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June 2nd, 2010

‘TOP SHOT’ TV Show Premiers on History Channel June 6th

Top Shot History Channel‘Top Shot’, a new 10-episode TV series, debuts this Sunday, June 6th, on The History Channel. The show features 16 competitors (all experienced shooters), vying for a $100,000 prize. While competitors were selected on the basis of marksmanship skills, ‘Top Shot’ is NOT just a series of multi-gun matches or target shoots. Contestants are grouped into two teams which compete in a different type of challenge each week. This requires competitors to master a wide variety of weapons, both modern and antique. One of the 16 competitors is contributor Kelly Bachand, a promising young Palma shooter. Kelly plays a prominent role in the premier episode.

Top Shot History Channel

After wrapping up his filming stint with ‘Top Shot’, Kelly visited us in Southern California to do some testing with an Eliseo .308 Win tube gun (photo above). Kelly explained that, for the TV show, he and his fellow competitors had to demonstrate skills with a wide variety of historic and modern weapons. In addition to modern rifles and semi-auto pistols, competitors used black-powder revolvers, crossbows, throwing knives, and even tomahawks. In some episodes the competitors were tasked with recreating a historically significant feat of marksmanship — such as cutting a “hanging rope” with a pistol shot. Each week, contenders will face both team and individual elimination challenges until one winner remains. In the series opener (Sunday, June 6), contestants are immediately divided into two teams and then compete in a “Rifle Relay,” an obstacle course using standard-issue rifles from four different wars. In the elimination round, two contestants go head-to-head in “The Long Shot,” a long-distance sniper challenge which will send the first person home. ‘Top Shot’ will air Sundays at 10 EDT, with ten episodes slated for the upcoming season.

CLICK HERE for TOP SHOT Website with Episode Summaries and Contestant Bios.

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June 2nd, 2010

ISSF World Cup: American Shooters Do Well at Fort Benning

The most recent ISSF World Cup competition ended over the weekend. The Chinese shooting team won 10 medals, placing first in ISSF World Cup medal count for third consecutive time this year. Team USA finished second with 6 medals, including 2 Golds, both in rifle events. Russia took third place with 1 Gold and 5 total medals.

The Fort Benning, Georgia venue seemed to be comfortable for members of the USA Shooting team. “We were in every final. We are contending everywhere,” said Rifle National Coach Dave Johnson. Among the American standouts were Matt Emmons, who took gold in the Men’s 50m Rifle 3-Position and a bronze in Men’s 50m Rifle Prone; Jamie Beyerle, the gold medalist in Women’s 50m Rifle 3-Position; Jason Parker, who captured third place in the Men’s 50m Rifle 3-Postion; Eric Uptagrafft, who earned silver in the Men’s 50m Rifle Prone; and Daryl Szarenski, who captured silver in Men’s 50m Pistol. For Parker, it was his first international event since returning from deployment in Afghanistan. Learn more about the ISSF World Cup at the USA Shooting and Int’l Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) websites.

Jamie Beyerle Ft. Benning
Jamie Beyerle (above) won Gold in Women’s 50m 3-Position Final.

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June 2nd, 2010

ATF Reverses Policy on Gun Shipments for Testing and Review

ATF logoReversing an interpretation of the Gun Control Act (GCA) that has been on the books for more than four decades, on May 20th the ATF posted a New Ruling declaring that ANY shipment of a firearm by a manufacturer (FFL) to an authorized agent or contractor (e.g., an engineering firm, patent lawyer, testing lab, gun writer, etc.) is to be treated as a “transfer” under the Gun Control Act of 1968. As a consequence, legitimate business-related shipments will now require the recipient to complete a Form 4473 and undergo a Brady criminal background check. And, in some jurisdictions, a testing engineer or patent lawyer will have to sit out a waiting period before they can access the firearm and start working with it.

The 5/20/2010 ruling states: “The temporary assignment of a firearm by an FFL to its unlicensed agents, contractors, volunteers, or any other person who is not an employee of the FFL, even for bona fide business purposes, is a transfer or disposition for purposes of the Gun Control Act, and, accordingly, the FFL must contact NICS for a background check, record a disposition entry, and complete an ATF Form 4473.”

ATF officials have acknowledged this is a radical change from ATF’s long-standing interpretation that shipments to agents were not a “transfer” under the Gun Control Act that was set forth in a 1969 Ruling (“Shipment or Delivery of Firearms By Licensees to Employees, Agents, Representatives, Writers and Evaluators.”) and further clarified in a 1972 Ruling. ATF is now saying that its own long-standing rulings, issued shortly after the Gun Control Act was enacted, were wrong. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) believes this new interpretation should be challenged:

ATF should be required to explain why it took 42 years to decide that its original understanding and interpretation of the Gun Control Act is now somehow wrong. ATF appears to be under the mistaken impression that the Brady Act of 1993 changed what constitutes a “transfer” under the Gun Control Act. Even if this were true — and it is not — then ATF should be required to explain why it took 17 years to figure this out. ATF itself admits that neither the Gun Control Act nor the Brady Act defines “transfer”. There is simply nothing in the Brady Act or is there any other legal reason that compels ATF to now reject 40 years of precedent.

For more than four decades manufacturers have shipped firearms to agents for bona fide business purposes, such as testing, engineering studies, or reviews. According to the NSSF: “ATF is unable to identify a single instance during the past 40 years where a single firearm shipped to an [authorized] agent … was used in a crime.” Changing the rule on shipping to a gun writer, patent lawyer, or testing lab will only waste time and money, and make it harder to engineer improvements in firearms designs. We wonder if this new policy was “cooked up” under pressure from political leaders in Washington.

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