June 20th, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Abramski Straw-Purchase Case

Supreme Court Straw purchaser gun Scotus AbramskiA narrowly-divided U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the federal ban on “straw” purchases of guns can be enforced even if the ultimate buyer is legally allowed to own firearm. In Abramski v. United States, the justices ruled 5-4 that the law applied to a man who purchased a firearm on behalf of his uncle, using funds provided by the uncle, with the intention of giving the gun to his uncle who was not prohibited from owning firearms. The case began after Bruce James Abramski bought a handgun in Virginia, in 2009 on behalf of his uncle using his uncle’s money and later transferred it to him in Pennsylvania through a firearms retailer after a background check of the uncle. Abramski, a former police officer, had assured the Virginia dealer he was the “actual buyer” of the weapon even though he was really acting on his uncle’s behalf but buying the gun using a police discount available to him.

Background of the Case
The case of Abramski v. United States, arises from the prosecution of Bruce James Abramski, Jr., a former Virginia police officer, for allegedly making a “straw purchase” of a Glock handgun. Abramski had lawfully purchased a Glock pistol in Virginia, then later resold the Glock to his uncle, a resident of Pennsylvania. Both purchases were conducted through FFLs, with full background checks, and both parties were legally entitled to own a handgun. Abramski arranged the sale in this fashion to take advantage of a discount available to him as a law enforcement officer.

Supreme Court Straw purchaser gun Scotus AbramskiAbramski was indicted and prosecuted for violating Federal laws against “straw purchases”, specifically making a false declaration on BATFE Form 4473, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(6). Abramski challenged the indictment, but the District Court ruled against him and the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the District Court. However, the Fourth Circuit found a split of authority among the Circuits as to whether § 922(a)(6) applied where the ultimate recipient of the firearm was lawfully entitled to buy a gun himself. The Fourth Circuit’s ruling conflicts with previous decisions by the Fifth Circuit holding that “straw purchaser” laws are NOT violated if both the original purchaser and secondary buyer are legally entitled to own a firearm. See United States v. Polk, 118 F.3d 286 (5th Cir. 1997).

The key issue was whether Abramski committed a crime by buying a gun, and then promptly re-selling it to another person who was legally entitled to own the firearm. The government argued that Abramski broke the law when he checked a box on Form 4473 indicating he was the “actual transferee/buyer of the firearm”.

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June 20th, 2014

SEB NEO Front Rest — Unique Features of This Co-Axial Design

SEB Neo front coaxial rest

Our friend Sebastian (“Seb”) Lambang recently released some photos that illustrate the “inner workings” of his advanced SEB NEO Front Rest. If you’ve ever wondered how a joystick front rest works, and how the parts go together, study the photos below. In addition, for those who use a NEO rest in competition, Benchrest Champion Mike Ratigan offers some PRO USER Tips that will help you get the best results from your NEO.

SEB Neo front coaxial rest

SEB Neo front coaxial rest

SEB Neo front coaxial rest

Unique Features of the SEB NEO Front Rest:

  • Lots of Travel — 43 MOA Vertical and 48 MOA Horizontal via joystick alone. The NEO offers more joystick travel than any other coaxial rest.
  • Variable Joystick Movement — The NEO is the only rest that can be configured for reverse action mode. That means you can optionally set it to lower the rifle with an up movement of the joystick if you prefer. (Standard setting raises rifle with up joystick movement.)
  • Rack & Pinion Risers — The NEO has dual support columns with Rack & Pinion system, offering a very broad vertical adjustment range.
  • Optional Counter-Weights — The NEO comes standard with a spring-loaded top mechanism to help hold up the rifle. Optional counter-weights allow you to reduce spring “pre-load”. Many people feel the counter-weights also allow a smoother, less jerky movement.
  • Reversible Base — The NEO’s base can be set-up with either the long leg in the rear or the long leg in the front. Putting the long leg in front gives more room under the rifle.
  • NEO Packs Flat — The SEB NEO is easily dismantled for transport, and can pack nearly flat. This is a big advantage when traveling.

CLICK HERE for Complete SEB NEO Coaxial Rest Instructions (PDF File)

SEB NEO PRO TIPS from Mike Ratigan:

Counter-weight Function and Calibration: “With the Seb NEO, equipped with the optional static counter-weight, the shooter can calibrate the counter weight to the rifle weight. The counter-weight is used to hold up the rifle. Clamping pressure of the sliding plates is NOT used to hold up the rifle like other coaxial rests on the market today. Other coaxial rests apply enough clamping force to the rest top mechanism sliding plates to resist the downward movement of the top when the rifle weight sets on the rest. This one feature of the Seb NEO almost completely eliminates bullets falling out of the bottom of your groups because the rest moved (or falls) down when you fired the rifle. This function is very important.”

SEB Neo front coaxial rest

On Hand Position: “I try to keep the palm of my hand grounded to the bench at all times. To do this at the closer distances, the handle will be laying flat (bend to the side) while shooting on the bottom of the target. To move to the top up (for right-handed shooters) I rotate the handle counter clockwise, which [raises the top] while maintaining my palm grounded to the bench.”

On Front Bag Fill: “Give some coarse sand blasting sand a try with the small stuff screened out. This will help reduce compaction from daily use.”

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June 20th, 2014

Sack-Ups Fabric Roll-Up Pouches Hold Knives and Tools

Here’s a handy product with many uses for hunters and shooters. The Sack-Ups Knife Protector roll-up pouch is made from silicone-treated synthetic fabric. The pouch protects blades and tools while helping to prevent rust. (Since leather retains moisture, you don’t want to leave blades in leather sheaths.) While Sack-Ups roll pouches were designed for knives, they can be used to hold other shooting items, such as bolts, loading dies, or expensive tools. The synthetic fabric wicks away moisture. (Nonetheless, we recommend that steel items receive a light coat of a good corrosion-inhibiting oil before long-term storage.)

Sack-ups Knife Pouch

The protective pouch has a flap over the top and tie cords to secure the pouch when it is rolled up. Available from Amazon.com (and other online vendors), the model 802 6-slot Sack-Ups Knife Pouch retails for about $14.00, while the 10-slot knife pouch costs $18.49 on Amazon.com . Larger 12-, and 18-slot Sack-Ups Roll-up Knife Pouches are also offered. For example, the model 801, shown below, holds a dozen knives or tools up to 5″ in length.

Sack-ups Knife Pouch

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