Remind Me Again Why SHOT Show Continues To Be In Vegas

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The largest convention centers in the United States are not in Las Vegas. The largest, McCormick Place, is in Chicago and then the second largest, the Orange County Convention Center, is in Orlando, Florida. The Sands Expo Center which is the site of the SHOT Show comes in at tenth in size.

I can understand why McCormick Place was not chosen for the SHOT Show. Despite its size which I can assure you is huge having driven right past it twice in the last week, no one in their right mind would want to hold a convention in January in frigid Chicago. I won’t even speak to the anti-gun politics of Chicago as a reason to avoid having the firearms industry trade show there.

I come from the school of rewarding our friends and punishing our enemies.

Nevada voters just elected Democrats to three out of four House seats including one flipped seat, ousted Dean Heller (R-NV) in favor of Jacky Rosen (D-NV) in the Senate, flipped the governor’s office from Republican to Democrat, hold both houses of the state legislature, and now have only one Republican official, Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, elected statewide. The Las Vegas Sun opines that Democrat dominance of the state should continue thanks to Latinos and young voters. I’m sure you might want to add (some) ex-pat Californians to that list as well.

Contrast this with the State of Florida. Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) beat Tallahasse Mayor Andrew Gillum (D-FL) for the governorship. Rick Scott (R-FL) beat three-term incumbent Bill Nelson (D-FL) for the US Senate. Republicans hold the other three statewide offices (AG, Ag Commissioner, and Chief Finance Officer). Despite losing two seats in House delegation to Democrats, Republicans still hold a 14 to 13 edge. They are also projected to hold majorities in both the state House and Senate.

The Sands Expo Center which is the location of the SHOT Show in Las Vegas has about 1.2 million square feet of exposition space. Earlier this year it was announced that the SHOT Show would expand their venue to include the MGM Grand Conference Center in 2020 and the Caesars Forum in 2021. According to the announcement, it is due to running out of space at the Sands Expo Center and having to turn away potential exhibitors.

The Orange County Convention Center, by contrast, has 2.1 million square feet of exposition space and is the nation’s second largest convention center. You would not need to expand the SHOT Show to multiple locations to handle the growth in exhibitors. OCCC also has over 6,000 parking spaces. Orlando does have fewer hotel rooms with “only” about 121,000 rooms as compared to Las Vegas which has approximately 175,000 rooms available. However, when you expand out of the city limits of Orlando to places like St. Cloud and Kissimmee you thousands of more rooms. Another advantage to Orlando is the generally warmer, even balmy, weather you are likely to find there in January.

I would be all for immediately switching the 2020 SHOT Show from Nevada to Florida for many of the reasons mentioned above including more space and a gun friendlier location. However, it won’t happen overnight.

 The fly or flies in the ointment on making the switch are two-fold. First, the National Shooting Sports Foundation has extended their contract with the Sands Expo Center through 2027. I don’t know if this is because they got a better deal from Sheldon Adelson or because they just were very familiar with the location. The second issue is a shooting range large enough to handle Industry Day at the Range. The Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club is outstanding in that regard. There are a number of shooting ranges in Central Florida but nothing approaching it that I know of.

To conclude, the gun industry has changed from being a boys’ club to being more inclusive of women and families. You see fewer and fewer “booth babes” at the SHOT Show and the NRA Annual Meeting than in the past. It would be nice if the industry’s major event would leave Las Vegas behind and move to a more gun and family friendly location like Orlando. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Democrat State Party Platforms – Colorado To Georgia

This is a  continuation of my series of posts pointing out the political platforms of the individual state Democrat parties on firearms, gun control, and the Second Amendment. Remember, this is the official position of the Democratic Party in each state and you can expect Democrats to work to enact laws along these lines.


Colorado Democrats have an explicit gun control agenda in their platform. Moreover, firearm restrictions come up in other areas such as schools and National Parks and Forests.

Firearms and Gun Safety
We agree with individual ownership of firearms for hunting and personal safety, but also believe that firearms should be
regulated as follows:

1. Ban assault weapons, bump stocks, and high capacity magazines.
2. Enact universal background checks federally.
3. Enact restrictions: Must be 21 and must demonstrate competency with firearms to purchase a firearm.
4. Prohibit the possession and purchase of firearms by people with violent criminal offenses or on terrorist watch list.
5. Except for security personnel, ban firearms on K-12 schools, college campuses and allow cultural institutions to ban
firearms on their premises.
6. Enact Extreme Risk Protection Order law, which would allow families and law enforcement to seek a court order to
temporarily disarm a person who is dangerous to themselves or others.
7. Enact criminal penalties when adults fail to properly store firearms and minors gain access and harm themselves or
8. Restrict firearms use in National Forest to designated areas, except during hunting season.
9. Allow the CDC and other government agencies to conduct gun violence research, and properly fund.

With regard to making schools gun-free zones, the Colorado Democrats say:

We oppose guns in school, more guns would make our schools less safe and but all (sic) students and staff at increased
risk of becoming a victim of gun violence.

Finally, with regard to public lands and wildlife, it says, “We support the restriction of shooting in National Forests and Parks.”


As you might expect, Connecticut Democrats support gun control and make great claims for it. They don’t go into great detail so they must assume all the post-Newtown restrictions have been accepted.


Connecticut Democrats are proud to stand behind common sense gun violence prevention measures. As a result, Connecticut has one of the lowest gun death rates in the country.

Gun violence in our urban centers needs to be addressed. This can be supported through incentivized proactive measures such as buybacks, and reinforcing “no questions asked” protections where appropriate in order to get guns off the streets.

Connecticut can do more. There is progress to be made in the areas of Domestic Violence and Extreme Risk protections as these scenarios are a source of mass shooting violence and gun suicide.


 The Delaware Democrats’ platform adopts the usual buzzwords such as “common sense” and “weapons of war” without going into too much detail.

Preventing Gun Violence: Gun violence is taking far too many lives in Delaware.
Delaware Democrats support common sense gun safety measures while
respecting responsible gun ownership. We will build on successful efforts at the
state level and proposed efforts at the federal level to get weapons of war away
from criminals and off our streets, while preserving the Second Amendment rights
of law-abiding gun owners.


 The Florida Democrats have a list of their “values” on their website instead of a platform. In addition to a statement on guns, they also have a separate “gun violence prevention” fact (sic) sheet.

Preventing Gun Violence

“Proud NRA sellout” Adam Putnam and his Republican party would rather give guns to people who shouldn’t have them than enact comprehensive gun control policies. The Republican Party’s dependence on the NRA for money is why they refuse to enact policies that a majority of Floridians support. Unlike Republicans, Democrats support banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, universal background checks, closing the gun show loophole, and a 3-day waiting period for gun sales. Democrats realize that this isn’t about taking away the rights of responsible, law abiding gun-owners. This is about making our state safer so that there isn’t another shooting in Parkland, Pulse, or anywhere else in Florida. Florida has endured 4 mass shootings in 18 months because of Republicans’ refusal to implement common sense gun reform. Let’s make sure there isn’t a 5th.


Georgia Democrats don’t seem to have adopted a party platform since 2011. It is probably for this reason that their platform makes no reference to firearms or “gun violence” (sic).  The only real item I could find is a 2013 press release supporting then President Obama’s efforts at gun control post-Newtown including magazines bans and assault weapon (sic) bans.

I will have to assume that they will support the gun control platform of Stacey Abrams who is their nominee for governor.

As Governor, Stacey will:

  1. Fight for common-sense gun reforms including universal background checks, repeal of campus carry, and extreme-risk protection orders
  2. Support protections and services for victims of domestic violence
  3. Invest in mental health services
  4. Support community and hospital programs to stop the cycle of gun violence

Stacey’s Record:

  1. Opposed legislation which required that guns confiscated in crimes be returned to the street
  2. Opposed campus carry
  3. Received only Ds and Fs from the National Rifle Association
  4. Endorsed by Moms Demand Action and Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence

For Those In Florida

Last year, Florida Carry got some grief from Marion Hammer and the NRA due to their stance on some bills in the Florida legislature. Notwithstanding that – and showing that they are united in their support of gun rights – they have passed on the following alert from the NRA and Marion Hammer. I think it shows class on their part.

The alert concerns a move by the anti-gun forces to diminish gun rights in Florida through putting constitutional amendments on the ballot. One need only looks at the moves by Bloomberg and Everytown to force so-called universal background checks through referenda. They succeeded in Washington and Nevada but failed in Maine.

From Florida Carry:

ALERT: Anti-gun CRC Members Want Gun Bans in the Florida Constitution

DATE: March 19, 2018
TO:      USF & NRA Member and Friends
FROM: Marion P. Hammer
            USF Executive Director
            NRA Past President

of the members of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission (CRC)
are very anti-gun and they are proposing and pushing gun ban and gun
control amendments to put in the Florida Constitution.

Commissioners will be voting on these amendment soon. Links to these amendments are listed at the bottom.

Among these amendments are:

“assault weapons” ban which bans the distribution, sale, transfer, and
possession of so-called assault weapons and any detachable magazine that
has a capacity of more than 9 rounds.  (Makes possession illegal with
no compensation provided for those already possessed that must be

ban on any semi-automatic rifle that is able to accept a detachable
magazine or has a fixed magazine capable of holding more than10 rounds.
(that means almost all semi-automatic rifles)

ban on the sale and transfer of “assault weapons” and defines
“transfer” as the conveyance “from a person or entity to another person
or entity WITHOUT any conveyance of money or other valuable
consideration.”  (Note: to “convey” between persons without compensation
could mean the simple act of handing the firearm to another person
while hunting, on the range, or anywhere)

*A 10 day waiting period (excluding weekends and legal holidays) on all firearms to facilitate a background check.

*A ban on the purchase of any firearm by a person under 21 years of age. 

*A ban on the sale, transfer and possession of bump stocks and other devises, tools, kits, etc. 

Please email CRC Commissioners and tell them to OPPOSE gun control amendments!

PLEASE DO IT NOW !!! They could be voting on these amendments at anytime



(To send your message to all just Block and Copy All email addresses into the “Send To” box)

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Scott Signs Gun Control Bill Today; NRA Sues Today

Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) signed SB 7026, the Majory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Act, into law today. The bill would allow some teachers to carry firearms on campus, it allocated significant funding (approximately $500 million) to school safety, it imposed a 3-day waiting period on all firearm sales, and raised the age from 18 to 21 for all firearm purchases including shotguns and rifles. It also included some items related to mental health issues.

The bill was opposed by most Democrats in the legislature because they were against letting teachers have the opportunity to defend students with more than harsh words. They were also upset that it didn’t include universal background checks and a state assault weapons ban (sic).

After the signing, the Florida Democratic Party reiterated its opposition to the bill, which was touted as bipartisan since it passed both chambers with GOP and Democratic votes. FDP chair Terrie Rizzo said the governor and Legislature didn’t go nearly far enough.

The ban on the sale of firearms to those between the ages of 18 and 21 did not apply to law enforcement, correctional officers, or those serving in the military. The law would make it a felony for a licensed individual to sell the firearm and for a person to buy the firearm. Moreover, it also prohibited the private sale of handguns to those under the age of 21.

Within an hour of Gov. Scott signing SB 7026, the National Rifle Association filed suit in US District Court for the Northern District of Florida on behalf of their members in Florida. The suit was filed against Attorney General Pam Bondi and Commissioner of the Department of Law Enforcement Rick Swearingen in their official capacities. The suit seeks declaratory and injunctive relief against the bill on the basis that it unconstitutionally discriminates against 18 to 20 years by denying them both their Second Amendment rights and their 14th Amendment Due Process rights. It also seek an order enjoining the enforcement of FLA. STAT. § 790.065(13) by the defendants, their employees, and agents and from enforcing the ban on the sales of firearms to those aged 18 to 20.

16. Independent provisions of federal law also already significantly
constrain the right of adult citizens under the age of 21 to purchase firearms. Under
18 U.S.C. § 922(b)(1), a federally licensed firearm dealer may not sell to any
individual under the age of 21 any handgun—the “quintessential self-defense
weapon” which is “the most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense
in the home.” Heller, 554 U.S. at 629. Florida’s new ban broadens these
preexisting limits, by (1) extending the ban to rifles and shotguns, in addition to
handguns, and (2) prohibiting these law-abiding, adult citizens from purchasing
these firearms from any source, not just federally licensed dealers (i.e., those who

are “engaged in the business of selling firearms at wholesale or retail.” 18 U.S.C. §

17. The effect of Florida’s age-based ban is to impose a significant,
unequal, and impermissible burden on the right to keep and bear arms of a class of
millions of law-abiding 18-to-20 year-old adult citizens.

The suit seeks both a facial and as-applied declaration that the new law is unconstitutional. With regard to the as-applied challenge, the complaint says:

32.  This ban particularly infringes upon, and imposes an impermissible
burden upon, the Second Amendment rights of those NRA Members described
above who are female. Females between the ages of 18 and 21 pose a relatively
slight risk of perpetrating a school shooting such as the one that occurred at
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, or, for that matter, a violent crime of any
kind. For example, in 2015, women in this age group accounted for only 1.8% of
arrests for violent crime, while males in the same age bracket accounted for 8.7%
of such arrests—and males between the ages of 21 and 24, who may lawfully
purchase firearms under current law, accounted for 9.2%. See Federal Bureau of
Investigation, Crime in the United States: 2015 tbls. 39 and 40, available at; see also BUREAU OF JUSTICE STATISTICS, WOMEN
OFFENDERS at 2, 13 (2009) (female offenders responsible for only 14% of violent
crimes, and only 10% of female offenders aged 18-20), available at Regardless of its facial validity, Florida’s ban is therefore
unconstitutional, void, and invalid as applied to women between the ages of 18 and

The full complaint can be found here.

From Florida Carry – Oppose SB 7026

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SB 7026, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, is up for a third reading by the Florida State Senate. The bill had 151 proposed amendments most of which were either withdrawn or defeated. However, those that were adopted took a bill that was meant to protect students into one with enough nonsensical gun control crap to make it a bill that needs to be defeated.

Miguel at gives his take on it here.

This alert from Florida Carry outlines the good and the bad. It also includes a call to action on the part of Florida gun owners.

Florida Senate to under 21 voters – “You’re not adult enough to have a gun”

Florida Carry
We strongly urge members and supporters to IMMEDIATELY send an email to ALL SENATORS listed below!

This bill is a classic example of a fundamentally good bill destroyed by countless amendments.
  • Establishes voluntary armed teacher program
  • Establishes mental health care program for schools to recognize symptoms
  • Creates a government commission and a new state-level department to deal with school safety
But it also imposes unconstitutional restrictions on Florida citizens.
  • Prohibits purchase of ANY firearm by anyone under 21 years of age.
  • Imposes a 3-day waiting period on the purchase of ANY firearm with some exceptions.
  • Makes possession
    , sale, etc. of bump-stocks illegal – NO LEGAL DISPOSITION OPTION! OWN ONE – INSTANT FELON!

  • Facilitates confiscation of firearms without due process in Baker Act cases.
Florida Carry vehemently opposes any and all “compromises” which REMOVE rights from law-abiding citizens.



Copy/paste the email addresses below into your email client. 

Please ensure you include the following subject line – 
“Oppose SB 7026 – Public Safety”

For Those In Florida

Florida Carry issued a call late last week for legislators to eliminate gun-free zones, to authorize teachers with a CWFL to be allowed to carry in schools, and to immediately provide funding for a FASTER program.

If you live in Florida, it’s time to hit these legislators up.

On Friday, Feb 16th, Florida Carry called for the Florida Legislature to immediately:
  1. Pass emergency legislation to eliminate gun-free zones for law-abiding concealed carry licensees;
  2. Pass
    emergency legislation authorizing all teachers in public schools who
    possess a CWFL to carry their licensed, concealed firearm if they so
    choose, without repercussion; and
  3. Provide
    immediate funding of one million dollars in grants for county school
    boards and sheriffs to implement pilot programs of the
    Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response (FASTER) Program in the State of Florida.
Today, the legislature is under attack.
The candidates who came to us as Florida Gun Owners during the primaries have now become lawmakers.
Those lawmakers are now being pressured in to selling us out.
We have offered effective solutions to the violence of evil people.  Far too many legislators are not listening…
We have called for the legislature to fund FASTER
Investigate the non-response of the Broward County Sheriff’s office to a clear and present danger, to demand that the FBI account for its failure to investigate multiple reported threats, Recognize that “gun free zones” are not free of criminal violence, and Provide for the lawful defence of FL students.  

Contact your legislators.

It’s Time Again For Floridians To Call Their Legislators

The Florida Senate is considering SB 128 which would restore the immunity from prosecution in legitimate self-defense shootings. The original 2005 law had that but the Florida Supreme Court then placed the burden of proof on the defendant and not the prosecution. SB 128 would reverse this.

It should be noted that just because a legislator has a “R” after his or her name does not mean her or she is on our side. Lee Williams, The Gun Writer, illustrates this clearly in his posts about the treachery of Senate President Pro Temp Anitere Flores (R-Miami). She was for gun rights before she was against them. She is responsible for killing the bills that would allow campus carry.

More on the issue in this FloridaCarry alert:

SB 128 – Burden of Proof
Full Senate hears bill tomorrow!

Contact Senators Now!!!

Perhaps the single most important bill of the session, SB 128 – Burden of Proof, restores the
full effect of legislative immunity back to the lawful user of self-defense where it belongs!
When the first claims of immunity were made under the 2005 “stand your ground” bill package, the courts had no judicial procedure in place to deal with the legislative immunity created by the bill.

Chapter 776.032 Florida Statutes clearly states –

A person who uses or threatens to use force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s.776.031 is justified in such conduct and is immune from criminal prosecution… 


As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.

The Florida Supreme Court created a procedure, but ignored legislative intent. Under current case law –

1. The burden of proof that self-defense was necessary is on the defendant, not the State.

2. Any evidence or statements made by the defendant may be used against him in any ensuing action.

This great bill restores full effect to the Legislature’s immunity statute, which the Court has improperly neutered.

Four amendments were filed today to dilute this bill!

Senators Simmons, Thurman, and Rodriguez have together filed four amendments today, all watering down certain provisions of this bill. These amendments must be defeated or the intent of the Legislature will continue to be ignored by the courts.

Florida Carry opposes the floor amendments filed today, and enthusiastically supports SB 128 as tendered.


important note on contacting your legislators:

cannot stress enough the necessity of telling legislators how you feel
they should vote. During the legislative sessions, we issue Action Alerts asking
our members and supporters to take a few moments to contact
legislators. Email addresses, subject line, and sample body are all
included in these alerts to allow cut and paste into your email client.

take the few seconds it takes to send an email when you receive an
Action Alert from Florida Carry. The failure or success of a bill can
hinge on that simple act.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

Please, take a few moments to ask the members of the Senate to support SB 128.

that whether you contact the committee members either by email or by
phone, to be courteous and respectful above all else. Be sure to keep
your message brief, and thank them for their time.

In the subject line put:  SUPPORT SB 128 – Burden of Proof

(Copy and Paste All email addresses into the “Send To” box);;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
Sample Body:
Dear Senator,
2005, the Legislature approved immunity for those involved in lawful
acts of self-defense. This immunity included protection from the expense
and embarrassment of arrest and prosecution unless sufficient evidence
existed to show the act was not in lawful self-defense. The Florida
Supreme Court neutered legislative intent by not only placing the burden
of proof on the defendant, but that testimony given in defense can be
used against the defendant in later proceedings. This flies in the face
of Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination and certainly
is in contrast to the long held American legal principle one is innocent
until proven guilty.

Please support SB 128.


“I’m Older Now And It’s Very Scary”

WTSP Channel 10 News did a report a couple of days ago about the growth in Florida senior citizens applying for and getting the concealed carry permits. The report notes that over 350,000 permits holders in Florida are over the age of 66.

I’m glad to see these people taking the responsibility for their own self-defense. With regard to the disparity of force argument, most senior citizens would be at a disadvantage against a younger attacker. I’m not a senior citizen (yet) but I would feel at a severe disadvantage if I were attacked by an attacker in his 20s or 30s.

I like the tone of this story. It isn’t “this is dangerous for Grandma to have a firearm” but rather an honest report on how senior citizens are taking the initiative to protect themselves. I hope the trainers in Florida and elsewhere recognize this and develop classes aimed directly at this demographic.

I would embed the video but I can’t get it not to autoplay. Bummer. Here is the link.

H/T Laura Carno

Shades Of Oliver Twist

If you were exposed to Dickens novels in school or are of an age to remember the movie Oliver, then you know the story of how an older corrupt man used young boys to do his nefarious deeds. In a case of life imitating art, Brad Shipley of Trenton, Florida was arrested for using neighborhood kids to break-in to homes and steal outdoor gear such as guns, knives, and fishing tackle.

Photo from the Levy County Sheriff’s Dept

Shipley’s scheme fell apart when one of the kids told his mom what he was being forced to do.

Shipley’s plan unraveled when one of the kids told his mother what he had been made to do. The mother contacted LCSO and investigators seized the moment. Investigators were able recover property from six residential burglaries in Levy County, one burglary in Gilchrist County and a storage shed burglary in Alachua County.

According to the Levy County Clerk of Court’s office, Shipley is facing 17 counts ranging from dealing in stolen property to burglary to being a felon in possession of a firearm. He is being held under a $810,000 bond.

I’m a little surprised at the size of the bond but then again if you are stealing a man’s (or woman’s) fishing rod and/or his mounted deer head, you deserve to rot in jail.

Florida HB 49 – Threat Of Force Bill

Florida Carry sent out an alert this evening regarding House Bill 49 – Threat of Force. This bill will protect citizens from being threatened with 10-20 year sentences when they use the mere threat of force to protect themselves. Overzealous prosecutors like the utterly despicable State Attorney Angela Corey of Jacksonville have been using an existing law to charge those who display (or brandish) a firearm in self-defense with aggravated assault.

More on this from Florida Carry:

HB 89 meets House floor vote tomorrow! We need your immediate help to ensure it passes!

House Bill 89 – Threat of Force sponsored by Rep. Neil Combee meets the entire House for a floor vote tomorrow, Wednesday, March 19th. The passage of this bill is absolutely crucial to protect law-abiding citizens who use the threat of deadly force in self-defense from being coerced into accepting a plea deal to avoid a lengthy sentence under 10-20-Life.

The 10-20-Life mandatory minimums law was enacted with the sole purpose of toughening punishment of violent criminals who use firearms during the commission of crimes, thus keeping them off the streets for a longer time. Recently however, overzealous prosecutors have figured out they could use the law to threaten people who displayed a firearm in self-defense, by charging them with aggravated assault, conviction on which would be a felony and subject to 10-20-Life.

Some of today’s legislators voted on the 10-20-Life bill, and they say it was NEVER intended to be used in this manner. It has been said that it is legally less dangerous to pull the trigger on an assailant than it is to simply display a firearm to scare them off. HB 89 protects those who display a firearm in self-defense. Please help us put an end to the persecution of law-abiding citizens at the hands of unscrupulous states attorneys and activist judges.

Florida Carry has the email addresses of the entire Florida House of Representatives here. Just cut an paste them into the “To” line of your email program.

They are asking people to send an email encouraging a yes vote on HB 89. To make it more effective, please use your own words and include this in the subject line: Vote yes on HB 89!