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Lazy Journalism on Gun Sales

Virginia Shooting Sports Association -

You've probably seen the articles over the past week, most along the lines of this Bloomberg News article about how the sale of so-called "assault rifles" have plummeted.
Plummeting sales of assault-style weapons, also known as modern sporting rifles or “black rifles,” has led to an oversupply of unsold guns and is hitting the bottom lines of the big arms producers. Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (SWHC) shares yesterday fell the most in more than two years after the Springfield, Massachusetts-based gunmaker slashed its full-year sales and profit forecasts.The tone of the report is that because of the lower sales, those manufactures who are publicly traded on the stock market saw their share prices lowered.  The problem is the media (and Wall Street for that matter) want to compare sales to the way-out-of-the-norm year of 2013. Sales numbers last year were driven in large part by Obama's gun control push.  What people in the industry do is look at trends.  NSSF looked at the last five years of sales without 2013 included, and found that 2014 sales are still higher than 2012, 2011, and 2010:
From January through July 2014, NSSF-adjusted NICS figures total 6.95 million background checks against 6.85 million for 2012 and 5.64 million in 2011. In 2013, the seven-month figure was 8.81 million and the annual total was a record 14.8 million. Multiple factors account for last year’s sales surge, including a fear of additional firearms-ownership restrictions, which came to pass in states such as New York, Connecticut and Maryland, as well as increasing interest in owning firearms by women and former servicemen and women.Tom Gresham mentioned the Bloomberg article on his Sunday radio program and called it just plain lazy journalism.  He's right.  It would not have taken much for the Bloomberg reporter to do what The Huffington Post did for their article and contact NSSF.  You don't get the message that there are more gun owners and sales are still higher than previous years until the last line of the Bloomberg article.  By then, the "gloom and doom" meme had be put in place.

A Lot of Shooting In 2014 Campaign Ads

Virginia Shooting Sports Association -

NPR's All Things Considered had this story yesterday afternoon talking about how 2014 candidates have picked up on what Joe Manchin did when he first ran for the U.S. Senate - use a firearm to make his campaign point:
Each year trends emerge. This year, lots of spots are hitting the air featuring candidates with firearms shooting at things: TVs, drones, thick copies of the Affordable Care Act.NPR shared several spots, most from Republicans, but there was one Washington State Democrat ad included:
Not just any candidate can do this however.  Travis Ridout, a Washington State University political science professor told NPR:
Manchin was well-known and the imagery reinforced who he was. But it's not so simple for political newcomers to use the sound and symbolism of firearms to take a shot and get noticed.I wonder if that Washington Democrat's GOP opponent has asked what he thinks of Intitiatve 594?

Alabama amendment would address gun ownership

NRA ILA -

Following moves in at least two other states, a proposed amendment to the Alabama Constitution would make owning firearms a fundamental right, and measures to control weapons would have to pass the toughest review by state courts.

Banning Russian-made AK-47s sets off a U.S. buying frenzy

NRA ILA -

Thirty-six hours after the Obama administration banned importation of the classic brand of AK-47 assault rifles as part of sanctions against Russia, a Maryland dealer specializing in the weapon took stock of its inventory.There was nothing left.

Colorado: UPDATE on Castle Rock Open Carry Vote

NRA ILA -

Yesterday, the unofficial results of the Castle Rock special election were announced.  Referendum A, which prohibits the town manager from banning the open carrying of firearms in public parks, passed by 50.8%.  Referendum B, which requires a town vote before local officials are allowed to alter gun laws in Castle Rock, passed by 78%.

Looking Into The Eyes and Souls of America

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I always get a big boost out of our Annual Meetings. It’s always rewarding to be among 70-80,000 like-minded folks, enjoying our common interests, shared values and a profound sense of community.

The Constitution Meets Two Professors

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This is a tale of two professors. One is among the most respected scholars of the U.S. Constitution and an unwavering defender of the rights and liberties that our nation’s Founders recognized and enshrined. He is Jonathan Turley, a professor of law at George Washington University. 

Reclaiming America

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For any American who is worried about this country, who feels our core values slipping away, who believes something has to be done to change the direction of our nation before all is lost—the NRA is your refuge. It is your place to stand and fight with Americans just like you, for all that is good and right.

Federal District Court: California’s Waiting Period to Acquire a Firearm Violates the Second Amendment

NRA ILA -

On Monday, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California issued an opinion holding that California’s 10-day waiting period for nearly all firearm sales violates the Second Amendment, at least as applied to certain individuals.  The opinion, written by Judge Anthony W. Ishii, generally found California’s justifications for the waiting period insufficient to overcome the burden the waiting period placed on Californians’ right to keep and bear arms.

Well-Protected Billionaires Bankroll Anti-gun Activists in Washington State

NRA ILA -

In recent years, American gun owners have come under unprecedented attacks from a few billionaires willing to spend some of their vast personal fortunes to deprive others of their firearm rights. The most recent example of this is in the battle over Initiative 594 in Washington State. This initiative would expand the state’s handgun registration scheme, increase the current waiting period from 5 to 10 days, presumptively outlaw the private transfer of firearms, and divert scarce law enforcement resources that could be better spent combating violent crime.

Clerk chases off armed robber, WJCL, Savannah, Ga. 08/25/14

NRA ILA -

Clerk Rick Patel was working at a Shell Food Mart in Claxton, Ga. when a hooded man approached the counter and attempted to rob the store at gunpoint. Patel responded by retrieving a pistol, which then he used to chase the criminal out of the store. Police suspect the hooded man has committed several other armed robberies. Following the incident, Patel told Savannah’s WJCL, “I don’t like to shoot nobody but when it comes to my life I would. And thank God I didn’t get hurt, I didn’t kill him, otherwise I would have regretted but hey, you made the choice, regrets happen.” In recent years, some convenience store clerks have faced discipline following an act of armed self-defense. In a welcome departure from these instances, the owner of Patel’s store told the TV station, “I’m really proud. Whatever he did I’d like if everybody started doing it that way, robbery will be stopped, especially for convenience stores.” 

Judge having spoken, D.C. officials consider allowing residents to carry guns

NRA ILA -

To carry or not to carry? That is no longer the question.One month after a federal judge’s ruling, District officials have conceded that the city’s long-standing ban on carrying guns in public must be scrapped and replaced with a new law that will allow at least some law-abiding city residents to bear arms on city streets.

Arizona Range Tragedy Prompts Look at State Laws on Minors and Long Guns

Virginia Shooting Sports Association -

Sebastian found this piece on the Washington Post Wonkblog yesterday that looks at state laws related to minor possession of rifles and shotguns.  The Wonkblog post was prompted by the tragic shooting of a range instructor in Arizona on Monday when a 9 year-old was not able to control an Uzi that the instructor was showing her how to shoot. 
In the wake of the accidental death of a gun instructor in Arizona, many are likely asking how a 9-year old was allowed to hold and fire an automatic weapon. But gun laws in the United States — specifically those concerning minimum legal age requirements for gun possession — are actually still surprisingly lax.As the article points out, there are federal laws for minimum age purchasing of firearms.  But, as Sebastian's title of his post points out, The Horror!  Parents can buy firearms and give them to their children:
But a child's parent could. "If dad wants to give his son a rifle or a shotgun on his 13th or 14th birthday, he's pretty much free to do that in most states," Webster said.And we can't have that! Although accidental deaths related to firearms are at all time lows, the gun ban proponents have trotted out a new response - questioning the number as being something that is under reported:
But it’s important to note that these numbers could be too low. A recent study found that federal reports of accidental child gun deaths are significantly underreported. There’s good reason to assume that accidental gun deaths and injuries are underreported for all ages. "You are potentially looking at accidental shootings that are twice current estimates," said Sam Bieler, an Urban Institute researcher who studies gun violence.
The nannyists will continue to use tragedies like the one on Monday to take away the ability of parents to decide what is best for their children when it comes to firearms but the fact is, millions of young people of varied ages use firearms safely for competition and hunting.  And, as Adam Winkler, a law professor at the UCLA who is not usually consider a proponent of gun rights told the Wall Street Journal: 
"There's nothing wrong with having children at gun ranges," he continued. "Shootings at gun ranges are freak accidents. They don't happen very often. Usually there's no place where shooters are more supervised than on a gun range."

Study: “Assault Weapon” and CCW Restrictions Associated With Higher Murder Rates

NRA ILA -

In a new study, Mark Gius, of Quinnipiac University’s Department of Economics, has found that between 1980 and 2009, “states with more restrictive CCW laws had gun-related murder rates that were 10% higher” than those of other states. Gius also concluded that state “murder rates were 19.3% higher when the Federal [‘assault weapon’ and ‘large’ magazine] ban was in effect.” Gius says that more research is needed to determine whether these gun control laws contributed to, or merely coincided with, higher rates of crime.

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