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Chicago rapper Chief Keef puts down the pistols for paintball guns (VIDEO)

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 13:30

The mercurial Chicago-based rapper Chief Keef has become known for rapping about guns and violence in the Windy City, but recently admitted he had turned to paintballing in an attempt to distance himself from real firearms.

In a recorded therapy session with Dr. Siri Sat Nam Singh, which aired Tuesday on Viceland’s TV series “The Therapist,” Keef speaks on his affinity for guns and talks about taking up paintballing as a hobby.

After Keef, whose legal name is Keith Cozart, talked about his troubles with the law and acknowledged he had a “love of guns,” Dr. Singh urged the rapper to find a way to legally and safely get involved with firearms, instead of continuing to flaunt the misuse of illegally obtained guns that has so negatively affected poorer communities in Chicago and other cities throughout the country.

“I took it to paintball. And I was doing it every day. I took it so serious,” Keef told Dr. Singh. “I don’t think I’ll ever have to have a gun again.”

Dr. Singh asked Keef to say that last part a little louder and the rapper obliged: “I’ll never have to have a gun again,” Keef repeated.

Though Keef expressed a desire to change during the interview, it comes after a tumultuous first half of 2017, as the rapper has been arrested three times so far this year, XXL reported.

On April 7, Keef was arrested in Miami Beach after officers discovered marijuana in his green Lamborghini and later charged him with DUI. The rapper was also busted with weed and paraphernalia at the Sioux Falls airport after a June concert.

Back in January, Keef was picked up by law enforcement in his Tarzana, California, home for allegedly assaulting producer Ramsay Tha Great. The producer accused Keef and his crew of breaking into his home, assaulting him with an AK-47, and stealing cash, a Rolex and other items.

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Categories: Gun News

Appellate panel upholds 12 year sentence for Army veteran convicted of having child porn

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 13:00

Keith Michael Novak (Photo: Sherburne County Sheriff)

An Army veteran and self-described militia leader from Minnesota will stay behind bars, after an appellate court panel upheld a child porn conviction Wednesday.

Keith Michael Novak will continue to serve his 12-year sentence handed down last year, in what was the second federal case against him in the last several years, according to the Star Tribune.

Federal agents first started investigating Novak back in 2013 when he made statements about bombing a federal building in Utah. He showed undercover agents a personal roster of former military colleagues, and offered to sell them the identities of the service members, according to court documents. Novak admitted to selling personal information on 98 service members and was sentenced to two years in prison.

But as the FBI scanned hard drives taken from Novak’s home in Minnesota, they found hundreds of images of child pornography, prompting prosecutors to seek new charges.

“Hundreds of images and videos of children engaged in sexually explicit activities were recovered,” wrote the panel of Eighth Circuit judges in their decision. “At a three-day trial, the government introduced forensic evidence linking Novak to the encrypted child pornography on the external hard drive and internet pornography searches on the laptop.”

At trial, FBI Special Agent Christopher Crowe testified that the pornography had been meticulously organized in subfolders on the computer.

“Every single one of these folders contains pornography,” Crowe said. “This one, the ‘CL’, contains files saved from Craigslist. . . . This is just pornography where women are involved in having sperm ejaculated on them. . . . This picture right here is a picture of the Defendant. This picture right here, there’s a video in the file called ‘P’ where it is a female being urinated on by several men. I believe that it is pornography dealing with transsexuals. I believe ‘B’ is pornography that deals specifically with bestiality. . .”

Novak testified that he’d gotten the laptop from a friend while he was stationed at Fort Bragg, and that someone else was responsible for the child porn. But Crowe testified that he found evidence Novak had viewed the images.

Novak’s attorneys previously described him as a man “whose difficult childhood and experiences while deployed in Iraq produced a survivalist worldview and disillusionment that led him to make a bad decision.”

Ultimately, the appellate panel dismissed Novak’s argument that the judge in the initial child porn case shouldn’t have instructed jurors that Novak could be found guilty if someone else put the images on the computer.

Novak’s attorney wouldn’t comment on the opinion.

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Categories: Gun News

Cops find .40-cal, 50-round drum at suspected drug dealer’s house

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 12:30

The search of a suspected drug dealer’s home in Richmond, California, last week turned up a little more than illegal stimulants.

The Aug. 3 execution of a search warrant, which took place around 6 a.m., resulted in the discovery of large quantities of unpackaged cocaine, as well as more individual packages of cocaine ready, which appeared to be ready for sale.

But narcotics detectives and SWAT members also uncovered a .40-caliber Glock with an extended magazine, as well as a 50-round drum.

The resident was arrested without incident.

“The department is proud of the detectives’ continued efforts to improve community safety and quality of life by getting illegal narcotics and guns off the streets of our city,” the Richmond Police Department wrote in a Facebook post.

[ Richmond Police Department ]

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Categories: Gun News

Active duty transgender troops sue President Trump over military ban

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 12:00

Then-candidate Trump waves a rainbow flag that reads “LGBT’s for Trump” at a rally in Colorado last October. (Photo: Reuters/Carlo Allegri)

Two LGBTQ organizations filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender people in the U.S. military.

In Doe v. Trump, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders are arguing on behalf of five transgender service members in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The suit comes after a series of tweets late last month from the president, in which he claimed to have consulted with “Generals and military experts,” and ultimately decided that the “United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity.” The tweets caught some senior members of the military off guard, and the Pentagon has yet to change any of its policies.

Mr. Trump’s announcement came little more than a year after the Pentagon, under former President Obama, lifted a ban on transgender service members. While exact numbers are unknown, the Pentagon estimated in 2016 that there were between 2,500 and 7,000 transgender Americans serving out of 1.3 million active duty service members in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Plaintiffs in the suit say the president’s announcement is causing a lot of uncertainty.

“Last year, the Department of Defense announced that transgender people could serve openly,” said one plaintiff, according to a news release from GLAD. “I was very relieved and came out as transgender to my commanding officers, who were supportive. My experience has been positive and I am prouder than ever to continue to serve. I am married and have three children, and the military has been my life. But now, I’m worried about my family’s future.”

Plaintiffs in the case include service members in the Air Force, the Coast Guard, and the Army. They’ve served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and make up a combined 60 years of service.

“These plaintiffs put their lives on the line every day for all of us,” said Jennifer Levi, director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project. “We can’t afford to lose a single one of them.”

Last week, 56 retired General and Flag Officers slammed the president’s announcement, saying the ban “would cause significant disruptions, deprive the military of mission-critical talent, and compromise the integrity of transgender troops who would be forced to live a lie, as well as non-transgender peers who would be forced to choose between reporting their comrades or disobeying policy.”

A report released Wednesday from the independent think tank the Palm Center found that full implementation of the president’s ban “would cost $960 million in pursuit of saving $8.4 million per year.” Part of the president’s reasoning for the ban was “tremendous medical costs.” That $8.4 million is the estimated cost of transition-related medical care that the military would have to pay annually for transgender members.

Lawyers for NCLR and GLAD assert that the president’s ban violates the equal protection and due process guarantees of the Constitution.

“We argue that Trump’s policy was enacted to discriminate, not to serve any legitimate purpose,” says an overview of the suit on GLAD’s website. “It directly contradicts the military’s own careful, recent conclusion — reached after a comprehensive review process — that there is no reason to ban transgender soldiers from serving.”

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Categories: Gun News

Oregon cops kill charging goat (VIDEO)

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 11:30


A call to police about escaped goats in Portland ended in one animal’s death on Sunday, but the goat’s owner said the animal was not aggressive and the situation could have been handled better.

“Goats are escape artists,” Matt Minnick told reporters. “And I’m the farmer. I see this as partly my fault because I didn’t keep a closer eye on my perimeter.”

Minnick said his $1,200 male breeding goat, Volt, escaped into a nearby housing development through a hole in a fence at the outside of his property.

Volt and the other animals were corralled by Washington County sheriff’s deputies and soon thereafter, Minnick was called to the location. However, he didn’t expect to see his prized goat bleeding.

“And they say, ‘yeah, it was either me or the goat’ and I said, ‘Man, there are 7-year-old kids that deal with these goats. Infants that deal with these,'” Minnick recalled.

But according to the police report, the deputies became fearful after witnessing Volt ram a tree numerous times before turning towards the deputies. And when the goat – with his 18-inch horns – charges at the deputies, two of them fired four rounds, killing the animal.

Now Minnick plans to file a claim for damages and start searching for a new goat.

[ KPTV ]

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Categories: Gun News

Photojournalist captures impact of gun violence with one powerful image

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 11:00

Sometimes the biggest victims of gun violence are actually the smallest. (Photo: David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

A single image captured Monday afternoon by a photojournalist at a crime scene in St. Louis depicts a troubling reminder that sometimes the smallest children are the biggest victims of violence.

“You’re looking for moments that can tell a larger story,” photographer David Carson told Fox 2 in an interview Tuesday.

That moment came when Carson, who works as a photojournalist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, was at the scene of the fatal shooting of a 22-year-old man, the third such shooting at the Peabody Housing Complex in less than a month. In the midst of crime scene tape and evidence markers stood a toddler wearing only a diaper and a pair of socks.

The photo was published on the Post-Dispatch’s website, but Carson also shared it via Twitter, noting to followers that the image should be bothersome.

“It’s sad for the mother who lost a child; it’s sad for the child that lives in the environment where people are being shot,” Carson said.

“I want people to be upset when they see this photo, because it makes me upset,” Carson added. “He lives in a world where sirens and crime scenes and police collecting casings outside of his front door is a regular event,” Carson said of the toddler, who stood outside as officers worked the scene.

Carson said the photo reminded him of a story about traumatic toxic stress previously written by his colleagues Laurie Skrivan and Nancy Cambria.

“You think about adults, and it being rough on adults, you can only imagine the impact that this has on children.” Carson said. “How can a two-year-old process that a man, you know, was shot and killed outside of his front steps?”

The suspect in Monday’s homicide was apprehended later that day after he returned to the scene and surrendered to authorities without incident. St. Louis Police Lt. Col. Gerald Leyshock called it “pretty unusual” and said the shooting was the result of an “earlier dispute” between the two.

And Carson said even though the city is no-doubt plagued by gun violence, it’s not all bad all the time.

“There are lighthearted moments, there are funny moments, there are good people,” Carson said of St. Louis.

“The story hasn’t stopped,” he added. “The story continues to evolve.”

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Categories: Gun News

Woman pulls ‘gun’ in road rage incident captured on cell phone video (VIDEO)

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 10:30

A road rage incident in La Porte, Texas, earlier this month was caught on cell phone video and now the woman involved, who appeared to pull a gun, is facing charges.

Authorities say Amanda Downs, 25, confessed to not only the Aug. 2 incident, but another road rage incident in July. She is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

But, as it turned out, the weapon wasn’t actually a gun, but rather a novelty knife case shaped like a gun. Nonetheless, Jacob McNeil, who had the “weapon” aimed at him in Downs’ most recent case of road rage, said the fear he and his father felt was real.

McNeil was asleep in the passenger’s seat of his father’s truck when he was awakened by his dad.

“I wake up to some guy basically trying to knock us off the road. It turned out to be a woman,” McNeil noted. “He throws me the phone and he says, ‘record.’ I start recording. As soon as I do, she comes past with her hand out the window, holding that gun, pointing it at us, and brake checks us. Then she pulled over to the shoulder off that road.”

McNeil and his father took the cell phone video to the police so they could “handle it correctly,” and authorities immediately recognized Downs from the July incident.

Authorities urge drivers to “not engage” in cases of road rage.

[ ABC 13 ]

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Categories: Gun News

Stone Glacier offers up R3, an ultralight tactical style backpack

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 10:30

The R3 comes in two colors, coyote brown, left, and tan, right. (Photo: Stone Glacier)

Stone Glacier, maker of ultralight backpacks, announced the launch of the R3 3300, the latest creation catered to the tactical and military markets.

The Response, Recon, Rescue pack — or R3 — boasts a modular design that expands from 3,300 cubic inches up to 6,300 cubic inches. The design offers customization of up to eight detachable interior pockets and includes Stone Glacier’s Load Shelf, an internal top molle grip that allows for additional PALS pockets or radio carry. The packs also touts a top storm flap in the main bag for cable and antenna routing.

Stone Glacier already offers a line of accessories for the pack to include a conceal lid that permits concealed carry of carbines with a collapsed overall length up to 33.5-inches and the 240 Panel for quick access to eight 30-round mags.

Offered in coyote brown and tan, the pack weighs 4.55 pounds empty and is constructed of all Berry Compliant components. Made in the US, Stone Glacier said only the best went into the construction of the R3.

“We’ve cut no corners with this pack,” Stone Glacier CEO Jeff Sposito said in a statement, “We’ve used only the best materials including proven Cordura 500 D, YKK zippers and Duraflex buckles just to name a few. The response and feedback so far has been great and we are very excited to expand the R3 offering and continue to build products that meet the needs of the most demanding users.”

The R3 is available now through Stone Glacier with a retail price of $594.

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Categories: Gun News

SF Bay Area sweep yields largest number of arrests in ATF history

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 10:00

Law enforcement agencies on Thursday announced the results of Operation Cold Day, a joint two-year investigation resulting in federal charges on 42 defendants.

The focus of the operation was to bring federal, state and local agencies to bear on street-level gun and drug-related crime in San Mateo and San Francisco counties, spearheaded by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

ATF Special Agent in Charge Jill Snyder said in a press conference at San Francisco Police Headquarters that the operation resulted in the largest number of arrests in the agency’s history.

“We targeted those who created a pipeline to stream firearms into the community and then placed them into the hands of violent criminals,” said Snyder, announcing that over 90 guns were seized or purchased and 115 arrest warrants issued for state and federal crimes.

“These offenders engaged in a wide array of criminal activity to include firearms and narcotics trafficking, auto-theft and burglary,” Snyder said.

The operation began in the summer of 2015, with ATF gathering intelligence on street gang activities while conducting search warrants on targets and performing undercover firearm buys, bringing assistance and response teams from around the country that culminated with 1,000 officers and agents fanning out across the Bay Area this week to make arrests.

In addition to the firearms, 48 stolen vehicles and 100 ounces of narcotics were recovered.

Of the 42 individuals charged with federal crimes by the U.S. Department of Justice, at least 15 were for weapons violations including conspiracy and dealing in firearms without a license, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number.

San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe detailed others had been hit with state-level weapons charges for violating California law on “assault weapons” and illegal possession of firearms and high-capacity magazines.

In all, some 75 arrests were made this week across the Bay Area, while others are at large.

“This interagency collaboration and the resulting arrests goes a long way to towards addressing gun violence by removing from our streets firearms and those willing to obtain them illegally and potentially use them,” said San Francisco Police Chief William Scott.

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Categories: Gun News

Tulsa cop acquitted in shooting death of Terence Crutcher sworn in as reserve deputy

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 09:57

Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton said he is “loud and proud” of having Betty Jo Shelby join the department. (Photo: Rogers County Sheriff’s Office)

Betty Jo Shelby, the former Tulsa police officer who was acquitted in May of manslaughter in the shooting death of Terence Crutcher, an unarmed motorist who was under the influence of PCP when he stopped his SUV in the middle of the road last year, joined the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office this week as an active reserve deputy.

“Betty Shelby represents years of experience in law enforcement,” the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a Facebook post Thursday. “She has always dedicated her life to providing assistance to other individuals, and by agreeing to volunteer her time, energy, and resources to the Rogers County community, she is simply demonstrating the continued passion that she has for her chosen profession.”

Maj. Coy Jenkins said he is “confident in her ability to move ahead in her career and provide the support, direction, and guidance that we all need to complete this extraordinary responsibility.”

Sheriff Scott Walton, who has been an outspoken and vocal supporter of Shelby, said the volunteer position could become a full-time position in the future. Although it’s an unpaid position, the duties are similar to those as a full-time deputy and Shelby – like all other applicants – was required to complete an interview, background check, and firearms qualifications.

After the Sept. 16, 2016, shooting, Shelby was placed on leave, then after the acquittal returned to work in a non-patrol position. But Shelby, who had been with the department since 2011, expressed frustration over the desk job and said she felt “isolated” from her fellow officers in a position that just wasn’t “for” her. She resigned from the Tulsa Police Department in July.

Shelby said she feels honored to have been chosen to work with the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office.

“As a reserve deputy for the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office, I will continue to serve the great state of Oklahoma and strive to improve the relationships between law enforcement agencies, organizations and our community through education and community involvement,” Shelby said in a press conference following the swearing-in ceremony. “I will work and contribute to the sheriff’s department’s mission of providing the highest quality of law enforcement services.”

According to the Associated Press, Shelby plans to speak with a group of fellow officers about what to do when charges follow an officer-involved shooting.

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Categories: Gun News

Report: Guns recovered in Central America traced to non-U.S. sources

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 09:30

Masked gang members hand over weapons during a symbolic act for peace at Gerardo Barrios Square in San Salvador, El Salvador, on July 12, 2012. (Photo:Jose Cabezas/AFP/Getty Images)

Half of the more than 5,700 guns recovered in Central America last year came from foreign countries, according to a federal report published this week.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives released international tracing data Wednesday for Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean gathered through the agency’s National Tracing Center.

“Firearms tracing provides valuable investigative leads, specific trend data for ATF and its international partners, and information on the movement of a firearm from the manufacturer or importer through the distribution chain in an attempt to identify its first retail purchaser,” the agency said in a press release Wednesday.

According to ATF findings, federal authorities recovered 5,728 firearms from five Central American nations in 2016: Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama.

Agents traced the majority of these recovered guns to foreign countries — or no source at all.

Over 71 percent of the 2,182 guns recovered in Honduras came from non-U.S. manufacturers, according to the report. Likewise, 60 percent of the 152 guns found in Panama, 53 percent of the 623 guns from Honduras and 51 percent of the 2,718 the guns recovered in El Salvador were traced to foreign manufacturers.

Belize bucked the trend, with 60 percent of the mere 53 guns recovered there in 2016 tracing back to the United States, according to the report.

The agency said it is unable to determine whether the firearms were imported directly into Central America or smuggled into the reporting countries.

Analysis of the guns traced back to the United States shows less than a third came from retailers, according to the report. In El Salvador, for example, 50 percent of the 1,329 guns traced to American manufacturers were linked to foreign countries and another 40 percent weren’t traceable at all. About 30 percent of guns recovered in Honduras traced back to American retailers — the highest percentage for any of the five reporting countries.

Overall, Central American traces dropped 31 percent over 2015, according to the report.

The ATF traced more than 364,000 firearms recovered last year in the United States and 129 other countries. Traces have increased nearly 28 percent over the last six years, according to report findings, though remain flat compared to 2015.

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Categories: Gun News

MidwayUSA launches AR-Stoner Discreet Tactical Rifle Case

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 09:00

The AR-Stoner features WWII inspired artwork on the exterior. (Photo: MidwayUSA)

MidwayUSA expands its shooting gear lineup, unveiling the eye catching, new AR-Stoner Heavy Duty Discreet Tactical Rifle Case to rifle shooters.

Designed to be an inconspicuous means to transport a rifle, the AR-Stoner’s exterior feature’s a shark’s mouth design inspired by nose art from the Flying Tigers of WWII. The bag boasts lay flat construction which allows it to be fully opened when removing the firearm. Equipped with oversized zippers with nylon pull loops, the case also promotes quick and efficient access to the enclosed firearms.

The AR-Stoner is outfitted with a dual density bonded padding system which adds an additional layer of protection for the rifle and any mounted optics. The case also includes a removable padded divider, allowing users to transport multiple firearms at once.

Available in 22-inch, 29-inch, 36-inch and 42-inch models, the AR-Stone Discreet Tactical Rifle Case is currently available from MidwayUSA with prices starting at $32.99.

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Categories: Gun News

Marines want information on buying up to 194,000 suppressors

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 08:30

Marines of the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment have been testing suppressors since last November, now the Marines are asking the industry about buying in bulk (Photo: 2d MARDIV Combat Camera)

The Marine Corps has posted a Request for Information on commercially available suppressors that can work across all of their 5.56mm platforms.

The RFI, posted Aug. 3, is feeling out the industry for current availability of a detachable suppressor capable of reducing the sound of a 5.56mm round to 139dB. To be used by the M4 and M4A1 carbines, as well as the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle — a select-fire HK416 — the Corps is interesting in buying in bulk.

“Future procurement quantities of suppressors could span between 18,000 and 194,000,” says the RFI.

Among the requirements for the devices and their muzzle device is an upper weight limit of 18-ounces and be capable of full-auto or otherwise sustained fire rates of “6 rounds per minute for 16 minutes, 40 seconds.”

The suppressor should be able to operate across the spectrum of current 5.56mm rounds including ball, match, tracer, barrier, and EPR ammo while remaining clear of M203 grenade launchers that may be mounted on the rifle. The can should not adversely affect accuracy but should be capable of accepting both field-applied camouflage (spray paint) and thermal sleeves.

In a twist for many potential manufacturers, the Marines also want a blank firing adapter version of the suppressor of the same size and weight as the original capable of catching a live round.

The Marines have increasingly been experimenting with the use of suppressors for small arms in recent months. While the devices have long been utilized on a small scale and by special units, last year an entire infantry battalion of the 2nd Marine Division started using them in a trial program on everything from service rifles to .50-caliber machine guns. This has been backed up by a series of videos by the Division’s Gunner, CW5 Christian P. Wade, showing off suppressor use and dispelling myths.

Besides obvious tactical advantages, Adam Mehlenbacher, an audiologist who heads up the American Academy of Audiology’s Government Relations committee, told recently that increased use of suppressors by the military could also alleviate hearing loss and audiological complications for many service members and their families.

“Hearing loss and tinnitus are the most common service related disabilities,” said Mehlenbacher, an Army veteran who had deployed to Bosnia and Iraq. “They can have an enormous negative impact on communication ability and quality of life.”

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Categories: Gun News

Browning introduces new shotguns under Wicked Wing banner

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 08:00

The A5 joins the Wicked Wing series of autoloading shotguns. (Photo: Browning)

Browning announced new addition to the Wicked Wing shotgun lineup, introducing the A5 Wicked Wing and Maxus Wicked Wing autoloaders.

Both guns offer a receiver finished in a Cerakote Burnt Bronze camo while the barrels are finished in Cerakote Burnt Bronze. The waterfowl shotguns feature banded extended choke tubes and an oversized bolt release. Composite stocks and forearms tout a Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades camp pattern and are protected with Dura-Touch Armor Coating.

The A5 is constructed with a recoil-operated Kinematic Drive System while the Maxus boasts a power drive gas system. The shotguns allow for some customization, permitting shooters to make adjustments for length of pull, cast and drop. The guns are equipped with a fiber optic front sight and ivory mid-bead sight.

Both models are offered in 12 gauge 3-1/2 inch and 3-inch models with 26-inch or 28-inch barrel lengths. The A5 series starts at $1,829.99 while the Maxus starts at $1,7399.99.

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Categories: Gun News

Washington Supreme Court upholds Seattle’s tax on guns, ammo

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 07:30

Seattle Councilman Tim Burgess, who introduced the tax legislation in 2015 and has been its biggest champion, said he was vindicated and hoped other cities will follow Seattle’s lead. (Councilman Burgess)

In an 8-1 ruling handed down Thursday, the state’s high court swatted away a challenge from gun rights groups and retailers to Seattle’s controversial “gun violence tax.”

The panel held that large cities such as Seattle under state law can establish and collect local taxes and that, contrary to the lawsuit claims, the $25 fee on guns and up to 5-cents per round of ammunition, does not violate Washington’s preemption law.

“While courts should be dubious of regulations masquerading as taxes (and vice versa), in this case [plaintiffs] offer no convincing evidence that the Ordinance has a regulatory purpose or intent,” said Justice Debra Stephens for the majority. “It is a tax.”

The suit, brought by the National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation and Second Amendment Foundation in 2015, argued the ordinance was a poll tax on the right to bear arms and an effort to drive Seattle’s firearms retailers out of business. As such, they held it violated Washington’s 1983 preemption law barring cities from establishing regulations stronger than the state’s when it came to public firearm policy.

In a dissent penned by Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud, the jurist held that the state’s preemption law was clear, saying, “A city tax that singles out the sale of firearms and ammunition for disadvantageous treatment is therefore preempted.”

Seattle Councilman Tim Burgess, who introduced the tax legislation in 2015 and has been its biggest champion, said he was vindicated and hoped other cities will follow Seattle’s lead.

“We knew from the start that we had a strong and sound legal case, and I’m proud that the tax proceeds can continue funding gun safety research and prevention programs at Harborview Medical Center, which is underway right now,” Burgess said in a statement.

Mike Coombs, co-owner of the Outdoor Emporium, one of the firearms retailers involved in the suit as a plaintiff, says the ruling may push him out of the city to get away from the taxes he says are targeting his business, the largest gun seller in town.

“We’ve had to lay off some employees, and that’s been tough, and I don’t see at this point it’s going to get any better,” Coombs told Komo News.

Gun rights groups have painted the tax, now in its second year, a failure as the number of shootings in the city are on the rise while revenues collected have fallen short of the city’s goals.

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Categories: Gun News

Is .357 Magnum a safe bet for deer season?

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 07:00

Marlin 1894C in 357 Magnum used for testing. (Photo: Jason Wimbiscus)

Since its invention in the 1930s, the .357 Magnum has been used successfully to game from varmints all the way up to elk and moose.  While the .357 Magnum has long since surrendered the title of “world’s most powerful handgun round” to the likes of the .44 Remington Magnum, the .454 Casull, and the .500 S&W Magnum, among others, it is still a potent and versatile cartridge.  And, as you’ll see, this statement holds especially true when the round is chambered in a short, light, fast handling carbine such as the Marlin 1894C.

In terms of ballistics ,the .357 becomes a whole new animal when chambered in a long gun.  By loading well constructed bullets over potent charges of such relatively slow burning powders as Hodgdon Lil’Gun, Hodgdon H-110, and Allaint Blue Dot, the careful handloader can craft rounds that are more than adequate for deer sized game inside 100 yards.

In general, the muzzle velocity of a .357 magnum bullet will be 250 to 300 f/s greater than the same round fired from a handgun with a 4 inch or 6 inch barrel.  This velocity increase makes bullet selection important.  A bullet designed to expand in a controlled manner at handgun velocities may explosively fragment at carbine velocities.  Such explosive performance is perfect for varmints, but may not result in the penetration necessary to down larger game.  Solidly constructed bullets in the 158 to 200 grain weight range are generally the best choices for big game.

Test procedure

The following four loads were tested for terminal performance in ballistic wax and were found to offer spectacular results.  While not formally tested for accuracy, all loads were found to be capable of grouping 5 shots within 5 inches offhand at 50 yards from my 18.5-inch barrel Marlin 1894C topped with a Williams peep sight.  All primers used in the following loads were CCI 550 small pistol magnum; all cases were manufactured by Remington.  Terminal performance was tested at a range of 50 yards in Bullet Test Tube media, which is essentially a dense, soft wax that generally yields a penetration decrease of 50 percent when compared to standard 10 percent ordinance gel.  Estimated 50-yard impact velocities were determined using ballistic software.

Load 1

Bullet: 140 grain Barnes XPB
Charge: 15.0 grains accurate #9
Muzzle Velocity:  1800 f/s
Impact Velocity: 1566 f/s

Cavitation of the 140 grain Barnes XPB in ballistic wax. (Photo: Jason Wimbiscus)

The all copper Barnes XPB, like the X bullets designed for centerfire rifles, consists of a solid stem and a pre-skived front section.  Upon impact, the front section is intended to open up into razor sharp petals, but at carbine velocities most of these petals broke away from the core completely or flattened tight against the stem.  Overall penetration was 11 inches, and the bullet retained 136 grains (97 percent of its original mass) and expanded to a diameter of .473 inches.

Retrieved 140 grain Barnes XPB bullet. Though the intended petal effect is evident, at the rifle velocity most of this metal broke off or flattened against the stem. (Photo: Jason Wimbiscus)

Load 2

Bullet: 158 grain Remington semi-jacketed soft point
Charge: 17.0 grains of Hodgdon Lil’Gun
Muzzle Velocity: 1900 f/s
Impact Velocity: 1656 f/s

Cavitation for 158 grain Remington Semi-Jacketed Soft Point. (Photo: Jason Wimbiscus)

These bulk, budget, bullets which currently retail for less than $20 for a box of 100, outperformed many of the more expensive offerings available in terms of penetration and mass retention.  The bullet penetrated 6.5 inches into the test block and expanded into a near perfect looking mushroom .61 inches in diameter.  The Bullet’s retained mass was actually 100 percent.

Retrieved 158 grain Remington Semi-jcketed soft point. A near perfect, 0.61 inch, mushroom. (Photo: Jason Wimbiscus)

Load 3

Bullet: Remington 180 grain semi-jacketed hollowpoint
Charge: 15.0 grains Hodgdon Lil’Gun
Muzzle Velocity: 1714 f/s
Impact Velocity: 1574 f/s

Cavitation of Remington 180 grain semi-jacketed hollowpoint. (Photo: Jason Wimbiscus)

While this load offered slightly less penetration than the jacketed soft point outlined above, the cavity left in the test medium was impressive.  Shortly after impact, the hollow front section of the bullet fragmented into four jagged shards, each one tracking on a separate path perpendicular to the primary cavity.  It can be assumed that these fragments would cause a great deal of laceration in living tissue.  The primary bullet fragment penetrated 6 inches into the test material and had a diameter of .55 inches.  Retained mass was 120 grains or approximately 67 percent.

Retrieved in first 6 inches of the testing material. (Photo: Jason Wimbiscus)

Load 4

Bullet: 200 grain Cast Performance Wide Flat Nose, Gas Check
Charge: 13.0 grains Hodgdon Lil’Gun
Muzzle Velocity: 1500 f/s
Impact Velocity: 1350 f/s

Cavitation of 200 grain Cast Performance Wide Flat Nose, Gas Check. This would be a good round for getting through dense bones.

This load offered incredible penetration.  In addition to 10 inches of test material, the bullet defeated an additional 5 inches of soft wax backer placed behind the test block and kept going.  While the bullet could not be recovered to analyze expansion and mass retention, if the cavity left in the test material is any indication, expansion was minimal and mass retention high.  While cavitation, the formation of vapor bubbles that rapidly collapse to produce shockwaves, was not as dramatic as it was with expanding bullets, the heavy hard cast bullet would be an excellent choice for situations when the ability to shoot through heavy bone is a necessity.


While the .357 Magnum from a carbine does not quite match the .30-30 Win in velocity or energy, at 50 yards all of the loads mentioned in this article approach or exceed the 900 ft/lbs of energy commonly thought to be the minimum requirement for deer hunting.  Additionally, the .357 Magnum chambered in a light, handy carbine offers versatility and portability not commonly found with platforms chambered for centerfire rifle rounds.  The carbine can be loaded hot for deer hunting one day, and loaded with mild rounds the next day for hunting small game.  Finding a load for the .270 or .30-06 that will leave enough of a small animal intact to eat is a far trickier affair than loading a small game round for the .357.  Finally, the .357 in a carbine is just plain fun to shoot.  Recoil with even the hotter loads is moderate at best, with most being mild enough to be barely noticeable.  A .357 carbine wouldn’t be the optimum rifle for shooting deer across a corn field, in situations where shots will likely be 100 yards or less, it’s light, pleasant shooting choice for a day in the woods.

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Categories: Gun News

Just hanging out with the Kalashnikov RPK-16 light machine gun (VIDEO)

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 06:45

So you take a select-fire RPK-74, update the ergos and give it a Picatinny rail and a very sweet 95-round drum mag and what do you get? The RPK-16 of course.

Designed to be the Russian military’s new light machine gun, the 5.45x39mm RPK (Ruchnoy Pulemyot Kalashnikova)-16 sprouted from the Rostec state-owned Kalashnikov Group last year and is expected to be placed in service with the Rosgvardiya (think National Guard), internal affairs troops and Army to replace older RPKs.

It draws from the AK-12 program and comes in a few different barrel lengths while including a folding stock that, when swung shut, drops the overall length to just 25-inches. Weight without the detachable bipod and mag is 8.8-pounds.

Now just drop the Hughes Amendment and make some over here to get around embargoes and import restrictions and it’s deal!

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Categories: Gun News

Bad idea day: Firing a pistol while inside a bucketful of gasoline (VIDEO)

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 06:30

Dr. Matt down on Demolition Ranch fell into a pair of green Steyr M9-A1 pistols, so he shot one and tried to blow the other one up while submerged in gasoline.

The video starts off kinda slow but includes a lot of Checkov’s guns before it really gets interesting around the 4-minute mark where the unveiling comes of the Steyr-inna-bucket remote firing contraption. Add gasoline to submerge said Austrian polymer, back up, and see what happens.

Boom or no boom, it is interesting.

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Categories: Gun News

Vista exec: This year ‘most unique retail environment I’ve ever seen’

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 06:30

The Vista Outdoor boardroom where all the important company decisions are made, allegedly. (Photo: VSTO)

Vista Outdoor sales dipped 10 percent in its first quarter, the company’s top executives reported in financial filings this week.

Interim CEO Michael Callahan told investors Thursday he remains “pleased” with the earnings for the quarter — which ended July 1 — and thinks, despite ongoing inventory challenges, “point-of-sale data indicates the recreational shooter is out there and active.”

Vista owns more than three dozen companies in firearms, ammunition and shooting accessory companies, including Savage Arms, Stevens, Federal Premium, Speer and American Eagle.

“I’ve been in the industry for more than 40 years and this is the most unique retail environment I’ve ever seen,” Callahan said. “We’re seeing unprecedented change and it’s not likely to go back.”

Vista recorded $14 million in profit for the quarter, nosediving 54 percent over last year. The company’s $279 million in shooting sports sales comes in 19 percent behind last year — a result of “lower demand across all product lines,” said Chief Financial Officer Stephen Nolan Thursday.

“The markdowns remain challenging, however, we are seeing promising signs,” he said, noting inventory levels of ammo appear to be normalizing.

The overstock of firearms and other shooting products stockpiled before the election, however, could hang around until Vista’s fiscal fourth quarter, Nolan said.

“As we look into the fall hunting season, we’re seeing some encouraging signs there and we’re feeling much better about that,” Callahan said. “But we continue to believe that both inventories and promotional activity is going to be continued through the holiday selling season and perhaps beyond that.”

Callahan stepped into the role of Vista’s interim CEO after longtime president Mark DeYoung announced his early retirement last month — a role he says he is “excited to take on” while the company’s board of directors search for a permanent replacement.

“Despite current market conditions, the Board and I are confident that our diversified portfolio of iconic brands, coupled with Vista Outdoor’s world-class operations and strong customer relationships position the company for long-term success,” he told investors Thursday, reiterating his former boss’s optimism about a rebounding industry.

“So, we have some headwinds and we’re going to continue to face challenges,” he said. “But we are comfortable that given where we’re at today and our approach to this new market that we’re going to be able to achieve our results.”

The company anticipates 2018 sales will exceed $2.3 billion.

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Categories: Gun News

Wal-Mart in hot water over ‘back to school’ gun display

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 06:15

Wal-Mart has found itself at the center of outrage after a photo of a gun display with a back to school theme surfaced on the Internet.

“Own the school year like a hero” is the chain superstore’s back to school motto this year, but posted above a case full of firearms, it doesn’t exactly convey the message intended by the store.

“What’s seen in this photograph would never be acceptable in our stores,” a Wal-Mart spokesperson said in a statement. “We regret this situation and are looking into how it could have happened.”

Some reports suggested that the display was in an Evansville, Indiana, location, which Wal-Mart has yet to confirm. Likewise, Wal-Mart is looking into the possibility that the photo may be a hoax or the display the act of pranksters.

[ CNBC ]

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Categories: Gun News