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May 8th, 2020

Gun Stores Can Open in Massachusetts Rules U.S. District Judge

Massachusetts second amendment charlie baker federal court injunction pandemic covid-19 closure

Despite the edicts of Democratic Party Governors shutting down gunshops and shooting ranges, the Second Amendment is still part of the U.S. Constitution. A successful lawsuit in Massachusetts demonstrated that. Hopefully the Governors of other states where gunshops were closed by executive order will take notice. In California, Marijuana dispensaries were declared “essential businesses” but not gun stores.

Injunction Granted against Massachusetts Governor’s Closure of Gun Stores
In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, by executive order, shut down all the gun stores in his state. Well it turns out Baker’s action violated the U.S. Constitution. A U.S. District Court in Massachusetts has granted a preliminary injunction against Gov. Baker’s order shutting down gunshops in the state. The injunction was issued in McCarthy v. Baker*, a case brought by the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), Firearms Policy Coalition, and Commonwealth Second Amendment.

In ruling for the plaintiffs, U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock declared: “We don’t surrender our Constitutional rights. These plaintiffs have constitutional rights that deserve respect and vindication, and it becomes necessary for a court to do that rather than the executive when the executive declines.” He added that the Governor’s lawyers did not show justification for the gun store closures: “I don’t have anything like a substantial fit between the goals of the emergency declared by the Commonwealth and the burdening of the Constitutional rights.”

Speaking from the bench during a virtual hearing, Judge Woodlock said, “There’s no justification here” for mandating the closure of gun shops. He specified that gun shops will be free to open at noon, Saturday, May 9. In allowing gun stores to open, the Judge did impose certain restrictions — gunshops should operate from 9 am to 9 pm, by appointment only, with maximum four appointments per hour. Social distancing must also be observed both inside and outside gun stores.

Plaintiffs argued that Gov. Baker’s emergency order eliminated “all lawful channels of access to constitutionally-protected arms and ammunition by mandating the closure of all businesses that sell firearms and ammunition to the consumer public. These actions amount to a ban on obtaining modern arms for personal defense in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb praised Judge Woodlock’s decision: “Constitutional rights are never put on hold because of an emergency, including the outbreak of a virus. Too many elected officials think otherwise, and we’re having to deal with them one lawsuit a time….”

Gottlieb explained: “When Governor Baker lumped gun shops in with thousands of other businesses deemed ‘non-essential’, he obviously didn’t consider the exercise of a fundamental right to be essential. We can think of nothing that is more essential than exercising a right protected by the Constitution, especially during a declared state of emergency.”

A Federal judge on Thursday ordered that gun shops across Massachusetts can reopen this weekend, ruling that Governor Charlie Baker’s decision to shutter them along with thousands of other “nonessential” businesses infringed on people’s Second Amendment rights.

The decision from US District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock marked a rare rebuke of Baker and the broad emergency powers he’s wielded to fight the COVID-19 pandemic[.] — Boston Globe, 5/7/20

*In two lawsuits joined into the single case, Massachusetts citizens, gun shops and advocacy groups asked the court to force the state to let the shops resume sales. The cases are McCarthy et al. v. Baker et al., case number 1:20-cv-10701, and Cedrone LLC et al. v. Baker et al., case number 1:20-cv-40041, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

Permalink Handguns, News No Comments »
May 8th, 2020

Remington Offers Big Bolt-Action R2Mi .50 BMG Rifle

Remington .50 BMG R2Mi rifle bolt action long range Rem

Got four-and-half grand to burn? Looking for a new rifle that will impress your buddies at the range? Then check out Remington’s updated .50 BMG rifle, the R2Mi. In appearance, it sort of looks like an AR10 on steroids. But this thing is massive. It weighs about 30 pounds and has a 30″ Walther barrel. Though it may look like a semi-auto in the photo, this is a LEFT Bolt, Right port bolt-action gun.

GunsAmerica Digest says the R2Mi is based on the Bushmaster BA50: “The R2Mi has upper and lower receivers that follow the basic design of AR-pattern rifles, but it is a manually operated bolt-action rifle with a left-side charging handle that works the bolt carrier directly. The upper receiver is railed like most modern AR rifles as a scope mount. The R2Mi comes standard with a Lothar Walther 30″ barrel with a 1:15″-twist and a free-floating railed handguard that serves as an accessory mount for low light optics and other accessories along with the included folding steel bipod.”

For the hefty investment ($4599.00 MSRP, $3999.00 Street Price), at least Remington tosses in some good gear. The R2Mi ships in a big Pelican Storm transport case, and comes complete with a bipod, two 10-round magazines, eye protection, ear protection, and cable lock. Those accessories are worth $450.00 or so.

The Remington R2Mi is closely related to the Bushmaster BA50*, shown in this video:

The R2Mi is fitted with a Magpul PRS Gen 3 stock and ErgoGrip Deluxe Tactical pistol grip. If you want to change out those components, the R2Mi is compatible with various AR components including grips and stocks. The controls are similar to AR controls including the selector lever and magazine release.

Remington .50 BMG R2Mi rifle bolt action long range Rem

Here is Remington’s product description: “The free-floated barrel, with 1:15″ twist and 8-groove rifling is perfectly suited for harnessing sub-MOA accuracy from the .50 BMG. And its left-hand operated, right-hand eject bolt-action and 10-round box magazine, ensure comfortable cycling with no need for the shooter to adjust position. The R2Mi is also one of the simplest .50-caliber rifles to assemble and maintain. Its upper receiver locks to the lower receiver with two integral pins, and its full-length Picatinny rail accommodates a wide range of optics.”

Remington R2Mi Features:

• Left Bolt, Right Port Action
• Billet Aluminum Lower Receiver
• Compatible with AR Accessories
• AAC Cyclops Muzzle brake
• Ships with Steel Folding Bipod
• AR-type Take-down for maintenance

Price is Hefty — MSRP is $4599.00
Is this a good value? It depends — this is a mag-fed rifle, with some interesting features. But $4599.00 is still a steep price for a rifle that is not an everyday shooter. On the other hand GunsAmerica states: “It can be very expensive to shoot .50 BMG and many repeating rifles chambered for the round can cost thousands more. The MSRP for the R2MI is only a little more than what some single-shot .50s cost, which means this rifle has a good value.”

* The BA50 was the original design of Cobb Manufacturing. Bushmaster purchased the design, upgraded some features, and released the rifle as the Bushmaster BA50. This bolt-action, magazine-fed .50 BMG rifle featured a 22″ or 30″ Lothar Walther free-floating barrel with a 1:15″-twist rate. Bushmaster claimed the BA50 was capable of shooting 1 Minute of Angle (MOA) groups with M33 ball ammunition.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, Tactical 6 Comments »
May 8th, 2020

Talladega Marksmanship Park Re-Opens May 13, 2020

Talladega Marksmanship Park Re-opening May 2020

Finally… some good news in the shooting world. One of the most important ranges in the nation re-opens next week. Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama will open its gates on Wednesday, May 13, 2020.

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has announced that its outdoor rifle, pistol and shotgun facility in Alabama, the Talladega Marksmanship Park, plans to resume activity in May with updated protocols for staff and guests. These requirements are designed to ensure the public well-being and safety during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Starting Wednesday, May 13, the facility will be open to the public Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 am – 5 pm and Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9 am – 5 pm.

Special Health Procedures
All park visitors will be required to have his/her body temperature checked and will also need to answer questions about current health and recent activities that could relate to COVID-19 before being permitted to use the ranges. The number of guests within the Clubhouse will also be monitored, and those on the ranges will adhere to social distancing guidelines put in place by CMP personnel.

Though staff members of Talladega Marksmanship Park will be equipped with face masks, they will not be required for visitors to the facility. However, for the protection of everyone present, masks are highly recommended. The CMP also asks that guests stay mindful of social distancing and hygiene practices in all areas of the grounds.

Talladega Marksmanship Park Re-opening May 2020

No Classes, Clinics, or Matches in May
While the park will be open effective 5/13/20, the regularly-held monthly classes, clinics, and have been cancelled for the entirety of May and June. All activities scheduled after June 30th will be reassessed at a later date. For updates on Talladega status, visit the Talladega Marksmanship Park webpage.

Talladega Marksmanship Park Re-opening May 2020

About Talladega Marksmanship Park:
The 500-acre Talladega Marksmanship Park features a 600-yard rifle range, 100-yard multi-purpose range, and 50-yard pistol range, each equipped with Kongsberg electronic targets and scoring monitors that allow shooters on the firing line to review shots in a matter of seconds. The Park also includes 15 action pistol bays and a trap field, 5-stand field, and a 15-station sporting clays field — all with automated trap machines. All firing lines are covered, so competitors and guests stay dry and shaded.

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »