Industry News: Retailer Says Obama Voters Not Welcome
By Robert M. Hausman

Cope Reynolds, owner of Southwest Shooting Authority in Pinetop, AZ gained press after the election by barring those who voted for Obama from his store. “If you voted for Barack Obama your business is not welcome...You have proven that you are not responsible enough to own a firearm,” read the store’s policy in a newspaper advertisement – as well as on a sign posted on the store’s front door.

“I’m a small business owner,” he said. “If you are dumb enough to vote for Obama again – after four years of this – I don’t think you are responsible enough to own a firearm. I don’t care who it makes mad.”

Reynolds said they’ve been deluged with telephone calls from supportive callers – some from as far away as New York and New Jersey. But other callers have not been so supportive. There have also been, in Reynolds words, “vile, rude, and hateful comments. They call us stupid rednecks and racist.” He said he also received two death threats but is not worried. “We’re able to wear our guns in Arizona and we wear 24/7,” he said. “And we train regularly.”

Four More Years – Looking Ahead

Now that Obama has won re-election, here’s a look at some of the likely areas where we will see a renewed effort to restrict civilian ownership of small arms.

There are pending ATF rulings and open letters on armor piercing, machine gun manufacturing and stockpiling, and on sporting classifications for imported weapons. ATF will likely be encouraged to make unfavorable rulings toward the industry and civilians now that the anti-gun Democrats have been given a “mandate” by the electorate to pursue their anti-gun policies.

Anticipating various bans on importation of firearms and ammunition, the industry has been moving towards domestic manufacture of many products for several years. Specifically, ATF has been studying possible import bans on various shotguns for some time. They can do this by merely finding that they are “non-sporting.”

U.N. gun ban efforts. No doubt we will see renewed vigor from the Obama Administration for the Arms Trade Treaty and other U.N. efforts to restrict international trade in firearms and ammunition. The rhetoric coming out of the Administration this past summer was just that, carefully crafted to appeal to all sides in light of the impending election. But now he has won and no doubt we will see a change in the Administration’s position on the Arms Trade Treaty. They will be more vocal in its support.

Semiautomatic Assault Weapons Ban. Senator Feinstein (D-Ca) has always made it clear that she would never abandon the idea of a new SAW ban. They will say that America favors tighter gun control (they won, remember?), and they will say military-style weapons have no place in civilian hands and must therefore be restricted. During the debates, Obama vocalized support for reinstitution of the federal ban and he will no doubt exploit some tragic future shooting incident to justify its imposition. (Editor’s note: This article was written prior to the Newtown shootings. Nevertheless, the author’s suppositions proved to be correct.) There will likely also be an effort to impose a mail-order ammunition sales ban of some sort.

ATF Hosts Meeting on Armor Piercing Ammo Exemptions

The Bureau of ATF held a series of meetings at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. to exempt various projectiles from the definition of “armor piercing,” last November 28-30th.

The ATF Office of Enforcement Programs and Services has received requests to exempt certain projectiles under 18 U.S.C. § 921(a) (17) ( C ) as “primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes.” If exempted, the projectiles would no longer be classified as “armor piercing ammunition,” and those properly licensed would be legally permitted to manufacture, import, and distribute such projectiles to the public.

In considering the exemption under 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(17)( C ), ATF says it has consistently said that “sporting purposes” refers to the traditional sporting purposes of target shooting and hunting. However, ATF may exempt only those enumerated ammunition projectiles that are “primarily intended” for such purposes.

The Law Enforcement Officer’s Protection Act of 1986 was enacted to protect law enforcement officers from death or injury by ammunition capable of penetrating soft body armor. The Act defined armor piercing ammunition as “projectiles or projectile cores which may be used in a handgun” and, in relevant part, are constructed entirely “from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium.”

ATF has exempted only two projectiles from the definition: (5.56 {.223}SS109/M855 and U.S. .30-06 M2 AP).

ATF sought information on (1) the use of particular projectiles in the community for sporting purposes and (2) whether these projectiles pose a threat to law enforcement officers if used in handguns.

The meeting was said to be well-attended with a long list of presenters seeking exemption for a variety of ammunition.

Mass. Gov. Patrick May Replace Holder

The White House has confirmed that Massachusetts’ liberal governor, Deval Patrick is being considered to replace Eric Holder as U.S. Attorney General.

Holder has come under increased scrutiny over his handling of the Fast and Furious operation, during which more than 2,000 firearms were transported to drug smugglers in Mexico with no ATF oversight. Holder has been found in contempt for his failure to cooperate by the U.S. House.

Other liberals being considered to replace Holder are Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D) of Rhode Island, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

The author publishes two of the small arms industry’s most widely read trade newsletters. The International Firearms Trade covers the world firearms scene, and The New Firearms Business covers the domestic market. Visit www.FirearmsGroup.com. He may be reached at: FirearmsB@aol.com.

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review SAW (April 2013)
and was posted online on February 15, 2013


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