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.

NRA CANCELS 150th ANNUAL MEETING

08/25/2021 | CHRIS EGER – Guns.com

Citing COVID, the National Rifle Association on Tuesday canceled plans to hold the member organization’s annual meeting and exhibits in Houston, Texas, in September. 

The 150th anniversary celebration for the 5-million-member group, founded in 1871 by Union Army Veterans, was set to be held over the upcoming Labor Day weekend at the 1.8 million-square-foot George R. Brown Convention Center. However, this week the group pulled the plug on the event, citing “concerns over the safety of our NRA family and community” after looking at data regarding COVID-19 in the Houston area.

The NRA Annual Meeting welcomes tens of thousands of people, and involves many events, meetings, and social gatherings. Among the highlights of our annual meeting are acres of exhibit space featuring the latest and greatest firearms, the display of countless accessories, and the offering of adventures and group gatherings that many travel hundreds, and some even thousands, of miles to experience. We realize that it would prove difficult, if not impossible, to offer the full guest experience that our NRA members deserve.

The NRA’s top priority is ensuring the health and well-being of our members, staff, sponsors, and supporters. We are mindful that NRA Annual Meeting patrons will return home to family, friends, and co-workers from all over the country, so any impacts from the virus could have broader implications. Those are among the reasons why we decided to cancel our 2021 event.

The NRA plans to hold its 151st NRAAM in Louisville, Kentucky, a city that last hosted the event in 2016. 

NRA Adding Members At A Rate Of 1K Per Day

By Eric Mack -Tuesday, 30 March 2021

The National Rifle Association has faced some challenges with bankruptcy proceedings and a move to Texas after New York Democrats sought to engage in politically motivated investigations, but its membership growth is strengthening.

The NRA has seen 150,000 new members this year alone, averaging about 1,000 new members a day, NRA Director of Media Relations Amy Hunter told The Epoch Times.

Mass murder events and President Joe Biden’s administration’s talk of gun-control measures have also led defenders of the Second Amendment to join the nation’s top gun lobby.

“We’ve had two federal bills that have been passed in the House, and they’re going to be heard in the Senate soon,” Hunter told the Times. “You have Biden talking about executive action that he’s going to take, and it’s been pretty steady throughout history that when you have an anti-gun president in office, and he’s passing laws, signing executive action, that usually causes a surge in NRA interest in membership.”

The NRA now boasts 5 million members after a summer surge, she added.

“There was a real surge during COVID,” she continued to the Times. “People were looking around at what was going on, they’re scared, all of the services, everything’s being shut down and being told to stay in their home. The only outlet they have is to watch TV and on TV they’re seeing riots and unrest happening across the country; they’re seeing that their politicians are closing gun stores, using emergency powers to sort of shutdown the Second Amendment.

“I just think people react as they always do when there’s periods of uncertainty. They want to make sure that they can keep their families safe. We’re also seeing headlines about police furloughs and calls to defund the police. Law-abiding people feel like, ‘well, worst-case scenario, I better make sure I can protect my own family.’ So we have seen a surge throughout COVID and it’s continued through this year and it continues into the Biden administration.”

President Biden has vowed to pass more gun laws after the supermarket shooting in Colorado, despite Republicans and gun-rights advocates noting mass murders ignore laws.

“I’m the only one who has ever got them passed, man,” Biden told reporters Monday about a 10-year ban on semi-automatic weapons in 1994.

The tough talk to take away gun rights of law-abiding American citizens has new members signing up for the NRA.

“We’re able to change things, we’re able to get laws changed, we’re able to prevent bad laws from going into action,” Hunter told the Times.

“We have a better membership, we have a stronger base, we have people who really believe in liberty and freedom and the Constitution, but we never underestimate our opponents.”

A gun-collecting Kansas judge is leading a new crusade to save the NRA from two existential threats: New York’s attorney general and the executives who currently run the organization.

Phillip Journey, a family court judge in Wichita and member of the NRA’s board, inserted himself into the group’s bankruptcy to try and block New York’s top law enforcement official from dissolving the 150-year-old group and distributing its $200 million in assets to other, less controversial gun-rights organizations. To do so, he says he must take on a culture of subservience and alleged financial misdeeds that has sprung up around the group’s top executive, Wayne LaPierre.

“A lot of times, bankruptcy looks like a dog pile,” Journey, who sold about 100 weapons from his personal collection to fund his successful campaign for the NRA board last year, said in an interview. “All I want is to open the door, let in an examiner and see where to go. Restore corporate governance and let the NRA operate like it’s supposed to.”

Click on any of the links below to either join or renew your NRA membership at the membership level of you choice.

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May 2021 – Gun Sales Surge Continues

The number of firearm sales checks represents the second-highest May on record, following only the massive firearm-buying surge experienced in May 2020.

Gun Sales Surge Continues with Diverse Interest in Firearms

MONDAY, JUNE 7, 2021

Strong gun sales continued in May, with FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System data showing nearly 1.3 million background checks were conducted pursuant to firearms sales last month. Moreover, the FBI conducted a total of 3.2 million firearm-related background checks of all types – including checks for NICS exempt firearm permits that allow holders to purchase firearms without an additional background check for the next five years. The number of firearm sales checks represents the second-highest May on record, following only the massive firearm-buying surge experienced in May 2020.

Since the surge in gun-buying began at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, those in the firearms industry and even the reluctant news media have made two important observations: (1) The increase in gun purchasing included many first-time gun buyers; (2) Those purchasing firearms did not conform to stereotypes about the “typical” American gun owner

In February, firearm industry trade group the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) released data on the firearm sales increase based on a survey of Federal Firearm Licensees (gun dealers). A press release explained “NSSF estimates that 40 percent of those gun sales were for first-time gun buyers, totaling 8.4 million new gun owners in the United States in 2020.” The item went on to note, “Firearm ownership is also increasingly diverse as sales among women accounted for 40 percent of all sales, and purchases by African Americans increased by 56 percent compared to 2019.

In the early months of the pandemic, the legacy press was forced to cover the increase in gun sales and the diversity of those choosing to exercise their Second Amendment rights

In March 2020, the San Francisco Chronicle shared the story of Petaluma, Calif. gun shop owner Gabriel Vaughn, who told the paper “about 90% of his customers in recent days have been first-time gun buyers.” That same week, the New York Times reported that “Some dealers said an unusually high proportion of sales have been to first-time gun buyers.”

On May 29, the New York Times added to the growing understanding of America’s ongoing and diverse gun-buying surge by reporting on new data from a survey conducted by Northeastern University and the Harvard Injury Control Research Center. While the figures reported were not quite the same as those presented by NSSF, the information painted a picture of a growing and diverse group of gun owners.

Summarizing the findings, the Times explained,

about a fifth of all Americans who bought guns last year were first-time gun owners. And the data, which has not been previously released, showed that new owners were less likely than usual to be male and white. Half were women, a fifth were Black and a fifth were Hispanic.

Adding an anecdote, the New York Times noted,

Many gun store workers reported that last year set records for sales and also that they noticed different types of buyers walking in the door. Thomas Harris, a former law enforcement officer who works at the gun counter at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Roanoke, Va., said that around March last year, the customers he would speak with began to include more white-collar workers, such as people from insurance firms and software companies. He said many of the buyers were not conservative and most had never handled a gun.

With even the gun confiscation proponents at New York Times acknowledging the diverse face of gun ownership in America, anti-gun activists and politicians should take note. The ugly prejudices and stereotypes they share and employ to attack the gun community do not comport to reality and their bigoted campaign becomes more transparent all the time.

What has the NRA done for me lately?

Supreme Court to Hear Case on Right to Carry Concealed Guns for Self-Defense

The U.S. Supreme Court stepped back into the heated debate over gun rights on Monday, agreeing to hear a challenge backed by the National Rifle Association to New York state’s restrictions on people carrying concealed handguns in public in a case that could further undermine firearms control efforts nationally.

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-supreme-court-hear-major-case-carrying-handguns-public-2021-04-26/

FLORIDA – Bill allowing guns in churches heads to Governor for signatureApril 29, 2021

TALLAHASSEE — A proposal that would let people with concealed-weapons licenses pack heat at churches or other religious institutions that share properties with schools is heading to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

https://www.law.com/dailybusinessreview/2021/04/29/florida-lawmakers-give-boost-to-guns-at-church/?slreturn=20210329125529

Florida Legislature Strengthens Firearms Preemption Enforcement Bill Passed – Bill awaits Governor’s signature

Florida law that prohibits local ordinances on guns and ammunition just got stronger

Currently, Florida law forbids local governments from passing any policies about the “purchase, sale, transfer, taxation, manufacture, ownership, possession, storage, and transportation” of guns or ammunition. The entire gun policy area is left up to the state. If local officials violate this law by enacting a gun policy, they are subject to a $5,000 court fine — and the law allows citizens or gun groups to sue the local governments for their attorney’s fees up to $100,000 in damages.

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article251004194.html

DeSantis signs ‘anti-riot’ legislation in Polk County

“It was promised and it was delivered,” DeSantis said after signing the bill.

https://www.tampabay.com/news/florida-politics/2021/04/19/desantis-signs-anti-riot-legislation-in-polk-county/

Open Letter To NRA Members – From Wayne LaPierre

Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s largest and oldest civil rights organization.

Regarding the NRA’s reorganization and move to Texas.

Friday, Jan. 15, 2021

Dear NRA Members & Supporters:

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.

Wayne LaPierre
Wayne LaPierre

There maybe other gun organizations, but there is only one organization that defends your Second Amendment right both locally and nationally.

Contact In-Gauge of Polk County directly for CLUB membership information and benefits at: ingaugeofpolkcounty@gmail.com

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Biden’s Gun Control By Executive Order

Anti-gun Senators and Mayors Push Biden on Executive Gun Controls

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd speaks on Joe Biden’s gun control proposal.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd on Biden’s gun control proposals.

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

background checks.

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. 

The second wish list item is something of an Obama-era retread. Having failed to criminalize the private transfer of firearms by means of legislation in 2013, in 2015 the Obama administration explored restricting the private transfer of firearms through executive action.

Federal law (18 U.S.C. § 922(a)) provides,

(a) It shall be unlawful–

(1) for any person–

(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.

The USCM is a handgun prohibitionist organization. In June 1972, USCM adopted a policy resolution on handgun control that called for the abolition of private handgun ownership. The resolution stated,

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.

The Surge Continues – January 2021 Gun Sales Up Nearly 80 Percent

January 2021 now holds the record for most NICS checks conducted by the FBI in any single month.

Shooting IllustratedGuy 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.

The Great Ammo Crisis – The Truth Behind The Shortage

The perfect storm.

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.

New House Bill Takes Aim At Second Amendment Rights

H.R. 127 – Hannibal is at the gates

FEB 10, 2021https://www.larslarson.com/a-new-house-bill-could-take-aim-at-your-second-amendment-rights/

H.R. 127 sponsored by Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee

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 . . .

Lars Larson’s interview with Dr. John Lott of the Crime Research Prevention Center – FEB 10, 2021