Florida became the first state to require concealed-weapon permits be issued unless there is a compelling reason not to do so in 1987 when the State Legislature adopted the law reversing the "may issue" standard that still stands in nine states.
In 2005, the state enacted the nation's first "Stand Your Ground" law. In 2008, the Florida State Legislature passed a law over employers' objections to let workers store guns in their parked cars at work and, in 2011, it passed a law known as "Docs vs. Glocks" prohibiting physicians from asking patients if they own firearms.
Florida, where former NRA national president Marion Hammer is among the state's most influential lobbyists, has served as the introductory platform for innovative advances in gun-friendly legislation for decades, leaving gun control advocates in the dust.
We are blessed to live in an era with such a profusion of AR-style rifles. Among the most fun to shoot are those chambered in .22 LR. They are also very useful tools to improve your AR handling and marksmanship skills at a fraction of the cost. (Yes, I know that rimfire ammo is still scarce, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is cheaper than centerfire .223 ammo and the shortage won’t last forever. At some point the shooters who are hoarding the stuff will find their stockpiles adequate and stores will once again be able to keep .22s on the shelf.)
Shooters have two options with respect to AR .22 trainers. One is to get a dedicated .22 LR rifle and the other is to purchase a rimfire upper for an existing AR lower.
The Cooper Model 51 is a breath of fresh air. It is not cutting-edge. It doesn’t feature an innovative (read: unproved) action. The stock doesn’t have knobs, shims, rails, or any moving parts. Incredibly, for a new rifle, the stock is made of wood—and lovely wood at that. No petroleum products here. The action is even secured into the stock with old-school (and stylish)slot-head guard screws, the slots of which are indexed to run perpendicular to the axis of the barrel. Who knew rifle makers still did that? Go ahead and inspect it from muzzle to butt pad—you won’t find a single gimmick. The rifle balances well, is easy to carry, and can shoot the eye out of a coyote at 200 yards. It’s a keeper.
One of the fears engendered by 2013's failed federal background check proposal was that it would create a de facto gun registry that, eventually, could lead to confiscation. Gun control zealots dismissively mocked that fear as paranoid, a depiction parroted by their lackeys in the mainstream media.
But events in Connecticut are proving that fear to be all too real.
The Connecticut State Police Special Licensing & Firearms Unit has begun mailing out notices to several thousand -- exact figures are unavailable -- gun owners who attempted to register their newly outlawed semi-automatic firearms and magazines holding more than 10 rounds with the state but did not do so before the Jan. 1. The deadline was imposed by Connecticut’s April 2013 "assault weapons" ban.
The fact that the Supreme Court has declined to review three lower court rulings that rejected challenges to federal and state gun laws shouldn't be a surprise, considering it has steadfastly ducked controversial gun owners' rights cases since issuing its 2010 McDonald v. City of Chicago decision (which merely confirmed that a local jurisdiction cannot, by fiat, turn a Constitutional right into a crime).
Monday's decision not to hear the three cases only further delays an eventual legal showdown in the national "debate" over gun owners' rights -- mainly, whether the right to keep a gun at home for self-defense extends to public places.
That's the bad news. The good news is a recent California ruling and a New Jersey challenge may provide the cases the High Court has been waiting for to set the stage for this anticipated showdown.
Last March, the PoliceOne.com conducted a survey of 15,000 current, former or retired law enforcement officers from across the U.S. regarding gun control policies and the root causes of, and potential solutions to, gun crime in the U.S. The website is dedicated to covering law enforcement-related issues for 400,000 registered members who are all individually-verified federal, state or local law enforcement professionals.
Although some preliminary results were leaked during last April's debate on the first gun control package proposed in the U.S. Senate since 1994 -- all seven proposed bills were ultimately rejected -- PoliceOne.com formally released the survey's final results on Feb. 10.
The survey results confirm a complete and utter disconnect between gun control zealots and reality with 86 percent -- nearly 13,000 of 15,000 respondents -- stating that gun control laws "would have no effect or a negative effect on improving officer safety."
Things were not going well. I was prone on a mound of dirt, baking under the South Texas sun. It was hot, as only South Texas in the summer can be hot. The breeze offered no relief—with the mercury hovering at 103 degrees, a 10 mph wind is like a hair dryer blowing across your face. Plus, this wind was humid. Not pleasant at all.
The unintended consequences of bad law can foster some amusing ironies, especially when they ensnare one of its most vocal advocates. Such is the case in Buffalo where a prominent gun control crusader who publicly lobbied for New York's draconian SAFE Act was arrested Feb. 6 on two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, including having a loaded weapon on school grounds.
When an anonymous call to the school office reported a man with a gun on school grounds, police -- including 20 officers, a SWAT team, K-9 patrols and helicopters -- locked down Harvey Austin Elementary School for several hours to conduct an exhaustive, expensive search that resulted in the arrest of Dwayne Ferguson, 52, who mentored students in an after-school program on campus.
Buffalo Police Department Spokesman Mike DeGeorge said Ferguson was in possession of a handgun inside the school. Although Ferguson has a permit to carry, New York's SAFE Act makes it a felony -- elevated from a misdemeanor -- for anyone under any circumstances to carry a firearm onto school grounds other than a law enforcement officer on duty.
A vintage shot of Glen Eberle competing in the biathlon.
If you have limited time to watch the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, do yourself a favor and skip the ski jumping and figure skating, and hold out for the biathlon, which starts on Feb. 8 and runs until the 22nd (see the full schedule here). There are a total of 11 biathlon events — five for men, five for women, and a mixed team relay. The cross country skiing aspect of the event is impressive, but tune in for the shooting — it will be some of the best you'll see for the next four years.
We sat down with Glen Eberle (pictured above), founder of Eberlestock and former biathlete, to gain an inside perspective on the sport. Eberle competed for the U.S. national team for eight years in the 80s and also competed in the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid. Eberle worked to make guns lighter and was one of the competitors who ushered in a new era of biathlon that was faster paced and a lot more fun to watch.
If you want to critique your shooting form or just post cool footage onto your YouTube page, Replay has two cameras that can help. The 1080 Mini and the Prime X have features have a handful of features that will make them well fit for the shooting world.
The cameras are super portable, they vibrate when turned on (so you won't have to stop and check to make sure its recording), and they come with a picatinny mount. The Mini version is a 5-megapixel camera and will retail for $199. The larger version is a 16-megapixel camera and has a 3.5-hour batter life.