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‘Gun Violence Tax’ Has Opposite Effect

President and CEO of the National Shooting Sports Foundation Larry Keane recently pinned a scathing dismissal of Seattles “Gun Violence Tax.” This tax was passed back in 2015 and assesses are large fee on the sale of firearms and ammunition. Seattle lawmakers had hoped this ill-advised tax would curb firearm violence. The money produced from the new taxes would then be used to study gun violence and try to combat it. Though noble in theory, the tax law has had just the opposite effect, as Mr. Keane shows:

Seattle’s Gun and Ammunition Tax Isn’t Working, as Violence Surges

In 2015, Seattle’s City Council passed a “gun violence tax“. In so doing, the council members decided that it would be fine to assess law-abiding gun owners $25 per gun and up to five cents per round of ammunition purchased within the city limits. These elected officials promised their citizens they would raise $500 million for efforts to study and counter violence within the city.
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So what has happened? Well, as NSSF and our partner organizations in fighting the tax predicted at the outset, lawfully operating businesses left the city.

Councilman Tim Burgess, who was instrumental is getting this tax passed, said he wanted to wait until it was in effect for a full year before releasing any revenue number. But we have now passed that anniversary, and city politicos are still refusing to report how much money the tax has actually raised. The logical conclusion is that they haven’t come anywhere close to meeting their goal, and are trying to avoid the public embarrassment of admitting failure.

Most firearms retailers have now exited Seattle. Individuals who want to purchase a gun or ammunition simply drive outside the city limits to avoid wasting hard-earned money on a punitive tax. But don’t make the mistake of thinking this bothers Seattle’s ruling elite. Driving legally operating firearm retailers out of business, or at least out of the out of the city, seems to have been the real unspoken goal.
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Criminals, by and large, do not submit themselves to a background check and purchase guns from licensed retailers. Since the gun tax was put into effect, violence has surged in Seattle — mostly attributed to criminal gang activity.

If this tax isn’t raising money and isn’t keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, what then is its purpose? Maybe it appeases the “do-something” sensibilities of the political class that does not know how or does not want to step up to the serious underlying causes of urban violence.

For its part, the Seattle City Council members aren’t talking about what isn’t working. We will.

Does Seattle’s “gun violence tax” surprise you? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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Defending Yourself Without a Gun

The Defender Outdoors Shooting Center in Fort Worth is offering an exciting opportunity for North Texans or those willing to make the trip. The Defender Training Academy is offering a two-day course in defending yourself with non-ballistic weapons taught by federally certified force options instructor Steve Tarani. The two-day class will take place on July 29th and 30th and will cover avoidance technique, weapon improvisation, disarming techniques, and strategies for keeping yourself and others safe from an attacker.
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VEPR Banned from US after New Sanctions

On Tuesday, June 20th, President Trump’s Treasury Department increased economic sanctions against Russia and Russian companies. This news came as relations between the US and Russia have grown more stressed over the past months. The economic sanctions went into effect while President Trump was meeting with the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Among the new companies included in the new restrictions is Molot-Oruzhie, an arms factory responsible for manufacturing the popular VEPR series of AK-inspired rifles and shotguns. Continue reading

Great Shot, Eh? Sniper Breaks Kill Shot Record

A Canadian sniper just shattered the world record for the longest kill shot. In a coalition engagement last month, our friend from up north eliminated an ISIS combatant from over two miles away. You read that right, the shot was over two miles long. The shot was recorded at 3,450 meters, smashing the previous record set in 2009 by British sniper Craig Harrison. Continue reading

Free Magazine with Purchase of Kahr Handgun

The 2017 summer of savings continues as more and more firearm companies are offering fantastic deals that can save you loads of cash. The newest addition to the list of great firearm promotions is Kahr Arms. Kahr specializes in compact to medium frame semi-auto handguns perfect for concealed carry. The current event offers you a coupon to receive a free spare magazine (a $40 value) with the purchase of a new Kahr handgun. Continue reading

NRA Launches New Facebook Page

The National Rifle Association (NRA) sent out this press release this week announcing the creation and rehaul of their social media page. NRA CEO and EVP Wayne LaPierre had this to say. Continue reading

NSSF: Firearm Safety at the Range and Home

This post first appeared on the National Shooting Sports Foundation website. It was written by the NSSF Director of Communications, Bill Brassard. You can view the original here.

Did you know that June is National Safety Month? Summer—when children are home from school and more likely to be unattended—is an important time to remember that the No. 1 way to help prevent accidents is to securely store your firearms when they’re not in use. Whether you own a gun or not, firearm safety is your responsibility. Let shooting champion and mom Julie Golob explain how to talk to your children about gun safety so they are prepared to quickly make the correct decision if they should encounter an unsecured firearm. Also, we encourage you to share this 30-second public service announcement about NSSF’s Project ChildSafe program and its free gun locks. And, finally, take a moment to watch the videos below on how to safely handle and store firearms. Our Project ChildSafe program offers a host of gun safety materials for your use on its resources webpage. Continue reading

Important Laws for Texas Gun Owners

Texas Law Shield Independent Program Attorney Edwin Walker visited with TSRA Legislative Director Alice Tripp at the Texas House of Representatives Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee hearings in Austin earlier this year. Edwin testified on a number of pending bills.

The 85th Texas Legislature adjourned on May 29, and in the session, legislators passed several bills that enhance gun-owners’ rights in the state. Following are descriptions of several bills that have passed the Legislature and have either been signed or are awaiting Gov. Abbott’s signature:

H.B. 1819

Purpose: Creates Texas Penal Code § 46.05(a)(7) which states that firearm silencers that are curios or relics, or are possessed, manufactured, transported, repaired, or sold in compliance with federal law, are not prohibited weapons. This means that if the federal “Hearing Protection Act of 2017” becomes law and removes firearm silencers from ATF regulation under the NFA, they will no longer be prohibited weapons under TPC §46.05.

Amends Texas Penal Code § 46.05 to state that prohibited weapons does not include those weapons that are not subject to the ATF registration requirement. This means that since the ATF has chosen not to regulate the Mossberg Shockwave as a short-barreled shotgun under the NFA that it is not prohibited under TPC § 46.05(a)(1)(C).

Signed by the Gov.: May 26, 2017

Effective: September 1, 2017

S.B. 16

Purpose: Amends Texas Government Code § 411.174(a) to reduce the fee for an LTC application to $40. Amends TGC § 411.185(a) to reduce the renewal fee for an LTC to $40.

Amends TGC § 411.190(c) to reduce the application fee for LTC instructors to $40.

Amends TGC § 411.194(a) to reduce the fee for a duplicate or modified LTC (currently $25) by half and reduces the renewal fee to $5, for an indigent person.

Amends TGC § 411.190(c) to reduce the application fee for LTC instructors to $40.

Amends TGC § 411.195(a) to reduce the fee for a duplicate or modified LTC (currently $25) by half and reduces the renewal fee to $5, for a person who is 60 or over.

Amends TGC § 411.1991(d) to eliminate LTC fees for peace officers.

Signed by Gov.: May 26, 2017

Effective: September 1, 2017

H.B. 435

Purpose: Creates Texas Penal Code § 46.01(18) which is a Volunteer Emergency Service Personnel (VESP), that includes volunteer firefighters, volunteer emergency medical services, or any individual who provides services for the general public during emergency situations. It specifically does not include peace officers or reserve LEOs, who are performing law enforcement duties.

Creates an exception to TPC §§ 30.06 & 30.07 for VESPs who are LTC holders.

Creates an exception to the prohibited places listed in TPC § 46.035(b)&(c) for VESPs who are LTC holders and engaged in providing emergency services. Creates a new exemption under TPC § 46.15 to the prohibited places under TPC §§ 46.02 & 46.03, for VESPs who are LTC holders and engaged in providing emergency services.

Creates an exemption to the prohibited places under TPC §§ 46.02, 46.03, & 46.035 (except correctional facilities) for LTC holders who are the attorney general, assistant attorney generals, United States Attorney, assistant United States Attorney.

Creates an exemption to Texas Government Code § 411.209 for 10 specifically listed state hospitals that can exclude handguns carried by LTC holders via a posted sign.   Also, creates a civil fine for an LTC holder who violates the sign, in addition to the existing criminal penalty.

This is still awaiting action by Gov. Abbott. If signed, it will become effective on September 1, 2017.

S.B. 263

Purpose: Amends Texas Government Code § 411.188(a) to remove the minimum caliber requirement for the firearm used to qualify during the range portion for an LTC.

This is still awaiting action by Gov. Abbott. If signed, it will become effective on September 1, 2017.

H.B. 913

Purpose: Creates Texas Penal Code § 46.01(18) (the numbering conflicts with H.B. 435) which defines Improvised Explosive Device (IED) to be a completed and operational bomb. It specifically does not include the unassembled components or an exploding target used for firearms practice, i.e. Tannerite.

Creates TPC § 46.05(7) (numbering conflicts with H.B. 1819) to add IEDs to the list of prohibited weapons.

This is still awaiting action by Gov. Abbott. If signed, it will become effective on September 1, 2017.

S.B. 1566

Purpose: Creates Texas Education Code § 37.0815 to prohibit school districts and charter schools from having employment rules that prohibit school employees who are LTC holders from keeping handguns, firearms, or ammunition, that is not in plain view, in a private, locked motor vehicle in a school-owned parking area. This does not allow a school employee to exhibit a firearm to cause alarm or personal injury or to violate TPC §§ 46.03 or 46.035.  It is important to remember that this law applies only to school employees who are LTC holders. School employees who are not LTC holders continue to be subject to school employment rules under Texas Labor Code §52.062(a)(2)(B)&(C).

This is still awaiting action by Gov. Abbott. If signed, it will become effective on September 1, 2017.

H.B. 1935

Purpose: Amends Texas Penal Code § 46.01(6) to remove the term “Illegal” knife and create the term “ocation restricted” knife. Knives will no longer be classified as throwing knife, dagger, dirk, stiletto, poniard, bowie knife, sword, or spear. The only requirement to be a “Location restricted” knife is having a blade over 5 ½ inches long, from the guard to the tip.

Creates TPC § 46.02(a-4), which prohibits a person under the age of 18 from carrying a location restricted knife except on their own property, their motor vehicle or watercraft, or under the direct supervision of a parent or legal guardian.

Creates TPC § 46.03(a-1) which adds the following prohibited places for location restricted knives to the list of weapons prohibited places already in TPC § 46.03. These places include 51% businesses, high school, collegiate, professional sporting events or interscholastic events, correctional facilities, hospitals, nursing facilities, mental hospitals, amusement parks, and places of religious worship. The offense for taking a location restricted knife into the premises of a school or educational institution is a 3rd-degree felony. The offense for taking a location restricted knife into any other prohibited place is a Class C misdemeanor. There is no requirement to give notice of the location restricted knife prohibition, i.e. no 30.06 or 30.07 criminal trespass notice, or 51% business establishment notice needed.

This is still awaiting action by Gov. Abbott. If signed, it will become effective on September 1, 2017.

H.B. 3784

Purpose: Amends Texas Government Code § 411.188 to allow for online LTC classroom qualification courses. The range portion of the LTC qualification must be done in person by a qualified instructor who will also provide an additional 1-2 hours of range instruction prior to shooting.

Amends TGC § 411.190 to create qualifications for online instruction certification.

Creates TGC §411.1993 to allow for licensed county jailers to qualify for an LTC without additional training.

Creates TGC § 411.1994 to allow for state correctional officers to qualify for an LTC without additional training.

This is still awaiting action by Gov. Abbott. If signed, it will become effective on September 1, 2017.

H.B. 867

Purpose: Creates Texas Education Code § 37.0813, that extends the school marshal program to private schools.

Amends TEC § 37.0811 to allow for one school marshal per 200 students instead of 400 students or allows for one school marshal per building on a school campus.

This is still awaiting action by Gov. Abbott. If signed, it will become effective on September 1, 2017.

S.B. 2065

Purpose: Created Texas Occupations Code § 1702.333, to allow places of religious worship to have volunteer security teams without being licensed by the TxDPS as a security guard or security company. In order to qualify under this provision, the members need to be unpaid volunteers and not wear a uniform or badge that says “Security” or gives the appearance of being a police officer, personal protection officer, or security officer. There is no restriction on members of the security team who are LTC holders from carrying their handguns.

This is still awaiting action by Gov. Abbott. If signed, it will become effective on September 1, 2017.

—Compiled and written by Independent Program Attorney Edwin Walker, a lawyer with the Walker & Byington firm in Houston.

Want to learn more aboutU.S. Law Shield and Texas Law Shield? These organizations can keep you legally defended when you lawfully use your firearm.
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Ruger Introduces New SR1911 in 10mm

Last week we covered Ruger’s recent recall of the Mark IV and 22/45 rimfire handguns. This week, we have some good news coming out of Southport, Connecticut. Ruger has released a new version of the popular SR1911 series. The new model packs Jeff Cooper’s hot 10mm Auto, and is sure to be a hit with shooters who want to pack a lot of power in the standard 1911 frame. Continue reading

Is This the New Far-Left?

This is an opinion piece and does not necessarily reflect the views of Defender Outdoors or its employees.
The talking heads of the mainstream media and the left-leaning politicians are often try to blame mass shootings on America’s gun “problem”, lax gun laws, and “right-wing gun nuts”. Yet, evidences show time and time again that the mass shootings in the country are committed by disturbed individuals who lean left. Thursday’s shooting in Alexandria, Virginia was no different. Is this the new far-left? Continue reading