Late Friday, word that BAE Systems was selling its Safariland LLC business to Kanders & Co. Inc. Safariland has been part of BAE since BAE's acquisition of Armor Holdings in 2007.
A transaction is expected to close during the second or third quarter of the year, and will include 1,700 Safariland employees working at five major sites in the United States and Mexico.
BAE says the "proposed sale is another step in the company's ongoing plan to align the Land & Armaments business portfolio with the sector's strategic focus on product design, development, systems integration, and life-cycle support."
And speaking of Friday...when we announced the Armed Citizen Alliance to the rest of the world last Friday, I believed readers would respond, but had no idea how many of you would respond- or how quickly.
As is the case with any new organization, the nearly instant response did more to point out any "challenges" in the ACA's systems than any amount of beta testing, debugging or "as-if-live" testing.
In short, your responses simply overwhelmed the new system. Not just once, but on a couple of occasions on Friday. The technical crew worked through the weekend and, I'm told, most kinks are out of the system.
To those of you who sent me emails offering help, making suggestions or simply letting me know that everything wasn't performing up to snuff, a quick word of thanks. It's amazing to see this level of response to an idea we all hoped would touch a nerve with fellow shooters. Judging from the response from individuals, retailers and the industry, ACA was an idea you're embracing. Speaking with ACA Board Member Mark Sidelinger on Friday afternoon, he gave a very good description of your response: "I have never, never, ever, seen anything get the volume of response and positive feedback we've had today."
If you haven't yet visited www.armedcitizenalliance.com
, and have been meaning to check it out, by all means go ahead. The organization is designed to help get everyone a starting point from which to reach out and embrace first-time gun buyers. We're especially interested in people buying their first (or only) gun because of self-defense concerns.
We want to get them started on the right foot with their new gun, and then welcome them into the shooting family. That will take all our collective efforts. As a very smart man once told me, "none of is is as smart as all of us."
And those of us involved in the ACA realize now that we have to grow the support systems to levels that can handle your response. That's why there's a new note posted on the front page of the website:
"Due to the overwhelming response to the Armed Citizen Alliance initial launch, it will take us longer than expected to respond to all your inquiries and membership sign-ups. Please be patient and bear with us. We will respond to you all. And keep 'em coming!"
The final steps for an improved back-office systems are being completed, and the site will be accepting enrollment payments again ASAP. A note on that enrollment process: when the payment portion of the site is fully operational, you'll be able to use your credit cards to pay for your membership. No PayPal -that was a stopgap measure that was never a long-term solution.
As ACA proceeds, I'm still counting on your input to help the Advisory Council focus on the things you think important.
And we owe another debt of gratitude to the Knife Rights organization (www.kniferights.org
) for helping keep our knives in our pockets without fear of getting jammed up by some of the inconsistent laws around the country.
Atlanta, for instance, annually hosts the Blade Show. For knives, it's the equivalent of SHOT Show or ICAST to the fishing industry. It's the big meeting of the year. There's been one small problem with that big meeting in an even bigger city. Blade is actually held in Cobb County -although it's just across the street from Atlanta.
There are very few restrictions on knives in Cobb County. BUT...across the street, where many Blade attendees eat or stay, there are "onerous" laws against knives.
Thanks to the efforts of Knife Rights, however, Blade attendees won't be operating on the knife-edge (ouch) of legality in 2013. That's because Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has signed into law state statutes that establishes knife law preemption. In other words, Atlanta's ordinance against "carry of any automatic or knife with a blade longer than three inches 'readily available for us'" will be nullified by the state preemption law.
Georgia Senator Bill Heath and State Representative David Knight introduced the legislation, and Knife RIghts' Director of Legislative Affairs Todd Rathner worked long and hard to get and keep the legislation moving. Ultimately, Rathner spent the entire final week of the legislative session in Atlanta shepherding the bill.
While we're celebrating another bit of legislative sanity, there's still one word of caution for those of you planning on attending this year's Blade Show. The new legislation does not go into effect until July 1, 2012, so the Atlanta restrictions- although headed for the trash heap on July 1 - remain in effect.
As always, we'll keep you posted.