Category Archives: Firearm Industry News

Coverage of events for Fear and Loading by Guy J. Sagi and breaking news of interest to firearm owners.

Heading to the NRA Annual Meetings with the Kids?

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Racing will take a back seat for parents if they’re heading to the NRA Annual Meetings in Indianapolis, IN, this weekend. There’s a lot more than just high-speed, low-drag sights to see if you’re going to be among the tens of thousands visiting the area. Families in particular may want to include a stop at the world’s largest children’s museum.

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis covers 472,900 square feet, has five floors and includes 11 galleries. The NRA Annual Meetings has it beat at 650,000 square feet and there’s no shortage of family friendly fun there, including Eddie Eagle, Pyramid Air Air Gun Range, a Youth Day that kicks off with a scavenger hunt, and more.

If you’re heading to the NRA Annual Meetings, the non-profit museum, however, has some things the youngsters won’t get to see on the show floor. For example, it’s home to more than 120,000 artifacts, the largest collection of any children’s museum in the world. There’s a 130-seat SpaceQuest Planetarium, a “Dinosphere: Now You’re in Their World” experience, a National Geographic Treasures of the Earth that immerses youths in three archeological digs and even has a working lab, ScienceWorks, Biotechnology learning center, a Power of Children wing, Eli Lilly Center for Art Exploration and too much to mention here.

Once the eager minds are sufficiently excited about cracking the books and the world around them, there’s also a chance to ride on an antique merry go round/carousel up on the fifth floor, a polar bear that’s been greeting visitors to the museum since 1964, mastodon skeleton unearthed in Greenfield, IN, and—just in case you’ve visited before—level two features traveling exhibits that rotate.

Before you head to the NRA show, stop by level three, where children can sit in and pose in an authentic IndyCar. It’s guaranteed to put the whole family back in that high-speed, low-drag mode.

Visit Indy has a long list of the sights and sounds worth experiencing if you’re attending the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits.

Gun Purchases Continue to Drop

A pair of independent sources estimate gun sales declined more than 12 percent in March—compared to 2018’s figures—nearly identical to the double-digit drop of February. Both findings are based on the volume of requests handled by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background System (NICS) that, because they include carry permits and other administrative use of the system, provide only a relative barometer of new firearm purchases.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) estimates the year-over-year drop for the month was 12.4 percent [PDF]. Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting (SAAF) calculations indicate it was slightly worse at 12.6 [PDF].

January is the only month with a reported increase during the first quarter of 2019. NSSF estimates new gun purchases for the year are down 8.5 percent. “Sales for the first quarter of 2019, at about 3.6 million, last were this low in the corresponding quarter of the year 2014,” said SAAF Chief Economist Jurgen Brauer. “Relative to the first quarter of 2018, first quarter 2019 sales declined by about 200,000 units.”

SAAF figures drill deeper into the data, estimating handgun sales for the month were 802,500—a year-over-year decline of 7 percent. Long-gun purchases dropped by 19.5 percent (481,355 sold) and in the organization’s “other likely firearm sales” tabulation the decrease was 18.2 percent.

Even total volume processed through the NICS system declined by 5.4 percent compared to March 2018, according to NSSF. SAAF’s press release explains the percentages aren’t identical because, “The FBI’s raw numbers (for March some 2,604,927) cannot be taken at face value, as very large number of background checks are unrelated to end-user sales. For example, in March the state of Kentucky conducted just over 350,000 so-called permit checks alone whereas end-user checks at firearm retailers likely amounted to about 28,500 checks.”

As gun purchases continue to drop, we can expect to see more of the special deals like we witnessed this spring.

Former Bump Stock Owners Information to be Released by Washington State

Gun owners who participated in the “bump stock” buyback program conducted by the Washington State Patrol (WSP) last month will have their names and other personal information provided to two individuals on April 26, unless they “…enjoin disclosure of the records under RCW.42.56.540.” State officials contacted affected enthusiasts by mail on April 11, explaining, “The records in question do not appear to be categorically exempt from disclosure. Accordingly, WSP intends to release the records in response to these public records requests.”

As of March 26, so called “bump stocks” fall under the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (BATFE) “…definition of ‘machinegun’ in the Gun Control Act (GCA) and National Firearms Act (NFA)…” The wording was officially modified last month and now, “…includes bump-stock-type devices, i.e., devices that allow a semiautomatic firearm to shoot more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger by harnessing the recoil energy of the semiautomatic firearm to which it is affixed so that the trigger resets and continues firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter.” The BATFE website provides complete information.

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Washington state banned “bump stocks” in 2018, but funds underwriting the legislature-approved buyback were not authorized. They were earmarked this year, although K5 News reports that as of noon on March 25 all $150,000 in vouchers has been claimed.

The NBC affiliate explains residents could also turn them over at a BATFE office, request a receipt and use it to qualify for under the program. “Once the voucher is processed, the WSP will mail residents a check for $150 for each device turned in,” the station reported, indicating the address of each participant (at the minimum) will likely be provided on April 26.

The WSP has yet to respond to our request for an original and blank copy of the buyback form to ascertain volume of individual information available through the public information process. The agency, however, answered quickly and provided the letter it sent on April 11 to participants [seen here with contact information redacted by our team]. Another Washington State agency has been contacted for copies of the e-mails or letters asking for the participant forms.

Update: Last night we received a copy of each public information request, WSP form and copy of legal action filed April 22 seeking to block the release of the names and addresses of the participants. Read full details here.