Downrange: 06/04

This issue was just so packed with gun and other equipment reviews, I ran out of space for Short Shots. Herewith, then, is an abridged version for this month:


GUN COMPANIES WELCOME. The legislature in Oklahoma has passed an invitation for gun makers to open manufacturing facilities in what The Daily Oklahoman calls this gun friendly state. An editorial describes the joint resolution from the Senate this way: The resolution notes that firearm manufacturers have plants in places that are hostile to gun ownership. Why not move here? Lawmakers have asked the Commerce Department to develop incentives to attract weapons makers. Murray State College, the resolution says...

Downrange: 05/04

At Gun Tests, theres only one award that ultimately makes a lot of difference to us, and thats your subscription. If you or a friend subscribe, and later renew, because you like our special brand of call-it-like-we-see-it product reviews, then weve done our job.

Still, I occasionally enter Gun Tests work in contests, mainly to get what I call a fresh read on the execution of the material. Having other professionals backstop our work can show me holes in what we do, and perhaps show me how to make the magazine better.

In March, I attended the Texas Outdoor Writers Association (TOWA) annual meeting in the friendly southwest Texas town of Uva...

Downrange 04/04: The Assault Weapons Ban

Seven states now ban certain types of semi-automatic guns, and there has been a federal ban on certain semi-automatic guns since 1994. Gun-control advocates ominously predict that eliminating the ban will result in a surge in police killings or, as Sen. Carl Levin claims, a rise in gun crimes.

Yet, despite the rhetoric, there is not a single academic study showing that these bans have reduced violent crime. Even research funded by the Justice Department under the Clinton administration concluded merely that the bans impact on gun violence has been uncertain.

The 1994 federal assault-weapons ban applied to semi-automatics that fire one bullet per pull of the trigger. Rebuilding semi-...

Downrange: 03/04

Ohio Licensing Begins April 9
Ohio Gov. Bob Taft has signed legislation giving law-abiding and mentally competent Ohioans the right to carry concealed handguns.

The law will take effect April 9. Work already has started on the application forms and other material that county sheriffs will need to process applications and issue licenses.

Still, it could be as long as 60 days after the bill takes effect before Ohioans can start applying for licenses. When licenses do become available, sheriffs should brace themselves for a flurry of applications, if recent experience in Michigan is any guide.

Michigan revised its concealed-carry law in 2001, and the state received 62,902...

Downrange: 02/04

FIREARMS EXPERT CONVICTED. An antique weapons expert was convicted in December for his role in conspiring to inflate the prices of two historic pistols that he and another man sold to a wealthy collector, prosecutors said.

Michael Zomber, of Franklin, Tenn., was found guilty of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Goldman. He faces up to five years in prison under sentencing guidelines.

Zomber and Richard Ellis, a respected expert on Colt pistols, deceived a Pennyslvania collector, James Murphy, into thinking that he was in a bidding war for two pistols once owned by Texas Rangers Capt. Samuel H. Walker, prosecutors said. The guns, a pair...

Downrange: 01/04

Three different news bits supplied by the National Shooting Sports Foundation points to 2004 being a strong year for firearms activity. To wit:

• When the Justice Department audited National Instant Check System purchases during an 80-day period last year to ascertain how many potential firearm purchases were made by women, it found that roughly 12 percent of gun buyers are women. Translated into unit sales, that means females purchased about 1 million of the estimated 8 million long guns and handguns expected to be sold in 2003.That number comes directly from the question about the gender of the buyer on the BATF Form 4473.

• To...

Downrange: 12/03

DASCHLE PROTECTS GUN RIGHTS? You know that Democratic politicians have learned that gun-rights advocacy can save their jobs when Senate Minority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) moves to protect gun manufacturers and dealers from legal liability when crimes are committed without their knowledge.

The vast majority of gun owners, manufacturers and sellers are honest and law-abiding, Daschle said of his support for the bill. It is wrong-and a misuse of the civil justice system-to try to punish honest, law-abiding people for illegal acts committed by others without their knowledge or involvement.

Daschle submitted an amendment to a current gun-liability law that would clarif...

Show Me State Carry Law Passes

In Missouri, the legislature has voted to override Gov. Bob Holdens veto of state legislation that would allow concealed carry in the Show Me State.

In mid-September, the Republican-controlled Missouri House and Senate representatives voted on consecutive days to override Holdens veto, with one vote coming from State Senator Jon Dolan, who returned from active duty with the U.S. Army in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in time to help his GOP colleagues. The legislature also has joined 30 other states in enacting protection from lawsuits for companies whose products are misused without their knowledge in criminal acts, another law the Governor vetoed earlier.

Despite panicked claims that innoce...

Downrange: 10/03

LAST CHANCE TO MAKE RESERVATIONS. Activists from around the country will converge on Houston for the 18th annual Gun Rights Policy Conference September 26 through 28 at the George Bush International Airport Marriot Hotel. Grassroots activists compare notes on the gun rights movement in their local communities and learn about the future of the national movement to secure our freedoms. Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation urged activists to: be there to celebrate the major victories weve had in extending the right to carry. The people of Colorado, New Mexico, Michigan, and Minnesota are safer now that their fundamental right to self-de...

Armed, and Safer, Iraqis

I turn over my column this month to John R. Lott Jr., a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and the author of the recently released The Bias Against Guns. -Todd Woodard


June 26, 2003 - The June 14 deadline for Iraqi citizens to turn in banned weapons worked about as poorly as any gun buy-back program in the United States. After the two-week program ended, a guard at one of the designated places to turn in guns said, We have had plenty of reporters, but no weapons come in.

American soldiers are laying down their lives to protect Iraqi citizens, and the last thing that we want to do is put them in harms way. On Tuesday, six British soldie...

Downrange: 08/03

The U.S. Supreme Court justices have altered their summer schedule to make room for lengthy and complicated arguments against the campaign-finance reform law enacted by Congress last year. The National Rifle Association is challenging it in 12 related cases and others arguing that preventing involvement in political campaigns is a violation of the First Amendments freedom of speech protection. Oral arguments are scheduled for September 8, at a time when the court usually is standing down in preparation for a new session that starts in October.


The nations largest retailer has agreed to pay $200,000 in a co...

Downrange 07/03: Firearms Industry Wins Victory

A 12-member advisory jury in the NAACPs Brooklyn lawsuit against the firearms industry exonerated manufacturers and distributors with a decision that found unanimously for 38 of the industry defendants. Jurors found for seven other defendants by a vote of at least 10 of the 12 jurors, and in 23 additional instances the jury failed to come to a decision. Not a single defendant was found to be either intentionally or negligently responsible for a public nuisance the NAACP claims occurs within the highly regulated and federally licensed chain of distribution and sale of firearms in America.

We welcome the advisory jurys common sense finding that the manufacturers and distributors of firea...

An Attack On The Civilian Ammunition Supply

If you live in one of the below mentioned states, please understand that the legal system in your area is attempting to restrict gun...