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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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April 20th, 2010

Finally — A “Tactical” Energy Drink for Thirsty “Operators”

We thought we’d seen “all things tactical” — tactical trousers, hats, gloves, boots, duffle bags, even tactical beer mugs. But here’s something new: a tactical energy drink from THOR Global Defense Group.

THOR Tactical Energy DrinkSo, when you “operators” need go-juice after fast-roping down from a Blackhawk in an Afghan firefight, now you can get the liquid energy blast you need to save the planet. An 8.4-oz can of THOR tactical energy drink contains 27 grams of sugar and 75 mg of caffeine (twice as much as an ordinary cola drink). A can of THOR also contains a whopping 1000 mg of Taurine, an amino sulfonic acid thought to improve athletic performance and lessen the effect of hangovers. So, if you partied too hard the night before your big mission, THOR’s tactical energy drink might be just the ticket.

Downsides of Energy Drinks
In all seriousness, we’ve found that energy drinks of this kind (Monster, Red Bull, Rock Star), can improve alertness when driving or working late — even if you end up feeling more drained afterward. However, we question the effect of all that sugar, caffeine, and stimulants on your trigger finger control. Maybe real shooters should avoid this kind of beverage until AFTER the shooting match. These caffeine-laced energy drinks can be potent diurectics — causing you to dehydrate faster. REAL Tactical operators would probably be better off consuming plain water before most missions. Credit Steve of The Firearms Blog for telling us about THOR Tactical Energy Drink. Steve asks: “Who will be the first to develop tactical beer?”

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April 20th, 2010

Lake City .223 Rem Brass on Sale at Graf’s This Week

Need “value-priced” .223 Rem Brass? Then give Graf & Sons a call. Graf’s has NEW Lake City Mil-Spec .223 Rem (5.56) unprimed brass on sale for just $19.99 per 100 cases. That’s right… just twenty bucks per hundred. But this sale price expires Friday 4/23/2010 at midnight. Large quantities of sale brass were on hand at this price as of 12:00 noon CST on 4/21. To order, visit, or call 1-800-531-2666.

Many shooters feel that Lake City makes some of the best .223 Rem (5.56×45) brass available. And it’s hard to beat Graf’s price for this LC 2009 headstamp brass (item FDU223). This is a good opportunity for varminters and service rifle shooters to lay in a large supply of quality brass.

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