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Federal authorities arrested and charged five Vermont residents last week for their involvement in a straw purchasing scheme with ties to gang activity in Boston.
Tyson Wells, Dara Bessette, Sierra Lacoste, Laci Baker, and Megan West — all of St. Albans City, Vermont, a small town near the Canadian border — face charges for lying on gun background check forms last year, pretending to buy more than 30 firearms for themselves they later traded to two drug dealers in exchange for cocaine and heroin.
According to a criminal complaint filed last week, two drug dealers with connections to the Latin Kings in south Boston moved in with Wells and Bassette in August 2017. Bassette told investigators she and Wells acted as middlemen, arranging for drug sales between local residents and the dealers, who wanted to shield themselves from any possible police probe.
The dealers supplied Wells and Bassette with “free” cocaine in exchange for their help, eventually encouraging them and three others — Lacoste, Baker and West — to buy firearms from two different local stores for transport back to south Boston. The women reported watching the dealers obliterate serial numbers from the weapons — mostly handguns — before returning to Boston to sell the firearms to fellow gang members.
Law enforcement in Boston recovered five of the guns during sweeps of the same neighborhood in January and managed to restore some of the obliterated serial numbers, according to the complaint.
“This case highlights the commitment of the U.S. Attorney’s Office to prioritize firearms offenses,” said U.S. Attorney Christina Nolan. “Those who violate gun laws by diverting weapons to the black market endanger innocent citizens and empower dangerous criminals. Federal, state, and local law enforcement will work as a team to bring consequences for such conduct, and will target such individuals for federal prosecution.”
Federal data suggests 2018 could be the Department of Justice’s busiest year ever in more than a decade for weapons prosecutions.
Should authorities keep up at the current pace, total annual prosecutions will exceed more than 10,000 this year — a 22.5 percent increase over 2017 and up by nearly half over the last five years, according to the Transactional Records Clearing House.
Weapons prosecutions peaked at 11,000 in 2004 and dropped to less than 7,000 a decade later. Since 2014, however, TRAC data shows a gradual uptick in prosecutions, punctuated by a steep increase this year as the DOJ cracks down on gun-related crimes.
“The straw purchasing and illegal trafficking of firearms is a serious criminal activity and often puts firearms in the hands of individuals who can’t legally purchase or possess them,” said Lawrence Panetta, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Boston Field Division. “ATF remains dedicated to identifying, investigating and arresting these individuals and making our streets and communities safer from violent firearm related acts.”
St. Albans Chief of Police Gary Taylor added: “This case is an excellent example of municipal law enforcement working with our federal law enforcement partners to make our community and our neighbors’ community in Boston safer.”
If convicted, each defendant faces up to 10 years in prison, according to the DOJ.
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Century Arms announced its latest creation, the TP9 Elite Combat pistol, is now officially entering the wild currently shipping to dealers and distributors nationwide.
The TP9 Elite Combat features a 9mm design that builds on Canik’s TP9SF series. The Elite Combat packs in similar features but offers a customized look to the package courtesy of Salient Arms. The TP9 Combat Elite offers some Salient Arms upgrades such as a proprietary Convex thread protector with 13.5x1mm left-hand threads, fiber optic sight set and fluted, nitride-coated match-grade barrel.
The gun provides an extended magazine release in addition to an optics-ready slide with adapter plate and charging handle as well as a new flat-face aluminum trigger design.
“Century and Salient Arms agreed on the TP9SF Elite as the ideal platform for the new Combat model due to its popularity and versatility, with its size being ideal for both concealed carry and full duty applications,” Jason Karvois, Director of Sales for Century Arms, said in a press release.
Jacob Lunde of Salient Arms said that the pairing of the two companies brings a custom look to the pistol without breaking the bank.
“Salient Arms International first noticed Canik very early on,” said Lunde. “We were very impressed by how well the pistols performed, and left with a high respect for the product. Even prior to collaborating on the project, we would quickly recommend Canik pistols to anyone look for a great value in a pistol. We were excited to consider a collaboration, and to further enhance the already excellent line-up of Canik pistols.”
Shipping with a retention holster and three magazine extensions, the TP9 Combat Elite retails for $849.
The base of the Dual AR Platform is composed of Aero Precision stripped X15 upper and lower receivers because of the quality forging that takes place in the manufacturing process. The Aero receiver set is coupled with Ballistic Advantage Modern Series QPQ 5.56 barrels and VG6 Precision Epsilon Muzzle Devices that do a spectacular job of dispersing expelled gasses properly upon discharge reducing muzzle rise.
The assembled AR’s are then turned onto their sides with the top rail sections facing each other and placed into an aluminum mount specifically made for this application. The aluminum mount is also fitted with a M3 type adapter pedestal that allows the platform to be placed into a military style tripod system or other mounting options. The AR’s at this point are absent of pistol grips because the Gatling style firing control system attaches to the pistol grip points on the receivers.
Once the platform is mounted on the tripod or other adaptor system, the most challenging and critical part of the proper operation of the platform is adjusting the timing of the firing system. When timed and adjusted correctly the platform will fire alternately from each AR with a simple rotation of the crank lever. The rest is lead down range and brass on the ground.
The next possible upgrade to the platform would be to exchange the current Mil Spec triggers out for binary triggers such as the Echo Trigger System by FosTech Inc. This trigger system give the platform of firing one round when the trigger is pulled to the rear and fire another round when the trigger is released for the reset – effectively doubling in the platforms rate of fire. The entire CPP platform is fitted with multiple parts anodized in red from multiple manufactures such as Strike Industries and Phase 5. These accent parts can be in a variety of colors to fit the users preference.
If you’re looking for something not easily found off the shelf or want to access a great shop for a custom build, Freedom Defense Tactical can build it.
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Crypto- and free-market anarchist Cody Wilson, allied with a gun rights group, is expanding the reach of their federal lawsuit over legal protections for 3D printed gun files.
Currently fighting a coalition of national gun control groups and attorneys general from over a score of states seeking to block the distribution of downloadable 3D printed gun files in a Seattle federal court, Wilson and the Second Amendment Foundation have added New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Pennsylvania Gov. Thomas Wolf, Delaware Attorney General Matthew Denn, and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro to their countersuit filed in a Texas federal court.
SAF founder Alan Gottlieb described the case as rooted in the First Amendment. “What these public officials are attempting is an unconstitutional exercise of prior restraint,” Gottlieb said. “They are trying to prevent Defense Distributed and its founder, Cody Wilson, from exercising free speech.”
The Texas-based lawsuit was filed in July against New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and L.A. City Attorney Michael Feuer, who sought to close off access to the files by those in their respective jurisdictions. In the challenge, attorneys for DefDist argued that the effort by Grewal and Feuer illegally interferes with the company’s lawful business under the Dormant Commerce Clause, which restricts the powers of states to get involved in federally-protected interstate commerce.
For his part, Feuer on Monday filed a motion to dismiss the suit, calling it a “retaliatory, frivolous” action. At the same time, Grewal has called on federal officials to take steps to ensure that the files are not available to anyone, citing original action by the U.S. State Department to limit access to them under a 1970s-era international arms control program.
Currently barred from giving the files away for free on his DefCAD site, Wilson late last month began selling the plans on a “pay anything” model, saying, “I’m happy now to become the iTunes of downloadable guns if I can’t be the Napster.” According to on-site tickers, the files have been ordered over 20,000 times.
Meanwhile, the New Jersey Assembly Judiciary Committee approved a bill Monday making it a felony to produce 3D-printed guns or purchase parts to build such a gun, sending it to the full Assembly for a vote. Likewise, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) introduced legislation on Monday to ban both 3D-printed plastic guns and so-called “ghost guns” from the nation’s capital. At least six bills are pending in Congress on the subject of 3D-printed guns.
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Authorities are not offering to pay for the now-banned devices, but those caught with them could risk up to one year in prison and $1,000 in fines.
With Vermont’s new law banning the sale and possession of bump stock is set to go into effect Oct. 1, the State Police announced Monday that they will offer an anonymous collection program for the devices.
“In compliance with that law, the Vermont State Police will allow members of the public to voluntarily surrender their bump-fire stocks anonymously at any of the 10 VSP barracks in the state,” Capt. Timothy Clouatre said in a release. “People may turn in the devices during regular business hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.”
The devices were outlawed in the state after lawmakers approved S.55, and sent it to Republican Gov. Phil Scott to sign in April. The sweeping anti-gun law placed a limit on magazine capacity for handguns and rifles, upped the age to buy all guns in the state to 21, and outlawed bump stocks and similar devices. Those who have the devices after the law takes effect in October will be liable to as much as a year in prison and a $1,000 fine. There is no path to legal ownership and no reimbursement program for the forfeited property.
The ban has triggered a lawsuit from state Second Amendment groups who describe the prohibition as unconstitutional when it comes to protected gun rights. Similar lawsuits have been filed in Florida and Maryland, states that have also outlawed bump fire stocks.
Although at least eight states have banned bump stocks and assorted other devices only one, Washington, has moved to establish a “buyback” program, with a fixed rate of $150 per device, but that program is pending funding allocations by lawmakers.
While Americans could possess as many as 520,000 bump stocks, according to estimates from federal regulators, few are being turned in to authorities in states where they have been banned. Seven months after Denver outlawed the devices, none had been handed over to police in Colorado’s largest city. Similar results are reported in New Jersey while in Massachusetts, the first state to ban them since the Las Vegas shooting, numbers of relinquished bump stocks are in the single digits.
Those looking to take advantage of Vermont’s “no-questions-asked” surrender program are instructed to bring the stocks in after they have been detached from a firearm. Cloutare said that staff “will take no information about the identity of the person surrendering the bump-fire stock,” which will be held in a secure area pending destruction.
State gun rights advocates suggest owners of bump stocks relocate them to other states pending the outcome of the legal challenge.
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From copper-plated slugs to backwards “inception” shells, this plumber’s dream has to be seen in action to be fully appreciated.
Joking that he still has health insurance (for now) homemade gun legend Royal Nonesuch has been working his magic as of late on what he bills as the “smallest 12 gauge ever.” Constructed of pipes, workshop bits, and failed dreams, the single-shot handgun stays intact during the testing process, although he does say that it is something of a hand-throbber.
If you are curious as to the build-out and its legalities (NFA rules apply), then be sure to check out the below for background.
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Scot Storm of Freeport on Saturday picked up a solid win in the annual juried art contest with his acrylic painting of a wood duck and decoy.
Beating a crowded field of more than 150 entries, Storm’s stamp design will grace 2019’s $25 Federal Duck Stamp. Established in 1934, some 98 percent of the purchase price of each stamp, required for waterfowl hunting, goes directly to help acquire and protect wetland habitat in the National Wildlife Refuge System. Since the program’s inception, sales of the annual stamps have raised more than $1 billion for conservation — enough to protect six million acres of wetlands habitat on national wildlife refuges around the country.
In a change to this year’s contest from past years was a mandatory hunting-related aspect to the art. Besides one of five approved waterfowl species, qualifying entries had to include a hunting-related accessory such as blinds, hunting dogs or waterfowl decoys in the image. The move is part of an overall effort by the Trump administration to grow the number of sportsmen taking to the country’s woods.
The entries included waterfowl pictured with hunters taking aim, admiring the birds and setting decoys. Ducks pictured with shotgun hulls, in front of camouflaged blinds, and even one with the ducks engraved on the receiver of a shotgun were among the submissions.
The full gallery of the 2018 entries is below.
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An initiative by the National Sheriffs’ Association to field a dog encounter simulator geared to responding law enforcement could save some of Man’s Best Friends.
A VirTra use-of-force simulator, developed over the past two years with the National Sheriffs’ Association as part of their Law Enforcement Dog Encounters Training program, is being fielded at the Harford County Sheriff’s Department in Maryland. The goal of the system is to cut down on lethal force encounters between police and canines, which can be both tragic to those involved and lead to seven-figure settlements from agencies.
“When an officer winds up shooting a dog, it rips right at the fabric of the community,” says NSA deputy executive director John Thompson in the above video from Reason.com.
The simulator is based on canine behavior science coupled with officer safety measures which are designed to help responders make safe decisions when interacting with pets under often stressful circumstances.
The Hartford program was launched in June and additional pilot programs are scheduled to occur in Orange County, Florida, and Oakland County, Michigan.
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Sightmark delivers new cantilever mounts to its riflescope accessory lineup, looking to offer shooters better performance in competition shooting, hunting and law enforcement applications.
The new cantilever mounts are available in two sizes — 30mm and 34mm — shipping in a fixed configuration, locking quick detach variant, or fixed with 20MOA for long range shooting. Using 6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum, the cantilever mounts provide a rugged and durable design according to Sightmark. Fitting any Picatinny rail, the mounts offer a matte black, non-reflective finish reducing glare while the scope is in use.
Sightmark touts the cantilever mounts’ ability to conform to a variety of applications.
“Upgrade your riflescope rings to Sightmark’s new line of cantilever mounts! The new cantilever rings deliver rock solid holds for your riflescope for better performance in competition shooting, hunting and even law enforcement,” the company said in a press release.
Though the cantilever mounts are featured on Sightmark’s website, no information is available on shipping dates or pricing.
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Competitive shooter Julie Golob holds class to cover the bases on a few tricks and tips to introduce a new shooter to firearms.
Running the gamut from basic firearms safety to sight picture and trigger control, Golob, who rings lots of steel on Team Smith & Wesson after a career that began on the U.S. Army’s Marksmanship Unit, lays down the fundamentals. Then comes the fun stuff.
Nightforce Optics adds onto its ATACR and SHV product lines, announcing the new ATACR 4-16×50 F1 and SHV 3-10×42 riflescope models.
Leading the pack is the latest entry into the ATACR family, the 4-16×50 F1 riflescope. The scope delivers a 50mm objective lens designed to perform in lowlight and at longer ranges. Featuring the company’s patented ZeroStop elevation travel, the scope boasts adjustments of 100 MOA or 30 Mils. The scope offers extra-low distortion glass as well as an integrated Power Throw Lever for quick magnification changes. The ATACR 4-16×50 F1 comes in the shooter’s choice of either red or green digital illumination options.
“The ATACR 4-16×50 F1 will meet the demanding needs of law enforcement, hunters who want a versatile first focal plane optic and competitors wanting great glass in a compact package,” Nightforce Optics said in a press release.
The SHV 3-10×42 scope provides an illuminated MOAR or Forceplex reticle designed for lowlight conditions. Nightforce offers a user adjustable illumination control with reticle brightness capable of adjusting based on external conditions. The latest SHV keeps to the original SHV mission of offering shooters and hunters a value driven scope package.
“Nightforce listens to its consumers and each of these scopes were developed based upon feedback of consumers, our dealer base and professionals in the field. As with any Nightforce product we have designed, tested and built these optics to provide performance beyond expectations whether in our premier ATACR line or our more affordable SHV family,” Alan Stilwell, Nightforce North American Sales Manager, said in a news release.
Both rifles are currently available with the ATACR 4-16×50 F1 retailing for $2,500 and the SHV 3-10×42 priced at $985.
The U.S. House last week gave a nod to a bill aimed at making more funds available to promote hunting and recreational shooting.
The measure, H.R. 2591, termed the Modernizing the Pittman-Robertson Fund for Tomorrow’s Needs Act, passed Sept. 12 on a voice vote. It aims to give more flexibility to state wildlife agencies in using the funds generated from a longstanding excise tax on guns and ammunition, primarily directed at the recruitment and retention of hunters to the sport.
“With a national decline in outdoor recreational activities, Pittman-Robertson funds are shrinking and our state and local habitats are suffering, which is why I have been fighting to give states more flexibility in how they use their PR funds and hopefully attract more Americans to the outdoors in the process,” said the bill’s sponsor, U.S. Rep. Scott, R-Ga.
The bill, which passed the House Committee on Natural Resources in May and has nominal bipartisan support, aims to modify the 1937 Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act. This 80-year-old law uses an excise tax levied on all firearms and ammunition sold or imported into the country to perform conservation-related tasks as varied as restoring elk habitat to funding safety programs and establishing public shooting ranges. Paid for by manufacturers and producers, the fund has been pushed into overdrive in recent years because of a spike in gun and ammunition sales. In 2012, the fund apportioned $371 million to state conservation agencies. By 2015, it broke $1 billion and has maintained that level since.
However, in an ominous sign for the future of the sport, although the national population rose in the past decade, recent surveys found that the numbers of active hunters fell by some 8 percent, from 12.5 million in 2006 to 11.4 in 2016.
Under H.R. 2591’s guidelines, $5 million would be made available exclusively for hunter and recreational shooter recruitment grants. The program could use techniques such as social media interaction, media spots, mentoring, and field demonstrations as outreach to educate the public and grow the ranks of the country’s sportsmen and shooting sports practitioners. Current Pittman-Robertson guidelines limit the use of funds for items termed “public relations.”
This, say advocates, translates into a win-win under the “user pay/public benefits” model used in the country for generations and reinforces the relationship between those who buy sporting goods equipment and public conservation. “Recruitment and retention of new hunters means more dollars in the Pittman-Robertson Fund, which directly benefits state-based conservation efforts across the United States,” said Jeff Crane, president of the Congressional Sportsmen Foundation, who support Scott’s bill.
A Senate version of the measure, S.1613, was introduced last year by U.S. Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, and has six bipartisan co-sponsors. It has been referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
“Five shots. If it was good enough for Sam Spade, it’s good enough for me,” said John Clark, editor of the magazine Cowboy Chronicle Quarterly, referencing the fictional character from a host of detective stories, about his everyday carry.
Clark, who has competed in cowboy action shooting events for nearly 25 years, said his decision to carry a revolver over some popular semi-auto handgun with a larger magazine is based on simplicity and peace of mind. “Pull it out, pull the trigger and it always fires. You only have five shots, but you always know you have them,” he said.
Although some of his shooter friends disagree with his carry preference – because they want as many rounds as possible, Clark argues: “Unless you’re a police officer or someone who has to put themselves in the line of danger, five shots should be enough. If you need more than five shots, you shouldn’t have gone there.”
Clark explained that he’s competed with both 1911s and Glocks and while both are reliable enough they may, at some point, jam. “If you carry and you’re not willing to put in the practice time required to learn how to deal with and clear jams – and get to the point that you can handle it automatically and without even thinking about what you’re doing – I recommend using a revolver,” he said.
Clark explained that he prefers a Smith & Wesson Model 638 with a shrouded hammer, because the design helps prevent snagging on the draw. He carries the revolver in a Kramer Horsehide Pocket Holster that is custom molded and fits into pant pockets nicely. “It’s meant to go into your front pocket – I like to carry it in my back pocket with a shirt over it,” he said. “It’s completely concealed and draws safely and easily.”
In situations where his Smith &Wesson revolver is hard to conceal, his second-choice gun is a North American Arms Mini-Revolver, a very small, five-shot, 22 rimfire with a folder. “It looks like you’re carrying a pocket knife. Pull it out, unfold it and you’re ready to go,” he said.
The state is seeking a do-over in a case that said Hawaii’s restrictions on the open carry of firearms in public were not in line with the Second Amendment.
State and local officials last week filed a 114-page request to overturn the decision of a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit and send the case before a larger 11-judge en banc panel for a retrial. At stake is Hawaii’s ability to keep its strict limits on the unconcealed carry of firearms in public, which a two-judge majority found in July was unconstitutional.
“The importance of this case is beyond dispute,” argues Hawaii officials in the filing. “The panel struck down carry restrictions that have been in effect in Hawaii in some form for over 150 years. In doing so, it overruled a sovereign State’s judgment on a matter of the utmost concern to public safety. And it did so on the basis of a severe misunderstanding of state law.”
The case involves George Young, whose repeated attempts to obtain a permit going back as far as 2011 were rebuffed in a state where it is notoriously hard to be granted a carry permit of any sort. Young held that his denial of an application for a handgun license stepped on his Second Amendment rights to carry a loaded firearm openly for self-defense outside of the home and the panel agreed. Hawaii law narrowly allows the ability to open carry to a select few — such as security guards — which the state supported in arguments earlier this year. This, the majority held, was just plain wrong.
However, in a 10-page opinion, delivered last week by Hawaii Attorney General Robert Suzuki to Lt. Gov. Douglas Chin, the state’s top lawyer said state law does not limit “unconcealed carry licenses” to just private security officers, and that police chiefs can grant such licenses to those who meet certain standards.
“This opinion validates what many Hawai‘i residents believe, and that is that our firearms laws keep our communities safe,” said Chin, a Democrat, in a statement. “To promote public safety, we must defend our state laws.”
The case has wider ramifications than in the nation’s 50th state. As noted in the filing last week, “If left undisturbed, the panel’s decision will thus deprive States like Hawaii and California of the tools necessary to protect their residents from gun violence that Maryland, New Jersey, and New York have all been found to possess.”
To help buttress their case, the state has enlisted big-name legal muscle in their fight, namely Georgetown University Law professor Neal Katyal, who served as Acting Solicitor General under President Obama.
Headquartered in San Francisco, the 9th is the largest of the 13 U.S. courts of appeals, with 29 active judgeships. Due to its size, it is the only appeals court that conducts en banc rehearings with an 11-judge panel, the rest requiring the full roster. A majority of non-recused active judges from the Circuit have to vote to rehear the case, a move that is rarely granted. Regardless of the outcome, a further challenge to the Supreme Court is likely in the case.
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Radical Firearms set a milestone for its company, announcing that 300 RF 15 rifles have been donated to law enforcement and military agencies and organizations to date.
The Texas-based company said the weapons have been gifted directly to agencies, police associations, charitable funds and first responder benefits in addition to individual officers not issued a rifle. Radical Firearms has also donated firearms to organizations supporting veterans such Wishes For Warriors, Veterans Helping Veterans, “Ryan the Warrior,” Bikes and Bugs, Texas Adaptive Aquatics, the Texas Frog Fest/Lone Survivor Foundation and local charities.
The donations have stretched across state lines, impacting officers and veterans all over the U.S.
“Radical Firearms is pleased to share its latest milestone with regard to supporting military charities and first responders — 300. 300 is the number of RF 15 rifles and pistols the company has thus far donated to worthy causes,” Radical Firearms said in a press release.
The company hopes to expand that number even further setting another goal to reach by spring 2019 in addition to encouraging other companies to band together to donate to police and military members.
“Radical Firearms hopes to increase this number to 300 by Spring,” Radical Firearms commented. “We hope all responsible gun owners will join us in lauding all firearm and tactical equipment manufacturers who support local first responders, veterans, and other worthwhile causes.”
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The trade group for the firearms industry says that AR-15-style rifles and their competitors are among the most common in the country.
Figures researched by the National Shooting Sports Foundation show that just over 16 million semi-auto rifles such as AR-15s and AKs have been produced or imported into the country since 1990. Combing through figures from federal regulators and verifying the break out against companies who make selected semi-auto rifles with detachable magazines, termed modern sporting rifles by the industry, the group says guns like the AR and AK are white hot with consumers.
“Modern sporting rifles remain the most commonly purchased rifle by Americans today,” Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president, told Guns.com.
Keane explained the guns are popular in large part due to the inherent modularity of such platforms, which provide the ability to customize them to fit the individual owner and the wide variety of needs they can fulfill. “They are offered a wide variety of calibers and the design of the firearm allows beginners to quickly master safe and accurate marksmanship skills,” he said. “Modern sporting rifles are the choice for millions of Americans for hunting, recreational target shooting and self-defense.”
Subject to a federal ban on “assault weapons” that ran from 1994 through 2004, the NSSF found that the number of MSRs dipped to a low of just 70,000 produced and imported in 1996, but has been climbing ever since. By 1998, even while the ban was in effect, the figure doubled to 145,000. By 2003, the last year of the ban, the numbers of guns broached 380,000. Five years later, with the election of President Obama, numbers hit 633,000. Then, in 2009, a solid 1 million. In 2013, following the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Connecticut and a wave of gun control legislation both proposed and enacted: 2.3 million.
The estimate for 2016, working with the latest numbers available due which are stymied out of respect of industry confidentiality, are on par with 2013 figures — 2.3 million. For reference, U.S. manufacturers produced some 4.2 million rifles of all calibers and types in 2016.
The number of guns in circulation is a more ephemeral number as, while some have surely been scrapped, worn out, broken or otherwise retired, guns manufactured or imported before 1989 are not listed in the 16 million figure. Likewise, guns assembled from so-called “80 percent” lowers or kits by home builders are not tracked by the industry.
The debate over just how common ARs are has been a matter of legal contention at the federal level for several years.
In 2014, upholding Maryland’s strict new gun control laws, U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake ruled that AR-15 style rifles and others “fall outside Second Amendment protection as dangerous and unusual arms.” Blake went on to explain her reasoning that the then-estimated 8.2 million AR-15 and AK-47 based semi-automatic rifles known imported to or produced in the country between 1990 and 2012 represent “no more than 3 percent of the current civilian gun stock.” Even this, she maintained, was highly concentrated in an even smaller “1 percent” of the U.S. population.
In 2016, Blake’s ruling was reversed by a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals who held that the same figure of guns, coupled with an estimated 75 million magazines “are so common that they are standard” with Chief Judge William Byrd Traxler, Jr. going on to say, “In sum, semi-automatic rifles and LCMs [large capacity magazines] are commonly used for lawful purposes, and therefore come within the coverage of the Second Amendment.”
Nonetheless, Traxler’s ruling was later overturned by a rare en banc panel of the entire court which stood behind the ban in a 10-4 ruling that the Supreme Court declined to review further.
The same year that Maryland’s ban was upheld, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., grilled Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch on if AR-15s were in common use, or could be restricted as unusual, in line with the 2008 Heller case.
“In DC v. Heller, the majority opinion written by Justice Scalia recognized that — and I’m quoting, ‘Of course the Second Amendment was not unlimited,’ end quote. Justice Scalia wrote, ‘For example, laws restricting access to guns by the mentally ill or laws forbidding gun possession in schools were consistent with the limited nature of the Second Amendment.’ Justice Scalia also wrote that quote, ‘Weapons that are most useful in military service, M16 rifles and the like, may be banned,’ end quote without infringing on the Second Amendment,” said Feinstein.
“Do you agree with that statement that under the Second Amendment weapons that are most useful in military service, M16 rifles and the like, may be banned?” she asked the nominee.
Gorsuch replied, saying, “Heller makes clear the standard that we judges are supposed to apply. The questions is whether it’s a gun in common use for self-defense and that may be subject to reasonable regulation. That’s the test as I understand it. There’s lots of ongoing litigation about which weapons qualify under those standards and I can’t pre-judge that litigation.”
Feinstein this month returned to the same argument with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
“Most handguns are semi-automatic,” Kavanaugh said. “And the question came before us of semi-automatic rifles and the question was, ‘Can you distinguish as a matter of precedent?’ Again, this is all about precedent for me, trying to read exactly what the Supreme Court said and if you read the McDonald case. And I concluded that it could not be distinguished as a matter of law, semi-automatic rifles from semi-automatic handguns. And semi-automatic rifles are widely possessed in the United States. There are millions and millions and millions of semi-automatic rifles that are possessed. So that seemed to fit common use and not being a dangerous and unusual weapon.”
In the end, Feinstein concluded that “By arguing that AR-15s can’t be regulated, Brett Kavanaugh made crystal clear that he’s to the right of Justice Scalia on guns,” she said on social media after the hearing. “Even pro-gun Justice Scalia knew the 2nd Amendment did not protect all weapons in his opinion in Heller.”
Rossi has issued what they term to be a voluntary safety warning for their .38 Special and .357 Magnum-caliber revolvers that may, under certain circumstances, fire if dropped.
The warning involves guns made between 2005 and 2017 and covers models R351, R352, R461, R462, R851, R971, and R972 with serial numbers beginning with the letter Y, Z, or A through K.
“Rossi is developing inspection and repair solutions,” says the company in a release. “Rossi will make every effort possible to ensure Rossi Revolvers will be inspected, serviced if necessary, and returned to customers in a prompt, timely fashion.”
Since the late 1990s, Rossi’s revolvers have been made under contract by Taurus. Rossi does not have any handguns currently listed in their 2018 catalog but does list BrazTech-marked revolvers as having a lifetime repair policy.
Those with a revolver that may be part of the safety warning should stop using the gun and go to www.RossiSafetyNotice.com where they can verify their serial number and find further instructions. Alternatively, consumers can call (855) 982-8787 for assistance.
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Though black never goes out of style some gun owners are finding its classic look a little too bland, instead turning to Cerakote to achieve a flashy and fun firearm vibe.
Cerakote is, simply put, a ceramic and polymer coating applied to hard finishes in order to achieve bold looks and better protection.
Developed by NIC Industries for firearms in the 1980s, the coating provides a heightened level of durability to hard surfaces making it ideal for firearms and related gear. The coating specifically protects against abrasions, common when training on the range or traipsing through the woods, in addition to delivering corrosion resistance.
As most firearms feature a certain level of steel and/or aluminum, the extra coat of Cerakote reduces the interaction between oils and liquids and the firearm itself. This prevents nasty corrosion from setting in and harming not only the look of the gun but its functionality as well.
The Cerakote finish is thin, measuring only 0.001-inches thick, making it ideal for firearms use. It also bonds well with steel, aluminum and polymer — common materials also used in modern firearm production.
“The unique formulation used for Cerakote ceramic coating enhances a number of physical performance properties including abrasion/wear resistance, corrosion resistance, chemical resistance, impact strength, and hardness,” Cerakote explains on its website. “Cerakote ceramic coatings utilize state-of-the-art technology to out-perform any competitive coating in both laboratory settings and real world applications.”
While the practical applications of Cerakote are appealing from a protective standpoint, the art behind it has driven a new generation of gun owners to seek out the finish. From bright colors to funky patterns, Cerakote has opened the door for consumers to express their personalities through their guns and gear. The process has exploded in popularity with more and more Cerakote artists and shops cropping up online and on social media, showcasing their creativity. The result — a wide variety of rich colors, fun patterns and unique looks designed to be the envy at any gun range.
“Cerakote is available in over a hundred different colors and because it was originally manufactured for the gun industry, where tolerances matter, it achieves this amazing protection while applied at only a mil of thickness,” Mad Custom Cerakote explained in a blog post on its site.
Unlike many other aspects of the gun industry, applying Cerakote to a firearm or part isn’t a do-it-yourself venture. The process takes a certain level of know-how to successfully complete, according to Cerakote.
The Cerakote process begins with the gun disassembled — field-stripping alone won’t do. Cerakote emphasizes during its training sessions that the firearm must be completely and fully disassembled in order for the coating to work properly. The firearms’ components are then de-greased, followed by a blast with garnet sand to ensure no oils remain on any surfaces. Any residual oils left on the gun can cause issues with the coating, thus extra care has to be taken in order to ensure the weapon is free and clear of any oils.
After all oils are successfully removed, the Cerakote finish is then applied using a HLVP spray gun. Skill and finesse are required to ensure the proper thickness of the coating is achieved. Too much and the finish interferes with proper firearm operation. Once applied, all metal parts are oven-cured at 250-degrees while polymer components are oven-cured at 150 to 180-degrees.
Though Cerakote offers advantages, the process does require gun owners to surrender guns to a custom shop; unless, the gun is purchased straight from the manufacturer with a Cerakote already applied. In addition to time spent away, the cost of Cerakoting is another factor that prevents some gun owners from achieving anything other than standard black. Cost, of course, depends on the style and complexity of the design; but even just a basic flat color can knock the price of a gun up by a couple hundred dollars.
For those that choose to Cerakote, however, the price is worth it. “The styles and designs vary from shop to shop but the best custom work is undeniably impressive. In fact, the unique taste and approach each shop brings to the table just serves to create a rich tapestry of beautiful firearms,” Stephen Gutowski said in a piece for The Washington Free Beacon.
When dealing with a mystery barrel, an easy way to measure the twist rate of the rifling is a must.
Using a cleaning rod, a magic marker, and a tape measure, Chad with IV8888 goes through the basic steps to figure out the bore’s twist, which is needed to calculate ballistics and figure out a rifle’s sweet spot with certain loads.
Good stuff. Pretty soon you’ll be measuring everything in the safe, amazing your friends and baffling your enemies. Or something like that.
The post A quick primer on calculating the twist rate of a barrel (VIDEO) appeared first on Guns.com.
Kahr Firearms Group will soon switch up locations for its product service and repairs for both its Kahr Arms and Auto-Ordnance brands.
Starting Sept. 17, repairs and product returns should be sent to the new service center housed in Greeley, PA. Kahr Arms said the decision to move locations is all in service of customers. “The move will allow Kahr Arms and Auto-Ordnance to better serve our customers,” Kahr Firearms Group said in a press release.
Before shipping to the new location, customers in need of service on their Kahr Arms or Auto-Ordnance firearms need to attain an RMA number. The number can be nabbed from either Kahr Arms or Auto-Ordnance’s websites.
Returns headed to service should now be addressed to the following address:
Kahr Firearms Group
Attn: Returns Department
105 Kahr Avenue
Greeley, PA 18425
Consumers in need of a return or repair can contact Kahr Firearms Group’s service department via email at email@example.com or by phone at 508-795-3913, extension 1.
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