Friday, March 27, 2009

Paranoia is Good...

Back on December 1, 2008, I posted a piece entitled "We Gun Owners Aren't Doing a Very Good Job..." It can be found under "Older Posts."

I commented on how many questions I get every week on how to go about "registering" a gun--or if a gun someone wanted to buy had to be "registered." Or if a gun someone had inherited had to have the "registration" transferred to their name.

In every case I apoplectically explained to the people that while they are obviously not firearms enthusiasts, they should be outraged at the mere thought they would have to register their guns.

Most react with a sheepish "Oh. I guess you're right. I didn't think about that."



Most folks have heard of gun registration, and being non-gun enthusiasts, they don't stop to think about the effects of having their guns listed with a central governmental authority. Once the results of such an occurrence are explained to them, they are far more defiant in their attitudes concerning registration.

In the course of the posting, I described the background check (Called a "NICS" check by gun dealers) run on gun purchases, and stated the information obtained by the FBI during such a check cannot be retained by the Feebies--but must be fleeting and transitory. In short, they can check your criminal history, but they can't keep the information.

For a while after this process was instituted, it was discovered that the FBI was actually retaining the information on gun purchasers in direct contravention of the program as ordered by Congress.

When Congress got wind of this method of thwarting its order, it raised itself in great wrath, and smote the FBI, ordering that organization to cease and desist all record keeping of gun purchasers. They rapidly ended the practice--or at least, the Feebies have managed to hide any further transgressions from Congress.

Of course, there are those amongst us that will always doubt, and I myself am a great believer in paranoia.

Paranoia keeps you safe. Paranoia will make you constantly check your rear, to be sure something isn't creeping up on you.

So Mr. Anonymous, with his healthy dose of paranoia, asked "If they only use it to verify that I have not committed a felony etc. than why do they call out the serial number of the brand new firearm that I am purchasing? What do they need the serial number for?"

Which struck me as an excellent question, one of which I had never thought before.

Why Indeed?

If they are NOT keeping records, why do they need the serial number and type of gun you are buying?

Thus I showed my own lack of observation, since I do buy my fair share of guns.

I really never paid much attention when a dealer called in my pertinents. I've never been delayed even once, so I've never listened very closely to what was being said, other than the facts stating I didn't have three eyes, or a background dallying in arson.

I contacted a couple of dealers who call in NICS checks daily--I was assured no information about the particular gun was relayed to the FBI. No serial number, no gun description is offered in a NICS check--except whether it is a long gun or handgun. Even then, I take offense...why do they have to know even that? But considering the state of the Union, I can live with the way it is done.

It's a lot better here than anywhere else in the world, folks. And that is not to be construed as caving in to the machine.

No, we need to be ever-vigilant, and scream loud and long anytime our gun ownership rights are abrogated in any manner.

Only when we make them realize we are here, we are loud, we are vocal, and we vote, will we assure they approach any firearms ownership limitations with great fear.

We need to squeal like the proverbial pig at the slightest affront. We need to make them hear us and be put on notice that to tread on our rights will bring consequences--dire results that could remove their snouts from the trough.

Be paranoid. Be quick. Be loud.

It works.


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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Plowshares Beaten Back into Bullets

SHOCK and AWE...

The tentacles of the internet reached out and pulled the Brotherhood of the Gun together, launching a massive strike.

An electronic impulse that may have mirrored a sunspot hit Washington, DC as gun people everywhere called and e-mailed their congressonal delegations.

Larry Haynie is owner of Georgia Arms (http://www.georgia-arms.com/) and one of the largest manufacturers of centerfire pistol and rifle ammunition in the country, producing 1.2 million rounds of reloaded .223 ammunition a month, mainly from expended military cases.

"We're right up there behind Hornady," he told me.

Haynie first alerted us to the move by the Department of Defense to stop selling whole fired brass cases to the remanufacturing market, requiring instead that all expended brass be "mutilated" ("Shredded..." as Haynie put it) before it was sold as brass scrap.

On Sunday, March 15, he was interviewed by Tom Gresham on his nationally syndicated show "Gun Talk" (http://www.guntalk.com/) where he informed us he had two months worth of whole cases left, and then he would have to lay off half of his 60-person work force.

We discussed it on this blog, and alerted other gun bloggers who joined in warning the firearms community that here was a serious threat against their sport--one that could push the cost of ammunition well beyond the means of the average shooter.

The shooters responded--in droves. E-mails were sent. Letters were written that will probably continue arriving for days, and outrage was expressed.

Not only did the gun folks contact their congressmen, they contacted DOD too...even to verify the action had been taken, and Government Liquidators, LLC, the corporation that auctions government surplus, had been told to cease the auctions of whole expended brass.

Something worked.

On Tuesday, March 17, Georgia Arms posted this message on their website:

Dear Loyal Customers,
Thanks to your voice, DOD has rescinded the order to mutilate all spent cases as of 4:30 pm on 3/17/09. We appreciate the time and effort that you expended, together we all made a difference. We will be posting the email we received from DOD as well as any additional information within the next 12-16 hours. Thanks so much and lets get to work!!! Georgia Arms

Perhaps the most poignant message received of the many dozens that were posted here was from the wife of a long time employee of Georgia Arms:

"My husband has worked for Ga Arms for about 20 years...We have two kids in college..My husband is 50 years old, I am sitting here trying to come up with ways to reduce our spending and thinking about who would hire a 50 year old man! Please pray for our family! I guess we could sell off all his guns!!"

Thanks to you out there, this lady and many other long-time employees of Georgia Arms and all the other remanufacturers of expended military brass will now continue to be gainfully employed--a part of a productive American work force rather than forced onto the government dole.

There are too many people to thank for helping this occur--everyone pulled together.

But of special note are Larry Haynie, and Tom Gresham, who sent a link to his radio program: http://www.guntalk.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=443576

Caleb of Call Me Ahab alerted us to corroboration by www.AR15.com which has been on this since the beginning, and special thanks to the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (http://www.jpfo.org/), who also broke the news early on with a letter from Gary Marbut,the president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association. He described what was going down, and asked everyone to write Senators Max Baucus and John Tester to demand the DOD rescind this outrageous action against the shooting community--which they did.

David Codrea of The War On Guns leaped into the fray early on with his highly read Gun Rights Examiner columns http://www.examiner.com/x-1417-Gun-Rights-Examiner~y2009m3d18-Military-ammunition-policy-rescinded

But mainly, it was YOU--the Brotherhood of the Gun--who responded so quickly with cogent, lucid complaints to your political representatives--putting them on notice we would not take such attacks against our sport, avocation, and livelihoods lying down.

It was a quick, massive response. The comments on this blog alone were outraged and rancorous, but never vile--and they worked.

You are the Minutemen of today.

I am proud of you all.



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Sunday, March 15, 2009

DOD Ends Sale of Expended Military Brass to Remanufacturers


AND SO IT BEGINS...

Notice: Thanks to the hundreds of people who have responded to this posting, and the thousands of gun owners who e-mailed DOD and their representatives in Congress...

This situation has been resolved.

DOD rescinded the order after a firestorm of criticism--which began almost immediately when they issued a directive to mutilate all expended military brass before it could be sold to the civilian reloading market.

For a complete explanation of this decision by DOD, go to the main address for this blog (www.theshootist.net) and scroll down to the next posting after this one: "Plowshares Beaten Back Into Bullets."

Thank you for your concern and participation.

You proved we can all make a difference in defending our rights to own and use firearms.


(The following is the original posting which was instrumental--along with other bloggers, and national firearms organizations--in alerting the nation's gun owners of what was seen by many as a back-door attempt to cripple the ammunition supply and its availability to shooters...)

We all wondered when it was going to start--when the new administration would make their move against us as gun owners.

Oh, everyone got upset about HR45--I'll bet I got over 100 e-mails warning me about this draconian gun registration bill that had been introduced in Congress.

I was really glad to see Tom Gresham, host of "Gun Talk Radio," an editor, writer, television host on "Self-Defense TV," and one of the foremost gun spokespersons, come out and tell everyone to stop worrying about legislation so absolutely over-the-top--it would never get out of committee.

Tom said save your energy for when we really need it--don't expend it trying to warn everyone in your e-mail list about legislation that would go nowhere.

Now, Tom just interviewed me, and Larry Haynie, owner of Georgia Arms (http://www.georgia-arms.com/), on Gun Talk (http://www.guntalk.com/)--and Tom agrees, now is the time to "...unleash the hounds..." by which he means start e-mailing and writing your senators and congressmen.

Now it has come clear...now we know what they intend to do.

It is an end-run around Congress. They don't need to try to ban guns--they don't need to fight a massive battle to attempt gun registration, or limit "assault" weapon sales.

Nope. All they have to do is limit the amount of ammunition available to the civilian market, and when bullets dry up, guns will be useless.

Think we jest?

Here are copies of two letters sent to Georgia Arms just Thursday evening--effectively cancelling a contract he had to purchase 30,000 pounds of expended military brass in .223, 7.62mm, and .50 caliber:


Dear Valued Customer:

Please take a moment to note important changes set forth by the Defense Logistics Agency:

Recently it has been determined that fired munitions of all calibers, shapes and sizes have been designated to be Demil code B. As a result and in conjunction with DLA's current Demil code B policy, this notice will serve as official notification which requires Scrap Venture (SV) to implement mutilation as a condition of sale for all sales of fired munitions effective immediately. This notice also requires SV to immediately cease delivery of any fired munitions that have been recently sold or on active term contracts, unless the material has been mutilated prior to sale or SV personnel can attest to the mutilation after delivery. A certificate of destruction is required in either case.

Thank you,

DOD Surplus
15051 N Kierland Blvd # 300
Scottsdale, AZ 85254



March 12, 2009

Larry Haynie
Georgia Arms
PO Box 238
Villa Rica, GA 30180

Re: Event 7084-6200:

Dear Larry Haynie,

Effective immediately DOD Surplus, LLC, will be implementing new requirements for mutilation of fired shell casings. The new DRMS requirement calls for DOD Surplus personnel to witness the mutilation of the property and sign the Certificate of Destruction. Mutilation of the property can be done at the DRMO, if permitted by the Government, or it may be mutilated at a site chosen by the buyer. Mutilation means that the property will be destroyed to the extent prevents its reuse or reconstruction. DOD Surplus personnel will determine when property has been sufficiently mutilated to meet the requirements of the Government.

If you do not agree with the new conditions of your spot sale, please sign the appropriate box provided below stating that you do not agree to the new terms and would like to cancel your purchase effective immediately. If you do agree to the new terms please sign in the appropriate box provided below to acknowledge your understanding and agreement with the new requirements relating to your purchase. Fax the signed document back to (480) 367-1450, emailed responses are not acceptable.

Please respond to this request no later than close of business Monday, March 16th, 2009.

Sincerely,

Government Liquidation.



Got that? From now on, remanufacturers of military brass will not be able to buy surplus brass from DOD--actually from Government Liquidators, llc.--the corporation that sells surplus materials for the U.S. government. At least, not in any form recognizable as once-fired brass ammunition.

Now all brass ammunition will have to be shredded, and sold as scrap.

Georgia Arms, who brought this to our attention, is the 5th largest ammunition manufacturer of centerfire pistol and rifle ammunition in the U.S.

"We're right up there behind Hornady," Larry Haynie told me.

He also told me with the cancellation of his contract to purchase this brass, and the ending of his ability to purchase any more expended military ammunition, he will have to severely curtail his operation--laying off approximately half his 60-person work force.

Haynie further pointed out this move is a stupendous waste of taxpayer money--reducing the worth of the brass some 80%--from casings, to shredded bulk brass.

He stated most of this will now go to foundries where it will be melted down, cast in shippable forms, and likely be sold to China, one of the largest purchasers of U.S. metals on the open market.

Haynie was manufacturing over 1 million rounds of .223 ammunition every month, which he sold on the civilian market to resellers, and to law enforcement agencies across the country.

He will start tomorrow sending cancellations of orders for .223 to law enforcement agencies all over the country.

You can expect this to affect every bullet you purchase in the future--with no reloaded ammunition available, the already strained new manufacturers will be unable to meet demand. They are already turning out everything they can build for the military market. The civilian market is stressed to the point even reloading components have become hard to find.

Now, with this hit, ammunition prices will go through the roof in the next year.

Your quality piece, sitting in your gun rack, will become a very expensive wood and steel, or plastic and steel club.

What can you do?

Google "contact members of Congress" or simply type in http://www.congress.org/.
When you reach that site, type in your zip code--it will give you all your representatives, senators, and their web pages.

Or you can find the addresses and e-mails of your own senators and congressmen by going to http://www.senate.gov/ and http://www.house.gov/. Both pages have locator aids at the top of the page.



Here is a letter I just sent to Representative Bill Cassidy, Congressman from the 6th District of Louisiana, and Senator David Vitter of Louisiana. I will be sending it to every member of our congressional delegation. Feel free to copy it and paste in your own e-mail, sending it to your legislators.

We have to stop this now!


The Honorable Bill Cassidy
Member of Congress from Louisiana

Dear Congressman Cassidy:

It has come to my attention that the Department of Defense has issued a directive that all expended military brass (fired cases) will now be shredded and sold for scrap material, rather than resold by Government Liquidators LLC to the civilian market for remanufacture.

You may not be aware of it, but there is a severe shortage of ammunition available for sale to the public across the country, causing problems for shooters, hunters, and reloaders everywhere.

Now, apparently the Obama administration, realizing they cannot move against private firearms ownership since the landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Washington D.C./Heller case, has made their move in another way.

By cutting off the resale of expended military ammunition to remanufacturers, they have put a stranglehold on the nation's ammunition supply.

Further, they have reduced the return to the government on expended brass by 80%. What was sold for remanufacturer at a fair return to the government, will now cost the taxpayers untold sums of money as the cost of scrap brass is far below the price per pound for expended military ammunition.

In addition, the use of remanufactured ammunition is a huge asset to law enforcement agencies across the country who buy millions of rounds of reloaded ammunition a year from these manufacturers for practice rounds.

With this market gone, law enforcement will no longer be able to purchase inexpensive reloaded ammunition, and with the continuing combat status of military forces across the Middle East, original manufacturers of new ammunition are turning out everything they can make to the government, thus exacerbating the shortage of new ammunition in both the civilian and law enforcement market.

Lastly, in these harsh economic times, does it not strike you as cold and calculating that the Obama administration has no compunction against ruining an industry that employs thousands of American citizens in the remanufacturing of sporting and military ammunition. One major resupplier, Georgia Arms, the fifth largest manufacturer of centerfire pistol and rifle ammunition has informed me he will have to quickly lay off half his 60-person workforce, as he has had to cancel contracts with dozens of police agencies who had contracted with him to supply them with remanufactured .223 ammunition.

Georgia Arms has been practically put out of business by this directive that all expended military brass must be shredded. His current contracts have been canceled, and he is notifying his customers across the country he can no longer supply their ammunition needs.

Please look into this immediately. This move by the Obama administration is nothing but a back-door strike against firearms ownership in this country--if shooters can't buy ammunition, the guns are little better than steel clubs--and this is obviously the intent.

Thank you for your time and efforts in this serious attack against the Second Amendment rights of the American citizenry.

Sincerely,

Gordon Hutchinson

Author "The Great New Orleans Gun Grab"

Firearms Columnist for Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Mississippi Sportsman magazines.





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