December 5th, 2013
Believe it or not, NSSF’s 2014 SHOT Show is only a month and a half away. As the entire industry prepares, enthusiasm is already building for the January 14-17 event in Las Vegas, Nevada.
If you haven’t already done so, register today at ShotShow.org. At the same time you can also sign up for special sessions, such as retailer and law enforcement seminars, SHOT Show University, evening events, and more. Stay up to date on show news through the SHOT Show Blog and connect with the show via Facebook and Twitter.
CLICK HERE to Search Exhibitors, View Floor Plans, or Access the SHOT Show Planner.
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November 21st, 2013
By Bill Brassard for NSSF
The holidays are just around the corner. As hunters, shooters, collectors or just plain plinkers, it’s a natural instinct to want to share our enjoyment of firearms with others. What better way to do that than to make a gift of a firearm to a family member, close friend or relative?
The first thing to remember if you’re thinking about giving someone a gun is that … it’s a gun! You already know that ownership of a firearm brings with it some serious legal and ethical obligations that other consumer products don’t. So let’s look at some questions you may have about giving a firearm as a gift.
The first question you have to ask is whether the intended recipient can legally own the firearm where he or she lives. More than 20,000 different gun laws on the books, even the kinds of firearms that law-abiding citizens can own vary from place to place; for example, juveniles (under age 18) generally speaking are precluded by law from possessing a handgun. Check out the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) website for an overview of local laws and, whatever you do, don’t forget that you can never under any circumstances transfer a firearm to someone you know — or have reasonable cause to believe — legally can’t own one. That’s a federal felony, so be careful.
Though there’s no federal law that prohibits a gift of a firearm to a relative or friend that lives in your home state, some states — California for example –require you to transfer the gun through a local firearms dealer so an instant background check will be performed to make sure the recipient is not legally prohibited from owning the gun.
The ATF recommends that if you want to give someone a new firearm, rather than going to a gun store, buying it on your own and giving it to, say your father, consider instead purchasing a gift certificate from that retailer and giving it to Dad as his present. That way he’ll get the exact gun he wants, and there’s no question about who is “the actual buyer of the firearm,” which is a question any purchaser must certify on the Federal Form 4473 at the time of purchase.
You can only ship a handgun by common carrier (but not U.S. Mail) and a long gun by U.S. Mail or common carrier to a federally licensed dealer, but not to a non-licensed individual. With all carriers, federal law requires you to declare that your package contains an unloaded firearm. To be safe, always consult your carrier in advance about its regulations for shipping firearms.
What if you want to give “Old Betsy,” your favorite old deer rifle, to your son or daughter as a college graduation gift? Again, in most states, there’s no law that says you can’t, but some states require even inter-family transfers to go through a licensed dealer. Remember, you can never transfer a firearm directly to another person who is a resident of a different state. In that case, you must transfer the firearm through a licensed dealer in the state where the person receiving the gift resides. Using a gift certificate from a firearms retailer near where the recipient lives might be a good solution. Pre-1898 antique firearms are generally exempt from the dealer requirement. [But check with the laws in your jurisdiction]. Be safe and check with your dealer or local law enforcement before you hand over your prized possession.
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November 19th, 2013
When shooting at long range, two heads (and two sets of eyes) can be better than one. Teaming up with a buddy who acts as a spotter can speed up your long-range learning process. You can focus 100% on the shot, while your buddy calls the wind and spots your hits and misses.
The NSSF has created a short video that shows how shooter and spotter can work as a team. In the video, the NSSF’s Dave Miles works with Rod Ryan, owner of Storm Mountain Training Center in Elk Garden, WV. As the video shows, team-work can pay off — both during target training sessions and when you’re attempting a long shot on a hunt. Working as a two-person team divides the responsibilities, allowing the shooter to concentrate fully on breaking the perfect shot.
The spotter’s job is to watch the conditions and inform the shooter of needed wind corrections. The shooter can dial windage into his scope, or hold off if he has a suitable reticle. As Rod Ryan explains: “The most important part is for the shooter to be relaxed and… pay attention to nothing more than the shot itself.” The spotter calls the wind, gives the information to the shooter, thus allowing the shooter to concentrate on proper aim, gun handling, and trigger squeeze. Rod says: “The concept is that the spotter does all the looking, seeing and the calculations for [the shooter].”
Spotter Can Call Corrections After Missed Shots
The spotter’s ability to see misses can be as important as his role as a wind-caller. Rod explains: “If you shoot and hit, that’s great. But if you shoot and miss, since the recoil pulse of the firearm is hitting your shoulder pretty good, you’re not going to be able to see where you missed the target. The spotter [can] see exactly where you missed, so I’ll have exactly an idea of how many [inches/mils it takes] to give you a quick secondary call so you can get [back on target].”
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November 18th, 2013
Looking for a shooting range? There’s an App for that. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has released free Where-To-Shoot mobile Apps that locate shooting ranges. This App is offered for Android devices as well as Apple iPhones and iPads.
Available for free in the Apple App Store and Google’s Android App Store, the Where-To-Shoot Apps puts a comprehensive directory of shooting ranges in the palm of your hand. These Apps also include tips for shooters, news, and firearm-safety information.
Users can search by current location or zip code and find specifics about each range, including activities offered, directions, and contact info. The App Databases are updated regularly.
CLICK HERE for Apple iPhone and iPad App.
CLICK HERE for FREE Android App.
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November 15th, 2013
A poll conducted for the National Shooting Sports Foundation has found Americans are highly skeptical of the reliability of user authorized technology for firearms. They also say overwhelmingly that they would not be likely to buy a so-called “smart gun” and overwhelmingly oppose any government mandate requiring the use of this technology should it become available.
Asked “How familiar are you with efforts to develop a firearm that will only fire for a specific authorized person(s)?”, only 20 percent of respondents said they were very or somewhat familiar with the concept of “smart gun” technology. When told that such firearms would incorporate biometric or radio frequency identification (RFID) with an activation system that would rely on battery power, 74 percent of respondents said that these firearms would not be reliable at all or very reliable. Gun owners overwhelmingly (84%) believed a smart gun would not be reliable, while a clear majority (60%) of non-gun owners also believed they would not be reliable.
An overwhelming 74 percent of respondents overall said that they would not buy or would not very likely buy such a smart gun. Some 70 percent of the survey sample said that they did not believe that government should mandate that all firearms produced incorporate smart gun technology should it become commercially available.
Can Technology Be Trusted? Watch this Video for a Chilling Vision of Future Gun Control:
These findings were among the results of a national scientific poll of more than 1,200 Americans conducted in October by McKeon & Associates and released by the NSSF. Although attempts to develop and market firearms equipped with authorized user recognition technology have been discussed for many years, the topic has been revived in recent months by some gun control advocates, remarks by President Obama and by the depiction of a smart gun in the latest James Bond movie. Read the NSSF press release for more details.
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October 7th, 2013
Planning to buy a gun soon, and worried about the effect of the Federal government shutdown? Many government services have been temporarily terminated (and Federal facilities closed). However, the background check system for firearms purchases is still up and running. The NSSF reports that The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Section is remaining fully operational and maintaining normal business hours. Accordingly, if you go to a gun store to purchase a firearm, the shop should be able to run a NICS background check in normal fashion.
However, some other firearms-related services of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have been halted for the time being. The ATF’s Office of Enforcement Programs and Services (EPS), which includes the imports, firearms technology, NFA branches, and the licensing center and firearms industry programs branch now processing marking variances, is effectively shut down, operating only with minimal staff.
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September 8th, 2013
Are target shooters a dying breed? Apparently not according to a new NSSF study. Remarkably, 20% of all target shooters began participating in the past five years. That’s great news. The next generation of target shooters is more diverse and more urban than ever before — and there are more females getting involved in target shooting — a lot more. 37% of new target shooters are female, a big number compared to older generations. The NSSF’s newly-commissioned study shows that, in years ahead, our shooting ranges will see more lady shooters and more participants who come from urban/suburban areas (as opposed to rural communities).
The NSSF report shows that one-fifth of target shooters in America first started participating in the shooting sports between 2008 and 2012. That means 20 percent of all target shooters began participating in the past five years. That’s promising news.
Here Are Some Key Findings:
- Younger: 66 percent of new shooters fall into the 18-to-34-year-old category compared to 31 percent in the same age category for established shooters.
- Female: 37 percent of new target shooters are female compared to 22 percent of established target shooters.
- Urban: 47 percent of new target shooters live in urban/suburban settings versus 34 percent of established target shooters.
Introducing New Shooters to the Sport — Tips from a Champion
In this video, Champion pistol shooter Doug Koenig offers advice on how to introduce newcomers to the shooting sports. With new shooters, Doug says you need to keep the experience safe and fun. Start with low-recoil firearms and use reactive targets to increase the “fun factor”.
Koenig’s Tips for Successful Range Sessions with New Shooters
1. Start off a new shooter with an airgun or a .22 LR. “You don’t want to start them out with the biggest, loudest firearm you have in your collection.”
2. Make sure the shooting is fun. “Use [reactive] targets — steel targets, knock-down targets, clay pigeons sitting on the bank — anything reactive, something they can see happen.” You want to keep people interested, keep them excited.
3. Remember the reason we go to the range — to have a good time. Don’t overload newcomers with stress. “Keep it fun, keep it safe, and keep everything in perspective.” Remember that [newcomers] “are the future of the shooting sports for all of us.”
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September 2nd, 2013
A lead-free “utopia” where bullets are banned and hunting is, for all practical purposes, eliminated — that’s apparently what some legislators want California to become. California Assembly Bill AB 711 would completely ban the use of traditional lead ammunition for hunting anywhere in the state. What’s more, many legislators acknowledge that this ban could, in the near future, be applied to all shooting sports in the Golden State. If you can’t buy bullets, you can’t shoot — and that seems to be the real agenda.
NSSF has purchased billboards in the Sacramento area to urge opposition to AB 711 and has been airing radio commercials that reveal the role of the anti-hunting groups behind this ill-conceived legislation. This week, the opposition to AB 711 was joined by a major state labor organization. NSSF urges all California hunters, target shooters and gun owners to contact their state legislators to oppose AB 711.
To understand more about the issue, read a well-reasoned editorial published in the Outdoor Wire. Even non-Californians should be concerned, because other states might follow California’s lead in the future. And AB 711 is not the only serious anti-gun measure on the table. In addition to AB 711, several other highly restrictive measures are in the works. Proposed legislation would place ALL semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines on California’s list of banned “assault weapons”. Another bill would block Californians from purchasing long guns unless purchasers pass a state-mandated written test.
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August 11th, 2013
New shooters are the future of our sport. If we want to “stem the tide” and resist pressures to close gun ranges and limit firearms use, we need to get new people involved in the shooting sports. And the first step in that process is getting first-timers to the range. One of the most successful efforts for enlisting new shooters is the NSSF First Shots Program. First Shots is a free introductory program of NSSF that teaches newcomers firearms fundamentals, safety and local regulations in a classroom setting, followed by a live-fire session with certified instructors. Around the country, First Shot Seminars provide free instruction by trained firearms instructors, with guns and ammo provided at no charge to participants.
First Shots Hosts 200 New Shooters at Houston Ranges
Last weekend, Houston, Texas hosted a successful series of First Shots seminars, as part of the First Shots “Big City Tour”. Four ranges in the Houston area — The Arms Room in League City, Spring Guns and Ammo in Spring, American Shooting Centers in Houston and High Noon Indoor Pistol Range in Crosby — welcomed more than 200 new shooters for training and some fun shooting. “A big thank you goes out to all of the participating ranges who gave a Texas welcome to the participants and the First Shots team,” said Tisma Juett, NSSF’s First Shots manager. Next stop on the First Shots Big City Tour is planned for Atlanta, Georgia. If your shooting facility is located in that vicinity and you’d like to be a host for this event, please contact Juett at email@example.com. To find a First Shots Seminar near you, visit the First Shots Online Calendar Webpage.
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August 9th, 2013
While the mainstream media (and many politicians) call for new bans on firearms, ammunition, and magazines, not to mention further restrictions of Second Amendment rights, too little attention is being paid to the actual facts in the debate over gun control. Sponsors of new restrictions on firearms claim that gun crime is increasing. A majority of Americans also seem to believe that firearms-related crimes are on the rise. But is this really the case? You may be surprised….
In fact, if you look at the hard facts, firearms homicides and other gun-related crimes have been decreasing for decades. That’s right — gun crimes are down significantly over the past twenty years. Since 1993, in the USA, the number of homicides committed with guns has dropped 39% even while gun ownership rates have increased. The number of “all other” crimes with firearms has dropped 69% in the same period. And the number of fatal gun accidents has declined 58% in the past two decades — that’s a big change.
The numbers don’t lie — over the past twenty years, there has been a significant reduction in actual gun-related crime while gun ownership levels have increased. But despite all this evidence that gun-related crimes have declined precipitously in the past two decades, 56% of Americans have the mistaken notion that gun crime is on the rise. Could that be because mainstream media outlets conveniently ignore the facts?
Actual, verified gun crime trends (based on Federal crime statistics) have been presented in an interesting “infographic” chart prepared by the NSSF. Click on the illustration at right to see the full-size version with data charts.
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July 27th, 2013
Americans are buying more guns than ever. FBI NICS Gun Purchase Background Check data (as adjusted by the NSSF), shows that June 2013 gun sales are up 3.0% over the same period Last Year (See Chart 1). This marks the 37th straight month that NSSF-adjusted NICS figures have increased when compared to the same period the previous year. (This year’s January increase was even more dramatic — see Chart 2). What’s even more interesting, in June 2013, Americans purchased more than twice as many guns as they did a decade ago in June 2003 — roughly 870,000 vs. roughly 405,000. That’s a big difference.
CHART 1 — Adjusted NICS Checks in Month of June
CHART 2 — Adjusted NICS Checks in Month of January
Understanding the Numbers
The June 2013 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 872,025 is an increase of 3.0 percent over the NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 846,437 in June 2012. The adjusted NICS data were derived by subtracting out NICS purpose code permit checks used by several states such as Connecticut, Illinois, and Utah for CCW permit application checks as well as checks on active CCW permit databases. Though not a direct correlation to firearms sales, the NSSF-adjusted NICS data provide a more accurate picture of current market conditions. For additional information on NICS or to view a complete set of the current monthly reports, please visit the NICS website.
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July 11th, 2013
Looking for a shooting range near you? There’s a new mobile App for that. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has released an all-new Where To Shoot mobile App that locates shooting ranges. This App is offered for Android devices as well as Apple iPhones and iPads.
Download App for Android OS | Download App for Apple iOS
Available for free in the Apple App Store and Google’s Android App Store, Where To Shoot puts North America’s most comprehensive directory of shooting ranges in the palm of your hand. It also includes video tips for shooters, news and firearm-safety information.
Users can search by current location or zip code and find specifics about each range, including shooting activities offered, accessibility and contact information. The app also makes it easy to get directions to the range.
The app is modeled after NSSF’s popular WhereToShoot.org® website and is updated frequently with range information in every U.S. state and Canadian province. New tips for hunters and shooters are also added regularly.
Download the free app through the links below or visit www.wheretoshoot.org:
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