July 16th, 2017

Army Model 1911 Pistols for CMP? Report from Congress

1911 pistols surplus Army CMP Congress Legislation

Report by NRA Institute for Legislative Action
On July 14, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018. Included in the bill is a provision that would make U.S. Army surplus model 1911 .45 ACP pistols available to the American public through the Civilian Marksmanship program (CMP).*

In November of 2015, then-President Obama signed the NDAA for Fiscal year 2016 into law with language that authorized the Secretary of Defense to transfer 1911s no longer in service to the CMP for public sale. That language made the transfers subject to the Secretary’s discretion and capped them at 10,000 per year. Unsurprisingly, no actual transfers were made under the program while Obama remained in the White House.

This year’s language, however, would effectively make the transfers mandatory and would remove the yearly cap. Currently, the military has some 100,000 excess 1911s sitting in storage at taxpayer expense. The CMP’s sales of 1911s would be treated as other retail sales under the federal Gun Control Act, including the attendant background checks and point of sale record keeping.

TAKE ACTION TODAY
If you would like to see 1911 sales return to the CMP, please contact your U.S. Senators and Representative and urge them to keep the House language on this matter intact in the final bill they send to the president. You can contact Senators and Representative at 202-225-3121.

1911 pistols surplus Army CMP Congress Legislation
Pistol photo courtesy NRA-ILA

* Upon completion of the Senate NDAA, the House and Senate will convene a conference committee to resolve the differences in their bills. Please urge your representatives to retain the House language regarding the 1911s in the final bill.

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November 3rd, 2016

2016 Shaping Up as Record-Setting Year for Gun Sales

NICS Gun Sales Obama gun purchases background checks

By all indications, Americans are buying more guns than ever before. Some pundits have joked that President Obama is the “greatest gun salesman in history”. Looking at NICS (FBI instant check) records, Dean Weingarten of the Gun Watch Blog concludes that 2016 will see new records set, likely surpassing 2015 as the year with the highest number of gun sales ever. CLICK Link to Gun Watch.

Weingarten writes:

The private firearm stock in the United States will have increased by nearly 100 million firearms, or 30%, during the two terms of the Barack Obama presidency.

Many indicators show a soaring and diverse level of gun ownership. Carry permits are burgeoning, approaching 15 million and more. Gun ownership among women and minorities is at an all-time high.

This October continued the record-breaking pace to establish 2016 as the year with the most gun sales ever. The 2016 NICS checks are far ahead of those for 2015, the previous record holder. In October 2016 there were 2,333,539 National Instant Checks done. In 2015, the NICS done in October were 1,976,759.

In 2015, the total NICS checks for the year were 23,141,970. In 2016, through October, they were 22,206,233. That is less than 1 million below the total for 2015, with the two biggest months in 2016 yet to happen. Last year there were 17,584,346 by the end of October.

NICS Gun Sales Obama gun purchases background checks
A record number of NICS Checks may take place in 2016. Photo: Benton Co. Gunworks.

The numbers are 26.3% ahead of where 2015 was at this time. If this pace continues, 2016 will end up with 29.2 million background checks for the year.

Given the NICS numbers, there will probably be 17 to 18 million guns added to the private stock in 2016. That would increase the total number to over 400 million private firearms in the United States.

Who would have thought that President Obama would be the record-setting, all time champion, gun salesman? The total NICS checks will reach over 250 million by years end. That will be over 150 million firearms added to the private stock in the last 18 years (there are 0.6 sales per check on average). Over 37% of the private firearms stock will be less than 18 years old.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

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October 5th, 2016

Export Control Reform Act Could Benefit Firearms Industry

export control reform act ITAR Department state commerce obama

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) hailed the recent bipartisan introduction of the Export Control Reform Act of 2016 in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 6176, as well as the companion Senate bill, S. 3405, and called on Congress to pass this important legislation.

“The Export Control Reform Act of 2016 seeks to complete what the Obama administration itself began by transferring the export licensing and enforcement oversight of sporting and commercial firearms to the Commerce Department from the State Department,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “We would especially like to thank the sponsors: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.); Congressmen Henry Cuellar (D-Texas); Tom Marino (R-Penn.); Gene Green (D-Texas); and Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) for their timely bipartisan leadership as well as Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) for sponsoring a companion bill in the Senate.”

In August 2009, with the support of the business community including NSS, the Obama administration launched the Export Control Reform (ECR) Initiative. The Initiative’s purpose is to both improve America’s global competitiveness by reducing unnecessary restrictions on exports of commercial items and enhance national security by focusing the State Department’s attention and resources on guarding truly sensitive defense items and technologies. As former Defense Secretary Robert Gates once said, the ECR Initiative’s purpose is “to build a higher fence around a smaller yard.”

The administration has transferred, or is in the process of transferring, to Commerce from State, export licensing responsibility for virtually all commercial, non-military items. The only remaining items yet to be transferred are sporting and commercial firearms and related products. While we have patiently waited for the administration to make ECR progress on our products, small manufacturers, component parts suppliers, distributors, and exporters in our industry, and even gunsmiths and individuals, have to continue to comply with unnecessary regulations and to pay an annual minimum registration fee of $2,250, regardless of whether they actually export. Under the State Department’s Cold-war era export licensing regime, American companies are unable to compete globally on a level playing field.

“Because the administration has not moved forward in a timely manner to complete its own ECR Initiative, it is now time for Congress to move forward with legislation complete the ECR and reduce unneeded and burdensome regulations while improving our global competitiveness, create American jobs and enhance national security,” Keane said. [Editor’s Note: One goal of the ECR initiative is to reduce the burden of ITAR compliance for gunsmiths who do not export any products. SEE ITAR Registration Requirements Report.]

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July 29th, 2016

GUNVOTE Program Promotes Voter Registration and Education

nssf hornady gunvote election 2016

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) #GUNVOTE program is an important voter registration and education campaign for the November 2016 election. The NSSF’s Gunvote.org website helps visitors register to vote, find a polling place, and determine how candidates stand on gun rights and Second Amendment issues. Quickly find all state and federal candidates in your area with a Zip Code search (or you can search by name). The NSSF’s #GUNVOTE program also provides election news, voter education video resources, and more.

nssf hornady gunvote election 2016To assist the NSSF’s voter registration and education efforts, Hornady Manufacturing has committed $250,000 in support of #GUNVOTE programs. This is the largest donation the #GUNVOTE campaign has received to date.

“For the first time in our nation’s history, we have a Presidential candidate who is openly running against the lawful commerce in firearms, which is a prerequisite to our ability to exercise our Second Amendment rights,” said Stephen Hornady, President of Hornady Manufacturing. “It is vital that America’s hunters, target shooters and all gun owners become educated on what the candidates are saying and that’s why the #GUNVOTE initiative of our industry is so important. Our company is proud to be a part of this cooperative effort.”

We support the NSSF’s efforts to inform the public and help gun owners register to vote. This is a very important election for firearms owners and supporters of the Second Amendment. As the NSSF explains: “With the balance of the Supreme Court at stake, this election will affect our constitutional rights. It is crucial that all gun owners and Second Amendment supporters register to vote, become informed about candidates’ positions, and on Election Day, #GUNVOTE.”

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June 22nd, 2016

2016 Shaping Up as Record-Breaking Year for Gun Sales

NICs Firearms background checks Statistics

The recent Orlando terror attack has sent Americans to gun stores in droves. Prompted by concerns for self-protection (as well as proposed new gun control laws), Americans are buying more guns — all types of guns. This reflects a general trend over the past few years. In fact, it looks like 2016 will see the highest number of gun sales in American history. Based on FBI background check data, it appears that 2016 will set new records for gun sales, with nearly 17 million new guns sold. By the end of the year it is projected that Americans will own 405 million firearms — over 1.25 guns per capita*.

Record-Setting Gun Sales in 2016
by Dean Weingarten, Gunwatch.
In 2016, Americans continue to break records for gun sales. While the National Instant Check System (NICS) does not track gun sales directly, the numbers are highly correlated. The numbers of NICS checks, and the increase in private firearms, have skyrocketed during the Obama administration.

It is possible, even likely, that 2016 will reach over 28 million instant checks. If we reach 28 million instant checks in 2016, that will be about 16.8 million new firearms added to the stock in 2016 [roughly 40% of NICS checks are for “previously owned” guns]. That projection puts us at 405 million private firearms in the United States at the end of 2016.

The total for 2016 (through the end of May) is 11,698,006 instant checks. That is more than the entire year of 2007, which held the record up to that year. Thus, during the Obama years, the number of private firearm sales has doubled. In 2015, the highest year on record, the total number of checks was 23,141,970. 2016 is shaping up to break the 2015 record by millions of instant checks.

May 2016 had the most instant checks of all the months of May on record. That makes 13 months in a row that have broken records for all previous years. If the trend continues, 2016 will reach the record numbers of 2015 by the end of October, with the busy months of November and December still ahead.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten, Gunwatch. Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.


*The USA has an estimated population of 322,762,018 according to a 2015 end-of-year estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau. Source: USNews.com.

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January 7th, 2016

NSSF Comments on President Obama’s Executive Actions

execorder1601

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.

Presidential photo courtesy Cheaper Than Dirt Shopter’s Log.
See related article:
Obama to Enact Gun Control.

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November 29th, 2015

Army Authorized to Transfer M1911 & M1911A1 Pistols to CMP

m1911 m1911a1 Pistol Army CMP Civilian Marksmanship Program

It’s official — the U.S. Army is now authorized to transfer surplus M1911 and M1911A1 .45 ACP pistols to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) for later sale to the public. This development was the result of language in the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), signed by President Obama on November 25, 2015.

Section 1087 of the 2016 NDAA authorizes the CMP to sell surplus M1911/M1911A1 pistols and related parts/accessories to the public. This is a boon to gun collectors and should help the Army save money on storage for the 100,000 or so M1911 pistols it now stores at the Anniston (AL) Army Depot, near the the CMP’s regional warehouse and store.

Don’t expect an immediate flood of .45 ACP pistols on the market. The Army is not allowed to transfer more than 10,000 pistols per year, and the CMP says it will take a year or more to inspect/grade the pistols and ready them for sale. With roughly 100,000 pistols in Army hands currently, these guns could be available from the CMP for a decade or more. NOTE: This change in Federal law does NOT apply to surplus handguns held by the U.S. Navy, USAF, USMC, or federal law enforcement agencies. In addition, the NDAA does not compel the Army (at the behest of the Secretary of Defense) to commence pistol transfers. That must still be ordered by the Secretary.

Relevant Language from the 2016 NDAA:

‘‘(h) AUTHORIZED TRANSFERS.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), the Secretary may transfer to the corporation, in accordance with the procedure prescribed in this subchapter, surplus caliber .45 M1911/M1911A1 pistols and spare parts and related accessories for those pistols that, on the date of the enactment of this subsection, are under the control of the Secretary and are surplus to the requirements of the Department of the Army, and such material as may be recovered by the Secretary pursuant to section 40728A(a) of this title. The Secretary shall determine a reasonable schedule for the transfer of such surplus pistols. ‘‘(2) The Secretary may not transfer more than 10,000 surplus caliber .45 M1911/M1911A1 pistols to the corporation during any year and may only transfer such pistols as long as pistols described in paragraph (1) remain available for transfer.’’.

Writing for Ammoland.com, gun expert Dean Weingarten expressed a wish that the language in the NDAA was more open-ended: “I would have thought that the wording could simply have been changed to include surplus ‘pistols’ not just 1911 and 1911A1s. Then surplus .22 caliber trainers, 9mm pistols, and .38 caliber revolvers would also have been available. Perhaps this is the best that the NRA felt [it] could get from this President.”

Story Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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July 17th, 2014

President Obama Bans Some Russian Firearms by Executive Order

Economic Sanctions Gun Ban Kalashnikov Saiga ObamaWant a Saiga shotgun? Well grab one while you can. On July 16, 2014, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), a division of the U.S. Treasury that administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions, announced a series of trade sanctions aimed at Russia.

These sanctions will be carried out pursuant to President Obama’s Executive Order 13662 relating to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The OFAC sanctions include provisions banning the importation of rifles and shotguns from various Russian manufacturers. The Kalashnikov Concern, and Izhmash, manufacturers of Saiga rifles and shotguns, were specifically named in the sanctions. This means it will be illegal for American companies to import firearms made by these Russian manufacturers.

Economic Sanctions Gun Ban Kalashnikov Saiga Obama

Writing in the Truth About Guns Blog, Nick Leghorn declares: “So the importation of new Izmash-produced firearms is now banned indefinitely in the United States. But that Executive Order definitely raises some questions for those currently in possession of a firearm manufactured by the now-sanctioned firearms companies. For example, can a gun dealer sell their existing stock?”

OFAC provides at least a partial answer to these questions in the OFAC Question and Answer section of the U.S. Treasury website:

Q: If I own a Kalashnikov product, is that product blocked by sanctions? Am I able to resell a Kalashnikov product at a gun show or other secondary market?

If a U.S. person is in possession of a Kalashnikov Concern product that was bought and fully paid for prior to the date of designation (i.e., no payment remains due to Kalashnikov Concern), then that product is not blocked and OFAC sanctions would not prohibit the U.S. person from keeping or selling the product in the secondary market, so long as Kalashnikov Concern has no interest in the transaction. New transactions by U.S. persons with Kalashnikov Concern are prohibited, however, and any property in which Kalashnikov Concern has an interest is blocked pursuant to OFAC’s designation of Kalashnikov Concern on July 16, 2014. If a U.S. person has an inventory of Kalashnikov Concern products in which Kalashnikov Concern has an interest (for example, the products are not fully paid for or are being sold on consignment), we advise that U.S. person to contact OFAC for further guidance on handling of the inventory.

Q: If I have Kalashnikov products in my inventory, can I sell them?

If a U.S. person has an inventory of Kalashnikov Concern products in which Kalashnikov Concern has an interest (for example, the products are not fully paid for or are being sold on consignment), we advise that U.S. person to contact OFAC for further guidance on handling of the inventory.

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August 30th, 2013

President Obama Issues Executive Orders Targeting Firearms

Barack President Obama Executive Order Gun Ban M1 Garand Machine Gun NFA Corporation Gun TrustOn August 29, 2013, the Obama administration announced two Executive Orders that will restrict the importation and domestic transfers of certain classes of firearms. These two Executive Orders operate as law by fiat, not subject to Congressional concurrence.

One Executive Order bans the re-importation of surplus U.S.-made rifles, including M1 Garands and M1 Carbines. Such rifles are used in Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) competitions. For decades the CMP has sold M1 Garands and M1 Carbines, many re-imported from arsenals overseas, to qualified American shooters. The White House stated: “Today, the Administration is announcing a new policy of denying requests to bring military-grade firearms back into the United States to private entities, with only a few exceptions such as for museums.”

Barack President Obama Executive Order Gun Ban M1 Garand Machine Gun NFA Corporation Gun Trust

It is unclear how this Executive Order will enhance public safety, since FBI crime statistics show that such vintage arms are virtually never employed in the commission of crimes. Professor John R. Lott Jr., former chief economist at the United States Sentencing Commission, observes: “Despite the scary rhetoric, the White House is leaving out one important point: it isn’t pointing to any cases where imported U.S.-made military weapons have been used in a crime. And the reason is obvious: there probably aren’t any.”

The second Executive Order changes the rules on acquisition and transfers of National Fireams Act (NFA) firearms (such as machine guns) and other NFA items (such as sound moderators) through Corporations and Firearms Trusts. When sold to individuals, such items do require background checks. However, the White House claimed: “At present, when the weapon is registered to a trust or corporation, no background check is run. ATF reports that last year alone, it received more than 39,000 requests for transfers of these restricted firearms to trusts or corporations.” It is the intent of this Executive Order to block a significant number of NFA transfers to Firearms Trusts and Corporations. Again, it is unclear how the new restrictions on NFA transfers will reduce crime. In fact, BearingArms.com asserts that: “Only two [registered] NFA machine guns — neither of which were acquired via gun trusts — have been used in murders in 79 years.”

Professor Lott challenges the need for changes to the NFA Laws as they pertain to corporations: “Again, the Obama administration doesn’t provide examples of people using a corporation to register handguns or semi-automatic rifles as a way to bypass criminal background checks. More importantly, it fails to point to any cases where such guns have been used in crimes. Yes, when registered to a corporation, any officer is allowed to possess the machine gun, but [the transfer] still requires a NICS check for the person actually picking up the gun.” READ Lott Commentary.

Thoughts On Executive Ordersby Tony Chow
Tony ChowIt’s important to realize that the anti-gun people aren’t interested in gun control as a practical measure to combat “gun violence” or achieve “gun safety”. They are animated above all by a reflexive dislike of guns, and an abhorrence of the very notion of an armed citizenry. Their motives are ideological, rather than practical. To them, it doesn’t matter whether a type of firearm is used in crimes or not; the only good gun is a banned gun. This explains why the efforts in the 70s and 80s to restrict handguns, which still account for the vast majority of gun crimes, were abandoned in favor of an assault on “assault weapons”, .50-caliber rifles, and now, vintage “military-style” rifles and already heavily-restricted NFA weapons — firearms that, though used infrequently or not at all in crimes, are easy to describe in scary terms to the general public.

Tony Chow is a target shooter who competes in smallbore and 300-meter disciplines.

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July 26th, 2013

$10 Million Government Gun Study Proves the Obvious

A $10 million-dollar CDC report ordered by President Obama determined that victims of crime who were armed with a firearm suffered fewer injuries than crime victims who were un-armed.

Well, at least the CDC came up with the right answer, but we’re flabbergasted at the cost of this study. Dustin Ellermann, past Top Shot Champion, comments: “$10,000,000 to discover the obvious… [at least] maybe now the anti-gunners will stop yelling ‘If you have a gun it will most likely be used against you!'”

According to Texas Fish & Game Blog, the CDC Report, entitled Priorities For Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence, reveals that “studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was ‘used’ by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.”

Here are some comments on a related NewsMax.com story about the CDC report:

I am glad that an official Obama research project shows the same thing that Professor Gary Kleck found in his research about 20 years ago. Professor Kleck found that an honest citizen that had a gun saved himself from death more than 1 million times a year and often did not have to fire a shot. Usually when the crook saw that the citizen was armed that was the end of it.

Why does our government have to spend millions of dollars to do a study to find out what everyone else on earth in the history of man has already known?

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February 4th, 2013

NSSF Offers Skeet-Shooting Tips for President Obama

This NSSF article was originally published at NSSFBlog.com.

Skeet-Gate: Some Constructive Advice for the President — By Larry Keane
We here at NSSF were somewhat bemused over the controversy that sprang from President Obama’s assertion that he shot skeet on a regular basis, and the second wave of commentary that attended the White House release of a photo to prove it. There’s a reason we’re citing the New York Times coverage in the link above — we’ll get to that later.

The assertion came as no surprise to us, because NSSF sponsored and oversaw the renovation of the skeet field at Camp David. We provided one of the industry’s top facilities consultants, and donated tens of thousands of dollars of machinery, consulting and oversight to build the regulation field. We provided countless hours of shotgun and safety instruction as well. We were honored to provide this service for the office of the Presidency, and our investment appears to be paying off by recruiting new shooters. Welcome, Mr. President.

President Obama Skeet Shooting

In the same vein, we can offer the president some constructive advice on his shooting. Mr. President, try leaning a little further forward into the shot to better manage recoil. Keep your feet about shoulder width apart, and put more weight on your leading foot. You appear to be shooting a gun with “neutral cast,” to wit, a straight stock. Since you’re shooting left-handed, you may want to look into a different stock cast to better accommodate you. And if you’re going to get a custom gun, make sure they measure your length of pull first. Proper gun fit makes an enormous difference in accuracy, and thus in your enjoyment of the sport.

You may also want to try out the semiautomatic shotguns that another one of our member companies donated to Camp David. These too come in left-handed versions, which eject the spent casing to your left, instead of to the right as is customary. No matter which way the case ejects when you shoot the semiautomatic, you’ll notice that the gun still only shoots one round per pull of the trigger, just like the over/under you’re shooting in the picture.

In fact, the semiautomatic shotguns are functionally identical to all the semiautomatic firearms that Senator Dianne Feinstein has proposed to ban in her sweeping new legislation, S. 150. We feel like we have to keep repeating that fact, because many of the media voices that consider themselves learned scholars on gun policy don’t even know the difference between a rifle and a shotgun, for heaven’s sake. Note that The New York Times article has a correction at the bottom of the page, because it originally said that you were shooting a rifle in the picture — a mistake quickly repeated by dozens of other media outlets. Many of these same media outlets have been quick to editorialize about which guns Americans should and should not be allowed to own, when apparently they wouldn’t know a rifle or a shotgun from a barn door. Go figure.

You’re wearing both eye and ear protection, which are required, but a shooting vest and some custom earplugs might make you more comfortable – those earmuffs can get clammy on a hot day. Finally, a note to the photographer: It’s better policy to stand directly behind the shooter on any active range, because it’s safer and besides, you can see (and snap, if you’re quick) whether he hit the target.

Gun owners, by the way, have only a few short weeks before we see whether the Congress puts a target on our Second Amendment rights. We urge you and all our elected lawmakers to know your target, which is the criminal misuse of firearms, not arbitrary limits on which guns and magazines law-abiding citizens can legally purchase. Don’t aim the gun of heavy-handed restrictions and regulations at anything you’re not willing to destroy, including the hundreds of thousands of jobs our industry provides. Did you know that new restrictions on gun and ammunition purchases will also damage wildlife conservation programs? That’s because our nation’s federal conservation grants are funded primarily by the excise taxes on gun and ammo sales.

So the outcome of this pending legislative debate is very important. And believe me, we’re watching that even more closely than the pictures of you shooting a shotgun at Camp David.

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November 28th, 2012

Record Number of Firearm Sales on ‘Black Friday’ 2012

Black Friday gun sales 2012On November 23, 2012 (Black Friday), Americans purchased more guns than on any other day in history. Gun sales (based on NICS background check data) set a new single-day record. This year, the FBI logged 154,873 Black Friday background checks, up 20% from the 129,166 back-ground checks done on Black Friday 2011. And, since a NICS check may authorize purchase of multiple guns, the 154,873 number may “under-count” the actual number of firearms purchased on Black Friday this year.

Recent election outcomes may have influenced the spike in gun sales. People are concerned that more restrictive gun control laws may be enacted during President Obama’s second term. Writing in Ammoland.com, AWR Hawkins declared: “The bottom line: Americans want their guns. And it appears they’re getting them before Obama has the chance to do anything about it.” Hawkins adds: “As in 2011, women were increasingly among those buying guns on Black Friday. And first time buyers, whether male or female, were also well represented.”

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November 23rd, 2012

Record Gun Sales Forecast for ‘Black Friday’ 2012

NSSF story By Bill Brassard
Post-election reports indicate a rising demand for firearms nationwide. If 2012 follows past trends (based on federal background check data), gun sales on the day after Thanksgiving — Black Friday — will hit record levels.

Black Friday NICS gun background sales

Over the past four years (November 2008 through the December 2011), four of the top 10 most active days for background checks were Black Fridays. (See Chart.) The single-day record for most background checks was set on November 26, 2011, when more than 129,000 were made by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The second highest Black Friday total was on November 28, 2008, only weeks after President Barack Obama was elected to his first term. That total of 97,848 was a record number of background checks at that time.

Given the president’s reelection and also his call in the third debate for renewed restrictions on semi-automatic firearms, will a new record be set this Black Friday, November 23?

A background check is mandatory prior to the purchase of any firearm at retail. Background-check statistics are indicators of sales activity, though it’s important to note that for a variety of reasons a one-to-one correlation cannot be made between a background check and a firearm purchase.
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November 6th, 2012

Get Out and Vote Today… Your Vote Matters

Vote 2012 Election

Today is election day. This election may be as important as any in our nation’s recent history. Big issues are at stake — the economy, taxation, health care, foreign policy, Second Amendment Rights, and the role of the Federal government. Whatever your political views, make your voice heard by voting. We don’t care how you do it — drive, bike, walk, share a ride… whatever it takes, but get to the polls today and Vote! If you think your vote doesn’t matter… watch the video below. Remember what Dwight D. Eisenhower said: “The future of this Republic is in the hands of the American voter.”

Finding Your Polling Place
If you don’t know your designated polling place, visit Google’s Polling Place Locator Page. This webpage accesses polling place venues nationwide, based on street address and zip code. Type in your home address (with zip code), and the Polling Place Locator finds your exact polling place, complete with a street map. This webpage includes a “Ballot Summary” so you can preview the candidates and ballot measures in your location.

Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be. — Sydney J. Harris

The ballot is stronger than the bullet. — Abraham Lincoln

One who does not vote has no right to complain. — Louis L’Amour

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June 8th, 2012

Monthly Gun Sales 20.6% Higher than Same Month Last Year

Based on data from the National Instant-Check System (NICS), gun sales continue to rise. Halfway through this election year, the number of guns sold continues to climb, and the trend is expected to continue throughout 2012. The May 2012 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 840,412 represents an increase of 20.6% over the NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 696,947 in May 2011*. For comparison, the unadjusted May 2012 NICS figure of 1,305,392 reflects a 7% increase from the unadjusted NICS figure of 1,219,872 in May 2011. This marks the 24th straight month that NSSF-adjusted NICS figures have increased compared to the same period the previous year.

NSSF May Month NICs gun sales

With President Obama’s campaign looking strong at this time, Americans are stocking up on guns and ammo in anticipation of new gun-control legislation that could be enacted during the next 4-year Presidential term. In addition, there is the possibility that the next President could nominate one or more Supreme Court Justices to replace aging members of the High Court. That creates uncertainty about future rulings on Second Amendment issues.

*Though not a direct correlation to firearms sales, the NSSF-adjusted NICS data provide a more accurate picture of current market conditions. In addition to other purposes, NICS is used to check transactions of firearms sales and transfers on new and used handguns and long guns.
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April 4th, 2012

Gun-Maker Stock Prices Rise with Uncertainty over 2012 Election

Smith Wesson Stock Price 2012 logo
The major American gun-makers are the darlings of Wall Street right now. Smith & Wesson (SWHC) recently traded at $8.60 per share, a 52-week high, up from a 52-week low of $2.29. That’s a whopping 376% increase in stock price in one year! (Current SWHC price is $8.32.) Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. (RGR) traded today as high as $51.87, up from a 52-week low of $18.65 per share. That represents a 278% gain since this time last year. If you had invested in either S&W or Ruger a year ago, you would be sitting pretty right now. Check out SWHC’s stock price trends for the past 52 weeks:

Smith Wesson Stock Price 2012 Election

Election-Year Fears Drive Gun Sales
What is driving the rising prices of gun-maker equities? Experts say the main factor is fear — Americans are afraid that, if President Obama is re-elected, he will force through tough new gun laws. That, in turn, is driving increased gun sales, which is good for the gun makers. With increased gun sales, revenues are up and profits are up — and that’s what Wall Street likes to see. S&W got a boost recently when a Wedbush stock analyst Rommel Dionisio re-confirmed S&W’s “Outperform” stock rating, and raised the target price from $7.00 to $10.00. Mr. Dioniso explained that gun sales are starting to rise dramatically because Americans are worried that President Obama will tighten gun laws if he earns a second term.

Other Wall Street “experts” are singing the same tune. Writing on the Motley Fool website, Wall Street reporter Bobbie Johnson opined: “The sales of handguns and ammunition has been on the slow rise over the last few years but the last few months have shown much higher sales. Retailers say it’s due to the upcoming presidential election while others speculate that it is simply the massive uncertainty rippling across our country and others. The industry saw an uptick in sales in the months prior to President Obama’s election in 2008 which was based on the presumption of tougher gun regulations. The general consensus is that more regulations will come into play should the President be re-elected.”

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November 29th, 2010

Obama Selects “Anti-Gun Zealot” to Head BATFE

President Obama has picked Andrew Traver, the BATFE’s Chicago Field Office Director, to be the new director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE). Traver is considered a political chrony of Obama who holds extreme views on gun control. Michael Bane of Downrange.TV describes Andrew Traver as a “relentless anti-gun zealot”. The NRA has stated its opposition to Traver’s nomination in no uncertain terms, calling on President Obama to withdraw the nomination:

Andrew Traver BATFOfficial NRA Response To Traver’s Nomination
The NRA strongly opposes President Obama’s nomination of Andrew Traver as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE). Traver has been deeply aligned with gun control advocates and anti-gun activities. This makes him the wrong choice to lead an enforcement agency that has almost exclusive oversight and control over the firearms industry, its retailers and consumers. Further, an important nomination such as BATFE director should not be made as a “recess appointment,” in order to circumvent consent by the American people through their duly elected U.S. Senators.

Traver served as an advisor to the International Association for Chiefs of Police’s (IACP) “Gun Violence Reduction Project,” a “partnership” with the Joyce Foundation. The IACP report, generated with Traver’s help, called on Congress to ban thousands of commonly owned firearms by misrepresenting them as “assault weapons,” as well as calling for bans on .50 caliber rifles and widely used types of ammunition. The report also suggests that Congress should regulate gun shows out of existence and should repeal the privacy protections of the Tiahrt Amendment—all efforts strongly opposed by the NRA and its members.

An agency involved in the regulation of a fundamental, individual right guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution should not be led by an individual with a demonstrated hostility to that freedom. For that reason, the NRA strongly opposes Andrew Traver to head the BATFE and urges President Obama to withdraw this ill-advised nomination.

Michael Bane Reveals Traver’s Anti-Gun Agenda
You can learn more about the Traver nomination controversy via Michale Bane’s Weekly Video Podcast. You should really watch this video — it uncovers the ugly truths about Andrew Traver. Just click the arrow in the middle of the video frame to play. NOTE: A short advertisement from the Outdoor Channel may precede the video playback.

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June 13th, 2010

GAO Ruling Affirms Amtrak Must Allow Guns as Checked Baggage

Amtrak gun transportIn December 2009, President Obama signed a transportation funding bill that included a provision allowing Amtrak passengers to bring firearms aboard trains — provided the arms are stowed in locked, checked baggage.

Amtrak’s gun ban was instituted after the 9/11/2001 terrorist attack. The 2009 legislation will restore rail riders’ rights that existed prior to “9/11″. Amtrak has until December to put the new law into effect, and Amtrak is obliged to deliver an implementation plan to Congress next week.

Amtrak officials have resisted the new policy on gun transport from the beginning, pointing to a shortage of funding. However, just last week, on 6/10/2010, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) removed any “wiggle room” for Amtrak. The GAO held that the legislation obligating Amtrak to carry firearms was “permanent law”, erasing doubts that Amtrak would have to comply. The amendment (to the 2009 funding bill) which obliges Amtrak to resume firearms carriage was authored by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS). Senator Wicker explained the purpose of his amendment: “Sportsmen who would like to use an Amtrak train for hunting trips cannot do so because they are not allowed to bring a firearm in checked luggage, something that is done every day at airports across our country.”

How does all this shake-out for shooters traveling by rail? Amtrak’s current policy still prohibits carriage of firearms on trains, and that won’t change until December, 2010. Below is the language of Amtrak’s stated rules regarding transport of firearms:

AMTRAK Baggage Policy — Firearms in Checked Baggage
Amtrak’s current policy prohibits all firearms, ammunition and other weapons aboard its trains. This includes any being carried on the person, in carry-on baggage, or in checked baggage. Please be advised that this policy remains in effect until Amtrak begins firearm carriage service by December 2010.

The Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2010, enacted into law on December 16, 2009, requires Amtrak to implement the procedures necessary to provide storage and carriage of firearms in checked baggage cars and at Amtrak stations that accept checked baggage, within one year of the bill’s enactment. This requirement applies solely to checked baggage, not carry-on baggage.

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April 20th, 2010

U.S. Supreme Court Rules That Hunting Videos Are Protected by First Amendment

U.S. Supreme CourtThe United States Supreme Court today struck down a federal law banning depictions of “animal cruelty” on the basis that the law violated the Free Speech protections of the First Amendment. In its 8-1 ruling in United States v. Stevens, the High Court upheld a Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision voiding the conviction of Robert Stevens for violating 18 U.S.C. 48, which prohibits depiction of animal cruelty.

The Supreme Court’s majority opinion was authored by Chief Justice Roberts, who declared that that the law was overbroad, and could potentially be used to ban TV shows about hunting, as well as educational videos. At issue was a 1999 federal law that makes it a crime to create, sell or possess videos and other depictions of cruelty to animals. The case arose over the conviction of Robert Stevens, who received a three-year prison sentence from a Western Pennsylvania court for selling videos that included scenes of hunting with dogs. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the conviction on constitutional grounds, accepting Stevens’ argument that his videos were protected under the First Amendment. The Supreme Court upheld the Third Circuit’s decision. Had the Third Circuit’s decision been overturned, all images of legal hunting and fishing could have been deemed illegal under the law.

The Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) took a lead role in bringing journalists and outdoor industry organizations together in support of the First Amendment argument presented before the Court by Robert Stevens’ attorney Patricia Millett. “POMA is grateful to the Court for this important decision,” said Laurie Lee Dovey, POMA executive director. “The First Amendment rights of traditional outdoor sports journalists, those who cover legal hunting and fishing and promote the enjoyment of these American heritage sports, are protected. The impact of this decision on POMA members, all journalists, and the outdoor industry can not be overstated.” The ruling in U.S. v. Stevens was a setback for animal rights groups and the Obama Adminstration’s lawyers, who asked the Supreme Court to overrule the Third Circuit and send Robert Stevens to prison.

CLICK HERE for full text of Decision in U.S. v. Stevens

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February 1st, 2009

Concerns about Federal Gun Laws — Lou Dobbs Report

CNN’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight” featured a segment on gun-owner concerns about the Obama administration, bullet serialization and firearms microstamping. As a state Senator in Illinois, Obama supported a 500% increase in taxes on bullets and ammunition. NSSF Senior V.P. and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane was interviewed for the segment. Keane expressed concern that the Obama Administration favors microstamping of bullets and/or cartridge cases. Though scientists have declared that microstamping is not a viable technology at present, Democrats are still pushing for it. Keane worries that mandatory microstamping could make the shooting sports prohibitively expensive.

CNN’s Lou Dobbs also interviewed Wyoming Senator John Barrasso, a vocal critic of Obama’s selection of Eric Holder as U.S. Attorney General. Barrosso noted that Holder has stated that the Second Amendment does not recognize an individual right to “keep and bear arms”. While Holder has declared that the Obama administration “has no intention of doing anything that would affect a state’s regulation of firearms”, Dobbs pointed out that Holder left open the question of FEDERAL (as opposed to state) regulation of firearms.

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