Amidst the hue and cry (and Congressional sit-ins) calling for more gun control, few observers have actually looked at the facts. Do we, in fact, have an increasing gun crime problem in this nation? Is gun violence spiraling out of control, as the anti-gunners would have you believe?
What do the verified FACTS say (as opposed to the ‘sky is falling’ anti-gun zealots)? Well, the truth of the matter is that major gun-related crime rates have been steadily on the decline for more than a decade. Likewise, most of the major violent crime rates have been declining over the past two decades. What’s more, even accidental gun deaths have been declining despite a huge rise in gun ownership.
So the next time someone tells you that guns must be outlawed to halt a terrible increase in gun crime, you can respond, with 100% certainty, that gun-related crime is going down, not up.
And interestingly, as the supply of handguns has increased, the amount of property crimes has plummeted. Maybe the bad guys are thinking twice before breaking and entering…
Gun Facts™ debunks common myths about gun control. It is intended as a reference guide for journalists, politicians and anyone interested in learning about gun control facts… crime, and the Second Amendment. The free Gun Facts e-book provides over 100 pages of indexed information.
Credit Boyd Allen for finding this first chart. We welcome reader submissions.
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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 (such as California) 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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In this NSSF Video, Ryan Cleckner, a former Sniper Instructor for the 1st Ranger Battalion, explains how to gather and organize D.O.P.E. (Data On Previous Engagements) and how to organize this information to make it readily available in the field. As the term is used by Cleckner, D.O.P.E. includes observed bullet drop information at various distances, as well as the effects of wind, temperature changes, humidity and other environmental variables.
If you know your muzzle velocity, and bullet BC, a modern Ballistics App should be able to calculate bullet drop with great precision at distances from 100-1000 yards — often within a couple 1/4-MOA clicks. However, because a bullet’s BC is actually dynamic (changing with speed), and because ballistics solvers can’t perfectly account for all variables, it’s useful to collect actual, verified bullet drop data.
It’s smart to start with ballistics data from a solver app, but, as Cleckner explains: “Odds are, you’re going to have to fine-tune that data to your gun and your system. Every scope and every rifle and every bullet [type] act differently. Your scope may not track the same from rifle to rifle, so it’s important you get the data that’s unique to you.” Cleckner also explains that the ballistic data supplied with some factory ammo may only give you a crude approximation of how that ammo will actually shoot through your gun.
Keeping Your Drop Data with the Rifle
Cleckner also offers some good advice on how to record D.O.P.E. on simple index cards, and how to keep your ballistics data with your rifle. This can be done with a laminated drop chart or data transferred to a scope cover (photo right). CLICK HERE, to learn more about creating handy field data cards.
At the 4:15 mark on the video, Cleckner shows a calibrated tape he has fitted around the turret of his riflescope. The tape shows distance numbers (e.g. “4” for 400 yards, “5” for 500 yards etc.) that correspond with the number of clicks (rotation) required to be zeroed at that particular distance. With that system, you simply “dial your distance” and your point of impact should equal your point of aim. It takes some skill (and the right software) to create these tapes, but the concept is great.
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We first ran this article in 2012, and it was very well received. Since then, many Forum members have requested an explanation of MILS and mildots, so we decided to run this feature again…
In this NSSF Video, Ryan Cleckner, a former Sniper Instructor for the 1st Ranger Battalion, defines the term “MilliRadian” (Milrad) and explains how you can use a mildot-type scope to range the distance to your target. It’s pretty simple, once you understand the angular subtension for the reticle stadia dots/lines. Cleckner also explains how you can use the milrad-based reticle markings in your scope for elevation hold-overs and windage hold-offs.
Even if you normally shoot at known distances, the hold-off capability of milrad-reticle scopes can help you shoot more accurately in rapidly-changing wind conditions. And, when you must engage multiple targets quickly, you can use the reticle’s mil markings to move quickly from one target distance to another without having to spin your elevation turrets up and down.
WEB RESOURCES: If you want to learn more about using Milliradians and Mildot scopes, we suggest the excellent Mil-dot.com User Guide. This covers the basics you need to know, with clear illustrations. Also informative is The Truth about Mil Dots by Michael Haugen. Mr. Haugen begins with basic definitions: 1 radian = 2 PI; 1 Milliradian (Milrad or ‘Mil’) = 1/1000th of a radian; 1 Milliradian = .0573 degrees.
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Guns are big money. In the past seven years, the dollars generated by the production and sales of guns and ammo have more than doubled. In fact, total economic impact of the firearms and ammunition industry in the United States increased from $19.1 billion in 2008 to $49.3 billion in 2015, a 158% increase. Meanwhile the total number of gun industry full-time jobs rose from approximately 166,000 to almost 288,000, a 73% increase in that period, according to a report released by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the industry’s trade association. Read NSSF Report HERE.
On a year-over-year basis, the industry’s economic impact rose from $43 billion in 2014 to $49.3 in 2015, a nearly 15 percent increase while total jobs increased from approximately 263,000 to almost 288,000, a 9 percent increase in the same period.
“Our industry is proud to be one of the truly bright spots in our economy as an unprecedented number of Americans have chosen to exercise their fundamental right to keep and bear arms and to safely enjoy the shooting sports,” said Stephen L. Sanetti, NSSF president and CEO. “We have increased our direct workforce by about 21,000 in the last two years alone, adding jobs that pay an average of more than $50,000 in wages and benefits.”
The Firearms and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report: 2016 provides a state-by-state breakdown of job numbers, wages and output covering direct, supplier and induced employment, as well as federal excise taxes paid. Access the full report here.
The latest digital edition of Shooting Industry Magazine offers a run-down of hot products at SHOT Show 2016. In this FREE April edition, you’ll find a SHOT Show in Review article, a “Show Stoppers” guide to Buyers’ favorites, a list of products you may have missed, as well as a 2016 New Product Showcase. For anyone interested in new shooting products, you really should read this special April issue cover to cover. This year’s SHOT Show, held January 19-22 in Las Vegas had more than 1600 exhibitors, with a record number of new products on display.
Show Stoppers from Las Vegas
One of the Show Stoppers highlights was a quad-barrel AR Kit. The new Multi-Caliber System (MCS) from Windham Weaponry offers plenty of bang for the buck. The kit comes with four different barrels: .223 Rem, 7.62x39mm, .300 Blackout, and 9mm Luger. The gun’s modular design makes it easy to change calibers by swapping barrels and magazine wells. (That’s right, you change the magwell to fit the caliber — a smart idea. That way you can run proper AK-style 7.62×39 magazines). One dealer stated: “You can get all four conversion kits in a hard-sided case at a decent prices. The fact you can change calibers so quickly is going to make this a big seller.”
New Product Showcase
Along with the Show Stoppers Guide, this April issue of Shooting Industry Magazine featured “Products You May Have Missed At SHOT Show” as well as a New Product Showcase. The Showcase highlights interesting new products from Benelli, Browning, Colt, Kimber, Nikon, McMillan, Nosler, Polycase, and many other leading brands.
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The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has launched a health plan for employers and employees in the gun industry. The new Firearms Industry Health Advantage plan allows businesses to upgrade their in-place employee benefits with a low-cost, non-traditional benefit program. Designed to save both time and money when non-life-threatening minor illnesses and injuries occur, the Health Advantage utilizes board-certified doctors to diagnose and treat patients 24/7 via telephone or the live-chat features on computers, tablets and other smart devices. This can help beneficiaries get treatment faster, with fewer hassles and delays.
Firearm Industry Health Advantage Plan
This plan saves employees time and money with 24/7 access to a doctor by phone or online video consult. Smarter Benefits for Smarter Living:
— On demand healthcare – whenever, wherever in the United States.
— U.S. board-certified doctors with an average 15 years practice experience.
— Get diagnosis, treatment options and prescription if necessary.
— Consultations for all ages – from children to seniors.
— 24/7 access by phone or online video consult.
— 16 minutes average call back time.
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The U.S. House of Representatives. in a decisive 242-161 vote last week. passed H.R. 2406, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act. Because the SHARE Act is the most important pro-sportsmen and pro-hunting legislation in a generation, this legislation was a top priority for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). Twelve Democrats joined the Republican majority to ensure passage. Only four Republicans voted against the SHARE Act. All attempts to amend the legislation with unfavorable provisions were defeated. Favorable amendments were passed. Read the NSSF press release.
You have probably watched one of the excellent shooting sports videos Ryan Cleckner has done for the NSSF. Ryan’s Understanding Minute of Angle (MOA) video has been viewed over one million times. Ryan is noted for his ability to explain complex topics in an easy-to-comprehend manner. Now Cleckner has authored a book, the Long Range Shooting Handbook, which expands on the topics covered in his popular video series. You can view Sample Chapters from Ryan’s Book on Amazon.com.
As a long-range shooting expert, Ryan Cleckner has impressive credentials. Cleckner was a special operations sniper (1/75 Rgr) with multiple combat deployments, and he has served a U.S. Army sniper instructor. Currently he works as a firearms industry executive and attorney.
The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter.
Ryan Cleckner’s new book is designed as an introduction to important fundamental concepts such as MOA vs. Mils, External Ballistics, and Environmental Effects. Included are personal tips and advice based on Cleckner’s years of experience as a sniper instructor and special operations sniper.
Iain Harrison, editor of Recoil Magazine said: “Whether you’re looking to dip a toe into the complex world of long range shooting, or you’re a seasoned shooter with years of trigger time, Ryan Cleckner’s book will prove to be excellent reference material. Well written and easy to understand, it covers all the essential topics that a well-rounded shooter needs to master.”
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Appeals Court Remands Decision for ‘Strict Scrutiny’ of Second Amendment Issue.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit overturned a Federal District Court decision finding the 2013 State of Maryland Firearm Safety Act (FSA) to be constitutional under “intermediate scrutiny” review. In the Case of Kolbe v. Maryland, the Appellate Court held that Maryland’s FSA should, as a matter of law, be subject to “strict scrutiny” under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Kolbe v. Maryland case was filed to challenge Maryland’s 2013 ban on so-called assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which helped challenge the Maryland law, explained that this bodes well for those seeking to nullify portions of Maryland’s 2013 FSA which imposed broad restrictions on firearms including semi-automatic rifles. The NSSF reports:
The [Appellate Court] vacated the District Court’s denial of the plaintiffs’ claims and remanded the case to the lower court, ordering that it apply the appropriate strict standard of review.
Writing for the three-judge appellate court panel that heard the case, Kolbe v. Maryland, Chief Judge William B. Traxler wrote: “In our view, Maryland law implicates the core protection of the Second Amendment — ‘the right of law-abiding responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home, District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570,635 (2008), and we are compelled by Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. 742 (2010), as well as our own precedent in the wake of these decisions to conclude that the burden is substantial and strict scrutiny is the applicable standard or review for Plaintiffs’ Second Amendment claim.”
“We are greatly heartened by the Fourth Circuit panel’s ruling today,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “As this important case goes forward, NSSF will continue to work with our co-plaintiffs to ensure that our citizens’ Second Amendment rights are protected and that the lawful commerce in firearms is restored in support of this constitutional protection.”
Response from NRA Institute for Legislative Action
Chris W. Cox, the executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, issued the following statement in reaction to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Kolbe v. Maryland: “The Fourth Circuit’s ruling is an important victory for the Second Amendment. Maryland’s ban on commonly owned firearms and magazines clearly violates our fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. The highest level of judicial scrutiny should apply when governments try to restrict our Second Amendment freedoms.”
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What covers an area greater than the Great Pyramid at Giza, attracts visitors from 100 countries, and has over 1600 exhibitor booths distributed along 12.5 MILES of Aisles? The SHOT Show in Vegas is the correct answer. The annual trade show for the $6 billion per year fireams/hunting industry, SHOT Show is the ultimate gathering for all things gun-related. It runs next week, January 19-22, in Las Vegas. Just how big is SHOT Show? This NSSF Infographic reveals some amazing facts:
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The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has responded to President Obama’s proposed Executive Actions concerning gun ownership and firearms transfers. The NSSF stated: “We all share the goal of reducing the intentional misuse of guns and enhancing the safety of our communities. As the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) will carefully review all aspects of the executive actions that President Obama announced today. Much remains to be spelled out. In the interim we have some initial reactions:”
We support further resources being allocated to staffing and increasing operational hours for the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to make the system more efficient and responsive.
We represent Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs). The criteria for what will constitute being “engaged in the business” going forward needs considerable clarification and raises questions about enforceability.
The number of firearms lost or stolen while in transit to or from FFLs is less than 0.15 percent of the number manufactured and imported in a given year. In these rare occurrences, FFLs already actively participate in ATF’s long-standing voluntary reporting program and FFLs and common carriers work closely with ATF to investigate them. Proposals to make a shipping FFL responsible for tracking and reporting firearms no longer in their inventories, after the legal title has been transferred to the purchaser, are misdirected, as the receiving FFL is in the best position to know if it receives its shipment.
We have long called for the effective enforcement of the numerous laws already on the books regarding the criminal misuse of firearms and would encourage the administration to carry through on this directive.
NSSF has been working actively since early 2013 through our FixNICS initiative to encourage states to report all appropriate adjudicated mental health records to NICS and has succeeded in getting legislation passed in more than a dozen states. We welcome the administration’s attention to this issue.
With regard to the development of “smart-gun” technology, the industry has never opposed its development. How additional government research into this technology would advance it is unclear. Law enforcement agencies and consumers themselves will have to make the determination whether acquisition of firearms with this technology “would be consistent with operational needs,” as the White House itself states. We would continue to oppose mandates for this technology, particularly since there are well proven existing methods to secure firearms, and firearms accidents are at historic low levels.
NSSF will have additional responses in the days, weeks and months ahead, especially as federal departments and agencies begin the work of carrying out the executive orders.
What did you really want for Christmas? A new rifle? Maybe a new reloading press? A poll of sportsmen and firearm owners by Southwick Associates’ HunterSurvey.com/ ShooterSurvey.com asked, “What hunting or target shooting gear are you most hoping to receive this holiday season?” Respondents could select three items from a long list of products. The most-wished-for items were in the Hunting Apparel category, with 22.3 percent of respondents asking Santa for new hunting duds. A new Handgun was second-highest on the list, followed by a Trail Camera at #3, Ammunition at #4, and a Laser Rangefinder at #5. How do your choices stack up against the survey responses?
Note, the totals of all selections exceeds 100% because survey participants could elect three total choices. Also, since this 2012 survey was specifically directed at hunters (rather than just firearm owners), a number of responses relate to bows and archery equipment.
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Based on NICS data, a record number of firearms were sold on “Black Friday”, the day after Thanksgiving. More background checks were recorded on Friday, November 27th, 2015 than on any day in American history. And for the 4-day period, 26-29 November (2015), a total of 368,774 NICS background checks were completed — nearly 10% more than the year before.
Black Friday 2015 Was Biggest Single Day Ever for Gun Sales
Thanks to attractive promotions from many vendors such as Brownells and Cabelas, all types of firearms flew off the shelves last week, which was the highest Black Friday period in the history of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
The FBI, which administers NICS, reports that NICS processed 185,345 transactions on November 27, Black Friday, making the day the highest Black Friday ever and the highest day in NICS history. The highest previous day was December 21, 2012 with 177,170 background checks. For the entire November 26-29, 2015 four-day Black Friday period 368,774 checks were completed, a 9.9% increase over the 335,555 checks conducted over the corresponding 2014 4-day period.
Background Checks Vs. Actual Sales
NICS statistics represent the number of firearm background checks initiated through the NICS. They do not represent the number of firearms sold. 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.
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Click Map to launch interactive webpage with info for all 50 states.
Going hunting this year? Need to find out about hunting licenses, deer tags, local regulations, and the best hunting areas? Then visit WheretoHunt.org. This website has an interactive map of the country. Simply click on a state to find the info you need. For all 50 states, the NSSF has compiled information about hunting license and permits, where to hunt, hunter education classes, laws and regulations and more. For each state you’ll also find a link for required applications and license forms. Have a safe and productive hunt this year.
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Seattle recently passed a law imposing special taxes on the sale of guns and ammunition. Labeled a “gun violence” tax, the Seattle ordinance is designed to discourage firearms use and, presumably, drive gun and ammo vendors out of the city. City Council President Tim Burgess, author of the controversial Seattle ordinance, likened the gun/ammo levy to “sin taxes” on alcohol and tobacco: “We’ve been working on this for several years. We tax cigarettes and alcohol and even wood-burning stoves for public health purposes. Why not guns and ammunition?”
Opponents of the new law have taken the city to court. The NRA, Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), NSSF and other organizations have challenged the so-called “gun violence tax” recently passed by the Seattle City Council. A motion for summary judgment has been filed citing Washington State’s long-standing preemption statute which “fully occupies and preempts the entire field of firearms regulation within the boundaries of the state.”
Gun group lawyers argued that the city “is well aware of this restriction on its legislative power” because Seattle’s most recent attempt to regulate firearms was emphatically struck down by the Court of Appeals in the case of Chan vs. Seattle. (That lawsuit derailed an attempt by the city under former Mayors Greg Nickels and Mike McGinn to ban guns in city park facilities.)
“Seattle is trying to be too clever by half,” said SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “This so-called ‘gun violence tax’ clearly seeks to limit access to firearms and ammunition by imposing what amounts to a regulatory fee on the sale of all firearms and ammunition within City limits. The city can’t do that, and we’re confident the court will tell them so. In the final analysis, this is an attempt to skate around, and thus erode, our state’s model preemption law. That cannot be allowed to stand. The City of Seattle is not an entity unto itself, but still part of Washington State, and therefore the city has to abide by the same laws we all follow.”
Here’s a feel-good story about a talented young man from Idaho. Sixteen-year-old Kolby Pavlock of Kuna, Idaho, won the NSSF Rimfire Challenge World Championship, held October 9-11 at the Old Fort Gun Club in Fort Smith, Arkansas. In winning the overall title (not just the junior class) Kolby out-shot many seasoned adult competitors, proving that youth and skill can in fact overcome “old age and treachery”, at least in this fun rimfire discipline. Kolby is blazing fast, as you can see in this video from the 2015 Idaho NSSF Rimfire Challenge Match. Check out the jaw-dropping speed at 1:20 time-mark.
Watch 16-year-old Kolby Pavlock in NSSF Rimfire Competition:
The 2015 Rimfire Challenge Championship was a great success. A record 200 competitors of all ages and skill levels took part. (By comparison only 150 or so shooters competed in the much-ballyhooed “NRA World Shooting Championship”). For many competitors, the Rimfire Challenge was very much a family affair — with mom, dad, and the kids all joining in the fun.
Fun and very affordable, the NSSF Rimfire Challenge appeals to all ages and skill levels. Here are youth competitors from last year’s Championship at the Old Fort Gun Club in Arkansas:
NSSF took over the Rimfire Challenge in 2014, replacing Ruger as the sponsoring organization. This popular competition is growing fast — in 2015, more than 400 Rimfire Challenge events were held across the country. The matches are designed to encourage family participation in a friendly, supportive atmosphere. Complete results from the world championship event will be posted at www.nssf.org/rimfire/championship.
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Here’s something that could benefit your local shooting club. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has a Steel Target Grant Program to help shooting ranges that plan to begin or expand NSSF Rimfire Challenge target-shooting events. With support from Action Target, 20 steel target grant packages (valued at $2100.00 each) will be available. The targets are suitable for both indoor and outdoor target shooting ranges (rimfire only). CLICK HERE for more information.
Who May Apply: Any NSSF member ranges that plan to host public NSSF Rimfire Challenge events at least 4 times a year may apply for a target grant. NSSF range members shall be given priority. Ranges can use the steel targets for other matches, such as centerfire pistol competitions, or any other competitions the range wants to create for which the targets are suitable.
Packages will consist of 12 targets, with which participating range recipients can set up two (2) Rimfire Challenge stages. Each grant package will include:
Grant recipients will receive the Evil Roy target stand with their steel target package. If a range needs stand heights taller than 3′ recipients can inform Action Target of this upon confirming their orders. The awarding of grants and the number of grants available is at NSSF’s discretion. The steel target package is valued at $2,100. The Steel Target Grant Program is a cooperative effort between NSSF and Action Target, which provides steel targets to NSSF at a discounted rate.
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Welcome to the wacky world of Municipal Anti-Gun Ordinances. San Francisco and Los Angeles have city-specific magazine bans and gun storage requirements, and now it appears that Seattle may target gun owners with new “sin taxes” on firearms and ammunition.
$25 Per Gun and Five Cents Per Round
The Seattle City Council will soon vote on a new local law that will add a $25.00 surcharge to every new gun purchase. In addition, the proposed Seattle City Ordinance will add a $0.05 (five cent) fee to each and every centerfire round sold in Seattle. Rimfire .22LR rounds will be taxed $0.02 per round.
The stated purpose for the new Gun and Ammo Tax is to raise money to combat crime, according to Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess, author of the Gun Tax ordinance. Burgess told local KING-5 TV reporters that this is essentially a “Sin Tax” on guns and ammo: “We’ve been working on this for several years. Sure, I wish we would have done this 20 years ago, but we know what the problem is. We tax cigarettes and alcohol and even wood-burning stoves for public health purposes. Why not guns and ammunition?”
While supporters of the Gun and Ammo Tax, including Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, claim the new city tax would raise over $300,000 to fight crime, in reality this measure is more about getting rid of guns that it is about making Seattle safe. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has opposed the Seattle Gun and Ammo Tax, stating: “[This ordinance] will have no effect on decreasing gun violence. It is designed to place a huge burden on legitimate firearms retailers and law-abiding gun owners. Additionally, the proposed ordinance is a gross violation of Washington’s firearms preemption statute.”
Daniel Xu, writing in OutdoorHub.com notes that gun buyers already pay Excise Taxes with each purchase: “However, unlike the [Federal] Pittman-Robertson Excise Tax, which retains funds for conservation and habitat-protection efforts, the funds collected by the ordinance will go entirely back into the city for ‘gun violence research and prevention programs’. City leaders have yet to specify… how the funds will be spent.”
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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