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Two outdoor retailers stall orders with Vista Outdoor over guns

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 12:00

Customers shop during the REI DC Flagship Grand Opening on Friday, Oct. 18, 2016 in Washington. (Photo: Kevin Wolf/AP Images for REI)

Two outdoor retailers halted new orders of Vista Outdoor lifestyle brands — including Camelbak water bottles and Giro ski goggles — over the company’s significant profits from gun and ammunition sales.

REI and Mountain Equipment Co-op announced the decision Thursday after customers pressured the respective retailers to cut ties with Vista in the wake of the Parkland shooting last month. Vista’s “silence” on gun control and close ties with the National Rifle Association even inspired angry REI patrons to draft an online petition demanding the retailer drop Vista products entirely. The petition garnered more than 18,500 signatures as of Friday.

“REI does not sell guns,” the company said in a news release Thursday. “We believe that it is the job of companies that manufacture and sell guns and ammunition to work towards common sense solutions that prevent the type of violence that happened in Florida last month.”

REI applauded moves from corporate leadership at Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart for voluntarily banning firearm and ammo sale to customers under 21. Dick’s Chief Executive Officer Edward Stack said “assault-style” rifles would be discontinued permanently from the retailer’s more than 800 locations nationwide, as well as its three dozen Field and Stream stores.

Kroger followed suit Wednesday, imposing age restrictions on gun sales at the grocery chain’s Fred Meyer stores. L.L. Bean said via Twitter late Thursday it will implement the same policy at its flagship store in Freeport, Maine — the only location licensed to sell firearms.

“We learned that Vista does not plan to make a public statement that outlines a clear plan of action,” REI said of its dealings with the gun maker over the last week. “As a result, we have decided to place a hold on future orders of products that Vista sells through REI while we assess how Vista proceeds. Companies are showing they can contribute if they are willing to lead. We encourage Vista to do just that.”

The publicly-traded company owns more than three dozen brands in firearms, ammunition and shooting accessories, including Savage Arms, Stevens, Federal Premium, Speer and American Eagle. The other 46 percent of Vista’s business comes from outdoor lifestyle brands, like the products carried in REI stores and Canadian-based Mountain Equipment Co-op.

“Thousands of MEC members have contacted us to express their concerns and to ask that we stop selling products made by these brands,” said MEC Chief Executive Officer David Labistour in an open letter published Thursday. “We’ve also heard from members who believe that purchasing decisions like these should be left to individual consumers and that MEC should not get involved. The fact is, the debate has involved us and as a member-based organization we are compelled to respond.”

Labistour, a military veteran, said he identifies with both sides of the gun debate, but ultimately leaned in favor of the portion of MEC’s 5.5 million members opposed to Vista brands, saying, “I believe that engagement is the path to change, as tough as it might be.”

“From what we’ve heard, we know that no decision we make will satisfy everyone,” he said.” We are in the midst of a complex and highly charged debate with as many opinions as there are people expressing them … My responsibility as CEO is to ensure that we make thoughtful, informed decisions in the best interest of our Co-op and effect change where this is possible and consistent with our presence in the marketplace.”

The news tanked share prices for Vista by more than 10 percent as of midday Friday. The company has yet to respond to a request for comment from

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Categories: Gun News

Sightmark revamps LoPro Combo lineup with three upgraded models

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 09:30

Sightmark unleashes revamped LoPro Combo devices. (Photo: Sightmark)

Sightmark’s LoPro Combo devices are getting a facelift, according to the company who announced three redesigned models for the LoPro lineup.

The revamped models will include the LoPro Mini Combo, LoPro Combo Flashlight and Green Laser Sight as well as the Lo Pro Mini. As evidenced by the LoPro name, the units offer a low profile design, allowing them to mount in front of firearm optics without interfering with sight picture.

The LoPro Mini Combo tweaks the previous design, adding an aluminum housing, protected windage/elevation adjustments, thread on and rotating pressure pad in addition to a variable LED brightness for different flashlight modes. Sightmark outfits the device with a solid metal construction paired with a single-piece integrated mount for a firm hold regardless of shooting conditions, the company says.

The LoPro Combos feature a pressure pad and windage/elevation adjustments. (Photo: Sightmark)

The LoPro Combo mates a full-sized flashlight with a laser and IR illuminator for night vision optics. The high-intensity LED flashlight provides plenty of light for shooters, according to Sightmark, in addition to offering a screw-in pressure pad that stays in place during “severe field use.”

Rounding out the new digs, is the LoPro Mini — a compact and lightweight, water resistant laser/flashlight. Weiging 6.7-ounces, the LoPro Mini serves up hand adjustable windage/elevation, tool-less adjustments with a pressure pad and a single CR123A battery.

Prices on the new models start around $119 for the LoPro Mini, $179 for the Mini Combo and $239 for the LoPro Combo.

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Categories: Gun News

L.L.Bean raises age for buying guns to 21

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 09:30

L.L.Bean’s flagship store in Freeport, Maine, is the company’s only store that sells guns. (Photo: L.L.Bean/Facebook)

Outdoor retailer L.L.Bean announced that it will no longer sell guns or ammunition to patrons under the age of 21, making it the fourth retailer to alter its policies since last month’s deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

“In the wake of this shooting we have reviewed our policy on firearm sales, and we will no longer be selling guns or ammunition to anyone under the age of 21,” the company said Thursday in a Twitter response to customers.

In the wake of this shooting we have reviewed our policy on firearm sales, and we will no longer be selling guns or ammunition to anyone under the age of 21. ^kw

— L.L.Bean (@LLBean) March 2, 2018

Although L.L.Bean is known more for preppy rustic wear and a generous return policy, guns seem like a relatively obscure item for the brand. However, out of the company’s 37 stores, only the flagship location in Freeport, Maine, is licensed to sell firearms, CNN Money reported.

This week, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Walmart and Kroger all announced that they would change their policies and up the age limit for buying guns to 21.

Since the 19-year-old gunman entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and murdered 17 people and injured 15 others, there has been pressure on lawmakers to raise the age limit for purchasing a gun. Under current law, the age restrictions are set at 18 years old for long guns and 21 for handguns.

Such a change has gained bipartisan support as well as praise by President Trump, but pro-gun groups argue it would be unnecessary discrimination shooters between the ages of 18-21.

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Categories: Gun News

Going loud with a historic gun crew from the Alamo (VIDEO)

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 09:00

Living historian John Potter joins a period-correct gun crew to get some potshots in from a three-pounder similar to those used by Texas in defense of the Alamo.

The action goes down a couple of miles south of San Antonio, as target practice from a live cannon is frowned upon these days downtown, with the six-strong crew reaching out to 200 yards with the small field artillery piece.

During the 13-day battle to take the walled mission in 1836, the defenders used 18 mounted guns against the besieging Mexican Army, with the smallest being the same size as the one shown in the above video.

The loading, priming and firing process of the black power cannon is covered and (eventually) they manage to get several billiard-sized balls on target.

A total of nine cannons from the historic site, including seven used during the battle for the Alamo, are being preserved by Texas A&M in an ongoing process funded by donations.

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Categories: Gun News

Sig Sauer serves up 300 Win Mag Sig HT hunting ammo

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 08:30

Sig Sauer unleashes 300 Win Mag on its Sig HT hunting ammo line. (Photo: Sig Sauer)

Sig Sauer continues its expansion on its ammunition line, adding a new caliber to the Sig HT premium-grade, copper hunting ammo line in the way of 300 Win Mag.

This 165 grain 300 Win Mag hunting round delivers an all-copper bullet with consistent 1.8x diameter expansion and deep penetration, according to Sig Sauer. Sig HT cartridges use a nickel-plated shell case with flash-reduced propellant to minimize visible signature in low-light shooting scenarios.

Muzzle velocity measures right around 3,110 feet-per-second with muzzle energy at 3,543 foot-pounds. Sig says its construction makes the 300 Win Mag Sig HT round ideal for dropping medium-sized game, such as deer.

“The 300 Win Mag is such a popular caliber with hunters, we wanted to add this round to our environmentally-friendly Sig HT line,” Bud Fini, Executive Vice President of the SIG SAUER Ammunition Division and Special Projects, said in a press release.  “All Sig HT offerings feature our proprietary, high-performance all-copper bullet which is now available in 300BLK, 223 Rem, 308 Win and 300 Win Mag loadings with additional chamberings to be added in the months ahead.”

The Sig HT ammo in 300 Win Mag ships 20 rounds to a box with a MSRP of $55.

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Categories: Gun News

Alpen Optics says goodbye after 22 years in business

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 08:00

Alpen Optics is no longer in business, closing its doors Wednesday. (Photo: Alpen Optics)

Alpen Optics closed its door Wednesday, ceasing operations and ending 22 years in the outdoor accessory business.

The company said many factors went into the decision to shut down manufacturing and sales to include family health issues, a difficult business climate, competition and factory production challenges.

Alpen Optics first opened its doors in 1996, offering quality optics such as binoculars, spotting scopes, riflescopes and accessories to hunters, wildlife watchers and outdoor enthusiasts. Alpen has been the recipient of a number of awards throughout the years celebrating its commitment to quality and affordability.

Alpen Optics’ owners Vickie and Tim Gardner. (Photo: Alpen Optics)

Owners Tim and Vickie Gardner said the decision to end operations was a tough one, due to the company’s loyal customer base, but that the time had come to pursue other endeavors.

“I want to express my love and gratitude to all the awesome friends I’ve made over the last 22 years,” Vickie Garner said in a press release. “It is now time to start a new chapter in our lives, and we sincerely thank you for your past support and friendship. Happy trails to you until we meet again.”

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Categories: Gun News

Georgia lawmakers punish Delta over NRA position

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 07:30

Georgia lawmakers passed the tax bill, which cuts $5.7 billion in personal and business income tax, overwhelmingly 44-10 on March 1. (Photo: Casey Cagle/Twitter)

Georgia lawmakers excluded Delta — the state’s largest private employer — from a tax bill that passed Thursday because the airline cut business ties to the National Rifle Association.

In the bill, Delta would have received a $50 million tax exemption on jet fuel, but pro-gun Republicans opted to kill the measure because the company said it would no longer offer discounts to NRA members in the wake of Florida’s school shooting.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, a Republican, had warned Delta if it did not reverse its decision and reinstate the discount that he would kill the tax break that would effectively eliminate the tax on jet fuel entirely. The state senate voted to remove the measure after the bill advanced in the state house.

“Delta has taken action to be very punitive against a principled position that we as Second Amendment defenders take,” Cagle said on Fox News on Wednesday, adding “we have to govern based on principle.”

Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican who the NRA endorsed in 2014, told reporters Wednesday he would sign the bill but was critical of election-year “antics” by lawmakers for singling out Delta.

“We were not elected to give the late-night talk show hosts fodder for their monologues or to act with the type of immaturity that has caused so many in our society to have a cynical view of politics,” Deal said.

In a press release, Deal explained that the move to punish Delta conflicts with Georgia’s business friendly environment and may discourage other businesses from moving there. Delta has a major hub at the Atlanta airport, one of the busiest in the world, and is a key driver of the airport’s economy.

Despite potential negative economic consequences, Cagle said “families do get into squabbles.” Delta joined about two dozen other brands to end partnerships with the NRA after a national force led by students and victims of the Florida shooting decried the gun lobby for its stance on gun control. Yet, the airline said it opted for a “neutral stance” in the debate.

However, Cagle argued if Delta chose to end all discounts instead of those offered to NRA members (for trips to the organization’s annual conference), the company would have been fair. “But instead they chose to single out the NRA and their membership — law abiding gun owners — and I don’t think that’s right,” Cagle said. “I have to govern based on principles.”

After it passed, Cagle characterized the bill as “a historic victory for our citizens” due to its $5.7 billion tax cut to businesses and taxpayers in the state. Fellow Republican House Speaker David Ralston addressed the Delta exemption specifically. “I hope they are better at flying airplanes than timing P.R. announcements,” he told reporters.

Democrats in the Georgia legislature, who voted against the tax bill, lauded Delta’s stand against the gun rights member organization while Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, both Democrats, invited the carrier to relocate their headquarters to their respective states.

Staff writer Chris Eger contributed to the reporting of this story

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Categories: Gun News

Somebody ‘Judged’ this poor Colt Single Action before the Judge was cool (VIDEO)

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 07:30

The fine folks over at the National Firearms Museum show off a modified Colt SAA that has been stretched, for better or worse, to accommodate a .410 shotgun shell.

John Popp and firearms specialist Logan Metesh talk about the strange construct that took at least two different 19th Century Colts (with one of the frames being a highly sought-after “U.S.” marked former Army revolver) and made a .410 revolver long before Taurus came out with the Judge. Talk about an abomination. Hopefully, it was done in the 1900s when these old black powder wheelguns were plentiful and cheap.

P.S., kudos to anyone who points out the MIL Thunder 5 predated the Judge by more than a decade.

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Gear Review: A tale of three charging handles—is a HABU for you?

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 07:00

Top to bottom–HABU, milspec, and ambi charging handles. (Photo: Team HB)

Until recently, I was aware of two types of AR charging handles—mil-spec or a variant thereof, with the latch on the left side only, ambi, with latches on both sides, and now something completely different—the cuff-like HABU, which runs along the top of the buttstock tube. I’ve used all three, and as a naturally ambi shooter, have formed what I feel are informed opinions on the positive and negative aspects of each one. If you’re building your first AR or considering a charging handle upgrade, here are some points to consider.

Milspec charging handles are functional and economical. Starting at around $20, they’ll run all day just as they are. Upgraded metals and extended levers will increase the price, in some cases to just under $100.

As a left-handed shooter, I became accustomed to taking my firing hand off the ready position to run the charging handle. Befuddled or bemused looks from even experienced instructors are something I became accustomed to.

With age-related changes to my vision and in an attempt to be a more versatile shooter, I began to shoot primarily right-handed some years ago. Without a doubt, milspec charging handles are easier to run with the left hand acting in a support role. An added bonus: most class demos were easier to follow since right-handed technique is inevitably demonstrated first and more often.

Ambi charging handles feature a release lever on both sides of the “T” and can be operated with the same action of the right or left hand. Prices scale up for this custom piece of kit. I spent $85 on my Raptor brand ambi handle when I grew frustrated that my so-called left-handed AR, a Stag 2L, was still a right-hand bias rifle with its milspec charging handle and safety.

The Raptor handle became my overnight favorite, but wasn’t without a downside. I can reach up and rip the handle, now mounted in my Battle Rifle Company Cutlass, without much thought or even effort, regardless of which hand is operating the trigger. When I sustained wrist injuries that became chronic, I realized new value in the ambi setuip in that I could hook my index and middle finger around each side of the handle for extra leverage and an even pull that keeps pain at bay.

A clear negative of the ambi handle became evident when, after a season of running, literally, with the Cutlass on a regular basis, I borrowed a friend’s lighter AR for a CQB class. Suddenly, the split-fingered technique I’d been using on the Raptor didn’t move anything. It only took a few reps with the old milspec design to get into the groove again, but there’s something to be said for having a feel for how the gun one’s likely to pick up in an emergency is going to operate—and it’s not with an ambi charger.

The HABU Mod 1 Advanced Engagement Charging Handle—let’s call it the HABU for short–is a whole new design in charging handles. Designer and manufacturing company, Falcon 37, President Steve Parker sent me a HABU to try out. While it accomplishes the same simple task of pulling the bolt carrier group rearward, the HABU has an inline handle that’s made to be grabbed, preferably overhand, and pulled back in the same fashion as racking the slide of a semiauto pistol.

HABU charging handle on a BRC Cutlass. (Photo: Team HB)

The “one simple motion for many tasks” adherent in me likes this design. It just makes sense to charge the AR the same as the pistol on my hip. The messy-truck, crowded-safe keeper in me adores the low profile of this charging handle—there’s no chance of a “T” catching on stuff when pulling the gun out from wherever it’s stashed. In a crisis, that bit of simplicity matters a lot.

What I’m less crazy about is that the HABU doesn’t fit well on every stock—including the fat Hogue stock on my Cutlass. It’s make for a milspec tube, and though it’ll run across the Hogue’s, it takes a bit of push, and I did manage to slightly gouge the rubber covering on the stock.

The HABU offers advantages on a milspec stock tube. (Photo: Team HB)

Using the HABU is fast—I can tuck the butt of the stock into my armpit and run this handle quick, whereas operating even the ambi handle is easier if I fully unseat the rifle from firing position, especially when encumbered by a chest rig or puffy coat. The low profile just keeps the whole package easier to operate.

Even on its shortest setting, the HABU is about a foot long. (Photo: Team HB)

A downside to the HABU is, even on the shortest of two available length settings, there’s not enough room to get a full stroke to load or eject a round when the stock is fully collapsed. Sure, as I was told when I mentioned it, “most people don’t use an AR that way,” but there are a few examples in the civilian CQB world and plenty more in law enforcement, deploying the MR from behind the steering wheel, where that may be the only choice. It’s a limitation the individual user will have to decide is important or not, in exchange for lightning-fast charging other times.

The HABU also acts as a cheek rest. Depending on your sighting system, this could be a boon to comfortable shooting and rapid target acquisition. Or, it could spell frustration. I had both experiences. With the Hogue stock and a magnifying scope, I found myself unable to get a shadow-free view. However, on a standard AR outfitted with a Bushnell Enrage red dot, the cheek support was just right. Since the company advertises a satisfaction guarantee, there doesn’t seem to be any risk to trying it on your own system to be sure if it’s a fit.

HABU stands for “hook a brother up,” a reflection of Parker’s sincerity and solidarity with the military and law enforcement communities. The former Marine is based in North Carolina and founded Falcon 37. Current sticker on this charging handle is $89.95; add $10 for the AR10 model.


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Categories: Gun News

Kriss USA announces new Edelweiss Arms division

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 07:00

Edelweiss seeks to bring antique firearms to U.S. collectors. (Photo and logo: Edelweiss Arms, Graphic: Jacki Billings)

Kriss USA will begin importing and selling curios and relics as well as antique firearms under its newly created division, Edelweiss Arms.

Edelweiss Arms will focus specifically on antiques with a specialty in Swiss firearms. The direct to consumer e-commerce business will utilize key partnerships throughout Europe to bring high quality and historically significant pieces to U.S. based collectors.

The new division has several rifles up for grabs. (Photo: Edelweiss Arms)

“This is an exciting new venture for our business, and we’re looking forward to providing some value to the collector’s market in the United States,” Kriss USA Marketing Manager Tim Seargeant said in a press release. “Edelweiss Arms is positioned to provide the discerning collector in the United States unprecedented access to some of the most pristine condition antique and C&R firearms from Europe. Additionally, our Edelweiss Arms website is designed to streamline the decision making and ordering process, to reduce the guess work that is traditionally associated with shopping for collector’s pieces.”

Edelweiss will kick off its sales with a wide variety of Schmidt-Rubin rifles in addition to a selection of Lugers, several Sig P210 pistols, the P49 and the Swiss military version of the P210. The company says it also specializes in antique firearms that do not require transfer through a Federal Firearm License dealer.

Edelweiss’ current inventory is online with prices varying based on model.

The Sig P210 is one of a handful of firearms offered through Edelweiss. (Photo: Edelweiss Arms)

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Categories: Gun News

Man pleads guilty in selling guns stolen by his wife from evidence room

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 06:30

Adrianne Canterbury (left), Richard Allen Canterbury (middle) and Candice Byrum (right). (Photo: Dallas County Jail)

An Alabama man pleaded guilty in federal court for his part in a ring that plotted to sell almost 300 guns stolen from the Selma Police evidence lock up.

U.S. Attorney Richard Moore announced Wednesday that Richard Allen Canterbury, of Valley Grande, pleaded guilty in January on charges of possession of firearms by a convicted felon, possession of firearms with an obliterated serial number and selling firearms without a federal license. Canterbury, arrested in 2017 when the short-run scheme unraveled, received the guns from his wife, Adrianne, then later stored and attempted to sell them.

According to court documents, the operation was brought to light last April when police received a call from a middle school assistant principal after Adrianne’s minor son had brought some jewelry to campus that he tried to sell to fellow students. When asked where the items came from, the youth said his mother brought them home from the police evidence room where she worked. Investigators soon found that other items, to include firearms, were absent from the room with Adrianne, after being confronted, taking detectives to her home where they recovered three stolen guns.

Police followed up with Richard, a felon who lost his firearms rights in 1996, who admitted that his wife had passed a number of guns along to him in March to sell. A search warrant of a storage building he had access to yielded 239 guns, all from the Selma PD. Richard’s girlfriend, Candice Byrum, advertised some the guns on social media with the man selling them out of his job site, bringing Adrianne most of the money he received. Officials noted that Richard did not tell Byrum, who had “hard feelings” about his wife, where he obtained the guns from at first and when Byrum found out they came from Adrianne, she forced him to move the stolen property from her home to a storage building.

At least one of the stolen firearms was later traced to a homicide. Once news of the theft was made public and the Alabama Attorney General asked people to turn over guns they may have purchased from the ring, several individuals came forward and a total of 294 of the stolen weapons have been recovered thus far.

Richard’s sentencing is set for July 27, where he faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, along with supervised release.

Court dockets show Byrum pleaded guilty last month to furnishing a firearm to a felon as well as aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm by a felon. Her sentencing is set for May 7, and, like Richard Canterbury, faces up to 20 years.

According to the Selma Times-Journal, the Selma Police officer assigned to supervise the evidence room has been terminated, but not charged.

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Categories: Gun News

Sellier & Bellot launch new 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 06:00

Sellier & Bellot adds 6.5 Creedmoor to its inventory of ammunition. (Photo: Sellier & Bellot)

Sellier & Bellot dive into the 6.5 Creedmoor craze, introducing its own 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition to the U.S. market.

The company says the S&B branded Creedmoor aims to offer consumers reliable yet cost-effective rounds for range and plinking.

“There is great demand for 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition. However, many of the currently available options are cost-prohibitive,” Mike Fisher, Vice President, US Sales and Marketing, said in a press release. “We developed something here that allows more people to get out and shoot their rifles. It’s ideal for training or a fun day of plinking without breaking the bank.”

6.5 Creedmoor has become the darling of long range shooting. (Photo: Sellier & Bellot)

The 6.5 Creedmoor round has proven itself a solid long range contender, delivering reliable performance in both bolt-action and semi-automatic rifles. S&B brings a 140 grain, full metal jacket variety with a lead core 6.5mm bullet to its 6.5 Creedmoor offering.

The company said the bullet is loaded into a premium, Boxer primed, brass case designed to allow reloaders the opportunity to reutilize the brass.

S&B has already started shipping the new ammunition — 20 rounds to a box — with a price hovering around $15.

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Categories: Gun News

Palmetto State Armory: The 2nd Amendment protects the 1st

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 05:30

Palmetto State Armory, with seven locations in South Carolina, specializes in the sale of bulk ammo, AR and AK parts, and full-up rifles. (Photo: PSA)

In counterbattery to recent announcements from other firearm retailers, South Carolina-based PSA issued a statement clarifying their stand on the AR.

Palmetto State Armory on Thursday espoused their corporate feelings on recent events that have seen big box retailers such as Dick’s and Walmart further cementing their decision not to carry sometimes controversial semi-autos such as the AR-15. PSA clarified that the “AR” in AR-15 stood for Armalite Rifle, after the original company behind the design, going on to advocate that blame is being misplaced on guns in the aftermath of a vicious school shooting last month in Florida.

“To blame the rifle or a high capacity magazine for the actions of an evil man is illogical and is only applied when referring to firearms,” the company said. “When a vehicle is used to commit an act of violence we as a society do not blame the car, we do not blame the speed, or the steering wheel, but rather the driver.”

In addressing the link between the constitutional right to keep and bear arms and freedom of speech, PSA was clear, saying, “We believe that a primary purpose of the Second Amendment is actually to protect the First Amendment.”

PSA, who have seven locations in South Carolina, specializes in the sale of bulk ammo, AR parts and, increasingly, full-up rifles with their budget sub-$500 Freedom Rifle series being especially popular. At this year’s SHOT Show in Las Vegas, they announced plans on further expanding their line to include MP5 clones.

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Categories: Gun News

Kroger bans gun sales under 21 at Fred Meyer stores

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 05:00

The grocery chain announced Thursday it will stop selling firearms to customer under 21 at its Fred Meyer locations. (Photo: Kroger/Facebook)

Kroger announced Thursday it will ban gun sales to customers under age 21 at its Fred Meyer locations.

The grocery chain joins a growing list of retailers — including Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart — that have voluntary implemented age restrictions on firearm sales in the wake of the Parkland school shooting last month..

“Kroger’s vision is to serve America through food inspiration and uplift,” the company said in a news release Thursday. “In response to tragic events in Parkland and elsewhere, we’ve taken a hard look at our policies and procedures for firearm sales.”

The policy will apply to roughly 130 Fred Meyer locations in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Kroger pulled “assault-style” rifles from the shelves in all states except Alaska in 2015. The grocery chain itself does not carry firearms.

“We believe these are common sense steps that we can take immediately that are in line with our values and our vision,” the company’s statement concluded.

The ongoing corporate backlash did nothing to stifle share prices for publicly traded gun makers. Sturm, Ruger and Company and American Outdoor Brands both closed nearly 5 percent higher Thursday.

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Justice Dept sets the record straight on certifications for ballistic backpacks (VIDEOS)

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 04:30

The U.S. Justice Department wants it known their NIJ agency only certifies body armor, such as shown on the above label. (Photo: Chris Eger/

With sales of what is often described as “bulletproof” backpacks surging in the weeks after a high-profile shoot shooting, the Justice Department wants it known they have not issued any certifications on such items.

“The National Institute of Justice—the research, development, and evaluation agency of the Department of Justice—has never tested nor certified ballistic items, such as backpacks, blankets, or briefcases, other than body armor for law enforcement,” said DOJ spokesman Devin O’Malley in a statement. “Marketing that claims NIJ testing or certification for such products is false.”

Certified NIJ ratings for the ballistic resistance of body armor, which is a strictly defined process, is only performed at a handful of accredited laboratories. The agency maintains a public list of compliant armor including threat level and warranty period.

In recent weeks, sales of ballistic resistant backpacks have swelled, with one company reportedly selling out in just three days after a shooting in Parkland that left 17 students and faculty dead.

In testing done by ABC and CBS, both networks found a backpack model from Guard Dog Security capable of stopping handgun rounds and shotgun buckshot, but not rifle rounds.

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Categories: Gun News

Trump: Take the guns first, go through due process second (VIDEO)

Thu, 03/01/2018 - 13:00

President Donald Trump said this week law enforcement should take guns away from potentially dangerous individuals and worry about due process rights later.

The president’s comments came during an exchange with Vice President Mike Pence in a televised meeting with lawmakers at the White House Wednesday. Pence said some states, including his own Indiana, have enacted violence protection orders allowing families to request police confiscate guns from loved ones displaying signs of mental instability.

“Allow due process so no one’s rights are trampled, but the ability to go to court, obtain an order and then collect not only the firearms but any weapons,” he said.

“Or Mike, take the firearms first and then go to court,” Trump said, noting legal proceedings involve extended periods of time incompatible with the ultimate goal of separating dangerous people from their firearms. “I like taking the guns early, like in this crazy man’s case that just took place in Florida. He had a lot of firearms. They saw everything. To go to court would have taken a long time, so you could do exactly what you’re saying, but take the guns first, go through due process second.”

The statement bewildered gun rights groups and conservatives in Congress, marking yet another departure from one of Trump’s most influential campaign donors, the National Rifle Association.

“I think everybody is trying to absorb what we just heard,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn told NPR Wednesday. “He’s a unique president and I think if he was focused on a specific piece of legislation rather than a grab bag of ideas then I think he could have a lot of influence, but right now we don’t have that.”

Cornyn’s Fix NICS Act is just one of the many legislative proposals the president has thrown his support behind — at least partially — in an effort to “do something” after the Valentine’s Day massacre in Parkland, Florida.

Other Trump-approved measures include expanding background checks, banning bump stocks, outlawing rifles sales to anyone under 21, “hardening” schools and arming teachers. He told lawmakers he isn’t afraid of the NRA, like other Republicans.

“They have great power over you people,” he said. They have less power over me … Some of you people are petrified of the NRA. You can’t be petrified.”

The NRA stood alone as the first political organization to throw its support behind Trump during the 2016 election. The organization spent more than $30 million branding the president as a protector of the Second Amendment and the only candidate capable of preserving the conservative majority on the Supreme Court.

Trump responded in kind after his electoral victory, choosing conservative, gun-friendly Neil Gorusch for the high court seat while also nominating more than a dozen conservative judges to fill vacancies in federal district courts nationwide.

The NRA’s influence over Trump’s judicial nominees angered gun control groups and congressional Democrats. The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence even sued the administration in December over its dealings with the gun lobby, its “radical gun agenda and absolutist view of the Second Amendment.”

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Categories: Gun News

Savage Arms introduces 110 Lightweight Storm for all weather shooting

Thu, 03/01/2018 - 12:30

Savage rolls out the 110 Lightweight Storm built on the popular 110 platform. (Photo: Savage Arms)

Savage Arms’ 110 Lightweight Storm is designed to tackle gnarly weather conditions, according to the gun maker who said the rifle can stand up to the worst weather conditions.

Featuring a stainless steel action and 20-inch barrel, the 110 Storm offers a lightweight design tipping scales at 5.65-pounds. The detachable box magazine style rifle allows users to easily customize length-of-pull to fit comfortably while shooting.

The Storm features a spiral-fluted bolt. (Photo: Savage Arms)

The 110 Lightweight Storm is packed with features to include a spiral-fluted bolt, rugged synthetic stock and skeletonized receiver. As with most Savage rifles, the 110 Lightweight Storm also includes the company’s user-adjustable AccuTrigger. The AccuTrigger delivers a light yet crisp pull to shooters. Built on Savage’s 110 platform, the company says the rifle is time tested but with a modern design and “improved ergonomics.”

Boasting a range of calibers to include .223 Rem, 7mm-08, .308 Win, .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .270 Win the 110 Lightweight Storm is currently on its way to dealer with a MSRP of $749.

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Categories: Gun News

A rundown of President Trump’s bipartisan meeting on gun legislation (VIDEO)

Thu, 03/01/2018 - 12:00

A bipartisan group of lawmakers made their case to President Trump at the White House on Wednesday for legislation that could prevent future mass shootings like the one last month in Parkland, Florida.

Trump said he thinks the proposed solution should be “really strong on background checks,” but ideas floated ran the gamut and darted across the ideological spectrum.

Background checks – Trump suggested to lawmakers that they merge competing measures into a single bill instead of multiple ones. Legislation with bipartisan support includes the Fix NICS Act to improve the system’s record keeping and the yet to be filed Manchin-Toomey amendment to expand background checks.

Although Trump advocated keeping measures simple and agreeable, he suggested a few changes like revising the Manchin-Toomey bill to include an age restriction on gun purchasers, merging it with the Fix NICS Act, and maybe changing the name of the Fix NICS Act.

Bump stocks – Instead of focusing on legislation to classify bump stocks as machine gun parts, the president said he’ll do it with an executive order. “I’m going to write that out,” he said, adding his lawyers are working on it right now.

Armed security – Concepts like gun free zones and school safety were often intertwined during the discussion as were armed security and concealed carry. The idea to “harden school our schools against attack” was often synonymous with posting an armed security guard. “You can’t just be sitting ducks,” Trump said. “And that’s exactly what we’ve allowed people in these buildings and schools to be.”

Mental health – Besides updating the background check system with relevant records and better communication between authorities, mental health came off as a nonstarter with lawmakers due to the broadness of defining mental illness. However, Trump agreed that media — violent movies and video games — may play a part in influencing people who have a mental illness.

Assault weapons ban – Trump said he would review materials presented to him about the effectiveness of an banning firearms and items defined in such legislation.

National Reciprocity – Although Trump expressed supported the national concealed carry bill last year, he expressed lukewarm feelings on such a measure and shot it down when it was suggested that it should advance alongside background checks.

“I think that maybe that bill will someday pass, but it should pass as a separate (bill),” Trump said. “If you’re going to put concealed carry between states into this bill, we’re talking about a whole new ballgame.”

Even though he argued more guns carriers could prevent future mass shootings, he doubted that the bill would receive enough support to pass in the Senate.

Gun buyer’s permit – The concept floated would require all patrons to obtain a permit and show it to a seller before buying a firearm. Although it would not prevent criminals from buying guns in the black market, a gun buyer’s ID card would allow law enforcement to conduct stings on black market dealers.

Firearm confiscation – Trump said that it’s up to the states to pass laws that would allow law enforcement to confiscate firearms from people believed to be a danger to either themselves or others. The concept has gained traction in many states, especially regarding individuals charged with domestic violence.

Arguments about this concept typically involve debates about due process. However, the president suggested sorting out the legality of a situation after a threat has been cleared.

“Take the firearms first and then go to court, because that’s another system.  Because a lot of times, by the time you go to court, it takes so long to go to court, to get the due process procedures,” Trump said.

“I like taking the guns early, like in this crazy man’s case that just took place in Florida. He had a lot of firearms. They saw everything.  To go to court would have taken a long time. So you could do exactly what you’re saying, but take the guns first, go through due process second.”

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Categories: Gun News

Hundreds attend AR-15 church service ‘without a hitch’ (VIDEOS)

Thu, 03/01/2018 - 10:30

A planned blessing event at a small church in Pennsylvania that asked couples to bring an AR-15 or similar rifle with them took place peacefully, but with some protesters.

As detailed by previously, the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary Church in Newfoundland planned its event not to bless the firearms themselves but rather to allow attending couples to rededicate their marriages to each other. The gun, seen as the “rod of iron” in the Book of Revelations by church leaders, is cited as a symbol that shows “both the intent and the ability” to defend ones’ family, community, and nation. In all, several hundred attended, with rifles in tow.

“The ‘rod of iron’ allows not only strong men, but also women and the elderly to have the ability to protect themselves and others from such predators,” said the church in a statement Wednesday.

As noted by the AP, “An attendant checked each weapon at the door to make sure it was unloaded and secured with a zip tie, and the elaborate commitment ceremony went off without a hitch.”

Protesters and gun control advocates called the ceremony sacrilegious and picketed the event.

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Categories: Gun News

Illinois House passes 4 gun control measures

Thu, 03/01/2018 - 10:00

Democrats prevailed in the lower chamber of the Illinois General Assembly on Wednesday, sending one gun control bill to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk and three to the Senate for further consideration.

Headed to Rauner, a Republican, is a long-stalled Senate proposal to require additional licensing for gun stores in the Land of Lincoln. The trio of bills booted up to the Senate aims to ban bump stocks, establish a 72-hour waiting period for commonly owned semi-automatic rifles, and up the age to buy guns characterized as “assault weapons” to 21.

The licensing bill, SB 1657, has been kicking around Springfield for over a year and has been a hot-topic item among Second Amendment advocates in the state. As for gun control groups, they feel the proposed $1,000 five-year state permitting process for already federally-licensed gun dealers will help stop illegal guns from making it to the streets.

“The illegal trafficking of firearms in Illinois causes too many communities to experience heartache and pain,” said former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, who is calling on Rauner to sign the bill. “Today, elected officials on both sides of the aisle had the courage to step up and act.”

The legislation passed 64-52

Headed to the Senate are:

HB 1465, which would push the minimum age to buy semi-auto rifles, magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds, and .50 caliber rifles to age 21. The measure advanced on a 64-51 vote.

HB 1467, to establish a ban on bump stocks and trigger cranks. The National Rifle Association argues the definitions in the bill are “broad and vague” and could wind up outlawing competition guns and even antiques such as Gatling guns, making those who possess them suddenly liable for criminal charges. The bill passed 83-31 with broad support.

HB 1468, which would establish at least a 72-hour wait for those buying “assault weapons” or guns chambered in .50-caliber BMG. Currently, the state has a waiting period on handguns only. The measure was greenlighted 79-37.

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