New Firearm Laws Benefit Firearms Industry…the Data Speaks

Photo courtesy of National Shooting Sports Foundation

  • Firearms Industry Economic Impact Rises 171% Since 2008
  • Since 2008, federal tax payments increased by 164 percent
  • Pittman-Robertson excise taxes to support wildlife conservation increased by 100 percent
  • State business taxes increased by 120 percent

From the National Shooting Sports Foundation®, the firearm industry trade association in Newtown, Connecticut, we learn that the total economic impact of the firearms and ammunition industry in the United States increased from $19.1 billion in 2008 to $52.1 billion in 2018.  That’s a 171 percent increase.

The total number of full-time equivalent jobs rose from approximately 166,000 to almost 312,000. That’s an 88 percent increase in that same period. 

On a more recent year-over-year basis, the firearm industry economic impact rose from $51.4 billion in 2017 to $52.1 billion in 2018, ticking higher even while the industry came off-peak production years. Total jobs increased from nearly 311,000 to almost 312,000 in the same period.

“Our industry is proud to be one of the steady and reliable producers and manufacturers in our economy as Americans continue to exercise their fundamental right to keep and bear arms, and to safely enjoy the shooting sports,” said Stephen L. Sanetti, NSSF CEO. “Our workforce is steadily adding good jobs to our local economies averaging $50,000 a year in wages and benefits. In addition, since 2008 we increased federal tax payments by 164 percent, Pittman-Robertson excise taxes that support wildlife conservation by 100 percent and state business taxes by 120 percent.”

The Firearms and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report: 2019 provides a state-by-state breakdown of job numbers, wages and output covering direct, supplier and induced employment, as well as federal excise taxes paid. Access the full report here.

About NSSF: The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, visit nssf.org.

Bland, Basic, Boring and Black

By Beth Alcazar  // 02/27/2018

Not too long ago, I was working with a group of USCCA Instructor candidates, watching them, as they endeavored to pass their shooting qualification. My teammate noticed that one of the students had an image of the Punisher on the base plates of her magazines. Of course, to those who enjoy firearms (and perhaps a bit of gun collecting), this would not be a big deal. What firearms enthusiast or competitive shooter doesn’t enjoy some modification or personalization? It’s kind of a natural progression to go from out-of-the-box to customized and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Whether it’s the addition of an aftermarket Crimson Trace laser or an American flag Cerakote finish, owners can gain a lot of extra usefulness and enjoyment from a firearm that’s been modified beyond its original configuration. But these customized magazines happened to go with her everyday carry gun. Her self-defense gun. And that’s where things can get a bit tricky.

I’m far from an expert on legal issues, but in a litigious society filled with anti-gun nuttery, a firearm that’s been modified can mean trouble, especially if the owner has modified the action (changed the trigger so it’s smoother or lighter). To an eager prosecutor, that can translate to a gun owner who’s looking for a fight, hoping to shoot someone and wanting to kill. Of course, we in the gun community know that’s not true in the slightest. But it is something to consider. While a mass-produced firearm follows designs and specifications that can be replicated and supported, an altered firearm could potentially be labeled “unsafe,” “dangerous” or even “more lethal.”

Click on the illustration/link above for membership information to join the USCCA.

If you are ever involved in a self-defense shooting, your gun will be seized as evidence. Firearms experts will study the ammunition used and will inspect the gun (along with magazines and accessories) to make sure it functions properly, the safeties work and the trigger pull meets factory specifications. Any distinctive features or anomalies, possibly caused by modifications, will be noted. So … how would it look if your carry gun had a purple Holoflake glitter finish … or had the Punisher (a fictional vigilante who employs murder, kidnapping, extortion, coercion and violence in his campaign against crime) emblazoned on the magazines? Would a jury look favorably on that? At this point, you may be wishing your gun was bland, basic, boring and black.

Undoubtedly, whether or not you modify your concealed carry handgun is a very personal decision. I’m not saying that people shouldn’t change the grip on a firearm to fit their hands. But if you can’t articulate exactly why you put that whiz-bang trigger in your Glock 19, then don’t put it in. However, if you can explain it and justify it, go ahead and have it professionally installed by a competent gunsmith (with verifiable credentials) if you don’t have an armorer certification. And be able to explain why the original plastic sights were exchanged for better ones or why that Surefire X300 is on there. If the modifications were done to increase accuracy and reliability, then you’re increasing the safety of yourself and others …which is why we carry a self-defense gun in the first place.

All in all, always be cautious and consider leaving your self-defense gun and magazines exactly the way they came out of the box. When it comes to everyday carry, you don’t want your firearm to look unique, function differently or grab attention. Always keep safety at the forefront. Save those bells and whistles for the competition gun! And when in doubt, just remember to think: bland, basic, boring and black.

About the USCCA:  The USCCA (United States Concealed Carry Association) is a membership organization that provides education, training and the insurance-backed Self-Defense SHIELD to responsibly armed Americans like you.  Since its inception in 2003, and together with its flagship publication Concealed Carry Magazine, the USCCA has proudly supported a community of hundreds of thousands of patriots from all around the country. It’s our mission to arm our loyal members with the tools they need to safely and confidently protect themselves and their loved ones with the utmost peace of mind. 

Our USCCA Team is dedicated to providing you with an unprecedented experience. In an ever-changing, fast-paced world, our team still believes in good, old-fashioned American customer service. When you call our award-winning team, whether in an emergency or even just to say hi, you’ll be graciously greeted by a friendly voice—and a warm, Midwestern accent! You’ll never be passed through an unhelpful phone tree or be put on hold with the insurance company.

Questions? Contact us by phone at: 1-855-388-4077 (Central Time), Monday-Friday 8am-10pm, Saturday 9am-2pm, or online at: https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/contact/.

NSSF Announces 2017 Scholarship Winners

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is the trade association for the firearms industry with a mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting, and the shooting sports.  The NSSF recently announced the 2017 scholarships that will award $60,000 to winners.

From Newtown, CT., the National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms industry, is pleased to announce that it has chosen the winners of its 2017 Voting Member Scholarship Essay Contest. Open to the employees and qualifying family members of NSSF’s Voting Member companies, the annual contest awards $60,000 divided between 25 winners, including one grand prize winner who receives $8,000 to apply toward their college costs. NSSF received a total of 66 qualified entries this year.

In refreshing this annual contest, NSSF offered two submission options for the scholarship program. The first option required a written essay, with specific formatting guidelines, on one of the following two topics:

·         How important is the U.S. Supreme Court to protecting the rights of American citizens to keep and bear arms?

·         Passing the Torch: A personal story of an experienced shooter or hunter passing traditions on to family and friends.

The second submission option required a written script designed to provide voiceover narration for a video (though no actual video submission was required). The three script topic choices were:

·         What hunting means to me and to wildlife conservation.

·         How learning to target shoot has benefitted me as a person.

·         What non-hunters would be surprised to learn about hunting.

Matthew Willey, whose mother is employed by Olin Corp., was chosen as the grand prize winner. Matthew will be a senior at St. Louis University this fall, was selected as the grand prize winner. For his scholarship submission, he chose to tackle the Supreme Court topic in traditional essay format. His essay in part read:

For the majority of the last 70 or so years, the most important Supreme Court ruling pertaining to the right to gun ownership was 1939’s United States v. Miller. In that case, an Arizona district court ruled that two men who had been indicted for transporting a sawed-off shotgun across state lines, should not have been indicted, as the regulations preventing them from legally transporting that firearm were unconstitutional. This decision was appealed to the Supreme Court, which chose to interpret the 2nd amendment as pertaining only to the regulation of a militia … . This ruling was the preeminent ruling concerning the 2nd amendment for the rest of the 20th century, and it set a damaging precedent to gun rights in this country.

Fortunately, things changed relatively recently. In 2008’s landmark case, District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court once again addressed the interpretation of the 2nd amendment. … In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court interpreted the second amendment as providing a right to self-protection.  It is important to remember here that in a common law system, a law must be enforced as it is interpreted by the courts. Therefore, whatever questions existed about the legal meaning of the 2nd amendment prior to District of Columbia v. Heller, the meaning is now clear and binding.

This is not to say that the battle for gun rights has emphatically been won. It is perfectly conceivable that in some future case the Supreme Court may revisit the 2nd amendment, and thus open the door to a new interpretation. Moreover, the ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller was not without its ambiguity, meaning that more challenges to gun rights may loom in the future. The one thing that is for certain is that if these challenges reach the Supreme Court, the decisions made by those nine justices will shape the law for the entire nation. Therefore, despite recent victories, it is vital that the Supreme Court be populated by men and women who respect the rights of gun owners. When it comes to the law, a strong Supreme Court is more powerful than any legislator, or any president.

Other winners included the $5,000 first place entrant, Nathan Huelsmann, who will be a senior at Missouri University of Science and Technology in the Fall and whose father also works for Olin, and the $3,000 second place winner Ian Murphy, will be a Junior at the Oregon Institute of Technology in the fall and whose father is employed by Sturm, Ruger & Co. Twenty-two other winners received $2,000 each for their successful entries. See the full list of scholarship recipients and the entire winning essay.

About NSSF
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, visit www.nssf.org.

Firearms and Common Sense after Orlando

History, Politics, Facts and the Changing Public View

By Budd Schroeder

firearms
Everyone in America that has been here since the days of old-time values is worried about the thought of a terrorist attack. What has changed? Forrest Fisher Photo

As the investigation of the Orlando terrorist attack continues, many gun owners get nervous about how legislators may attempt to use this atrocity as an excuse to infringe on Second Amendment rights.  They use the line that this is the worst mass shooting in American history.  However, they neglect to mention the massacres that occurred at Sand Creek or Wounded Knee.  That is understandable because the US Army massacred unarmed Indians and that was a government action.

It is a matter of perception and perspective and of course, the government would like those actions forgotten, but they do continue to tell stories about the Little Big Horn where the Indians fought back and annihilated the Seventh Calvary.

Many of the media and politicians are also deceiving the public by calling the gun used in Orlando an “assault weapon.”  This is a misnomer.  An assault weapon is a rifle that is capable of full automatic fire by the use of a selector switch.  That is a truly “military weapon” like a machine gun and is not allowed to be possessed by civilians except under very strict and limited conditions.  They are totally illegal in most states.

Yet, the politicians and liberal media are calling for a ban on their definition of the “assault weapon” and universal background checks.  Most honest gun owners object to these laws because they don’t work and it is further infringements on the Second Amendment.

When those guns were banned in the 90’s there was no significant difference in the gun deaths.  When the law was repealed with the sunset law, there was still a decrease in the number of gun deaths.  What really confuses the anti-gun crowd is that gun sales have skyrocketed, the number of states passing concealed carry permits increased, and what is formally defined as “gun violence” continues to drop.

That is also an emotional label.  Guns are not violent.  The term should be “criminal misuse of firearms.”  That is accurate.  People don’t blame alcohol or the car if a drunk driver kills people.  They blame the person who deliberately drinks until he or she becomes too impaired to make rational decisions and their motor skills are diminished.

Nobody in the media suggests that the real problem is the easy access to alcohol.  In fact, the New York legislators just passed a bill that makes it possible for drunks to start drinking at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays; earlier in some establishments with a special permit.  The drinking laws are strange in other ways.  If a person gets a felony DWI they can never own a gun, although a gun was not involved in the felony.  Wouldn’t it make more sense for a serious charge like a felony involving a car to forbid him from having a driver’s license or owning a car for the rest of his life?

It is a good bet that would never be the law because that could involve politicians, law enforcement officers and people who have power and influence.  That is the way the system appears to work.

On another proposal, the call is for people who are on the “no fly list” to be denied the right to purchase a gun.  Nobody wants a terrorist, criminal, drug addict or a person with mental difficulties, to have a gun.  However, before a person is put on the NICS list for a background check he should be afforded due process as provided by the Fourteenth Amendment.

Since the SAFE act was passed in New York this has become an issue.  A person can be denied his or her gun rights on a report.  There is no due process.  It is grossly unfair and unconstitutional, but what can we expect from a law that was passed literally in the middle of the night by a majority of corrupt politicians?  Two of the architects of the debacle, Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos were convicted of corruption and have since been sentenced to prison.

When a politician wants to deprive the citizenry of their constitutional rights, it should be the big red flag that they want to destroy the principles upon which the country was founded.  The Second Amendment was placed in such a high place in the Bill of Rights was because the Founding Fathers wanted the people to be more powerful than the government.  We have politicians who appear to not agree with that balance of power and it seems that every time the legislatures end for the year, we lose a right or even a privilege.

Since the Founding Fathers wanted to protect the people against the possibility of despotic government they wanted an armed citizenry.  Since the government controls the military, doesn’t it seem strange that some legislators want to ban military style weapons for civilians?  One former legislator running for office wants to take on the National Rifle Association.

That seems strange since with the criminal misuse of guns that none of the people involved in the shootings were accused of being NRA members.  Maybe that’s because the NRA has a reputation for having responsible, patriotic members.  They are held in higher regard by citizens than members of Congress.

There must be a reason for that.