Over the past few years, Jeremy Gutsche has spoken to 150,000 people at more than 200 events, making him one of the most sought-after speakers on the planet. Gutsche is the founder of TrendHunter.com, the largest, most influential, most updated collection of cutting-edge ideas anywhere. He relentlessly tracks and finds The Next Big Thing — that valuable but elusive commodity — for a global audience that generates millions of views a month. His bestselling book, Exploiting Chaos, was named one of Inc. magazine’s “Best Books for Business Owners” and reached No. 1 on the 800-CEO-READ list of business bestsellers. Gutsche provides innovation advice that is practical, thought-provoking and actionable. He will deliver the closing keynote on June 11 at NSSF’s 2014 Industry Summit.
Learn More About Jeremy Gutsche | Register for the Summit]]>
We have seen dramatic, unprecedented during peacetime, growth in the firearms and ammunition industry as the direct result of consumer demand for our products in the last five years. Not surprisingly, growth has placed added demand on the Office of Enforcement Programs and Services (EPS) of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
EPS provides key customer service functions to the firearms and ammunition industry. Today, the office simply does not have the funding or personnel it needs to serve the industry and, by extension, our customers. This situation most recently resulted in the ATF’s troubled eForms system being taken down until further notice. Users of the system were told by ATF in an email that “The eForms software is not performing to our expectations. As a result, we are taking the eForms system down until further notice.
It is now taking EPS more than 10 months to process National Firearms Act (NFA) paper forms. The current backlog is estimated at more than 80,000 forms and growing. Marking variances and import permits are both facing three-month delays. See the ATF processing Time Chart.
NSSF estimates that the EPS operating budget should be increased from its current $15 million to $25 million in order to provide the level of service our industry needs to remain in compliance with federal law, service our customers, and operate our businesses so that they can grow and continue to provide increasing employment opportunities.
NSSF has been working to get additional resources to improve all ATF’s interactions with the industry. Many of our industry executives took this message to Capitol Hill during our annual Congressional Fly-In. There is no need to raise taxes or fees to get EPS the resources it needs. The money is there. All that Congress has to do is support language in the FY15 Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies appropriations bill that designates $25 million of the total ATF budget to Enforcement Programs and Services.
NSSF will continue to work to get ATF’s EPS office the resources it needs. Stay tuned. We will keep you apprised.]]>
Everytown for Gun Safety, the new umbrella group for Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Shannon Watts’ Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, will use an estimated $50 million in Bloomberg’s funds to pursue legislation that will do little to actually enhance firearm safety but instead would create a host of additional barriers to gun ownership by law-abiding Americans.
The new group’s unstated mission might well be “Everytown Without Guns.” It has no credibility with gun owners.
NSSF and the firearms industry have for decades been conducting effective safety initiatives that do not restrict the rights of law-abiding gun owners. Our safety programs and those of other organizations have helped drive down firearms accidents to historic low levels, decreasing by 22 percent in the last 10 years. Less than 1 percent of all fatal accidents in the U.S. involve a firearm.
Real gun safety looks like this:
Any needless death is a tragedy. But we are the ones actually doing something about firearms safety and preventing accidents. Even at $50 million, talk is cheap.
The 2014 edition of the Industry Summit will take place June 9-11 in Springfield, Mass., the city where Smith & Wesson maintains its headquarters and manufacturing facilities.
“We are very pleased to have the generous support of this iconic firearms company for the Industry Summit,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “As a Gold Level sponsor, Smith & Wesson recognizes the importance of the Industry Summit and its long-term value to every segment of the shooting sports community.”
At the Summit, leaders representing the firearms industry, state wildlife agencies, conservation organizations and shooting sports and hunting groups will share ideas to help shape a positive future for the shooting sports.
Many programs that have helped increase participation in target shooting and hunting in the past 18 years can trace their roots to NSSF Industry Summits.
More information about the NSSF Industry Summit, registration, schedules, accommodations and sponsorship opportunities can be found at the Summit website at http://www.nssf.org/IndustrySummit/.]]>
Article 10 of the Mexican Constitution grants citizens the right to “possess arms in the home for security and legitimate defense” and, over the past five years, as violence has become more prevalent throughout the country, Mexican residents have been purchasing guns in large numbers. According to a recent study conducted by Ernesto Villanueva at the National Autonomous University in Mexico’s Institute of Legal Research, the number of Mexicans legally owning guns has increased more than 50 percent, from 2,033,749 in 2009 to 3,118,592 in 2012, which is one of the most violent periods in Mexican history given the ongoing battle with the country’s drug cartels.
Despite the seeming Constitutional guarantee, legally obtaining a firearm is very difficult as Mexico’s gun laws are actually quite strict, much like Chicago and D.C. There is only one military-run store in all of Mexico, the Mexico City-based Directorate of Commercialization of Arms and Munitions, where it is legally possible to obtain a firearm. The store is located on a military base and features Belgian-, German-, Turkish- and U.S.-made handguns and rifles. Those hoping to buy a firearm for personal protection are restricted to buying a pistol or revolver and calibers are limited to between .22 and .38. In July 2012, the most “exotic” firearm available to the average citizen was an $803.05 Smith & Wesson revolver. There are zero gun stores in Chicago and Washington and the types of guns permitted are also restricted based on aspects such as magazine capacity and appearance.
In both Chicago and Mexico, prior to even touching a firearm in a gun store (somewhere in suburban Illinois for Chicagoans), one must be approved for a license, which is not easy to do. The process in both Mexico and in Chicago can be lengthy and requires a significant amount of bureaucratic red tape. Additionally, the Mexican license must be renewed annually and, like D.C., it only allows the gun to be used in the gun owner’s home for personal protection. A separate permit is required to carry the firearm in public and that presents another hurdle for gun owners – from 2008 to 2013, only 318 out of the 1,627 applications for a public carry permit were approved. D.C. does not allow carrying the gun outside your home.
As of right now, American citizens in cities such as Chicago and D.C. are suffering under laws more similar to Mexico than the rest of America – despite the Constitutional guarantees of both countries. We can’t do much about Mexico. Across the USA, NSSF will continue to fight against these senseless restrictions to free the lawful commerce in arms — and with it, the true constitutional rights of city residents as American citizens.]]>
“We have seen dramatic, unprecedented during peacetime growth in the firearms and ammunition industry that is the direct result of consumer demand for our products in the last five years,” said Stephen L. Sanetti, NSSF president and chief executive officer. “While our nation’s overall economic recovery has been slow since 2008, our industry has been a true bright spot, increasing our direct workforce by nearly half, adding jobs that pay an average of more than $47,700 in wages and benefits. Supplier and induced jobs* were also increased by about half since 2008, even as we increased federal tax payments by 93 percent, Pittman-Robertson excise taxes that support wildlife conservation by 83 percent and state business taxes by 77 percent.”
The Firearms and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report: 2013 provides a state by state breakdown of job numbers, wages and output covering direct, supplier and induced employment, as well as federal excise taxes paid. Access the full report here.
* Induced jobs are those created by the economic impact made by the industry.]]>
With elections squarely in mind, I bring your attention to the results of a new Rasmussen Reports national survey that finds only 40 percent of “likely U.S. voters” believe that the United States needs stricter gun control laws. This poll records a nine-point drop from last May. As the Rasmussen press release notes, “Fifty-three percent do not think the country needs tougher gun control laws, the highest level of opposition in over two years.”
These results nearly mirror a January Gallup poll that showed the percentage of Americans favoring stricter gun laws fell 7 points in 2014, from 38 to 31 percent. The country’s overall dissatisfaction with U.S. gun laws and policies has increased to 55 percent this year, up from 51 percent in 2013.
That increase stemmed largely from the 16 percent of Americans who say that gun laws are too strict, more than triple the 5 percent recorded by Gallup last year. “Americans have become more dissatisfied with gun laws over the past year, but this is attributable to a greater percentage who say gun laws are too strict, rather than not being strict enough,” the poll concluded. “Americans’ changing views could set the course for future gun law debates and legislation.”
The Gallup and Rasmussen survey results are encouraging for all of us who believe in the Second Amendment and lawful commerce in firearms. Most American citizens seem to understand that the “common sense” solutions invariably have more impact on law-abiding gun owners than on illegal gun use. Let’s hope that these poll results make at least some of our elected officials think twice before making a political calculation that jumping onto a gun control bandwagon will best serve their interests. The Rasmussen survey was of “likely voters”. Unless ensconced in a safe liberal district or blue state, politicians do tend to notice these details.
Under this law, firearms manufacturers would have to micro laser-engrave a gun’s make, model and serial number on two distinct parts of each handgun, including the firing pin so that, in theory, this information would be imprinted on the cartridge casing when the pistol is fired.
“There is no existing microstamping technology that meets the requirement of this ill-considered law. It is not technologically possible to microstamp two locations in the gun and have the required information imprint onto the cartridge casing. In addition, the current state of the technology cannot reliably, consistently and legibly imprint on the cartridge primer the required identifying information from the tip of the firing pin, the only possible location where it is possible to micro-laser engrave the information, said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel.
“The holder of the patent for this technology himself has written that there are problems with it and that further study is warranted before it is mandated. A National Academy of Science review, forensic firearms examiners and a University of California at Davis study reached the same conclusion and the technical experts in the firearms industry agree,” Keane said. “Manufacturers cannot comply with a law the provisions of which are invalid, that cannot be enforced and that will not contribute to improving public safety. Today, we are seeking injunctive relief against this back-door attempt to prevent the sale of new or upgraded semiautomatic handguns to law-abiding citizens in California.”
In 2007, California Assembly Bill 1471 was passed and signed into law requiring microstamping on internal parts of new semiautomatic pistols. The legislation provided that this requirement would only became effective if the California Department of Justice certified that the microstamping technology is available to more than one manufacturer unencumbered by patent restrictions. The California legislature subsequently reorganized certain statutes concerning the regulation of firearms, including the microstamping law in 2010. On May 17, 2013, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris provided such certification.
Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. have separately announced that they would no longer be selling new or improved semiautomatic handgun models in California because of the impossibility of complying with the new law.
See additional Fast Facts backgrounder on Microstamping from NSSF.]]>
Yee is alleged to have met on several occasions with an undercover FBI agent, soliciting campaign contributions in return for setting up a sale with international arms dealers. This is the same Yee who sponsored numerous pieces of anti-gun legislation that have seriously infringed the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding California citizens.
Specifically, Yee is charged with conspiracy to traffic in firearms and to illegally import firearms, as well as six counts of attempting to defraud citizens. Each corruption count is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000, while conviction on the gun-trafficking count could mean five years in federal prison and another $250,000 fine.
Federal prosecutors should throw the book at Yee and his co-conspirators, including well-known Chinatown gangsters among them the infamous Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow.
One incredulous California newspaper reported, “The charges are particularly shocking given that Yee has been among the state Senate’s most outspoken advocates both of gun control and of good-government initiatives.” Good start, but there’s more involved here than Olympic-level hypocrisy, fooling the voters and hoodwinking political reporters.
We are reminded of the concept strongly held by our founding fathers, but perhaps best expressed by John Adams that “the only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.”
Yee endangered the public liberty while simultaneously endangering the public safety. Indeed, history shows that the two are inextricably linked. There are many who well understand that the exercise of our right to keep and bear arms helps to ensure our liberty while enhancing our safety. This connection is little appreciated in the State Capitol in Sacramento, however, where short-term politics and theatrics intended to impress low-information voters prevail.
One can debate whether power corrupts or it is the power that attracts the corruptible. Both propositions are true. So, we will henceforth remember that Leland Yee once corruptly wielded power and freely exercised undue influence over citizens while secretly plotting with criminals.
For our part, we will work proudly with those citizens seeking to restore their Constitutional rights in the Golden State through the courts and at the polls. Alas, that inevitably means a struggle against those “with the power to endanger the public liberty.”]]>
Register for NSSF’s 2014 Industry Summit by March 31 to get early-bird pricing on registration. Fees will rise after that date, so we encourage you to register today to participate in the process of building a positive future for target shooting, hunting and the industry. The Summit is slated for June 9-11 in Springfield, Mass., and registration is open to individuals representing hunting and shooting sports organizations, conservation groups, wildlife agencies and the firearms and ammunition industry.