What a rollercoaster it’s been, on behalf of 2015. Firearms rights advocates have been hitting back against hostile Restrictionists / Abolitionists, who screamed bloody-murder over the 2013-2014 period. We’ve also witnessed groups like MDA, CSGV and Everytown slowly fading back into the shadows of irrelevance.
Though rather needless to mention, the 2016 Presidential race is on. I haven’t been impressed by the majority of candidates running on the Republican side of the debate nor how the debates have been run. There has certainly been some backwards ass logic when it came to who was included in the Primary and Undercard debates. And don’t make me laugh. None of the Democratic candidates are on the radar. But, of course, it’s just been an all-around circus.
It’s been big on firearms industry related news early on into 2016. There were some unfortunate turn of events in regards to companies, including Smith & Wesson Corp., Israeli Weapons Industries US and Stag Arms. On the other hand, Beretta is moving to Tennessee. While I’m still trying to figure out the scope of President Obama’s new background check expansion; the Prince Law Offices and some of the larger Federal Firearms License holders have explained the BGC expansions under the new ATF-41P mandate; specifically regarding Class-III items. Most have already continued to go after the Left’s desire for SmartGun technology, TechCrunch brought the heaviest hammer down on the plans. Forbes had more on the 23 Executive Orders that were signed, as an aside. Texas also got permitted Open Carry on the 1st of January.
As far as what it’s done for the firearms economy, Sturm Ruger and Smith & Wesson Corp. have seen their shares rocketing higher and higher. Both SWHC and RGR stocks did dip down a bit the other day, but I don’t see that as much to worry about. Identilock was unveiled on the 6th, as well. The device is a portable, biometric device that keeps your firearm secure from unauthorized persons via a “specialized IP”. While it might sound cool to the company and supporters of mandatory lock-boxing, it’s still technology and because of the system’s mobility it’s also useless against someone who breaks into your house and lifts it should you leave it behind.
Locally, Rep. Barry Ivey (R-65, Louisiana) introduced HB-4 which would allow for permitless concealed carry — otherwise known as Constitutional Carry. It’s not the first time Constitutional Carry has been brought up in the state of Louisiana, but if it passes, it will be on the ballot this November. “No, thank you, Governor. We’ll let the people decide.” Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Ivey’s been here before. His previous attempt was halted by the Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice on May 6th, 2014.
Plans for 2016. It’s been awhile since the last round of coverage here. Last summer was a restful period, from the end of August on, there was another college semester and a new job. I work as a Range Safety Officer at a state-owned outdoor shooting range. There have been some rather exotic firearms on the range and I’m extremely pleased to be working there.
1) Purchase a Concealed Carry Permit. That statement alone should be used to defeat the requirement based on the fact that you’re “purchasing a right’s extension or sub-category”. However, because that’s not how the courts usually view it, thanks to the pull of whoever is making the money off of the permitting system. We’re stuck with it. To put it into perspective, the mandatory CHL class costs around $100, the first-time five-year permit costs $125 and the fingerprinting card costs $10. Plus, if you haven’t lived in Louisiana for at least 15-years, it’s an additional $50 dollars. That’s $235/$285 with a standard $125 renewal every five-year term unless or until you’re 65-years old.
2) H&K vs. SIG-Sauer – The hunt for the next handgun. With a permit comes the desire for a new handgun. The list was previously large and topped by the S&W M&P, but as time progressed and weapons were shot, I settled on two companies — Heckler & Koch and SIG-Sauer. The final participants are the H&K USP Compact, their P30 or SIG’s SP2022. The H&K USP Compact is the smallest of them all and the most comparable to the SP2022. Price is where everything diverges. The order is SP2022, P30 and USP-C — based on sales prices and not MSRP. I liked shooting the H&Ks, which leaves them on the list. I want to get some more time with the P30, but the prices are indicative that the SP2022 is on top. LooseRounds has a far more indepth review of the SP2022, for those interested.
It’s around half the price of the other two contenders and sells for right at $430, before tax, at my local Academy. Something that should be noted, as well. As long as it’s reliable, and the price is right for you; what happens if you get into a shooting with your carry gun? This is something that Tim Harmsen (Full30, The Bang Switch, MAC) mentioned. Are you willing to lose a handgun to the evidence locker that costs *insert price here*. Most will say that the price hovers around what a standard Gen-4 Glock sits. Where I sit, the H&K’s do not fall into that category just yet. The SP2022 does.
3) Learning the art of reloading ammunition. It’s most certainly time to do some research into the craft and begin myself. I’ve been looking into single-stage Lee and RCBS presses, gaining knowledge from shooters who frequent the range and reading all I can. I have yet to chose a caliber to reload, but it’s something I want to get into. Subsequently, I’ve joined the two Facebook groups, Reloading 101 and Reloading Central, to help with these learning curves. It might also help you.
4) This is the Line – Til Valhalla. One thing I would like to do this year is to get a logo done up for the page and get some more photography done for the page, as well. Which brings us to the the new tagline. Why so cryptic? Valhalla is considered the “Hall of the Slain”, put forth by Odin, for those that died on the battlefield. On the Restrictionist / Abolitionist side of the coin, there are two kinds of people. You have your diehards / politicians and you have your followers. You cannot change the mentality of the former, but you can on the latter by educating the public. The only thing the former group will understand is an absolute barrage of facts and a promise… It’s a promise that, if violence is rendered over what we believe in, the sentiment will be returned in kind.
5) Other projects – More firearms, of course. While I love the Kalashnikov pattern of firearms, I’m looking to make some replacements to the long-standing systems that I have. I’m on the road towards a full move to Israeli Weapons Industries U.S. firearms. That is to say, I’m looking to own a bullpup Tavor in 5.56mm and replace the ol’ AK with a Galil ACE rifle. I’m going to be playing close attention to the ACE release, due to the ACE pistol recall. I am hoping that QC doesn’t play out like SIG’s 556R and 556xi chapters. The new handgun is first on the list, but we’ll see how it all plays out with the CHP right there with it.
- A 600-lumen weaponlight for the Glock. I’m still debating between Streamlight’s TLR-1HL and Surefire’s X300UB.
- My favorite thing in the world is the long-range shooting of skeet with a .22 LR rifle. I’ve fallen completely in love with CZ-USA 455s. I’m debating on a 455 Thumbhole Fluted or a 455 Tacticool Threaded. I would prefer the stock of the TF with a threaded barrel. The 455 Varmint Standard is a dream to shoot, though.
- New holster and magazine carrier for the new handgun. I’ve pretty much decided on the SIG SP2022, but that means new hardware. I’m partial to G-CODE INCOG holsters, but I’ll have to see if they even provide a holster for the system.
- More coverage. Spreading the news about H.R. 3799 “Hearing Protection Act” is one of the most important topics to me, at the moment. It’s time to get back to writing overall. I’m hoping to see a 2016 where I can do just that.
That’s all for right now. I will update with more as it comes along and as the political season continues to rev-up.