Thirty-one Major Hunting and Wildlife Organizations Pen Letter on Gun Control’s “Unnecessary Restrictions”

April 8, 2013

Over 30 Major Hunting and Wildlife Organizations Pen Letter on Gun Control’s “Unnecessary Restrictions”

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), 31 of the most influential organizations in the outdoors expressed their concern over restrictions to gun ownership. The list of signatories includes many prominent groups, including:

Archery Trade Association
Boone and Crockett Club
Campfire Club of America
Catch-A-Dream Foundation
Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation
Conservation Force
Dallas Safari Club
Delta Waterfowl
Masters of Foxhounds
Mule Deer Foundation
National Rifle Association
National Shooting Sports Foundation
National Trappers Association
National Wild Turkey Federation
North American Bear Foundation
North American Grouse Partnership
Orion, The Hunter’s Institute
Pheasants Forever
Pope & Young Club
Quail Forever
Quality Deer Management Association
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Ruffed Grouse Society
Safari Club International
Texas Wildlife Association
U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance
Whitetails Unlimited
Wild Sheep Foundation
Wildlife Forever
Wildlife Management Institute
Wildlife Mississippi

The letter addresses the issue of tragic shootings such as the one that occurred in Newtown, and mentioned five things that the organizations support:

  • Improvements to the already-existing National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)
  • Strict enforcement of existing firearm laws
  • Changes to the treatment of the mentally ill
  • Improved security in schools
  • Community-based “family watch” programs that seek to deal with potential problems before they occur

Beyond these five points, the organizations oppose any “unnecessary restrictions” to the procurement and possession of firearms. The letter states that those restrictions had “no foundation in addressing the factors that led to this tragedy or like tragedies” and furthermore will impact an industry that adds billions to the national economy. According to the letter, shooting sports participants contributed $5.4 billion to the conservation of America’s wildlife and hunter education system since 1991. This “user pays-public benefits” partnership provides the country with what is internationally viewed as one of the most successful conservation programs in the world.

The letter also reports that roughly 98,752 people are employed by the firearm industry, which produced $31.84 billion in 2012 alone.

Senator Reid is currently heading up a gun control package colloquially referred to as a “universal background check” measure, building off a bill by Senator Chuck Shumer (D-NY). Many gun owners’ associations and hunting advocates oppose this proposal due to its intrusion on private transfers. According to Safari Club International (SCI), Senator Shumer’s bill could make a number of transfers illegal, including:

  • Lending a friend a firearm on public land
  • A student taking temporary possession of a firearm in a hunter safety class outside the range
  • Lending a firearm to a friend in any location where hunting is not permitted, such as a suburban neighborhood
  • Inspecting a gun at a convention or trade show
In an email with Outdoor Hub, SCI President John Whipple further elaborated their position on the issue, stating that, “Anti-gun legislation always has unintended consequences, and we were also concerned about the potential impact that bills calling for ‘universal background checks’ could have had on our convention–making it illegal to even hand a gun to a customer for them to see how it fits.”

Another group opposing the proposal is the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), who the Daily Caller reports as having “serious concerns” with the bill. A spokesman for the group states that the ACLU is concerned that the bill will threaten both privacy and civil liberties.

You can read the letter here in its entirety, courtesy of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action.

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Hunters Shun Colorado over State Gun Laws

March 27, 2013

Hunters Shun Colorado over State Gun Laws

The recent gun proposals signed into law by Colorado governor John Hickenlooper might have some very unexpected consequences. Following announcements from Magpul and the Outdoor Channel to leave the state, hunters are standing up and taking notice. Many, like Outdoor Channel producer Michael Bane, call for a boycott of hunting in the Centennial State.

According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, these rumblings are still minor for the time being, but the issue has officials worried. Out-of-state hunters account for roughly 15 percent of hunting licenses issued in the state and provide a much needed boost for rural towns. This could all be put in jeopardy if popular opinion turns against Colorado.

“There’s a united front of sportsmen that are tired of having their freedoms and liberties and fundamental rights taken away from them,” said Chris Jurney, vice president of the Colorado Outfitters Association. “That kind of unity among sportsmen is going to be big and unfortunately for those of us who live here, we’re going to suffer the consequences of this misguided legislation.”

Colorado’s small businesses could be the first to suffer. Small towns that rely on nonresident hunters may fall on hard times, especially businesses that supply and outfit hunters. Surprisingly, even though they could be taking a hit financially, some store owners and hunting guides support the boycott if it would help in overturning the recent gun control laws. Jurney, who is a professional hunting guide, approved of the Outdoor Channel’s exodus from the state.

“I would like to see support from the sporting goods industry and everybody that has a stake in it, so we could fight this kind of legislation,” said Jurney. “[…] I think it’s a good stand and if it has to come to that then so be it,”

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials have reportedly asked the state’s attorney office for a clarification of how the firearm-related laws would affect hunters. A spokesman for the department states that while there is a “potential for impact,” wildlife management should not be drastically affected.

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Senator Feinstein Introduces New “Assault Weapons” Ban

January 24, 2013

Senator Feinstein Renews Assault Weapons Ban

Earlier today, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) held a press conference detailing the introduction of a new bill to ban the importation, sale, and transfer of “assault weapons.” Feinstein was joined by fellow senators Dick Durbin and Chuck Schumer among others, as well as representatives of the armed forces and police onstage.

The bill seeks to, among other provisions:

  • Ban the importation, sale, and transfer of over 150 specifically named firearms (see list below) and semiautomatic rifles, shotguns, and pistols that feature detachable magazines and sport one or more “military characteristics”
    • Accessories or features considered “military characteristics:” pistol grip, forward grip, folding/telescoping/detachable stock, grenade or rocket launcher, barrel shroud, and threaded barrel
  • Ban the importation, sale, and transfer of “high-capacity” magazines (magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds)
  • Specifically ban accessories like Slidefire stocks and firearms featuring “bullet buttons”
  • Exempt firearms that are lawfully possessed at the time of the bill’s implementation, firearms manually operated by a bolt, pump, lever, or slide action, “assault weapons” used by military, law enforcement, and retired law enforcement, and antique firearms; along with 2,258 specifically mentioned “hunting and sporting rifles and shotguns”

The senator began her speech by expressing frustration at the recent shootings in Newtown and elsewhere, for which she claims the bill is a response to.

“The common thread in these shootings is that each gunman used a semi-automatic assault weapon or large capacity ammunition magazine,” Feinstein stated. “These massacres don’t seem to stop,” she continued, as Feinstein and others talked on the dangers of “high-capacity,” “military” grade weapons in the hands of Americans.

“No weapon is [being] taken from anyone,” Feinstein said.

What the bill will do is to ban the sale, production and distribution of roughly 150 firearms, including rifles, shotguns and pistols with “military-style” components as well as “high-capacity” magazines. In a list obtained by the Daily Caller, weapons named under the bill include all AK and AR types and their pistol configurations, in addition to other models.

Unlike the previous assault weapons ban, which Feinstein had a large role in shaping, there is little talk of an expiration date on the current proposed bill.

“The purpose of this bill is to dry up the supply of these weapons over time, therefore there is no sunset on this bill,” elaborated Feinstein.

Gun rights activists oppose these new restrictions, saying that new laws would not stop criminals from obtaining weapons or decrease shootings. Others cite the low number of murders connected to rifles and “assault weapons” specifically. According to a report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, only a small amount of homicides are committed with rifles compared to other weapons such as knives, handguns, and blunt objects.

Below is the list of firearms banned by name:

Rifles: All AK types, including the following: AK, AK47, AK47S, AK–74, AKM, AKS, ARM, MAK90, MISR, NHM90, NHM91, Rock River Arms LAR–47, SA85, SA93, Vector Arms AK–47, VEPR, WASR–10, and WUM, IZHMASH Saiga AK, MAADI AK47 and ARM, Norinco 56S, 56S2, 84S, and 86S, Poly Technologies AK47 and AKS; All AR types, including the following: AR–10, AR–15, Armalite M15 22LR Carbine, Armalite M15–T, Barrett REC7, Beretta AR–70, Bushmaster ACR, Bushmaster Carbon 15, Bushmaster MOE series, Bushmaster XM15, Colt Match Target Rifles, DoubleStar AR rifles, DPMS Tactical Rifles, Heckler & Koch MR556, Olympic Arms, Remington R–15 rifles, Rock River Arms LAR–15, Sig Sauer SIG516 rifles, Smith & Wesson M&P15 Rifles, Stag Arms AR rifles, Sturm, Ruger & Co. SR556 rifles; Barrett M107A1; Barrett M82A1; Beretta CX4 Storm; Calico Liberty Series; CETME Sporter; Daewoo K–1, K–2, Max 1, Max 2, AR 100, and AR 110C; Fabrique Nationale/FN Herstal FAL, LAR, 22 FNC, 308 Match, L1A1 Sporter, PS90, SCAR, and FS2000; Feather Industries AT–9; Galil Model AR and Model ARM; Hi-Point Carbine; HK–91, HK–93, HK–94, HK–PSG–1 and HK USC; Kel-Tec Sub–2000, SU–16, and RFB; SIG AMT, SIG PE–57, Sig Sauer SG 550, and Sig Sauer SG 551; Springfield Armory SAR–48; Steyr AUG; Sturm, Ruger Mini-14 Tactical Rife M–14/20CF; All Thompson rifles, including the following: Thompson M1SB, Thompson T1100D, Thompson T150D, Thompson T1B, Thompson T1B100D, Thompson T1B50D, Thompson T1BSB, Thompson T1–C, Thompson T1D, Thompson T1SB, Thompson T5, Thompson T5100D, Thompson TM1, Thompson TM1C; UMAREX UZI Rifle; UZI Mini Carbine, UZI Model A Carbine, and UZI Model B Carbine; Valmet M62S, M71S, and M78; Vector Arms UZI Type; Weaver Arms Nighthawk; Wilkinson Arms Linda Carbine.

Pistols: All AK–47 types, including the following: Centurion 39 AK pistol, Draco AK–47 pistol, HCR AK–47 pistol, IO Inc. Hellpup AK–47 pistol, Krinkov pistol, Mini Draco AK–47 pistol, Yugo Krebs Krink pistol; All AR–15 types, including the following: American Spirit AR–15 pistol, Bushmaster Carbon 15 pistol, DoubleStar Corporation AR pistol, DPMS AR–15 pistol, Olympic Arms AR–15 pistol, Rock River Arms LAR 15 pistol; Calico Liberty pistols; DSA SA58 PKP FAL pistol; Encom MP–9 and MP–45; Heckler & Koch model SP-89 pistol; Intratec AB–10, TEC–22 Scorpion, TEC–9, and TEC–DC9; Kel-Tec PLR 16 pistol; The following MAC types: MAC–10, MAC–11; Masterpiece Arms MPA A930 Mini Pistol, MPA460 Pistol, MPA Tactical Pistol, and MPA Mini Tactical Pistol; Military Armament Corp. Ingram M–11, Velocity Arms VMAC; Sig Sauer P556 pistol; Sites Spectre; All Thompson types, including the following: Thompson TA510D, Thompson TA5; All UZI types, including: Micro-UZI.

Shotguns: Franchi LAW–12 and SPAS 12; All IZHMASH Saiga 12 types, including the following: IZHMASH Saiga 12, IZHMASH Saiga 12S, IZHMASH Saiga 12S EXP–01, IZHMASH Saiga 12K, IZHMASH Saiga 12K–030, IZHMASH Saiga 12K–040 Taktika; Streetsweeper; Striker 12.

Belt-fed semiautomatic firearms: All belt-fed semiautomatic firearms including TNW M2HB.

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Painter Recipient of Grits Gresham Shooting Sports Communicator Award

January 16, 2013

Painter Recipient of Grits Gresham Shooting Sports Communicator Award

The Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) honored communications pioneer Doug Painter with the prestigious POMA/NSSF Grits Gresham Shooting Sports Communicator Award, an honor that recognizes extraordinary achievements in communications and in support of our hunting heritage and firearm freedoms .

Tom Gresham, Grits Gresham’s son, presented Painter with the award during the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show State of the Industry dinner.

Painter’s selection brings the award full circle. It was Painter who, in 2006, presented Grits Gresham with the NSSF Lifetime Achievement Award, which became the cornerstone for the development of the Grits Gresham Shooting Sports Communicator Award. Little did Painter know, the words he used that night to honor Gresham, would be used to honor Painter this year.

Gresham called Painter one of the finest writers in the outdoor world and cited the fact Painter ramrodded programs to put the shooting sports before millions of people.

“I’ve worked with Doug on many projects, including the ground-breaking television series ‘Shooting Sports America’ on ESPN two decades ago,” Gresham added. “As the writer and producer of many public service announcements, featuring such stars as Bing Crosby and Robert Stack, Doug showed America that shooters and hunters are responsible citizens.  Doug worked together with my father on many projects over a 30-year span.  I’m delighted the committee selected him to receive this award.”

POMA and the NSSF developed the Grits Gresham Shooting Sports Communicator Award in 2005, as NSSF was planning to honor Gresham with a lifetime achievement award. At the time, Painter was the president of NSSF and was the person who suggested and championed the presentation of a communicator’s award at SHOT Show.

The award recognizes communicators within the firearms/shooting sports/Second Amendment arena who grasp the ideals, foster the commitment, and display the talent Grits Gresham showed during his storied career.

“When the selection committee informed me Doug was the 2013 honoree, I thought back to the presentation he made to Grits in 2006,” said Laurie Lee Dovey, POMA CEO.  “The comments Doug made about Grits, fit Doug to a T.”

So many of us in this business have been richly rewarded by our experiences, whether high atop a mountain peak or hunkered down in a duck blind.  We have made our passion our profession. But as much as our honoree has received from a lifetime out-of-doors, he has given back much more.

Year after year, he has brought his great talent, his wisdom and his heart to bear in support and in defense of what all of us so much value and believe in. He was a great friend of Grits and a trail blazer for those of us in the outdoor media.

“Doug is the epitome of what this award stands for – journalistic excellence, mentoring, and an unflappable commitment to the shooting sports,” Dovey added.

Nominations for the Grits Gresham Shooting Sports Communicator Award come from all corners of the shooting sports industry. Affiliation with a communications or industry organization is not required. Shooting sports industry professionals are encouraged to make nominations through the POMA website:

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Amendment Banning Sale and Possession of High Capacity Magazines Proposed for Senate Bill

July 31, 2012

Amendment Banning Sale and Possession of High Capacity Magazines Proposed for Senate Bill

Following some calls for greater gun control after the Aurora shooting, a proposed amendment to the Senate’s Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (S.3414) was introduced this week. It includes wording which would ban the sale and possession of high capacity magazines. The proposal was granted cloture and it will now move to the amendment voting process on the floor this week. Although there is not a concrete definition of a “high capacity magazine”, the amendment (S.AMDT.2575) to the Act defines “large capacity ammunition feeding devices” in its text:


(a) Definition.–Section 921(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after paragraph (29) the following:

“(30) The term `large capacity ammunition feeding device’–

“(A) means a magazine , belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition; but

“(B) does not include an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.”.

(b) Prohibitions.–Section 922 of such title is amended by inserting after subsection (u) the following:

“(v)(1)(A)(i) Except as provided in clause (ii), it shall be unlawful for a person to transfer or possess a large capacity ammunition feeding device.

“(ii) Clause (i) shall not apply to the possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device otherwise lawfully possessed within the United States on or before the date of the enactment of this subsection.

“(B) It shall be unlawful for any person to import or bring into the United States a large capacity ammunition feeding device.

“(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to–

“(A) a manufacture for, transfer to, or possession by the United States or a department or agency of the United States or a State or a department, agency, or political subdivision of a State, or a transfer to or possession by a law enforcement officer employed by such an entity for purposes of law enforcement (whether on or off duty);

“(B) a transfer to a licensee under title I of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 for purposes of establishing and maintaining an on-site physical protection system and security organization required by Federal law, or possession by an employee or contractor of such a licensee on-site for such purposes or off-site for purposes of licensee-authorized training or transportation of nuclear materials;

“(C) the possession, by an individual who is retired from service with a law enforcement agency and is not otherwise prohibited from receiving ammunition, of a largecapacity ammunition feeding device transferred to the individual by the agency upon that retirement; or

“(D) a manufacture, transfer, or possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device by a licensed manufacturer or licensed importer for the purposes of testing or experimentation authorized by the Attorney General.”.

(c) Penalties.–Section 924(a) of such title is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(8) Whoever knowingly violates section 922(v) shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.”.

(d) Identification Markings.–Section 923(i) of such title is amended by adding at the end the following: “A large capacity ammunition feeding device manufactured after the date of the enactment of this sentence shall be identified by a serial number that clearly shows that the device was manufactured after such date of enactment, and such other identification as the Attorney General may by regulation prescribe.”.

The amendment to the Senate version of the bill was introduced by Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg (NJ) and co-sponsored by Democratic Senators Carl Levin (MI), Barbara Boxer (CA), Jack Reed (RI), Bob Menendez (NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Chuck Schumer (NY), and Dianne Feinstein (CA). A vote on the Cybersecurity Act is expected before the August recess (which begins August 6), but it faces strong opposition from privacy advocates and firearms advocates alike.

Another recent gun control proposal, which would ban the online sale of ammunition, is detailed here.

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