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Federal law enforcement officials announced the indictments of 11 Ohio residents last week for firearms trafficking, including the illegal transfer of a machine gun.
Kyle Walton, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Columbus Division — accompanied by the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Ohio and the Canton Police Department — announced the charges Thursday during a news conference in Canton.
Those indicted include: Rasheed Babb, 25; Shawntez Block, 25; Andre Bowers, 41; Ikasha Clark, 38; Darnell Curtis, 39; Kamari Kidd, 21; Tae’Vontae Miles, 22; Jesse Gulley, 44; Thomas Lorenz, 60; Arthur Keeney, 28, and Sean Foster, 33.
“Taking these guns off the street makes the community safer for all of us,” Walton said.
Investigators charged Bowers with illegally dealing firearms — including a Harrington & Richardson .32-caliber revolver, a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun, a Glock .40-caliber pistol, another Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun, a Marlin .22-caliber rifle, a Rossi 20-gauge shotgun and a Kel-Tec 5.56 mm pistol — between January 2016 and February 2017. Kidd and Miles received charges for assisting Bowers in his trafficking operation.
Bowers also sold heroin during the same time frame and carries previous convictions of aggravated assault, cocaine trafficking, domestic violence, escape and other crimes, according to the indictment.
Gulley, Clark and Lorenz face trafficking charges for the transfer of a Heckler and Koch 308-caliber machine gun in July. Investigators found the machine gun, a sawed-off shot gun, six other firearms and ammunition in Gulley’s possession, despite his disqualifying felony convictions for assault and cocaine.
“Cases like these are exercises in homicide prevention,” U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman said Friday. “These defendants have no business carrying firearms, given their previous criminal conduct. This operation has made Canton safer.”
Canton Police Chief Bruce Lawver hopes the arrests will ease the city’s escalating murder rate.
“The value of these types of cases can be measured in human lives,” he said. “These cases involve illegally possessed firearms in the hands of criminal. They demonstrate the cooperation that exists between the Canton Police Department and our federal law enforcement partners.”
Lawver said the seized guns have no connections to other crimes.
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Honor Defense’s flagship Honor Guard pistol is set to be auctioned off to support the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.
The pistol was originally donated for a IV8888 raffle, which was won by Forge Relations. Forge Relations took it upon itself to “pay it forward” offering to auction the gun off to support police.
Upon hearing about the good deed, Chestatee Firearms located in Georgia jumped in on the action, providing custom engraving on the gun, outfitting the pistol with the FLEOA logo emblazoned on the slide. In addition, Eclipse Holsters has donated a custom holster boasting the US flag. If that doesn’t wet the whistle, FLEO tops off the auction package with a custom Benchmade knife, challenge coins and patches.
Honor Defense’s President Gary Ramey said the company is honored to be included in the all inclusive package benefitting law enforcement.
“Honor Defense is privileged to support the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association with this holiday season. Everyone involved in this effort wants to say thank you to law enforcement and ask that others do as well,” Ramey said in a statement.
Proceeds from the auction will go directly to FLEOA which represents more than 25,000 federal law enforcement officers from over 65 agencies.
The auction is set to run until Dec. 21 on Guns America.
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DeSantis introduced a new fit for its Facilitator holster, launching a Glockl 43 variant on the Kydex design.
The Facilitator offers a rigid 0.125-inch Kydex sheet paired with glass reinforced nylon that the company says delivers strength and durability to the set-up.
The holster features DeSantis’ Redi-Lok trigger locking device created to securing the firearm and preventing unwanted parties from snatching the G43.
The holster maker says the Redi-Lok system is located on the inboard side of the system so that it does not call additional attention to itself. The Redi-Lok feature, according to DeSantis, is “totally instinctual” and requires no additional training to deploy.
The Facilitator can be worn strong side or in the cross draw or small of back positions. The slim style holster delivers a concealable rig with 1 3/4-inch belt slots for mounting onto pants. Available in classic black and in right and left handed configurations, the Facilitator features a price tag of $54.99.
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Democrat Doug Jones is facing off Tuesday against Republican Roy Moore for the seat left open by Jeff Sessions earlier this year.
Jones, a former federal prosecutor, has managed to whittle away Moore’s lead in the polls in recent weeks following the controversy surrounding the former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice and his alleged involvement with several women when they were teenagers. The Yellowhammer State’s electorate will decide if the seat, currently held by U.S. Sen. Luther Strange on appointment by the state’s Republican governor, will stay red or switch to the Democrats, a move which would whittle the current balance of power down between the GOP and Dems to a razor-thin 51 votes in the 100-seat chamber.
Moore has been outspoken in his support of conservative issues, and when questioned on gun rights, showed off a small revolver he produced from his pocket during a campaign stop earlier this summer. “I believe in the Second Amendment,” he said.
The Federal Election Commission holds that Jones has amassed a war chest of some $11 million which is over twice what Moore has raised. Though the National Rifle Association has not endorsed a candidate in the current contest — they previously supported Strange’s attempt to keep the seat before Moore bested him in the Republican primary — the group has spent about $1.2 million on ads directed against Jones. A smaller organization, the National Association for Gun Rights, has pumped about $30,000 to the race, including direct support for Moore.
While Jones omits direct talking points on gun politics from his official platform, he has said in interviews that he was in favor of stronger background checks and the “need to make sure we shore up” the NICS background check system. He also mocked Moore’s revolver display, saying “When you see me with a gun, I’ll be climbing in and out of a duck blind.”
Both candidates have seen a good deal of outside support, with Moore picking up endorsements from President Trump as former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon hit the campaign trail. Meanwhile, Jones has the backing of former Vice President Biden and retired basketball star, Charles Barkley.
Due to wildly diverse polling, poll watchers are calling the race a toss-up though Alabama has not sent a Democrat to the Senate since Howell Heflin retired in 1997.
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A study published last week in the journal Science links a surge in gun sales post-Sandy Hook to a rise in accidental shooting deaths.
Economists Phillip Levine and Robin McKnight analyzed a five-month growth spurt in “gun exposure” following the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting and congressional grandstanding about tightened gun restrictions, discovering a purported link many critics deem “junk science.”
“The talking point is going to be: If you have X more exposure to guns, you have Y more accidents,” said David Kopel, research director at the Independence Institute and an adjunct constitutional law professor at Denver University Sturm College of Law, during an interview with Science last week. “And that is true, at most, in this unusual period that is the focus of the study. But it is certainly not true in general.”
Indeed, Levine and McKnight noted a 27 percent increase in accidental shooting deaths overall between December 2012 and April 2013, according to data mined from the Centers for Disease Control. The rate among children spiked 64 percent, according to the study.
The authors tallied federal background check data — a known proxy-measure for gun sales — and analyzed Google searches for “buy gun” and “clean gun” to determine about 3 million additional guns were sold or removed from storage in the months after Sandy Hook. These figures combine to form the study’s definition of “gun exposure.”
Levine and McKnight also studied state-level data and found geographical links to increased deaths among children under age 15. Thirty-one states with a larger increase in per capita gun sales — 1,000 or more additional sales per 100,000 residents — saw spikes in this death rate 16 times higher than other states.
“The fact that the increase in accidental deaths at precisely the time that gun sales spiked is concentrated in the states where that spike was the largest increases the likelihood that the impact was causal,” Levine told Science.
He did not respond to request for comment from Guns.com Monday.
In the paper itself, Levine and McKnight caution against interpreting their results “as representing a direct link between the greater gun sales and these additional deaths.”
“Gun sales represent a proxy for gun exposure in our analysis; they are correlated with an increased interest in firearms, even among current gun owners, as shown in our Google Trends analysis,” the authors write. “We cannot determine the extent to which the impact is driven by sales or greater exposure to existing guns.”
That’s not the only problem critics see with the study, however, noting its narrow scope wreaks of political bias.
“This study of a single mass shooting and a single type of gun violence amounts to little more than a statistical anecdote,” said Gary Kleck, a criminologist at Florida State University in Tallahassee, during an interview with Science. “Notwithstanding its prestigious outlet, this paper is junk science, and should never have been published.”
“This is an anomaly and they picked an anomaly to make a general point,” Dr. Robert Young, a practicing psychiatrist and editor of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, told Guns.com Monday. “It’s an anecdote masquerading as a general principle. That’s not science.”
Young noted decades of statistics indicate deaths from accidental firearm discharges are decreasing, despite a dramatic proliferation of firearms across the country. Most recent estimates suggest Americans own about 300 million guns — meaning the Sandy Hook sales bump may have, at best, increased the supply by 1 percent.
“How can that proportionally relate even to the same period of time in which accidental shooting deaths increased 27 percent? That makes no sense,” Young said. “This is about coming up with an excuse to say, ‘oh we have to get rid of guns and we can’t let more people buy more guns.'”
The National Safety Council’s Injury Facts 2017 attributed 489 deaths to accidental firearm discharges in 2015 — the lowest in the council’s 114-year history of injury record-keeping.
Report findings indicate choking deaths occur twice as often as accidental discharges while drowning is six times more likely. The chances of dying during a firearm assault are one in 370, according to the NSC, or three times less likely as dying after a fall.
While Young admits there appears to be a disturbing increase in accidental discharge deaths over the last year, he chides “anti-researchers” for ignoring the impact of defensive gun uses in saving lives.
“So when more guns are sold, more protection ensues, too,” he said. “How can they claim there is necessarily a net harm done at all?”
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When the folks at MantisX asked me to review their updated training system, first reviewed by Guns.com in 2015, I was frank with them about being an eternal skeptic about e-gadgets and sort of a bootstrapper at heart. They weren’t dissuaded. Try it, they said, and give us feedback. After all, the modern MantisX app is quite evolved compared to the original rendition that appeared on Guns.com in 2015.What is MantisX?
This little device is a motion sensor that attaches to the rail of your handgun or rifle like any other accessory. It’s slightly bigger than a stack of four quarters and weighs about the same. For weapons without a rail, the company sells an adapter that fits on the magazine floorplate. Paired with the companion app via Bluetooth, it analyzes trigger press quality and, if desired, speed. The app is offered for Android and iOS.
MantisX works with live fire carbine or pistol, air guns, and dry fire. I used it with two different striker-fired pistols, dry and live fire.
How does it do all that? Lasers—and stuff. I’m a shooter, not a tech person. Company rep Casey Christensen said he detector’s intelligence was developed from analysis and averaging of high-speed video footage of trigger presses, and the understanding that nearly all trigger press errors occur within 10-15 hundredths of a second before break.Starting it up
Perhaps it’s just writer’s luck, but the test device arrived fully charged and ready to go. A micro USB cable gives it a quick charge when needed. It held a charge very well, with no sign of flagging between practice sessions.
The device attaches easily with a slotted screwdriver or dime. There’s no recommended foot pounds of tightness, so I just cranked it until it felt tight without putting lots of pressure on the screw. This is an easy process, so much that it can be swapped between guns during a single session.
Use of the app is quite intuitive. The device remembers data from a particular firearm between sessions, so the initial use of a gun takes a little longer than subsequent ones. The app has a respectable but incomplete menu of common guns in its menu, and allows the user to add unique ones. In this trial, the menu offered only the VP9 Tactical model as a choice for the Heckler & Koch VP9—so I used that. It included several EAA pistol models, but not the fairly new SAR9. No problem. The app allowed me to log that firearm into its memory.Function
A button turns the sensor on, and of course the app must be open also. The phone can be set aside, held by a nearby person, or stowed in a pocket—the latter I found necessary for practicing timed exercises alone.
Choices of live fire options abound. A basic training session tracks trigger movement and provides the user feedback on a per-shot or multi-shot basis. Christensen says accuracy is measured by the sensor’s detection of the last 10-15 hundredths of a second before the shot breaks, signified on the app as a yellow line on target. A red trace line shows “everything after that,” up to one second in bullseye mode.
The app tracks a shooter’s sessions and progress can be viewed in-app. A report card of sorts is generated from each basic training segment. Progress with a specific gun can be viewed retrospectively. Cards can be emailed or otherwise saved as text messages or photos.
A map of where shots actually landed on target is provided, and it’s accurate. Subsequent to that, a clickable diagnostic target diagram is available, with suggestions on the cause and fix for shots grouping in places other than center. While the instructional photos under this “learning” section are clear and well-presented, grammar and actual information leaves something to be desired in places. Diagnostic suggestions based on shot groups should be categorized in the same way as medical advice on the internet. Individual differences can result in non-typical results. Also, a combination of errors can cause a false result on the target’s “diagnosis.” That being said, it can’t hurt to test a suggested fix when practicing without a competent instructor.Beyond basics
Moving beyond basic training, the device also offers timed exercises like a compressed break drill, in which the shooter stages a finger on the trigger and fires at the cue of an audible signal. It’ll also track the time between shots in multi-shot sequences, allowing a shooter to self-evaluate or even the opportunity for some friendly competition with an objective and easy scoring system.
It compiles data on right versus left-handed shooting, but there appears to be no way to select whether that means using one or two hands. For my own purposes, I logged all support-hand shots with one hand and all primary-hand work with two, so as not to introduce an uncontrolled variable. As expected, scores using the support hand were a bit lower.
I compared my own scores for accuracy using untimed, five-shot sequences with two pistols that have very different triggers: the VP9 and the SAR9. These shots represented the first I’d ever done on the SAR9, while the HK is like an old friend. The results bolstered my confidence in the MantisX’s data quality. My score on the new gun was several points lower than on the old one. After a little more time on the Sarsmilaz, scores were virtually the same, within two points of each other.
I forgot one time to change the setting from dry to live fire before an expert colleague ran an impeccable five-yard, five-shot drill. Thanks to my error, his percentage score on that run was in the mid-80s. Attention to detail matters. It’s not hard to do it right, but neglecting to double-check settings can result in inaccurate results.Any flaws?
There are a couple areas I’d prefer be bit different. One is the display color. The chosen setting, i.e., live vs. dry versus CO2 fire, is blacked out rather than highlighted in daylight conditions. MantisX seems to be trying so hard to be tactical black that it’s difficult to read at times—even the red-on-black app logo tends to get “lost” on my home screen.
The compressed break drill appears to be available only for live fire. Perhaps the system can’t “understand” a manual slide reset with the trigger fully depressed. It’s not a huge disappointment, but does limit use in non-range settings.
A clickable set of instructions on interpreting display pages and definitions of terms used in the app would make it more user friendly.
The only real disappointment is that the rapid fire detection failed to pick up the last two rounds of five-shot sequences about half the time. It did still provide interesting data on the time from signal to first shot, and time between early shots in the string. It was enough data that I could infer whether each string was better or worse than the previous one.Conclusion
The MantisX represents one of the best systems available as a tech training aid. Especially when using iron sights, it’s superior to some other laser systems in that it doesn’t force the shooter to focus on the target rather than the front sight.
While it alone cannot make a shooter faster if speed is the goal, the trigger motion tracking function should serve as a useful feedback device to determine what subtleties in technique are helpful or not.
Based on the gun comparison data, I feel the device is highly accurate and suitably reflective of performance.
Consumers can have confidence that the device won’t become outdated. MantisX releases app updates often, so the latest developments are available even to “old” owners. Comparing today’s product to the one reviewed here less than two years ago, the advancements are impressive. These folks are serious about staying at the top of their game with this product.
Ordering can be done directly through the MantisX website. The $149.99 includes the MantisX sensor, microUSB chargeng cable, and a very cool little Pelican case with custom-cut foam to protect and keep track of your investment. Floorplate attachments for n0n-railed handguns are model-specific and cost $25.
At the Blue August gun writers’ conference in Fort Worth earlier this year, the TruGlo company shared big news for hunters, pistol shooters and other customers.
TruGlo rep Pliny Gale prefaced education about upcoming and present products with a little backstory. TruGlo started as, and still is, a small family company, now 20 years old. “We started out with a question: how do I see my sights better?” Gale said.
In addition to the items named here, TruGlo is consistently evolving existing products, particularly titanium, fiber optic, and combination sights, in new formats in an attempt to meet consumer needs.
Truglo gave conference attendees its first public viewing of two new hunting scopes in its Intercept series. One has 3-9x magnification with a 42mm objective lens. The other is 4-12x with a 44mm lens. Both have a one-inch tube. Buyers can choose between two illuminated reticles, either a duplex or a BDC format. The finish on the monolithic aircraft-grade aluminum housing is anodized matte black. Windage and elevation adjust with quarter-MOA clicks, and the knobs have slippable caps to set the user’s zero to match the -0- marks on the turrets. The red illumination is powered by a provided CR2032 battery. The scopes are water and shock resistant, nitrogen gas-filled, have a fog-proof coating, and are covered by a limited lifetime warranty.
Both scopes are slated for release in February 2018. MSRP isn’t final yet, but if prices of TruGlo’s other battery-powered optics are an indication, consumers should expect prices around $200 per scope. “We recognize that coming up with something that’s the best of the best, but the average hunter can’t afford, is not what we want. We started with what the average hunter can spend on an optic, and built the best product we could for that amount,” Gale said.
Participants at the conference got to test the new scopes on a live fire range. The reticle adjustments feel solid enough for this price point. The illuminated reticles appeared more orange to this writer than red. Other reticle lines appeared clear. The scopes responded as they should to changes on the magnification and focus knobs. A TruGlo scope feature is a magnification adjustment collar with a shallow tread pattern and a wide, raised ridge for leverage. This should be a welcome feature for gloved hands in cold weather.
Competition pistol sights
If there was a common theme at the conference, it’s that manufacturers are doing their best to please the competition shooter. TruGlo’s new effort to this end is a new iteration of its TFX Pro sight series, which combines tritium and fiber optic materials for high visibility. The new TFX Pros have a prominent, but blacked-out rear sight and highly visible, tall front sight. The set is designed for fast acquisition and transitions on target. Their raised profile should also accommodate use with modern suppressors.
There is a limitation with the TFX Pro comp sights, but it’s temporary. When they’re released in the near future, they’ll only fit Glock pistols. One set will fit all Glocks except the 42 and 43. Pricing will be set in the $160 ballpark; less than other sights in the line as the plain black rear sight means less tritium to buy.
In hand, the rear sight is textured for a no-glare finish. I’ve never been a fan of plain sights, but I’ll be the first to admit these do invite rapid target acquisition, thanks to both the day-glow effect on the front sight, wide gap in the rear sight blade, and prominence of both. This writer has had more than one set of the company’s tritium-only sights. They have been very durable. Though the long front sight has been criticized as potentially easy to unseat under direct pressure.as compared to a tower-like shape, the sights have stayed solid. It took about 10 years for the tritium on the original set to stop glowing. They’re still usable sights without the glow.
A glowing rebate on handgun sights
TruGlo currently offers a rebate of $20, $15, or $10 for handgun sight products purchased from authorized dealers. Handguns needing an upgrade can get a big one this way, at an affordable price. Better visibility of sights, especially in dimly lit conditions, increases ease of initial aim and keeping sights on target—both of which are beneficial for competitive or defensive shooting. Check out the TruGlo website for details.
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Though usually armed with shotguns and custom shells, the gang at Taofledermaus switches it up to do some serious experimentation with the beefy .458 out of an AR platform.
The big ole’ fat SOCOM round, derived from the .50 AE pistol cartridge, is heavy and slow, delivering a brutal amount of energy into a target– and Tao has a series of 300-grain hard cast hand loads spooled up to run against a variety of targets as the Chronos 1.4 HS camera runs at 8,800 frames per second.
“They look like a big ole tube of lipstick, however, they hit like a ton of bricks,” they say.
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Anna Taylor with concealed carry clothier Dene Adams shows how easy it can be to carry no less than seven handguns at the same time as well as other every day carry items.
Rocking a Sig P320 Compact along with a couple of spare mags, Taylor also produces no less than three Glocks (a G17, G43 and a fashionable G19 in Tiffany Blue) before magically materializes with another pair of Sigs, a North American Arms Mini Revolver and a tourniquet to go along with her walking around money, Costco card, an OTF knife and some lip gloss.
Sure it’s a five~ minute commercial for Dene Adams as it shows off their concealed carry Tactical Leggings and active bra (which may or may be NSFW depending on your company), and she admits it is a little overkill– but it does provide an example that you should never underestimate just what someone may have concealed about their person.
Meanwhile, some guy right now is complaining that his J-frame .38 is too heavy.
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John Popp and NRA Museums Director Jim Supica take a break from the exotic and rare to visit with the quintessential American autoloading shotgun, John Browning’s Auto-5.
Designed by Browning in 1898 and patented soon after, the A5 became the first mass-produced semi-auto shotgun when FN put it into production in 1902 and it proved so popular that it remained in production for almost a century across three continents with Remington and Savage both marketing their own version of it. Besides use as a sporting gun– the “Sweet 16” model was long the epitome field shotgun for many outdoorsmen — more than 50,000 A5 variants served in WWII.
As befitting the respected design, the specimin Popp and Supica examine isn’t some minty exhibition model with loads of delicate inlays, but a well-used A5 complete with a split stock held together with electrical tape and a roll of medical tape on around the muzzle to help pick up a bead faster. The gun is somewhat historic, however, as it was given to Bass Pro Shop founder Johnny Morris on his 21st birthday by his father back in 1969.
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Christmas is just around the corner and lighted trees everywhere are begging for presents. We at Guns.com put together a list that will put smiles on the faces of hunters and shooters this holiday season, and with prices from $15 to $425, there’s something for every pocketbook.
A 63-year-old man was sentenced last week to three years probation for dealing firearms without a license after he sold guns to undercover federal agents through a classifieds service.
Shelley L. Bovee, of Gloversville, New York, received his sentence Thursday in an Albany federal court in addition to a $2,000 fine and an order to perform 50 hours of community service.
According to court documents, in June 2013 agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives came across an ad placed by Bovee for a Mossberg shotgun on a local website called “Want Ad Digest,” which an undercover agent bought. After a second buy in November, for a Ruger 10/22 rifle, agents warned Bovee that he did not have a federal firearms license and to stop selling guns without one.
Based on the Gun Control Act of 1968, current laws require persons who are “engaged in the business” of dealing in firearms be otherwise licensed. Generally, if an individual repetitively buys and sells firearms with the goal of turning a profit, they need a license while someone making occasional sales from a personal collection does not.
The ATF does not define how many guns one needs to sell to require a license but instead relies on a host of other factors that accompany the unlicensed sales such as advertising, selling and payment methods. For instance, presenting oneself as a licensed dealer on business cards and accepting credit cards could be a factor. However, the agency may issue a warning “when only one or two transactions took place.”
Between July and September 2016, ATF agents in the Albany field office saw posts offering guns for sale on Want Ad Digest like the ones Bovee placed in 2013, using the same phone number. On three separate occasions during that period, undercover agents bought two Marlin rifles, an Izhmash Saiga shotgun, a Ruger 10/22, and an AR-15 from the man while noting he was also selling guns and ammo at a yard sale held at his residence. Agents said Bovee later told them he travels around the state regularly buying and reselling guns for a profit and still had not obtained a license.
A subsequent search warrant, served after his arrest, led to the seizure of 43 guns from Bovee’s home.
Filed as part of Bovee’s guilty plea last August to a charge that held a statutory punishment of up to five years in prison, he agreed to forfeit ownership of the guns, which would be sold and the money, less fees, given to him.
Prosecutors argued that Bovee should serve 10 months in jail, saying, “Despite being warned in 2013 and after agreeing to cease dealing in firearms without a license, only three years later did the defendant continued his unlawful conduct,” and that there was no indication that he performed background checks on any of the guns he sold.
Attorneys for Bovee argued with the court that a prison sentence wasn’t needed, citing his lack of criminal history, past military background as an Air Force veteran, and his cooperation with investigators. Further, they argued he was an avid firearm enthusiast and only sold guns casually and in the open, always using his actual name and address in transactions.
“As a person who rarely has been well-employed, when he has needed extra money during recent times, he sold firearms,” said Bovee’s attorney. “He never sold large numbers of firearms. He never sold enough firearms which would allow him to give up his employment.”
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Henry Repeating Arms celebrates its 20th anniversary, auctioning a series of special edition Big Boy .44 Magnum lever action rifles.
The series appears on GunBroker with proceeds going to several gun-related and wildlife focused organizations. Some of the groups listed include: Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Kids & Clays, National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, among others.
The rifle boast a hand-engraved brass receiver featuring Henry Arm’s motto, “Made in America or not made at all” paired with a presentation-grade, AAA American Walnut stock.
The first of the Big Boy auction guns, serialized 20Henry01, recently cleared over $25,000 with proceeds headed towards the Hunting Heritage Trust. The organization is directed at preserving hunting and shooting sports.
“I am beyond pleased that serial #1 was able to raise over $25,000 at auction. There was a bit of a bidding war at the end, and we’d like to congratulate and thank the winner for choosing to own such a special rifle,” Anthony Imperato, President of Henry Repeating Arms, said in a press release. “I think it surpassed everyone’s expectations, and it’s a good sign for what’s to come with the other 19 rifles in the series.”
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The record-breaking background checks processed Black Friday proved buyers will wait for the best deal — a new equilibrium for the industry, according to American Outdoor Brand’s Chief Executive Officer James Debney.
Debney told investors Thursday the 203,000 applications submitted to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System Nov. 24 infused encouragement into a sluggish gun market — potentially upending eight years of fear-based buying in favor of promotions.
“This result reinforces arguably that firearms have moved even more strongly into the basket of Black Friday shopping goods that consumers have come to expect,” he said. “Accordingly, we believe promotions have, for the moment, replaced fair based buying as a primary driver for consumer purchases and the promotional environment for consumer firearms looks as though it will continue for the foreseeable future.”
Dealers processed 203,086 applications through NICS during Black Friday’s traditional shopping frenzy. The system serves as the gun industry’s best sales barometer — though the measurement isn’t exact.
Six of the FBI’s top 10 days fall on Black Fridays, including the most recent record of 185,713 checks set just last year. It’s the third year in a row Black Friday checks earned the top spot on the agency’s list of highest days.
“You can look at Black Friday NICS and say yes, that’s really encouraging, that’s a bright spot,” Debney said. “So the positive take from that is yes, there is still a consumer there that has an appetite to buy a firearm, but they’re willing to wait until they can get the best possible deal.”
American Outdoor Brands stock plummeted 14 percent in after hours trading Thursday after company executives reported second quarter sales declined more than 36 percent over 2016.
The rugged outdoors conglomerate counts Smith & Wesson as its top-earner in a portfolio of more than two dozen brands including Gemtech, Crimson Trace, Bubba Blade and Old Timer.
Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Buchanan also revised the company’s annual sales forecast down to $650 million — well below previous estimates of $740 million.
Estimated gun sales rose 30 percent last month, according to federal data — an encouraging sign, Debney said, despite the company’s conservative revision.
“Our belief is … there was some fear-based buying that would take place from time to time and there is no fear-based buying right now,” he said. “We believe the level of promotional activity at the heightened level of it is has really replaced fear-based buying as the primary driver for a consumer who wants to acquire a firearm.”
Dealers processed more than 2.3 million applications through NICS in November — a 17 percent increase over October.
The strong sales data makes November this year’s second busiest for background checks so far. Last month’s sales trail 2016, the industry’s biggest on record, by 13 percent, though it still ranks as the second highest November in the background check system’s two-decade history.
“It’s going to be interesting as these promotions diminish, which they will overtime — they have to, they’re unsustainable — where do we settle out in terms of the size of the market,” Debney said. “And we just don’t know.”
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Since opening in 2012, Battlefield: Vegas has become a premier tourist attraction in Las Vegas. With the success, the company has expanded its collection of machine guns into the hundreds — including some incredibly rare ones — that are on display and available for range shooting. Range Safety Officer Andrew Bryant walks us through the store’s vault containing more than 500 semi- and fully-automatic weapons.
The four guns Bryant demonstrates are the French 9mm Hotchkiss Universal SMG. It’s commonly referred to as the ‘transformer gun’ because it folds up into a fairly small package. It was designed and put into production in 1949, but saw very limited sales and use. It’s extremely rare. There is only one transferable Hotchkiss in the US. It fires in either semi-auto and fully automatic.
The next gun is the British 9mm Sterling suppressed submachine gun. This is a very smooth and flat shooting weapon. It was introduced in 1944, it wasn’t adopted by the British until 1953, but then enjoyed a lengthy career until 1994. The integrally suppressed model is a very rare find. It fires in either semi-auto and fully automatic.
The next gun is the German FG 42 8mm paratrooper rifle produced by Nazi Germany in 1942. It combined the characteristics of a submachine gun with the firepower of a rifle. It was considered the most advanced weapon design of WWII and many of it’s design features were used in the M60 machine gun. It is a very rare gun and can fire in either semi-auto and fully automatic, although the weapon at Battlefield: Vegas can only fire in semi-auto.
The last gun is the German Heckler & Koch MP7. It entered service in 2001 and fires the HK 4.6×30mm round. It’s considered personal defense weapon (PDW) and is currently used by special forces in a number of NATO countries as well as SEAL Team Six in the USA. It fires in either semi-auto and fully automatic and is extremely controllable.
Battlefield: Vegas welcomes you to visit and fire machine guns the next time you’re in Las Vegas. They’re a veteran owned and operated business.
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SightLines offers a novel way for gun owners to shoot comfortably all day at the range, ditching the discomfort of traditional ear pro.
SightLines boast a unique design incorporating a recessed channel on the top of the ear muff cushion to allow glasses to slide inside without disturbing the seal. The creative idea made its way onto the web in the form of a 30-day crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter in late November.
The product of humble beginnings, founder Neal Brace, a former active duty Marine infantryman and current firearms instructor, says he once fought seemingly endless battles between shooting glasses and earmuffs. Adjusting glasses constantly due to hot spots, Brace said the tension between the shooting gear would often result in headaches. Despite advice to pair thin stem ballistic glasses with softer ear cushion, he was determined to find a better way to solve his issues.
“I wanted a complete solution that stopped headsets from crushing the glasses into my head and kept the head seal shut the entire time I was on the firing line. My final design, the SightLines design of ear cushion, was just so simple to explain and easy to manufacture that I knew it was the answer I had been looking for,” Brace explained to Guns.com.
Brace said after sketching designs and prototyping, it took him a year to produce the finished SightLine design. At the time, he says, his intention was simply to offer the product for Howard Leight brand muffs, but positive reviews began pouring in and Brace knew he was onto something much bigger.
“After getting extremely positive feedback from reviewers, I decided to see what kind of response I could get to manufacture cushions for hundreds of other headsets, and that’s what took me down the road of the Kickstarter campaign,” Brace said. “After nine days of crowdfunding and more than $18,000 raised, I think I can safely say that there are enough people out there who have identified these issues and want to support a project like this.”
On its march towards a $30,000 funding goal, SightLines has already raised over $19,500 on Kickstarter. With just a few weeks left in its campaign, the innovative ear pro accessory is inching closer to full fledged funding.
While the cushions’ visibility could lead to further projects, Brace, for the moment, is concentrating on SightLines with a short term goal of partnering with one or more headset makers to equip a set of ear pro with SightLines pre-installed. SightLines’ ultimate success, he says, might provide opportunities for future gear, though.
“I’d like to focus on a few other accessories for headsets that would be valuable to those who work in extreme environments,” Brace said. “I spent four years on active duty in the USMC infantry and understand those gear needs, and I have friends in other industries that have different gear needs. So, there are lots of potentially valuable ideas that I’m interested in showing off soon.”
On the tail-end of the 30-day Kickstarter campaign, SightLines must be fully funded by Dec. 28 for the project to move forward. However, 500 pairs of Howard Leight cushions are ready to ship as soon as the crowdfunding venture is fulfilled. Early backers of the SightLines brand not only receive a special discount, knocking the base price down to $25, but also benefit from a special lifetime guarantee.
“By pledging on the Kickstarter campaign, a great benefit is the lifetime guarantee that I’m offering. Basically, if the cushions ever wear out, you can ship them back and I’ll mail you a brand new set, free of charge,” Brace said.
Over halfway towards the goal, Brace urged gun owners to reconsider how they view ear pro and invest in not only themselves but a veteran-owned business.
“As a fellow firearms enthusiast, I sense that earmuffs are an afterthought for most shooters and that they’re looked at as a tool to only avoid hearing damage. I want to encourage shooters to reevaluate that thought process and consider that more comfortable hearing protection can really improve one’s ability to concentrate on aiming and firing and also remove significant sources of irritation and distraction. SightLines really delivers here because it solves the issue of eyewear interference and pain,” Brace said. “Finally, I know that lots of people want to support veteran-owned companies making products stuff entirely in the U.S.A., and you’re getting that with Noisefighters and my new SightLines headset cushions.”
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The Delaware Supreme Court last week held that a prohibition on firearms on public land issued by two state agencies is unconstitutional.
The lawsuit, brought by several gun rights advocates and backed by the Bridgeville Rifle & Pistol Club and the Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association, argued the Delaware Departments of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Environmental Control exceeded their powers when they almost totally banned firearms on the land under their control. In a 3-2 ruling last Thursday, the state’s high court agreed.
“We are asked whether unelected officials from the State’s parks and forest departments, whose power is expressly limited, can ban (except for a narrow exception for hunting) the possession of guns in state parks and forests in contravention of Delawareans’ rights under the State’s constitution,” said Justice Karen Valihura for the majority. “Clearly they cannot. They lack such authority because they may not pass unconstitutional laws, and the regulations completely eviscerate a core right to keep and bear arms for defense of self and family outside the home — a right this Court has already recognized.”
DNREC, with some 23,000 acres under their control, had banned guns on their land since 1977 while the agriculture department, controlling 18,000 acres in three state forests, had maintained similar policies since 2003 with violations subject to fines ranging between $25 and $500.
“The limited ability to have a hunting rifle or shotgun while engaged in a controlled hunt on state park or forest land does not fulfill — and cannot substitute for — the people’s right to have a firearm for defense of self and family while camping overnight in a State Park or hiking in the more remote acres of State Forests (assuming compliance with all other laws governing guns),” said Valihura. “The Regulations not only unduly burden that constitutional right, but eviscerate it altogether.”
Plaintiffs in the case welcomed the news.
“They did the right thing,” said Jeff Hague, treasurer of the Bridgeville Rifle and Pistol Club and president of the Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association, as reported by DelawareOnline.com. “This reaffirms the constitutional right that Delawareans have … to self-defense and the right to keep and bear arms, not just in hunting and fishing and sporting, but in defense of their family and home.”
In a lengthy dissent penned by Chief Justice Leo Strine, the minority argued that the gun bans up for debate existed in one form or another on public land in the state back to the 19th Century and continued to operate without controversy. Further, Strine held the land affected only amounts to about 3 percent of the state and voiced concerns for public safety should guns be allowed.
“When people come together in Parks and Forests for games and recreation, emotions can run high,” he said. “When folks camp, they sometimes drink, including at events within the Parks like beer and wine festivals. When folks drink and carouse, they sometimes get jealous and angry. When folks play or attend sporting events, spirits run high and sometimes out of control. When folks get emotional around guns, things can get dangerous fast.”
Spokesmen for the two agencies said they are reviewing the ruling before they release a response.
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San Antonio police say a man licensed to carry shot and killed an armed suspect at an area chicken joint after he threatened members of his family with a gun.
Carlos Molina, 32, was eating a meal with his family at a Popeyes location just before 9 p.m. Wednesday when Andres Herrera, 19, approached him with a firearm and demanded money. Molina told Herrera he didn’t have any money and asked if his family could go, SBG San Antonio reported.
Herrera reportedly turned to the counter and demanded money from employees then pointed his gun at two additional members of Molina’s family who emerged from a restroom, at which point the father pulled his own gun and shot the subject.
A suspected accomplice, Trevon Atkinson, 18, was arrested by police on Friday. A hotel keycard found on Herrera’s body led to a room rented to Atkinson that contained jewelry with tags from a pawn shop that had recently been burglarized. Herrera’s girlfriend said she hoped his death helped people make better choices.
“I hope that everybody can learn something from this that there’s other ways than to rob or to steal,” said Eva Bravo.
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A top executive for Smith & Wesson told investors last week the promotional buyer’s market isn’t sustainable — despite indications the current environment won’t change anytime soon.
James Debney, chief executive officer of American Outdoor Brands — the gun maker’s holding company — said Thursday the promotional activity undercutting earnings even strengthened in some categories, despite hopes industry-wide the rock-bottom prices would lift by now.
“From our belief, this promotional activity is here to stay,” he said during a conference call with investors. “And like it or not, as it compresses our margins, reduces our revenue, we’re going to have to participate to some degree.”
American Outdoor Brands stock plummeted 14 percent in after hours trading Thursday after company executives reported second quarter sales declined more than 36 percent over 2016.
Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Buchanan also revised the company’s annual sales forecast down to $650 million— well below previous estimates of $740 million.
“We recently have … worked on our promotions for the typical period in early winter,” Buchanan told investors Thursday. “And it just appears that the way we do those is we give away on free goods with packages of purchases. And it just appears that we’re going to have to give away more free goods than we originally thought even a couple of weeks ago.”
By comparison, American Outdoor Brands raked in $903 million last year — an unprecedented season for the gun industry as mass shootings, looming regulations and an anticipated Democratic electoral victory spurred record-breaking consumer demand.
Since the election, however, manufacturers and retailers alike have been struggling to define the “new normal” under a gun-friendly presidential administration and an apparent return to historical sales patterns.
“Is it resetting itself at any level? It’s just not clear yet, there is a lot of noise out there,” Debney said Thursday, noting similar trouble for competitors. “I mean, nobody of any scale — and those are really the ones that we pay attention to — has gone away. Everybody is still in business. Some that publish their results, you can see they’re not doing so well. How long they can sustain themselves, we just don’t know.”
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Making its social media handlers work overtime, Springfield Armory ominously dropped indications that a new product is in the works.
Posting to Facebook, the Illinois based firearms manufacturer showcased a white X set against a black background with “Dec 15” listed underneath. Though Springfield Armory hasn’t revealed what project X is, 10mm rumors began swirling among Springfield die-hards.
“I hope this is finally the XDm 10mm,” Jake Hale posted to the gun maker’s page.
“If they’re wise, this means 10mm. Take advantage of the market while its hot. Drop two, a full size and a compact to go head to head with a G20 and a G29,” said Richard Keeney.
Other fans speculated that maybe the company was taking a more “futuristic” approach.
“If… it is 10mm it could actually cause a resurgence of popularity and press for the caliber. There are very few options currently available. Or a longer shot, maybe a new M1-X, like a futuristic tactical model,” Nick J. Lehrling commented.
This isn’t the first time Springfield has taken to social media to market future endeavors. The company’s Saint line-up of rifles endured two months of social media campaigning before launching on All Saint’s Day in 2016.
Regardless of what Springfield has up its sleeve, fans will at the very least have answers come Dec. 15.
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