The Rise in Popularity of the AR-15 Among Women

It’s a clear, sunny day on the shooting range. Only the crack of gunshots breaks the silence.

What’s unique on this range is that all the gun owners are members of A Girl and A Gun Women’s Shooting League—and they’re all firing AR-15 semiautomatic rifles.

“I think there is a small bit of status for a gal that says she owns an AR-15,” said Juliana Crowder, president and co-founder of A Girl and a Gun. “Especially right now, since they’re so hard to get a hold of.”

Recent attempts to pass stricter gun laws are having an unintended effect: AR-15s are flying off store shelves. The rifles and their accessories account for roughly a billion dollars of the $4 billion U.S. gun industry

“The AR-15 is becoming extremely popular among women,” said Crowder. “Some women are very gadgety or want to be personalized, they’re painting them, getting these different grips and colors, and stylizing it. It’s very popular because they can build it to their own specifications — use it for fun, and feel pride of ownership in it.”

See full article at: http://www.cnbc.com/id/100650400

Ammo flying off store shelves…

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gun enthusiasts fearful of new weapon controls and alarmed by rumors of government hoarding are buying bullets practically by the bushel, making it hard for stores nationwide to keep shelves stocked and even putting a pinch on some local law enforcement departments.

At a 24-hour Walmart in suburban Albany, the ammunition cabinet was three-fourths empty this week; sales clerks said customers must arrive before 9 the morning after a delivery to get what they want. A few miles away, Dick’s Sporting Goods puts up a red rope after ammunition deliveries so buyers can line up early to get a number, averting races up the escalator to the gun counter. Both stores are limiting ammunition purchases to three boxes a day.

In mid-January, two days after New York became the first state to toughen laws post-Newtown, hunter and target shooter Mark Smith spent $250 to stockpile ammunition, including $43 for a brick of 500 .22-caliber bullets, commonly used for target shooting and hunting small game.

“I had a feeling there was going to be a huge ammunition shortage,” said Smith, browsing shotgun shells this week at Dick’s. “Especially .22s. It’s probably the most popular round out there.”

Likewise, the .223 ammunition used in popular semi-automatic rifles is hard to find.

At Hunter’s Haven, a strip-mall gun shop in the farming community of Rolesville, N.C., north of Raleigh, clerk Dean Turnage said ammunition is going out “as fast as we can get it in,” even though new gun controls are not on the state’s agenda.

Connecticut on Thursday became the latest to crack down as the governor signed a measure — effective immediately — that adds more than 100 firearms to the state’s assault weapons ban, creates a dangerous weapon offender registry and institutes eligibility rules for ammunition purchases.

Hours before the law took effect, hundreds of customers streamed out of Hoffman’s Gun Center in Newington with guns and boxes of ammunition.

“There’s a concern by firearms owners that this administration will pursue bans on products, bans on ammunition. It’s not limited geographically to New York or anywhere else. It is nationwide,” he said.

Some government critics attributed shortages to federal purchases of bullets, accusing officials of trying to hoard a billion rounds and disarm the populace.

“Department of Homeland Security and the federal government itself is buying up ammunition and components at such a rate, it’s causing artificial shortage of supplies for the regular consumer,” said Jesse Alday, a state corrections officer.

“They’re buying it up as fast as they can, for reasons they’re not officially willing to admit or go into. They’re not willing to come up with any answers as to the reasons behind why they have enough ammunition on the U.S., on our own home soil, to wage a 25-year war,” he said.

The government routinely buys products in bulk to reduce costs, and Homeland Security has said the latest purchases are no different.

Last year, the department put out bids for a total of about 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition over the next five years. The rounds are to be used for training, routine weapons qualification exercises and normal duty by various department agencies.

On a smaller scale, some local law enforcement agencies are also having problems getting ammo.

Jennifer Donnals, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Highway Patrol, said the agency was still waiting on rifle and shotgun ammunition ordered in November.

In Phoenix, the Police Department has stopped providing officers with 100 rounds of ammunition per month for practice. Sgt. Trent Crump said 10 to 15 percent of the department’s 3,000 officers, who are assigned .40-caliber and .45-caliber handguns, had taken advantage of the ammunition for practice shooting.

In January, police chiefs in central Texas said they were having trouble arming their officers because of shortages of assault rifles and ammunition.

The major U.S. manufacturers are running shifts around the clock to try to meet increased demand, Keane said. The foundation projected $1.5 billion from ammunition sales in 2011 and $2.8 billion from gun sales, totals that more than doubled in a decade.

Stockpiling has also been fueled by false online rumors, such as one that purports a coming nickel tax on each bullet, which would triple the cost of a .22-caliber cartridge, said Hans Farnung, president of Beikirch’s Ammunition, a retailer and wholesaler in Rochester, N.Y., that sells in seven states.

“I don’t want to call them doomsdayers, but people get on these blogs on the Internet and they drive people’s fears,” he said. “They do not want to wait around and see.”

The tax rumor was fueled by proposals in Connecticut, California and Illinois that haven’t advanced.

New York’s law will require ammunition sellers to register and buyers to undergo a background check starting Jan. 15, 2014. Richard Aborn, president of the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City, said the run on guns and ammunition isn’t surprising and is fueled by “gross exaggerations,” when reasonable discussion is what’s needed.

“This is legitimate gun owners buying,” he said. “I don’t think criminals are stockpiling.”

Bruce Martindale, a champion marksman from upstate New York who normally uses .22-caliber rimfire ammunition, said it’s now hard for him to get anything.

FPSRussia compound raid leaves 40+ ATF, FBI agents with Very Bad Day

Dozens of federal agents scoured the family property of YouTube celebrity Kyle ‘FPSRussia’ Myers while searching for illegal explosives and possibly weapons, but left empty-handed.

The noise made by popular YouTube channel FPSRussia – famous for destroying man-made mechanisms with the most advanced firearms – has finally been heard in federal quarters. On Wednesday, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) agents accompanied by FBI agents launched an operation at two locations in Georgia, looking for illegal explosives allegedly used by FPSRussia to produce its YouTube clips.

Full Article: http://rt.com/usa/atf-raided-farm-fpsrussia-035/

Obama Administration Pushes For Assault Weapons Ban Vote, But Says National Gun Registry Not Needed

The Obama Administration says despite Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s decision to exclude the assault weapons ban from comprehensive gun control for lack of votes, the President still supports it and urges the Senate to vote publicly on the proposal to eliminate “military-style weapons” from American streets as an amendment.

The President does support background checks, but asked if those could be carried out without a national list of all those owning weapons in the United States, Earnest said, “He’s not seeking a registry.”

Assault weapons ban dropped from Senate bill

Democrats on Tuesday confirmed that a proposed ban on assault weapons will not be included in a package of gun reform legislation yet to be introduced in the Senate, suggesting the measure does not have broad support in Congress.

The bill’s sponsor, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, confirmed to reporters Tuesday that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will remove an assault weapons ban from a package of gun reform legislation, and offer it separately as an amendment.

Co. sheriff refuses to enforce gun control bills

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado sheriff says he won’t enforce two aggressive gun-control measures waiting to be signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Weld County Sheriff John Cooke told The Greeley Tribune that Democratic lawmakers are scrambling after recent mass shootings, and the bills are “feel-good, knee-jerk reactions that are unenforceable.”

One bill expands background checks on firearm purchases, and the other limits ammunition magazines to 15 rounds. The 15-round magazine limit would make Colorado the first state outside the East Coast to ratchet back gun rights after last year’s shootings in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn.

Colorado’s gun-control debates have been closely watched because of the state’s gun-loving frontier heritage and painful history of mass shootings, most recently last summer’s movie theater shooting that killed 12.

The sheriff said he “won’t bother enforcing” the laws because it would be impossible for officers to keep track of how the requirements are being met by gun owners — and he and other sheriffs are considering suing the state to block the measures if they are signed into law.

Cooke said the bill passed Friday requiring a $10 background check to legally transfer a gun wouldn’t keep firearms out of the hands of those who use them for violence.

“Criminals are still going to get their guns,” he said.

The magazine-limit bill passed earlier in the week will technically ban all magazines because of a provision that outlaws any magazine that can be altered, he said, adding that all magazines can be altered to a higher capacity.