The U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment that will provide an additional $19.5 million to help improve the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
The proposal passed the house with a 260 to 145 vote. The additional funds will bring the NICS budget for Fiscal Year 2015 to $78 million. According to the sponsors, the extra bump will be used to help states improve their submissions into the criminal background check system, ideally by allowing them to complete and update information on dangerous individuals in a timely manner.
U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5), chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, introduced the amendment May 28 with U.S. Reps. Pete King (R-NY), Elizabeth Esty (D-CT), Joe Heck (R-NV), Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Mike Quigley (D-IL).
“Our national criminal background check system is only as good as the data you put in it, and right now all the information isn’t getting into the system,” said the six sponsors of the bill in a joint statement. “When this happens, we can’t enforce the law, and criminals, domestic abusers, or dangerously mentally ill individuals who otherwise wouldn’t pass a background check can slip through the cracks and buy guns. Our bipartisan amendment addresses this dangerous shortfall of information by providing states with the resources they need to get their records into the criminal background checks system.”
The amendment was included as part of H.R. 4660, the FY 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill. It was introduced in response to the mass killing last week near the University of California-Santa Barbara, where a 22-year-old man killed six people and injured 13.
The killer, who passed a background check and acquired three handguns, used various means to hurt and kill others that included shooting, stabbing and hitting them with his car.
The amendment was supported by Everytown for Gun Safety, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Sandy Hook Promise, Third Way, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, the National Education Association, Americans for Responsible Solutions, the National Parent Teacher Association, the Union for Reform Judaism, the Washington Office on Latin America, States United to Prevent Gun Violence, Moms Rising, and the American Federation of Teachers.
The Elvis estate voluntarily dismissed its civil suit against the Beretta gun company on May 29.
Written in the court document closing the case is a one-sentence explanation: “[Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.] gives notice that it dismisses this action with prejudice because the dispute giving rise to the filing of a civil action has been settled.”
Guns.com reached out to the estate’s attorney, but no word yet how the case was settled.
The estate filed suit against Fabbrica d’Armi Pietro Beretta S.pA. in April, claiming that the Italian gun company used the Elvis Presley’s likeness to promote new shotguns in an advertising campaign.
The ads launched late 2012 and shows what appears to be Elvis wearing his rhinestone-studded jumpsuit, a shooting vest and ear protection while wielding dual finger guns, and is accompanied by the caption, “The new legend in clay shooting … Highest-level performance to shoot like a star.”
Additionally, at press events Beretta had Elvis impersonators appear, perform and greet gun enthusiasts, and in some cases the company had the impersonators pose with weapons.
And confirmed it by calling S&W directly. They are ceasing part production and support for the 3rd Generation Series of pistols. Basically pulling a Ruger. If your older gun breaks and you send it off to them they scrap it and will “replace” it with a M&P Series gun. By replace they’ll sell you one at cost. So be careful of what you do with them.
I’m surprised of this since the NYPD still stocks the 5946, the LAPD still stocks the 4566, CHP just renewed the contract for the 4006TSW, and WVSP also just did a new contract for new 4566TSW pistols. Hell, the last general production 3rd Gen gun for the civilian market was sold less then five years ago.
Ever had one of those days? You know the ones. The kind where you wish you could put on noise canceling ear muffs and drown out the sound of everything just so you could think straight? We all have them. The best cure for a rough week? Group Therapy.
Going to the shooting range is always an enjoyable experience for shooters. It puts us “in the zone”. We always leave the range feeling so much better than when we came. It’s not only because we got to spend quality time with our Beretta, it’s because at the range you are forced to relax.
One of most obvious reasons why we tend to be more relaxed at the range is that shooting forces our thoughts to be focused. Sight alignment, gun safety, and range control commands force your mind to be at the range and aware of everything going on at that exact moment. Listening for ceasefire or focusing on immediate action drills leaves no room for your brain to wander to your to-do list, or the stress of work. That fact alone can leave you much less stressed, because, for even just an hour, you are completely cut off from everything else. The only thing you are focused on is how great your shots look on that new zombie target.
Breathing control and sight alignment are paramount to shot accuracy. Breathing control uses a series of deep breaths which not only ensure great shot placement, but relax the muscles in the body. (Assuming you aren’t one of those who hold their breath as they pull the trigger. If you are, stop it.) The average adult takes roughly 17 breaths per minute; that is almost four times faster than what is optimal for the chemicals in our bodies. “Whoa, Duchess! You went all Dr. House on us! What do you mean?” What I mean is this. During our everyday activities, we adults tend to take shallow, rapid breaths. This breathing sends a message to the adrenal glands which make them produce cortisol – aka – the stress hormone. When you take deep breaths to line up your shot, you are allowing a greater amount of oxygen into the body that not only relaxes the muscles in the body, it lowers blood pressure and helps reduce that good ‘ole stress.
Don’t forget the smells! Oh, the smells of CLP and freshly fired ammo! We all know that we tend to link smells to things. You know what burnt popcorn smells like, you know when you run over a skunk in the road, and you definitely know when you are at the range. Smells are so easily linked to an event or place because they are processed through a part of the brain called the olfactory bulb. Unlike all of our other senses which have to go to other parts of the brain to be processed, this little guy has direct unrestricted access to the hippocampus, and that is where all of our associative learning takes place. Meaning, as soon as you smell it, good or bad, your body makes note of what caused that smell. So, when you smell the range, your brain associates that with shooting and shooting makes you happy. Happiness releases all of your happy chemicals which combat stress chemicals like cortisol, leaving you feeling much better.
See, and here you thought you were crazy thinking the range made you feel completely better even after the worst of days. You aren’t losing your mind; you are just easing it with group therapy!
Sonic “America’s Drive In” recently stated via their twitter account that they are “reexamining” their gun policies. Michael Bloomberg backed group Moms Demand Action is heavily pressuring the hamburger and soda supplier into serving #ShakesNotShotguns. The Oklahoma City based Sonic Drive-In stated that they currently rely on local laws to determine the policies of their restaurants, but would be reviewing their stance due to the concerns.
Several have spoken out agains the @MomsDemand group of gun grabbers, and have asked Sonic to continue following local and state laws regarding open and concealed carry.
Tweet @sonicdrivein and let them know your thoughts. Why shouldn’t you be able to carry a .45 when you stop for a Route 44 Cherry Vanilla Dr.Pepper?
Chris Matthews, host of Hardball on MSNBC, is not what you would call a noted supporter of gun rights. But he doesn’t often go quite so far as he did on a segment from May 21 (“The twisting of the Second Amendment”). The bit started off with an out-of-context quote from Justice Warren Burger in 1991 about the Second Amendment having “been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word ‘fraud,’ on the American public.”
The point of this segment, centered on an interview with former Clinton speechwriter Michael Waldman, is to argue that we’ve been getting the Second Amendment wrong this whole time. That it was intended to allow states to arm themselves against federal oppression, and it never intended to establish an individual right to bear arms. He, and like-minded Second Amendment “truthers,” say the individual rights part is merely a PR campaign by the NRA that has blinded us to reality.
Video courtesy of MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews – May 21, 2014
Matthews and Waldman talk about how the U.S. Supreme Court didn’t rule that there was an individual right to bear arms until 2008 (in D.C. v. Heller) … overlooking that Americans have been living, and legislating, under the assumption that the Second Amendment established an individual right throughout the nation’s history.
But the funny thing about this interview isn’t so much Waldman’s flimsy argument. It’s the fact that Chris Matthews keeps trying to get him to quit being so damn academic and just make blanket statements about the Second Amendment and/or the NRA. It gets to the point where Matthews just starts cutting him off and feeding him arguments.
Well, says Waldman, not really, since the belief in an individual right to bear arms is a mainstream opinion. (It apparently was back in 1991, too, or Justice Burger wouldn’t have had anything to complain about.) Waldman starts to make a shaky point about some justices who ruled on D.C. v. Heller having been appointed by pro-NRA presidents, when suddenly Matthews ends the interview with a fascinatingly bizarre non sequitur:
Well, A+ for honesty, Chris Matthews, even if your vision doesn’t have any internal logic or connection to the conversation. We look forward to the future evolution of your career, where you start asking guests whether they would eat the moon if it were made of ribs.
Since 2004, concealed carry permit numbers in Kentucky have risen 447 percent as the state has eased restrictions on the application process while expanding gun rights.
The latest report from the state police show that in 2013 there were 59,530 permits issued which is a more than four-fold increase from the number issued a decade ago.
Who is getting these permits?
“Everyone from doctors, people with PhDs, a lot of women,” says state concealed carry instructor Dale Hanlon. “We’re getting probably 60 – 70 percent of our classes are women. We have a lot of people that’s first time handgun owners.”
Besides an expanding demographic, there have been several incremental changes to the Bluegrass State’s carry laws in the past decade. These include easing training requirements for military personnel to obtain a permit, speeding up application process rates from 90 to 15 days if the forms are submitted electronically, and trimming residency requirements.
In 2013, gun rights in Kentucky were greatly expanded for permit holders when legislation opened up county and municipal buildings including parks and libraries to concealed carry while preempting prohibitive local ordinances.
Currently the cost of a permit in the state is $60 and, following a background check and successful completion of an approved firearms safety or training course, is good for five years. Kentucky also offers special concealed carry permits for active and retired law enforcement as well as judicial members, with enhanced rights.
Kentucky is not alone in seeing the numbers of concealed carry permits rise dramatically in recent years.
In Minnesota, the number of permits have tripled since 2009. Two states, Kansas and New Mexicorecently saw their numbers of CCW applicants double. Colorado, facing strict new gun laws, processed twice as many applications in just the first six months of last year when compared to all of 2012.
Permit rates in Kentucky could continue to increase, as those with special interests in concealed carry are becoming more vocal about their rights.
This year, a bill to allow temporary concealed carry for domestic violence victims passed unanimously in the Kentucky Senate and is now under consideration in the House.
Meanwhile, a number of students at the University of Kentucky have been pushing for concealed carry rights to be extended to campuses in the state.
“What is the response time for the police? Three minutes? It takes three seconds to get stabbed,” said Chisum Kirby, 20, a member of UK Campus Carry, suggesting that students are sitting ducks if a deranged lunatic were to attack the campus.
Following your response to the poll we ran back in February, we’ve been focusing on the topic of concealed firearms throughout the Spring at Lucky Gunner Lounge. Most of the content so far has revolved around gear and techniques for carrying concealed handguns. But as I promised back when the poll results came in, our coverage of “concealed firearms” will be broader than just handguns, so now it’s time for something completely different.
Hiding Guns In Plain Sight
In just the last couple of years, we’ve seen dozens of products pop onto the market that offer alternative ways for storing and hiding guns in your home besides the traditional gun safe. The most popular fad in firearms storage right now seems to be the secret compartment gun cabinet. There’s always been DIY home-made or professional custom one-off furniture available with drawers, shelves, and compartments hidden in every conceivable location, but the small boutique custom furniture shops that specialize in camouflaged gun storage are enjoying a new surge in popularity. Some of the designs are even being mass produced, and the smaller pieces like hallway mirrors and end tables with hidden gun compartments are more affordable than ever.
The advantages of hiding firearms inside what appears to be everyday furniture are obvious. It’s a discreet way to keep a self-defense tool handy “just in case”. The need for complex locks or heavy metal doors is not as great since the location of the items is secret. You could conceivably set up your home so that a firearm is always within arm’s reach, no matter where you are in the house. In theory, the unassuming camouflage will fool burglars, small children, or anyone else you don’t wish to have access to your firearms. If someone with sticky fingers were to start rummaging through your stuff, who would think to look behind that innocent mirror in the hall, or try to pull out the front of the shelf on your bookcase?
And of course, there’s the undeniable cool factor. You can’t help but get that warm and fuzzy secret agent feeling any time you activate the magnetic switch on your bedside table to reveal a waiting handgun and high powered flashlight.
But hold on there, Mr. Bond. There are a few downsides to storing and hiding your guns this way. The risks don’t necessarily negate the advantages, but before you hire a contractor to convert your staircase into a shotgun vault, consider the following:
Professional Criminals Are Smarter Than You
At least when it comes to committing crime. While they may not have an advanced degree in Residential Security Circumvention, many career burglars have the equivalent life experience. In order to effectively hide something from a home invader, you have to know how to think like one, and chances are they’ve put a lot more thought into where to find valuables than you’ve put into where to hide them. A hiding place that seems ingenious to you might foil a teenage delinquent who’s out for a quick buck, but then there are the home invasions that leave the house looking like this:
Now imagine your piece of furniture with the clever secret compartment has been tossed over on its side. Will the contents stay hidden?
And if you have any other gun accessories laying around, or maybe even a “real” gun safe in addition to that special hiding spot, you’ve just given the burglar a free tip: “This guy has guns.” Now the home invader has motivation to look extra hard for your firearms. Will your efforts to keep those guns hidden hold up to that kind of scrutiny?
Kids Aren’t Stupid Either
This point doesn’t require a lot of explanation. Just think back to when you were a kid yourself. You can probably remember a time when adults underestimated you. Maybe you found the Christmas presents in November, or you knew exactly where mom hid your Game Boy when you were grounded. Kids pay attention to details that adults ignore. They also spend a lot of time exploring their surroundings, and that includes poking around at furniture, under beds, and in closets. If you have young kids in your home who don’t know about gun safety, assume that any compartment, safe, box, or closet that isn’t securely locked is accessible to them, which can make hiding guns in your home a bit more difficult.
Furniture is Not Fireproof (Usually)
No matter how clever the hiding spot, you can’t trick a house fire into skipping over your hidden gun safe. Though there are some exceptions, most of the secret compartment type furniture is not designed to protect the contents from fire. If you have firearms you consider irreplaceable, make sure they’re stored in a fire-resistant safe. Your local fire department can give you some advice about how long your valuables are likely to last in a fire, if you have any doubts about the manufacturer’s claimed fire rating.
Your Homeowner’s Insurance Doesn’t Cover Firearms
No gun safe or hiding place is completely invulnerable to theft or fire. So if the worst happens and your whole collection disappears in a break in, your insurance will still cover it, right?
Most policies will only cover firearms automatically up to a limit, usually about $2,500. If your gun collection is worth more than that, you’ll need to purchase a rider, or buy firearms insurance from another company. The same rules usually apply to other valuables such as jewelry, coin collections, and hand tools as well.
The extra riders are usually affordable. My own insurance company will cover an additional $5,000 worth of firearms for $60 per year, and up to $10,000 for $110 annually. A policy available through the NRA covers a $6,500 collection for $65 per year. For high-value collections, the insurance company may require an itemized list of your collection, along with serial numbers, descriptions, and photographs of each item.
Don’t Be That Guy
According to Department of Justice statistics, 230,000 firearms are stolen every year, most of those from the homes and vehicles of private citizens. In a survey of incarcerated criminals who were arrested while in possession of a firearm, 37% said they obtained their gun through theft or the black market. The number of children accidentally killed by firearms is at an all time low, but it still happens and not all gun safes are as child proof as you might think.
Part of being a responsible gun owner is to not make it easy for your guns to be added to those statistics. There are dozens of effective ways to store your firearms safely, and whether you choose a traditional safe, or some other hiding spot, be sure to think critically about how hard it really is for a determined person (whether child or criminal) to work their way around your security plan.
It took just six days for Double Trap to re-enter the headlines for the USA Shooting Team. Happening with great regularity to start 2014, today it was Ian Rupert making noise with a medal his own. Participating in the inaugural International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Junior Cup in Suhl, Germany, Rupert took home the gold medal after qualifying in the No. 1 position.
Rupert began the day shooting a qualifying score of 138 to advance to the semifinals with five other competitors. His semifinals score of 28 would force him into a shoot-off with Russia’s Viacheslav Yukhimenko, who he eventually defeat to face another Russian foe in Kirill Fokeev. Rupert score an impressive 29 in that gold-medal to defeat Fokeev by two targets.
Rupert (Muncy, Pa.) also joined his junior teammates of Dale Royer (Jackson, Mont.) and Christian Wilkoski (Centerburg, Ohio) to earn the team silver medal behind Italy while Russia finished third. Royer was on the verge of earning his first international final but was defeated in a shoot-off against the two Russian competitors Rupert faced. He scored a 136 to finish seventh overall. Wilkoski shot a 132 in qualifying to finish ninth.
When the world’s elite Double Trap competitors like Glenn Eller, Josh Richmond, Jeff Holguin and Derek Haldeman reside in the very country you compete in, making a name for yourself is an uphill climb. Richmond has secured back-to-back World Cup silver medals to begin his season while Holguin earned the victory at World Cup Tucson in April.
However, an international medal in the ISSF Acapulco (Mexico) World Cup and a gold medal at the ISSF World Championships as a junior competitor and now a win in Suhl, have etched out Rupert’s place among this nation’s double trap contenders.
Rupert’s medals just add to the legacy that is building with every medal among the U.S. Men’s Double Trap team. In 31 events since 2008 including Olympic Games, World Championships, World Cup Finals and World Cups, an American has finished lower than sixth only six times. In the eight events since the disappointment in London where no American finished in the top-eight, only once [World Cup Cyprus] has an American finished lower than fifth. In that stretch, the U.S. team has earned six medals. Since 2008, the U.S. Men’s Double Trap Team has won 19 medals in 31 events.
Twenty-five U.S. athletes are in Suhl competing in the first-ever Junior Cup. Rifle and pistol events get underway Thursday with Men’s Prone and Women’s Three-Position Rifle along with Men’s and Women’s Air Pistol.
Heading to the firing line in those events for the USA Shooting Team will be Tim Sherry (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Elizabeth Gratz (Sigel, Ill.), Elizabeth Marsh (Searcy, Ark.), Minden Miles (Weatherford, Texas) and Lauren Phillips (Seabeck, Wash.) in Rifle with Brian Kim (Los Angeles, Calif.), Alex Chichkov (Temple Terrace, Fla.), Lydia Paterson (Kansas City, Kan.), Darian Shenk (Annville, Pa.), and Irina Andrianova (Shaumburg, Ill.) set for Pistol events. Shotgun takes one day off before trap and skeet get going on Thursday followed by a women’s final on Friday and men’s final on Saturday for both events.
Winchester Ammunition is a Proud Sponsor of the USA Shooting Shotgun Team: Winchester® Ammunition has been the exclusive ammunition sponsor and supplier of the USA Shooting Shotgun Team since 1999. Members of the past two shotgun teams brought home a combined six medals from London and Beijing using Winchester AA International Target loads. Winchester is an industry leader in advancing and supporting conservation, hunter education and our country’s proud shooting sports heritage. For more information about Winchester and its complete line of products, visit www.winchester.com.
– See more at: http://www.shootingwire.com/story/319969#sthash.Gx5J2mgw.dpuf
Members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Reintroduce the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act
On May 20, the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act (S. 2363) was reintroduced into the U.S. Senate by Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Co-Chair Senator Kay Hagan (NC) and CSC member Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK). The bipartisan legislation was reintroduced after necessary technical changes were made to the language of S. 1996, which was originally introduced in February.
Sponsors of the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act include the bipartisan Senate leadership of the CSC: Co-Chairs Senators Kay Hagan and John Thune (SD) and Vice-Chairs Senators Mark Pryor (AR) and James Risch (ID).
Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) President, Jeff Crane praised the reintroduction of this vital legislation. “We thank CSC Co-Chair Senator Hagan and CSC member Senator Murkowski for reintroducing this bipartisan package of legislation that includes provisions vital to protecting our hunting, angling and recreational shooting traditions in the U.S. This is a significant advancement for sportsmen and women across the country and I want to thank the bipartisan Senate leadership of the CSC for their efforts in moving this legislation.”
Currently there are 35 cosponsors to S. 2363, with an equal number of Republicans and Democrats sponsoring the legislation.
The 12 titles included in S. 2363 remain the same as the recently introduced Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014 (S. 1996). The technical changes made to this legislation keep the integrity of the original bill and do not diminish any of the provisions.
Passage of S. 2363 is a priority and would ensure our sportsmen’s traditions are protected and advanced, as it addresses some of the most current concerns of American hunters, anglers and recreational shooters. CSF will continue to work with the CSC to move the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act through the U.S. Senate.