CCW Spike Continues in WA


Federal aid to wildlife restoration via a tax on firearms and ammunition has
raised more than $14 billion since the Pittman-Robertson fund was created in 1937.

Last week I reported on the number of active concealed pistol licenses in Washington State, because it is an “indicator” state for many things, including gun control and concealed carry popularity.

I recently learned that the upward trend for concealed carry in the Evergreen State is continuing, with more than 4,000 additional CPLs being issued in July, bringing the total for the past three months to just over 12,000 more licenses. The average for each month is 4,020 CPLs, bringing the total to 631,458.

That’s impressive for a state many people consider “blue” politically, and it comes after new laws took effect that place further restrictions on the ability of local police to do their job.

On April 1, 2020, the state reported more than 650,000 active CPLs, but the number plummeted when law enforcement agencies “temporarily suspended” the process of taking new applications because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The number had dropped to 619,398 by April 2021, but then police agencies opened back up.

If Washingtonians keep this up through the remainder of this year, by New Year’s Day they will have fully rebounded and then some.

Speaking of the Gun Industry

While U.S. firearms and ammunition manufacturers are getting blamed for problems in other countries, it’s time this country gave them some credit for providing the cornerstone funding in America’s wildlife conservation and enhancement efforts.

According to NSSF, this year has produced a milestone that no other organization devoted to wildlife can claim. According to NSSF, gun and ammunition manufacturers have “topped $14.1 billion in contributions to the Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund since its inception in 1937.”

A special excise tax paid by gun and ammo makers is set at 11 percent of the wholesale price for long guns and ammunition, and 10 percent of the wholesale price for handguns. As I have noted in the past, even shooters and gun owners who don’t hunt ultimately provide financial support to the Federal Aid to Wildlife/Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund. The excise taxes also apply to imported firearms for the commercial market.

The money is annually apportioned to state wildlife agencies by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and it is significant.

Next time some anti-hunting group starts spouting off about how hunters are such an evil bunch, ask them how many billions of dollars they have contributed to wildlife. There probably won’t be an answer, but ask the question, anyway.

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Mexico Sues Gun Industry

Upset over “Arms Trafficking”

More than a decade after Operation Fast and Furious was exposed following the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, Mexico has finally started taking legal action for guns flowing into that country.

Fast & Furious was the operation put in motion by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives field office in Phoenix. This scheme was launched in an effort to track illegal gun trafficking across the border. Some 2,500 firearms were allowed to be sold to shady characters that were later prosecuted. Gun dealers didn’t like the plot and one even warned in an email to the ATF that these guns could eventually be used against U.S. law enforcement.

Among the gun companies being sued by Mexico is Sturm, Ruger & Co.,
which produces this modern sporting rifle popular with American shooters.

Instead of taking their beef to then-President Barack Obama, his then-Vice President Joe Biden, and then-Attorney General Eric Holder, the Mexican government filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, against several U.S. firearms companies. According to Reuters, defendants include “units of” Colt’s Manufacturing Company; Smith & Wesson; Sturm, Ruger & Company; Barrett Firearms and GLOCK Inc.

This lawsuit, according to the published report, isn’t about Fast & Furious, but alleged firearms trafficking today. Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said in a news conference the objective of this lawsuit is for Mexico to win compensation from American gun companies “for the damage caused by their negligent practices.”

Among the ironies of this lawsuit is that, according to Reuters, Mexican leaders have blamed U.S. gun companies for “fueling gang violence” south of the border. There is a fair amount of the same in this country, involving gangsters who just might hail from Mexico. We might know that were it not for the adoption of “sanctuary” policies that tie the hands of police and prevent them from working with immigration enforcement.

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NSSF "Rejects Mexican Allegations"

Quickly wading into this morass was the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which is the industry umbrella group.

In a news release, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Larry Keane cut to the proverbial chase, declaring, “These allegations are baseless. The Mexican government is responsible for the rampant crime and corruption within their own borders. Mexico’s criminal activity is a direct result of the illicit drug trade, human trafficking and organized crime cartels that plague Mexico’s citizens.”

“It is these cartels that criminally misuse firearms illegally imported into Mexico or stolen from the Mexican military and law enforcement,” Keane continued. “Rather than seeking to scapegoat law-abiding American businesses, Mexican authorities must focus their efforts on bringing the cartels to justice. The Mexican government, which receives considerable aid from U.S. taxpayers, is solely responsible for enforcing its laws – including the country’s strict gun control laws – within their own borders.”

NSSF had a data surprise for our southern neighbors. The organization noted in its statement, “Less than 12 percent of the guns Mexico seized in 2008, for example, have been verified as coming from the U.S. In 2008, approximately 30,000 firearms were seized from criminals in Mexico. Of these 30,000, only 7,200 (24 percent) were submitted to the ATF for tracing. This is because only these firearms were likely to have come from the U.S., a determination made by the presence of a U.S.-mandated serial number and the firearm’s make and model – requirements under federal law as part of the Gun Control Act of 1968.

“Of the 7,200 firearms submitted for tracing,” NSSF further detailed, “only about 4,000 (13 percent) could be traced by the ATF of which roughly 3,480 (12 percent) came from the U.S. Although 3,480 is approximately 90 percent of the firearms successfully traced, it is hardly the mythical 90 percent of the total firearms recovered.”

There was yet another stinging piece of information from NSSF: “Even the more accurate 12 percent figure overestimates the true number of firearms from the United States. The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (Mexico Institute) points out that many of the serial numbers submitted for tracing were submitted to the ATF multiple times, some as many as five times each. The ATF has noted that more than 20 percent of the firearms submitted for tracing are duplicates.”

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It Gets Worse

NSSF didn’t stop swinging, instead bringing up a disturbing matter reflecting on the Mexican military.

According to the news release, “The U.S. government also sells firearms directly to the Mexican government. Mexican soldiers continue to defect to work for the drug cartels, taking their American-made service rifles with them. In recent years the number of defections has soared to more than 150,000. According to U.S. State Department cables, the most lethal weapons used by Mexican cartels come from Central American arsenals. Additionally, according to a 2006 report by Amnesty International, China was actively supplying arms to Latin American countries, which have subsequently been seized in Mexico.”

Anybody remember hearing that on the nightly news? Indeed, there was not much news at the time about Fast & Furious, because the scandal happened during the Obama administration, when Biden was vice president.

Missouri Couple Pardoned

Remember the McCloskeys of St Louis? The couple that defended their home from being trashed by protesters last year by coming outside and confronting a mob with an AR-15 rifle and a small pistol?

Their actions and subsequent prosecution, became national news. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson had vowed to pardon the pair, and he kept that pledge on July 30, handing out full pardons to Mark and Patricia McCloskey and ten other people. The McCloskeys had earlier reached a plea deal that spared them jail time, but they did have to sacrifice the two firearms to the bureaucracy. Anti-gun bureaucrats are big on symbolic victories.

Initially, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner filed felony charges against the couple, as recalled by the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Gardner was disqualified from the case because she referred to the McCloskey case in her re-election campaign.

The couple has apparently replaced their firearms, and Mark is now a candidate for the U.S. Senate.

Missouri Governor Pardons

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