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February 12th, 2021

Gun Safety Extra Important Now with Many Schools Still Closed

NSSF gun storage safe safety locks NSSF

In school districts in many states, public schools remain closed due to concerns over COVID-19. That means kids are home, and in the Northern States with snow on the ground, those kids are stuck inside all day long. With more gun owners at home with their kids for extended periods, firearms safety is more important than ever. Given that fact, the NSSF reminds gun owners to keep their guns locked up so they cannot be accessed by children.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and its partners urge gun owners to keep firearm safety a top priority and are making safety resources widely available as gun and ammunition sales increase, especially among first-time firearm purchasers.

NSSF gun storage safe safety locks NSSF

“During this stressful time and with children spending more time at home, the firearm industry reminds gun owners that protecting yourself and your family includes making sure your firearms are stored securely when not in use”, said Joe Bartozzi, NSSF President and CEO. “The last thing any firearm owner wants is to have their gun fall into the wrong hands, particularly those of a child or someone at risk of harming themselves.”

For anyone considering buying a gun, Project ChildSafe’s Road To Responsible Firearm OwnershipMany Paths to Firearm Safety video series helps gun owners determine the best safe storage device for their home/lifestyle. You also view the Safe Storage Options chart.

NSSF gun storage safe safety locks NSSF

NSSF encourages gun owners and non-gun owners to use the firearm safety resources available on its Project ChildSafe website. These include the McGruff Gun Safety videos for young children and this educational video explaining how to discuss gun safety with children:

“More parents are assuming the role of educators in their homes, so it’s a good to time have a talk with your kids about gun safety, even if you don’t own a gun”, Bartozzi said. “If you do own a firearm, be sure your family understands the safety rules regarding firearms in your home, and always store guns responsibly when not in use.”

For more information on firearm safety, visit ProjectChildSafe.org.

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November 7th, 2020

Online Web-Based Training for New Gun Owners

NRA Online firearms gun safety training program

In response to the record number of first-time gun buyers in 2020, the NRA’s Education & Training Division is offering five Online Gun Safety Courses that can be completely online at home. The five NRA Online Gun Safety Courses ARE:

1. Gun Safety Seminar
2. NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course — Distance Learning
3. NRA Basic Rifle Shooting Course — Distance Learning
4. NRA Basic Shotgun Shooting Course — Distance Learning
5. NRA Basic Personal Protection In The Home Course — Distance Learning

Each course, lasting from one to eight hours, is available online at NRAInstructors.org. To Access the 0nline training options, first CLICK HERE. Then under the Heading “DISTANCE LEARNING”, you will see options. CLICK the small gray box at the left of the title to select the course. IMPORTANT — Next you MUST SCROLL to the bottom of the NRA webpage to SEARCH. Select your state or Zip code, then you will get a list of the moderated online courses in your area.

Here is the Procedure to Follow:

1. CLICK HERE to Access ALL Course Listings
2. Select a “Distance Learning” Course.
3. Scroll Down and SEARCH for your State or Zip Code.
4. Review Course Dates and Times.

For example, here are the listed NRA online training courses for Washington only. Elsewhere (in other states), YOUR list will be different! NOTE: These online courses are NOT FREE. Typical cost ranges from $20 to $150.

NRA Online firearms gun safety training program

“These courses will provide an option for first-time gun owners who don’t have the ability to take an NRA certified instructor-led class at their local shooting range at this time,” said Joe DeBergalis, Exec. Dir. of NRA General Operations. “While there is no replacement for in-person, instructor-led training, our new online classes do provide the basics of firearm safety training for those self-isolating at home.”

NRA Online firearms gun safety training program

Though range time is an important part of the classes, there is still a wealth of knowledge available in the online programs. “The NRA recommends that all new gun owners seek professional training at the range, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a head start on learning the basics of firearm safety at home. Taking one of these classes moderated by a certified NRA instructor, can only make you safer…” DeBergalis added.

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November 3rd, 2020

SIG Sauer Gives NSSF $500,000 After SHOT Show Cancellation

Sig Sauer NSSF $500,000 donation

Because of the cancellation of SHOT Show 2020, a big revenue-generator, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) faces funding challenges in the months ahead. Thankfully, some companies are stepping forward to help. On October 30, 2020, the day SHOT Show was cancelled, SIG SAUER, Inc. announced it would donate $500,000. The half-million dollar donation will support the important work the NSSF does on behalf of the shooting, hunting, and outdoor industry. During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NSSF defended the gun/shooting industry. That helped ensure that both manufacturers and gun retailers were declared essential to personal safety and America’s defense. According, firearms makers were able to keep factories running, and retailers remained open in most states.

Sig Sauer NSSF $500,000 donation

Tom Taylor, SIG’s Chief Marketing Officer and Executive VP (Commercial Sales) declared:

“In the absence of SHOT Show, SIG is pleased to announce a $500,000 donation to support the NSSF’s ongoing work in education, safety initiatives, compliance and security resources, import/export guidance, consumer activation initiatives, government relations, and operational needs for 2021. It’s disappointing that we will not be able to gather as an industry in 2021 at SHOT Show. However, given the recent rise in COVID-19 cases… we fully support the difficult decision of the National Shooting Sports Foundation to cancel SHOT Show.”

We thank SIG Sauer for its generous donation to NSSF, and organization that provides vital services and leadership for the firearms industry and shooting sports.

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October 23rd, 2020

Two Big Outdoor Shows Canceled & SHOT Show 2021 Uncertain

Cancellation cancel Safari Club Great American Outdoor Show Las Vegas NRA

This week two major outdoor trade shows slated for early 2021 were canceled: Great American Outdoor Show in Pennsylvania, and the Safari Club International Show in Las Vegas. And the PGA recently cancelled the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, the largest event in the golf industry. The big question is whether SHOT Show 2021 will go forward in Las Vegas in January 2021. The biggest guns/hunting trade show on the planet, SHOT Show is a major Las Vegas event, attracting over 60,000 attendees in recent years. But the signs are not promising for SHOT Show — more on that below.

CANCELED 2021 Outdoor Trade Shows

Safari Club International Convention (Original Dates: February 3-6, 2021)
NRA Great American Outdoor Show 2021 (Original Dates: February 6-14, 2021)

SHOT Show 2021 Doubtful without Nevada State Policy Changes
Given Nevada state governmental restrictions on capacity of large gatherings, it appears that SHOT Show 2021 could not go forward, at least not as currently planned. IF (and that’s a big IF), Nevada relaxes its current health/safety rules on trade show health/safety, then SHOT Show might go forward, but with new precautions in effect.

The Shooting Wire analyzed the prospects for SHOT Show 2021, and suggested that the event would probably NOT go forward unless health regulations are changed/relaxed by order of the Nevada Governor. And any such changes are not likely to be announced before the November election. Here is part of The Shooting Wire’s SHOT Show Commentary:

The restrictions in Nevada right now would make SHOT impossible. The current 250/1,000 maximum occupancy regulations wouldn’t adequately staff the booths in a single exhibit hall, much less the three major halls and assorted ballrooms of SHOT Show. But there’s still a chance that Nevada Governor Sisolak will relax the restrictions. And Las Vegas hospitality and trade events officials have done their best to convince him it is possible to have a trade show under the same [50% Capacity] regulations applied to casinos, restaurants and bars in Las Vegas.

If SHOT was allowed to operate at [even] 37.5% of capacity, it could still accommodate 50,000 people. [But action from the Governor would be required first.]

Which begs the question: is there a drop-dead date on a final decision about SHOT? Governor Sisolak’s office says there will be an update for indoor parameters in November. The NSSF says “at that time we’ll evaluate whether those parameters will allow us to move forward with SHOT Show.” While we’re all waiting, preparations continue….

If you have registered for SHOT Show 2021, you should read the full Shooting Wire SHOT Show Story.

Safari Club International Statement of Convention Cancellation:

After much contemplation and exhaustive effort, Safari Club International (SCI) has made the difficult decision to cancel its 2021 Hunters’ Convention. COVID-19-related restrictions imposed by the state of Nevada and city of Las Vegas to ensure a safe event environment during the ongoing pandemic has made it impossible to conduct a successful event for our members and exhibitors, or serve the greater good of wildlife conservation.

For 49 consecutive years SCI has conducted its annual convention, bringing together from around the world, hunters, exhibitors, conservation stakeholders, and generations of SCI members. This annual event celebrates hunter advocacy, raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for wildlife conservation, and enables the planning of hunts that further support conservation on every continent. Despite our disappointment with this development, SCI will be there for our members and exhibitors in 2022 … the 2022 Convention will take place in Las Vegas.

SCI hunters convention las vegas 2021

NRA Statement About Great American Outdoor Show Cancellation:

To the great disappointment of tens of thousands of sportsmen and women, COVID-related governmental restrictions in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will prevent the 2021 Great American Outdoor Show from being held as scheduled on February 6-14, 2021.

Since the NRA created the Great American Outdoor Show in 2014, the show has been a much-anticipated annual event and a major boon for the state and local economy. More than 1,100 exhibitors and tens of thousands of people from Pennsylvania and indeed around the country and globe would converge on the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex each year contributing approximately $75 million to area businesses and state coffers, according to official local estimates.

The NRA will certainly miss the opportunity to celebrate America’s great firearm, hunting, fishing and outdoor heritage, but we look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones at the Great American Outdoor Show scheduled to be held February 5-13, 2022.

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October 22nd, 2020

Gun Sales Up 95% in 2020 — Nearly 5 Million First-Time Buyers

2020 gun buyers NICS survey 5 million new womens African American

2020 has been the year of the gun. Firearm sales are up 95% in 2020. And, according to the NSSF, there were nearly 5 million first-time-ever gun buyers in the USA this year. A NSSF dealer survey estimates that 40% of all gun sales were conducted to purchasers who have never previously owned a firearm. Women accounted for 40.2% of all first-time gun purchases. Notably, firearm purchases among African American men and women increased 58% over last year, the largest such increase of any demographic group.

2020 gun buyers NICS survey 5 million new womens African American

Gun Sales Up 95%, While Ammo Sales Are up 139% in 2020
Sales of guns and ammo have skyrocketed in 2020. Retailers noted that they are seeing a 95% increase in firearm sales and a 139% increase in ammunition sales over the same period in 2019. Several factors are contributing to the huge surge in firearm purchases. There were fears over the COVID-19 Pandemic and lock-downs. Then riots and social unrest followed. And many Americans believe they must “buy now” before Democrat-party politicians enact severe gun restrictions and national licensing schemes.

NSSF reports that nearly 5 million Americans purchased a firearm for the very first time in 2020.

Retailers reported a huge increase of first-time gun buyers, estimating that 40% of sales were to this group. (In the past just 24% of gun sales were to first-time gun buyers.) Semiautomatic handguns were the primary firearm being purchased by first-time buyers, outpacing the second-most purchased firearm, shotguns, by a 2:1 margin. Modern sporting rifles, revolvers, and traditional rifles rounded out the top five types of firearms purchased by first-time gun buyers.

Semi-Auto Handguns Are the Top Choice of First-Time Buyers
2020 gun buyers NICS survey 5 million new womens African American

Retailers noted that these new customers were spending $595 on an average sale and that 40% of first-time gun buyers in the first four months of 2020 were female. The main purchase driver among the group was personal protection, followed by target shooting, and hunting. Also of note was that 25% of first-time buyers had already taken some form of firearms safety course.

Record Numbers of Gun Sales by Month
For most of 2020, the month-by-month levels of firearm sales have set new records, based on FBI NICS checks. For example, in July 2020, firearms sales were up 122.5% over July 2019, based on NSSF-Adjusted* background check numbers. And, previously, in March 2020, gun purchases were up 80.4% compared to the year before (based on Adjusted NICS checks).

NICS background checks NSSF adjusted 2020March 2020

Many New Gun Buyers Are Women and Minorities
NSSF surveys revealed a 58% increase in firearm purchasing among African American men and women, the largest increase of any demographic group. Women comprised 40% of first-time gun purchasers. Gun sales have set records in 2020 — retailers reported a 95% increase in firearm sales and a 139% increase in ammo sales over the same period in 2019.

2020 gun buyers NICS survey 5 million new womens African American

Several factors are contributing to the sustained surge in firearm purchases. Sales spiked in March, with a record-setting 2.3 million NICS background checks conducted for a firearm sale, the same month the coronavirus pandemic struck. There were also major concerns after protests lead to large scale rioting and social unrest. Additionally, Americans are concerned that, if Joe Biden is elected, and the Democrats capture the U.S. Senate, there will be draconian gun control measures enacted, including outright bans on semi-automatic rifles.

* The adjusted NICS data sets were derived by subtracting out NICS purpose code permit checks and permit rechecks used by states for CCW permit application checks as well as checks on active CCW permit databases. NSSF started subtracting permit rechecks in February 2016.

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October 7th, 2020

CMP Cancels 2020 Oklahoma Games Due to COVID Concerns

CMP 2020 oklahoma rifle games matches cancelled cancellation

The Civilian Marksmanship Program has announced the cancellation of the Oklahoma CMP HP Rifle & CMP Games Matches due to considerations brought on by the COVID-19 virus. The event was scheduled for 12-18 October at the Oklahoma City Gun Club in Arcadia.

CMP 2020 oklahoma rifle games matches cancelled cancellationAll OK Games Events Will Be Cancelled
The CMP had planned a full slate of events in Oklahoma, including CMP Games rifle, EIC service rifle, multiple pistol matches, M1 Garand, vintage sniper rifle, rimfire sporter rifle, and testing of a new benchrest M1 Garand rifle discipline.

“In seeking a sense of normalcy in its marksmanship event schedule for the balance of 2020, the CMP was looking forward to conducting match activities in Oklahoma,” said Judy Legerski, CMP Board Chairman. “Unfortunately, recent flare-ups of the COVID-19 virus have prompted us to cancel the event in the best interest of our competitors, Oklahoma City Gun Club staff and CMP personnel,” she said.

CMP 2020 oklahoma rifle games matches cancelled cancellation

“We look forward to renewing our Oklahoma rifle and pistol match series in brighter times in 2021,” Mrs. Legerski said. The next scheduled CMP highpower, pistol and games event, the Talladega 600 conducted at the CMP’s marksmanship park near Talladega, Alabama, is planned for 16-22 November.

The CMP continues to follow prudent health practices and is monitoring conditions of all future event locations. Event cancellations will be announced by the CMP on www.TheCMP.org and through social media.

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September 18th, 2020

SHOT Show 2021 in Las Vegas — Uncertainty Remains

SHOT Show 2021 January Las Vegas Covid-19 pandemic hotel travel closure

Will there be a 2021 SHOT Show in Las Vegas? The answer is that nobody knows for sure. While the NSSF, the show’s organizer, is proceeding as planned for a big event, there is no clear “green light” decision from Las Vegas government and public health officials. The NSSF has talked about having an event with a more open layout, fewer booth personnel, and social distancing restrictions, but it is unclear how that would work. Also, given the fact that January 2021 SHOT Show might still be cancelled in its entirety, attendees need to be concerned with their hotel reservations, specifically getting deposits back. We know many show attendees are taking a “wait and see” approach, and holding off on making hotel and transportation arrangements.

The Shooting Wire observed recently:

As of today (9/16/2020), we know the NSSF and their SHOT working group are moving forward with plans for a 2021 SHOT Show. We also know it will be bigger physically, and considerably different experience from previous versions.

SHOT Show 2021 will feature a more expansive and “distanced” layout, with larger aisles, smaller numbers of booth workers. It’s likely that social distancing, sanitizing, masks, and a whole COVID-19 compliance regimen — as is mandated by the state and local governments at the time — will be in place.

The real question that will have the largest impact is this: What will the COVID-19 compliance regulations look like by January 2021? If there are still restrictions on gatherings, it would be pretty tough to have an event the magnitude of SHOT for groups of 50 or fewer attendees at a time.

SHOT Show 2021 January Las Vegas Covid-19 pandemic hotel travel closure
That’s NOT social distancing. We can’t imagine this scene in today’s COVID-19 Pandemic environment.

What Will Happen to Hotel Reservations if SHOT Show is Cancelled?
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has issued Information on Hotel Cancellation Policies, regarding the reservations for SHOT Show 2021:

Many people have been reaching out to our team about hotel reservations and policies that are in place during this uncertain time. As you may know, there are two ways in which those coming to SHOT Show can book a room through our official channels — directly through the Venetian|Palazzo link on SHOTshow.org or through onPeak.com for all our other partner hotels.

OnPeak – With respect to hotel rooms booked through onPeak, every reservation is held without deposit until December 16. If the show is not permitted to take place, all reservations will be canceled without a deposit being taken so there will be no cancellation fees due. If you decide not to attend the SHOT Show, you will be able to cancel your reservation up to December 15 without a cancellation fee.

Venetian|Palazzo — The Venetian|Palazzo have always had a one-night nonrefundable deposit policy, and that still holds should someone choose to cancel their reservation. However, if the SHOT Show is not permitted to take place, the Venetian|Palazzo will return the deposit this year.

NSSF hopes this helps clarify the current hotel reservation policies and provides comfort for those planning their stays in January. In the meantime, please continue to visit the SHOT Show Hotel & Travel page as it continues to update with adjusted rates welcoming the SHOT Show community back to Vegas.

SHOT Show Floor image courtesy DKC company a supplier of lead consumables for the firearms industry.

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September 12th, 2020

Traveling by Air with Firearms — What You Need to Know

Tom McHale flying with firearms guns TSA
Airport photo by Politikaner under Creative Commons License.

With hundreds of readers traveling to Raton, New Mexico next month for the 2020 F-Class Nationals (October 25 – November 1, 2020), and with many others planning hunting trips out of state, we thought we’d repeat an article providing important information about air travel with firearms. If you will be flying with firearms this fall, you should read this article. You need to familiarize yourself with current Federal Regulations on gun transport before you get anywhere near an airport. Thankfully, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a web page that states the important requirements for airline passengers traveling with firearms* and/or ammunition.

You’ll want to visit the TSA Firearms and Ammunition webpage, and read it carefully. In addition, before your trip, check the regulations of the airline(s) with which you will fly. Some airlines have special requirements, such as weight restrictions.

Here are the TSA’s key guidelines for travel with firearms:

Tom McHale flying with firearms guns TSA

More Airline Travel Tips from Tom McHale
Tom McHale has written an excellent article for the Beretta Blog, Ten Things You Need to Know about Flying with Guns. We suggest you visit the Beretta Blog to read this informative story. Here are two of Tom McHale’s Travel Tips:

Weigh your gun case and ammunition
Most airlines will allow up to 11 pounds of ammunition. And, like any luggage, you will be charged more for any baggage weighing more than 50 pounds. This sounds like a lot, but when traveling to the Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun competition last year, my case with shotgun, rifle, pistol and ammunition tipped the scale past the 50 pound mark.

Pack ammo in the same locking case
This is another area that’s misunderstood and full of internet myth. Your ammo just needs to be stored in some type of safe container and not loose. Technically, you can keep ammunition in magazines, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It meets the letter of the law storage requirement, but too many airline and TSA agents will give you grief. Use a plastic ammo box or original cardboard packaging and you’ll be fine carrying that in the same lockable case as your gun.

Tom McHale flying with firearms guns TSA

*SEE United States Code, Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 44. A “firearm” is defined as: any weapon (including a starter gun) which will, or is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon; any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; and any destructive device. As defined by 49 CFR 1540.5 a loaded firearm has a live round of ammunition, or any component thereof, in the chamber or cylinder or in a magazine inserted in the firearm.

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August 29th, 2020

Gun Control by Government Fees and Taxes — New Jersey Plan

Phil Murphy new jersey governor gun taxes second amendment
This story is based on an article by Larry Keene of the NSSF

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has a new plan to deny the Second Amendment rights of NJ citizens — hit them in their pocketbooks, and hit them hard. Using the COVID-19 Pandemic as a pretext, Gov. Murphy, a Democrat, is calling for a massive increase in fees, taxes, and surcharges on gun owners:

1. Raise cost of Handgun Purchase Permit from $2 to $50 — 2400% increase.
2. Raise cost of Firearm ID Card from $5 to $100 — 1900% increase.
3. Raise cost of Handgun Carry Permit from $50 to $400 — 700% increase.
4. Raise fee for firearms manufacturer from $150 to $1500 — 900% increase.
5. Raise fee for firearms Retail Dealer License from $50 to $500 — 900% increase.

This shows how government taxes and fees can be aggressively used to restrict gun ownership. In California, another blue state run by a corrupt Democratic governor who likes to rule by Executive Order, we have myriad gun-related fees and taxes, and now must pay for a license in order to purchase ammo. This is how Democrats intend to use state taxing powers to defeat the Second Amendment.

Gun Control by Tax in New Jersey

Commentary by Larry Keene, NSSF
Democratic New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is… proposing “stronger gun control” in the Garden State. This time, he’s using the COVID-19 pandemic to raise taxes on law-abiding gun owners and those wishing to exercise their Second Amendment rights. Now it will be up to the state legislature to approve or reject his new antigun proposals. New Jersey residents shouldn’t hold their breath as antigun Democrats control both chambers by wide margins.

More gun control has been a pillar for Gov. Murphy since he took office in 2018. In his first two years in office, he pushed for and signed into law 10 more-stringent gun control laws in a state already known for having some of the strictest gun laws in the country. In 2020, the spreading Coronavirus pandemic gave him an opportunity to do even more[.]

Five Million New Gun Owners in the USA in 2020
Nearly 5 million Americans … purchased a firearm for the first time this year. The reasons were all around us. Reports of local law enforcement becoming stretched thin, criminals being released from jails and quickly committing violent crimes again, and now more recently violent riots and looting in cities and cries of “defund the police” have increased.

Gov. Murphy, who now wants to levy more fees and taxes to close the COVID budget gaps, actively worked to keep gun buyers out of stores. He shut down firearm retailers and related businesses, deeming them “non-essential” at a time when they were most essential. He faced immediate backlash and lawsuits, leading him to backtrack and allow retailers to open again. Gov. Murphy tried explaining his reasoning, stating “I wasn’t thinking about the Bill of Rights”.

Phil Murphy new jersey governor gun taxes second amendment

Raising Taxes as Means for More Gun Control
New Jersey is already known as a high-taxed blue state operating in the red. Now, to address next year’s budget shortfall and seeing an opportunity to further squelch the Second Amendment, Gov. Murphy proposed massive taxes and fees on firearms and ammunition[.]

Gov. Murphy’s proposed antigun increases include raising the handgun purchasing permit fee 2400 percent from $2 to $50; the cost of a firearm ID card by 1900 percent from $5 to $100; the price of a handgun carry permit 700 percent from $50 to $400; the fee for a gun retail dealer license by 900 percent from $50 to $500; and the fee for a firearm manufacturer 900 percent from $150 to $1,500. There are, or course, additional fee increases as well.

Anti-Gun Birds of a Feather
Gov. Murphy isn’t alone in using the pandemic to infringe on the constitutional rights of lawful Americans. Gov. Murphy’s northern neighbor, New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, behaved similarly as did New Mexico Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. These three governors have something else in common. They all forced gun stores to close during the pandemic despite the Department of Homeland Security saying gun stores are essential business.

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August 18th, 2020

Dividers at Florida Range Work Great — With Unexpected Benefits

Manatee Gun club covid-19 pandemic virus social distancing benchrest shield divider plexiglass PVC

Here’s a way some smart shooters are dealing with Pandemic Social Distancing requirements. At the Manatee Gun Club in Florida, match organizers devised tall, portable plexiglass barriers between the benches. These barriers shield each shooter from his neighboring competitor. And shooters say there is an added benefit — there is less perceived noise and muzzle blast from nearby fellow competitors.

AccurateShooter Forum member CaptainMal reports: “We just finished a steel shoot at Manatee using ALL the benches with dividers attached to each. Prior to today we were not allowed to use all the benches as they are five feet, not six feet apart [as required by social distancing regulations]. Now we can take more shooters per relay and we found some positive unintended consequences.” READ Forum Thread.

Manatee Gun club covid-19 pandemic virus social distancing benchrest shield divider plexiglass PVC

Each divider attaches to a bench. The divider can be easily removed for storage by folding up the legs so it is flat to carry/store. These dividers are relatively light-weight making them easy to put in place. In addition, because the dividers are transparent, Range Safety Officers (and spectators) can view the shooters. Notably, the Manatee competitors also reported that the dividers offered a “dramatic reduction in muzzle blast and some noise reduction also”.

CaptainMal explains: “Most all of us have experienced magnum explosions next to us on the bench and/or muzzle brakes directing a concussion at us as we shoot. GONE. We built all these because of the virus restrictions we had to deal with. Well now we can use all the benches, put on a normal program and reap the benefits of full visibility and no muzzle blast distractions.”

Al Benarroch (Forum member “Alibaba”) designed and built these dividers. Al is happy to share his design with anyone else wanting or needing to have something like this for their range. Here is Al last season BEFORE the COVID-19 range restrictions. To see him now you just look through the divider.

Manatee Gun club covid-19 pandemic virus social distancing benchrest shield divider plexiglass PVC

The Southpaw Challenge — How to Position Left-handed Shooters
These dividers were designed for right-handed shooters, but the Manatee group has some thoughts about adapting the system for lefties: “We will work on that at the IBS-style shoot next Saturday. The deal is we have 16 benches. Let us say we have 25 shooters next Saturday. There may be four left-handers. We can put 12 -14 shooters on each relay and just leave open a single bench next to them.” Also with Manatee’s five-foot spacing between benches, there is actually six-foot-plus spacing if the left-hand shooter is always situated on a bench to the RIGHT side of a right-handed shooter’s bench. That provides maximum spacing based on their actual sitting positions.

Credit Boyd Allen for finding this story in our Shooter’s Forum.
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August 1st, 2020

Young People Nationwide Compete in SASP Nat’l Championship

Scholastic Action Shooting Program SASP

The sound of bullets ringing steel were heard all over the country over a three week period in July, during the 2020 Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP) National Virtual Championship. Over 248,000 rounds were sent down range as SASP athletes competed from their home ranges around the country. Photo and match results were posted on social media. Scores were then tallied and compared among hundreds of entrants. The ability to compete at Nationals from their home range gave teams all over the country the opportunity to finish the season as a team, competing for the national title.

Just last year, the SASP National Championship surpassed the Glock Shooting Sports Foundation (GSSF), to become the largest Action Shooting Match in history. Despite a heavily altered 2020 season, the SASP community continued to break records for participation with 1,656 event entries for the 2020 SASP National Championship.

Scholastic Action Shooting Program SASP

“Virtual” Championship Held at Multiple Locations throughout the USA
Traditionally held at the Cardinal Shooting Center in Marengo, Ohio, the 2020 SASP Nationals were instead conducted in a multi-location “virtual” format. This arrangement was made “in order to protect the safety of our athletes, coaches, and familie” according to SASP National Director, Rick Leach. “The nature of our sport puts athletes and range officers in close proximity, which we could not in good conscious do with thousands of athletes in Ohio this year. We received hundreds of photos and videos from teams competing in Nationals from their home range.”

You can see SASP 2020 National Championships Results online. Just select the firearm category and class of shooters. For example, here are Centerfire Pistol Men’s results for all categories. Click image to zoom.

Scholastic Action Shooting Program SASP

“This year we saw participation grow to states that are not always able to make the journey to Ohio each year for Nationals,” said SASP Director of Development, Kelvin Walton. “Although the spectacle of teams converging on the Cardinal Center to compete is part of the Nationals experience, the SASP community made the most out of an unusual season.”

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July 18th, 2020

39th Annual BLADE Show in Georgia Cancelled

Alanta GA blade show 2020 covid-19 cancelled cancellation knife trade event

Another major outdoor industry event falls to pandemic pressures. The 39th Annual BLADE Show, scheduled for August 7-9 in Atlanta, Georgia, has been officially cancelled. The organizers hope to hold the event June 4-6, 2021 (next year), at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, Georgia. IMPORTANT: Current Exhibitors and Ticket Holders will receive further instructions via email.

Posting on BladeShow.com, event organizers declared:

Unfortunately, we have reluctantly come to the conclusion that it is in the best interest of all concerned to cancel BLADE Show 2020.

Please know that we did not reach this decision lightly. Having been in daily contact with guests, exhibitors, local officials and the show venue for the past two months, it has become apparent that we cannot present a 2020 event that meets exhibitor and attendee expectations and BLADE Show standards.

While the state of Georgia continues to grapple with decisions about new guidelines and restrictions to deal with the pandemic, BLADE Show too recognizes its responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of all attendees. BLADE Magazine and the BLADE Show staff appreciate the support we received from our many industry friends who worked with us to plan for the alternate August dates after we were forced to cancel the original June event.

What will blade and knife fans be missing? Check out this video from Blade Show 2019:

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June 26th, 2020

World Shooting Championship and Police Championship Cancelled

world shooting championshiop

NRA Cancels WSC and NRA Police Shooting Championships Due to COVID-19
No big money this year at the NRA World Shooting Championship — the event has been cancelled. And Likewise the NRA Police Shooting Championship will not take place in 2020. This is the Year of Pandemic, and two more major shooting events have fallen victim to COVID-19.

Yesterday the National Rifle Association (NRA) issued the following statement:

Due to the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the many ensuing federal and state safety regulations and mandates, the NRA has made the difficult decision to cancel the NRA World Shooting Championship and the NRA National Police Shooting Championships. Both events were scheduled to be held in mid September 2020 in West Virginia and Mississippi respectively.

We share your disappointment that both these competitions that attract participants from across the globe had to be canceled. The NRA wishes everyone good health and the best of luck. Stay safe and healthy.

The WSC was a big deal. It attracted top multi-gun competitors such as Jerry Miculek, Dan Horner, Doug Koenig, and Bruce Piatt. The winner took home a fat check for $25,000. This unique 3-day multi-gun match tests competitors’ skills across twelve challenging stages involving nearly every major shooting discipline for rifles, shotguns, and pistols. This major match attracted both sponsored Pros and “regular Joes”. Shooters were split into two groups: a Professional Division for sponsored shooters, and the Amateur Division for non-sponsored competitors. All firearms, optics, and ammo were provided by match sponsors for both divisions.

This video shows features of past NRA World Shooting Championship

All Equipment Was Supplied at NRA World Shooting Championship
“What makes this event very unique, especially to a professional shooter, is all the equipment is supplied. You have to leave your ego at home and just try to adapt as best you can to the equipment that you have supplied.” — Jerry Miculek

world shooting championshiop

WSC stages encompassed everything from trap to bullseye pistol to PRS-style precision rifle. There was even a cowboy action stage with Henry “Golden Boy” lever-action rifles.

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June 26th, 2020

New, First-Time Gun Owners — More Support for 2d Amendment?

new gun buyers ccrkba second amendment

CCRKAB Hopes Millions of New Gun Owners Can Aid Second Amendment Battle
First concern over the COVID-19 pandemic spurred a huge increase in gun purchases. And the civil unrest, rioting, and looting that followed the death of George Floyd caused countless citizens to seek armed self-protection. COVID-19 and the riots convinced millions of Americans to become gun owners for the first time. These citizens wanted to protect their families, homes, and businesses. The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA.org) hopes that these new gun owners may aid the fight to preserve the Second Amendment and gun rights in the USA.

new gun buyers ccrkba second amendment

“Look at all of the new people who suddenly decided to exercise their Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms”, observed CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “We’ve witnessed something that is nothing short of a sea change… about gun ownership. We’ve heard anecdotal reports from all over the country about people flocking to gun shops who had never before owned a firearm. Now that they are gun owners, we expect them to be very protective of their rights”.

March, April, and May 2020 saw record numbers of background checks, according to FBI data and information from industry sources. For example in April 2017, gun sales set an all-time record — up 71% from the pervious year.

new gun buyers ccrkba second amendment

Gottlieb added: “We welcome all of these new gun owners to the firearms community… many of them are minorities, especially black and female citizens … from all age groups. They can… gain a new understanding of our efforts to protect the one fundamental right that actually protects all of the other rights.”

“This new wave of gun owners could become a formidable force during this year’s election,” Gottlieb noted. “From now on, we expect millions of new gun owners to pay closer attention to candidates, and reject those who would trample on their Second Amendment rights. With legions of new gun owners ready to protect these newly-discovered rights, it could be a pretty scrappy election year…”

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June 12th, 2020

NRA Annual Meeting Set for September 5, 2020 in Missouri

NRA Convention 2020 annual meetings exhibits springfield missouri

The National Rifle Association (NRA) has announced that the 149th Annual Meeting of Members, previously scheduled in Nashville, TN in April, has been rescheduled for Saturday, September 5, 2020 in Springfield, Missouri. The 2020 NRA Annual Meeting will be held at the Springfield Expo Center. The NRA has not yet released a full schedule of events. But this will be a meeting of members only — not a large trade show with entertainment and celebrity guests.

We’re told that this will be a much smaller event than originally planned for April 16-19 in Nashville. The rescheduled NRA Meeting will take place in Halls A/B/C at the Springfield Expo Center at 635 E. Saint Louis Street, Springfield, Missouri.​ The meeting will sart 9/5/20 at 9:00 am Central Time. All NRA members are invited to attend.

NRA Convention 2020 annual meetings exhibits springfield missouri

The Springfield News Leader reported that this event will NOT be a large trade show. It will be a meeting of members only — there will be no large trade show with hundreds of exhibitors.

Dana Maugans with the Springfield Visitors and Convention Bureau, said that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NRA had to cancel the large NRA Convention originally scheduled for April in Nashville. “But with their bylaws, [the NRA] still has to have the membership meeting,” Maugans said. “They are going to have their membership portion of the meeting here. But it will not be nearly as large as the Convention/Trade Show that was planned.” Maugans revealed that, to allow for social distancing, the NRA reserved double the amount of space normally need for the 1,000 to 1,250 people expected to attend.

NRA Convention 2020 annual meetings exhibits springfield missouri

NRA Convention 2020 annual meetings exhibits springfield missouri

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June 6th, 2020

Ranges Are Opening Again — Find a Place to Go Shooting

WheretoShoot.org

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many private and public shooting ranges have been closed. Thankfully many of those range closure orders have been lifted. This coincides with the easing of stay-at-home restrictions in many states. We know our readers want to get out of the house, and get to the range again. Plus experts say that being outdoors and getting Vitamin D exposure can help general immune system health — though you should still observe safe social distancing at public ranges.

If you are looking for a nearby range, you can quickly find shooting facilities on the NSSF’s WhereToShoot.org website. There is also a handy Mobile App that lists ranges. NOTE — because range facility policies are changing on a day-by-day basis, you should always CALL the range before you pack your vehicle and hit the road. Also, find out the health policies in effect — are masks required, are there limits on group size, is social distancing mandatory?

A service of the NSSF (Nat’l Shooting Sports Foundation), WhereToShoot.org offers a Searchable Database of pistol, rifle, and shotgun ranges around the country. You can search by state, or select a particular distance from any zip code. The database is very complete. The individual range pages also include web addresses, phone numbers, and map links. The example below shows the results of a search for shooting ranges near Boulder, Colorado:

WheretoShoot.org

Where to Shoot Mobile App

The NSSF also offers a Where To Shoot Mobile App. Available for both iOS and Android devices, this App quickly locates shooting ranges near you, drawing on North America’s most comprehensive range directory. Users can search by current location, state, or zip code. Once you locate a range, you can view activities offered along with a summary of range facilities. You can even get driving directions.

CLICK HERE for FREE Apple iPhone and iPad App | CLICK HERE for FREE Android App

where to shoot mobile app nssf range locator software

Where to Shoot iOS App for iPad

where to shoot mobile app nssf range locator software

The app is modeled after NSSF’s popular WhereToShoot.org® website and is updated frequently with range information for every U.S. state and Canadian province. Once you’ve located a place to shoot, the App can provide directions to the range. The App also includes video tips for shooters, news, and firearm-safety information.

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June 6th, 2020

Huge Spike in Gun Sales in May 2020 — Record Gun Numbers

gun sales spike ammoland.com

What will a pandemic combined with social unrest do to gun sales? Drive them through the roof. Last month’s gun sales are up 75% compared to May of 2019, based on Criminal Background Check System (NICS) data, as adjusted by NSSF. Look at that spike in the chart!

NSSF explains that the May 2020 1,595,790 checks figure represents an increase of 75.2 percent compared to the May 2019 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 910,910. What does “adjusted” mean? The adjusted NICS data were derived by subtracting out NICS purpose-code permit checks and permit rechecks used by states for CCW permit application checks as well as checks on active CCW permit databases. For comparison, the unadjusted May 2020 FBI NICS figure 3,066,740 reflects a 32.1 percent increase from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,320,918 in May 2019.

gun sales spike ammoland.com

Though not a direct correlation to firearms sales, the NSSF-adjusted NICS data provide an good picture of current market conditions. It should be noted that these statistics represent the number of firearm background checks initiated through the NICS. They do not represent the number of firearms sold or sales dollars. 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. For more NICS information or to view the current monthly reports, visit the NICS website.

How to Receive Regular Data Reports from NSSF
Want to get regular sales reports? Then consider joining the NSSF. All NSSF members are able to access historical monthly NICS data by logging in and clicking on “Industry Research” then “NICS Data”. Questions concerning NSSF-adjusted NICS data should be directed to NSSF at 203-426-1320 or research@nssf.org.

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June 4th, 2020

NSSF Offers COVID-19 Safety Seminar for Outdoor Ranges

Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic outdoor shooting range

NSSF Offers COVID-19 Operations Webinar for Outdoor Shooting Ranges
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) will offer a new Webinar, “Outdoor Range Models of Success During the COVID-19 Era”. The 60-minute Webinar commences at 11:00 am EDT on Monday, June 8, 2020. This Webinar will help range operators and clubs re-open their facilities while maintaining effective health and safety policies. The Webinar is FREE. However, NSSF Membership is required to participate. CLICK HERE to Register.

Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic outdoor shooting range

Produced as a coordinated effort of the NSSF, the National Shooting Complex, CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park, and Okeechobee Shooting Sports, LLC, this 60-minute webinar will answer questions regarding outdoor range operations during the COVID-19 era, including:

1. What specific strategies will your range use to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 as you reopen or prepare for expanded services?

2. How will you be communicating with your existing customers and new shooters on the range, through your website and via social media?

3. Will you host events and, if so, what policies will you implement to conduct these events safely?

Covid-19 coronavirus public Range Operations seminar webinar NSSF

The COVID-19 Outdoor Range Webinar takes place June 8 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon EDT. This webinar is free to all interested industry members, but attendance is limited, so we encourage interested parties to register at their earliest possible convenience. CLICK HERE to Register.

NOTE: This seminar is open to current NSSF members only. CLICK HERE to join NSSF to take advantage of this and many other member resources.

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June 3rd, 2020

Millions of New Gun Owners in America

NSSF Survey new gun owners covid-19 pandemic riots

C0VID-19 lock-downs and now riots and looting in America have caused Americans to be very concerned with the safety of their families and security of their property. Not surprisingly, gun sales have skyrocketed in 2020 compared to the year before. Notably, a significant percentage — 40.2% — of the firearms purchasers are FIRST-TIME gun buyers. And retail dealers say about 40% of those first-time buyers are females, a historically high number. Overall it is estimated that 2.5 MILLION Americans joined the ranks of gun owners during the first four months of 2020.

NSSF-adjusted NICS figures showing year-over-year increases of 80 percent in March and 69 percent in April 2020. These strong increases led to more than 6.5 million NSSF-adjusted background checks in the first four months of 2020, up 48% from 4.4 million during the same period in 2019.

NSSF May 2020 Survey of Firearm Retailers
In May 2020, NSSF surveyed firearm retailers to learn more about gun sales during the first four months of 2020. Retailers reported an increased number of first-time gun buyers, estimating that 40.2% of their sales were to this group. This is a huge increase — nearly double — over the 24% annual average of first-time gun buyers that retailers have reported in the past. Semiautomatic handguns were the primary firearm being purchased by first-time buyers, outpacing the second-most purchased firearm, shotguns, by a 2-to-1 margin. Modern sporting rifles, revolvers and traditional rifles rounded out the top five types of firearms purchased by first-time gun buyers.

All this equates to more than 2.5 million new gun owners in 4 months of 2020.

Retailers noted that these new customers were spending $595 on an average sale and that 40.1% of first-time gun buyers in the first four months of 2020 were female. The main purchase driver among the group was personal protection, followed by target shooting and hunting. Also of note was that 25% of first-time buyers had already taken some form of firearms safety course.

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May 27th, 2020

The Show Goes On — High Desert 3-Gun Championship in Idaho

Idaho high desert 3-gun championship match true Pierce gundigest.com

At a time when most major shooting championships have been cancelled, it’s great to see an event still taking place. The High Desert 3-Gun Championship in Idaho will be going forward June 12-14, 2020. Set at the Parma Rod & Gun Club in Idaho, it great to see an outdoor shooting competition going forward even as much of America still rankles under Pandemic stay-at-home orders. Match Registration is still open.

GunsAmerica Digest Editor True Pierce will be shooting the event, and he’s excited about the chance to compete in a beautiful location. He recently authored a story: Top 10 Reasons to Shoot the Aero Precision 3-Gun Championship. Pierce explains the appeal of the match — big prize table, excellent stages, and even a bit of PRS — there are long-range bonus stages with rifle targets out to 1000 yards.

Idaho high desert 3-gun championship match true Pierce gundigest.com
GunsAmerica Digest Editor True Pierce at 2019 High Desert 3-Gun Championship. Note the Pistol, Rifle, and Shotgun (on wood benchtop).

Among True Pierce’s reasons for attending the match, here are the most compelling:

1. Great Prize Payout — This year there is over $50,000 worth of prizes. Every one of the 200+ competitors should receive something. Prizes include guns, triggers, optics, ammo, gear, tools and more.

2. Great Stages — This is a true 3-gun match where you shoot ALL your firearms (Rifle, Pistol, Shotgun) on ALL 10 stages. There are even bonus long-range targets out to 1000 yards. Bring an optional precision rifle for these long-range segments.

3. Great Location — The match is held in Idaho in a scenic outdoor setting at the Parma Rod & Gun Club Range, located an hour from Boise. There is outdoor camping at the range for just $10/night.

4. Great Experience — True Pierce reports: “It’s fun! Really fun! You’ll be shooting in bays, shoot houses, towers, natural terrain, and using cool props. The average shooter will spend four minutes shooting each stage and will shoot about 300 rounds of rifle, 300 rounds of pistol, 200 rounds of birdshot, 40 slugs, and 30 rounds of long-range.”

Idaho high desert 3-gun championship match true Pierce gundigest.com

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