Category Archives: Politics

If it concerns your Second Amendment, or other policy driven content, you’ll be able to find it in our politics section

Firearms Industry Stocks Fall Post-Election

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Looks like a great presidential win for gun owners was a loss for some in the firearms industry…. Ruger, Smith & Wesson stock prices fall sharply on Wednesday following the election.


Photo credit: Gage Skidmore
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Firearm stocks opened high Wednesday, but just a few hours into the trading day, began steadily dropping, and by the close of the day, two major manufacturers saw sharp declines in their share prices. Newly-renamed Smith & Wesson took a major hit, falling 15% in value. Sturm, Ruger & Company showed a 14% decline in market value.

Even though Smith & Wesson and Ruger shares fell, some ammunition and defense corporation prices climbed. Olin Corporation (Winchester Ammunition) saw a 3% increase, General Dynamics climbed 8%, and Lockheed Martin ended Wednesday with a substantial 14% gain.

Overall, the Dow skyrocketed 257 points Wednesday, following an initial, but brief, price plunge. Market analysts credit president-elect Trump’s assuring acceptance speech for the soaring end to the day.

A note Wednesday from analyst Gil Luria (Director of Research for Wedbush Securities) stated that the election results are good for the “long-term viability of the [gun manufacturing] industry.” But. The Trump victory bundled with a Republican Congress, could be a net-negative for Smith & Wesson and others as it “eliminates any realistic fear of gun regulation,” Luria wrote. According to the note, threats of restrictive gun regulations had been a major force driving higher volume firearms sales over the last eight years.

The Trump victory was no doubt assisted strongly by efforts by NRA supporters. Given that the NRA has been accused of having “morphed from an advocacy group for hunters into a radical mouthpiece for its largest benefactors, the gun manufacturers” (from a letter published in the LA Times) looks like individual rights and profits might for a time better exist higher and lower, respectively. What matters is the long run.

New Jersey High School Student Suspended for “Anti-Gun-Control” Project

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A high-school student in Manville, New Jersey was suspended and ordered to undergo psychological evaluation resulting from his assigned classroom presentation on an “anti-gun-control” topic.

MSSS_school_story_1


Originally reported by News 12 (New Jersey)


Frank Harvey, a Manville High School (NJ) senior says that he was suspended from school and ordered to go for a psychological evaluation after an anti-gun control project he was assigned last year was found on his thumb drive.

He had left the drive in the school computer lab room, and evidently someone found it, saw the presentation, and alerted school officials. That was on a Monday. On Tuesday, Harvey was suspended by the Manville School District for the content on the thumb drive and said that he had to undergo a five-hour psychological exam before he could come back to school. Manville police were called in and questioned Harvey, but cleared him of any wrongdoing.

“I’ve never been a violent person,” said Harvey. “I’ve never had detention in my life.” Harvey’s mother, Mary Vervan, said she will not subject her son to such an evaluation for no reason, and decided to pull him out of school. He turned his books in on Wednesday and signed a school withdrawal form, and Harvey says he will now work towards earning his GED.

Harvey had been assigned the project during his junior year for a College and Career Readiness class. The assignment was to come up with a topic that, according to Harvey, would “provoke class discussion.” He chose an anti-gun control viewpoint, communicated through a video presentation he produced. The presentation was impressive enough to earn him an “A” on the project, he said.

His teacher, Rachel Gottfried, has since denied giving her College and Career Readiness class the assignment and approving his topic, Harvey said.

“It was assigned by the teacher, and I got the topic, which was anti-gun control, approved by the teacher. She said my project would be perfectly fine,” said Harvey, “I presented the video to the class and took a few questions from my classmates. My presentation went over well. The whole idea of the assignment was to expose students to an idea they hadn’t considered before.”

“What the response of the school tells me is that I’m allowed to do my school work as long as it agrees with their point of view on an issue,” said Harvey.

His presentation gave examples where people using guns have thwarted home invaders and argued that people should be able to protect themselves. The presentation also shows political cartoons suggesting that gun-free zones are ineffective.

School officials were contacted for comment, and Superintendent Anne Facendo said only, “The school district is not at liberty to make comment on any issue pertaining to confidential student information.”

There’s more information out there to be found on this story as it continues to unfold, and be debated. What do you think?


See Frank Harvey’s video HERE. (YouTube)

Come With Me To Pick Up My AK-47

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By Ultimate Reloader

We’ve all felt the tension in the air as this election cycle winds up to it’s climax. Folks, especially those of us in this sector, are keenly aware of what’s happening in the industry, and the country, when it comes to everything involving our Second Amendment.

Come With Me To Pick Up My AK-47

Gavin, at Ultimate Reloader, recently started an epic series on the much beloved AK-47. Follow his series right here, and check out the video below!

“After much preparation and experimenting with some new storytelling techniques (see the video below), with this post I’m kicking off a long-term series that will celebrate the AK-47, and go into many aspects of the 7.62x39mm cartridge, including a bunch of content and detail related to reloading 7.62x39mm ammunition for the AK-47 and the SKS. It’s going to be both educational and FUN!”

Feds Use Local Police to Collect License Plate Info at Gun Shows

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Might want to park across the street… Privacy watchdog groups and firearms enthusiasts upset about spy tactics initiated by feds through local police.

gun show, privacy, wall street journal, license plate scan, police, ICE

A new report from the Wall Street Journal reveals that the federal government has on multiple occasions used local police departments to scan automobile license plates at gun shows. This has been done in an effort to collect and record information on gun show attendees.

The Journal reviewed a series of 2010 emails between the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) and police departments in Southern California, including one in Del Mar, near the Mexican border. In the emails, federal agents persuade local police to use license plate readers to randomly scan cars at local gun shows. The agency planned to cross-reference that data with cars crossing the Mexican border to find and prosecute gun smugglers.

And there’s more… According to the Journal, the emails indicated that this strategy could have been employed elsewhere around the country. ICE has no policy that dictates the use of license plate readers, and nothing would have kept them from continuing the practice from 2010 until now.

No shock: the report has upset both privacy watchdog groups and firearms enthusiasts. It clearly raises Constitutional questions, to say the least.

Erich Pratt, Executive Director of Gun Owners of America, told the Journal that his group opposes such surveillance: “Information on law-abiding gun owners ends up getting recorded, stored, and registered, which is a violation of the 1986 Firearm Owners Protection Act and of the Second Amendment.”

What ICE doesn’t seem to realize is that, contrary to what the Clinton campaign would have us believe, gun shows are NOT hotbeds of criminal activity. According to an NIJ (National Institute of Justice, the research, development and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice) study released in December 1997 (“Homicide in Eight U.S. Cities”), only 2 percent of criminal guns come from gun shows. The vast majority of firearm sales at gun shows are being offered by federally-licensed gun dealers who must ensure that each customer passes a background check, which blocks firearms purchases by most known criminals as well as illegal immigrants. This is likely why, according to the Journal, “There is no indication the gun-show surveillance led to any arrests or investigative leads.”

No one familiar with gun shows would think to target attendees in an effort to locate criminals. Perhaps instead of invading the privacy of law-abiding gun show patrons, ICE should use its taxpayer dollars to target straw purchasers and criminals who steal firearms, both more likely sources of illegal guns than random gun show attendees.

What do you think?

NSSF: Facts Do Not Stop Hillary From Vilification of Firearm Retailers

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Thanks to our friends at the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), another window into Hillary’s gun control agenda and tactics has been opened. Here is the full release from the NSSF. Continue reading NSSF: Facts Do Not Stop Hillary From Vilification of Firearm Retailers

What Difference Do Emojis Make?

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apple-emojiApple has announced that the next update to its emoji catalog would style the “gun” icon as a toy, rather than a pistol, reports the Washington Post. The emoji is really a revolver not a pistol.

New Yorkers Against Gun Violence has been pushing for the emoji switch by waging a high-profile PR campaign called #DisarmTheiPhone, in an attempt to bring awareness to the toll of criminal violence involving firearms by urging Apple to remove all gun related emojis.

The organization succeeded in its social-media symbolic effort. Apple has succumbed to the social pressure of villainizing an object rather than focusing on the fact that people are responsible for their actions.

The narrative is that guns are bad, no matter the depiction or context. What we hear so little about is how more effort could be focused to make real progress in the fight against keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.

So, even though it’s the easy thing to do, it’s sad to see companies like Apple get caught up in silly social media ploys.

Do you think such “disarming” ploys make any difference in the real world?

NRA Launches New Television Ad in Support of Donald Trump

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The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) recently launched a new $3 million TV ad buy making the case that Hillary Clinton is an out of touch, hypocritical politician who would leave the American people defenseless.

This ad helps highlight the fact that the right of law-abiding Americans to keep a firearm in their homes for self-protection is on the ballot in this presidential election.  The ad, titled “Defenseless”, began airing this month on national cable as well as local broadcast stations in key battleground states, including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Nevada and North Carolina. It is the third installment in a series of ads by the NRA-PVF.

“Hillary Clinton has supported the concept of confiscating firearms from law-abiding citizens.  Despite what she says to try and get elected, she would stack the Supreme Court with anti-gun justices who would overturn our fundamental right of self-protection. So it is not an understatement to say that the future of American freedom is at stake in November,” said Chris W. Cox, chairman of NRA’s Political Victory Fund.

In a candid moment, Hillary Clinton told an audience of supporters that “The Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment, and I’m going to make that case every chance I get.” She was referring to the landmark case of District of Columbia v. Heller, in which the Court held that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms.  

The ad highlights the hypocrisy of Hillary Clinton’s views on the Second Amendment and reveals her as a political elitist who is out of touch with the American people.  

“The choice to own a firearm doesn’t belong to the government — it is an individual freedom,” continued Cox. “So it is too important to be subject to one set of rules for political elites like Hillary Clinton, and a different set for the rest of us.”

Effort to Put Gunsmiths Out of Business?

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Though it seems like an esoteric matter that doesn’t affect most gun owners, a July 22 U.S. Department of State – Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) “guidance” memo purportedly means to clarify who is required under the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to register as a “manufacturer” of “defense articles.” In reality, the “guidance” from DDTC looks more like an effort to potentially put hundreds or thousands of gunsmiths out of business because they can’t afford to pay the high annual $2,250 registration fee.

Simply put, the DDTC’s stance would force small manufacturers to pay $2,250 annually to register when they are not utilizing the DDTC export licensing system to export products.

The term “manufacture” as used in the AECA and ITAR is its ordinary dictionary definition. Clearly, many of the activities DDTC claims require registration constitutes gun smithing and is not manufacturing under any reasonable dictionary definition of the term. DDTC’s position is similar to claiming an auto mechanic who fixes your car is a car manufacturer. From the ATF, here’s their clarification of gunsmithing vs. manufacturing.

The law covers firearms and ammunition products (U.S. Munitions List Categories I – III), and, registration would be required even if the manufacturer does not export any firearms or firearms parts, and even if the manufacturer makes only component parts.

DDTC asserts that the guidance merely restates existing DDTC policy and interpretation of the AECA and ITAR manufacturer registration requirement.

To date, the Obama Administration has refused to publish and implement the regulatory changes necessary to transfer for export licensing of commercial and sporting firearms and ammunition products to the Department of Commerce from the Department of State.

Massachusetts AG Effectively, Unilaterally Bans AR-15s and State-Compliant Variants

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Maura Healey, attorney general of Massachusetts,
Maura Healey, attorney general of Massachusetts,

Maura Healey, the attorney general of Massachusetts, recently rewrote the state’s 1998 Gun Control Act to reinterpret what it had meant since 1998.

Writing in the Boston Globe, Healey outlined the changes:

— The Massachusetts assault weapons ban mirrors the federal ban Congress allowed to expire in 2004. It prohibits the sale of specific weapons like the Colt AR-15 and AK-47 and explicitly bans “copies or duplicates” of those products.

— “Copies or duplicates” mean “state compliant” versions of Modern Sporting Rifles sold in Massachusetts. Such “state compliant” versions lack a flash suppressor, a folding or telescoping stock, or other helpful shooter features. The AG will notify all gun manufacturers and dealers to make clear that the sale of semi-auto rifles with certain features is now illegal in Massachusetts.

— The effect could mean that all AR-15s that have been modified to comply with Massachusetts law are now illegal purely because they are AR-15s. This could eventually outlaw all semi-automatic weapons in the state, which should violate D.C. v Heller’s explicit “common use” standard.

— Healey said in her Globe article that “if a gun’s operating system is essentially the same as that of a banned weapon, or if the gun has components that are interchangeable with those of a banned weapon, it’s a ‘copy’ or ‘duplicate,’ and it is illegal.”

Bottom Line: Some of our customers in Middle America will notice this state-law change and not be too concerned about it, because it is Massachusetts, and things like this are to be expected there.

Quite a few of our customers and fellow countrymen in the Bay State are now in limbo because basic AR-15 parts may turn a vanilla semi-auto rifle into “copies or duplicates” of those products.

Will this turn into another nudge in the direction of our fellow Americans losing their rights? There seems to have been a precedent set with California cities banning firearms, the strict laws placed in Chicago (which seems to be working, he lied), and other “leaders” treating their constituents more like an authoritarian society.

Hopefully the people of Massachusetts sound off in a clear, unified, voice at the ballot box this November.

Washington Post’s Fact Checker Rips Obama for Gun Remark

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The memorial service in remembrance of the tragic deaths of five Dallas police officers was remarkable, but for all the wrong reasons. The service took a turn from memorializing to politicizing when President Obama decided to take advantage of this national platform and turn his memorial speech into yet another push for his political agenda. He implied the deaths of the police officers occurred because “we flood communities with so many guns that it is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than to get his hands on a computer, or even a book.”

The remark immediately earned Three Pinocchios from the Washington Post fact checker, which called it an “exaggerated claim based in no real statistics, which does nothing but distract the public.” And distraction is exactly the effect Obama’s statement had on the public, which simply took away from the real reason everyone gathered: to commemorate the lives of true heroes whose lives were taken too soon.

Larry Keane, Senior Vice President, Assistant Secretary & General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation said, “It is a shame that our nation’s leader would rather take advantage of his television air time to push his political agenda than pay respect to the fallen officers and share grieving with their families and the law enforcement community. But Obama is not a novice when it comes to employing this tactic of exploiting a tragedy for political purposes. And, I suppose it was to be expected since he told America after the Umpqua Community College tragedy last year that he intended to politicize these events.”

Keane added, “Our highly regulated industry is not ‘flooding’ communities with guns. Criminals, not guns are what‘s flooding communities like the President’s hometown of Chicago. In times like these where the President chooses to beat the drum on restricting Americans’ Second Amendment rights, it’s important to remember the facts. Violent crime continues its downward trend, even as the firearms market sees more and more growth over the past two decades. Placing blame on firearms for the criminal acts of terrorists and madmen cannot be justified by data.”

Keane said, “It’s a shame that these victims could not be simply commemorated and their families, along with the Dallas community, could not mourn their losses without the President stooping to inject his self-serving political bias.  Will he repeat this tactic at the funerals of the slain Baton Rouge police officers and East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s deputy?  It will be equally off-point if he does, when even East Baton Rouge Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said  “This is not so much about gun control as it is about what’s in men’s heart.”