See Something; Say Something

This past weekend I helped to staff the Grass Roots North Carolina booth at the Asheville Gun Show. Soon after setting up and the show opening, a couple in their 60s stopped by and started asking questions about GRNC. They were interested in our organization, what it did, and if we did anything about educating on gun safety. They then said they were with a gun safety organization for kids called Be Smart. After they left, I knew something didn’t seem right so I googled “Be Smart”. Turns out they are a project of Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety.

Now I was really suspicious about what they were doing at a gun show of all places. Shortly thereafter, another one of their members stopped by and started asking questions on how to purchase a handgun and then a long gun. I educated him on North Carolina and Federal law regarding both handgun and long gun purchases. In NC, to purchase a handgun, either from a dealer or a private individual, you must either have the Jim Crow-era pistol purchase permit or a NC Concealed Handgun Permit. I also said if he were to purchase a long gun from one of the dealers, he would have a NICS check. This lack of knowledge of NC gun laws really raised the warning flags for me. He left a couple of pieces of their literature with me.

While their card does acknowledge their affiliation with Everytown, you need a magnifying glass to read it. The disclaimer is in gray, ultra-tiny print at the bottom of the card. It is almost like they are trying to hide something.

Later that morning, I went by their booth and saw Project Childsafe gun locks. I asked how they obtained them and was told they got them from the sheriff’s department. Having donated to Project Childsafe in the past, I knew it was a project of NSSF and the gun industry. Given Bloomberg’s billions, that really irritated me so I tweeted about it.

That tweet has been seen over 12,000 times and was retweeted another 29 times. I also contacted NSSF and Project Childsafe to alert them that gun locks that they had bought for distribution by authorized groups was being handed out by Be Smart. I got a nice reply back from NSSF Communications Director Bill Brassard thanking me for alerting them to this. I thought that was the end of it.

I was pleasantly surprised when I saw a tweet from NSSF VP and General Counsel Larry Keane with a link to a story about it. The story on the NSSF news page is entitled, “Bloomberg-Backed Gun Control Swipes Project ChildSafe Kits to Pass Off as Their Own.” My initial tweet which included a picture of the locks provided the basis for their story and they credited me for it. The article by Matt Manda then gave some of the history of Project Childsafe including praise for it by politicians including then-VP Joe Biden.

This is not the first time that the anti-gun, anti-rights forces have been caught relabeling Project Childsafe gun locks and handing them out. Journalist Beth Bauman called them out on it last year. My guess we will see more of it in the future.

I did one other thing. I made sure the gun show promoter was aware of just who Be Smart was and their affiliation with Everytown. I found out they had gotten a free booth at the show by claiming they were “a local group promoting kid’s safety”. Guess who is not going to be allowed back to the gun show.

So, if you see an anti-gun organization handing out gun locks, stop and see how it is labeled. If it says “Project Childsafe” on it, call them out on it. As the saying goes, “See Something; Say Something.”

Everytown Must Have Fire-Proof Pants

Everytown for Gun Safety (sic) just released a breathless report on the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

NSSF is accused of being “a front group” for the firearms industry. Well, no shit, Sherlock! They are explicitly the firearms industry’s trade association.

Then NSSF has the effrontery (sarc) to hold their trade show aka the SHOT Show in Las Vegas “just two miles from the site of the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.” How dare they bring millions and millions of dollars to Las Vegas with the 5th largest trade show in the city.

The report itself attacks the SHOT Show. The authors rail about it and Range Day being closed events “unlike other gun shows” but then go on about how NSSF is trying to get guns in the hands of everyone. Think about that – an event closed to the general public. If NSSF and the gun industry really were the evil monsters the report wants you to believe, they would invite in everyone to the SHOT Show.

But unlike other gun shows, the SHOT Show is a closed-door event open only to exhibitors, potential customers who buy in bulk — including gun wholesalers, retailers, and military and law enforcement personnel — and media outlets that regularly cover firearms.

The first event associated with the annual SHOT Show falls on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, when attendees are shuttled 30 miles into the desert to shoot hundreds of new guns from various manufacturers at a massive outdoor shooting range in Boulder City, Nevada.2 The official convention then takes place indoors, at the Venetian Expo Center and Caesars Forum in Las Vegas, where attendees can walk “13.9 miles of aisles”3 over four days to inspect all the new guns, ammo, and related gear on display — after getting through security.

With “Range Day” held in the remote desert and the rest of the convention walled off within the Venetian and Caesars Forum, SHOT Show symbolizes how far removed the gun industry is from the real-world consequences of its deadly products and how they are sold.

Read the whole thing and then think about this.

The NSSF and the industry do more to stop straw purchases through their “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” campaign, dealer education, and FFL reporting of suspicions to the BATFE than anyone else.

In terms of actual safety, Project ChildSafe has partnered with over 15,000 law enforcement agencies to hand out over 37 million firearm safety kits. What have the Bloomberg minions actually done to promote actual gun safety? I think we know the answer.

If I had to guess, Everytown, Bloomberg, and the rest of the gun control industry are upset that the NSSF is stepping up to combat gun control just when they thought they had the NRA on the ropes. The timing of this “report” just before the SHOT Show is evidence of this.

I just hope the authors of this report had their fire-proof pants on because otherwise they would be on fire.

Second Annual Governors’ Forum At SHOT Show 2023

I attended the Governors’ Forum at the 2022 SHOT Show. It was great to see pro-rights governors such as Kristi Noem (R-SD), Brian Kemp (R-GA), and Pete Ricketts (R-NE) speak up in defense of the Second Amendment as well as in favor of permitless carry.


The National Shooting Sports Foundation is again going to host a governors’ forum. The lineup is changed a bit from last year but that just means more pro-rights governors will be on board. Gov. Gianforte (R-MT) and Gov. Mark Gordon (R-WY) are repeats from last year. I really hope Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SC) will join as well.

From NSSF:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — NSSF®, The Firearm Industry Trade Association, will host several governors at SHOT Show® 2023 to speak about the importance of the firearm industry to their state, efforts to attract firearm and ammunition-related businesses, and the benefits of firearm-related businesses to their state economies.

NSSF’s Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show) will take place at the Venetian Expo and Caesars Forum in Las Vegas from Jan. 17-20, 2023. The Governors’ Forum, hosted by NSSF’s Lawrence G. Keane, Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs and General Counsel, will take place in the Murano Room, 3rd Floor of the Venetian Expo from 1-2 p.m. (Pacific Time), Jan. 18, 2022. The forum is open to industry media and will include questions from attendees. No RSVP is required.

“This unique opportunity to hear directly from governors of the importance of the firearm industry and issues important to them was a resounding success last year. We wanted to create another event to welcome these governors to speak directly with show attendees and industry media,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF SVP & General Counsel. “NSSF has regularly welcomed governors, but this is a truly special chance to gather these governors in one space to speak about the importance of a growing and vibrant firearm industry to their states.”

Confirmed for the Governors’ Forum is (in alphabetical order of states):

Idaho – Governor Brad Little

Mississippi – Governor Tate Reeves

Montana – Governor Greg Gianforte

Nebraska – Governor (elect) Jim Pillen

Oklahoma – Governor Kevin Stitt

Wyoming – Governor Mark Gordon

More governors may be added to the forum as schedules permit.

Below is a list of previous announced moves to relocate firearm business headquarters and expand production to new states:

  • Alabama
    • Kimber expanded production to Troy, over Yonkers, N.Y. It later relocated the corporate headquarters to Alabama.
  • Arkansas
    • Sig Sauer established ammunition production in Jacksonville in 2017 and recently announced it would expand production.
    • Fiocchi Ammunition announced in 2020 it was establishing production in Little Rock.
  • Florida
    • Dark Storm Industries is relocating production from Oakdale, N.Y., to Titusville, Fla.
  • Georgia
    • Norma Precision Ammunition announced in 2022 it was establishing a U.S, headquarters, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution in Garden City, Ga.
    • Remington Firearms announced the company will establish a new headquarters and expand production in LaGrange.
    • Taurus USA moved from Florida to Bainbridge, Ga., in 2019.
    • Check-Mate Industries moved from Babylon, N.Y., to Thomasville in 2018.
  • Iowa
    • Les Baer moved from restrictive Illinois to LeClaire, Iowa, in 2007.
    • Lewis Machine & Tool Company (LMT) left Illinois after 40 years to relocate to Iowa in 2019.
  • Mississippi
    • Olin Corporation’s Winchester Ammunition moved most production from East Alton, Ill., to Oxford in 2011.
  • North Carolina
    • Sturm, Ruger and Co. expanded production in Mayodan in 2013.
  • Pennsylvania
    • Kahr Arms moved their headquarters to Greely, Penn., from New York after the state rushed through passage of the SAFE Act.
  • South Carolina
    • American Tactical Imports relocated 100 jobs and its manufacturing from Rochester, N.Y., to Summerville, S.C., in 2013.
    • PTR Industries left Connecticut for Aynor in 2013, where it set up shop.
  • Tennessee
    • Smith & Wesson announced it is establishing a new headquarters and production facilities in Marysville, Tenn.
    • Beretta moved firearm production and engineering and design to Gallatin, Tenn., from Maryland in 2015 over concerns of increasingly strict gun control legislation.
  • Texas
    • Mossberg expanded production in Eagle Pass, Texas, in 2013, instead of growing its New Haven, Conn., plant.
    • Colt Competition moved from Canby, Ore., to Breckenridge, Texas, in 2013.
  • Wyoming
    • Magpul Industries left Boulder, Colo., after the state passed magazine restrictions and moved production to Laramie, Wyo.
    • Weatherby Inc.’s Adam Weatherby announced at SHOT Show in 2018 he was moving the company from California to Sheridan, Wyo.
    • Accessories maker HiViz announced in 2013 they were leaving Fort Collins, Colo., over restrictive gun control legislation to Laramie.
    • Stag Arms announced in 2019 they were opening their new facility in Cheyenne, Wyo., after leaving their former headquarters in New Britain, Conn.
    • Kel-Tec announced plans in 2022 to expand production and bring 250 jobs to Rock Springs, Wyo.

Vote Like Your Rights Depend Upon It

That is because your firearm rights do depend upon this election. If the Democrats retain control of Congress, you can be assured of a new assault weapons ban along with a magazine ban. Fortunately, if the polls are correct, the Republicans should take at least the House of Representatives and possibly the Senate.

In most areas, early voting has concluded and you must vote in person on Election Day. As I write this, the polls will open in less than 48 hours in most states.

If you are unsure of where a candidate stands on gun rights, most gun rights organizations will have candidate ratings. Some will only rate Congressional candidates and state level races while others will drill down to state house and senate races.

If you are a North Carolinian, your best source is the Grass Roots North Carolina-PVF. Their ratings don’t give extra weight to incumbents unlike the NRA. Moreover, they take a hardline approach to candidates who blow off their issues survey. If you blow off the survey and have no voting record, you get zero stars. I still shake my head at local Republicans who do this such as Pratik Bhakta in my state house district. He did get an AQ rating from the NRA but I don’t know how.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation doesn’t rate head-to-head races for Congress. However, they do have a report card with the ratings of each member of the House and Senate. Bear in mind that some of these politicians are not running again or have been defeated in primary.

The NRA-PVF does rate candidates for Congress, state legislatures, and some other races like the North Carolina Supreme Court. You do not need to be a member to see their ratings and endorsements. Just click on your state on the map they have to find their ratings and endorsements.

Gun Owners of America only does Congressional races. Their ratings do differ a bit from that of the NRA and are a bit tougher in general. You can find them here.

If I had one suggestion to make here besides making your voice heard by voting, it would be to seek out the ratings or recommendations from your state level gun rights group first. This is especially true when it comes to state legislators and other state and local candidates. Whereas the NRA-ILA may have one representative covering two or more states, the state level groups know who is who on the local basis. They know who has stood with them in the past, who has worked with them at various levels of government, and who has actually attended their events.

The Remington Settlement

You can hardly turn on either local or national news for the past couple of days without hearing that “Remington” settled with the Sandy Hook plaintiffs. The settlement was for $73 million.

For those that are ignorant of the business of the firearms industry, they will think that Remington Arms or Remington Outdoor Company decided to throw in the towel and make a settlement. The problem with this thought is that Remington Outdoor Company as we knew it is long gone. It was dissolved in a bankruptcy court in Alabama in 2020 and its various parts were auctioned off to companies like Ruger, Vista Outdoor, and Franklin Armory among others.

So if Remington as we knew it is gone, who settled?

From TacticalLife:

Today, representatives for the plaintiffs announced they had reached a settlement with Remington Outdoor Company for $75 million. This number is the maximum amount that Remington’s four insurance carriers could fund. The list of insurers includes Ironshore, owned by Liberty MutualJames River Insurance Co., Chubb Ltd. and Swiss Re.

Although a $73 million settlement isn’t as damaging as the potential $1 billion in damages could have been, it also represents a new development in the ongoing legal battles over gun ownership. Because of this case, there’s now legal precedent that manufacturers can be sued over their marketing practices. In fact, this is already happening. New Jersey is pursuing action against Smith & Wesson based on S&W’s marketing.

I would disagree that there is legal precedent as the case was settled before its final adjudication. I also disagree that the amount was the maximum that they insurers could fund. Rather it was the maximum amount of coverage that had been purchased by the former Remington Outdoor Company.

I think the insurance companies started looking at their legal fees and decided it was cheaper to cut and run. Moreover, it isn’t their name on the settlement.

As Stephen Gutowski of The Reload reports:

The firearms industry disowned the settlement. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which represents gun makers and dealers, said insurers made the decision to settle. The group said the settlement is only between the parties involved, does not create a legal precedent, and does not implicate the larger industry at all.

“The decision to settle in the Soto v. Bushmaster case was not made by a member of the firearms industry,” Mark Oliva, a spokesman for the group, told The Reload. “The settlement was reached between the plaintiffs and the various insurance carriers that held policies with ROC, which effectively no longer exists. We remain confident ROC would have prevailed if this case had proceeded to trial.”

While the advertising for Bushmaster may have been dumb as David Yamane puts it, it did not encourage a middle-aged woman to purchase the rifle, it did not cause a mentally ill young man to kill his mother in her sleep. and then take that stolen rifle to kill those school children and others.

It should be remembered that the only reason this case even continued is because the Connecticut Supreme Court said in a 4-3 decision that the case was about advertising. As a result, Remington could be sued for misleading advertising under state law.

80% Receivers

If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time you know that I’m a big fan of infographics. I think I first became aware of them by reading political science professor Edward Tufte’s book The Visual Display of Quantitative Information (#commission earned) many, many years ago.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation has developed a social media share center that is loaded with infographics on a variety of shooting and firearm topics.

Given that the Biden Administration is currently contemplating moves against personally made firearms, I thought this one on unfinished receivers or lowers was particularly relevant.

The gun control lobby conveniently forgets to mention many things in their jihad against personally made firearms. For example, while it is 100% legal to make the firearm for personal use it is against federal law to sell that firearm to anyone. If you want to make firearms to sell, you need to federally licensed by BATFE and each firearm must have a serial number.

NSSF Running Anti-Chipman Ads In ME And WV

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is running ads in both Maine and West Virginia against David Chipman to head BATFE. The ad asks viewers to contact their senators and ask them to vote against confirming Chipman.

According to the NSSF, this is first time they have run television ads on any subject.

From their press release:

“This is monumental for NSSF and it speaks to the importance the firearm industry places on protecting the 342,330 jobs and $63.5 billion economic impact this industry provides,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “David Chipman’s nomination is clearly a move to politicize the ATF. Voters in key states reject his nomination and those senators have been advised of those polls by NSSF. We are now taking our opposition to the public to remind their senators that Chipman’s nomination is a threat to jobs, revenue and not the least – the ability of law-abiding citizens to exercise their God-given Second Amendment rights.”

A reader of this blog made an interesting comment regarding Chipman. Given that virtually no one would be as bad as Chipman, his defeat would allow the Biden Administration to appoint another anti-gunner who would not be perceived as “bad”. The person still would be horrible for gun rights but wouldn’t be Chipman.

From DWB’s comment:

I have mixed feelings. There will be a Biden nominee for BATFE, and the nominee will be rabidly anti-gun. There is no doubt about that. The Senate cannot block a Biden nominee forever.

Which makes me wonder if we should call their bluff and let Chipman slide through. He will energize people for 2022. There is no better opponent than a polarizing jack-a$$ like Chipman. Heck, he even makes WLP and his cronies look useful.

The question for me is not “how bad is Chipman,” the question for me is who is on deck?

That is a conundrum. Is it better to have an ideologue like Chipman who isn’t even respected by ATF Special Agents as director and use that as the basis for energizing the base or to defeat him and have to worry about a stealth candidate?

OCC Proposal Comments Close Tonight

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has proposed a regulation that would ensure fair access to banking and credit services. The regulation would ban things like the Obama Administration’s Operation Chokepoint which sought to cut off banking services to disfavored industries.

In the greater scheme of things, this regulation is more important for the health of the firearms industry than the recent ATF moves on pistol braces and 80% lowers/frames. Without access to credit and banking services, the firearms industry would have a hard time existing as would any business.

In its proposal, the OCC notes that certain non-quantitative risk measures have been used by banks to deny financial services.

The pressure on banks has come from both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors of the economy and targeted a wide and varied range of individuals, companies, organizations, and industries. For example, there have been calls for boycotts of banks that support certain health care and social service providers, including family planning organizations, and some banks have reportedly denied financial services to customers in these industries. (8) Some banks have reportedly ceased to provide financial services to owners of privately owned correctional facilities that operate under contracts with the Federal Government and various state governments. (9) Makers of shotguns and hunting rifles have reportedly been debanked in recent years. (10) Independent, nonbank automated teller machine operators that provide access to cash settlement and other operational accounts, particularly in low-income communities and thinly-populated rural areas, have been affected. (11) Globally, there have been calls to de-bank large farming operations and other agricultural business. (12) And companies that operate in industries important to local economies and the national economy have been cut off from access to financial services, including those that operate in sectors of the nation’s infrastructure “so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination thereof.”  (13)

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is fully in favor of this proposed regulation. They note it doesn’t force banks to do business with businesses. Traditional credit worthiness measures as debt ratio, payment history, and ability to pay will remain in place. They go on to say this proposal will level the playing field by forcing banks to treat all businesses equally and fairly without consideration of banking executives’ personal political preferences.

The rule will apply to the largest banks in the country that may exert significant pricing power or influence over sectors of the national economy. It would require those banks to make their products and services available to all customers in the community it serves, based on consideration of quantitative, impartial, risk-based standards established by the bank.

In other words, banks would be required to approve or deny their services based on merit and creditworthiness of individual borrowers. That would remove the “reputational risk” mask that banks hide behind when they force businesses to adopt gun control policies that are beyond the scope of federal, state and local laws or lose access to banking services.

Comments on OCC-2020-0042-0001 closes tonight at 11:59pm Eastern.

To make a comment, use this link:

As of this morning, they have received only 4,272 comments. There have been comments opposing it from gun control supporters as well as environmental groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council.

I made a comment and I hope you take a few minutes to do so as well.

You Knew It Was Coming – SHOT Show Canceled.

The NSSF sent out an email within the last two hours announcing that the 2021 SHOT Show had been canceled. You just knew that it was bound to happen no matter what was being said.

Frankly, I think they did the smart thing. It would have been interesting to hear the conversations regarding the election and Remington but those really don’t require going to Las Vegas.

From NSSF:

Statement from NSSF President & CEO Joe Bartozzi:

Due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases throughout the world, NSSF, the firearm industry trade association, today makes the difficult announcement that the 2021 SHOT Show has been cancelled.

NSSF has remained in constant communication with Nevada officials throughout the year in our planning for the 2021 show. While there has been a concerted effort to expand the allowable levels for large gatherings by the county and state, with positivity rates peaking during our key planning period we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 show. Sadly, these spikes are currently transpiring worldwide. Given the sheer complexities, diminishing timeline and immense logistical planning required to conduct a trade show as large as SHOT, NSSF simply could not move forward at this point with so many unknowns and variables. We truly appreciate the guidance of Nevada and Las Vegas officials in allowing us to communicate this news to our exhibitors and attendees well in advance of the show. We would also like to thank the Sands directly for their help and efforts to navigate this unprecedented situation.

The planning and work that has gone into the 2021 SHOT Show has been nothing short of remarkable. Since the pandemic began in early 2020, the NSSF staff and our show partners have been working around the clock to plan our largest show in history while keeping the health and safety of all involved as paramount.

The support of our show exhibitors this year has also been nothing short of remarkable. With three months to go until the show, floor space for both the Sands Expo Center and our expansion to the new Caesars Forum was nearly sold out, with more companies than ever before represented at the SHOT Show.

All of this positions us for a 2022 SHOT Show that will be undoubtedly the best in our industry’s history, and we look forward to bringing our entire community together again at a show that will be one to remember.

During the coming year, NSSF asks for our industry’s unwavering support as we continue our fight to promote, protect and preserve our industry in these unsettling times.

Throughout this year, NSSF has remained at the forefront for our industry. As thousands of businesses across the country were shuttered as being “non-essential” during the pandemic, NSSF worked nonstop to have firearm retailers, ranges, manufacturers and distributors listed as “essential” which allowed them to remain open for business.

NSSF is your trade association. Everything we do—from education, safety initiatives, compliance and security resources, import/export guidance, consumer activation initiatives, government relations, and the SHOT Show—is aimed at helping businesses in our industry succeed. Now, more than ever, we need your continued support.

June 2020 Adjusted NICS Checks

The National Shooting Sports Foundation adjusted NICS figures have been released. June 2020, while having the most raw NICS checks on records, actually is behind March 2020 when adjusted for permit checks and rechecks.

Nonetheless, June was an impressive month and the first half of 2020 was likewise impressive.

From NSSF:

The June 2020 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 2,177,586 is an increase of 135.7 percent compared to the June 2019 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 924,054. For comparison, the unadjusted June 2020 FBI NICS figure 3,909,502 reflects a 70.6 percent increase from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,291,066 in June 2019.

The second quarter 2020 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 5,451,599 reflects an increase of 92.8 percent over the 2,827,606 figure for first quarter 2019.

The NSSF-adjusted NICS figure for March 2020 was 2,375,525.

It should be pointed out the states of Alabama and Michigan have had their qualified alternatives under the Brady Law removed in 2019 and 202 respectively. This means in those states, you can no longer use a carry permit as a substitute for a NICS check. That raised the percentage of NICS checks in those states by over 400% compared to last June.

To see how June 2020 compared to the month of June in past years, look at this graphic. You can see that it just skyrockets!

As I remind everyone when I post these numbers, neither the raw nor the adjusted-NICS checks are a one to one correlation with gun sales. They do not capture private sales where legal, they don’t capture sales where an alternative is accepted, and they don’t figure in multiple firearms sold with one NICS check. The Form 4473 has room on it for up to four firearms per transaction. Thus, it is safe to assume the actual number of firearms sold in the month of June is well past 2.1 million.

Now if all those new gun owners will vote the Second Amendment, we should be in good shape. Time will tell.