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Updated: 2 hours 31 min ago

Mayors group blast national concealed carry reciprocity bills

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 08:22

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaking at the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Miami this week, next to conference president, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. (Photo: Michael Appleton/NY Mayor’s Office)

In their meeting in Miami this week, the U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted a resolution opposing legislation to recognize concealed carry permits nationwide.

The group’s agenda going into the meeting included a pledge to develop a consensus around gun safety and gun violence initiatives and, in a move backed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel, called on Congress to protect cities from “the threat” of concealed carry reciprocity legislation.

“Such legislation is dangerous as it would damage state and local governments’ ability to craft gun laws appropriate to their needs; and…the goals of this legislation are completely antithetical to all of the efforts to reduce and prevent gun violence,” says the adopted resolution.

The conference, formed of 1,049 mayors of towns and cities with a population larger than 30,000, oppose House H.R. 38 and Senate S.446, which would essentially allow anyone with a valid carry permit to use it in any city, and potentially allowing some to carry that in some circumstance do not meet local requirements.

The resolution mirrors a warning issued earlier this month by a separate municipal group, the National League of Cities that argues: “There are many other reasons why this legislation is bad for cities — and when preemption of this magnitude poses a direct threat to cities and their residents, local elected officials should make their voices heard.”

Gun control advocates associated with former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown organization welcomed the news from Miami, saying the legislation which now has 200 backers in the House would be a race to the bottom in terms of handgun carry licensing.

“Under ‘Concealed Carry Reciprocity,’ Congress would gut local public safety laws and turn the weakest state’s laws effectively into nationwide laws, forcing states to allow domestic abusers, people with violent histories, and people who lack even the most basic gun safety training to carry concealed guns in public,” said Everytown President John Feinblatt in a statement.

The sponsor of the House measure, U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson, R-NC, pointed out in a statement issued by his office that his bill doesn’t change the fact that firearm purchasers still must undergo a background check when buying a gun from a dealer, or dictate gun free zones.

“Contrary to this resolution, my bill to provide law-abiding citizens the right to carry concealed across state lines will not increase crime or violence,” Hudson said. “It is unfortunate that this group of mayors has decided to parrot the talking points of anti-Second Amendment crusader Michael Bloomberg who has vowed to spend millions to stop my bill instead of working to uphold the Constitutional right of all Americans. Simply put, this resolution is a bridge too far.”

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Categories: Gun News

Question of racial bias raised after white officer shoots black colleague

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 08:14

Authorities investigate after an exchange of gunfire that occurred during the pursuit of a stolen vehicle. (Photo: Fox 2)

A white St. Louis police officer — saying he feared for his safety — shot and wounded an off-duty black colleague who was assisting during a pursuit last week. The incident refreshes the question of how race plays a role in when law enforcement decides to use deadly force.

“This happens to be the first time in the national discourse that we’re aware of a black professional, or a law enforcement officer himself, being shot or treated as an ordinary black guy on the street and we can see that this is a real problem,” said Rufus Tate, an attorney for the black officer’s union, to local media.

Tate said there’s no description in the police report that the 38-year-old off-duty officer with 11 years on the force acted in a threatening manner, but rather “there is this perception that a black man is automatically feared.”

According to June 22 statement by the St. Louis Police Department, the shooting occurred on June 21 after a high-speed police chase ended when three suspects crashed a stolen vehicle after hitting spike strips in the off-duty officer’s neighborhood in downtown St. Louis.

Leaving their vehicle, the suspects opened fire on responding officers, who backed off a bit before pursuing them on foot. Fearing for their safety, they returned fire, striking a 17-year-old suspect in the ankle. They arrested another suspect, also 17, but the third got away.

After hearing the commotion, the off-duty officer went to assist the responding officers. Armed with his service weapon, he approached his colleagues. At first, they didn’t recognize him and ordered him to the ground, but when the off-duty officer complied, they then realized who he was and he approached them.

Moments later, another officer arrived on the scene, observed the off-duty officer walking toward the responding officers and, fearing for his and their safety, fired at him, striking him in the arm. St. Louis police called it “friendly fire.”

That officer was described as a white male, 36 years old and an eight-year police veteran.

Per department policy, the officers involved in the incident — seven total — have been placed on administrative leave. The department’s Force Investigative Unit is reviewing the matter.

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Categories: Gun News

Scalise transferred out of ICU after congressional shooting

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 06:46

Staff at the Medstar Washington Hospital Center transferred Rep. Steve Scalise out of intensive care last week — nine days after a 7.62mm round tore through his left hip, leaving the House majority whip in grave condition.

“Congressman Steve Scalise’s continued good progress allowed him to be transferred out of the Intensive Care Unit on Thursday (June 22),” the hospital said Friday. “He remains in fair condition as he continues an extended period of healing and rehabilitation.”

Scalise and four others were shot June 14 at a baseball field in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, about 10 miles outside of the capitol.

The congressman and about two dozen other Republican lawmakers and staffers had gathered that morning for one last practice ahead of the annual charity Congressional Baseball Game scheduled the following day when a deranged gunman opened fire on the field, striking Scalise, Special Agents Crystal Griner and David Bailey, Republican aide Zach Barth and Tyson Foods lobbyist Matt Mika.

The shooter, 66-year-old James Hodgkinson, died later the same day at a D.C.-area hospital after a shootout with Griner, Bailey and the Alexandria Police Department.

The officers, Barth and Mike have all been released from the hospital since the shooting.

Scalise, who underwent three surgeries to stop internal bleeding and repair damage to organs and shattered bones, was upgraded to fair condition Thursday ahead of his transfer out of the ICU.

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Categories: Gun News

Army tests high energy laser mounted on AH-64 Apache gunship (VIDEO)

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 06:44

Announced this month, military contractor Raytheon and the U.S. Army Apache Program Management Office, working with U.S. Special Operations Command, successfully tested their laser at New Mexico’s White Sands Missile Range.

In a press release, the company bills the test as the first successful use of a fully integrated laser system from a helicopter to engage a target, which was reportedly zapped from 1.4 km away while the Apache was airborne. The above video shows the engagement, but sadly not the aftermath.

“Our goal is to pull the future forward,” said Art Morrish, vice president of Advanced Concepts and Technologies for Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems. “This data collection shows we’re on the right track.”

Guidance for the beam was via a version of their Multi-Spectral Targeting System, an electro-optical/ infrared system used on a number of drones and manned aircraft already.

That’s not a water heater-sized personal massager under the stub-wing pylon (Photo: U.S. Army)

The company uses a Planar Waveguide structure high energy laser which was originally designed to detect and track vehicles and aircraft.

The Apache-based tests have been planned since at least last May, with SOCOM Project Manager Col. John Vannoy noting at the time that lasers could possibly be more efficient than expending ordnance, especially on low-value targets.

“I’m talking about vehicles, maybe generators, those kinds of structures – vice sending a missile, which can be very costly,” said Vannoy.

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Categories: Gun News

Tips for recoil mitigation when the selector switch is set to Freedom (VIDEOS)

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 06:44

Ziga with Polenar Tactical came all the way from Slovenia to show off how to tame the Teutonic room broom that is an MP5 clone– and others.

Virginia-based Zenith makes a ton of true to form roller-locked MP5 clones (MKE Z-5s in their parlance) but like any SMG with a high rate of fire, they can be tricky to control sometimes. This is where Ziga taps in with a couple of tips to let Freedom ring.

As a bonus, and if you want to see a bigger caliber, below Polenar shows off an M70 (in 7.62x39mm) as well as an AKS74u (in 5.45x39mm), both set to giggle.

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Categories: Gun News

Someone stole Billy the Kid’s gun… sort of

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 06:44

So he wasn’t the real William H. Bonney, a.k.a. Billy the Kid, but Emilio Estevez played the part in the 1988 film “Young Guns” and someone stole his Glock over the weekend.

Estevez was staying at the Oceana hotel in Santa Monica, California, when he left his car with the valet to be parked. Two days later, the 55-year-old member of the Brat Pack discovered his Glock had been taken from his car, along with some ammo.

Sources say there was no sign of forced entry, but it’s unclear where the gun was located inside the vehicle or whether it was in plain view for passing criminals to see.

The incident remains under investigation and neither Estevez or Oceana management have offered comment on the event.

[ TMZ ]

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Categories: Gun News

Judge upholds St. Louis Zoo’s gun ban

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 23:05

A Missouri judge upheld a gun ban at the St. Louis Zoo in a ruling issued last week.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Joan Moriarty said the zoo qualifies as a gun-free zone under state law because it serves as both an educational facility — with a preschool and multiple children’s programs serving more than 486,000 students annually — and a gated amusement park.

“The zoo has shown that the safety, patronage and image of the zoo will be compromised if visitors are permitted to carry firearms or other weapons on zoo property, which would significantly harm the level of visitorship, as well as the mission, the public image and autonomy of the zoo as an institution,” Moriarity said in her ruling Friday.

The ruling comes after a two-year battle between the state and Cincinnati-based gun activist Jeffry Smith, who in June 2015 threatened to lead a group of armed protesters into the 90-acre facility in defiance of its signage banning guns.

“That signage, unless it’s backed up by case law or statutory law, is nothing more than the zoo’s attempt to reinforce their biases and to deceive people into not exercising their rights,” he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in June 2015. “This is not about protecting oneself from the wildebeests in the zoo. This is about the zoo deceiving people into thinking they don’t have that choice of whether to bring a gun in or leave it in a car.”

Smith’s protest stemmed from a May 2015 incident involving fellow gun rights activist and former security guard, Sam Peyton, 40, of Springfield, Missouri. Peyton said zoo security improperly detained him and questioned him over the empty holster he’d worn for two-and-a-half hours while visiting the zoo with his wife on Memorial Day. He told security he’d left his gun stored in his vehicle, but officers still forced the couple to leave or face police intervention.

“For me to be harassed for an empty holster, that was ridiculous,” Peyton told the newspaper of the incident. “Why was I put out of the zoo for an empty holster? If they can’t explain that, I want an apology.”

Smith ultimately entered the park wearing an empty holster, according to the newspaper.

Smith’s lawyer, Jane Hogan told the newspaper Monday both disagree with the judge’s “overly-broad interpretation” of Missouri’s gun laws and will appeal to a higher court.

“To say that it’s a school or an amusement park, then any McDonald’s that has a playground would be an amusement park because they have rides and sell food,” Hogan said. “The legislature has given us no guidance here. When they say ‘amusement park,’ we don’t know what they mean because they use ‘place of amusement’ in other statutes. So we have to assume they mean something different.”

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Categories: Gun News

Philando Castle’s family awarded $3 million in settlement

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 12:25

Valerie Castile, mother of Philando Castile, speaks about her reaction to a not guilty verdict for the officer who killed her son during a traffic stop last July. (Photo: Renee Jones Schneider/Star Tribune via AP)

The family of Philando Castile, a black concealed carrier gunned down by a police officer during a traffic stop, settled a wrongful death suit with the village of St. Anthony, attorneys for the family and the city said Monday in a joint statement.

Castile’s mother, Valerie Castile, acting as trustee for the next-of-kin, will receive $2.995 million, according to the statement, adding the monies will be paid through the city’s coverage with the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust rather than taxpayer dollars.

“The city and the trustee were able to reach this agreement avoiding a federal civil rights lawsuit which may have taken years to work its way through the courts exacerbating the suffering of the family and of the community,” the statement says.

The decision to settle comes as part of an effort to help ease the tension between authorities and an outraged public brought on by Castile’s unnecessarily violent death and the acquittal of the officer who pulled the trigger.

The agreement comes 10 days after a jury found Officer Jeronimo Yanez not guilty of second-degree manslaughter. On the same day of the verdict, St. Anthony announced Yanez would no longer serve as an officer with its police department.

Yanez shot and killed 32-year-old Castile last July during a traffic stop in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights. Castile told Yanez he was licensed to carry a firearm and then reached for his wallet. Yanez fired his weapon seven times at Castile, with five bullets striking him.

After the trial, authorities released police dash cam video of the incident. In the video, Castile tells Yanez that he has a firearm to which Yanez responds by saying, “Ok. Don’t reach for it. Don’t pull it out.” Then seconds later, Yanez pulled his gun and opened fire.

Castile’s girlfriend brought national attention to the incident when she streamed moments after the shooting on Facebook Live. The video shows a frantic Yanez yelling and pointing his weapon at Castile, who sat slumped over and bloodied in the driver’s seat. Castile’s girlfriend and her four-year-old daughter were in the background.

Yanez’s attorneys argued the shooting was justified as the officer thought he was in fear for his life. At the time of the incident, he thought Castile fit the description of a robbery suspect and was reacting to the presence of a gun. Also, since he smelled marijuana coming from inside the car, he thought Castile was capable of making a reckless and violent decision like drawing his gun. So when Castile reached near his pocket with a U-shape grip, Yamez opened fire.

Both the verdict and the incident sparked national outrage, with many describing the issue as a pattern of racial profiling by police. Although the carrying of a concealed weapon was factor in Castile’s death, major gun rights organizations that advocate carrying concealed weapons for public safety have not commented on the issue.

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Categories: Gun News

Supreme Court turns away California ‘may-issue’ concealed carry challenge

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 12:14

Four Justices were needed to grant review of the case. In the end, only Associate Justices Neil Gorsuch and Justice Clarence Thomas spoke to Peruta’s merits. (Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined a petition to hear an appeal in a case challenging California’s strict concealed carry permitting practices – leaving two justices to cry foul.

The nation’s highest court swatted away a chance to let lower courts know it meant what it said in its 2008 Heller decision over gun rights issues by taking the case of a San Diego man, Edward Peruta, whose saga to obtain a permit in that county started in 2009 and has been in federal court ever since his subsequent refusal because he could not show “good cause” as to why he felt the need to carry a gun.

Submitted to the high court in January, Peruta has been distributed for conference by the justices 12 times, needing just four of the jurists to agree to accept the case for review. However, even with the addition of Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch in recent weeks, the petition was denied on Monday.

Gorsuch did, nonetheless, join conservative bulwark Justice Clarence Thomas, in a scathing eight-page dissent, springing to the defense of the merits of the Peruta case.

Thomas argued the court should have taken Peruta, saying the logic used by an en banc panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit to overturn an earlier pro-gun ruling was “indefensible, and the petition raises important questions that this Court should address.”

The dissenting Justices contrasting Peruta with Heller, in which the court, in an opinion penned by the late Justice Antoin Scalia, spoke to the right to carry firearms in general.

“I find it extremely improbable that the Framers understood the Second Amendment to protect little more than carrying a gun from the bedroom to the kitchen,” said Thomas.

Pointing out that 26 states had supported the Peruta challenge, and that a host of lower courts have issued opinions on both sides of the issue, Thomas held that the nation’s high court dropped the ball by not settling the matter.

“Even if other Members of the Court do not agree that the Second Amendment likely protects a right to public carry, the time has come for the Court to answer this important question definitively,” he said. “Hence, I do not see much value in waiting for additional courts to weigh  in, especially when constitutional  rights are at stake.”

Thomas argued the Supreme Court in recent years has shown extreme reluctance to hear gun cases, therefore treating the “Second Amendment as a disfavored right,” going so far to point out that the Court has not heard an argument on the right to keep and bear arms since the 2010 McDonald case– a seven-year drought during which the Justices heard approximately 35 First Amendment and 25 Fourth Amendment cases.

“This discrepancy is inexcusable, especially given how much less developed our jurispru­dence is with respect to the Second Amendment as compared to the First and Fourth Amendments,” said Thomas.

In closing, the 69-year-old Justice who replaced Thurgood Marshall on the bench in 1991 after a nomination by President George H.W. Bush, spoke to the core of the Second Amendment.

“For those of us who work in marbled halls, guarded constantly by a vigilant and dedicated police force, the guarantees of the Second Amendment might seem antiquated and superfluous,” he said. “But the Framers made a clear choice: They reserved to all Americans the right to bear arms for self-defense. I do not think we should stand by idly while a State denies its citizens that right, particularly when their very lives may depend on it.”

Reaction

Gun control advocates were quick to claim victory.

“The Supreme Court’s decision not to review Peruta v. County of San Diego is a win for gun safety,” said Eric Tirschwell, litigation director for Everytown for Gun Safety in a statement. “The Peruta decision is consistent with four other federal appeals courts all across the country that have found the Second Amendment leaves plenty of room for states and localities to make their own determinations about who can carry a concealed handgun in public.”

The case was backed directly by the National Rifle Association and its state arm in California. The organization on Monday found the denial to take up the case by the high court disappointing.

“As Justices Thomas and Gorsuch correctly stated, too many courts have been treating the Second Amendment as a second-class right,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s lobbying arm. “That should not be allowed to stand. As the Supreme Court stated in its landmark decision in Heller v. District of Columbia, the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. The framers of our Constitution did not intend to limit that right to the home.”

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Categories: Gun News

Researcher suggests gun related violence prevention, Second Amendment ‘not mutually exclusive’

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 11:18

A Boston-area professor said last week a middle ground exists between protecting the Second Amendment and methods of reducing gun-related violence.

In “Broadening the Perspective on Gun Violence: An Examination of the Firearms Industry, 1990–2015,” Boston University School of Public Health professor Dr. Michael Siegel said he wanted to frame gun research in a different context.

“Research on firearm violence tends to focus on two elements — the host (i.e., victims of firearm violence) and the environment (i.e., gun policies),” he said in the article’s introduction, published Thursday. “But little attention has been paid to the agent (the gun and ammunition) or the vector (firearm manufacturers, dealers, and the industry lobby).”

According to federal data, firearms manufacturing in America tripled between 2000 and 2013 — the last year Seigel studied.

In that year alone, manufacturers produced 4.4 million pistols, 4 million rifles, 1.2 million shotguns, 725,000 revolvers and 495,000 miscellaneous firearms, according to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Firearms manufacturing dipped 16 percent the following year to just over 9 million produced.

“[Manufacturers] have reinvented guns not as a recreational sport or tool but as a symbol of freedom and security,” Siegel told ABC News Thursday.

Siegel said the increased manufacturing of high-caliber pistols, especially, points to a consumer’s growing interest in self-defense — and a similar need for a new perspective on gun-related violence as a public health issue, not a criminal justice one.

“Ultimately, a better understanding of the products on the market may have implications for improving firearms as consumer products, such as fostering changes in design to increase safety or changes in corporate practices to better protect consumers, as has been done for tobacco products,” the report concludes.

Siegel said the study, published last week in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, doesn’t mean to imply gun owners should lose their right to bear arms, but rather society must create an effective way to weed out those more prone to violent acts.

“They are not the enemy in public health,” he said. “There are ways to reduce gun violence while valuing gun owners’ values. … It has been painted too long as mutually exclusive.”

Larry Keane, general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, reiterated the organization’s long-standing opposition to viewing gun-related violence through a public health lens.

“Guns are not a disease,” he told ABC News. “There is no vaccine or health intervention for the criminal misuse of firearms.”

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Categories: Gun News

ATK says no arbitration in HK Army ‘Punisher’ contract breach suit

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 11:12

A U.S. Army acquisitions representative looks through the scope of the XM25 shoulder-fired 25mm airburst grenade system, dubbed “the Punisher.” (Photo: Defense Review)

Aerospace and defense contractor Orbital ATK on Thursday opposed a request from gun maker Heckler & Koch to dismiss a breach of contract suit filed in by the former, who argued the gunmaker violated the terms of a $35 million supply agreement.

HK filed the request in a Minnesota court last month, holding up a “teaming agreement,” which the two parties signed concurring to settle any dispute privately through arbitration. ATK argued the dispute in question was over a multi-million dollar subcontract that is separate from the teaming agreement, which does not have an arbitration clause, according to court documents.

Further, ATK argues, the teaming agreement’s arbitration clause “specifically exclude[es] Subcontract Disputes,” according to court documents.

The dispute in question is over HK’s failure to fulfill its agreed contract to supply the U.S. Army with a shoulder-fired 25mm airburst grenade system dubbed “the Punisher.”    

ATK claimed HK prematurely pulled out of the $35 million agreement to supply the “XM25 Counter-Defilade Target Engagement System,” which can read the distance between the operator and an enemy in a fortified position, according to the complaint filed in January.

To sidestep ATK’s breach-of-contract claim, HK used the St. Petersburg Declaration of 1868, a treaty banning the use of certain projectiles against people. The provision bears resemblance to the principals held in the 1973 Geneva Conventions, which cite the 150-year-old St. Petersburg clause banning the employment of “any projectile of a weight below 400 grammes” or just over 14 ounces against any person.

“HK obtained a legal opinion from a German lawyer positing that the XM25, as designed, could theoretically be used in a manner that violated international laws of war,” the complaint says.

ATK claims the XM25 wouldn’t be used against enemy combatants who aren’t seeking cover behind a fortified position, so the St. Petersburg Declaration doesn’t apply.     

It was because HK breached the subcontract that ATK was unable to deliver the 20 units to the Army on time that the military terminated its contract with ATK in April, the defense contractor argued.

After extensive negotiation efforts, the contractor failed to come up with an acceptable alternative resolution, Army spokesman said in an email to Military.com last month.

ATK claims the German gunmaker caused direct damages of more than $27 million, including “the costs of re-procurement, consideration required by the U.S. Government in exchange for the schedule extension required as a result of HK’s breaches of contract, lost profits” and other associated costs.

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Categories: Gun News

Dispatches from gun country: Openly gay 2nd Amendment-loving American

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 10:16

Chris Cheng, History Channel’s Top Shot Season 4 Champion and NRA News commentator, photographed in San Francisco, California. He sports his Houlding Precision AR-15 style rifle with a Daniel Defense 18-inch barrel with AAC muzzle brake and Magpul goodies. The scope is a Leupold Mk 6 1-6×20 CMR-W. The pistol is a Tier 1 Glock 19 modified by Salient Arms International.

Chris Cheng quit a well-paying job at Google to compete in History Channel’s Top Shot Season 4. He won. Since then, he published a book called “Shoot to Win,” he’s been an NRA News commentator, a regular contributor to the NSSF and a vocal supporter of the Second Amendment as an openly gay American.

When my father first taught me how to shoot a gun at the age of six, I remember him teaching me a lot about safety and personal responsibility. Those simple life lessons have stayed with me through adulthood. When I read about some folks expressing shock that someone as young as six years old would be shooting a gun, I think about how their perspective is probably coming from a lack of knowledge and diversity in their lives. I was once that six year old kid shooting a gun, and I’d like to think I came out OK like millions of other gun owners. It’s important that gun owners are vocal and visible to help break down preconceived notions and stereotypes about our community.

As an openly gay American, I appreciate the similarities between gun rights and gay rights. Just as we want anti-gunners to leave us alone, we also want anti-gay proponents to leave us alone. Let us live our lives in peace. We aren’t causing anyone harm. Gun people and gay people are simply seeking safety, security, and happiness, like anyone else. As a principled nation, I’m confident that freedom will always prevail.

It’s my hope that speaking in support of freedom will help us retain and gain more freedom in America. I share my story and perspectives in my book ‘Shoot to Win’ to help show that exercising our Second Amendment rights can have positive results. It sure changed my life when I won the title of Top Shot, a $100,000 cash prize, and an opportunity to walk away from a well-paying job at Google.

Everyday, I am appreciative and thankful that I am living the American Dream. The Second Amendment community created the environment for me to succeed, and therefore I feel a responsibility to pay it forward.

Read more perspectives on America’s gun culture in Ben Philippi’s book “We The People.”

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Categories: Gun News

British police chiefs to consider issuing firearms to all frontline officers

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 10:10

Counterterrorism officers patrol the area near a recent attack on London Bridge. (Photo: Getty Images)

Police chiefs in the United Kingdom will soon be considering whether or not to issue firearms to all frontline officers in England and Wales after a series of terror attacks have left the country searching for solutions.

The Guardian reported a discussion paper has been drafted on the subject, intended to spark debate at the next meeting of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).

The two-day meeting, scheduled for July 12, will most likely not immediately result in a wider issuance of firearms to law enforcement officers, but could mark a turning point in the overall discussion.

Other ideas up for debate, according to Guardian sources, include firearms training for frontline officers, staffing more specially trained firearms officers in cars, and issuing handguns to some patrol officers.

A recent Sky News poll found most Britons, approximately 72 percent of those surveyed, thought police should routinely carry firearms.

Fewer than 5 percent of police officers in England and Wales carry guns, Quartz reported. Out of the 124,000 police officers employed in the two territories, 5,600 are authorized firearms officers.

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Categories: Gun News

Armed bank robber known as ‘Buckeye Bandit’ gets 20 years

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 10:06

Ikechi W. Emeaghara, 27, also known as the Buckeye Bandit (Photo: ABC6/Law enforcement)

An armed bank robber known as the Buckeye Bandit was sentenced to 20 years in prison Friday.

Ikechi W. Emeaghara, 27, brandished a firearm and demanded money from tellers at eight banks around the Columbus-area of Ohio from October 2013 to October 2016, according to a Justice Department news release.

Emeaghara pleaded guilty to the eight counts of armed robbery in March, which included crimes committed at the following locations:

  • October 31, 2013, at the Wesbanco Bank on South Stygler Road in Gahanna
  • November 30, 2013, at the Cooper State Bank on West 5th Avenue in Columbus
  • December 6, 2013, at the Wesbanco Bank on South Stygler Road in Gahanna
  • July 9, 2014, at the Smart Federal Credit Union on North High Street in Columbus
  • January 12, 2015, at the Cooper State Bank on Sawmill Road in Columbus
  • April 26, 2015, at the Cooper State Bank on Sawmill Road in Columbus
  • March 17, 2016, at the First Merit Bank on East Powell Road in Powell
  • October 21, 2016, at the Key Bank on Frantz Road in Columbus

Emeaghara was also ordered to pay restitution to the banks and will have to undergo five years of supervised release following his 20-year prison term.

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Categories: Gun News

Gear Review: Elby Mosin-Nagant sight tool for rifles and carbines

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 08:45

The author takes aim with his Mosin-Nagant. Note that the bayonet isn’t for looks and these rifles were sighted in with the bayonet on. (Photo: Terril Herbert)

I have a long and stormy history with the Mosin-Nagant family of rifles and carbines which I can bore you with another day. Despite not appealing to American patriotism nor modern efficiency, everyone seems to own a Mosin-Nagant. The aftermarket for this World War II era rifle is nothing short of astounding, though some purists like myself would prefer to keep the rifle in stock military condition. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t pay to have tools to fix potential issues.

Such an issue happened after I decided to dive back into the Mosin fan club. I picked up a 1942 made 91/30 for a handloading project and, off the bench with cheap ammo, I got an amazing group (judged against accurate competitors like the 7×57 Spanish and 6.5 Swedish Mausers). Unfortunately, the sights, despite being fixed in place with the witness mark and sight base aligned perfectly, were well off — about two feet off to the left, peppering my backup target instead of the one in my sights.

The setup for the Elby Range Buddy is as simple as it comes. (Photo: Terril Herbert)

I took the rifle to my shop, locked it down and proceeded and break out the typical Communist solution—a hammer and a chisel (I didn’t have any sickles handy). With the rifle secure, I tapped and later banged on the front sight in my attempt to move it. No dice. Years of rust, corrosion and grit had the front sight tight in the dovetail as if it was welded in place.

Traditional methods failing, I adopted a modern one and took to the internet. After a quick search, I found a cool little sight adjustment tool produced by Elby and distributed by Tandemkross. They have several sight adjustment tools to include one for the 91/30 and a different one for the m44/Type 53 rifles and the early M38. I selected the 91/30 tool, paid the tidy $30 sum and got it in the mail a few days later.

The Range Buddy works over this stubborn sight with ease and precision. (Photo: Terril Herbert)

The Range Buddy

The Elby Mosin-Nagant Range Buddy consists of a 0.75 inch block made from tempered 6000 series aluminum that is slotted to fit over the barrel of the rifle. The real work is done by a steel turn screw threaded into the block. The screw has increments etched on the head for precise adjustments and is torqued using a provided Allen wrench.

On the range, I shot a group to make sure my previous outings were not in error. No hits on the target, but puffs of dirt were kicked up on the right.

A great group, but not the intended target. (Photo: Terril Herbert)

To use the “range buddy”, take out the cleaning rod and remove the bayonet. The buddy will slip over the muzzle with ease. Finger tighten the screw to hold it against the sight base. Next, take the Allen wrench and crank the screw tighter against the sight. This moved over the stubborn front sight with ease and I finally got on paper. To adjust, move the front sight in the opposite direction of where the bullet needs to go. I fired another group with the device still attached and made adjustments on the fly, before I was able to put my rounds right above the intended target.

Next, I removed the range buddy and remounted the bayonet. As the Mosin-Nagant was originally sighted with the bayonet attached, this allowed the bullets to drop lower, to the point of aim — perfectly sighted in about 10 minutes.

Though $30 is a bit high to pay for a essentially a uni-tasker tool, the ease of use, precision of adjustment and the reality of owning a vintage Mosin-Nagant, make it well worth the price. (Photo: Terril Herbert)

A good buy

Some Mosins are more readily adjustable than others, but after multiple wars and plenty of questionable refurbishments, it is wise to have the right tool for the job if you intend to do anything serious with a Mosin. Hitting what you are aiming at is a lot more enjoyable than having to hold over and the $30 I spent on the Range Buddy is a far better solution than beating on the rifle or wasting ammunition.

For quick, precise adjusting and for breaking those stubborn sights, Elby’s Range Buddy is a great buy and a must for the range box.

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Categories: Gun News

NYC DA: Concealed carry reciprocity bill ‘supported, I am sure, by ISIS’

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 08:26

New York County District Attorney Cy Vance (Photo: Getty Images)

New York County District Attorney Cy Vance offered some interesting takes on the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act this weekend, including saying the bill was most likely supported by the Islamic State.

Vance commented on the bill to radio host John Catsimatidis during a Sunday interview on AM 970 in New York. He argued the proposal, which was drafted to treat concealed carry permits like drivers’ licenses nationwide, would make New York City more susceptible to violent attacks.

“If that bill passes, I believe the safety, and the greater safety we have achieved will be at risk,” he said.

The legislation, which now has 200 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives, would amend federal law to allow lawful gun owners to carry concealed handguns in any state that permits the practice, so long as those individuals are eligible to carry concealed firearms in their home state.

Vance argued an increase in violence could occur if the bill becomes law, as people from states with looser gun laws than New York would be allowed to carry concealed firearms in the city.

“It would be completely legal for a person to bring a loaded gun or guns in New York as long as it was legal to possess them in the person’s home state,” he said. “A guy from Idaho, where there’s no permitting requirement whatsoever, could carry his gun into New York City loaded, into Times Square.”

The prosecutor even went so far as to say that the Islamic State would be in favor of the bill and most likely were following its progression in Congress.

“This bill is supported, I am sure, by ISIS, and let me tell you why and I don’t think I am overstating it,” Vance said.

Though the measure would not affect the purchasing of guns in any state, Vance chose to cite an article from an Islamic State magazine that talked about ways to buys guns in the U.S.

“ISIS points its readers to America and how they could easily obtain guns by going to states where there are no permitting requirements or buy guns in one of the five thousand private gun shows around the country where no background checks are taken,” he said. “So ISIS is paying careful attention to this bill as well.”

Vance added: “I think Congress members have to think long and hard about whether they want to play into the hands of these terrorists. And New York is the number one terror target in the country, John, you know that. We don’t want to have folks being able to buy guns in Idaho, people who radicalize carry them into New York City and be completely legal until they pull the guns out in Times Square and start shooting.”

Vance also cited gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety, which estimated that two million more loaded guns would make their way into the city if the bill becomes law.

The measure has been referred to the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations, but is not yet scheduled for a hearing.

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Categories: Gun News

2 suspects killed in home invasion caught on camera (VIDEO)

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 08:23

Two would-be robbers were killed by a California homeowner late Wednesday night after they entered his garage and demanded he open a safe, only to find out that’s where the man stored a loaded gun.

The home invasion unfolded around 11:40 p.m. at a home in Brentwood, which is located about 55 miles outside of San Francisco, and part of the encounter was captured on surveillance video.

The two suspects appeared to case out the home before they entered the homeowner’s garage. Although not confirmed by authorities, neighbor Reggie Nichols said the man’s garage was probably open at the time of the crime, as he said it’s almost always open while the homeowner hangs out inside, watching television and such.

Once inside, the suspects demanded the homeowner open a safe, which he did. But unbeknown to the suspects, the homeowner kept a loaded gun in the safe and instead of grabbing loot, he grabbed the gun and opened fire on the suspects.

The suspects immediately ran away from the home, but both were struck by gunfire and died.

Authorities say the homeowner acted in self-defense and is not likely to face charges.

[ KTVU ]

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Categories: Gun News

Good Samaritans step up as suspect brutally assaults cop on California highway (VIDEO)

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 08:23

Two men are being hailed as heroes after they stop to help a California Highway Patrol officer who was being brutally attacked on the side of a highway in Solano County last weekend.

The assault happened around 8:30 a.m. June 17, and witnesses feared the officer was going to be killed.

Joel Jones, a 61-year-old retired sheriff’s deputy and former football linebacker turned pastor, was driving with his wife, Annalisa, when they first noticed the suspect, Gary Coslovich, 49, weaving recklessly in and out of traffic. Coslovisch struck two cars, causing them to lose control, then continued on.

Jones decided to follow the driver and soon thereafter, the CHP officer pulled Coslovich over, but Jones said it appeared Coslovich lost it when he realized the officer was a woman. Coslovich then attacked the officer.

“[Coslovich] punched her, hit her repeatedly, beat her to the ground and started stomping her,” Jones said.

“It was surreal,” Jones added. “It was like I was about to see a murder in front of me.”

The couple called the attack savage and sick. They also believed Coslovich was trying to take the officer’s gun. So Jones made the decision to go help the officer, while his wife began to pray.

Jones used his football skills to knock Coslovich to the ground and soon thereafter, Greg Bunting, a 52-year-old motorcycle mechanic, came upon the scene and decided to help as well.

Jones and Bunting then held Coslovich down on the ground until additional officers arrived on the scene.

Coslovich was arrested and charged with assault and battery charges against a peace officer.

The officer, whose name was not released, was taken to a local hospital where she was treated and released for what was described as moderate injuries.

And as for Jones and Bunting, they say they’re no heroes, they just did what needed to be done.

[ KTVU ]

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Categories: Gun News

Former NY mobster released from prison at 100 years old

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 08:17

John “Sonny” Franzese plans to spend some time with his family in Brooklyn. (Photo: New York Daily News)

 

Sonny, center, in his younger days. (Photo: New York Daily News)

An infamous New York mobster formerly associated with the Columbo crime family was released from federal prison Friday at the age of 100.

John “Sonny” Franzese served 35 of a 50-year sentence for bank robbery and, at the time of his release, was the oldest inmate in the federal prison system.

Franzese was an old-school mobster who acquired his wealth and power by old-school means: Loan sharking and extortion, but also had numerous financial interests in several restaurants, topless bars and clubs. In addition, he’s believed to be responsible for the murder of up to 50 people, although he was never convicted of any of those crimes. Franzese was even caught on a wire talking about how to dispose of bodies.

“He’s one of a kind. There’s never been a guy like Sonny. There will never be another guy like Sonny, the last of a dying breed,” said retired FBI agent Robert Lewicki.

Franzese, who did not offer any comments to reporters, left the prison in a wheelchair and later exited a Range Rover with the aid of a walker as he made his way to spend some time with family in Brooklyn. According to his family, Franzese has very little hearing left, bad eyesight, and prostate problems, but still has an amazing will to keep living. His family said he attributes his 100 years to eating right and vitamins.

[ Newsday ]

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Categories: Gun News

Stevie Wonder: ‘You cannot say, ‘Black lives matter,’ and then kill yourselves’ (VIDEO)

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 08:14

During a speech at the North Minneapolis Conference on Peace last weekend, Stevie Wonder spoke out against violence, more specifically, where it affects the black community.

“It is in your hands to stop all of the killing and the shooting wherever it might be,” the singer said. “You cannot say, ‘Black lives matter,’ and then kill yourselves. Because you know we’ve mattered long before it was said, but the way we show that we matter, the way that we show all the various people of color matter is by loving each other and doing something about it. Not just talking about it, not just waiting to see the media and press come when there’s a horrible thing.”

The conference, which was attended by several hundred people, came less than a day after Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted of any charges in the fatal shooting of Philando Castile.

“The first thing you must do is stop believing the fallacy of you not being important,” Wonder continued. “Because it is completely unacceptable for one to hate themselves so much that anyone that looks like you, you want to kill.”

The singer concluded the conference by performing “Love’s in Need of Love Today” and “Higher Ground.”

[ Billboard ]

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Categories: Gun News

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