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ATF announces more arrests in Colorado gun store thefts

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 09:30

Thieves stole 70 guns from two Denver-area Cabela’s in August, including the one pictured here. (Photo: CBS Denver)

Federal authorities in Colorado announced two more arrests this week as the state struggles with an increase in gun store thefts.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday agents arrested two Denver men last month for stealing guns from a Cabela’s in Lone Tree, Colorado. Another four suspects were taken into custody for lifting multiple handguns, shot guns and rifles from Dragon Arms in El Paso County, Colorado, in August.

“These are no property crimes. These are life and death crimes. Stolen guns go straight into the hands of criminals, not hunters and target shooters,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer in a statement Tuesday. “The people who bring this violence into our communities will be introduced to federal justice, up close and personal, for a long time.”

Authorities charged 23-year-old Darnell Hudgins, 21-year-old Giavanni Edward Miles and 23-year-old Kendall Crockett for conspiring to steal firearms from a Cabela’s in Douglas County on Aug. 10, the ATF said. Less than two weeks later, the three suspects stole 50 guns from a Cabela’s in Thornton, Colorado. All three have been charged with possessing stolen firearms, conspiracy to steal firearms from a federal licensee and disposal of the weapons.

Gun thefts in Colorado doubled last year, according to the ATF, marking a 10-year high for the state. The agency said criminals stole 273 firearms from federally-licensed dealers in 2016, up from just 56 in 2014. More than 400 guns have been stolen in Colorado this year alone, the agency said Tuesday.

“Investigating these thefts is ATF’s top priority in Colorado,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Debora Livingston. “We will be relentless. If someone is involved, we will find them. A potential ten-year prison sentence is a significant punishment for two minutes of crime.”

So far, the partnership between the federal, state and local authorities brought 16 suspects into custody for half a dozen gun store thefts dating back to January.

Gun thefts remain on the rise nationwide, the ATF said, peaking at 7,858 stolen firearms in 2016.

“We are very concerned about the rise in gun thefts. These guns will not be used for hunting or sport; they are destined for future crimes and are a threat to public and officer safety,” ATF Denver Field Division Special Agent in Charge Debora Livingston said in a March press release.

“ATF is working closely with all the affected police departments in the Denver Metro Area to identify and arrest suspects, recover guns and prevent future thefts. We are also frequently communicating with gun dealers in the Metro Area to inform them of the rise in break-ins and help them better protect their store and inventory,” she continued.

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Categories: Gun News

Grassroots push back against bipartisan bump stock ban

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 09:15

A We The People petition asking the White House to protect Second Amendment rights while urging a rebuff of a House gun control measure is being backed by popular gun culture figures.

The petition, started Wednesday, urges HR. 3999 be rejected and “subsequently give law-abiding firearm owners their constitutional rights back, including a repeal of the NFA.”

The petition goes on to urge the White House, “Protect the second amendment and prevent it from being infringed upon as our founding fathers clearly stated,” and “Punish those who violate any part of the constitution with the full extent of the law, including political figures.”

The legislation at the subject of the petition was introduced by a mixed group of Republicans and Democrats in the House this week and currently has 25 co-sponsors.

The bill, though only three pages, is sweeping in its language, barring the production or possession of any gun part or parts that increase the rate of fire of a semi-automatic rifle without converting it to the legal definition of a machine gun. This would potentially include not only the now-vilified stocks but also various binary or modified triggers and cranks which are currently legal.

Urging support of the petition and/or rejection of HR. 3999 are popular YouTube gun channel personalities Hickok45, the Military Arms Channel and Sootch00. NRA commentator and pew-pew life advocate Colion Noir posted a similar call to action on his social media.

As of Friday morning, the petition has just over 10,000 signatures and needs 100,000 by Nov. 10 in order to qualify for a response from the White House.

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Categories: Gun News

Henry commemorative rifle to help save battleship USS Texas (PHOTOS)

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 09:00

The rifle has silver and gold engraved etchings of the USS Texas as she appeared in 1914 with her lattice mast profile, and of the upgraded USS Texas as she appeared in 1927 with tripod mast, above, along with The State of Texas seal. (Photos: Battleship Texas)

Fighting against the combined forces of time and Mother Nature, the oldest U.S. battleship still afloat is in need of desperate repair, and sales of a limited edition rifle could help.

Dubbed “The Last Dreadnought,” Texas was commissioned in 1914 as the world was on the verge of the Great War and went on to serve for over 30 years, during both World Wars — one of only a handful of ships still in existence with such a lineage. Since 1948, she has continued to serve in her namesake state as a museum ship at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site in Texas.

However, time has not been kind to the century-old relic and, as reported by the Houston Chronicle, continuous repairs are needed just to keep her afloat and funds are scarce.

“We pump about 300,000 gallons of water a day out of the Battleship Texas,”  Bruce Bramlett, executive director of the non-profit Battleship Texas Foundation, told the Chronicle. “There are places on the ship where the hull is so thin you can poke your finger through it. So, we’re constantly pumping water out and patching holes, and the water is constantly seeping back in.”

One solution to help raise funds is a project with Henry Arms and Barron Engraving for a special commemorative rifle.

Priced at $999, $400 from each will go to the Foundation to help repair and restore the Texas and, since the organization has 501c status, it’s tax deductible.

The rifle has silver and gold engraved etchings of the USS Texas as she appeared in 1914 with her lattice mast profile, above, and of the upgraded USS Texas as she appeared in 1927 with tripod mast, along with The State of Texas seal. (Photos: Battleship Texas)

Special edition firearms have proved successful in the past for the group, with Colt 1911 and Browning Citori 12 & 20 gauge over & under commemoratives quickly selling out.

Speaking of which, orders for the Battleship Texas Henry must be received by the end of the year.

The post Henry commemorative rifle to help save battleship USS Texas (PHOTOS) appeared first on Guns.com.

Categories: Gun News

Bear shot after entering post office in Alaska (VIDEO)

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 08:45

A 300-pound black bear was shot and killed after it wandered into a post office in Anchorage on Sunday night.

Authorities say the bear entered the facility through an open door around 11:30 p.m. The post office was closed to the public at the time, although about 75 employees were inside the facility.

At the sight of the animal, the employees made their way to safety as the bear climbed on a conveyer belt and eventually made its way to the building’s garbage room. Meanwhile, Airport Police and Fire were called, and numerous officers promptly responded to the call.

Responding officers tried to corral the animal out of the building, but were unsuccessful. Once the bear became a safety concern, officers shot and killed it.

The facility was briefly shut down during the incident, but the bear caused no damage and no one was injured.

[ KTVA ]

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Categories: Gun News

Suburban Chicago mom charged with threatening FBI mole on Facebook

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 08:30

Iesha Stanciel. (Photo: Federal complaint)

A suburban Chicago mother of seven has been accused of encouraging Facebook followers to murder an FBI informant involved in a sting that landed one of her associates in prison for trying to sell semi-automatic rifles stolen from a Chicago freight train.

Iesha Stanciel, 38, now faces federal cyberstalking charges as a result of the threats, according to a federal complaint. She has also been hit with a gun charge after being arrested with an AR 15-type assault rifle stolen from the freight train last September.

Stanciel’s associate, Brian Stafford, allegedly told the FBI informant he had the rifles in his possession just two days after the train heist in which thieves stole six brand new Smith & Wesson M&P assault rifles and 27 pistols from a south side rail yard.

Stafford was then arrested in October 2016, prompting Stanciel to post threatening messages on Facebook regarding the FBI informant. Some of the threats included the informant’s name, according to court documents.

“Snitches get stitches and found in ditches,” Stanciel said in one post, which she followed up with 11 handgun emojis.

Another post included a picture of the informant and urged followers to shoot “his head back.”

Stanciel claimed in a July letter to a federal judge that the posts had been “fantasies” and asked to be released from jail while awaiting trial. The judge denied her request.

It remains unclear if Stanciel and Stafford were directly involved in the actual train heist. Stafford has been hit with illegal gun possession charges, and both have pleaded not guilty.

The 2016 train heist enraged Chicagoans living near the south side rail yard, as it occurred just a year after another crew of thieves stole 111 Ruger pistols from a train parked overnight on the same Norfolk Southern property.

One of the main suspects in the 2015 heist, Andrew Shelton, was sentenced last week to 10 years in federal prison for his involvement. Ten other defendants have been convicted as a result of the investigation into the theft and subsequent sale of the firearms.

The post Suburban Chicago mom charged with threatening FBI mole on Facebook appeared first on Guns.com.

Categories: Gun News

Maine business now offers guns, ammo with take-out

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 08:15

Mason and Kathy Dubord, owners of the Dresden Take Out. (Photo: The Lincoln County News)

The Dresden Take Out in Dresden, Maine, as of Saturday, added guns and ammo, along with other hunting, fishing, and camping essentials to their menu.

“We figured this is a hunting and fishing community, so we should offer that here,” said Mason Dubord, who owns the business with his wife, Kathy.

The couple, who completed extensive renovations to accommodate the changes, said they relied on their patrons for insight into what items they should offer in their store. Now, those items include handguns, shotguns, and rifles, all within a wide price range.

“We hope anyone who comes in looking for something can leave feeling good that they were able to purchase a high-quality gun within their budget,” Kathy said, while noting the one-stop shop will still require background checks for gun purchases.

The couple said the inventory will change, as the seasons do, and eventually they hope to offer live bait as well.

“We want people to be able to come in and find exactly what they need,” Kathy Dubord said. “If we don’t have it, we’ll start carrying it.”

The couple said they’ve received nothing but positive feedback since adding guns and ammo to their inventory.

[ The Lincoln County News ]

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Categories: Gun News

House Dems propose bills to stop online ammo sales, ban mags

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 08:00

House Democrats have introduced a number of new gun control measures in the wake of a deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas.

Among the proposals are HR.3962 to ban online ammunition sales, H.R. 4025 requiring gun dealers to report the sale of two or more rifles to the same person in a five-day period, and HR. 4052, which would ban magazines able to hold greater than 10 rounds.

“Several of my colleagues and I have introduced commonsense legislation that, if enacted, would reduce gun violence and the tragic impact it has on our communities,” said U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, the New Jersey Democrat sponsoring the Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act.

Coleman’s proposal is much like a state law approved last year by voters in California in the respect that it would require federally licensed ammo dealers to directly confirm the identity of those buying ammo over the Internet by verifying a photo I.D. in-person. Also, the measure would require the vendor to report any individual sales of more than 1,000 rounds in a five-day period to the U.S. Attorney General. Garnering 29 co-sponsors, all Democrat, the measure has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

Gun reporting

The Multiple Firearm Sales Reporting Modernization Act, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Norma Torres, D-Calf., would require FFLs to report the sale of two or more long guns to the same buyer within a five-day period to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

Currently, dealers must report multiple handgun sales while a 2011 rule that requires only dealers in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas report multiple rifle sales. Under the new proposal, it would be the law of the land.

“This bill is a long-overdue update,” said Torres. “Our law enforcement agencies need to know if anyone is stocking up on AR-15s and AK-47s.”

The measure, referred to the Judiciary Committee, has three co-sponsors including Nevada Democrat Dina Titus, whose district includes Las Vegas.

Magazine restrictions

Billed as the Keep Americans Safe Act, Connecticut’s Elizabeth Etsy would ban detachable magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. Backed by several gun control groups including the Brady Campaign and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Esty contends it is needed for public safety.

“There is simply no good reason why sportsmen and women need more than 10 rounds in a magazine,” said Esty in a statement. “No sportsman or woman needs 30 rounds to kill a deer. It’s shameful that we protect our deer better than we protect our people.”

Referred to the Judiciary committee, Esty’s bill has 85 partisan supporters including virtually Nevada’s entire delegation to the House apart from U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei, a Republican whose district hails from the more conservative Northern part of the state including Reno and Carson City.

The bills join measures to ban bump stocks and other devices that can accelerate a gun’s rate of fire, mandates for smart gun use, expanded background check proposals and efforts to increase federal funding for gun crime research, all introduced in the past two weeks.

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Categories: Gun News

When life hands you a rough rifle, some look to make it rougher

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 07:45

What?

Imgur user ricraynor posted some images of his post-apocalyptic style custom rifle builds that look more at home in a Mad Max film than a gun rack.

The two rifles, an AR flattop build constructed with a split wooden stock around the buffer tube and what used to be an Ottoman Turkish Mauser, seem like they are a step away from being shiny and chrome. But before you reach for the blood pressure meds about hacking up the vintage bolt-gun, the creator cautions the Mauser was on its last legs and was no longer collectible.


“It was in such bad shape when we started that restoring it would have cost way more than it’s worth,” says ricraynor. “The stock was mostly rotten and cracked and the barrel needed to be counter-bored and re-crowned.”


The AR is still a Title I gun and they both reportedly still work.

“All of the apocalypse builds work and we shoot them occasionally,” says ricraynor. “They look like hell but are actually maintained and safe to shoot.”

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Categories: Gun News

Son of police officer fatally shot after breaking into Florida home

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 07:30

Xavier Houston, 24, was killed after he broke into a Jacksonville, Florida, home this week. (Photo: Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office)

A 24-year-old Florida man was shot and killed after he broke into a Jacksonville home Wednesday morning, while his accomplice remains at large.

The day after the deadly break-in, local media learned the deceased suspect, Xavier Houston, was the son of an officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

“Sometimes, people think that you’re the son or daughter of a police officer and you’re walking the straight and narrow all the time — or a judge, or a teacher,” crime analyst Gil Smith told reporters. “That’s not the case. They’re regular folks, just like anyone else.”

Authorities say Houston and another person broke into the home shortly before noon. The homeowner, whose identity has not been made public, was alerted to the break-in by an alarm company, while law enforcement was simultaneously called to the home. The homeowner, however, arrived before the police and confronted Houston and the second suspect inside his home.

During the confrontation, the homeowner opened fire, striking Houston, who then stumbled outside to his parked car in an apparent attempt to leave the scene. However, Houston died inside the car, which was still parked in the homeowner’s driveway when police arrived. Authorities say the license plate on the car had been removed before the suspects’ arrival.

Houston’s accomplice, who was described as a black male in his 20s, wearing a hoodie and dark clothing, fled from the scene and remains at large.

According to local reports, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, at this point, has deemed the shooting justifiable. It’s unclear if the suspects were armed during the break-in.

Within a two-mile radius of where Wednesday’s break-in occurred, there have been nearly two dozen break-ins in less than two weeks. Police did not say whether they believed Houston or his accomplice may be responsible for any of those break-ins but are investigating all possibilities.

Houston, whose grandmother said was a “good boy” and grew up in a nice home, apparently had a lengthy criminal record that included prior charges for burglary, aggravated battery, stalking, and domestic battery. But despite his criminal record, one friend, who did not wish to be identified, said Houston was trying to turn his life around. The friend questioned whether he had been influenced by others to do things he knew he shouldn’t do.

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Categories: Gun News

8-year-old struck by stray bullet while visiting Iowa apple orchard (VIDEO)

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 07:15

KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

A day out for one family at an apple orchard in Nashua, Iowa, on Sunday afternoon left an 8-year-old boy hospitalized after catching a stray bullet.

Authorities believe the bullet, which hit the boy’s side and nicked his leg, came from one of the shooting ranges at the Nashua Fish and Game Club, which is located about a mile from the orchard. Darin Enderton, owner of Apples on the Avenue Orchard, said they have never experienced anything like this in the more than 40 years he’s been there.

“This is a very freak accident,” said Enderton. “We’re so sorry that this happened. We’re praying for the family right now.”

The boy was rushed to the hospital and listed in stable condition earlier this week, although his current status is not known. Meanwhile, the Nashua Fish and Game club remains closed until further notice as the investigation continues.

[ KWWL ]

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Categories: Gun News

Ruger launches additional calibers on LCRx revolver series

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 06:30

The LCRx now comes in three additional calibers to suit more shooters’ needs. (Photo: Ruger)

Ruger’s LCRx revolver series continues to grow, with the company introducing new models chambered in .327 Fed. Mag, .22 WMR and 9mm Luger.

The LCRx series already boasts a bevy of options, but the new models aim to bring even more to revolver fans. The new models tout the same high-strength stainless steel cylinder which is extensively fluted, reducing weight.

In addition, the cylinder features a PVD finish increasing durability. The LCRx series offers a patented friction reducing cam that provides a smooth, non-stacking trigger pull while the polymer fire control housing holds all fire control components. This design reduces weight as well as felt recoil.

The series provides grip pegs to allow for a variety of grip styles to be installed on the wheel guns and a the front sight is replaceable to accommodate shooters with specific sight preferences. The revolvers also feature an external hammer for single action use.

New models on the series include a 3-inch and 1.87-inch barrel .22 WMR priced at $579 in addition to 1.87-inch barreled 9mm and 327 Fed Mag variants carrying a price tag of $669.

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Categories: Gun News

Massachusetts Senate unanimously approves bump stock ban

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 06:00

The Massachusetts Senate Chamber of the State House at swearing-in earlier this year. The body passed a prohibition on bump stocks and trigger cranks unanimously on Thursday. (Photo: Mass Sen. Mike Barrett)

The day after being sent a proposed ban on certain gun accessories by the Massachusetts House, lawmakers in the Senate gave the measure a quick thumbs up after some tweaks.

The Senate amendment passed 38-0 Thursday after being reported as a part of H3951. The move aims to prohibit bump stocks and trigger cranks while toning down more sweeping language in the House measure, which intended to ban any device able to increase the rate of fire on semi-automatic guns in the Commonwealth.

State and national gun rights groups urged their members to oppose the original House measure, arguing the proposal is potently vague, leaving open the possibility that it could ban everything from match grade triggers to muzzle brakes.

The modified Senate language adds definitions to state law of “Bump stock” and “Trigger Crank,” regulating each in turn. Further, where those found guilty of possession of such devices would face between three and 20 years in prison under the House proposal, the Senate measure would allow for penalties to run from 18 months to life in prison.

The move in the Senate was backed by Assistant Majority Leader Cynthia S. Creem, a Middlesex Democrat, who described the watered down prohibition with its wider range of sentencing options as “reasonable and balanced” on social media.

Lawmakers now must work out the differences between the two versions passed by the legislature before they can present the ban to Republican Gov. Charlie Baker who has voiced support for outlawing bump stocks.

Similar legislation is underway at the state level in Illinois, Maryland, Ohio, and Washington while at least three federal bills have been filed on Capitol Hill.

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Categories: Gun News

Financial analyst calls bump stocks the ‘sacrificial lamb’

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 05:30

Bump stocks gained notoriety after the Las Vegas shooting. (Photo: Slide Fire Solutions/Facebook)

As major retailers, elected officials and industry leaders continue their quick back step away from bump stocks, one financial analyst said this week the gun modifiers and their chief manufacturer, Slide Fire Solutions, have become the “sacrificial lamb” of the Las Vegas shooting.

“After any horrible event, people need something or someone to blame,” said Maksim Netrebov, founder of New Jersey-based Maks Financial Services and contributor at Seeking Alpha, in an analysis of gun stocks Monday. “It seems that sacrificial lamb has already been found and slaughtered with the blessing of the firearms community and the NRA, Slide Fire Solutions and their bump-fire stocks.”

Bump stocks, a legal gun modification that increases the rate of fire, soared from obscurity into national headlines last week after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives confirmed 12 of the modifiers were found in the Las Vegas gunman’s two-room suite on the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay and Casino.

Typically retailing for as little $99, major retailers, including Walmart and Cabela’s, pulled the devices from store shelves in the days after the shooting. SlideFire Solutions, a Texas-based bump stock manufacturer, temporarily halted new orders. Requests for comment from all three companies went unanswered last week, though Cabela’s released a statement to the Washington Examiner Oct. 6 confirming their decision to stop selling bump stocks.

Describing bump stocks as a “fad item”comparable to the Snuggie, Netrebov said buying one “would only gain you ridicule” from other gun owners, insisting the public fervor around a ban is misguided.

“Bottom line, the company is a low-hanging fruit, and regulating bump fire stocks under the same rules as suppressors and short barrel rifles will serve as a ‘reasonable gun control’ measure from the gun lobby,” Netrebov said. “Slide Fire will make as much money as it can into the end of this year selling these devices and then likely cash out before the lawsuits come.”

“For the rest of the gun industry, nothing has changed and nothing is likely to change,” he added.

Netrebov argued share prices for major gun makers, including American Outdoor Brands and Sturm, Ruger and Co., will stay low as the industry wraps its mind around a new normal — which, he says, is nothing like 2016, the biggest year ever for gun sales. He doubts the shooting in Vegas and the congressional appetite for a bump stock ban will do anything to change that.

“While the October sales may be spurred temporarily by the Las Vegas shooting, I don’t believe it is sustainable in the long term,” he said.  “We all know that the stock price is based off of revenue and sales projections. 2016 was the firearms industry’s equivalent of 2005 for housing, where analysts did not want to consider housing can go down and made their decisions based on continually increasing prices. Things are going to adjust to the new normal, and unfortunately it is not 2016, at least not until there is another gun control advocate in the White House.”

Estimated gun sales in September fell 13 percent short of 2016, according to federal data. The weak turnout follows a “difficult” summer for gun makers and retailers still standing in last year’s shadow. Since the November election, stocks for Smith & Wesson and Ruger fell 50 percent and 26 percent, respectively. Both companies blame weak demand, with Smith & Wesson’s CEO predicting as much as a 17 percent decline in annual profits through 2018. Ruger’s second quarter net sales dropped 22 percent and its quarterly earnings fell by almost half compared to 2016.

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Categories: Gun News

ATF official who analyzed bump stocks defends agency’s ruling

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 13:30

The ATF official who was in charge of determining the legality of bump stocks has come out to defend the agency’s initial ruling in the face of fierce criticism after the mass shooting in Las Vegas.

Rick Vasquez, the assistant chief of the ATF’s Firearms Technology Branch at the time of the Slide Fire bump stock evaluation in 2010, told The Trace that he and other analysts conducted extension tests on the devices, which use the recoil from semi-automatic rifles to make them fire at nearly the same rate as fully automatic weapons.

Earlier this month, Las Vegas police found that bump stocks were fashioned to rifles used by gunman to kill 58 people and injure hundreds more in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Back in 2o10, after months of testing, the ATF concluded that the bump stock did not turn semi-automatic weapons into fully automatic weapons, as the trigger still had to be engaged in order for the weapon to fire.

“We could not find a way to classify it as a machine gun,” Vasquez said. He also shared with The Trace a document in which he explained the agency’s decision. The crux of the argument went as follows:

The Slide Fire does not fire automatically with a single pull/function of the trigger. It is designed to reciprocate back and forth from the inertia of the fired cartridge. When firing a weapon with a Slide Fire, the trigger finger sits on a shelf and the trigger is pulled into the trigger finger. Once the rifle fires the weapon, due to the push and pull action of the stock and rifle, the rifle will reciprocate sufficiently to recock and reset the trigger. It then reciprocates forward and the freshly cocked weapon fires again when the trigger strikes the finger on its forward travel.

After lengthy analysis, ATF could not classify the slide fire as a machinegun or a machinegun conversion device, as it did not fit the definition of a machingun as stated in the GCA and NFA.

The ATF then sent Texas company Slide Fire a determination letter stating that their bump stock devices would be categorized as attachments and thus legal to sell.

After the mass shooting in Las Vegas, that decision has been fiercely criticized by Democrats and Republicans alike. Some have introduced bipartisan legislation that would ban the devices, while House Speaker Paul Ryan and the National Rifle Association said the ATF should conduct an immediate regulatory review.

“We think the regulatory fix is the smartest, quickest fix, and I’d frankly like to know how it happened in the first place,” Ryan said at a Wednesday press conference.

During an appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday, NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre blamed the ATF for blurring the line between semi-automatic and fully automatic weapons.

“It’s illegal to convert a semiautomatic to a fully automatic. ATF needs to do its job. They need to look at this and do its job,” LaPierre said.

Previously, LaPierre and Chris Cox, the NRA’s head lobbyist, issued a joint statement that also blamed the ATF and threw shade at former President Barack Obama.

“Despite the fact that the Obama administration approved the sale of bump fire stocks on at least two occasions, the National Rifle Association is calling on the [ATF] to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law,” they said in the statement.

Vasquez said he found the comments troubling and defended the agency’s ruling.

“We did the right thing by the letter of the statutes,” he said. “There’s a tragedy that happened and nothing can change that. But to try to put the blame on us, it really irritates me.”

Vasquez added that Obama had nothing to do with the approval process and noted the former president advocated for stricter gun regulations during his tenure. He also reiterated that he and his team consulted all applicable laws when determining the bump stock’s legality.

When asked if the devices should now be banned, Vasquez said, “It’s not my place to make that call.”

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Categories: Gun News

Christensen Arms unveils new Modern Precision Rifle

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 13:00

The Modern Precision Rifle will launch more caliber offerings in 2018. (Photo: Christensen Arms)

Christensen Arms expands its firearms selection, announcing the release of the new Modern Precision Rifle chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win.

Weighing less than 7-pounds using a proprietary chassis system, the chassis is machined from 7075 billet aluminum and features V-block bedding to promote accuracy. Additionally, the new Christensen Arms creation offers an adjustable folding stock, oversized fluted bolt knob, free-floating handguard, adjustable comb and aerograde carbon fiber barrel. The company says the rifle is guaranteed to shoot sub MOA.

“The Modern Precision Rifle is a next-generation chassis rifle proudly built from top-tier aerograde materials right here in the USA,” Jason Christensen, President of Christensen Arms, said in a press release.

The rifle comes chambered in either 6.5 Creedmoor or .308 Win in a variety of barrel lengths. Christensen Arms says consumers can expect to see additional calibers, including long-action, in 2018.

The Modern Precision Rifle will officially make its debut on dealers’ shelves in the next six to eight weeks with a MSRP of $2,295.

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Categories: Gun News

DoJ awards Las Vegas police $1 million grant for extra investigation costs

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 12:30

A view of the crime scene near the Mandalay Bay casino in Las Vegas. (Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP)

The Department of Justice has awarded the state of Nevada $1 million dollars to help police in the ongoing investigation into the Las Vegas mass shooting.

The department announced the grant award on Wednesday and said the funds had been drawn from the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s emergency response funds.

“The grant funds announced today recognize the hard work and dedication of law enforcement officers across Las Vegas and the State of Nevada, who worked tirelessly in the wake of the tragic shooting last week,” the department said in the announcement. “The Justice Department is continuing to work with Las Vegas officials to address law enforcement and public safety costs related to this tragedy.”

So far, police remain perplexed as to the motives of gunman, who shot and killed 58 people and injured nearly 500 others at a Las Vegas music festival earlier this month.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sheriff Joe Lombardo also recently issued a new timeline of the shooting, saying that Paddock shot Mandalay Bay security guard Jesus Campos six minutes before he opened fire on the crowd at the Harvest 91 music festival across the Las Vegas strip.

Lombardo reiterated that so far they have found no affiliation between Paddock and any known terrorist groups.

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Categories: Gun News

Police force equips all rifles with suppressors citing safety reasons

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 12:00

Spokane police are moving to equip all their ARs with suppressors after workers comp claims for hearing loss because of gunfire (Photo: Dan Pelle/The Spokesman-Review)

Spokane officers will soon see their patrol rifles outfitted with Gemtech suppressors to help protect hearing when used in emergencies, The Spokesman-Review reported.

The move came to insulate the city against legal costs of worker’s compensation claims and potential lawsuits from bystanders who may suffer permanent damage to their hearing if the rifles are used. Five officers in recent years have filed claims with the Washington Department of Labor and Industries for hearing loss as a result of gunfire.

“Probably the best way to say it, beyond suppressors, is this is an OSHA-approved noise reduction device,” Lt. Rob Boothe, range master and lead firearms instructor for the department, told the Review.

Last month the City Council signed off on the $115,000 budget request to purchase 181 Gemtech Patrolman suppressors for the agency’s AR-15 rifles. While the agency’s tactical team has used suppressors for several years, the new policy will equip patrol rifles used by the city’s rank and file officers.

“If an officer deploys their patrol rifle in an interior location such as a house, school, or a mall, the officer and the public around the officer can suffer catastrophic and irreversible hearing damage,” says the background of the proposal submitted to the Council. “Placing a sound and pressure reduction device, more commonly known as a suppressor, on the rifles will bring the volume and pressure of the rifle to OSHA-approved safe sound levels without adding significant weight or length to the rifle platform.”

Gun rights leaders in the state welcomed the news but pointed out the same concerns that lead Spokane to adopt the devices are much the same as for civilian users — to preserve hearing.

“This is exactly why gun owners want to own and use them,” Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Redmond-based Second Amendment Foundation, told Guns.com. “It is time to get rid of all the excessive rules, regulations and outrageous federal tax on them.”

Besides the suppressors, the agency’s Strategic Plan outlines other technology acquisitions including the purchase of 20 40mm less-lethal impact munitions launchers and that all officers receive rifle-fire rated plate carriers, as well as medical kits with tourniquets and blood clotting supplies in each vehicle.

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Categories: Gun News

Cabela’s won’t sell bump stocks anymore

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 11:30

The Nebraska-based outdoor retailer removed bump stocks from its website Oct. 3 — two days after the deadliest mass shooting in American history left 59 dead and 489 injured in Las Vegas. (Photo: Cabela’s)

Cabela’s finally addressed its sudden decision to pull bump stocks from its inventory in a statement provided to the Washington Examiner last week.

The Nebraska-based outdoor retailer removed the gun modifications from its website Oct. 3 — two days after a lone gunman rained bullets down into a crowded country music festival from a high rise hotel on the Las Vegas strip, killing 58 and wounding 489 others.

“On Tuesday, October 3, Cabela’s initiated the process of discontinuing the sale of these devices at all retail locations and online,” the company wrote in a statement provided to the Washington Examiner Friday. “We agree with the National Rifle Association and others that the sale of such devices should be subject to additional regulation.”

Bump stocks, legal devices that mimic automatic gunfire, made headlines last week after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives confirmed 12 of the modifiers were found in the 64-year-old gunman’s two-room suite on the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay and Casino.

Typically retailing for as little $99, major retailers — including Walmart and Cabela’s — pulled the devices from shelves in the days after the shooting. SlideFire Solutions, a Texas-based bump stock manufacturer, temporarily halted new orders. Requests for comment from all three companies went unanswered last week.

The devices face an uncertain future as congressional Republicans express a willingness to re-examine current federal regulations for bump stocks — a sentiment echoed, in part, by the National Rifle Association last week.

“We didn’t talk about banning anything,” Chris Cox, NRA-ILA’s executive director, told Tucker Carlson during an interview last week on Fox News. “We talked about the ATF going back and looking at if these (bump stocks) comply with federal law.”

The impending ban got a leg up in Congress Tuesday after Republican Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo introduced H.R. 3999, a three page proposal outlawing the production or possession of any gun part that increases the rate of fire on a semi-automatic firearm without converting it to the legal definition of a machine gun, Guns.com previously reported.

“This common-sense legislation will ban devices that blatantly circumvent already existing law without restricting Second Amendment rights,” Curbelo said Tuesday in a press release.

“Like all Americans, we are shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific tragedy in Las Vegas,” Cabela’s statement says. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, their families and loved ones. We also pay tribute to the first responders and other heroes who provided care and support during the assault.”

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Categories: Gun News

Wilson Combat unleashes 40th Anniversary CQB Elite

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 11:00

The 40th Anniversary CQB Elite boasts Wilson Combat parts married with a black Armor-Tuff finish and special engravings. (Photo: Wilson Combat)

To celebrate 40 years of custom handgun creations, Wilson Combat announced a special, limited run of commemorative CQB Elite model handguns for 2017.

The CQB comes chambered in .45 ACP, 9mm or .38 Super with a barrel length of 5-inches. The all-steel model boasts the latest Wilson Combat parts to include the in-house created forged slides, frames and barrels. The all-steel pistols are created as carry guns and feature a one-piece machined magwell, ambidextrous safety in addition to slide top and rear serrations. The flush cut, reverse crowned barrel boasts a deeply fluted design and pairs well with the specially engraved, recessed reverse plug.

The commemorative model touts special grips handcrafted from premium desert ironwood featuring solid sterling silver medallions. “Wilson Combat” is engraved on the right side of the slide while “40th Anniversary” rests above “1977-2017” on the left side. Wilson Combat tops the CQB Elite off with a black Armor-Tuff finish.

“Fully loaded with other cosmetic and performance options, this heirloom model will be at home in your collection or on your hip,” the company said in a press release.

The 40th Anniversary CQB Elite edition is available through Wilson Combat carrying a price tag of $3,900 for the .45 ACP version and $4,010 for the 9mm and .38 Super variants.

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Categories: Gun News

Riding shotgun on a Bradley: The very strange M231

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 10:45

Sharing only limited commonality with the M16, Colt’s M231 Firing Port Weapon was a full-auto-only burp gun made to squirt bad guys from an opening in the M2 Bradley fighting vehicle.

Ian with Forgotten Weapons takes a look at the beast from the 1970s in the above video and shares some interesting differences between the more familiar M16 series and the FPW, which has a blistering 1,200 rounds per minute rate of fire, no stock or sights, and an overall oddness about it.

Still, when you understand it was meant to hose off enemy foot soldiers who got too close to the vehicle for the main guns to reach, the method to the madness becomes clear. Still madness, though.

According to Ian, some 27,000 FPWs were ordered from Colt for the M2, each of which originally had six firing ports from which to use the chopped down 5.56mm buzzsaws.

If you are curious what they looked like mounted in the vehicle, here is a shot of one in the port of a Bradley’s rear hatch.

 

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Categories: Gun News

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