Saturday, May 16, 2009

Gun Rights News Roundup

Articles, news stories, and op-eds of interest to gun owners:

[D.C.] Gunowners of America praises Coburn Amendment legalizing National Parks carry:
Gun owners won a long-fought victory in the U.S. Senate yesterday with the passage of an amendment to repeal the gun ban on National Park Service (NPS) and National Wildlife Refuge System land.

GOA was the driving force behind this amendment and lobbied Senators hard prior to the vote to get the provision passed. The amendment, offered by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), passed overwhelmingly by a vote of 67-29. People can see how their Senators voted on the Coburn amendment by clicking here. ...

Report of "anti-aircraft gun" seizure: Another Mexican lie?:
Mexican federal police commander Gen. Rodolfo Cruz Lopez described a weapon seized last month from one of the nation’s deadly “drug cartels” as a .50 caliber anti-aircraft gun that fires 6-inch armor-piercing bullets at the rate of 800 rounds per minute.

The mainstream media coverage on both sides of the border trumpeted the capture of this Rambo-style machine gun as evidence of the increasing danger the drug-trafficking organizations pose to civil society.

A report on the seized “anti-aircraft” weapon by the Associated Press noted that “assailants have fired on government aircraft performing anti-drug missions in Mexico in the past, but apparently never with the caliber of weapon found Monday [April 13 in northern Mexico].”

But there is just one problem with this narrative. According to U.S. law enforcers, specifically the ATF, the captured weapon is not what it appears to be, or at least what it was purported to be by the Mexican police commander.

In fact, according to Bill Newell, special agent in charge of ATF in Arizona and New Mexico, the so-called 800 rpm “anti-aircraft gun” isn’t a machine gun at all, but rather a WWII-era semi-automatic replica of a Browning machine gun made by a U.S. company.
A spokesman for [firearms manufacturer] TNW, who asked that his name not be used, stresses that his company re-manufactures WWII-era machine guns, converting them into semi-automatic (one-bullet-per-trigger-pull) weapons, which it then sells to wealthy collectors, WWII re-enactors, movie companies and museums. He says the guns are remanufactured, with ATF oversight, and are re-engineered so that they can “never be made into machine guns again.”
The TNW spokesman adds that, in his mind, it would make no sense for a drug trafficking organization to purchase a TNW replica Browning, which sell for in excess of $10,000 a pop, when they could get the real thing much cheaper and without the same risk through the black market — even from corrupt elements within Mexico’s own military. [emphasis added] ...

Comment: Hey, the Mexican government would never lie, would they?

A note on primer availability:
We have had a lot of concerned customers calling to ask about primer availability. Actually, our lines have been flooded with calls regarding the availability of primers as well as the availability of other components. The easiest and quickest way to check on availability is through our new website, whether you plan on phoning an order in, ordering off the web, or using some other means. The following is our view on the current primer situation. Basically, there has been a two-pronged drain on primer supplies for the reloading market.

The first driving force has been the huge demand for loaded ammunition through 2008 and continuing into 2009. The large primer manufacturers like ATK (which would include Federal and CCI), Winchester, and Remington are directing the majority of their primers into loaded ammunition. Ammunition sales are going through the roof as individuals stock up because of political concerns. The huge consumer demand for ammo is in addition to the demand from law enforcement agencies and our military to re-supply their own inventories. I know that smaller ammunition manufacturers have been impacted drastically by the primer shortage since their demands are higher than normal for primers that they have to obtain through Federal, CCI, Winchester, Remington, etc. Many of these smaller manufacturers have had to go to other sources to get quality primers. Because of this situation, some of them cannot keep up with their own ammunition production. Unfortunately, these smaller ammo makers can’t control their own destiny since they don’t have the capacity or tooling to make primers.

I mentioned that there were two factors impacting primer availability; the first factor is creating the second one. Since ammo demand has consumed more of the primer supply than normal, the quantity of primers on the shelf has declined at the box stores, the reloading companies (like Sinclair), and the smaller gun shops. With the fast communication via the internet, the word spreads quickly and the result has been consumers stockpiling and hoarding primers. Individuals are buying and keeping more primers in their own personal inventories and this has prevented some reloaders from having any primers at all. We normally see people buying 1,000 or maybe 5,000 primers at a time, now we are seeing customers buying 25,000 at a time. [emphasis added] ...

[Arizona] House OKs guns in parking lots bill:
PHOENIX – The state House has overwhelmingly approved a bill that would permit a gun owner to keep a weapon out of sight in a locked vehicle in a parking lot or garage.

House approval of the bill on Wednesday on a 41-10 vote sends it to the state Senate, which has not yet begun considering non-budget bills during the current session.

Supporters said the bill would serve Arizonans who want to have guns in vehicles for self-defense and recreational purposes. Critics said it tramples on private property rights and overturns employers' bans of weapons on their property. ...

Civilian disarmament - United Nations says do it "for the children":
... In another United Nations official publication ("Guide to the Implementation of the World Programme of Action for Youth"), the U.N. urges member nations to "explore enacting bans on all handguns to civilians or certain cheap models that are attractive to youth."

The U.N. agenda for children does not stop with the direct disarming of individuals. Article 29 of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child imposes educational standards on nations that become parties to the treaty. This includes "peace education," which in other U.N. contexts means disarmament education. The U.N. World Congress on Disarmament Education adopted the following statements:
Definition of disarmament

For the purposes of disarmament education, disarmament may be understood as any form of action aimed at limiting, controlling or reducing arms, including unilateral disarmament initiatives and, ultimately, general and complete disarmament under effective international control. It may also be understood as a process aimed at transforming the current system of armed nation states into a new world order of planned unarmed peace, in which war is no longer an instrument of national policy and peoples determine their own future and live in security based on justice and solidarity.

While our Second Amendment should be interpreted broadly to protect gun ownership, there is significant reason to believe that pressure will be placed on legislative bodies to tell adults that, while they may still own guns, they must be kept in another location if children are present in the home.

The U.N. is not content with regulating our families and children. They want us to march into a New World Order without weapons. Our families and our means of defending our families are in significant peril.

The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child must be defeated. ...

So where are all the guns?:
For the past five weeks, hundreds of agents participating in a newly intensified $95 million outbound inspection program have been stepping into southbound traffic lanes, stopping suspicious-looking cars and trucks.

The Associated Press fanned out to the busiest crossings along the Mexican border - San Diego, Nogales, El Paso and Laredo - to see how effective the inspections are.

The findings? Wads of U.S. currency headed for Mexico, wedged into car doors, stuffed under mattresses, taped onto torsos, were sniffed out by dogs, seized by agents and locked away for possible investigations. No guns were found as the reporters watched; they rarely are.

"I do not believe we can even make a dent in (southbound smuggling) because that assumes the cartels are complete idiots, which they're not. Why in the world would they try to smuggle weapons and currency through a checkpoint when there are so many other options?" said Border Patrol Agent T.J. Bonner, president of the agents' union.

According to CBP, between March 12 and April 30 officers seized:

• Fifty-one pieces of ammunition, weapons parts and guns, a minuscule fraction of the 2,000 weapons the Mexican government estimates are smuggled south every day. ...

Comment: Doesn't it make you all warm and fuzzy knowing we spent a month and half, using hundreds of agents, to nab "[f]ifty-one pieces of ammunition, weapons parts and guns"? What's that, like a box of ammo, and an empty magazine or an old rusted pistol? Granted, the article says we also netted $12 million in cash. Not bad for a $95 million dollar program. Ok, I'm being a little facetious here, given that the $95 million program probably funds more than a month and a half of interdiction efforts. Still, it doesn't seem like the program will stop the mythical "Iron River of Guns" that the politicians and mainstream media insist is flowing into Mexico from the U.S. via retail gun channels, now does it? Maybe we'll have to rename it the "Iron Tiny Little Trickle of Guns". :)

Oh oh: Iron River of Guns moves to Jamaica, mon:
I've mentioned Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) before, regarding his letter to President Obama, urging him to impose an executive order banning the importation of so-called "assault weapons." Here's Engel's justification for taking that course of action:
Over 90% of firearms confiscated yearly in Mexico orginate in the United States.

In other words, although the supposed exportation of firearms was cited as the problem, the banning of their importation was offered as the solution.

Even ignoring that strange bit of "logic," a major problem with that idea (beyond, of course, the fact that criminal misuse of smuggled firearms in other countries does not constitute a legitimate reason to attack our rights in the U.S.), is that the "90%" figure has zero basis in reality (Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea has been following that story, and helping to expose that lie, for quite a while now, and provided a nice summary yesterday).

Perhaps because more and more of the public is catching on to the fact that "90%" of the Mexican drug cartels' guns do not come from the U.S., Engel is looking for a new angle (sorry--couldn't help myself), and is now applying the "90%" figure to Jamaica, as well. ...

[Arizona] Ammo shortages continue:
Grab a phone book and call every gun shop across the Valley.

You will probably hear the same thing. It’s been nearly impossible to keep ammunition on their shelves.

Some companies, like Sportsman’s Warehouse in Phoenix, have had to post signs letting people know that handgun ammo and other popular rounds are sold out.

On Wednesday, the store started a new policy that customers can only buy two boxes per day.

Manger Mark Russell said no one could have ever expected this level of demand.

Jenni Rigs works the cast register and said she was seeing people buying boxes of ammunition by the cart full. ...

[Ohio] Ammo in short supply:
Continuing a nationwide trend that began before November's presidential election, area gun retailers are reporting an increase in firearms sales.

The result? Heightened demand has diminished ammunition availability at retail locations throughout the U.S. Although gun sales tend to go up during times of economic hardship, retailers, gun owners and industry insiders credit rising sales and declining supply to fear that President Barack Obama and a Democratically controlled Congress will enact strict gun-control measures.

As shortages have grown, stores -- including Wal-Marts in Ashland, Mansfield and Wooster -- have limited ammo purchases on certain varieties to ensure availability to more customers. Manufacturers have cranked up production in response to demand. Winchester Ammunition has a notice on its Web site updating its production status.

"Our team is literally working around the clock to make quality ammunition available for purchase," Winchester Ammunition's Web site states.

Outside Ashland on U.S. 250 East at Fin, Feather & Fur Outfitters, demand for firearms, ammunition, gun safes and reloading supplies has soared to "unprecedented" levels in the store's 23-year history, said manager Jake Jacobs. Demand has limited availability of even the most common ammunition, such as .22-caliber long rifle bullets typically associated with target shooting and introductory firearms training. Scarcity has caused prices on some products to jump since the election, Jacobs said. [emphasis added] ...

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