The Ammunition Shortage – Solution to the problem . . .

Slow down and control your fire! Buy only what ammunition you currently need from legitimate retail outlets or gun clubs.

Starve the scalpers!

Scalpers Are Driving Up Ammunition Costs and Contributing to the Ammo Shortage
https://www.outdoorlife.com/story/guns/scalpers-driving-up-ammo-prices-and-ammunition-shortage/

OUTDOOR LIFE – FEB 12, 2021

Yes, the shelves are empty. Yes, backorders are the norm. Yes, prices have skyrocketed since May 2020. However, there is a solution. Slow down and control your fire.

Although not to this degree, ammunition shortages have occured before.

  • 2008 – 2010 – The 2008 election of President Barack Obama triggered increased sales of both firearms and ammunition. USA Today
  • December 2012 – 2016 – In December 2012, a new wave of panic buying was driven by the perceived likelihood of new firearm control laws being passed by Congress and state governments in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Curently, ammuniton can be found readily available online, on certain websites and at gun shows. But, at what price? The ammunition being sold online by private vendors and at gun shows is either old stock that has been setting on the floor in the back of someone’s closet or has been purchased in bulk from and gun shop or other retail outlet and marked up 2, 3 or 4 times the purchase price.

Recommendation

Slow down and control your fire! Refuse to pay the inflated prices, demanded by entrepreneurial, kitchen table scalpers selling on the Internet and at gun shows. Buy only what ammunition you currently need from legitimate retail outlets or gun clubs.

On the manufacturing front

Ammunition is being manufactured at a pace not seen since World War II.

Official statement from Jason Vanderbrink, president Federal / CCI / Speer / Remington Ammunition . . .

Economics 101Quid foro feret

The bottom line: Buy only the ammuniton you need to keep up your skills and a little extra for any unexpected developments, and only buy from legitamate retail vendors. Starve out the scalpers. Be patient, ammunition will once again become readily available and the prices will come down.

Walmart Continues To Appease Anti-gun Groups – Dispite claims, no friend to sportsmen

Walmart videotapes all firearm transactions.

Everytown, Bloomberg still telling Walmart how to sell guns

Lee Wiliams – The Gun Writer : October 29, 2021

Walmart became a charter member of the Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership, which the nation’s largest retailer organized in 2019 along with Everytown for Gun Safety — one of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Astroturf (not grassroots) anti-gun groups.

The agreement requires Walmart to:

  • videotape all firearm sales
  • stop selling handguns
  • handgun ammunition, SBRs and tactical ammunition: .223, 5.56, .300 Blackout, 7.62x39mm and .224 Valkyrie
  • stop selling firearms to anyone under 21

There was another caveat in the agreement with Bloomberg: “Motivated by our desire to create a safe environment in our stores and clubs, we request that customers no longer openly carry firearms into Walmart or Sam’s Club locations in states where open carry is permitted – unless they are authorized law enforcement.”

Walmart’s Senior Vice President J.P. Suarez said then that the retail chain signed Bloomberg’s 10-point code to “fine tune the things we’re already doing and further strengthen our standards. We hope other retailers will join us in adopting the code.

As you can imagine, when the agreement was signed, Bloomberg’s employees were ecstatic.

“The announcements from Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods today reflect the values of the American public, who are united in a call for common sense on guns. This is a clear signal to businesses across the country that it’s safe to do what’s right. Americans will stand with businesses that stand for our safety,” said Everytown president John Feinblatt.

“Two major gun retailers made major policy changes today that will make Americans safer. These corporate policy wins are additional proof points that the tide has turned in favor of gun safety. It should also be a call to action for Congress: there’s simply no reason for lawmakers not to immediately pass comprehensive gun safety legislation. Just as companies are realizing that cozying up to the gun lobby is bad business, lawmakers should see the writing on the wall: America is rejecting the NRA lobbyists’ dangerous agenda,” said head Demanding Mom Shannon Watts.

At the time, the partnership drew little fanfare. There were a few stories on pro-gun websites, one story from Reuters, but little else.

An astute reader pointed out this week that the agreement is still in effect. The details are still posted on Walmart’s corporate website, but, apparently, it’s something the giant retailer doesn’t want to discuss. Walmart’s corporate communications division did not return emails seeking comment for this story. (They don’t accept phone calls.)

Their agreement with Bloomberg never caught on. The Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership was pushed by an anti-gun group in Philadelphia for a few years. They managed to coerce a few local gun dealers to sign. There is no mention of the partnership on the Everytown website, other than a few old press releases. Apparently, nationally, it fizzled, yet Walmart is marching to the sound of Bloomberg’s tiny drum.   

The first sentence of the company’s 2019 press release announcing the agreement states: “Walmart has a long heritage as a company of serving hunters and sportsmen and women.” This statement was true at the time. They did serve hunters, shooters and sportsmen and women. They don’t now. They haven’t since 2019.

Until Walmart rescinds its agreement with Bloomberg, I won’t be shopping there. That’s the thing about Bloomberg and his traveling cavalcade of crazy. Once you hop into bed with these clowns, you wake up the next day covered in clown makeup, which the whole world can see.

AMERICA’S HUNTERS Pretty Amazing!

For the sake of our freedom, don’t ever allow gun control or confiscation of guns.

WISCONSIN Outdoors

A blogger added up the deer license sales in just a handful of states and arrived at a striking conclusion:

There were over 600,000 hunters this season in the state of Wisconsin …. Allow me to restate that number: 600,000!

Over the last several months, Wisconsin’s hunters became the eighth largest army in the world.

(That’s more men under arms than in Iran .. More than France and Germany combined.)

These men, deployed to the woods of a single American state, Wisconsin, to hunt with firearms, And NO ONE WAS KILLED.

That number pales in comparison to the 750,000 who hunted the woods of Pennsylvania and Michigan’s 700,000 hunters, ALL OF WHOM HAVE RETURNED HOME SAFELY.

Toss in a quarter million hunters in West Virginia and it literally establishes the fact that the Hunters of those four states alone would comprise the largest army in the world.

And then add in the total number of hunters in the other 46 states. It’s millions more.

The point?

America will forever be safe from foreign invasion with that kind of home-grown firepower! Hunting… it’s not just a way to fill the freezer.

It’s a matter of national security.

That’s why all enemies, foreign and domestic, want to see us disarmed.

Food for thought, when next we consider gun control. Overall it’s true, so if we disregard some assumptions that hunters don’t possess the same skills as soldiers, the question would still remain… What army of 2 million would want to face 30 million, 40 million, or 50 million armed citizens???

For the sake of our freedom, don’t ever allow gun control or confiscation of guns.

County Commission Recognizes the National Rifle Association for 150 Years of Service

The Board of Polk County Commissioners Recognizes the National Rifle Association for 150 Years of Service

November 17th established as NRA Day in Polk County, Florida

Tuesday, September 7th, the Board of Polk County Commissioners, issued a proclamation recognizing the National Rifle Association for its 150 years of dedication to promoting firearms safety education.  The proclamation establishes November 17, 2021 NRA Day in Polk County.

The proclamation recognizes the National Rifle Association for 150 years of protecting Second Amendment freedom, teaching marksmanship and gun safety, and passing self-defense laws across the nation.

Since its founding on November 17, 1871, by two Union Civil War officers, the National Rifle Association has served firearm owners across the nation through training and other initiatives aimed at promoting firearm safety, the shooting sports and hunter education.

The proclamation was initiated by In-Gauge of Polk County, of Winter Haven, Florida, a non-profit organization chartered by the National Rifle Association.   The stated mission of In-Gauge of Polk County is to preserve and promote the shooting sports through firearms training and safety education.

In-Gauge has been carrying out its mission in Polk County since 2015 and has been celebrating the NRA’s 150th anniversary by conducting free firearm safety training classes, giving away free NRA memberships and free commemorative, 1 ounce silver, collector’s coins to class participants.

In 2017, In-Gauge of Polk County became a proud sponsor of the Polk Senior Games when it petitioned Polk Senior Games, Inc. to include a pistol competition as an event.  Although the Polk Senior Games conducted rifle, trap and skeet and archery competitions, it did not have a pistol competition.  In 2017, for the first time in its 25-year history, the Polk Senior Games conducted a pistol competition sponsored by In-Gauge of Polk County.  The pistol competition continues to be a regular event in the Polk Senior Games annual program.

In-Gauge will be conducting other public events commemorating the NRA’s 150th anniversary through the month of November.

Biden Administration Bans Importation of Russian Ammunition

Biden Administration Bans Importation of Russian Ammunition

AUGUST 22, 2021 : NRA-ILA

The Biden Administration’s Department of State announced that it will soon prohibit the importation of Russian ammunition into the United States. According to a release on the Department of State’s website, “[n]ew and pending permit applications for the permanent importation of firearms and ammunition manufactured or located in Russia will be subject to a policy of denial.”

While the new policy appears to prohibit the importation of both firearms and ammunition, the importation of Russian origin firearms was already heavily restricted under past executive policies. The primary effect of this new policy will be on Russian origin ammunition.

The State Department claims that it is imposing these “sanctions on the Russian Federation over its use of a “Novichok” nerve agent in the August 2020 poisoning of Russian opposition figure Aleksey Navalny.” While that may be a viable reason for the United States government to sanction the Russian Federation, the ammunition import restriction seems more aimed at punishing American gun owners and businesses than as a foreign policy tool to influence the Russian Federation.

Ammunition exports to the United States are only a small percentage of the GDP of the Russian Federation, but Russian origin ammo makes up a large part of the American ammunition supply. American gun owners were already suffering from a market where demand was exceeding available supply. This new move by the Biden Administration will severely worsen the present supply problems.

The release goes on to note that the new policy:

will take effect upon the publication of a Federal Register notice expected on September 7, 2021, and they will remain in place for a minimum of 12 months. The sanctions can only be lifted after a 12-month period if the Executive Branch determines and certifies to Congress that Russia has met several conditions . . . including (1) providing reliable assurances that it will not use chemical weapons in violation of international law, (2) it is not making preparations to use chemical weapons in the future, (3) it is willing to allow international inspectors to verify those assurances, and (4) it is making restitution to Mr. Navalny.

While this delayed implementation date may seem to make a rush to approve new ammunition shipments possible, it’s not clear that ATF will provide any type of rush approval for the Form 6s necessary to lawfully import ammunition into the United States. These forms often take six or more weeks to get approved, so ATF delays may prevent any new shipments being approved for importation.

It appears that importers will be able to continue to import ammunition that was already approved prior to the publication of the notice in the Federal Register. That ammunition will likely be rapidly consumed due to present demand for ammunition in the United States.

The full effect of this new policy will likely not be realized for a few months, but it will certainly lead to more ammunition shortages, higher prices, and therefore fewer Americans excising their fundamental rights. It may also result in the shuttering of American small businesses that rely heavily on the importation of Russian ammunition. All of this is of course by design for the Biden Administration.

We will continue to keep all NRA members informed of this newest overreach by President Biden on his crusade against law-abiding American gun owners. NRA is reviewing all political, legislative, and legal options to fight this new policy.

2nd Amendment rights collide with law enforcement leaders desire to reduce crime

Police opposition doesn’t stop conservative gun law rollback

Associated Press – Lindsay Whithurst – August 9, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The latest push to loosen gun laws in states across the U.S. has put police officers at odds with Republican lawmakers who usually trumpet support for law enforcement.

In states like Texas, Tennessee and Louisiana, police opposed pushes to drop requirements for people to get background checks and training before carrying handguns in public, plans that came as gun sales continued to shatter records during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We feel it was just another opportunity to get our officers hurt,” said Fabian Blache Jr., executive director of the Louisiana Chiefs of Police Association. “It was a danger to law enforcement.”

There, a last-ditch public plea by dozens of Louisiana law enforcement officers helped narrowly avert a push to override the Democratic governor’s veto of legislation dropping concealed-carry permit requirements. But he expects the proposal to come back next year, and in several other conservative-leaning states police opposition didn’t stop laws dropping permit requirements.

Gun violence is on the rise across the country and law enforcement agencies are struggling with how to manage the spikes, especially in cities. The federal government has stepped in with strike forces and other measures help to stop the sale of illegal weapons. Cops are already working at a disadvantage in many cities over forces winnowed by retirements and difficulty attracting new officers following the massive police protests in 2020, and many see looser gun laws as one more challenge.

Not knowing who might be carrying a gun heightens the potential danger in any encounter, and less required training means more people who don’t know how to properly handle a weapon, Blanche said.

“Police officers are trained around the country, and they make mistakes,” he said. “So why are we going to give opportunity to people who are not trained to be able to carry a firearm and use it at will?”

In Tennessee this year, warnings from police chiefs and sheriffs didn’t stop a push to drop permit requirements in the GOP-controlled state Legislature. That law passed months after another measure cracking down on protesters camping out for police reform, a vote that was framed as a support for law enforcement.

Though several polls have found public support for gun permits, arguments that they undermine Second Amendment rights have gained favor in conservative-leaning state governments in recent years.

“There is something of a disjunction between repeating the political slogan of ‘back the blue’ versus supporting policies that rank-and-file police and leaders of police organizations actually support,” said Robert Spitzer, a professor at The State University of New York-Cortland and author of “The Politics of Gun Control.”

Police opposition hasn’t stopped a push to drop permitting requirements that’s passed in about 20 states, Spitzer said. While their positions carry authority, they don’t have the ad campaigns and lobbyists that overtly political interests often do.

“Their voices and opinions have been known, but they haven’t been a real megaphone in public political terms because that puts them in a real bad spot. They’re public servants and their job is to enforce the law, no matter what the law is,” he said.

And permitless carry has supporters in law enforcement, including sheriffs, many of whom are in elected positions and oversee more rural areas. In Utah and Iowa, police groups were more divided generally stayed out of the debate this year.

Discussions about police reform dominated the conversation in Iowa, as well as how to stem the rise in violent crime, said Sam Hargadine, the Iowa Police Chiefs Association executive director. He doesn’t see the permit question as a big piece of the violent-crime discussion, especially since chiefs already couldn’t deny people permits.

“I think there’s extremes on both sides. But there’s got to be some compromises made, because we’re having far too many shootings,” he said.

Not all police oppose the legislation, and gun-rights advocates don’t see a conflict between combating crime and making it easier for people to carry firearms. They argue that people generally don’t get permits for guns used in violent crimes, so the change will make it easier for those who do follow the law to get a gun and many measures also tougher penalties for some gun crimes.

For Texas Republican James White, his party’s differing with the chiefs of the state’s largest cities on permit-less carry was part of the give-and-take of the legislative process.

“There were some things this session … where we were consistent with where law enforcement would want to be, and there were sometimes that we just had to tell them we have to look a different direction,” said White, an outgoing state lawmaker now running for agriculture commissioner.

He also touted the stronger penalties contained in the law for felons who carry guns illegally. “It was a very strong on crime, tough on crime deal,” he said.

White argued the new law didn’t represent a massive shift in a state where guns were allowed in cars without permits and licenses weren’t required for long guns. Texas became the largest state to drop handgun licensing requirements this year, a move applauded by the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights advocates.

Alan Gottlieb with the Second Amendment Foundation argued that policing is already inherently dangerous and dropping permits won’t make a big dent but will enhance gun rights. “I shouldn’t need a permit to exercise my constitutional rights,” he said.

Police opposition had helped keep the idea from gaining traction even in firearm-friendly Texas, but with a change in legislative leadership support swelled over the span of a few weeks this year. It passed over objections from survivors of the mass shooting that killed 23 people at an El Paso Walmart two years ago.

“One thing I’ve learned in my many years of working with police is, you can rely on them to tell you what’s going to put the public at danger,” said Everytown For Gun Safety President John Feinblatt. “I think that what police know is that crime is rising around the country and this is the worst possible moment to pass laws like this.”

Joe Biden Admits He Wants 9mm Pistols Banned

‘I’m Continuing To Push To Eliminate The Sale Of’ Things Like ‘9mm Pistol,’

CNN Town Hall: Joe Biden Suggests a 9mm Pistol Ban

https://newsbinding.com/news/cnn-town-hall-joe-biden-suggests-a-9mm-pistol-ban/

07-21-2021
During his Wednesday night CNN town hall, President Joe Biden talked about a “push to eliminate” 9mm pistols that have an ammunition capacity beyond that of which the left approves.

Biden said, “The idea you need a weapon that can have the ability to fire 20, 30, 40, 50, 120 shots from that weapon, whether it’s a 9mm pistol or whether it’s a rifle, is ridiculous. I’m continuing to push to eliminate the sale of those things.”

Up until now, Biden has pushed “assault weapons” ban legislation and moved executively to have the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) take regulatory action against AR-pistols with stabilizer braces.

On June 7, 2021, Breitbart News reported the DOJ moved to place certain AR-pistols under the purview of the National Firearms Act. But those AR-pistols are chambered in 5.56 or .223, not 9mm. Biden’s mention of going after 9mm pistols opens the door to regulating wildly popular Glock, Heckler & Koch, Smith & Wesson, Sig Sauer, Kahr, Taurus, and Springfield Armory pistols, among many others.


Biden: ‘I’m Continuing To Push To Eliminate The Sale Of’ Things Like ‘9mm Pistol,’ ‘Rifle’

https://www.dailywire.com/news/breaking-biden-indicates-he-wants-to-ban-the-sale-of-handguns

Jul 22, 2021   DailyWire.com

President Joe Biden suggested during a CNN town hall on Wednesday night that he is pushing to eliminate the sale of high-capacity pistols and rifles.

“I’m the only guy that ever got — passed legislation when I was a senator to make sure we eliminated assault weapons,” Biden said. “The idea you need a weapon that can have the ability to fire 20, 30, 40, 50, 120 shots from that weapon, whether it’s a, whether it’s a 9mm pistol or whether it’s a rifle, is ridiculous.”

“I’m continuing to push to eliminate the sale of those things, but I’m not likely to get that done in the near term,” Biden added.

TRANSCRIPT:

QUESTION: So how will you address gun violence from a federal point of view to actually bring about change and make our local cities safer?

BIDEN: Now, I’m not being a wise guy, there’s no reason you [inaudible], have you seen my gun violence legislation I’ve introduced? As you know, because you’re so involved, actually, crime is down. Gun violence and murder rates are up. Guns. I’m the only guy that ever got passed, legislation when I was a senator, to make sure we eliminated assault weapons. The idea you need a weapon that can have the ability to fire 20, 30, 40, 50, 120 shots from that weapon, whether it’s a, whether it’s a 9mm pistol, or whether it’s a rifle, is ridiculous. I’m continuing to push to eliminate the sale of those things. But I’m not likely to get that done in the near term. So, here’s what I’ve done. The people who, in fact, are using those weapons are acquiring them illegally, illegally. And so what happens is, I’ve gotten ATF, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, I have them increase their budget and increase their capacity along with the Justice Department to go after the gun shops that are not abiding by the law of doing background checks. For real, that’s number one. Number two, number two, we are in a position where you, most of the cities, and I don’t know enough, I think you’ve had a lot of gun violence here in Cincinnati, I think it was up to what, how many, how many dead? 500 over a period? Don’t hold me to the number, whatever it was. But my point is all across the country. And it’s not because the gun shops in the cities are selling these guns. They are either shadow gun dealers and or gun shops that are not abiding by the law. So we’re going to do major investigations and shut those guys down and put some of them in jail and for what they’re doing, selling these weapons. There’s also a thing called ghost guns that are being sold now and being used. And so but in addition to that, what we have to do is we have to deal with a larger problem of the whole issue of law enforcement generally, we’re in a situation where as much as we need to pass the Floyd Act and all that, but here’s the deal. Cops are having real trouble. They’re not all bad guys, there are a lot of good guys. We need more policemen, not fewer policemen. But we need them involved in community policing, community policing. And when we did that, violent crime went down, all the criticism about the original crime, but guess what, crime went down until we stopped doing community policing. So it’s about getting, we have availability now, of over, billion, lots of money, for cops to be able to hire psychologists, psychiatrists, as well as social workers to be engaged in the process.

DailyWire.com – Jul 22, 2021

Federal Appellate Court Rules: Age Ban On Purchasing Handguns “Unconstitutional”

Judges say they won’t relegate ‘the Second Amendment or 18- to 20-year-olds to a second-class status’

By Todd Ruger – July 13, 2021

https://www.rollcall.com/2021/07/13/appeals-court-finds-aged-based-handgun-purchase-ban-unconstitutional/

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the long-standing federal ban on sales of handguns from licensed dealers to 18- to 20-year-olds is unconstitutional, because Congress in the 1960s did not demonstrate a good enough reason for the law.

In a 2-1 ruling, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, based in Richmond, Va., found that the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms is no different from other constitutional rights that start at age 18, so the government must have a justification to restrict that right.

“Despite the weighty interest in reducing crime and violence, we refuse to relegate either the Second Amendment or 18- to 20-year-olds to a second-class status,” Judge Julius Richardson wrote for the majority.

Richardson, a President Donald Trump appointee, was joined in the majority opinion by Judge G. Stephen Agee, a President George W. Bush appointee.

Judge James Wynn Jr., a President Barack Obama appointee, wrote a dissent that said the panel had overstepped its role as a court, and that “the majority’s decision to grant the gun lobby a victory in a fight it lost on Capitol Hill more than 50 years ago is not compelled by law.”

The Justice Department will almost certainly appeal the decision, which comes during an incendiary national debate over gun control laws prompted by everyday shootings as well as a series of mass shootings over the years at concerts, schools and other public spaces.

The Supreme Court, with a newly expanded 6-3 conservative majority, has teed up a major case about state concealed carry laws for the term that starts in October that will be a test of how far the justices might extend constitutional gun rights outside the home.

Meanwhile, Congress stands at a partisan deadlock over numerous gun control proposals backed mostly by Democrats, and President Joe Biden has issued executive orders and taken other actions to combat what he calls an “epidemic” of gun violence.

The decision recounts how in 1964, Congress, concerned about increasing gun violence, began a “field investigation and public hearings” and concluded among other things that juveniles getting handguns without consent of parents “is a significant factor in the prevalence of lawlessness and violent crime in the United States.”

In 1968, Congress passed the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act, which prohibited licensed dealers from selling handguns to anyone under age 21 but permitted the sale of shotguns and rifles to those individuals, the decision states.

Later that year, Congress changed that law through the Gun Control Act of 1968, which prohibited licensed dealers from selling any firearm to those under 18 and maintained the ban on the sale of handguns for 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds

The 4th Circuit majority found that Congress, when banning the sale of handguns and handgun ammunition to that age group, used “disproportionate crime rates to craft over-inclusive laws that restrict the rights of overwhelmingly law-abiding citizens.”

“And in doing so, Congress focused on purchases from licensed dealers without establishing those dealers as the source of the guns 18- to 20-year-olds use to commit crimes,” Richardson wrote for the majority.

The law restricts the rights of more than 99 percent of that age group because “a fraction of 1% commit a disproportionate amount of violent crime,” the majority wrote, and it is already illegal for felons, fugitives, drug users and immigrants who entered the country illegally to buy firearms from licensed dealers.

“So the laws at issue by their nature prevent a more law-abiding, less dangerous subset of 18- to 20-year-olds from purchasing from a more regulated market,” the majority wrote.

“The irony does not escape us that, under the government’s reasoning, the same 18- to 20-year-old men and women we depend on to protect us in the armed forces and who have since our Founding been trusted with the most sophisticated weaponry should nonetheless be prevented from purchasing a handgun from a federally licensed dealer for their own protection at home,” the majority wrote.

There is no ban against 18- to 20-year-olds owning, possessing or using a gun, the opinion states. Dealers can sell guns to parents or guardians who can gift them to minor children, but not when the children provide the money.

If it stands, the decision would mean 18- to 20-year-olds could buy a handgun from a licensed dealer but not cigarettes or alcohol.

The majority also wrote that it’s unclear whether the ban has been effective, something Wynn cautioned against in the dissent.

Wynn wrote that “doing so will place the nation and its lawmakers in a formidable catch-22: pass too onerous a regulation and see it struck down for violating the Second Amendment; pass too permissive a measure and suffer the same result.”

“This heads-I-win, tails-you-lose approach is a recipe for national inaction on gun violence,” Wynn wrote.

The plaintiff in the case is a 19-year-old woman who got a protective order against her abusive ex-boyfriend who, after that order, had been arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm and controlled substances, the decision states.

She also works as an equestrian trainer and often finds herself in remote rural areas where she interacts with unfamiliar people, and she considers a handgun as the most effective tool for protection from those risks, the decision states.

Pandemic gun violence surge was not linked to rise in gun sales, study finds

New Study Delivers a Kill Shot to Another Anti-Gun Narrative

Research suggests looking at role of job loss, economic change, closure of schools and community organizations and civil unrest

The Guardian – 2021-07-09

Gun homicides surged across the United States during the coronavirus pandemic, in the same year that Americans bought a record-breaking number of guns.

But some of America’s leading gun violence researchers have concluded that what might seem like an obvious cause-and-effect – a surge in gun buying leads to a surge in gun violence – is not supported by the data.

Through July of last year, there was no clear association between the increase in firearm purchases and the increase in most interpersonal gun violence at the state level, according to a new study published in Injury Epidemiology, a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

A peace march 6 March 2020 in Oakland to showcase the impact of Oakland’s lifesaving gun violence reduction programs.

The findings suggest that “we need to be looking at other factors, like job loss, economic change, the closure of schools and community organizations and nonprofits, and civil unrest,” in order to understand last year’s increase in gun violence, Julia Schleimer, the lead author of the new study, said.

There did appear to be some association between the increase in gun purchasing and an increase in domestic violence gun injuries in April and May, but that correlation might also be explained by other factors, including increased substance abuse or the decreased access to domestic violence support services during the early months of lockdown, Schleimer said.

The results of the new study are an unexpected addition to the fierce political battle over how to explain last year’s estimated 25% increase in homicides, which experts say they expect will be the worst single-year increase in killings since the 1960s. While official government data is not yet available, experts are projecting that the US saw an additional 4,000 to 5,000 homicides nationwide in 2020, and the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive recorded nearly 4,000 additional gun homicides last year compared with 2019.

Even though the homicide rate across big cities remains close to half of what it was in the 1990s, some politicians have used the single-year jump in killings to paint Democrats and the Biden administration as soft on crime, using an old political playbook of stoking anxiety over crime and violence in order to win elections.

Joe Biden has responded by focusing on firearms access and calling for new gun control laws, as well as supporting increased funding for police and community violence intervention programs.

The findings of the new study from the state-funded Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis, do not fit tidily into either of these partisan political narratives. While the new study raises doubts about a correlation between last year’s spike in gun purchases and the increases in shootings, it doesn’t address the underlying risk of easy access to guns in the US, Schleimer said.

While official government crime data is not yet available for 2020, roughly three-quarters of US homicides annually are committed with guns, and experts estimate nonfatal shootings injure 100,000 people a year, often leaving survivors with serious, life-altering injuries.

There is a large body of research demonstrating the correlation between gun access and increased risk of gun injury, Schleimer said, an association that is particularly clear when it comes to the risk of gun suicide. The increase in shootings during 2020 may have been driven by Americans who already owned guns before the pandemic, not by the people who bought guns for the first time last year – but that does not mean that gun access is irrelevant, she said.

At the same time, the lack of any clear correlation between what the researchers estimated as 4.3m additional firearm purchases nationally from March through July 2020, and a 27% increase in firearm injuries over that time, suggests that other factors besides gun access and gun control laws deserve more attention, and more research, Schleimer said.Advertisement

“There are a lot of strategies that can address some of the more social determinants of violence,” Schleimer said, including supporting violence interrupters and other community-based violence intervention programs, and focusing on economic policies that might help reduce gun violence, which is deeply correlated with poverty and concentrated disadvantage. “There’s some good evidence on youth summer job programs and young people’s risk for violence.”

It made sense that politicians and other public figures would point to the increase in gun buying in 2020 as a potential reason shootings had increased last year, Schleimer said.

But, she said, “Our findings, from this current study, in this particular context, are not supporting that.”

The new study has several limitations, including the complexity of factors that might have influenced gun violence during 2020, and the lack of official data on both gun sales and gun injuries. The researchers estimated gun sales using federal background check data, and relied on shooting incident data collected from media reports by the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive.

Daniel Webster, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Prevention and Policy, said the study followed “rigorous statistical methods,” and that it raised interesting questions about whether the increase in gun violence might be more closely connected to some Americans’ willingness to carry their previously purchased guns during the pandemic, rather than a spike in first-time gun purchases.

It was possible that in some states, many of the additional gun sales in 2020 went to people who had already owned multiple firearms – meaning that the surge in sales did not necessarily contribute to an increase in the overall prevalence of gun ownership, Webster said in an email.

“Data from Chicago and some other cities suggest that we have seen a sharp increase in illegal gun carrying,” he wrote. “The role that guns are playing in the increased levels of homicides may have more to do with increases in illegal gun carrying than with the number of incidents in which people buy guns legally, especially in the short-term.”

In general, Webster wrote, the relationship between gun ownership and the increased likelihood of a shooting depended a lot on who was acquiring the gun. “In places and among individuals who are particularly low risk, more guns may have little impact on rates of lethal violence, but in places and among individuals of high risk, gun ownership can greatly increase risks of lethal violence,” he wrote.

Schleimer also cautioned that it’s possible that there might be some connection between gun purchasing and gun violence in 2020 that was masked by other factors the researchers were not able to measure or control for.

“Last year was such a unique year in many ways, and the context was continually evolving, and there were a lot of factors changing all at once, both locally and at the state level and nationally in the context of the pandemic and social and civil unrest,” Schleimer said. “That really complicated what we were able to do analytically.”

To examine the possible link between gun sales and shootings, the UC Davis researchers looked at trends in gun purchasing, and gun injuries, across 48 states, and then examined whether there was a correlation between the number of additional guns purchased and the number of additional gun injuries during the spring and summer. They controlled for a range of state-level factors that might influence the number of gun injuries, including stay-at-home orders, coronavirus cases and deaths, unemployment, measures of racial tension and civil unrest and seasonal variations in rates of gun injury.

While an early analysis from the same researchers, looking only at March through May, had found a correlation between increased gun purchases and gun injuries, their final analysis did not find any clear pattern between how many additional guns were purchased in a state through July 2020 and how much of an increase the state saw in non-domestic violence firearms injuries. The study did not analyze gun suicides or suicide attempts.

… we have a small favour to ask. Tens of millions have placed their trust in the Guardian’s high-impact journalism since we started publishing 200 years ago, turning to us in moments of crisis, uncertainty, solidarity and hope. More than 1.5 million readers, from 180 countries, have recently taken the step to support us financially – keeping us open to all, and fiercely independent.

With no shareholders or billionaire owner, we can set our own agenda and provide trustworthy journalism that’s free from commercial and political influence, offering a counterweight to the spread of misinformation. When it’s never mattered more, we can investigate and challenge without fear or favour.

Unlike many others, Guardian journalism is available for everyone to read, regardless of what they can afford to pay. We do this because we believe in information equality. Greater numbers of people can keep track of global events, understand their impact on people and communities, and become inspired to take meaningful action.

We aim to offer readers a comprehensive, international perspective on critical events shaping our world – from the Black Lives Matter movement, to the new American administration, Brexit, and the world’s slow emergence from a global pandemic. We are committed to upholding our reputation for urgent, powerful reporting on the climate emergency, and made the decision to reject advertising from fossil fuel companies, divest from the oil and gas industries, and set a course to achieve net zero emissions by 2030.