Perceptive Comment On Walmart Ammo Decision

If anyone knows the small firearms retailer, it would be Brownells. They have worked with gunsmiths since time immemorial. Jim Shepherd of the Outdoor Wires had an editorial today on the implications of the Walmart decision which is well worth a read.

In the editorial, he quoted Pete Brownell regarding Walmart’s move.

“It’s really a time of opportunity for small retailers,” Pete Brownell of the eponymous Brownells told me yesterday, “the core of our industry, small retailers are going to have an opportunity to get back some of the business lost by a retailer that focuses on squeezing the margins, not selling based on knowledge, experience and affinity.”


“To me,” he says, “it’s actually good news, although it’s never all good news when any company starts to give in to social pressure.”


He’s right on both points. Granted, some consumers will lose the ability to hit a Walmart for a box of rifle shells, diapers, orange juice and sodas. But they’ll now have a valid reason to go back to the stores where the shelves and displays are full of products they actually enjoy.

Brownell is correct. This is an opportunity for the Mom and Pop gun stores. That is, if they play it right. By right, I mean have deals on bulk ammo and reasonable prices on the rest.

While I Was Away – No. 2

Continuing on with the things I missed while at the beach are these two announcement from the Firearms Policy Coalition regarding bullet buttons and proposed ammo regulations in California. The FPC is a multi-state coalition of gun rights groups headquartered in California. They have been keeping a close eye on the regulations being developed for the enforcement of recently enacted firearms laws and propositions.

When you are headquartered in a state where the progressives have a monopoly on virtually everything, you have to fight back anyway you can. Showing that they have learned Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and especially Rule No. 4, the Firearms Policy Coalition is making the California Department of Justice live up to all those progressive laws dealing with public notice and freedom of information.

On bullet buttons:

SACRAMENTO, CA (July 21, 2017) — Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) has obtained a copy of the newest version of the California Department of Justice (DOJ) “assault weapons” regulations. FPC has published the regulations at BulletButtonBan.com, a Web site it established in 2016 for tracking the new California assault weapon laws and regulations.

“FPC’s Regulatory Watch program has once again proved its value in ensuring that the State of California does not advance its gun control agenda behind closed doors,” said FPC President Brandon Combs. “Without this program, countless gun-owning Californians would be in the dark about their future.”

Last December, the DOJ submitted its first attempt at “assault weapons” regulations under the California Office of Administrative Law’s (OAL) “File & Print” process, which means that the DOJ believed the regulations were not subject to public notice or comment. However, thousands of FPC members and Second Amendment supporters sent letters opposing the secret process through FPC’s grassroots tools and, without further comment, the DOJ withdrew the regulations near the end of OAL review period.

In May (a quarter of a year later), the DOJ re-submitted regulations under the same “File & Print” process. It took numerous legal demands to DOJ and OAL to finally get OAL to provide FPC with a copy of the proposed regulations. Following DOJ’s numerous attempts at hiding firearm regulations from the public, Craig DeLuz, FPC’s Legislative Advocate, and FPC filed a legal action against DOJ (DeLuz, et al. v California Department of Justice) in order to ensure that in the future DOJ complies with the California Constitution and Public Records Act.

In the end, these proposed regulations were summarily rejected by OAL a little more than a month later. And now DOJ has submitted almost the same exact regulations, appearing only to have changed the implementation date from January 1, 2018 to July 1, 2018. This new date was established by AB 103, a recently approved budget trailer bill.

“At first glance, the DOJ’s latest package of ‘assault weapons’ regulations are as awful as their first two attempts,” noted DeLuz. “It appears that DOJ keeps submitting the same proposed regulations, over and over again, expecting different results. Isn’t that the definition of insanity?”

The second announcement has to do with California’s proposed ammunition regulations and the hearings seeking feedback.

SACRAMENTO, CA (July 20, 2017) — Adding to the growing list of its legal woes, the California Department of Justice (DOJ) was forced to issue a new regulatory notice and postpone a hearing regarding their recently-submitted regulations concerning new ammunition vendors and licenses. Many new ammunition laws were passed last year in Gavin Newsom’s so-called “Safety for All Act” (Proposition 63) and in Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León’s Senate Bill 1235 (SB 1235).

As part of its California regulatory watch program, which holds the State accountable for the improper implementation of various gun control laws, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) recently discovered the new DOJ ammunition sales regulations. That new regulation was officially published in the State’s Friday, July 14 Notice Register, but wasn’t clearly accessible to the public until the morning of Monday, July 17.

“In order for citizens and interested groups to be given an opportunity to advocate for their rights and policy preferences, the DOJ must follow the law,” said Craig DeLuz, a lobbyist and spokesperson for the Firearms Policy Coalition. “We are here to make sure they do.”

On July 17, FPC delivered a letter to DOJ advising them that they had not sent any notification about this proposed rulemaking using the DOJ’s e-mail based notification system it established and solicited participation in for that express purpose. The FPC letter also noted that none of the regulation documents that were discussed in the DOJ’s notice could be found on the Attorney General’s Web page listed in the Notice Register. FPC concluded that the public did not receive proper notice and demanded that DOJ remedy the defects.

Just two days later, on July 19, DOJ e-mailed their entire regulatory notice list — which they had initially failed to do — and said that the hearing for public comment, which was originally scheduled to take place August 28, had been pushed back to September 12 — allowing more time for the public and advocacy organizations like FPC to analyze them and weigh in. Additionally, DOJ updated the public notice to reflect a different Web page that contained a working link to the proposed new regulations and forms.

“When law-abiding citizens and small businesses risk fines and jail time for not following the law, the least the DOJ can do is follow the law themselves,” commented DeLuz. “While their latest move is a step in the right direction, they still have a long way to go. We’ll be keeping an eye on them.”

At www.DOJregwatch.com and its companion page, www.bulletbuttonban.com, FPC tracks DOJ firearm-related rulemakings and provides the public with links to the documents and updates. FPC’s goal is to ensure that the regulations proposed are legal, available to the public, and follow all public notice and comment requirements in the California Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and applicable laws.

So far, FPC has so far been successful in repeatedly thwarting DOJ’s attempts to create law by executive fiat under the guise of the regulatory process. Previously, DOJ was forced to withdraw its proposed “large capacity magazine” and “Bullet Button Assault Weapon” regulations. More recently, the Office of Administrative Law rejected DOJ’s second attempt at issuing “Bullet Button Assault Weapon” regulations.

Remington Breaks Ground On Ammo Plant Expansion

As I reported a few months ago, Remington is planning to expand their ammunition manufacturing plant in Lonoke, Arkansas. Yesterday, they held their ground-breaking ceremony. It attracted the politicians as both Gov. Mike Beebe (D-AR) and US Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) spoke. I’m sure as Democrats in an increasingly red state they wanted to be perceived as pro-gun. Pryor, by the way, was one of the few Democrats to vote against Manchin-Toomey.

The plant expansion is a $32 million project and is expected to be operational somewhere around mid-year 2014.

Remington Plant Manager Jim Grahlmann declined to comment on the purpose of the new facility, for competitive purposes, he said. Grahlmann added that while he couldn’t be specific, the new plant will add 50-100 “relatively high skill positions.”

He added that some of those jobs may be offered to current employees of the plant, depending on their qualifications.

Grahlmann said the new addition to the plant will be 35,000 square feet and should be constructed by June 2014, though he is unsure of when it will officially open, due to the company having to move the equipment into the facility.

While the plant manager is being a little closed mouthed about the purpose of the new facility, the PR department of Remington was not so reticent.

The Remington expansion will help meet consumer demand for quality ammunition products at a time when many sportsmen and gun owners are struggling to find supply. Further, it will stimulate both the state and local economy.

“This groundbreaking ceremony marks a significant event for Remington and for the Lonoke community,” said George Kollitides, Chief Executive Officer of Remington. “It demonstrates our commitment to state-of-the-art facilities; ensuring quality, increasing product availability and improving on-time delivery to our customers. The expansion also allows us the opportunity to provide job growth within a community that has supported us since we laid the first cornerstone here in 1969. We are honored and pleased to celebrate this expansion with such great partners.”

I really did like one comment that Gov. Beebe made regarding supporting expansion versus only recruiting new businesses.

“As we strive to create new relationships with new partners, we must never forget the ones we already have,” said Gov. Mike Beebe in reference to helping an existing manufacturer. “It is so much easier to expand existing business than it is to create new ones.”

THV Channel 11 has more on the ground-breaking below. I do want to correct one mistake that anchor Craig O’Neill made. He stated that Remington was the only company to make both firearms and ammunition. That is incorrect. ATK which makes Federal Ammuniton would also fit in that category with its acquisition earlier this year of Savage Arms.

SAAMI – Sporting Ammunition and the Fire Fighter

The National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturer’s Institute (SAAMI) have produced a video for firefighters about the impact of fire on stored ammunition. This video and the tests they performed serves to dispel many of the myths about stored ammunition. It is actually rather interesting and I would recommend you share it with any friends that are either paid or volunteer firefighters.

The bottom line is that while it makes a lot of noise when it is “cooking off”, ammunition poses little risk of injury to fire fighters or neighbors. When they burned up over 28,000 rounds of ammo in a bonfire, very few of the projectiles even penetrated one layer of sheetrock and none penetrated the second layer. A firefighter who near the fire in full turn-out gear could feel the projectiles hitting his coat but none penetrated it nor did they cause any pain.

Coming To America

No, not the Eddie Murphy movie but the Swedish ammo maker Norma. The company has a well-deserved reputation for making some of the best ammo to be found. Because I have a love for Swedish Mausers in 6.5×55, I stumbled across their brass a number of years ago. It’s not cheap but very, very good stuff.

From their release:

NORMA USA OPENS US WAREHOUSE FOR DISTRIBUTION

American Market Poised for New Norma Products Specifically Designed for the American Sportsman

March 2012 – Norma, the Swedish manufacturer of superior hunting and target ammunition launched Norma USA in the US market earlier in 2012. Norma USA will be exhibiting at the 2012 National Rifle Association Meetings and Exhibits in St. Louis, Missouri on April 13 through 14 at booth 205 and revealing several new lines of components and ammunition. The new lines of performance ammunition and precision made components are shipping from the new Norma USA warehouse and distribution facility to major US retailers.

Norma USA’s commitment to the US hunting and target shooting market is being supported by an extensive advertising campaign in the National Rifle Association publication “American Hunter,” “Safari,” “Bugle,” “Handloader,” and “Rifle” magazines, and the launch of a new Norma USA website featuring products, support, a ballistics calculator and dealer locator. The new website also features a ballistics testing video and the latest loading data. For more information, visit www.norma-usa.com .