Industry Items

Oct 4, 2011
It's officially fall in the south. Leaves are slowly changing, temperatures-and humidities- inching downward, and normally sane adults shutting down the parts of their brains that see and recognize anything other than team colors.

People who behave fairly civilly most of the time are painting their faces in school colors, wearing color combinations that look like a sherbet explosion in the ice cream aisle of the grocery, sticking plastic flags on their cars and yelling everything from "hunker down" to guttural growls that are supposed to represent a 'gator preparing to devour its unlucky prey.

Unfortunately, many of the well-meaning dunderheads who want to legislate just-about-everything aren't taking a break during college football season.

They never seem to take time off to get outside, take a deep breath, or bellow their brains out in support of "their" team. Unfortunately, their inability to loosen their collective collars is a loss we all share.

I'm of the opinion that anyone who has the chance to channel all their inner frustrations toward an opposing football team will have lots less time to spend trying to tell me they know what's best for me.

Granted, Massachusetts has a lot less to cheer for than, say, Alabama or Florida, but the chance to get out and tailgate anywhere in the Ivy League has to be better than sitting around trying to draw up legislation to push microstamping.

Yep, Senator Anthony Petruccelli's pushing microstamping for firearms again. In fact, his bill will be discussed in the Joint Judiciary Committee of the Massachusetts legislature this Wednesday.

Despite the fact that firearms companies contribute more than $1.1 billion dollars to the state economy, Petruccelli's pushing legislation that would mandate a procedure that has been proven not to work, but will doubtless add costs and steps to the businesses of Smith & Wesson, Kahr, and Savage Arms.

They're all Massachusetts businesses as of this writing, but it's a virtual certainty that one - or more- of these companies could be wooed from Massachusetts to another state if this silly bit of scientific foolishness isn't defeated.

The hearing's set for Wednesday at 1 p.m. in Room A-1 of the capitol -and it seems time for hunters and shooters to turn out and encourage legislators on the Joint Judiciary Committee to do something other than waste taxpayer's money on a piece of junk science.

The Supreme Court has decided it's staying away from firearms issues in their new session. They've taken a pass (OK, they've declined to consider) a Maryland ruling says prohibiting carrying a handgun without a permit. With that refusal, the high court's taking a pass on the question of whether a person's individual rights under the Second Amendment extend to carrying a firearm outside the home.

And the idea that owning a firearm is a good one seems to be continuing to build. The September NSSF-Adjusted NICs background checks jumped more than 14 percent over the same time in 2010. According to the statistics, 878,345 National Instant Criminal Background Checks (NICS) were performed in September. That's a fourteen percent over the 770,310 NICS checks during September 2010.

The NSSF points out this is the sixteenth consecutive month of increases.

And two items to be ready for later this week...

We've heard from more than one source (including a highly placed administration member) that there will be some changes announced - possibly as soon as today- at the ATF. No details offered on is more than likely a series of reassignments, but our sources tell us there are "lots of long faces" in the halls of the ATF right now.

The other item isn't news story, it's the story of an uncorrected proof of a book that's been read by several industry insiders. Set to release on January 10, 2012 is a book entitled "GLOCK: The Rise of America's Gun" by Paul M. Barrett.

An assistant managing editor of Bloomberg Businessweek, Barrett's work lays out he story of the Glock handgun. From an idea dreamed up by an Austrian curtain rod and shovel maker to today's handgun that is arguably the equivalent of the ubiquitous AK-47 assault rifle, Glocks are in use nearly everywhere and widely regarded as one of the simplest and most reliable handguns -ever.

But this isn't a manufacturing story. It's a story that pulls back the curtain on a secretive company that was apparently willing to do whatever it took to be successful. And it's a heckuva good read.

From stories five-figure parties at a notorious Atlanta strip club to the attempted murder of company founder Gaston Glock (with a rubber mallet, not a firearm), Barrett's story is guaranteed to cause consternation at Glock HQ. It's not likely to cause litigation, however, because Barrett's work has been copiously documented, in some cases using courtroom testimony and evidence offered by the company itself.

We've just finished reading our copy- and we'll have more -including a conversation with its author later this week.

All part of our promise: we'll keep you posted.

--Jim Shepherd