Ammunition sales in Va. skyrocket

Just me, but I don’t think that such specific ammunition sales information needs to be plopped in the lap of a news agency.

RICHMOND, Va. (WSET) — An online ammunition shop has noticed an upsurge in ammunition sales in Virginia recently.

AmmunitionToGo.com, an online ammunition retailer based in Houston, Texas, reports that they have seen a massive upsurge in their online traffic and sales in Virginia.

The company says that the number of Virginians accessing their website in 2020 has increased by 137 percent as compared to this time period in 2019.

“I doubt that any other businesses are affected as much by politics as firearm and ammunition manufacturers and retailers,” said Brandon Black of AmmunitionToGo.com. “We’re now seeing a massive number of Virginia shooters stocking up on ammunition in anticipation of new laws that they believe will make it harder to purchase rounds legally.”

  • Arlington – 339%
  • Ashburn – Up 42%
  • Charlottesville – 278%
  • Fredericksburg – 161%
  • Newport News – 102%
  • Norfolk – 113%
  • Richmond – 80%
  • Roanoke – 155%
  • Suffolk – 76%
  • Virginia Beach – 207%

According to AmmunitionToGo.com, Virginia was once one of the company’s top 20 markets but it has since skyrocketed to the top five among California and Texas.

Over 20,000 people rallied at the Virginia Capitol building to protest proposed gun control legislation on Monday with the hopes that their Virginia representatives would hear them.

Headline: Untraceable ‘ghost guns,’ like one used in Waterloo shooting, draw attention of ATF

Well, this is underwhelming.

[SHOT 2020] TFB Industry Day At The Range – Colt Python

“Hits and Hiccups”

Colt had both the 4.25 inch and 6 inch Pythons available to shoot.  I opted for the 6″, as I was interested in the balance of the longer barrel.  The revolver points very naturally, exactly like an old Python.  The double action pull was very smooth and consistent, though does not “stage” the hammer at all like the old Pythons.  Single action pulls were very crisp, though just a tad heavier than the old Pythons.  Colt said the heavier pull weight was needed to pass modern drop test requirements.  In both modes, targets were simple to hit out to 50 yards.

Unfortunately, after only 7 rounds of Colt’s National Match .38 Special, I experienced a failure to advance the cylinder.  A few other reviewers have experienced this issue as well.  Colt is aware of the issue (likely a failure of the hand to rebound), and ask that anyone experiencing this issue send their Pythons in for assessment and repair.  This may be a teething issue, but it seems like Colt should have done more due diligence to prevent this issue from occurring to customers in the first place.

Austin man’s blueprints for 3D printed guns could go back online soon

If you hadn’t already downloaded the files (just because) this will be another chance.

A federal rule change could soon make it legal to put 3D printed gun blueprints — first introduced by a Texas man — back online after being blocked from the internet twice.

The Trump administration has proposed transferring authority of some small arms and ammunition exports from the U.S. Department of State to the Commerce Department — a move that would effectively relax regulations that have previously prevented the 3D printed gun blueprints from being posted online.

The Trump administration gave the requisite 30-day notice of the rule change to Congress on Nov. 13, meaning the White House could announce the transfer of authority any day, ending a long fought battle by Austin-resident Cody Wilson to allow the blueprints to be made publicly available.

Virginia gun store says firearms, ammunition, and magazines flying off shelves with upswing in cash purchases

Gun-grabbers; The best gun salesmen in the U.S.

With Virginia Democrats taking over all branches of state government, a firearms store owner in the state says sales of guns, magazines, and ammunition are up 200%, and more of his customers are paying in cash.

“This is the largest Christmas and November, December that we’ve had, basically, since Trump has come on board. The only other person that was a better salesman right now is when we had President Obama,” said Jerry Rapp, owner of SpecDive Tactical, in Alexandria, comparing the administrations of President Trump and his White House predecessor, Barack Obama.

“Every time [Obama] turned around he was going to ban something or make something illegal. But even that isn’t even close to the amount of sales we’re selling right now of magazines, of guns, of every kind of gun from pistol, rifle, shotguns, to AR platforms” and ammunition, Rapp told the Washington Examiner. “We can’t keep it in stock.”

Since Democrats took the majorities of both chambers in Virginia’s state legislature after big wins in the November elections, gun control proposals that include bans on “assault-style” weapons, restrictions on magazine capacity, universal background checks, and restrictions to one gun a month purchases have all been brought forth.

Same at the federal level, with House Democrats entering their second year in the majority.

Virginia freshman Democratic Rep. Jennifer Wexton, who was previously a state senator, has proposed legislation in Congress to use credit card data to track gun purchases. The bill faces long odds on Capitol Hill. News about her idea has made it to Virginia firearms customers.

Rapp said his clients are increasingly concerned about privacy issues. Since the November elections, they’ve been purchasing with cash rather than credit cards.

Rapp, whose business includes gun safety training, says that some of the proposed legislation also affects his course instruction.

“From a gun place, the biggest [proposed legislation] that affects me right now, because we’re a training company that sells guns, is if you are a trainer or if you train your son or daughter, that you could become a felon, but as a training place, we do safety,” Rapp said. “We do training both from a basic pistol, rifle, shotgun to advanced combat shootings and tactical shootings for the military, law enforcement, three-letter agencies.”

Range Review: Ruger Lite Rack LCP II .22 LR

Ruger is one of the most diverse makers of firearms in the United States, with products ranging from rimfire and centerfire rifles for plinking and hunting to handguns for target shooting and self-defense. One gem among these various products is a small, semi-automatic pistol called the LCP. Launched in 2008, it was an immediate hit with the concealed carry crowd and has become a standard in its market.

As good as the LCP is, the original design wasn’t perfect. The LCP’s sights are really nothing more than tiny bumps machined directly into the slide. They work to get the handgun pointed in the right direction but seem more of an afterthought than a design feature. Another common gripe is the trigger. Many users think the trigger is too long and heavy. Not intended to be a target pistol (see complaint about sights above), the trigger is acceptable for concealed carry use but is heavy and long nonetheless.

Ruger heard these complaints and introduced the LCP II in 2016 (reviewed here). It addresses the concerns of sights by adding slightly bigger machined-in bumps. The trigger is improved by switching from a long and heavy double-action-only pull to a lighter and shorter single-action-only pull. Ruger also added a last round hold-open to the pistol to aid in reloading and as an indication that the magazine is empty.

Given Ruger’s success with the LCP and LCP II, it was inevitable that either pistol would be made available in something other than .380 ACP. Internet rumors have swirled for quite some time about different calibers. Many people, myself included, were guessing that a version in .32 ACP or possibly .32 NAA was soon to be released. Imagine my surprise when I learned that the first new offering is chambered in none other than .22 LR.

At first glance, the Lite Rack .22 LR version is nearly indistinguishable from the .380 ACP variant. Both pistols share the same overall size and shape. Grip texturing and overall cosmetic patterns like cocking serrations and placement of logos are also nearly identical.

Tested: Ruger-57 Pistol

With precious few guns on the market chambered to fire it, and even fewer load options for those guns, the 5.7×28 mm FN cartridge has seemingly been on life support for most of its 30-year lifespan, kept alive only through the patronage of a small but dedicated fan club and select military/government agency adoption. That’s a shame, because it’s an interesting little chambering, offering several intrinsic design advantages, and it is an absolute hoot to shoot. Caught in a self-perpetuating loop where a deficit of firearm options has led ammunition makers to deem it unworthy of their finite production resources—and vice versa—what the 5.7 mm has really needed to help resuscitate it was a major gunmaker willing to break the vicious circle by taking a chance on it. That it was Ruger to step up to the plate, with its December introduction of the Ruger-57 handgun, should not come as any great shock to those familiar with the Southport, Conn., company’s reputation for seeing opportunity where others just see risk.

Operating via delayed blowback, the Ruger-57’s barrel moves rearward with the slide only about 1/4″, but its long enough to allow the projectile to leave the barrel and for pressures to drop to safe levels.

Sorry Democrats: New Zealand’s gun confiscation program just failed miserably

Almost every Democrat running for president supports so-called “gun buybacks.” Too bad they don’t work.

Proposals range from Joe Biden’s voluntary gun buybacks to the more radical mandatory confiscation proposed by Cory Booker. (He still misleadingly calls it a “buyback.”) So it’s worth examining how such buybacks played out recently in New Zealand, which passed a ban on the sale of semiautomatic weapons and a mandatory gun buyback program after a tragic shooting in April.

The deadline for the mandatory gun buyback program was Friday. The New Zealand program successfully led to the compensated confiscation of 51,000 of the targeted firearms. But as the left-leaning Guardian  newspaper reports, this is out of an estimated 170,000 such guns currently in circulation. And there are still a minimum of 1.2 million legally owned firearms in New Zealand on top of that.

This means that many people ignored the demand that they turn in their guns and trust the supposedly benevolent government to protect them from themselves.

And it’s almost certainly safe to say that those who surrendered the 51,000 semiautomatic guns will skew heavily toward the law-abiding, nondangerous end of the spectrum. Thus, getting these guns off the street in this fashion only tends to disarm the good guys, leaving their society at large more at risk, not less. Americans use firearms in self-defense hundreds of thousands of times per year, analysts estimate, usually without firing a shot.

One must avoid drawing direct conclusions based on how policies affect countries with different populations, characteristics, and societal norms. But rough comparisons can be fair, for what they’re worth. And the massive failure of what was a sweeping, bipartisan gun control measure in New Zealand bodes poorly for how more obstreperous Americans would react to the partisan, contentious gun control measures Democrats are contemplating.

Moreover, assuming that American gun owners complied in similar proportions, common sense dictates that those planning to use their guns to commit crimes would be among the last to comply. Meanwhile, millions of people in the United States who pose no threat would become criminals overnight. They could face incarceration or even deadly consequences if police really do go around kicking in doors to seize guns, as failed presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke once called for.

And even in the case of a voluntary buyback, it is far less likely to attract guns that are going to be used in crimes.

All in all, New Zealand’s mandatory buyback program is a massive failure. But don’t expect that to change the minds of most Democratic presidential candidates. They’re concerned with what polls well among the Democratic base — not with what actually works.

Lawsuit challenges state police over new ‘ghost gun’ policy

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Businesses that manufacture frames that can be built into working firearms sued Pennsylvania’s attorney general on Friday, five days after he issued a legal opinion classifying the products as guns under state law.

The Commonwealth Court lawsuit asks a state judge to stop the state police from implementing any new policy, including background checks, based on the written opinion the agency received Monday from Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

Shapiro told state police to treat unassembled “ghost guns,” gun frames also referred to as 80% receivers, as firearms. The plaintiffs said the opinion does not give fair notice to people regarding what is legal and what is not, said Joshua Prince, who filed the petition.

It’s a Short Barreled Shotgun folks.

See the source image

 

Open Letter regarding the Franklin Armory Reformation Firearm

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATP) has received questions from industry members and the general public regarding a new type of firearm produced by the Franklin Armory®. This firearm, known as the “Reformation”, utilizes a barrel that is produced with straight lands and grooves. This design contrasts with conventional rifling, in which the barrel’s lands and grooves are spiral or twisted, and are designed to impart a spin onto the projectile.

The ATF Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division (FATD) has examined the Reformation firearm for purposes of classification under the applicable provisions of the Gun Control Act (GCA) and the National Firearms Act (NFA). During this examination, FATD determined that the straight lands and grooves incorporated into the barrel design of the Reformation do not impart a spin onto a projectile when fired through the barrel. Consequently, the Reformation is not a “rifle” as that term is defined in the GCA and NFA. Moreover, because the Reformation is not chambered for shotgun shells, it is not a shotgun as defined in the NFA. Given these determinations, the Reformation is classified as a shotgun that is subject only to the provisions of the GCA (i.e., it is not a weapon subject to the provisions of the NFA).

Under the provisions of the GCA, if a Reformation firearm is equipped with a barrel that is less than 18-inches in overall length, that firearm is classified to be a short-barreled shotgun (SBS). When a Reformation is configured as a GCA/SBS, specific provisions of the GCA apply to the transfer of that firearm from a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) to a non-licensee, and to the transport of that firearm by a non-licensee in interstate or foreign commerce. These provisions are:

  1. 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(4) requires that an individual wishing to transport an SBS in interstate or foreign commerce obtain approval by the Attorney General to transport the firearm.
  2. 18 U.S.C. § 922(b)(4) requires authorization from the Attorney General consistent with public safety and necessity prior to the sale or delivery of an SBS to an individual by an FFL.

The Attorney General has delegated the authority for approval of requests pursuant to these sections· to ATF.

The Franklin Armory Reformation is the first firearm produced and sold by an FFL that ATF has classified as a GCS/SBS. Because GCA/SBS firearms have not previously been available in the marketplace, existing federal firearm regulations do not provide a mechanism to process or approve requests from FFLs for approval to transfer a GCA/SBS to a non-licensee pursuant to section 922 (b)(4) or requests from non-licensees to transport a GCA/SBS pursuant to section 922(a)(4).

ATF is currently developing the procedures and forms to address this new type of firearm. Once promulgated, these new procedures and forms will provide the mechanism necessary for FFL holders and owners of GCA/SBS firearms to request the statutorily required approvals. Until such time, you should be aware of the following:

  1. An FFL may lawfully sell/transfer a GCA/SBS, such as the Reformation, to the holder of an appropriate FFL (a GCA/SBS cannot be transferred to the holder of a type 06 or type 03 FFL).
  2. No mechanism currently exists for ATF to authorize a request from an FFL to transfer a GCA/SBS, such as the Reformation, to a non-licensee. Therefore, until ATF is able to promulgate a procedure for processing and appr.oving such requests, an FFL may not lawfully transfer a Reformation configured as a GCA/SBS to a non-licensee.
  3. No mechanism currently exists for an unlicensed individual who possesses a GCA/SBS, such as the Reformation, to submit a request and receive approval to transport the GCA/SBS across state lines. Therefore, until ATF is able to promulgate a procedure for processing and approving such requests, the possessor or owner of a GCA/SBS, such as the Reformation, may not lawfully transport the firearm across state lines.

Any questions pertaining to this Open Letter may be sent to the Firearms Industry Programs Branch at FIPB@atf.gov or (202) 648-7190.

SIXTH CIRCUIT HEARS DEBATE OVER LEGALITY OF BUMP STOCKS

CINCINNATI (CN) – A gun rights lobbyist group argued before the Sixth Circuit on Wednesday that rapid-fire gun attachments known as bump stocks should not be included in the government’s definition of machine gun.

Gun Owners of America, called “the only no-compromise gun lobby in Washington” by former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, sued Attorney General William Barr last year shortly after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives updated the statutory definition of machine gun to include bump stocks.

The device, which gained notoriety following the 2017 shooting of concertgoers in Las Vegas, replaces the standard stock of a rifle and uses a semiautomatic weapon’s recoil to create a back-and-forth sequence that increases the rate of fire to one similar to a fully automatic weapon.

The ATF’s rule allowed owners of bump stocks to dispose of them by March 26, 2019, after which possession of one would become a felony offense.

U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney denied Gun Owners of America’s motion for a preliminary injunction shortly before the disposal deadline. The George W. Bush appointee found the group was unlikely to succeed on the merits of its claims for violations of the Administrative Procedure Act, or APA.

The statutory definition of machine gun includes the phrase “shoots … automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger,” and the lower court ruling hinged on the word “automatically.”

The ATF’s interpretation of the word “automatically” included the action of a shooter putting forward pressure on a bump stock to increase the rate of fire, and Maloney found this a reasonable and permissible interpretation under the APA.

Gun Owners of America argued the ATF’s rule is arbitrary because rubber bands and belt loops can be used to accomplish the same increase in rate of fire, but Maloney was not convinced.

“ATF’s interpretations of the statute,” he wrote, “which extend to devices specifically designed and marketed for the purpose of increasing the rate of fire of a semiautomatic weapon will not pose a danger of prosecution to individuals who own a semiautomatic weapon and also happen to own pants or elastic office supplies.”

Attorney Rob Olson argued on behalf of Gun Owners of America at Wednesday’s hearing, and told the Sixth Circuit panel that bump stocks do not convert a semiautomatic weapon into a machine gun.

Olson laid out a hypothetical scenario in which a semiautomatic AR-15 with a bump stock and a fully automatic M-16 rifle were strapped to a table and had their triggers zip-tied. He said that while the M-16 would fire continuously, the AR-15 would fire just a single shot.

The attorney said the device creates a “human compression spring” that allows for an increased rate of fire, but that “the bump stock is simply along for the ride.”

U.S. Circuit Judge Eric Murphy, an appointee of President Donald Trump, asked Olson if his client is seeking a nationwide injunction to prevent enforcement of the rule.

The attorney answered that he is, and that such relief is allowed under the APA.

Attorney Brad Hinshelwood from the Department of Justice argued on behalf of the government, saying bump stocks fall under the definition of machine gun because the devices “set up a continuous cycle” of fire once the shooter pulls the trigger.

Murphy spoke at length throughout Hinshelwood’s argument and pressed the attorney about the government’s shifting position on the interpretation of the statutory language found in the National Firearms Act.

Murphy accused the ATF of making mistakes in its interpretation of the Act in the past 10 years, and asked why every AR-15 would not be illegal given that they could be modified to act as fully automatic weapons with bump stocks or other devices.

“The bump stock is the machine gun in terms of the statute,” Hinshelwood responded, pointing out that the government has never thought to include all semiautomatic weapons as machine guns just because they could be modified.

In his rebuttal, Olson urged the panel to issue a nationwide injunction, but said he realizes the relief his client wants won’t be the end of the debate.

“This is something that is going to continue to percolate in the American government,” he told the court.

Both attorneys declined to comment after the hearing.

Senior U.S. Circuit Judge Alice Batchelder, an appointee of George H.W. Bush, and U.S. Circuit Judge Helene White, an appointee of George W. Bush, also sat on the panel.

No timetable has been set for the court’s decision.

 

NSSF RELEASES FIREARMS PRODUCTION FIGURES

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the firearms industry trade association, released the 2017 Firearms Production Report to members. The report compiles the most up to date information based on data sourced from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF’s) Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Export Reports (AFMER). Key findings for public release showed:

  • The estimated total number of firearms in civilian possession from 1986-2018 is 422.9 million, according to data reported in the ATF’s Firearms Commerce Report in the United States 2019 report and including the preliminary 2018 Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Exportation Report (AFMER) figures.
  • 17,740,000 Modern Sporting Rifles are in private ownership today.
  • More than half (54%) of all rifles produced in 2017 were modern sporting rifles.
  • In 2017, 7,901,218 total firearms were produced and imported. Of those, 4,411,923 were pistols and revolvers, 2,821,945 were rifles and 667,350 were shotguns.
  • An interim 2018 estimate showed a total 7,660,772 total firearms were produced and imported. Of those 4,277,971 were pistols and revolvers, 2,846,757 were rifles and 535,994 were shotguns. Those are interim reports and will be updated as complete information becomes available.
  • Firearms-ammunition manufacturing accounted for nearly 12,000 employees producing over $4.1 billion in goods shipped in 2017. An estimated 8.1 billion rounds, of all calibers and gauges, were produced in 2018 for the U.S. market.

“These figures show the industry that America has a strong desire to continue to purchase firearms for lawful purposes,” said Joe Bartozzi, President of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “The Modern Sporting Rifle continues to be the most popular centerfire rifle sold in America today and is clearly a commonly-owned firearm with more than 17 million in legal private ownership today. The continued popularity of handguns demonstrates a strong interest by Americans to protect themselves and their homes, and to participate in the recreational shooting sports.”

The report also shows that as lawful firearms ownership in America continues to grow, criminal and unintentional misuse of firearms is falling. During the 25-year period covered in this report (1993–2017) the violent crime rate has decreased by 48.6 percent and unintentional firearm-related fatalities have declined by 68 percent.

ATF: 423M guns in America, 1.2 per person, 8.1B rounds of ammunition a year

423 million? As the late WeaponsMan Kevin O’Brien postulated. That number is a low estimate.

America’s love affair with guns is only getting stronger.

New federal data shows that there are 422.9 million firearms in circulation, or about 1.2 guns for every person in the country.

What’s more, despite years of criticism of modern “assault-style” rifles such as the AR-15 and AK-47, there are a record 17.7 million in private hands, proving that it is the most popular gun around.

And last year alone, the arms industry produced 8.1 billion rounds of ammunition.

The figures are from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and were crunched by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the gun industry trade group.

“These figures show the industry that America has a strong desire to continue to purchase firearms for lawful purposes,” said Joe Bartozzi, president of the NSSF, in a statement releasing the group’s new report.

“The modern sporting rifle continues to be the most popular centerfire rifle sold in America today and is clearly a commonly owned firearm with more than 17 million in legal private ownership today. The continued popularity of handguns demonstrates a strong interest by Americans to protect themselves and their homes and to participate in the recreational shooting sports,” he said.

Gun shops contacted by Secrets said that they are seeing more and more purchases of semiautomatic weapons such as handguns and AR-15s due to the criticism of those guns by 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.

“Sales have definitely been brisk, especially of small, concealable handguns. We also saw a spike in sales of tactical rifles like AR-15s and AK-47s, for which I think we can confidently thank Beto O’Rourke,” said Justin Anderson, the marketing director for Hyatt Guns in Charlotte, North Carolina, one of the country’s biggest retailers.

During his short presidential campaign, O’Rourke called for a ban on the rifles.

  • Of all rifles produced in 2017, 54% were modern sporting rifles.
  • In 2017, 7,901,218 total firearms were produced and imported. Of those, 4,411,923 were pistols and revolvers, 2,821,945 were rifles, and 667,350 were shotguns.
  • An interim 2018 estimate showed 7,660,772 total firearms were produced and imported. Of those, 4,277,971 were pistols and revolvers, 2,846,757 were rifles, and 535,994 were shotguns.
  • Firearms-ammunition manufacturing accounted for nearly 12,000 employees producing more than $4.1 billion in goods shipped in 2017.
  • An estimated 8.1 billion rounds, of all calibers and gauges, were produced in 2018 for the U.S. market.