Following recent mass shootings, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon has announced the retail giant will stop the sale of handguns in Alaska, and stop selling handgun ammunition “once it sells out its current inventory.” Walmart is also asking customers not to carry firearms in stores in states with open carry laws unless they are authorized law enforcement officers. Walmart says it represents two percent of U.S. gun sales and around 20 percent of all ammunition sales. The sales numbers are expected to drop to about 6-9 percent when the change is enacted.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has always respected the right of companies in our industry to make business decisions that they feel are in the best interest of their business and customers. While we are disappointed by Walmart’s announcement today that it has decided to stop selling certain types of ammunitions used in a wide variety of firearms, along with discontinuing the sale of handguns in their Alaska stores, NSSF appreciates Walmart’s continuing commitment to America’s hunters and recreational target shooters and their equipment needs, as sportsmen and women represent tens of millions of responsible gun owners in this country."
Registration for the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s Oklahoma CMP Games is currently open. The annual event is set to take place Oct. 7-13, at the Oklahoma City Gun Club. Along with competitive matches, a rifle Small Arms Firing School is scheduled.

QDMA’s popular Deer Steward advanced education courses have influenced management on an estimated 10 to 15 million acres of public and private hunting land since initiation in 2007, helping hunters improve deer populations and wildlife habitat across 47 states and Canada.
Due to an in-category display limit, vendors should order their spaces now for the Holiday Sportsman Show, launching on November 5 and running through December 31.In addition to retail sales, Holiday Sportsman Show participation also supports a number of conservation groups, youth groups and veteran groups.
Learn about the history of the pawpaw at the monthly Salamonie Senior Luncheon Monday, Oct 7, at the Salamonie Lake Interpretive Center.
Saddle up at Lost Bridge West Horsemen’s Campground at Salamonie Lake Sept. 27-29 as the park hosts its Riders Reunion. There will be plenty of events and food, with proceeds going to help electrify the campground.

CZ-USA's new CZ 557 American is a hunter's dream rifle: accurate, durable, and extremely functional. A great choice for a young hunter or a seasoned veteran, the CZ 557 American offers custom features at an over-the-counter price.
Savage introduced a new AXIS II in Flat Dark Earth. The AXIS II FDE, with the Bushnell Banner 3-9x40 mounted and bore-sighted, is ready to hit the range or field, right out of the box.
Walther is proud to announce the release of the PPK/S First Edition. A TALO exclusive, it commemorates the return of the PPK family and the beginning of Walther’s US-based manufacturing.
Westslope cutthroat trout, brown trout and rainbow trout will be kept out of irrigation diversions and remain in the stream when fish screens are installed on diversions in Lolo Creek and the West Fork of the Bitterroot River.

- GEAR -
DTLgear announced the addition of a high-quality first aid kit made specifically for outdoorsmen to their product line. It’s lightweight, includes emergency bleeding control kit with tourniquet, chest seals and more.
The Styrka line of S5 Series Riflescopes provides hunters with affordable glass that boasts excellent clarity and precise controls.  
Whitetails Unlimited has awarded a $7,800 grant to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund. This brings the total WTU has awarded to this particular fund to more than $37,000 since the partnership began in 2012.
The Silent Legion website has numerous suppressor models. Find the right one for your hunting rifle and prepare to reduce your noise impact during the next hunting season.

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department issued a reminder to hunters traveling outside Vermont to hunt – and particularly to Quebec -- that the regulation restricting the importation of deer and elk carcasses, which is designed to protect Vermont's wild deer from chronic wasting disease, remains in effect and will be fully enforced.
The water at Lake Odessa will not be raised to normal levels for the 2019 Iowa waterfowl season to allow the area’s diverse forest resource to recover after prolonged major flooding by the Mississippi River.
The M. Barnett Lawley Forever Wild Field Trial Area (FWFTA) in Hale County will host a series of deer hunts for hunters with physical disabilities from late November 2019 through January 2020.
Given Hurricane Dorian’s potential path towards North Carolina, visit for the latest information on N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission facility, boat ramp and game land closures.

Back by popular demand, the Holiday Sportsman Show will launch its 2019 shopping season on November 5 and it will run through December 31. The unique platform of the Holiday Sportsman Show features an interactive online shopping experience with outdoor show halls where visitors will find exceptional outdoor gifts at remarkable prices for everyone on their list. 


Garrison Everest is pleased to announce its StoryBrand certification and that it is now offering this proven framework to the outdoor and firearms industry.
Davidson’s is proud to welcome 14 sales professionals to its family and announce the opening of the southeastern and northeastern regional call centers in Chapin, South Carolina and Downingtown, Pennsylvania. This expansion provides greater accessibility to customers and increases the level of service.
SIG SAUER, Inc. announced the official award of a contract by the U.S. Army in the down-select process for the Next Generation Squad Weapons. The award encompasses the complete SIG SAUER system consisting of 6.8mm hybrid ammunition, a lightweight machine gun, rifle, and included suppressors, making SIG SAUER the single source manufacturer for ammunition, weapons, and suppressors for the U.S. Army.

XS Sights announced the hiring of Addison Monroe as Digital Marketing Specialist. In this role, Monroe will be responsible for all digital marketing for the company including web content creation and graphic design.
- JOBS -
Armament Systems and Procedures ? a manufacturer of law enforcement and public safety products ? is seeking a proven sales professional to service its Mid-Eastern US Market. The region includes Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky.
Welcome to Lesson 1 of "Back to School 101," a seven-part educational series designed to educate college anglers on various brands, tournament schedules, and discount information associated with the tournament trail.
The Fish Monkey Free Style Custom Fit Glove and premium Face Guard provide ample protection and performance-enhancement to encompass all outdoor venues, from bass boat to deer stand and beyond.

Henry Repeating Arms is resurrecting a firearm that has not been produced by another major manufacturer since 2002 with the release of their new Henry Garden Gun Smoothbore .22.
Meopta USA Sport Optics is now shipping its newest line of premium riflescopes – the Optika6 series. Available in hunting and shooting models, Optika6 riflescopes feature a 6x zoom, zero-reset turrets and advanced MeoBright lens coatings.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers members are coming together in force during Public Lands Month, working, activating and celebrating in support of our North American lands and waters – and, via BHA’s Public Land Pack Out, leaving them a little better than they were before.
With limited-time-only offers geared for both fiberglass and pontoon customers, qualifying purchases will receive strong benefits including a $4 per engine horsepower factory rebate.
The burgeoning concealed-carry segment continues to be a “must-have” category for dealers. In Shooting Industry’s September issue, readers will learn how stores positioning themselves as resource centers through training and education programs have achieved continued growth among CCW customers.
The Browning Hipster-vs Hooded T-shirt in Realtree EDGE Camo keeps you comfortable during a long day in your blind or stand
The National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers is pleased to announce that National Shooting Sports Foundation will be sponsoring the NASGW Expo Appreciation Dinner on October 22nd in Orlando, FL.
Iowa state parks have set Saturday, Sept. 28 as annual Volunteer Day, when Iowans are invited to lend a hand at more than 40 parks hosting clean-up events.

The next meeting of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission will be Thursday, Sept. 12, at the Northern Michigan University Ballroom, in Marquette.
Construction to replace a levee at the Maxinkuckee Wetland Conservation Area (WCA) will begin this month. A 27-year-old levee constructed on Kline Ditch has experienced recent failures.
Indiana’s state tree nursery in Vallonia will pay you to collect certain tree seed throughout the state if the seeds meet DNR specifications.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department, in partnership with Arizona State Mining Inspector and U.S. Bureau of Land Management, installs gates designed to keep people out of the abandoned mines, while allowing bats easy access to the cool roosts deep inside.
They’re shooting for national titles in skeet, trap, and sporting clays in the College Clay Target Championships. And, Julie Golob shows us how to get your defensive handgun into action when you’re not carrying – all on Shooting USA.
This week’s DU TV episode continues in Chandler, Oklahoma, with Ducks Unlimited volunteer Joe Ready and DU TV co-host Doug Larsen.
This week on Guns & Gear, it’s ways to customize the most popular rifle platform with Sig Sauer's TREAD rifle and accessories. Plus, Smith & Wesson's Model 648 .22 WMR revolver, the FN SCAR family, Canik's TP9 Elite Combat and TP9SF Elite, and Crimson Trace's new CTL 5108 1-8x short range scopes.
Can-Am has several vehicles and hundreds of available accessories to help you design the go-to hunting partner of your dreams. Whether it's an ATV or side-by-side vehicle, Can-Am can help you dig in, take aim and creates some memories.

Buoyed by the success of its new ATV and side-by-side off road vehicles, TRACKER® is launching a new utility vehicle – the TRACKER OX400 – designed to meet the demanding needs of property owners with acreage, farmers, ranchers, municipalities and school districts, and park maintenance personnel.
Whitetails Unlimited sponsored a novelty event at the S3DA Outdoor Target and 3-D National Championships, held outside of Metropolis, Illinois. The Whitetails Unlimited Long-Shot Challenge had participants attempt to hit an orange dot on a 3-D whitetail target at distances greater than their maximum distance for their division and class.

“Virtue signaling” is today’s synonym for tokenism.

“Tokenism” is wrong. But “virtue signaling” isn’t just accepted business practice; it’s encouraged.

Yesterday, Walmart- which ostensibly sells about two percent of all firearms and twenty percent of the ammunition sold in the United States- announced it would stop selling handgun and “short-barreled rifle” ammunition.

The company said it will also “encourage” customers no longer openly carry guns into any of its 4,700 Walmarts or Sam’s clubs in states that allow for open carry.

Anti-gun groups and follow-along dunderheads who believe that “banning” something protects you (try a “mosquito-free” zone down in the south) are trumpeting the decision.

Seems those bright folks in Bentonville have figured out how to have it both ways.

They’re “doing something” (virtue signaling); but likely not enough “something” to turn-off their entire gun customer base.

That’s playing both sides of the issue.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillion gets to tell employees (and mainstream media and anti-gunners) that “status quo is unacceptable” without alienating all the good ole’ boys (and girls) who also happen to form the bedrock of Walmart’s customers -and profits.

Walmart’s executive VP of corporate affairs, Dan Bartlett, told reporters via phone the company was attempting to balance customers who own guns with safety in stores.

Whatever the motivation, local gun retailers should look at that as good news.

Walmart has essentially “fired” a significant number of customers.

Those customers will be forced elsewhere to buy handgun ammunition. If I were a local gun shop, I’d be getting word out that handgun ammunition wouldn’t be a problem in my shop.

It’s not often you hear a CEO of a major corporation willingly cede any customers. But McMillon says the changes in the ammunition policies will reduce the company’s market share from around 20% to between 6% and 9% of all ammunition sales.

He says Walmart will “treat law-abiding customers with respect” via a “non-confrontational approach” when it comes to the request they not practice open-carry, and that product assortments will “remain even more focused on the hunting and sport shooting enthusiasts.”

McMillon apologized to customers who might be “inconvenienced” by the new policies, adding he hoped they “understood.”

As a “sport shooting enthusiast” who owns both handguns and rifles chambered in handgun calibers, I have more questions than emotions.

Who, for example, decides which calibers are verboten.

What about handgun hunters? Or hunters in states where straight-walled ammunition (like .357 and/or.44 magnums) is OK for hunting?

I’m not excited that Walmart’s sending letters to the White House and Congress to “call for action” and “common sense” gun safety measures. Especially when McMillon says those should include debating the re-authorization of the assault rifle ban and expanding background checks.

“Debating” doesn’t pass anything. And while expanding background checks is a bridge too-far for me, many other gun owners seem to believe there has to be an additional “something” Congress can do to put a dent in violence. We’ll have to agree to disagree on that, too.

The decision quickly brought the ire of the National Rifle Association, which released a statement saying: “It is shameful to see Walmart succumb to the pressure of anti-gun elites. Lines at Walmart will soon be replaced by lines at other retailers who are more supportive of America’s fundamental freedoms.”

“The truth is,” the NRA statement continues, “Walmart’s actions today will not make us any safer. Rather than place the blame on the criminal, Walmart has chosen to victimize law abiding Americans. Our leaders must be willing to approach the problems of crime, violence and mental health with sincerity and honesty.”

Granted, Walmart’s actions don’t do anything to address core problems, but they may have the unintended consequence of giving new hope to local gun shops looking for ways to win back customers or entice new ones to shop with them - instead of the big box behemoth.

We’ll keep you posted.

—Jim Shepherd

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