February 1st, 2018

Traveling with Firearms — Tips for Road Warriors

Shooting Wire law Travel Shooters

If you plan to travel far from home this year with firearms, then you should research legal requirements before you head to the airport or hit the road in your car or truck. To help Road Warriors, The Shooting Wire website recently published an excellent article concerning Travel with Firearms. This helpful article by Joe Balog features smart advice from 3-Gun competitor Rich Yoder.

Here are Highlights from the Travel with Firearms Article…

Traveling by Road:
Regulations for transporting firearms in a vehicle vary from state to state. Some are quite lenient, while others are much stricter. Within many states, gun transportation laws also vary considerably from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. If possible, keep your gun cases locked in your vehicle’s trunk or truck bed, as long as your bed has weather-tight and lockable security. If your guns are outside the passenger compartment, in a case, unloaded, and kept separate from ammunition, you’ll be in compliance with all but the strictest of local and state gun laws.

Traveling by Air:
When checking in at the airport, travelers need to declare that they are traveling with a gun. At that point, airline personnel will quickly advise the traveler of the need to open his or her case and inspect the firearm. Always wait for the TSA inspector before unlocking or opening the case, and only do so when clearly directed to do so by TSA personnel. Never take a firearm out of its case in an airport.

Shooting Wire law Travel Shooters
You have the right to remain with your firearm at all times during the inspection process. Never leave your firearm until the inspection is complete, the case has been re-locked, and you are in possession of the key or combination.

Traveling Overseas:
There are additional steps during international travel. Specifically, guns must clear customs in the destination country, and once again when entering back into the United States. Multiple government forms may need to be completed and carried with the firearm, like U.S. Customs Form 4457. Be sure to check into all required paperwork well before traveling.

READ Travel with Firearms Article on The Shooting Wire

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July 27th, 2017

Gun Guy Air Travel Tips — How to Fly with Firearms

Airport security travel bag check-in O'hare TSA

We know that many of our readers will be heading to Canada soon to attend the F-Class World Championships at the Connaught Ranges outside Ottawa. If you’ll be flying North in August, or venturing to another destination by air, you need to be careful when transporting firearms through airports both in the USA and in other countries. It is important that you comply with all Homeland Security, TSA, and Airline policies when transporting guns and ammunition. Following the rules will help ensure you (and your gear) make it to your destination without hassles, delays or (God forbid), confiscations.

To help our readers comply with rules and regulations for air travel, we offer these guidelines, courtesy “Ron D.”, a member of our Shooters’ Forum. Before he retired, Ron D. served as a Police Officer assigned to Chicago’s O’Hare airport. Here Ron offers some very important advice for shooters traveling with firearms and expensive optics.

gun transport caseFirst, Ron explains that airport thieves can spot bags containing firearms no matter how they are packaged: “Don’t think you’re safe if your guns are placed in cases designed for golf clubs or trade show items. Baggage is X-Rayed now and cases are tagged with a special bar code if they contain firearms. It doesn’t take long for bad guys to figure out the bar coding for firearms.”

Carry-On Your Scopes and Expensive Items
Ron advises travelers to avoid placing very expensive items in checked baggage: “When traveling by air, carry on your rangefinder, spotting scope, rifle scope, medications, camera, etc. You would be surprised at the amount of people that carry-on jeans and shirts, but put expensive items in checked baggage. Better to loose three pairs of jeans than some expensive glass.”

Mark Bags to Avoid Confusion
Ron notes that carry-on bags are often lost because so many carry-on cases look the same. Ron reports: “People do accidentally remove the wrong bag repeatedly. I frequently heard the comment, ‘But it looks just like my bag.’ When de-planing, keep an eye on what comes out of the overhead that your bag is in. It’s easy to get distracted by someone that has been sitting next to you the whole flight. I tie two streamers of red surveyors’ tape on my carry-on bag.” You can also use paint or decals to make your carry-on bag more distinctive.

Many readers will fly to Ottawa, ON, Canada in two weeks to attend the F-Class World Championships.
Airport security travel bag check-in O'hare TSA

Choosing a Rifle Transport Case
Ron advises: “Buy the best [rifle case] that you can afford. Don’t cry when your $3,000+ Benchrest rifle has a cracked stock or broken scope. Think about what it would be like to travel across the country (e.g. to Montana or the Cactus Classic) and arrive with a damaged rifle. Remember the Samsonite commercial. (For you younger shooters, it shows a monkey throwing the suitcase around in his cage at the zoo.) Baggage handling is NOT a fine art. There is no guarantee that your rifle case will be on top of all the other baggage. Then there is shifting of baggage in the belly of the plane. Ponder that for a while. Rifle and pistol cases must be locked. It doesn’t take a Rocket Scientist to figure out that a simple pry tool will open most case locks. There is not much that you can do to disguise a rifle case. It is what it is, and opportunists know this. Among thieves, it doesn’t take long for the word to get around about a NEW type of case.”

Plano Double Rifle Case Amazon Airport security travel bag check-in O'hare TSA
This Plano Double Scoped Rifle Case offers the functionality and durability of an SKB-type hard case for HALF the money. This is now just $111.19, while the equivalent SKB is around $240.00.

General Advice for Air Travelers
Ron cautions: “Keep your hands on your items before boarding. One of the most often heard comments from theft victims was, ‘I just put my computer down for a minute while I was on the phone.’ Also, get to the baggage claim area quickly. If your family/friends can meet you there, so can the opportunists. Things do get lost in the claim area. Don’t be a Victim. Forewarned is forearmed.”

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March 20th, 2016

America Got 12.25 Million More Guns in 2014

NICS, ATF, BATFE, Statistics, Guns, Gun Sales, Background Checks

Guns and more guns — over 12.25 million guns* were added to U.S. private inventories in 2014 based on reports from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). In 2014, 9,050,626 firearms were manufactured in the USA, while 3,625,268 firearms were imported and 420,932 firearms were exported. The total of guns made and imported in 2014 (minus guns exported that year) works out to 12,254,962 firearms, bringing the total U.S. cumulative stock to over 375 million! Yes that means there were over 375 million firearms in the USA as of the end of 2014. That’s more than one gun for every man, woman, and child in the country. And a lot more were added in 2015…

While the number of guns added in 2014 was impressive, it appears that the number of guns added last year (2015) may exceed the 2014 figures, breaking all-time records.

Dean Weingarten explains: “You see, 2015 was a record year for NICS checks, at 23,141,970. It will take another year before we find out if the number of firearms added to the private stock exceeded the record set in 2013, of 16.031 million. I expect that another 13.422 million will have been added in 2015, but it could be as high as 17.588 million, based on the 2013 ratio of NICS checks to firearms added.”

“The number of NICS checks for 2014 was 20.969 million, slightly lower than in 2013, which was 21.094 million (rounded to the nearest thousand). Many NICS checks are used to purchase firearms that are already in the private stock; a fair number are used for background checks on carry permits; and more than one firearm may be purchased with a single background check.”

Story based on report ©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. For more information: Link to Gun Watch.

*This 2014 firearms total includes rifles, shotguns, handguns and others, “others” being mostly receivers that might become either rifles or handguns when finished. It does not include firearms produced for the military services.

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December 5th, 2014

Tons of FREE Guns — More Gun Giveaways Than You Can Count

Free and Almost Free Nothing in life is free, except, well, when somebody is giving it away. The Shooter’s Log blogmeisters have compiled a lengthy list of gun giveaways and contests with firearms prizes. These are mostly promotional contests taking place this December (but some extend into the new year). We know many of you like entering contests and sweepstakes… so have at it. As Dirty Harry said famously: “Are you feelin’ lucky?”. But don’t procrastinate — entry deadlines for many of these contests and promotions are coming up soon.

CLICK HERE to Read Original Shooter’s Log Article with More FREE Rebates, Raffles, and Give-Aways.

Firearms Contests and Sweepstakes

(All dates are in 2014, unless noted otherwise.)

Accessories Contests and Promotions

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April 2nd, 2014

Guns and Ammo Contribute $38 Billion Per Year to U.S. Economy

economy ammunition industry NSSFGuns and ammo are big business in the United States — really big business. Guns and ammo now represent a $38 billion-dollar per year segment of the U.S. economy.

According to the NSSF, the total economic impact of the firearms and ammunition industries in the United States increased from $19.1 billion in 2008 to $37.7 billion in 2013, a 97% increase, while the total number of full-time equivalent jobs rose from more than 166,000 to more than 245,000, a 48% increase in that five-year period. These figures are based on a new report release today (April 2, 2014) by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).

NSSF President/CEO Steve Sanetti states: “We have seen dramatic, unprecedented during peacetime growth in the firearms and ammunition industry that is the direct result of consumer demand for our products in the last five years. While our nation’s overall economic recovery has been slow since 2008, our industry has been a true bright spot, increasing our direct workforce by nearly half, adding jobs that pay an average of more than $47,700 in wages and benefits. Supplier and induced jobs* were also increased by about half since 2008, even as we increased federal tax payments by 93 percent, Pittman-Robertson excise taxes that support wildlife conservation by 83 percent and state business taxes by 77 percent.”

guns economic impact NSSF

The Firearms and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report (2013) provides a state by state breakdown of job numbers, wages and output covering direct, supplier and induced employment, as well as federal excise taxes paid. Access the full report here.

* Induced jobs are those created by the economic impact made by the industry.

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January 28th, 2012

2012 Traveler’s Guide to Firearms Laws

Many readers will be driving across multiple states this spring and summer to attend competitions. Other shooters will be heading out of state for a game hunt or to spend a week in the prairie dog fields. For $13.95 you can purchase a state-by-state Traveler’s Guide to firearms laws. Written by a lawyer, this 68-page guide covers all firearms types and all 50 states. It even has info for Canada and Mexico. The latest edition of the Traveler’s guide, updated with 85 changes for 2012, has just been released.

CLICK HERE for Sample Page.

The Traveler’s Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States has sold more than 900,000 copies since it was first released in 1996. The book’s author, Attorney J. Scott Kappas, has written numerous magazine articles and has appeared on television, explaining the unexpected pitfalls that shooters may encounter when traveling with firearms. Along with being an attorney, Mr. Kappas serves as a director on the Board of the Kentucky Firearms Foundation, and Kappas is a Class III firearms dealer.

The Traveler’s Guide is especially useful for shooters traveling in RVs and motorhomes. The American Rifleman Magazine declared: “This book is a must-have for truck drivers, motor home enthusiasts, campers and other travelers…easy to read and understand, well-organized and concise….” One reader from Texas adds: “I used to think that my RV was the same as my home when it came to gun carry….the Traveler’s Guide set me straight. Now I know my motorhome is subject to the same laws as any vehicle when it comes to guns.”

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September 11th, 2011

New Illustrated History of Firearms from NRA Museum

The folks at the NRA Museum have created a new 304-page, photo-illustrated history of firearms. With over 1500 photographs, this new book covers all types of firearms, from small handguns to large rifles. Illustrated are deringers, flintlocks, revolvers, semi-autos, machine guns, muzzle loaders, long rifles — and much more. Researched by the NRA’s historians, The Illustrated History of Firearms is a worthy addition to any gun aficionado’s library. You can pre-order the book now from Amazon.com for just $19.79 (list price is $29.99.) The NRA Museum will be releasing two companion volumes, also available through Amazon: Guns of the Wild West, and Guns of World War II.

Illustrated History Firearms book

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April 1st, 2011

U.S. Border Patrol Replaces Guns with NLAIM Paint Markers

The U.S. Border Patrol Agency has been ordered to “give up its guns”, starting this summer. In a surprise directive issued this morning, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), parent agency of the Border Patrol, announced that up to one-half of U.S. Border Patrol Agents will be required to turn in their firearms, starting August 1, 2011. The current issue sidearm of the Border Patrol is the HK P2000 LEM in .40 SW, but Agents many also carry rifles and shotguns. Duty Weapons will be replaced by non-lethal dye markers, similar to paintball guns.

Agents to Be Disarmed in Border Areas
Border Patrol NLAIMSpeaking at a Washington, DC press conference, Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano stated that stripping the Border Patrol of lethal weapons reflects the “long-stated objective of this Adminstration to value human life over all other lesser considerations.” Napolitano stressed that the Border Patrol would not be required to give up all its firearms. The Patrol would still maintain pistols, rifles, and shotguns in “secure lock-ups” removed from the “immediate border area”.

The goal of the policy shift, Napolitano stated, is to eliminate the risk of accidental or unintentional injury to “wayward travelers and undocumented citizens”. Napolitano denied that confiscation of Border Patrol Agents’ firearms was a response to “trigger-happy men in green”. Napolitano stated: “I have the greatest faith in our men and women in the Border force”, adding that “we are now giving those Agents viable non-lethal technologies with which they can carry out their duties”.

Firearms Replaced by Non-Lethal Alien Immigrant Marker System (NLAIM)
The technologies cited by Director Napolitano include the new Non-Lethal Alien Immigrant Marker (NLAIM) which will be provided to Border Patrol agents on the “front line”, i.e. those who actively patrol the southern border. The NLAIM is a pneumatic device that propels small, liquid-filled marker balls at effective ranges up to 50 feet. Once released, the liquid inside the balls leaves a highly-visible, long-lasting dye mark on anything it contacts. In addition, the dye marker solution is activated by body heat so it literally “glows in the dark” when viewed through night-vision optics.

Border Patrol NLAIM

Is NLAIM Technology Really Something New?
Border Patrol NLAIMCritics of NLAIM technology claim that NLAIM devices are merely over-priced versions of recreational paintball guns, many of which sell for under $200.00. NLAIMs, which will be provided in both pistol and carbine configurations, cost nearly $2700.00 each, not including transport modules. A total of 10,000 NLAIMs will be delivered to the Border Patrol under a no-bid DHS contract valued at $26.8 million dollars. Some of that cost will be offset by revenues earned from the recycling of current Border Patrol firearms which will be decommissioned, melted down, and sold for scrap.

Chief Border Patrol Agent Randall Sikes (Del Rio Sector) defended the switch from conventional firearms to NLAIMs. Sikes stated that: “Hey, these aren’t just run-of-the-mill paintball guns — I mean these babies are state-of-the-art. Plus you can’t buy our day/night ammo balls in any paintball store. You think glow in the dark capability comes easy? The NLAIM is a sophisticated law enforcement tool, not a toy.”

Sikes also said that the NLAIM lets an Agent respond more effectively than ever before to a border incident. “Look, with a real gun, I mean you can either point it, or shoot it, and we don’t want the latter. The border-crossers we face know we won’t shoot them, so they just run away. At least now we can color-tag them and the choppers can chase ‘em down. We get the job done and no one gets hurt. Plus the NLAIMs are a hoot to shoot. It’s a win-win.”

The United States Border Patrol is a federal law enforcement agency within U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Currently, the U.S. Border Patrol employs over 20,200 agents, who are specifically responsible for patrolling the 6,000 miles of Mexican and Canadian international land borders. Agents are assigned primarily to the Mexico–United States border. There are 20 Border Patrol sectors, each headed by a Sector Chief Patrol Agent. Currently, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has more sworn law enforcement officers than any other agency in the U.S. Federal government.

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January 2nd, 2011

BATFE Ruling Covers Manufacturing Work by Dealer-Gunsmiths

BATFELast week, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) issued an important ruling affecting gunsmiths. The ruling covers the obligations of dealer-gunsmiths who work as sub-contractors for a licensed firearm manufacturer. Specifically, the ruling addresses record-keeping requirements and whether dealer-gunsmiths must have a manufacturers’ license to complete certain types of production work. We recommend that all gunsmiths involved in external finish work (such as cerakoting or parkerizing) review the ruling carefully.

The ATF explains: “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has received inquiries from firearms industry members asking whether licensed dealer-gunsmiths who would be engaged in the business of repairing, modifying, embellishing, refurbishing, or installing parts in or on firearms for, or on behalf of a licensed importer or manufacturer are required to be licensed as manufacturers and abide by the requirements imposed on manufacturers.

In recent years, licensed firearms importers and manufacturers have contracted certain firearms manufacturing activities on their behalf to specialized licensed firearms manufacturers. Such activities include applying special coatings and treatments to firearms (e.g., bluing, anodizing, powder-coating, plating, polishing, heat/chemical treating).

This has caused confusion over which importers and manufacturers are required to identify/mark firearms and maintain permanent records of importation or manufacture. For this reason, licensed importers and manufacturers have asked whether licensed dealer-gunsmiths, who are not required to mark firearms and keep production records, may engage in such manufacturing activities on their behalf.”

Summary of ATF Ruling 2010-10
ATF Ruling 2010-10 addresses questions about activities such as bluing, anodizing, powder-coating, plating, polishing, heat and chemical treating. There has been confusion over whether these activities require a federal firearms manufacturers license, and what are subcontractors’ firearms-marking and record-keeping requirements. As stated by the BATFE in a 12/30/2010 Press Release:

Ruling 2010-10 holds that licensed firearms dealer-gunsmiths are not engaged in a manufacturing business, and are not required to hold a manufacturers license, under certain specified conditions. The ruling was issued to address modern firearms manufacturing processes, which often involve a number of contractors other than the manufacturer whose name is marked on the firearm.

Under the ruling, licensed dealers may perform manufacturing services if:

(1) The firearms are not owned by the licensed dealer-gunsmith;
(2) The licensed dealer-gunsmith returns the firearms to the licensed manufacturer or licensed importer upon completion of the manufacturing process and does not sell or distribute the firearms to any other person; and
(3) The firearms were properly identified and marked by the importer or manufacturer in accordance with the law and regulations.

We recommend that gunsmiths whose activities may be covered by ATF Ruling 2010-10 read the complete text of the ruling: ATF RULING 2010-10 Official Complete Text.

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September 16th, 2010

Top Shot Winner Iain Harrison Reveals Hollywood Insider Secrets

Iain Harrison, Top ShotThe History Channel’s new TOP SHOT television show was a big success, attracting more than two million viewers each week. The show, which featured equal amounts of “Reality TV” and head-to-head competition with a variety of weapons, had a winning formula that captured a large audience. The competitors in this gun-friendly series became instant celebrities of sorts, none more so than Iain Harrison, the ex-pat British Army officer who was “the last man standing” on the show’s final episode. Iain was a fast learner who had no real weaknesses with any weapons — from throwing knives to AR15s. He was a popular and deserving champion who came away with the show’s $100,000 prize and bragging rights to the title of “Top Shot”.

Iain Harrison was recently interviewed by the NRA’s American Hunter magazine. In his interview, Iain gave away a few TOP SHOT secrets — including “behind the scenes shenanigans”. To read the complete interview with Iain, visit AmericanHunter.com. In his closing comments, Iain had this to say about the overall experience:

If you ever get the chance to participate in one of these shows, my advice is to go for it. So long as you and your family can handle the separation, it will present a great opportunity to see behind the scenes of a TV show, shoot a few unusual guns and make some lasting friendships. Just remember that the show’s audience is comprised of mostly non-shooters, and whether you like it or not, you are acting as an ambassador for the sport we all love. Your behavior reflects on all gun owners. Don’t screw it up.

CLICK HERE for Harrison Interview.
Iain Harrison photo courtesy NRA Blog.

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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 17th, 2010

Important Rules Governing Shipment of Firearms and Air Travel

NSSF VP and Gen’l Counsel Lawrence Keane has analyzed the laws governing transport of firearms and ammunition. Here Keene explains long-standing restrictions as well as some new rules that affect firearms owners who ship guns by Common Carrier or who bring firearms when they travel by air.

Disclose to the Carrier if Contents Include Firearms or Ammunition
In a recent case, an individual was criminally prosecuted by the federal government for shipping two guns and some ammunition via a common carrier. The federal government also seized and forfeited the firearms and ammo. Why? Because the shipper “knowingly” failed to disclose to the carrier in writing that the contents of the package contained firearms and ammo. He violated Section 922(e) of the Gun Control Act. This case provides an important lesson for all of us who may, for example, ship a firearm to ourselves for an event rather than check the firearm as luggage.

You MUST declare the contents to the common carrier in writing (on the carrier’s form, check the box/fill in the line). It is a crime to “knowingly to deliver or cause to be delivered to any common or contract carrier for transportation or shipment . . . to persons other than a licensed [importer, manufacturer, dealers, or collector], any package or other container in which there is any firearm or ammunition without written notice to the carrier that such firearm or ammunition is being transported or shipped.”

Transportation Safety AgencyName on Airline Reservations and Picture ID must be Identical
An important new change is taking place for everyone who travels. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has launched a program called “Secure Flight,” which will require travelers to provide their full name as it appears on the government-issued identification they will be traveling with (i.e. passport, driver’s license) when making airline reservations. With this change, you will no longer be able to travel under an abbreviated name or nickname (i.e. Scott vs. W. Scott, Liz vs. Elizabeth or Bill vs. William). This change in airline procedure may affect you and require you to make changes to how your name appears in your travel documents including profiles with your travel agency.

Transportation Safety AgencyEducate Yourself About Restricted Items
The TSA offers a comprehensive list of all prohibited items on its website, www.TSA.gov. The lengthy list explains which items may be carried on and which must go in checked luggage. The exhaustive list of items barred from carry-on includes many things you might not expect.

For example, it is illegal to have drill bits or even screwdrivers (more than 7″ in length) in carry-on luggage. Scissors longer that 4″ must be checked. Hammers must be checked. Gel shoe inserts must be removed and checked, and even snow globes may not be carried on a plane. Because its hard to remember all the restrictions, we recommend you download the TSA’s digital PDF brochure on restricted items, and use it for reference before your new airline trip.

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May 6th, 2008

Shooting USA Features 2008 Shot Show This Week

This Wednesday night, May 7th, Shooting USA will reprise its 2008 SHOT Show Special. The hour-long broadcast on the Outdoor Channel will include footage shot on the floor of the SHOT Show in Las Vegas.

ShootingUSA Shot Show 2008

If you couldn’t attend SHOT Show yourself, this is “must-see” television. Over 2,000 gun, hunting, and outdoor product manufacturers showcased their products at the 2008 SHOT Show. Shooting USA’s camera team found many new exciting products to feature. In addition, Shooting USA covers the Firearms Media Range Day. Held the day before SHOT Show opened at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Range Day gave media members “hands-on” experiences with some of the latest pistols, rifles, and shotguns to hit the market.

Wednesday’s May 7th broadcast times for the Shooting USA Shot Show Special on the Outdoor Channel are:

Eastern Time: 4:30 PM, 8:30 PM
Central Time: 3:30 PM, 7:30 PM
Mountain Time: 2:30 PM, 6:30 PM, Midnight
Pacific Time: 1:30 PM, 5:30 PM, 11:00 PM

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January 8th, 2008

Citicorp Refuses to Process Firearms Transactions

The NSSF reports that Citicorp’s Merchant Services Division is refusing to process gun-related customer credit-card sales. This applies both to legal firearms transactions conducted through licensed FFLs as well as ordinary sales of firearms accessories. The first company to be affected by this decision appears to be firearms distributor CDNN Sports, a large retail operation based in Texas. Citi Merchant Services and First Data notified CDNN that its merchant services account would be terminated and funds seized. (Citicorp Merchant Services employs First Data Merchant Services Corporation to handle credit card transactions.)

Charlie Crawford, president of CDNN Sports Inc., explained: “We were contacted recently by First Data/Citi Merchant Services by a June Rivera-Mantilla stating that we were terminated and funds were being seized for selling firearms in a non-face-to-face transaction. Although perfectly legal, we were also informed that no transactions would be processed in the future, even for non-firearms.”

If you have a Citigroup credit card, or use Citibank for your banking services, you may want to consider shifting your accounts to another financial services provider — and be sure you tell the Citibank representatives why you are making the shift. If gun owners act in solidarity, other credit card companies may think twice about following Citigroup’s lead in refusing to handle gun transactions. To voice your concern to Citi Merchant Services and First Data Corp. directly, you can contact June Rivera-Mantilla at 631-683-7734 or Robert Tenenbaum at 631-683-6570.

If you run a firearms-related business and wish to shift to an NSSF-affiliated credit card processing program, contact Payment Alliance International at 1-866-371-2273 (ext. 1131).

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November 21st, 2007

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Landmark Second Amendment Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has granted certiorari in the much-discussed District of Columbia v. Heller case (Docket 04-7041), previously known as Parker vs. District of Columbia. This means the High Court WILL review the decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals striking down the D.C. statute banning residents from owning handguns. The Court of Appeals held that the District of Columbia’s anti-gun law violated the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In reaching its decision, the Appellate Court found, as a matter of law, that the Second Amendment provides an individual right to keep and bear arms. This was a “breakthrough” finding. Other Circuit Courts of Appeal have held that the Second Amendment merely confers a “collective right” to keep and bear arms. In practical terms, this means that the Second Amendment applies to an organized militia (i.e. the National Guard), but not to individuals.

The High Court’s decision to hear D.C. v. Heller is historically significant. This will represent the first time the Supreme Court rules directly on the meaning of the Second Amendment since the U.S. v. Miller case in 1939. The decision in Miller was poorly reasoned and left many basic issues unresolved, including the key question “Does the Second Amendment confer an individual or collective right?”

The “collective right” interpretation of the Second Amendment is disfavored among legal scholars, despite what anti-gun advocacy groups claim. Many of the nation’s most respected law professors, including Lawrence Tribe of Harvard Law School, Akhil Reed Amar of Yale, William Van Alstyne of Duke, and Sanford Levinson of the Univ. of Texas, have strongly argued that the Second Amendment secures an individual right to keep and bear arms.

The mayor of Washington, D.C., Adrian M. Fenty, filed the appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, setting the stage for the High Court to rule. According to FBI statistics, Washington D.C., despite its gun ban, ranks as one of the most dangerous cities in the United States and maintains one of the highest per-capita murder rates in the country.

In March, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, in striking down the District’s gun ban, held in Parker, et al., v. District of Columbia that “The phrase ‘the right of the people’ . . . leads us to conclude that the right in question is individual.” This was the second time in recent history that a Federal Circuit Court upheld the view that the Second Amendment was an individual right. In 2001, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled in the case of U.S. v. Emerson that “All of the evidence indicates that the Second Amendment, like other parts of the
Bill of Rights, applies to and protects individual Americans.”

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