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Proposed Illinois, Massachusetts bump stock law also includes weapon bans

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 07:30

While bump stocks are ostensibly the main dish, some state lawmakers are adding other restrictions on semi-auto firearms and their magazines to the menu in upcoming ban legislation. (Photo: Chris Eger/

Bills filed in two states after the tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas go after bump fire stocks but also target other guns and their magazines.

In Illinois, the proposal would also forbid guns defined as “assault weapons” and those chambered in .50 caliber while a Massachusetts bill would include currently legal magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

“These devices were created by gun manufacturers as a workaround of the federal law banning the sale and possession of automatic weapons, and there is absolutely no reason for any citizen to possess a ‘bump stock’ device or a ‘high-capacity magazine,” said  Massachusetts Rep. David Linsky, D-Natick.

While Massachusetts has long-maintained a ban on guns classified by the state as assault weapons and magazines capable of holding over 10 cartridges, mags made before the ban have been grandfathered and can still be legally owned. Besides adding a prohibition to bump fire magazines to the Commonwealth’s laws, Linsky’s bill would strip away the protection for grandfathered magazines.

In Illinois, state Rep. Marty Moylan, D-Des Plaines, wants to ban the newly-controversial bump stock attachments, but the language of his proposal goes on to add assault weapons, .50-caliber firearms, and large capacity magazines to the prohibition as well. While some areas, such as Cook County and Highland Park have their own local bans, the Land of Lincoln as a whole does not generally limit semi-auto firearms. Moylan wants this changed.

“I’m very strong on how I feel of trying to present this bill and getting enough votes to get it passed. Individuals that are going to take an opposite view of this, I will bring up all of the details of why I think it’s important and why we have to protect lives,” Moylan said. “The hunters that I know and talk to don’t need an AK-47-type weapon to go hunting.”

Gun rights groups, to include the Gun Owners’ Action League of Massachusetts and the Illinois State Rifle Association oppose the pending legislation.

“This bill is simply a flat-out attack on our civil rights and does not offer any path to lawful ownership,” said GOAL of Linsky’s proposal while ISRA Executive Director, Richard Pearson offered that “Marty Moylan has an obsessive hatred of firearms and the people who own them.”

Both states have Republican governors though Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker last week said he would sign anti-bump stock legislation “tomorrow” if it was presented to him.

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Categories: Gun News

WWII re-enactment sends church members fleeing for safety

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 07:15

Church members were invited to next year’s event, but the invitation was not well-received. (Photo: Facebook)

The pastor at a church in Belleview, Florida, made a reference to the Las Vegas shooting during his Sunday morning sermon when a volley of gunfire rang out, sending church members scrambling for safety. But as it turned out, the sound of gunfire came from a World War II re-enactment happening about a mile from the church.

“It was crazy,” said Pastor David Creek, of Belleview Church of Christ.

Creek said there were about 50 church members attending the service, and “everyone thought it was going down.” Creek said it was the scariest moment of his life, and called it “horrific judgment” to have such an event in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting.

However, David Thomas, president of the First Florida chapter of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association, said they’ve been doing the annual re-enactments for more than a decade, with the events typically planned a year in advance. Thomas confirmed the event, which aims to teach youth about history outside of a museum setting, was previously announced to both law enforcement and local media, but also admitted that he could see how the blank fire from .50- and .30-caliber machine guns could startle some.

Nonetheless, Thomas invited the church congregation to attend the event next year to see first-hand what it’s all about, but Creek suggested they “re-enact love” instead.

[ Ocala Star Banner ]

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Categories: Gun News

Teen charged in accidental shooting death of friend (VIDEO)

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 07:15

A 17-year-old boy is facing charges for the accidental shooting death of his friend Saturday afternoon in University City, Missouri.

Dashon Gavin, 17, of Florissant, is charged with first-degree involuntary manslaughter. He is being held on a $50,000 cash-only bond.

Police say Gavin and his friend, 17-year-old Alvin Sanders, were playing with guns shortly before 2 p.m. when Gavin aimed a gun at Sanders and pulled the trigger, apparently not realizing the gun was loaded. When officers arrived on the scene, they found Sanders with a gunshot wound to the face. He was transported to an area hospital, where he later died.

Gavin admitted to authorities he pulled the trigger but did not intent to harm his friend. Investigators have not said where the teens found the guns or to who they belong.

[ KMOV ]

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Categories: Gun News

Two sentenced for stealing 50+ guns from Alabama store

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 07:00

Safford Tire and Hardware was targeted for a break-in earlier this year in which the suspects stole 50 firearms. (Photo: Pinterest)

A federal court sentenced two men who stole more than 50 guns from an Alabama gun dealer earlier this year, the Justice Department announced.

The court sentenced Jabriel Bell, 25, to 46 months in federal prison and Fortune Hoppins, 35, to 57 months in addition to three years of supervised release, and a third suspect, Stanley Young, 28, will be sentenced in December. The three men pleaded guilty to stealing firearms from a licensed dealer over the summer.

According to court documents, in the early morning hours before the Safford shop opened on May 10, the trio pried open a metal door, then broke an interior door window to gain access to the guns, all of which was captured on surveillance video, which later proved instrumental in identifying and finding the suspects.

“[The video] showed two subjects forcing their way into the business. They were calm, real calm, real collected, not in too big of a hurry,” said Capt. Mike Granthum with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department. “It shows them rambling through the guns basically picking what they wanted, putting them in bags and gracefully, for a lack of better terms, walking out of the store.”

Law enforcement recognized the suspects in surveillance video. Bell was found the day after the break-in and admitted to participating in the crime with Hoppins and Young. Bell also helped authorities locate nearly half of the stolen guns, which were in a bag that was tossed in a nearby wooded area. Later that same day, law enforcement located Hoppins, who was still in possession of one of the stolen guns. Young, who was found in New York, wasn’t located until about a month after the break-in.

At the time of their arrest for the gun shop burglary, all three had outstanding warrants stemming from an armed bank robbery in Marion. They were all out on bond for the bank robbery when the guns were stolen. However, none of the defendants have yet to go to trial for those charges.

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Car dealership gives new ride to veteran who stole truck to take Vegas victims to hospital (VIDEO)

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 06:45

A Marine Corps veteran who stole a truck to drive victims of the Las Vegas shooting to the hospital last week was rewarded for his efforts by an Arizona car dealership who offered him a free truck.

“I’ve been given a lot more credit than I deserve,” 29-year-old Taylor Winston said Monday at B5 Motors in Gilbert as he picked up his new set of wheels.

Winston said he only accepted the vehicle because he can sell the truck he currently owns and donate the money to the Las Vegas victims.

Shane Beus, owner of B5 Motors, said he doesn’t care what Winston does with the truck, he simply wanted to express his gratitude. Beus called Winston’s actions in the midst of chaos “very, very courageous.”

After gunshots rang out and left nearly 60 dead and more than 500 wounded at an outdoor musical festival in Las Vegas, Winston noticed a pickup truck with the keys inside. So, Winston took the truck – even though it wasn’t his and he did not know to whom it belonged – and transported about two dozen victims to the hospital. Winston eventually made arrangements to return the truck to its rightful owner, but his actions left many calling him a hero.

[ Arizona Central ]

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Categories: Gun News

Online bids for bump stocks skyrocket

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 05:30

Online bids for bump stocks exceeding $800 as lawmakers toss around potential bans in response to the Las Vegas shooting. (Photo:

Online bids for bump stocks — a gun modification virtually sold out at retailers across the country — skyrocketed to more than $800 over the weekend.

Two separate auctions on Gun Broker feature Slide Fire bump stocks for $830 and $755, respectively. Half a dozen users placed bids on the cheaper, left-handed version while the more expensive listing attracted 15 bids as of Sunday.

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 64-year-old Stephen Paddock’s two-room suite on the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay and Casino. Paddock perpetrated the deadliest mass shooting in American history Oct.1 when he fired into a crowded country music festival from the windows of his hotel room, killing 58 and wounding 489 others.

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 reexamine 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.”

“Fully automatic weapons have been banned for a long time, apparently this allows you to take a semi-automatic and turn it into a fully automatic, so clearly that’s something we need to look into,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday.

Authorities still don’t know why Paddock, a retired accountant and frequent gambler, attacked the Route 91 Harvest Festival. Local and federal investigators found no ties to international terrorism while the gunman’s brother, Eric Paddock, insists he wasn’t particularly religious or partisan.

“What we know is Stephen Paddock is a man who spent decades acquiring weapons and ammo and living a secret life, much of which will never be fully understood,” Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said during a press conference last week. “He meticulously planned on the worst domestic attack in United States history.”

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Categories: Gun News

Why aren’t bump fire stocks regulated like machine guns?

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 05:00

The bump stock attached to an AR rifle. (Photo: Eve Flanigan/

Details about bump stocks and machine guns have been making headlines across the country after the Las Vegas shooting, but what are those laws and why don’t they cover bump stocks?

The two primary laws that permit the federal government to regulate guns include the National Firearms Act and the Gun Control Act. The former was designed to create a tax on uncommon weapons while the latter permits the feds to regulate firearms in interstate commerce. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives enforces both of them.

The NFA imposes a $200 tax on the manufacture, sale and transfer of machine guns as well as silencers, short barreled rifles or shotguns, devices deemed Any Other Weapon, and destructive devices. In addition to the tax, they require a rigmarole of paperwork and checks.

Detailing the history behind the law, the American Bar Association said Congress passed the legislation in response to Prohibition-era violence. “The act had the added incentive to curtail the use of weapons popular in gangland-style shootings, such as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago in 1929 when four of Al Capone’s henchmen, dressed as policemen, murdered seven members of rival Bugs Moran’s gang,” the ABA said.

Congressional transcripts about the law from 1934 show that lawmakers wanted to give law enforcement stronger tools so they could arrest criminals who would flee a state after using those aforementioned devices to commit crimes. The price at the time, $200, was high enough to make it expensive and difficult to obtain the items. If adjusted for inflation, the tax would cost more than $3,500 today.

Congress updated federal gun laws in 1968 — after the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy — with the GCA, which banned mail order sales of firearms and created a list of prohibited buyers like most felons, drug users and the mentally incompetent. The law also expanded the definition of firearm to mean “destructive devices” as well as the definition of machine gun, the ABA said.

Then, in 1986, Congress added the Hughes Amendment, which limited the transfer or possession of machine guns except for those manufactured before May 19, 1986, the ABA said. According to the National Rifle Association, the Hughes Amendment aimed to limit the number of machine guns commercially available to 150,000, but an exact number is unclear.

According to the ATF, NFA defines a machine gun as any weapon that shoots or is designed to shoot automatically with a single pull of the trigger; and any part or combination of parts that converts a weapon into a machine gun.

Before approving the bump stock design by Slide Fire, the ATF approved another design called the Akins Accelerator in 2006 but reversed its decision as the manufacturer went to market, the Associated Press reported. Federal regulators made the later determination because the device uses a spring that allows the stock to stay stationary while the gun moves. The use of the spring effectively made it a machine gun.

Jump ahead to 2010, Texas company Slide Fire received a determination letter from the ATF, saying its bump stock did not violate regulations defined in the NFA or GCA. “The stock has no automatically functioning mechanical parts or springs and performs no automatic mechanical function when installed,” wrote John R. Spencer, ATF chief firearms technology branch.

“In order to use the installed device, the shooter must apply constant forward pressure with the non-shooting hand and constant rearward pressure with the shooting hand. Accordingly, we find that the ‘bump-stock’ is a firearm part and is not regulated as a firearm under Gun Control Act or the National Firearms Act,” the letter continued.

Patents for the Akins Accelerator were later sold to Bump Fire Systems, a competitor of Slide Fire, which also received a determination letter in 2012 approving the design. The ATF informed the company (page 1 and page 2) that the device “is not a machine gun as defined under the NFA” and added that the classification would be void if it were manufactured with “an accelerator spring or any other non-manual source of energy which allows this device to operate automatically.”

The device became the subject of debate after a gunman used the device to spray gunfire into an audience of 22,000 at a concert on the Las Vegas strip on Oct. 1, killing 58 people and injuring almost 500 others. The incident spurred lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to express support for banning the item by updating federal law to allow for regulation of the device. Democrats filed a proposal but a bipartisan measure has not been filed yet.

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Categories: Gun News

Stag Arms launches Stag 15 O.R.C. rifle, parts

Mon, 10/09/2017 - 07:30

The Stag O.R.C. launches with special introductory pricing on the full build, upper and rifle kit. (Photo: Stag Arms)

Gun and parts maker Stag Arms announced the release of the company’s Stag 15 Optics Ready Carbine, or O.R.C., rifle and parts series.

Outfitted with Magpul furniture, the rifle, uppers and rifle kits are available in both right-handed and left handed variants. The O.R.C. lineup boasts Stag’s “high quality and long-lasting durability standards,” according to a statement by the manufacturer.

Chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO, the O.R.C. rifle lineup touts a 16-inch 1/9 chrome lined barrel with Magpul MOE Carbine Length handguard, Magpul CTR stock, A2 birdcage flash hider and mil-spec M16 bolt carrier group. Measuring 32.25-inches collapses and 35.5-inches extended, the semi-automatic direct impingement rifle features an MSRP of $839.99 for the right-handed model and $899.99 for the left-handed.

In addition to built rifles, Stag also launched a left and right upper and a rifle kit. The Stag O.R.C. Upper touts the same 16-inch barrel chambered in 5.56 NATO and is priced at $299.99. The rifle kit includes the upper, stock, grip, trigger, among other parts and retails for $609.99.

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DeSantis unveils new DS Paddle Holster fit for Glock 43

Mon, 10/09/2017 - 07:00

The Glock 43 is the latest model handgun to see DS Paddle Holster love from DeSantis. (Photo: DeSantis)

Renowned holster maker DeSantis announced a new holster fit for the Glock 43 on the company’s DS Paddle Holster lineup.

The DS Paddle is compact yet durable, custom molded to pair perfectly with the user’s carry gun. Crafted from kydex, a thermoplastic that is light yet incredibly strong, the holster boasts minimal friction when drawing the gun providing for a smooth, efficient draw. Utilizing a dual tension device matched with precise molding, the G43 is held securely in place allowing users to use the holster as their everyday carry rig.

Shooters can adjust both forward and rearward cant, tailoring the rig to their personal carry preferences. Though the holster is a paddle style rig, DeSantis does offer an optional belt attachment for traditional belt mounting.

The company touts 33 total firearm models on the paddle line, but the G43 sub-compact pistol is the latest to join the series. The DS Paddle is currently only available in standard black with the rig priced at just under $50.

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Tactical Solutions releases Pac-Lite Holster for Ruger Mark Series pistols

Mon, 10/09/2017 - 06:30

The Pac-Lite holster is designed to fit Ruger’s Mark series. (Photo: Tactical Solutions)

Tactical Solutions expands its accessory offerings, launching the new Pac-Lite holster designed specifically for Ruger’s Mark Series pistols.

The Pac-Lite is constructed to accommodate the MKI, MKII, MKIII, MKIV and 22/45R .22 LR pistols. The holster can be used with optic mounted Mark pistols. The ambidextrous design grants both right-handed and left-handed shooters the ability to use the rig.

The holster utilizes adjustable retention that provides greater flexibility in addition to offering availability in low-ride or high-ride.

“There’s no other holster on the market that has the features of our Pac-Lite holster,” Sales Manager Amy Shaw said in a press release, “They have been a top selling accessory for us for the past several years and we’re looking forward to selling even more of them now that they fit the MKIV in addition to all the other models.”

The holster by Tactical Solutions is already shipping from TacSol with a moderate price tag listed at $40.00.

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Bill Hicks & Co offers two limited edition Colt rifles in Molon Labe theme

Mon, 10/09/2017 - 06:00

The Molon Labe themed Colts come in two models — a standard configuration and Magpul variant. (Photo: Bill Hicks & Co)

Bill Hicks & Co dropped two limited edition Colt LE6920 rifles outfitted in a Molon Labe “come and take them” theme.

Chambered in 5.56 Nato, the semi-automatic LE6920 series features a Cerakote Spartan Clad finish resembling aged copper. Boasting a Molon Labe print stenciled on the left side of the upper receiver, the rifle also features a helmet motif on the right of the lower receiver.

The Magpul Industries accessorized version touts the same color and theme as the standard Molon Labe but ships with Magpul furniture to include the MOE SL handguard, carbine stock and pistol grip in addition to the MOE vertical grip and the company’s Back-Up Sight.

Both guns opt for a 30+1 capacity with a 16.1-inch barrel. Bill Hicks & Co says the exclusive Colt rifles are in stock and ready to ship to consumers who want a little more flare than standard, black M4s offer. No word on pricing.

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Categories: Gun News

NRA: ‘We don’t believe bans have every worked’ about bump stocks (VIDEO)

Mon, 10/09/2017 - 05:30

The National Rifle Association continued to say federal regulators should “do its job” about bump fire stocks, implying the item should be restricted, but stopped short of supporting a legislative ban.

NRA’s leadership — head lobbyist Chris Cox and chief executive officer Wayne LaPierre — hit the Sunday morning political shows to clarify points made earlier in the week, which garnered mixed reactions from NRA supporters and other gun rights organizations.

Their responses were largely intertwined with comments on the motives of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, whose proposal to ban bump stocks has gained bipartisan support, calling out hypocrisy of “elites” and blaming former President Obama.

On Face The Nation, LaPierre responded to the direct question asking if the NRA support’s legislation to ban specifically bump stocks, saying: “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.”

Host John Dickerson clarified that ATF ruled based on the letter of the law, so the proposal would update the regulation, LaPierre said: “No, we think ATF ought to do its job, look at this, and draw a bright line.”

The ATF on at least two occassions approved the bump stock design, approving the item because it does not modify the internal mechanics of a firearm, the device “is not regulated as a firearm under Gun Control Act or the National Firearms Act.”

When attached to an AR rifle, a bump fire stock allows the semi-auto firearm to mimic a full-auto firearm. The device uses the recoil to push the device back and forth, allowing a shooter to repeatedly depress the trigger.

A gunman in Las Vegas on Oct. 1 equipped a dozen or so rifles with a bump stock and opened fire on a crowd of 22,000 from a hotel room on the 32nd floor, resulting in 58 people dead and almost 500 others injured.

“Our concern is that all this focus on devices takes away the attention from the underlying behavior and utnil we address that, these things are going to continue to happen,” Cox told Chris Wallace on Fox News Morning.

Cox was more straightforward in his answering of a direct question regarding whether or not bump stocks should be banned.

“We don’t believe bans have every worked on anything. What we said has been very clear that if something transfers a semi-automatic to function like fully automatic than it aught to be regulated differently,” Cox said. “Fully automatics are regulated differently in this country. If something copies a semi-automatic into a fully automatic than those should be regulated as well.”

The organization released a statement last week calling for the ATF to “immediately review” bump stocks to determine if they comply with federal law and said it believes devices like it should be subject to additional regulations. Both Cox and LaPierre expanded upon their views on Fox News shortly after releasing the statement.

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Firefield introduces Speedstrike red or green laser sights

Sun, 10/08/2017 - 01:00

The Speedstrike system easily mounts to rifles touting red or green laser options. (Photo: Firefield)

The Firefield Speedstrike joins Firefield’s lineup of optics, giving shooters the choice between red or green laser color options.

Ideal for home defense and night shooting, the Speedstrike system was crafted with more responsive adjustments in addition to a brighter, tighter laser dot and more compact body style. The modular mount permits users to attach the laser sight to best suit their needs, working alongside firearm rails. The sight can be tuned for windage and elevation without tools while a tactile button provides swift activation of the lasers.

Firefield says the sights are effective up to 50 yards during the day and 300 yards at night with both models running off a single CR123 battery. Able to withstand up to .308 caliber recoil, the lasers boast a lightweight yet durable build that is IP55 water resistant.

Both sights are available from Firefield with the Speedstrike red laser setup retailing for $47.99 and the green laser priced at $95.99.

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Man faces prison time for shooting woman who tried to rob him

Sun, 10/08/2017 - 00:00

A witness talks with police after an attempted robbery turned into a double shooting. (Photo: Connecticut Post)

A man from Bridgeport, Connecticut, is facing prison time for shooting a woman last year who first shot him during an attempted robbery which police say occurred during a drug deal gone bad.

Jarfari “Cutty” Buggs, 28, who was shot in the stomach during the Aug. 29, 2016, incident, pleaded guilty in Superior Court Wednesday to first-degree assault and criminal possession of a firearm, according to reports from the Connecticut Post. If convicted, he could spend up to three years in prison.

The woman who was shot by Buggs, 25-year-old Vaneccia “Nucci” Manson, survived her injuries and has since been convicted of attempted murder, assault and robbery. She was sentenced to six years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 8.

Bridgeport Police Chief Armando Perez said Manson, who is known to local authorities, and another woman set up Buggs, a known drug dealer, in an attempt to rob him. However, the robbery did not unfold as planned, and both Buggs and Manson were shot with the same gun.

Perez said the three met up in the parking lot of a local business around 7:30 p.m., but instead of buying drugs, Manson pulled a gun on Buggs, who, in turn, struggled with Manson. Buggs was shot in the abdomen during the struggle, but was then able to gain control of the gun. An injured Buggs then pursued Manson and fired multiple rounds until she collapsed on the ground.

The encounter was witnessed by numerous shoppers and also captured on surveillance video from a nearby deli.

Buggs fled from the scene before police arrived, and drove himself to a local hospital for treatment. Manson, who was shot in the head and believed she was going to die, admitted to Police Capt. Brian Fitzgerald on the scene that she tried to rob Buggs before she was shot.

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Safariland, Bianchi offer new holster fits for Honor Defense pistols

Sat, 10/07/2017 - 23:30

The Honor Defense Honor Guard pistol will see more holster options as two major holster companies drop new rigs for the concealable pistol lineup. (Photo: Jacki Billings)

Safariland and Bianchi now offer 14 models of holsters designed to work alongside Honor Defense’s Honor Guard pistol series.

At the behest of law enforcement officers, the new models include retention style rigs as well as standard carry holsters. Gary Ramey, President of Honor Defense, said the company is happy that more holster companies are jumping on the Honor Guard bandwagon.

“We are pleased regarding fitment from Bianchi and Blackhawk as we support law enforcement whenever possible,” Ramey said in a press release. “They join a list of other top quality manufacturers that offer our customers a wide variety of holster choices.”

The 9mm, single stack pistol series blasted onto the scene in 2015 and has steadily gained followers with each new iteration of Honor Guards introduced. The handguns are specifically designed around the concept of concealed carry and already work alongside several holster brands to include Alien Gear, Crossbreed, DeSantis, Galco, StealthGear USA, GearCraft and Tuff.

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3 Florida gang members sentenced for trafficking drugs, guns

Sat, 10/07/2017 - 23:15

Ronald Morrobel is one of the three defendants, and will spend the next 17.5 years in prison. (Photo: Miami-Dade Corrections)

Three Florida gang members were given lengthy prison sentences last week in federal court for the parts they played in the illegal distribution of drugs and firearms in Miami.

According to court documents, Juan Videa, 23, Darryl Marshall, 24, and Ronald Morrobel, 33, who are all associated with the street gang “Boss Life,” engaged in more than 30 transactions involving drugs and weapons from April 2015 to November 2016. Unbeknown to the defendants, the purchases were controlled buys under the direction of federal officials.

Videa, who is known as “J,” Marshall, who is known as “Block,” and Morrobel, who goes by “Nino,” were all charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and engaging in the business of unlicensed dealing in firearms. All three pleaded guilty to the charges.

Videa was sentenced to 11 years in prison, while Marshall was sentenced to 9 years in prison, and Morrobel will spend the next 17.5 years in prison, the Justice Department, along with local and other federal law enforcement agencies, announced Wednesday.

The controlled transactions consisted of the distributions of narcotics, including high-quality crack cocaine and heroin, as well as purchases of more than a dozen weapons and parts that included high capacity firearms, a fully automatic rifle, a silencer, a one hundred round drum magazine, and firearms with obliterated serial numbers.

Their arrests and prosecutions were part of a larger undertaking known as Operation Northern Lights which took aim at cracking down on illegal drug and gun sales in the Miami-Dade area and the violent crime that often comes with such activity. The investigation also thwarted a home invasion robbery which was planned by Videa and Morrobel.

Benjamin G. Greenberg, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, praised the collaborative efforts of the Operation Northern Lights Task Force, which was comprised of federal, state and local law enforcement.

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Report: U.S. military ‘only marginally able’ to defend American interests

Sat, 10/07/2017 - 23:00

An extensive report released Thursday says the U.S. military is “only marginally able” to defend American interests.

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Washington D.C., released its annual ‘Index of Military Strength.’ The 432-page report says the U.S. military would struggle to fight in two major regional conflicts at the same time.

Now in its fourth year, the index looks at the power of the American military, the status of operating environments around the world, and threats to U.S. national interests. Save for the Middle East, the global operating environment is largely favorable, according to the report, but threats to U.S. interests are high.

The Heritage Foundation assessed the capability, capacity, and readiness of military power on a scale ranging from very weak, to weak, marginal, strong, and very strong. The Navy, Air Force and U.S. nuclear capabilities were rated as marginal, whereas the Army and Marine Corps were rated as weak.

The report says the Army is too small for the tasks it’s assigned, and its equipment continues to age. The Marine Corps is facing increased stress and poor aviation readiness, according to the report, factors that made it the only military service to drop from ‘marginal’ last year to ‘weak’ this year.

“The common theme across the services and the U.S. nuclear enterprise is one of force degradation resulting from many years of underinvestment, poor execution of modernization programs, and the negative effects of budget sequestration (cuts in funding) on readiness and capacity,” says a summary of the report.

Funding is a big part of the problem, the report says. In the 1990’s, defense spending started to dwindle. Then, following the Sept. 11 terror attacks and subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, spending skyrocketed, before a defense spending slowdown started under President Obama.

(Photo: Heritage Foundation)

“We cut defense budget between 2010 and 2014 by 22 percent, and we’re still 18 percent lower in defense spending than we were in 2010,” said Thomas Spoehr, the director of the Center for National Defense at the Heritage Foundation. “Now what’s happened in the world in those intervening years? Obviously the world has grown many times more dangerous.”

Defense Secretary James Mattis agrees. Earlier this year, he said the 2011 Budget Control Act, which puts caps on defense spending, together with sequestration, has “done more damage to our readiness than the enemies in the field.”

“Without a real commitment to increases in modernization, capacity, and readiness accounts over the next few years, America’s military branches will continue to be strained to meet the missions they are called upon to fulfill,” concludes the Heritage Foundation index.

Those who want more funding may get their way. More than 150 House Republicans this week announced their support for President Trump’s call for a $700 billion defense budget, a $60 billion increase from his original proposal.

“Restoring our military strength and defending the country is as important to America’s success as reforming the tax code, ensuring healthcare for Americans and growing the economy,” the lawmakers wrote.

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Categories: Gun News

Ergo launches new dark earth Superlite Modular Free Float Rails

Sat, 10/07/2017 - 14:00

The new Superlite free float rails are available in M-LOK and KeyMod. (Photo: Ergo)

Accessory maker Ergo expands its series of rail systems, unveiling the Superlite Free Float Rail now available in a Dark Earth Cerakote finish.

The Superlite rail ships in either a Keymod or M-LOK configuration with slots located at the 3-, 6- and 9-o’clock positions in addition to a Picatinny rail mounted at the 12 position. The slot locations allow for multiple accessories to mount along the rail system. Each dark earth rail system comes standard with a three pack of M-LOK or KeyMod rail covers in black as well as an 18 slot ladder in black for the Picatinny.

The new rails measure 15-inches in length, boasting a thin ceramic coating that is resistant to heat. The finish protects the aluminum body construction from corrosion, scratches and gouges.

In addition to the new dark earth finish, Ergo offers standard black to shooters looking for 9-inch, 12-inch or 15-inch lengths along with two different diameters. The company says its free float design is laid out to help dissipate heat and increase accuracy potential.

“Ergo’s Free Float design helps maximize the accuracy potential of your rifle for precision shooters. Additional cutouts along the length of the rail system help to dissipate heat away from the shooter’s hand,” Ergo said in a press release.

The Superlite system is available from Ergo with a MSRP of $227.

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Categories: Gun News

Ballot initiative to repeal new Oregon gun confiscation law tanks

Sat, 10/07/2017 - 13:00

Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, signed the measure into law in August after it squeaked through the legislature, which gave opponents just weeks to gather enough signatures send the issue to voters. (Photo: Gov. Brown’s office)

A drive to overturn Oregon’s new Extreme Risk Protection Order statutes failed to gain the needed signatures to be placed in front of voters.

Republican House members Bill Post and Mike Nearman along with 2016 House candidate Teri Grier filed Referendum 302 in August with the Oregon Secretary of State’s office. Termed the “Say No to 719” initiative, it aimed to push repeal the Senate bill of the same in its entirety, but organizers fell short of the 58,789 signatures from registered voters no later than Thursday to qualify for the 2018 general election ballot.

“It wasn’t for lack of support,” said Nearman in a statement. “We just simply did not have enough time. I blame Governor Kate Brown for that,” he said, explaining that since they could not begin gathering signatures until Brown signed the measure on Aug. 15, and as they had 90 days from the end of the session on July 7 in which to circulate petitions, were constrained by a very short window.

As reported by Oregon Public Broadcasting, the initiative garnered about 25,000 signatures.

The Extreme Risk Protection Order law allows individuals to ask a judge in a civil court to bar the subject of such an order from possessing or buying firearms or ammo for one year. It grants police enforcing the order the power to search for and seize guns that were not surrendered or stored with a third party such as a gun dealer within 24 hours. The subject of the order has 30 days to request a hearing to keep their firearms, which must be held within 21 days.

The measure is based on similar laws adopted in Washington and California in recent years and passed the Oregon Legislature without a single Republican voting in favor.

“The gun lobby’s effort to repeal Oregon’s Extreme Risk Protection Order law was yet another failed attempt to undermine public safety in our state,” said Andrea Platt with the Oregon chapter of Moms Demand Action. “SB 719 is a commonsense policy that empowers families and law enforcement officers to act to potentially prevent tragedies.”

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Categories: Gun News

Trojan Firearms unveils upgraded TFA-UL15 platform

Sat, 10/07/2017 - 12:30

The updated TFA-UL15 boasts new Cerakote colors among other additions. (Photo: Trojan Firearms)

Trojan Firearms upgraded its TFA-UL15 rifle platform, introducing the updated model via press release Tuesday.

The original TFA-UL15 design made its debut in 2016 but has since undergone a few changes. The high performance 5.56 NATO/.223 Rem. caliber rifle remains lightweight, weighing under 6-pounds; but now the rifle features the new Gen. III ambi-charging handle and keymod handrail with the option of either the curved bow or straight bow drop-in trigger group. In addition, the updated rifle boasts more Cerakote colors for shooters who like a little pizzazz in their gun cabinet.

The direct gas impingement AR-15 is constructed of CNC machined, high-grade aircraft billet aluminum with a 416 stainless Wylde Chamber Hanson barrel offering a 1-8 twist.

The TFA-UL15 comes in two package options — a standard starting at $1,559.99 and a “featherweight” priced at $1,669.99. The featherweight touts a low-mass PVD gold coated bolt carrier group and low mass buffer system, dropping the rifle’s weight down to 5-pounds, 8-ounces.

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Categories: Gun News