September 18th, 2020

SHOT Show 2021 in Las Vegas — Uncertainty Remains

SHOT Show 2021 January Las Vegas Covid-19 pandemic hotel travel closure

Will there be a 2021 SHOT Show in Las Vegas? The answer is that nobody knows for sure. While the NSSF, the show’s organizer, is proceeding as planned for a big event, there is no clear “green light” decision from Las Vegas government and public health officials. The NSSF has talked about having an event with a more open layout, fewer booth personnel, and social distancing restrictions, but it is unclear how that would work. Also, given the fact that January 2021 SHOT Show might still be cancelled in its entirety, attendees need to be concerned with their hotel reservations, specifically getting deposits back. We know many show attendees are taking a “wait and see” approach, and holding off on making hotel and transportation arrangements.

The Shooting Wire observed recently:

As of today (9/16/2020), we know the NSSF and their SHOT working group are moving forward with plans for a 2021 SHOT Show. We also know it will be bigger physically, and considerably different experience from previous versions.

SHOT Show 2021 will feature a more expansive and “distanced” layout, with larger aisles, smaller numbers of booth workers. It’s likely that social distancing, sanitizing, masks, and a whole COVID-19 compliance regimen — as is mandated by the state and local governments at the time — will be in place.

The real question that will have the largest impact is this: What will the COVID-19 compliance regulations look like by January 2021? If there are still restrictions on gatherings, it would be pretty tough to have an event the magnitude of SHOT for groups of 50 or fewer attendees at a time.

SHOT Show 2021 January Las Vegas Covid-19 pandemic hotel travel closure
That’s NOT social distancing. We can’t imagine this scene in today’s COVID-19 Pandemic environment.

What Will Happen to Hotel Reservations if SHOT Show is Cancelled?
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has issued Information on Hotel Cancellation Policies, regarding the reservations for SHOT Show 2021:

Many people have been reaching out to our team about hotel reservations and policies that are in place during this uncertain time. As you may know, there are two ways in which those coming to SHOT Show can book a room through our official channels — directly through the Venetian|Palazzo link on SHOTshow.org or through onPeak.com for all our other partner hotels.

OnPeak – With respect to hotel rooms booked through onPeak, every reservation is held without deposit until December 16. If the show is not permitted to take place, all reservations will be canceled without a deposit being taken so there will be no cancellation fees due. If you decide not to attend the SHOT Show, you will be able to cancel your reservation up to December 15 without a cancellation fee.

Venetian|Palazzo — The Venetian|Palazzo have always had a one-night nonrefundable deposit policy, and that still holds should someone choose to cancel their reservation. However, if the SHOT Show is not permitted to take place, the Venetian|Palazzo will return the deposit this year.

NSSF hopes this helps clarify the current hotel reservation policies and provides comfort for those planning their stays in January. In the meantime, please continue to visit the SHOT Show Hotel & Travel page as it continues to update with adjusted rates welcoming the SHOT Show community back to Vegas.

SHOT Show Floor image courtesy DKC company a supplier of lead consumables for the firearms industry.

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September 12th, 2020

Traveling by Air with Firearms — What You Need to Know

Tom McHale flying with firearms guns TSA
Airport photo by Politikaner under Creative Commons License.

With hundreds of readers traveling to Raton, New Mexico next month for the 2020 F-Class Nationals (October 25 – November 1, 2020), and with many others planning hunting trips out of state, we thought we’d repeat an article providing important information about air travel with firearms. If you will be flying with firearms this fall, you should read this article. You need to familiarize yourself with current Federal Regulations on gun transport before you get anywhere near an airport. Thankfully, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a web page that states the important requirements for airline passengers traveling with firearms* and/or ammunition.

You’ll want to visit the TSA Firearms and Ammunition webpage, and read it carefully. In addition, before your trip, check the regulations of the airline(s) with which you will fly. Some airlines have special requirements, such as weight restrictions.

Here are the TSA’s key guidelines for travel with firearms:

Tom McHale flying with firearms guns TSA

More Airline Travel Tips from Tom McHale
Tom McHale has written an excellent article for the Beretta Blog, Ten Things You Need to Know about Flying with Guns. We suggest you visit the Beretta Blog to read this informative story. Here are two of Tom McHale’s Travel Tips:

Weigh your gun case and ammunition
Most airlines will allow up to 11 pounds of ammunition. And, like any luggage, you will be charged more for any baggage weighing more than 50 pounds. This sounds like a lot, but when traveling to the Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun competition last year, my case with shotgun, rifle, pistol and ammunition tipped the scale past the 50 pound mark.

Pack ammo in the same locking case
This is another area that’s misunderstood and full of internet myth. Your ammo just needs to be stored in some type of safe container and not loose. Technically, you can keep ammunition in magazines, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It meets the letter of the law storage requirement, but too many airline and TSA agents will give you grief. Use a plastic ammo box or original cardboard packaging and you’ll be fine carrying that in the same lockable case as your gun.

Tom McHale flying with firearms guns TSA

*SEE United States Code, Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 44. A “firearm” is defined as: any weapon (including a starter gun) which will, or is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon; any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; and any destructive device. As defined by 49 CFR 1540.5 a loaded firearm has a live round of ammunition, or any component thereof, in the chamber or cylinder or in a magazine inserted in the firearm.

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August 29th, 2020

Gun Control by Government Fees and Taxes — New Jersey Plan

Phil Murphy new jersey governor gun taxes second amendment
This story is based on an article by Larry Keene of the NSSF

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has a new plan to deny the Second Amendment rights of NJ citizens — hit them in their pocketbooks, and hit them hard. Using the COVID-19 Pandemic as a pretext, Gov. Murphy, a Democrat, is calling for a massive increase in fees, taxes, and surcharges on gun owners:

1. Raise cost of Handgun Purchase Permit from $2 to $50 — 2400% increase.
2. Raise cost of Firearm ID Card from $5 to $100 — 1900% increase.
3. Raise cost of Handgun Carry Permit from $50 to $400 — 700% increase.
4. Raise fee for firearms manufacturer from $150 to $1500 — 900% increase.
5. Raise fee for firearms Retail Dealer License from $50 to $500 — 900% increase.

This shows how government taxes and fees can be aggressively used to restrict gun ownership. In California, another blue state run by a corrupt Democratic governor who likes to rule by Executive Order, we have myriad gun-related fees and taxes, and now must pay for a license in order to purchase ammo. This is how Democrats intend to use state taxing powers to defeat the Second Amendment.

Gun Control by Tax in New Jersey

Commentary by Larry Keene, NSSF
Democratic New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is… proposing “stronger gun control” in the Garden State. This time, he’s using the COVID-19 pandemic to raise taxes on law-abiding gun owners and those wishing to exercise their Second Amendment rights. Now it will be up to the state legislature to approve or reject his new antigun proposals. New Jersey residents shouldn’t hold their breath as antigun Democrats control both chambers by wide margins.

More gun control has been a pillar for Gov. Murphy since he took office in 2018. In his first two years in office, he pushed for and signed into law 10 more-stringent gun control laws in a state already known for having some of the strictest gun laws in the country. In 2020, the spreading Coronavirus pandemic gave him an opportunity to do even more[.]

Five Million New Gun Owners in the USA in 2020
Nearly 5 million Americans … purchased a firearm for the first time this year. The reasons were all around us. Reports of local law enforcement becoming stretched thin, criminals being released from jails and quickly committing violent crimes again, and now more recently violent riots and looting in cities and cries of “defund the police” have increased.

Gov. Murphy, who now wants to levy more fees and taxes to close the COVID budget gaps, actively worked to keep gun buyers out of stores. He shut down firearm retailers and related businesses, deeming them “non-essential” at a time when they were most essential. He faced immediate backlash and lawsuits, leading him to backtrack and allow retailers to open again. Gov. Murphy tried explaining his reasoning, stating “I wasn’t thinking about the Bill of Rights”.

Phil Murphy new jersey governor gun taxes second amendment

Raising Taxes as Means for More Gun Control
New Jersey is already known as a high-taxed blue state operating in the red. Now, to address next year’s budget shortfall and seeing an opportunity to further squelch the Second Amendment, Gov. Murphy proposed massive taxes and fees on firearms and ammunition[.]

Gov. Murphy’s proposed antigun increases include raising the handgun purchasing permit fee 2400 percent from $2 to $50; the cost of a firearm ID card by 1900 percent from $5 to $100; the price of a handgun carry permit 700 percent from $50 to $400; the fee for a gun retail dealer license by 900 percent from $50 to $500; and the fee for a firearm manufacturer 900 percent from $150 to $1,500. There are, or course, additional fee increases as well.

Anti-Gun Birds of a Feather
Gov. Murphy isn’t alone in using the pandemic to infringe on the constitutional rights of lawful Americans. Gov. Murphy’s northern neighbor, New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, behaved similarly as did New Mexico Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. These three governors have something else in common. They all forced gun stores to close during the pandemic despite the Department of Homeland Security saying gun stores are essential business.

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August 18th, 2020

Dividers at Florida Range Work Great — With Unexpected Benefits

Manatee Gun club covid-19 pandemic virus social distancing benchrest shield divider plexiglass PVC

Here’s a way some smart shooters are dealing with Pandemic Social Distancing requirements. At the Manatee Gun Club in Florida, match organizers devised tall, portable plexiglass barriers between the benches. These barriers shield each shooter from his neighboring competitor. And shooters say there is an added benefit — there is less perceived noise and muzzle blast from nearby fellow competitors.

AccurateShooter Forum member CaptainMal reports: “We just finished a steel shoot at Manatee using ALL the benches with dividers attached to each. Prior to today we were not allowed to use all the benches as they are five feet, not six feet apart [as required by social distancing regulations]. Now we can take more shooters per relay and we found some positive unintended consequences.” READ Forum Thread.

Manatee Gun club covid-19 pandemic virus social distancing benchrest shield divider plexiglass PVC

Each divider attaches to a bench. The divider can be easily removed for storage by folding up the legs so it is flat to carry/store. These dividers are relatively light-weight making them easy to put in place. In addition, because the dividers are transparent, Range Safety Officers (and spectators) can view the shooters. Notably, the Manatee competitors also reported that the dividers offered a “dramatic reduction in muzzle blast and some noise reduction also”.

CaptainMal explains: “Most all of us have experienced magnum explosions next to us on the bench and/or muzzle brakes directing a concussion at us as we shoot. GONE. We built all these because of the virus restrictions we had to deal with. Well now we can use all the benches, put on a normal program and reap the benefits of full visibility and no muzzle blast distractions.”

Al Benarroch (Forum member “Alibaba”) designed and built these dividers. Al is happy to share his design with anyone else wanting or needing to have something like this for their range. Here is Al last season BEFORE the COVID-19 range restrictions. To see him now you just look through the divider.

Manatee Gun club covid-19 pandemic virus social distancing benchrest shield divider plexiglass PVC

The Southpaw Challenge — How to Position Left-handed Shooters
These dividers were designed for right-handed shooters, but the Manatee group has some thoughts about adapting the system for lefties: “We will work on that at the IBS-style shoot next Saturday. The deal is we have 16 benches. Let us say we have 25 shooters next Saturday. There may be four left-handers. We can put 12 -14 shooters on each relay and just leave open a single bench next to them.” Also with Manatee’s five-foot spacing between benches, there is actually six-foot-plus spacing if the left-hand shooter is always situated on a bench to the RIGHT side of a right-handed shooter’s bench. That provides maximum spacing based on their actual sitting positions.

Credit Boyd Allen for finding this story in our Shooter’s Forum.
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August 1st, 2020

Young People Nationwide Compete in SASP Nat’l Championship

Scholastic Action Shooting Program SASP

The sound of bullets ringing steel were heard all over the country over a three week period in July, during the 2020 Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP) National Virtual Championship. Over 248,000 rounds were sent down range as SASP athletes competed from their home ranges around the country. Photo and match results were posted on social media. Scores were then tallied and compared among hundreds of entrants. The ability to compete at Nationals from their home range gave teams all over the country the opportunity to finish the season as a team, competing for the national title.

Just last year, the SASP National Championship surpassed the Glock Shooting Sports Foundation (GSSF), to become the largest Action Shooting Match in history. Despite a heavily altered 2020 season, the SASP community continued to break records for participation with 1,656 event entries for the 2020 SASP National Championship.

Scholastic Action Shooting Program SASP

“Virtual” Championship Held at Multiple Locations throughout the USA
Traditionally held at the Cardinal Shooting Center in Marengo, Ohio, the 2020 SASP Nationals were instead conducted in a multi-location “virtual” format. This arrangement was made “in order to protect the safety of our athletes, coaches, and familie” according to SASP National Director, Rick Leach. “The nature of our sport puts athletes and range officers in close proximity, which we could not in good conscious do with thousands of athletes in Ohio this year. We received hundreds of photos and videos from teams competing in Nationals from their home range.”

You can see SASP 2020 National Championships Results online. Just select the firearm category and class of shooters. For example, here are Centerfire Pistol Men’s results for all categories. Click image to zoom.

Scholastic Action Shooting Program SASP

“This year we saw participation grow to states that are not always able to make the journey to Ohio each year for Nationals,” said SASP Director of Development, Kelvin Walton. “Although the spectacle of teams converging on the Cardinal Center to compete is part of the Nationals experience, the SASP community made the most out of an unusual season.”

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July 18th, 2020

39th Annual BLADE Show in Georgia Cancelled

Alanta GA blade show 2020 covid-19 cancelled cancellation knife trade event

Another major outdoor industry event falls to pandemic pressures. The 39th Annual BLADE Show, scheduled for August 7-9 in Atlanta, Georgia, has been officially cancelled. The organizers hope to hold the event June 4-6, 2021 (next year), at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, Georgia. IMPORTANT: Current Exhibitors and Ticket Holders will receive further instructions via email.

Posting on BladeShow.com, event organizers declared:

Unfortunately, we have reluctantly come to the conclusion that it is in the best interest of all concerned to cancel BLADE Show 2020.

Please know that we did not reach this decision lightly. Having been in daily contact with guests, exhibitors, local officials and the show venue for the past two months, it has become apparent that we cannot present a 2020 event that meets exhibitor and attendee expectations and BLADE Show standards.

While the state of Georgia continues to grapple with decisions about new guidelines and restrictions to deal with the pandemic, BLADE Show too recognizes its responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of all attendees. BLADE Magazine and the BLADE Show staff appreciate the support we received from our many industry friends who worked with us to plan for the alternate August dates after we were forced to cancel the original June event.

What will blade and knife fans be missing? Check out this video from Blade Show 2019:

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June 26th, 2020

World Shooting Championship and Police Championship Cancelled

world shooting championshiop

NRA Cancels WSC and NRA Police Shooting Championships Due to COVID-19
No big money this year at the NRA World Shooting Championship — the event has been cancelled. And Likewise the NRA Police Shooting Championship will not take place in 2020. This is the Year of Pandemic, and two more major shooting events have fallen victim to COVID-19.

Yesterday the National Rifle Association (NRA) issued the following statement:

Due to the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the many ensuing federal and state safety regulations and mandates, the NRA has made the difficult decision to cancel the NRA World Shooting Championship and the NRA National Police Shooting Championships. Both events were scheduled to be held in mid September 2020 in West Virginia and Mississippi respectively.

We share your disappointment that both these competitions that attract participants from across the globe had to be canceled. The NRA wishes everyone good health and the best of luck. Stay safe and healthy.

The WSC was a big deal. It attracted top multi-gun competitors such as Jerry Miculek, Dan Horner, Doug Koenig, and Bruce Piatt. The winner took home a fat check for $25,000. This unique 3-day multi-gun match tests competitors’ skills across twelve challenging stages involving nearly every major shooting discipline for rifles, shotguns, and pistols. This major match attracted both sponsored Pros and “regular Joes”. Shooters were split into two groups: a Professional Division for sponsored shooters, and the Amateur Division for non-sponsored competitors. All firearms, optics, and ammo were provided by match sponsors for both divisions.

This video shows features of past NRA World Shooting Championship

All Equipment Was Supplied at NRA World Shooting Championship
“What makes this event very unique, especially to a professional shooter, is all the equipment is supplied. You have to leave your ego at home and just try to adapt as best you can to the equipment that you have supplied.” — Jerry Miculek

world shooting championshiop

WSC stages encompassed everything from trap to bullseye pistol to PRS-style precision rifle. There was even a cowboy action stage with Henry “Golden Boy” lever-action rifles.

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June 26th, 2020

New, First-Time Gun Owners — More Support for 2d Amendment?

new gun buyers ccrkba second amendment

CCRKAB Hopes Millions of New Gun Owners Can Aid Second Amendment Battle
First concern over the COVID-19 pandemic spurred a huge increase in gun purchases. And the civil unrest, rioting, and looting that followed the death of George Floyd caused countless citizens to seek armed self-protection. COVID-19 and the riots convinced millions of Americans to become gun owners for the first time. These citizens wanted to protect their families, homes, and businesses. The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA.org) hopes that these new gun owners may aid the fight to preserve the Second Amendment and gun rights in the USA.

new gun buyers ccrkba second amendment

“Look at all of the new people who suddenly decided to exercise their Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms”, observed CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “We’ve witnessed something that is nothing short of a sea change… about gun ownership. We’ve heard anecdotal reports from all over the country about people flocking to gun shops who had never before owned a firearm. Now that they are gun owners, we expect them to be very protective of their rights”.

March, April, and May 2020 saw record numbers of background checks, according to FBI data and information from industry sources. For example in April 2017, gun sales set an all-time record — up 71% from the pervious year.

new gun buyers ccrkba second amendment

Gottlieb added: “We welcome all of these new gun owners to the firearms community… many of them are minorities, especially black and female citizens … from all age groups. They can… gain a new understanding of our efforts to protect the one fundamental right that actually protects all of the other rights.”

“This new wave of gun owners could become a formidable force during this year’s election,” Gottlieb noted. “From now on, we expect millions of new gun owners to pay closer attention to candidates, and reject those who would trample on their Second Amendment rights. With legions of new gun owners ready to protect these newly-discovered rights, it could be a pretty scrappy election year…”

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June 12th, 2020

NRA Annual Meeting Set for September 5, 2020 in Missouri

NRA Convention 2020 annual meetings exhibits springfield missouri

The National Rifle Association (NRA) has announced that the 149th Annual Meeting of Members, previously scheduled in Nashville, TN in April, has been rescheduled for Saturday, September 5, 2020 in Springfield, Missouri. The 2020 NRA Annual Meeting will be held at the Springfield Expo Center. The NRA has not yet released a full schedule of events. But this will be a meeting of members only — not a large trade show with entertainment and celebrity guests.

We’re told that this will be a much smaller event than originally planned for April 16-19 in Nashville. The rescheduled NRA Meeting will take place in Halls A/B/C at the Springfield Expo Center at 635 E. Saint Louis Street, Springfield, Missouri.​ The meeting will sart 9/5/20 at 9:00 am Central Time. All NRA members are invited to attend.

NRA Convention 2020 annual meetings exhibits springfield missouri

The Springfield News Leader reported that this event will NOT be a large trade show. It will be a meeting of members only — there will be no large trade show with hundreds of exhibitors.

Dana Maugans with the Springfield Visitors and Convention Bureau, said that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NRA had to cancel the large NRA Convention originally scheduled for April in Nashville. “But with their bylaws, [the NRA] still has to have the membership meeting,” Maugans said. “They are going to have their membership portion of the meeting here. But it will not be nearly as large as the Convention/Trade Show that was planned.” Maugans revealed that, to allow for social distancing, the NRA reserved double the amount of space normally need for the 1,000 to 1,250 people expected to attend.

NRA Convention 2020 annual meetings exhibits springfield missouri

NRA Convention 2020 annual meetings exhibits springfield missouri

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June 6th, 2020

Ranges Are Opening Again — Find a Place to Go Shooting

WheretoShoot.org

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many private and public shooting ranges have been closed. Thankfully many of those range closure orders have been lifted. This coincides with the easing of stay-at-home restrictions in many states. We know our readers want to get out of the house, and get to the range again. Plus experts say that being outdoors and getting Vitamin D exposure can help general immune system health — though you should still observe safe social distancing at public ranges.

If you are looking for a nearby range, you can quickly find shooting facilities on the NSSF’s WhereToShoot.org website. There is also a handy Mobile App that lists ranges. NOTE — because range facility policies are changing on a day-by-day basis, you should always CALL the range before you pack your vehicle and hit the road. Also, find out the health policies in effect — are masks required, are there limits on group size, is social distancing mandatory?

A service of the NSSF (Nat’l Shooting Sports Foundation), WhereToShoot.org offers a Searchable Database of pistol, rifle, and shotgun ranges around the country. You can search by state, or select a particular distance from any zip code. The database is very complete. The individual range pages also include web addresses, phone numbers, and map links. The example below shows the results of a search for shooting ranges near Boulder, Colorado:

WheretoShoot.org

Where to Shoot Mobile App

The NSSF also offers a Where To Shoot Mobile App. Available for both iOS and Android devices, this App quickly locates shooting ranges near you, drawing on North America’s most comprehensive range directory. Users can search by current location, state, or zip code. Once you locate a range, you can view activities offered along with a summary of range facilities. You can even get driving directions.

CLICK HERE for FREE Apple iPhone and iPad App | CLICK HERE for FREE Android App

where to shoot mobile app nssf range locator software

Where to Shoot iOS App for iPad

where to shoot mobile app nssf range locator software

The app is modeled after NSSF’s popular WhereToShoot.org® website and is updated frequently with range information for every U.S. state and Canadian province. Once you’ve located a place to shoot, the App can provide directions to the range. The App also includes video tips for shooters, news, and firearm-safety information.

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June 6th, 2020

Huge Spike in Gun Sales in May 2020 — Record Gun Numbers

gun sales spike ammoland.com

What will a pandemic combined with social unrest do to gun sales? Drive them through the roof. Last month’s gun sales are up 75% compared to May of 2019, based on Criminal Background Check System (NICS) data, as adjusted by NSSF. Look at that spike in the chart!

NSSF explains that the May 2020 1,595,790 checks figure represents an increase of 75.2 percent compared to the May 2019 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 910,910. What does “adjusted” mean? The adjusted NICS data were derived by subtracting out NICS purpose-code permit checks and permit rechecks used by states for CCW permit application checks as well as checks on active CCW permit databases. For comparison, the unadjusted May 2020 FBI NICS figure 3,066,740 reflects a 32.1 percent increase from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,320,918 in May 2019.

gun sales spike ammoland.com

Though not a direct correlation to firearms sales, the NSSF-adjusted NICS data provide an good picture of current market conditions. It should be noted that these statistics represent the number of firearm background checks initiated through the NICS. They do not represent the number of firearms sold or sales dollars. Based on varying state laws and purchase scenarios, a one-to-one correlation cannot be made between a firearm background check and a firearm sale. For more NICS information or to view the current monthly reports, visit the NICS website.

How to Receive Regular Data Reports from NSSF
Want to get regular sales reports? Then consider joining the NSSF. All NSSF members are able to access historical monthly NICS data by logging in and clicking on “Industry Research” then “NICS Data”. Questions concerning NSSF-adjusted NICS data should be directed to NSSF at 203-426-1320 or research@nssf.org.

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June 4th, 2020

NSSF Offers COVID-19 Safety Seminar for Outdoor Ranges

Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic outdoor shooting range

NSSF Offers COVID-19 Operations Webinar for Outdoor Shooting Ranges
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) will offer a new Webinar, “Outdoor Range Models of Success During the COVID-19 Era”. The 60-minute Webinar commences at 11:00 am EDT on Monday, June 8, 2020. This Webinar will help range operators and clubs re-open their facilities while maintaining effective health and safety policies. The Webinar is FREE. However, NSSF Membership is required to participate. CLICK HERE to Register.

Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic outdoor shooting range

Produced as a coordinated effort of the NSSF, the National Shooting Complex, CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park, and Okeechobee Shooting Sports, LLC, this 60-minute webinar will answer questions regarding outdoor range operations during the COVID-19 era, including:

1. What specific strategies will your range use to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 as you reopen or prepare for expanded services?

2. How will you be communicating with your existing customers and new shooters on the range, through your website and via social media?

3. Will you host events and, if so, what policies will you implement to conduct these events safely?

Covid-19 coronavirus public Range Operations seminar webinar NSSF

The COVID-19 Outdoor Range Webinar takes place June 8 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon EDT. This webinar is free to all interested industry members, but attendance is limited, so we encourage interested parties to register at their earliest possible convenience. CLICK HERE to Register.

NOTE: This seminar is open to current NSSF members only. CLICK HERE to join NSSF to take advantage of this and many other member resources.

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June 3rd, 2020

Millions of New Gun Owners in America

NSSF Survey new gun owners covid-19 pandemic riots

C0VID-19 lock-downs and now riots and looting in America have caused Americans to be very concerned with the safety of their families and security of their property. Not surprisingly, gun sales have skyrocketed in 2020 compared to the year before. Notably, a significant percentage — 40.2% — of the firearms purchasers are FIRST-TIME gun buyers. And retail dealers say about 40% of those first-time buyers are females, a historically high number. Overall it is estimated that 2.5 MILLION Americans joined the ranks of gun owners during the first four months of 2020.

NSSF-adjusted NICS figures showing year-over-year increases of 80 percent in March and 69 percent in April 2020. These strong increases led to more than 6.5 million NSSF-adjusted background checks in the first four months of 2020, up 48% from 4.4 million during the same period in 2019.

NSSF May 2020 Survey of Firearm Retailers
In May 2020, NSSF surveyed firearm retailers to learn more about gun sales during the first four months of 2020. Retailers reported an increased number of first-time gun buyers, estimating that 40.2% of their sales were to this group. This is a huge increase — nearly double — over the 24% annual average of first-time gun buyers that retailers have reported in the past. Semiautomatic handguns were the primary firearm being purchased by first-time buyers, outpacing the second-most purchased firearm, shotguns, by a 2-to-1 margin. Modern sporting rifles, revolvers and traditional rifles rounded out the top five types of firearms purchased by first-time gun buyers.

All this equates to more than 2.5 million new gun owners in 4 months of 2020.

Retailers noted that these new customers were spending $595 on an average sale and that 40.1% of first-time gun buyers in the first four months of 2020 were female. The main purchase driver among the group was personal protection, followed by target shooting and hunting. Also of note was that 25% of first-time buyers had already taken some form of firearms safety course.

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May 27th, 2020

The Show Goes On — High Desert 3-Gun Championship in Idaho

Idaho high desert 3-gun championship match true Pierce gundigest.com

At a time when most major shooting championships have been cancelled, it’s great to see an event still taking place. The High Desert 3-Gun Championship in Idaho will be going forward June 12-14, 2020. Set at the Parma Rod & Gun Club in Idaho, it great to see an outdoor shooting competition going forward even as much of America still rankles under Pandemic stay-at-home orders. Match Registration is still open.

GunsAmerica Digest Editor True Pierce will be shooting the event, and he’s excited about the chance to compete in a beautiful location. He recently authored a story: Top 10 Reasons to Shoot the Aero Precision 3-Gun Championship. Pierce explains the appeal of the match — big prize table, excellent stages, and even a bit of PRS — there are long-range bonus stages with rifle targets out to 1000 yards.

Idaho high desert 3-gun championship match true Pierce gundigest.com
GunsAmerica Digest Editor True Pierce at 2019 High Desert 3-Gun Championship. Note the Pistol, Rifle, and Shotgun (on wood benchtop).

Among True Pierce’s reasons for attending the match, here are the most compelling:

1. Great Prize Payout — This year there is over $50,000 worth of prizes. Every one of the 200+ competitors should receive something. Prizes include guns, triggers, optics, ammo, gear, tools and more.

2. Great Stages — This is a true 3-gun match where you shoot ALL your firearms (Rifle, Pistol, Shotgun) on ALL 10 stages. There are even bonus long-range targets out to 1000 yards. Bring an optional precision rifle for these long-range segments.

3. Great Location — The match is held in Idaho in a scenic outdoor setting at the Parma Rod & Gun Club Range, located an hour from Boise. There is outdoor camping at the range for just $10/night.

4. Great Experience — True Pierce reports: “It’s fun! Really fun! You’ll be shooting in bays, shoot houses, towers, natural terrain, and using cool props. The average shooter will spend four minutes shooting each stage and will shoot about 300 rounds of rifle, 300 rounds of pistol, 200 rounds of birdshot, 40 slugs, and 30 rounds of long-range.”

Idaho high desert 3-gun championship match true Pierce gundigest.com

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May 19th, 2020

Victory! California Officials Yield, Allowing Gun Stores to Open

Ventura County Second Amendment Gun store FFL
Looking downrange at the Ojai Valley Gun Club in Ventura County, California, where our Editors shoot.

In California, Democratic Governor Newsom has allowed local city/county officials to shut down FFLs and gun retailers by local order. Some California counties allowed gun stores to operate, but most did not, creating legal confusion and inconsistency. And because of strict California laws on ammunition sales, this has meant that the majority of Californians could not purchase ammunition, a clear violation of their Second Amendment Constitutional rights.

Ventura County Second Amendment Gun store FFLThe Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and California Gun Rights Foundation (CGF) challenged these gun store closures. And today we’re happy to report a big victory. After being sued in Federal District Court, the County of Ventura (population 846,000) has allowed firearm and ammunition dealers to open again. Effectively County officials conceded that their orders were unjustified and unconstitutional. See filings in the case of McDougall v. County of Ventura.

Just days before a hearing on a motion for preliminary injunction against orders banning gun stores from operating, lawyers for the County of Ventura filed documents saying the defendants* have issued a new order to re-open firearm and ammunition dealers throughout the county.

Gun Store Closures Violated Citizens’ Second Amendment Rights
“County of Ventura officials were either outrageously ignorant or arrogant to think they had the authority to redline fundamental, individual rights”, said FPC President Brandon Combs. “They should remember that they are just local officials on a power trip, not dictators, and we will continue to seek justice for their abusive constitutional violations”. Adam Kraut of the FPC added: “Ultimately, they have already admitted in court that they violated constitutionally enumerated rights”. Other Federal Courts have recently held that the Second Amendment DOES protect citizens’ right to buy guns and ammunition. (See McCarthy v. Baker, in Massachusetts District Court.)

“The facts are that the Ventura County defendants made it a crime for individuals to patronize … firearm and ammunition retailers, and worse, these government officials banned travel for firearms and ammunition as ‘non-essential’. Those are precisely the kinds of actions our Constitution was designed to protect against, so we look forward to the next phase of litigation in this lawsuit,” said the plaintiffs’ co-counsel, attorney Raymond DiGuiseppe.

“The county choosing to re-open firearm and ammunition transactions rather than face our motion in court is a victory for gun owners and the Second Amendment”. — SAF Exec. V.P. Alan Gottlieb.

Ronda N. Baldwin-Kennedy, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said that the County’s latest filing was a move to avoid losing the case early. “The defendants were obviously wrong on the law… We are delighted that this lawsuit moved the County to issue another order so that our clients and the people of Ventura County can exercise their constitutional rights”.

“Onerous California laws make access to operating gun stores a requirement to exercise your Second Amendment rights”, explained CGF Chairman Gene Hoffman. “The right to self-defense is only more important during times of crisis[.]” Individual firearm or ammunition purchasers, retailers, and ranges affected by ‘stay-home’ or shutdown orders are encouraged to report their concerns and potential civil rights violations to Firearm Policy Coalition COVID-19 Issue Hotline at FPChotline.org.


* Defendants in the case include Ventura County Sheriff William “Bill” Ayub, William T. Foley, the Director of the Ventura County Public Health Care Agency, Robert Levin, the Public Health Medical Director and Health Officer for Defendant County of Ventura, and the County of Ventura, California.

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May 16th, 2020

CMP States Affiliated Clubs May Hold Matches With Restrictions

cmp affiliated club match rules 2020 covid-19 pandemic health

CMP-Affiliated Clubs May Continue Sanctioned Matches with Restrictions
While the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has cancelled its National Events at Camp Perry this summer, the CMP has stated that club-level CMP matches may proceed, provided important health practices are followed.

The Civilian Marksmanship Program recently announced that affiliated clubs may resume CMP-sanctioned rifle and pistol matches those events, provided state and local guidelines and safe range practices are being followed.

The CMP states: “The CMP has canceled all of its match events based on the large volume of participants at its marksmanship events. However, clubs who have relatively manageable numbers of attendees may use discretion in conducting activities for safety reasons. We will continue to monitor the current environment and follow practices in the best interest of our staff, customers and participants regarding future events.”

“In the best interest of everyone involved, the CMP is not opposed to affiliated clubs holding sanctioned matches, as long as they provide a safe environment for participants, range safety personnel and spectators,” said Christie Sewell, CMP Programs Chief.

cmp rimfire sporter

The CMP Recommends Affiliated Clubs Follow Guidelines to Keep Facilities Safe:

1. Following state and local laws and adherence to health advisories
2. Limiting/spacing the number of participants who congregate for safety briefings, etc.
3. Spacing out firing points, leaving empty firing points between shooters
4. Ensuring participants wear masks, covering their nose and mouth.
5. Washing hands frequently and/or providing disinfectant wipes.
6. Cleaning common surfaces such as shooting benches and equipment.

(Editor: This cleaning should include public restrooms).

“In our sport during this time, we need to practice safety on two fronts – safe firearms handling at all times and providing a healthy place for competitors to hone their skills. That means practicing appropriate social distancing, disinfecting common surfaces and screening participants for health concerns,” added Christie Sewell. Visit the CMP website at www.TheCMP.org for more information.

cmp match helath covid-19 pandemic rules

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May 12th, 2020

Ben Avery Range in Arizona Re-Opens May 13, 2020

Ben Avery Shooting Facility Coronavirus Health Covid-19

Ben Avery Shooting Facility Coronavirus Health Covid-19Ben Avery Re-Opens with Online Reservations
The Ben Avery Shooting Facility (BASF) in Arizona will soon be open for business again. However some key operational changes will affect customers. To ensure public health and safety, only online reservations will be accepted and shooters must observe social distancing rules and special range guidelines. BASF will at 7:00 am Wednesday, May 13, 2020. Reservations canbe made online now at Bookben.azgfd.com. Ammunition and safety gear can be reserved online, as well. NOTE: Reservations cannot be canceled or rescheduled.

Ben Avery Shooting Facility Coronavirus Health Covid-19

At this time, the shooting facility is unable to accommodate walk-in customers on its rifle and pistol ranges, as well as the Clay Target Center (CTC). Any changes will be based on gradual reopening guidelines for businesses and customers, as outlined by the Governor’s Office.

Ben Avery Shooting Facility Coronavirus Health Covid-19

“BASF’s implementation of a new online reservation system is two-fold: We want to maximize the shooting opportunities that this world-class facility has to offer, while maintaining common sense health practices,” said Mike Raum, shooting sports branch chief for the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

Ben Avery Shooting Facility Coronavirus Health Covid-19

Located on 1,650 acres in north Phoenix, BASF is one of the nation’s largest publicly operated shooting facilities. A City of Phoenix “Point of Pride,” the facility has received a five-star rating from the National Association of Shooting Ranges.

Firing Line at Berger SW Nationals. Click to Zoom Image:
Ben Avery Shooting Facility Coronavirus Health Covid-19


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May 8th, 2020

Gun Stores Can Open in Massachusetts Rules U.S. District Judge

Massachusetts second amendment charlie baker federal court injunction pandemic covid-19 closure

Despite the edicts of Democratic Party Governors shutting down gunshops and shooting ranges, the Second Amendment is still part of the U.S. Constitution. A successful lawsuit in Massachusetts demonstrated that. Hopefully the Governors of other states where gunshops were closed by executive order will take notice. In California, Marijuana dispensaries were declared “essential businesses” but not gun stores.

Injunction Granted against Massachusetts Governor’s Closure of Gun Stores
In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, by executive order, shut down all the gun stores in his state. Well it turns out Baker’s action violated the U.S. Constitution. A U.S. District Court in Massachusetts has granted a preliminary injunction against Gov. Baker’s order shutting down gunshops in the state. The injunction was issued in McCarthy v. Baker*, a case brought by the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), Firearms Policy Coalition, and Commonwealth Second Amendment.

In ruling for the plaintiffs, U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock declared: “We don’t surrender our Constitutional rights. These plaintiffs have constitutional rights that deserve respect and vindication, and it becomes necessary for a court to do that rather than the executive when the executive declines.” He added that the Governor’s lawyers did not show justification for the gun store closures: “I don’t have anything like a substantial fit between the goals of the emergency declared by the Commonwealth and the burdening of the Constitutional rights.”

Speaking from the bench during a virtual hearing, Judge Woodlock said, “There’s no justification here” for mandating the closure of gun shops. He specified that gun shops will be free to open at noon, Saturday, May 9. In allowing gun stores to open, the Judge did impose certain restrictions — gunshops should operate from 9 am to 9 pm, by appointment only, with maximum four appointments per hour. Social distancing must also be observed both inside and outside gun stores.

Plaintiffs argued that Gov. Baker’s emergency order eliminated “all lawful channels of access to constitutionally-protected arms and ammunition by mandating the closure of all businesses that sell firearms and ammunition to the consumer public. These actions amount to a ban on obtaining modern arms for personal defense in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb praised Judge Woodlock’s decision: “Constitutional rights are never put on hold because of an emergency, including the outbreak of a virus. Too many elected officials think otherwise, and we’re having to deal with them one lawsuit a time….”

Gottlieb explained: “When Governor Baker lumped gun shops in with thousands of other businesses deemed ‘non-essential’, he obviously didn’t consider the exercise of a fundamental right to be essential. We can think of nothing that is more essential than exercising a right protected by the Constitution, especially during a declared state of emergency.”

A Federal judge on Thursday ordered that gun shops across Massachusetts can reopen this weekend, ruling that Governor Charlie Baker’s decision to shutter them along with thousands of other “nonessential” businesses infringed on people’s Second Amendment rights.

The decision from US District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock marked a rare rebuke of Baker and the broad emergency powers he’s wielded to fight the COVID-19 pandemic[.] — Boston Globe, 5/7/20


*In two lawsuits joined into the single case, Massachusetts citizens, gun shops and advocacy groups asked the court to force the state to let the shops resume sales. The cases are McCarthy et al. v. Baker et al., case number 1:20-cv-10701, and Cedrone LLC et al. v. Baker et al., case number 1:20-cv-40041, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

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May 8th, 2020

Talladega Marksmanship Park Re-Opens May 13, 2020

Talladega Marksmanship Park Re-opening May 2020

Finally… some good news in the shooting world. One of the most important ranges in the nation re-opens next week. Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama will open its gates on Wednesday, May 13, 2020.

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has announced that its outdoor rifle, pistol and shotgun facility in Alabama, the Talladega Marksmanship Park, plans to resume activity in May with updated protocols for staff and guests. These requirements are designed to ensure the public well-being and safety during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Starting Wednesday, May 13, the facility will be open to the public Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 am – 5 pm and Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9 am – 5 pm.

Special Health Procedures
All park visitors will be required to have his/her body temperature checked and will also need to answer questions about current health and recent activities that could relate to COVID-19 before being permitted to use the ranges. The number of guests within the Clubhouse will also be monitored, and those on the ranges will adhere to social distancing guidelines put in place by CMP personnel.

Though staff members of Talladega Marksmanship Park will be equipped with face masks, they will not be required for visitors to the facility. However, for the protection of everyone present, masks are highly recommended. The CMP also asks that guests stay mindful of social distancing and hygiene practices in all areas of the grounds.

Talladega Marksmanship Park Re-opening May 2020

No Classes, Clinics, or Matches in May
While the park will be open effective 5/13/20, the regularly-held monthly classes, clinics, and have been cancelled for the entirety of May and June. All activities scheduled after June 30th will be reassessed at a later date. For updates on Talladega status, visit the Talladega Marksmanship Park webpage.

Talladega Marksmanship Park Re-opening May 2020

About Talladega Marksmanship Park:
The 500-acre Talladega Marksmanship Park features a 600-yard rifle range, 100-yard multi-purpose range, and 50-yard pistol range, each equipped with Kongsberg electronic targets and scoring monitors that allow shooters on the firing line to review shots in a matter of seconds. The Park also includes 15 action pistol bays and a trap field, 5-stand field, and a 15-station sporting clays field — all with automated trap machines. All firing lines are covered, so competitors and guests stay dry and shaded.

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April 30th, 2020

NRA Cancels All National Matches Scheduled for Summer 2020

NRA cancel 2020 national rifle pistol matches championship camp perry atterbury high power smallbore

We learned last week that the CMP had closed the Camp Perry CMP Championship Matches. Now the NRA has followed suit, cancelling the Pistol, Smallbore, and High Power National Championships slated for summer 2020 at Camp Perry (Pistol) and Camp Atterbury (Rifle). We know readers will be disappointed. The NRA High Power Championships were slated for mid-August — over three months away. Many shooters were hoping some normalcy would be restored by then. However the potential health risks of having hundreds of shooters in close proximity lead to the cancellation decision. On 4/29/2020, the NRA stated:

Due to the current state of affairs surrounding COVID-19, the uncertainties associated with this pandemic at present, and shutdowns across our country that have impeded vital preparatory work, the National Rifle Association has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 NRA Precision Pistol Championships scheduled for July 1-5, 2020), 2020 NRA High Power Championships scheduled for August 9-25, 2020, and the 2020 NRA Smallbore Championships scheduled for July 23-August 4, 2020.

We are trying to make the best of the current situation by moving forward with range construction and other improvements as we look towards the 2021 NRA National Championships season. The NRA is also exploring the feasibility of hosting a variety of new NRA events at Camp Atterbury (if conditions are favorable) [in] the state of Indiana later this year.

We share your disappointment that we had to cancel these competitions. The NRA wishes everyone good health and the best of luck. Stay safe and healthy. For more information, visit Competitions.NRA.org.

NRA cancel 2020 national rifle pistol matches championship camp perry atterbury high power smallbore

nra rifle pistol smallbore championship cancelled cancel camp atterbury

The NRA had previously cancelled all sanctioned matches through April 30, 2020. Read story HERE.

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