Giffords Law Center Presents Anti-Gun Arguments That Contradict Not Only The Constitution, But Their Own Positions

Herschel Smith · 22 Apr 2020 · 6 Comments

In an Amicus Brief submitted to the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, Miller versus Becerra, the Giffords Law Center and associated attorneys make the following argument. Such combat-style features distinguish military rifles and their semi-automatic counterparts from standard sporting rifles, and are not “merely cosmetic”—they “serve specific, combat-functional ends.” H. Rep. No. 103-489, at 18. The Regulated Assault Rifles include features that…… [read more]

Remington To Sell?

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 6 days ago

Strange news.

Remington Arms, America’s oldest gun maker, is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and is in advanced talks for a potential sale to the Navajo Nation, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Remington is making preparations for the Native American tribe to serve as the lead bidder to purchase its assets out of Chapter 11, the Journal reported here, citing people familiar with the matter.

The report added that the filing could come with in days.

I think everyone in the gun community expected Remington to go down the toilet, especially after being bought by Cerberus with financial “engineers” skimming money from profits.

But this is odd – Navajo Nation?  I wonder what that’s all about?  What does Navajo Nation intend to do with Remington?

Southern States Continue To Lure Gun Makers

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 3 weeks ago

New Hampshire Union Leader.

It took two decades of wooing, millions in tax credits and the gift of a free factory, but Georgia finally bagged its quarry. A Brazil-based gunmaker agreed to move from the Miami area to a small town just north of the Florida border.

Taurus Holdings is expected to bring 300 jobs to Bainbridge, population 12,000. In exchange, Taurus will receive a government-incentive package that’s worth more than the $30 million the company said in 2017 it was willing to spend to settle claims that it manufactured defective firearms.

Gunmakers are weathering tough times that render their business unappealing to many communities. But economic-development officials in sympathetic political and regulatory environments like Georgia are competing relentlessly for the industry’s relatively stable and high-paying manufacturing jobs. Tennessee, North Carolina and Wyoming are among the states that have attracted firearms companies with perks such as tax breaks, construction assistance and relocation costs.

The trend continues unabated.  Now for the next step.  Firearms manufacturers need to collectively refuse to sell firearms to all law enforcement agencies in states where citizens are denied their second amendment rights.  Some manufacturers already do this.  Unfortunately, the list is small.  Readers can feel free to create the list in comments, with evidence for their laudable stand.

Firearms Sales

BY Herschel Smith
7 months, 1 week ago

NSSF on Firearms sales.

  • The estimated total number of firearms in civilian possession from 1986-2018 is 422.9 million, according to data reported in the ATF’s Firearms Commerce Report in the United States 2019 report and including the preliminary 2018 Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Exportation Report (AFMER) figures.
  • 17,740,000 Modern Sporting Rifles are in private ownership today.
  • More than half (54%) of all rifles produced in 2017 were modern sporting rifles.
  • In 2017, 7,901,218 total firearms were produced and imported. Of those, 4,411,923 were pistols and revolvers, 2,821,945 were rifles and 667,350 were shotguns.
  • An interim 2018 estimate showed a total 7,660,772 total firearms were produced and imported. Of those 4,277,971 were pistols and revolvers, 2,846,757 were rifles and 535,994 were shotguns. Those are interim reports and will be updated as complete information becomes available.
  • Firearms-ammunition manufacturing accounted for nearly 12,000 employees producing over $4.1 billion in goods shipped in 2017. An estimated 8.1 billion rounds, of all calibers and gauges, were produced in 2018 for the U.S. market.

So how’s that plan to confiscate 18 million MSRs going, controllers?  You think you’ll get them all?

Here is a useful graph from Ammoland.

There has been a general trend upwards for a very long time.  Excel or TableCurve-2D could easily fit a smoothed curve with that data with a decent correlation coefficient.  Do you see that increase right at the end of 2019?  It’s seasonal, no doubt, like the rest of the repeatable perturbations.

But I don’t expect to see it go back down very far or fast in 2020.  I think 2020 is the year you want to be in the firearms manufacturing and sales business.

Stag Arms Relocation Announcement

BY Herschel Smith
7 months, 3 weeks ago

From a reader.

November 18th, 2019

Stag Arms LLC (“Stag” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the appointment of a new President as well as its new location.

Stag’s Board of Directors today announced that Chad Larsen has been appointed Stag’s President effective immediately. The Company also announced that it will be relocating to Cheyenne, WY, by the end of the year. In June, the Company disclosed its decision to move from Stag’s former headquarters in New Britain, CT, and accordingly initiated a national search for a new location.

In making today’s announcement, Elie Azar, Founder and CEO of White Wolf Capital, LLC, which owns a controlling interest in Stag Arms, said: “We decided it was time to do a complete refresh of the Company. We needed to solve for three things: visionary customer-centric leadership, a business-friendly, pro-growth economic environment, and a cultural climate that reflects Stag’s brand image of independence and free spiritedness. I am pleased to report that we have found a solution that hits all these points.”

To find a new location for the Company, Stag’s Board of Directors conducted a rigorous process comparing dozens of potential sites against a stringent set of criteria. “Cheyenne came out on top on most of the individual criteria,” said Azar, “and considering our requirements as a whole, it was by far the superior site. Not only is Wyoming an incredibly hospitable place to do business, it is also a top destination for outdoor recreation, including hunting and shooting sports, which reflects its citizens’ unwavering support for the Second Amendment.”

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon, upon learning of Stag’s decision to relocate to his state, issued the following statement:

“I am pleased to welcome Stag Arms to Wyoming and to know that our state came out on top of a broad look at potential new homes for the sought-after company. We have a deep-seated commitment to the Second Amendment that I will continue to uphold. Ultimately, Stag Arms had to make a business decision and I believe this announcement is an affirmation that Wyoming is continuing to cultivate a culture that allows private enterprise to flourish. My administration will work collaboratively with the Wyoming Business Council and Cheyenne LEADS to ensure Stag’s move goes smoothly. I thank Stag’s Board of Directors and Chad Larsen for selecting Wyoming.”

Stag began working with Cheyenne LEADS, the economic development organization for Cheyenne and Laramie County, in June of this year after they reached out offering their assistance. LEADS assisted with site location, workforce evaluation and navigating the community.

Stag’s decision to relocate to Wyoming follows similar recent moves by other firearms companies, most notably Weatherby and Magpul. In addition to being firearm-friendly and outdoor-oriented, Wyoming has been very proactive in its efforts to attract high-skilled/high-paying manufacturing jobs to the state. Communities like Cheyenne have invested significantly in recent years in skilled-training capabilities.

Chad Larsen comes to Stag from Aero Precision, LLC, a leading manufacturer of AR-15 components located in Tacoma, WA, where he spent the last six years leading new product development. Azar noted, “Chad’s innovative genius with the Modern Sporting Rifle platform stems from his personal emersion in the shooting and hunting community. He knows what customers want—and what they don’t—because he is one of them.” Mr. Larsen is both an avid hunter and a registered 3-Gun, Multi-gun and USPSA competitor.

Mr. Larsen added, “I am both honored and humbled to have been selected to lead the charge to revitalize this iconic brand. The Stag team and I are totally committed to continuing Stag’s legacy of innovation—for example, we were the first AR platform to manufacture left-handed rifles—as well as continue our pledge of being 100% made in the United States.” Mr. Larsen succeeds Anthony Ash who was president of Stag since 2016.

Stag has begun the process of relocating all of its operations to Cheyenne and plans to be fully settled in its new accommodations in the upcoming months.

For questions or comments on this announcement, please email questions@stagarms.com.

No firearms manufacturer can stay in Connecticut and survive.  I’m surprised it took them this long to make the decision and engage the move.

Although I have to say that I’m disappointed they didn’t follow so many other firearms manufacturer’s moves and relocate South.

Smith & Wesson: Reputation Among Gun Supporters Is Main Concern

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 5 months ago

Fox Business:

Alienating firearms backers would “cause the greatest reputational and financial harm” to American Outdoors Brand Corp., the manufacturer disclosed in a federal filing on Friday

“The one overriding factor mitigating the effectiveness of gun control groups to damage the reputations of those in the firearms business is the passion and strength of firearms owners in defending their rights at the ballot box, in the course of legislative debates, and in the marketplace,” Smith & Wesson’s parent company wrote.

The candid remarks encapsulate the difficulty proponents of new gun laws have faced in their quest. While such campaigns often garner intense media attention, the core support among gun owners and the significant political weight the group carries has stymied any significant legislation on the issue.

It also highlights the difficulty firearms producers and retailers face in trying to navigate the intense political landscape on gun control. Dick’s Sporting Goods’ decision in 2018 to ban the sales of AR-15-style rifles helped contribute to a 4.5 percent decline in sales in its hunting business. The backlash among conservatives and others firearms supporters “could affect future results,” the Pittsburgh-based sporting goods retailer disclosed in November.

Friday’s study from American Outdoors Brand Corp. (AOCB) was released following a successful effort by shareholders, including a group of nuns, to force the company to analyze how its products are associated with gun violence and what steps the Springfield, Massachusetts-based firm is taking to make its firearms safer.

In the report, the company disputed the need to direct resources towards developing so-called “smart gun” technology, which includes facial recognition software to only allow an authorized user to fire it. Doing so would “require a significant investment” and the products would come at a cost that could alienate many of its key consumers.

“This pricing difference alone, at best, limits the commercial viability of ‘smart guns’ to a very small niche market. AOBC’s reasonable business judgment is that an investment in such an unknown, niche market is not a sound business decision,” the firm wrote, adding that it will “continue to regularly assess the market.”

Why would they have to make a “federal filing” over a stockholder vote?  The article doesn’t say.

As for what the author said in the article, it isn’t clear if Smith & Wesson really, really want to invest in “smart guns” and just can’t because of the financial damage (which would be very real and potentially deadly to the company), or the author is just making up this supposed conundrum for gun manufacturers.

As for Smith & Wesson, I’ll make the same observation I have for Ruger, Savage and all other manufacturers.  Hedge against this sort of thing by ensuring that if you do go public in order to raise revenue, your employees own a majority of the stock.  Make it an employee-run company.

Most manufacturers won’t have the wisdom to do that.

The Virtues Of Being A Small Firearms Manufacturer

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 6 months ago

Reuters:

A decade ago, Kentucky’s Anderson Manufacturing was a small machine shop that didn’t make firearms.

By 2016, it was making more rifles than Smith & Wesson, according to the latest available data from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Anderson’s big seller: assault-style rifles that cost up to $2,100 and require no lubrication. Anderson says it made nearly 454,000 rifles that year, or about 57,000 more than Smith & Wesson.

Anderson is the leader among a cluster of small, private companies that are taking market share from America’s biggest gun makers. They are doing so with catchy marketing or weapons that have, for example, more knockdown power for hunting wild pigs.

Some rifles made by companies such as Patriot Ordnance Factory and Daniel Defense fire larger .308-caliber rounds instead of the .223-caliber rounds more commonly used in AR-15s. Another firm, Kel-Tec CNC Industries Inc, makes the hot-selling Sub-2000 rifle – which folds up small enough to fit into a backpack. It costs $500 and fires popular 9mm handgun ammunition.

By contrast, America’s leading gun makers have struggled over the past two years, with the three biggest seeing their rifle market share slip to 44 percent in 2016 from 57 percent in 2011, according to ATF data. Over the same period, a cluster of about 30 small companies combined for 51 percent of overall rifle production, up from 37 percent.

Top rifle maker Remington Outdoor Company emerged from bankruptcy in May. Net firearms sales at Sturm Ruger & Company Inc fell 7 percent during the nine-month period that ended Sept. 30. And American Outdoor Brands Corp, parent of Smith & Wesson, saw shipments of long guns, including rifles, fall 32 percent in fiscal 2018, compared to the previous year.

Smaller players largely have sidestepped scrutiny about their products or their financing because activists have mostly focused on pressuring big retailers and gun makers with publicly traded stock or debt held by mutual funds. Excluding the big three, there were 28 companies that made 10,000 or more rifles in 2016, up from 20 companies in 2011, according to ATF data.

“The number of manufacturers was shocking to me,” said Christopher Ailman, chief investment officer for the $219 billion California State Teachers’ Retirement system, which this fall started a new effort to press gun makers and retailers on safety.

But small gun makers have plenty of options for capital outside of public markets. Smaller rifle makers get financing from community banks, credit unions and makers of metal-cutting machines, according to a Reuters analysis of firearms financial disclosures filed with more than a dozen secretaries of state.

“We’re not going to starve any of these companies of capital because there’s always someone” willing to lend gun makers money, said John Streur, chief executive of Calvert Research and Management. The Calvert unit, part of Eaton Vance Corp, has pressed big retailers to restrict gun sales.

Windham Weaponry in Maine received an $8 million revolving credit line and a $3 million term loan last year from Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, according to local real estate records. The company and the bank did not respond to requests for comment.

Anderson Manufacturing received financing in 2013 from The Bank of Kentucky as its rifle sales began to surge, according to financing reports filed with the Kentucky secretary of state. The bank has since been acquired by North Carolina-based BB&T Corp, which did not respond to a request for comment.

Clearly, the author and interviewees are befuddled at the proliferation of calibers for AR style rifles, from pistol caliber carbines (PDW) to the .450 Bushmaster.  It’s as if the AR was only ever good for 5.56mm.  Sometimes these articles can be amusing.

Equally amusing is that apparently no one in the controller movement understood that there are too many manufacturers now to tackle by squeezing their lines of logistics.  The key here is to [1] have employee-owned companies, [b] be serviced by small banks, [c] minimize debt, [d] keep your employees happy, and [e] make an excellent product.

Or in other words, run your business based on a Biblical model.  God will bless it.

Bank Of America To Make Bankruptcy Loan To Remington

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 2 months ago

Reuters:

Bank of America Corp is preparing to provide critical financing to Remington Outdoor Co, which makes assault-type rifles, just weeks after the U.S. bank said it would stop financing “military-style” firearms for civilians.

The bank is contributing $43.2 million to a $193 million lending package funded by seven banks, according to court documents, which will help put Remington back on stable footing as it emerges from bankruptcy later this month into an uncertain environment for gun makers.

The package replaces a similar credit facility the banks committed to providing Remington. Both were agreed in late March, before Bank of America, the second-largest U.S. bank by assets, changed its policy to stop financing companies that make military-style guns for civilian use.

Anne Finucane, Bank of America’s vice chair, said in April that the bank had decided on its pledge to help reduce mass shootings, saying in an interview with Bloomberg TV that “it is not our intent to underwrite or finance military-style firearms on a go-forward basis.”

[ … ]

But withdrawing from the deal would hurt the bank’s reputation for standing by its lending agreements and could undermine Remington’s survival, according to one person familiar with the bank’s thinking.

Surely BoA knew about this loan package before it’s stupid announcement on other firearms manufacturers.

That means one of two things.  Either BoA is full of liars and crooks who were only trying to make an appearance of cooperating with the gun controllers, or Remington has been strong armed and is preparing to jettison its Bushmaster line of guns.

If the first is true, it doesn’t mean BoA will lend in the future to firearms manufacturers.  It just means that they are liars.  If the second is true, this is the end for Remington.  There will be no recovery.  Tikka can easily supplant the Remington 700 because it’s a better gun.

Vista Outdoor To Dump Firearms, Savage Arms Affected

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 2 months ago

WTOP:

Another company, this one among the largest ammunition makers in America, is distancing itself from firearms following the massacre at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High in February.

Vista Outdoor Inc. has been pressured for months by retailers that sell its other goods like Bell bicycle helmets and CamelBak water carriers, to stop manufacturing firearms.

The Utah company said Tuesday that it will be seeking buyers for its firearms manufacturing business, and will focus on products for outdoor enthusiasts. It will continue to sell ammunition, its biggest core businesses.

REI, the national outdoor retailer, suspended all orders from Vista in March after it refused to say if it would continue to manufacture weapons. REI said it’s aware of Vista’s announcement, but did not say if it would resume doing business with the company.

During a conference call Tuesday, Vista CEO Cristopher Metz said that the company was already moving in the direction of shedding its firearms business, “way before any of the noise came about eight weeks ago.”

[ … ]

Vista last year had revenue of $2.5 billion. It is looking for buyers for its Savage and Stevens firearms brands, and other product lines not related to firearms.

They’ve made noises of keeping the gun community as patrons though.

The firm will stop manufacturing guns but will continue to produce ammunition, which the company described as being its “largest core business.” Vista will also focus on its outdoor products.

“An increased focus on our heritage ammunition business will manifest itself in more innovative and breakthrough new products introduced over the next few years,” Vista Outdoor CEO Chris Metz said in a release.

I bolded the words “innovative and breakthrough new products.”  I’m not stupid.  I expect ammunition that has a higher muzzle velocity, expands better (for PD ammo), has a higher ballistic coefficient, has higher and better QA, more consistent and reliable bullet CoG and gyroscopic stability, and that no one else has.

Or else I’ll call you a crapweasel, liar and douchebag.  I’ll remember this conversation, Mr. Metz.  You said these things, I didn’t.  You said innovative and breakthrough.  You need to get the best engineers in-house immediately to make that happen.  You’re going to have to dump a lot of money into this project.  In the mean time, I’m sorry for Savage.  They make good guns and I hope they land on their feet.

Escalation In The Banker War On Guns And Hornady Posture With New York

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 2 months ago

Market Watch:

Banks and credit-card companies are discussing ways to identify purchases of guns in their payment systems, a move that could be a prelude to restricting such transactions, according to people familiar with the talks.

The discussions are preliminary but could be deeply controversial. Gun-rights groups have long resisted any effort to monitor which Americans own guns; there are federal laws limiting the government’s use of electronic databases of gun sales.

The financial companies have explored creating a new credit-card code for firearms dealers, similar to how they code restaurants, or department stores, according to people familiar with the matter. Another idea would require merchants to share information about specific firearm products consumers are buying, some of the people said.

They’re driving us towards a cash-based exchange for firearms and ammunition.  It should be cash-based anyway, you say.  I understand the sentiment.  Without cash to back up credit cards, you lose the credit card.  Besides, that’s poor form.  A man always honors his obligations.

But there is more to it than that, and you know it.  Even if it’s a firearm that you hold on 90-day lawaway with the local gun shop, you seldom make all the payments in cash.  Even if you do, you seldom carry around enough cash to buy a firearm outright.  Most of the time, you float it with a credit card or ATM card until the next day, or the end of the month when you get paid.

Even if you don’t do that, many buyers do.  This will affect the financial health of everything from local gun shops to large firearms manufacturers.  I’ve warned about this before.  In addition to the advice I gave firearms manufacturers – remove all avenues of leverage, get out of debt, and cut ties with corporate America – there is much more than can be done.  Hornady is showing us the way and is an example of responsible corporate support of our rights and liberties (via TTAG).

Today, the State of New York did one of the most despicable acts ever perpetrated by any state by asking New York banks, financial institutions and insurance companies to stop doing business with the gun and ammo industry.

While it may not make a difference to New York, Hornady will not knowingly allow our ammunition to be sold to the State of NY or any NY agencies. Their actions are a blatant and disgusting abuse of office and we won’t be associated with a government that acts like that. They should be ashamed.

I don’t know if it will make a difference or not, but I know what will make a difference.  It would be like trying to herd cats, but if the firearms and ammunition industry could finally avoid the temptation to whore after government contracts, not just FedGov but state, county and local governments too, when they take positions that run contrary to our liberties, it would effectively end this charade in a single day.

So let’s suppose that Daniel Defense, CMMG, BCI Defense, Knight’s Armament, Rock River Arms, FN, Springfield Armory, LaRue Tactical, Ruger, Barrett, Savage and all other firearms manufacturers, refused to sell to governments that took positions like the state of New York where officials were working with banks to effect gun control measures or encourage non-patronage of the firearms community by banks.  Let’s also suppose that ammunition manufacturers – Remington, Federal, Double-Tap, Magtech, Winchester, and others – joined them in refusing to sell ammunition to such entities.  Thus those entities could obtain neither firearms nor ammunition for government officials, including LEOs.

What do you think would be the outcome of such a large, dovetailed response of the community to this overreach and bigotry?  I suspect the bigotry would end overnight.  It would certainly end if they inquired if any of the products were to be used in security operations for Bank of America, Citibank, Amalgamated, Wells Fargo, and the other large operations, and also refused to sell to their security teams.

It’s possible to end this bigotry, it’s just a matter of will and strategy.  We know what to do, it’s a matter of doing it.  You can help by forwarding this article to every firearms and ammunition manufacturer who will listen.  The banks can back down from this war with firearms owners before it is too late and unpleasant things happen.

As for Hornady, I suspect they will benefit immensely from this decision.  If you are a firearms or ammunition manufacturer, straighten up and pay attention.  This is how you do it.  This is how you pay your dues and earn the trust and respect of the community.  The community rewards such trust and respect.

Remington Is In A World Of Hurt

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 2 months ago

Bloomberg:

Remington Outdoor Co. has only been in bankruptcy for a month, but creditors are already planning an out.

The U.S. firearms and ammunition juggernaut will likely go up for sale directly following its bankruptcy, according to people with knowledge of the situation. Certain stakeholders, some of whom haven’t been publicly identified, have already started putting out feelers for potential strategic buyers, these people said.

Rather than hold the collection of 13 brands that includes a 200-year-old rifle maker, ammunition manufacturers, silencer companies and traditional firearms manufacturers, the lenders will be trying to offload at a particularly fraught time.

You can say that again.  This isn’t a good time for Remington to be doing anything like this, and I don’t expect them to last long.


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