Isn’t It About Time We Opened Up That ‘Secret’ Gun Business?


              Our good friends at The Trace have just published a story about how an old law suit may be used to bring the gun industry out of the shadows and give everyone access to all those gun-industry ‘secrets’ which we have never been told before. The story concerns a lawsuit by the city of Gary, IN charging gun makers with failing to prevent their products from ending up in the ‘wrong hands.’

              One of the common mis-perceptions about the gun business which floats around in Gun-control Nation is the idea that the gun industry is this secret cabal of bloodthirsty gun makers who go out of their way to keep their business as quiet and as far away from public scrutiny as they can.

              The ‘public’ face of the industry, so it is said, is the NRA. But behind the scenes, working to make sure that guns end up being used to kill, injure, and maim, are these bloodsucking, ‘opaque’ gun makers whose behavior is really the reason that gun injuries even occur.

              And what is worse, these stealthy manufacturers are protected by the federal government because they are not only immunized against class-action suits under the notorious PLCCA law,  but their products are also not controlled in any way by the Consumer Products Safety Council which was set up to track injuries caused by all consumer products like bicycles and teddy bears.

              No wonder the gun industry gets away with murder in a literal sense.

              Except there’s only one little problem with this scenario, which our friends at The Trace appear to have discounted as well. And the little problem is that it’s simply not true. In fact, the gun industry is regulated to a much greater degree than any other consumer-product industry, believe it or not.

              If I want to open a store and sell cigarettes to the residents in my town, I just need to get a retail license from the Town Clerk which costs $20 bucks and open an account with the State Department of Finance so that I can send them a monthly payment for the sales tax that I collect. I also have to make sure that my store isn’t across the street from a school, and I have to post a sign in the store that I will not sell cigarettes to anyone under the age of twenty-one.

              Want to know what I have to do to sell guns along with those cigarettes? I not only have to get the retail and sales tax licenses and post the same signage in my shop, I also have to get both state and federal dealer’s licenses to receive and sell guns, along with having my shop inspected by the local police chief who then signs off on my federal license application to the ATF.

Once I get my dealer’s license from the Feds, I then have to keep meticulous records on each and every sale of a gun. I also have to make sure that every customer who buys a gun is first approved for that purchase by the FBI, and these records can all be examined at any time by an ATF team which can walk into my shop without prior notification of a any kind, and hang around checking these records for as long as they like.

Incidentally, these ATF inspectors can and do also show up and examine the same information at every gun-making company and every wholesaler who sells guns to retailers like me.

Are you going to tell me that cigarettes are less dangerous than guns, particularly now that many of the most devoted cigarette addicts are switching to vapes whose health risks we still don’t even understand?

The article in The Trace laments the fact that 16,000 people will be killed this year in gun homicides. The CDC says that more than 440,000 people will die from smoking this year.

And everyone’s so concerned about bringing the ‘secret’ gun industry into the open? Give me a break.

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The Media Commits To Writing The Truth About Guns.


 Back in April, the Columbia Journalism Review held a ‘summit’ meeting on gun violence. Or to be more accurate, the meeting was held to address how and why journalists write their stories about guns. The event was evidently attended by the usual suspects from the mainstream media and resulted in the publication of a series of guidelines to which all the ‘responsible’ folks who do media coverage of gun violence are rushing to subscribe.

Here are the guidelines, courtesy of The Trace, which considers itself to be one of those responsible journalistic efforts par excellence:

  • We pledge to cover gun violence like the unfolding health crisis it is.
  • We pledge to allocate the time and resources needed to cover this crisis.
  • We pledge to acknowledge and address racist coverage.
  • We pledge to cover mass shootings as part of the larger gun violence problem.
  • We pledge to focus our resources on grassroots efforts.
  • We pledge to learn the lessons of the pandemic.

Now I may be a little stupid, or perhaps it’s just that I’m a 76-year-old gun nut which makes me kind of dumb, but I always thought that journalists didn’t need to subscribe to any sort of guidelines beyond the basic guideline which requires that they tell the truth. And in order to tell the truth about any issue on which you want to exercise your journalistic training, experience, and skills, it seems to me that the first and most important prerequisite is that you know at least something about the subject you are writing about.

Do the journalists who attended the CJR’s summit on gun violence know something about violence?  I’m sure they do. Do they know something about racism? Ditto that one too. Do they know something about mass shootings? That’s an easy one – there’s at least one mass shooting every week, sometimes every day.

But what I find both interesting and somewhat aggravating (but remember, I’m just an old, White gun nut living on 15 acres of woodland in Western Massachusetts) is that none of these journalists seem to know anything about the industry whose products create something we call gun violence.  In fact, I don’t recall the last time I ever read a single story about gun violence which said anything about how and why the products that create the violence are designed, manufactured, advertised, or sold.

Give you one quick example of how completely devoid the reportage on gun violence is from any kind of reality about guns. Ever hear of a group called the NASGW? It’s the trade group owned by the 30 national gun distributors who sell at least 90% of the guns made and imported every year which end up in the hands of consumers and then, in some cases, wind up in the street.

Every year the NASGW holds a meeting where the gun makers get together with the wholesalers, the road reps, and the PR outfits. The companies that make optics, ammunition and accessories show up too. They spend two days talking about the gun market and talking about which products they are going to promote, the prices they are going to charge, and the narratives which will be used to promote those products over the next year.

Want to understand how and why certain kinds of guns end up being used to commit gun violence or what the CJR manifesto refers to as the ‘unfolding health crisis?’ You can subscribe to the CJR guidelines all you want, but if you don’t spend two days walking around the NASGW meeting, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Several years ago, I sent an email to a dozen gun researchers and journalists asking if any of them had ever heard of the NASGW, never mind covering their annual event. How many responded in the affirmative? If you guess ‘none,’ you happen to be correct.

If and when my friends who do research or reportage on gun violence ever figure out that maybe, just maybe they need to learn at least something about the industry whose existence is the reason we experience gun violence, I’ll be happy to help them out.

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Will We Ever Get Anything Other Than ‘Fake News’ About Guns?

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              Maybe the rate of pandemic infections is finally starting to go down, certainly there seems to be in most locations a clear drop in the number of patients being hospitalized with Covid-19. But one thing which hasn’t seemed to be negatively impacted by the pandemic are the stories about guns and gun violence which continue to be wrong.

              The latest nonsense came out yesterday in a story from WENY News in Ithaca, NY with the headline that has become all too common everywhere: ‘Gun Background Checks Soared in April.’ Let me tell you how they ‘soared.’

              FBI-NICS background checks for handgun transfers ‘soared’ from 1,392,677 in March to 961,947 last month.  Want to tell me how a month-to-month drop of 31 percent is some kind of soar? As for year-to-date sales, there were 984,872 handgun checks in April 2020, as opposed to 961,947 in April 2021. That’s only a drop of 2 percent, but it sure ain’t no increase at all.

              So, where’s all these soaring gun sales taking place? They are taking place, according to this story, in high-crime areas where people now feel they need guns to protect themselves from the hordes who are making the street unsafe. One such high-crime area is the town of Des Plaines, IL, where the owner of a gun shop says that he’s selling every gun in the place.

              Now the fact that the crime rate in Des Plaines happens to be 50 percent below the national crime rate average, so what? Obviously, this gun shop is being overwhelmed by all the people coming up from Chicago, right?  Meanwhile, the reporter who wrote this story could have asked the owner of the Des Plaines gun shop to scan through the FBI-NICS background check forms from last month just to see exactly how many customers who bought guns from him actually live in the Windy City. God forbid a reporter would actually attempt to verify what she is told by someone who has a vested interest in promoting the sale of guns.

              But the story gets better as we read down through the text. Demand for guns in Illinois may not be reflected just by counting FBI-NICS background checks in that state. The next-door state, Indiana, according to this story, had 187,000 background checks last month, the third highest in the entire U.S.A.

              In fact, this statement is so far away from being true that I really don’t understand how it got into the story at all. Background checks in Indiana for gun transfers didn’t even reach 50,000.  The reporter seems to believe that when the FBI-NICS phone bank does a background check on a gun license renewal that this should be counted as the transfer of a gun.

              Good. Let the reporter believe whatever she wants to believe. She can also believe that the Covid-19 virus actually came back from a secret mission to Mars, or maybe it’s another new weapon being tested at Area 51.

              I’m going to cut today’s column off a bit short, but I think you get the point. When it comes to disinformation floating around the last several years, you don’t need to get disinformed by watching Fox News or CNN. You can just go to Google, do a search for ‘guns,’ or ‘gun violence,’ and what will come up are endless stories from various news sources which are just as misinformed as the story published yesterday on WENY.

              In the interests of full disclosure (a phrase I love almost as much as I love the phrase ‘we are fully cooperating with the investigation’) I should add that the story contains this following statement: This story and headline have been corrected. An earlier version overstated the number of gun sales that have been recorded in Illinois.

              If the editors at WENY believe that the story is now accurate and true, all I can say is what Grandpa would have said, “Oy, zuch en vai,” I’d rather not say what it means.

Glen Artis: Tips and Tricks for Reloaders.


We all love going to the range to practice our aim or to simply keep our trigger fingers busy. Problem is ammo is expensive, and you need lots of it if you frequent the range. So how do you ensure you have a constant supply of ammunition at the lowest cost possible?

Purchasing a progressive reloading press is the best way to do it. With a progressive reloading press, you will need to stock on primers, powder, and bullets. More importantly, though, is the reloading press you decide to splash money on.

While there are several different types of reloading presses, the progressive reloading press is the best. These types of presses are capable of producing 400 rounds per hour. Also, they offer precision and efficiency that is hard to come by with other types of reloading presses. 

That being said, here are five useful tips on how to pick out the best progressive reloading press in a saturated market. 

Ease of use

There are three main types of reloading presses, single-stage, turret, and progressive reloading presses. Of the three progressive reloading presses are the most complex. As such, they tend to be a handful for beginners.

Nevertheless, some of the progressive reloading presses available today are easier to use and assemble than others. Depending on your level of experience, it may help to invest in a press that is a bit easier to use than most.

Question is, how do you know a reloading press will be easy to use or assemble? The general rule of thumb is that presses with fewer moving parts are easier to use.

The production rate

The production rate or reloading rate is the number of rounds a press can produce within a given time, typically in an hour. This factor is dependent on several things key among them, the automatic indexing feature.

So should you go for a reloading press with an automatic indexing feature or one without? Typically, those with automatic indexing have a higher production rate. However, this is not necessarily a good thing.

To understand why we need to delve a little bit into machines with automatic indexing. Presses with this feature will automatically size, prime, operate powder measure, and seat a bullet. Those that lack this feature have to be manually operated.

A manual press gives you more freedom to scrutinize the entire process, as nothing happens without your contribution. This is beneficial for beginners, but if you have experience with progressive reloading press, the automatic indexing feature will be a big plus.

Caliber changing system

When you have different caliber bullets to reload, you will need to make changes to your reloading press. This is where the caliber changing system comes in. This is another aspect that affects a reloader’s production rate.

If you frequent the range and want to produce a large amount of rounds, consider a reloading press with a caliber changing system.

Number of stations

Progressive reloading presses feature different numbers of stations, with each station having a unique function. On average progressive reloading presses can have anywhere between 3 and 8 stations.

The more the number of stations, the more simultaneous tasks can be performed. This translates to a higher production rate. However, most people can be sufficiently served by a press with 4 to 5 stations.

With 4 to 5 stations, you will be able to produce a substantial amount of either pistol or rifle ammunition. It is worth noting that presses with more stations cost more. Thus you may have to cough up to $1000 for a press with eight stations.


Progressive reloading presses cost between $300 and $1000. For most people, a $300 reloading press is sufficient. A pricier model will have extra features that allow you to do more. However, some of the features found on pricier models may not be practical to you. 

This is especially if you are generally inexperienced when it comes to using progressive reloading presses.


There are many different kinds of progressive reloading presses on the market, each with its pros and cons. When it comes down to it, the best progressive reloading press is the one that best suits you. If you are new to these types of presses, some of the more complex and pricier models may not be ideal for you. 

News and Notes – Vol. 2

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I did an interesting podcast here.

Dana Loesch Opens Her Mouth About Guns And Gets It Wrong Again.

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When the NRA has to join forces with the paranoid fantasists who shoot their mouths off on The Blaze, you know that a decision has been made by the folks in Fairfax to abandon even a shred of reality-based discussion in order to hold onto their ever-dwindling base.  And like it or not, the number of Americans who own guns keeps dropping, which means that in order to sell more guns, a way has to be found to convince current gun owners to buy more, and more, and more.  And the game plan that has always worked in this regard is to sell the idea that Armageddon in the form of gun confiscation is right around the corner or lurking down the block.

The most successful use of this strategy occurred over the last seven years due to the fact that our President made no bones about the fact that he was, generally speaking, anti-gun.  So it was easy for the gun industry to remind its supporters that Obama was the tenant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, a conclusion that spoke for itself.  Of course the problem now is that he can’t run again; but until January 20, 2017 we can remind the gun folks that he’s still capable of doing terrible things.

loeschnranews               And who better to push the most conspiratorial argument from this point of view than Dana Loesch, who got going as a right-wing noisemaker promoting her own, nutty view of the world on The Blaze, but has now been hired by the NRA.  And her inaugural video, which floated onto YouTube yesterday, is a combination of conspiracy, fear-mongering and downright falsehoods that could put even the most ardent conspiracy theorists (I’m thinking of Jade Helm, for example) to shame.

The only statement in Dana’s entire spiel that even remotely aligns with the truth is when she says early on that Obama is considering using Executive Orders to expand government regulation over guns.  In fact, the Kenyan has made it clear that he is looking at options to close some loopholes which, under current gun laws, let individuals transfer large quantities of guns without undergoing NICS-background checks.  And what this would amount to is making a clear distinction between the gun owner who buys, sells or transfers guns from time to time because he’s a hobbyist and he just enjoys fooling around with guns, as opposed to the guy who brings 50 ‘personally-owned’ handguns into a gun show, sells these guns and then restocks his inventory to sell more guns for profit at the next show.  I’m not saying that a gun transferred without a NICS-background check is necessarily going to wind up in the ‘wrong hands.’  But you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that someone who can’t pass a background check today still won’tencounter any great difficulty if he wants to get his hands on a gun.

So here’s how Dana puts it: “You see, the President could use his pen to require that even the simplest transfer of a firearm between family members, like if my husband handed a rifle to his oldest son, be treated in accordance with FFL requirements.” She then goes on to paint a frightening picture of the ATF coming into the home of every gun owner, kind of a throwback to Wayne-o’s calling the ATF ‘jack-booted thugs,’ in a fundraising letter sent to the membership in 1995.

This extraordinary mangling of gun law, you should know, comes out of the mouth of someone who claims to have written a book about guns and Constitutional law.  But the fact is that the entire FFL system, as defined by GCA68, has nothing to do with personal transfers at all.  Dana obviously doesn’t know the difference between personal transfers on the one hand and business transactions on the other.  But why should she care? Do you honestly believe that anyone who takes her rubbish seriously is interested in an evidence-based discussion about guns?

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