Sunday, December 29, 2013

Using TSA recognized locks to secure firearms when flying

Comments were being made that the use of TSA recognized locks to secure a gun case when flying was being phased out or no longer allowed.

It was said they were not to be used, as no longer mentioned on one page of there website (we're suppose to read between the lines) and also that TSA was not allowing gun cases to be processed if they were using such locks at a certain airport.

I had contacted TSA in 2009 and they said they were legal, but maybe a change in policy, so after a bit of back and forth I contacted the TSA.

TSA Response:

December 29, 2013

Thank you for your e-mail regarding travel with firearms using Transportation Security Administration (TSA) - recognized locks.

On flights that originate in the United States, passengers may transport a firearm in accordance with 49 CFR §1540.111 under the following conditions:

• the firearm must be unloaded;
• it must be in checked, not carry-on, baggage;
• it must be in a locked, hard-sided container; and
• it must be declared to the airline.

Travelers may use any kind or type of lock for securing firearm cases, including TSA - recognized locks.  However, TSA does not recommend or endorse any specific brand or type of lock to use on firearm containers.


TSA locks are legal, but you do have the option of using your own!  

Some have a strong opinion that you should use your own locks, but they shouldn't be telling you they are illegal if that is not the case, nor turning opinion into a fact.

* Make sure your insurance covers your firearm when traveling.  Your homeowners policy may be lacking in regard to firearm coverage.


Friday, December 20, 2013

Gun Control (Safety) 2014?

In the name of Gun Safety or Gun Control there coming after your guns....

If your state doesn't already require this, don't say you weren't warned!

- State firearm photo ID to purchase or posses.

- Finger printing for those who posses, to include hunters and target shooters.

- Mandatory Firearm Storage.

- Ammunition purchase monitoring. Require state approval for each purchase.

- No on-line purchases of ammunition and delivery.  All sales face to face.

- Unrealistic magazine size requirements.

- Restrictions on firearms that look dangerous.

- Additional taxes on sales of firearms and ammunition.

- Notifying schools that you have firearms in the home.

- Expanded gun free (kill zones).

- Outlawing children toys that has anything to do with firearms.

- Continued monies being spent by anti-gun groups who preach GUN SAFETY but in reality want to take your guns away or make it difficult or almost impossible to own one.

- Restrictions on purchase of reloading components.

- Stricter EPA rules on bodies of water on club property, man made or not, and any alleged runoff.  At some point shot curtains will be required at all clubs with any water on it's property or they will be closed.

- Stricter indoor range air quality standards.  As seen in the coal industry, rules that make it so expensive to comply the club will be forced to close the range.

The left will continue to oppose mandatory sentencing for any crimes, to include using firearms in a commission of a crime. They will continue to support plea bargaining in all cases and in turn shorter sentences (if any jail time).  They will spend there resources on gun control laws for lawful citizens instead of crime control (throw away the key)!

Belonging to a Pro-Gun political organization such as the NRA may not be your cup of tea, but if you don't belong, who is fighting for your gun rights?

Sunday, December 15, 2013

NRA Firearms Insurance Activation

A shooter had two shotguns stolen from his truck.  A member of the NRA, but had not activated his NRA insurance (a free $2500 policy) thus no reimbursement received.

Member of the NRA?

If you haven't activated your NRA firearm insurance policy, something that you need to do, as not an automatic enrollment upon membership purchase!

Go to the NRA website.  Log into the site (NRA membership number required).  Under member services find the area that covers insurance and enroll.

* You may be able to use this link an register without an account.


All NRA members in good standing receive $2,500 of ArmsCare protection at no cost to them. To begin receiving this coverage members must activate their No Cost benefits.

ArmsCare Firearms Insurance provides NRA members with protection for their firearms and accessories include scopes, rings, mounts, slings and sling swivels, which are attached to the insured firearm.
With ArmsCare Firearms Insurance, guns and accessories are protected from the following:
  • Direct physical loss
  • Damage
  • Fire
  • Theft (Theft from a vehicle is covered when it is the result of breaking and entering a locked vehicle or locked portion of the vehicle.)
Firearms do not need to be scheduled and serial numbers are not required
ArmsCare sells upgraded policy's starting at $65 a year for $6500 in coverage. 
Other then to draw your name to the ArmsCare company and the option to purchase additional insurance, is this the only reason that enrollment is not automatic, as firearms don't need to be listed?
You must likely will first have to make a clam against your homeowners police before they will act on your clam.  I won't swear to that, but my understanding from my readings.
Be warned, your homeowners coverage may be limited unless you have a rider and even with a rider it may not cover your firearm when not in the home.

Colorado's shooting -- over in 80 seconds

Give thanks the school was not relying on a 911 response to quickly end the taken of lives.

Despite the thinking on the left, a strong case for allowing school officials to have guns. 
In this shooting, an armed school resource officer averted a greater tragedy.
"He took no effort to conceal the fact that he was armed," said Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson.
In less than 80 seconds, Karl Pierson "fired one random shot down a hallway," then entered an area where 17-year-old Claire Esther Davis was seated with a friend, "and shot the female victim point-blank" in the head. "There was no time for the victim to run from the shooter," Robinson told reporters on Saturday.
Pierson then fired another round down a hallway, then entered the library, where he fired again and ignited one of the Molotov cocktails, according to Robinson.
That ignited at least three bookshelves, causing smoke to pour into the library.
He then fired a fifth round and ran to the library's back corner, "and there took his own life."
By 12:35 p.m., it was all over.
"His intent was evil, and his evil intent was to harm multiple individuals," Robinson said about Pierson, whose entrance into the school was documented on security cameras, as was the bulk of the one minute, 20 seconds of violence that ensued.
The rampage might have resulted in many more casualties had it not been for the quick response of a deputy sheriff who was working as a school resource officer at the school, Robinson said.
Once he learned of the threat, he ran -- accompanied by an unarmed school security officer and two administrators -- from the cafeteria to the library, Robinson said. "It's a fairly long hallway, but the deputy sheriff got there very quickly."
The deputy was yelling for people to get down and identified himself as a county deputy sheriff, Robinson said. "We know for a fact that the shooter knew that the deputy was in the immediate area and, while the deputy was containing the shooter, the shooter took his own life."

Troubling to learn that unarmed school security officers were working in the school. Why weren't they armed also?   Without knowing the answer, I gather the argument they didn't have the training of a police officer, so they can't be armed. In my opinion a bogus argument. Provide the training and be done with it!
As reported in the past, shootings that take place in gun free zones in many cases are terminated upon the arrival of an armed person, with the end result being the shooter taken his own life. Only a psychiatrist can answer why the suicide, but we see this time and time again!
The shooter was 18 years old and legally purchased the shotgun and ammunition.  A shotgun that would not be illegal to own in any of the 50 states!
No background check, either state or federal, in any state would have denied his purchase.
It was reported that he recently had issues (undiagnosed bipolar disorder?) but nothing that would make anyone think that he was capable of doing anything of this nature as it was also reported he was anti-gun and disliked republicans (from his postings on the internet) and his thinking was left of center.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Credit Card Compromised

The last 20 days or so a few strange pending charges popped up on my account, all from the same company.  I brought it to the attention of the credit card company, but was told I had to wait until it went from Pending to Posted Activity.  One actually went through and was removed by the credit card company after I notified them.

I should have cancelled the card, but didn't.  Didn't go with my gut feeling.....

Today, a charge of almost $3000 on the account.  Card Cancelled!

I'm not responsible for the charge, but just passing along how important it is to keep an eye on your credit card account.  Very easy during the holiday season with increased activity to have something slip by.  I access mine online and view daily activity.

A few years back I received a call from the credit card company asking if I was in India making Ebay purchases?  The card was cancelled. The next day FedEx was at the door with my new credit card!

A Chase card.  A nice service they provide is the out of region travel. You notify them via your online account you will be in a XYZ city during a certain time period and they won't flag your card when used in that city and region.  
I failed to notify them one time when I was out of my region and was down south using my card at a Walmart.  My purchase was denied.  The next thing my cell phone starts ringing and Chase was asking if I was using my card in the city I was in.  Said yes and after a brief conversation, hung up, re-swiped my card and it worked.  Don't know if it will always be that fast, but I was impressed!

You do have to give them a listing of authorized phone numbers via your on-line account for the above to work for you.  Make sure you include your cell phone number and the number of your spouses phone.  You can always call them if your having a charge problem, but they will only accept calls from the numbers you provided.

I have also made a few online purchases for types of merchandise I don't normally buy every now and then.  The charges were flagged by the Chase computer. A phone call received from Chase asking if I had used my card on-line?

Not a perfect system when using a card and you have to assume at some point the card will be compromised. Be a smart card user and keep an eye on your account!

Monday, December 09, 2013

Kingston (Ontario) Fun Turkey Shoot

Four games were on the schedule for the clubs turkey fun shoot.

Kingston Shotgun Sports, better know as the Kingston District Trap, Skeet and Sporting Clays Club is located in Kingston, Ontario just off the 401.

Of the four games offered the one I had not seen before was a skeet game.  Shoot singles only from station 1 through 7.  You had to hit a target, two shot maximum, at least two times to score a point. Very hard to do if you center hit a target on the first shot and no visible pieces to hit for the second shot.  As often seen on a skeet field, a lot of good old fashion ribbing took place.

Machines ran well for both the skeet and trap events.

For the most part a sunny day, but when standing in the shade you realized how cold it was (30 degrees / -1 C).

A very nice turkey dinner with all the fixings was served for lunch.  The ladies (well, not all ladies) outdid themselves getting the meal ready and manning the serving counter.  Also, a verity of tasty desserts were offered.


Friday, December 06, 2013

28 gauge reloading

I had to purchase lead for 28 gauge shooting, the shell we use for skeet practice. I bought Lawrence Brand #9 hard shot.  I was able to purchase via a club buy.

Was not sure what reloading saving were as prices are all over the place and ran the numbers through a Reloading Cost Calculator.

Using today prices and not the cost of reloading supplies I have on hand, my cost to reload a box of 28 gauge AA hulls using W209 primer, Clay Buster wads, and Universal Clays comes to $4.073 a box.

I can bring the price down a bit if I was willing to use a cheaper brand of primers but chose not to!

Still way cheaper to reload 28 gauge and .410 then to purchase factory and cheaper then practicing with the cheapest of factory 12 gauge loads.

A word of warning if you don't reload, but thinking about it. Easy to lose your reloading saving by not buying smart!

Do you shoot enough shells each week to justify getting into reloading? The cost going in can be high, especially if your buying a progressive re-loader.

You may not find reloading 12 gauge worth the effort.  All depends on what you can purchase factory shells for versus the cost to reload and your financial circumstances and what your time is worth.

Purchase a used machine, not brand new.

A scale to weigh powder is a must.  A bushing just gets you in the ball park!  I prefer an electronic scale but an old fashion balance scale will meet your needs. Changes in humidity can change your powder drop, as will opening a new container.

Don't purchase reloading supplies at box stores.  Your paying way over market cost!

Find a local club that allows club members to piggy back on club purchases.  Saves you on shipping cost and HazMat fees (powder and primers) and you may also be able to take advantage of discounts the club may receive for buying in bulk.

Check out the bigger shoots for those selling reloading supplies.

Most who reload shotgun shells purchase 5,000 primers and 8 pounds at a time, not lesser amounts as usually cost more.

When you run into the deal of the year, purchase two 8 pounders instead of one, 10000 primers instead of 5000 or more if you can afford it.

Clay target shooting is an expensive sport, reloading may make it a little more affordable!

Thursday, December 05, 2013

MEC Bottle Support, a must have!

A number of years back I had a MEC shot bottle break in half and as a result shot spilled throughout the reloading area.

The constant bottle motion (vibration) caused a crack.  I assume the plastic became brittle after years of use and it was only a matter of time.

I purchased MEC Bottle Support ($27) holders for all my re-loaders.  I have developed a few cracks and the bottle support saved the day, as the bottles did not snap in half and spill lead.

Today, not so lucky!

I tipped back the bottle and the top of the shot bottle snapped off.  Luckily not a full bottle of lead, maybe a quarter bottle!  Because I was tipping it back slowly I caught it in time before the bottle emptied completely.

Feeling the plastic in the area it broke, it seemed brittle to the touch.

I have no idea if newer MEC bottles ($9.99) are made from a different type of plastic, but something you need to be aware.

I suggest you either use a bottle holder or change out your bottles every ten years or so.

Anyway, a first for me, having the top of the bottle snap off!

Sunday, December 01, 2013

L'Acaide Turkey shoot and my U.S. Customs experience!

I attended the annual turkey shoot at Club L'Acadie. Skeet, trap, and 5-stand.  Shoot one, two or all three events.  The club is located just southeast of Montreal and maybe a 35 minute drive from the NY border.  The 2014 Canadian Trap shoot (ATA) will be held at this club. 

The weather outlook for Sunday was not looking good.  90% chance of rain when I checked on Saturday AM.  Sunday comes, in the mid 30's, overcast and no rain.  In the PM a few snow showers, but that was it.

Shot skeet (50 targets).  Missed the first three high house birds : (    That was good for a few laughs!

Spent the rest of the day meeting old friends and running around with my still camera.  Five or six shooters telling me what sporting clays shoots they planned on attending in Florida this winter.

Shoot Photos and  Results

I ran into a shooter from Club de Tir Huntington who wants me to visit his club next year.  He told me his club just purchased a rebuilt PAT trap from the Silver Dollar.  They are just waiting on delivery.  The club has 4 trap fields, but the most modern trap is just one Winchester basket trap.  The PAT Trap should be a welcome addition.  They are already thinking of another purchase.  I do plan on dropping by in 2014.

I was telling a few people that I had been contacted by the BBC last week and they wanted to use some of my Galt video for a story they were going to run.  Don't tell anyone, as I don't know if that has been cleared for public release yet  : )  When all said and done, most likely they will only use 15 or 20 seconds of what I shot, but Galt will get a mention and that's all for the good!

I decided to take the main U.S. border crossing on the way home instead of the small crossing I normally use. 

Nine lanes, late Sunday afternoon.  Should be back in the states in no time!

Ops!  Fifteen minute wait. Turns out it's always like this the weekend after thanksgiving, or so said the person working the border. 

While I'm waiting in line in my vehicle, a commotion breaks out at the booth two lanes over.  Customs people in a run to the booth. Bing, bam, two pulled out of a vehicle and being led away in cuffs in a blink of an eye.  No more then 60 seconds later the vehicle is being driven to the secondary inspection area.   Arriving a minute later and you wouldn't have known that anything had happened.   Whatever popped up when the ID was run must have been more then a little interesting.

I reach the booth and show my ID and the paperwork for my firearm.  Tell him I was skeet shooting an won a turkey.  I ask if I must declare a turkey, even if it's frozen?  Next thing I'm being carded and instructed to drive over to the secondary inspection area.  Not a big deal (my paperwork is in order) and nothing hidden in the vehicle (and I've done this so many times through the years).

Park my vehicle.  I'm told go through door A and report inside!

Where were you hunting? 

I wasn't hunting, I was skeet shooting. 

What's skeet shooting?

You know, clay target shooting. 

What's clay target shooting? 

Shooting at orange targets flying through the air. 

So where did you kill the turkey. 

I didn't kill the turkey, I won it shooting skeet and it's frozen! 

You won it shooting skeet?

Yes, I'm a good shot  : )  

Did you declare your gun before you left the U.S.?

No, I didn't have to as I have it listed on my form 4457.

So you didn't declare your gun before departing the USA? 

No, the form your holding is my 4457 and I don't have to declare the firearm every time I depart the USA, as it's already on a signed form. 

At that point the other customs person standing next to him the whole time says, he doesn't have to declare his firearm when he departs the states, as he has it already listed on the form.  He gives me back my ID and my 4457 and tells me I can go. 

When all said in done, at no time did anyone look at my firearm or take a look at my turkey!  All this because no one knew what skeet shooting is and thinking I was a killer of turkeys?

Other then the extra time it took to cross, an interesting story to add to the many I have in regard to both US and Canadian customs. Not complaining, just passing along my experience, as at least once a year I get a surprise when crossing and I've come to expect the unexpected.

* The 4457 is a one time requirement for US shooters.  A signed form is valid for the items listed as long as it's readable (does not expire). It's not transferable to another person.