taurus-USA styles, shooters can let loose with less hesitation. With styles, options, and finishes aplenty, there’s a Taurus .357 for every taste and budget.
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Though originally a winner for an Army contract, Sig officials report that every branch including the Coast Guard has placed orders for the modified P320 pistol platform.
Sig’s M17/18 pistol, the winner of the Army’s Modular Handgun System contract last year, is set to be fielded by not only the land service but the Air Force, Marines and Navy as well as the Coast Guard, according to company representatives.
“All services have been involved in MHS since its inception … and they have all committed to ordering guns,” Tom Taylor, chief marketing officer for Sig Sauer, told Military.com, explaining the other services will begin fielding the 9mm handguns later this year to early next year.
The handguns will begin replacing a host of other platforms, including various marks of the M9 Beretta in the Army. As noted in the Navy’s FY 2019 procurement budget justification for the Marine Corps, 35,000 of the Sigs will not only replace M9s but also Colt M45A1 CQB .45ACP pistols and the newly acquired M007 Glock. In Coast Guard service, the gun will augment the Sig P229R which was adopted in 2005. The Air Force has been quietly acquiring the guns and testing their use for compatibility with aircraft ejection seats.
Though based on the P320 series of modular handguns, both Sig and the military have stressed that the M17/18 series are not the same animal as their civilian predecessor. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley went on record last year, saying, “[T]he guts and the internals of the military version of that weapon are different than what you’re going to buy in the gun store or what police are going to be fielded.”
The first batches of the M17/18 were issued to troops of the Fort Campbell-based 101st Airborne Division last November as part of a 190,000-pistol initial buy. The platform will then be fielded to a new Army installation each month until September 2018, except for next March and April.
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Massachusetts treasurer supported state lawmakers in filing a bill to divest the state’s public pension fund from companies that earn through firearm and ammunition sales.
The measure would ensure state money managers — the Pension Reserves Investment Management Board — sell, redeem, divest or withdraw funds invested in companies that generate 15 percent or more in revenue from the sale of guns, gun accessories or ammo.
In a statement, state Treasurer Deb Goldberg described the measure as Massachusetts’ lawmakers standing with gun violence victims and survivors rather than the gun industry.
“In the aftermath of the horrific shooting in Parkland, Florida, I watched as those brave students from Stoneman Douglas High School stood in the balcony watching while the Florida Legislature did nothing,” Goldberg said. “It is clear that traditional approaches have not worked.”
But the bill is a largely symbolic gesture. The pension currently contains $72 billion, but managers would only divest about $5 million — not even 1 percent of 1 percent of the fund — from six companies under the proposed changes. However, divestment could be prevented if it costs the pension 0.5 percent, or about $360 million.
State lawmakers, Rep. Lori Ehrlich and Sen. Cynthia Stone Creem, both Democrats, filed a copy of the bill on Monday in the state House and Senate. They echoed Goldberg’s sentiment.
Ehrlich likened the divestment to the government’s strategy on combatting the dangers of smoking. “As a state, we decided to divest from Big Tobacco because of the harm it causes in our communities. It is time we do the same with guns and ammunition,” she said.
In the 1997, Massachusetts lawmakers passed a similar measure forbidding the fund from investing in companies that generate substantial revenue from tobacco sales. Although pension funds missed out over the years on returns from the tobacco industry, money managers still agree with lawmakers’ decision to divest from products that pose negative consequences to populations.
“By enacting this bill, Massachusetts will stand with thousands of individuals and entities exercising their right as consumers to send the message that we must do more to stop gun violence,” said Creem, who represents Newtown, the site of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting.
Although gun companies make up a tiny portion of investments for public pension funds, the Parkland shooting, which left 17 people dead and 15 others injured, renewed efforts to divest from the gun industry. States like New Jersey and California, which had already divested from companies that make guns illegal in the state, are currently considering it.
Once Florida teachers, including those at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, learned their retirement fund had some $500,000 invested in the holding company for Smith & Wesson, which manufactured the rifle used in the attack, they called on lawmakers to divest.
However, the Florida State Board of Administration pushed back, saying they had a fiduciary responsibility to act on behalf of their clients and beneficiaries, Bloomberg reported.
But in Massachusetts, Goldberg posed her own fiduciary argument, telling local media that stock prices for gun companies are down. In the past year, price per share for American Outdoor Brands declined some 46 percent, for Sturm, Ruger & Company by 5.6 percent, and Vista Outdoor by 21.6 percent.
Also, Remington Outdoor Company, which owns more than a dozen brands including Remington, one of the largest and most iconic gun companies in the country, is on the brink of declaring bankruptcy.
The Massachusetts bill was filed Monday and sent to committee.
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Sightmark brings versatility to its lineup adding a new series of scopes, known as the Latitude line, to its ever growing catalogue of optics.
The Latitude features four long-range scopes with a 4-in-1 zoom ratio and green/red illuminated reticle options. The scopes boast a fully multi-coated scratch-resistant glass with locking fast-focus eyepiece, external zero-stop ring and oversized turrets.
Offering the 10-40×60 F-Class, 10-40×60 Benchrest, 6.25-25×56 F-Class and 6.25-25×56 PRS the Latitude is designed to allow shooters to tackle distance shooting. Equipped with 1/8 MOA on the 10-40×60 FTR and BR models or 1/4 MOA on the 6.25-25×56 FTR, the models deliver “stunning clarity, perfect for reading mirage and other environmental conditions at extended distances.”
The Latitude 6.25-25×56 PRS adds another first-focal-plane option to the Sightmark FFP scope options with .1 MIL windage and elevation adjustments. The company says this model offers a red/green-illuminated PRS reticle “designed specifically for fast, accurate target engagements ant varying distances.”
A sunshade, CR2032 batteries and manual come with the scopes alongside a lifetime warranty. Prices start at $719.
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A California lawmaker intends to gut and amend a bill on agriculture to apply an additional tax on firearms and ammunition to fund school programs.
The measure, AB 2497, was introduced last month as a minor tweak to California’s Agriculture Day but moving forward will morph into a proposal that would provide counselors and armed officers to schools. The funding for the initiative would come from an as yet to be determined tax rate on gun and ammo sales.
“Because of budget cuts, a lot of schools don’t have counselors,” said the bill’s sponsor, Assemblymember Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, referencing the need to spot youth with issues that could escalate to violence. “This is a way to fund counselors and really identify these kids.”
Cooper says he hasn’t determined the tax rate in his proposal, but guns are already subject to a number of fees and taxes in the state. At the federal level, gun makers pay an 11 percent excise tax on guns and ammo to fund Pittman-Robertson Act requirements that go to pay for conservation programs.
In addition, a California retail sales tax of 7.25 percent is applied along with a special $25 DROS fee that goes to fund firearms warning labels and the state’s controversial gun seizure program. The California State Board of Equalization mandates taxes to be paid on guns sent to dealers from out-of-state retailers as well. The state also recently established controls on ammo sales which require licensing and a fee schedule of its own, a program that has gotten off to a rocky start.
Second Amendment groups point out state lawmakers are working to up taxes and fees on gun owners while at the same time looking to cut taxes on marijuana growers and users. Further, they argue the tax unfairly burdens the state’s 13 million gun owners.
“We are going to single out a particular group of law-abiding citizens, and we are going to require them to shoulder the burden that quite frankly all of us as taxpayers need to be meeting,” said Craig DeLuz, a spokesman with the Firearms Policy Coalition.
Cooper plans to introduced his modified agriculture bill in coming days.
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Somewhere in Poland, they have crates of immaculate Circle 11 factory-marked AKMS rifles that have to be turned into parts kits.
The above video follows a random C11 as it is jolted from its slumber inside a wooden crate full of siblings marked “kbk AKM” which is short for “Karabinek” or carbine. Once on the workbench, the gun is shown to have all-matching serial numbers in multiple places as it is disassembled to harvest all the usable parts from it– and we do mean every part. Thankfully, they don’t show the worst parts of what happens to the abandoned receiver and barrel.
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California man sentenced to 46 months in prison for manufacturing, selling firearms without a license
A California man could spend just shy of four years behind bars for making and selling short barreled AR-style rifles and silencers without a license.
A federal judge sentenced 37-year-old Axel Fernando Galvez, of the Watts neighborhood in Los Angeles, to 46 months in prison after he plead guilty in December to two counts of unlicensed manufacturing and dealing in firearms.
Galvez admitted he went extra lengths to conceal the amount of firearm components he was acquiring by buying from multiple sources. He assembled the parts and five silencers at a machine shop where he worked in Los Angeles, according to court records.
Federal authorities say Galvez sold five of these homemade rifles — via a middleman — to an undercover agent with the United States Postal Inspection Service in August. He made the deal believing the agent to be a convicted felon with plans of reselling the firearms in Egypt and the Philippines. He later brokered a second deal to provide the agent another 100 rifles at a “bulk discounted” rate.
Once he completes his prison term, Galvez will spend three years on supervised release and pay a $12,500 fine. He will also be subjected to random searches at anytime by law enforcement.
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Comprising approximately 10-percent of the population, southpaws generally have to learn to live in a right-handed world. In the past, for gun owners, this meant adapting to guns configured for right-handed use. However, times are changing and as customization takes a larger role in gun owners’ arsenal, so do guns designed to adapt to lefties.
More and more pistol companies offer ambidextrous controls to grant left-handed shooters the ability to operate magazine releases, safeties and slide locks/releases more efficiently. The AR-15 platform, with its modular style that already gives shooters the customization capabilities, allows shooters to literally build what they need from the ground up.
Bolt guns, however, have long given lefties a slight headache forcing them to change shooting position or awkwardly reach around the rifle in order to cycle the bolt. Realizing a need for left-specific firearms, more companies are beginning to answer the call and provide more bolt rifle options to southpaws.
Savage Arms currently touts more than 20 left-handed models ranging from tactical rifles to hunting and target competition. Firearms Communication Manager JJ Reich said Savage’s large selection of options has catapulted it to the forefront of the left-handed market.
“Becoming the left-handed leader is not an accident. Part of the genius behind our long-standing, time-proven action designs is versatility. Quite simply, our actions are easier to convert to left-handed,” Reich said in a statement. “Many of our competitors need a completely different receiver design to convert their right-handed rifles to the left. This is time-consuming and expensive, so they often decide to opt out of the left-handed market. Not us.”
Cost has long been a sticking point for southpaw shooters, forcing many to simply learn to put up with right handed configurations to keep costs low. However, as manufacturing costs have dropped and firearms makers have learned to better customize guns the price on left handed guns has steadily started to drop. Many left-handed options are now the same price or cost only slightly more than the “standard.”
It’s not only left-handed shooters who may want to drop some coin on a lefty friendly set-up. Reich said shooters who are right-handed but left dominant also see an advantage to a gun configured for left-handed shooters.
“It is not uncommon for people to tell us at sports shows and through social media channels that they are right-handed yet shoot lefty,” Reich said. “When a right-handed person switches the gun to their left shoulder and uses their dominant eye to aim, they are often more accurate. It’s not uncommon for us to hear about shooters and hunters—those with years of shooting experience—deciding to sell their right-handed guns and buy a left-handed one, especially bolt-action firearms. These folks are shooting more accurately and getting more satisfaction at the range and on their hunts when using a left-handed gun.”
Savage has taken the lead in offering left-handed options, but other large manufacturers like Browning, Remington and Ruger are also taking up the cause. Browning serves up a few lefty models on its X-Bolt line while Remington’s Model 700 divvies up three left compatible options and Ruger sports left handed variants on the Ruger American Rifle series.
While the right-handed faction of firearms will continue to dominate the consumer market, all-in-all the firearms market is ever so slightly left-leaning, so to speak, with more and more affordable options coming on deck for those with southpaw tendencies.
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The chain announced they are exiting the business of firearm retail citing declining sales and a need to optimize floor space.
The news came Friday that Fred Meyers, a branch of the Ohio-headquartered Kroger supermarket chain, will “responsibly phase out” selling guns and ammunition. According to figures reported by the Idaho Business Review, Fred Meyer has gun departments at 45 of its 132 stores in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.
“The company made the decision early last week after evaluating changing customer preferences and the fact that there have already been efforts to steadily reduce this category in Fred Meyer stores over the last several years due to softening consumer demand,” said the retailer in a statement. “More recently Fred Meyer has been transitioning away from gun departments as a result of the ongoing work to optimize space in Fred Meyer stores.”
The company, founded in 1922 in Portland, Oregon, said guns bring in about $7 million annually, but that number is in decline. Of note, parent company Kroger barred sales of firearms and ammunition to adults under 21 earlier this month and the store has been a target for gun control advocates throughout the years. Kroger doubled down on marginalizing firearms-related merchandise by moving to pull gun-related publications from their magazine racks.
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The company, known primarily for its line of compact handguns, has been quietly selling their initial Thompson-branded AR-15s from their Tommy Gun Warehouse outlet in Pennsylvania.
The Kahr Firearms Group — an organization that includes not only the eponymous handgun firm but also Auto-Ordnance, Magnum Research, and Thompson — is headquartered in Greeley, Pennsylvania and reportedly sold their first Thompson AR to a local police chief last December.
Justin Moon, Kahr’s founder and CEO, told The Philadelphia Inquirer recently that he’d like to put one of the iconic guns in every home. “I mean, every American should really have an AR,” he said. “It’s America’s rifle.”
Moon set up his current location in Greeley in 2014 after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo enacted new limits and bans on guns labeled as “assault weapons” in the Empire State. Pennsylvania’s then-Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley was on hand to welcome the company with open arms as Kahr moved into a 600-acre business park in the area. Since then, the company’s co-located Tommy Gun Warehouse outlet has opened — an event that and saw local lawmakers as well Eric Trump drop in. Moon’s brother runs the nearby church that includes the possession of an AR-15 or similar rifle as a symbolic “rod of iron.”
Moon told the Inquirer he plans to start upping his local AR production, with a target price of under $700. “I’m going to make a standard AR-15 with my brand on it,” he said. “The AR-15 is the most popular rifle in America. It’s the most common rifle in America.”
Guns.com has reached out to the Kahr Firearms Group for additional information.
Republican Gov. Matt Mead chose not to veto a measure expanding protections in cases where defensive force may be used and allowed the bill to become law without his signature.
Mead, a former federal prosecutor who has stumped to bring gun industry to the state, stood aside on HB 168, a popular bill that widens areas where no duty to retreat exists and provides immunity from civil liability in aftermath of a reasonable use of force. While the proposal’s sponsor welcomed the move, Mead said in a statement he did not feel the change was needed.
“I believe existing law adequately addresses the concerns raised in the Stand Your Ground Bill,” Mead told as the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.
The measure makes a number of changes to Wyoming’s justifiable use of force and self-defense laws, clarifying that a person attacked in a place they have a right to be has no duty to retreat before they use defensive force. In the event that force leads to a civil lawsuit, the person sued can seek a pre-trial hearing to decide if reasonable force was used, which would result in blocking the suit.
The measure passed the Senate 26-4 and the House 49-11 with the strong support of gun rights advocates to include the National Rifle Association.
Gun control advocates went so far as to take out full-page ads in area newspapers urging the governor to scuttle the bill. “This law only stands to make our state less safe as similar laws in other states have encouraged armed vigilantism and are associated with increases in homicide,” argued Beth Howard with the Wyoming chapter of Moms Demand Action in a statement.
The bill becomes effective July 1, at which point Wyoming will join at least 23 other states that have enshrined Stand Your Ground doctrine into law since 2005.
Mead has been actively courting gun makers to relocate to Wyoming, with Weatherby announcing earlier this year they were joining the ranks of Magpul, Thunder Beast Arms, and Best of the West who are already in the state.
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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf wants input from teachers, parents and state officials on how to make public schools safer.
Wolf and Auditor General Eugene DePasquale announced the School Safety Task Force last week at Penn Wynne Elementary School in Montgomery County, flanked by state police and school administrators.
“Ensuring the safety of Pennsylvanians, especially our children, is my top priority as Governor,” Wolf said. “I am creating a school safety task force to ensure we are doing everything we can to make sure that our schools are a safe place for our children to learn. By working together and listening to those on the front lines, we can find solutions that will improve school safety, security, and preparedness.”
The task force will hold regional meetings throughout the spring. Members will review “active shooter” drill mandates, vet policy changes, discuss the impact of increased funding and measure the effectiveness of student support, including mental health services.
“The key here is we need to listen,” Wolf told WHYY. “We don’t want to say here’s what you ought to do. We need to listen to teachers, we need to listen to law enforcement officials, we need to listen to parents, we need to listen to the students. And that’s what this task force is about.”
Wolf assembled the task force a month after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida left 17 dead and 15 wounded. The massacre reignited debate around gun control and thrust student-turned-activists into the limelight.
“There’s simply no way after Parkland that gun safety isn’t going to be part of the discussion,” DePasquale said. “But we also want to make sure that’s not the only thing we’re talking about.”
Wolf appointed four vice chairs of the task force, including Charles Ramsey, chairman of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and Philadelphia’s former police commissioner; Mark DiRocco, executive director of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators; Judy Morgitan, immediate past president of the Pennsylvania Association of School Nurses and Practitioners; and Bonita Allen, president of the Pennsylvania Parent Teacher Association.
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