In surprising twist, media tells the truth: stolen handguns are being used in murders, not legally-obtained AR-15’s

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By Larry Keane and our friends at NSSF

The media is learning, perhaps by pure accident, that the AR-15 isn’t the monster they’ve portrayed it to be. That’s a lesson that the rest of America learned long ago.

ABC News has been running a series of reports focused on firearms and criminal violence. Two of those reports tell the truth of the Modern Sporting Rifle (MSRs), or AR-15 style rifle and the real culprit. ABC News reported it was criminally-obtained handguns that are used in most murders.

“The 2016 Survey of Prison Inmates said that 90% of the prisoners who had a gun during their crime didn’t get it from a retail source,” ABC News reported.

That shatters several myths. First, it proves that criminals obtain their firearms illegally. Second, it shows that the MSR isn’t the fabled monster as the media portrays.

It’s a rifle that’s often maligned, mostly because of a moniker of “assault weapon” that was tagged to the rifle. Josh Sugarmann, who works for the Violence Policy Center gun control group, seized upon the public’s misunderstanding of the semiautomatic black rifle and the automatic firearm used by the military, according to The Washington Post in 2013.

“The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons – anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun – can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons,” Sugarmann wrote in 1988.

Things have changed in more than three decades. The ABC News report described the fact that while MSR ownership is more common than that of Ford F-150s, they are still rarely used in crime. There are more than 20 million MSRs in circulation, and they are the most popular selling centerfire rifles in America today. The fact is most crimes are committed by criminals that illegally obtain handguns.

Media Misinformation

AR-15-style rifles, the Modern Sporting Rifle (MSR), or “assault weapons” as they’re erroneously called in gun control circles and allied media, are not that. They are semiautomatic rifles that use the same one-trigger-pull, one-fire technology used by handguns and shotguns that was invented in the late-nineteenth century.

That doesn’t stop media from portraying MSRs as difficult to handle and aim, as CNN did, and dangerous machines capable of breaking a grown man’s arm. Political journalist Kevin McCallum described his first time handling an AR-15 as life altering.

“It is difficult to describe the impact — physical and personal — of that first shot,” McCallum wrote. “A deep shock wave coursed through my body, the recoil rippling through my arms and right shoulder with astounding power.”

That description went viral and drew rebuke from MSR owners across the country. In one response parents of a 7-year old girl posted a video of her firing several rounds from an MSR, demonstrating the rifle’s limited recoil. It’s one of the characteristics that make MSRs popular.

Modular Self-Defense

The vast majority of criminal firearm violence is committed by criminals who by a 90-percent margin have stolen their firearm and most often use a handgun, according to FBI data. That doesn’t stop gun control advocates from boogey-manning the MSR and seeking to ban them, as President Joe Biden has asserted he wants to do again.

The MSR’s modular design that’s easily fitted with accessories make the firearm ideal for users of all sizes and shapes, is just one reason it is so popular. That’s critical when used for home and self-defense. NSSF’s Mark Oliva told ABC in their report, “The way it’s designed, it is easily adaptable. It can fit my frame. It can also fit my wife, and she can shoot that rifle just as easily.”

Twenty-six year old Megan Hill told NBC News she purchased an AR-15 in 2017. “We looked at the AR-15, and it was all in one package,” Hill said. “Luckily we haven’t had to use it in self-defense, but it’s a comfort knowing that it’s there to protect my children and my family.”

In one of the more high-profile instances of law-abiding citizens using AR-15-style firearms for protection, Steven Williford used an MSR to stop the murderer from inflicting more carnage in the Sutherland Springs, Texas tragedy four years ago. There are numerous other examples media ignore.

For Hunting

Beyond self-defense, MSRs are increasingly popular for their adaptability and effectiveness while used in hunting. The MSR is popular among big game hunters searching for deer, elk and bear, but also as a favored firearm to take out predator species like coyotes and hogs that inflict damage on crops and livestock. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, feral hogs are responsible for $1.5 billion worth of crop damage annually by devastating farmers’ fields by trampling or eating crops and rooting and eating seeds before they sprout.

As a result, Alabama opened up night hunting for hogs and coyotes this year and sold over 500 licenses. 20 states allow hog hunting and the MSR is the overwhelming choice of firearm among hunters to hunt these predators.

Despite what most major media outlets continue to falsely claim, the MSR is a versatile firearm that is able to meet the unique needs of a diverse population that recognizes its functionality and effectiveness, including millions of women.

Whether for self and home defense purposes, or to take out to the woods and fields for a hunt, MSRs are safe and get the job done. It’s why there are more than 20 million MSRs in private circulation today.

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NSSF: Leftist governors’ ‘huge gun data’ announcement turns out to be a laughable dud

November 1, 2021

By Larry Keane and our friends at NSSF

Four northeast Democratic governors announced they will start sharing gun crime data to begin a new cooperative effort to combat “gun violence.”

The video press conference drew less than 190 live viewers but media coverage afterwards was fawning and gave the governors exactly what they wanted – a quick and fleeting splash.

The governors involved are all staunch gun control proponents who prefer restricting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans to imposing justice on the criminals perpetrating crimes committed with firearms.

The announcement was yet another example of all show, no action policies. The agreement is a resounding dud.

New Window Dressing

Democratic Governors Kathy Hochul of New York, Phil Murphy of New Jersey, Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania and Ned Lamont of Connecticut have more than a dozen years of executive experience between them, yet three of their states are among the worst in the nation for crimes committed with a firearm and all four have some of the strictest existing gun control laws in the nation.

They got together for the major announcement to remedy their problem.

The four states will begin sharing gun crime data to increase enforcement of gun control measures and “catch illegal gun sellers and users.”

To do so, the governors pledged that law enforcement agencies from each state will share the “eTrace” reports they receive from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

The agreement says each state can maintain its own data, can choose which data to share or withhold, choose how often or not to share data and that they’ll let each other know if individual sensitive data is hacked, leaked or misused.

Newly-minted New York Gov. Hochul praised the agreement. “This memorandum is transformative,” she said. 

“I believe this is going to give us and our law enforcement entities in each of our states the tools we need to be able to trace guns that are coming from other states, to understand when a crime has been committed.”

Conn. Gov. Lamont added, “Despite our best gun safety laws, we have more damn guns on the street than we ever had before.” The irony shouldn’t be lost on the governors. They’ve spent more energy restricting gun rights of law-abiding gun owners than actually locking up criminals.

Already Available

The governors’ announcement did the job. Home state editorials praised the agreement, wondering, “…with more victims of gun violence, the new four-state cooperation pact on the sharing of gun data seems like one of those ‘What took you so long?’ moments.”

The press are baffled because they don’t understand their own state’s gun laws or that ATF already provides gun crime trace data to states and that any state can share data with any other state. The ATF website includes a page titled, “Crime Gun Tracing and Information Sharing” to help state law enforcement agencies do this.

The four-state memorandum also notes that information may only be used for sharing among legitimate law enforcement purposes related to the investigations of criminal activity.

This provision, to remain in compliance with the Tiahrt Amendment, secures sensitive tracing information which would jeopardize ongoing criminal investigations and put the lives of law enforcement officers, cooperating retailers and witnesses at risk if shared.

Facing Reality

Gov. Lamont chimed in during the video press conference to add, “Right now, we’re all putting more police on the street; we’re community policing more folks.” He must have missed it last year when New Haven slashed its police department budget by $4 million despite having the state’s second-highest crime rate. Hartford did the same, cutting $1 million from police.

The reality is the governors from the four states all prefer defunding law enforcement while restricting the rights of their citizens to bear arms for their own self-protection.

They now face voters in the coming months with Gov. Murphy facing reelection in just three weeks. The public is already voting with their wallets when it comes to gun rights.

This year’s firearm sales are keeping a blistering pace and public polling continues to show Americans’ preference to enforcing laws and holding criminals to account for their crimes rather than impose more gun control on them.

The governors’ announcement was more window-dressing than serious proposals to ensure criminals are caught, prosecuted and held responsible for their crimes. Meanwhile, the firearm industry is working to provide Real Solutions®. 

Those include ensuring all disqualifying information is submitted to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), preventing illegal “straw” purchases of firearms in partnership with the ATF, voluntarily increasing security at firearm retailers through Operation Secure Store®, also an ATF partner program, partnering with 15,000 law enforcement agencies to distribute over 40 million free firearm safety kits including locking devices and partnering with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to have a brave conversation and prevent suicides.

The firearm industry is working to make difference. They’re hoping voters won’t know the difference.

Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers.  And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

For those looking for a quick link to get in the fight and support the cause, click here.


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