• Category Archives Shooting
  • The Civilian Marksmanship Program Is One Step Closer To Selling Colt 1911s

    Fellow military history buffs and shooting enthusiasts rejoice, good news is coming your way: An amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act is set to allow the U.S. Army to, at long last, sell off its surplus Colt M1911A1 pistols.

    The Army currently has around 100,000 surplus Colt 1911A1s, the iconic sidearm used throughout both world wars, as well as the fighting in Korea and Vietnam. But by the 1980s, the 1911 had officially been replaced, shunted aside for the sleeker Beretta M9. Now, in a Lion King-esque circle of life, the M9 too has reached its expiration date, and will follow the venerable 1911 into the great beyond (err, storage facilities), as the Army begins to receive shipments of shiny new M17 Sig Sauer pistols.

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  • Coke Loving Florida man sits on gun, shoots self in penis! (I’m Not Buying This Story — Are You?!)

    A Jacksonville man accidentally shot himself in the penis early Friday morning when he sat on a gun in the driver’s seat of his car, police said.

    Cedrick Jelks, 38, was taken to Memorial Hospital by 25-year-old Shanekia Roberts, who told police that Jelks was sitting in his Nissan Altima by himself and came into their home on Freedom Crossing Trail in a panic and ran straight to the bathroom.

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  • YouTuber Shoots Boyfriend in Video Stunt Gone Wrong (Dummy Should Have Worn a Vest!)

    An aspiring YouTube star has killed her boyfriend after shooting him in a video blog gone wrong.

    Monalisa Perez, a 19-year od aspiring YouTube star from Minnesota, has been arrested after shooting her boyfriend, Pedro Ruiz III in a YouTube stunt gone wrong. In the planned stunt, Ruiz held a hardcover encyclopedia in front of his chest while Perez leveled a .50 caliber gold-plated Desert Eagle pistol at him and pulled the trigger, believing that the encyclopedia would stop the bullet. Of course, the hardcover book did not provide protection, and Ruiz was killed.

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  • Springfield Armory & Rock River Arms Made Campaign Contributions to Anti-Gun Rights Politicians

    The gun community continues to react to news of a deal made by Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms to carve out an exemption from a state licensing scheme (SB-1657). Both Springfield and Rock River Arms have issued statements denying any knowledge of the deal negotiated on their behalf by the lobbyist for the Illinois Firearms Manufacturing Association (IFMA). An organization funded by Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms.

    We can now reveal that Springfield and Rock River have, through IFMA, donated tens of thousands of dollars to Illinois anti-gun politicians over the last several years.

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  • Gun Ownership, Shooting Classes Surge Among Black Women

    Black women are flocking to firearm classes in cities like Atlanta, Cincinnati, Dallas, and Savannah, learning to shoot and use guns for self-defense.

    The classes are specifically geared toward the women, bearing names like “Trigger Happy Firearm Instruction,” “Brown Girls Project,” and “Black Woman’s Defense League,” among others. All are designed to teach black women how to properly use a firearm and to carry it in a way that it is accessible and ready if needed for self-defense.

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  • Civilian Marksmanship Program May Receive 86,000 Repatriated M1 Garands From The Philippines

    According to an M1 Garand collectors group, a large group of loaned rifles are being processed by the U.S. Army to be shipped back to the United States.

    Mark Johnson, Chief Operating Officer of the CMP, told The Firearm Blog that the rifles could be shipped back for distribution to American civilian shooters.

    “There are 86,000 or so M1’s hopefully coming back to the Army,” he said. “We hope to see them in the future.”

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  • Firearms Purchases Still Trending Up

    We’ve covered – and debunked – the claims that firearms sales are significantly declining under the Trump Administration.  The latest FBI report on NICS checks for March 2017 should help put any lingering claims about the “Trump Slump” to bed. 

    The total number of NICS checks, nationwide, is up about 9% from February 2017 which was itself a nearly 10% increase over January 2017. NICS checks aren’t a direct proxy for firearms sales – not every check is related to a sale, a single check can be used to purchase more than one firearm in a single transaction, not all sales are completed even after an approved NICS, etc. – but the National Shooting Sports Foundation proposed an interesting way to improve the proxy. They devise the total number of NICS checks by removing those explicitly for permit or permit rechecks. While this will still not capture all firearms purchases (since some locales require a permit to purchase and so run a background check for the permit itself instead of at the point of sale), this calculation does likely get us closer to the number of firearms sold per month. 

    March 2017 is number 10 in the total number of checks since January 2008 and cracks the top 20 for estimated sales (number 17, to be exact). Just over 1.35 million firearms were sold in March 2017 according to this estimate. 

    The well-covered theory seemed to be that purchases would subside once the “threat” of Obama and Clinton policies were exhausted.

    The numbers tell a different story. Using the estimated sales calculation, the number of purchases has increased in each month of 2017.  Actually, the average number of purchases in the first 3 months of 2017 is just 1% lower than the average of August through October 2016 (excluding the typically high sales month of December and November to prevent any electoral uncertainty from skewing our conclusion).

    While we don’t have data on when purchasers decided to make a purchase, a reasonable assumption would be that the increase in late 2016 could be attributed to a desire to complete a planned purchase sooner to avoid the worst possible outcome of the election. The increase in sales-related NICS checks each month of 2017 suggests that fear of anti-gun policies isn’t the driving force behind firearms purchases but perhaps simply a factor in the decision on when to purchase.  

    Or, put another way, Americans’ commitment to liberty, tradition, and self-defense isn’t dictated by political developments.

  • Ammo Makers CCI & Federal Reduce Staff in Idaho, Minnesota

    Vista is the corporation that owns CCI and Federal brands. They have been increasing production of .22 rimfire ammunition. It was expected to be ramped up 20% this year.

    Following the election of President Trump, demand for ammunition has dropped. According to an article from Lewiston, Idaho, Vista has laid off employees in both the Lewiston and the Anoka, Minnesota ammunition plant locations.

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  • Changes to the NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting Program

    Dear NRA Certified Instructor:

    We have some changes, and we plan to release them on April 4, 2017. We want you to know that the NRA strives to create the courses you want to teach and your students want to take. To that end, we have continued to fine tune the NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting Program to give both our instructors and students the ability to choose the delivery method that best suits their needs. There will be significant improvements to the existing Blended learning edition, as well as the introduction of NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting, Instructor Led Training (ILT)all of which is conducted entirely under the direct supervision of an Instructor. These changes will give the NRA Certified Pistol Instructor the ability to administer the training in its entirety, and the freedom to choose the Blended or ILT version of the Basics of Pistol Shooting Course.

    First, let’s look at what is coming for the Blended version of the NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting Course: Instructors will have the option to purchase Course Control Codes (CCC). These are codes that instructors issue to students so they can access and complete the self-study portion of the Blended course before attempting the hands-on portion. The CCCs will be significantly discounted to you so that you can set the price of your course to include the self-study portion. The student will no longer be required to make payment to the NRA and then make a separate payment to the instructor. This gives you control over your course from beginning to end. Students will need to create a unique username and password while registering for the course and then, at your discretion, you issue the student a CCC. To make delivery of the codes more convenient, the NRA has created an email template that automatically updates with the student’s information, the CCC, and instructions for completing the course. The email will be sent when the CCC is issued to the student. The Instructor-led portion of the Blended course will be conducted in the manner set forth in the Blended Course lesson plans that are available on your NRAInstuctors.org homepage. The reporting requirements and the printing of NRA Course Certificates will be identical between both courses and will be covered below.

    Next, we will introduce the new NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting, Instructor Led Training (ILT). The defining feature of this course is the return to the traditional Instructor/student relationship. One major improvement is the flexibility to teach the full lesson plan or a condensed version which covers only one pistol action type (semi-auto or revolver). The lesson plans for ILT will be placed in the Lesson Plans/PowerPoints section on your NRAInstructors.org homepage. To maintain consistency across all NRA lesson plans, a Performance Requirements Checklist (PRC) is included. We strongly recommend that you use this form to document what you have taught your students, as well as record the students’ acknowledgement that they are comfortable with each objective. If you conduct the condensed lesson plan covering a single pistol type, please document this clearly on the forms and keep them for your records. Please note that if you conduct the ILT version of the course, you are required to provide each of your students with a Basics of Pistol Shootingstudent packet. Packets will be available at the NRA Program Materials Center and consist of the NRA Guide: Basics of Pistol Shootinghandbook and a course exam. Also note that if you conduct a single pistol action type course, you must report it as such in order to print the appropriate certificates, which will state Revolver or Semi-Automatic.

    Once either version of the NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting course is completed, you will submit the electronic course report. This report will include your student’s written exam score, the shooting skill level they achieved, and your acknowledgement that the student met all of the learning objectives as set forth by the curriculum. Once each of these elements is complete, you will be able to submit and print your report and the student’s certificates. The certificates will be watermarked and prepopulated with your NRA Instructor ID number, your printed name below a signature line, date, serial number, student name, marksmanship skill level, pistol action type (if appropriate) as well as the signature of the NRA Secretary.

    Please keep an eye on your NRAInstructors.org sign-in page. On April 4, 2017, there will be an acknowledgement page that pops up when you log into your account. This will be the notification that the enhancements are active, and you may begin to teach either course, as well as purchase Course Control Codes and student packets, whichever you chose.

    Thank you for your continued commitment to NRA Training Programs.

  • Now Hear This: Shooting Sports Are Good for Your Health, But Loud Noise is Not!

    We hear it all the time from the anti-gun folks: firearms are a “public health” crisis.

    The proponents of this theory, of course, ignore the main reason Americans own guns … one that is demonstrated thousands, if not millions, of times a year: they can save the lives of their owners and the owner’s loved ones. 

    An interesting piece published this week at MedicalDaily.com, however, indicates that discharging a firearm at a range or under other controlled conditions has other, perhaps less widely-recognized, health benefits.

    According to the article, 

    When you fire a gun, your body releases hormones called endorphins …. These hormones promote a calm, relaxed feeling, and although they are meant to help alleviate the stress and anxiety associated with firing such a powerful weapon, they can also induce a pleasurable “high-like” sensation.

    The article also notes that marksmanship training burns a “surprising” amount of calories, up to 233 an hour for a larger person. It further states that the brain produces alpha waves as the marksman is lining up a shot, which not only improve accuracy but are “associated with creativity and alleviating depression ….” 

    Yet the lab coats at Medical Daily are hardly the first to recognize the salutary benefits of spending some quality time with your favorite sidearm or long gun. No less a thinker than Thomas Jefferson famously had this advice for his 15-year-old nephew on the best form of exercise:

    I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprize, and independance to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks.

    Healthy though they may be, guns of course require certain precautions to be enjoyed safely. For example, hunters and sportsmen know that a firearm’s loud muzzle report can leave your ears ringing and even cause hearing damage over time and with repeated exposures. 

    In fact, the Centers for Disease Control reported this week that even among Americans who believe their own hearing is “excellent” or “good,” about one in four actually suffer some type of permanent damage, often from exposure to noise “during everyday activities at home and in the community.”

    It’s not hard to imagine that many of America’s over 100 million gun owners are in that group.

    That’s exactly why your NRA-ILA is vigorously promoting the Hearing Protection Act of 2017. This important, health-promoting bill would remove an expensive tax stamp and bureaucratic red tape from the process of purchasing suppressors to reduce the muzzle report and felt recoil of firearms. Suppressors have obvious advantages for the safety and enjoyment of firearm owners and for reducing the disturbance they might cause to others in nearby vicinities.

    Indeed, as we report elsewhere this week, even the second-in-command at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives recently acknowledged that the use of suppressors “to reduce noise at shooting ranges” and for “applications within the sporting and hunting industry” are “now well recognized.” He went on to explain how the current regulatory regime to which suppressors are subjected imposes significant costs to industry, consumers, and ATF itself without corresponding benefits to public safety. “[T]he change in public acceptance of silencers,” he wrote, “arguably indicates that the reason for their inclusion [in the strict regulatory regime] is archaic and historical reluctance to removing them from [that regime] should be reevaluated.”

    So enjoy the health benefits of the gun ownership and use, but protect your hearing. And make sure your senators and congressional representative hear from you in favor of supporting S. 59 and H.R. 367 in the 115th Congress. 

  • ATF Associate Deputy Director Pens “White Paper” on Reducing Needless Firearms Regulations

    On Monday, the Washington Post reported on a “white paper” written by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Associate Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer Ronald Turk that outlines several changes that ATF could make to decrease the burdens placed on gun owners and the firearms industry while maintaining public safety. Titled “Options to Reduce or Modify Firearms Regulations” and dated January 20, 2017, the document covers a raft of issues that NRA has previously worked to address, and vindicates NRA’s long-held contentions about the dubious efficacy of many firearms regulations. While the white paper does fail to address some of the legitimate concerns of gun owners in certain areas, the majority of document should serve to inform ATF regulatory reform efforts moving forward.

    The document correctly concludes that “There are many regulatory changes or modifications that can be made by or through ATF that would have an immediate, positive impact on commerce and industry without significantly hindering ATFs mission or adversely affecting public safety.” And to this end, the paper individually addresses a handful of areas where regulation could be curtailed.

    [Click here to read “Options to Reduce or Modify Firearms Regulations” by ATF Associate Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer Ronald Turk.]

    Sporting Purposes Test

    Under 18 U.S.C. § 925(d), “The Attorney General shall authorize a firearm or ammunition to be imported or brought into the United States or any possession thereof if the firearm or ammunition… is generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.”

    Infamously known as the “sporting purposes test,” this portion of federal law has been used as justification to prohibit the importation of certain types of firearms to the U.S. In 1989, President George H.W. Bush used the sporting purposes test to bar the importation of 43 types of semi-automatic rifles. Unsatisfied with the breadth of the Bush ban, President Bill Clinton used this provision to ban the importation of 58 additional types of semi-automatic rifles. The abuse of the law was so evident that Clinton White House staffer Jose Cerda remarked, “We are taking the law and bending it as far as we can to capture a whole new class of guns.”

    In challenging the legitimacy of the current configuration of the sporting purposes test, the paper notes the increasing use of semi-automatic firearms in the modern shooting sports. Turk explains,

    Since the sunset of the Assault Weapons ban in 2004, the use of AR-15s, AK-style, and similar rifles now commonly referred to as “modern sporting rifles” has increased exponentially in sport shooting. These firearm types are now standard for hunting activities. ATF could re-examine its almost 20-year-old study to bring it up to date with the sport shooting landscape of today, which is vastly different than what it was years ago. Action shooting sports and organizations such as 3 Gun and the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) have also drastically expanded in recent years. 

    This would be a departure from ATF policy, which has historically dismissed the modern shooting sports when making sporting purposes determinations. As recently as July 2012, when ATF released an update to their “Study on the Importability of Certain Shotguns,” the agency rejected arguments by public commenters that practical shooting competitions should come within the definition of sporting purposes. Straining to deny the legitimate sporting uses of many semi-automatic shotguns, ATF compared the number of members of the United States Practical Shooting Association to the obviously much larger total number of licensed hunters in the U.S. The difference, ATF contended, showed that the modern shooting sports should have no bearing on determining whether a firearm is “suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.” Turk’s recognition of this folly is a welcome development.

    The paper goes on to explain that the import bans do not advance a public policy goal. Turk notes, “Restriction on imports serves questionable public safety interests, as these rifles are already generally legally available for manufacture and ownership in the United States.”


    In recent years, NRA has worked to roll back state laws that restrict the possession or use of suppressors. This, and advances in the industry, have led to something of a renaissance in the production and use of firearm suppressors. The increasing popularity of these devices, and their health benefits for shooters, has led NRA, pro-gun lawmakers, and even Donald Trump Jr., to lead an effort to remove suppressors from the registration and tax burdens imposed by the National Firearms Act.

    It appears at least some in ATF acknowledge the benefits of suppressors and support their removal from the NFA. The white paper notes, “In the past several years, opinions about silencers have changed across the United States. Their use to reduce noise at shooting ranges and applications within the sporting and hunting industry are now well recognized.”

    The paper goes on to explain the outmoded nature of the current regulation of suppressors and that  removing the devices from the NFA poses little public safety risk, as they are rarely used in crime. Turk notes, 

    While DOJ and ATF have historically not supported removal of items from the NFA, the change in public acceptance of silencers arguably indicates that the reason for their inclusion in the NFA is archaic and historical reluctance to removing them from the NFA should be reevaluated. ATF’s experience with the criminal use of silencers also supports reassessing their inclusion in the NFA. On average in the past 10 years, ATF has only recommended 44 defendants a year for prosecution on silencer-related violations; of those, only approximately 6 of the defendants had prior felony convictions. Moreover, consistent with this low number of prosecution referrals, silencers are very rarely used in criminal shootings. Given the lack of criminality associated with silencers, it is reasonable to conclude that they should not be viewed as a threat to public safety necessitating NFA classification, and should be considered for reclassification under the [Gun Control Act]. 

    FFL Reform

    In 1993, President Bill Clinton directed the Treasury Department to further scrutinize Federal Firearms Licensees and applicants in order to reduce the overall number of firearms dealers. These efforts had the effect of significantly reducing the number of FFLs in the country, eliminating many small dealers who operated out of their homes.

    The white paper contemplates efforts to loosen some of the business-related requirements for obtaining an FFL. The paper notes,

    The marketplace has changed significantly in recent years, and ATF’s guidance to FFLs on these issues has not kept pace with developments in commerce. Classic “brick and mortar” storefronts with an on-hand inventory and set “front-door” business hours often no longer apply in today’s modern marketplace.

    This, Turk explains, “would have no negative impact to public safety” and – in his view – might have salutary effects, as it “would encourage more sales and business through a licensee.”

    Further, Turk discusses permitting FFLs to conduct sales at gun shows outside of the state in which they are licensed. Permitting such sales, Turk argues, “would have no detrimental effect on public safety.”

    Pistol Stabilizing Braces

    In recent years firearm owners have increasingly made use of products like Sig Sauer’s SBX or SB15 pistol stabilizing brace. A boon to disabled shooters, the ATF has approved such items for use on pistols. However, in January 2015, ATF issued an open letter explaining that,

    [a]ny person who intends to use a handgun stabilizing brace as a shoulder stock on a pistol (having a rifled barrel under 16 inches in length or a smooth bore firearm with a barrel under 18 inches in length) must first file an ATF Form 1 and pay the applicable tax because the resulting firearm will be subject to all provisions of the NFA.

    According to ATF’s convoluted logic,

    “[b]ecause the NFA defines both rifle and shotgun to include any “weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder,” any person who redesigns a stabilizing brace for use as a shoulder stock makes a NFA firearm when attached to a pistol with a rifled barrel under 16 inches in length or a handgun with a smooth bore under 18 inches in length.”

    In challenging this interpretation of the law, the white paper points out, “ATF has not made another NFA determination where a shooter’s use alone was deemed be a ‘redesign’ of the product/firearm resulting in an NFA classification.” Turk also suggests that,

    To mitigate this confusion and concern, ATF could amend the determination letter to remove the language indicating that simple use of a product for a purpose other than intended by the manufacturer – without additional proof or redesign – may result in re-classification as an NFA weapon.

    Re-importation of Defense Surplus Firearms

    Longtime NRA supporters will be familiar with the long-running effort to repatriate tens of thousands of M1 Garand rifles and hundreds of thousands of M1 carbines from South Korea. NRA has repeatedly worked with our friends in Congress to promote a legislative remedy that would allow for these firearms to be brought home for the benefit of American collectors.

    In 2010, Hillary Clinton’s State Department blocked the importation of these rifles, citing public safety concerns. At the time, a State Department spokesperson commented that “The transfer of such a large number of weapons — 87,310 M1 Garands and 770,160 M1 Carbines — could potentially be exploited by individuals seeking firearms for illicit purposes.”

    Rejecting this rationale, the paper notes,

    There is no clear public safety reason why taxpayer-funded US-origin C&R defense articles should be denied re-importation to the American public, while many non-U.S.- origin C&R items are approved. Additionally, these items do not represent any discernable public safety concern, as demand lies with collectors of vintage military firearms.

    Turk also points out,

    Many M1 Garand rifles have been approved for importation in the past, setting precedence for this to occur. The more recent denials were in part due to perceived potential that they may be used in crimes, for which there is little, if any, evidence for such a concern.

    Firearms Registration

    As with most government products, the ATF white paper is not perfect. The document is a bit too dismissive of the concerns of gun owners and dealers regarding some firearm transfer recordkeeping requirements.

    In 2011, President Barack Obama’s Department of Justice announced a firearm transfer reporting scheme, the purported purpose of which was to combat Mexican drug cartels. The measure requires gun dealers in the Southwest border states to report to ATF information pertaining to the multiple sale of rifles that are larger than .22-caliber and able to accept a detachable magazine that are made to a single individual within a five-day period. Turk appears to approve of this effort, claiming that it has some beneficial use.

    First, regardless of any perceived value the reporting requirement may have, the scheme is a blatant perversion of federal law. Permitting ATF to operate this demand letter scheme allows the agency to circumvent important safeguards in 18 U.S.C. § 923(g) that are meant to protect FFLs from agency harassment. Further, 18 U.S.C. § 923(g)(3)(A) requires FFLs to report multiple sales of handguns to a single buyer within five consecutive days. That Congress did not impose this same requirement for multiple rifle sales makes clear that they did not intend to burden rifle transactions in this manner.

    Second, for those who have made lawful purchases of this type, the reporting requirement amounts to gun registration. This scheme not only creates significant privacy concerns for gun owners in the Southwest border states, but also circumvents 18 U.S.C. § 926(a), which prohibits the federal government from creating a firearms registry.

    Overall, Turk’s ATF white paper is an important contribution to the development of a more intelligent firearms regulation regime, informed by actual experience in administering ATF regulations. Unsurprisingly, gun control groups, who have little knowledge of how firearms regulations work in practice and are unconcerned with the efficacy of a given rule aside from its ability to burden gun owners and the firearms industry, have been vocal in their condemnation of the paper. ATF should ignore such reflexive comments to this well-considered document and move forward with efforts to free gun owners, the firearms industry, and the agency from regulations that serve no public interest.

  • Army Adopts Sig Sauer Sidearm

    The U.S. Army announced on Thursday that it would adopt a new sidearm manufactured by Sig Sauer.

    The Army awarded Sig Sauer the contract for a brand new Modular Handgun System worth up to $580 million over 10 years. That sum will equip the military branch with the P320 beginning this year once operational testing is complete. It will replace the standard issue Beretta M9 that the Army currently employs.

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