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  • November 19, 2008

    How The Second Amendment Was Won-5


    Even if you don't have a few free minutes, make time to read Brian Doherty's history of the Heller case. It gives a quick run-down of how the case came to be and the numerous near-misses it had along the way.

    Particularly interesting is how the NRA played an obstructionist role in an effort to block Heller in the early stages out of fear that the time wasn't right for a Second Amendment challenge.

    The Heller case quickly found a powerful opponent in the
    National Rifle Association. This surprises nearly every layman I
    discuss the case with, most of whom assume the NRA was behind the
    lawsuit in the first place. The Parker lawyers received
    backroom visits from allies of the NRA before their case was filed,
    discouraging them from going forward. The Supreme Court (which still
    had Sandra Day O’Conner back then) would not reliably deliver a
    victory, they argued, and an authoritative statement from the Supremes
    that the Second Amendment did not protect an individual right could
    prove devastating to the long-term cause.

    Concluding, Doherty says:

    The Heller case was a prime example of how calm, dedicated,
    and strategic thinking on the part of crusaders for smaller government
    can achieve real and (probably) lasting victories. Fighting against
    even those who should have been their staunchest allies, Levy and his
    team of libertarian lawyers watched the zeitgeist, crafted a smart
    (though risky) strategy, and won.

    An excellent piece.

    —John Snow

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • November 19, 2008

    National Ammo Day-2


    It's not exactly a call to arms, but it certainly is the next best thing. Everyone is being asked to purchase 100 rounds of ammunition this week (or if you're a reloader the equivalent). Helpfully, you don't have to get all your ammo at once: any purchase made this week "counts."

    More importantly, if you cannot purchase ammo in your area, the site urges you to contact your local representative and complain.

    —John Snow

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • November 18, 2008

    South Carolina’s 2nd Amendment Sales Tax Holiday-2


    Gun owners and Second Amendment-rights watchers: here’s a great idea that we’d love to see catch on with state lawmakers across the country.

    As a result of legislation passed this summer, South Carolina will have its first-ever Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday on the two days after Thanksgiving this year.

    The Palmetto State’s 48-hour reprieve from imposing its 6-percent state sales tax on firearms will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 28 and continue through 11:59 p.m. Nov. 29. The Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday will apply to the purchase of “fixed-cartridge handguns, shotguns and rifles.”

    So-called sales tax holiday bills are nothing new for state legislatures. In 2008, a total of 13 states either reduced or eliminated sales tax on the purchase of back-to-school clothing and supplies during the final weeks of August.

    But South Carolina proudly stands alone with its ambitious temporary removal of the state’s sales tax on guns.

    And it didn’t come easily, either.

    In fact, the South Carolina House and Senate had to override Republican Gov. Mark Sanford’s initial veto of S1143 to finally pass the “Second Amendment Recognition Act” in late June.

    The bill was introduced by State Representative Mike Pitts, a pro-gun stalwart and recipient of the NRA’s Rick Daniel Memorial Defender of Freedom Award.

    Supporters hope the tax break will translate into increased sales for gun shops and sporting goods stores, coming as it does during what are traditionally two of the biggest shopping days of the calendar year.

    The South Carolina Department of Revenue clarified that sales of items such as ammunition, black powder, holsters, archery supplies, antique guns and collectible guns will continue have state sales tax applied during the two-day period. In addition, the South Carolina tax holiday does not affect federal excise tax, which is imposed on all firearms and ammunition under the Pittman-Robertson Act.

    —J.R. Abshe

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • November 13, 2008

    The Gun Rush-6


    Just how significant is the spike in sales of certain genres of firearms since the November 4 election?

    Fears that the incoming Obama administration and a Democratic majority in both Houses in Congress will seek to reauthorize the so-called assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 have driven many firearms enthusiasts to purchase firearms that may be affected if such a prohibition takes place.

    Not surprisingly, many post-election gun buyers are being drawn to the semi-auto AK-47 and AR-15 rifles, a platform that many feel could likely be targeted for possible sales restrictions.

    There are a lot of numbers being tossed around about the election-inspired gun-buying frenzy, with the Associated Press reporting that sales across the country have increased from 30 to 40 percent in recent weeks.

    As I blogged here on Tuesday, CNN reported that the FBI received more than 374,000 requests for background checks on gun purchasers—a leap of nearly 49 percent from the same period in 2007—during the week of November 3 to 9.

    While it would be difficult to determine exactly to what degree sales have increased, I offer Gun Shots readers with a reliable indicator from one of the country’s foremost suppliers of firearms accessories and gunsmithing tools and supplies; Brownells, Inc.

    According to Larry Weeks, Brownells Media Relations Manager, “anything AR” is “blowing out the door” at the Montezuma, Iowa catalog facility and warehouse.

    To put things in perspective, Weeks said sales of the company’s most popular AR 30-capacity magazine have increased 1,500 percent (this is not a misprint) compared to the same period one year ago.

    In real numbers, the company sold 150 times more SKUs of the specific model hi-cap AR magazines during the week of November 4-11, 2008 than it did during the same seven-day period in 2007.

    J.R. Absher 

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • November 11, 2008

    Since Election, 'Change' is Underway-13


    In the week since the election of Barack Obama as President, one must admit that—as promised—significant “change” has already taken place in the United States.  

    For one thing, residential yards are no longer cluttered by campaign signs. And it’s much more pleasant to listen to the radio or watch television without the barrage of nasty political ads. 

    And, oh yeah, firearms sales are surging practically everywhere in the country. 

    Just try going online to a news search engine like Google and type “gun sales” and see the results you get. There are recent articles from states including Kansas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Utah, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Missouri, Georgia with quotes and firsthand accounts of how folks are buying all types of firearms in record –shattering numbers. 

    For example, CNN reports today that Bernie Conatser, the owner of a gun shop in the Washington suburb of Manassas, Virginia, says sales have doubled or tripled since this time last year. On Saturday, he said, he did as much business as he would normally do in a week. 

    “I have been in business for 12 years, and I was here for Y2K, September 11, Katrina,” Conatser said. “And all of those were big events, and we did notice a spike in business, but nothing on the order of what we are seeing right now.” 

    The CNN story notes that for the week of November 3 to 9, the FBI received more than 374,000 requests for background checks on gun purchasers—a leap of nearly 49 percent from the same period in 2007. 

    Call it real or imagined, many Americans are convinced that the incoming administration and a Democratic-controlled Congress are going to restrict the type and style of firearms the average American may purchase legally, and they’re not waiting around for inauguration day to see what happens.

    - J.R. Absher

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • November 7, 2008

    First Look: Thompson-Center Renegade 2-2


    There was little doubt that Thompson Center was going to expand on its line of Icon rifles that it launched two years ago.. A favorite pastime for gun nuts is to try to guess what’s coming next.

    Well, the answer is here and it is called the Renegade 2. The T-C Renegade 2 can be thought of as the Icon’s little brother—it’s not as fancy and it isn’t as sophisticated but the family resemblance is unmistakable nonetheless.

    And for those hunters for whom the Icon’s $1,000 price tag was difficult to justify the best news is that the Renegade 2 will cost about half as much. According to Gregg Ritz, the MSRP on the new rifle will be $500 and the street price should come

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • November 7, 2008

    Lead-In-Blood Study Released, Questions Remain-0


    We hunters who eat the game meat have elevated levels of lead in our bloodstreams. Or we don’t.

    A highly anticipated study that looked at whether people who eat wild game meat harvested with lead bullets have correspondingly higher levels of lead in their blood than the general population was released this week. And while some of the recommendations are dire, the results aren’t conclusive.

    The study was conducted by the Centers of Disease Control and the North Dakota Department of Health and tested the blood of 738 North Dakotans who identified themselves as consumers of wild game meat.

    The study was launched after investigations last year found lead bullet fragments in a significant percentage of butchered venison. Authors of the blood study aimed to find out if hunters’ families that ate wild venison were more likely to have higher levels of lead in their bloodstreams than the general public.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • November 5, 2008

    Hope And Change: Barack Obama On Gun Rights-17


    Hope and change. Those are the two catchphrases that Sen. Barack Obama used to power his campaign to a decisive victory yesterday in his successful bid to become the next president of the United States.

    During the long campaign, Sen. Obama made numerous promises and pronouncements to the crowds he addressed across the country, touching on every topic imaginable—the economy, the war, health care, climate change, energy policy and so on—down to, and including, the Second Amendment.

    The promises he made on this subject are not ambiguous. He says he’ll recognize and support the Second Amendment as an individual right. He says we have no reason to be fearful that an Obama administration will seek to take away our guns or curb our freedoms. He spent a lot of time preaching this message to the “bitter clingers,” trying to earn trust, or at least allay suspicion.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • November 2, 2008

    Pre-Election Jitters, III-0


    Double-digit increases in gun sales in New Mexico. Will the "good" times continue? Depends on who is slated to occupy the White House come January:

    While David Cresap of Crosshair Gun Shop said any increase of gun
    sales at present is probably caused by the onset of hunting season and
    the holidays. He said he expects any increase in his sales to come
    after the Nov. 4 general election.

    “If (Sen. John) McCain wins I probably won’t see it. If (Sen. Barack) Obama wins I’m looking for a sellout,” he said.

    More good news for the gun industry for the wrong reasons.

    —John Snow

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