NSSF Survey Shows Firearm Free Choice a Key Election Issue

NSSF Survey Shows Firearm Free Choice a Key Election Issue

From NSSF

NSSF, the trade association for the firearm industry, surveyed likely voters in 18 election battleground states and learned that enforcing existing gun laws and protecting lawful firearms sales is on the forefront of voters’ minds. The survey results can be found here, at NSSF’s website.

NSSF learned that 94 percent surveyed are very likely to vote. Nearly three quarters responded they would be more likely to support a political candidate that supported true firearm safety programs. Nearly 60 percent believe a ban on semiautomatic Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs) would not reduce crime in their community and more than half said law-abiding citizens should be able to choose the type of firearm and amount of legal ammunition for lawful use. More than half also oppose a ban on MSRs.

More than half believe self-defense is the primary motivation for firearm ownership. Nearly half surveyed said magazine capacity limits for self-defense would have no effect on crime reduction. Forty-one percent said enforcing existing laws would have an immediate impact on reducing criminal misuse of firearms.

“The survey results are informative to both policy makers and the firearm industry. The results tell us Americans want their right to purchase the firearm of their choice, especially when it comes to their personal safety,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “These results also tell us that enforcing existing laws is a better use of public resources than efforts to restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens. Those likely voters are telling us they want to be able to purchase what they believe will meet their needs without onerous government interference.”

NSSF reported in December 2019 that more than 423 million firearms are in civilian ownership, 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 and industry estimates. Approximately 17.7 million Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs) were produced in the United States or imported between 1990-2017. The MSR is the most-popular selling centerfire rifle in America, accounting for nearly half of rifles produced.

Since January 2020, more than 10.3 million background checks have been conducted for the sale of a firearm and NSSF retailer surveys showed that between March and May, 2.5 million were first-time gun buyers.

CHAZ Don’t Surf

An Executive Order issued by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan on July 1 declared the Capital Hill Protest Zone (CHAZ) an unlawful assembly and ordered the police department to disperse it immediately. The document also includes the fact that the rate of assaults, rapes, narcotics and gang activity skyrocketed by 525 percent during the CHAZ occupation compared to the same area one year ago.

Three shootings took place with first responders temporarily detained at the “border.” Some died. A few in mainstream media compared the illegal occupation to an “art festival complete with music and movies.” As this went to press requests for what was playing went unreturned, although if “Apocalypse Now” was screened Robert Duvall’s “Charlie don’t surf” line would ring particularly true. CHAZ residents barely had enough time to put up barricades, threaten innocent citizens, break windows, beat, assault, steal from and shoot the artists in residence, much less wax up their surfboards.  

There was also an alarming rise in Covid-19 in the area, according to the Mayor’s statement. Fires and vehicles were also endangering a fresh water supply, affecting many more than those who live or work in the immediate area. Final estimates of damage to the park and city-maintained structures is estimated to be high, although final assessment won’t be available until inspection is complete.

“Ongoing violations of the Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Code of Conduct have been observed, including camping and parking in the park…dumping trash and/or creating unsanitary health conditions [caused by urination and defecation in places other than the park’s restroom] or health hazards that violate public health rules….and abusive or harassing behavior….” According to the executive order. It may be months, even years, before the park returns to conditions considered safe for public use.

The honorable Mayor’s list is long and available on Seattle’s official website.  It also includes a mention of threats to the facility that houses the city’s 911 nerve center, which could endanger citizens citywide should an attack stop or delay emergency response.

Social Media Engineering

A study released in 2017 determined the average American spends nearly two hours a day subjecting themselves to the social media engineering enforced by Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and other outlets. Advertising revenue generated by the activity was conservatively estimated at $36 billion, and the profits are lining the pockets of people who think the right to self-defense shouldn’t include owning a gun.

Nearly every website modifies user agreements often, usually expanding the list of “banned” activities/items. Self-defense and the Second Amendment are some of today’s most fashionable and popular targets of social engineers, and easier to hit with headline-grabbing accuracy than Russian, North Korean or Chinese trolls.

Lack of alternatives is a convenient excuse for staying with the gun-ban crowd, but that’s quickly changing. Alternatives are gaining traction.

Firearms Friendly

This blog is one place to stay abreast of the latest developments—including this week’s news that Remington is yet again filing for bankruptcy protection. But there are many other sites that more closely fit the definition of social media. FirearmsFriendly, which was created by native Montanan and veteran website builder Randy Miller, is one.

About the time Craigslist started to ban firearm ads, Miller created PatriotsList.com to host gun and gear classifieds, although other companies like ArmsList and GunBroker gained national prominence. The sole proprietor opted not to challenge either, instead turning his original website into a listing of other pro-Second Amendment sites and concentrating his efforts on Big Sky Gun Traders Facebook group.

He knew, however, Craigslist’s lead was going to be followed, so he secured the MontanaGunTrader.com and FirearmsFriendly.com domain names. The former is tailored for residents in that state, but the latter is nationwide.

“FirearmsFriendly.com evolved from another simple directory like PatriotsList into a full-fledged social network as it is today,” Miller said. “It has groups, chat, images, private messaging, links directory and a no algorithm—what you want is what you get—news feed. Visitors from outside of the USA are blocked from even visiting the site to help avoid scams and spam.” Although membership is small compared to even Facebook’s recently hacked millions, it’s growing fast and you can even “Friend” like minded enthusiasts to stay up to date with their latest.

Full30

Video-hosting Full30 was established four years ago, after YouTube began changing its attitude toward guns. Who’s there now? “Many of the top content creators in the firearms industry are active on our platform, and we are extremely grateful for their support,” co-founder Mark Hammonds said.

“We place a very high emphasis on content curation and regularly work to ensure that the quality of what we publish is maintained and that our content is relevant to our community,” he explained. “Furthermore, we do all we can to monetize our creators, providing viewers an additional outlet to support the channels they love. We also have many community features such as our forum, comment system, and blog that enable like-minded individuals to come together on our platform.” The website also added a host of new features in 2018, improving focus on community and content.

Gun Dynamics

Even small business owners who’ve come up an innovative firearm product are being banned from crowdsourcing websites. GunDynamics was established in early 2018 “…to become the go-to resource hub for the gun community through providing a network of services and support to help the future John Browning’s develop their best ideas,” the announcement explained.

Founder Larry Lopata said, “The Gun Dynamics family is proudly standing up to provide the services the firearms community—the tens of millions of underappreciated patriots—so desperately needs in light of corporate America’s hostile attacks on guns and gun owners…If it hadn’t been for willing, selfless and armed citizens, America would be just another colony suffering without freedom. Just as guns won our liberty, they are essential in maintaining it.”

Stop Social Media Engineering

“The left will continue to erode our liberties as long as they continue to control the platforms we use on a daily basis,” Hammonds warns. “Social Media is the new media, the new press. The only way to prevent this erosion is to provide a viable alternative, and we hope to win in the marketplace by one day exceeding the experience currently provided by companies like YouTube and Facebook.” 

Nuns, Guns and Mutual Funds

A “Gun Safety 2018—Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc.” proposal spearheaded by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary of Marylhurst, OR, passed on May 9 during the company’s annual shareholder meeting. The Wall Street Journal reports the nuns got in the habit of buying the company’s stock two years ago, along with shares of American Outdoor Brands, to “pressure executives for change.” By the time the meeting was held the nuns, guns and mutual funds group had amassed the minimum number of shares to force the measure’s consideration. Ruger’s Board of Directors had recommended against the move.

It requires, among other things, that by Feb. 8 the company produce a document detailing how the firm monitors any misuse of its products. Information on research into safer guns and reputation/financial risk of its products are also mandated in the document [Page 23 of the PDF].

Company Response

The Ruger response was fast. It reads in part, “Please understand that Ruger was obligated by applicable law to include a shareholder’s activist resolution with its proxy materials for a shareholder vote. With its passage, the proposal requires Ruger to prepare a report. That’s it. A report. What the proposal does not do…and cannot do…is force us to change our business, which is lawful and constitutionally protected. What it does not do…and cannot do …is force us to adopt misguided principles created by groups who do not own guns, know nothing about our business, and frankly would rather see us out of business. As our CEO explained, ‘we are Americans who work together to produce rugged, reliable, innovative and affordable firearms for responsible citizens. We are staunch supporters of the Second Amendment not because we make firearms, but because we cherish the rights conferred by it. We understand the importance of those rights and, as importantly, recognize that allowing our constitutionally protected freedoms to be eroded for the sake of political expediency is the wrong approach for our Company, for our industry, for our customers, and for our country. We are arms makers for responsible citizens and I want to assure our long-term shareholders and loyal customers that we have no intention of changing that.’”

Nuns, Guns and Mutual Funds Team

The Sisters of the Holy Names, founded originally in 1843 Quebec, Canada, consists of several branches, including the financial activists in Oregon that explains on its website, “As vowed religious and associates, we minister with a deep longing for a new creation, a passion for the reign of God’s justice to be among us.”

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