Thursday, April 8, 2021 :: By Alexandra Jaffe, Aamer Madhani and Michael Balsamo, Associated Press
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden, in his first gun control measures since taking office, announced a half-dozen executive actions Thursday aimed at addressing a proliferation of gun violence across the nation that he called an “epidemic and an international embarrassment.”
“It is actually a public health crisis,” Biden said during remarks at the White House.
Greeting the families of gun violence victims and activists, he assured them: “We’re absolutely determined to make change.”
His Thursday announcement delivers on a pledge Biden made last month to take what he termed immediate “common-sense steps” to address gun violence, after a series of mass shootings drew renewed attention to the issue. His announcement came the same day as yet another shooting, this one in South Carolina, where five people were killed.
But Thursday’s announcement underscores the limitations of Biden’s executive power to act on guns. They include moves to tighten regulations on homemade guns and provide more resources for gun-violence prevention, but fall far short of the sweeping gun-control agenda Biden laid out on the campaign trail.
Indeed, the White House has repeatedly emphasized the need for legislative action to tackle the issue. But while the House passed a background-check bill last month, gun control measures face slim prospects in an evenly divided Senate, where Republicans remain near-unified against most proposals.
Biden is tightening regulations of buyers of “ghost guns” – homemade firearms that usually are assembled from parts and milled with a metal-cutting machine and often lack serial numbers used to trace them. It’s legal to build a gun in a home or a workshop and there is no federal requirement for a background check. The goal is to “help stop the proliferation of these firearms,” according to the White House.
The Justice Department will issue a proposed rule aimed at reining in ghost guns within 30 days, though details of the rule weren’t immediately issued.
A second proposed rule, expected within 60 days, will tighten regulations on pistol-stabilizing braces, like the one used by the Boulder, Colorado, shooter in a rampage last month that left 10 dead. The rule will designate pistols used with stabilizing braces as short-barreled rifles, which require a federal license to own and are subject to a more thorough application process and a $200 tax.
The department also is publishing model legislation within 60 days that is intended to make it easier for states to adopt their own “red flag” laws. Such laws allow for individuals to petition a court to allow the police to confiscate weapons from a person deemed to be a danger to themselves or others.
The department also will begin to provide more data on firearms trafficking, starting with a new comprehensive report on the issue. The administration says that hasn’t been done in more than two decades.
Biden is also nominating David Chipman, a former federal agent and adviser at the gun control group Giffords, to be director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The Biden administration will also make investments in community violence intervention programs, which are aimed at reducing gun violence in urban communities, across five federal agencies.
Officials said the executive actions were “initial steps” completed during Garland’s first weeks on the job and more may be coming.
The ATF is currently run by an acting director, Regina Lombardo. Gun-control advocates have emphasized the significance of this position in enforcing gun laws, and Chipman is certain to win praise from this group. During his time as a senior policy adviser with Giffords, he spent considerable effort pushing for greater regulation and enforcement on ghost guns, changes to the background check system and measures to reduce the trafficking of illegal firearms.
Chipman spent 25 years as an agent at the ATF, where he worked on stopping a trafficking ring that sent illegal firearms from Virginia to New York, and served on the ATF’s SWAT team. Chipman is a gun owner.
He is an explosives expert and was among the team involved in investigating the Oklahoma City bombing and the first World Trade Center bombing. He also was involved in investigating a series of church bombings in Alabama in the 1990s. He retired from the ATF in 2012.
During his campaign, Biden promised to prioritize new gun control measures as president, including enacting universal background check legislation, banning online sales of firearms and the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. But gun-control advocates have said that while they were heartened by signs from the White House that they took the issue seriously, they’ve been disappointed by the lack of early action.
With the announcement of the new measures, however, advocates lauded Biden’s first moves to combat gun violence.
“Each of these executive actions will start to address the epidemic of gun violence that has raged throughout the pandemic, and begin to make good on President Biden’s promise to be the strongest gun safety president in history,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety.
FDACS closed its concealed carry permit application portal at the start of the pandemic. (Editorial comment: In Florida, it is alicense not a permit.)
March 17, 2021
A bill to force the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to keep a concealed carry permit application available online is on its way through the committee process after passing its first House panel Wednesday.
That’s in response to when the department, under Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, took down its concealed carry permit application portal on March 23, soon after the COVID-19 pandemic reached Florida. That portal remained closed for nearly three months while the Agriculture Department faced lawsuits from gun rights groups over the closures.
The move came after Gov. Ron DeSantis recommended state offices temporarily close to the public beginning March 19.
Local law enforcement agencies and tax collector offices throughout the state largely suspended fingerprint services. Halting those services left first-time concealed weapons permit applicants unable to obtain fingerprints from those providers, according to the Agriculture Department. That would have forced the department to issue refunds, which it legally cannot do.
The House Civil Justice and Property Rights Subcommittee voted 10-6, along party lines, to advance the bill.
Bill sponsor Rep. Blaise Ingoglia did not mention Fried, the lone Democrat elected to a statewide office in Florida, while outlining his bill (HB 1343). But he confirmed the effort was in direct response to the closures.
“The reasoning for [the department] closing down the portal was saying that you could not get fingerprints at the time, which was absolutely not true. You could have gotten it at any sheriff’s office,” Ingoglia said.
“By showing that you could do this same thing online as you could do by paper shows that they took it down arbitrarily,” he told the committee. “That’s what we’re trying to stop. We’re saying you have to keep going continually.”
The right to bear arms is a constitutional right, stressed Ingoglia, a Spring Hill Republican. Yet other portals remained open during the concealed carry permit stoppage.
Democratic Rep. Mike Gottlieb, a criminal defense lawyer from Davie, said he saw the justice system come to a halt at the beginning of the pandemic. Sheriff’s offices and local police departments were not allowing face-to-face contact, preventing fingerprinting, he insisted.
He said he didn’t believe the bill was unnecessary, noting he has a concealed carry permit himself. However, he considered the effort an overreach and “much ado about nothing.”
“This was a very trying time for everybody in society, and to speculate that they took it down for a nefarious reason to deny people their opportunity to have a concealed carry permit is really, I don’t think, our mission here,” Gottlieb said.
In a statement to Florida Politics, Fried called the bill “overreaching, unnecessary and as wasteful as the failed lawsuit filed by fringe activists.” She also highlighted the “record-high” 400,000 licenses issued or renewed last year despite the pandemic.
“State law doesn’t allow us to refund applicants who don’t complete the process, including their fingerprints,” Fried said. “Because fingerprinting was largely unavailable during the pandemic, including from local law enforcement and tax collector offices, we made the responsible decision to temporarily suspend the online portal to prevent frustration from applicants.”
Fried added that the department never stopped processing applications it did receive.
“If Rep. Ingoglia really wants to help improve concealed weapons licensing, he could start with legislation to help us refund applicant fees, instead of politically-motivated bills that are a non-solution in search of a non-existent problem.”
It’s not the first attack the Republican-controlled Legislature has launched against FDACS since Fried took control. Last year, the House voted to strip the department of the Office of Energy and to move it back to the Department of Environmental protection, where it rested until 2011. Fried called that effort, backed by DeSantis, a “partisan power grab.”
Ingoglia’s bill next heads to the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee. Estero Republican Sen. Ray Rodrigues‘ identical version (SB 1882), filed late last month, awaits its first hearing. The legislation would take effect in July.
Today, the NRA announced a restructuring plan that positions us for the long-term and ensures our continued success as the nation’s leading advocate for constitutional freedom – free from the toxic political environment of New York.
The plan can be summed up quite simply: We are DUMPING New York, and we are pursuing plans to reincorporate the NRA in Texas.
To facilitate the strategic plan and restructuring, the NRA and one of its subsidiaries have filed voluntary chapter 11 petitions in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division. As you may know, chapter 11 proceedings are often utilized by businesses, nonprofits and organizations of all kinds to streamline legal and financial affairs.
Under the plan, the NRA will continue what we’ve always done – confronting anti-gun, anti-self-defense and anti-hunting activities and promoting constitutional advocacy that helps law-abiding Americans. Our work will continue as it always has. No major changes are expected to the NRA’s operations or workforce.
Importantly, our plans do not impact your membership at any level.
NRA supporters will continue to enjoy all their full member benefits – from new members to Life Members to Benefactor Members. We will continue to publish and deliver your magazines. We will continue to train Americans and teach them firearm safety. We will continue to teach hunter safety. But most importantly, we will continue to fight for your freedom and the freedom of all Americans – as we have for all these years. In fact, we are expanding our national platform.
The plan aims to streamline costs and expenses, proceed with pending litigation in a coordinated and structured manner, and realize many financial and strategic advantages.
You know that our opponents will try to seize upon this news and distort the truth. Don’t believe what you read from our enemies. The NRA is not “bankrupt” or “going out of business.” The NRA is not insolvent. We are as financially strong as we have been in years.
But they know today’s announcement makes us bigger, stronger and more prepared for the fight for freedom.
We are leaving the state of an attorney general who, just a few months ago, vowed to put us out of business through an abuse of legal and regulatory power. In fact, the gross overreach of the New York Attorney General and New York Governor has been resoundingly criticized by powerful national groups like the ACLU and a host of prominent legal scholars.
Subject to court approval, the NRA is pursuing plans to reincorporate in the State of Texas. The Lone Star State is home to more than 400,000 NRA Members and the site of our 2021 Annual Meeting being held in Houston.
Texas values the contributions of the NRA, celebrates our law-abiding members, and joins us as a partner in upholding constitutional freedom.
Under this plan, we seek protection from New York officials who illegally abused and weaponized the powers they wield against the NRA and its members. You can be assured the Association will continue the fight to protect your interests in New York – and all forums where the NRA is unlawfully singled out for its Second Amendment advocacy.
This plan represents a pathway to opportunity, growth and progress.
This is the most transformational moment in the history of the NRA. And it involves all of you.
The NRA will continue to promote its Second Amendment advocacy, sponsor firearms training, and work with its network of instructors and volunteers in furtherance of its mission. This plan actually streamlines all of the NRA’s activities and improves our operational processes.
I know we have welcomed many of you to our headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia. We have no immediate plans to relocate, but we are forming a special committee to explore our strategic options in this regard. We want to determine if there are advantages to relocating our HQ operations to another state. I have asked our leadership team to explore all options that benefit the NRA and its members.
What’s most important is leading the fight for Second Amendment freedom and serving our members. We will do that from anywhere that works best for you and for our cause.
All membership dues and financial donations will be fully dedicated to supporting our operations and public advocacy. This plan actually improves our business. It protects us from costly, distracting and unprincipled attacks from anti-2A politicians aimed at attacking the NRA because we are a potent political force. We know that the gun ban lobby will never stop – fueled by a hatred of your freedoms and by wealthy benefactors. Our plan is the best way to confront them.
We are now prepared for a better future. In fact, to me, it feels like the dawn of a new day.
We are revitalized, well-positioned, and steadfast in our commitment to fight for you. To learn more, please visit http://www.nra.org/forward.
Thank you for your unwavering spirit and being part of the NRA’s future. Both hold incredible promise for our country – and the freedoms in which it believes.
There maybe other gun organizations, but there is only one organization that defends your Second Amendment right both locally and nationally.
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Anti-gun Senators and Mayors Push Biden on Executive Gun Controls
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd speaks on Joe Biden’s gun control proposal.
Anti-gun Senators and Mayors Push Biden on Executive Gun Controls
NRA-ILA :: MONDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2021
Following a year filled with the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread civil unrest, Americans are in no rush to enact further gun controls. According to data from a January Gallup poll, 42 percent of Americans are satisfied with the current gun control laws. The poll also found that 9 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with current firearms laws, but want them to be made less strict. Therefore, according to the survey, a majority of Americans (51 percent) either want gun control laws to remain the same or to be made less restrictive.
Sensing a dearth of popular support for their gun control schemes, anti-gun politicians are urging President Joe Biden to act unilaterally to restrict firearms. This week, a group of 12 Senate Democrats led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) sent a letter to Biden that urged the president to nominate a permanent director to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and empower them to enact a raft of executive gun control measures. In a similar vein, a group of big-city mayors that included Chicago’s Lori Lightfoot penned a CNN opinion piece that called on the president to attack gun rights through executive action.
According to the Senators’ letter, “the next Director of the ATF must be committed to enacting policies that will allow the agency to fulfill its mission to protect communities and combat gun violence.” According to the group, in order to do this the next director must adopt the following priorities:
1. Implement regulations to stop the proliferation of ghost guns.
2. Issue a new regulation clarifying which gun sellers must get dealer licenses and run
3. Modernize, strengthen, and prioritize oversight of the gun industry.
4. Ensure public transparency by disseminating robust statistical data.
5. Update critical reports and develop new ways to affirmatively share information about
gun trafficking and the source of crime guns.
6. Require FFLs to notify the Department of Justice every time they complete a gun sale
where a background check has been initiated but not completed to ensure the
prioritization of completing background checks where a sale has been made.
Some of the items are vague, but others directly correspond to policies that have repeatedly been rejected by the American public through their elected representatives.
The first item on the anti-gun senators’ wish list would restrict Americans’ right to make their own firearms for personal use by further regulating unfinished frames and receivers.
Concerning these items, the current federal statute and regulations are clear. Federal law defines a “firearm” to include “any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive” and “the frame or receiver of any such weapon.” In the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), “firearm frame or receiver” is further defined as “That part of a firearm which provides housing for the hammer, bolt or breechblock, and firing mechanism, and which is usually threaded at its forward portion to receive the barrel.”
In order to target unfinished frames and receivers, ATF would likely attempt to broaden the definition of “firearm frame or receiver” in the CFR. Such a change is inadvisable and would at the very least require a formal rulemaking under the Administrative Procedure Act.
By targeting the materials Americans use to make their own firearms, ATF would be striking at the core of the Second Amendment right in a manner that has no basis in the text, history, and tradition of the right. Since long before the founding, Americans have enjoyed the right to make their own firearms for personal use without government interference.
(A) except a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer, to engage in the business of importing, manufacturing, or dealing in firearms, or in the course of such business to ship, transport, or receive any firearm in interstate or foreign commerce; or
Therefore, a person may not “engage in the business” of dealing firearms without a Federal Firearms License. Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs), of course, are required to consult the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) before transferring a firearm to a non-dealer.
The term “engaged in the business,” as it pertains to firearms dealers, is defined by statute (18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(21)) as,
a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms;
Notice that the language does not contain a specific number of firearm sales or transfers that triggers the definition of “engaged in the business.” The language in the definition was carefully crafted to exempt individuals selling and trading firearms in and out of their private collections, no matter the frequency or volume. Rather, it is when a person sells firearms “as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit” that a person must obtain Federal Firearms License.
Enacting this statutory definition of “engaged in the business” was a key component of the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act of 1986. Prior to FOPA, ATF had targeted private individuals at gun shows who sold a few firearms out of their private collections on multiple occasions.
In the end, the Obama administration correctly determined that they did not have the authority to limit the private transfer of firearms by executive fiat. Instead, the administration issued a 15-page guidance document that summarized existing law concerning firearms dealing.
Though vague, wish list items four and five appear targeted at the Tiahrt Amendment. This important piece of legislation restricts the dissemination of certain law enforcement data on firearms traces. Prior to the Tiahrt Amendment, the often-misleading data had been abused by gun control advocates to push gun control measures and attack the firearms industry.
Further, the release of this sensitive data had the potential to imperial law enforcement officers. Writing in support of the Tiahrt Amendment, the National President of the Fraternal Order of Police explained “releasing sensitive information about pending cases can jeopardize the integrity of an investigation or even place the lives of undercover officers in danger.” Though the amendment restricts the dissemination of trace data, it does ensure law enforcement can access this information for legitimate investigative purposes.
Item six is an attempt to undermine the NICS’s three-day safety-valve provision by intimidating FFLs into not transferring a firearm even when they are permitted by law to do so.
Under federal law, if a NICS check is delayed for further research and the FBI’s NICS section is unable to determine that the prospective firearm transferee is prohibited from possessing firearms under federal or state law three business days after the check was initiated by a firearms dealer, the firearms transfer may proceed at the dealer’s option. This provision encourages the FBI to conduct NICS checks in an efficient manner and prevents the government from arbitrarily denying an individual their Second Amendment rights through an indefinite delay. According to the 2019 NICS Operations Report only 70 percent of NICS checks that year resulted in an “instant determination,” with the remaining 30 percent requiring some analysis or additional research.
The proposed requirement that FFLs report lawful firearm transfers to the Department of Justice, who through ATF has control over their license, is an obvious attempt to bully gun dealers into cutting off this vital safety-valve. Moreover, there is no statutory language supporting such a scheme.
In addition to Mayor Lightfoot, the CNN column was authored by United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) President and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott. In the piece, the mayors offered a vaguer call for executive action than their more sophisticated federal allies, but explicitly demanded action on “ghost guns” and “strengthening the background check system.”
As the piece pointed out, the mayors are all members of finance tycoon Michael Bloomberg’s gun control group Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Moreover, the group contended that their anti-gun initiative was the result of the winter meeting of the USCM.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the United States Conference of Mayors takes a position of leadership and urges national legislation against the manufacture, importation, sale, and private possession of handguns, except for use by law enforcement personnel, military and sportsmen clubs;
In 2008, USCM joined with Legal Community Against Gun Violence (now Giffords) in a friend of the court brief in the U.S. Supreme Court Case District of Columbia v. Heller that argued in favor of upholding Washington, D.C.’s unconstitutional handgun ban.
It is unsurprising that members of a group that believes the Second Amendment does not constrain their power to enact gun control would believe that the U.S. Constitution and federal law should not constrain President Biden’s.
In late 2015, Obama tasked his White House with doing everything within their lawful authority to pursue gun control through executive action. Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz said of Obama’s administrative gun control efforts, “he has asked his team to scrub existing legal authorities to see if there’s any additional action we can take administratively…The President has made clear he’s not satisfied with where we are, and expects that work to be completed soon.” In remarks announcing the new actions, Obama stated “we’re going to do everything we can to ensure the smart and effective enforcement of gun safety laws that are already on the books…”Further, a press release that accompanied the announcement of these measures, stated, “The President and Vice President are committed to using every tool at the Administration’s disposal to reduce gun violence.”
The executive branch has not been granted further power to regulate firearms since the Obama administration “scrub[bed]” the law for avenues to attack gun owners by presidential fiat. The measures advanced by this anti-gun cadre of U.S. Senators and mayors are willful perversions of federal law that NRA stands ready to oppose.
It is not understood why anyone would take a concealed carry or firearm training class conducted in a rented hotel room. Yes, a concealed carry class in a rented hotel room. Take a moment to think about it.
A class conducted by an out-of-town provider, without a physical address, a mailing address or any local commitment.
What value do you place on your life and the lives of your loved ones? The value of a class conducted in a rented hotel room?
If you are looking for unequaled firearms training, for either personal development or to qualify for a Florida concealed carry weapons license, choose only a local provider with roots in the local community. A provider that supports local (Polk County) shooting sports programs: Polk Senior Games, Central Florida Ridge Friends of NRA.
Taking a concealed carry class is not the end of your gun training. It is the beginning.
So, you have finally gotten into that concealed carry class that you have been waiting for only to discover it did not teach you how to use a handgun.
It should be understood that ‘concealed carry classes‘ do NOT teach handgun use, handling or firing. For the most part, they only teach the State laws pertaining to the carrying of firearms and other weapons and where you can and cannot carry a weapon in the state of Florida.
Contact us for complete firearms training:
Concealed carry: Basic & Advanced
Pistol: Basic & Advanced
For complete class information, dates and times, and to register for this class, go to:Register For A Class
The cost of our 5-hour, handgun training / concealed carry qualification class that includes one hour of instructor led, live-fire range training that trains you to safely handle and fire a handgun:
$60 – You provide your own handgun and ammunition $90 – We provide a defensive caliber handgun and 50 rounds of ammunition
The cost of our basic, minimum standards 3-hour, concealed carry class: $35 All materials included. There are no hidden costs. Completion of this class qualifies the participant for applying for a Florida concealed carry license. (No firearm training included in this class.).
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January 2021 now holds the record for most NICS checks conducted by the FBI in any single month.
Shooting Illustrated – Guy J. Sagi : Thursday, February 4, 2021
More than 2.2 million firearms were sold in the United States in January, according to an estimate from Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting (SAAF). The number, which represents a 79-percent increase when compared to the same period last year, is based on the volume of records processed through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Purchases made by people with a valid carry permit in regions that do not require the duplicative check, and some private transactions, are not reflected in the federal figures.
The news comes on the heels of 2020 shattering all previous high-water marks for gun purchases in the nation. SAAF estimates that of the 39,695,315 NICS checks conducted last year, roughly 23 million were firearm-sale related. Administrative use of the system, which includes concealed-carry permit application and renewal, account for the rest of the volume.
January 2021 now holds the record for most NICS checks conducted by the FBI in any single month. A total of 4,317,804 were processed. The system began operation in 1998, but until last month failed to reach the 4 million mark, despite December and June of 2020 coming in at 3,937,066 and 3,931,607, respectively.
Most experts agree last year’s upswing was fueled largely by home- and self-defense concerns due to the ongoing pandemic and periods of civil unrest, although politics contributed significantly to January’s spike, according to SAAF Chief Economist Jurgen Brauer.
“January 2021 certainly started off with a sales ‘bang’ due to the turmoil surrounding the confirmation and inauguration of Mr. Biden as the new U.S. President,” he said. “The 79-percent year-over-year increase, however, was not unprecedented—an even higher increase, of just over 100 percent, was experienced in January 2013, the month Mr. Obama’s second presidential term began.”
By comparison, the total number of NICS checks performed in January 2013 came in at only 2,495,440, roughly 1.8 million fewer than last month.
NRA Shooting Illustrated by Caleb Giddings – Friday, February 5, 2021
Everyone is aware of the ammunition crisis. Major media outlets have covered it, it’s all over what little of your social media feed hasn’t been censored, and I’ve been covering in detail since July. The ammo crisis has been constantly evolving, starting as a mere shortage in the early days of the COVID-19 lockdowns, and progressing to a full-blown crisis as I write this 321 days after March 13th.
What caused it?
The simple explanation is that demand exceeded the supply, then continued to exceed the supply. But to understand how that happened you have to go a little deeper. According to Jason Vanderbrink, President of Federal, CCI, Speer and Remington, before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was considerable excess capacity in the ammunition market.
Manufacturers could make more than they could sell, so supply was abundant and prices were low. You could order a case of 9 mm off the Internet for $200. Manufacturers were prepared for an uptick in sales that normally accompanies a presidential election, but the excess capacity would have been enough to cover that.
2020 had other ideas. The first was the COVID-19 pandemic. Then a summer of civil unrest that sometimes turned violent. A hotly contested presidential election, and then the party of gun control having control of both houses of Congress and the Presidency.
Any single one of those would have spiked demand, but all these factors happening in rapid succession was more than the market could bear. Partly because the NSSF estimates that 7 million new gun owners entered the market in 2020. As Vanderbrink pointed out, if those 7 million new gun owners each bought 100 rounds of ammo, that’s 700 million rounds that the market needs to produce.
To put that in context, the entire commercial market in 2018 made approximately 8 billion rounds. An 8.75 increase in demand wouldn’t shut everything down, but when it’s added on top of the demand created by all the other factors, it becomes too much.
How high is demand?
During a media presentation at Virtual SHOT Show 2021, Winchester said that if they stopped taking orders for .22 LR right now, it would take 2 years to fill all the back-orders. In December, the Vista family of companies, which comprises Federal, CCI, Speer, and Remington, announced they had a $1 billion backlog in orders. In the first 3 months of the COVID-19 lockdown, Winchester experienced a 17-percent surge in orders, which hasn’t tapered off.
Why can’t they build more factories?
The first question on people’s minds is “Why don’t these companies expand capacity?” That’s much easier said than done. Vista, for example, is already running three shifts a day, and operating 24/7. The same is true for Magtech in Brazil. For one of these companies to add capacity, they’d have to build a new space, and buy new machines, and train and staff the new machines.
All that while hoping that the bottom doesn’t fall out of the ammo market like it did in 2017. That investment in extra space costs millions of dollars and takes years to pay off, and if you look at past trends in the ammo market, not even this surge will last forever.
Why are prices so high at the consumer level?
Vista, Winchester, and Magtech/S&B announced a 15-percent price increase to distributors. Distributors have already raised prices, and of course at the retail level prices are coming up. Prices have to come up to create equilibrium. Eventually the cost to the consumer will be high enough that people won’t panic buy 9 mm FMJ. Retailers will start to have more stock than they can sell and prices will start to come down.
The manufacturer price increase helps as well. In a letter to distributors, Vista announced that all back orders would ship with the higher price. If this causes people to cancel their back order, that frees up theoretical capacity to go into the market. Using AmmoSeek to track historical 9 mm prices, the online price for 9 mm seems to have plateaued at between $0.80 and $0.90 per round for quality new manufactured 9 mm, which is actually a good sign.
Why can’t I get primers?
Only two domestic companies make primers, Vista and Winchester. All their primers are going into their production ammo for retail. Normally, the primer market is fed by companies being able to make more primers than they’d ever need to make loaded ammo. In 2020 and now 2021, that’s not been the case, so every primer that rolls off the line is going into a loaded piece of ammunition so the consumers can have something to immediately shoot. It’s a tough situation for reloaders, but the priority will always be the commercial shooting market.
What about the government?
To answer the question right off the bat, no, the government is not buying ammo and stockpiling it in a warehouse somewhere to keep it off the market. The largest government consumer of ammunition is the Department of Defense, and the majority of their ammo comes from the Lake City plant, which is currently administered by Winchester. Lake City is owned entirely by the government—all the machines, all the land, etc. The government then contracts its operation to private companies, with Winchester taking over for Northrop Grumman in 2020.
Other federal agencies and local LE agencies do source from private manufacturers, but they’re getting squeezed too. Federal contracts are public record, and there has been no unusual ammo related purchasing activity since the shortage began in March. Local LE agencies don’t have the purchasing power to cause a shortage like this, unless there was some secret meeting of all the police chiefs in the country to secretly buy all the ammo (there wasn’t). While it might feel good to believe there’s some sinister force behind the ammo crisis, the answer is a slightly more complicated version of “supply and demand.”
What are the companies doing about it?
As noted above, everything they can. Mike Fisher, the VP of Sales and Marketing at Magtech, said in a phone call, “We’re doing everything we can to get product to our loyal customers. We’ve worked hard to build these relationships and getting them ammo, so they can get it to the consumer, is our first priority.”
In a video statement, Jason Hornady said that they have made a third more ammo this year than they did in the previous year, and also pointed out that there is no government conspiracy to make ammo scarce. As noted above, the price increases across the board will eventually have a stabilizing effect on the supply of ammo, as it will eventually reach a point where most people won’t feel the need to buy.
You can help as well. The most important thing you can do as a consumer is don’t panic. Ammo is available. AmmoSeek shows a daily inventory of what its bots find in stock. There’s ammo for sale on GunBroker and ArmsList. It’s more expensive than any of us would want, but it’s better to have it available than to have empty shelves. The second most important thing you can do is “don’t be that guy.”
You know that guy—the one who finds 55-grain .223 at a great price and cleans the whole place out. That guy sucks. Buy what you need and maybe a little more, but don’t buy 10,000 rounds of ammo you’re going to end up trying to flip to make a car payment in 6 months.
Last, stop repeating conspiracy theories. Contrary to what your favorite YouTube entertainer told you, there’s no government or industry conspiracy to drive up the price of ammo.
When will it get better?
In my first article about this, I optimistically thought that if Republicans retained control of the Senate, we’d be back to normal supply levels with slightly increased pricing by July. Given the state of the back orders, I don’t think we’ll see a return to regular levels of supply now until early 2022.
As far as pricing? Sometime after supply gets back to normal level, and that’s assuming that nothing weird happens in 2021 (everyone knock on wood right now). Right now the best thing to do is stay calm, don’t panic buy, and let the ammo industry do everything they can to get caught up.
H.R. 127 sponsored by Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee (D-TX), released on 1/28/21 could be a major threat to your second amendment rights if it makes its way to law. This awful infringement on your rights would do the following:
Impose Licensing of Firearms and Ammunition for Possession of any firearm or ammunition.
Impose an additional license to DISPLAY an Antique Firearm in the HOME.
Impose an additional license for Possession of “Military Style Weapons.”
Impose mandated Firearm Liability INSURANCE with a yearly fee of $800 payable to the US Attorney General.
Impose a detailed Federal Firearm Registration System to which THE PUBLIC, all Federal, State and Local law enforcement, all governments, and all branches of the US Armed Forces has complete access.
Lars Larson’s interview with Dr. John Lott of the Crime Research Prevention Center below . . .
“Biden may become the most antigun president in American history.”
Joe Biden calls for tighter laws governing guns.
By VOA News February 14, 2021
“Today, I am calling on Congress to enact commonsense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets.”
On the third anniversary of a school shooting that left 17 people dead, U.S. President Joe Biden called for tighter laws governing guns.
Sunday marks the third anniversary of a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that killed 14 students and three staff members. Another 17 people were injured. The tragedy turned some survivors into household names across America as they fought for safer schools and stronger gun control laws.
“Our hearts are with everyone in the community today and every day,” March for Our Lives, the organization started by student survivors of the 2018 attack, wrote on Twitter.
In a statement released Sunday, Biden lauded the efforts of survivors and activists from Parkland to call for better gun laws.
“This Administration will not wait for the next mass shooting to heed that call,” the statement read.
“Today, I am calling on Congress to enact commonsense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets.”
Despite a history of mental health problems and threatening behavior, Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old shooter in Parkland, was able to buy an AR-15-style, semi-automatic rifle, which he used to open fire on students and teachers at the school, police say.
Now 22, Cruz awaits trial, which has been delayed in part because of the coronavirus pandemic. Prosecutors have stated they would seek the death penalty. Cruz confessed to the crimes and his lawyers have said he would plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence.
Support for stricter gun laws typically breaks down along political party lines with Republicans advocating for gun rights and Democrats seeking more gun control measures. Public support for new regulation waxes and wanes. In a Gallup poll conducted in the fall of 2020, 57% of Americans said they supported stricter gun laws, down 7 percentage points from the prior year and down 10 percentage points from 2018, the year of the Parkland shooting.
In 2019, legislation that had bipartisan support in the House to increase background checks for gun purchases stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Many Republicans and some Democrats have been reluctant to support measures that would make it more difficult to purchase firearms or outlaw some types of guns, citing the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which says in part that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
But on Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she hopes to try again.
“We will enact these and other life-saving bills and deliver the progress that the Parkland community and the American people deserve and demand,” she said in a statement.
National Rifle Association spokeswoman Amy Hunter told the Wall Street Journal that Biden “may become the most antigun president in American history.”
Meanwhile in Parkland, parents of victims continue to work to pressure Congress to pass gun control reforms.
Manuel Oliver, whose son Joaquin was killed in the 2018 shooting, is organizing the sending of “shame cards” to members of Congress, which highlight how gun violence has continued to affect communities across the United States.