Americans Divided On Stricter Gun Laws
The United States remains about equally divided over the issue of stricter gun laws, despite significant debate in the White House, on Capitol Hill and the passage of notable restrictions in a number of states. This is the conclusion of a Gallup Poll conducted in early October.
According to Gallup, almost half of Americans believe the laws covering the sale of firearms should be strengthened (49%) and half say they should stay the same (37%) or be less strict (13%).
Public support for stricter gun laws is down from 58 percent in the days after the December 2012 shooting in Newtown, Conn., and is lower than it was from 2000 through 2006, when, for the most part, solid majorities of Americans favored such laws.
However, it remains slightly higher than observed during the span between 2009 and 2011, when support for stricter laws fell to record lows of 44 percent and 43 percent.
Oppose Handgun Ban
The new Gallup poll also finds public opposition to banning handgun ownership holding at a record-high 74 percent, identical to a year ago. One in four Americans think the law should limit possession to police and other authorized persons.
Recent attitudes on these issues are markedly different from the 1980s, when barely half of Americans opposed a ban on civilian handgun ownership. It is also a major turnaround from a half-century ago, when only 36 percent opposed such a ban. Opposition to banning citizens’ possession of handguns mounted in the 1990s and 2000s, and first crossed the 70 percent threshold in 2009, Gallup reports.
Popular demand for tightening legal controls on gun sales varies most by political orientation, with Democrats broadly in favor of stricter gun laws and more than a third in favor of banning handguns. Less than a quarter of Republicans support either measure. Similarly, support among liberals for both policies is about double that of conservatives. There are also some demographic differences, particularly by gender and race, that align with these groups’ political leanings.
The poll shows, according to Gallup, that the public’s demand for gun control “has waned.”
“Numerous mass shootings have occurred in the U.S. in the past decade. However, during this time, aside from the passing surge of support for stricter gun laws after the Newtown shootings, Americans’ support for gun control has tapered,” reads the report on the October poll.
Mental Health System
In a September poll, Gallup found 48 percent of Americans blame the mental health system “a great deal” for mass shootings in the United States, unchanged from January 2011. At the same time, fewer blame easy access to guns now (40%) than two years ago (46%), making the mental health system the perceived top cause of mass shootings, Gallup reports.
The poll was conducted two days after the shooting at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. Much of the news coverage has focused on the shooter’s questionable mental state in the days, weeks, and even years leading up to the Navy Yard shooting.
Beyond those blaming the mental health system “a great deal,” another 32 percent blame it “a fair amount,” resulting in 80 percent total blame. This contrasts with a combined 61 percent blaming guns and 66 percent blaming drugs.
Slim majorities assign at least a fair amount of blame to violence in the entertainment industry (56%), extremism on the Internet (57%) and deficient building security (58%), but fewer than half view heated political talk as a key culprit.
According to Gallup, the results of the September poll support longstanding evidence from Gallup polling that Americans believe more can be done on the mental health issue.
Ashbury Precision Ordnance Mfg Presents Business Development Workshop
On December 9th, 2013 Ashbury Precision Ordnance Mfg (APO) is presenting a business development workshop for independent firearms dealers, gunsmiths and custom rifle builders. Ashbury’s Modern Tactical Bolt Action Rifle Dealer Workshop was inspired by successes it achieved in the defense industry, presenting hands-on customer education and training programs on combat applications of electro-optics and GPS. Ashbury’s firearms dealer business development workshops are planned at their Central Virginia facility throughout 2014.
“The long-range shooting market is much larger than just formal high power rifle competition,” comments Troy Perry, Ashbury’s marketing coordinator. “It encompasses hunting, law enforcement, athletic tactical/practical rifle competitions, sniper matches and target shooting at extended ranges previously thought to be impractical, but are now commonplace.” Courses like Extreme Long Range taught at the well known Gunsite Academy for target shooting at 1000m to 2000m and Internet shooter community websites like Accurate Shooter.com and Snipershide.com, and specialty publications like Rifle Firepower and Varmint Hunter magazines are all examples typical in the growing tactical rifle market.
The Modern Tactical Bolt Action Rifle Dealer Workshop focuses on topics that can increase dealer retail sales of new, used and custom built precision rifles and accessories unique to long range shooting. Dealers are introduced to Ashbury’s patented SABER®-FORSST® modular rifle chassis system that are ergonomically adjustable, completely reconfigurable and available for 30+ popular factory and custom bolt guns. Ashbury will also introduce their custom built ASW-TCR-SuperSport model precision rifles available in calibers .223 to 50BMG, which are also built on the modular SABER® rifle chassis platform along with the next generation carbon fiber/alloy Long Range Accuracy Bipods.
“The highly competitive nature of the retail firearms business and challenging national economy makes it necessary for specialty dealers, gunsmiths and custom rifle builders to capitalize on the growing precision long range shooting market,” says Morris Peterson president of Ashbury International Group, Inc. “As a small specialized firearms manufacturer, Ashbury is developing programs to assist dealers to better serve precision rifle shooters in the sporting, target, competition and tactical shooting market segments. Our continued growth is dependent on well educated and inspired dealers profitably selling APO equipment to ‘quality and accuracy conscious’ long range rifle shooters!”
This workshop features informative presentations, interactive equipment demonstrations, “Optics 101” presented by Leupold Optics and an exciting live fire afternoon range session with small, medium and large caliber familiarization on Ashbury’s complete product line. Ashbury’s workshop sponsors include Leupold Optics, Ruag Ammotec and Long Range Accuracy bipods.
For more information about the Modern Tactical Bolt Action Rifle Dealer Workshop, SABER®-FORSST® Modular Rifle Chassis systems, APO custom precision rifles, and precision long range shooting equipment, please visit the Ashbury Precision Ordnance website.
- Courtesy of Ashbury Precision Ordnance
Masters Sets Sail To Treasure Coast
By Russ Thurman
FMG Publications announces the 2014 Shooting Industry Masters will be held at the Indian River Shooting Range in Sebastian, Fla., July 18-19, 2014. Co-hosted by Indian River County and the Treasure Coast Sports Commission, the 2014 Shooting Industry Masters will again feature the “Masters Mystery Course of Fire.”
“We’re excited to take the Shooting Industry Masters to Florida’s Atlantic coast,” said Randy Molde, FMG Publications VP of business development and match chairman. “The Indian River Shooting Range is an extraordinary venue that will allow us to provide new target shooting experiences and quite a few surprises for 2014 participants.”
Indian River County officials actively campaigned to bring the Masters to the Treasure Coast, recognizing the positive economic and social impact the event would have on the surrounding communities.
“We are delighted that Indian River County has been selected for the 2014 Shooting Industry Masters,” said Penny Chandler, Indian River County Chamber of Commerce president. “The event brings international attention to our world-class gun range and our county as a great visitor destination and desirable place to do business.”
The Shooting Industry Masters is a private industry-only event consisting of a variety of target shooting disciplines designed for both professional and novice four-person teams. The Masters also features a number of fun-filled side matches for attendees to enjoy.
This year, FMG Publications is adding a fundraising golf tournament, “Honors For HAVA,” to Masters week. Sponsored by Indian River County, the golf tournament will be held on Thursday, July 17 at Sandridge Golf Club in Vero Beach with all proceeds benefiting Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA), an organization dedicated to helping disabled combat veterans.
Now, in its 12th year, the Shooting Industry Masters has raised nearly $300,000 for the NSSF First Shots program and the USA Shooting Team since 2001.
At this year’s Masters in Cody, Wyo., FMG Publications raised a record $70,000 for First Shots and $11,250 for USA Shooting.
“The generosity and support from the people in our industry is astounding,” Molde said. “The folks who attend the Masters understand the importance of growing each of these programs to preserve the future of the shooting sports.”
The Shooting Industry Masters is owned and operated by FMG Publications, publishers of GUNS Magazine, American Handgunner, American COP, Shooting Industry Magazine and eight Special Editions.
Team registration is now available. For team entry forms, hotel and travel information, contact Elizabeth O’Neil, match coordinator, at email@example.com.
For more information, visit www.shootingindustry.com/masters, or contact Shari LeGate, event manager at firstname.lastname@example.org, (719) 237-4609.
Regular event updates can be found at www.facebook.com/ShootingIndustryMasters and Twitter feed: @sharilegate.
Read about the 2013 Shooting Industry Masters in the all-digital edition of Shooting Industry’s October edition: visit www.shootingindustry.com/digital-editions, and click the October cover.
By Russ Thurman
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