Here’s Why Guns Sell When Obama Talks Gun Control – by Robert Hackett JANUARY 5, 2016, 1:24 PM EST

There is a correlation.

When President Obama rallies in favor of stricter firearm regulations, guns sell.

Case in point: Gunmakers had one of their best months ever in December, according to an analysis of federal background check data by the New York Times, immediately following the President’s call for tougher assault weapon purchasing measures after the mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif.

During that month, sales spiked as high as 1.6 million guns sold, leading firearm manufacturers such as Smith & Wesson SWHC 11.08% recently to mark up their revenue projections.

Another one of the industry’s top-performing months followed the President’s gun control-promoting remarks after a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in Dec. 2012. By the next month, 2 million guns had been sold, according to the Times. (The data on which the Times’ analysis rests can be found here.)

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Gun control won’t prevent another Charleston-style shooting, says Jeb Bush – Associated Press Saturday 27 June 2015 21.39 EDT

Ahead of South Carolina visit, Republican presidential candidate says it is better to identify potentially violent people before they commit crimes

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush speaks at a campaign event Saturday in Henderson, Nevada.

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush speaks at a campaign event Saturday in Henderson, Nevada. Photograph: John Locher/AP

New gun control measures are not the way to prevent mass killings such as the shooting deaths of nine people in a South Carolina church, the Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said on Saturday.

Bush, who plans to meet black ministers in Charleston, South Carolina, on Monday, said identifying potentially violent people before they committed such crimes was a better approach than further restrictions on gun ownership.

Bush also said gun control was an issue that should be sorted out at the state level. “Rural areas are very different than big, teeming urban areas,” he said.

The comments came less than a day after Barack Obama eulogized the pastorwho was shot to death on 17 June with eight parishioners at Emanuel African Methodist church.

“For too long, we’ve been blind to the unique mayhem that gun violence inflicts upon this nation. Sporadically, our eyes are open,” Obama said. “But I hope we also see the 30 precious lives cut short by gun violence in this country every single day.”

Bush also told reporters he was disappointed in both supreme court rulings from the last week that upheld Obama’s health care overhaul and legalized gay marriage nationwide.

He said he would repeal the health care law if elected.

As for gay marriage, Bush said he believed in traditional marriage between a man and a woman but indicated he wouldn’t fight the court’s ruling. He said long-term loving relationships should be respected as well as a person’s ability to express their religious beliefs.

I Made an Untraceable AR-15 ‘Ghost Gun’ in My Office—And It Was Easy | ANDY GREENBERG 06.03.15 7:00 AM

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This is my ghost gun. To quote the rifleman’s creed, there are many like it, but this one is mine. It’s called a “ghost gun”—a term popularized by gun control advocates but increasingly adopted by gun lovers too—because it’s an untraceable semiautomatic rifle with no serial number, existing beyond law enforcement’s knowledge and control. And if I feel a strangely personal connection to this lethal, libertarian weapon, it’s because I made it myself, in a back room of WIRED’s downtown San Francisco office on a cloudy afternoon.

I did this mostly alone. I have virtually no technical understanding of firearms and a Cro-Magnon man’s mastery of power tools. Still, I made a fully metal, functional, and accurate AR-15. To be specific, I made the rifle’s lower receiver; that’s the body of the gun, the only part that US law defines and regulates as a “firearm.” All I needed for my entirely legal DIY gunsmithing project was about six hours, a 12-year-old’s understanding of computer software, an $80 chunk of aluminum, and a nearly featureless black 1-cubic-foot desktop milling machine called the Ghost Gunner.

The Ghost Gunner is a $1,500 computer-numerical-controlled (CNC) mill sold by Defense Distributed, the gun access advocacy group that gained notoriety in 2012 and 2013 when it began creating 3-D-printed gun parts and the Liberator, the world’s first fully 3-D-printed pistol. While the political controversy surrounding the notion of a lethal plastic weapon that anyone can download and print has waxed and waned, Defense Distributed’s DIY gun-making has advanced from plastic to metal. Like other CNC mills, the Ghost Gunner uses a digital file to carve objects out of aluminum. With the first shipments of this sold-out machine starting this spring, the group intends to make it vastly easier for normal people to fabricate gun parts out of a material that’s practically as strong as the stuff used in industrially manufactured weapons.

The Ghost Gunner may signal a new era where the barrier to building an untraceable semiautomatic rifle is lower than ever before.

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Do We Need Stricter Gun Control? – The People Speak VICE News Published on Feb 28, 2015

VICE News traveled around the world speaking to people about guns, gun control, and differences in global attitudes on firearms.

In this episode, we asked you whether the US should have stricter gun control laws, and how effective stricter gun control laws are in other countries.

Find out what people from Tel Aviv, Israel to San Jose, Costa Rica had to say about about it, and tell us what you think: share a post with the hashtag #vicenews on Twitter, or send us a Skype video message.

To leave a Skype video message, follow the instructions here:

In Washington State, where a gun is not a weapon – October 13, 2014 2:45AM ET

Gun owners’ fears about big government, universal registry and Seattle liberals has them opposing background checks

Rich Haines, 41, outside his home in Deer Park, Washington, October 7, 2014. 
Peter DiCampo for Al Jazeera America

DEER PARK, Wash.—There is a Ruger pistol, a Smith & Wesson revolver, and a Beretta semi-automatic laid out on the coffee table in front of Rich Haines.

The 41-year-old National Rifle Association-certified instructor, during his courses on target shooting and self-defense, takes care to explain each piece of the machinery to his pupils—the cylinder where the bullets are housed in the revolver, the slide on the semi-automatic; the lands and the grooves inside the muzzle which propel the ammunition forward; the hammer which strikes the firing pin when the trigger is squeezed.

Just don’t go calling them weapons.

“None of these are weapons. We call these what they are. This is a pistol and this is a pistol.“ Haines interjects, when he hears the w-word. “We teach what it is. We are not looking for this to be a weapon.”

What may seem like semantics to the unconverted is a critical distinction for Haines, and Doug Rosso, 68, a fellow gun hobbyist administering this particular lesson.

The view that firearms, as a category, are the enemy and that guns are the hazard to public safety, to be heavily regulated and monitored, is the real danger, Rosso and Haines say—an argument that an overzealous government uses to slowly chip away at their gun rights.

They are so adamant about this point that the two men have volunteered to give a reporter who has never handled a firearm an impromptu crash course on gun safety and target shooting, first in Rosso’s living room and then on an improvised range.

This election season, Washington State will be the newest frontier in the battle between gun control and gun rights advocates, with a fascinating legal twist. Voters in November are likely to pass Initiative 594, which would extend background checks to gun shows, online sales and private transfers between certain parties—similar to federal legislation that failed to clear the Senate in 2013. They may simultaneously pass Initiative 591, launched in direct opposition to 594, which outlaws background checks in the absence of a federal standard and furthermore, prevents the government from confiscating guns without due process.

Analysts say voter confusion is at the heart of this electoral paradox. If both ballot initiatives pass, a decision about which statute to enforce will likely be left up to the courts.

It’s safe to say, nevertheless, that Rosso and Haines are not among the ambivalent.

A few hours at the range reveals exactly what gun owners in rural Eastern Washington find so onerous about a seemingly mild gun control provision that has the support of the majority of the American public, and demonstrates the deep regional and cultural divisions on an issue that remains as intractable as ever.

After teaching the classroom portion of the course, the pair drive down winding dirt roads to an idyllic patch of farmland where Haines sets up targets—paper plates affixed to a piece of farm equipment.

Haines is a precise instructor, who has taken 60 hours of NRA training on pistol handling and spends his spare time instructing Cub Scouts and other private parties. He teaches how to grip each of the different firearms correctly, how to sight the targets, how to properly breathe when firing and how to avoid flinching so as not to disrupt the shot. Rosso occasionally pipes up with advice.

The two men above all emphasize safety. Always ensure the gun is pointed down range, Haines commands. Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. Always make sure the firearms are checked and double-checked to see they are unloaded before and after shooting.

Bloomberg anti-gun push puts red-state Democrats in tough spot – By Ben Goad and Alexandra Jaffe – 07/07/14 08:28 PM EDT

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) is pulling the trigger on a national campaign to counter the gun lobby’s political might ahead of this year’s midterm elections.

But vulnerable red-state Democrats could wind up in the cross hairs, potentially helping Republicans seize control of the Senate — a scenario that would further darken the already dim prospects for gun control legislation in Congress.

Everytown for Gun Safety, a coalition with Bloomberg’s financial backing, announced plans Monday to begin questioning candidates for state and federal offices about their positions on an array of issues surrounding gun policy.

Much as the powerful National Rifle Association uses a scoring system to rally voters in favor of pro-gun candidates, Everytown plans to use the responses to target candidates the group views as standing on the wrong side of the issue and back those who support more stringent gun control regulations.

“For too long, candidates running for office have only heard from the gun lobby,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown.

The initiative, the first phase of a massive voter mobilization campaign this fall, is part of Bloomberg’s $50 million commitment for the current election cycle. That’s more than twice the roughly $20 million spent by the NRA two years ago, according to figures kept by the Center for Responsive Politics.

The questionnaires will go out nationally, though the group is focusing heavily on a dozen states, where incumbents and challengers alike will be queried on proposals to expand background checks and crack down on gun traffickers.

The group is also demanding that candidates spell out their positions on measures aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and stalkers, as well as preventing child access to guns.

The aggressive push might be less than welcome for Democrats, especially those running in conservative-leaning states where gun rights are more popular.

Gun control, for instance is fraught with political peril in Colorado, where a successful push for stricter controls in the legislature led to the recall of two Democratic state senators last year.

Indicating just how difficult the issue could be in the midterms, Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper walked back his support for those measures last month. And Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, facing a serious challenge from Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), has touted his work defending gun rights in the state.

Asked whether he’d fill out the questionnaire, Udall spokesman Chris Harris said the campaign hadn’t yet looked at it — but noted the senator’s efforts to expand public shooting ranges.

Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, said the surveys could be an inconvenience at best for Democrats in red states.

“Once you get gun control on the agenda, it opens the door for the NRA to push back harder,” Sabato said. “It matters whether an issue is visible in a state and, therefore, part of the calculus for voters.”

The NRA, long viewed as one of Washington’s biggest political players, is putting lawmakers on notice that their responses to the questionnaire will be carefully scrutinized.

“And they will be taken into full consideration when grades are determined and endorsement decisions are made,” NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said.

Several embattled Senate Democrats have highlighted their credentials on gun rights issues, with several backing legislation before the upper chamber this week that would bolster opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing and shooting on federal lands.

Among them is the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.). Other Democratic targets have signed on as co-sponsors, including Sens. Mark Pryor (Ark.), Mark Begich (Alaska), Mary Landrieu (La.) and Udall.

Still, Sabato said the Everytown push could be problematic for those candidates, as well as Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), who is running for the state’s open Senate seat.

“[Senate Democrats] have got a terrible map,” he said. “And the last thing Pryor, Landrieu, Hagan, Begich and, for that matter, Udall and Braley need is for gun control to become more visible as an issue.”

A spokesman for Joe Miller, a Republican challenging Begich, said Miller would not be filling out the questionnaire.

But he used the initiative to highlight differences between Miller and the incumbent Begich.

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Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) talks about the gun control… – By S.A. Miller-The Washington Times Sunday, June 22, 2014

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Everybody loves Gabby Giffords — just not necessarily on the campaign trail.

When the gun control advocacy group led by the former congresswoman from Arizona threw its support behind several endangered Senate Democrats in Western and Southern states, the candidates carefully moved to distance themselves from the affable Ms. Giffords and boasted about their strident defense of Second Amendment rights.

SEE ALSO: Supreme Court ruling tightens gun purchase retrictions

The message was clear: Thanks, but no thanks.

The candidates — Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado, Sen. Mary L. Landrieu in Louisiana, Sen. Kay R. Hagan in North Carolina and Rep. Bruce L. Braley, vying for Iowa’s open Senate seat — have tried to avoid the gun debate in key races that will determine whether their party keeps its majority in the U.S. Senate.

Ms. Giffords, who survived a gunshot to the head by a deranged assailant three years ago at an event in her congressional district in Tucson, remains a sympathetic figure. But as a leading advocate for gun control measures, her support could do more harm than good for Democrats in firearm country.

Political strategists warn that the gun issue posses too much of a risk for Democrats already struggling in those red and purple states. It threatens to stir up opposition among Second Amendment advocates who could swing a close election to the Republican candidate.

The gun issue is particularly vexing for Mr. Udall in Colorado, where two Democratic state senators were booted from office in recall elections last year after backing tough gun control measures passed by the Democrat-run legislature.

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Locked and Loaded: How the NRA Aims to Endure – By Lauren Fox May 7, 2014

A man displays a gun used during a round of recreational skeet shooting at a gun range in November 2007 in Virginia.

Gun control proponents are learning more than money is needed to combat gun rights groups – it’s a culture war.

Ask National Rifle Association executives what the last year and a half has looked like for them – even after a series of horrific gun rampages dominated headlines. They’ll tick off a long list of triumphs in rapid fire: They’ve gained 1 million new members, more than half of all states have expanded gun rights and they helped block a federal expansion of background checks in Congress.

The net result?

Just a little more than a year after Vice President Joe Biden presided over a much ballyhooed but ultimately failed vote to expand federal background checks in the Senate, Congress has done nothing to limit access to guns or high-capacity ammunition magazines. In fact, in more than half of U.S. states, gun rights have been expanded, not limited, in the year and a half since Adam Lanza walked into an elementary school and killed 20 first-graders at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The appetite for gun control, as it turns out, might not have been as strong as headlines screamed in the days after the elementary school tragedy.

“Kids are kids and we don’t condone what happened; we are deeply hurt by it,” says Mark Warner, a senior sales manager at Blue Ridge Arsenal Inc. in Chantilly, Virginia. “But when people have a passion for shooting sports and someone tells them they are going to lose those rights or access to guns, they are going to rally behind what they believe in.”

At the state level, the NRA has played a pivotal part in expanding “stand your ground” laws and concealed carry legislation. In 2013, there were double the number of gun rights bills than gun control legislation, according to an analysis by PBS Frontline. In 2013, gun control groups passed 43 new measures. Gun rights advocates passed 93.

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Threats against Maryland gun dealer raise doubts about future of smart guns – By Michael S. Rosenwald, Published: May 2

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The latest skirmish over the nation’s first smart gun, marked this week by death threats against a Maryland gun dealer who wanted to sell the weapon, has raised doubts about its future and prompted some gun-control advocates to back away from legislative efforts to mandate the technology.

Engage Armament, a Rockville gun shop, endured an outpouring of vitriol from gun rights activists who fear the technology will be used to curtail their Second Amendment rights by limiting the kinds of guns they can buy in the future.

The protests echoed those against the Oak Tree Gun Club, a Los Angeles area store that offered to sell the smart gun and — like Engage Armament — quickly dropped the idea after opposition mounted. Electronic chips in the Armatix iP1 can communicate with a watch that can be bought separately. Then the gun cannot be fired without the watch.

Gun rights advocates are worried about a New Jersey law under which only smart handguns can be sold there within three years of being sold anywhere in the country. The law, they fear, will be replicated in other states. Similar proposals have been introduced in California and Congress.

On Friday, New Jersey’s Senate majority leader offered a compromise that might allay fears that smart gun technology will become a backdoor form of gun control. State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D),who sponsored the landmark 2002 law, said she would ask the legislature to drop the mandate if the National Rifle Association, a fierce critic of smart gun technology, promises not to stand in the way of the development and sale of the weapons.

“I’m willing to do this because eventually these are the kinds of guns people will want to buy,” Weinberg said.

In response to questions about Weinberg’s proposal, the NRA issued a terse statement from Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “The NRA is interested in a full repeal of New Jersey’s misguided law,” Cox said.

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A Biometric Gun Lock That Even the NRA Might Like – BY ISSIE LAPOWSKY 05.02.14 | 6:30 AM

Image: Sentinl

Image: Sentinl

Omer Kiyani’s hands still shake when he remembers the day that changed the course of his life.

He was 16 years old, riding in a car with a group of friends, when someone started firing a gun outside the car. Kiyani — who never identified the shooter and has trouble remembering the incident — was shot in the mouth. After several surgeries, his physical problems faded away, but the shooting left an indelible impression on his psyche.

Yes, he believes in making guns safer, but he’s not your typical safety advocate. He’s a gun owner himself, and he wants to control firearms in the most practical of ways. That’s why he founded Sentinl, a Detroit-based startup that’s designing a biometric gun lock called Identilock. Attaching to a gun’s trigger, it unlocks only when the owner applies a fingerprint. Now that he’s a father, Kiyani says, he’s even more motivated to keep guns out of the wrong hands and prevent his kids from having to go through the trauma he experienced. “I understand what can happen when you’re on the wrong side of a firearm,” he explains.

‘I understand what can happen when you’re on the wrong side of a firearm.’

Gun control has been a contentious issue for decades, but these days, things are about as divisive as they can get. As a recent Pew Research survey shows, the American public is almost completely split on the issue, with 50 percent of Americans saying gun control is more important than gun rights, and 48 percent saying the opposite. The debate is playing out in political arenas around the country. Just weeks after former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged $50 million to gun control initiatives, Georgia governor Nathan Deal signed the so-called “guns everywhere” law, which allows Georgia residents to carry guns in churches, schools, and even parts of airports.

Introducing any type of innovation into an industry so ripe with controversy and partisan politics has traditionally been a nearly insurmountable task. A company called Armatix — one of the brightest lights in the gun safety arena — recently developed a smart gun that authorizes the user by connecting to a radio frequency-enabled stopwatch, but as The New York Times points out, the company has found it nearly impossible to overcome gun rights lobbyists, who say technology like that could cause the gun to malfunction.

Nonetheless, Kiyani believes even gun rights activists will be more amenable to the Identilock, and he’s not entirely crazy for thinking so.

From Air Bags to Guns

An engineer by training, Kiyani spent years working as a software developer building next-generation airbag systems. He worked on calibrating the systems to minimize the chance of injury in the event of an accident, and eventually, he realized he could apply the same basic concepts to guns. “The idea of an airbag is so simple. You inflate it and can save a life,” he says. “I made the connection. I have something in my house that’s very dangerous. There’s got to be a simple way to protect it.”

Initially, Kiyani considered technology that would require installing electronic locking equipment into the guns themselves. But as an engineer, he also understood the inherent complications of designing electronics that could withstand tremendous shock and high temperatures. “Think of the average electronic lock on a door,” Kiyani explains. “Now imagine every time it’s opened, it gets 30 some blows with a huge hammer.” To develop that type of expertise — and to ensure it would work without fail — would have taken Kiyani time and money he didn’t have, not to mention how insanely difficult it would be to convince gun manufacturers to work with him. So he built something that anyone could add to a gun.

His creation is different in three ways: it’s optional, it’s detachable, and it’s quick. Unlike biometric gun safes and other locking mechanisms, Kiyani says, the Identilock makes it as easy to access a firearm as it is to unlock an iPhone. He pitched hundreds of gun owners a variety of ideas over the course of his research, but it was the biometric lock they inevitably latched onto. “That was the key motivator for moving forward,” Kiyani remembers. “As I kept talking to people, not only did the idea get refined, but it was clear people wanted it.”

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