Everything tagged

Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Cheap .22 ammo top attraction at Portland sportsmen’s show

SHOOTING — Remember when Jim Zumbo and fishing demo tanks stocked with real fish were the big attractions advertized by sportsman show promoters?

Times have changed:  A promotion getting big attention for the  Pacific Northwest Sportsmen's Show in Portland next week is a chance for 15,000 gun owners to score a brick of cheap .22 rimfire ammunition.

Each day of the show, Cascade Farm and Outdoor of Walla Walla will sell 6,000 short bricks (300 rounds) for $20 each, or 6.7 cents per round, reports Oregon outdoor writer Bill Monroe.

"They're CCI, 36-grain, copper-plated, hollow-point cartridges.That's how many permits will be issued on a first-come basis to show attendees – exhibitors included – allowing them to buy inexpensive short 'bricks' of .22 caliber long rifle ammunition."

Details are posted online. The show runs Feb. 4-8 at the Portland Expo Center.

Shooters are well aware that .22 rimfire ammo, the most popular recreational shooting caliber, has been in short supply for years. Panic buying and hoarding apparently was prompted by consumer hysteria that President Obama somehow had the power to confiscate guns and stockpile ammo.

"Few major sources in the Portland area had any (.22 ammo) at all in a cursory check this past week," Monroe said. "Prices for those that did ranged from 16 to 20 cents per round. American ammunition manufacturers are racing to keep up with demand, but some retailers are importing .22 ammo from Mexico."

"Brick" is a term for a small container, usually cardboard, holding smaller boxes of .22 ammunition, usually 40 or 50 rounds. Years ago, a brick was always 500 rounds. Today total cartridges in a 22 brick varies from 300-500 rounds.

Lead ammo still targeted despite court ruling

Environmental groups say a recent court loss won’t make them remove lead ammo from their crosshairs.

"We are absolutely going to push forward with our campaign to end lead ammunition. We think it’s the right thing to do for both wildlife and human health," Bill Snape, a senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, told the Lewiston Tribune last week. "This is not about ending hunting, this is about having safe hunting, not only for wildlife but for hunters as well."

On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld a lower court’s ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency has no jurisdiction to regulate lead used in ammunition. The case was brought by the Center for Biological Diversity, which joined 100 other groups in petitioning the EPA under the Toxic Substances Control Act and asking the agency to regulate spent lead ammunition.

The groups contend lead ammo is responsible for poisoning millions of birds and other animals each year and say it also poses a threat to people who consume game killed with lead shot and bullets.

Hunters and ammunition makers argue that lead doesn’t pose a risk to wildlife on a population scale and say using lead substitutes would be too expensive and could damage some firearms. They also say banning lead ammunition would be a job killer, especially in places like Lewiston, which is home to multiple ammunition makers.

Here's more from the Tribune story by Outdoor write Eric Barker:

In the past, the environmental groups asked the agency to regulate all lead ammunition. The agency denied the request because the act contains a short provision exempting "cartridges and shells" from its jurisdiction.

This time the groups asked the agency to regulate spent ammunition, or the lead after it has exited a cartridge or shell. The three-judge panel rejected the argument.

"Their petition seeks the regulation of spent lead yet suggests no way in which EPA could regulate spent lead without also regulating cartridges and shells," the judges said in their ruling.

The decision was hailed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade association for the firearms industry.

"We are pleased the Court of Appeals considered the legal merits in the case and has now ruled that Congress has not given the EPA the authority to regulate ammunition, putting an end to efforts by anti-hunting zealots to end America’s hunting heritage," said Lawrence G. Keane, a senior vice president and attorney for the foundation.

But Snape said the groups will be back in some manner and suggested that could include more petitions to the EPA. He said they will also work to convince hunters to use nontoxic substitutes such as copper.

"We don’t understand why hunters across the country are not embracing non-lead ammo," he said. "This really is a matter of when, not a matter of if."

He said the groups have not yet decided if they will appeal the ruling.

Oregon surveying residents on lead ammo for hunting

Updated 1 p.m. with more details.

HUNTING — The Oregon Fish and Wildlife plans to ask state residents to share their opinions about using lead ammunition for hunting.

A survey is being mailed this month to a random sample of 4,200 hunters in the state. The department later plans a survey of non-hunters.

A wildlife division administrator, Ron Anglin, says lead ammo is a national issue because of its effects on wildlife and human health.

California plans to ban use of lead ammo for hunting starting in 2019. 

Read on for more details from the Eugene Register-Guard and Associated Press:

EUGENE, Ore. — On the theory that what happens in California often drifts north, Oregon wildlife officials are surveying hunters in the state to gauge their opinions about lead ammunition.

By 2019, lead ammunition will be banned in California, which acted to further the recovery of the condor from near extinction.

There’s no drive in Oregon to bar lead ammunition, but the question has been contentious in the United States for years. Lead ammunition is blamed for poisoning birds that scavenge animals killed with it.

“We want to make sure that if questions are being asked, that we as an agency have a good feel of what the hunting community thinks so that we can respond with what our hunters are telling us,” said Ron Anglin, wildlife division administrator.

The survey will be mailed to a random sample of 4,200 Oregon hunters — the state has an estimated 250,000. The wildlife department plans a similar survey later of non-hunters in Oregon, Anglin said.

Oregon doesn’t regulate lead bullets, the Eugene Register-Guard (http://bit.ly/1jJdSpI ) reports, but since 1991 there has been a federal ban on lead in the shells that waterfowl hunters used in shotguns.

In years since the ban, steel and other variants of shot shells have come onto the market.

Lead ammunition is generally cheaper than the alternatives, and it’s often more effective.

“Outside of the toxicity, lead would be the ideal ballistic material — it’s cheap, it’s everywhere and it’s easy to form,” said Ralph Nauman, president of Environ-Metal in Sweet Home.

The company makes a no-lead, nontoxic brand of shot shells made of copper, nickel and iron.

The company has tried to sell bullets without lead but discontinued the line more than a decade ago, he said.

Anglin said several instances of lead poisoning among Oregon birds of prey have been documented, in eastern Oregon and the Portland area.

“When they’ve done blood tests on them, they found high levels of lead,” he said. “But we don’t know what the source of those levels was.”

In Eugene, Executive Director Louise Shimmel of the Cascades Raptor Center said her organization sees one or two instances of lead poisoning each year.

“It’s the scavengers — the eagles, the soaring hawks like red-tails, the vultures and ravens — that are going to go for gut piles of things that were shot,” she said.

California first state to ban lead ammo for hunting

HUNTING — California will become the first state to ban lead ammunition for all types of hunting, according to a bill signed into law signed today by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The ban is set to be fully phased in by July 1, 2019, in order to protect wildlife and humans from the dangers of consuming lead-shot meat.

Animal rights groups help spearhead the legislation in part to protect endangered California condors, which have been known to die from lead poisoning after consuming lead-bullet-tainted gut piles or meat from animals wounded by hunters.

  • The issues have been the source of debate and research for years.

Brown said the bill protects hunters by allowing the ban to be lifted if the federal government ever prohibits non-lead ammo.

According to the Associated Press, opponents of AB711 argued that non-lead ammunition is more expensive and could be banned federally because it is technically considered to be armor-piercing.

Supporters of the new law say the use of lead bullets also endangers humans who eat game killed with the ammunition.

Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Rendon of Lakewood says the ban makes sense because lead has already been prohibited in paint, gasoline and toys.

In a mixed day for gun owners, Brown vetoed a bill that would have banned future sales of most semi-automatic rifles that accept detachable magazines, part of a firearms package approved by state lawmakers in response to mass shootings in other states.

The bill would have imposed the nation's toughest restrictions on gun ownership.

Brown also signed a measure from Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, which bans kits that allow people to turn regular ammunition magazines into high-capacity magazines.

He also signed two other pieces of legislation, which restrict the ability of mentally ill people to possess firearms.

Lead ammunition ban awaits California governor’s signature

HUNTING — The California Senate on Monday passed legislation to protect the state’s condors, eagles and other wildlife from lead poisoning by requiring the use of nonlead ammunition for all hunting by 2019.
Assembly Bill 711 passed by a vote of 23-15 after being approved by the state Assembly in May.
If the bill is signed by the governor, California would be the first state in the country to require the use of nontoxic bullets and shot for all hunting.
The legislation would require the state Fish and Game Commission to issue regulations by July 1, 2015, that phase in use of nonlead ammunition for hunting of all kinds, including game mammals, game birds, nongame birds and nongame mammals. These requirements would be fully implemented statewide by July 1, 2019.
Nontarget birds and other wildlife are poisoned from scavenging carcasses containing lead-bullet fragments, eating lead-poisoned prey, or ingesting spent lead-shot pellets, mistaking them for food or grit. 

Pork Bullets Target Extreme Islamists

A company based in Dalton Gardens have created "Jihawg" ammunition. The concept is to defend against Islamic extremists and create "Peace Through Pork". According to Islamic law pork is unclean. Anyone who is considered unclean must go through a cleansing ritual. No unclean person will be accepted in to paradise after death. Jihawg claims to get to the root of extreme Islam & Jihad by putting the idea of paradise in doubt of extremists/Dylan Wohlenhaus, KHQ. More here. (KHQ photo)

Thoughts about 'Jihawg' ammo?

Court dismisses case on lead ammunition

SHOOTING — The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia today dismissed a lawsuit brought by environmental groups seeking to force the Environmental Protection Agency to ban ammunition containing lead components.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit in August. The court today agreed with NSSF that EPA does not have the authority to regulate traditional ammunition under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

The environmental groups are considering an appeal of today’s ruling, according to The Center for Biological Diversity, noting the federal judge dismissed the case on technical grounds but did not rule on the substance of the claim, namely whether EPA should regulate lead ammunition under the toxics law. 

Read on for media releases on today's ruling from these two groups representing both sides of the issue:

Ammo hoarding leaves new shooters unloaded

SHOOTING — Just in case you'd planned to take your kid out target shooting with a small-caliber rifle this weekend, you'd better have your own hoarded supply of ammunition.

Dan Hansen had that in mind when he went shopping the other day.

The photo above indicates the lack of ammo he found on the .22 caliber shelf at Cabela's.

Inslee: Coal port study must include routes through state

Jay Inslee takes questions during his first press conference as governor.

OLYMPIA — State and federal agencies studying potential impacts of a new coal terminals near Bellingham must consider the effects of increased train traffic on Spokane and other cities around the state, Gov. Jay Inslee said today.

At his first press conference after being sworn in as governor, Inslee also said he supports restrictions on high-capacity magazines as part of comprehensive package to address gun violence and would consider extending temporary taxes set to expire this year as part of a plan to close the state's projected budget shortfall and increase money for public schools.

On coal ports and the trains that will feed them, Inslee said he was "absolutely clear" on one point: "We've got to have a complete, consistent, reliable evaluation of all of the impacts directly in the state of Washington, which certainly includes transportation impacts."

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, click here to go inside the blog.

Militia leader sentenced in grenade case

A self-described militia leader will spend a year and a day in prison for making grenades that he said were to fight off a communist invasion.

Kenneth B. Kimbley Jr., 60, was given an exceptionally low sentence this week in U.S. District Court in Coeur d'Alene after his public defender described his health problems, which include lung cancer. He'll be on home detention for one year after his release, serve three years probation and is to perform 100 hours of community service.

Federal prosecutors had requested he be sentenced to 46 months in prison for amassing a a weapons collection at his property at 28128 Highway 4, just south of Spirit Lake, where he was arrested on July 3, 2010, while making grenades with other militia members.

He pleaded guilty in November to unlawful possession of a firearm and attempt to make a firearm in violation of the National Firearms Act.

Kimbley had previously discussed bombing local bridges with an undercover federal agent and made threatening statements toward President Barack Obama, according to court papers, but his lawyer, Kim Deater, said he never threatened anyone and was simply saying things similar to what his idol, Glenn Beck, says.

Codefendent Steven E. Winegar, 52, of Harpster, Idaho, was sentenced last month to eight months of house arrest and five years of probation for illegal possessing a .45 pistol.

An undercover agent had been tracking the men through their militia ties since at least October 2009, when he first saw Kimbley with an AK-47 equipped with an electronic optical sight and bought a .22-caliber Ruger handgun from him.

Kimbley was convicted of felony aggravated assault in 2004, which means he's prohibited from possessing firearms.

Retired Spokesman-Review reporter Bill Morlin covered Kimbley's sentencing for the Southern Poverty Law Center. He reports that Judge Edward Lodge said it was “far-fetched” to think the arsenal of weapons and homemade bombs “would have any impact one way or another if there was an invasion from a communist country." Read Morlin's story here.

Man gets house arrest in grenade case

A North Idaho man who was arrested as part of a federal probe into illegal explosives manufacturing in Spirit Lake will be on house arrest for eight months and probation for five years.

Steven E. Winegar, 52, of Harpster, Idaho, was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Coeur d'Alene, where Judge Edward Lodge cited his lack of criminal history, military service and the cost of caring for his medical and mental conditions when imposing the light sentence, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Winegar pleaded guilty in December to illegal possession of a firearm for a .45 pistol he possessed on July 3, 2010, when FBI agents raided a trailer in the Spirit Lake area owned by Kenneth B. Kimbley, Jr.

Agents seized hand grenades, firearms and more than 10,000 rounds of rifle ammo from the property at 28128 N. Highway 41.

Kimbley, 59, is prohibited from possessing firearms because of a previous felony conviction. His lawyer said Kimbley never threatened anyone but feared a communist takeover and was inspired by his idol, Glenn Beck.

Kimbley pleaded guilty in November to attempting to make explosive devices and illegal possession of a firearm. Sentencing is set for August 8.

FBI: Racist felon had ammo, 5 firearms

A Whitman County man arrested on federal gun charges last month had several guns and a large collection of ammunition when investigators searched his properties, a new indictment alleges.

Jeremiah Daniel “J.D.” Hop, 29, faces two counts of felon in possession of a firearm and a forfeiture charge that demands he give up four rifles, a 12-gauge shotgun, and more than 150 rounds of shotgun shells and other ammunition.

A grand jury indicted him on the new charges this week in U.S. District Court.

Hop was convicted in California of third-degree rape of a child in 2005, a felony that prohibits him from possessing firearms or ammunition.

Hop was arrested during an FBI investigation April 20 for allegedly possessing an Izhmash 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun on March 25.

His brother, Michael Hop, said he was set up by an FBI informant who supplied the shotgun after suggesting they go shooting.

Hop has bragged online about being involved with racist taco-truck protests in Kootenai County. He remains in custody without bail at the Spokane County Jail.

Idaho raid seizes grenades, guns, ammo

Two North Idaho men are in custody following an undercover federal probe into illegal explosives manufacturing that included the seizure of hand grenades, firearms and more than 10,000 rounds of rifle ammo. 

Kenneth B. Kimbley, Jr., 58, (right) and Steven Eugene Winegar, 52, were arrested Saturday on federal firearms charges after agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms found grenade components at Kimbley’s home at 28128 N. Highway 41 in Spirit Lake, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Coeur d’Alene.

Winegar told an undercover agent “he had 12 to 14 of these destructive devices at his own residence in Harpster, Idaho,” according to the documents.

Read the rest of my story here.