Category Archives: Second Amendment

Dugan Ashley Brought the 2A Community light, now he needs our help

A lowkey Vet who gave a ray of light and humor to the gun community that has yet to be surpassed, has signaled that he is “going to be sitting this one out.”

Dugan Ashely, through his slapsticky yet educational firearms videos on YouTube, thrilled millions around the globe with his antics, producing content that, although imitated, is hard to match. Ashley was a legend for years but in 2015 dropped out of the public eye and deleted his CarniK Con Show channel, although mirrors exist of some of the more sensational clips.

Plus, despite the bargain bin outfits and campy humor, his weapon manipulation skills were absolutely on-point as this circa 2014 video on LMGs displays:

While making brief cameos on other channels from time to time, Ashley has been keeping a low signature for the past half-decade.

However, last Thursday, he surfaced in a video on a new channel, soberly informing fans of his ongoing battle with Multiple Sclerosis.

A GoFundMe has been authorized to collect money to help him combat his debilitating illness.

I gave. If you have the ability to do so, I am sure every little bit helps.

As Dugan would say, “$20 dollars is $20 dollars.”

S&W Waves Goodbye to Massachusetts After 169 Years

Citing “the changing business climate for firearms manufacturing in Massachusetts,” Smith & Wesson said they are relocating their historic headquarters to a more pro-gun climate.

The move, announced Thursday, would see S&W’s headquarters and “significant elements of its operations” including 750 jobs move from Springfield, Massachusetts, to Maryville, Tennessee, by 2023. While the famed American gun maker has been based in Springfield since 1852, company officials say it is time for a change.

“This has been an extremely difficult and emotional decision for us, but after an exhaustive and thorough analysis, for the continued health and strength of our iconic company, we feel that we have been left with no other alternative,” said Mark Smith, the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

More in my column at Guns.com. 

Tip for the Week: Get Right on Your Mags

While ammo prices are still sky-high– if you can find it (anyone seen a box of .38 SPL lately?)– and firearms themselves are slowly coming back down to normal, probably the most affordable accessory on the market today that could someday, with little notice, vanish, are detachable magazines.

Metal or plastic, look for those mag deals now, kids, and keep em clean.

I’ve been picking up Okay Industries aluminum mags for $8 (with no tilt followers and textured bodies) and Magpul PMAGs for like $10. Likewise, factory Glock doublestacks are running $20 ish. If you have an HK G3/ HK 91 pattern battle rifle, you can grab West German surplus mags for $3 (yes, three dollars).  

To reiterate: you should still be buying magazines. They’re so cheap and so plentiful right now it’s crazy. I am old enough to remember during the 1994-2004 Federal Assault Weapon Ban when a clapped out USGI mag was $75 in Clinton-era dollars.

Don’t be caught unprepared if that happens again. Eger warned you.

Buckle Up for a Wild Ammo Skyrocket Ride

Marketed as a punishment to the Putin regime– although ammo sales only make up a tiny portion of Russian overseas exports and an even smaller slice of the country’s GDP– the State Department on Friday announced an almost immediate (effective Sept. 7) ban on granting import permits (ATF Form 6s) for ammunition “manufactured or located in” Russia.

While the sanction could (but probably won’t) fall off in a year, you can probably kiss those sweet, sweet deals on cheap and reliable Russian-made ammo such as Barnaul, Tula, Red Army Standard, and Wolf, a hard goodbye. Meanwhile, those with guns chambered in old Warsaw Pact calibers such as 7.62×39, 7.62x54R, 7.62×25 Tokarev, 9×18 Makarov, and 5.45×45 could be in a pinch to find any ammo, with the exception of surplus fodder from non-sanctioned former Eastern Bloc countries and a few outliers such as Igman, Sellier & Bellot, and PPU. 

Going further, even if you don’t shoot that budget-friendly “steel cased Russian stuff,” which is generally seen as the rough equivalent to malt liquor if equated in terms of beer, such cheap ammo was the only thing keeping more traditional brass cased ammo prices in check. A safety valve if you will.

The bottom line, ammo is fixing to get even more scarce and expensive.

Case in point, looking at AmmoSeek pricing, when I first covered the story Friday afternoon for Guns.com, the best deal on 7.62×39 was 25-cents per round, for steel-cased Wolf bulk. As of the penning of this post on Sunday night, it was 57-cents per round for the same stuff.

Big oof.

Last Chance to Comment on ATF Receiver Rule Change

This is the last day to comment on the ATF’s pending idiotic proposed new receiver rule. Go do your part if you haven’t already.

The rule, pitched as a fix for “dangerous ghost guns” is actually far more complex and filled with minute tweaks, with the ATF’s ambiguous summary running to 1,600 words alone, and its analysis clocking in at 67 pages. Besides establishing a de facto ban on so-called 80-percent frames and receivers in the way they are in circulation today, it could also stand to regulate “split/multi-receiver” and “modular firearms” such as the AR-15 and P320 in ways that could require AR uppers and pistol slide assemblies to be a serialized firearm.

This would effectively end the days of uppers or unfinished frames/receivers shipped directly to the door of otherwise law-abiding folks, treating them instead as Title I firearms that would have to transfer through a licensed dealer with a Form 4473 with a NICS (and/or state) background check. 

All you need is a couple of sentences. Just say something like, “I am writing AGAINST ATF’s proposed rule (Docket No. ATF 2021R-05). They seek to change the definition of a firearm receiver that’s been defined in law for 53 years. If a change is needed, it should be done by Congress!”

Just a couple of quick sentences and a NO or AGAINST is all you need.

Again, it is not about ghosts, it is about adding tons of new regulations without Congressional oversight or blessing, and you should be highly concerned with how it is being done. 

The Pistol Brace Test is a Stone Cold Nightmare

With a 71-page proposed rule to clarify when attached stabilizing brace accessories convert pistols into illegal short-barreled rifles now open for public comment, we disastrously attempted to apply it.

In a test with a pair of unloaded large-format AR-style pistols, I sat down with my buddy Ben Philippi to honestly wade through the minefield of potential disqualifiers on proposed ATF Form 4999 to determine if a pistol/brace combos selected– which are legal now– would continue to be so should the rule goes into effect as-is.

And it didn’t work out very well.

The proposed rulemaking, “Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached Stabilizing Braces” as of June 24, has 102,000 public comments.

The last day to file comments is Sept. 8.

Kafkaesque Pistol Brace Rules Released

There are between an estimated 3 and 7 million (that’s a big swing) stabilizing braces on the market right now, all of which got there after the SB15 brace was released just a decade ago. ATF has been notoriously squishy on the legality of braces, especially at the intersection of its use on a handgun to the point that it turns a pistol into an illegal short-barreled rifle or SBR. Unregistered SBRs can get you a dime in the federal hoosgow.

You sitting in the federal hoosgow, looking to trade a pack of mackerel fillet to make unwanted friends in the shower:

“What are you in for?” says the broker

“I added a plastic stock that is not a stock to my pistol and the ATF found out and, it turns out, they ruled it was a stock,” says you.

“That mack got soybean oil or water?”

“Water…”

Zipppppp

Anyway, to keep clear of just what is illegal or not, the DOJ today released a proposed rule that is so simple it has a 71-page explainer to it. It includes a new ATF form (#4999), a two-sheeter that walks you through if your pistol with a brace on it is legal, or an SBR in three easy-to-figure-out sections.

Heavier than 64 ounces and between 12 and 26 inches? Boom, just failed Section I on ATF 4999, head to Section II.

There, if you earn a maximum of three points, proceed to Section III. Have over four points, and you are out of compliance and have an extremely dangerous SBR. So dangerous it only magically becomes safe for the public to own after you pay a $200 tax and wait 10 months for the paperwork to clear. 

At Section III, you can earn a maximum of three more points to keep your brace/pistol combo legal. Four or more, which can be earned even by installing “peripheral accessories” that would show you “intend to shoulder” your pistol, such as a bipod and/or short eye relief optics, or BUIS sights and it’s an SBR even if you passed Section II.

Sounds “simple”, right?

Check out these three examples in the proposed rule. One is (barely) legal, with 3 points in both Sections II & III; the second is an SBR, with 8 and 5 points in each section, and the third is also hot with a combination of 23 points on the worksheet.

 

The thing is, the photos, to the average user, look almost identical.

It is almost as if the feds want to make it so complicated and sow so much confusion and angst over the legal use of braces that most gun owners won’t even bother in an abundance of caution.

HEYYYY-OH!

Worse, what about the average gun owner who bought one of these, legally, at their local gun store thinking it was neat or cool, then they take it to the range five years from now (the proposed rule has no grandfathering) and a picture from that trip makes it to social media and someone casually tags the ATF in it. 

Oof. 

If you are one of the 4+ million Stabilizing Brace Owners, now is your time

Federal regulators on Friday set off the starting pistol in the race to establish what stabilizing brace makers term the largest firearm registration scheme in American history. 

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives scheduled its proposed 15-page “Objective Factors for Classifying Stabilizer Braces” to publish Dec. 18 in the Federal Register, the official journal of the federal government, for public inspection. Americans have two weeks to provide feedback on the plan, which could be the last chance to make their voice heard on the issue before ATF moves forward.

Written comments on the ATF proposal must be postmarked by, and electronic comments must be submitted on or before Jan. 1, 2021, by midnight Eastern time. SB Tactical is also encouraging members of the public, who are concerned about the issue, to reach out to their lawmakers in Congress as well as the White House.

More background on the brace issue in my column at Guns.com here and here.

Go ahead, spitball how many guns are in circulation

Of course, this is a moving target and in most cases would be considered something of a wild ass guess in most cases, but the NSSF, working with industry and regulatory data for the past couple of decades, came up with some interesting figures when it comes to the number of guns in private circulation in the U.S.

The big numbers: 434 million firearms, 20 million “modern sporting rifles” such as AR-15s, and 150 million magazines which are considered in eight or nine states to be “high capacity.”

Oof.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Of braces and Honey Badgers

So, as a backgrounder, the Honey Badger, the gun that broke the internet in 2012 came originally from Georgia-based AAC, the byproduct of a proposed replacement for the HK MP5/MP7 for use by special operations groups.

Thus: The circa 2012 O.G. AAC Honey Badger, which was proposed as the Low Visibility Carbine for special ops about a decade ago, upping the ante on the MP5/MP7 with .300 Blackout. Of interest, I held this very gatt in Remington’s Gun Library in Hunstville a few years ago. 

Kevin Brittingham, whose team at AAC developed the Honey Badger initially, moved on and started Q in New Hampshire in 2017, with the current version of the HBP as its flagship firearm. Q, up until very recently, sold it both as an SBR which required a tax stamp, and as a no-stamp-required pistol using an SB Tactical stabilizing arm brace.

Boom: the current Q Honey Badger Pistol. No select-fire and an arm brace sans stock.

Well, the ATF has just come in and zapped them over the pistol version saying that, it too is an SBR, not because of the brace but because of the sub of its parts and how it was marketed.

A possible reason could be that Q formerly listed the HB Pistol version as having a “2-POSITION TELESCOPING STOCK” rather than a brace on their website once upon a time, which seems just like a copy/paste mistake when their e-comm person set up the page, using the same copy from the SBR page.

But, the minor mistake in advertising, which surely could be easily cleared up, has now gone nuclear and the ATF isn’t taking any prisoners in the effort to dub the HBP an SBR through some sort of arbitrary concept without showing their mental gymnastics. The end result could be upwards of 4 million legal gun owners who have braces on their AR/AK pistols becoming potential felons by default once the smoke clears.

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