November 24th, 2014

Giving a Firearm as a Gift? Some Reminders from NSSF

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.

ATF Firearms gun giftsThe 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 13th, 2014

USA Violent Crime Rate Falls to Lowest Level Since 1978

The FBI released its annual Crime in the United States report on November 10, 2014. This study revealed that, in 2013, the USA violent crime rate fell another 5.1 percent from 2012, so it is now at its lowest level since 1978. Moreover, the murder and manslaughter rate fell 4.4 percent, dropping to the lowest level since 1968.

violent crime FBI Report 2013 more guns less crime

This is very good news. From a public policy perspective, this is very important data that should help inform decision-making. The NSSF urges gun-owners to cite these statistics when unreasonable or irrational new gun control laws are proposed.

More Guns, Less Crime
While the crime rate has been dropping steadily for more than 20 years, the number of firearms in the hands of law-abiding Americans has been rising dramatically. So, statistics prove that we really have witnessed “more guns, less crime”. Earlier this year, the NSSF released a video that demonstrates this point very effectively:

63% of Americans Believe Gun in Home Increases Safety
A new Gallup survey released last week that found 63 percent of Americans believe that having a gun in the house makes it a safer place, a doubling of that number since 2000. The fact that more than six out of ten Americans have reached this conclusion demonstrates that the majority of Americans appreciate their Second Amendment rights to defend home and family.

What Counts as “Violent Crime”?
In the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses which involve force or threat of force.

Long-Term USA Crime Trends
In 2013, an estimated 1,163,146 violent crimes occurred nationwide, a decrease of 4.4 percent from the 2012 estimate. When considering 5- and 10-year trends, the 2013 estimated violent crime total was 12.3 percent below the 2009 level and 14.5 percent below the 2004 level. There were an estimated 367.9 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants in 2013, a rate that declined 5.1 percent when compared with the 2012 estimated rate.

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November 3rd, 2014

Election Day Is Tomorrow — Your Vote Counts

Around the nation, Tuesday, November 4 is Election Day. There are dozens of key Congressional seats up for grabs this year. In addition, important gun issues are on the ballot in many states. Remember, every vote counts — you can’t complain about local, state, and federal policies if you don’t bother to vote. We hope all our readers take the time to visit their local polling places tomorrow.

NSSF Gunvote election 2014 November

If you want to learn more about the upcoming election, and research the positions of candidates on gun rights issues, visit the NSSF’s GUNVOTE website. This resource highlights key U.S. Senate and House of Representatives races. The NSSF Election Guide allows you to browse state-by-state. There’s also a handy page with links to directories of local polling places for every state. So — do your homework and cast your vote tomorrow!

NSSF Gunvote election 2014 November

State Elections — Time of Reckoning for Hickenlooper?
In addition, the GUNVOTE site covers important Gubernatorial contests around the country. Here is a video about the Colorado Governor’s race. In 2013, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed tough anti-gun measures into law and has been trying to explain himself ever since. On Election Day, Colorado voters will decide whether Gov. Hickenlooper deserves another term in office.

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October 25th, 2014

Free Where-to-Shoot Range Locator App from NSSF

where to shoot app NSSF accurateshooterLooking 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.

where to shoot app NSSF accurateshooter

Download the free app through the links below or visit www.wheretoshoot.org:

iPhone and iPad:
http://www.wheretoshoot.org/iOS
Android:
http://www.wheretoshoot.org/Android

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October 7th, 2014

Big Turn-Out for NSSF Rimfire Challenge Championship

This is the kind of shooting match we like to see — with competitors of all ages having fun without having to shell out gobs of hard-earned money. More than 170 shooters competed at the NSSF Rimfire Challenge World Championship, held this past weekend (October 3-5) at the Old Fort Gun Club in Fort Smith, Arkansas. (Notably, that is ten more competitors than attended the much-ballyhooed Trijicon World Shooting Championships last month.) And, for many competitors, the Rimfire Challenge was very much a family affair — with mom, dad, and the kids all joining in the fun.

Kids Having Fun — Youth Competitors at NSSF Rimfire Challenge World Championship.
NSSF Rimfire Challenge Old Fort Smith Arkansas

Rimfire Challenge attendance was up 60 percent this year compared to 2013. Shooters ranged in age from seven years to 83 years, with a big turn-out of junior (age 13-17) and youth (12 and under) shooters. “We are extremely pleased at the caliber of sportsmanship and camaraderie shown at Old Fort Gun Club this weekend,” said Zach Snow, NSSF Manager of Shooting Promotions. “Entire families traveled from all across the country to be here. It’s exactly this kind of supportive and family-friendly atmosphere that makes the Rimfire Challenge what it is: fun for everyone.”

B.J. Norris walked away with the top prize of World Champion. Shooting in the Open Division, Norris’ total time over the more than a dozen stages was 161.11 seconds. In second place overall was young Caleb Partch of Missouri. Caleb also won the Junior Open Division. Wayne Seale was the top Limited Division Shooter. Top Lady Shooters were Cassie Beahr of Iowa (Open) and Cheyenne Dalton (Limited and Junior). CLICK HERE for complete match results.

NSSF Rimfire Challenge Old Fort Smith Arkansas

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September 24th, 2014

Target Shooting Participation Rises 19% in Recent Years

The shooting sports are thriving in the USA. Target shooting participation levels have increased 19% over a recent 4-year period, from 34.4 million shooters in 2009 to 40.8 million in 2012. That means 6.4 million more Americans are shooting. By contrast, golf and some other hobby activities have seen their participant base decline by millions. Despite pressures to close shooting ranges and the high cost of ammunition and reloading components, more people than ever before are enjoying target shooting. The increase in target shooting has been driven by an influx of new shooters.

Demographic Changes in Ranks of Target Shooters
Compared to those who took up shooting 20 or 30 years ago, these new shooters represent a generational change. Newcomers — defined as those who have taken up target shooting in the last five years — are trending younger and female. Also, more new shooters are city and suburban dwellers (compared to older shooters who typically live in rural areas). In these ways, the demographic profile of new shooters is different than that of established participants.

nssf profile target shooting

Although they may be different in age, gender, and geo-location, newcomers share one important thing with established participants — their passion for firearms ownership and the shooting sports. The traditional pastimes of handgun, rifle and shotgun target shooting continue to have a broad appeal to new generations of Americans.

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September 19th, 2014

Registration Commences for SHOT Show 2015 in Las Vegas

SHOT Show 2015 Las Vegas hotel reservation registration

Think Vegas in January, baby — yes, we’re talkin’ about SHOT Show (Jan. 20-23, 2015). Registration for the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s 2015 SHOT Show is now open for all attendees. Register now at Shotshow.org. The SHOT Show hotel booking system is also active. It’s a good idea to reserve rooms early to get the best rates. SHOT Show organizers have negotiated deeply discounted rates at dozens of Las Vegas hotels, with prices as low as $45 per night.

SHOT Show 2015 Las Vegas hotel reservation registration

Scheduled for January 20-23 in Las Vegas, the big gun industry convention is just four months away. While registering, attendees can add Industry Dinner tickets, enroll in SHOT Show University, and/or sign up for other educational offerings. Registration for members of the press will open later this week.

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September 15th, 2014

Training Tip: Shooter and Spotter Working as a Team

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.

Shooting Spotter training video NSSF

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].”

Shooting Spotter training video NSSF

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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September 6th, 2014

NSSF Video Provides Helpful Scope Mounting Advice

Rifle scope mountingThe National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has created a video with helpful tips on mounting scopes, and adjusting the position of scopes to suit the shooter. This video, hosted by Ryan Cleckner, a former U.S. Army Sniper instructor, is aimed primarily at “hard-holders” who shoot prone. The video should prove useful for tactical shooters, varmint hunters, and F-Class shooters. Ryan does explain that, if you plan to use your rifle in standing, sitting, and prone positions, you need to set the scope in a “happy medium” position that provides sufficient eye relief in all shooting positions.

Ryan has an interesting method for leveling a rail-mounted, flat-bottomed scope (i.e. one with a flat surface under the turret housing). He simply inserts a small metal bar between rail and scope, and aligns the straight edges along the bottom of the scope turret housing with the flats on the rail (see photo). Watch how he does this on the video — it’s pretty clever. One other highlight of the video is the segment where Ryan shows how to adjust the ocular on his Leupold scope to provide the best (sharpest) image of the reticle. Ocular/reticle adjustment is covered in minutes 11:00-13:00 of the video.

YouTube Preview Image

The video has some faults. Some of the advice, such as “always mount the scope as low as possible” is counter-productive for benchrest shooters who want to keep their heads OFF the stock. In addition, Ryan does not explain that, with a variable power scope, proper eye relief may change considerably with the level of magnification. If you have an 8-32X scope, for example, you can set everything up perfectly for 8X magnification, only to find that you need a LOT more eye relief at 32X. We recommend positioning the scope so it provides sufficient eye relief at the highest magnification you regularly use.

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August 7th, 2014

Rimfire Challenge World Championship to Be Held in Arkansas

The 2014 NSSF Rimfire Challenge World Championship (RCWC), will be held October 3-5, 2014, at the Old Fort Gun Club in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Competitors will be challenged with a variety of rimfire stages for both pistol and rifle. “Old Fort Gun Club’s experience running organized competition makes them a perfect fit for hosting the biggest Rimfire Challenge event of 2014,” said Zach Snow, Shooting Promotions Manager with NSSF. This past April, Old Fort ran a hugely successful Rimfire Challenge Regional Match with 125 shooters.

old fort gun club rimfire challenge

The NSSF Rimfire Challenge program was developed to introduce newcomers to competition target shooting by providing individuals and families with a safe, fun, and exciting first-time experience using .22-caliber handguns and rifles and steel targets. Formerly known as the Ruger Rimfire Challenge, the NSSF assumed administrative responsibilities for the fast-growing program in 2014.

Online competitor registration is available now for the Rimfire Challenge World Championships. Shooter participation is limited to 200, so competitors are urged to sign up now.

Rimfire Challenge World Championship Online Registration Form | RCWC Event Schedule

old fort gun club rimfire challenge

“We are definitely looking forward to hosting the Worlds,” said Bill Striplin, President of Old Fort Gun Club. “We think the layout of our shooting bays and their close proximity to one another will be a great thing for these new shooters. Our range setup helps a big match like this flow smoothly from stage to stage, and that really helps make a long day on the range as stress-free as possible.”

old fort gun club rimfire challenge

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July 3rd, 2014

Free Targets — NSSF Rimfire Challenge Grants for Shooting Clubs

Free Steel. Sound good? How’d you like a fat grant to purchase steel targets for your shooting club? Here’s how that can happen. Shooting facilities willing to host NSSF Rimfire Challenge events can take advantage of the NSSF Rimfire Challenge Steel Target Grant Program being offered in partnership with Action Target. The steel target grant package is valued at $2100, and these targets can be used for other types of matches as well. CLICK HERE for grant application guidelines and information.

Rimfire Challenge

NSSF will be able to offer 30 steel target grants to shooting ranges willing to host a minimum of four NSSF Rimfire Challenge events per year. The steel target package is valued at $2,100. “We believe in supporting shooting sports, and this grant program is a great way for us to do that,” said Action Target’s portable target specialist Chad Burdette.

Who May Apply
Any shooting range that hosts NSSF Rimfire Challenge events open to the public at least 4 times a year (NSSF encourages ranges to host events on a monthly basis). NSSF range members shall be given priority. A total of thirty (30) steel target grant packages will be available.

Rimfire Challenge

Rimfire ChallengeWhat’s in the Target Package
Packages will consist of 12 targets, enabling match directors to set up two Rimfire Challenge stages. Each grant package will include the following 12 targets:

3 – 8″ Circles
4 – 10″ Circles
4 – 12″ Circles
1 – 18″ x 24″ Rectangle

Grant recipients will have the option of choosing either the Evil Roy target stand or the PT Static stand and foot package (choice of 1’, 2’, 3’ or 4’ stand height).

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June 16th, 2014

SHOT Show Will Stay at Sands Convention Center Through 2020

Grim news — SHOT Show will be held at the Sands Expo through year 2020. That means six (6) more years* at this “dog” of a facility infamous for its inadequate parking, confusing floor plans, and nightmarish ingress/egress through the Venetian hotel. Then there are the wonderful food courts (NOT). Oh and it’s hard not to think about the scores of people who get sick every year attending SHOT Show at the Sands. If you have been there, you know what we’re talking about. So SHOT Show fans, steel yourselves for six more years of the same sad situation.

Previously, NSSF, the show’s organizer, had agreed to keep SHOT Show at the Sands through 2017. That was bad enough. Now they’ve contracted for even more years at this place. That makes for six additional years of headaches, confusion, disorientation, and general discontent. Oh well…

Sands Expo Shot Show 2020

Anyway, to our great dismay, here is the official notice:

Sands Expo Shot Show 2020LAS VEGAS-The National Shooting Sports Foundation and Sands Expo and Convention Center have followed up the 2014 record-setting Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show) by adding another two years to their agreement.

Under the new terms, the SHOT Show will be presented at the Sands Expo through 2020.

The 2014 SHOT Show, which ran Jan. 14-17, attracted more than 67,000 in total attendance, an all-time high, and was the fifth consecutive SHOT Show held at Sands Expo. NSSF had previously announced, in February, that it was extending its stay at the venue through 2017.

“We’re pleased with the multi-million dollar investment that the Sands Expo has made in order to meet SHOT Show’s needs,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “The 2014 SHOT Show was the highest rated by both attendees and exhibitors alike, and we want to continue to build on our success here in Las Vegas.”

SHOT Show is the fifth largest trade show in Las Vegas and the largest trade show of its kind in the world.

“As one of the largest events we host at Sands Expo, it has been exciting to watch SHOT Show grow every year,” said Ashlyn LaPorte, Sands Expo Executive Director of Event Management. “We are proud of the partnership that has developed between our venue and show management, and look forward to continuing this relationship through the rest of the decade.”

The Sands Expo and Convention Center houses more than 2 million square feet of meeting and event space. The SHOT Show generates more than $73 million for the Las Vegas economy.

*The press release says “the SHOT Show will be presented at the Sands Expo through 2020″. In the English language, “through” is inclusive; e.g. “Monday through Friday” includes Friday. But then the release says the current contract, which runs through 2017, has been extended by “two years”. That would push the contract out to 2019, not 2020. Maybe you can figure this out… it doesn’t make sense to us. But then having SHOT Show at the Sands in the first place doesn’t make any sense to us at all.

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