Gun Talk

Gun Sales Climb

GOOD NEWS: Excise taxes collected on firearms and ammunition last year were up 2.6 percent compared with the previous year.

WHAT IT MEANS: The increase indicates a slight rise in sales, a welcome sign for the firearms industry.

According to the U.S. Treasury Department, it collected a total of $224.3 million in excise taxes, up from $218.6 million last year. This points to an estimated $2.1 billion in sales of firearms and ammunition for manufacturers.

HOW IT BREAKS DOWN: Total excise tax collections by category were $105.6 million for long guns, $71.3 million for ammunition and $47.3 million for handguns.

Justices Refuse Hunting Claim

AT ISSUE: A Nelson County, Va., hunting operation has seen its hopes of establishing a sporting clays course dashed after the state Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a circuit court ruling last year. Orion Sporting Group had argued that shooting at clay targets qualified as hunting, this protecting it under the state constitution, which guarantees a right to hunt.

FIRST REFUSAL: Nelson County officials say their original decision to prohibit the shotgun sporting center was a land-use issue, citing safety and noise concerns raised by neighbors.

PRECEDENT SET: Orion had claimed that shooting sporting clays was hunting. So much for that. Anyone making a similar claim would be better off focusing his energies--and funds--on defending his right to hunt actual animals.