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    Remington issuing safety recall of select Model 700 and Model Seven rifles

    April 15th, 2014

    remington 700 recall

    Remington has announced a voluntary safety recall of Model 700 and Model Seven rifles with X-Mark Pro, or XMP triggers manufactured between May 1, 2006 and April 9, 2014.

    Any rifles made after April 9, 2014 are not subject to recall.

    Remington discovered that rifles equipped with the XMP trigger can fire unintentionally. This is very dangerous and potentially fatal if not addressed. This problem is specific to the XMP trigger only. All other Model 700 and Model Seven rifles are unaffected by this recall.

    The cause of the problem is “excess bonding agent being applied in the assembly process,” not the trigger itself.

    “While Remington has the utmost confidence in the design of the XMP trigger, it is undertaking this recall in the interest of consumer safety to remove any potential excess bonding agent applied in the assembly process,” states the recall notice.

    The XMP triggers can be identified by their smooth faces. Rifles with serrated trigger faces are not affected.

    diagram

    For a right-handed rifle, the serial number is located on a user’s left. For a left-handed rifle, the serial number is located on a user’s right.

    If you think your rifle may be affected by this recall, call Remington at 1 (800) 243-9700 with your gun’s serial number. The serial number is marked on the barrel at the receiver.

    Alternatively you can use the Remington XMP trigger recall website to run a check on your rifle’s serial number. All of the details of the recall can be read here (.pdf).

    If your rifle falls into this recall contact Remington immediately and do not use or fire it. These guns shouldn’t even be loaded.

    Even if you’re unsure if your rifle fits the criteria please confirm your serial number is not on the list of affected rifles.

    “If you own a rifle subject to this recall, Remington will provide shipping, inspection, specialty cleaning, and return at no cost to you,” states the recall. “DO NOT attempt to diagnose or repair your rifle yourself.”

    It is not necessary to ship firearms through an FFL for service. They can be shipped via Fed-Ex directly to Remington and then back to the owner’s home address.

    This is unrelated to the allegations that Remington knowingly manufactured flawed firearms with faulty trigger systems.

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    Smith & Wesson Becomes Gold Sponsor of NSSF Industry Summit

    April 15th, 2014

    NSSFfeatured

    NEWTOWN, Conn. — Smith & Wesson has stepped up to become a Gold Sponsor of the NSSF Industry Summit, the National Shooting Sports Foundation announced.

    The 2014 edition of the Industry Summit will take place June 9-11 in Springfield, Mass., the city where Smith & Wesson maintains its headquarters and manufacturing facilities.

    “We are very pleased to have the generous support of this iconic firearms company for the Industry Summit,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “As a Gold Level sponsor, Smith & Wesson recognizes the importance of the Industry Summit and its long-term value to every segment of the shooting sports community.”

    At the Summit, leaders representing the firearms industry, state wildlife agencies, conservation organizations and shooting sports and hunting groups will share ideas to help shape a positive future for the shooting sports.

    Many programs that have helped increase participation in target shooting and hunting in the past 18 years can trace their roots to NSSF Industry Summits.

    More information about the NSSF Industry Summit, registration, schedules, accommodations and sponsorship opportunities can be found at the Summit website at http://www.nssf.org/IndustrySummit/.

     

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    Elvis Presley Estate to take legal action against Beretta

    April 14th, 2014

    Executors for Elvis Presley’s estate have launched legal action against Beretta firearms manufacturers over the unauthorized use of his image.

    The rock legend was well-known for his love of guns, and bosses at Beretta appear to be using that knowledge to advertise their brand of weapons with the depiction of Elvis in commercials for their new model 692 shotgun.

    beretta-elvis

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    Jim Shepard Feature: ATF Rules Against SIG MPX

    April 14th, 2014
    While filming last season’s studio segments for “Guns & Gear” TV, SIG SAUER brought several of their new guns to the studio as highlights of their 2014 products. One caught the eye of everyone -including production crew members who normally had no interest. It was, even to a “gun person” a strange-looking thing.

    SIG’s MPX carbine. After having their muzzlebrake ruled a suppressor, SIG has filed a lawsuit against the BATFE, charging “burdensome legal requirements.” Jim Shepherd photo with Guns & Gear permission.

    The “thing” was SIG’s new MPX carbine. OK, a 9mm carbine isn’t all that big a deal, but this one had a major difference: a muzzlebrake that was actually longer (9.5 inches) than the barrel itself (6.5 inches). Actually, the two weren’t separable. And, being welded in place, they gave the compact carbine an overall barrel length of sixteen inches. Without the integral muzzlebrake, the short barrel itself would classify the gun as an SBR – a Short Barreled Rifle in ATF terminology. It would then be subject to all the legal constraints and registration requirements of fully-automatic guns and suppressors.

    In August, the BATFE responded-negatively- to the muzzlebrake. The ATF’s contention was that the brake actually wasn’t a brake, classifying it instead as an interior part of suppressors known as a “monolithic baffle stack”. The official denial said “welding it to a barrel does not change its design characteristics or function” and because of that, they were classifying the MPX as a Class 3 weapon.

    In September SIG disagreed, and asked the ATF to reconsider.

    The company stuck by its contention that the MPX’s integral muzzlebrake did nothing to reduce the sound signature. As evidence, SIG submitted sound meter tests that demonstrated that the brake in fact increased the sound levels.

    If you’ve fired a rifle with a muzzlebreak, you know what they’re saying.

    That same submitted testing demonstrated that the MPX’s unique muzzlebreak did, however, significantly reduce both recoil and muzzle climb-its sole intended purpose.

    In February, the ATF responded, telling SIG it was sticking with its original finding.

    In response, SIG filed a civil suit against the ATF, claiming the ATF’s incorrect ruling was causing the company significant economic injury.

    “There is no market for a non-silencing silencer” SIG claims, while there is a “significant market for a muzzlebrake that decreases muzzle rise and recoil.”

    The ATF’s classification of the MPX’s integral brake a silencer, despite the fact it doesn’t “silence, muffle, or diminish the report of a firearm” simply attaches “burdensome requirements set forth above as if it really is a silencer,” Sig says in the suit.

    If this is beginning to sound somewhat familiar, it’s because we have reported on another ATF ruling recently (http://www.shootingwire.com/features/228649) that was overturned by a Federal Circuit Court. In that case, the ATF classified a muzzle brake from Innovator Enterprises a suppressor. The company countered with a lawsuit saying, essentially, that the ATF went purely on cosmetic appearance rather than demonstrable performance characteristics.

    On appeal, the ruling was overturned.

    But U. S. District Judge John Bates disagreed, saying the ATF clearly “jumped the gun” and overturned their finding. Bates then went on to castigate the ATF for its slipshod methods, citing as examples a lack of clearly enumerated standards and their subsequently selecting “dubious standards” that served only to fit the decision they wanted to give.

    In fact, Bates wrote, the finding letter “contains hardly any reasoning, and makes no reference to prior agency regulations or interpretations that support its conclusion.” Instead, Judge Bates called the ATF letter a brief and informal document and “a non-binding statement of the agency’s position on whether the Stabilizer Brake is a silencer.”

    Bate’s ruling went on to remind the ATF that having “a tail, grey skin and four legs” didn’t make an animal an “elephant” or a child’s bicycle a motorcycle because it had “three characteristics of motorcycles: two rubber tires, handlebars and a leather seat.”

    He didn’t stop there. He went on to point out that a Bud Light is not a Single-Malt Scotch because it is “frequently served in a glass container, contains alcohol and is served in a tavern” any more than a hockey puck is a “rubber bullet” because it has “rounded sides, is made of vulcanized rubber, and is capable of causing injury when launched at high speeds.”

    “Learning that one object has three characteristics in common with some category,” he wrote, “may not be very helpful in determining whether the object in question belongs in that category.”

    With this latest example of companies pushing back against ATF rulings, it would seem that several possibilities are emerging.

    The first, and most frequently offered by industry executives, is that the ATF is making a significant push to make firearms more difficult to manufacture and sell.
    A complimentary observation, however, may be that the industry, seeing the BATFE continually found lacking in its methods of investigation and self-policing, sees an opportunity to push back against what have historically been decisions that were difficult to question, much less reverse.

    As the industry lawsuits challenging the agency’s methods mount and Congressional pressure again ramping up over disastrous ATF operations like Operations Wide Receiver and Fast & Furious, mounting evidence of capricious rulings and slapdash operations may be adding credence to claims in Congress that the BATFE has become an “out-of-control – and unnecessary agency.”

    As always, we’ll keep you posted.

    –Jim Shepherd

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    John Browning Revolutionized The Firearms Industry

    April 14th, 2014

    John Browning tests an early version of his M2 .50-caliber machine gun, which helped win the Battle of Britain. The Union Station John M. Browning...John Browning tests an early version of his M2 .50-caliber machine gun, which helped win the Battle of Britain. The Union Station John M. Browning…

    John M. Browning was a man who knew how to deliver.

    When Winchester Repeating Arms wanted new firearms, he worked intensively for two years starting in October 1884 and produced 11 innovative designs. Other inventors would take two years to develop a single gun.

    “If there was ever a man who was focused and remained that way until a project was completed, it was John,” Scott Grange, director of public relations and shooting promotions for Browning/Winchester Repeating Arms, told IBD.

    “His creativity and focus was superhuman, and nothing could seem to distract him.”

    Browning eventually held 128 patents covering 80 guns, including the legendary Model 1892 lever-action repeating rifle (Annie Oakley’s favorite), the Colt .45 automatic pistol (which became the standard U.S. military sidearm) and the .50 Browning machine gun that armed millions of Allied infantry, tanks and aircraft in World War II.

    Utah Rise

    Browning (1855-1926) grew up in the pioneer town of Ogden in northern Utah. His father was a gunsmith, and young John was able to take a rifle apart and put it back together by age 6.

    A year later he started working in the family shop, and at 10 he made his first rifle from scraps.

    Browning’s Keys

    • Called by some the No. 1 firearms inventor.
    • Overcame: Resistance to innovation.
    • Lesson: Everything can be improved.
    • “Browning was the Leonardo da Vinci of firearms, responsible for many of the big breakthroughs,” said Bill Doyle, co-author of “American Gun.”

    When John was 13, a customer came in with a damaged rifle and left it after buying a reconditioned one. “I decided to take the gun apart down to the last small screw, even though the parts were mashed and twisted together,” Browning recalled. “I examined each and discovered that there wasn’t one I couldn’t make myself.”

    He attended school until 15, then worked full time in the family business doing repairs and producing custom firearms. When his father died, 23-year-old John took charge and a year later received his first patent, for a superior single-shot rifle. With his younger brother, Matthew, as a partner, he set up a factory where they could turn out two a day. They were on the way to building Browning Arms Co.

    In 1883, a salesman for Winchester Repeating Arms of New Haven, Conn., bought a secondhand rifle from a gun shop in the area and gave it to the vice president, T.G. Bennett.

    Bennett was so impressed, he went all the way to Ogden and offered $10,000 — worth $236,000 today — for the gun rights.

    Deal. “John established a two-decade-long business relationship with the largest firearms manufacturer in the country on a handshake,” said Grange.

    Browning's .45-caliber gun was a crucial sidearm for the U.S. Army.Browning’s .45-caliber gun was a crucial sidearm for the U.S. Army.

    The Browning Model 1885 single-shot rifle was in production for 35 years (model numbers were based on the year introduced). It was popular with hunters because of its accuracy and reliability and caused the demise of all competitors.

    While that was in process, Browning showed Bennett his new repeating rifle, for which Winchester paid an astounding $50,000, worth $2 million now. This became the Model 1886 that was made for 70 years and appeared in countless Western movies.

    Then came Browning’s 1887 lever-action repeating shotgun that became a favorite of lawmen and outlaws in the Wild West.

    “He was a hands-on manager of the entire process of gunmaking, field-testing every experimental gun as a hunter and skilled marksman and supervising the manufacturing,” said David Miller, author of  “The History of Browning Firearms.” “He was the complete man: inventor, engineer, entrepreneur.”

    Then in 1887, Browning did the unusual at age 32: He agreed to become a missionary for his church in the South, leaving his wife and son home for two years.

    When he returned, he turned day-to-day management of the business over to his brothers so he could concentrate on new designs.

    Among the most important:

    • 1890 pump-action .22-caliber rifle, which sold 2 million.

    • 1893 pump-action shotgun, which was used by U.S. soldiers in close combat during World War I.

    • 1894 lever-action repeating rifle, ahead in using smokeless powder cartridges and the most popular hunting rifle, selling 7 million.

    • 1895 lever-action repeating rifle, which was Teddy Roosevelt’s favorite for hunting big game and used by the U.S. in the Spanish-American War and by the Russians in World War I.

    Good Move

    On the eve of the 20th century, Browning noticed that when a friend fired a rifle, tall weeds near the muzzle were moved by the energy released. He thought he could harness that energy to automate loading the next round. He worked on this for the next decade, collecting patents.

    “In 1899, Browning showed Bennett a prototype of his most daring innovation, an automatically self-loading shotgun,” wrote Curt Gentry and John Browning (the inventor’s son) in “John M. Browning: American Gunmaker.” “After countless obstacles mastering the principles of automatic arms, his patents for this would give him a monopoly longer than any other popular gun in history. No sporting arm ever made a more sensational entry into the market.”

    Knowing he had a major winner, Browning for the first time demanded a royalty. That meant Bennett had to manufacture it — and since he thought it was too radical, he wouldn’t take the risk.

    Furious, Browning took his revolutionary gun to Belgium’s Fabrique Nationale, which began marketing the automatic shotgun in 1904 for the overseas market. Remington Arms Co. of Ilion, N.Y., made it for the U.S. starting in 1906.

    Winning Grip

    A few years later, Browning made a deal with Colt’s Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Co. (now Colt’s Manufacturing Co.) of Hartford, Conn., for his most important pistol: the Colt .45 automatic.

    “This became the M1911, the official sidearm of the U.S. military until 1985, when it was replaced by the M9 Beretta,” said Bill Doyle, co-author with the late Chris Kyle of  “American Gun.” “It is powerful, as well as simple, reliable and easy to manufacture. Sgt. Alvin York used one to capture 132 Germans in World War I. It armed our soldiers during the assault on Guadalcanal and on D-Day in World War II and stopped human wave attacks in Korea. Many special ops warriors continue to prefer it.”

    R.L. Wilson, author of “Colt: An American Legend” and “Winchester: An American Legend,” the company histories, said, “Without the unique input of John Browning, both Colt and Winchester would not have been able to exercise their remarkable dominance of the firearms field for so many decades.”

    At the top of the list of his many feats in the ensuing years was his M2 Browning .50-caliber machine gun. For this and the rights to make the .45-caliber automatic pistol and the Browning automatic rife, he patriotically accepted $750,000 from the U.S. government in 1917 in lieu of royalties.

    During World War II, such royalties would have amounted to $13 million (worth $166 million today).

    He would not live to see the M2′s impact. Two million were produced in America, and the placement of the .303 version on Hurricane fighters helped determine the outcome of the Battle of Britain.

    George Chinn wrote in “The Machine Gun”: “Students of warfare are generally in agreement that this was the most far-reaching single military decision made in the 20th century.”

    Browning made 61 trips to Liege, Belgium, to oversee production and develop new products. He died at his workbench there at age 71, and his body was escorted by military guard to Ogden, where the secretary of war gave the eulogy.

    Miller estimates that 40 million firearms have been sold that originated with Browning’s designs, many of which can be seen at the John M. Browning Arms Museum in Ogden.

    Today, Browning Arms is a subsidiary of the Belgian outfit now called FN Herstal and makes the Winchester brand by license after the firm went bankrupt in 1992.

     

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    FIREARM MANUFACTURING MOVES SOUTH

    April 11th, 2014

    In the past six months, three preeminent firearm manufacturers—RugerBeretta, and Remington—announced plans to build new gun factories, and it’s no coincidence that all three chose not to expand at current locations.

    In fact, the companies publicly stated that moves to the gun-friendly South at least partly hinged on rampant anti-gun legislation in northeastern states where they have been long-time, tax-paying fixtures in the business community. In aWashington Times op-ed piece, Dr. Ugo Gusalli Beretta slammed the hypocrisy: “Unfortunately, as we were planning that expansion, Maryland’s governor and legislature voted in favor of new regulations that unfairly attack products we make and that our customers want. These regulations also demean our law-abiding customers, who must now be fingerprinted like criminals before they can be allowed to purchase one of our products.”

    As a result of that frustration, Connecticut-based Ruger will set up shop in Mayodan, N.C.; Beretta is investing in a new facility in Gallatin, Tenn.; and rather than increasing production at its long-time home in Ilion, N.Y., Remington will soon be building guns in Huntsville, Ala.

    In doing so, the firearm giants are bolstering a decades-long migration pattern driven by factors such as labor costs, lower taxes and less restrictive regulation, in addition to ever-more-pressing political concerns. Remington moved its corporate headquarters to North Carolina in 1995, and the new Alabama plant will be the company’s third in the region. Other iconic brands, like FNH/Winchester and Ithaca Gun (South Carolina) and Mossberg (Texas) also made strategic decisions to relocate.

    On top of that, a wave of startup manufacturers is now thriving across the South, companies like Barrett (Tennesse), Kel-Tec (Florida), Wilson Combat (Arkansas) and Daniel Defense (Georgia and South Carolina). Adding to the influx are foreign companies, like Para USA, which completely moved operations from Canada to North Carolina five years ago, as well as Steyr (Alabama) and Taurus (Florida), whose warehouse and distribution centers have been expanded to now include assembly operations. By our count, at least 30 gun factories are now operating in the region.

    Significant gun manufacturing continues to occur in the northeast, where major players like Smith & Wesson, Kimber, Colt’s and SIG Sauer appear firmly entrenched. Ruger and Remington, for that matter, still have operations at their original locations. As American Rifleman Editor-in-Chief Mark Keefe pointed out in his “Keefe Report” last July (“Moving: It Isn’t That Simple”), there are many obstacles that stand in the way of gun-company relocation, not the least of which is concern for loyal employees. Nonetheless, one must wonder what the future holds for America’s traditional “Gun Valley” if states there continue on the course of self-destructive legislation that cripples corporate vigor and strips the rights of law-abiding citizens.

    Map of southern gun manufacturers

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    The 2nd amendment examined by a historical language scholar.

    April 11th, 2014

    The Unabridged Second Amendment

    by J. Neil Schulman

    If you wanted to know all about the Big Bang, you’d ring up Carl Sagan, right? And if you wanted to know about desert warfare, the man to call would be Norman Schwarzkopf, no question about it. But who would you call if you wanted the top expert on American usage, to tell you the meaning of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution?

    That was the question I asked A.C. Brocki, editorial coordinator of the Los Angeles Unified School District and formerly senior editor at Houghton Mifflin Publishers — who himself had been recommended to me as the foremost expert on English usage in the Los Angeles school system. Mr. Brocki told me to get in touch with Roy Copperud, a retired professor of journalism at the University of Southern California and the author of American Usage and Style: The Consensus.

    A little research lent support to Brocki’s opinion of Professor Copperud’s expertise.

    Roy Copperud was a newspaper writer on major dailies for over three decades before embarking on a a distinguished 17-year career teaching journalism at USC. Since 1952, Copperud has been writing a column dealing with the professional aspects of journalism for Editor and Publisher, a weekly magazine focusing on the journalism field.

    He’s on the usage panel of the American Heritage Dictionary, and Merriam Webster’s Usage Dictionary frequently cites him as an expert. Copperud’s fifth book on usage, American Usage and Style: The Consensus, has been in continuous print from Van Nostrand Reinhold since 1981, and is the winner of the Association of American Publisher’s Humanities Award.

    That sounds like an expert to me.

    After a brief telephone call to Professor Copperud in which I introduced myself but did not give him any indication of why I was interested, I sent the following letter:

    “I am writing you to ask you for your professional opinion as an expert in English usage, to analyze the text of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, and extract the intent from the text.

    “The text of the Second Amendment is, ‘A well-regulated Militia, being necessary for the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.’

    “The debate over this amendment has been whether the first part of the sentence, ‘A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State’, is a restrictive clause or a subordinate clause, with respect to the independent clause containing the subject of the sentence, ‘the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.’

    “I would request that your analysis of this sentence not take into consideration issues of political impact or public policy, but be restricted entirely to a linguistic analysis of its meaning and intent. Further, since your professional analysis will likely become part of litigation regarding the consequences of the Second Amendment, I ask that whatever analysis you make be a professional opinion that you would be willing to stand behind with your reputation, and even be willing to testify under oath to support, if necessary.”

    My letter framed several questions about the test of the Second Amendment, then concluded:

    “I realize that I am asking you to take on a major responsibility and task with this letter. I am doing so because, as a citizen, I believe it is vitally important to extract the actual meaning of the Second Amendment. While I ask that your analysis not be affected by the political importance of its results, I ask that you do this because of that importance.”

    After several more letters and phone calls, in which we discussed terms for his doing such an analysis, but in which we never discussed either of our opinions regarding the Second Amendment, gun control, or any other political subject, Professor Copperud sent me the follow analysis (into which I have inserted my questions for the sake of clarity):


    [Copperud:] “The words ‘A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,’ contrary to the interpretation cited in your letter of July 26, 1991, constitutes a present participle, rather than a clause. It is used as an adjective, modifying ‘militia,’ which is followed by the main clause of the sentence (subject ‘the right’, verb ‘shall’). The to keep and bear arms is asserted as an essential for maintaining a militia.

    “In reply to your numbered questions:

    [Schulman:] “(1) Can the sentence be interpreted to grant the right to keep and bear arms solely to ‘a well-regulated militia’?”

    [Copperud:] “(1) The sentence does not restrict the right to keep and bear arms, nor does it state or imply possession of the right elsewhere or by others than the people; it simply makes a positive statement with respect to a right of the people.”

    [Schulman:] “(2) Is ‘the right of the people to keep and bear arms’ granted by the words of the Second Amendment, or does the Second Amendment assume a preexisting right of the people to keep and bear arms, and merely state that such right ‘shall not be infringed’?”

    [Copperud:] “(2) The right is not granted by the amendment; its existence is assumed. The thrust of the sentence is that the right shall be preserved inviolate for the sake of ensuring a militia.”

    [Schulman:] “(3) Is the right of the people to keep and bear arms conditioned upon whether or not a well regulated militia, is, in fact necessary to the security of a free State, and if that condition is not existing, is the statement ‘the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed’ null and void?”

    [Copperud:] “(3) No such condition is expressed or implied. The right to keep and bear arms is not said by the amendment to depend on the existence of a militia. No condition is stated or implied as to the relation of the right to keep and bear arms and to the necessity of a well-regulated militia as a requisite to the security of a free state. The right to keep and bear arms is deemed unconditional by the entire sentence.”

    [Schulman:] “(4) Does the clause ‘A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,’ grant a right to the government to place conditions on the ‘right of the people to keep and bear arms,’ or is such right deemed unconditional by the meaning of the entire sentence?”

    [Copperud:] “(4) The right is assumed to exist and to be unconditional, as previously stated. It is invoked here specifically for the sake of the militia.”

    [Schulman:] “(5) Which of the following does the phrase ‘well-regulated militia’ mean: ‘well-equipped’, ‘well-organized,’ ‘well-drilled,’ ‘well-educated,’ or ‘subject to regulations of a superior authority’?”

    [Copperud:] “(5) The phrase means ‘subject to regulations of a superior authority;’ this accords with the desire of the writers for civilian control over the military.”

    [Schulman:] “(6) (If at all possible, I would ask you to take account the changed meanings of words, or usage, since that sentence was written 200 years ago, but not take into account historical interpretations of the intents of the authors, unless those issues can be clearly separated.”

    [Copperud:] “To the best of my knowledge, there has been no change in the meaning of words or in usage that would affect the meaning of the amendment. If it were written today, it might be put: “Since a well-regulated militia is necessary tot he security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged.’

    [Schulman:] “As a ‘scientific control’ on this analysis, I would also appreciate it if you could compare your analysis of the text of the Second Amendment to the following sentence,

    “A well-schooled electorate, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and read Books, shall not be infringed.’

    “My questions for the usage analysis of this sentence would be,

    “(1) Is the grammatical structure and usage of this sentence and the way the words modify each other, identical to the Second Amendment’s sentence?; and

    “(2) Could this sentence be interpreted to restrict ‘the right of the people to keep and read Books’ only to ‘a well-educated electorate’ — for example, registered voters with a high-school diploma?”

    [Copperud:] “(1) Your ‘scientific control’ sentence precisely parallels the amendment in grammatical structure.

    “(2) There is nothing in your sentence that either indicates or implies the possibility of a restricted interpretation.”

    Professor Copperud had only one additional comment, which he placed in his cover letter: “With well-known human curiosity, I made some speculative efforts to decide how the material might be used, but was unable to reach any conclusion.”

    So now we have been told by one of the top experts on American usage what many knew all along: the Constitution of the United States unconditionally protects the people’s right to keep and bear arms, forbidding all governments formed under the Constitution from abridging that right.

    As I write this, the attempted coup against constitutional government in the Soviet Union has failed, apparently because the will of the people in that part of the world to be free from capricious tyranny is stronger than the old guard’s desire to maintain a monopoly on dictatorial power.

    And here in the United States, elected lawmakers, judges, and appointed officials who are pledged to defend the Constitution of the United States ignore, marginalize, or prevaricate about the Second Amendment routinely. American citizens are put in American prisons for carrying arms, owning arms of forbidden sorts, or failing to satisfy bureaucratic requirements regarding the owning and carrying of firearms — all of which is an abridgement of the unconditional right of the people to keep and bear arms, guaranteed by the Constitution.

    And even the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), staunch defender of the rest of the Bill of Rights, stands by and does nothing.

    It seems it is up to those who believe in the right to keep and bear arms to preserve that right. No one else will. No one else can. Will we beg our elected representatives not to take away our rights, and continue regarding them as representing us if they do? Will we continue obeying judges who decide that the Second Amendment doesn’t mean what it says it means but means whatever they say it means in their Orwellian doublespeak?

    Or will be simply keep and bear the arms of our choice, as the Constitution of the United States promises us we can, and pledge that we will defend that promise with our lives, our fortuned, and our sacred honor?

    (C) 1991 by The New Gun Week and Second Amendment Foundation. Informational reproduction of the entire article is hereby authorized provided the author, The New Gun Week and Second Amendment Foundation are credited. All other rights reserved.


    About the Author

    J. Neil Schulman is the award-winning author of novels endorsed by Anthony Burgess and Nobel-economist Milton Friedman, and writer of the CBS Twilight Zone episode in which a time-traveling historian prevents the JFK assassination. He’s also the founder and president of SoftServ Publishing, the first publishing company to distribute “paperless books” via personal computers and modems.

    Most recently, Schulman has founded the Committee to Enforce the Second Amendment (CESA), through which he intends to see the individual’s right to keep and bear arms recognized as a constitutional protection equal to those afforded in the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth and Fourteenth amendments.

    J. Neil Schulman may be reached through:

    The SoftServ Paperless Bookstore, 24-hour bbs: 213-827-3160 (up to 9600 baud).

    Mail address:

    J. Neil Schulman
    PO Box 94, Long
    Beach, CA 90801-0094.GEnie address: SOFTSERV

    softserv@genie.geis.com

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    CT: Danbury Mayor quits MAIG over push for more gun regulations

    April 11th, 2014

    Danbury, Connecticut Mayor Mark Boughton severed his ties with Mayors Against Illegal Guns citing the group's push for increasing gun regulations. (Photo credit: CT Post)

    Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton severed his ties with Mayors Against Illegal Guns, citing the group’s push for increasing gun regulations. (Photo credit: CT Post)

    Mark Boughton, current mayor of Danbury, Connecticut, announced Wednesday that he was leaving Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

    This comes as Boughton, the longest serving mayor in the state, is in the middle of a campaign as the Republican candidate for Connecticut Governor’s office.

    “As a member of the Connecticut General Assembly, I was a strong supporter of the rights of law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen in Connecticut. This remains my position today,” Boughton said in astatement released April 9.

    “I joined New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns because I believe enforcement of existing gun laws is preferable to creating new gun laws. It is clear in recent months however that Bloomberg’s mission has changed from law enforcement to simply increasing gun regulations. As a result, today I have ended my affiliation with Bloomberg’s group,” Boughton said.

    Boughton had joined the coalition in February 2013 and previously supported gun control legislation. This included the New York SAFE Act as well as Connecticut’s own expanded assault weapon’s banenacted that year.

    He is not, however, the first mayor to leave over conflicting principles concerning the Second Amendment. Mayor John Tkazyik, of Poughkeepsie, New York, loudly broke ties with MAIG in February citing that, “MAIG intended to promote confiscation of guns from law-abiding citizens.”

    Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has had over 160 members leave his Mayors Against Illegal Guns campaign in the past year. (Photo credit: Politico)

    Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has had over 160 members leave his Mayors Against Illegal Guns campaign in the past year. (Photo credit: Politico)

    Numbering over a thousand members at one point, the group has been hemorrhaging in recent months as many of its regular members, including co-founders Tom Menino and Michael Bloomberg, have left office.

    The news that Boughton had severed his ties with the Mayors group provoked a response from at least one of its supporters.

    “My mom and my family have strong ties to Danbury – it was where my mother held her first school administration job and I know it is a place that was dear to her heart,” wrote Erica Lafferty, current Outreach Associate for Mayors Against Illegal Guns and the daughter of slain Sandy Hook principal Dawn Hochsprung, in a statement to Guns.com Wednesday.

    Lafferty continued, saying, “That’s why I feel betrayed to learn that Mayor Boughton is putting his personal political ambitions ahead of the safety of Connecticut families. In fact, the tagline for his campaign is ‘People over Politics’ – but the only people that this decision serves are gun lobbyists.”

    How gun owners interpret Boughton’s actions, however, isn’t quite clear.

    “I really hope he’s starting to get it, and he’s really listened and had an opportunity to think over what people have been trying to say,” said Scott Wilson, president of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League.

    “But I would be remiss to not say I think that maybe the window, the timing may have closed as far as gun owners are concerned with regard to Mark Boughton. I’m always willing to listen to what he has to say…but it’s taken him so long, a lot of people have already thrown their support behind the candidates out there,” he continued.

    To this, Boughton said his resignation is not an attempt to win back gun owners.

    “I’m not doing it to move the needle,” Boughton said. “At the end of the day, I have a record as it applies to Second Amendment issues.”

     

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    ATF Issues Statement on Classification of 7N6 5.45X39 Ammunition

    April 8th, 2014

    TEST, EXAMINATION AND CLASSIFICATION OF 7N6 5.45X39 AMMUNITION

     On March 5, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) received a  request from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP) to conduct a test, examination and classification of Russian-made 7N6 5.45×39 ammunition for purposes of determining whether it is considered  “armor piercing ammunition” as defined by the Gun Control Act (GCA), as amended. Since 1986, the GCA has prohibited the importation of armor piercing ammunition unless it is destined for government use or testing.  The imported ammunition about which CBP was inquiring was not destined for either excepted purpose.

    The Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), as amended, defines the term “armor piercing ammunition” as:

    “(i)      a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or

    (ii)        a  full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.”  (emphasis added)

    When ATF tested the 7N6 samples provided by CBP, they were found to contain a steel core.  ATF’s analysis also concluded that the ammunition could be used in a commercially available handgun, the Fabryka Bronie Radom, Model Onyks 89S, 5.45×39 caliber semi-automatic pistol, which was approved for importation into the United States in November 2011.  Accordingly, the ammunition is “armor piercing” under the section 921(a)(17)(B)(i) and is therefore not importable.  ATF’s determination applies only to the Russian-made 7N6 ammunition analyzed, not to all 5.45×39 ammunition.  Ammunition of that caliber using projectiles without a steel core would have to be independently examined to determine their importability.

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    Mathews Pros Lundeen and Brown Score at ASA Alabama

    April 8th, 2014

     

    Lundeen and Brown Pic 1The third tournament of the season for the ASA was held March 28 – 30 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. This is the second consecutive ASA to be held in Alabama this year. Even though it was in the same state, the conditions and location proved to be different and the shooters had to adapt. When the winners were announced, Erika Lundeen and Art Brown won the titles in their respective classes.

    Erika Lundeen has competed in the Women’s Pro class for a few years. She is a very tough competitor, but she had not won her first tournament yet. This week, going in to the shoot down, Lundeen was in second place, trailing the leader by 2 points. Lundeen shoot tremendously in the shoot down, and captured her first win of the season with a score of 468-10. Second place went to Ginger Morehead with a score of 464-8. Morehead also moved up from third place entering the shoot down to finish in second. Mathews finished with six of the top ten finishers in the class. The rest of the top ten included: Kailey Johnston, 462-7, 4th place; Sharon Carpenter, 461-7, 5th place; Emily Veyna, 393-5, 8th place and Kaitlyn Price, 387-3 in 10th place.

    In the Senior Pro class, Art Brown has a new favorite state! Brown won the first Alabama tournament a few weeks ago, and this week he did it again. Brown had a final score of 482-15 and won his second consecutive ASA tournament of the season. Duane Price had a score of 476-18 and finished in second place. This is Price’s third consecutive top 3 finish in the ASA this season. Tom Crowe also had his third consecutive top three finish as well. Crowe finished in third place with a score of 476-13. Mathews finished with five of the top ten finishers in the class. The rest of the top ten included: Tipton Cook, 405-12, 6th place and Richard Freeland, 402-8 finished in 8th place.

    In the Open Pro class, Walter Rush was the top Mathews finisher. Rush had a score of 494-19 and finished in second place. Mathews ended the tournament with four of the top ten finishers in the class. The rest of the top ten included: Jeff Hopkins, 485-18, 5th place; Brandon Reyes, 421-16, 9th place and Terry Reynolds, 420-17 in 10th place.

     

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