Hornady On Ammo Availability

Steve and Jason Hornady of ammo maker Hornady Manufacturing released a YouTube video this week discussing the ammo shortage. In their own humorous way, they showed that they really are working 24/7 on getting ammo out the door. Their parody intro is really good. It’s great to see a company that isn’t so stuck up on itself.

Move Over Mark Harmon, Here Comes Andy Traver

Actor Mark Harmon, in this role as Agent Jethro Gibbs, is probably the name most associated with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service or NCIS. That may change with the selection of our old friend Andrew Traver to head NCIS.

Traver was selected by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus on Friday to become the Director of NCIS. Unlike promotions to admiral and other high civilian posts, the Director of NCIS does not need Senate confirmation.

“Andrew Traver is absolutely the right person to lead the NCIS,” said Mabus. “His strong law enforcement background and experience make him the ideal choice to guide NCIS in preventing and solving crimes and helping to counter those who would do us harm. As a former Naval officer, he understands the Navy and Marine Corps and the evolving security issues we face today.”

 Traver is currently the SAC of the BATFE’s Denver Field Division and was previously the SAC of the Chicago Field Division. We in the gun community know Mr. Traver as Obama’s failed nominee to head BATFE as well as being an anti-gunner.

The Obama Administration is famous for throwing people under the bus and Traver was one of those. After B. Todd Jones was named Acting Director of BATFE, it was clear that Traver would never get the post of Director. This post as Director of NCIS may be his consolation prize for being a loyalist and keeping his mouth shut during the whole time he was being considered for BATFE Director.

Since Secretary of the Navy Mabus is using Traver’s former service as a Naval officer as part of the rationale for appointing him to be head of NCIS, I think it is fair to ask more questions about his service. According to the questionnaire he submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee, he only served in the Navy from November 1985 until May 1987.


The questionnaire also reports that he left the Navy early as an Ensign with a “Hardship Discharge/Resignation”.  The normal service commitment is 3 to 5 years for Naval officers. As I said back in 2010, I wondered why he left a growing Navy that needed officers for its planned 600 ship Navy to join a local police department and then a backwater Treasury Department agency. It still would be interesting to know what the “hardship” was that allowed Traver to leave the Navy before fulfilling his normal service commitment. Given that he won’t be going through a confirmation hearing I doubt we’ll ever know.

High Demand For Ammo Is Not Just In The US

I read a press release from the Swiss ammunition manufacturer RUAG this week announcing that they were increasing production. RUAG Ammotec produces ammo in plants in Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Hungary, and Tampa, Florida. While you might not recognize RUAG Ammotec, you’d probably recognize some of their brands. They include RWS, Dynamit Nobel, Norma, Rottweil, Hirtenberger, MFS, Swiss P, and GECO.

What made RUAG’s announcement interesting was that they said they were increasing production due to “the high level of capacity utilisation in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Hungary and the USA.” This is bureaucratic-speak saying that not only are Americans buying more ammo, so are the Germans, Swiss, Swedes, and Hungarians.

From their announcement:

RUAG Ammotec was quick to recognize the signs and create additional production capacities. On the one hand, this increase in capacity is being achieved by taking on more staff and by intensifying shift operation, and on the other hand a major investment programme in the upper double-digit million range is to be implemented in the coming three years. It is the biggest project of its kind in the history of RUAG Ammotec.

“Expanding our production network across all our locations will ideally increase our current capacities. This is the only way for us to be able to meet the high international demand even better in future and reinforce our market position,” states Cyril Kubelka, who has been the CEO of RUAG Ammotec and member of the Executive Board of RUAG for many years.

Win For Open Carry In Mississippi

The Mississippi Supreme Court overturned Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Winston Kidd’s injunction against House Bill 2 today. HB 2 defined what constituted concealed for the purposes of concealed carry. By defining concealed, the bill clarified that open carry is permitted under the Mississippi State Constitution.

Judge Kidd had found HB 2 to be “unconstitutionally vague” back in July and had issued a permanent injunction against the law. The parties seeking the injunction included Hinds County DA Robert Shuler Smith, Hinds County Sheriff Tyrone Lewis, and St. Senator John Horhn (D-Jackson). Backers of the the lawsuit included the Southern Poverty Law Center who helped draft the briefs.

In their 9-0 decision, the Mississippi Supreme Court found that Judge Kidd had erred as a matter of law.

This Court now finds that the Circuit Judge erred as a matter of law when he found House Bill 2 to be vague and, therefore, unconstitutional. He also erred when he stated that “a reasonable person reading the bill could not discern what the law allows and what it prohibits.” Therefore, the Petition for Interlocutory Appeal is granted and rendered, and the Order Granting Plaintiffs’ Motion for Injunctive Relief is vacated.

The Court also assessed the cost of the appeal to the Appellees.

Mississippi politicians were quick to praise the Supreme Court’s decision on open carry.

Gov. Phil Bryant (R-MS) released this statement:

JACKSON—The Mississippi Supreme Court today ruled 9-0 that House Bill 2, which clarifies the definition of “concealed” for purposes of Mississippi laws regarding the concealed carrying of firearms, is valid and constitutional. The court also vacated the injunction that a Hinds County judge had issued against the bill. As a result, it is now clear that House Bill 2 can take effect statewide.

“House Bill 2 is an important clarification of citizens’ right to keep and bear arms under the state and federal Constitutions. I am very pleased that the court has agreed that House Bill 2 is consistent with the Constitution so that law will now take effect statewide.”

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R-MS) issued a briefer statement praising the decision:

“I’m proud the Supreme Court confirmed our goal of protecting our right to bear arms. Today’s ruling is a win for our Constitution and a win for every Mississippian.”

Rep. Andy Gipson (R-Braxton), author of HB 2, said he knew his bill was constitutional and was happy that the Court agreed.

“When the lawsuit was first filed, I said I never seen a lawsuit filed over the constitutionality of a law in the Constitution,” Gipson said.

Gipson has said “If you carry a weapon concealed, you need a concealed carry permit. Otherwise, the Constitution of 1890 guarantees each citizen the right to keep and bear arms to defend himself/herself. No change to the constitution here; just defining concealed for the first time. Until now, individual law enforcement or courts could fabricate a definition which resulted in an illogical infringement on constitutional rights.”

The statement from Secretary of State Delbert Hoseman (R-MS) noted he was a NRA Life Member and he was pleased the Supreme Court “has protected this fundamental right.”

Of course, the plaintiffs who brought the case were none too happy. St. Sen. John Horhn (D-Jackson) plans to introduce legislation to require permits for both open and concealed carry. He has also called on Jackson and Hinds County leaders to ban open carry. It should be noted that Sen. Horhn, like every other member of the Mississippi legislature, voted for HB 2.

There is no word of any public reaction from Hinds County DA Robert Shuler Smith or his attorney Lisa Ross.

Good Advice From Doug Koenig On New Shooters

The National Shooting Sports Foundation released another of their training videos featuring Doug Koenig. Unlike the others which dealt with improving your shooting, this one was dedicated to the proper ways to introduce new shooters to the sport. The video features both Doug and his son Trevor.

Doug suggests starting out with air rifles for absolute new comers and with rimfire for those slightly more experienced. Above all else, you don’t want to overwhelm the new shooter with a “hand cannon”. He makes good points about the use of reactive targets as a way to keep things interesting.

Beretta Reported To Be Looking At Central Georgia

The Thomaston (GA) Times is reporting that Beretta was scouting central Georgia as a potential spot for relocation. The Thomaston-Upson Industrial Development Authority had reported last week that a prospect codenamed Project Clover had toured the area and the Central Georgia Business and Technology Park. They confirmed it was a firearms company.

Later in a joint meeting between the Upson County commissioners and town councils for Thomaston and Yatesville, the head of the county commission said the Project Clover was actually Beretta.

During a joint meeting of the Upson County Board of Commissioners (BOC) and the Thomaston and Yatesville city councils Tuesday night, Commission Chairman Rusty Blackston and Mayor Hays Arnold, both members of TUIDA, told the crowd the potential industry is Beretta Firearms.

“We had a very good prospect that, in my impression, is very interested in Upson County,” said Blackston. “They said we could go ahead and make it known to the public who they are. Beretta Firearms is looking to move to Upson County, which would be an impact of approximately 400 to 450 jobs on startup. That would put us on the global market.”

“Let’s make it clear, they have not decided on Thomaston-Upson County,” cautioned Arnold. “But, we are extremely high-ranking on their list at this point in time.”

The executive director of the TUIDA, Kyle Fletcher, said that Beretta was given an overview of the community on everything ranging from healthcare to the new fine arts auditorium. She especially emphasized the employee training opportunities offered through Southern Crescent Technical College’s Training Facility. According to their website, the college does offer programs in CNC Technology and Machine Tool Technology.

Thomaston and Upson County are located almost in the middle of a triangle formed by Atlanta to the north, Macon to the east, and Columbus to the west.

It should be pointed out that even if Beretta does open operations in Georgia they are not likely to stop production for the foreseeable future in Maryland despite that state’s laws. Jeff Reh has stated many times that Beretta has certain obligations to the US military for production of the M9 pistol that would be disrupted if they moved that plant. Beretta has also stated that with the passage of Maryland’s new gun laws that they shelved any plans for expansion of the Accokeek plant.

It was long thought that Beretta would probably do any expansion near their existing operations in Spotsylvania, Virginia. However, plans for a Virginia Railway Express station and a mixed-use development which are adjacent to the Spotsylvania operation have caused Beretta to look elsewhere.

(Jeff) Reh said he understands why Spotsylvania officials chose that site for the VRE station, and why they approved the mixed-use development. But he said Beretta doesn’t want to expand in an area that will be densely populated.

He said the company doesn’t plan to close its existing distribution center but is looking elsewhere for an expansion that could mean a $10 million investment and 50 new jobs.

Reh didn’t offer specifics about the expansion, but according to a letter he wrote to Spotsylvania officials in 2011, the company has plans for a new facility for “the manufacturing of industrial components and testing, either below ground or above ground, of firearms manufactured by Beretta U.S.A. Corp.”

Reh said the company is looking for about 100 acres for the expansion and is considering sites in seven states with laws friendly to firearms manufacturers and the Second Amendment: Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Texas. He said he was looking at sites in the Warrenton area this week and has met previously with Caroline County officials.

West Virginia would have been on the list except for Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).

Unusual Choice Of Firearm For This Police Department

When it comes to choosing a long arm for use by its officers, most police departments recently have been going with some form of an AR-15. Thus, when the Pennsylvania State Capitol Police chose the IWI Tavor SAR for use by its officers, it caught my attention.

The Pennsylvania State Capitol Police is an 86 member department charged with providing security and protection at the Capitol Complex in Harrisburg as well as at state office buildings in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Scranton. They are also charged with investigating crimes that occur within its jurisdiction. Established in 1895, they were the first police agency in Pennsylvania to come under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and are the second oldest state police agency in the country after the Texas Rangers.

So why choose the Tavor when virtually all other departments are going with some form of AR-15?

According to the press release announcing the adoption, it was due to it close quarters capabilities.

“We ar
e honored that the Pennsylvania
Capitol Police have chosen
to be
with the TAVOR® SAR
,” Michael Kassnar, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at IWI US commented.

Capitol Police were looking for an extremely reliable rifle that was
built specifically for close quarter
the design of the TAVOR®
was a perfect
their requirements.”

There is no word on how many of these bullpup rifles were purchased nor is there any word on the exact configuration.

Prior to joining IWI USA, Mr. Kassnar had been president of Harrisburg-based Charles Daly and KBI as well as Trans World Arms LLC. Charles Daly and KBI went out of business in 2010. Given that Mr. Kassnar and IWI USA are Harrisburg-based as were KBI and Charles Daly, I would not be surprised to find out that he had a long standing personal and professional relationship with the State Capitol Police. Notwithstanding that, I do believe the Tavor should perform very well in close quarters.

Interesting Picture From Syria

The Wall Street Journal ran an article on the conflict in Syria this past Monday. It was not the war news that caught my eye but the photo that they used to illustrate it. The photo from Reuters featured a Syrian rebel sniper preparing to shoot from inside a concrete and sandbag bunker. His weapon? A FN-FAL with a big rifle scope.

Reuters photo as seen in Wall Street Journal

If you check out the front iron sights as well as the curve of the buttstock, you know that he is using a FN-FAL.

I don’t have any training or expertise as a sniper but I think the young man might have been better served if he used a sandbag rest for his FAL and had fired from further back in the bunker so as to minimize his muzzle flash.

We Do Raffles; They Have Billionaires

If there is anything that can illustrate the difference between the forces that want gun control and those of us who believe in freedom, it is these two stories regarding campaign money in the recall election in Colorado.

First, KVDR Fox 31 Denver reports that billionaires Eli Broad and NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg contributed a combined $600,000 to Taxpayers for Responsible Democracy. This is the committee fighting to keep Colorado Senate President John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) and Senator Angela Giron (D-Pueblo) in office.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wrote a personal check for $350,000 to Taxpayers for Responsible Democracy, the issues committee fighting the recalls targeting Senate President John Morse and Sen. Angela Giron.

FOX31 Denver is first to report the group’s contributions report, filed Tuesday with the Secretary of State.

Bloomberg’s contribution reportedly came just last week, according to multiple sources close to the campaign.

Billionaire Eli Broad also wrote a $250,000 check to the organization, which raised a total of $708,000 in contributions between April and Aug. 22.

The article also reports another $95,000 came from two other contributors. According to a spokesperson for the anti-recall effort, they have had 17,000 contributors. Doing some quick math, four contributors put in $695,000 and 16,996 contributors contributed an average of 75 cents each. That doesn’t quite add up to me.

Morse’s anti-recall group, A Whole Lot of People for John Morse, has raised over $450,000 while Giron’s anti-recall group, Pueblo United for Angela, has raised $586,187.

The second story involves a raffle being organized by AR maker CMMG to raise money for Colorado Citizens Protecting Our Constitution.

CMMG, a popular manufacturer of AR-pattern rifles, and the most delicious tactical bacon a person can buy, is raffling off a custom, one-of-a-kind Mk4 D special Colorado Citizens Protecting Our Constitution-edition rifle to raise money for the upcoming recall elections of pro-gun control Colorado senators.

Anyone donating at least $5 to Colorado Citizens Protecting Our Constitution fund with the donation code “CMMG” will automatically be entered into the raffle. It’s that easy.

 Missouri-based CMMG had this to say on their Facebook page about why they are doing this.

In July, Colorado had sweeping legislation aimed at disabling their citizens’ Second Amendment rights go into effect and CCPOC wants to recall the biggest supporters of the legislation, Senators Giron and Morse. With your help, CCPOC can send a message to the state of Colorado – and the country – that laws like bans on magazine capacity over 15 rounds and background checks for every firearm transfer are not tolerable.

The recall effort is and has always been a grassroots effort.  It is symbolized by Victor Head and his fellow plumbers who organized the effort against Giron. I don’t see big donations coming from Kohler and American Standard to them unlike the donations that Bloomberg has made to his arrogant puppets John Morse and Angela Giron. With it likely that voters will have to vote in person rather than by mail, it will come down to whomever has the better ground game. Money can buy a lot of things but it really can’t buy passion and passion may be what wins these recall elections. Passionate voters will get to the polls and I hope that helps our side in this David versus Goliath contest.

“Sickness In Our Souls” – John Morse

Jon Caldera, President of the Independence Institute, hosts a program on Colorado Public TV called Devils Advocate. In one of his shows, he quoted Colorado Senate President John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) saying that those who opposed his gun laws had a “sickness in their souls”. Morse is now objecting that he was taken out of context and that isn’t what he meant. Morse said he wasn’t referring to gun owners but violence in general.

Caldera has the transcript of Morse’s comment and says what Morse said is exactly what he meant. He has now challenged Morse to come on his show and explain himself.