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Gallup: In U.S., Support for Assault Weapons Ban at Record Low

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Gallup has the story here:

The fewest Americans in 20 years favor making it illegal to manufacture, sell or possess semi-automatic guns known as assault rifles. Thirty-six percent now want an assault weapons ban, down from 44% in 2012 and 57% when Gallup first asked the question in 1996.

Support for a ban is even dropping among Democrats:
In the past 20 years, support for an assault weapons ban has fallen among all partisan groups, but more so among Republicans than Democrats. Currently, 50% of Democrats and 25% of Republicans favor a ban; in 1996, 63% of Democrats and 50% of Republicans did so. The partisan gap in support has doubled, from 13 points in 1996 to 25 points today.And even support among non-gun owning households has dropped:

Support for a ban has declined among both those with and those without a gun in the home. In 2004, 55% of those in non-gun households supported a ban; this year, 45% do. Likewise, while those with a gun in the home have never favored a ban on assault weapons, support is now at an all-time low of 26%.

Good news indeed.

Baltimore Sun: Arrests in Baltimore for Illegal Guns Often Lead to Dropped Charges or Little Jail Time

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Earlier this week, the Baltimore Sun had this article titled "Arrests in Baltimore for illegal guns often lead to dropped charges or little jail time."
About one-quarter of such gun cases are dropped before defendants go to trial, according to a Baltimore Sun analysis. Even when convicted of illegally possessing a firearm, prosecutors say, defendants are sentenced on average to 16 months in jail, with a substantial portion of their sentences suspended.

At the same time, police data show that fewer people arrested with illegal guns are ordered held without bail.The police commissioner told the Sun "There's no certainty of a consequence."  Gun control advocate Daniel Webster, a Johns Hopkins University professor with the Bloomberg School of Public Health, told the Sun "not everyone deserves lengthy prison time."  It's nice to know that at the same time Webster is pushing out data he claims shows more guns equal more crime, that he thinks some criminals that use guns in crime don't deserve lengthy jail sentences.

An Urgent Election Message from NRA's Wayne LaPierre

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On October 21st, NRA Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Wayne LaPierre delivered an urgent message to America’s 100 million gun owners, declaring Hillary Clinton an enemy to the Second Amendment. “If, God forbid, Hillary Clinton is elected, she will launch an all-out war on the Second Amendment. She will come for your guns,” says LaPierre. “She will attack your right to carry. She will attack your most basic right to defend your family with a firearm in your home.” Before asserting that Hillary Clinton “dreams of twisting a knife into the heart of the one freedom that separates us from the rest of the world,” LaPierre hit the current administration saying, “Obama attacked you [gun owners] harder than he attacked ISIS …. He used the terrorism his own weakness and failures made possible to try to gut your right to shoot back at the terrorists he refused to kill.” In his passionate appeal, LaPierre called upon every American who supports the Second Amendment: “If you refuse to witness the self-destruction of the greatest nation the world has ever known, then join me … the only thing that can stop her is you.” Supporters are being urged to share the video using #SavetheSecond.

Help Get Out the Vote for Pro Gun Candidates this Weekend

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With time ticking away, votes already coming in, and the future of the Supreme Court hanging in the balance, the time to get involved is now. Join fellow gun owners on the ground in Colonial Heights and Glen Allen this weekend to kick off  Get out the Vote efforts, which will be crucial to ensuring victory for our pro-gun candidates on November 8th.

Whether you're a seasoned volunteer or brand-new, there is still time to ensure the pro-gun vote gets out this year. Click the links below to RSVP so we know you will Stand and Fight for your rights.

Saturday, October 29th, 12pm-3pm Phone Bank at Dance's Sporting Goods in Colonial Heights
NRA Staff and fellow gun owners will be making calls to pro-gun voters here in Virginia to make sure they get out to vote! Join us for free NRA gear, other giveaways, and refreshments.

Saturday, October 29th, 3pm-7pm Neighborhood Walk at Dance's Sporting Goods in Colonial Heights
NRA Staff and volunteers will be meeting at Dance's at 3pm to head into the Colonial Heights community to spread the word about our our pro-gun candidates.

Sunday, October 30th, 10am-4pm Neighborhood Walk at Martin's in Glen Allen
 Local volunteers will be knocking on doors in the Glen Allen area to encourage pro-gun voters to get out to vote. Free NRA gear, other giveaways, and refreshments will be provided.
Sunday, October 30th, 5pm-8pm Phone Bank in Glen Allen
Volunteers will be meeting at one of our wonderful volunteer's homes in Glen Allen to reach out to voters and make sure the pro-gun vote is well represented on Election Day! This will be the last phone bank in Glen Allen for the year - don't miss it!

Monday, October 31st, 5pm-8pm Phone Bank in Colonial Heights
This phone bank will be the first of many GOTV weekday activities available to help ensure victory for our Second Amendment and our pro-gun candidates. Feel free to come over anytime between 5pm and 8pm!

It's not too late to make a difference in this election, but it will be on November 9th! Now is the time to Stand and Fight to make sure pro-gun voices are heard this year. If you are interested in helping out this year but are unable to make the events above but like to help from home, or if you have any questions, please contact Josephy Vrecheck, NRA-ILA Campaign Field Representative at (817) 729-8265 or at joseph@nrailafrontlines.com.

VSSA Shooters Shine in Masters Class at North State Shooting Club

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VSSA High Power Rifle Chairman Mike Jamison reports that the North State Shooting Club put on a superb Pete Masten Memorial 600 Weekend rifle match at Camp Butner, North Carolina this past weekend.  Beautiful weather, excellent range operations, and a timely stat office made it a pleasure to be there!

Steve Weast and Mike Jamison took all of the prizes in the Master class.  Mike won the first stage with as score of 198.06.  Then Steve got going, and won every match after that with scores of 197.07, 192.05,  and a 1st day aggregate score of 585.18.  Steve continued his dominance on day two with 1st place scores of 188.03, 193.04, 191.09, and a second day aggregate of 572.16 for 1st.  Great shooting, Steve.

Hillary Clinton Wants Heller Reversed to Make the Second Amendment Meaningless

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VSSA's sister organization, Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) emails a Thursday Bulletin to members.  It's similar to VSSA's eBullet.  VSSA's office receives the ISRA bulletin and Executive Director Lu Charette passed along the October 6, edition.  In that email update, the ISRA Executive Director shared that he had received a phone call from one of their members who indicated they would be voting for Hillary Clinton on November 8.  Here is his response:
On Monday the office received a call from a member who indicated they were going to vote for Hillary Clinton, misguided to say the least.   It has taken millions of dollars, an enormous amount of time, massive efforts by organizations like the ISRA, NRA and SAF as well as personal sacrifices by people like Dick Heller, Otis McDonald and others to bring the Second Amendment back to its real meaning.  If Hillary Clinton is elected President, Heller v DC, which is the cornerstone of the Second Amendment movement, will be reversed.  McDonald v City of Chicago will be overturned, as well as many other cases and will fall by the wayside and turned into the dust of history.   Moreover, there are other important cases waiting like Peruta v County of San Diego, which seeks to destroy concealed carry.  In this case, the County of San Diego insists there is no right to carry concealed in the Second Amendment and that a person must prove his or her life is in danger before being issued a permit.  The 9th Circuit upheld the County's position by a margin of 7-4.  Before you say that it's "just California", Hillary's court will make that the law of the land.VSSA members helped pay for the victories in Heller and McDonald.  You contributed to a special appeal that allowed VSSA to be a party to the State Association amicus briefs, so you have a special stake in making sure those decision are not rendered worthless.  Gun owners need to understand that if those decisions are reversed, we won't go back to the way things were before Heller, as former NRA President David Keene reiterated during his appearance on this past Sunday's Armed American Radio (at about the 43:25 minute mark of the first hour) program and in his new book, Shall Not Be Infringed the New Assaults on Your Second AmendmentHillary Clinton wants the 2nd Amendment reinterpreted so it doesn't mean anything, which as Keene told AAR host Mark Walters, "is the moral equivalent of abolishing it."

Fact Checking Politifact on Clinton's Statement Supporting Australian Gun Confiscation as Model for US

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On Monday, Politifact published this dismissive "fact check" of the NRA's anti-Clinton mailer that charges “Clinton said gun confiscation is ‘worth considering.”  In the final rating of "Mostly False" the author, Warren Fiske, said Clinton was simply talking about "voluntary buyback programs" and not confiscation: 
Clinton made that statement last year at a New Hampshire campaign stop, when she was asked a vague question about an Australian program that gave gun owners one year to sell certain firearms to the government before those weapons became illegal. She left the NRA some room.

But the NRA stretches her words to an almost unrecognizable form. Clinton focused her comments on voluntary buyback programs similar to those some U.S. communities have instituted for guns and the federal "cash-for-clunkers" program.Fiske however misses some key facts, like, the Australian "buyback" wasn't voluntary, it was mandatory, as the NRA was quick to point out:

Even an ad for the supposedly voluntary "Australian example" calls it...a ban. And @HillaryClinton says it's "worth looking at"@PolitiFact pic.twitter.com/zKu0xc13lB— NRA (@NRA) October 17, 2016
.@Politifact thinks the "Australian example," which promised "severe penalties" like a 12 month prison sentence was...voluntary? pic.twitter.com/LnDDNHrfNt— NRA (@NRA) October 17, 2016
The Washington Examiner's Ashe Schow did the work that Fiske apparently did not have time to do:
And that "Australian example" was an example of gun confiscation. It was not a voluntary program. Historian Varad Mehta wrote about the Australian program last year for the Federalist, breaking down exactly what it entailed.

"Australia outlawed semi-automatic rifles, certain categories of shotgun, and implemented strict licensing and registration requirements," Mehta wrote. "The cornerstone of its new gun-control scheme, however, was a massive gun buyback program. The Australian government purchased 650,000 to one million guns with funds raised via a special tax."Not withstanding the long list of sources Fiske lists that he used to reach his conclusion, it is very clear to anyone interested in knowing the facts that the NRA in no way "stretched" Clinton's words in an "unrecognizable form" and if given the chance, she would do everything she can to make it much harder for Americans to own firearms.

The Election and Our Gun Rights

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That was the topic for much of the first hour of Tom Gresham's Gun Talk Radio program yesterday.  Gresham reminded listeners where Hillary Clinton stands on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.  Then, he interviewed Tom Mason, co-author of Shall Not be Infringed: The New Assaults on Your Second Amendment.  In the book, Mason and co-author David Keene (former NRA President) outline and examine the ongoing battle fought in the courts, Congress, and state legislatures across the country as well as in the media and even the United Nations. Guns have become a symbol over which battle after battle is fought, all the while hiding the end game of a cultural shift to government dominance.  Although the Supreme Court ruled the 2nd Amendment guarantees an individual right to “keep and bear arms,” Hillary Clinton has promised to challenge this Constitutional freedom, even vowing to make it a litmus test for Supreme Court justice nominees. Gun control advocates continue to insist that the Court was wrong and should reverse this finding, thereby, stripping American gun owners of the Constitutional protection that has thus far made it impossible to ban gun ownership.

Last week, Keene spoke at the Heritage Foundation and discussed the book.

The Election and Our Gun Rights

Virginia Shooting Sports Association -

That was the topic of the beginning of the first hour of Tom Gresham's Gun Talk Radio program yesterday.  Gresham reminded listeners where Hillary Clinton stands on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.  Then, he interviewed Tom Mason, co-author of Shall Not be Infringed: The New Assaults on Your Second Amendment.  In the book, Mason and co-author David Keene (former NRA President) outline and examine the ongoing battle fought in the courts, Congress, and state legislatures across the country as well as in the media and even the United Nations. Guns have become a symbol over which battle after battle is fought, all the while hiding the end game of a cultural shift to government dominance.  Although the Supreme Court ruled the 2nd Amendment guarantees an individual right to “keep and bear arms,” Hillary Clinton has promised to challenge this Constitutional freedom, even vowing to make it a litmus test for Supreme Court justice nominees. Gun control advocates continue to insist that the Court was wrong and should reverse this finding, thereby, stripping American gun owners of the Constitutional protection that has thus far made it impossible to ban gun ownership.

Last week, Keene spoke at the Heritage Foundation and discussed the book.

Fact Checking Tim Kaine on Project Exile

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Fact-checking has become such a growth industry in the media that sometimes busy fact-checkers overlook the obvious, such as Tim Kaine's attempt to rewrite his history related to the successful crime fighting initiative known as Project Exile.  Project Exile massively cut the number of murders committed with a firearm in Richmond Virginia in the 90's.  Kaine however attributes the reduction to "community policing" during the Vice Presidential Debate at Longwood University.  VSSA Legislative Director David Adams spoke with NRANews host Cam Edwards to set the record straight.  Originally aired on NRANews on October 7, 2016.

New York Times Uses Study by Left Leaning Group to Push Gun Control

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The New York Times had a story yesterday touting a new study by "a leading liberal group that supports toughened gun control," the Center for American Progress, that claims firearm related deaths in states with "weaker laws" are more than three times as high as in those states with "tougher restrictions."

Mark Twain (among others), is noted for a saying he attributed to the British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."  This comes to mind when you look at the study and its list of states on page 21 and find that Illinois is listed among the ten states with the lowest rate of firearm related deaths (it actually has the lowest according to the study).  Chicago is in Illinois and it already has almost 600 murders committed with a firearm, and there is still a little over two months left in the year.  Chicago has some of the strictest firearms laws in the nation even after Heller and McDonald and it hasn't stopped criminals from getting a firearm.  Maybe rather than look at Illinois as a whole, they should look at areas within those states and see what the murder rate is in Chicago and a comparable city in a pro-rights state, then make a comparison.

If the NRA paid for or did a similar study to prove states with few restrictions on firearms ownership are safer than states with many restrictions, the New York Times would say it is just propaganda funded by the "gun lobby" (actually, the gun ban lobby already does that with studies conducted by people like John Lott).  But the Times treats this study as gospel and uses it to promote ballot initiatives in California, Nevada, Washington and Maine.

Washington Examiner: Clinton Vows Supreme Court Judge Who Backs Gun Control

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Hillary Clinton doubled down on her campaign's anti-gun rhetoric during Sunday night's debate.  During a question related to what type of qualities she will look for in Supreme Court justices, she did not mention their constitutional philosophy once, but listed a litany of things that should not be part of the consideration.  From the Washington Examiner:
"I respect the Second Amendment, but I believe that there should be comprehensive background checks," the Democratic nominee said Sunday, "and we should close the gun show loophole and close the online loophole we have to save as many lives as we possibly can."

Clinton's remarks were a response to the specific question: "What would you prioritize as the most important aspect of selecting a Supreme Court justice?"

She said she believes the current court has "gone in wrong direction." Though the issue of gun control was mentioned only briefly Sunday evening during the debate, it has been an ongoing theme of the Clinton campaign.Clinton has used both debates to stress the importance of more gun control.  Last debate she tied gun control to better "race relations."  That's interesting given it was a black man, Otis McDonald, that fought for the right for residents of  Chicago to be able to own firearms for self defense.  But that is likely one of the cases Clinton was referring to when she said the Court has "gone the wrong direction."

NRA Releases Candidate Grades for Virginia

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You can see the list here.  No real surprises in House races.  The incumbent GOP House members earned endorsements, as did 5th District Candidate, State Senator Tom Garret, who is running for an open seat.  Their Democrat challengers don't receive any grades higher than a "D."  The GOP challengers running in the 3rd, and 8th Districts as well as in the open 4th District received "AQ" ratings but no endorsement.  All three of those districts are gerrymandered to make it almost impossible for anyone other than a Democrat to win.  There is no U.S. Senate race in Virginia this year.  Get out and do what you can for the candidate in your district.  If you live in the Richmond or Roanoke area, you can contact the NRA-ILA Campaign Field Representatives to find out how you can help:

Patrick DeStefano, Roanoke, VA, 864-680-0399, patrick@nrailafrontlines.com

Joe Vrecheck, Richmond, VA, (817) 729-8365, joseph@nrailafrontlines.com

Shooting Sports USA: The New Gold Standard - Ginny Thrasher

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NRA's Shooting Sports USA has a great article on Virginian and 2016 Gold Medalist Ginny Thrasher:
To say that Ginny Thrasher is a shooting phenom is an understatement. She originally took up the sport five years ago after a hunting trip with her grandfather. Two years later, she was the 45th best junior shooter in the country and was destined for success.Thasher wants more people to take up the sport and had some great advice for new shooters:
Additionally, Ginny wants to spread the word about rifle competition, saying, “One of the best parts about rifle is natural ability does not hold you back. Whether you’re a male, female, 5'1" or 6'1", it doesn’t matter. Rifle is a sport where you very much get out of it what you put into it, and that’s the message I would like to get across.”It's worth the short time it takes to read the entire article.

NOVA Armory Sold to Store Manager

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The Washington Post has the story here:
Dennis R. Pratte, who opened Nova Armory in March under the business name of Broadstone Security, said he sold the business Aug. 19 to Shawn Poulin, the store’s manager, who continues to operate it.
Poulin, in an interview at the store Saturday, said that the business is “in the black” and that he plans to expand to the second floor, with a showroom to feature rifles, tactical gear and an expanded clothing line. The former Marine said he’s the majority owner of the store. He said his partner is a Fairfax County company that makes amphibious patrol boats, but he would not name the firm. Pratte was harassed by malcontents in the neighborhood and the General Assembly when he originally opened the store.

Roanoke Considering Ban on Certain Types of Firearms in Public

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WSLS has the story here:
The idea is to prohibit loaded weapons, including semi-automatic guns that hold 20 rounds or more. Currently a handful of Virginia localities have the ban including Alexandria, Chesapeake, Fairfax, Richmond and several counties in Northern Virginia. Soon Roanoke could join that list.I'm not so sure they have their facts straight regarding local ordinances however.  Virginia has full pre-emption and while localities can restrict where firearms are discharged, say in a neighborhood or subdivision, or transporting a loaded shotgun in a vehicle, that's about all they can do.  I don't think they can go as far as what is described above.  I specifically did a search of the City of Richmond Municipal Code and did not find such an ordinance.

The Problems With That New Harvard/Northeastern Study of Gun Owners

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You may have seen stories in news outlets like NPR and The Guardian reporting the results of a new study on gun owners.   The big headline is 3% of gun owners own 50% of the guns in America.  While this new study says there are more gun owners now than in 1994, that increase has not kept up with the rate of increase in the overall population, so there are actually a smaller percentage of Americans owning firearms.  Setting aside for a moment a large number of gun owners likely aren't honest when an unknown person calls them on the phone and asks if they own guns and if so how many, a huge problem with this study is the Harvard/Northeastern University researchers anonymously released their top line findings to the media, and the actual data will not be available for people to dig into until fall of 2017.  According to the Federalist blog, the researchers said this is because it is still being peer reviewed.  So, the study's peer review has not been completed but you can go out and announce the findings?  From the Federalist:
This type of behavior raises all kinds of troubling questions about the underlying data, as well as the motives of the researchers who put it together. If peer review is incomplete, why on earth are the study’s conclusions already being released? And if these reviewers are widely respected experts in the field, why must they remain anonymous, even as the study’s conclusions are being broadcast to the world? And finally, on what planet does it take more than a year to review the results of a simple poll?

None of the likely answers reflects well on the people who put this study together, because this is not how scientists conduct themselves. This is how political actors conduct themselves. This is how people with political motives and political objectives conduct themselves.Ask any gun shop owner or firearms instructor and you will hear about all of the first time gun owners coming in to their stores or seeking firearms training.  This study is just one more piece of propaganda intended to add to the narrative that the number of gun owners in American continue to decrease and that a relative few are holding the rest of the country hostage when it comes to passing "commonsense" gun laws.

Update: Dr. John Lott has more:
— But there is a general problem with survey data. Hard data, such a the number of permits that are required before someone can own a gun in some states such as Illinois, show a dramatic increase in gun ownership at the same time that these surveys for those states are showing a drop in gun ownership. The likely reason that all these surveys on gun ownership are biased against showing an increase is because gun owners have been relatively less willing over time to tell pollsters that they own guns.

This hard data indicates such a large increase in gun owners relative to the polls that it makes it mathematically impossible for the claim to be true that gun sales are being driven by a small group of gun owners.

VSSA Annual Meeeting Wrap-up

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A good crowd turned out for the VSSA Annual Meeting on Saturday at the Arlington/Fairfax IWLA Club and enjoyed an afternoon of shooting and fellowship, then came together for dinner and the meeting part of the event.  Attendees heard from two great speakers, Delegate Michael Webert and State Senator Bryce Reeves.  These legislators were the driving force behind overturning Attorney General Mark Herring's ruling that would have ended concealed carry reciprocity/recognition with 25 states.

Before the attendees left for the evening, a young member drew the names for this year's raffle.  The winners were as follows:

1st Prize: Smith & Wesson M&P9 with Green Laser
Elwood F. Harrison
Mechanicsville, VA

2nd Prize: Special Edition Henry Boy Lever Action .22 (#10 of 10)
Louis E. Seigel
Cumberland, VA

3rd Prize: $100 Cabela's Gift Card
Adam Joseph
Newport News, VA

A special Thank You to both of our speakers for taking time out of their busy schedules to speak at this year's meeting.  As Executive Director Lu Charette said, while giving all due respect to all of our previous speakers, this year's speakers were the most informative since then Attorney General Jim Gilmore spoke before he went on to win the 2007 gubernatorial election.

Green Top's Ladies on Target Event

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Do you know a lady that has expressed an interest in the shooting sports but doesn't know how to get started?  Green Top has just the event for you.  They will host a Ladies on Target Shotgun, Rifle and Archery event this Saturday, September 24th at Black Creek Gun Club in Mechanicsville.  Check-in begins at 8:00 AM and you can pre-register for the event in the store or online by clicking here.
The event is limited to 100 participants.

Beware Fake News Reports

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It seems that some people never tire of spreading misinformation in the hope of getting folks to share news links or forward emails to hundreds of their friends.  The latest is a story from a web site titled "Associated Media Coverage" with the amusing tagline "News You Can Trust."  The story was posted on the web site on September 9th (I am not going to link to it and help increase their site hits) and popped up on Facebook newsfeeds.  It claims the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) is implementing a new regulation that would set a minimum age for hunting at 18.  Additionally, they would create an online hunter safety "academy" that would have to be completed before new individuals could start hunting, at the tune of $197.  IT is actually a slightly changed report that was originally circulated in 2014 that claimed the agency was raising the minimum hunting age to 21.

The "news report" comes complete with quotes from people who supposedly work for USFWS and ATF.  Because of the current administration's propensity for executive fiat, it is not hard to believe they would institute such a regulation, but it's just not true.  Any proposed regulation has to be publicly announced and a public comment period has to be made available.  While the story claims such a comment period took place, you can believe that if it really had, pro-gun and pro-hunting groups would have jumped all over it.  In this era of social media and emails urging recipients to forward to their friends, it pays to do a quick search on things that sound too real to be true.


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