No Valentine Coming From the North
Despite the fact that tomorrow's supposed to be the day to show love and affection, it looks like Canadian firearms enthusiasts aren't much in love with parts of the government right now. The reason? A report making the rounds in Canada that says officials have it on "good authority" that our State Department may be on the verge of cutting off all imports of certain calibers of ammunition.Ammos listed for this rumored ban include the .50BMG, 7.62x39mm Soviet, 7.62x51mm NATO, .308 Winchester, 5.56 NATO and .223 Remington. Additionally, we're hearing that an expansion of this proposed ban might be broadened to include the 6.8mm SPC, 9mm Parabellum, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP- among others.In other words, State Department officials may be floating a trial balloon to see if there are howls of protest, or whimpers of compliance. Canadian elected officials who have directed this information to me say the move seems to be motivated by "emboldened" anti-gun officials who think they have a kindred spirit in President Obama. Additionally, Canadian officials tell me they are hearing rumblings of blanket export bans on certain firearms to Canada and the attachment of DSP-83 End Use Certificates (with their $250 Export Fee) attached to all other types of American firearms. Should that happen, opposition leaders remind Canadian firearms owners, it will not affect European Union imports. Firearms and ammo exported from Europe would be unaffected- and certainly at far more appealing prices than comparable U-S firearms. In effect, the State Department would be hammering gun manufacturers, distributors and exporters in the United States while simultaneously making firearms -and ammunition - ownership and acquisition more difficult for Canadians. To antigun politicians, this must smell like roses. To pro-gun politicians in Canada, it smells fishy, and they're trying to drum up awareness on both sides of the border because it is "still being fought and the battle isn't over yet."But it looks like an indirect campaign against firearms and ammo may have already begun. You read it first here - and we'll keep you posted.Meanwhile, back in the contiguous 48, four states are considering removing their bans on open-carry firearms. Texas, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Arkansas are each considering legislation that would remove the ban on open-carry handguns.Surprisingly, open carry is legal in all but six states, including those where concealed carry is not. The other states that ban open carry are New York and Florida. As expected, Paul Helmke of the Brady Center has offered his opinion on why any carry is a bad idea. "…the more guns you have in a situation," Helmke says in USA Today, "the more likely you are to have gun violence."Nice quote, despite the fact that facts prove exactly the opposite. These four states didn't suddenly decide to abolish their rules against open carry. In one case, Texas legislators were motivated by a groundswell of public opinion. 55,000 signatures on a petition and $25,000 in contributions for an ad campaign helped open eyes in Austin. South Carolina has a measure supported by thirty-seven legislators, while only Representative Mike Ritze (Rep.) is listed on the Oklahoma bill filed earlier this month. No matter which side of the border you're watching, we'll keep you posted.--Jim Shepherd
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